TYLER – Tyler police are looking for a man wanted in connection with a stabbing. It occurred around 7:15 Tuesday night on East Commerce. An arrest warrant has been issued for Steven Bryant Chastain, 55. He is around 6’03” tall weighs 175 pounds. He has has gray hair and green eyes and may have sleeve tattoos on both arms. The man he is said to have stabbed was taken to East Texas Medical Center for surgery. If you know where Chastain can be located, you are encouraged to call 911 for police assistance or the Tyler Crime Stopper’s Unit at 903-597-CUFF.
ATHENS – A competency hearing held in Athens Tuesday found Stacie Parsons, 27, competent to stand trial in the death of her four year old daughter. A similar hearing back in April found her incompetent. With the latest ruling, Parsons’ trial is set to start November 7th. She has been charged with the death of her daughter Victoria in July, 2014. She went to the Athens Police Department and confessed to killing her daughter. Her body was found in the yard of their home. She is said to have died from head and chest trauma.
TYLER – Smith County jury duty for today has been cancelled. Smith County residents who were planning to report for jury duty today with their yellow cards don’t have to make the trip to the Smith County Courthouse. Smith County Jury Coordinator Lisa Bennett said no new panels will be needed today. However, if you have been asked to return for jury duty by a specific court, you must still report.
BEAUMONT – The Justice Department has made plans to, what it calls, protect the election process in East Texas. Acting United States Attorney Brit Featherston has announced an assistant U.S. Attorney has been named Election Officer for the Eastern District of Texas. Michelle Englade has been appointed to oversee the district’s complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuse in the November 8th election. In addition, the FBI will have special agents available in each field office, including Tyler, and resident agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day.
TYLER – Warrants have been issued for two Tyler robbery suspects. Both were easy to find. They were in the Smith County Jail on other charges. Named in the warrants were Jordan Taylor Devers, 18,(pictured) and Vernon Jones-Bigham, 20, both of Tyler. They are charged with the robbery of The Pac-N-Sac convenience store on the Loop at East Front Street on October 18. Nothing was taken from the store. The store’s clerk threatened the robber with a taser and chased the suspect, who was armed with a pocket knife, from the store. Police say Jones-Bigham robbed the store and Devers drove the get-away vehicle. Investigators are still looking into other armed robbery cases to determine if these suspects may be responsible.
PALESTINE – The Palestine City Council has named a new City Manager. He is Kevin Coleman, who is currently the city manager for Yoakum, which is north of Victoria. He has held that post since December, 2011. He was named to the position Monday night following a 45 minute executive session. Coleman and two other finalists interviewed with city officials October 18th and 19th. They were among the 40 applications from 17 states that were received for the post. The search was conducted by Strategic Government Resources of Keller, a government executive search firm.… Read More
TYLER – A motorcyclist is in East Texas Medical Center with life threatening injuries following a Tyler accident. It started when a Tyler motorcycle officer tried to pull a motorcycle over for speeding. It occurred in a school zone on North Forest Avenue near Fun Forest Park. According to police spokesman Don Martin, the motorcycle operator, Demarcus Keyshawn Johnson, 29, of Tyler, tried to evade the officer. In the process he wrecked on Garden Valley Road just inside the North Northwest Loop.
LUFKIN – An East Texas coach, who was arrested last week, is now facing another charge. Richard Warren Cratty Jr., 31, of Nacogdoches, was charged last week with online solicitation of a minor. Cratty turned himself in Tuesday morning after a second felony warrant for his arrest was issued. He is now facing the additional charge of improper relationship between educator/student, which is a second degree felony. He is now accused of fondling a student who he had been sending improper emails to. Cratty, who had been a Zavalla High School baseball coach and also taught social studies at the Junior High, resigned on Monday.
KILGORE – The Gregg County Sheriff’s Department is asking the public’s help in locating a teenage runaway. Joshua Young, 14, was reported Tuesday to be a runaway from the Kilgore area. They believe he is still in the East Texas area. Anyone with information about Young is asked to contact Investigator Ben Reynolds at 903-237-2544 or call the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office at 903-236-8400.
RUSK – Two persons are dead in Cherokee County in what appears to be a murder/suicide. The bodies of 61 year old James Allan Garner and 58 year old Patricia Garner were found in a yard Monday morning on County Road 2303 South of Rusk. Both had been shot by a shotgun. Authorities feel the man shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself. Their bodies were sent to Tyler for autopsy.
LONGVIEW – A resident of Buckner Westminster Place in Longview, Puett Willcox, was recognized Tuesday afternoon by Congressman Louie Gohmert. Willcox, who is believed to be the last prisoner of World War II remaining in East Texas, received nine awards. Wilcox was 17 days shy of his 20th birthday in May, 1944, when his B-24 was shot down over Austria. He was a ball turret gunner aboard the plane. He was captured by the Germans and declared a prisoner of War. He would be held captive for a year before being released. In a special ceremony, Wilcox was presented such awards as the Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, A Korean War Service Medal, 5 bronze oak leaf clusters & 4 bronze service stars.
TYLER — A Tyler man was arrested in Caddo Parish after agents allegedly found methamphetamine in his vehicle. According to KETK, on October 19, agents conducted surveillance at a home on Herndon Street in Shreveport, where they saw a truck and its driver believed to be involved in drug activity. Authorities said they found a pound of meth hidden in a compartment inside the truck. The meth was valued at $53,760. The driver, Juan Olvera, 25, was arrested and booked into the Caddo Correctional Center for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
GILMER – A Morris County man has pleaded guilty in state court in Upshur County to being a repeat DWI offender. Larry Joe McBride of Lone Star was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison. An officer stopped his car in Ore City in April because it matched the description of a stolen vehicle. McBride admitted to drinking beer and a quarter can of beer was in the cup holder of the vehicle and other containers were found in his car. After failing the breath test, McBride, who had three previous convictions for driving while intoxicated, admitted to to shooting up methamphetamines four hours prior to being pulled over. He also pled guilty to unauthorized use of motor vehicle and received 2 years in the state jail. It will run concurrently with his 20 year sentence.
LONGVIEW – A man is dead, a woman critically injured in a weekend Gregg County wreck that occurred as the two were on their way to the first annual Riders, Rockers, and Ribs biker rally. Around 9:07 Saturday morning, troopers responded to a one vehicle crash on U.S. 259 in Gregg County near Longview. According to DPS, preliminary crash investigation revealed that a group of motorcyclists were traveling northbound on 259 when the group slowed to make a right turn. A rider in the group braked, losing control of his motorcycle, ejecting both rider and passenger.… Read More
ATHENS – A Henderson County man, who was arrested in Smith County, has been indicted in an Athens murder. The Henderson County grand jury indicted last week Jeremy Robert Lane, 25, of Athens, He had been charged with the August 6th murder of Mark Groendyk, 27, of New Jersey. The victim was stabbed multiple times at a party early that morning. Lane was arrested around 17 hours later at a friends home on County Road 1100 near Flint.
MARSHALL – A 100-year-old time capsule has been discovered on the Campus of East Texas Baptist University in Marshall. It was found in the Marshall Hall building’s cornerstone. Inside the the cornerstone capsule were items dating from 1916 when the University’s Marshall Hall building was constructed. The items were displayed during the Founder’s Day celebration over the weekend. According to the school’s website, the capsule included a copy of the Marshall News Messenger paper from February, 21, 1916 as well as a wheat penny, Indian head penny, bread tag, Baptist Standard issue and a copy of The Harrison County Newspaper from February 17, 1916. The university first learned of the capsule last fall when a freshman began research on the Marshall Hall building and its cornerstone. Added to the items from 1916 will be items from 2016. The time capsule will be sealed and placed back into the cornerstone for future generations to discover.
AUSTIN (AP/STAFF) – State Education officials say 97% of Texas school districts and charters have earned a successful rating in the last survey period. The Texas Education Agency on Monday announced the financial accountability ratings for 2015-2016. The numbers involve more than 1,200 school districts and charters. All of the public school districts in Smith and Gregg counties appear on the list with a superior rating. The ratings are based on annual financial reports provided to TEA for the 2015 fiscal year. All Texas school districts are required to report information and financial accountability ratings to parents and taxpayers.
LONGVIEW — Police are asking the public’s help in finding a runaway Longview teenager. Mirtha Martinez was last seen around 10:00 Thursday night at the Flamingo Mobile Home Park on Pine Tree Road. According to the police department’s Facebook page, they do not have a clothing description of what she was wearing when last seen. Officials ask anyone with information about Mirtha’s whereabouts please call Longview police at 903-237-1199.
TYLER – With a record number of registered voters in Smith County, early voting in the November general election is underway as of today. Over 135,000 persons are registered to vote in the County. That is over 32,000 persons more than were registered in the last presidential election in 2012. And from now through November 4th, early voting will be held at a variety of locations around Smith County. The primary locations are the HUB on West Ferguson, The Heritage Building on Bellwood Road, The Noonday Community Center, Lindale Public Library, and at Whitehouse Municipal Court. There are also temporary branch early voting locations. … Read More
LONGVIEW – Starting today, a new traffic signal is operating at Fourth Street and Eastman Road (US 259) in Longview. It will be flashing yellow until October 31, at which point it will become a fully operational traffic signal. Motorists are asked use caution while work is being completed. This traffic signal work is funded from the available street bond funds as well as private funding. This project consists of installing a traffic signal with ramps and pedestrian walk-way.
Smith County – Tyler Maintenance plans to conduct base repairs on FM 15 between Troup and Wright City. Edge repairs will be performed on FM 1995. Expect lane closures at both locations with flaggers providing traffic control.… Read More
GILMER – A missing Gilmer woman has been found and is hospitalized in Tyler. Olivia Torres, 30, of Gilmer, who is 8 months pregnant, disappeared on Friday.Torres said she was going to work at the Union Hill booth at the East Texas Yamboree. Her family said her car was still parked at the Gilmer Church of Christ where she left it on Friday. Her family said she was found besides South Mimosa Road in western Upshur County and taken to Tyler’s Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital. She is said to be in stable condition. Her unborn twins are also said to be OK.
LUFKIN – A woman who had just moved to Lufkin has died in a two vehicle accident. Killed in the Friday night accident was Brennan Lucille Fisher, 20. The accident occurred On East Loop 287 at Martin Luther King Drive. She was a passenger in a car that was using a crossover at the intersection. An 18-wheeler was also attempting to use the crossover. The car in which Fisher was riding passed the truck and pulled into the path of a pickup, which T-boned her car on the passenger side. Four persons were injured. The driver of Fisher’s vehicle, Emily Pharris, 19, of Lufkin, was ticketed for no driver’s license and failure to yield at an intersection.
JACKSONVILLE – The Texas Department of Transportation is changing the operation of the traffic signal at the intersection of Bolton (FM 347) and Kickapoo streets in Jacksonville as part of its traffic signal removal process. Beginning today, “STOP” and “STOP AHEAD” signs will be placed on the Kickapoo Street approach to the intersection. Once the signs have been installed, the signal will flash yellow on Bolton Street allowing traffic to proceed through the intersection with caution but without stopping. On Kickapoo Street, the signal will flash red meaning the traffic must stop before continuing through the intersection.… Read More
TYLER (AP) – U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert says Donald Trump is a flawed candidate who is not the “salvation” of the conservative movement but instead is a “reprieve.” The Republican warned that if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency and nominates the next U.S. Supreme Court justice “then this country is done as we know it.” The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports that Gohmert cautioned against voter apathy or even discouragement in the GOP ranks because it may undercut Trump’s efforts to win the White House. He delivered his remarks last week to the Smith County Republican Women’s Club. Gohmert represents Texas’ 1st Congressional District, which stretches across much of East Texas. He’s being challenged in the November 8 general election by Democrat Shirley McKellar.
LONGVIEW – LeTourneau University received a $600,000 Lilly Foundation grant to create a theological institute for high school students to explore their vocational calling. Called Passage Institute for Youth and Theology, the institute will provide the opportunity for 50 high school students from around the Ark-La-Tex area each year to participate in a Passage Fellowship. Participation features two week-long residential experiences on the LETU campus with direct engagement with a leadership team including LETU theology professors Dr. Luke Tallon, Dr. Pat Mays and Dr. Jonathan Lett. Students who qualify to participate must be high school juniors during Summer 2017 with demonstrated commitment to and leadership within their local churches. … Read More
HAWKINS – Jarvis Christian College was on lock down for a while on Friday following a large fight. It was reported around 10:30am. KETK reports officials called for help and a total of 10 law enforcement officers, plus Jarvis security, were able to break up the fight. Five persons were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. One person was charged with possession of marijuana. All are said to be students at the school. They now face administrative action from the college. The cause of the fight is unknown at this time.
TYLER – The man accused of the fatal shooting of a deputy constable’s K-9, has pleaded guilty in a Tyler court. In a plea deal, Michael Paul Koch, 36, of Grand Saline, pleaded guilty Friday to interference with a service animal, evading arrest, unlawful possession of a firearm, manufacturing meth and theft. He will serve all sentences concurrently, meaning a 40 year prison term. Koch had been accused of shooting of K-9 Constable Ogar following a traffic stop on on Interstate Highway 20 on January 19th. Koch was arrested in a Dallas Wal-Mart four days later.
TYLER – The University of Texas at Tyler is a finalist for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s 2016 Star Award. The school has been recognized for its Insight Motivated Marketing 360 curriculum within the Department of Management and Marketing. The winner will be announced at a reception next Wednesday in Austin. According to a news release from the school, UT Tyler’s IMM360 program provides marketing students a set of general and specific marketable skills through a 360-degree view of how suppliers and retailers work together to serve their customers. IMM360 offers a curriculum designed to help students understand the role of data in marketing decision making and uses state-of-the-industry technology and data from resources such as The Nielsen Company, JDA, Learning Evolutions and SAP.
LUFKIN – Following the arrest this week of a Lufkin teacher for improper relationship between educator and student, now a coach in Angelina County has now been arrested. An investigator for the sheriff’s department, along with a Texas Ranger, arrested 31 year old Richard Warren Cratty Jr. of Nacogdoches. He has been charged with online solicitation of a minor. The school district’s website show he is a Zavalla High School baseball coach and also teachers social studies at the Junior High.