Category: Local News Archive

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Jail Renovations Nearing Completion

thumb_smithcounty-sealTYLER — The Smith County Jail has been under renovation for quite some time now. KETK reports phase two of three is now finished. Phase two includes a new holding and booking center, an in-house infirmary, 384 additional beds, and new surveillance systems. Officials say the improvements significantly diminish risk to the public. They say the infirmary alone will save taxpayers almost $800,000 a year in inmate medical expenses. It includes three operating tables, a dentist’s chair, and even rooms for solitary confinement so diseases won’t spread. Plans call for phase three to be complete in November, with the new renovations fully functioning.

Authorities Seek Identification of UT Tyler Vandals

uttylertaggingTYLER — UT Tyler officials are asking for the public’s help identifying three people who vandalized several buildings on campus. KETK reports that according to campus police the vandals “tagged” buildings and other property Saturday at around 9:45 p.m. Anyone who has any information or knows the individuals is asked to call 903-566-7300 and refer to case number 2014-000176.

Former Gilmer Pastor, Sex Offender Loses 6 Life Sentences Appeal

hugo1GILMER — A former Gilmer pastor who was found guilty on several child sex charges had his appeal denied Tuesday by the Sixth Appellate District Court in Texarkana. KETK reports Hugo Fluellen is currently serving six life sentences without parole. Judge Lauren Parish handed down the sentence on October 15, 2013, after Fluellen was convicted of the crimes in Upshur County’s 115th District Court. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Selected to Test Zoning App

TYLER — According to a release from the City of Tyler, ZoningCheck is a web and smart phone app that allows users to type in an address to quickly identify if a location is permitted for a specific land use. The user can type in a proposed use, and then view where that use is allowed within the city. The program is accessible through smartphones, tablets and desktops/laptops using Google Chrome. Read the rest of this entry »

Armed Robbery Suspect Sought

sheriff-smithcountySMITH COUNTY — Smith County Sheriff’s Officials are investigating a reported robbery early Tuesday morning. It happened just after midnight at a convenience store located on the 1200 block of East Northeast Loop 323 near Highway 271 in Tyler. An employee told authorities that she had just been robbed at knifepoint. She said the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Patrol deputies were unable to locate the suspect, described only as a white male. Further details were not available.

Illegal Immigrant Accused of Operating Fake ID Mill

andres_marreronacsheriffNACOGDOCHES COUNTY — An illegal immigrant has been detained and is on a Homeland Security hold after it was learned he was making fraudulent identification cards in Nacogdoches County. According to KETK, Andres Ramos Marrero, 45, was arrested by deputies executing two search warrants Friday afternoon at a trailer home on County Road 522. Marrero is accused of making several different forms of fake IDs: Social security cards, residential alien cards, Mexico identification cards Texas ID cards and Texas driver license. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Bids Mark McDaniel Farewell

markmcdanielTYLER — A throng of well-wishers turned out Monday at the Rose Garden Center for a farewell reception in honor of Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel. He has been hired as an assistant city manager in Dallas, where he starts his new job September 2. McDaniel strongly complimented the Tyler community and city government, saying he’d one day like to retire in the Rose City, “the Lord willing.” He added that a strong foundation has been built for his replacement. Assistant City Manager Susan Guthrie takes over as Tyler’s interim city manager Tuesday, McDaniel’s last day in his Tyler office. Guthrie says Tyler officials will be seeking an executive search firm to help find McDaniel’s successor. She didn’t give a specific time frame for the search but did say she won’t be applying for the job.

Cyberattack Impacts Two East Texas Hospitals

FRANKLIN, TENN. (AP/STAFF) — Hospital operator Community Health Systems says a cyberattack took information on more than 4 million patients from its computer network earlier this year. The hacking incident has affected two east Texas hospitals, Longview Regional Medical Center and Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin. The Franklin, Tennessee, company says no medical or credit card records were taken in the attack, which may have happened in April and June. But Community says the attack did bypass its security systems to take patient names, addresses, birthdates, phone and Social Security numbers. The information came from patients who were referred to or received care from doctors tied to the company over the past five years. Community Health Systems Inc. says it is notifying patients affected by the attack and offering them identity theft protection services. The company owns, leases or operates 206 hospitals in 29 states. Read the rest of this entry »

Election Set for a New Emergency Services District in Gregg County.

LONGVIEW – There will be an election in western Gregg County in November to determine if voters want to create a new Emergency Services District to support the Sabine Volunteer Fire Department. Gregg County Commissioners called the election at this morning’s meeting. The action comes in the wake of a petition drive and approval by the city councils in Gladewater, Kilgore and Clarksville City. If approved, it would be the second in the county. ESD number 1 supports the Lakeport/Elderville Volunteer Fire Department. Supporters say an Emergency Services District is the best way to reliably fund the fire and rescue force in a growing part of the county.

Son Arrested in Father’s Death

Randall BrittonTYLER – A man is dead and Smith County sheriff’s deputies have arrested a suspect. Shortly after 1:45 Monday afternoon, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a 911 call regarding an unresponsive man. Patrol deputies and EMS personnel responded found a man dead in the laundry room of a residence in the 3700 block of Jackson Avenue in the northeastern part of Smith County. He has been identified as R. L. Britton, 56, of Tyler. They say he was a victim of homicide. The suspect has been identified as Randall Britton, 28, of Tyler, the victim’s son. He has been charged with murder with the warrant issued by Judge Christi Kennedy of the 114th State District Court who set a $150,000 bond. He has been booked into the Smith County jail and bond set at $150,000. What led to the incident and how the victim died has not been released.

Dr. Crawford Becomes TISD’s New Superintendent

Marty Lane Crawford2The Tyler Independent School District Board of Trustees have officially named Dr. Marty Lane Crawford as the new Superintendent of Schools during a special board meeting Monday. “I am honored to be named Tyler ISD superintendent,” Dr. Crawford said. “I am committed to working alongside the talented teachers, administrators, and staff to lead Tyler ISD in our mission to educate the children of Tyler.” Dr. Crawford has served as superintendent for the West Independent School District for six years. He earned his Texas superintendent certification and a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce. He completed his 2006 dissertation on the Texas school superintendent, conducting research that identified the nexus of 1983’s A Nation at Risk as the turning point for Texas school superintendent leadership. Read the rest of this entry »

Gregg County ESD On November Ballot

LONGVIEW – There will be an election in western Gregg County in November to determine if voters want to create a new Emergency Services District to support the Sabine Volunteer Fire Department. Gregg County Commissioners called the election at this morning’s meeting. The action comes in the wake of a petition drive and approval by the city councils in Gladewater, Kilgore and Clarksville City. If approved, it would be the second in the county. ESD number 1 supports the Lakeport/Elderville Volunteer Fire Department. Supporters say an Emergency Services District is the best way to reliably fund the fire and rescue force in a growing part of the county.

Athens Teacher Elected to Top Position in State Group

Nancy SolomonATHENS — A pre-kindergarten teacher at Bel Air Elementary in Athens, Nancy Solomon, will return to a top leadership position in her professional association as she heads back to school for the new school year. On August 1, she began another one-year term as a district director for the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, a non-union professional association for teachers, librarians, counselors and other classroom professionals with 50,000 members across the state. “I love to teach, and I’m a part of TCTA because it is the best teacher organization in our state, and their support of Texas teachers is astounding,” Solomon said. She is also active in TCTA on the local level, serving as president of the Athens Classroom Teachers Association and as the local affiliate’s membership chairperson. This fall, Solomon begins her 36th year at Bel Air Elementary, where she has taught for her entire career.

A Long Prison Term for Molesting Young Girls

Cory Martin ColvinGILMER – An Upshur County man will be serving a long prison sentence after being convicted of sexual assault of a child. Cory Martin Colvin, 34, of Naples, has been sentenced to 99 years in prison. He will not be eligible for parole for at least 30 years. According to KETK, testimony showed the former prison guard moved into a home with a co-worker outside of Gilmer in 2012. In 2013, he was said to have molested several girls under the age of 13.

Ebola Epidemic Delays Mercy Ships Departure

thumb_mercyships2GARDEN VALLEY — Collateral hardship from the Ebola epidemic now includes a delay for Smith County-based Mercy Ships, which operates the world’s largest civilian hospital ship in ports on the West Coast of Africa. Already with one canceled deployment to Guinea, where Ebola first broke out last December, the Mercy Ship now waits in the water with crew and staff, pending an end-of-August decision on field service in Benin. The Mercy Ship was due to sail for the port of Cotonou, Benin, for its 10-month field service last week but has delayed that sail pending further assessment due to the virulence of the outbreak in neighboring Nigeria. Earlier, in April, Mercy Ships made what officials term the difficult decision to cancel the hospital ship’s planned deployment to Guinea, where the Ebola outbreak began last December. Read the rest of this entry »

Chandler Chain Reaction Wreck Sends One to Hospital

thumb_police-lights-2CHANDLER — One motorcyclist is recovering in the hospital after a weekend crash in Chandler. KETK reports it happened during the lunch hour Sunday on Highway 31. A group of motorcyclists were heading toward Tyler. The driver in the front of the group began to slow down; the driver behind him couldn’t slow down fast enough and rear-ended him. A chain reaction ensued from there, reaching all the way to the rear of the group. Troopers said the driver who caused the crash was taken to a nearby hospital; he’s expected to be OK.

Tyler Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A., Affiliates with ETMC

thumb_ETMC-hospital-signTYLER — The East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System and Tyler Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A., have joined forces to bring heart care to patients, announced Dianne Adelfio, vice president of the ETMC Cardiovascular Institute. CVC support staff are now ETMC team members, and the CVC physicians became formally affiliated with ETMC, effective Aug. 15. Tyler CVC physicians include Drs. Robert Carney, Brent Davis, David Dick, David Hector, Raul Torres-Heisecke, Roderick Meese, Frank Navetta, Robert Smith and Thaddeus Tolleson. These nine physicians are also fellowship trained. Read the rest of this entry »

New Garbage Collection Program in Longview

Longview Garbage CollectionsLONGVIEW – The City of Longview has adopted a plan to simplify recycling and trash collection. The goal of the simplified collection proposal is to increase recycling participation while also reducing the long-term cost of trash collection. Every City of Longview Sanitation customer will receive a 95 gallon trash cart and a 95 gallon recycling cart. The carts will not cost anything and will remain the property of the City of Longview. Read the rest of this entry »

Multi County Chase Lands Longview Man in Jail

Justin Bernard RuskLINDALE – A Longview man is in custody after leading law officers on a multi-county chase on his motorcycle. Taken into custody early Sunday morning was Justin Bernard Rusk, 27. The chase began around 3:00 Sunday morning when state troopers tried to pull him over. Instead, he sped away. The chase started in Kaufman County and, with speeds reaching 100 miles an hour at times, went through Van Zandt and Smith Counties. He was finally stopped just before 4:30 when he surrendered to law officers at the intersection of Interstate Highway 20 and U.S. Highway 69.

The Border Crisis Discussed in Tyler

JoAnn FlemingTYLER — The conservative group Grassroots America – We the People brought in multiple Texas State Representatives to its Friday meeting to discuss the border crisis. KETK reports Executive Director JoAnn Fleming and her colleagues recently visited the border to see how illegal aliens get into our country. Fleming and her team sat in dangerous areas surrounding the border at night for several hours before being approached by a border patrol agent who approached them only armed with a flash light. She said after witnessing the events first hand, she realized how much danger our border patrol and other law enforcement agents are in while being in the area. Read the rest of this entry »

Mosquitoes Breeding Ground Found in Longview

mosquitoesLONGVIEW — Mosquitoes that wouldn’t buzz off in one Longview neighborhood had city officials stumped on where they were coming from. KETK reports that after an extensive search, city officials found potted plants were where the mosquitoes were breeding on Nixson Drive. The search started after routine mosquito spraying and trapping only got rid of about 100 mosquitoes on the street. City health staffers began a door-to-door search and were led to a backyard with dozens of potted plants holding stagnant water, which according to Longview Environmental Health Supervisor Buck Farrar is a perfect breeding ground for the insects. Read the rest of this entry »

TxDOT Project Updates

TxDOT signTYLER — Here’s a quick look at events and work planned in the Tyler District of the state highway department.

SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Smith County will be doing edge work on Farm Road 14 north of Interstate Highway 20 this week. A second crew is scheduled to make pavement repairs on Farm Road 2767 at the junction of Farm Road 757. Ditch work will also be conducted on various other roads in the area. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress. Motorists should be prepared to reduce speeds and merge in and around work zones. Read the rest of this entry »

Injuries Reported in Longview Gang Shooting

Longview PD BadgesLONGVIEW – Longview police continue their investigation of a shooting that sent several to Good Shepherd Medical Center. Their injuries were said no to be life-threatening. The shooting occurred shortly before 3:00 Saturday morning in the 600 block of North Access Road. Investigators say the shooting stemmed from a confrontation between rival gangs following an earlier party at a motel.

Gladewater Drug Investigation: 3 Arrested

April Michelle GordonGLADEWATER – Three persons have been arrested in Gladewater during a narcotics investigation. Arrested by Gladewater police and members of the Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force were April Michelle Gordon, 36, of Gladewater and Billy Thomas Cate, 56, of Clarksville City. Gordon was charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance under one gram. Cate is accused of possession of a controlled substance under one gram. The third person arrested was picked up on two outstanding Gladewater municipal warrants. In all, 8 persons, including two juveniles, were at the home in the 1500 block of Phillips Springs when the search warrant was served. Investigators say additional charges may be filed as the investigation is continuing.

Authorities: Longview Man Attacks Deputies, Lights Fire in Patrol Vehicle

chasedupreegreggcoLONGVIEW — A Longview man is accused of attacking Gregg County sheriff’s deputies and lighting a “small fire” in the back of a patrol vehicle while being taken to jail. According to the Longview News-Journal, officials say he’d been drinking whiskey and smoking two joints of synthetic marijuana. Chase Hayden Dupree, 23, was arrested about 2:15 a.m. Friday by deputies at the North Point RV Park in the 7500 block of U.S. 259, according to judicial records. Read the rest of this entry »

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