TYLER – County Court at Law No. 3 Judge Floyd Getz is being appointed to handle Smith County Judge Joel Baker’s judicial duties. This follows Judge Baker’s recent suspension without by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Administrative Judge Mary Murphy made the appointment this week. The appointment runs through the end of the year. At next Tuesday’s county commissioners’ meeting they will start the process of selecting an acting county judge.… Read More
DALLAS (AP) — A text message accidentally sent to The Associated Press shows that Johnny Manziel’s lawyer is seeking a plea deal in his domestic violence case, but has doubts about the quarterback’s ability to stay clean. The text message is from defense attorney Bob Hinton. It was transmitted after an AP reporter contacted him asking for comment about a hit-and-run crash Manziel was involved in Monday night. Hinton writes: “Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle.” The text also says Hinton was given a receipt by a colleague that purports to show Manziel, a former Tyler resident, spent more than $1,000 at a drug paraphernalia shop 15 hours after the crash. Hinton says it was not known if the receipt from the paraphernalia store is legitimate.
TYLER – Police are investigating the robbery of a Tyler business. The Eggroll Express at 510 West Front Street was held up shortly before 11:45 Friday morning. A man with a covering over his face, armed with a handgun, fled with an undisclosed amount of money. He was described as a black male, about 5’9 and with a thin build. There was one customer in the store at the time of the robbery. No injuries were reported.
MARSHALL – The Marshall Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating one of their most wanted fugitives. He is Turahn Mitchell, 22, of Jefferson. He is accused of renting over $2,500 worth of property from a rent to own business and then not returning it after he stopped paying for it. He is described as a black male 5’9, 190 pounds with a medium build. Mitchell has black hair and brown eyes. If you know where he can be located, call 903-935-4575 or 903-935-4540. If you wish to remain anonymous call Marshall/Harrison County Crime Stoppers at 903-935-9969.
LONGVIEW – Longview police have arrested a burglary suspect. He was found ducking down behind a truck in the 3400 block of MLK Boulevard around 3:30 Friday morning. Officers say they learned that Jonarious Deyone Williams, 26, of Longview, had burglarized at least one vehicle. They also found additional property, which they believe was stolen, in the car he was driving. He was charged with burglary of a vehicle and booked into the Gregg County Jail.
LONGVIEW – There has been another healthcare merger in the area. In the wake of Tyler’s Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals’ May merger with CHRISTUS Health, Longview’s Good Shepherd Health System announces it is being acquired by Tennessee-based Duke LifePoint Healthcare. Included in the acquisition, Good Shepherd NorthPark in Longview, Good Shepherd Medical Center in Marshall, emergency services in Kilgore and provider offices at over 30 locations. Also included are immediate care centers and outpatient and health and wellness services across East Texas. Good Shepherd will now be working through the Gregg County Commissioners Court to amend its current lease for purposes of the acquisition. The chairman of the Board of Directors for Good Shepherd Health System, Bill Huffman, said in a news release, they are confident joining Duke LifePoint will allow them to continue to advance health care services in East Texas for generations to come.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Staff/ABC) — Tyler Congressman Louie Gohmert angrily faces down congressional Democrats in the midst of a 25-hour sit-in over gun control — attributing the recent Orlando massacre to “radical Islam.” Speaking later with KETK, Gohmert said, “Even though…throughout congressional history there’ve been many, many occasions where there’s been vitriol, yelling at each other, and that kind of thing, we can’t find any precedent to one political party just violating the rules and acting so lawlessly, like they were some ‘Occupy Wall Street’ operation, a bunch of hooligans, and taking over the floor.” The Democrats finally ended their sit-in without getting the votes they wanted, but they vow to keep up their push for gun control.
PALESTINE – A suspect is in custody in connection with the death of a Palestine puppy that died after being set on fire. After information was received in the case, an arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Perla Miranda Fernandez, 20, of Athens. Athens police took her into custody Thursday morning. She is being held on a $5,000 bond in the animal cruelty case. Others are still being sought. Six people were seen leaving the scene Monday morning after a witness said they poured a fluid on the three month old puppy and were then seen lighting it. The puppy suffered burns of 50% of her body.
LONGVIEW – An Upshur County man found guilty of four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and four counts of indecency with a child, has been sentenced him to a long prison term. Gregg Lee Haden, 41, of Diana, was sentenced late Thursday afternoon to 380 years in prison. The jury sentenced Haden to 75 years on each of the assault charges and 20 on each of the indecency counts. State District Judge Alfonso Charles decided to stack the sentences. Haden was arrested in June of 2011 after arriving at a Longview location where he had agreed in a text to meet what he thought as a 14 year old for sex. But, instead of a boy, he had been communicating with an undercover officer.
TYLER – Tyler’s People Attempting to Help is again helping area residents stay cool this summer. PATH’s annual fan drive is underway to help battle, what they say is a huge problem. In the heat of summer, many don’t have air-conditioning to keep their homes at a comfortable, or safe temperature. So they are collecting box fans for residents in Smith and neighborning counties. Last year, PATH distributed 1,173 fans. PATH Executive Director Greg Grubb says there are several ways you can help. Tyler’s Home Depot is selling 20-inch box fans for only $10.00. Just mention PATH’s fan drive when you buy it. You can also bring donations or box fans to the PATH office on West Front Street in Tyler.
TYLER – An attorney acting on behalf of the state of Texas has declined to issue a necessary citation in the civil suit seeking the removal of Smith County Judge Joel Baker. The action was filed Thursday in 7th District Court in Tyler. The civil suit seeking the judge’s removal was filed by Grassroots America We The People. Attorney Jim Parsons of Palestine said the citation wasn’t necessary since circumstances arising since his appointment have mooted the issues raised in the petition. Those circumstances are the indictment of Baker and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct suspending the judge without pay. Grassroots spokeswoman JoAnn Fleming told KETK their attorney will file papers agreeing to suspend their petition. The judge is accused of holding illegal closed meetings He is also under investigation for allegations he was involved in explicit sexual behavior online while conducting government business.… Read More
TYLER — Ride sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft may be one step closer to hitting Tyler. According to KETK, City Manager Edward Broussard says officials hope to have a plan by August that they can bring to council for approval. They’re looking at similar sized cities such as Lubbock and Beaumont to see how it operates there. They’re also trying to create a level playing field with existing taxicab companies. Broussard says, “There may be some deregulation of our current taxicab industry in order to then make it competitive for them with the network-based companies that Uber and Lyft are.” Officials are also discussing different options in terms of safety and background checks for the drivers.
ANDERSON COUNTY – A recent graduate from Tyler’s All Saints Episcopal School has died from injuries received in an Anderson County accident. Kendall Spinks, 18, was removed Thursday from life support at Tyler’s Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital. She had been critically injured on Highway 155 on June 17th. The Department of Public Safety reports she lost control of her car while passing another vehicle. Her car ended up in a ditch where it rolled over several times. Investigators had earlier said that Spinks may have been texting prior to the accident.
TYLER — Downtown Tyler’s food truck park is rolling along nicely. According to KETK, the City Council passed its final approval Wednesday for a special permit allowing the park to move forward. The plan will be rolled out in two phases. Phase one will bring in the actual food trucks. Phase two, which was added in this week, includes turning the park into an entertainment venue with live music. Phase one is expected to be open sometime this fall. Phase two is still up in the air.
SMITH COUNTY — Smith County DPS responded to a wreck on I-20 West near mile marker 573 between an 18-wheeler and an SUV. The SUV reportedly struck the back of the 18-wheeler, became lodged and caught fire. According to KETK, the driver of the SUV was transported to a local hospital for treatment. No major injuries were reported. The wreck is under investigation.
RUSK — A Rusk State Hospital employee is in big trouble for what he left behind at work. Last week a patient found a gun on the 243-bed campus. Staff was notified and the weapon was properly secured. Sources say the gun fell out of the psychiatric nurses’ assistant’s bag as he worked an overnight shift sunday. Hospital employees are not allowed to take firearms into state hospitals. Now the employee is on emergency leave pending disciplinary action. In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Department of State Health Services says the worker could be fired. The Office of Inspector General is investigating. A request for comment from that office has not yet drawn a response.
TYLER – Applications are now being accepted at Tyler City Hall for 17 city boards and commissions. They range from the Airport Advisory Board to the Civil Service Commission. Tyler City Clerk Cassandra Brager says applicants must reside inside Tyler City limits and should not have any delinquent city taxes, city utilities or other city assessments. In addition, they must not have any pending claims against the city. There may be additional requirements for some board positions. The application deadline is August 5th. The city council will make the appointments at the August 24th meeting.… Read More
PALESTINE — Police in Palestine report a pit bull puppy, set on fire, has died from her injuries. The search continues for the people who reportedly set the puppy on fire, and left it for dead around 7:15 Monday morning. It was found on South Street near the corner of San Jacinto Street. In a phone call, a witness told officers three black men, two black women, and one Hispanic woman were seen pouring an unknown accelerant on the puppy, and then lighting it. The three month old puppy suffered burns over 50% of her body.… Read More
DALLAS (AP) – Police in Dallas say troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel reported a hit-and-run accident earlier this week. The publicist for the former Texas A&M star says he wasn’t seriously injured. Dallas police tell the Associated Press the accident happened Monday night, and Manziel had a witness from his vehicle and an impartial witness. Manziel attorney Bob Hinton said police told him the vehicle was damaged on the driver’s side. Manziel’s publicist, Denise Michaels, said the former Cleveland player told her he hit his head but didn’t have a concussion or other injury. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner is facing a misdemeanor assault charge in a domestic violence case involving former girlfriend Colleen Crowley. A status hearing is scheduled for Friday, but Manziel isn’t required to appear.
TYLER – A Longview man has died in a two vehicle accident in Tyler. The 18-wheeler and motorcycle collided around 6:00 Wednesday morning. The crash occurred on the Highway 271 extension in the 4100 block of NNE Loop 323. Dead at the scene was Christopher S. Rennison, 31. His motorcycle was heading south on the 271 extension when it collided with the truck which was making a left turn into the driveway of a business. Accident investigators say the driver of the tractor-trailer failed to yield the right-of-way to the motorcycle. The name of truck’s driver, who was not injured, has not been released.
GREGG COUNTY — The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office Fire Marshal has determined that a fatal fire was accidental and was caused by a child playing with an ignition source. The sheriff’s office announced Wednesday that the fire marshal has finished the investigation into the blaze, which killed a toddler June 14 on Victorian Oaks, north of Lake Cherokee. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, Tasha LaShell Holland said her 3-year-old son, Ayden Bounds (pictured), was the boy who died. Two other children and the children’s father were injured but survived the blaze. Officials didn’t say which child was playing with the ignition source.
TYLER — A Flint woman has been charged with intoxication manslaughter following a two vehicle wreck on Paluxy Tuesday night. Investigators determined that just after 8:00, Charlotte Ann Williams-Gilliam, 42, was driving northbound in a White Buick when she lost control on the shoulder of the roadway. Officials said she over-corrected and traveled into the southbound lane striking a 2006 Black Nissan head-on with two occupants. Dead at the scene was Gilliam’s mother, Rose Mary Gilliam, 61. She was in the passenger seat of the Buick. Charlotte Gilliam and the two passengers of the Nissan were taken to local hospitals for treatment. Upon release, Charlotte Ann Williams-Gilliam was arrested for intoxication manslaughter, a 2nd degree felony. Her bond was set at $50,000.
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has appointed a Tyler healthcare executive to a state board. Named to the Texas Health Services Authority Board Of Directors is Dr. Paula Anthony-McMann. She is the vice president and chief information officer for the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System. Her term will expire June15th, 2017. The Texas Health Services Authority is responsible for coordinating the implementation of health information exchange in Texas.
TYLER – The State Commission of Judicial Conduct has suspended Smith County Judge Joel Baker without pay. During Tuesday’s commissioners court meeting, a release from Seana Willing, Executive Director of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, was issued saying the suspension takes effect immediately. Baker remains free on bond after, last week, being indicted, arrested, and charged with three counts of violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act. He allegedly held illegal closed meetings to discuss a red-light traffic enforcement contract. He is also under investigation for allegations he was involved in explicit sexual behavior online while conducting government business.… Read More
SMITH COUNTY — One person was injured and another arrested following a stabbing in Smith County. It occurred around 7:00 Monday evening on County Road 246, off State Highway 31 East. The stabbing appears, at this time, to be the result of some sort of civil dispute. The victim, Charles DeWayne Harris, was treated and released from a Kilgore hospital Monday night. Charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault with a Weapon is Ernest Mosley Harris, Jr., 48. He is being held in the Smith County Jail with bonds totaling $150,000.
TYLER — The City of Tyler Traffic Department continues repairing the traffic signal at South Southeast Loop 323 and Old Henderson Highway, with work scheduled to last until 1 p.m. During this time, motorists should expect lane closures for eastbound traffic on Old Henderson Highway and northbound traffic on South Southeast Loop 323. The Tyler Police Department will be on scene to direct traffic while the signal is dark.
LUFKIN – The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has placed Angelina College on probation for one year. The school still remains fully accredited. According to the school’s web site, at issue is the wording in documents submitted during the association’s most recent review last November. Some of the language in the paper work was copied from another school’s reaffirmation document. The wording, which Angelina College said had been used as a guideline, was accidentally left in their document, including the other school’s name. According to school President Dr. Michael J. Simon, “The College takes this matter very seriously and is committed to resolving these concerns so that our reaffirmation will be approved at the end of the probationary period.” The SACSCOC Board of Trustees will reconsider the college’s application for reaffirmation in June 2017.
TYLER — A missing persons report has been filed with the Smith County Sheriff’s Department for a Tyler teen who has been missing for nearly a week. He is 14 year old Logan Kerns. He was last seen on Wednesday, June 15th, off Highway 80 and Eastman Road in Longview. His family has put out some 250 posters about Logan in downtown Longview. He was said to have been seen with a black woman named Gypsy and a black man named Kevin. If you know where Logan can be found, you can contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office or the Longview Police Department.
PALESTINE — Police in Palestine are searching for the people who reportedly set a pit bull puppy on fire, and left it for dead around 7:15 Monday morning on South Street near the corner of San Jacinto Street. According to KETK, officers say they received a call from someone who told them three black men, two black women, and one Hispanic female were seen pouring an unknown accelerant on the puppy. They then reportedly set the dog on fire. Officers found the dog badly burned but alive. The dog is being treated by a veterinarian.… Read More