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Public Hearing Set, Comments Accepted on Toll 49 TRZ Proposal

thumb_loop-49TYLER — There’s a public hearing today on a project officials hope will ramp up transportation development in East Texas, but the project is opposed by some in the community. The Smith County Commissioners Court is proposing to create “Transportation Reinvestment Zone Number One, County of Smith.” According to information from the county, “The Zone is intended to support improvements to, and the extension and expansion of, the Toll 49 system…and portions of U.S. Highway 271 and Interstate Highway 20 that are part of the East Texas Hourglass.” Read the rest of this entry »

SPCA Expresses Concerns about Animal Shelter

citycouncilTYLER — The SPCA of East Texas is expressing concerns about a proposed new city of Tyler animal shelter. According to KETK, currently the city is in partnership with the SPCA but plans to go in its own direction. “And we invite them into our project, but we feel like that it’s such an important project that the city really needs to be in the driver’s seat on this one,” said City Manager Mark McDaniel. After privately meeting with the city manager for two years about the idea, SPCA President Deborah Dobbs is uneasy about their decision. “Our concern is that the city is starting over with needs assessments, and feasibility studies and architects when we’ve actually sought out some of the experts in the field across the country and paid for them to do this,” said Dobbs. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Dead in Smith County Accident

thumb_DPS-car-2TYLER — Two are dead after a two vehicle accident in Smith County. Dead at the scene was a motorcyclist, Darryl Keith Towne, 51, of Whitehouse and Payton Nicole Herrington, 22, of Lindale, who later died at a Tyler hospital. The accident happened just after 3:00 Wednesday morning on Farm Road 14 near Hoyte Road, just north of Tyler. The Department of Public Safety reports Herrington was south bound on Highway 14 and was attempting to pass a vehicle in a no passing zone when she hit the north bound motorcycle. Herrington was not wearing her seat belt.

SPCA of Texas Seizes 16 Dogs from Gregg County Property

SPCA of TexasGREGG COUNTY – On Tuesday, under the authority of the Gregg Sheriff’s Office, the SPCA of Texas seized 16 allegedly cruelly treated dogs from a property in Gregg County. According to the SPCA, the dogs are very thin and many have lacerations and scars on their bodies. Additionally, the property contained items that the SPCA says are consistent with dogfighting. Read the rest of this entry »

Fish Files for Gregg County Commissioner Precinct 2

Kimberly FishLONGVIEW — Go West Longview advocate and Proposition One leader Kimberly Fish officially filed Wednesday for Gregg County Commissioner Precinct 2 after making her campaign announcement last month. The seat has been held by Darryl Primo since 1994. According to the Longview News-Journal, Go West Longview is a local revitalization movement; Proposition One, an offshoot of that effort, opened retail beer and wine sales in formerly dry West and North Longview.

Traffic Stop Leads to Prison Sentence for Credit Card Fraud

Eastern District of Texas SealBEAUMONT – A 27-year-old Tamaulipas, Mexico, man has been sentenced to federal prison for credit card fraud-related charges following a Nacogdoches traffic stop. Samuel Rivera Compean pleaded guilty April 16 to possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices. He was sentenced in Beaumont yesterday to 37 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark. Compean was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $58,754 to Discover Financial Services, a credit card issuer. Read the rest of this entry »

Burned Body Found after Structure Fire

fire2mgn45QUITMAN — A man has died in a Wood County house fire. The body was found Tuesday morning in a home off Farm Road 2088. Sheriff’s deputies found the home destroyed with only a few ashes still smoldering. On the west side of the home, deputies found the partially burned body of Roy Dan Stout. The body has been sent to Dallas for autopsy. The fire in the home, which was located several hundred yards from the road in dense woods, was not seen or reported by neighbors. That prompted authorities to conclude the fire happened at night. The house and body were discovered shortly before 10:15 Tuesday morning by Larry Stout, Roy’s brother, when he came to check on a water leak.

Pedestrian Hit, Killed in Parking Lot

Marshall Police ShieldMARSHALL — A pedestrian is dead after being hit by a car in East Texas. According to KETK, around 8:40 Monday morning, Marshall Police Communications received a 911 call in reference to a vehicle/pedestrian accident in the parking lot of McDonald’s on Victory Drive in Marshall. When officers arrived on scene, the investigation indicated a pedestrian was trying to cross the parking lot on his way into the restaurant when the accident happened. The victim, Robert Louis Price, Sr., 65, of Marshall, was taken to a local hospital where he later died from injuries. The driver of the car was uninjured and no charges were filed at the time of the incident. Marshall police say the investigation is ongoing.

Five Months Remain Before Smith County Flood Maps Become Final

DENTON –– In five months, on Wednesday, April 14, 2014, new flood maps for Smith County will become effective. Before that date, state, local and federal officials are encouraging everyone to view the maps to understand their flood risk and consider purchasing flood insurance. According to a FEMA news release, most property insurance policies do not cover the effects of a flood. Floods can place people at risk of uninsured loss to their businesses, homes, and personal property if they don’t have either a private flood insurance policy or coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a voluntary protection program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Read the rest of this entry »

Marshall Woman Killed in Harrison County Wreck

DPS PatchHARRISON COUNTY — A Marshall woman has been killed in a two-vehicle wreck on U.S. Highway 259 in Harrison County. Sandra Marie Lorenzo, 52, was driving a pickup on Liberty Church Road at the intersection of U.S. 259 when her vehicle was hit by a pickup truck driven by Patrick Allen Rook of Waskom. The Longview News-Journal report a male passenger in Rook’s vehicle, Dakota Alden Nealy, 18, was injured in the wreck. Occupants in both vehicles were wearing seat belts, according to officials. Authorities say Lorenzo had failed to yield to Rook, who had the right of way. Officials say no charges have been filed against Rook. The wreck occurred Tuesday afternoon shortly before 3:30.

Tyler Approves Land Purchase for Animal Care Facility

image002TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday authorized the city manager to negotiate for the purchase of property at 4218 Chandler Highway to be used for a future animal care facility. “We are pleased to take this step toward Tyler opening its own Animal Care Facility,” said Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass. “We have historically contracted with the private sector to provide this service for our community. However, it is no longer…practical to do so.” The capital project was approved by the Half-Cent Board and City Council as a budget item in August. Read the rest of this entry »

“Relative in Trouble” Scam on the Rise

thumb_police-tyler-badgeTYLER — Tyler Police have received several reports recently of citizens being scammed out of large sums of money believing they were helping a family member in trouble. Police say the suspects randomly call a citizen and start a conversation. They are able to extract the name of a family member who may have not been seen in awhile, such as a grandson. The suspect then convinces the citizen that the relative is in trouble and needs money immediately to get out of jail and come home. Many different stories may be given by the scammers to get you to send money for whatever trouble they may describe. The suspects frequently convince the victim to use Western Union or to purchase a money card and have the money wired to an untraceable location. Read the rest of this entry »

Teen Dies after Falling from Vehicle

WOOD COUNTY — An East Texas teen is dead after falling from a moving vehicle Sunday afternoon. KETK reports it happened at 2:55 p.m., and deputies with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene. Chris Price, 19, was taken to a local hospital. Tuesday night, Price succumbed to injuries sustained from the fall. No charges have been filed pending the completion of the ongoing investigation.

Three Suspects in P.T. Cole Park Murder Indicted

163684814549TYLER — The Smith County Grand Jury has indicted three suspects in the murder of Briana Young, 20, on July 30th at P.T. Cole Park. Police investigators say she was shot and killed when apparently caught in gang crossfire. Indicted for murder were Rakheem Goldstein (pictured), 20; Dennis Montrell Bendy, 19; and Elisha Juwan Williams, 18. A fourth suspect, Ke’Avier Jarrod Wilson-Hurd, 20, was no billed by the grand jury. At the time of his arrest, it was thought it was Hurd’s gun that fired the fatal shot that killed Young. Goldstein, Williams and Bendy remain in the Smith County Jail, each under a $1 million bond.

Radio Executive Back in Jail

Stephen Yates2LUFKIN — The Polk County Adult Probation Office has revoked the probation of an East Texas radio executive, sending him back to jail. Booked into the Angelina County Jail was the owner of Yates Media, Stephen Walter Yates, 55. KETK reports he was spotted by a Lufkin police officer driving south on South Timberland Drive at Chestnut Street without a front license plate. During the routine traffic stop, the officer realized Yates had a warrant out of Polk County for his arrest. The warrant stems from an October 30 incident where it is reported Yates pushed his girlfriend, Savanna Marberry, and grabbed her by the throat. He was on a 10-year probation period for racking up his fourth DWI in Polk County.

An Award for a U-T Tyler Employee

Jennifer SkinnerTYLER — The Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities has named the University of Texas at Tyler’s Jennifer Skinner as “South Central Adviser of the Year.” APCA, a national campus events and educational training organization, annually recognizes outstanding individuals who go above and beyond in their role as student organization advisers. Students and colleagues nominate recipients. Read the rest of this entry »

Children Tied to “Swingers” Case Placed with New Foster Parents

Margaret CantrellQUITMAN — Four children linked to a notorious child sex case are getting new foster care. Last week, according to KETK, a Wood County court ordered a 16-year-old girl be taken from the care of Margie (pictured) and John Cantrell, her foster parents, after Child Protective Services claimed there was child abuse in the home. The Cantrells, ironically, were the ones who first alerted authorities that four of their foster children claimed they had been subjected to lewd acts at the so-called Mineola “Swingers Club.” Six people were eventually convicted in Smith County, though an appeals court reversed all but one decision. Read the rest of this entry »

Woman Arrested on Drug, Child Endangerment Charges

cummingsNACOGDOCHES — The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Hudson woman after methamphetamine was reportedly found in her vehicle. According to KETK, Sheriff Jason Bridges said deputies conducted a traffic stop on a car driven by Dawn Cummings, who had a four-year-old child with her around 7:30 Monday night. Deputies performed a routine traffic stop on Highway 59 South and noticed Cummings acting suspicious and very nervous, according to Bridges. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Apartments Damaged in Longview Fire

longviewaptfireLONGVIEW — Five apartment units in Longview have been damaged by fire. According to KETK, there were no injuries involved in yesterday’s fire. The same complex, Regency Park on Gilmer Road, also caught fire a little more than a year ago. On November 1, 2012, contractors were working on the roof with a torch when the building caught fire. The flames spread quickly, but fortunately nobody was hurt. There were also construction crews on scene at the fire Tuesday morning, but authorities say they are not believed to have been involved in the start of the blaze. The cause of the latest fire is still under investigation.

Simpson Announces Re-Election Bid

thumb_David-SimpsonLONGVIEW — State Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) officially announced his campaign for re-election to the Texas House, District 7, with the support of a long list of prominent Republican party leaders and area elected officials. “Representing the people of District 7 is a great privilege and responsibility,” said Simpson Tuesday. “If the people choose to elect me again, I pledge to continue working diligently to defend the life and liberty of our citizens, just as I have through the first two terms of office.” There’s no word on any opposition to Simpson in next year’s elections. Read the rest of this entry »

Nacogdoches Business Held Up at Gunpoint

thumb_police-1NACOGDOCHES — Authorities are asking the public for help in locating a man who robbed a local restaurant at gunpoint. According to the Nacogdoches Police Department, just before 9:30 Monday night, a gunman entered the Domino’s Pizza on the 2400 block of North Street and demanded money from an employee. KETK reports the robber took an undisclosed amount of cash from the register and ran from the area in an unknown direction. The criminal is described as a black male in his 20s, standing 5 feet 9 inches tall, wearing a cap, striped shirt, dark pants, and a bandana covering his face. If you have any information on this crime, contact your local authorities or the Nacogdoches Police Department at 936-559-2607.

Tyler Fire Department: Prepare for Cooler Weather

thumb_tyler-fire-dept-logoTYLER — As cooler weather begins to move back into our community, now is the time to start preparing for the season. With the season’s first freezing temperatures forecast for Tuesday night, the Tyler Fire Department reminds citizens of a few important safety tips. Preparation is of key importance, and now is the time to consider giving your home a check-up. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Shooting Probed

police-car-lights2TYLER — A shooting in Tyler remains under investigation. Just before 10:00 Monday night. Tyler police were called to the 500 block of East Nutbush Street. The resident said someone fired at their home. No injuries were reported.

Looking for Lufkin Burglary Suspect

Lufkin burglary suspect 10-18-13LUFKIN — Crime Stoppers of Lufkin is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect in recent vehicle burglary and credit card fraud case. KETK reports Video captured on October 18, 2013, by security cameras at Wal-Mart in Lufkin captured a white male using a credit card that was stolen earlier that day. The card had been in a purse stolen from a vehicle earlier that day. Stolen from other vehicles were a backpack, and a dell brand laptop computer. You can go to and view the security footage of the suspect. If anyone has any information concerning the vehicle burglaries or the fraudulent use of the victim’s credit cards, they are asked to call Lufkin Crime Stoppers immediately at 936-639-TIPS.

Grand Jury Indicts Robert E. Lee Graduate

Erbie BowserDALLAS (AP) — A Dallas grand jury has indicted a former teacher and Dallas Mavericks dancer and 1987 graduate of Tyler’s Robert E Lee High School for capital murder. The indictment accuses Erbie Bowser, 44, of killing his estranged wife, Zina Bowser, and her daughter, Neima Williams. Police have accused Bowser of attacking homes in Dallas and the suburb of DeSoto, killing four people. Bowser is a former performer in the Mavericks dance troupe known as the “ManiAACs.” He is currently being held in the Dallas County jail on $7 million bond. Read the rest of this entry »

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