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Officials Seek Leads in 2002 Case Involving Human Remains

compositeLONGVIEW — Sheriff Maxey Cerliano and the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office request information on a cold case involving human remains. On May 21, 2002, human remains, including a skull, were discovered by a road construction crew on Highway 135, south of Swamp City Road in the Gladewater area. The remains were examined by a forensic anthropologist and determined to be of a white female, 17 to 25 years of age, about 5’1 to 5’4’ in height, with a slim or petite build and an unrepaired cleft palate. Due to the condition of the bones, it was believed that she died about two years earlier, in 2000. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Teacher of the Year Banquet May 13

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER – Tyler ISD will honor Campus Teachers of the Year and announce its 2014 District Teachers of the Year at the annual Teacher of the Year Banquet at Harvey Convention Center May 13. The banquet will be sponsored by the Cooperative Teachers Credit Union. “The Teacher of the Year Banquet is always a fun event that highlights the amazingly talented teachers we have on our campuses,” Tyler ISD Superintendent Gary Mooring said. “This year’s banquet will be even more successful due to the sponsorship from the Cooperative Teachers Credit Union.” Suzette Warren, spokesperson for the credit union, said, “Cooperative Teachers Credit Union is honored to be the sponsor of the 2014 Teacher of the Year event. It is a privilege to be able to celebrate and express our continued commitment to the Tyler ISD educators.” Read the rest of this entry »

Lake Tyler Marina Open Weekends with City in Charge

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — The Lake Tyler Marina at 18183 Concession Road is now open and under operation by the City of Tyler Water Department Fridays through Sundays from 8:00am to 5:00pm. The marina reopened with those hours in mid-April, but according to city officials, the previous owner has completely left now, and the marina is entirely under the control of the city. Boat fuel sales remain limited to gas (92 octane, with ethanol) only at this time. Purchases may be paid for by cash or check; no credit cards accepted. Officials say the restaurant and store at the marina remain closed until further notice. Read the rest of this entry »

Woman Faces DWI, Drug Charges

aprilcameronmugKILGORE — An Overton woman is behind bars after a routine traffic stop in Kilgore revealed drugs, according to authorities. KETK reports Kilgore Police Officer Josh Sims stopped a vehicle traveling on the Duvall Parkway and the driver was identified as April Marie Cameron, 35. After an initial investigation by Officer Sims, Cameron was allegedly found to be intoxicated and was arrested for DWI. During a search of her person, Cameron was reportedly found to be in possession of 27.8 grams of crack cocaine and a small amount of marijuana. She was additionally charged with delivery of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

Smith County Ranks High in Storm Damage Claims

lightningTYLER — A recent study by Allstate has found Smith County has the highest frequency of lightning property damage claims in Texas in the past five years. KETK reports that according to Allstate’s ranking, Smith County ranked number one in “Highest Frequency of Lightning Claims 2009-2013 by County” and 12th in “Highest Frequency of Wind and Hail Claims 2009-2013 by County.” “Texans are exposed to more types of natural disasters than any other state,” said Pam Nichols, an Allstate agent in Midland. “It’s important for families to take precautions to protect themselves and their belongings for Texas-sized severe weather threats.” Allstate collected the data by measuring the frequency of hail and wind and lightning homeowner property claims from 2009-2013 to tally the top 25 counties which all had at least 3500 Allstate policies.

United Way Campaign Raises $1.65 Million

thumb_unitedway-logoTYLER — The United Way of Smith County’s 2013 campaign raised $1.65 million, $50,000 short of goal. The announcement came at the United Way’s Annual Campaign Celebration & Awards Luncheon. United Way president Nan Moore explained, “The 2013 campaign ran during open enrollment for insurance at a number of companies and people are paying more out of pocket for health coverage. That coupled with the loss of hundreds of Carrier employees are primary reasons for missing the goal.” Moore also stated, “The total doesn’t accurately reflect the number of new businesses that have joined us. We remain focused on recruiting more businesses. That means we are going to need a lot more campaign volunteers to make this happen, but we are very optimistic about the 2014 campaign.”

Tyler Celebrates National Day of Prayer

thumb_Barbara-BassTYLER — Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass welcomed hundreds to her last Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Thursday as she prepares to complete her six-year term. Pointing out that the day is recognized as the National Day of Prayer, Bass added, “But we know that each and every day is a day of prayer for each of us.” Activities at the Harvey Convention Center event included prayers for healing, courage, hope, enlightenment, Tyler, and the nation, as well as a prayer for exhortation. Attendees were also treated to music and a “Prayer America” video. The prayer breakfast committee made a special surprise presentation to Bass at the conclusion of the event, handing her a bouquet, a plaque, and words of thanks. Also on the prayer day agenda was “come and go” prayer on the downtown square from 9:00am till 9:00pm.

Authorities Search for Accused Cocaine Dealer

Calvin DorseyTYLER — A Tyler man is being sought by authorities in a drug conspiracy case. Authorities said on April 9th, Tyler Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Texas Rangers executed a search warrant for narcotics at a residence in Tyler, as a result of a one-year undercover narcotics investigation. Officials arrested Micol Jauron Sears, 39, Tyler. Sears was charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base. Federal and local law enforcement officials are seeking a second suspect, also named in the indictment, identified as Calvin Donell Dorsey, 37, Tyler. Dorsey is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base. If you have any information to the whereabouts of Dorsey please contact your Federal or local law enforcement agency.

Scholarships for Two John Tyler Students

Cristal GalindezTYLER — Two John Tyler High School seniors have been awarded with Dell Scholars Program scholarships recently. Each student will receive $20,000 over the next six years for college.

Cristal Galindez is in the top 2% of her class, a member of the National Junior Honor Society, a member of the Texas Bank and Trust Student Board of Directors and is also a member of many student leadership organizations. Cristal plans to attend Tyler Junior College. Read the rest of this entry »

Motorcycle Deaths Drop in Gregg County

LONGVIEW — In the state of Texas, motorcycle fatalities went up from 470 in 2012 to 494 in 2013. But KETK reports Gregg County is bucking that trend, with four such deaths last year, down from five in 2012. Longview Police Officer Kristie Brian attributes the decrease to local drivers paying attention to the road. She says it’s crucial that drivers are extra-cautious when traveling beside or behind a motorcycle. If traveling behind one, she says keep your distance because even the slightest bump with a vehicle can send a motorcycle driver flying. And she reminds everyone that helmets save lives.

Perryman Group: Kilgore Rangerettes Responsible for $8B Industry

rangerettes_perryman03w6278KILGORE — The Kilgore Rangerettes inspired an industry responsible for more than $8 billion per year, according to economist Dr. Ray Perryman. In a Wednesday press conference at Kilgore College’s Devall Student Center, Perryman stated the study was an in-kind donation to the Rangerettes’ 75th Anniversary Committee. KETK reports the Perryman Group, located in Waco, did the study at no charge. “What are now cornerstones of halftime shows across the country – precision dance and drill teams – owe much to the innovative Rangerettes,” Perryman said. “This industry as a whole generates a sizable economic stimulus of an estimated $8.3 billion in total expenditures and $4.0 billion in gross product each year, as well as more than 50,700 permanent jobs across the nation.” Read the rest of this entry »

Man Accused of Taking Photos in Wal-Mart Restroom

devinbutlerfbKILGORE — Kilgore police have captured a now-former Kilgore Wal-Mart employee who reportedly took pictures of another person in a bathroom at the store last week. Police Captain Roman Roberson tells KETK Devin Rhett Butler, 27, of Kilgore, was picked up around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and charged with improper photography. That was after a search warrant was issued stating he allegedly was caught snapping pictures of another man using the restroom on April 22. Police received the initial report April 24 regarding the incident at the big-box store in the 1200 block of Stone Street. Butler was fired after the civilian told management what had reportedly happened. According to Butler’s Facebook page, he began working at Wal-Mart in 2005 and graduated from Sabine High School. Read the rest of this entry »

Four Biomedical Researchers Join UT Health Northeast

thumb_U-T-Health-NortheastTYLER — Four members of the research team of internationally known scientist Mitsuo Ikebe, Ph.D., recently joined UT Health Northeast. Dr. Ikebe is the new chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology at UT Health. The researchers are Toshio Kitazawa, Ph.D.; Satoshi Komatsu, Ph.D.; Osamu Sato, Ph.D., and Tsuyoshi Sakai, Ph.D. All worked with Dr. Ikebe before he came to UT Health, when he was with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) in Worcester, Mass. Dr. Ikebe’s team studies cell motility, the ability of a cell and its components to move when stimulated by something outside the cell. This cutting-edge research can be applied to a broad range of medical problems, such as how cancer cells move, how inflammatory cells invade injured tissue, and how these tissues repair themselves, according to a news release. Read the rest of this entry »

Commissioners Accept $512,000 Road Grant

thumb_smithcounty-sealSMITH COUNTY — Smith County Commissioners voted to accept more than $500,000 in road improvement funds from the state of Texas this week, through a TxDOT grant to aid counties with road damage caused by the oil and gas industry. The County Transportation Infrastructure Fund (CTIF) grant program was created by the state during the last legislative session to provide more than $450 million to Texas county roads. Read the rest of this entry »

Testimony Begins in Mall Shooting Trial

Ricky Neal JrTYLER – Testimony began Wednesday morning in the trial for the accused Tyler Broadway Square Mall parking lot shooter. Ricky Neal Jr. allegedly shot dead a former Chapel Hill and Stephen F. Austin athlete on February 9, 2013. Neal faces an additional charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after police determined he shot at Jonathan Lamone Dews, 29, of Tyler. The jury will also be responsible for the punishment phase of the case. According to both lawyers, Neal and the victim, Chris Mass, 23, of Tyler, were allegedly affiliated with opposing gangs: Neal with the “Bloods” and Mass with the “Crips.” They also pointed out Dews was a known and convicted drug dealer.

Former State Trooper Gets Jail Time for DWI

Joe Don AbernathyTYLER – Former state trooper Joe Don Abernathy has been sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated. The charge stems from an accident Abernathy had while driving his patrol car to work. It was first reported that Abernathy crashed on November 5, 2012, after allegedly swerving to miss a deer on Old Omen Road in Tyler. It happened near the Arrowhead Golf Course. The car reportedly sustained substantial damage. Abernathy resigned from his position as a DPS trooper the next day. A blood test showed his blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit.

Police: Cross-Dresser Arrested on Drug Charges

Larry Lynn WheelerKILGORE — Authorities happened on an unusual case in East Texas early Tuesday morning. A Kilgore police officer spotted a man, dressed in women’s clothing, riding a bike on a dead end street. Assistant Chief Roman Roberson says Larry Lynn Wheeler, 57, had committed a traffic offense, so the officer decided to stop him. Roberson says during the ensuing investigation, methamphetamine was located on Wheeler, and he was hit with drug charges. Roberson doesn’t know who made the drug but thinks Wheeler was trying to sell it.

UT Tyler Breaks Ground for New Pharmacy Program

University of Texas at Tyler School of PharmacyTYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler has begun construction on the W.T. Brookshire Hall, the future home of the UT Tyler Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, President Rodney H. Mabry announced. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday to celebrate the occasion at the UT Tyler Robert R. Muntz Library, near the construction site. The three-story, $26.5 million UT Tyler Brookshire Pharmacy Hall is designed to encourage student-faculty interaction and support the college’s innovative teaching methods, according to a UTT news release. Officials say it will provide students with various classrooms and study areas as well as skills labs for hands-on training. Read the rest of this entry »

Authorities Probe Robbery in Which Victim Shot at Suspects

suspects vehicle April 16 Longview robberyLONGVIEW — Sheriff Maxey Cerliano and the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office request assistance in obtaining information regarding a robbery of an individual that occurred April 16 at the Zippy J’s convenience store at 5136 Estes Parkway. Sheriff’s officials say around 4:20 a.m., a patron of the store was at the fuel pump when a man with a silver colored revolver sat down next to him in the passenger seat of his vehicle. The suspect took two cell phones (a Samsung Galaxy S4 and an I Phone) and a small amount of cash, then fled the scene in a vehicle driven by another male. As the suspects were leaving the parking lot, the victim obtained his firearm and fired four shots at the suspects. It is believed that there may be one or more bullet holes in the right side or back of the suspect vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »

Henderson Man Jailed for Drugs, Paraphernalia

jeremymurrietamugKILGORE — An East Texas man is behind bars after a traffic stop revealed him to be in the possession of drugs, according to authorities. The stop of Jeremy Dakota Murrieta, 30, of Henderson, by the Kilgore Police Department allegedly resulted in a seizure of 10.1 grams of methamphetamine, digital scales, packaging materials, and syringes. KETK reports Murrieta was arrested for driving while license invalid with previous convictions and manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance. He is currently incarcerated in the Gregg County Jail with a bond total of $50,500.

Police: Two Arrested After Burglary, Large-Scale Theft

Derrick BrayLONGVIEW — Police in Longview say two alleged burglars have been arrested after reportedly taking between $20,000 and $100,000 worth of property. Shortly after 12:15pm on April 28, police were dispatched to the 900 Block of West Marshall Avenue to investigate reports of a building that had been burglarized. When officers arrived they were told several storage buildings behind the business were broken into and various items, some worth thousands of dollars, had been stolen. Read the rest of this entry »

Arrest Made In Infant Injury Case

Jarrod Deray PhillipsTYLER — An arrest has been made in a Smith County infant injury case. On April 24, shortly after 10:30pm, Jarrod Deray Phillips, 33, of Tyler, the father of the injured infant, was booked in to the Smith County Jail on an outstanding charge of possession of marijuana. On April 25, representatives of Children’s Medical Center in Dallas told Smith County Sheriff’s Office Detective John Shoemaker that the injuries the infant sustained were not consistent with the story provided by Phillips. Upon further investigation and an interview with Phillips, he was charged with injury to a child. Smith County authorities report Judge Christi Kennedy of the 114th District Court set Phillips’ bond at $750,000. He remains in the Smith County Jail. Read the rest of this entry »

Southside Bank and OmniAmerican Bank to Merge

thumb_southside-1TYLER – Southside Bancshares, Inc., parent company of Tyler-based Southside Bank, and OmniAmerican Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for Fort Worth-based OmniAmerican Bank, announced Tuesday that they have signed a definitive agreement under which OmniAmerican will merge into Southside. The combined company will have nearly $5 billion in assets and will be the ninth-largest bank headquartered in Texas, by deposits, according to information from Southside. Read the rest of this entry »

Texan Gets 50 Years, Spear-like Object Used to Rob

Calvin Rushing2LUFKIN (AP) – An East Texas man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for using a spear-like object to threaten workers during a 2012 convenience store robbery. A judge in Lufkin on Monday sentenced 45-year-old Calvin Rushing of Alto. Rushing in March was convicted of aggravated robbery in the May 2012 holdup. Investigators say Rushing held the spear-like object and had a towel on his head when he forced unharmed employees into a back room while stealing money and beer. Surveillance video helped lead to Rushing. Records show he has previous convictions for robbery, burglary and escape.

Woman Who Tried to Drown Daughter Going to a State Hospital

Shari Kamile BrandonNACOGDOCHES – A Nacogdoches woman who tried to drown her daughter last year has been found not guilty by reason of insanity by a state district judge in Nacogdoches. Shari Kamile Brandon, 38, will now be sent to a state hospital further evaluation. After the evaluation it will be up to the court to determine the next course of action. The incident happened in June of 2013 along Farm Road 1878 and County Road 228. State troopers say Brandon tried drowning her 6 year old daughter in a creek after a crashing into a motorcyclist. After the crash, Brandon grabbed her daughter from the car and jumped into a nearby creek. Troopers say while Brandon and her daughter were in the creek, she tried drowning her daughter. The girl says she played dead and survived. Brandon’s had been charged with attempted capital murder.

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