Category: Local News Archive
SMITH COUNTY — More repair work is planned for the Interstate Highway 20 eastbound outside lane today in Smith County. The work will occur at Mile Marker 566-567. Motorists should slow down, pay attention and expect lane closures from 7:00am to 6:00pm. Motorists can choose to take other routes if possible to avoid delays.
AUSTIN (AP) – A longtime Texas law against desecrating the U.S. or state flag has been ruled unconstitutional by the state’s highest criminal court. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday rebuked the 26-year-old ban that state lawmakers had approved shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed a nearly identical law in 1989. There are few reported cases of the law having ever been enforced. But it was challenged after police in the small East Texas town of Lovelady arrested then-20-year-old Terence Johnson in 2012 after he threw a store’s U.S. flag onto the street. Johnson, who is black, told authorities he was upset over alleged racial comments made by a clerk. Writing for the Republican-dominated appeals court in a 6-3 decision, Judge Sharon Keller said the law is “invalid on its face.”
JACKSONVILLE – Republican Jacksonville attorney Chris Day has announced he’s running for Judge of the 2nd Judicial District Court. The bench will see a new presiding judge for the first time since 2000 with the retirement of long-time Judge Dwight Phifer. Day has practiced law in Cherokee County for over two decades. He said he believes it’s critical to elect experienced Constitutional conservatives to the bench. So far, he’s opposed by fellow Republican Susie Saxion.
RUSK — The two people arrested Monday in connection with the murder of Tony Scott Brazier have been formally charged and arraigned for allegedly tampering with/fabricating physical evidence, a 3rd-degree felony. The two are identified as Crystal Williams, 33, and James Dean Kemp, 24, both of Troup. Both were reportedly present when Brazier was shot, allegedly by Doye Allen Haney, and then reportedly fled the scene in Williams’s white Chevrolet Traverse. Bonds were set at $50,000 each. Officials say other charges may be brought against Williams and Kemp depending on the outcome of the investigation. Authorities are continuing to conduct follow-up investigations related to the murder. If other individuals are found to have been involved, charges may be pursued against them as well, according to officials.
SMITH COUNTY — Authorities are investigating after human remains were found in eastern Smith County. Officials say around 3:15 Tuesday afternoon, Smith County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies and detectives responded to a call of possible human skeletal remains being located in a remote area off Farm Road 850 near County Road 2222 in the Chapel Hill area. Investigators say the remains were still clothed and had apparently been at the location for a lengthy period of time. A wallet was located inside the pants pocket, but there was no identification. Sheriff’s patrol deputies, detectives, and members of the Alert Academy in Big Sandy searched for additional clues at the scene. Officials say it is not known at this time if foul play is involved. An attempt is being made to determine if the remains are those of a Smith County resident who has been missing for about one year in that area of the county.
TYLER (AP) – Papers dating back to the 1800s detailing the life of a Tyler judge are set to be handed over to the state. Judge M.H. Bonner’s papers will be donated Friday to the Texas State Archives. That’s according to Daye Collins, an official with the Bonner-Whitaker-McClendon House (pictured), a historic Tyler home built by the judge’s daughter and her husband that can be toured. The Bonner family gave the papers to the house two decades ago. But Collins tells the Tyler Morning Telegraph that eventually the state asked for the collection, which includes letters to Texas officials. Bonner served in Tyler as a district judge from 1873 until becoming a Texas Supreme Court associate justice in 1878. He returned to private practice in Tyler in 1882 and died the next year.
ATHENS — A big prescription drug smuggling ring is busted in East Texas, and two people are headed to prison. More than 100,000 bogus pills were shipped from China to Texas. Those shipments contained fake versions of Xanax, Valium, Viagra, Ambien, and more. Tom Giddens and Wanda Hollis from Athens face more than a year in prison for their role in the case — and another woman, also from Athens, faces sentencing at a later date. Investigators say most of the pills contained entirely different active ingredients from legitimate versions.
TYLER — Michael and Lisa Lujan of Mentoring Minds are the winners of this year’s T.B. Butler Award as Tyler’s top citizens. Mentoring Minds is a Tyler-based educational resource company. The award was one of several handed out Tuesday night at the annual meeting of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. Patrick Willis of the non-profit management consulting firm Abegg Willis and Associates won the W.C. Windsor Award as top citizen under age 40. Large Business of the year is Suddenlink Communications; The Genesis Group was named Small Business of the Year. Volunteer of the Year honors went to Chad Cargile. The new Chamber chair is Bob Westbrook, with Claude Henry serving as chair-elect.
MARSHALL — Two Longview men have pleaded guilty to a Daingerfield bank robbery. Latarious Martez Hughes (pictured), 21, and Kenneth Duane Hooks, 23, both pleaded guilty in federal court in Marshall Tuesday to their involvement in the armed robbery of the 1st National Bank of Hughes Springs, Daingerfield Branch, in February. Hughes is facing up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Hooks is facing up to twelve and one half years in prison and a $125,000 fine. A sentencing date for the pair has not been set. All but $7,566 of the stolen cash was recovered from Hughes and Hooks’ residence. Both men will be required to repay the missing $7,566 to the bank.
LAKEPORT — The Lakeport police chief has been injured and a woman arrested following an altercation. The incident occurred during a traffic stop shortly after noon on Tuesday on Farm Road 968 near the Shady Grove mobile home park. According to KETK, the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office says Chief Wesley Freeman suffered head injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. Arrested was Felesia Meshaun Ford, 40, of Longview. She was taken into custody by Harrison County sheriff’s deputies on Interstate Highway 20. Her charges include aggravated assault of a public servant, evading arrest or detention with a vehicle and she is named in some Gregg County warrants.
NASHVILLE, TENN. (AP) — Country stars Miranda Lambert of Lindale and the late Johnny Cash, along with famed blues musician Steve Cropper, were honored with stars on the Music City Walk of Fame. The artists represent the kind of multi-genre talent that has been drawn to Nashville, Tennessee, for decades. Lambert, a two-time Grammy winner originally from Texas, said she recently moved back to the city and felt more inspired by the city’s music than ever before.
SMITH COUNTY — Concrete repair work is underway today for the Interstate Highway 20 eastbound outside lane in Smith County at Mile Marker 566-567 (in the vicinity of Highway 155). Crews will have a work zone in place till 6:00pm. Motorists are reminded to slow down, pay attention, be patient, and be prepared to stop as brief delays may be necessary during this work.
LAKEPORT — The Lakeport police chief was injured Tuesday afternoon in an altercation during a traffic stop that triggered a wild chase. KETK reports the injury occurred on FM 968 near the Shady Grove mobile home park. The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office says Chief Wesley Freeman suffered head injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. Harrison County Lt. Jay Webb said Freeman was dragged behind a truck. A pursuit of the vehicle began around noon and lasted for about 40 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
LONGVIEW — Three people were arrested after Longview police responded to a vehicle burglary around 5:30 Tuesday morning on Alice Drive and found some stolen property. KETK reports that while officers were responding, they were told the victim was chasing the suspect, who was reportedly hidden in some bushes nearby. Officers say they found and arrested a man hiding in the bushes near Eva Street and Gilmer Road. The suspect told police his wife was in the area waiting to pick him up. Officers found a car a few minutes later and were able to stop and identify the two people inside as suspects. Police also found stolen property in the vehicle, and both of those suspects were also arrested. Read the rest of this entry »
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Jennifer “Jenny” Downing Yoakum of Longview and two others to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy for terms set to expire August 31, 2021. Acording to a news release from Abbott’s office, Yoakum is a pharmacist who specializes in veterinary medicine and and is pharmacist-in-charge at Med Shop Total Care, Inc. in Longview. Yoakum is a member of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, Texas Pharmacy Association, Alliance of Independent Pharmacists of Texas, National Community Pharmacist Association, and Texas Veterinary Medical Association.
TYLER ─ Two days of celebration are scheduled later this month at The Children’s Park of Tyler at South Broadway and East Dobbs. The park holds its 13th Annual Day of Remembrance Oct. 24, with the Grand Opening Celebration of Phase II and Alison’s House Oct 25. According to a news release, The Children’s Park offers opportunities for play and meditation while celebrating the lives of children, including those who have died. Phase II entails an expansion of the park, while Alison’s House provides a new addition for small events as well as new sitting areas and “critters waiting to be climbed on,” according to the release. For more information, visit http://www.childrensparktyler.org or call 903-939-1597.
CANTON — County Judge Don Kirkpatrick issued a burn ban Tuesday morning for Van Zandt County. KETK reports the ban will be in place for seven days, after which the Commissioners Court meets to consider ratifying and extending the burn ban. Officials say the ban is based on the recent increase in wildfires resulting in property loss. The current Drought Index is 700 on an 800 scale. The Drought Index is expected to reach 750 in the next 14 days. Anyone who disregards the order faces a significant fine.
LONGVIEW — Longview Mayor Andy Mack is set to deliver his State of the City Address today at Pinecrest Country Club from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Mack will be answering a few questions from the community. You can submit your questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org or send him a private message on his Facebook Page – “Andy Mack.” Read the rest of this entry »
LONGVIEW — City and county officials gathered at a Longview news conference to discuss a joint effort against crime which has rocked the city. Mayor Andy Mack said it is but a handful of people who are causing the problem. According to the mayor, “We don’t have a crime or a homicide problem in Longview. We have a gang and a drug problem and we’re going to stop it.” He said the issue is serious and they are taking it seriously. Longview has had a record-high 12 homicides this year. Longview police chief Mike Bishop said over the past few weeks they have had “extra patrols, extra units and extra personnel on the streets to deal with the gang and drug problem.” He said over that period they have made several key arrests and that Longview has been noticeably quieter.
CHEROKEE COUNTY — Two more suspects have been arrested by Cherokee County deputies on charges stemming from a fatal shooting September 28. Tony Scott Brazier, 47, was found dead inside his home on FM 235 South around 3:30 a.m. The names of those arrested and the current charges are not being released at this time due to the nature of the ongoing investigation. The U.S. Marshal’s Service arrested Doye ‘Duke’ Haney Junior, 26, Whitehouse, at the Hampton Inn on Troup Highway September 29.
GILMER — An Upshur County man has been charged with murder in the death of his wife. Roger Dale Mullins Jr., 33, is charged in the death of Angela LeeAnn Mullins, 24. He remains in the Upshur County Jail under a $1 million bond. The woman’s body was found Friday night following a standoff with law officers. She was found in the couple’s home west of Gilmer off of Farm Road 49. Officers had been called to the home following a report of a man with a gun. After Mullins surrendered, officers entered the home and found the woman’s body.
TYLER — A former school board president and former U.S. Army Major General, is announcing his campaign for the state senate. James “Red” Brown kicked off his campaign Monday in an effort to succeed retiring Senator Kevin Eltife. Brown said he will shake-up the status quo and bring hands-on, East Texas experience to set priorities and change how state government works. He is seeking the Republican nomination for state Senate District 1. “Our government has to do better,” Brown said. “We have to do better for our school kids, better for parents, better for hardworking taxpayers and better for East Texas. I know we can get better results and I want to serve as a strong East Texas voice in the Texas Senate.”
HENDERSON — The Rusk County Commissioners have approved a burn ban for the county. The ban, which was lifted in late August, was approved by the commissioner’s court at Monday morning’s meeting. The county reported only 0.02 inches of rain last month. The unconditional burn ban, which means no burning whatsoever, takes effect immediately. It will remain in effect in the unincorporated areas of Rusk County for a period not to exceed 90 days. It is just one of just over a dozen counties now under a burn ban, including Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Gregg, Henderson, Nacogdoches, Upshur and Wood.
TYLER — The punishment phase of the James Calvert murder trial has started in state district court in Tyler. Jurors last Thursday came back with a guilty verdict in the nearly three year old case. Calvert was convicted in the shooting death of his wife. Since he was found guilty of capital murder, he could get life in prison or the death penalty. Read the rest of this entry »
JACKSONVILLE — The cause of a fatal Jacksonville fire remains under investigation. The fire was reported around 3:30 Sunday morning at 723 Palestine Street. Jacksonville Fire Chief Keith Fortner tells KTBB the elderly victim was Lila Baty. She is said to have lived alone in the home. The house was extensively damaged by the fire, which is thought to have started in an east front room of the house. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the investigation.
MARSHALL — A Marshall woman is in custody after reportedly shooting at a man and barricading herself in a home. The incident was reported shortly before 12:45 Sunday afternoon at a residence on Beaver Street. According to a Marshall Police Department news release, the woman was later arrested and no injuries were reported. The woman’s name has not been released.
Motorists are advised to slow down and pay attention on Interstate Highway 20 as pavement repairs continue in the eastbound outside lane Monday, October 5 from Mile Marker 563 to 564 in Smith County. Motorists should be prepared for closures and delays. Crews will be working from 7:00am to 7:00pm. Please slow down and pay attention when driving through this and all work zones. It is important to remember that traffic could be stopped and backed up waiting to get moved through the work zone so pay attention to advance warning signs and other traffic control devices. Law enforcement is providing assistance with traffic. Read the rest of this entry »