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Category: Local News Archive

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Officials: Probationer Found with Bottle of Urine to Beat Drug Test

thumb_police-1LUFKIN (AP/Staff) – Authorities say a Lufkin man already on probation is jailed after his probation officer discovered he had a shampoo bottle filled with urine taped to his genitals in an attempt to falsify a drug screening test. According to The Lufkin Daily News, police reports indicate the probation officer for 20-year-old Travion Williams became suspicious when the Lufkin man didn’t want the officer watching him provide urine for the test this week. The officer said that’s when he noticed the bottle taped to Williams. Williams told police he was trying to fake the drug screen. He was taken to jail and the bottle and its contents held as evidence.

One Hospitalized in Longview Shooting

thumb_police-longviewLONGVIEW — One person was injured Thursday night in a Longview shooting. According to KETK, Longview police say officers responded to reports of a shooting victim at a local hospital. When investigators arrived, the victim was uncooperative and would not provide police with information, according to authorities. Officer Kristie Brian said at 9:58 p.m., the victim and an unknown person were involved in an argument that led to gunfire outside a home at the intersection of Margo Street and Howard Street. The victim is expected to make a full recovery. Police have no persons of interest at this time. The case remains under investigation.

“Kari’s Law” Passes House and Senate

no9-150x150AUSTIN — “Kari’s law” is headed to Governor Abbott’s desk. The bill means anyone trying to call police from a multi-line phone system, at a hotel or motel for example, will not have to dial for an outside line first. It has passed the Senate and now the House, and it was named for Kari Hunt Dunn. Her estranged husband murdered her in a Marshall hotel room in 2013 while her daughter tried in vain to call 911. Kari’s dad, Hank Hunt, pushed for the law. He says, “I’m not sure, kind of mixed emotions. I wish I didn’t have to be doing it, but I feel like I need to and just be glad that my home state did it and did it unanimously.” His hope is that the measure will eventually become federal law.

One Man Hospitalized Following Tyler Stabbing

CalvinCarterMug_1430494761342_280116_ver1.0TYLER — One man is in custody following a stabbing that left one man hospitalized. It happened around 10:10 Thursday night in the 1100 block of Queen Street. Officers said the victim had been stabbed multiple times during a physical altercation. The victim was transported by private vehicle to Trinity Mother Frances, where he is being treated for his wounds and is said to be in serious condition. Investigators have arrested Calvin Dewayne Carter, 30, of Tyler for the aggravated assault on Eric Montreal Benson, 31, of Tyler. Carter (pictured) has been placed in the Smith County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

One Dead, One Injured in Tyler Shooting

LuisMezaSCSOMug_1430493622835_280113_ver1.0TYLER — Tyler police continue to investigate a shooting that has left one person dead and one injured. It happened around 10:00 Thursday night on the 2100 block of Brookhaven Drive. Officers said it began as an altercation among several men in two separate vehicles in the 5000 block of Troup Highway. It ended when one vehicle pulled into a driveway on Brookhaven with the other vehicle following. Police say the driver approached the two men in the front car and shot them, killing the driver. The passenger was taken to East Texas Medical Center for treatment. … Read More

2015 W.T. “Doc” Ballard Award Recipient Announced

Paul McGahaTYLER — The Northeast Texas Public Health District is awarding the 2015 W.T. “Doc” Ballard Award to Dr. Paul McGaha. A news release says Dr. McGaha is receiving the award because has demonstrated a true commitment to protect and promote the health of the public. For 30 years, Dr. McGaha has been a leader in public health in Texas and is sincerely dedicated to improving the lives of the citizens in East Texas. His constant leadership through many public health initiatives has set a precedence of excellence, commitment, and accomplishment across the state. Dr. McGaha’s wisdom and advice is highly sought when responding to a public health threat or when implementing a prevention program.… Read More

John Tyler Student Selected as Gates Millennium Scholar

Carneisha DanielsTYLER — John Tyler High School senior Carneisha Daniels has been selected as a member of the Class of 2015 Gates Millennium Scholars. Each year more than 54,000 students from across the nation apply, but only 1,000 are selected as Gates Millennium Scholars. The program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education at a school of their choice in any discipline area of interest.… Read More

Public Punishment for 13-Year-Old Pot Smoker

weedkid_1430413145792_277259_ver1.0LONGVIEW — A Longview father delivers a public punishment to his 13-year-old son after he was caught smoking marijuana. According to KETK, Travis Simmering made his son Christian stand in various public locations Thursday with a sign that read, “I’ve been smoking weed. I’m only 13.” Mr. Simmering says reaction was overwhelmingly positive. He remarks, “We’ve had a lot of response. We’ve had people pray with us. We’ve had people just come hug him… And I think he’s got a lot of information out of it, a lot of good out of it too.” … Read More

Officials: Gregg County Inmate Could Lose Eye after Jail Assault

bfc42ce6ae396772fcbe43ffe4929090LONGVIEW — An unprovoked attack in the Gregg County Jail last week has resulted in one inmate possibly losing an eye and the other facing felony assault charges, according to documents signed Wednesday. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Brandon Eugene Washington, 32, of Longview, has been charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. Bond for Washington was set at $75,000. According to the arrest report, witnesses said shortly after 9 p.m. April 20, Washington started acting aggressively toward other inmates in the cell. Washington then approached the victim and struck him in the left eye, continuing to hit the victim in the head and face, according to a complaint. … Read More

Police Need Your Help Identifying Crime Spree Suspect

Robbery suspect 4282015TYLER — Tyler police are looking for an unknown suspect allegedly involved in several crimes that occurred Tuesday night. According to police, at 7:15 p.m., the suspect broke into a vehicle in the 7000 block of S. Broadway and stole the victim’s credit card holder with credit cards. The suspect then allegedly went to Valero in the 6500 block of S. Broadway and used the stolen credit cards. At 9:40 p.m. the suspect reportedly approached a female in the Jalapeno Tree parking lot asking for directions. According to police, he got into her vehicle without permission and stole her change purse and small items as she was talking on her cell phone. … Read More

Texan Wanted in Massive ID Theft Turns Self In

marcusjohnson_1430253618953_274145_ver1.0SHREVEPORT — Louisiana authorities say they’ve captured a fugitive who was last known to be in the Tyler area and was wanted for his role in a $1.2 million scam. According to KETK, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office says Marcus Robinson Johnson, 33, of Addison, Texas, turned himself in to the Caddo Correctional Center on Wednesday. He’s charged with identity theft and criminal conspiracy. Sheriff Steve Prator said Johnson and nine others were involved in a theft scheme that used the personal information of more than 1,200 people to open fraudulent cable accounts. The two head conspirators face 107 counts of identity theft and one count of criminal conspiracy. A third person, Valerie Nicole Nichols, 33, of Pleasant View, Tennessee, is allegedly responsible for giving Comcast customers information to the thieves.

At Least 6 Slightly Hurt as Malakoff School Bus Overturns

thumb_schoolbusTRINIDAD (AP) – At least six people have been slightly hurt when an East Texas school bus overturned during its morning route. The Malakoff Independent School District says the accident happened Thursday on Highway 274 near Trinidad. School district officials say the driver lost control and crossed the road, with the bus ending up on its side in a pasture. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the accident happened as the southbound bus was in an area where the road has a narrow shoulder. District authorities say five middle and high school students were taken to an Athens hospital with possible neck and back injuries. Superintendent Randy Perry says the bus driver was also transported. Authorities say the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Man Charged with Death of 12-Year-Old Released on Bond

caddellvernon_1429650069765_93787_ver1.0TYLER — A Smith County man who turned himself in to authorities April 21 following the death of a 12-year-old boy has been released from jail on bond. KETK reports an arrest warrant was issued for Vernon Ray Caddell, 56, of Tyler, by Judge Jack Skeen, Jr. Caddell is charged with manslaughter. According to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, on April 19 at around 4:00 p.m., Jiree Mobley was taken to a local hospital after he was thrown from his ATV upon hitting a barbed line at the end of County Road 3158. Mobley was pronounced dead by a physician and his body was sent to Dallas for autopsy. … Read More

East Texan Injured During Baltimore Riots

casey harper 2_1430327392072_274662_ver1.0EAST TEXAS — An East Texas native who is now a reporter at a conservative national media outlet was injured while working in Baltimore covering the riots stemming from the death of Freddie Gray. According to KETK, Casey Harper, a 2011 graduate of Hallsville High School and reporter for the Daily Caller, was in the midst of pandemonium Monday night and Tuesday morning. According to Harper and fellow DC reporter Connor Wolf, the journalists were attacked by a mob which resulted in the men being badly injured. Harper suffered a fractured cheekbone, a black eye, a mild concussion and his iPhone was stolen. He was also hit in the face with a bottle. They were treated and released from a local hospital. … Read More

Junior Achievement Celebrates Tom Mullins as Laureate of the Year

thumb_tom-mullinsTYLER — The Junior Achievement(JA) Board of Directors will host the 2015 Business Hall of Fame Laureate Celebration this evening at 6:00 at the Tyler Rose Garden Center. Tom Mullins, this year’s honoree, has served as the president and CEO of the Tyler Economic Development Council(TEDC) since June 1989 and as the president and CEO of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce since March 1992. “We could not be more pleased or excited about this year’s nominee for the 2015 Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame award,” said Chad Cargile, JA board chair and Regions Bank president. … Read More

Trooper Reprimanded for Photo with Snoop Dogg Sues Bosses

Snoop Dogg and DPS photoAUSTIN (AP/Staff) – A Texas trooper based in Gilmer has sued his bosses after being reprimanded over his photo with rapper Snoop Dogg at South by Southwest. Department of Public Safety Trooper Billy Spears filed the civil lawsuit Wednesday, alleging retaliation by DPS, Director Steven McCraw and several executives. The lawsuit says Spears was working off-duty security when an assistant for Snoop Dogg took the photo in March and posted it on Instagram. Spears was reprimanded because the rapper has several drug-possession convictions. Spears seeks unspecified damages and a jury trial. Spears also alleges retaliation for his complaint against a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer. Spears was detained in 2014 while off-duty and carrying an alcoholic beverage at a concert. DPS declined to discuss pending litigation. TABC was reviewing the lawsuit Wednesday and declined further comment.

BBB Helps Community Shred Over 10,600 Pounds of Paper

thumb_betterbusinessbureauTYLER — The Better Business Bureau Serving Central East Texas held its annual shredding events in Tyler on Saturday, April 18, and in Van on Friday, April 24. The two events invited the public to bring unwanted sensitive material to be shredded safely. Over 10,600 pounds of paper was collected, safely destroyed, and recycled between both shredding events, according to a BBB news release. … Read More

Authorities Seeking Tips on Stolen ’65 Mustang

mustangstolen_1430325285367_274767_ver1.0VAN — Law enforcement officials are asking for the public’s help locating a stolen vehicle. According to KETK, the Van Police Department says a man’s 1965 Mustang was stolen Tuesday night inside city limits. If you have info about this stolen vehicle, contact Van PD or to remain anonymous and collect a CASH reward, contact the Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers tip line at 903-567-7867 (STOP).

Smith County Declares Mental Health Awareness Month

NAMITYLER — The local president of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Valerie Holcomb, presented the Smith County Commissioners Court with a green wreath Tuesday commemorating Mental Health Awareness Month. Commissioner JoAnn Hampton accepted the wreath after reading a resolution declaring May Mental Health Awareness Month during the commissioners’ meeting. “It is important for society to become more aware of the issues and take more action when it comes to mental illness,” Commissioner Hampton said. … Read More

Some, but Not All on Board with School Zone Cameras

thumb_joel-baker2TYLER — Traffic cameras in school zones: on paper, it sounds good. Smith County has bought five cameras that will rotate school zones strictly outside city limits, but KETK reports elected officials and neighboring cities are at odds over the decision. The Smith County Commissioners Court decided this week to put the safety cameras in the school zones. “You know, we have over a 150-160 school safety zones throughout the county and this is designed to assist law enforcement presence that’s there, to enhance public safety,” says County Judge Joel Baker (pictured). … Read More

Longview Man Busted for Lewd Act at Hospital

Jerry Lane AskewLONGVIEW — A Longview man is being accused of exposing himself and performing a sex act in front of nurses at Good Shepherd Medical Center. The Longview News Journal reports officers attempted to remove Jerry Lane Askew, 52, from the hospital when he sat down in the lobby and refused to leave. Askew, a registered sex offender in Texas, was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest, search or transport. He is being held on bonds totaling $1,500. Investigators say Askew was a patient at the hospital on Monday when he is accused of defecating on the floor of an exam room before also urinating on the floor and removing his hospital gown in front of nursing staff and patients.

Missing Longview Teen Found

Alexandria HansleyLONGVIEW — A Longview teen reported missing last week has been located. The public had been asked for help in finding Alexandria “Allie” Eve Hansley, 15. When reported missing, she not been seen by her family in about ten days. They feared the girl may be in danger. She had been recently seen in Longview but it was felt she may have been in the Dallas area. Longview police announced Tuesday the girl had been located. Because of her age, additional information could not be released.

Smith County Receives Leadership Circle Award

smith county sealTYLER — Smith County has received the 2015 Platinum Leadership Circle Award from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Smith County was named a Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle Platinum Member for the second year in a row for its “continued progress toward achieving financial transparency.” The program recognizes local governments across the state that are striving to meet a high standard for financial transparency online. Judge Joel Baker said it is the fifth year Smith County has been recognized with the Leadership Circle Award. The county received the top gold award for three years and last year, the bar was raised to platinum level.… Read More

UT Tyler Senior Gets Prestigious Scholarship

U-T Tyler SignTYLER — A senior at The University of Texas at Tyler, Natalie Haynes of Plains, has received a scholarship from The Explorer’s Club to study Maya archaeology in Belize. Haynes was awarded a 2015 TEC Youth Exploration Fund scholarship in the amount of $1,500. The club offers scholarships to high school, collegiate and post-graduate students in support of exploration and field research. With the award, Haynes will travel this summer to Belize where she and other student-scholars will assist excavation teams and collect data through the Mayan Research Program. “I am so grateful for the funding I have received from The Explorer’s Club,” said Haynes, a social sciences major. “Their generosity will help support me on a trip that I have looked forward to and hoped to have the opportunity to go on for a very long time. I thank them for making this possible for me.”… Read More

East Texan Wanted in Million-Dollar Con

thumb_police-4SHREVEPORT — The Caddo (La.) Sheriff’s Office obtained arrest warrants for 10 suspects involved in a million-dollar identity theft scheme involving out-of-state cable contractors, said Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator. KETK reports one of the suspects is Marcus Roshun Johnson, 33, of East Texas. Officials said Johnson’s last known location was in the Tyler area. The suspects are wanted for allegedly using the personal information of at least 1,200 people – some more than once – to open fraudulent cable accounts in Caddo Parish. All of the suspects were contractors for RMH Cable in Austin, which was hired by Comcast to find new customers in the Shreveport area. While working locally, the contractors identified residents who agreed to have cable service installed using others’ information so the contractors could collect a commission.

Longview Man Accused of Online Solicitation of a Minor

Joey Huddleston2LONGVIEW — A Longview man remains in the Gregg County Jail on a charge of online solicitation of a minor for sexual conduct. Placed under a $50,000 bond was Joey Huddleston, 34. He was arrested late Monday morning on East Loop 281 after police say he made arrangements to meet with a 15-year-old boy with the intent of engaging in sexual conduct. Investigators say he knew the boy’s age prior to setting up the meeting. He had reportedly been communicating with the boy through online messages. Gregg County Jail records indicate Huddleston was arrested a couple of months ago on a charge of injury of a child/elderly/disabled person with the intent of bodily injury.

UTT Fraternity Suspended for One Year

thumb_uttylerTYLER — A University of Texas at Tyler fraternity has been suspended for one year following an investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior. Beverly Golden, Director of Marketing and Communications for UT Tyler, provided our news partner KETK with a statement regarding the suspension of the Rho-Nu chapter of Kappa Sigma. That statement can be read below: … Read More

Former OU Wide Receiver Enters Plea, Gets Probation

Trey MetoyerNORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Former Whitehouse High School and Oklahoma wide receiver Trey Metoyer has been sentenced to eight years of probation following accusations he exposed himself to women. Cleveland County, Oklahoma, District Attorney Greg Mashburn’s office says Metoyer was convicted of indecent exposure after entering a blind plea, meaning he didn’t strike a deal with prosecutors. The state had requested a prison sentence of at least three years for Metoyer but a judge gave him probation instead. Metoyer left the Sooners football team in 2013 after being charged with indecent exposure. Authorities say he publicly exposed himself to two different women in Norman. Metoyer started four of the 11 games he played in 2012 and played in four games in 2013.

Woman Falls into Culvert Washout near Lake Palestine

sinkhole2_1430236373015_272781_ver1.0LAKE PALESTINE — A woman was hospitalized Monday night after she fell into a culvert washout near Lake Palestine. KETK reports recent rains washed away part of Wiley Drive in the Shadybrook Subdivision. The woman was pulled from the approximate 33-foot drop with a basket by firefighters around 11:00 p.m., according to the Jacksonville Fire Department. She initially fell into the gap at about 9:30 p.m. The hole is estimated to be about 25 feet wide.

Alto Schools Closed Again Tuesday due to Power Outage

thumb_closings-2ALTO — Alto ISD canceled school for Tuesday, April 28. According to KETK, school officials said the district was still with power following heavy storms on Sunday night into early Monday morning. The district also had to close its doors on Monday because of no electricity.

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Officials: Probationer Found with Bottle of Urine to Beat Drug Test

Posted/updated on: May 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm

thumb_police-1LUFKIN (AP/Staff) – Authorities say a Lufkin man already on probation is jailed after his probation officer discovered he had a shampoo bottle filled with urine taped to his genitals in an attempt to falsify a drug screening test. According to The Lufkin Daily News, police reports indicate the probation officer for 20-year-old Travion Williams became suspicious when the Lufkin man didn’t want the officer watching him provide urine for the test this week. The officer said that’s when he noticed the bottle taped to Williams. Williams told police he was trying to fake the drug screen. He was taken to jail and the bottle and its contents held as evidence.

One Hospitalized in Longview Shooting

Posted/updated on: May 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm

thumb_police-longviewLONGVIEW — One person was injured Thursday night in a Longview shooting. According to KETK, Longview police say officers responded to reports of a shooting victim at a local hospital. When investigators arrived, the victim was uncooperative and would not provide police with information, according to authorities. Officer Kristie Brian said at 9:58 p.m., the victim and an unknown person were involved in an argument that led to gunfire outside a home at the intersection of Margo Street and Howard Street. The victim is expected to make a full recovery. Police have no persons of interest at this time. The case remains under investigation.

“Kari’s Law” Passes House and Senate

Posted/updated on: May 2, 2015 at 7:47 am

no9-150x150AUSTIN — “Kari’s law” is headed to Governor Abbott’s desk. The bill means anyone trying to call police from a multi-line phone system, at a hotel or motel for example, will not have to dial for an outside line first. It has passed the Senate and now the House, and it was named for Kari Hunt Dunn. Her estranged husband murdered her in a Marshall hotel room in 2013 while her daughter tried in vain to call 911. Kari’s dad, Hank Hunt, pushed for the law. He says, “I’m not sure, kind of mixed emotions. I wish I didn’t have to be doing it, but I feel like I need to and just be glad that my home state did it and did it unanimously.” His hope is that the measure will eventually become federal law.

One Man Hospitalized Following Tyler Stabbing

Posted/updated on: May 2, 2015 at 4:04 pm

CalvinCarterMug_1430494761342_280116_ver1.0TYLER — One man is in custody following a stabbing that left one man hospitalized. It happened around 10:10 Thursday night in the 1100 block of Queen Street. Officers said the victim had been stabbed multiple times during a physical altercation. The victim was transported by private vehicle to Trinity Mother Frances, where he is being treated for his wounds and is said to be in serious condition. Investigators have arrested Calvin Dewayne Carter, 30, of Tyler for the aggravated assault on Eric Montreal Benson, 31, of Tyler. Carter (pictured) has been placed in the Smith County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

One Dead, One Injured in Tyler Shooting

Posted/updated on: May 2, 2015 at 4:04 pm

LuisMezaSCSOMug_1430493622835_280113_ver1.0TYLER — Tyler police continue to investigate a shooting that has left one person dead and one injured. It happened around 10:00 Thursday night on the 2100 block of Brookhaven Drive. Officers said it began as an altercation among several men in two separate vehicles in the 5000 block of Troup Highway. It ended when one vehicle pulled into a driveway on Brookhaven with the other vehicle following. Police say the driver approached the two men in the front car and shot them, killing the driver. The passenger was taken to East Texas Medical Center for treatment. … Read More

2015 W.T. “Doc” Ballard Award Recipient Announced

Posted/updated on: May 2, 2015 at 7:49 am

Paul McGahaTYLER — The Northeast Texas Public Health District is awarding the 2015 W.T. “Doc” Ballard Award to Dr. Paul McGaha. A news release says Dr. McGaha is receiving the award because has demonstrated a true commitment to protect and promote the health of the public. For 30 years, Dr. McGaha has been a leader in public health in Texas and is sincerely dedicated to improving the lives of the citizens in East Texas. His constant leadership through many public health initiatives has set a precedence of excellence, commitment, and accomplishment across the state. Dr. McGaha’s wisdom and advice is highly sought when responding to a public health threat or when implementing a prevention program.… Read More

John Tyler Student Selected as Gates Millennium Scholar

Posted/updated on: May 2, 2015 at 7:49 am

Carneisha DanielsTYLER — John Tyler High School senior Carneisha Daniels has been selected as a member of the Class of 2015 Gates Millennium Scholars. Each year more than 54,000 students from across the nation apply, but only 1,000 are selected as Gates Millennium Scholars. The program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education at a school of their choice in any discipline area of interest.… Read More

Public Punishment for 13-Year-Old Pot Smoker

Posted/updated on: May 1, 2015 at 5:15 pm

weedkid_1430413145792_277259_ver1.0LONGVIEW — A Longview father delivers a public punishment to his 13-year-old son after he was caught smoking marijuana. According to KETK, Travis Simmering made his son Christian stand in various public locations Thursday with a sign that read, “I’ve been smoking weed. I’m only 13.” Mr. Simmering says reaction was overwhelmingly positive. He remarks, “We’ve had a lot of response. We’ve had people pray with us. We’ve had people just come hug him… And I think he’s got a lot of information out of it, a lot of good out of it too.” … Read More

Officials: Gregg County Inmate Could Lose Eye after Jail Assault

Posted/updated on: May 1, 2015 at 2:59 pm

bfc42ce6ae396772fcbe43ffe4929090LONGVIEW — An unprovoked attack in the Gregg County Jail last week has resulted in one inmate possibly losing an eye and the other facing felony assault charges, according to documents signed Wednesday. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Brandon Eugene Washington, 32, of Longview, has been charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. Bond for Washington was set at $75,000. According to the arrest report, witnesses said shortly after 9 p.m. April 20, Washington started acting aggressively toward other inmates in the cell. Washington then approached the victim and struck him in the left eye, continuing to hit the victim in the head and face, according to a complaint. … Read More

Police Need Your Help Identifying Crime Spree Suspect

Posted/updated on: May 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Robbery suspect 4282015TYLER — Tyler police are looking for an unknown suspect allegedly involved in several crimes that occurred Tuesday night. According to police, at 7:15 p.m., the suspect broke into a vehicle in the 7000 block of S. Broadway and stole the victim’s credit card holder with credit cards. The suspect then allegedly went to Valero in the 6500 block of S. Broadway and used the stolen credit cards. At 9:40 p.m. the suspect reportedly approached a female in the Jalapeno Tree parking lot asking for directions. According to police, he got into her vehicle without permission and stole her change purse and small items as she was talking on her cell phone. … Read More

Texan Wanted in Massive ID Theft Turns Self In

Posted/updated on: May 1, 2015 at 12:46 pm

marcusjohnson_1430253618953_274145_ver1.0SHREVEPORT — Louisiana authorities say they’ve captured a fugitive who was last known to be in the Tyler area and was wanted for his role in a $1.2 million scam. According to KETK, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office says Marcus Robinson Johnson, 33, of Addison, Texas, turned himself in to the Caddo Correctional Center on Wednesday. He’s charged with identity theft and criminal conspiracy. Sheriff Steve Prator said Johnson and nine others were involved in a theft scheme that used the personal information of more than 1,200 people to open fraudulent cable accounts. The two head conspirators face 107 counts of identity theft and one count of criminal conspiracy. A third person, Valerie Nicole Nichols, 33, of Pleasant View, Tennessee, is allegedly responsible for giving Comcast customers information to the thieves.

At Least 6 Slightly Hurt as Malakoff School Bus Overturns

Posted/updated on: May 1, 2015 at 11:27 am

thumb_schoolbusTRINIDAD (AP) – At least six people have been slightly hurt when an East Texas school bus overturned during its morning route. The Malakoff Independent School District says the accident happened Thursday on Highway 274 near Trinidad. School district officials say the driver lost control and crossed the road, with the bus ending up on its side in a pasture. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the accident happened as the southbound bus was in an area where the road has a narrow shoulder. District authorities say five middle and high school students were taken to an Athens hospital with possible neck and back injuries. Superintendent Randy Perry says the bus driver was also transported. Authorities say the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Man Charged with Death of 12-Year-Old Released on Bond

Posted/updated on: May 1, 2015 at 11:29 am

caddellvernon_1429650069765_93787_ver1.0TYLER — A Smith County man who turned himself in to authorities April 21 following the death of a 12-year-old boy has been released from jail on bond. KETK reports an arrest warrant was issued for Vernon Ray Caddell, 56, of Tyler, by Judge Jack Skeen, Jr. Caddell is charged with manslaughter. According to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, on April 19 at around 4:00 p.m., Jiree Mobley was taken to a local hospital after he was thrown from his ATV upon hitting a barbed line at the end of County Road 3158. Mobley was pronounced dead by a physician and his body was sent to Dallas for autopsy. … Read More

East Texan Injured During Baltimore Riots

Posted/updated on: May 1, 2015 at 11:29 am

casey harper 2_1430327392072_274662_ver1.0EAST TEXAS — An East Texas native who is now a reporter at a conservative national media outlet was injured while working in Baltimore covering the riots stemming from the death of Freddie Gray. According to KETK, Casey Harper, a 2011 graduate of Hallsville High School and reporter for the Daily Caller, was in the midst of pandemonium Monday night and Tuesday morning. According to Harper and fellow DC reporter Connor Wolf, the journalists were attacked by a mob which resulted in the men being badly injured. Harper suffered a fractured cheekbone, a black eye, a mild concussion and his iPhone was stolen. He was also hit in the face with a bottle. They were treated and released from a local hospital. … Read More

Junior Achievement Celebrates Tom Mullins as Laureate of the Year

Posted/updated on: April 30, 2015 at 5:15 pm

thumb_tom-mullinsTYLER — The Junior Achievement(JA) Board of Directors will host the 2015 Business Hall of Fame Laureate Celebration this evening at 6:00 at the Tyler Rose Garden Center. Tom Mullins, this year’s honoree, has served as the president and CEO of the Tyler Economic Development Council(TEDC) since June 1989 and as the president and CEO of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce since March 1992. “We could not be more pleased or excited about this year’s nominee for the 2015 Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame award,” said Chad Cargile, JA board chair and Regions Bank president. … Read More

Trooper Reprimanded for Photo with Snoop Dogg Sues Bosses

Posted/updated on: April 30, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Snoop Dogg and DPS photoAUSTIN (AP/Staff) – A Texas trooper based in Gilmer has sued his bosses after being reprimanded over his photo with rapper Snoop Dogg at South by Southwest. Department of Public Safety Trooper Billy Spears filed the civil lawsuit Wednesday, alleging retaliation by DPS, Director Steven McCraw and several executives. The lawsuit says Spears was working off-duty security when an assistant for Snoop Dogg took the photo in March and posted it on Instagram. Spears was reprimanded because the rapper has several drug-possession convictions. Spears seeks unspecified damages and a jury trial. Spears also alleges retaliation for his complaint against a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer. Spears was detained in 2014 while off-duty and carrying an alcoholic beverage at a concert. DPS declined to discuss pending litigation. TABC was reviewing the lawsuit Wednesday and declined further comment.

BBB Helps Community Shred Over 10,600 Pounds of Paper

Posted/updated on: April 30, 2015 at 2:28 pm

thumb_betterbusinessbureauTYLER — The Better Business Bureau Serving Central East Texas held its annual shredding events in Tyler on Saturday, April 18, and in Van on Friday, April 24. The two events invited the public to bring unwanted sensitive material to be shredded safely. Over 10,600 pounds of paper was collected, safely destroyed, and recycled between both shredding events, according to a BBB news release. … Read More

Authorities Seeking Tips on Stolen ’65 Mustang

Posted/updated on: April 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm

mustangstolen_1430325285367_274767_ver1.0VAN — Law enforcement officials are asking for the public’s help locating a stolen vehicle. According to KETK, the Van Police Department says a man’s 1965 Mustang was stolen Tuesday night inside city limits. If you have info about this stolen vehicle, contact Van PD or to remain anonymous and collect a CASH reward, contact the Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers tip line at 903-567-7867 (STOP).

Smith County Declares Mental Health Awareness Month

Posted/updated on: April 30, 2015 at 11:14 am

NAMITYLER — The local president of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Valerie Holcomb, presented the Smith County Commissioners Court with a green wreath Tuesday commemorating Mental Health Awareness Month. Commissioner JoAnn Hampton accepted the wreath after reading a resolution declaring May Mental Health Awareness Month during the commissioners’ meeting. “It is important for society to become more aware of the issues and take more action when it comes to mental illness,” Commissioner Hampton said. … Read More

Some, but Not All on Board with School Zone Cameras

Posted/updated on: April 30, 2015 at 11:15 am

thumb_joel-baker2TYLER — Traffic cameras in school zones: on paper, it sounds good. Smith County has bought five cameras that will rotate school zones strictly outside city limits, but KETK reports elected officials and neighboring cities are at odds over the decision. The Smith County Commissioners Court decided this week to put the safety cameras in the school zones. “You know, we have over a 150-160 school safety zones throughout the county and this is designed to assist law enforcement presence that’s there, to enhance public safety,” says County Judge Joel Baker (pictured). … Read More

Longview Man Busted for Lewd Act at Hospital

Posted/updated on: April 30, 2015 at 2:21 am

Jerry Lane AskewLONGVIEW — A Longview man is being accused of exposing himself and performing a sex act in front of nurses at Good Shepherd Medical Center. The Longview News Journal reports officers attempted to remove Jerry Lane Askew, 52, from the hospital when he sat down in the lobby and refused to leave. Askew, a registered sex offender in Texas, was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest, search or transport. He is being held on bonds totaling $1,500. Investigators say Askew was a patient at the hospital on Monday when he is accused of defecating on the floor of an exam room before also urinating on the floor and removing his hospital gown in front of nursing staff and patients.

Missing Longview Teen Found

Posted/updated on: April 30, 2015 at 2:21 am

Alexandria HansleyLONGVIEW — A Longview teen reported missing last week has been located. The public had been asked for help in finding Alexandria “Allie” Eve Hansley, 15. When reported missing, she not been seen by her family in about ten days. They feared the girl may be in danger. She had been recently seen in Longview but it was felt she may have been in the Dallas area. Longview police announced Tuesday the girl had been located. Because of her age, additional information could not be released.

Smith County Receives Leadership Circle Award

Posted/updated on: April 30, 2015 at 2:20 am

smith county sealTYLER — Smith County has received the 2015 Platinum Leadership Circle Award from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Smith County was named a Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle Platinum Member for the second year in a row for its “continued progress toward achieving financial transparency.” The program recognizes local governments across the state that are striving to meet a high standard for financial transparency online. Judge Joel Baker said it is the fifth year Smith County has been recognized with the Leadership Circle Award. The county received the top gold award for three years and last year, the bar was raised to platinum level.… Read More

UT Tyler Senior Gets Prestigious Scholarship

Posted/updated on: April 30, 2015 at 2:20 am

U-T Tyler SignTYLER — A senior at The University of Texas at Tyler, Natalie Haynes of Plains, has received a scholarship from The Explorer’s Club to study Maya archaeology in Belize. Haynes was awarded a 2015 TEC Youth Exploration Fund scholarship in the amount of $1,500. The club offers scholarships to high school, collegiate and post-graduate students in support of exploration and field research. With the award, Haynes will travel this summer to Belize where she and other student-scholars will assist excavation teams and collect data through the Mayan Research Program. “I am so grateful for the funding I have received from The Explorer’s Club,” said Haynes, a social sciences major. “Their generosity will help support me on a trip that I have looked forward to and hoped to have the opportunity to go on for a very long time. I thank them for making this possible for me.”… Read More

East Texan Wanted in Million-Dollar Con

Posted/updated on: April 29, 2015 at 5:14 pm

thumb_police-4SHREVEPORT — The Caddo (La.) Sheriff’s Office obtained arrest warrants for 10 suspects involved in a million-dollar identity theft scheme involving out-of-state cable contractors, said Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator. KETK reports one of the suspects is Marcus Roshun Johnson, 33, of East Texas. Officials said Johnson’s last known location was in the Tyler area. The suspects are wanted for allegedly using the personal information of at least 1,200 people – some more than once – to open fraudulent cable accounts in Caddo Parish. All of the suspects were contractors for RMH Cable in Austin, which was hired by Comcast to find new customers in the Shreveport area. While working locally, the contractors identified residents who agreed to have cable service installed using others’ information so the contractors could collect a commission.

Longview Man Accused of Online Solicitation of a Minor

Posted/updated on: April 29, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Joey Huddleston2LONGVIEW — A Longview man remains in the Gregg County Jail on a charge of online solicitation of a minor for sexual conduct. Placed under a $50,000 bond was Joey Huddleston, 34. He was arrested late Monday morning on East Loop 281 after police say he made arrangements to meet with a 15-year-old boy with the intent of engaging in sexual conduct. Investigators say he knew the boy’s age prior to setting up the meeting. He had reportedly been communicating with the boy through online messages. Gregg County Jail records indicate Huddleston was arrested a couple of months ago on a charge of injury of a child/elderly/disabled person with the intent of bodily injury.

UTT Fraternity Suspended for One Year

Posted/updated on: April 29, 2015 at 3:39 pm

thumb_uttylerTYLER — A University of Texas at Tyler fraternity has been suspended for one year following an investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior. Beverly Golden, Director of Marketing and Communications for UT Tyler, provided our news partner KETK with a statement regarding the suspension of the Rho-Nu chapter of Kappa Sigma. That statement can be read below: … Read More

Former OU Wide Receiver Enters Plea, Gets Probation

Posted/updated on: April 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Trey MetoyerNORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Former Whitehouse High School and Oklahoma wide receiver Trey Metoyer has been sentenced to eight years of probation following accusations he exposed himself to women. Cleveland County, Oklahoma, District Attorney Greg Mashburn’s office says Metoyer was convicted of indecent exposure after entering a blind plea, meaning he didn’t strike a deal with prosecutors. The state had requested a prison sentence of at least three years for Metoyer but a judge gave him probation instead. Metoyer left the Sooners football team in 2013 after being charged with indecent exposure. Authorities say he publicly exposed himself to two different women in Norman. Metoyer started four of the 11 games he played in 2012 and played in four games in 2013.

Woman Falls into Culvert Washout near Lake Palestine

Posted/updated on: April 29, 2015 at 11:37 am

sinkhole2_1430236373015_272781_ver1.0LAKE PALESTINE — A woman was hospitalized Monday night after she fell into a culvert washout near Lake Palestine. KETK reports recent rains washed away part of Wiley Drive in the Shadybrook Subdivision. The woman was pulled from the approximate 33-foot drop with a basket by firefighters around 11:00 p.m., according to the Jacksonville Fire Department. She initially fell into the gap at about 9:30 p.m. The hole is estimated to be about 25 feet wide.

Alto Schools Closed Again Tuesday due to Power Outage

Posted/updated on: April 29, 2015 at 2:31 am

thumb_closings-2ALTO — Alto ISD canceled school for Tuesday, April 28. According to KETK, school officials said the district was still with power following heavy storms on Sunday night into early Monday morning. The district also had to close its doors on Monday because of no electricity.

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