MARSHALL — East Texas Baptist University in Marshall is drawing students from all over. KETK and the Marshall News-Messenger report that internationally, ETBU has students come in from the Bahamas, China, Moldova, and Nigeria. Last semester, they also came from 17 states other than Texas. The majority of students, though, are still from the Lone Star State.
JACKSONVILLE — A Cherokee County Deputy Sheriff was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries after his patrol car hit a stop sign-running civilian, according to officials. Sheriff James Campbell says around 1:00 p.m. Monday, the deputy was driving through an intersection in Jacksonville when a driver ran a stop sign and was t-boned by the official. KETK reports the deputy, who is not being identified at this time, suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital by private vehicle, but has since been released. Both cars were totaled and the driver of the other car was ticketed for failing to yield the right-of-way and being uninsured, according to authorities.
NACOGDOCHES — The Nacogdoches Police Department is currently investigating a fatal car crash that happened in the 800 block of North University at Pruitt Hill Drive. KETK reports the accident occurred Sunday night around 9:40 p.m. Preliminary investigation indicates a car, driven by Aston Lynn Rusk, 21, of Nacogdoches was driving west on Pruitt Hill and trying to turn south onto University Drive. Rusk reportedly pulled out into the path of a northbound truck, driven by Carter Don Willmon, 20, of Lufkin. The truck hit the car on the driver’s side. Rusk was taken to a local hospital and died around 2:24 Monday morning. According to Rusk’s Facebook page, he was a 2012 graduate of Tyler Junior College.
NACOGDOCHES — Due to the extreme temperatures expected this morning, all Nacogdoches ISD campuses will begin classes two hours later than usual. KETK reports buses also will pick up students two hours later than usual. The delay prevents Nacogdoches ISD students from waiting for buses in frigid temperatures during the early morning hours. Schools will dismiss at normal times.
LONGVIEW — A consultant for legal proceedings involving medical examiners aims to file a complaint this week against the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office, often used in Gregg County autopsies. That’s according to the Longview News-Journal. “This is a company masquerading as a medical examiner,” Austin consultant David Fisher said. “It is illegal, and it follows that all the autopsies are illegal. …All your jail deaths are going to be illegal, and this is going to open the door on a whole bunch of civil rights lawsuits.” Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — A man and a woman have been injured during a pursuit in Smith County. While on patrol on Farm Road 344 just west of Farm Road 756, Deputy Corey Cameron attempted to stop a 2005 gold passenger car after the vehicle’s driver repeatedly failed to dim his headlights. Deputy Cameron’s intentions were to investigate the driver to ensure he was not driving while intoxicated. The vehicle, driven by Joe David Hubbard, 42 of Tyler, fled and a brief pursuit ensued. The vehicle being operated by Hubbard left the roadway and crashed about one mile west of Highway 110 on Farm Road 344. Hubbard sustained what appear to be non-life threatening injuries and was taken by air to a Tyler hospital. The condition of the passenger in the vehicle, Crysta Chambers, age unknown, of Tyler, is currently being evaluated. Read the rest of this entry »
VAN ZANDT COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to perform fog seal operations in both directions on Interstate Highway 20 between Farm Road 1255 east of Canton and the Smith County Line. Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress. Motorists are encouraged to be prepared to reduce speed and merge in and around the work zones. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — A Tyler Italian restaurant closes its doors for good. KETK reports Johnny Carino’s on Loop 323 near Old Jacksonville Highway shut down at 10:00 last night. Managers will not comment on the closing. But according to a sign on the front door, they want to express their sincere gratitude and appreciation for their customers’ loyalty over the years. They say it has been a pleasure serving the Tyler community.
TYLER — In the wake of yet another violent and fatal crash on what’s known as “Bloody 31″ in Smith County, The Texas Department of Transportation is moving forward with plans to add more passing lanes on the highway between Tyler and Kilgore. According to KETK, statistics show hundreds of recent accidents on the stretch, including a number of fatals. Starting this month, TxDOT contractors will begin adding three passing lanes east of Loop 323 in Tyler. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — The Texas Department of Public Safety says a nine-year-old girl died at the scene and an East Texas man was critically injured in a one-vehicle wreck that backed up traffic for hours. Troopers also say three other children and a 37-year-old woman were injured in the mishap, which happened around 11 Friday night on Highway 31 East near Smith County Road 233. The DPS told KETK Saturday that five people were ejected from the vehicle after it rolled over. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — Three mailbox explosions have Tyler police and fire officials seeking clues. At around 6:30 Saturday evening, Tyler 911 began receiving calls from residents saying that their mailboxes had been destroyed by explosions. Both the Tyler Police and Fire Departments responded to two different locations and found mailboxes that had been destroyed. It is believed that a firework called an “artillery shell” was ignited and then placed into the mailboxes. Once the firework exploded, the mailboxes were severely damaged and the ground caught on fire. Tyler Police and Fire also responded to another home where the grass was on fire but the mailbox was not destroyed. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — A Tyler stabbing incident has landed a woman in jail and the victim in a Dallas hospital. Shortly after 6:30 Saturday evening, the Tyler Police Department received a 911 call stating that a woman had been stabbed at 732 W. Harmony. Officers responded to the scene and found Tommie Lynn Shackleford with two stab wounds. The suspect, identified as Vanessa Carr (pictured), was still on scene. Read the rest of this entry »
ATHENS — Longtime area lawman and former Henderson County Sheriff Howard Burton “Slick” Alfred, 80, of Athens, has died. According to the website of Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home in Athens, Alfred died Jan. 2 in Tyler, where he was born in 1933. Alfred spent 42 years in law-enforcement, serving as Henderson County Sheriff from 1988 through 2000. A private burial took place Saturday at Bascom Cemetery in Smith County. A memorial service will be held Monday at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Athens.
LONGVIEW — An East Texas man was arrested Friday for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Zackery Scott Reeves, 24, of East Mountain, was accused of attacking his neighbor for complaining about a noise coming from his home. It happened around 12:30 p.m. when Reeves came to his neighbor’s door and began shouting, according to authorities. The neighbor then allegedly slammed Reeves to the ground, and Reeves reportedly pulled out a knife. Reeves then began to chase his neighbor around their Coulter Lane trailer park, according to law enforcement personnel. The Gregg County Jail tells KETK that Reeves was arrested and taken to the jail on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He later posted bail at $5,000.
LONGVIEW — A Gregg County justice of the peace who served the county for 39 years has retired. KETK reports Precinct 4 Justice of The Peace Sam Lawson’s departure was anticipated after he was allegedly shot by his wife in March. He was critically injured and is currently recovering in a Dallas rehabilitation center. Lawson worked as a Sheriff’s Deputy for 20 years before being elected as JP in 1994. The Precinct 4 spot will remain vacant until the March primary.
LINDALE — A house has been completely destroyed in Lindale fire. KETK reports it happened shortly before 12:45 Saturday morning on County Road 4104. Lindale fire officials say five people were inside the house at the time of the fire. Fortunately, all five escaped without injury, but Lindale Volunteer Fire Dept. Captain Bobby Wallert says nine dogs died, along with some other animals. “About six to eight of them are puppies, two chickens, two chinchillas” said Wallert. Firefighters were able to rescue two cats and a snake from the blaze, whose cause remained under investigation at last report.
FORT WORTH – The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, has temporarily closed Johnson Creek Marina at Lake O’ the Pines due to public safety concerns. According to the district’s website, the location was shut down for repairs Jan. 2. Officials say the marina will remain closed until such time as the safety concerns have been resolved. A spokesman for the district wasn’t immediately available for further comment.
LONGVIEW — A search spanning almost an entire day ended in the Wednesday night/Thursday predawn hours after authorities arrested the suspect in Tyler, according to the Longview Police Department. KETK reports the manhunt began Thursday morning in Longview. Law enforcement officers stopped searching for Robby Bryan Stevens, 43, at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. He was eventually caught by the Tyler Police Department. The suspect’s vehicle was spotted near Highway 69 North and Loop 323 at the Knights Inn after a bulletin was put out by the authorities, Tyler police said. Investigators were called to the scene and Stevens was caught in a hotel room. More details behind his arrest have not been released. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — The building that formerly housed Gilbert’s El Charro on the 2600 block of East Fifth St. in Tyler is now under new ownership. Brookshire Grocery Company has purchased the property, but it is not clear at this time how the building will be used. Representatives of the company tell KETK, “Although there are no specific plans for the property at this time, we felt this was a good investment for the future.” El Charro’s two restaurants, including one on East Erwin, closed in June of 2013, just shy of 70 years of operation in Tyler. El Charro is now back in business as El Charro on the Ridge, on Oak Hill Blvd., off Old Jacksonville Highway.
DALLAS — Rates, rules, and regulations for the $2.3 billion Keystone XL pipeline are in effect as of Jan. 3 for transportation services to the Texas Gulf Coast. The pipeline will have an initial capacity of moving 700,000 barrels of oil per day. Supply analyst Mark Andrewlee with TAC Energy says in light of recent problems, the pipeline will play a crucial role in oil distribution in 2014. He says, “That’s a major, major issue for consumers going into this next year. We’ve just seen three really kind of devastating train derailments. The lack of that pipeline causes more crude to have to go by rail.” TransCanada Corp. expects to begin shipping oil on Jan. 22. The pipeline runs through much of East Texas, including eastern Smith County.
WELLS — The Church of Wells building is going through some major renovations. So much, in fact, that you may forget what it once looked like. KETK reports that on December 31, the building was purchased by the local Wells school. The church building was previously owned by a Houston native who is rumored to have purchased the space for a family member actively involved in the church. According to some Wells residents, the family member left the church, which encouraged the sale. Read the rest of this entry »
ANDERSON COUNTY — A woman was killed in an early morning wreck near Frankston on Friday. Authorities tell KETK crews on scene that Angela Scott, 41, was killed when her SUV collided with an 18-wheeler on Hwy. 175, about three miles west of Frankston in Anderson County. The 18-wheeler was driven by Gregory Dinger, 30, who was driving to Dallas from Lousiana when the crash happened around 7:00 a.m. Dinger was flown to an Athens hospital. Authorities say the 18-wheeler rolled over on the highway and several emergency crews were called in to assist with the call.
TYLER — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office has recently identified a burglary and theft ring operating in Smith County as well as adjoining counties, according to a news release. Over the past several months, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office has been inundated with theft and burglary of building calls. Officials say the thieves had been stealing commercial grade lawn mowers, weed eaters, chain saws, power tools, all-terrain vehicles, and firearms all over Smith County and in surrounding counties. Read the rest of this entry »
RUSK — An East Texas nursing home employee is behind bars after being charged with aggravated sexual assault of a disabled individual. The Rusk Police Department tells KETK Earnest Eugene Palmer, 61, an employee at the Arbors Nursing Home in Rusk, was arrested Sunday, December 22, at the nursing home located in the 300 block of the West Loop. According to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Palmer is being held in the county jail on $250,000 bond.
DALLAS — 2013 will go down as the least deadly year on record when it comes to lightning strikes, but not without taking a toll in our region. Two Texans were among 13 people nationally killed by lightning. They included an IHOP employee in Lufkin killed in May as she stood under an umbrella outside the restaurant. An 8-year-old San Antonio boy was struck and killed as he played in his back yard with two friends, who were both injured. San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood says, “In my seven years of being here, I can’t remember a lightning strike involving a child — and it’s one of those kind of surreal events.” Florida and Arizona each recorded four lightning deaths.