TYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler, in collaboration with the Tyler Area Partnership 4 Education, is participating in a week-long campaign to help high school seniors with the college application process. According to a news release, “Apply Yourself Smith County” runs Nov. 16 – 20 during East Texas College Fair Week. Colleges from near and far will visit with and recruit students during fairs at local colleges, at convention centers, and on high school campuses. As part of the campaign’s college access initiative, high school representatives across Smith County will aid its seniors with the goal of each completing and submitting at least one college application.
The Tyler Area College Fair will be 6 – 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, in Tyler Junior College’s Gentry Gym. Tyler Independent School District and other Smith County high schools also will offer assistance with applications during the week through specific classes. TAP4E is a subcommittee of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business Education Council. For more information, contact Sarah Bowdin, UTT’s assistant vice president for enrollment management, at 903-566-7057. You can also visit http://www.tap4e.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to know more.
Weather permitting, the Interstate Highway20 westbound Exit 595 will be closed Monday for repairs. Traffic can use the westbound Exit 596 to avoid delays. Slow down and pay attention in this and all work zones.
Crews continue to place final striping on roadways across Anderson, Cherokee, Rusk, Van Zandt, and Wood counties as district wide seal coat work nears completion. Expect lane closures in work zones.… Read More
ANGELINA COUNTY — One man was killed in a shooting in Angelina County early Sunday morning. According to the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to “Annie Mae’s” on Jackson Road around 2:50 to the report of a shooting. Kevin Moore, 37, was taken to Woodland Heights Hospital where he was pronounced dead from multiple gun shot wounds. An autopsy has been ordered. According to KETK, Terry Christopher “Chris” Criswell (pictured) 32, has been named as a person of interest in the shooting. … Read More
TATUM — Two men were killed Friday morning in a two-vehicle collision on Texas 43 and Rusk CR 2138 near Tatum, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported. Antonio Romero, 48, of East Bernard was declared dead at the scene. The DPS said Romero was traveling south on Texas 43 and entered the wrong lane, striking the second vehicle, driven by Chase Todd, 31, of Tenaha. Todd was transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, where he died of his injuries.
GREGG COUNTY — Jury selection is set to begin today in the case of a man charged in a 2013 murder at a home in the 300 block of Bonner Street in Longview. According to the Longview News-Journal, Paul Anthony Mengel, 30, of Bossier City, Louisiana, is charged in the murder of Joey Lee Espy, 19, of Longview, whose body was found July 7, 2013, inside the Bonner Street home with gunshot wounds to his head and chest.
TYLER — Tyler Police are investigating the theft of an ATM. Officers responded to an alarm call at Texas National Bank, 2133 W. Grande, around 12:30 Saturday morning. The exterior ATM was missing and a forklift from a construction site next to the bank was found in the parking lot. Police said the machinery was apparently used to steal the ATM. No word on the amount of money stolen. Anyone with information is asked to contact Tyler Police, 903-531-1000 or Crimestoppers, 903-597-CUFF (903-597-2833).
LONGVIEW — Anthony Adams, 25, of Longview is dead in a Longview shooting. Police received a call just after 10:00 Thursday night of shots fired in the 5000 block of West loop 281. They found Adams in a car at that location. It appeared as if he had been shot and died inside the vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.
ATHENS – Work on design plans for repairs to Farm Road 317 in Henderson County just outside of Athens is nearing completion, but repairs are still several months away, according to highway officials. The roadway washed out about three miles east of SH 31 last spring due to excessive rain and has remained closed to traffic. In a news release, TxDOT says once the plans for a permanent repair are finalized and approved, the project will likely go to bid in February. Construction should get underway in the spring with repairs taking several months to complete before the roadway returns to normal traffic flow. Stabilization work to prevent additional damage to the road was conducted last summer under emergency contract. Officials say traffic detours will stay in place until the road is rebuilt.
SMITH COUNTY — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an armed robbery reported early Friday afternoon. According to KETK, authorities say the robber was armed with a pistol when he held up a Shell Station on Interstate 20 about a mile east of Highway 69. The man is described as African-American, 5 feet 5 inches tall, wearing a dark blue work suit and possibly coveralls. He was also wearing a beanie which covered his face. There was no immediate word on a getaway vehicle description. No injuries were reported.
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has appointed a Nacogdoches woman to the Texas Economic Development Corporation. According to a news release, Nancy Windham is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation and previously served as the vice president of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation. The governor’s office says, “The corporation supports programs and activities of the Governor’s Division of Economic Development and Tourism, including TexasOne, which markets Texas competitively and dynamically to businesses outside the state of Texas.”
SHREVEPORT, La. — A Tyler man is among those arrested in a Louisiana sting operation to combat human trafficking. KETK reports 23-year-old Devonta Hill of Tyler was arrested for pandering and trafficking children for sexual purposes. Investigators with the Louisiana State Police and the Shreveport Police Department conducted an investigation into human trafficking as well as online child predator activity in and around the Shreveport/Bossier area. Other suspects are from elsewhere in Texas as well as Louisiana and Arkansas. Officials say during the investigation, a 17-year-old runaway juvenile from Texas was recovered who was trafficked for sexual purposes.
BRENHAM (Staff/AP) — Blue Bell has announced when the coveted frozen treat is returning to East Texas. KETK reports Blue Bell will be available in Tyler, Longview, Lufkin, and other locations December 14. Other Texas towns due to get Blue Bell that day include Abilene, Amarillo, Beaumont, Big Spring, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Laredo, Lubbock, Midland, McAllen, Odessa, and San Antonio. Phase three will be underway soon, meaning the company “will bring back 215 of its employees who were put on paid furlough earlier this year,” according to a press release from Blue Bell. There are five flavors available as the company works to restore its inventory: Buttered Pecan, Cookies ’n Cream, Dutch Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla, and The Great Divide. … Read More
MT. PLEASANT — The Mt. Pleasant Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a woman who is believed to have stolen many items from a local business. According to KETK, police said on October 24 around 3 a.m., the woman pictured took merchandise from a Mt. Pleasant Walmart. Authorities believe the woman left the scene in a white vehicle. If you know who this person is, call the Mount Pleasant Police Department Investigations Division at 903-575-4191 or go to http://www.mpcity.net/police/tip to submit a tip online.
TYLER — A Smith County district court has granted an injunction to East Texas Medical Center Tyler, immediately designating the hospital as a preferred provider in the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Texas (BCBS) preferred provider organization (PPO). In a news release, Elmer G. Ellis, president/CEO of the ETMC Regional Healthcare System, calls the move a victory and says ETMC has been “fighting hard” for the designation. Earlier this year, ETMC Tyler filed suit against Blue Cross & Blue Shield, saying the hospital’s exclusion from the organization’s preferred provider networks has created serious and negative impacts on a large group of consumers. Although ETMC administrators expect Blue Cross & Blue Shield to appeal the decision, they say they’re confident the ruling will be upheld. Blue Cross Blue Shield did not immediately respond to a phone message left by KTBB.
TYLER — Tyler Pounds Regional Airport will soon begin accepting bids and/or proposals for the lease and operations of food concessions and a gift shop in the west side passenger terminal. In a news release, Airport Manager Davis Dickson says the goal is to increase the airport’s appeal by expanding services. A pre-bid conference is set for Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. in the Airport Conference Room, on the second floor of the main terminal. Bids will be accepted through Dec. 8. All plans, specifications, and/or proposal forms must be submitted to the City of Tyler Purchasing office (Attention: Sherry Pettit), 511 W. Locust, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For further information, you can contact airport administration at (903) 531-9825.
TYLER — Downtown Tyler won three 2015 Texas Downtown Association President’s Awards at a luncheon last week at the Texas Downtown Revitalization Conference in Waxahachie. According to a news release, the Martin Walker Law Firm won Best Commercial Interior, and Heart of Tyler’s Black Tie Bingo was named Best Promotional Event. Longtime Heart of Tyler volunteer Ingrid Young garnered one of the program’s top three awards, Texas Downtowner of the Year. Over the years. Tyler has received 22 awards for its revitalization projects, with 16 of those awarded since 2007.
NACOGDOCHES — The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday the seizure of more than $1 million in suspected drug money. KETK reports deputies stopped an SUV October 10 for speeding on Loop 224 at Old Tyler Road South. Officials say the driver and lone occupant was nervous and gave conflicting statements about his trip. During the stop, deputies became suspicious of criminal activity. Deputies searched the SUV and discovered about $1.1 million tucked away in three duffel bags in the cargo area. The sheriff’s office says the suspect denied the money belonged to him but confirmed the money was from drug cartel activity. … Read More
TYLER — “Orion – Journey to Mars,” the newest exhibit at Discovery Science Place, is now open to the public. Officials say the interactive exhibit will allow visitors of all ages to learn more about manned space travel through hands-on displays and a life-size model of NASA’s Orion space capsule. According to a news release, Orion is NASA’s newest crew module that will carry four astronauts into deep space, back to the moon, and eventually to Mars one day. The museum is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 – 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit http://www.discoveryscienceplace.org for more information.
TYLER — The Tyler Salvation Army’s 2015 Angel Tree Kick Off will take place this morning at 10:00 at Broadway Square Mall in the lobby by JC Penney’s and Chick-Fil-A. Spokespeople say the program helps over 1,000 families and seniors throughout Smith County, providing food, clothing, and toys for children and elderly who would otherwise not experience a merry Christmas. The Tyler Junior College Brass Ensemble, as well as city officials and community leaders, will be joining in the program.
TYLER — There were lots of activities around East Texas Wednesday honoring those who have served in the military. Just one: the second annual Veterans Day parade at the Watkins-Logan Veterans Home in Tyler. KETK reports the parade started off with the singing of the National Anthem and a flag presentation by the ALERT Academy. Following the opening ceremony, the parade lineup included the Bishop Thomas K. Gorman band, Bell Elementary, St. Gregory Cathedral School, Grace Community School, and the Winona Volunteer Fire Department. Veterans of all ages attended alongside their families, and a total of 25 organizations participated.
MARSHALL — The Marshall Police Department is investigating a fatal five-vehicle crash on East End Boulevard shortly before 5 p.m. on Tuesday. KETK reports two people died in the wreck and four more were injured. The deceased victims have been identified as Ronny Toland, 58, of Morris County and Carlie Pruitt Barnard, 47, of Hughes Springs. Further details were pending.
WACO — Ten East Texas men are among 106 bikers indicted this week in McLennan County in connection to a deadly shootout in May outside a Waco restaurant. The Longview News-Journal reports 71 other bikers arrested May 17 still face possible indictments later this month. Area bikers indicted on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity include four Longview residents: Anthony Shane Palmer, Christopher Ryan Rogers, George Earl Rogers, and Marshall Mitchell. Also indicted were Phillip Sampson and Wesley McAlister of Gilmer, Kyle Smith of Kilgore, James L. Gray of Tyler, Josh Logan Martin of Pittsburg, and Jacob Reese of Mount Pleasant. Nine people died and 20 were injured during the shooting outside Twin Peaks restaurant between police and biker club members.
DALLAS (AP) – About 87 percent of schools in Texas met state academic standards this year, according to ratings from the Texas Education Agency. The Dallas Morning News reports that schools and districts with poor assessments had an opportunity to contest after preliminary ratings came out in August. Thirteen districts and 59 schools in the state filed appeals, including nine schools in Dallas, seven in Fort Worth, and three in Richardson. Two Dallas charter schools, Focus Learning Academy and Nova Academy Southeast, also tried to convince the agency that they deserved a better rating. Two districts and 13 schools won appeals statewide, including Nova Academy Southeast. The agency has released a list of schools and districts that won but hasn’t explained Education Commissioner Michael Williams’ decisions.
AUSTIN — Harrison County is not required to release criminal history information involving recently resigned Hallsville ISD coach Dean McDaniel, according to an opinion from State Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report that McDaniel, who remains on paid administrative leave until his resignation takes effect at the end of December, entered a “voluntary” separation agreement with the district Sept. 25. Superintendent Jim Dunlap said in September that McDaniel resigned for “personal reasons.” … Read More
TYLER — The families of the victims are breaking their silence for the first time since proceedings ended in the case of Carl Crabtree. Crabtree, 31, of Bullard, received a 40-year prison sentence this week after pleading guilty in a double-fatality crash in southern Smith County. The DPS says Crabtree was driving down Old Jacksonville Highway March 4 when his vehicle crossed the center line and collided head-on with an SUV. Dana Regester, 41, of Flint, and Pasha Zapolsky, 18, of Bullard, died in the wreck. Crabtree pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault… Read More
TYLER — The chancellor of the University of Texas system, William McRaven, discussed his Texas Prospect Initiative during a Distinguished Lecture at UT Tyler Tuesday night. According to KETK, McRaven said he hopes the initiative will foster engagement between independent school districts and UT Tyler. “Look at the Pre-K through 12,” says McRaven. “A lot of people would say what does that have to do with Tyler, well it has everything to do with Tyler. It has to do with the students that are part of the pipeline that will come to Tyler next year and over the next eons.”… Read More
TYLER — A rabid skunk has turned up in Tyler. The Texas Department of State Health Services advised Tyler Animal Services yesterday the test was positive for rabies. The animal was found near the intersection of Kingsmill Circle and Sawgrass, in south Tyler. The persons who were exposed to the skunk have been identified.… Read More
MARSHALL — An East Texas radio news director has been placed on three years deferred probation following an incident in July. According to KETK, Ashli Marie Acker Dansby pleaded guilty Tuesday on a charge of failure to stop and render aid after an accident involving bodily injury. Dansby is news director for KMHT Radio in Marshall.… Read More