TYLER – Tyler police are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing man. Emery McCuin, 48, is said to have walked away from a group home for mentally challenged adults around 6:30 last night, and failed to return. McCuin has a mental impairment that he takes medication for and has been diagnosed with mild retardation. He is described as a black male, 6′ 01″ / 200 lbs., last seen wearing a red hoodie, white baseball cap and blue jeans. Anyone with information on McCuin’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000.
ALPINE — The murder of an East Texas coach went before a grand jury Wednesday in Brewster County. KETK reports that 49-year-old Keith McWilliams of Alpine, 42-year-old Rhonda Bloom of Terlingua, and 30-year-old Charles Morrow of Benbrook are charged with first-degree murder. The case involves the Halloween 2014 death of 28-year-old Kilgore native Trey Sands (pictured). Officials say Sands was last heard from in October during a hunting trip in the Terlingua Mountains.
TYLER — The Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is inviting the public to an open house today, kicking off a ten-day comment period for citizens to review and provide feedback on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The event will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Tyler Development Center, at 423 W. Ferguson St. Copies of the draft and comment cards will be available at the open house.… Read More
AUSTIN — A woman found dead in a Cedar Park apartment Tuesday has been identified as 24-year-old former Longview resident Katie Lanell Eager, Cedar Park police announced Wednesday. According to KETK and its Austin affiliate KXAN, detectives were called to the apartment complex about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 2000 block of S. Lakeline Blvd. where they found Eager shot to death. Investigators were speaking with Eager’s boyfriend Tuesday evening. No charges were immediately filed in connection with the case. Pine Tree ISD officials say Eager was the Pine Tree Precision Drill Team Captain from 2008-2009.
TYLER — A man accused of killing his wife in Smith County accepted a plea deal in a Tyler courtroom on Wednesday. Judicial records show Kelly Kevin Gage, 52, of Gun Barrel City, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Gage was indicted for murder on July 28, 2014, in the beating death of his wife, 48-year-old Patti McHugh Gage. The incident happened on Thanksgiving night in 2011. … Read More
TYLER — The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized the City of Tyler Wednesday as part of the 2015 Bright Ideas program. This year’s cohort includes 124 programs from all levels of government that are at the forefront in innovative government action, according to information from the city. “Tyler being recognized as a top government innovator in the country, including organizations of all sizes and levels, is affirmation that our conservative business principles are truly effective,” said Tyler Mayor Martin Heines. “Our City employees are doing a terrific job creating new and more efficient methods for completing their work, and our community is reaping the benefit.” … Read More
LONGVIEW — A 7-week-old child is hospitalized with what are termed life-threatening injuries following a late Tuesday night crash in Longview. KETK reports that police were dispatched just before 11:15pm to a jaws of life call near the intersection of Lilly and Sapphire Streets. When officers arrived they were told that the driver of a 2000 Ford Expedition had just left the scene of a domestic disturbance in the 600 Block of North Access Road. Police say the driver, identified as Dekeshia Charity Thomas, 23 of Longview, struck another vehicle, causing her to lose control of the Expedition, strike a tree, and roll several times.… Read More
ATHENS — A jury in Athens deliberated just eight minutes before sentencing a Henderson County man to 15 years behind bars for his role in a wild chase. KETK reports 34-year-old Joshua Calhoun was found guilty of evading arrest as well as using a vehicle as a deadly weapon. In June of last year, authorities in Henderson County tried to pull Calhoun over after the truck he was driving was reported stolen. Calhoun led law officers on a dangerous chase, reaching speeds up to 90 miles an hour. He ran two vehicles off the road and even cut through the front yard of a house. The heavy sentence was also based on several previous convictions for Calhoun. One of those came after he stole a small plane from the Athens airport with no flight experience and crashed it.
TYLER — A McKinney man, who was arrested for allegedly robbing Tyler’s Capital One Bank last year, has pleaded guilty. Daniel River Burson, 37, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Tyler Tuesday. He’ll be back in court at a later date following a pre-sentence investigation. Burson could get up to 20 years in federal prison.… Read More
LONGVIEW — All three Longview officers involved in the fatal shooting of a teenager are now back on the job. Public Information Officer Kristie Brian tells KETK officers Glenn Derr and Grace Bagley returned to work last week. Officer Gene Duffie was back on the force February 9th.
January 22nd, Kristiana Coignard entered the police station, picked up the after-hours phone, called public safety communications, and asked for help. When asked what she needed, she refused to tell the operator what the problem was. Police officers were dispatched to the lobby a short time later. When Officer Glenn Derr arrived, Coignard indicated to him she had a gun. According to police, the words â€śI have a gun,â€ť were written on her hand. This resulted in a physical confrontation when Officer Derr attempted to secure the girl. She was shot when officers say she pulled a knife.
During the physical confrontation, Officer Glenn Derr determined she had a large butcher knife which she was attempting to pull out of her waist band. According a video of the incident, Officer Derr was able to get away from Coignard. At this time, Officer Gene Duffie entered the lobby and drew his taser. When a third officer, identified as Officer Grace Bagley, entered the lobby, she saw Coginard had a knife. As Coignard charged Officer Derr with the knife in whatâ€™s termed a threatening manner, Officer Duffie shot his Taser at Coignard, but it had no affect on the teen. Officer Derr then discharged his gun three times and Officer Bagley fired her gun twice.
EMS was called to the scene and Coignard was taken to a local hospital at 6:45 p.m. She was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace James Mathis. As a result the three officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave pending further investigation.
TYLER — East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert reacts after a South Texas federal judge temporarily blocked President Obama’s executive action on immigration. That action could spare deportation for as many as five million people. Gohmert told KETK, “I want to keep immigration coming, but it’s got to come legally — and not be rewarding people that jump to the front of the line.” Obama has vowed to appeal Judge Andrew Hanen’s decision.
TYLER — A former employee of an East Texas hospital has been sentenced to federal prison for criminal HIPAA violations. Joshua Wade Hippler, 30, formerly of Longview, pleaded guilty on August 28, 2014, to wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information. He was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis. According to federal prosecutors, from December 2012 through January 2013, Hippler was an employee of a covered entity under HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. During this time, Hippler obtained protected health information with the intent to use it for personal gain. Hippler was indicted by a federal grand jury on Mar. 26, 2014.
TYLER — A 55-year-old Murchison, Texas woman has been sentenced to federal prison for embezzlement. Deborah Cornett pleaded guilty on June 9, 2014 to embezzlement by a bank employee. She was sentenced yesterday to 41 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis. Cornett was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $365,988.43. Federal prosecutors say from November 2007 to May 2013, Cornett was an officer and employee of the First State Bank of Ben Wheeler. During that time, Cornett embezzled from bank payroll accounts, the bank’s Christmas Club account, certificates of deposit, and from fraudulently issued bank loans.
TYLER — Tyler police say a pickup truck punctured a wall when it rammed into Pollard United Methodist Church Tuesday afternoon. According to KETK, the associate preacher of the church at 3030 New Copeland Road said the wall connects to a bathroom. Pipes burst following the collision. The accident occurred around 1:10 p.m. after the driver lost control while traveling west on Clyde Drive, according to police. Authorities say the 17-year-old driver, Dez Bell of Tyler, was cited for failure to maintain a single lane and no insurance. One other person was in the truck. No injuries were reported.
SEVEN POINTS — A woman was arrested in Henderson County last week after officials say they found her in possession of hidden drugs. According to KETK, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office reports that at 10:22 p.m. on Friday, a deputy took into custody Amy Jo Baker, aka “Stripper Amy,” at the Seven Points City Hall for a warrant in her name. While en route to the the jail, the 45-year-old was able to get out of hand restraints and took out multiple baggies of suspected marijuana from her bra in an attempt to hide the narcotics, according to officials. When the deputy arrived at the jail, he reportedly found the plastic baggies in the back seat of his patrol car. The suspect was booked into jail for possession of marijuana, tampering with evidence, and an active warrant. She was released on $1,500 bond.
LONGVIEW — Community leaders in Longview are tackling what they call an increase in violence in the city. Since the turn of the new year, there have been six gun-related deaths, multiple gun-related injuries, and drive-by shootings. According to KETK, leaders and locals are calling for more communication and unity in a city they say is divided. … Read More
JACKSONVILLE (AP) – An East Texas city that’s the self-proclaimed home of 665-pound concrete tomatoes has offered smaller versions of the inedible artwork. The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce this week began selling 175-pound concrete hunks in the shape of tomatoes. President Peggy Renfro said Tuesday that the bigger undecorated versions were so popular that chamber officials have about 40 smaller ones available at $150 apiece. Chamber officials sold more than 335 of the larger concrete tomatoes since the paint-it-yourself artwork was unveiled in 2012. Those cost $250 apiece. Renfro says people are very competitive when they want to decorate the tomato-shape concrete blocks that can be seen throughout Jacksonville. The city’s 31st annual Tomato Fest is set for June 13.
LONGVIEW – A former Longview resident has been named the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie for 2015. She is Ashley Smith, 24, now a resident of New York.. According to a bio on the magazine’s web site, “I went to high school in Austin, but before that I lived in a real small, middle-of-nowhere town called Longview — ranches, cowboys, big trucks, nothing but BBQ places. I always felt different from a young age and liked people that other people didn’t, until I got to eighth grade and started hanging out with the punks and the goths. If you got bored, you’d just put another safety pin through your ear. What else are you supposed to do in a small town where there’s nothing to do? Sports Illustrated says Smith was discovered at a concert during the South by Southwest music festival in Austin. Smith is said to be a designer for a line of clothes for California-based streetwear company RVCA.
GLADEWATER — The Gladewater Police Department has identified an inmate who was found dead in her jail cell from a believed suicide last week. According to KETK, police say Charlotte Lea Willis of Gladewater was found deceased in her cell on the morning of February 11. The Texas Rangers are currently investigating the death of Willis, and the Gladewater Police Department will continue to assist with the case. An autopsy has been ordered and the findings will be released upon its return, according to officials. Willis was being held at the Gladewater jail for multiple municipal charges and for alleged forgery of a financial instrument in Gregg County. Police say she was alone in her cell at the time of her death.
TYLER — A suspect has been apprehended after being accused of inappropriately touching women in a Tyler department store. On Monday, Tyler investigators arrested Chaz Aaron Sansone, 25, of Jacksonville, on three counts of assault by contact, a class C misdemeanor. He was placed in Smith County Jail, and his bond was set at $9,000. According to police, three independent female victims pressed charges against Sansone for allegedly touching them inappropriately while they were shopping in Marshall’s. One of the victims took a photo of the suspect’s truck as he fled the store after the incident occurred, according to law enforcement. Police say Sansone was identified by the public after he was displayed on Tyler Police Department Facebook and local media web pages.
QUITMAN — Power was restored Monday afternoon following an outage that affected some 300 customers of Quitman-based Wood County Electric Cooperative. A spokesperson tells KTBB the outage began Monday morning after a dumpster truck hit a power pole in the Garden Valley area and broke it in half. People in the Lindale, Emory, Quitman, and Hawkins areas were affected.
DALLAS — Sky Ranch has been helping kids and families for many years, first in Denton and now in Van Zandt County. Former Dallas Cowboys Darren Woodson and Walt Garrison are among those helping with a big fundraising event this weekend. It’s called Cowboys and Cowboys, since it includes former NFLers and rodeo stars. Woodson quips, “The rodeo cowboys are a lot tougher than the regular football Cowboys. Find that out when you go to the event, much tougher that we ever thought about.” Woodson says the Sky Ranch Gala’s set for the Omni Dallas this Saturday, February 21.
LONGVIEW — The trial for a Longview man accused of murdering a Kilgore College football player in 2012 has been postponed until next month. According to KETK, judicial records show the trial for Brendan Xavier Douglas, 25, was scheduled to begin at 9:00am yesterday morning, but has since been pushed back to March 23. Douglas is accused in the May 2012 shooting death of DeAundray Rossum. According to witness statements, Douglas may have been plotting with two other men who ambushed Rossum and others. Rossum, a former Kilgore College student and football player, was found fatally shot in a vehicle at a South Longview apartment complex. … Read More
HARRISON COUNTY — Christina Davison, who was reported missing in May and arrested in Kentucky earlier this month, was extradited back to Harrison County and had a bond set for $100,000 Sunday, according to Lt. Jay Webb. The Longview News-Journal reports, the Kilgore woman was transported Saturday to the Harrison County Jail in Marshall and faces a charge of possession of a controlled substance. Authorities spent months looking for Davison and believed she had been killed. She was arrested Feb. 4 in Lexington, Kentucky, and officials said they believe she was trying to start a new life.… Read More
TYLER — Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the Week of February 16, 2015. Wintry weather conditions could cause changes to these work schedules. Special Crews began pretreating Interstate Highway 20 and U.S. Highway 259 on Saturday in preparation of conditions for the area.
SMITH COUNTY – The Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT’s) Tyler maintenance crews are conducting pavement repairs on Farm Road 1253 between Farm Road 16 and Farm Road 857 this week. Expect this roadway to be down to one lane with flaggers providing traffic control. Motorists should use caution when traveling through these work zones. … Read More
HARRISON COUNTY — A woman reported missing from Kilgore and later arrested in Kentucky has been extradited back to Harrison County. Christina Rae Davison was arrested in Lexington for possession of marijuana. The arrest stemmed from an outstanding Harrison County warrant along with local charges in Lexington. Lexington officials booked her into jail on a felony warrant, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was extradited back to Texas Saturday.… Read More
LONGVIEW — An investigation into an alleged assault by a Longview ISD bus driver on an elementary school student has been turned over to authorities. KETK reports the driver, who allegedly committed the assault Thursday afternoon, is no longer employed with the district. District officials say they were notified about the incident Thursday and immediately suspended the employee pending an investigation. The district has turned the investigation over to the Longview Police Department and the Texas Child Protective Services Division.
GILMER — Authorities say a teen led law officers on a chase in Upshur County and died after his truck drove underneath a tanker and he was thrown from his vehicle. According to KETK, DPS says Lane Buchanan, 18, of Gilmer, was pronounced dead at the scene. At around 7:45 Friday morning, troopers learned of an East Mountain police chase near Gilmer. When the suspect, Buchanan, was trying to cross Highway 271 on North Pleasant Grove, he clipped a vehicle sitting at a stop sign, officials say. Authorities report Buchanan’s truck then traveled underneath a tanker headed north on 271. Once the truck shot out the other side, the pickup struck a car driving south and Buchanan was thrown from his vehicle, according to law enforcement. … Read More
LONGVIEW — A Gladewater man was indicted by a Gregg County grand jury Wednesday for his alleged relationship with a student. KETK reports Spencer Langdon Brewer, 23, is accused of an improper relationship between an educator and student. He was taken into custody for the alleged second degree felony offense stemming from a reported relationship with a juvenile during his employment at Sabine ISD. According to the Longview News-Journal, the student’s mother reported finding explicit sexual texts between Brewer and her daughter. The woman told investigators she found the texts after learning the girl had engaged in sexual activity with another man, age 19 or 20, in May 2014. The suspect was arrested June 4, 2014, and later released on $25,000 bond.