TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in TxDOT’s Tyler District during the Weeks of March 27 and April 3. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones.
Smith County – Tyler Maintenance crews plan to continue base repair operations moving to SH 64W near FM 279, and on FM 206. Expect lane closures with flaggers providing traffic control at both locations. … Read More
LONGVIEW — The first ride-sharing service in Longview has launched — technically. Lyft received a permit from the city recently to operate in Longview, city spokesman Shawn Hara said Friday, but so far, the company has no vehicles registered in the city. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, it’s the first ride-sharing service company to ask for and receive a city permit. Lyft opened its service Thursday to several Texas cities, including Longview and Tyler. The San Francisco-based company doesn’t list Longview among the cities it serves, but it includes Longview and all of Gregg County in its Tyler service area, according to lyft.com. … Read More
MOUNT PLEASANT (Staff/AP) – A coach who was involved in Thursday night’s deadly crash involving a school bus has been released from the hospital. The Mount Pleasant school district shared a Facebook post Saturday evening with the update on Coach David Bagley. KETK reports he was one of four coaches on the bus that was hit by an 18-wheeler. More than 20 people were taken to the hospital after the accident. Bagley is back home recovering. There was no immediate word on the condition of the students and other coaches still in the hospital.… Read More
TYLER – Students at The University of Texas at Tyler feel the campus is safe and that the university responds to their needs. This is according to a UT System study on sexual assault and misconduct. The study also gave the university more information about students’ experiences with these behaviors. The Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments report was commissioned by the UT System. Conducted by the UT Austin Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, this is the most detailed, comprehensive survey of sexual assault and misconduct in the nation that has ever been undertaken by an institution of higher education. Busch-Armendariz, Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault director, led the research. Of the 8,400 students at The University of Texas at Tyler invited to participate in the survey, 1,149 voluntarily and confidentially completed the online questionnaire. Researchers say this is a good and typical response rate for web-based surveys.
HOUSTON (AP) – A group of 11 Cuban immigrants being detained in Texas are fighting deportation after alleging they were wrongly turned away while trying to enter the U.S. just before a longstanding immigration policy related to Cubans was rescinded. An attorney for the immigrants says they reached U.S. soil just before President Barack Obama announced on Jan. 12 the end to the policy, which allowed any Cuban to stay if they made it to U.S. soil.
WACO, Texas (AP) – A second former Baylor football player has been arrested on charges that include sexual assault. The U.S. Marshal’s Service confirms that 23-year-old Shamycheal “Myke” Chatman was arrested Thursday in Houston. A McLennan County grand jury had earlier indicted Chatman along with another former player, 22-year-old Tre’Von Armstead, who was arrested Wednesday near his hometown of Port Arthur, Texas.
MARSHALL – The Marshall Police Department continues trying to locate a theft suspect. On March 7th, shortly before 7:30am, a man walked into Walmart on East End Boulevard North and went to the electronics department. He then loaded two computers into a shopping cart and left the store without paying. Surveillance video captured the man leaving in a small white car. Anyone with information on the identity of this man is urged to call the Marshall Police Department at 903-935-4575. Those wishing to remain anonymous are asked to call Marshall-Harrison County Crime Stoppers at 903-935-9969.
JACKSONVILLE – Motorists using U.S. Highway 79 throughout this weekend are advised to use caution or take alternate routes to avoid delays. The 2017 Mud Nationals will take place between Jacksonville and New Summerfield in Cherokee County. The event runs through today. There will be traffic delays as traffic stops for check-in at the park entrance. To help alleviate delays, visitors are encouraged to turn left onto County Road 4208 prior to County Road 4209. This will cause backups to occur on the county road as opposed to the highly traveled US 79. A construction project is set up at this location but no work is occurring at this time. However, there are barricades in place and motorists are cautioned not to remove them. Law enforcement is working traffic control for the event to assist visitor entrance into the park.
AUSTIN – Unemployment in Texas is up slightly. But the jobless number has dropped in Tyler. The Texas unemployment rate in February rose slightly to reach 4.9%, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday. It was 4.7% in January. But in Tyler, the opposite is true. Tyler’s unemployment was 5% in January. It fell to 4.8% last month. It was 4.25% in February of last year. In Longview, the February unemployment rate was 6.6%. It was 6.4% in January and 5.4% in February last year.
WASHINGTON (AP/STAFF) — Republican leaders abruptly pulled their troubled health care overhaul bill off the House floor, short of votes and eager to avoid a humiliating defeat for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., withdrew the legislation after Trump called him and asked him to halt debate without a vote, according to Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong. Just a day earlier, Trump had demanded a House vote and said if the measure lost, he would move on to other issues. Among those opposing the measure is Tyler Republican congressman Louie Gohmert. Gohmert said the bill did not go through the process that its should have. Acording to Gohmert, “There were misrepresentations about things we could not get into the bill, which the bill desperately needed that would help us keep our prmises to voters because we would’t be able to get them through the senate.” Gohmert said he would not vote for the bill, “This is not what I promised people we will do. This is not repelling Obamacare, it’s not even coming close. It breaks my heart, I can not vote for this. This is not a good bill.”
MOUNT PLEASANT (AP/STAFF) – Two drivers are dead and dozens of students are injured after an 18-wheeler truck veered into oncoming traffic and struck vehicles including a bus carrying a Texas high school track team. Killed were Angrlica Beard, a first year coach who was driving a car behind the bus, and the truck’s driver, Bradley Ray Farmer, 50, of Bogard, Missouri. Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Lonny Haschel says the collision occurred late Thursday on U.S. Highway 271, about two miles south of Talco, as the Mount Pleasant High School athletes were returning from a meet. The boys’ team bus toppled over in the initial collision then the big rig struck a car driven by an assistant girls’ team coach. The girls’ team bus wasn’t involved in any collision. Superintendent Judd Marshall said that 18 students were taken to hospitals.… Read More
HENDERSON – Rusk County authorities are looking for a man they believe was responsible for a shooting on Tuesday. He is Billy Wayne Newman, 44, of Henderson. He was seen running from the scene of the shooting that wounded a man on County Road 4132. He was hospitalized for treatment. A warrant for Newman’s arrest has been issued by Justice of the Peace Joe Sorrells. He is being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
GILMER- The Upshur County Grand Jury has cleared two officers in a fatal shooting in early January. State Trooper John Smith III and sheriff’s deputy Alex Ortiz, shot and killed Dale Hightower Jr., 53, of Gilmer. Hightower had assaulted his girlfriend and was holding her against her will. He was shot after pointing a rifle at the officers and ignored multiple commands to drop his weapon. Video and audio evidence showed that both officers yelled and identified themselves. Next, the officers could be heard yelling for Hightower to put down his gun and not shoot. When Hightower took a defensive position and raised his rifle at the officers, he was shot five times. … Read More
MARSHALL – Marshall police say that Francine Robertson, 29, has been found. She had been missing since March 14th when she was seen walking in the 2300 block of West Rusk Street. Family members were concerned about her welfare because It is believed she may suffer from some sort of mental illness. The police say she has been found safe in Marshall. No other details were released.
TYLER – A Longview mother and son have been indicted on multiple federal charges of student financial aid fraud. Gracie Brisco, 54, and her son, Robert Brisco were indicted by a federal grand jury in Tyler on Wednesday. Between June 2013 and September 2015, the two are said to have misapplied, stole, and obtained by fraud, false statement, and forgery, funds, assets, and property insured under the Pell Grant Program and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs. If convicted, the defendants face up to five years in federal prison.
VAN – A Clorado woman is in the Smith County Jail following a brief chase on Interstate Highway 20. A state trooper tried to stop Nicole Diane Morris, 44, for a traffic violation shortly before 9:45 Thursday morning. She decided to run. The nearly ten minute chase ended when another state trooper deployed a spike strip on the interstate. It caused Morris to eventually stop at a truck stop near Van. She was taken into custody without incident. Morris has been charged with evading arrest, possession of a controlled substance and DWI.
LONGVIEW – A Longview doctor, injured in a March 8th traffic accident, has died. Kenneth Marshall Flory, 74, was injured in the accident at the intersection of McCann Road and Montclair. His light had turned green and, as he was driving through the intersection, he was hit by a pickup driven by Lloyd Dwayne Rogers, 37, of Lancaster. The impact caused Flory’s car to leave the roadway and strike a wooden privacy fence and a green house located northwest of the intersection. Rogers was issued a citation for disregarding a red light. Flory died from his injuries on Monday. A specialist in internal medicine, Flory was a medical doctor at Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center. Longview police say the accident remains under investigation.
TYLER – Tyler’s annual Azalea & Spring Flower Trail kicks off tomorrow morning. It started this morning at 10:00m with the ribbon cutting ceremony at 212 West Dobbs Street. That signals the opening of three weekends of activities. The flower trail starts at South Broadway and Houston and will split into two trails. Signs mark the routes. There are a host of activities, including a bike tour, a 5K and 10K run, arts and crafts fair, a tour of historic Tyler homes and a re-enactment at the Camp Ford Civil War Prison. At that’s just the tip of the ice berg. You can go to http://www.visittyler.com/azaleatrail for a trail brochure and map.
ATHENS – Two persons have been arrested at an Athens pawn shot with stolen items. Ethan Wang, 19, and Haleigh Pierce, 21, went into a local pawn shop Wednesday afternoon hoping to sell stolen items. After being alerted by a concerned resident, Henderson County Deputy John Haverly and Athens police officers checked it out. They found the items had earlier been stolen. More items from the burglary were discovered in their car along with what was believed to be a controlled substance. Both have been charged with burglary of a habitation. Pierce was also charged with possession of a controlled substance.
TYLER -– A suspicious person has turned into the arrest of a Tyler robbery suspect. Around 12:45 Thursday morning Tyler Police Sgt. Noe Balderas saw a man dressed in all black, carrying a backpack, lurking in a wooded area off Shiloh Road. As the officer approached the man, he ran away. A foot pursuit ensued, aided by two concerned citizens. During the chase, police dispatch reported that someone in the area had been robbed at knife point. With the help of the two citizens, they were able to catch the suspect. After viewing the video of the convenience store on Shiloh Road near Edinburg, they were able to identify Vincent Earl Bowie Jr., 21, of Tyler, as the robbery suspect. Bowie was also identified as being wanted in connection with aggravated robberies in Morris County and Upshur County. Bowie was booked into the Smith County Jail for aggravated robbery and evading detention on $20,000 bond.
TYLER – A man has been arrested after being accused of attacking his fiancé. It happened just before 10:00 Wednesday night on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Tyler. He is said to have assaulted the woman several times and at one point choked her. She was said to have tried to get away several times, but couldn’t. Fearing for her life, she shot the man in the leg and then locked herself in the bathroom with her 7 month old child. After being treated at the hospital for the leg wound, the man was booked into the Smith County Jail on a charge of assault family violence. His name has not yet been released. The woman was not seriously injured.
MARSHALL – Marshall police are warning about gas pump skimmers, which are now being found inside pumps and not on the outside of the machines. One way you can help from falling victim to these thieves is to enable Bluetooth on a smart phone and have it search for any unusual signals before swiping a card at the gas pump. If any signal comes back from the gas pump, the pump should not be used. You are also encouraged to keep a close watch on their bank accounts and to notify your bank immediately if you notice any suspicious activity on the account.… Read More
TEXARKANA (AP) — A former Texas mortician whose legal issues were the subject of the 2011 film “Bernie” is appealing his sentence of 99 years to life in prison in the killing of a wealthy widow. Bernie Tiede was resentenced last year for his 1999 murder conviction in the fatal shooting of Marjorie Nugent, 81, whose body was found in his freezer. In a petition filed Tuesday with the Sixth Texas Court of Appeals, Tiede’s attorneys argue that his 1997 indictment was tainted by a biased grand juror and that the jury that sentenced him was “repeatedly exposed to outside influence” in the form of non-case-related publicity, including the film in which he was played by actor Jack Black. They also say a previous plea agreement calling for a 20-year prison system was breached. Prosecutors say Tiede stole millions of dollars from Nugent.
TYLER – Two Tyler patrolmen have been honored by the Tyler City Council. Officers Brian Tomlin and Darrell Gardner have a combined 45 years of working for the Tyler Police Department. Sergeant Tomlin began his career with the Tyler Police Department in the spring of 1992. The following year he was awarded the Rookie of the Year title. He helped new officers prepare for solo assignments as a field training officer. Sergeant Tomlin was assigned to the traffic unit in 1998. Promoted to Sergeant in 2002, he currently works out of the Faulkner Station and supervises the day shift traffic officers.… Read More
GILMER – Authorities in Northeast Texas are looking for a robbery suspect. The man, said to be in his early 20s, is wanted in the robbery of a gas station in Lone Star around 12:30 Wednesday morning. Gilmer police say the same suspect was also responsible was a Gilmer robbery. No injuries were reported, but authorities stress the man is armed and should be considered to be dangerous. If you recognize him, contact your local law enforcement agency.
TYLER – The Tyler City Council has approved the city manager amending the agreement with Adams Engineering for the design of the Courtney Miller Drainage project and to authorize a contract with Capps-Capco Construction, Inc. to construct the Lake Street culvert replacement project. The Courtney Miller Drainage project, which is located between Courtney Drive and Miller Drive, has been on the Half Cent Sales Tax project list for more than 20 years. In 2006, Adams Engineering was commissioned to create an underground design for an open channel to alleviate property flooding. The project has experienced delays multiple times due to easement acquisition and funding constraints. This project is one identified in this year’s Drainage Capital Improvement Plan Strategy. … Read More
TYLER – The Tyler City Council has awarded a $4,435,000 construction contract to Gracon Construction, Inc. It’s for the Golden Road Backwash Pump Station and Clearwell Baffles project. Water from the water distribution system is curretnly used as the source for filter backwash supply water. The backwash water is used to clean the rapid sand filters, which are part of the water treatment process. Once completed, the pump station, a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requirement, will pull water from the clearwells to use in the filter backwash process. Construction is expected to begin by June and will be complete by April 2018.… Read More
AUSTIN – A North Carolina-style “bathroom bill” that targets transgender people has fully cleared the Texas Senate and is now going through a house committee. A local representative says, he favors it. House member Dan Flynn of Van says he has decided to vote in favor of the bill. Flynn says his decision is based on the number of inquiries his office has received in support of the measure. According to Flynn, “I simply cannot justify allowing men to enter into such a private area for women, and vice versa.” The bill will require all Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificates in public schools and in government-funded buildings. Even though the bill has cleared the senate, it still faces big obstacles from becoming law.
TYLER – A Tyler man accused of setting a woman on fire has been arrested by U.S. Marshals. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s office reports 25 year old Austin David Taylor was arrested around 8:00 Tuesday night. Injured in the incident earlier this month was Emily Roberts. It occurred in the Shadybrook Addition of Lake Palestine. KETK reports that family members say Roberts was burned on more than 25% of her body. She was transferred to a Dallas hospital for treatment. Taylor was booked into the Smith County Jail for violating probation and an aggravated assault/family violence warrant our of Cherokee County. His bond is $200,000.
KILGORE — A Kilgore man was arrested Monday after police said he assaulted two men and pulled a knife on them. Dustin Ray Riley, 27, was held Tuesday in the Gregg County Jail on $10,000 bond. He’s charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Officers were called a little after 5:30 p.m. Monday to the corner of Kings Highway and Bell Street in Kilgore in reference to an assault in progress. Riley is also suspect in a hit-and-run. Additional details were not available.