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Category: Local News Archive

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Chase Ends with Several Charges, Including Murder

TYLER — Smith County authorities say 34-year-old Sean Waite of Murchison is jailed on a murder charge and more after leading deputies on a motorcycle chase Thursday night. Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Darrell Coslin says Waite was being pursued by Tyler police on Highway 31 West towards Toll 49 when deputies picked up the chase. Coslin says Waite and 28-year-old passenger Alicia Ann Adams were ejected after the motorcycle crashed at the intersection of Highway 31 West and FM 2661. According to Coslin, Waite was captured after a short foot chase, but Adams was pronounced dead at the scene. Bond for Waite is $961,000 on charges of murder, evading arrest, theft of property, and Credit card abuse out of Denton County.

Tyler Police Investigate Assaults at Apartment Complex

TYLER — Tyler police have arrested four suspects in an assault case at the Stone Creek Apartments on Hollytree Drive. Officer Don Martin says police responded around 1:20 Friday morning to multiple shots fired in the parking lot near the pool. They found that no one was struck but that a vehicle and two apartment buildings were hit by the gunfire. Officers also recovered an AR-15 and pistol at the scene. Officers were told a security guard was trying to break up an assault by two females against a third female. A large group had gathered in the area. The guard ran for cover behind a vehicle after being threatened by two men with guns. Martin says several shots were then fired by the men in the direction of the guard who had taken cover behind the vehicle that was struck by gunfire.… Read the rest of the article…

Marshall Police Department Installs Prescription Drug Drop Box

MARSHALL — Residents now have a safe way to dispose of their leftover prescription drugs, a new initiative by the Marshall Police Department to help combat the opioid crisis and other prescription drug abuse. The department’s new drop box was provided by The Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition, a program of Next Step Community Solutions. The program is funded by a grant from Health and Human Services of Texas. The drop box is in the lobby of the police department and is available to the public 24/7, no questions asked. Any pills or sealed patches can be accepted at the drop box. Needles or other sharps, thermometers, ointments, lotions, liquids, inhalers, and aerosols are not accepted. Officials will hold a Monday news conference to unveil the drop box and answer any questions the public or media may have.

New Habitat for Humanity Housing Development

TYLER — Habitat for Humanity of Smith County announces the start of a new north side housing development in Tyler. Six homes will make up the new neighborhood on N. Tenneha and W. 25th Street. This is the fifth development Habitat has built on the north side in the past ten years. Walls on the first home will be raised on Saturday, June 23, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Funds to build the first two houses in the development were provided by Lin and Sandra Barker, an anonymous donor, and the Junior League of Tyler. The future homeowners will help build their own homes and other homes in the housing development to fulfill their “sweat equity” requirement, then purchase their homes from Habitat with a 30-year mortgage.

Smith County Road and Bridge Communications Down

TYLER — The Smith County Road and Bridge Department announced Friday morning it could not receive or make any calls for the time being, due to cable lines being accidentally cut by a construction crew late Thursday afternoon. Officials said Suddenlink had a crew out at the facility, working on replacing or repairing the lines. County Engineer Frank Davis said although the department could not receive any phone calls or emails, its radios are working to receive any emergency calls that come in through dispatch. Road and Bridge crews were also out working in the field Friday. If you have an emergency requiring immediate response from the Road and Bridge Department, call 9-1-1. Davis said the public would be notified when communications are back up. Check http://www.smith-county.com/ for any updates.

KC Foundation Awards Five Habenicht Grants

KILGORE — The Kilgore College Foundation awarded five Habenicht grants to programs and departments at the college. Grants were awarded to Adult Education & Literacy (AEL), $6,000; Automotive Technology, $6,000; Computer Information & Technology, $6,000; the Kilgore Testing Center, $5,000; and Athletic Training, $1,250. The AEL program will use the grant funds to support its Intensive College Readiness Program. Automotive Technology will purchase a late-model/modern vehicle for instructional purposes. Computer Information & Technology will use its funds to pay for Cisco Academy instructor training. The Kilgore Testing Center will purchase five new computers for its computer lab. Athletic Training will use its funds to buy an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Two Arrested in Longview Shooting

LONGVIEW – Two women have been arrested in a Wednesday afternoon shooting incident at Longview’s Broughton Park. Arriving officers say they discovered numerous people at the park to watch a fight. Police say there were multiple shots fired but no one claimed to have been injured. Several of those involved left the park before police arrived. Police say they determined 28-year-old Latosha Allen of Longview had shot in the direction of 20-year-old Khadijah Rashae Jenkins, also of Longview. During the disturbance, Jenkins rammed multiple cars in the parking lot, placing others in fear of serious bodily injury, according to police. Both women were jailed for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Fire Department Awarded Grant for Improvements to Communications Trailer

TYLER — The Tyler Fire Department has accepted a grant of over $20,000 from the governor’s office to improve Regional Command Trailer communications. Tyler Fire’s communications trailer is designated as a regional asset and will be deployed when requested by the state. Fire Chief David Coble says the focus will be disasters and emergencies. In a statement, Coble says, “The better we can communicate with each other and other agencies, the better we can serve our community in any emergency.”

Council Approves $2.8 Million in Public Works Improvements

TYLER — Tyler’s City Council has approved spending almost $2.8 million for drainage and wastewater treatment plant improvements. One target is the Courtney Miller Drainage project, on the Half Cent Sales Tax project list for more than 20 years. Officials say the effort will address erosion and flooding issues across seventeen properties in southeastern Tyler. The city hopes to have the project done in about a year. The other effort seeks to improve operations at the Southside Wastewater Treatment Plant.

State Agency Recommends Suspension for Smith County Constable

SMITH COUNTY — A Texas regulatory agency has recommended Smith County Constable Henry Jackson have his peace officer licenses suspended for 10 years. Jackson is appealing the decision. According to our news partner KETK, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) alerted Jackson to the pending suspension in May. TCOLE Government Relations Director Gretchen Grigsby confirmed the appeal. The appeal will be heard by an administrative law judge who will make a recommendation to TCOLE commissioners. Jackson holds a reserve officer license and peace officer license. Both have been placed on a hold. In April, the constable finished serving a 6-month sentence in federal prison for four counts of willful failure to file federal income tax returns.

TISD Board Will Again Take Up Robert E. Lee Name Change

TYLER – Tyler ISD Board President Fritz Hager announced Wednesday a board agenda item will be added to discuss the possibility of changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School. The agenda item was requested by Board Vice President Wade Washmon. The discussion is to consider changing the school’s name to only Lee High School. The next School Board meeting will take place Monday. The move comes after a group of East Texans started an online petition to keep the current name. According to our news partner KETK, petitioners say the school district’s focus needs to be on education and keeping children safe at school. Last month, the TISD Board pulled the name change topic from a June meeting agenda. Last week, a parent group wrote postcards in hopes of getting the school’s name changed.

Man Arrested for Sexual Assault of a Child

TYLER — Smith County officials say 28-year-old Jared Monk has been arrested for sexual assault of a child. Sgt. Darrell Coslin says the sheriff’s office was contacted May 16 by Child Protective Services after a 14-year-old female accused Monk of the assault. Coslin says during an interview this week, Monk admitted to the assault and said he knew the girl was 14. Coslin says before Monk was arrested, he made threats to harm himself and family members. Coslin says due to the imminent threat, detectives immediately identified Monk’s location at an apartment complex in Tyler and arrested him. Bond is $750,000.

Second Suspect Arrested in Murder

TYLER — Another suspect is arrested in the recent Smith County murder of 43-year-old Heath Bearden. Officials say 56-year-old Dwayne Welch tried to destroy evidence after the murder had occurred. He’s charged with tampering or fabricating physical evidence, a third-degree felony. Bond was set at $150,000. 40-year-old Larry Cowart of Tyler remains jailed in last Saturday’s shooting death. Sheriff Larry Smith says deputies were initially sent to County Road 1145 on Saturday but later found the victim during a Tyler traffic stop. Bearden was dead on arrival of EMS. Cowart remains in jail as the investigation continues.

Officials Still Seeking Teen Missing over a Year

ARP — The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Arp Police Department are seeking the public’s help in locating a teenager who went missing just over a year ago. According to our news partner KETK, Tarah Cunningham was last seen in Arp on June 9, 2017. At the time, Cunningham was identified as being 5’3″, weighing 125 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes, with her date of birth listed as August 8, 2000. If you have any information on Cunningham’s whereabouts, contact the NCMEC at 1-800-843-5678, the Arp Police Department at 903-566-6600, or your local law enforcement agency.

Harrison County Working to Improve Jail Security

MARSHALL — The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office is taking new security measures after an inmate escaped from jail earlier this month. According to our news partner KETK, 36-year-old Gary Lynn Gorman (pictured) had outside clearance and escaped while taking out the trash. We’re told he initiated his escape from a side door and that once outside, he hugged the wall to hide from security cameras. He was re-captured by police and brought back to the jail. Authorities say it’s the first escape they’ve seen. Officials say they’re making improvements to their surveillance and monitoring system in addition to a new three-step process for inmates entering or exiting the jail.

LETU to Launch RN to BSN Online Degree This Fall

LONGVIEW — LeTourneau University is launching a fully online program for registered nurses already working in the health care field to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, in as little as 12 months. University officials say the online format is cohort-based and runs year-round with seven-week courses. They say it will fit within the schedule of a working professional and will give an edge in the job market. According to a news release, the degree prepares students in critical thinking and communication training that are key for preparing for leadership positions in a variety of settings, including hospitals, homecare situations, case management, and ambulatory care.

Mesquite BB Gun Suspects Arrested in Winnsboro

WINNSBORO — Three people have been arrested in East Texas after over 50 vehicles were vandalized by BB gun shots in Mesquite. Police say from June 3 through 8, someone was driving past vehicles and shooting out their windows. Other damage was also sustained. Mesquite police say in all 55 cars were vandalized. Through video evidence from the various offenses, police arrested three people, who were found in Winnsboro in Wood County. All three suspects were charged with one count of theft and one count of criminal mischief each. A juvenile was also involved but has not been arrested as of yet. GArland has 23 similar incidents involving BB guns and windows. No word on if these suspects are connected.

Police Investigate Shooting at Longview Motel

GREGG COUNTY — Longview Police are investigating a shooting at a motel. According to our news partner KETK, police received a call around 10:30 Tuesday night reporting shots fired at the Motel 6 on South Access Road. A disturbance between a tenant at the motel and another party who was not staying there resulted in gunfire. No injuries reported and no arrests have been made.

Vandalism at Gladewater Ballpark

GLADEWATER – The Gladewater Police Department is investigating a break-in and vandalism at a local baseball park. According to our news partner KETK, earlier this month, thieves broke into the Gladewater-Union Grove Dixie Baseball Association’s concession stand and stole numerous items. An organizer says a reward is being offered. Community members have donated snacks and water to help replace some of the stolen goods. If you have any information on this case, please contact the Gladewater Police Department at 903-845-2166.

Angel Network Donation Box Stolen

LONGVIEW – The East Texas Angel Network is asking for the public’s help after one of its donation boxes was stolen. According to our news partner KETK, the organization was established by country music star Neal McCoy in 1995 to support the families of children with severe medical needs. The donation box was swiped from Kyle’s Kwik Stop – Nanny Goats on Judson Road in Longview. If you have any information regarding this crime, contact the East Texas Angel Network or the Longview Police Department.

Drug Overdose Believed Responsible after Body Found in Vehicle

TYLER — A woman who was found dead in a vehicle Monday in northern Smith County is believed to have died from a drug overdose. According to our news partner KETK, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office says 26-year-old Ashton Nicole Williams of Van was identified as the person who died. Her body has been sent for autopsy to determine an exact cause of death. Deputies found Williams lifeless on Pecan Drive in the Enchanted Lakes Subdivision after receiving a welfare check call around 12:40 Monday afternoon.

Tyler Area Chamber Membership Drive

TYLER — The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday began a two-and-a-half -day membership drive featuring over 100 volunteers. Organizers call it a high-energy event that features fun while building the membership base. They say when others hear about everything the Chamber does, it generates a great deal of enthusiasm and support. The event will conclude at noon Thursday, with a Celebration Party at Rick’s on The Square beginning at 5:21 p.m. For more information on how you can be involved, call the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce at 903-592-1661.

Spring Hill Trustees Discuss School Safety

LONGVIEW — Spring Hill ISD trustees talked about safety in their schools Monday. Due to the recent school incidents across the country, they discussed different approaches to ensure the security and the government’s plan to institute more safety in schools. They also voted to add a K-9 unit for a drug free zone. Superintendent Steven Snell told our news partner KETK, “We’re looking for ways to improve our campus safety, limit access to our building, and just give our parents and students some peace of mind that we are doing everything it takes to keep the students safe.” Trustees said price will not be a factor and they will do everything they can to keep their students safe.

Teacher Disciplined over Actions Caught on Video

TYLER — Tyler ISD officials confirm a teacher who was involved in a confrontation with a high school student is still employed and has been disciplined. According to our news partner KETK, a spokesperson said teacher Jermaine Montgomery received disciplinary action. The specifics were not released. TISD investigated the teacher after a video surfaced on social media showing an altercation between a student and Montgomery at John Tyler High School. In the video, Montgomery can be seen shoving a student. The video has since been pulled from social media. The school district previously released a statement claiming the teacher was assaulted first.

Diana Man Pleads Guilty to 4 Counts of Child Sexual Assault

UPSHUR COUNTY — An East Texas man has pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child. Testimony in the sentencing phase for Mark Randall Beasley, 59, of Diana, is expected to begin June 21 in the 115th District Court. According to our news partner KETK, Beasley is facing up to life in prison on each offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child and 2-20 years for the indecency with a child offense. He can also be assessed a fine of up to $10,000.00 for each offense.

Gilmer Man Sentenced to Prison for Selling Drugs Near School

UPSHUR COUNTY — A Gilmer man has been sentenced to prison for selling drugs near an East Texas high school. According to our news partner KETK, Austin Keith Wolfe, 32, of Gilmer, was scheduled to go to trial for selling meth across from Gilmer High School as part of a three-person crime ring. Prior to jury selection in Upshur County Monday morning, he entered into a plea agreement with the state. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison and waived his right to appeal. Ashley Nicole Grubbs, 20, of Gilmer, pleaded guilty to the same charge in February and was sentenced to 40 years.

Smith County’s First Veterans Outreach Meeting

TYLER — Smith County will hold the first of its four Citizens and Veterans Outreach Meetings at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the R.B. Hubbard, or “Hub,” Building on East Ferguson Street in Tyler. Officials say they want to invite vets and their families to learn about the services the county provides to them and better learn how the county can serve them. Participants who have received help from the County Veteran Services Office will be asked to fill out a feedback form. The forms can also be filled out online. Two more meetings are scheduled this summer in Tyler, along with one in Lindale. You can check the ktbb.com Calendar of Events or http://www.smith-county.com/ for more information.

Crews Surveying Wastewater Collection System

TYLER — Tyler inspection crews Monday began conducting a physical survey on the city’s wastewater collection system. According to our news partner KETK, they’ll do this on North Northwest Loop 323 between Highways 110 and 64. The crews will open manholes in the streets and send smoke through the sewer lines to detect breaks and defects, so don’t be alarmed when you see that smoke. They’re trying to repair and improve the wastewater collection system, and this will go on the whole week.

Family Identifies Drowning Victim

SAND FLAT — Family members have identified the man who drowned Friday night at Tyler State Park. According to our news partner KETK, 44-year old Michael O’Neal was swimming with his family in the middle of the lake when he went under. It’s unknown how long he was underwater. Once he was found, O’Neal was pulled from the lake and given CPR, but it did not work. He died at the scene.

Second Suspect Wanted in Park Shooting Arrested

TYLER — Authorities have arrested the second suspect in connection to a shooting at Fun Forest Park. On Friday afternoon, June 8, officers received a tip on the location of Davonta Hill, 25, of Tyler. Officers located Hill in a house on W. Claude Street in Tyler. He was booked into the Smith County Jail on two charges of aggravated assault causing bodily injury and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bond was set at $1.5 million.… Read the rest of the article…

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Chase Ends with Several Charges, Including Murder

Posted/updated on: June 17, 2018 at 4:34 pm

TYLER — Smith County authorities say 34-year-old Sean Waite of Murchison is jailed on a murder charge and more after leading deputies on a motorcycle chase Thursday night. Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Darrell Coslin says Waite was being pursued by Tyler police on Highway 31 West towards Toll 49 when deputies picked up the chase. Coslin says Waite and 28-year-old passenger Alicia Ann Adams were ejected after the motorcycle crashed at the intersection of Highway 31 West and FM 2661. According to Coslin, Waite was captured after a short foot chase, but Adams was pronounced dead at the scene. Bond for Waite is $961,000 on charges of murder, evading arrest, theft of property, and Credit card abuse out of Denton County.

Tyler Police Investigate Assaults at Apartment Complex

Posted/updated on: June 18, 2018 at 7:46 am

TYLER — Tyler police have arrested four suspects in an assault case at the Stone Creek Apartments on Hollytree Drive. Officer Don Martin says police responded around 1:20 Friday morning to multiple shots fired in the parking lot near the pool. They found that no one was struck but that a vehicle and two apartment buildings were hit by the gunfire. Officers also recovered an AR-15 and pistol at the scene. Officers were told a security guard was trying to break up an assault by two females against a third female. A large group had gathered in the area. The guard ran for cover behind a vehicle after being threatened by two men with guns. Martin says several shots were then fired by the men in the direction of the guard who had taken cover behind the vehicle that was struck by gunfire.… Read the rest of the article…

Marshall Police Department Installs Prescription Drug Drop Box

Posted/updated on: June 18, 2018 at 7:46 am

MARSHALL — Residents now have a safe way to dispose of their leftover prescription drugs, a new initiative by the Marshall Police Department to help combat the opioid crisis and other prescription drug abuse. The department’s new drop box was provided by The Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition, a program of Next Step Community Solutions. The program is funded by a grant from Health and Human Services of Texas. The drop box is in the lobby of the police department and is available to the public 24/7, no questions asked. Any pills or sealed patches can be accepted at the drop box. Needles or other sharps, thermometers, ointments, lotions, liquids, inhalers, and aerosols are not accepted. Officials will hold a Monday news conference to unveil the drop box and answer any questions the public or media may have.

New Habitat for Humanity Housing Development

Posted/updated on: June 17, 2018 at 4:34 pm

TYLER — Habitat for Humanity of Smith County announces the start of a new north side housing development in Tyler. Six homes will make up the new neighborhood on N. Tenneha and W. 25th Street. This is the fifth development Habitat has built on the north side in the past ten years. Walls on the first home will be raised on Saturday, June 23, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Funds to build the first two houses in the development were provided by Lin and Sandra Barker, an anonymous donor, and the Junior League of Tyler. The future homeowners will help build their own homes and other homes in the housing development to fulfill their “sweat equity” requirement, then purchase their homes from Habitat with a 30-year mortgage.

Smith County Road and Bridge Communications Down

Posted/updated on: June 16, 2018 at 7:56 am

TYLER — The Smith County Road and Bridge Department announced Friday morning it could not receive or make any calls for the time being, due to cable lines being accidentally cut by a construction crew late Thursday afternoon. Officials said Suddenlink had a crew out at the facility, working on replacing or repairing the lines. County Engineer Frank Davis said although the department could not receive any phone calls or emails, its radios are working to receive any emergency calls that come in through dispatch. Road and Bridge crews were also out working in the field Friday. If you have an emergency requiring immediate response from the Road and Bridge Department, call 9-1-1. Davis said the public would be notified when communications are back up. Check http://www.smith-county.com/ for any updates.

KC Foundation Awards Five Habenicht Grants

Posted/updated on: June 15, 2018 at 6:09 pm

KILGORE — The Kilgore College Foundation awarded five Habenicht grants to programs and departments at the college. Grants were awarded to Adult Education & Literacy (AEL), $6,000; Automotive Technology, $6,000; Computer Information & Technology, $6,000; the Kilgore Testing Center, $5,000; and Athletic Training, $1,250. The AEL program will use the grant funds to support its Intensive College Readiness Program. Automotive Technology will purchase a late-model/modern vehicle for instructional purposes. Computer Information & Technology will use its funds to pay for Cisco Academy instructor training. The Kilgore Testing Center will purchase five new computers for its computer lab. Athletic Training will use its funds to buy an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Two Arrested in Longview Shooting

Posted/updated on: June 15, 2018 at 12:16 pm

LONGVIEW – Two women have been arrested in a Wednesday afternoon shooting incident at Longview’s Broughton Park. Arriving officers say they discovered numerous people at the park to watch a fight. Police say there were multiple shots fired but no one claimed to have been injured. Several of those involved left the park before police arrived. Police say they determined 28-year-old Latosha Allen of Longview had shot in the direction of 20-year-old Khadijah Rashae Jenkins, also of Longview. During the disturbance, Jenkins rammed multiple cars in the parking lot, placing others in fear of serious bodily injury, according to police. Both women were jailed for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Fire Department Awarded Grant for Improvements to Communications Trailer

Posted/updated on: June 15, 2018 at 11:14 am

TYLER — The Tyler Fire Department has accepted a grant of over $20,000 from the governor’s office to improve Regional Command Trailer communications. Tyler Fire’s communications trailer is designated as a regional asset and will be deployed when requested by the state. Fire Chief David Coble says the focus will be disasters and emergencies. In a statement, Coble says, “The better we can communicate with each other and other agencies, the better we can serve our community in any emergency.”

Council Approves $2.8 Million in Public Works Improvements

Posted/updated on: June 15, 2018 at 11:13 am

TYLER — Tyler’s City Council has approved spending almost $2.8 million for drainage and wastewater treatment plant improvements. One target is the Courtney Miller Drainage project, on the Half Cent Sales Tax project list for more than 20 years. Officials say the effort will address erosion and flooding issues across seventeen properties in southeastern Tyler. The city hopes to have the project done in about a year. The other effort seeks to improve operations at the Southside Wastewater Treatment Plant.

State Agency Recommends Suspension for Smith County Constable

Posted/updated on: June 15, 2018 at 10:40 am

SMITH COUNTY — A Texas regulatory agency has recommended Smith County Constable Henry Jackson have his peace officer licenses suspended for 10 years. Jackson is appealing the decision. According to our news partner KETK, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) alerted Jackson to the pending suspension in May. TCOLE Government Relations Director Gretchen Grigsby confirmed the appeal. The appeal will be heard by an administrative law judge who will make a recommendation to TCOLE commissioners. Jackson holds a reserve officer license and peace officer license. Both have been placed on a hold. In April, the constable finished serving a 6-month sentence in federal prison for four counts of willful failure to file federal income tax returns.

TISD Board Will Again Take Up Robert E. Lee Name Change

Posted/updated on: June 14, 2018 at 4:14 pm

TYLER – Tyler ISD Board President Fritz Hager announced Wednesday a board agenda item will be added to discuss the possibility of changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School. The agenda item was requested by Board Vice President Wade Washmon. The discussion is to consider changing the school’s name to only Lee High School. The next School Board meeting will take place Monday. The move comes after a group of East Texans started an online petition to keep the current name. According to our news partner KETK, petitioners say the school district’s focus needs to be on education and keeping children safe at school. Last month, the TISD Board pulled the name change topic from a June meeting agenda. Last week, a parent group wrote postcards in hopes of getting the school’s name changed.

Man Arrested for Sexual Assault of a Child

Posted/updated on: June 14, 2018 at 3:17 pm

TYLER — Smith County officials say 28-year-old Jared Monk has been arrested for sexual assault of a child. Sgt. Darrell Coslin says the sheriff’s office was contacted May 16 by Child Protective Services after a 14-year-old female accused Monk of the assault. Coslin says during an interview this week, Monk admitted to the assault and said he knew the girl was 14. Coslin says before Monk was arrested, he made threats to harm himself and family members. Coslin says due to the imminent threat, detectives immediately identified Monk’s location at an apartment complex in Tyler and arrested him. Bond is $750,000.

Second Suspect Arrested in Murder

Posted/updated on: June 14, 2018 at 2:53 pm

TYLER — Another suspect is arrested in the recent Smith County murder of 43-year-old Heath Bearden. Officials say 56-year-old Dwayne Welch tried to destroy evidence after the murder had occurred. He’s charged with tampering or fabricating physical evidence, a third-degree felony. Bond was set at $150,000. 40-year-old Larry Cowart of Tyler remains jailed in last Saturday’s shooting death. Sheriff Larry Smith says deputies were initially sent to County Road 1145 on Saturday but later found the victim during a Tyler traffic stop. Bearden was dead on arrival of EMS. Cowart remains in jail as the investigation continues.

Officials Still Seeking Teen Missing over a Year

Posted/updated on: June 14, 2018 at 1:49 pm

ARP — The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Arp Police Department are seeking the public’s help in locating a teenager who went missing just over a year ago. According to our news partner KETK, Tarah Cunningham was last seen in Arp on June 9, 2017. At the time, Cunningham was identified as being 5’3″, weighing 125 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes, with her date of birth listed as August 8, 2000. If you have any information on Cunningham’s whereabouts, contact the NCMEC at 1-800-843-5678, the Arp Police Department at 903-566-6600, or your local law enforcement agency.

Harrison County Working to Improve Jail Security

Posted/updated on: June 14, 2018 at 12:56 pm

MARSHALL — The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office is taking new security measures after an inmate escaped from jail earlier this month. According to our news partner KETK, 36-year-old Gary Lynn Gorman (pictured) had outside clearance and escaped while taking out the trash. We’re told he initiated his escape from a side door and that once outside, he hugged the wall to hide from security cameras. He was re-captured by police and brought back to the jail. Authorities say it’s the first escape they’ve seen. Officials say they’re making improvements to their surveillance and monitoring system in addition to a new three-step process for inmates entering or exiting the jail.

LETU to Launch RN to BSN Online Degree This Fall

Posted/updated on: June 14, 2018 at 12:33 pm

LONGVIEW — LeTourneau University is launching a fully online program for registered nurses already working in the health care field to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, in as little as 12 months. University officials say the online format is cohort-based and runs year-round with seven-week courses. They say it will fit within the schedule of a working professional and will give an edge in the job market. According to a news release, the degree prepares students in critical thinking and communication training that are key for preparing for leadership positions in a variety of settings, including hospitals, homecare situations, case management, and ambulatory care.

Mesquite BB Gun Suspects Arrested in Winnsboro

Posted/updated on: June 14, 2018 at 9:47 am

WINNSBORO — Three people have been arrested in East Texas after over 50 vehicles were vandalized by BB gun shots in Mesquite. Police say from June 3 through 8, someone was driving past vehicles and shooting out their windows. Other damage was also sustained. Mesquite police say in all 55 cars were vandalized. Through video evidence from the various offenses, police arrested three people, who were found in Winnsboro in Wood County. All three suspects were charged with one count of theft and one count of criminal mischief each. A juvenile was also involved but has not been arrested as of yet. GArland has 23 similar incidents involving BB guns and windows. No word on if these suspects are connected.

Police Investigate Shooting at Longview Motel

Posted/updated on: June 14, 2018 at 9:47 am

GREGG COUNTY — Longview Police are investigating a shooting at a motel. According to our news partner KETK, police received a call around 10:30 Tuesday night reporting shots fired at the Motel 6 on South Access Road. A disturbance between a tenant at the motel and another party who was not staying there resulted in gunfire. No injuries reported and no arrests have been made.

Vandalism at Gladewater Ballpark

Posted/updated on: June 13, 2018 at 2:59 pm

GLADEWATER – The Gladewater Police Department is investigating a break-in and vandalism at a local baseball park. According to our news partner KETK, earlier this month, thieves broke into the Gladewater-Union Grove Dixie Baseball Association’s concession stand and stole numerous items. An organizer says a reward is being offered. Community members have donated snacks and water to help replace some of the stolen goods. If you have any information on this case, please contact the Gladewater Police Department at 903-845-2166.

Angel Network Donation Box Stolen

Posted/updated on: June 13, 2018 at 12:44 pm

LONGVIEW – The East Texas Angel Network is asking for the public’s help after one of its donation boxes was stolen. According to our news partner KETK, the organization was established by country music star Neal McCoy in 1995 to support the families of children with severe medical needs. The donation box was swiped from Kyle’s Kwik Stop – Nanny Goats on Judson Road in Longview. If you have any information regarding this crime, contact the East Texas Angel Network or the Longview Police Department.

Drug Overdose Believed Responsible after Body Found in Vehicle

Posted/updated on: June 13, 2018 at 12:31 pm

TYLER — A woman who was found dead in a vehicle Monday in northern Smith County is believed to have died from a drug overdose. According to our news partner KETK, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office says 26-year-old Ashton Nicole Williams of Van was identified as the person who died. Her body has been sent for autopsy to determine an exact cause of death. Deputies found Williams lifeless on Pecan Drive in the Enchanted Lakes Subdivision after receiving a welfare check call around 12:40 Monday afternoon.

Tyler Area Chamber Membership Drive

Posted/updated on: June 13, 2018 at 11:58 am

TYLER — The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday began a two-and-a-half -day membership drive featuring over 100 volunteers. Organizers call it a high-energy event that features fun while building the membership base. They say when others hear about everything the Chamber does, it generates a great deal of enthusiasm and support. The event will conclude at noon Thursday, with a Celebration Party at Rick’s on The Square beginning at 5:21 p.m. For more information on how you can be involved, call the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce at 903-592-1661.

Spring Hill Trustees Discuss School Safety

Posted/updated on: June 13, 2018 at 11:33 am

LONGVIEW — Spring Hill ISD trustees talked about safety in their schools Monday. Due to the recent school incidents across the country, they discussed different approaches to ensure the security and the government’s plan to institute more safety in schools. They also voted to add a K-9 unit for a drug free zone. Superintendent Steven Snell told our news partner KETK, “We’re looking for ways to improve our campus safety, limit access to our building, and just give our parents and students some peace of mind that we are doing everything it takes to keep the students safe.” Trustees said price will not be a factor and they will do everything they can to keep their students safe.

Teacher Disciplined over Actions Caught on Video

Posted/updated on: June 13, 2018 at 11:29 am

TYLER — Tyler ISD officials confirm a teacher who was involved in a confrontation with a high school student is still employed and has been disciplined. According to our news partner KETK, a spokesperson said teacher Jermaine Montgomery received disciplinary action. The specifics were not released. TISD investigated the teacher after a video surfaced on social media showing an altercation between a student and Montgomery at John Tyler High School. In the video, Montgomery can be seen shoving a student. The video has since been pulled from social media. The school district previously released a statement claiming the teacher was assaulted first.

Diana Man Pleads Guilty to 4 Counts of Child Sexual Assault

Posted/updated on: June 13, 2018 at 10:26 am

UPSHUR COUNTY — An East Texas man has pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child. Testimony in the sentencing phase for Mark Randall Beasley, 59, of Diana, is expected to begin June 21 in the 115th District Court. According to our news partner KETK, Beasley is facing up to life in prison on each offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child and 2-20 years for the indecency with a child offense. He can also be assessed a fine of up to $10,000.00 for each offense.

Gilmer Man Sentenced to Prison for Selling Drugs Near School

Posted/updated on: June 13, 2018 at 10:25 am

UPSHUR COUNTY — A Gilmer man has been sentenced to prison for selling drugs near an East Texas high school. According to our news partner KETK, Austin Keith Wolfe, 32, of Gilmer, was scheduled to go to trial for selling meth across from Gilmer High School as part of a three-person crime ring. Prior to jury selection in Upshur County Monday morning, he entered into a plea agreement with the state. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison and waived his right to appeal. Ashley Nicole Grubbs, 20, of Gilmer, pleaded guilty to the same charge in February and was sentenced to 40 years.

Smith County’s First Veterans Outreach Meeting

Posted/updated on: June 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm

TYLER — Smith County will hold the first of its four Citizens and Veterans Outreach Meetings at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the R.B. Hubbard, or “Hub,” Building on East Ferguson Street in Tyler. Officials say they want to invite vets and their families to learn about the services the county provides to them and better learn how the county can serve them. Participants who have received help from the County Veteran Services Office will be asked to fill out a feedback form. The forms can also be filled out online. Two more meetings are scheduled this summer in Tyler, along with one in Lindale. You can check the ktbb.com Calendar of Events or http://www.smith-county.com/ for more information.

Crews Surveying Wastewater Collection System

Posted/updated on: June 12, 2018 at 1:51 pm

TYLER — Tyler inspection crews Monday began conducting a physical survey on the city’s wastewater collection system. According to our news partner KETK, they’ll do this on North Northwest Loop 323 between Highways 110 and 64. The crews will open manholes in the streets and send smoke through the sewer lines to detect breaks and defects, so don’t be alarmed when you see that smoke. They’re trying to repair and improve the wastewater collection system, and this will go on the whole week.

Family Identifies Drowning Victim

Posted/updated on: June 12, 2018 at 1:49 pm

SAND FLAT — Family members have identified the man who drowned Friday night at Tyler State Park. According to our news partner KETK, 44-year old Michael O’Neal was swimming with his family in the middle of the lake when he went under. It’s unknown how long he was underwater. Once he was found, O’Neal was pulled from the lake and given CPR, but it did not work. He died at the scene.

Second Suspect Wanted in Park Shooting Arrested

Posted/updated on: June 12, 2018 at 9:01 am

TYLER — Authorities have arrested the second suspect in connection to a shooting at Fun Forest Park. On Friday afternoon, June 8, officers received a tip on the location of Davonta Hill, 25, of Tyler. Officers located Hill in a house on W. Claude Street in Tyler. He was booked into the Smith County Jail on two charges of aggravated assault causing bodily injury and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bond was set at $1.5 million.… Read the rest of the article…

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