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Category: Local News Archive

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Area Jobless Rates Drop

AUSTIN – The Unemployment rate in Texas declined slightly in November. And a drop has also been reported by some East Texas Cities. The Texas Workforce Commission reports Tyler’s unemployment dropped from 4.4% in October to 4.2% last month. A year ago it was 4.4%. In Longview, unemployment in November was 5.5%, down from 5.7% in October. A year ago, Longview’s unemployment was 5.1%. The Texas unemployment rate for November is the same as the nation’s jobless rate, 4.6%.

LETU Named One of the Best Universities in the U.S.

LONGVIEW – LeTourneau University has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of the Best College Values nationwide for 2017. The school earned the #78 spot on the magazine’s list of 100 best values among private universities for the second consecutive year. Kiplinger’s quality measures, which are weighted more heavily than cost, include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid and average debt at graduation. Unlike other rankings, which include subjective criteria in their assessments, Kiplinger restricts its analysis to measurable standards of academic quality and affordability.Texas schools that made the top 100 private schools list were, in ranked order, Rice University in Houston, Trinity University in San Antonio, Baylor University in Waco, LeTourneau University in Longview, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Police Need Help Identifying Confused Elderly Man

TYLER — Tyler Police are asking for the public’s help with returning an elderly man home. Authorities responded to the Sleep Inn, 555 S. Donnybrook, in response to a confused elderly Hispanic man wondering around the front of the hotel. The man told officers his name was Deojenes Vella, age 91. Officials said they were not sure of the correct spelling and they had no record of him. They also said they have not received any calls reporting the man missing. Anyone with information is urged to contact Tyler Police, 903-531-1000.

Robbery Suspects Arrested Following Brief Chase

TYLER – Some Tyler schools were temporarily locked down following a Smith County robbery. Texas College, Dogan Middle School and Griffin Elementary were locked down for a short time Thursday morning. Officers received a report that several men suspected in an earlier robbery were in North Tyler. When authorities arrived, two men jumped in a car and led law officers on a chase. It ended when the car crashed at North Grand and West 28th Street. The two fled but later were arrested. It was first thought they may be connected with another robbery on Highway 31 West. The investigation showed the two were not related. Marcus Ballesteros, 23 (pictured) and Juan Avelar, Jr 23 , were charged with evading arrests and there may be additional charges filed against them.

Game Room Robbery Suspects Sought

Authorities continue looking for the suspects wanted in the Spin-Win game room robbery. It happened around 8:15 Thursday morning when two armed men entered the business. A security guard began to fight with the men. The fight moved to the parking lot where the employee fired at the suspects. It is not known if they were hit. A witness said the suspects fled in a white SUV, possibly a 4-door Jeep Patriot.

East Texan Named to State Board

AUSTIN – A Cherokee County man is one of three persons appointed by the governor to the Texas County and District Retirement System Board of Trustees. Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis was named to the board for a term that expires December 31, 2021. The board exists to provide Texas County and district employees with retirement, disability and survivor benefits. Also named to the board were William “Bill” Metzger of Sunnyvale, A Dallas County Justice of the peace, and Deborah Hunt of Georgetown, the Williamson County Tax Assessor-Collector.

Hit and Run Driver Located in Longview

LONGVIEW – Longview police have found the driver involved in a hit and run accident. They plan to file charges against the driver for felony hit and run. It happened shortly before 9:00 Thursday morning on North Eastman Road.The accident occurred when a northbound Hyundai Sonata changed lanes. It hit a an SUV heading in the same direction. This caused the SUV to cross the median where it was hit head-on by a truck. The driver of the SUV, Rowena Hunter Jackson, 79, of Longview, is hospitalized.… Read the rest of the article…

Grinch Alert

LUFKIN – The Grinch has turned up in Lufkin. A man portraying Santa at the Lufkin Mall reported someone stole his iPad Air 2 valued at $700. He said it disappeared from a break room while he was posing for pictures with children. It is thought to have happened between 6:00 and 8:00 Wednesday night.

It’s Angel Tree Distribution Time

TYLER – The staff and volunteers with the Salvation Army in Tyler will be busy on Friday and Saturday. It’s time for the annual Angel Tree distribution. This year, over a 4 week period, the community adopted over 2,500 angels. Some of these are underprivileged children. Others are senior adults 65 and over who are living on a fixed income. The distribution will take place at the Salvation Army’s community center just north of downtown Tyler. Lindsey Galabeas says they anticipate serving around 100 families an hour from 8:00am to 3:00pm on Friday and from 8:00am to 11:00am on Saturday. During distribution, the families will not only receive their gifts, they will also receive a food bag with groceries for a Christmas meal.

Celebrating On Longview Campuses

LONGVIEW – Longview teachers have a lot to celebrate today. They’re receiving more than $720,000 in merit-based bonuses. School trustees awarded the funds as part of the district’s Longview Incentive for Teachers Pay for Performance Award. The money to teacher and campus personnel is incentive pay as a reward for good performance during the 2015-16 school year. It is a marked increase from the $600,000 it paid out last year and almost double the $350,000 paid out to staffers in 2014-15.… Read the rest of the article…

Woman Falls For Jury Duty Scam

TYLER – A jury duty scam has resurfaced in Smith County. It starts with someone claiming to be law enforcement calling to say you missed jury duty and will have to pay a fine or be arrested. On Wednesday, an 80 year old Smith County woman didn’t fall for the scam. But, another Smith county woman, who got such a call, gave the caller $1,300 over the phone. Smith County Jury Coordinator Lisa Bennett “Nobody from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office is going to call you and request money over the phone.”… Read the rest of the article…

Ecstasy Seized, Man Arrested

LONGVIEW – The execution of a search warrant on Swancy Street in Longview has resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of ecstasy. Taken into custody was Terry Glenn Dotrey, 40, of Longview. He was booked into the Gregg County Jail under a charge of manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance.

Fatal Shooting Victim Identified

TYLER — Tyler Police continue to investigate an aggravated assault that left one man dead. It occurred shortly before 9:00 Wednesday night in a home near the intersection of Chelsea Drive and Pine Manor Drive. Laterrance Tremayne Cumbie, 29, of Tyler, died at a Tyler hospital where he had been taken for treatment of a gunshot wound. Police spokesman Don Martin says investigators believe the shooting was an isolated incident and was drug related.

Good Shepherd Earns Upgraded Bariatric Surgery Accreditation

LONGVIEW – The Good Shepherd Center for Bariatric Surgery has received an upgrade in its accreditation. The center has been accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. This is a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. In a news release, center director Dr. Dustin McDermott said the upgrade allows the center “more leeway to develop individualized surgical plans to properly care for each our patients and expands the scope of patients for whom these procedures are available.” Since opening in 2013 the Center for Bariatric Surgery has completed more than 200 procedures with additional patients in the pre-op screening or insurance qualification process.

Women Accused of Changing Prices at Retail Store

ANGELINA COUNTY — Two East Texas women have been arrested after allegedly trying to change prices on items at a local retail store. According to KETK, Mary Bishop, 63, (pictured) and Crystal Sanchez, 24, were arrested for theft at Walmart, 2500 Daniel McCall Drive. Police say Bishop and Sanchez changed tags on $238.11 worth of merchandise for a new total of $21.93. Both women were booked into the Angelina County Jail on $1,500 bond. Bishop has since been released, but Sanchez remains in jail.

New Dallas City Manager Returns to Texas after Tacoma Post

DALLAS (AP/Staff) – A city administrator who’s worked in Texas, Washington and Florida has been named city manager for Dallas. The Dallas City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved T.C. Broadnax, who’s currently city manager in Tacoma, Washington. Dallas leaders had already picked Broadnax, but the city council vote makes it official. Broadnax starts his new job Feb. 1, replacing retiring City Manager A.C. Gonzalez. Broadnax beat out former Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel for the job. Broadnax will be responsible for oversight of more than 13,000 municipal employees and a current Dallas annual budget of $3.1 billion.… Read the rest of the article…

Tip Leads to Longview Drug Arrests

LONGVIEW – Acting on a tip, Longview police have arrested two men on drug charges. The tip was where they could find Brandon Ray Williams, 29, of Longview. They noticed, as he was leaving his house, he was followed by another vehicle. They say Williams began to take evasive actions to try and get away from the officers. He pulled into a mechanic shop and tried to flee on foot. He was captured a short time later. The man in the second vehicle was identified as Waukeem Trevor Williams, 33, of Longview. Officers say they saw him throw a marijuana blunt down on the ground. He was also arrested. A search of the men’s vehicles turned up a handgun, loaded rifle, a large amount of marijuana, and crack cocaine. … Read the rest of the article…

Grandmother Pleads Guilty of Leaving Granddaughter in Car to Watch a Movie

TYLER – A Tyler woman who left her infant granddaughter in a car so she could go to the movies, has pleaded guilty in state district court. Felicia Green, 51, pleaded guilty Wednesday to child endangerment. Court records show she was sentenced to two years in state jail, with the sentence probated for five years. She has also been ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitoring device, prohibited from driving a car unless going to the doctor or church and barred from having passengers in her vehicle. Besides being subject to random in-home visits from a probation officer, she will have to report to her probation officer on a weekly basis. Green has also has been barred from having having unsupervised contact with the child involved in the incident.… Read the rest of the article…

Palestine Health Services Moves to the Mall

PALESTINE – The City of Palestine health services division is changing locations. City Manager Mike Alexander has decided to move the city’s health department from the Development Services Department to Community Services. Community Services comprises of the former Parks and Recreation department, along with the newly-formed Environmental Services division, a combination of code enforcement and health services. As part of the move to Community Services, Health Officer Rickey Dorsey will now become the Assistant Director for Community Services. Dorsey has moved offices to the department’s offices inside the Palestine Mall. If residents have a health question, they can head to the Community Services Department inside the mall across from JC Penney.

Longview Suspect Tries to Run Away

LONGVIEW – A Longview drug suspect is in custody after trying to flee officers. Longview Police and the Gregg County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit were told where the drug suspect might be located. They found 32 year-old Torvoris Torraz McKinley of Longview in his car on South Access Road. He ran from the vehicle, but they were able to follow him and arrest him in a nearby parking lot. The found narcotics on him and in his car. McKinley has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, evading arrest/detention, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon warrant and misdemeanor class C warrants. His jail records show he has been handled by authorities 31 times since 2008.

Guilty Pleas in a Tyler Robbery

TYLER – A woman has been sentenced in state district court for her part in a Tyler robbery. Candice Renae McGee, 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday. She was given a 10-year deferred adjudication. On May 7th, she is said to have entered the Valero convenience store on the Troup Highway and Thistle Drive, and served as a lookout for the robbers. Earlier this week, Christopher Lamar Arnold, 29 pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in the case. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Two other persons were also arrested in the case. They are Lovie Sharlene Davis, 26, the store clerk and James Michael Rierson, 27, who was accused of driving the getaway car. Earlier this year, both pleaded guilty and were e both sentenced to 10 years probation with 320 hours of community service. They also had to enroll in a G.E.D. program and pay $1,779 in restitution.

Palestine Boil Water Notice Lifted

PALESTINE – A boil water notice issued for a portion of Palestine has been rescinded. The notice was issued Monday due to line rupture repairs on Highland Drive. The water system sent out a notice Wednesday that the water is safe and boiling may be discontinued.

Longview Police ID Armed Robbery Suspects

LONGVIEW — The Longview Police Department has identified four people who were arrested in connection with the Tuesday night robbery of a dollar store. According to KETK, officers responded around 9:30 to the Dollar General, 1501 South High Street, in reference to an aggravated robbery. The four suspects arrested at the scene were Xavier Rashad Lockridge, 17, Joseph Pierre Brice, Jr., 18, (pictured) and La’Darion Lynn Canada and Daqwon Hollins, both 19, all from Longview. Officers were able to find them because a GPS unit had been placed among the money. The four were arraigned Wednesday morning.They have all been charged with aggravated robbery. Each was placed under a $250,000 bond.

Two Boys and Girls Clubs Uniting

LONGVIEW – Two youth organizations in East Texas have announced a merger. The Boys & Girls Club of Gregg County will be merging into the Boys & Girls Club of The Big Pines, which is based in Marshall. The union becomes effective with the start of the new year. The announcement was made Wednesday morning at a news conference in Longview. The move will enable an expansion of school-based clubs in on campus sites in Longview, Pine Tree and Spring Hill school systems. The expanded locations are scheduled to open January 9.… Read the rest of the article…

Smith County Employees Coat Drive a Success

TYLER- For the second year in a row, Smith County employees held a coat and toy drive for children staying at the East Texas Crisis Center. And it has again been a success. The drive collected 87 coats, 67 hats, 76 pairs of gloves, eight blankets, clothes and well over 100 stuffed animals and toys. The truckload of items was taken to the Crisis Center on Monday to be given to children before Christmas and throughout the winter season. Smith County Commissioner Jeff Warr, Public Information Officer Casey Murphy, County Judge Nathaniel Moran and Commissioner Cary Nix show off a few of the items that were collected. All children who go to the shelter are given a new stuffed animal to have something to comfort them and to have something they can call their own. Many of the children who come through the shelter don’t even have light jackets to warm them through the winter months, said Lana Peacock, executive director of the Crisis Center.

National Organization Taking Credit for Longview Cross Removal

LONGVIEW – The Freedom From Religion Foundation claims it is responsible for a cross being removed from a Longview fire station. According to the organization’s web site, a resident alerted them to the cross. They contacted the city last year about it. The group’s staff attorney, Sam Grover wrote to Longview Fire Chief J.P. Steelman, “It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for a government to display a Latin cross on its property because it conveys a preference of the city of Longview for religion over nonreligion and Christianity over all minority faiths.” … Read the rest of the article…

East Texas Lab Agrees to Pay for False Medicare Claims

TYLER – Elite Lab Services, LLC of Tyler, and its owners, husband and wife Gerard and Suzanne Dengler, have agreed to pay the United States $3.75 million. This is for billing Medicare for tens of thousands of miles that were never driven by Elite Lab’s personnel. It all stems from a lawsuit filed by former Elite Lab employee Karen Malcolm under provisions of the False Claims Act. In her action, she alleged, among other things, that the defendants inflated mileage claims submitted to Medicare from approximately 2010 through 2014. Ms. Malcolm approached the couple in the spring of 2014 to voice her concerns about the billing practices. Ms. Malcolm claimed the fraudulent billing was not corrected, and she then resigned from the company.… Read the rest of the article…

Quest Diagnostics Says Customer Accounts Hacked

NEW YORK (AP/STAFF) — Medical laboratory operator Quest Diagnostics Inc., which has locations in East Texas, says a hack of an internet application on its network has exposed the personal health information of about 34,000 people. The Madison, New Jersey-based company says “an unauthorized third party” on November 26 gained access to customer information. That includes names, dates of birth, lab results and in some instances, telephone numbers. The stolen data did not include Social Security numbers, credit card accounts, insurance details or any other financial information. Quest Diagnostics has locations in Tyler, Longview, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Sulphur Springs, Texarkana and Paris.… Read the rest of the article…

Six Arrested in Longview Drug Raid

LONGVIEW – A drug raid in Longview has resulted in the arrest of six persons. The arrests came as the Gregg County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit and the Longview SWAT Team served a narcotics search warrant. It was served at a house on Osborne Street. Officers found a large amount of narcotics including cocaine, Xanax, Hydrocodone, and Marijuana. Police also seized cash found inside the house. The six suspects were arrested without incident. They are facing a variety of drug charges or were arrested on outstanding warrants.… Read the rest of the article…

Mother Pleads Guilty in Daughters’ Deaths

QUITMAN – A Quitman mother will be going to prison for the deaths of her two young girls. After accepting a plea deal on lesser charges, Daphne Elizabeth McDaniels, 25, was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison. She had been facing capital murder charges. She pleaded guilty to two counts of injury to a child with intent to cause serious bodily injury. She had been charged with the deaths of her 3 year old and 1 year old daughters in 2014. The autopsy showed they had internal bleeding, damaged organs and over two dozen cuts and bruises on their bodies. McDaniels former boy friend is also facing charges in the case.

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Area Jobless Rates Drop

Posted/updated on: December 19, 2016 at 3:33 am

AUSTIN – The Unemployment rate in Texas declined slightly in November. And a drop has also been reported by some East Texas Cities. The Texas Workforce Commission reports Tyler’s unemployment dropped from 4.4% in October to 4.2% last month. A year ago it was 4.4%. In Longview, unemployment in November was 5.5%, down from 5.7% in October. A year ago, Longview’s unemployment was 5.1%. The Texas unemployment rate for November is the same as the nation’s jobless rate, 4.6%.

LETU Named One of the Best Universities in the U.S.

Posted/updated on: December 19, 2016 at 3:33 am

LONGVIEW – LeTourneau University has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of the Best College Values nationwide for 2017. The school earned the #78 spot on the magazine’s list of 100 best values among private universities for the second consecutive year. Kiplinger’s quality measures, which are weighted more heavily than cost, include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid and average debt at graduation. Unlike other rankings, which include subjective criteria in their assessments, Kiplinger restricts its analysis to measurable standards of academic quality and affordability.Texas schools that made the top 100 private schools list were, in ranked order, Rice University in Houston, Trinity University in San Antonio, Baylor University in Waco, LeTourneau University in Longview, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Police Need Help Identifying Confused Elderly Man

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 9:28 am

TYLER — Tyler Police are asking for the public’s help with returning an elderly man home. Authorities responded to the Sleep Inn, 555 S. Donnybrook, in response to a confused elderly Hispanic man wondering around the front of the hotel. The man told officers his name was Deojenes Vella, age 91. Officials said they were not sure of the correct spelling and they had no record of him. They also said they have not received any calls reporting the man missing. Anyone with information is urged to contact Tyler Police, 903-531-1000.

Robbery Suspects Arrested Following Brief Chase

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 7:13 pm

TYLER – Some Tyler schools were temporarily locked down following a Smith County robbery. Texas College, Dogan Middle School and Griffin Elementary were locked down for a short time Thursday morning. Officers received a report that several men suspected in an earlier robbery were in North Tyler. When authorities arrived, two men jumped in a car and led law officers on a chase. It ended when the car crashed at North Grand and West 28th Street. The two fled but later were arrested. It was first thought they may be connected with another robbery on Highway 31 West. The investigation showed the two were not related. Marcus Ballesteros, 23 (pictured) and Juan Avelar, Jr 23 , were charged with evading arrests and there may be additional charges filed against them.

Game Room Robbery Suspects Sought

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Authorities continue looking for the suspects wanted in the Spin-Win game room robbery. It happened around 8:15 Thursday morning when two armed men entered the business. A security guard began to fight with the men. The fight moved to the parking lot where the employee fired at the suspects. It is not known if they were hit. A witness said the suspects fled in a white SUV, possibly a 4-door Jeep Patriot.

East Texan Named to State Board

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 3:45 pm

AUSTIN – A Cherokee County man is one of three persons appointed by the governor to the Texas County and District Retirement System Board of Trustees. Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis was named to the board for a term that expires December 31, 2021. The board exists to provide Texas County and district employees with retirement, disability and survivor benefits. Also named to the board were William “Bill” Metzger of Sunnyvale, A Dallas County Justice of the peace, and Deborah Hunt of Georgetown, the Williamson County Tax Assessor-Collector.

Hit and Run Driver Located in Longview

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 3:02 pm

LONGVIEW – Longview police have found the driver involved in a hit and run accident. They plan to file charges against the driver for felony hit and run. It happened shortly before 9:00 Thursday morning on North Eastman Road.The accident occurred when a northbound Hyundai Sonata changed lanes. It hit a an SUV heading in the same direction. This caused the SUV to cross the median where it was hit head-on by a truck. The driver of the SUV, Rowena Hunter Jackson, 79, of Longview, is hospitalized.… Read the rest of the article…

Grinch Alert

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 2:28 pm

LUFKIN – The Grinch has turned up in Lufkin. A man portraying Santa at the Lufkin Mall reported someone stole his iPad Air 2 valued at $700. He said it disappeared from a break room while he was posing for pictures with children. It is thought to have happened between 6:00 and 8:00 Wednesday night.

It’s Angel Tree Distribution Time

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm

TYLER – The staff and volunteers with the Salvation Army in Tyler will be busy on Friday and Saturday. It’s time for the annual Angel Tree distribution. This year, over a 4 week period, the community adopted over 2,500 angels. Some of these are underprivileged children. Others are senior adults 65 and over who are living on a fixed income. The distribution will take place at the Salvation Army’s community center just north of downtown Tyler. Lindsey Galabeas says they anticipate serving around 100 families an hour from 8:00am to 3:00pm on Friday and from 8:00am to 11:00am on Saturday. During distribution, the families will not only receive their gifts, they will also receive a food bag with groceries for a Christmas meal.

Celebrating On Longview Campuses

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 1:01 pm

LONGVIEW – Longview teachers have a lot to celebrate today. They’re receiving more than $720,000 in merit-based bonuses. School trustees awarded the funds as part of the district’s Longview Incentive for Teachers Pay for Performance Award. The money to teacher and campus personnel is incentive pay as a reward for good performance during the 2015-16 school year. It is a marked increase from the $600,000 it paid out last year and almost double the $350,000 paid out to staffers in 2014-15.… Read the rest of the article…

Woman Falls For Jury Duty Scam

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 1:10 pm

TYLER – A jury duty scam has resurfaced in Smith County. It starts with someone claiming to be law enforcement calling to say you missed jury duty and will have to pay a fine or be arrested. On Wednesday, an 80 year old Smith County woman didn’t fall for the scam. But, another Smith county woman, who got such a call, gave the caller $1,300 over the phone. Smith County Jury Coordinator Lisa Bennett “Nobody from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office is going to call you and request money over the phone.”… Read the rest of the article…

Ecstasy Seized, Man Arrested

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 12:04 pm

LONGVIEW – The execution of a search warrant on Swancy Street in Longview has resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of ecstasy. Taken into custody was Terry Glenn Dotrey, 40, of Longview. He was booked into the Gregg County Jail under a charge of manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance.

Fatal Shooting Victim Identified

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 11:30 am

TYLER — Tyler Police continue to investigate an aggravated assault that left one man dead. It occurred shortly before 9:00 Wednesday night in a home near the intersection of Chelsea Drive and Pine Manor Drive. Laterrance Tremayne Cumbie, 29, of Tyler, died at a Tyler hospital where he had been taken for treatment of a gunshot wound. Police spokesman Don Martin says investigators believe the shooting was an isolated incident and was drug related.

Good Shepherd Earns Upgraded Bariatric Surgery Accreditation

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 3:54 pm

LONGVIEW – The Good Shepherd Center for Bariatric Surgery has received an upgrade in its accreditation. The center has been accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. This is a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. In a news release, center director Dr. Dustin McDermott said the upgrade allows the center “more leeway to develop individualized surgical plans to properly care for each our patients and expands the scope of patients for whom these procedures are available.” Since opening in 2013 the Center for Bariatric Surgery has completed more than 200 procedures with additional patients in the pre-op screening or insurance qualification process.

Women Accused of Changing Prices at Retail Store

Posted/updated on: December 16, 2016 at 10:27 am

ANGELINA COUNTY — Two East Texas women have been arrested after allegedly trying to change prices on items at a local retail store. According to KETK, Mary Bishop, 63, (pictured) and Crystal Sanchez, 24, were arrested for theft at Walmart, 2500 Daniel McCall Drive. Police say Bishop and Sanchez changed tags on $238.11 worth of merchandise for a new total of $21.93. Both women were booked into the Angelina County Jail on $1,500 bond. Bishop has since been released, but Sanchez remains in jail.

New Dallas City Manager Returns to Texas after Tacoma Post

Posted/updated on: December 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm

DALLAS (AP/Staff) – A city administrator who’s worked in Texas, Washington and Florida has been named city manager for Dallas. The Dallas City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved T.C. Broadnax, who’s currently city manager in Tacoma, Washington. Dallas leaders had already picked Broadnax, but the city council vote makes it official. Broadnax starts his new job Feb. 1, replacing retiring City Manager A.C. Gonzalez. Broadnax beat out former Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel for the job. Broadnax will be responsible for oversight of more than 13,000 municipal employees and a current Dallas annual budget of $3.1 billion.… Read the rest of the article…

Tip Leads to Longview Drug Arrests

Posted/updated on: December 15, 2016 at 4:41 pm

LONGVIEW – Acting on a tip, Longview police have arrested two men on drug charges. The tip was where they could find Brandon Ray Williams, 29, of Longview. They noticed, as he was leaving his house, he was followed by another vehicle. They say Williams began to take evasive actions to try and get away from the officers. He pulled into a mechanic shop and tried to flee on foot. He was captured a short time later. The man in the second vehicle was identified as Waukeem Trevor Williams, 33, of Longview. Officers say they saw him throw a marijuana blunt down on the ground. He was also arrested. A search of the men’s vehicles turned up a handgun, loaded rifle, a large amount of marijuana, and crack cocaine. … Read the rest of the article…

Grandmother Pleads Guilty of Leaving Granddaughter in Car to Watch a Movie

Posted/updated on: December 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm

TYLER – A Tyler woman who left her infant granddaughter in a car so she could go to the movies, has pleaded guilty in state district court. Felicia Green, 51, pleaded guilty Wednesday to child endangerment. Court records show she was sentenced to two years in state jail, with the sentence probated for five years. She has also been ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitoring device, prohibited from driving a car unless going to the doctor or church and barred from having passengers in her vehicle. Besides being subject to random in-home visits from a probation officer, she will have to report to her probation officer on a weekly basis. Green has also has been barred from having having unsupervised contact with the child involved in the incident.… Read the rest of the article…

Palestine Health Services Moves to the Mall

Posted/updated on: December 15, 2016 at 2:07 pm

PALESTINE – The City of Palestine health services division is changing locations. City Manager Mike Alexander has decided to move the city’s health department from the Development Services Department to Community Services. Community Services comprises of the former Parks and Recreation department, along with the newly-formed Environmental Services division, a combination of code enforcement and health services. As part of the move to Community Services, Health Officer Rickey Dorsey will now become the Assistant Director for Community Services. Dorsey has moved offices to the department’s offices inside the Palestine Mall. If residents have a health question, they can head to the Community Services Department inside the mall across from JC Penney.

Longview Suspect Tries to Run Away

Posted/updated on: December 15, 2016 at 1:54 pm

LONGVIEW – A Longview drug suspect is in custody after trying to flee officers. Longview Police and the Gregg County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit were told where the drug suspect might be located. They found 32 year-old Torvoris Torraz McKinley of Longview in his car on South Access Road. He ran from the vehicle, but they were able to follow him and arrest him in a nearby parking lot. The found narcotics on him and in his car. McKinley has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, evading arrest/detention, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon warrant and misdemeanor class C warrants. His jail records show he has been handled by authorities 31 times since 2008.

Guilty Pleas in a Tyler Robbery

Posted/updated on: December 15, 2016 at 1:19 pm

TYLER – A woman has been sentenced in state district court for her part in a Tyler robbery. Candice Renae McGee, 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday. She was given a 10-year deferred adjudication. On May 7th, she is said to have entered the Valero convenience store on the Troup Highway and Thistle Drive, and served as a lookout for the robbers. Earlier this week, Christopher Lamar Arnold, 29 pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in the case. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Two other persons were also arrested in the case. They are Lovie Sharlene Davis, 26, the store clerk and James Michael Rierson, 27, who was accused of driving the getaway car. Earlier this year, both pleaded guilty and were e both sentenced to 10 years probation with 320 hours of community service. They also had to enroll in a G.E.D. program and pay $1,779 in restitution.

Palestine Boil Water Notice Lifted

Posted/updated on: December 15, 2016 at 12:33 pm

PALESTINE – A boil water notice issued for a portion of Palestine has been rescinded. The notice was issued Monday due to line rupture repairs on Highland Drive. The water system sent out a notice Wednesday that the water is safe and boiling may be discontinued.

Longview Police ID Armed Robbery Suspects

Posted/updated on: December 15, 2016 at 12:21 pm

LONGVIEW — The Longview Police Department has identified four people who were arrested in connection with the Tuesday night robbery of a dollar store. According to KETK, officers responded around 9:30 to the Dollar General, 1501 South High Street, in reference to an aggravated robbery. The four suspects arrested at the scene were Xavier Rashad Lockridge, 17, Joseph Pierre Brice, Jr., 18, (pictured) and La’Darion Lynn Canada and Daqwon Hollins, both 19, all from Longview. Officers were able to find them because a GPS unit had been placed among the money. The four were arraigned Wednesday morning.They have all been charged with aggravated robbery. Each was placed under a $250,000 bond.

Two Boys and Girls Clubs Uniting

Posted/updated on: December 15, 2016 at 11:55 am

LONGVIEW – Two youth organizations in East Texas have announced a merger. The Boys & Girls Club of Gregg County will be merging into the Boys & Girls Club of The Big Pines, which is based in Marshall. The union becomes effective with the start of the new year. The announcement was made Wednesday morning at a news conference in Longview. The move will enable an expansion of school-based clubs in on campus sites in Longview, Pine Tree and Spring Hill school systems. The expanded locations are scheduled to open January 9.… Read the rest of the article…

Smith County Employees Coat Drive a Success

Posted/updated on: December 14, 2016 at 4:31 pm

TYLER- For the second year in a row, Smith County employees held a coat and toy drive for children staying at the East Texas Crisis Center. And it has again been a success. The drive collected 87 coats, 67 hats, 76 pairs of gloves, eight blankets, clothes and well over 100 stuffed animals and toys. The truckload of items was taken to the Crisis Center on Monday to be given to children before Christmas and throughout the winter season. Smith County Commissioner Jeff Warr, Public Information Officer Casey Murphy, County Judge Nathaniel Moran and Commissioner Cary Nix show off a few of the items that were collected. All children who go to the shelter are given a new stuffed animal to have something to comfort them and to have something they can call their own. Many of the children who come through the shelter don’t even have light jackets to warm them through the winter months, said Lana Peacock, executive director of the Crisis Center.

National Organization Taking Credit for Longview Cross Removal

Posted/updated on: December 14, 2016 at 3:43 pm

LONGVIEW – The Freedom From Religion Foundation claims it is responsible for a cross being removed from a Longview fire station. According to the organization’s web site, a resident alerted them to the cross. They contacted the city last year about it. The group’s staff attorney, Sam Grover wrote to Longview Fire Chief J.P. Steelman, “It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for a government to display a Latin cross on its property because it conveys a preference of the city of Longview for religion over nonreligion and Christianity over all minority faiths.” … Read the rest of the article…

East Texas Lab Agrees to Pay for False Medicare Claims

Posted/updated on: December 14, 2016 at 3:05 pm

TYLER – Elite Lab Services, LLC of Tyler, and its owners, husband and wife Gerard and Suzanne Dengler, have agreed to pay the United States $3.75 million. This is for billing Medicare for tens of thousands of miles that were never driven by Elite Lab’s personnel. It all stems from a lawsuit filed by former Elite Lab employee Karen Malcolm under provisions of the False Claims Act. In her action, she alleged, among other things, that the defendants inflated mileage claims submitted to Medicare from approximately 2010 through 2014. Ms. Malcolm approached the couple in the spring of 2014 to voice her concerns about the billing practices. Ms. Malcolm claimed the fraudulent billing was not corrected, and she then resigned from the company.… Read the rest of the article…

Quest Diagnostics Says Customer Accounts Hacked

Posted/updated on: December 14, 2016 at 2:17 pm

NEW YORK (AP/STAFF) — Medical laboratory operator Quest Diagnostics Inc., which has locations in East Texas, says a hack of an internet application on its network has exposed the personal health information of about 34,000 people. The Madison, New Jersey-based company says “an unauthorized third party” on November 26 gained access to customer information. That includes names, dates of birth, lab results and in some instances, telephone numbers. The stolen data did not include Social Security numbers, credit card accounts, insurance details or any other financial information. Quest Diagnostics has locations in Tyler, Longview, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Sulphur Springs, Texarkana and Paris.… Read the rest of the article…

Six Arrested in Longview Drug Raid

Posted/updated on: December 14, 2016 at 1:24 pm

LONGVIEW – A drug raid in Longview has resulted in the arrest of six persons. The arrests came as the Gregg County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit and the Longview SWAT Team served a narcotics search warrant. It was served at a house on Osborne Street. Officers found a large amount of narcotics including cocaine, Xanax, Hydrocodone, and Marijuana. Police also seized cash found inside the house. The six suspects were arrested without incident. They are facing a variety of drug charges or were arrested on outstanding warrants.… Read the rest of the article…

Mother Pleads Guilty in Daughters’ Deaths

Posted/updated on: December 14, 2016 at 11:30 am

QUITMAN – A Quitman mother will be going to prison for the deaths of her two young girls. After accepting a plea deal on lesser charges, Daphne Elizabeth McDaniels, 25, was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison. She had been facing capital murder charges. She pleaded guilty to two counts of injury to a child with intent to cause serious bodily injury. She had been charged with the deaths of her 3 year old and 1 year old daughters in 2014. The autopsy showed they had internal bleeding, damaged organs and over two dozen cuts and bruises on their bodies. McDaniels former boy friend is also facing charges in the case.

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