Category: Local News Archive

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Tyler Police Chief Named to State Board

Gary SwindleAUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott has named Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board. The governor made the announcement late Wednesday afternoon. Swindle is a 33 year veteran of the Tyler Police Department and has served as the Chief of Police since 2000. As Chief of Police, he commands a department comprised of 245 employees (194 sworn officers) and oversees an annual operating budget of $26 million dollars. Read the rest of this entry »

Cruz to Visit Tyler Area Today

tedcruz-1TYLER — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will be making a Texas fly-around today that includes a stop on the outskirts of Tyler, according to information from the Cruz campaign. Doors open this afternoon at 2:00 and the program begins at 3:30 at Smith’s Lone Star Event Center on Farm Road 2767. Campaign officials say the event is open to the public at no cost. You can go to to RSVP and learn more about the campaign. Cruz’s other Thursday rallies will be in Fort Worth and Kingwood.

Man Gets 99 Years for Child Sex Assault

Longoria_1441218411186_4673318_ver1.0RUSK — A man was convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison Monday in Rusk for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl. KETK reports that the verdicts came in from a Cherokee County jury after Joe Lira Longoria was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. The district attorney’s office says the assault took place in 2013 at Lake Jacksonville while the girl was with her family over the Fourth of July weekend. The jury saw video-taped interviews in which the defendant admitted to the assault. The victim, now a 12-year-old, testified during the trial. Read the rest of this entry »

Police: Longview Robbers Fight with Store Employees

police-longview2LONGVIEW — Two Longview men have been taken into custody after they allegedly tried to steal items from a local store and then reportedly fought with store employees. The Longview Police Department says officers were dispatched to the 400 block of East Loop 281 at 1:17 Monday afternoon on reports of a robbery. By the time authorities arrived, both suspects had left the location. Read the rest of this entry »

Officials Warn of Suspicious Man in Chapel Hill

police-9CHAPEL HILL — Several people in the Chapel Hill community are concerned about a man knocking on doors with a child attempting to sell birdhouses. Multiple residents have taken to social media to warn others of his aggressiveness. Our news partner KETK spoke to local law enforcement about the situation. Both the Smith County Sheriff’s Department and Tyler Police Department confirmed the man in Chapel Hill has a long list of priors. While most of them are traffic violations or driving under the influence, the concern is his aggressiveness in the community. Chapel Hill residents have taken to Facebook saying the man has been frightening women and attempting to rob homeowners. Read the rest of this entry »

Plea Deal Reached in Double Homicide

bRANDONPAYTON_1441203812073_4669115_ver1.0TYLER — An East Texas man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for a 25-year-old double-murder. Brandon Deon Payton, 45, accepted a plea deal for the November 1990 shooting deaths of Ivy Taylor and Joe Evans. According to KETK, Payton is currently serving a separate 50 year sentence for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon that occurred in 1996.

Bond Set in Fatal Kilgore Accident

Krysten Nycole McCartyKILGORE — Bond has been set for a woman involved in a fatal hit and run accident in Kilgore. A bond of $75,000 was set Tuesday on Krysten Nycole McCarty, 25, of Kilgore. She was arrested around 5;30 Monday afternoon on a charge of accident involving death. She was said to have been driving a 2006 Dodge Caravan that hit Robert Jack Moorhead, 5. The young boy was riding a push scooter near the roadway when hit around 3:00 Sunday afternoon in the 1900 block of Florence Street. The vehicle was found the next day about a block away from the accident scene.

Abilene Police Officer Found Dead in Home

crimescene-2ABILENE (AP) — Investigators say they suspect homicide in the death of an off-duty Abilene police officer found dead in his West Texas home, but they don’t believe he was targeted as a random law enforcement officer. In a statement issued Tuesday, Abilene police say Officer Don Allen was found dead Monday night at his home in nearby Clyde. At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Police Chief Stan Standridge would not say how the 27-year-old officer died, but that the death was clearly suspicious. Abilene and Clyde police are investigating with the help of the Texas Rangers and FBI, but Standridge says there is no apparent danger to the broader community nor law enforcement personnel in general. Standridge says multiple leads are being pursued and multiple motives are being considered.

Voting Centers Approved for Smith County

voting-computerTYLER — Smith County has received approval from the state to go forward with voting centers for the upcoming November Election. According to a county news release, voting centers are basically an early-voting concept on Election Day, allowing residents to vote at any polling place without being restricted to their precinct. For several months, county Elections Administrator Karen Nelson worked with an advisory committee to put the project in place. Read the rest of this entry »

UT Tyler Seeks Participants for Research Study

uttylerTYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler Department of Health and Kinesiology is recruiting men and women for a research study. Dr. Yong Tai Wang, College of Nursing and Health Sciences dean, made the announcement in a UTT news release. Participants must be 50 years or older and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. Those interested must attend the orientation session scheduled for 10 a.m. – noon Saturday, Sept. 12, in the UT Tyler Herrington Patriot Center. UT Tyler officials will meet participants at the front entrance of the HPC. Parking will be available at Lot 2 from the main entrance off Old Omen Road. Read the rest of this entry »

Randy Davis Seeks State House District 5 Seat

IMG_0510EMORY — 23-year Army veteran Randy Davis of Emory has announced his candidacy for Texas House District 5 in the 2016 elections. Davis, a Republican, is seeking the post now held by fellow Republican Bryan Hughes of Mineola. Hughes and David Simpson seek the GOP nod for the Texas Senate seat being given up by Kevin Eltife of Tyler. Davis is also a Texas State Guard member and former small business owner. In his campaign, he’s emphasizing such familiar GOP themes as small government, gun rights, and illegal immigration. District 5 includes Camp, Morris, Rains, Titus, and Wood counties, as well as part of Smith County. You can go to to learn more about Davis.

Suspect Shot By Longview Officer Dies from Injuries

devin dial mug_1440879162272_4627019_ver1.0LONGVIEW — A man who police said had a gun Friday night when he was shot by a Longview officer has died. Devin Dial, 23, was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace B.H. Jameson. Dial’s body will be sent to Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas for an autopsy. According to KETK, officers responded around 11:00 to a call involving a suspicious car in the parking lot of Walgreens near Loop 281 and Gilmer Road. An off-duty police officer had called police after noticing a man had what appeared to be a white mask covering his head. Read the rest of this entry »

Suspect Arrested in Fatal Hit and Run Accident

Krysten Nycole McCartyKILGORE — Kilgore police have made an arrest in a fatal hit and run accident. A warrant for accident involving death was issued Monday for Krysten Nycole McCarty, 25, of Kilgore. She has been identified as the driver of the minivan that struck and killed Robert Jack Moorhead, 5. She was arrested and booked into the Kilgore Municipal Jail. The vehicle, a 2006 Dodge Caravan, has been found about a block away from the accident scene and was seized. The young boy was riding a push scooter near the roadway when hit by a grey mini van. He later died at a Kilgore hospital. The accident happened shortly after 3:00 Sunday afternoon in the 1900 block of Florence Street

Body Found Nearly a Year Ago Identified

Julie Ann WigginsJACKSONVILLE — Cherokee County authorities have announced a body found nearly a year ago has been identified. The body found between Alto and Wells on September 3, 2014, has been identified as that of Julie Ann Wiggins, a transient, in her early 50s. Her body was found while TXDOT crews were mowing near the intersection of US Highway 69 and County Road 2620. It took a DNA sample to determine the woman’s identity. Read the rest of this entry »

Registered Sex Offender Arrested in East Texas

Jamie Dale WalkerHENDERSON — A registered sex offender, who was wanted for evading arrest, has been arrested in Harrison County. We told you last Thursday that the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office wanted Jamie Dale Walker, of Henderson. He was also wanted by the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office for contempt of court. Walker was arrested around 4:00 Monday afternoon On Interstate Highway 20 near Marshall. The arrested was made by the US Marshalls service along with the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office and Marshall’s Police Department.

Legislation Aiding Texas Schools Takes Effect Tuesday

Matt Schaefer4TYLER — Legislation that takes effect in Texas today gives local school districts flexibility to employ highly qualified teachers for career and technical education courses. The bill was filed in the Texas house by State Representative Matt Schaefer of Tyler. He said Austin had been making the matter very difficult. His bill cuts the red tape. According to Schaefer, “I want our local school officials deciding whom to put in the classroom, not bureaucrats in Austin.” Read the rest of this entry »

Smith County Shooting Investigation Continues

Bunny'sSMITH COUNTY — Smith County authorities are still looking for three suspects thought to be responsible for a weekend shooting that left one person dead and three injured. It started with a report just after 1:00 Saturday morning of a disturbance at the Flamingo Club off Farm Road 14. As deputies responded to the scene, they heard multiple gunshots coming from Bunny’s Truck Stop nearby. Killed was Laprida Shears, 25. Treated and later released were Bertram Amie, 30, and Romel Johnson, 29. Still hospitalized is Damonte Shears, 26. Deputies have been looking over surveillance videos and searching for the suspects.

Teen to Be Charged with Murder

Marshall Police ShieldMARSHALL — A Marshall man has died after being shot in the stomach by a juvenile. The shooting occurred shortly after 6:15 Sunday evening in the 200 block of Albermarle Road. The victim, Jimmy Thomas Henington, 55, is said to have died in a Marshall hospital around 4:00 Monday morning. Marshall police say the victim’s wife first called authorities. A short time later the 14 year old boy called police to say he would be waiting for their arrival. He will be charged with murder.

Teen Dies in ATV Accident

Patrick Clayton RyanNACOGDOCHES — A teenager has died in an ATV accident in Nacogdoches. Patrick Clayton Ryan, 14, died at a Nacogdoches hospital following the Saturday night accident. It occurred on private property of County Road 302. Investigators say the accident occurred as Ryan attempted to jump and embankment. It appears as if the front tire of the four-wheeler caught the lip of a concrete edge, causing the vehicle to flip.

Sex Offender Arrested in Jacksonville

us-marshallJACKSONVILLE — A registered sex offender from Tyler who allegedly violated his parole has been captured in Jacksonville by the U.S. Marshal’s Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force (JETTF). KETK reports Justin Lee Paul, 27, was wanted for an alleged violation on the original offense of aggravated sex assault of a child. Officials also say he was not in compliance with his sex offender registration requirements. According to a news release, the JETTF developed information that Paul was in the Jacksonville area. Officials say he was located and arrested around noon Sunday without an incident, as was booked into the Cherokee County Jail.

Signup Underway for Texans Against Crime in Tyler

police-tyler-badgeTYLER — The date has been set for the annual Texans Against Crime (T.A.C.) block parties in Tyler. The event will take place on Tuesday, October 13, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. T.A.C. celebrations are held throughout East Texas on the second Tuesday in October. Last year Tyler had over 120 block parties. Registration is now open, and you can register your block party at or by calling the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1096. According to information from the police department, T.A.C. is designed to unite neighbors and communities to encourage neighborhood communication, community involvement and crime prevention. Police say the program helps to educate residents about crime prevention and inform residents that communities are safer when neighbors work together.

TxDOT Road Projects

TxDOT signHere’s a look at work planned in the district during the weeks of August 31 and September 7. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues.

A $5.2 million night time operation gets underway Tuesday, September 1 on U.S. Highway 79 in Henderson (Rusk County). The contractor will start work at 7:00pm. The repair project runs from Farm Road 225 going north to the Traffic Star. Work will be conducted in one-mile sections from 7:00pm to 6:00am each Sunday through Thursday for the duration of the project. Business access will be temporarily affected as the contractor stages equipment. Read the rest of this entry »

Fatal Hit and Run in Kilgore

Kilgore Police DepartmentKILGORE — A hit and run accident in Kilgore has left a child dead. Robert Jack Moorhead, 5 was riding a push scooter near the roadway when hit by a grey mini van driven by a white female. The youngster died at a Kilgore hospital. The accident happened shortly after 3:00 Sunday afternoon in the 1900 block of Florence Street. If you see a van matching this description, with damage to the front of the vehicle, you asked to contact Kilgore authorities.

Tyler Woman Wins State Title

Queen Jo Anne1PLANO — A Tyler resident can now go by the name Queen. Saturday night, Jo Anne McMeans was named the winner of the Ms. Texas Senior Classic Pageant 2015 in Plano. Ms. McMeans, who is Community Liason Director at Tyler’s Prestige Estates Assisted Living and Memory Care Centers, was first runner up in the pageant last year. The pageant motto is “We are changing the image of aging.” It consists of judges interviews, modeling in an evening gown, “Philosophy of Life,” and talent. Even though she had no formal dance education, she to decided choreograph and perform a musical routine to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance,” which the audience really enjoyed. When the five finalists were selected, each had to select a question, sight unseen, to answer. It was after this the final scores were tabulated and the winners announced. Besides taking the top prize, Ms. McMeans also was named second runnerup in Best Talent was named Most Photogenic.

Lawsuit Possible in Police Shooting of Teen

CO2 pistol Joshua Kennon Thomas hadLONGVIEW — The attorney for Joshua Thomas, 17, who was shot and injured by Longview police Tuesday, says his client is considering filing a lawsuit against the police department. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, attorney Daryll Bennett said there are no criminal charges filed against Thomas. “At this point, we’re trying to figure out why one out of three officers would fire on (Thomas) six times when he hadn’t done anything to them and why the cops were hiding around the corner,” Bennett said. “We don’t even know where their vehicles were at that time.” Read the rest of this entry »

Cruz to Visit Tyler Area on Thursday

tedcruz-1TYLER — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will be making a Texas fly-around Thursday that includes a stop on the outskirts of Tyler, according to information from the Cruz campaign. Doors open at 2:00 p.m. and the program begins at 3:30 p.m. at Smith’s Lone Star Event Center on FM 2767. Campaign officials say the event is open to the public at no cost. You can go to to RSVP and learn more about the campaign. Cruz’s other Thursday rallies will be in Fort Worth and Kingwood.

Boulter Middle School Receives $20,000 Verizon Grant

image003TYLER — Boulter Middle School has received a $20,000 Verizon-Project Lead the Way (PLTW) grant to use toward Introduction to Computer Sciences (ICS) classes. According to a Tyler ISD news release, the grant will allow Boulter students to expand their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) focus to include specialized units in Computer Science. The PLTW funds will be disbursed over the course of two years and will be used to pay for the costs associated with integrating ICS classes (Introduction to Computer Science I and Introduction to Computer Science II) into Boulter’s curriculum beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. Read the rest of this entry »

New Information Suggests Motive in Toddler’s Drowning Death

Mason CuttlerLUFKIN (AP) – Officials say an East Texas teen has been accused of pushing a 3-year-old boy into a pond in a drowning allegedly to make room for his pregnant girlfriend’s child to live at a residence. Angelina County jail records show 17-year-old Bobby W. Woods was being held without bond Saturday on a charge of capital murder of a person under age 6. Online records don’t list an attorney to speak for Woods, who was arrested Friday and booked as an adult. Mason Cuttler’s body was discovered Aug. 18 in a pond near Lufkin, a day after he disappeared outside as his parents cleaned their home. An affidavit says Woods, who lived at the home, says he pushed Mason into the water and left. The suspect’s girlfriend is related to Mason’s father.

Fatal Overnight Shooting in Smith County

LAPRIDA SHEARS_1440879197569_4627020_ver1.0SMITH COUNTY — One person is dead, several others injured in an overnight shooting in Smith County. KETK reports the sheriff’s office was called just after 1:00 Saturday morning about a disturbance at the Flamingo Club off FM 14. As deputies responded to the scene, they heard multiple gunshots coming from Bunny’s Truck Stop nearby. They arrived at the scene and found multiple bullet holes and casings throughout the area, according to officials. They then received a call from an emergency room of multiple victims being treated for gunshot wounds. One person, Laprida Shears, 25, had died and three others were being treated for what were termed non-life-threatening injuries. Deputies have been looking over surveillance video and searching for three shooters. We will update you once more information is available.

Rusk County Lifts Burn Ban

Burn ban lifted-rainHENDERSON — Another East Texas county has lifted its burn ban because of the recent rains. Rusk County Judge Joel Hale signed the order Friday morning lifting the ban. It had been put into effect August 10th.

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