JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville community is mourning the loss of Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Tate. His sudden passing was a shock to many. Tate passed away Saturday in Jacksonville. No word on the cause of his death. Tate started work with the Jacksonville Fire Department in June of 1988. He served as the Fire Marshall and Assistant Fire Chief. His certifications include being a Fire Inspector and Investigator, Advanced Fire Fighter, EMT-I, Fire Instructor and he recently earned his Peace Officer badge. His duties with the department included supervising and training personnel, fire prevention, fire code enforcement and fire inspections. He was 58.… Read More
TYLER – Smith County’s Assistant Fire Marshall Oren Hale is under investigation. He has been cited for failing to maintain a single lane of traffic. He could also be charged with having an open container in his vehicle. He was said to have a cup in the center console of his county fire marshal’s unit. It was said to have contained coke and bourbon. Sheriff’s deputies say, when they pulled behind Hale’s vehicle, they both saw what they described as pornography on the onboard computer monitor inside the vehicle. Smith County Fire Marshal Connie Wasson has ordered an investigation into the incident. … Read More
TYLER — A new report from The University of Texas System and UT Health Northeast shows, if Northeast Texas were a state, it would rank among the worst in terms of mortality for three of the top four leading causes of death in the U.S. The report used detailed mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The report looks at a 35-county area, covering over 25,000 square miles. This is similar in size to West Virginia. The region is home to just over 1.5 million people, over half of whom live in a rural area.… Read More
LONGVIEW – A Zika cased has turned up in Gregg County. But the disease was contracted out of the country. The woman, who had developed the symptoms, had just traveled to Puerto Rico. She went to her doctor last Thursday and a blood test confirmed the disease. The Gregg County Health Department was notified late last Friday of the confirmed Zika case. They say it was a travel related case and was not from a local mosquito bite. They continue trapping and testing mosquitoes in Gregg County and none have tested positive for the Zika Virus.
LONGVIEW – A missing Longview man has been found. Last Friday, Longview police announced they were looking for Dontavious Elliott, 30. A family member says they last saw him in March or April of this year when he was dropped off at the Highway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview. The Longview Police Department Facebook page said on Monday Elliott has been located and is “ok.”
TYLER – Tyler police are investigating a major theft that occurred over the weekend at Peltier Chervolet on the west southwest loop. The thieves entered through a fence at the rear of the building around 1:00 Sunday morning. They put 48 cars up on blocks, stealing the wheels and tires from the vehicles. The loss is placed at $250,000. Investigators feel it was the work of a professional ring that strike car dealerships all over the state, traveling from city to city.
TYLER – A former Hopkins County school teacher has been sentenced to federal prison for child exploitation violations. The U.S. Attorney’s office announced Monday That 39 year old Lucas Hill was sentenced on Friday to over 30 years in prison. He had pleaded guilty in February to coercion or enticement of a minor. He is said to have created a fictitious Facebook page to pose as a teenage boy in order to contact numerous girls. He persuaded them to engage in sexually explicit conduct, including producing images and videos of themselves engaged in sexual activity. At the time, Hill was a teacher in the Cumby school system.
SMITH COUNTY — Smith County Officials have called off the search for a suspect wanted following a traffic stop. According to KETK, Smith County Deputies received a call from DPS Troopers around 5:30 Sunday evening requesting assistance in a pursuit. Troopers were reportedly following a vehicle on Highway 31 West, near Loop 49. The vehicle was eventually stopped and two people were arrested, however, a third person jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot into a wooded area. Smith County Sheriff’s units, including a K-9, responded to the scene. The search was called off a short time later. Additional details were not available.
LONGVIEW – Beginning Monday, traffic will be open on Spring Hill Road at Grace Creek. Motorists are asked to use caution while work is being completed. This bridge work is part of the City’s capital improvement drainage fund. This project consists of replacing the bridge top slab with a wider shoulder, replacing the wing wall and retaining walls including drilled column supports. This project is being constructed by East Texas Bridge of Longview.
TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the Week of August 22. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues.
Smith County construction projects updates:
Loop 323 West Widening at Union Pacific Railroad Underpass
*Limits: Tyler’s West Loop and SH 31
*Contractor: Longview Bridge and Road, Ltd., of Longview
*Cost: $12 million
*Anticipated Completion Date: Winter 2016
The contractor continues work on the new railroad bridge and retaining walls surrounding the abutments. Sidewalk work continues along with work on Bellwood Road West. A temporary detour is in place. The project includes widening Loop 323 from SH 31 to Shaw Street. The speed limit on Loop 323 in the work zone has been reduced to 45 mph from SH 64 to Shaw Street.… Read More
TYLER – One person is in custody in connection with a Tyler stabbing. It was reported shortly after 8:30 Saturday night at 3323 Garden Valley Road. One person was said to have been stabbed in the neck with a pair of scissors. Their injuries were described as minor and were taken to the hospital for treatment. The suspect was identified as Nathan Mathew Davidson, 39, of Tyler. He was located and arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and booked into the Smith County Jail.
TYLER – One person is in custody and two are being sought in connection with a Smith County robbery. It happened Friday at a residence on Broken Bow. Once inside, the men demanded, among other things, money. One even fired his gun in the house to intimidate the victims. One of the suspects was later found on County Road 37. Derion Marquis Rhodes, 21, of Tyler, has been charged with aggravated robbery and evading arrest. He was also under active felony warrants for possession of a controlled substance. He is in the Smith County Jail under bonds totaling $63,000.
TYLER – The traffic signal at the intersection of Fifth Street and Old Omen Road is in red flash after being struck by lightning on Saturday. The intersection will remain in red flash until around 5:00 this afternoon when repairs are scheduled to complete. During this time, motorists should exercise caution and seek alternative routes if available.… Read More
TYLER – The Texas Department of Transportation is sponsoring household, workplace, and commercial vehicle travel surveys that will soon be conducted in the Tyler and Longview areas. The survey will be conducted by two transportation research firms, ETC Institute and Gram Traffic Counting. Beginning this fall, randomly-selected households and workplaces will be mailed notification letters, inviting them to participate in these voluntary surveys. Employees and visitors at participating workplaces may also be given the opportunity to contribute trip-related information as part of this effort. If asked, you are asked to consider taking part in the study. The results will help TxDOT and the Tyler and Longview Metropolitan Planning Organizations prioritize local transportation projects, improve mobility and reduce congestion.… Read More
TYLER – Tyler police had to direct traffic at several intersections Friday night because of a power outage. But the power has been restored and the signals are working normally. No word on what caused the outage. For a while officers were directing traffic at the intersection of Old Bullard and Loop 323, of East Hillsboro and East Gentry Parkway and East Martin Luther King and East Gentry Parkway.
TYLER – Power outages are causing some Tyler traffic problems tonight. Tyler police are currently directing traffic in the intersection of Old Bullard and Loop 323. Also, officers are directing traffic in the intersections of East Hillsboro and East Gentry Parkway and East Martin Luther King and East Gentry Parkway. Motorists are asked to avoid these intersections until power can be restored to the traffic signals.
TYLER – In partnership with the city of Baton Rouge and the Emergency and Disaster Services department of The Salvation Army, the City of Tyler will begin gathering requested supplies for flood victims to be transported to Louisiana next week. A collection center will be set up at the Recycle Center located at 418 North Bois D’Arc Avenue. Individuals wishing to donate may do so during business hours. Hours for the Recycle Center are Monday through Friday, 7:15am to 5:30pm and Saturday 8:00am to 2:00pm.… Read More
GILMER — A man remains in the Upshur County Jail on a sexual assault charge. The arrest warrant for Victor Andrea Mack was issued on Thursday. The warrant for Mack was issued after the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office investigated allegations that Mack had sexually assaulted the victim, who is Intellectual disabled. Mack’s bond was set at $95,000 by Justice of the Peace Judge Lyle Potter. The case remains under investigation.
GILMER- A Large wooded area north of Gilmer has yielded a large marijuana growing operation. Over 2,500 plans were found in northern Upshur County. A tip led law officers to the marijuana field Thursday afternoon. No word on who was running the operation. According to the sheriff’s department Facebook page, no one was found at the location and not arrests have been made.
FRANKSTON – A four vehicle accident Thursday just north of Frankston killed one person and left the road blocked for an extended period. The accident happened around 1:30 Thursday afternoon on State Highway 155, between Farm Roads 3506 and 2215. The wreck caused a fuel spill and Hazmat crews were called in. One lane was opened around 7:00 Thursday night. The road was fully open at 10:15. The Hazmat crew was back on Friday to work on the shoulder and excavating the roadside affected area by the spill. No word yet from the Department of Public Safety on the victim’s name.
LONGVIEW – The Longview Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing man. He is Dontavious Elliott, 30. A family member says they last saw him in March or April of this year when he was dropped off at the Highway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview. Attempts have been made by the family and the police department to locate Elliott but there have been no leads. He is a black male, 5’8″ and weighing around 160 pounds. He was last known to have a blonde streak in his hair, and a goatee about 2-3 inches in length. If you know where he can be found, you are asked to contact the Longview Police Department.
AUSTIN – There has been a slight increase in the area’s unemployment rates. Tyler’s unemployment rate for July is placed at 4.9%. The report, from the Texas Workforce Commission, says this is the same unemployment rate from July of last year. But it is up .2% from the June figure. Longview’s unemployment rate for July was 6.8%. It was 6.5% in Longview in June and 5.6% in July of last year. The state’s unemployment rate is 4.6%. The national unemployment rate is the same as Tyler’s, 4.9%.
TYLER — Tyler Police are searching for the suspect wanted in a Thursday morning robbery. Officials said it happened around 8:50 at Racetrack store, 1736 E. Gentry Parkway. Authorities said the suspect, described as a Hispanic male, 5’5” to 5’7”, 200-235lbs, wearing blue pants, camo-hoodie and glasses. The man reportedly entered the store, demanded money and fled the scene in a white 4 door car. The suspect was not armed. Contact Tyler Police with any information.
GREGG COUNTY — The Westbound lanes of Interstate 20 in Gregg County are shut down following a major wreck. According to KETK, the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office said the accident, involving an 18-wheeler, occurred near the Highway 42 exit this morning. Traffic is being detoured to the Highway 259 exit. Officials are asking that motorists avoid the area at this time. Details concerning the cause of the crash and injuries are limited at this time
FLINT — Volunteers with Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster arrived Wednesday in Louisiana to help flood victims in what is being called the worst natural disaster in America since Superstorm Sandy. A team of 12 volunteers and 3 mobile units left from Flint Baptist Church in Flint Wednesday morning. The crew will be working in Lafayette and by Friday will begin cooking meals for flood victims.… Read More
TYLER – Officials with UT Health Northeast have announced they are promoting Kris I. Kavasch to vice president and chief financial officer.She previously served them associate vice president and chief audit executive. Kavasch has previously worked for the State of Texas since 2001, including for the Office of the Attorney General, the Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.… Read More
PANOLA COUNTY – A Panola County grand jury has decided not to indict a state trooper in the shooting death of a Longview man. According to Panola County District Attorney Danny Davidson’s office, the panel no billed trooper Daniel McBride, 27, in the February shooting of Calin Roquemore, 24. He later died at Longview’s Good Shepherd Medical Center.… Read More
LONGVIEW – The third person arrested in a Longview murder has been returned to Gregg County. Jail records show Kentrell Jorail Smith, 20, was booked into the Gregg County Jail late Wednesday afternoon. His bond was set at $500,000. He had been arrested by Dallas Police in the murder of Devin Newsom, 20, of Lakeport. Previously arrested in the case were Brenndrick Lilly and Kambresha Williams. Both are 21. Both remain in the Gregg County Jail. Newsom was killed at the Food Fast convenience store on South Eastman Road near the Pittman intersection shortly before 2:00am on May 23.… Read More
TYLER – The 12th Court of Appeals in Tyler has upheld a Tyler murder conviction. The appeals court on Wednesday affirmed the conviction of Carlton Ray Champion Jr. The 22 year old former Texas College football player was found guilty last December and sentenced to life in prison, for the January 2015 death of a transgendered woman, Tyrone Lee Underwood, 24. Tyler police say the two were romantically involved at some point. Champion is said to have shot Underwood, whose car crashed into a telephone pole on West 24th Street.… Read More