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Jury Duty Scam Continues

Jury boxTYLER — A jury duty scam continues in Smith County. On January 13, reports were released to the public that such a scam was taking place. The next day, an update was issued that stated more victims of the scam had come forward. Tuesday, Smith County District Clerk Lois Rogers contacted the Smith County Sheriff’s Office saying that on February 10, a Tyler woman reported being contacted, but refused to give the caller any money. Read the rest of this entry »

Fifteen-Year-Old Allegedly Takes Off in Mother’s Car

thumb_police-4JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville police have detained a teenager who reportedly stole his mother’s car. Police tell KETK the 15-year-old boy had gotten in trouble at school and, when his mother attempted to discipline him, he is said to have stolen her car and was leading authorities on a chase through Cherokee County. Officials say he was caught on County Road 4218. He has been charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, assault and family violence, and evading arrest.

Tyler Home Destroyed by Fire

cochranTYLER — A north Tyler home is destroyed after a Tuesday fire. According to the Tyler Fire Department, the house caught fire near the intersection of North Ross Avenue and Cochran Street. The initial call was received at approximately 11:30 a.m., with callers reporting smoke and flames visible from the house. The first arriving units reported heavy fire involvement in the home and called for a second alarm. Five engines and one Ladder Company, along with a District Chief and an investigator, were on scene. The Tyler Fire Marshal’s Office tells KETK the fire was a result of a cooking accident. Officials say the homeowner fell asleep while heating up a meal. No injuries were reported.

Great Texas Warrant Round-Up Begins March 1

thumb_smithcounty-sealTYLER — Smith County is combining forces with 320 other jurisdictions across Texas to participate in what’s termed the largest joint warrant round-up of this type in the state. Anyone with outstanding court costs and fines has until March 1 to arrange for payment before the warrant sweep begins. On March 1, officers will begin visiting homes, neighborhoods and places of work to arrest anyone who has not settled his or her debt with the county. Read the rest of this entry »

Azleway Appeal Denied, But School Keeps Fighting

SMITH COUNTY — The Smith County-based Azleway Charter School has received a letter from the Texas commissioner of education denying an in-person informal review with the commissioner as requested in Azelway’s appeal of its charter revocation — but the story’s not over. According to an Azleway news release, the commissioner has referred the appeal to the SOAH (administrative hearing officer) for adjudication. The news release says, “We believe that the hearing officer at SOAH will provide a fair due process opportunity that will result in the reinstatement of the charter to Azleway, Inc.” Read the rest of this entry »

Authorities Seek Help Identifying “Jane Doe”

Jane Doe Gregg CountyGREGG COUNTY — Authorities in Gregg County release a reconstructed image of a woman found murdered in 2006 in an attempt to identify her. Sheriff Maxey Cerliano and the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office are requesting assistance in identifying “Jane Doe.” On October 6, 2006 the burning body of Jane Doe was discovered on an oil field right-of way off Fritz Swanson Road in Kilgore. The body was that of a white female, 17 to 22 years of age, 5’3″ to 5’5″, 100 to 120 pounds, with reddish brown hair and blond highlights. She was wearing size 7/8 jeans and a mauve or purple colored pull-over sweater. Read the rest of this entry »

East Texas Baptist University President is Resigning

Samuel W. OliverMARSHALL — The president of East Texas Baptist University in Marshall is resigning. Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver has announced he is stepping down to become president of Union University located in Jackson, Tennessee effective June 1. The Board of Trustees has called a special meeting for today to select a Presidential Search Committee that will immediately begin a search for Oliver’s Successor. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Man Arrested on Burglary Charges

Jacob McDougalTYLER — A Tyler man has been charged with the burglary of the Tennison Cattle Company. It was reported on February 7th. Someone had broken into the business and one of its vehicles. There were several items taken and two possible suspects were named. When the deputy arrived at the suspects’ residence he saw the reported stolen items in the bed of a truck belonging to Jacob McDougal, 22, of Tyler. Contact was made with both suspects and McDougal was arrested for burglary of a building. His bond was set at $2,000. McDougal is suspected in other area thefts and burglaries. which remain under investigation.

Two Juveniles Charged with Whitehouse Area Burglaries.

Smith County Sheriffs DeptWHITEHOUSE — Early Sunday morning the Smith County Sheriff’s Department received reports of possible criminal activity on Southpoint Road in Whitehouse. A juvenile who had a stolen firearm and stolen property in his possession was arrested. The property consisted of a riding lawn mower, utility trailer, numerous bottles of alcohol, a handgun, two digital monitors, and other items. Witnesses told officers there was another suspect involved, so deputies began searching the area. During the search, it was discovered that other locations were burglarized. These included a large residential garage, motor home, travel trailer, and a pickup. During the investigation, another juvenile was arrested. Both suspects had lengthy criminal histories and both were currently on probation through Smith County Juvenile. Because of their ages, their identities are not being released, but both could face additional charges.

Salazar: Build Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

Ken SalazarWASHINGTON (AP) — Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he believes the Keystone XL oil Pipeline from Canada should be built. Salazar said at an energy conference in Houston Wednesday that the Pipeline could be built safely, as long as conditions are imposed. Those conditions would require the pipeline operator to meet tough environmental standards and even pay for conservation programs along the pipeline route. The pipeline’s proposed route takes it through eastern Smith County. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Man Charged With Sexual Assault of a Child

Victor Michael AustinTYLER — A Smith County man has been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. Victor Michael Austin, 39, of Tyler. He has been booked into the Smith County Jail under a $1 million bond. His arrest followed an interview with a child who told authorities they had been repeatedly sexually abused by Austin.

Kilgore Woman Facing Drug Charges

Kimberly Kay HassonKILGORE — A routine traffic stop has led to the arrest of a Kilgore woman on drug charges. Arrested was Kimberly Kay Hasson, 47. Officers found a syringe and about 56 grams of methamphetamine in a zip-lock baggie. Besides two traffic charges, Hasson has also been charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Weather Causing Some Tuesday School Delays

EAST TEXAS — Because of the potential for winter weather, some area schools are delaying classes for Tuesday. The following schools are delaying the start of classes Tuesday until 10:00am:
Carlisle ISD
Elkhart ISD
Leveretts Chapel ISD
Mount Enterprise ISD
Nacogdoches ISD
Troup ISD
Wells ISD
This list will be expanded after additional schools assess the situation.

Tyler Police Search for Pharmacy Burglary Suspects

TYLER — Tyler Police responded to a commercial burglar alarm at the CVS Pharmacy this morning. It started around 3:10 at the 1710 W. Gentry location. While officers were in route, the alarm company advised at least two suspects could be seen on the security cameras. The video showed one suspect entered the business through the drive-thru window while another remained just outside the window. The man then passed items from the store thru the window to the 2nd suspect. The men then fled the scene. Officers arrived minutes later and began searching the area but the two were not located. Both suspects are described as black men wearing gray hoodies and gray sweat pants. Anyone with information is urged to contact Tyler Police.

Longview Man Arrested Following Chase

Alton Dean JesterLONGVIEW — A Longview man is facing a variety of charges after crashing a stolen vehicle following a pursuit. The chase began Sunday in Longview when officers say Alton Dean Jester, 27, sped away from a traffic stop in a stolen pickup. He later crashed the vehicle into a utility pole in Hallsville, where he is said to have fled on foot. He was arrested a short time later and taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview for treatment. Jester is facing charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest.

TxDOT Project Updates

TxDOT signTYLER — Here’s a quick look at other work planned in Smith County by the Tyler District of the Texas Department of Transportation.

SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue edge work on Farm Road 15 between Troup and the Rusk County Line. Elsewhere, TxDOT maintenance crews are scheduled to begin edge work on Farm Road 2015 between Farm Road 14 near the Wood County Line and Farm Road 16 east of Winona. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress. Motorists are encouraged to be prepared to reduce speed and merge in and around the work zone. Read the rest of this entry »

Whitehouse ISD Teachers of the Year

Andrea Ramsey, Brown Elementary School

Ashley Castle, Cain Elementary School

Cynthia Swinney, Higgins Elementary School

Ginger Halford, Stanton-Smith Elementary School

Sharyn Womble, Holloway Sixth Grade School

Anna Boney, Whitehouse Junior High School

Grant McDonald, Whitehouse High School

Patti Roberts, AIM Center

Teachers of the Month – January 2014

Tyler ISD…Sophia Pinedo, Dixie Elementary School

Lindale ISD..Sally Clemmons, Lindale High School

Winona ISD…Charlotte Jones, Winona Middle School

Chapel Hill ISD..Mindy Bentley, Wise Magnet School

Arp ISD…Theresa Jones, Arp Junior High

Teachers of the Month – December 2013

Tyler ISD…Peggy Vollmer, Griffin Elementary School

Winona ISD…Ronda Lindsey, Winona Elementary School

Arp ISD… Kathy Stroupe, Arp Elementary School

Lindale ISD…Jill Phillips, Lindale Junior High

Chapel Hill ISD.. Darleen Morales, Jackson Elementary School

Teachers of the Month – November 2013

Tyler ISD…Karina Renteria, Caldwell Elementary Arts Academy

Winona ISD…Chelsea Dobbs, Winona High School

Arp ISD…Brilynn Hudson, Arp High School

Chapel Hill ISD…Brad Hickman, Chapel Hill Middle School

Lindale ISD….Debbie Turner, E.J. Moss Intermediate School

Teachers of the Month – October 2013

Tyler ISD… Sheila Thurmond, Moore MST Magnet School

Lindale ISD….Betsy Campbell, Velma Penny Elementary School

Winona ISD…Dixi Russell, Winona Middle School

Arp ISD…Diane Smith, Arp Junior High School

Chapel Hill ISD….Rhonda Toon, Chapel Hill High School

Man Accused of Tying Up Couple, Threatening to Kill Them

OBrian Washburn DukeNACOGDOCHES — An East Texas man is behind bars after authorities say he assaulted a man and threatened to kill him and his wife with a knife. KETK reports it happened shortly before 5:30 Sunday morning at an apartment complex located in the 2100 block of Pearl Street in Nacogdoches. Officers were told that a man, O’Brian Washburn Duke, 31, of Nacogdoches, was visiting another man and his wife at their home. After several hours, Duke reportedly began to assault the husband by punching him. According to police, the suspect then tied the husband and his wife up for several hours and threatened to kill them while brandishing a knife. Duke was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful restraint.

Lane Closures Beginning Today in Longview

thumb_longview-cityofLONGVIEW — A couple of construction projects will cause lane closures in Longview beginning today. The southbound right lane of Fourth Street will be closed between Loop 281 and Hollybrook Drive starting at 8 a.m. on Monday and continuing through 5 p.m. Monday, April 14. The closure is being extended because of weather and soil conditions for Longview Regional Hospital Street widening. The westbound right lane of Marshall Avenue will be closed between Edith Street and W. Tyler starting at 8 a.m. on Monday and continuing through 5 p.m. Thursday, February 20. That closure is for water main work for the new O’Reilly Auto Parts Store. Read the rest of this entry »

Nacogdoches Police Probe Car Lot Thefts

thumb_police-9NACOGDOCHES — Nacogdoches Police are currently investigating two thefts that happened on two separate car lots Friday morning. KETK reports the first happened at 9:14 a.m. at Rex Perry GM in the 3900 block of Northwest Stallings Drive. The second theft occurred just over 30 minutes later at Pineywoods Motor Company in the 1200 block of Northwest Stallings Drive. In each case, several items were removed from a vehicle on the car lot. Authorities are not sure if the thefts are connected. Anyone with information is asked to call Nacogdoches police.

“Not Your Average Joe” Run/Walk Brings a Community Together

lindalefirerunLINDALE — Lindale firefighter Joe Yeakley continues to recover from burns sustained in a house fire last month — and supporters from all over the state joined hands Saturday to do their part. According to a news release from the Lindale Fire Department, over 600 runners and around 100 volunteers came together to prove that Yeakley is “Not Your Average Joe” — the name given to the run/walk. Fire department Lt. Aaron Munn tells KETK that participants raised $10,000 — and that so far more than $40,000 has been brought in through various Yeakley benefits. On Saturday, around 75 firefighters, most of whom ran in full firefighting gear, came from around East Texas and even as far as the Texas Panhandle to participate. Read the rest of this entry »

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