Category: Local News Archive

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Pilgrim’s Pride Worker Killed in Accident

MT. PLEASANT — A Pilgrim’s Pride worker was killed Friday as a result of a believed workplace accident. According to Mt. Pleasant Assistant Chief Kyle Holcomb, an employee was found unconscious in an ice room by another employee. The worker immediately called for help and CPR was performed on the injured man. The 55-year-old Hispanic male was eventually taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Judge Kay McNutt. KETK reports, the body has been sent for autopsy to determine the cause of death. The name of the deceased has not been released. Holcomb said foul play is not suspected. OSHA is now investigating the case. The Pilgrim’s Pride facility is located in the 1000 block of Pilgrim Street.

Last Week’s Storm Near Gilmer was a Tornado

tornado-weakGILMER – The National Weather service confirms that a storm that caused damaged near Gilmer October 13th was a tornado. Some homes and barns were damaged by fallen trees caused by the storm. It touched down just before 5:00 that morning. KETK reports the National Weather Service survey team determined an EF-1 touched down 6.5 miles northwest of Gilmer and that the 275-yard wide twister stayed on the ground for about six miles with peak winds of 95-105 miles per hour. The survey team reported determined the tornado moved east from south of FM 852 near Bison Road and FM 852 and passed along Armadillo Road, north of Lake Gilmer, then crossed Cherokee Trace. The tornado finally lifted at Highway 271 near Antelope Road. No injuries were reported in the storm.

New Electronic Sample Ballots Now Available

thumb_voting-computerTYLER — The Smith County Elections Office is now offering an Interactive ExpressPass Sample Ballot to all registered voters in the county. According to a county news release, the move part of the county’s commitment to provide quality service to voters. Officials say the system is convenient, simple, and completely safe for voter use. You can go to to find the new sample ballots. Read the rest of this entry »

Woman Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teen

angela_van_zandtMARSHALL — An East Texas woman was taken into custody following her alleged sexual assault of an underage teenager. According to KETK, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office reports Angela Van Zandt, 38, of Diana, has been charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. Authorities say the woman is not a teacher, as has been reported by another news agency. Van Zandt was released on $100,000 bond.

Tyler Murder Suspect Pleads Guilty, Receives 35 Years

john_grimes_ivTYLER — A Tyler man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for murder after accepting a plea deal Monday morning. According to KETK, the Smith County District Attorney’s Office reports John Grimes IV, 26, was sentenced in the 7th District Court. Grimes is deemed responsible for the murder of 65-year-old Tony Jeter. On December 1, 2013, Grimes was taken into custody and charged with capital murder after police responded to a home in the 500 block of East Bow Street and found Jeter’s body. Police said he died from a stab wound. Read the rest of this entry »

City of Tyler Awarded $174,030 for Veteran Housing

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded the city of Tyler Neighborhood Services Department funding to administer 25 new Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers. According to a city news release, HUD-VASH is a unique partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and HUD that provides long-term case management, supportive services, and permanent housing support for chronically homeless veterans. The VA provides case management and eligibility screening services, while HUD allocates permanent housing subsidies from its Housing Choice Voucher Program. Read the rest of this entry »

Van Zandt Co. Crime Stoppers Hands Out $600 in Rewards

image002CANTON — Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers has authorized $600 in rewards for tips that helped lead to the recent arrests of three men, all from Wills Point, in separate incidents. The Crime Stoppers board approved a $250 reward for a tipster who notified authorities about a man wanted for theft, including a stolen camping trailer. A $200 reward was authorized for a tip that led to a man sought for allegedly violating a protective order in Dallas County. Authorities tracked the man down at a school in Wills Point. Finally, a $150 reward was approved for a tip that led to the arrest of a man wanted by Van Zandt County authorities on a fugitive warrant. Read the rest of this entry »

Officials Say Oil Spill Has Not Reached Caddo Lake

MOORINGSPORT, La. (AP) – Cleanup crews continue to mop up a 4,000-barrel oil spill into a four-mile stretch of Tete Bayou northwest of Shreveport. Officials said Saturday that the oil has been contained without reaching Caddo Lake, which straddles the Texas-Louisiana state line and provides drinking water for some water systems. The oil spilled from the Mid-Valley pipeline, a line owned by Sunoco Logistics Partners which carries crude oil from Longview, Texas to Samaria, Michigan. The Times reports the spill happened the morning of October 13. Three families near the site evacuated, with Sunoco paying their expenses. Read the rest of this entry »

Marijuana Plants Found in Rusk County

Marijuana-FieldsRUSK COUNTY – Authorities responding to a trespassing call have found marijuana plants growing in Rusk County. Deputies with the Rusk County Sheriff’s office along with Texas Game Wardens, made the discovery Saturday. Around 1,000 plants were found. No word on if any arrests were made.

Wendy Davis Visits Longview

Wendy Davis4LONGVIEW – According to Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, “This election is going to determine, not just a choice in two very different candidates, but two very different pathways.” Davis, who is challenging Republican Gregg Abbott, made the comment in Longview over the weekend. Davis reminded the crowd of her 2011 filibuster in protest of the $5.2 billion in cuts to public education that Abbott continues to defend in court. Davis said the cuts also cost 25,000 education jobs, 11,000 of those teaching positions, caused more overcrowding in classrooms and killed full-day kindergarten. And she said it was time “we turned that around.” Davis said she is prepared to win next month and to lead this state. The Longview News-Journal reports around 75 persons were on hand to hear Davis’ address Saturday at Eddie Towles Phone Center on Gilmer Road.

TxDOT Project Updates

TxDOT signTYLER – Here’s a quick look at work planned in the Tyler District during the Week of October 20, 2014:

SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Tyler will have a milling crew on State Highway 155 north between Winona and the Smith County Line. Another crew will be conducting edge work on Farm Road 1805 between Farm Road 1253 and the county line. Motorists can expect lane closures during this work. Read the rest of this entry »

Early Voting Underway

thumb_voting-computerTYLER — Early voting for the November 4 election is underway as of today. Early voting times and locations for Smith County are listed below. Visit the Elections page of the Smith County Web site at to view sample ballots or look up your voting precinct. You can also call the Smith County Elections Office at 903-590-4777. Read the rest of this entry »

Rose Festival Parade and Activities

Rose Festival Parade 2014TYLER – The 81st annual Texas Rose Festival has come to a successful end. Rich in heritage and tradition, the Festival offered enchanting ceremonial events. One of the highlights of the festival was the Saturday morning parade. The parade, which brought out hundreds along the route, began on Glenwood Boulevard and headed west to around the track in Rose Stadium. The weather for the parade and all the Rose Festival activities was ideal.

2 Arrested and 1 Sought in Chase and Shooting

police lightsTYLER – A man involved in a chase and shooting in Smith County remains at large. Lindale police have identified him as Carlos Bonilla, 22. Two passengers with him are in custody. They are identified as Jesus Flores Jr., 27, and Thomas Ocampo, 25. It started around 9:45 Friday night as police were conducting a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 69 near Lindale. The SUV sped away from the traffic stop after officers noticed a firearm inside. During the case to Tyler, the Bonilla is said to have fired several shots at pursuing officers. No one was hit. Read the rest of this entry »

Texas Man, Mom Charged over His Girlfriend’s Death

Vincent RobinsonHILLSBORO (AP/STAFF) — A Central Texas man has been accused in the 2013 beating death of his girlfriend and his mother faces evidence tampering charges. The Hill County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that Vincent Robinson is a convicted sex offender who remains at a state mental health facility for evaluation. Robinson on Monday was named on murder and evidence tampering warrants in the death of Kasie Clary of Hillsboro, a former student at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall. Relatives reported Clary missing about a week before her body was found in May 2013 near a road. Authorities say Robinson was taken into custody more than a year ago for not properly registering as a sex offender. Dorothy Rowe was arrested Tuesday on an evidence tampering charge. She’s free on $100,000 bond.

Longview PD Warns of Scam in Local Paper

thumb_police-longview-shieldLONGVIEW — The Longview Police Department is warning about a scam posted in a local newspaper. According to KETK, LPD stated the scam involves a mystery shopper job. The ad states the person will evaluate customer service of Western Union versus money gram. The victim is sent a money order and told to cash it at a bank. The cash is then returned on both money gram and Western Union. Following the transfers of cash, the victim is instructed to fill out an online survey about his or her experience. Once the bank realizes the money order is fake, the bank withdraws cash from the victim’s account to cover the forged money order.

Burglars’ Identities Sought by Gregg County Officials

zippyjsburlgary101014LONGVIEW — The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the assistance of the public in identifying four men who broke into a convenience store last week. KETK reports that around 3:30 a.m. Friday, October 10, four men entered the Zippy J’s convenience store at 5960 Highway 31 West by breaking out the front door glass. The men unsuccessfully attempted to open and remove the safe in the store and ended up leaving with only a few cartons of cigarettes. The store’s video surveillance system captured the entry. If you have information about this case, contact Investigator Danny Craig at (903) 237-2530 or Crime Stoppers at (903) 236-STOP.

Two Killed in Wreck Near Lufkin

DPS-carLUFKIN (AP) – East Texas authorities say two people have died and two others have been injured after a motorcycle slammed into the back of an SUV. The Texas Department of Public Safety says 49-year-old Charles Kilgore and 51-year-old Lisa Ruskin were killed Thursday near Lufkin when their motorcycle hit the SUV on a highway. Troopers say Kilgore died at the scene and Ruskin died at an area hospital. The 23-year-old driver of the SUV and her 3-year-old son were hospitalized with unspecified injuries and released. Troopers say the motorcycle was weaving in and out of oncoming traffic before the crash. The SUV driver had slowed down to look at puppies being sold on the side of the road. It’s unclear how fast the motorcycle was traveling before the wreck.

West Nile Virus Case in Smith County

mosquitoAUSTIN – A case of West Nile Virus has turned up in Smith County. The confirmation comes from the Texas Department of State Health Services. This is the third reported case in East Texas this year. The first two were reported in Angelina County. One of those cases were last month. Just over 200 cases have been reported in the state this year. Three deaths have been reported from it. Read the rest of this entry »

Ex-Husband of Missing Kilgore Woman Wanted on New Warrant

davisoncraiglnjMARSHALL — A man considered a person of interest in the disappearance of his ex-wife is wanted on a new warrant not related to her case. According to KETK, Harrison County Lt. Jay Webb says deputies are looking for Craig Deallen Davison. He is believed to have committed an assault family violence offense on or about the day he was released from jail, September 25. Webb said the new offense has nothing to do with his missing ex-wife, 43-year-old Christina Rae Davison of Kilgore. Authorities say they’ve tried to contact Craig Davison at several locations but have not been able to locate him. The suspect was released from jail after warrants in Colorado were quashed. They were dropped once a Harrison County judge found no probable cause to hold Craig Davison on a July 29 assault family violence charge. Read the rest of this entry »

Police: Two Sex Offenders Arrested during Compliance Check

thumb_police-4MARSHALL — On Wednesday, members of the Marshall Criminal Apprehension Team, the Marshall Patrol Bureau, the Criminal Investigations Bureau, and the U.S. Marshals Task Force arrested two people during a sex offender compliance check in Marshall. KETK reports a total of 46 sex offender homes were targeted in the operation within Marshall. Of that total, 44 were in compliance and two were out of compliance, according to officials. An outstanding warrant has been in existence for Damon Lamarcus Covington, 36, since November 2012, and a warrant has been obtained for Bobby Ray Thompson, 41, both of Marshall, for sex offender fail to comply. Read the rest of this entry »

Some County Clerk’s Office Departments Close for Software Installation

thumb_smithcounty-sealTYLER — The Smith County Clerk’s Office will go live with integration software to help streamline land record services on October 20, according to a county news release. Officials say implementation of AiLIS software will encompass the full life cycle of the recording and filing process. Once in place, AiLIS will provide seamless electronic workflow for Smith County Land Records to the public through the Rapid Online Access Method (ROAM) portal, according to the release. Read the rest of this entry »

Rose Festival Underway

thumb_roses-2TYLER — Rose Queen Katherine Elizabeth Peltier is among the scores of people excited about the 81st Texas Rose Festival. Katie cut the ribbon yesterday morning to get the extravaganza off and running. She told KTBB, “I’m so happy everyone’s here. This weekend’s gonna be so much fun. I hope everyone can come out and see the coronation, the tea, the parade, all the other events. Everyone’s put so much hard work in, and I’m so thankful, and it’s definitely gonna pay off.” The festival runs through Sunday. Organizers plan a wide variety of events. You can go to for a list of activities and more information.

Employee Files Suit Against Sheriff’s Office

SMITH COUNTY — A lawsuit has been filed against the Smith County Sheriff’s office and the plaintiff is a current employee. According to KETK, the former sergeant alleges she was demoted in early August because she told her supervisor about an improper pay raise for another employee. Susan Monroe was the training coordinator for the sheriff’s office, but has since been moved to the jail. In court documents, Monroe claims in July 2013 she brought up a falsified education document which led to a pay raise for another deputy. Read the rest of this entry »

One Killed in Wreck Near Wills Point

DPS badgeWILLS POINT – A one vehicle accident in Van Zandt County has killed a Van woman. Killed in the Tuesday accident was Sandra Higgins, 35. The Department of Public Safety reports her car was traveling at an unsafe speed when it left the road on a curve and hit a tree. The accident happened just over four miles from Wills Point on County Road 2627.

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