NORTHEAST TEXAS – Wildlife biologists are advising persons in rural areas of Northeast Texas to be aware of bears. At least four sightings have been documented on game trail cameras between June and late August, and one of those was in Smith County. Wildlife biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department speculate the bears, which appear to be young males, are looking to establish their own new home ranges. They may have come from Oklahoma and Arkansas where bear numbers have increased in recent years. … Read More
GILMER – A two vehicle accident in Upshur County has left one person dead and one injured. It occurred just before 8:30 Thursday morning on U.S. Highway 271 near Gilmer. Dead at the scene was Leno Garza Aguirre, 20, of Mt. Pleasant. Taken to East Texas Medical Center-Pittsburg for treatment was James Fuller, 47, of Jacksonville. The preliminary report from the Department of Public safety says Aguirre was traveling at an unsafe speed on the wet road. His car lost traction and started to skid and rotate. It crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and hit Fuller’s vehicle.
MARSHALL – The burn ban in Harrison County has been lifted. The ban was approved by the county commissioners on October 10th. County Judge Hugh Taylor signed the order Thursday lifting the ban. It was effective at noon on Thursday. The ban was terminated after the judge visited with County Fire Marshal Thomas Mock. After reviewing the current rain and moisture conditions, he said conditions had improved.
KILGORE – One person has been killed in a one vehicle accident in Kilgore. The victim has been identified as Christy Lynn Pierson, 40, of Kilgore. The accident occurred shortly after 7:00 Thursday morning on U.S. Highway 259 at Synergy Drive. Kilgore police say her SUV was heading south when it accidentally ended up in the turn lane. When she tried to return to her lane, she overcorrected and crashed. Pierson was pronounced dead at the scene. Three passengers were sent to Good Shepherd Medical Center Kilgore for treatment of minor injuries.
RUSK — A Rusk ISD school bus was involved in an accident Thursday morning leaving several students injured. According to the Department of Public Safety, the #7 school bus was traveling on CR 4274 approaching a sharp curve to the right. The bus then went off the roadway to the left and struck a tree with its right front. Seven children were transported to area hospitals in Jacksonville with minor injuries. The bus driver was not injured. The investigation is ongoing.
LUFKIN – A former Lufkin teacher and cheerleading coach has been arrested. Mary Ainsley Thigpen, 29, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on a charge of improper relationship between educator and student. She turned herself in at the Angelina County Jail after an arrest warrant was issued for her. She is currently free on bond. According to a news release from the school district, when the allegation surfaced, campus police started an investigation. When told about the complaint, and that she would be placed on administrative leave, Thigpen resigned.
LUFKIN – An arrest warrant is out for the former cheerleader coach at Lufkin High School. Mary Ainsley Thigpen, 29, of Lufkin, is being charged with an improper relationship between educator and student. According to a news release from the school district, when the allegation surfaced, campus police started an investigation. When told about the complaint, and that she would be placed on administrative leave, Thigpen resigned.
RUSK COUNTY – A Rusk County man is free on bond after being charged with animal cruelty. Larry Antone “Tony” Cadwell, 50, turned himself in on Tuesday. He had earlier reported two of his horses missing. When authorities went to his property off Farm Road 1251, they found nearly two dozen emaciated horses. KETK reports, on Tuesday, officials obtained an order to seize the animals. They seized 23 horses, including the two that hand been reported missing. As the investigation continues, additional charges may be filed.
TYLER – Tyler is seeing a steady improvement in the quality of it’s water. Tyler Water Utilities continues to be in compliance with lead and copper standards for drinking water. This has come as the result of making several process changes that started nearly a year ago. The city recently collected 100 water samples for the second half the year. The test results show a continuing decline in lead and copper levels. The city says this verifies the effectiveness of the water treatment process improvements put in place last winter. … Read More
ANGIER, NC — A Tyler man is in custody in North Carolina on drug charges. Pineda Franky Garcia, 37, remains in jail under a $1 million bond. Sheriff’s deputies were responding to a complaint when they uncovered 50 pounds of liquid methamphetamine with a value of $4.5 million. According to the Daily Record in Dunn, North Carolina, investigators say the drug would have been crystallized before it could be sold. They estimate the liquid would have transformed into around 30 pounds of crystal meth. Garcia has been charged with felony trafficking in methamphetamine and felony manufacturing methamphetamine.
TYLER – A student has been arrested after bringing a gun to school. Arrested Tuesday was Dennis Wayne Forte, 18. The Robert E. Lee student is said to have brought a BB gun to school and threatened to use it. He was detained by the school district police department and then booked into the Smith County Jail on a charge of making a terroristic threat. He was released after posting $750 bond.
AUSTIN — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned a Tyler couple’s conviction and prison sentence for injury to a child. KETK reports that Kenneth and Shelley Walker were sentenced to 25 years behind bars after being found guilty of placing their two-year-old granddaughter, Bridget Walker, into a bathtub filled with scalding water. The toddler was severely burned on her feet and ankles and was flown to a Dallas hospital for treatment. In September 2014, the two were denied their appeal by the Twelfth Court of Appeals and began serving their sentence immediately. The higher court concluded evidence in the case would “merely raise a suspicion of guilt” and evidence did not support injury to a child beyond a reasonable doubt.… Read More
GREGG COUNTY — A Chicago man is killed in a two vehicle wreck on Interstate 20 early Wednesday morning. According to the Department of Public Safety report, it happened around 1:20 on the eastbound side of I-20 near the Texas 31/U.S. 259 South exit. Officials said a 2016 International Cub Cadet truck tractor with towed semi-trailer was traveling east on I-20 in the outside lane when a 2002 Mazda Protégé entered the outside lane in front of the truck from the shoulder. The truck struck the Mazda causing it to hit the guard rail and then rebound back into the outside lane and become trapped between the truck and its towed semi-trailer. The Mazda and the trucks towed trailer caught fire. The driver of the Mazda was identified as Amando Vega, 77, Chicago, IL.… Read More
TYLER — A suspect has been arrested in the act of reportedly robbing a gas station. Tyler police said they were called to the Super Food Mart gas station, 2030 Gentry Parkway, around 11:45 last night regarding a burglary in progress. A Precinct 1 Deputy Constable was holding the suspect at gunpoint and requested assistance. The Constable said he was driving by the gas station and noticed a man walking into the store wearing a black hoodie and covering his face. The Constable found the suspect, armed with a knife, in the act of robbing the clerk and ordered him to the ground while he waited for responding officers. Martiness Jones-Bigham, 21, Tyler, was booked into the Smith County Jail on a robbery charge.… Read More
TYLER — A visually impaired man has been critically injured in a car-pedestrian accident in Tyler. It occurred around 6:15 Tuesday night just west of the intersection of West Front and South Glenwood in front of the Cotton Belt Building. He was hit by a west bound vehicle as he was walking across the street. Tyler police report he was hospitalized with potentially life threatening injuries.
TYLER – The Chairman of Tyler’s Planning and Zoning Commission, David Hudson, has been named as the American Planning Association Texas Chapter’s 2016 Planning Commissioner. This award is given in recognition of Commissioner Hudson’s extensive involvement with the commission and his integrity towards Tyler. Hudson, who currently is a member of the Board of Trustees at Tyler Junior college, is currently serving his eleventh year on Tyler’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Hudson, who is a former state representative, will be honored at the annual APA Texas Chapter conference that will be held in San Antonio from November 2 to 4.
EAST TEXAS — The University of Texas at Tyler Longview University Center and Texas State Technical College in Marshall have developed a partnership. It is designed to provide students a pathway to a bachelor’s degree. Students majoring in computer aided drafting and design, industrial maintenance, industrial controls technology and computer aided manufacturing will earn an associate of applied science from TSTC. Then they can pursue the UT Tyler bachelor of science in industrial technology degree at the Longview University Center. The program is unique in that in addition to a heavy dose of technical courses, students earn a minor in business administration.
TYLER – Citing what they call significant competitive pressure combined with unfavorable economic conditions, Brookshire’s Grocery Company will be laying off around 85 employees. According to Ellen Reynolds, the company’s Communications Manager, the layoffs will affect corporate, manufacturing and logistics areas within the company. With the layoffs comes the closing of the company’s bakery. A news release said there will be no impact to the company’s approximately 14,400-plus employees in retail and other support functions. Affected employees will receive severance and transition assistance.
LONGVIEW – Wednesday is National Unity Day, the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month. And everyone on the Longview school campuses are being asked to wear orange. This is to send a message of support, hope, and unity against bullying. Sarah Lebus, the Longview School District’s Communications Officer says bullying is not a big problem on Longview campuses, but it is nation-wide. It is estimated that one out of 4 school-aged children will be bullied this year. That is upwards of 13,000,000 students.
LONGVIEW – A Gladewater man is free on bond following his arrest on drug charges. Jeremy Lynn Young, 35, was arrested on Spur 63 as Gregg County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit unit and Special Investigations and Apprehension Unit executed a search warrant. During the search, officers seized a quantity of methamphetamine and assorted drug paraphernalia. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was released from the Gregg County Jail on Monday on a $10,000.
LONGVIEW – Three persons have been arrested as special law enforcement units in Gregg County executed a narcotic search warrant. The warrant was served at a South 12th Street home. Taken into custody were Richard Reed, 46, (pictured) Blake Irving Thomas, 22, and Quinndale LaShun Wofford, 27, all of Longview. In the house officers seized narcotics, including marihuana, ecstasy, Xanax, synthetic cannabinoid, and powdered cocaine. They also recovered a stolen pistol, magazines, and ammunition. Reed and Wofford, besides having outstanding warrants have been charged with drug violations. Thomas, besides a drug violations, was charged with a felon in possession of a firearm.
LONGVIEW — A Longview man has been arrested following a double stabbing earlier this month. Taken into custody was Johnathan Sosa, 18. He is accused of stabbing two persons at a home on Hughes Street October 7th. The investigation led officers to Sosa. He was arrested by Gregg County sheriff’s deputies at a home on Valentine Lane last Friday. He was booked into the Gregg County Jail on the outstanding warrants of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault family violence with a weapon. Sosa remains in the Gregg County Jail on $25,000 bond.
SMITH COUNTY — A North Texas teenager has been arrested in Smith County. According to Smith County judicial records, LaDarrion McWarren Johnson, 17, of Denton, has been jailed on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of evading arrest. The evading arrest charge stems from an incident in Denton County. According to KETK, Johnson was scheduled to appear in the 241st District Court of Judge Jack Skeen on Friday, October 7, but failed to appear following his indictment September 1. The crimes for which Johnson is accused allegedly occurred in May. Johnson was booked into the Smith County Jail on Monday. His bond was set at $1,000,000. A plea docket agreement hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, November 9, with a trial date of Tuesday, November 14.
SMITH COUNTY — A Lindale man who was hospitalized following an officer-involved shooting is now in jail. According to KETK, Jeremy Randal Wood, 26, was booked into the Smith County Jail on Monday after being released from the hospital. On Friday, September 30, Lindale police responded to a 911 call from Jackie’s Office Club on South Main Street on reports of a “man with a gun.” When officers arrived on scene scene, police say they spotted a white male with a gun. He was later identified as Wood. Officers gave Wood several commands to drop the gun, but he refused and allegedly pointed the weapon at police. One officer fired a shot and hit Wood in the chest. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.… Read More
KILGORE — Authorities are investigating a September house fire in Kilgore as arson. According to KETK, back in mid-September, a home in the 700 block of Martin Luther King Street burned to the ground. The incident is being investigated as arson and insurance fraud, according to Kilgore Fire Marshal Brandon Bigos. Due to the open investigation, a cause or other information related to the blaze could not be released. The house destroyed was also the home of Sheryia Grant, 20, of Kilgore and her sister. Grant disappeared at eight months pregnant in August, however, Bigos said there is no link between the two cases.… Read More
TYLER — Tyler Police responded to an attempted robbery at the Pac-N-Sac gas station, 403 SSE Loop 323. Officials said it happened around 12:30 this morning. The clerk said a young Hispanic man, wearing a black hoodie, armed with a knife, entered the store, walked around the counter and demanded money. The female clerk was armed with a taser and refused to comply with the suspect. She then threatened him with the taser and chased him out of the store. The suspect fled the scene on foot. Nothing was taken during the robbery and no injuries were reported.… Read More
TYLER – New food truck regulations recently approved by the The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) Board of Directors are now in effect. NET Health compared the standards to other jurisdictions. They also listened to concerns voiced by community. Net Health says the revisions comply with the Texas Food Establishment Rules, and the Texas Department of State Health Services that all restaurants, cities, counties and public health districts across the state must follow. … Read More
TROUP – A Troup woman has become the 5th person to be arrested in connection with a Smith County Murder. Tammy Lynn Dilbeck, 34, was booked into the Smith County Jail over the weekend. She has been charged with the July 13th shooting death of Jordan Ladue during a Troup robbery. She was indicted by the Smith County grand jury in the case last week and booked into jail on Saturday. She has been charged with capital murder by terroristic threat. Her bond is $1,000,000. Previously arrested in the case was Joshua Adam Scales, 29, Jana Lang 28, Casey Luna, 28, and Ralph Paul Pressley, 32. Scales is from Tyler an the others are from Troup.
EAST TEXAS – The state’s largest power generator, Dallas-based Luminant, said it will eliminate 132 jobs in December. The report comes in a release from the Texas Workforce Commision. The layoffs will occur by December 16th at Luminant’s mines in Rusk and Panola counties. The announcement of Luminant’s plans come about a month after the Westmoreland Coal Co. said it will cut about 250 Texas jobs when it closes its Jewett Mine in central Texas. Coal power plants are struggling financially as natural gas and renewable power gain market share. In a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission that was released Monday, Tim Bosecker, Martin Lake mines director wrote, “This has been a very difficult decision, but one that is required to continue to run the business efficiently.”
QUITMAN – Wood County murder trial, that was set to begin later this month has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled. The continuance was requested by the attorney for Jason Russell Walter, 41, of Mineola. He is accused of the shooting death of Christopher Jason Griffin, 19, of Mineola. The shooting occurred on Father’s Day of 2014. It stemmed from an argument that started inside a convenience store on North Pacific Street in Mineola. The shooting occurred after the argument moved outside and behind the store. Walters was at the scene with a gun when police arrived.