KILGORE — Congressman Louie Gohmert recently announced that Kilgore College’s Upward Bound program will receive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $1.28 million. According to a KC news release, the grant will provide funding for KC’s Upward Bound program for the next five years. That will allow KC to partner with 50 qualifying students each year from Kilgore, Longview, and Pine Tree high schools.… Read More
TYLER — Here’s a look at work planned in TxDOT’S Tyler District during the Week of June 26. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones.
Spot repair operations continue on I-20 in Smith County at various entrance and exit ramps, including at FM 757, and the mainlanes as well. Expect lane closures at all work locations. Once completed, operations move to Van Zandt County.… Read More
PALESTINE — Four dogs are safe after being rescued from a condemned house in Palestine on Friday. KETK reports officers from the Palestine Police Department and Animal Control were notified that the dogs were wandering the balcony of the structure on W. Palestine Avenue. When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered there were no guard rails on the balcony, which put the dogs at risk of falling off. Neighbors told officers they believed the dogs were being fed; however, after searching for several hours, officers were unable to find their owners. After obtaining a search warrant, officers made their way inside the building to try and rescue the animals. They said they believed the dogs were using the balcony to escape the summer heat inside the structure.… Read More
PALESTINE — Detectives from the Palestine Police Department located the body of Ricki Taylor, 46, Friday night in a remote location in Houston County. Taylor was reported missing on Thursday. KETK reports Taylor’s body has been transported to Dallas for an autopsy. Police say the investigation is ongoing and that detectives are pursuing all leads, with the assistance of the Texas Rangers. Anyone with information may call Det. Mark Harcrow or Det. David Kassaw of the Palestine PD at 903-729-2254 or anonymously send information via text message to PALPD, then the tip, to number 847411.
KILGORE — The Kilgore Police Department is asking for the public’s help locating a hit and run driver. KETK reports a truck crossing multiple lanes of traffic and T-boned a car in the area of Post Oak Road and Meadows Lane. The suspect vehicle is described as a red Dodge extended cab, possibly a 4×4, with black rims. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Dukes at 903-218-6904.
LONGVIEW — Longview Fire Department officials say a crew took four people to a hospital Friday after apparent use of synthetic drugs. A news release says the crew responded to Magrill Park on North Green Street. Upon arrival they found several people suffering from what are believed to be the effects of an illegal substance. Bystanders advised that the patients had been using potpourri, which is a form of synthetic marijuana. Besides those hospitalized, two other patients refused EMS transport.
LINDALE — Smith County and state officials are investigating an oil tank explosion that sent two men to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. According to a county news release, the blast happened on County Road 419 at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Deputy Fire Marshal Trey Glover was first on the scene and discovered an oil tank on fire. Glover also located two men with severe burns sitting inside their vehicle. Jeremy Hernandez, 30, and Aaron Archie, 25, both of Smith County, were airlifted to Parkland. Fire Marshal Connie McCoy-Wasson says officials talked with a family member and learned the two were listed in critical but stable condition. Lindale, Dixie, and Van Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the scene. The oil tank is owned by D-S-B Properties LLC. The county Fire Marshal’s Office and Sheriff’s Office are collaborating with the Railroad Commission of Texas in the investigation.
TEXARKANA, Texas – A 50 year old Avery, Texas man was sentenced to federal prison for crimes he committed in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston Friday. Bobby Wayne Lance was sentenced to a total of 1054 months Friday during a sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder, III. According to information presented in court, Lance robbed a Bowie County convenience store, a Lamar County movie theater, and a Franklin County bank in a crime spree that spread over several days in November 2015. … Read More
TYLER — Texas Democrats continue their efforts to address constituents’ needs and take back some political power, and a chance to hear from some of them comes today in Tyler. The East Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, a subsidiary of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, has scheduled a town hall meeting for 11:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. at Liberty Baptist Church, on North Broadway. Organizers say it will feature statewide candidates, elected officials, pastors, preachers, community activists, and law enforcement personnel. Among its key concerns, the coalitions list healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, jobs, education, mass incarceration, water supply, homelessness, college debt, and immigration.
TYLER – 19-year-old Kirby Tyrone Mabry of Tyler was arrested Thursday in Tyler for sexual assault of a child. According to KETK, police say on June 7, Mabry went to a location where he knew two unsupervised girls were spending the night. Police say Mabry had sex with one of the girls who was under the age of 16. Mabry was booked into the Smith County Jail Thursday afternoon. His bond has been set at $500,000.
TYLER — An East Texas man has been indicted after authorities say they caught him promoting child porn on social media. KETK reports 27-year-old Jonathan Adair of Flint was arrested in April. Smith County detectives say they were tipped off by the Dallas Internet Crime Task Force. Task force members say they saw Adair’s IP Address posting child porn on Pinterest. He remains in the Smith County Jail.
LONGVIEW — A Longview man was arrested Wednesday after police said he ran away from officers and hid inside a neighborhood home. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Stefan Omar Pentecost, 20, was held Thursday on bonds totaling $30,500, charged with evading arrest detention and theft of a firearm. Longview police responded at 11:38 a.m. Wednesday to a Birdie Place location in reference to a domestic problem. When officers arrived, they determined Pentecost had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, police said.… Read More
PALESTINE – The Palestine Police Department is searching for a missing woman. According to KETK, police say they got a call about local resident Ricki Deann Taylor early Thursday morning. Taylor, 46, was last seen Wednesday evening in Palestine. Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Taylor is urged to contact the Palestine Police Department at 903-729-2254, Detective David Kassaw at 903-731-8482 or Det. Mark Harcrow at 903-731-8422. Information can also be submitted anonymously by texting “PALPD,” then the tip, to 847411.
TYLER — Two men have been indicted in Smith County for alleged child sex crimes. According to KETK, Ruben Candelario, 36, was arrested May 15, by the Smith County Sheriff’s Office on two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact. The alleged incidents occurred on September 1, 2016, and August 1, 2015. Candelario has been placed on an immigration detainer remains in the Smith County Jail on $200,000 bond. Kendre Tennyson, 23, was indicted for sexual assault of a child. He was arrested for the offense on May 10. After Tennyson was put in jail, authorities added on a charge of indecency with a child by sexual contact via a warrant. Tennyson remains in the Smith County Jail on $850,000 bond.
TYLER — A Tyler woman sentenced to 10 years’ probation after pleading guilty to the May 2016 robbery of a Tyler gas station is back behind bars after being arrested on a warrant for revocation of probation. According to KETK, Candice Renae McGee, 29, was arrested on the warrant Wednesday. She served as the lookout in the Troup Highway robbery, in which three others were also involved, including the store clerk. There was no immediate word on how McGee reportedly violated probation. She’s held in the Smith County Jail without bond.
(LUFKIN, TEXAS, June 22, 2017) Two Lufkin men were arrested early this morning after robbing the Denman Avenue Jack in the Box at gunpoint and leading officers on a pursuit in a stolen car.
Douglas Richard, 19, and Edward Hernandez, 21, were taken into custody around 1:45 a.m. at the entrance of The Settlement on U.S. 59 south. The men entered the store’s back door around 1:30 a.m. –
Richard wielding a handgun. They then stole the cash drawer before fleeing the scene in the manager’s car. Minutes later, an officer spotted the stolen vehicle on Southwood Drive and a high-speed pursuit ensued. The chase spanned from Lufkin to Diboll and back, reaching speeds of 90-100mph. It ended on U.S. 59 south at the entrance to The Settlement after officers successfully piked the vehicle’s tires.
Officers recovered the register drawer along with the stolen vehicle. An hour before the robbery, Richard and Hernandez attempted to purchase food at the restaurant by walking up to the window.
The pair left on foot after being told that the restaurant did not take “ walk up” orders.
Hernandez told investigators Richard was getting “driven up” and talked about “hitting a lick” to put some money in his pocket as they walked around town before the robbery. Richard and Hernandez are both charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, while Richard received an additional charge of evading arrest with a vehicle with a previous conviction. The Diboll Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and Angelina County Sheriff’s Office assisted during the pursuit.
TYLER — Due to inclement weather, the Bergfeld Summer Showcase has been moved to next Thursday, June 29, at 6:30 p.m. The event had been set for last night to celebrate the redesign and reopening of Bergfeld Park’s Amphitheater and the new Centene Stage. Tyler Civic Theater and the City of Tyler are collaborating on the show. City personnel say everyone’s invited to watch and sing along to songs and scenes from the shows “Rock of Ages,” “Peter Pan Jr. the Musical” and “Legally Blonde the Musical.” Food trucks will be on site, and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and portable seating.… Read More
TYLER — The United Way of Smith County will host the 24th annual Day of Caring today. Over 400 volunteers are donating their time and skills to complete multiple projects that can be “done in a day” for local nonprofits. The day begins at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast at First Christian Church and the dispensing of work assignments for 33 projects that are scheduled at local nonprofit organizations. The work day is over by 1:00; volunteers then return to First Christian for lunch and to celebrate and draw for door prizes provided by local merchants. According to a news release, the United Way sponsors the Day of Caring to showcase the value of volunteers and the impact their collective efforts can have on the community.… Read More
TYLER — State Representative Matt Schaefer of Tyler says his office was misled by a group claiming to be a veterans organization. Schaefer said the group sought logistical help with a political rally at the state Capitol, and he initially agreed. But he tells KTBB he withdrew the offer after learning the rally organizers have participants with a reputation for racist rhetoric. Schaefer added that an Austin restaurant was misled in a similar fashion. Jim Brennan is with The Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations and said such problems are all too commonplace. He encourages people to contact his coalition with any questions about the legitimacy of anyone claiming to be part of a veterans’ group.
TYLER — Due to ongoing questions and concerns about the operation of golf carts on public roadways, the Tyler Police Department is issuing a reminder about the legal requirements and expressing its own safety concerns. According to a police department news release, Texas State Law (Transportation Code 502.001) defines a golf cart as a motor vehicle. The legal requirements for motor vehicles apply to the use of a golf cart on a public roadway. This includes the requirement that the operator be a licensed driver and obey all traffic laws.… Read More
TYLER — Identities have been released in a recent officer-involved shooting in Smith County. Sheriff Larry Smith says the suspect, Kenneth Alan Carner, is a Larue resident in his mid-fifties. Smith says Carner remains hospitalized and criminal charges are still pending. The deputy is Lauren Fite, who has been employed by the Smith County Sheriff’s Office for several years, first in the jail and in the Patrol Division since November 2014. In a news release, Smith says, “Deputy Fite has an exemplary record with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and has excelled both as a Detention Officer and as a Patrol Deputy.”… Read More
TYLER — As a part of the 2017 Seal Coat Program, base repairs will be taking place on roads off of Old Jacksonville Highway and Loop 323. There may be possible lane closures during this repair time. Roads that will be affected are DC Drive, Anthony Drive, Broussard Street, Patridge Drive, Candy Lane and Capital Drive. Notifications will be put out on the streets that Lonestar will be doing work. Those who park on the street should make arrangements to park at other location. This project is weather pending and could be delayed.
Where: DC Drive, Anthony Drive, Broussard Street, Patridge Drive, Candy Lane and Capital Drive
When: June 21 to June 28
June 21, 2017- TYLER, TX- BBB Serving Central East Texas is alerting the community about a scam which claims to benefit Tyler Fire Department and reminds consumers to do their homework before sending money to any organization. The scam had earlier been reported by the fire department, but the BBB is offering more details.
The scam was reported via BBB Scam Tracker, an online tool used to provide consumers with a place to report scams and fraud and to warn others about malicious or suspicious activities. A local business owner reported that Firehouse Promotions contacted them for the third year in row claiming to be selling advertisement space on magnetic boards for $500 to help benefit Tyler Fire Department. BBB contacted Tyler Fire Department who confirmed that Firehouse Promotions is not raising money on their behalf.… Read More
KILGORE – A Kilgore teenager died Saturday from injuries sustained in a car wreck the night of April 29. KETK reports Jeremy “Jay” Cox, 16, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the wreck after he dropped off his prom date. Since the wreck, Cox had spent the last seven weeks in the Intensive Care Unit at Dallas Children’s Hospital. Cox’s mother, Rachel Rowe, serves as the Kilgore Police Department dispatch supervisor. Jeremy’s stepfather, John Rowe, is a detective with the department. Following the accident, friends of the family held fundraisers, including a benefit bass fishing tournament, in order to assist the family with its needs.… Read More
NEVADA COUNTY, Ark. – A Quitman man was killed in a crash Monday in Nevada County, Arkansas. According to KETK, Arkansas State Police say around 8:35 a.m., 48-year-old Lee Thomas Wise was killed along Interstate 30 when his pickup truck went off the roadway. Officials say Wise’s vehicle went into a ditch before hitting a tree. Authorities say it was raining at the time of the accident and the crash remains under investigation.
GILMER — Four East Texans have been indicted on murder charges related to a March homicide in Upshur County. Devontay Hunter, 20, of Lone Star; Xavier Mumphrey, 19, of Kilgore; Alize Sharda McFall, 20, of Kilgore; and Decorian Quantez Robbins, 19, of Avinger were indicted by an Upshur County grand jury, according to information released Tuesday by Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd’s office. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report each is charged with murder in connection to the death of 29-year-old Kendrick Lemichael Jackson.… Read More
LONGVIEW — Voting just got a little easier in Gregg County. KETK reports that come Election Day, people can cast their votes at any polling location within the county — a service that until now was only available to early voters. It’s a move that had earlier been made in Smith County. Gregg County Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy and her team have been on a mission. to simplify voting. Nealy says, “We’ve had so many elections so close it could throw it into a run off and those one or two votes could make all the difference.” Gregg County finally got the OK from the Texas secretary of state to implement countywide balloting.
TYLER –The City of Tyler Parks Department and the Texas A&M Forest Service have postponed an invasive species workshop and field day that had been scheduled for Thursday. Officials now say that workshop is being rescheduled for sometime this fall. We’ll have an update when more information becomes available. For more information, call Tyler Urban Forester Cody Goldman at (903) 531-1179.
LONGVIEW — A beloved Longview businessman from one of the city’s most historic families has passed away. KETK reports Keith Anderson Castleberry, better known as “Buster,” died early Monday morning in Longview at the age of 77. The lifelong Longview resident and graduate of Spring Hill High School played a pivotal role in developing the Spring Hill area in northern Longview alongside his brother, Larry, through their company, Castleberry Construction.… Read More
TYLER – Four East Texas lawmakers are ranked among the best as Texas Monthly releases its annual list identifying its picks for the state’s Best and Worst Legislators of 2017. Here’s the rundown as reported by our news partner KETK:
Representative Matt Schaefer (R, Tyler – pictured)
Rep. Schaefer represents House District 6, which encompasses Smith County.
What Texas Monthly says:
“The (Texas) Freedom Caucus has become surprisingly effective. As the caucus leader, Schaefer has clearly learned how the game is played at the Capitol, and for better or worse, he was surprisingly good at it this session.”… Read More