TYLER – Tyler’s Texas Spine & Joint Hospital has received special recognition. Representatives from Healthgrades presented the hospital Thursday with trophies for being national leaders in joint replacement and spine surgery. This makes five years in a row the hospital has been recognized for spine surgery and the 3rd year in a row it has been singled out for its joint replacement. At the presentation, Healthcare’s Kelsey Seaman said, “This award is not achieved by accident, and we commend Texas Spine and Joint Hospital for accomplishing it through your commitment to core values. In fact, we believe it is the application to your core values and quality principles that drove you to this success.”
LONGVIEW – A Longview man is arrested after police find more than candy in a candy bag. Corey Dion Chance, 39, was arrested by officers with the County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit. They were executing a search warrant at a room at the Palace Inn on East Marshall. In Chance’s room they found a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. In the bag they found a quantity of methamphetamine. Chance was been charged with possession of a controlled substance and booked into the Gregg County Jail.
TYLER – Complaints are coming in to Tyler Police of illegal gaming in the city. On Monday, undercover officers seized five illegal gambling machines from the Texaco Station at Paluxy and the Loop. Tyler police spokesman Don Martin says gambling, promoting gambling, possession of gambling devices and keeping a gambling place are illegal in Texas. He said officers will be investigating other locations to determine if their conduct, related to machines, is illegal and in violation of state gambling laws. He said they prefer voluntary compliance with the law. But, if need be, Tyler police will take action to see that businesses are in compliance. That may mean arrest and referring cases to the Smith County District Attorney.
COFFEE CITY – A lone gunman has robbed the Dollar General store in Coffee City. It occurred around 8:00 Tuesday night. He forced a clerk to close and lock the doors. He forced an employee to empty the cash register and the store’s safe. He then ordered the clerks into the office, made them unplug all of the electronic devices in the office, made them sit down, begin counting, and then left the store on foot. The suspect is described as a black male, about 5’9″ weighing around 170 pounds. He was dressed in a black hooded shirt, black pants, black shoes with a white strip on the outside near the heels, and white gloves. He also had a black mask covering his face.
TYLER – Smith County authorities have identified a suspect in the theft of some bows from the Smith County 4-H Club. He is Billy Bob Willingham III, 24, of Tyler. He is accused of taking 19 bows from a shed on County Road 41 in the northern part of the county. The theft occurred over the Thanksgiving weekend. They are valued at nearly $5,000. Five of them have been recovered from a pawn shop. Willingham has been named in a felony warrant for theft of property.
KILGORE – A 16 year old student had to be removed from a Kilgore school campus today. The student was removed from the high school campus after bringing an unloaded gun to school. Students at the school alerted administrators, who found the student and both the student and gun were removed from the campus without incident. According to the school district, at no point were any students in danger. The student been charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon in a gun-free zone and taken to the Gregg County Juvenile Center.
TYLER – A newly-formed partnership is bringing the nation’s top cancer care to East Texas. It was announced Thursday that UT Health Northeast and MD Anderson Cancer Center will officially launch the UT Health Northeast MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2017. This brings to East Texas access to MD Anderson’s multi-disciplinary care, treatment innovations, standards of care and clinical trials. The hospitals’ cancer programs will be clinically and operationally integrated. They join six other healthcare institutions across the United States and three facilities in Brazil, Spain and Turkey.… Read More
ANGELINA COUNTY — One person was killed after a vehicle drove into a house in Angelina County. According to KETK, DPS Troopers responded to the scene of a one vehicle crash on Ralph Nerren Road, south of Harvill Road. The preliminary crash investigation indicates a truck, driven by Robert James Leski, 76, of Fairfield, was traveling south on Ralph Nerren Road, when the vehicle veered off the road and into a house located at 964 Ralph Nerren Road causing major damage to the house and the vehicle. Leski was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy has been ordered to determine if a medical condition contributed to the crash. The homeowners were not home at the time of the crash and no other injuries were reported. The crash remains under investigation. No additional information is available at this time.
LONGVIEW – The execution of a narcotics search warrant in Longview has resulted in two arrests. the County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit and Longview Special Investigations and Apprehensions Unit, served the warrant at a home on South Martin Luther King Boulevard. In the house, officers seized 4.1 grams of crack cocaine. Jimmie Earl Smith (pictured), 47, has been charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, tamper/fabricate physical evidence w/intent to impair and a Class C misdemeanor warrant. George Alvin Watkins, 57, was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant and two class C misdemeanor warrants. Both men are Longview residents.
LONGVIEW – One robbery suspect is in custody and Longview police are looking for a second in a robbery earlier this week. The robbery occurred Monday night on San Augustine Lane. The victim said the suspects shined a flashlight in his eyes making it difficult to see, displayed a pistol and robbed him of his wallet, and other items, including several firearms. About an hour later, officers found the suspects’ vehicle on West Radio Street. In the car they found the items taken from the victim. Juan Jose Solis,18, of Longview, was arrested for Aggravated Robbery. The police continue to work to identify the second suspect.
TYLER – The word out of Alanta, Georgia is that Tyler Junior College has moved from being a level one institution of higher education to level two. The announcement came during the annual meeting of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges. Level II status means TJC has the same level of staff and procedures required of four-year institutions. School President Dr. Mike Metke says it means “Our professors, library services and financial standards all meet the same criteria required of colleges that award baccalaureate degree.” He says, this means everyone wins. “You can come to TJC and receive the same high quality education you’d get at a four-year college, but you’ll pay community college prices.”… Read More
WASKOM – One person has been killed and one injured in a one vehicle accident in Harrison County. Dead at the scene was Gabrielle Anastasia Barrett, 18, of Waskom. The pickup driver, Maximino Iniguez-Ulloa,21, of Karnack, is hospitalized. According to the Department of public safety, the pickup hydroplaned on a curve, left the road and hit a tree. The accident happened around 10:30 Tuesday night on Farm Road 134, about 6 1/2 miles south of Waskom.
LONGVIEW – A protest has caused the Longview Fire Department to remove a cross from in front of a fire station. The cross went up at Station 6 last year along with the Christmas lights. But after complaints, the cross has come down this year. Longview Spokesman Shawn Hara told KETK, “displays that are religious of nature that are placed on public property face challenges, so our practice is that we don’t do that.” But today, there is still a cross in front of the fire station. A family across the street from the fire station put one up. They said they did it to show that they appreciate what the fire department does for the community.
AUSTIN – The state comptroller’s office is sending out over $627 billion in local sales tax allocations. This is up slightly from December of last year. But some area cities will be getting less than a year ago. Tyler’s sales tax allocation for December is $3,004,127.71. This is down over 5.28% from a year ago. For the year, Tyler’s sales tax allocation is $39,141,185.50 or down 4.19% from the figure a year ago. Longview’s December sales tax allocation is $2,017,274.28 or down 11.11% from a year ago. For the year, Longview has received from the state $29,525,351.76. This is off $4.07% from a year ago.
SMITH COUNTY — One person was killed, two others injured following a three vehicle wreck Tuesday evening. According to the Department of Public Safety report, just before 6:00, a 2011 Hyundai Sonata, driven by Destiny Simpson, 31, Arp, was traveling west on SH-64 when she struck a Ford Explorer making a left hand turn. The Explorer, driven by Geraldine Clark, 71, Troup, was sent into oncoming traffic where it was hit head-on by a Toyota Camry, driven by George Brown, 64, Henderson . Clark was pronounced dead at the scene. Simpson and Brown were transported to Tyler hospitals in stable condition.
TYLER — The Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas surprised a 17-year-old boy with the truck of his dreams. Make-A-Wish offers once in a lifetime opportunities to children with life threatening medical conditions. KETK reports, it was a wish in the making for more than four months. Nick Hill loved his 2002 Chevy but it needed some upgrading. Davis-Green Paint and Body in Tyler worked on the truck to make it close to new. “I feel like a kid on Christmas” Nick Hill, Make-A-Wish kid, said. Nick thought his truck was just getting minor fixes in the shop, but to his surprise, the whole truck was remodeled. “It’s like a brand new truck, it looks better than I’d ever imagine.” Nick Hill said.… Read More
DALLAS (AP) — A memorial service has been planned for a prominent personal injury attorney who died Sunday. The memorial will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday for Brian Loncar. The service will be at Munger Place Church. Visitation will be at Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery from noon until 7 p.m. Thursday. The burial will be private, according to the Dallas Morning News. Dallas police said the 56-year-old was found unresponsive Sunday morning in the front seat of his vehicle, which was parked in front of his downtown law office, Cesar Chavez Blvd. Police say the manner and cause of death are still under investigation.… Read More
TYLER – Some Tyler 9th graders signed up for a new program Tuesday night. It’s the TJC Promise Scholarship program, where the students can get two free years of college at Tyler Junior College. The Director of Counseling for TISD, Leigh Ann Barber, said the students who sign the pledge now must meet certain academic, attendance and community service standards throughout high school. The program is not just for TISD students. It’s also for students in the TJC taxing district. Besides Tyler, this includes Chapel Hill, Grand Saline, Lindale, Van and Winona.
TYLER – Following Monday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, the new Smith County Animal Control facility in downtown Tyler is now open to the public. You can go to the shelter, at 322 East Ferguson, to adopt a dog. Dogs were brought in from the old shelter on Tuesday. The new location was selected because it is in downtown Tyler, which is centrally located within the county. The old facility in Winona has room for up to 40 dogs. The new facility will quadruple the capability of Smith County Animal Control Services, making room for up to 169 dogs. … Read More
TYLER – Smith County Commissioners have adopted a resolution urging TxDot to make improvements to U.S. Highway 271. The county is asking for funds for safety improvements, re-striping and maybe even widening the road. Other area entities are expected to take similar action. The Longview Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board members meet Wednesday. They begin a a 30-day public comment period on proposed revisions to the road’s improvement plans. The Longview city council will consider a resolution to speed up improvements to Highway 271 when it meets on Thursday. In Texas, Highway 271 runs from Tyler northward to the Red River.
LONGVIEW – The City of Longview Partners in Prevention’s Unity and Diversity Committee has announced its unity honorees. The lifetime achievement award pays homage to people who have demonstrated leadership in promoting harmony, understanding and social justice in the Longview area. The 2017 award winners are Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt and Evalonia Barrett-Bolton, a former trustee at Wiley College. The two will receive their awards at the Unity Honors Luncheon. It will be held in February at the Maude Cobb Convention Center. Also, two Special Recognition Awards will be presented at the luncheon. They will go to to Habitat for Humanity of Longview and MyView.
HAWKINS – One person has been killed and one injured in a one vehicle accident in northern Smith County. The accident happened just before 1:00 Monday afternoon on Farm Road 14, about 4 miles south of Hawkins. Killed was the driver, 68 year old Rita Schaaf of Holly Lake ranch. A passenger, 70 year old David Schaaf, of Holly Lake Ranch, is hospitalized in Tyler. According to the Department of Public Safety, Their car was heading north and tried to pass another vehicle. The driver lost control of the car, which hit a guardrail, and came to rest upside down in a creek bed.
TYLER – The first case of the Zika Virus has been identified in Smith County. Northeast Texas Public Health reports the case was not contracted in the county. But a person who lives in the county traveled to an area endemic with the Zika virus. NET Health said it is monitoring the situation closely in regards to what this means for our residents and visitors of east Texas. There are no other cases of suspected transmission of the Zika virus in Smith County at this time, and no local transmission of the Zika virus from a mosquito bite has been detected in east Texas.… Read More
TYLER – For the 4th time this year, the Lavanderia Express on South Vine in Tyler has been robbed. The latest was shortly after 3:15 Tuesday morning when two men with handguns entered the business. They demanded cash from the register and safe, then fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. The two are described as black men, thin build, wearing all black clothing and face masks. In March, the business was robbed by a man with a knife. It was robbed on October 31st by a man with a gun and was robbed a couple of weeks ago by three men with guns.
EAST TEXAS – Marshall’s Christmas parade has been rescheduled. The parade had been set for last Saturday, but was cancelled over concerns about the weather. After receiving some complaints over the cancellation, the Marshall Convention and Visitor Bureau announced the Wonderland of Lights parade is being rescheduled for this Saturday at 6:00pm. The parade route will be the same. But. in White Oak, it’s a different story. The White Oak Christmas Parade, which was scheduled for Monday night, has been canceled due to the threat of bad weather. The parade will not be rescheduled.
TYLER – The ribbon has been cut, officially opening Smith County’s new animal control facility. It is located at 322 East Ferguson. The location was selected because it is in downtown Tyler, which is centrally located within the county. The old facility in Winona has room for up to 40 dogs. The new facility will quadruple the capability of Smith County Animal Control Services, making room for up to 169 dogs. Smith County Animal Control plans to move the dogs to the new facility and open it up to the public this week. … Read More
DALLAS – Dallas has announced the five finalists for the city manager’s job. And one has Tyler ties. One of the candidates is Dallas Assistant City Manager Mark McDaniel. He was the Tyler City Manager from 2008 to 2014. He started his new job in Dallas on September 2nd, 2014. The finalist will be meeting with city officials this week. The public is invited to meet them Tuesday night. And there will be a called meeting on Friday so council members can discuss the candidates and and their next course of action. There are those in Dallas who say that McDaniel is the odds-on-favorite to land the job.
TYLER – An Oklahoma murder suspect has been seen in Tyler. The Stephens County Sheriff’s Office tells KETK that 25 year old Baltazar Sanchez-Garica was seen in Tyler following the slaying in late November. The suspect, an illegal immigrant, is accused of stabbing to death a woman he once dated. She broke up the relationship and married someone else. The man is said to have stolen the victim’s husband’s pickup and may be trying to make it back to Mexico. If you see the suspect, you are ask to call your local law enforce agency.
TYLER – Tyler Junior College’s online program has received national recognition. The Community for Accredited Online Schools says the TJC program is one of the best in the nation. In its annual rankings for the 2016-17 academic year, TJC was honored for:
* Best Online Colleges
* Best Online Vocational Schools
* Best Two-year Art Degree Program
* Best Ultrasound Technician Program… Read More
In Tyler, a couple of repair jobs are planned for Loop 323. Monday and Tuesday from 9:00am to 3:00pm., crews will be performing base repair work on the Loop 323 Extension. The work requires lane closures with periodic detours around the extension using US 271. … Read More