Category: Local News Archive

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Names Released, Conditions Updated in Double-Fatal Smith County Wreck

DPS badgeFLINT — Authorities Thursday released the names of victims and updated the conditions of survivors in a double-fatal two-vehicle accident Wednesday evening in the Flint-Gresham area. The wreck happened around 6:15 on the Old Jacksonville Highway near County Road 140. According to DPS, a truck driven by Carl Crabtree, 30, of Bullard, was traveling southbound on Old Jacksonville Highway when it crossed the center line and collided head-on with a northbound SUV. The driver of the SUV, Dana Regester, 41, of Flint, was pronounced dead at the scene. Pasha Zapolsky, 18, of Bullard, who was sitting in the passenger’s side front seat, was taken to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Police Seek Card Abuse Suspect

tylerpdsuspectTYLER — Tyler Police Department investigators are seeking the identity of the suspect pictured here. According to the department’s Facebook page, police believe that she is responsible for several cases in which she is allegedly using a stolen debit card. If you recognize this suspect, call Detective Turner at 903-535-0194.

Kilgore Police Seek Suspect in Numerous Car Burglaries

6910660_GKILGORE — The Kilgore Police Department is actively seeking Hunter Alexander, 17 , of Kilgore. According to KETK, Alexander has been identified as the person who reportedly committed numerous car burglaries in the southern residential areas of Kilgore. Authorities say Alexander has three outstanding Rusk County burglary of a vehicle arrest warrants. Alexander is short in stature and may be living somewhere just south of Kilgore, according to officials. Police have located one photograph of Alexander, but it may be aged and his current appearance is unknown. If you have any information on the location of Alexander, call Detective Tim Dukes at 903-218-6904, Use Tip411(text your anonymous tip to 847411+KILGORE+your tip), or call Gregg County Crime Stoppers at 903-236-STOP (7867).

Longview Man Involved in Crash that Kills Shreveport Resident

thumb_police-4BOSSIER PARISH, La. — A Longview man was involved in a Louisiana crash that killed a Shreveport man. KETK reports that at 12:40 a.m. Thursday, Louisiana State Police Troop G responded to a report of the two-vehicle wreck on Interstate 20, about one mile west of Goodwill Road in Bossier Parish. The preliminary investigation revealed a car driven by 20-year-old Rodney L. Clemmons Jr. of Shreveport was traveling east on I-20 when, for reasons still under investigation, his vehicle veered off the left side of the roadway and struck the cable barrier. It re-entered I-20 directly into the path of a truck driven by 19-year-old Greggory R. Lebus of Longview. The truck then struck the car on the driver’s side door, and both vehicles came to rest partially off the roadway. Clemmons was pronounced dead at the scene by the Bossier Parish Coroner. Read the rest of this entry »

TJC Energy Center Holds Grand Opening

thumb_tjc-logo2TYLER — The Tyler Junior College West Campus Energy Center held its grand opening Thursday morning. Remarks were offered by TJC President Dr. Mike Metke, Smith County Judge Joel Baker, Tyler Mayor Martin Heines, and Tyler Economic Development Council Board Chair/TJC Trustee Lonny Uzzell. According to information from the college, construction began in February 2014 on the new workforce-training center to serve the area’s growing energy sector and address other industry needs. The Energy Center is a $7.56 million, three-story addition to the Skills Training Center on the TJC West Campus. Funded primarily through tax increment financing, the center expands some of the existing programs and adds new ones. Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Weather Closures, Delays, Changes

EAST TEXAS — A number of schools and organizations have announced schedule changes for today due to the weather. Here’s an updated list:
– Brook Hill School in Bullard – Closed
_ Brownsboro ISD – Closed
– Canton ISD – Closed
– Cumberland Academy – Closed
– Gladewater ISD – Closed
– Grand Saline ISD – Closed
– Green Acres Early Education Center – Closed
– Growing Stick Learning Center – Closed
– Hallsville ISD – Closed
– Hawkins ISD – Closed
– Kilgore College — Spring Job Fair has been cancelled
– Lindale ISD – Closed
– Longview Christian School and Early Learning Center – Closed
– Longview Child Development Center – Closed
– Longview ISD – Closed
– Mineola ISD — Closed
– Mobberly Baptist Church – Child Development Center – Closed
– Murchison ISD – Closed
– Oak Tree Academy in Tyler – Closed
– Stepping Stones School – Closed
– St. Mary’s Catholic School in Longview – Closed
– Toy Town Preschool in Lindale – Closed
– Tyler ISD – Closed
– UT Tyler Innovation Academy – Longview closed
– UT Tyler Innovation Academy – Tyler and Palestine closed
– Winona ISD – Closed
– Winnsboro ISD – Closed

– ETMC – Find delays at
– Smith County offices will be closed today.

With Peterson’s Status in Question, Vikings Pay a Visit

Adrian Peterson2HOUSTON (AP) —The Minnesota Vikings have made their in-person pitch to Adrian Peterson, a Palestine, Texas native. General manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer spent about four hours Wednesday afternoon at Peterson’s home north of Houston. Photographers captured Spielman and Zimmer leaving together, dressed in sport coats and blue jeans. This was the first time meeting they’ve had with Peterson since the star running back was placed on the exempt list in mid-September following his indictment in a child abuse case involving his 4-year-old son. Peterson is still under contract with the Vikings. They’ve said repeatedly they’ll welcome him back once he’s fully reinstated by the NFL, but only if Peterson wants to be there.

Rose Garden Center Foyer Closed for Maintenance

TYLER — The main entrance to the City of Tyler’s Rose Garden Center closed yesterday for approximately one week. The main foyer area will undergo maintenance and updates. Access to the building will be through the north entrance. Temporary access to the Rose Garden from the building will be through one of the meeting rooms. Visitors to the garden will still be able to come through the main gate south of the building. The Rose Museum and Gift Shop will be closed during this time. For more information, call 903-531-1212.

Texas Senate Passes First Bill of Session, Road Funding Plan

thumb_texas-state-capitol-4AUSTIN (AP/STAFF) — The Texas Senate has approved the first bill of the 2015 legislative session, passing a plan to funnel billions of dollars generated by vehicle sales taxes to building and maintaining traffic-clogged roads. Wednesday’s vote sends a proposed constitutional amendment by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Robert Nichols of Jacksonville, to the House. Lawmakers are constitutionally barred from passing bills during the first two months of a session that began January 13. But Governor Greg Abbott fast-tracked bills on transportation infrastructure by making the issue one of his “emergency items.” Taxes collected on vehicle sales currently flow into the state budget’s general revenue. The Nichols plan would divert tax collections over $2.5 billion and up to $5 billion annually for road infrastructure beginning in 2018. Revenue over $5 billion goes back to general revenue.

Tyler Pounds Regional Airport Monitors Winter Weather

thumb_poundsfield-tyler-1TYLER — As winter weather continues in East Texas, Tyler Pounds Regional Airport is keeping an eye on conditions. “We urge our passengers to contact their airline first for up-to-date flight information or go to for real-time flight status,” said Davis Dickson, airport manager. “Tyler Pounds also has a really convenient mobile website that provides minute-by-minute flight updates.” Tyler Pounds Regional Airport has the only daily jet service in East Texas provided by United Airlines — 800-523-3273 or — and American Eagle Airlines, or 800-433-7300.

Victim Identified in Fatal Longview Shooting

pic2212LONGVIEW – The Longview NAACP and a family member confirm the victim of a Tuesday night shooting is Da’Coreyan Blankenship. KETK reports the victim is a former student of Longview High School. He also played running back for the school’s football team. Around 7:40 p.m., officers were called to the scene of a reported shooting in the 800 block of Aurel Avenue, about four blocks north of LeTourneau University. When officers arrived, they found one victim in the street with multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Read the rest of this entry »

Mystery Donor Pays Off Mortgage for New Shelter

KILGORE — A Kilgore woman is awestruck after a mystery donor paid off her massive mortgage for a shelter. Teresa Richenberger is creating a home for women and children coming out of the sex industry and abusive relationships — because she too was once part of that world. The Kilgore home is called Rahab’s Retreat and Ranch, and a number of agencies have helped out. But the big donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, donated $160,000 to pay for the 32,000-square-foot building for 130 women and children. Richenberger is still pinching herself. She says, “It’s a God thing, first of all, because it’s ten times bigger than me, and I did not have the funds to do this.”

Power Restored at Hallsville Campuses Following Morning Outage

HALLSVILLE — The power came back on late Wednesday morning at some campuses in the Hallsville Independent School District after they reported an outage earlier in the day. According to KETK, word of the power loss came in around 9 a.m. There was no immediate word on what caused the outage.

Tyler Firefighters Respond to Early Morning House Fire

thumb_tyler-fire-dept-logoTYLER — Crews spent nearly 3 1/2 hours on the scene of a Tyler house fire Wednesday morning. The Tyler Fire Department was dispatched to 618 E. Vance St. at 6:07 a.m. According to a news release, the first arriving units reported heavy fire involvement in the residence and immediately sounded a second alarm. Five engines and one ladder company, along with a district chief and an investigator, responded to the scene. Firefighters gained control of the fire and were clear from the scene around 9:30 a.m. The home was occupied at the time of the fire, but no injuries were reported. Fire investigators report that the cause remains under investigation at this time. The American Red Cross was notified and will be assisting the family.

Wanted Person Considered Armed and Extremely Dangerous

11024675_860791450645269_1921504907775382645_oTYLER — Tyler Police are searching for a dangerous suspect they believed is in the area. According to authorities, on Monday March 2, Troy Mason assaulted a member of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office while they were attempting to arrest him for a warrant. The charge is out of Palestine for continuous sexual assault of child under 14. Mason reportedly fled the location in a white 2010 Ford F250, with Texas License Plate – AP93691. Mason also has pending charges related to child pornography. Police say he’s is a known methamphetamine user. Law enforcement believe that Mason is currently somewhere in Tyler. If you locate the suspect or vehicle, please contact local law enforcement agency immediately.

Suspect in Fatal Longview Shooting Released from Jail

DocumentFragment_4850416LONGVIEW — An East Texas man who was arrested in connection with a February shooting has been released from jail. According to KETK, Christian Sibley, 21, Tyler, was arrested Friday, for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and escaping from custody. He was released Monday after posting bail. On February, 3, police responded to a reported shooting an Exxon gas station in the 3000 block of Estes Parkway. Police said Jerrad Hunt showed up at a local hospital with a gunshot wound. Hunt passed away Monday, February 23. Read the rest of this entry »

Pre-Trial Proceedings in Tiede Case Moved to March 31

bernie_tiede_news_journalCARTHAGE — Pre-trial proceedings scheduled for Tuesday in the Bernie Tiede case have been pushed back to March 31. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report both sides agreed to delay a hearing until that date. Tiede’s life sentence was thrown out because of a mental condition that officials say was overlooked. The case, which inspired the movie “Bernie,” involved the 1997 murder of 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent in Carthage.

Guilty Plea in “Kari’s Law” Trial

54f3f8a579371.imageMARSHALL — A guilty plea has been entered in the so-called “Kari’s law” trial. KETK reports Brad Allen Dunn pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder in the death of Kari Rene Dunn. The defendant was arrested in December 2013 for stabbing his wife to death in a hotel room while their nine-year-old daughter tried to call police. The call wouldn’t go through because the little girl didn’t know she had to dial 9 for an outside line before calling 911. The case has prompted efforts to eliminate the need to dial 9 in such situations, and those efforts have become known as “Kari’s law.” The trial moved into the sentencing phase after the guilty plea was entered.

Photographer Sentenced for Sexual Exploitation of Children

todd_flemingTYLER – A McKinney, Texas photographer has been sentenced to federal prison for sexual exploitation of children. Todd Fleming, 54, pleaded guilty on October 2, 2014, to sexual exploitation of children and was sentenced yesterday to 240 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider. Fleming will be required to register as a sex offender and serve a life term of supervised release upon his release from federal prison. Read the rest of this entry »

Longview Man Sentenced in Cocaine/Marijuana Conspiracy

antoniogonzalesmugTYLER – – A Longview man has been sentenced to federal prison for his involvement in a drug conspiracy. Antonio Cortez Gonzales, 35, was sentenced to 136 months in federal prison Tuesday in Tyler by United States District Judge Michael H. Schneider. Gonzales had entered a guilty plea on October 2, 2014 on charges he conspired with others to distribute cocaine and marijuana. According to federal authorities, Gonzales, along with his co-defendants, distributed drugs including cocaine and marijuana in the Longview area. Drugs were shipped from an individual in Houston to Gonzales’s residence, where he then distributed the drugs to other people. Gonzales was indicted on August 28, 2013. As part of his sentence, Gonzales was also ordered to forfeit a money judgment in the amount of $336,000, a residence in Longview, a vehicle, three firearms, and ammunition.

ETMC Now Offers Express Care for Non-Emergency Needs

thumb_ETMC-hospital-sign-2TYLER — ETMC First Physicians is now operating an express clinic offering walk-in urgent care at ETMC South Broadway, according to a news release. “Express clinic care means no appointments and no waiting behind patients with life-threatening emergencies,” said Dr. Steven Cooley, ETMC First Physician. “You can get fast service for minor injuries and illnesses such as broken bones, lacerations, urinary tract infections, rashes, fevers, coughs, colds, headache, sore throat, earache or flu-like symptoms.” Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler ISD BOND 2013 Construction Update

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER – As spring nears, significant completion phases also near for Tyler ISD BOND 2013 construction projects. Projects include the new Career and Technology Center (CTC), two new middle school campuses at the existing Moore MST Magnet School and Boulter Middle School locations, the new Three Lakes Middle School and renovations and additions to Dixie and Rice elementary schools. All projects are on schedule to be completed before the 2015-2016 school year, according to a TISD news release. Read the rest of this entry »

Flint Man Sentenced in Drug Conspiracy

isaacsmithmugTYLER — A Flint man has been sentenced to federal prison for his involvement in a drug conspiracy. Isaac Dion Smith, also known as “Ike”, 34, was sentenced yesterday to 144 months in prison by United States District Judge Michael H. Schneider in Tyler. Smith had entered a guilty plea on October 14, 2014, on charges he conspired with others to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. According to information presented in court, Smith, along with his co-defendants, distributed drugs including methamphetamine and heroin in the north Tyler area. Firearms were also bartered and sold by the group. The group was supplied by sources primarily in the Dallas area. Read the rest of this entry »

Police: Former DA Had Cocaine, Revolver in Car when Arrested

greggcountydaLONGVIEW — A former Gregg County District Attorney allegedly had cocaine, a revolver, alcohol, and cash in his car when he was arrested in February. KETK reports that the information is contained in documents obtained Monday by the Longview News-Journal. Longview police say they found Robert “Rob” Riter Foster, 69, after his vehicle became stuck in the median in the 3000 block of North Eastman Road. Police say Foster had a “full glass of an unknown liquid” which smelled of alcohol and a plastic bag with a rolled-up bill and a white, powdery substance inside. A field test determined the substance was cocaine, according to officials. Foster’s phone and wallet were also reportedly covered in the powder. Police reported also finding two open alcohol containers and a loaded .38-caliber revolver in the vehicle.

East Texas Homeowner Shoots at Alleged Robbers

SheriffatEventCHEROKEE COUNTY — Cherokee County officials are investigating a reported home invasion. It happened around 3:25 Monday morning in the 6000 Block of FM 1247, just outside of Wells. According to KETK, a call to emergency services stated someone tried to break into the residence and the homeowner had fired shots at them. The homeowner reportedly chased the suspects through the pasture behind the home. The homeowner returned some time later. He had apparently been knocked unconscious for a short period of time by one of the criminals. It is believed the homeowner shot and wounded at least one of the two suspects. Read the rest of this entry »

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