Category: Local News Archive

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Family Located of a Woman Found in Gladewater

Gladewater woman wandering the streetsGLADEWATER — Gladewater police have located the family of a woman found wandering along U.S. Highway 271 Thursday night. She said her name was Maria Amyla, and she may be from the Addison area. She appears to be suffering from Alzheimer’s. They are said to have made contact to a nephew of the woman. No word on how she was able to travel to Gladewater.

Smith County United Way Kicks Off 75th Anniversary Campaign

unitedway-logoTYLER — A couple of new touches were rolled out Thursday evening as the United Way of Smith County celebrated its 75th anniversary and kicked off its annual campaign. The longstanding tradition of setting a monetary campaign goal is giving way to a different approach. United Way President Nan Moore says this year’s goal is a 10% increase in participation, from 8,500 donors to 9,350. Moore calls the switch part of a “new strategic direction to focus on engagement.” Campaign chair Mandi Monk says there was also a lot of “history, excitement, and legacy” as the event honored all its past chairmen. 35 of the honorees were either on hand or represented at the kickoff. You can go to for more information.

Longview Murder Suspect Sought

Jose ZamarripaLONGVIEW — Gregg County Crimestoppers is asking for the public’s help in locating a murder suspect. He is Jose Zamarripa, 27, of Longview, a suspect in a fatal south Longview shooting in January. He is a suspect in the death of Omar Hernandez, 22. Jail records show Zamarripa has been arrested five times under the name “Jose Maria Ibarra.” Charges range from possession of a controlled substance in 2007 to unlawfully carrying a weapon. Gregg County Crime Stoppers may pay up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to the arrest of Zamarripa. Contact Crimes Stoppers online at or call 903-236-STOP (7687).

One of Two Gang Members Arrested in Rusk County

Jamarion Miguel HoustonHENDERSON — One of two known gang members wanted by Rusk County authorities is in custody. Jamarion Miguel Houston, 20 (pictured), turned himself in at the Rusk County Jail last night. Still at large is Taurus Trevion Roberson, 21. Both are from Lufkin. Roberson has 13 warrants out for him and Houston has four. The two are wanted for theft of a firearm, burglary of a vehicle, credit card abuse and abuse of the elderly. If you know Roberson’s whereabouts you are asked to contact the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office at 903-657-3581 or Rusk County Crime Stoppers at 903-655-8477.

East Texan Honored by the DPS

DPS badgeAUSTIN — A Smith County man has received one of the awards handed out by the Texas Department of Public Safety. He is State Trooper Jeremy Frazier of Tyler. He received a Lifesaving Award for his actions during a life-threatening incident last September. While on patrol, Frazier heard and responded to a request for emergency medical assistance for an unresponsive passenger in a vehicle on U.S. Highway 83 in Rio Grande City. Upon arriving at the scene, Frazier checked on the woman, removed an obstruction from her airways and began performing CPR until EMS arrived. The woman was ultimately transported by EMS to the hospital. Frazier was one of seven persons to received awards from the Texas Public Safety Commission and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Multiple Cases of Sexual Abuse of a Child Turn Up Against a Tyler Man

Rance Kevin LusbyTYLER — Smith County authorities have turned up additional cases against a man arrested earlier this year for sexual abuse of a child. He is Rance Kevin Lusby, 59. The first incident is said to have occurred in 2010 while Lusby was doing landscape work for a family. Detectives then discovered there were two separate incidents reported to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office in reference to Lusby who had been accused of similar acts of sexual abuse against two other children. They were said to have occurred in 2010 against a 3 year old female and 2011 against a 3 year old boy. These two cases were investigated previously but were subsequently suspended due to lack of sufficient evidence. As the investigation continued, more evidence surfaced and Lusby was arrested back in April. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Gang Members Sought in Rusk County

Taurus Trevion RobersonHENDERSON — Two known gang members are being sought by Rusk County authorities on a variety of charges. They’re asking for the public help in locating Taurus Trevion Roberson, (pictured) 21, and Jamarion Miguel Houston, 20, both of Lufkin. Roberson has 13 warrants out for him and Houston has four. The two are wanted for theft of a firearm, burglary of a vehicle, credit card abuse and abuse of the elderly. If you know their whereabouts you are asked to contact the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office at 903-657-3581 or Rusk County Crime Stoppers at 903-655-8477.

Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin Welcomes Endangered Jaguar

zoogate3LUFKIN (AP) – An endangered jaguar has been born at an East Texas zoo as part of a breeding program called the Species Survival Plan. The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin on Thursday announced the birth of the male cub. The jaguar was born Aug. 20 and named Balam, which is the Mayan word for jaguar. The animal weighed 1 pound, 6 ounce at birth, but has since grown to about 2 pounds. A zoo statement says the parents are 8-year-old Seraphina and 3-year-old Kabah. Zoo experts are tending to the cub because the first-time mother was not nursing her offspring and the newborn required special attention. The cub is not yet on public display.

Smith County Extension Agent Retiring

Keith HansenTYLER — Smith County Extension Agent Keith Hansen is retiring. Hansen, who has served nearly 30 years as an Extension Horticulture Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, with 23 years in Smith County, he is retiring at the end of this month. Hansen said he felt like now is the right time to retire in order to spend more time with family and to try out new ventures. He will continue his business of creating and maintaining websites for businesses, while keeping his hand in the horticulture world, consulting and speaking when asked. He said he is also going to try garden coaching, giving guidance to do-it-yourself gardeners. He plans to continue blogging and is developing his new website, and is contemplating writing a book. Read the rest of this entry »

Officers in Longview Shooting Identified

CO2 pistol Joshua Kennon Thomas hadLONGVIEW — Three Longview police officers, on administrative leave following a shooting, have been identified. They are are Dustin Ashworth, John Delgado, and Armando Juarezortega. Officer Delgado has been identified as the one who fired his gun, wounding Joshua Kennon Thomas, 17. Thomas was said to have been hit several times. He is hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries. Read the rest of this entry »

Police: Life-Threatening Injuries Sustained in Longview Shooting

police lightsLONGVIEW — One Longview neighborhood had two shootings in less than 24 hours Tuesday. According to KETK, police think it’s all about drugs. They say one person has life-threatening injuries after a shooting around 9 p.m. near the intersection of Mobberly and Idylwood. Police report it was a robbery; three people in a car included the man who was shot. The man they believe to be the shooter was outside the car. Officer Kristie Brian says, “After talking to the victim as well as the other two people…the exact shooting address is unknown at this time. Apparently they were down there in that area looking for things they probably shouldn’t have been looking for…and…it ended up being a robbery.” Brian says one section of town is not any more dangerous than any other; it just depends on what people are doing in a given area. Police ask that you contact them with any information.

Source: Wrong-Way Driver Accepts Plea Deal

Shelby TaylorHENDERSON — A source close to the case says Shelby Taylor, who is charged with three counts of intoxication manslaughter, has accepted a plea deal. According to KETK, the source says Taylor, 23, of Henderson, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight years in prison for each charge. The sentences are to run concurrently, so she will not serve more than eight years, according to the source. Taylor had previously entered a not guilty plea and was being held in the Rusk County Jail on $750,000 bond. The suspect had been out on bond since July of last year, until she was re-arrested earlier this month for failing to pay bonds. Taylor is accused of killing three people in a July 2014 accident near Kilgore. The wreck took the lives of a 43-year-old woman and her two children, ages 5 and 12, all from Caldwell, Texas.

Officials Seek Registered Sex Offender

JamieDaleWAlekr2_1440597011544_4493352_ver1.0HENDERSON — An East Texas man is wanted by the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly evading arrest. KETK reports Jamie Dale Walker, a registered sex offender, is also wanted by the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office for contempt of court. If you have any information on Walker call Rusk County Crime Stoppers at 903-655-8477 or the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office at 903-657-3581.

Good Shepherd Seeks Partner for Health System

Good-Shepherd-Medical-Center-2LONGVIEW — Good Shepherd Health System, which has been struggling to achieve financial viability and meet federal standards, is seeking an affiliation with a non-profit health care system. The Longview News-Journal report members of its boards were given the news Tuesday evening. Steve Altmiller, president and CEO of the Longview-based hospital system, told hospital staff in a message Wednesday morning the move is intended to allow Good Shepherd Medical Center and its affiliates in Marshall, Kilgore, and elsewhere to continue providing community-based health care. The benefits, he said, would include the resources, experiences, and skills available in a larger health system. It also would provide financial resources needed for the hospital to make needed improvements, according to Altmiller. Read the rest of this entry »

New Job Development Coming Soon to Tyler

image002TYLER — The City of Tyler announced Wednesday that Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), a major health care organization, has chosen Tyler over multiple competing locations as the site of its new medical business office support facility. In addition to the already existing 120 jobs currently filled in FMCNA, the facility will add between 300-350 more new jobs to Tyler’s economy, according to a city news release. Mayor Martin Heines says in the release that the addition will be “in line with the goal of the Industry Growth Initiative.” Heines adds that the goal “was to capitalize upon Tyler’s strengths,” including the community’s strong medical industry, to bring well-paying jobs to Tyler. Read the rest of this entry »

Palestine Man Sworn in as Texas Lottery Chief

Doug LoweAUSTIN — Palestine resident Doug Lowe has been sworn in as commissioner of the Texas Lottery Commission. Lowe was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott August 10 but was constitutionally required to take the oath of office before assuming his duties. His term is set to expire Feb. 1, 2017. In a news release, Lowe says he’s “honored” by the appointment and welcomes the opportunity to lead the agency. Lowe is a solo practitioner at the Lowe Law Firm and previously served as Anderson County district attorney for 16 years.

ATV Fatality in Nacogdoches County

Nacogdoches County Sheriffs patchNACOGDOCHES — A foreign exchange student from Armenia has been killed in an ATV accident in Nacogdoches County. Lilit Ishxan Gevorgyan, 16, is thought to have lost control of the vehicle on the side of a hill. KETK reports she was rushed to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The accident happened on private property off County Road 425. The investigation into the accident is continuing.

Local Charities Get $120,000 in Grants

east-texas-communities-foundationTYLER — The East Texas Communities Foundation has announced the recipients of $120,000 in grants from the Retail Merchants Association of Tyler Charitable Fund. 19 non-profits were invited to apply for funding for what were termed “strong projects based on good ideas and compelling needs which have the potential to improve the community and the lives of its people.” 16 area charities requested approximately $330,000 in funding during this grant cycle. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Longview Officers on Paid Leave Following Shooting

MobberlyShooting_1440529600868_4462239_ver1.0LONGVIEW — Three police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave after an officer-involved shooting Tuesday morning in Longview. According to KETK, officers were on the scene of a suspicious activity call in the 500 block of Mobberly Avenue around 3:42 a.m. when they encountered several men in a store parking lot. When officers approached them, 17-year-old Joshua Kennon Thomas reportedly produced what appeared to be a handgun from his waistband. One officer fired his duty weapon several times, striking the suspect. Read the rest of this entry »

TPW Awards $400,000 Grant to Build The Green

KLB-webLONGVIEW — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has awarded Keep Longview Beautiful a $400,000 matching grant to build The Green. According to a news release from the city of Longview, the nine-acre project is “a community driven greenspace that will enrich the lives of all East Texans.” Officials say matching grant partners are Longview Economic Development Corp., the city of Longview and Gregg County. The Green, a $1.2 million dollar outdoor facility, will be located at the Highway 31 and Spur 63 entryway into Longview. The tract adjoins the new entryway Keep Longview Beautiful is building in partnership with TxDOT and Keep Texas Beautiful. Completion for the entrance project is slated for this fall. Read the rest of this entry »

Patrick Endorses Hughes for State Senate

voting-computerAUSTIN – State Representative Bryan Hughes of Mineola has picked up a key endorsement in his campaign to succeed retiring Kevin Eltife in the Texas Senate. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has announced his backing of Hughes, who’s opposed by fellow Republican state Representative David Simpson of Longview. In a press statement, Patrick calls Hughes “a principled and reliable conservative.” Patrick says he has already committed to appear at two fundraising events in support of Hughes, one in Austin September 1 and one in Tyler later this fall. Both candidates have long lists of supporters as they look ahead to the March 2016 GOP primary. You can visit and to view those lists and learn more about each candidate.

Tyler Stabbing Suspect Sought

stabberTYLER — Tyler Police are searching for a suspect wanted in an aggravated assault. It happened around 12:30 Tuesday morning at 332 west Heritage. Officers said when they arrived at the scene, they found a man with a stab wound to his leg. Witnesses told the officers the victim was stabbed by Gustavo Guardado (pictured) during an argument, then fled on foot. Read the rest of this entry »

Phone Scam Soliciting Money for Tyler Police Department

police-tyler-badgeTYLER — The Tyler Police Department is warning of a new scam. Officials say the department has received a few phone calls reporting that someone has been calling residences and soliciting money for the Tyler police Department. According to a police department news release, “The police department does not solicit citizens by phone, so we ask that you please do not donate funds.”

Smith County Budget, Tax Rate Adopted

smithcounty-sealTYLER — The Smith County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Monday to approve the Fiscal Year 2016 balanced budget and the unchanged tax rate, according to information from the county. Officials say the budget addressed adequate funding for law enforcement and jail operations; improvements to county roads and infrastructure; hiring and retaining qualified, motivated employees; and continued improvements to facilities and technology. The tax rate remains at 33 cents per $100 valuation. There will be an increase of $974,665 in tax revenue added to the tax roll this year due to new construction. The Court also voted unanimously to adopt the FY2016 Salary Plan. Read the rest of this entry »

Company to Close Historic Downtown Lufkin Foundry

GELogoGE_1440440840798_4388513_ver1.0LUFKIN (AP) — A company has announced plans to close a historic foundry located downtown in the East Texas city of Lufkin and further reducepositions at a facility south of the town. The Lufkin News reports that officials with General Electric/Lufkin Industries announced the plans Monday, citing increasingly challenging market conditions. Laura Bauer, a GE Oil and Gas spokeswoman, said 262 positions will be eliminated across the foundry and the Buck Creek facility. Monday’s announcement puts an end to speculation about the foundry’s future since GE purchased Lufkin Industries in a $3.3 billiondeal in 2013. The Lufkin foundry originally began operating in 1902. Company officials had said earlier this year that market conditions could result in the closure of the downtown Lufkin foundry.

White Oak Lifts Burn Ban

thWHITE OAK — Last week’s rain continues to have an effect as the city of White Oak becomes the latest area community to lift its ban on outdoor burning. KETK reports the fire marshal is again issuing permits. Smith and Gregg counties were among the jurisdictions removing burn bans within the past week.

Fenton Road Reduced to One-Way Traffic

Road Work News FlashLONGVIEW — Beginning Tuesday, Longview’s Fenton Road will be reduced to one-way travel and one lane of traffic. The closure will be intermittent and is expected to continue for an extended period, according to a news release from the city. Through traffic will be allowed to travel along Fenton Road beginning at George Richey to the south, then will turn east towards Gilmer Road. The project, which involves the widening of Fenton Road and replacing the utilities, was approved by voters in the 2011 bond election. It’s being constructed by East Texas Bridge of Longview. If you have any questions related to construction, call the Project Manager, Kevin Jaeger, at 903-237-1112.

Three Suspects Sought After Home Invasion and Robbery

crime-sceneSMITH COUNTY — Smith County authorities are seeking the public’s help in finding three home invasion and robbery suspects. Deputies got the call around 5:30 Sunday afternoon from the 12000 block of Hwy. 64 West. The victim said he was home alone when three unidentified Hispanic males, all wearing ski masks, forced their way into the residence. At least one was armed with a handgun. The three confronted the victim, tied him up, ransacked the home, and took money and other items of value before leaving in an unknown direction. No other information was immediately available. If you have any information on the incident, contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-566-6600.

Intoxication Manslaughter Court Date Moved to October

CarlCrabtreeMug_1438289805573_3112711_ver1.0TYLER — The court date for Carl Crabtree, originally set for Monday morning, has been moved to October 12 at 10 a.m. KETK reports the suspect briefly appeared in the 241st District Court before the trial was re-scheduled. The case involves the deaths of two people stemming from an alleged drunk driving crash March 4. That’s when Crabtree, 31, of Tyler, was driving south on Old Jacksonville Highway and his vehicle crossed the center line, colliding head-on with an SUV. Read the rest of this entry »

Van ISD Students Back at School

StormPhotos 3_1431377454854_307972_ver1.0VAN (AP/Staff) — Students at Van ISD started back to school Monday morning after a tornado destroyed much of the district’s property in May. About 30 percent of the school district’s buildings were destroyed or damaged in the twister. Superintendent Don Dunn says neighboring districts and businesses have been pitching in and supplies, especially for the teachers, have been donated from across the state. Tyler ISD have provided 26 portable buildings at a charge of $1 each per year. Dunn says the district’s insurance company is set to cover at least part of the rebuilding The school board will be looking at putting a bond package together. Read the rest of this entry »

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