Category: Local News Archive

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Beef Recall Reaches 35 States; Numerous East Texas Stores Affected

WASHINGTON — Tainted beef recalled earlier this year from a California meat producer may have reached reached 35 states and Guam — not just six states as previously believed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday. According to CNN and KETK, one of those states heavily affected is Texas. More than 900 Texas stores sold bad beef, including a number in East Texas. Thousands of retailers have been added to a list of companies that received beef products from the company, Rancho Feeding Corp., the USDA said. Read the rest of this entry »

Smith County Detention Officer Arrested

keenon_olison2TYLER – At a news conference Friday afternoon, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith announced that Keenon Olison, a detention officer-jailer at the county’s Low Risk Jail facility, had been arrested Friday morning and terminated as a Sheriff’s Office employee. Olison is charged with multiple counts relating to possessing a controlled substance in a detention facility with intent to deliver that controlled substance to an inmate as well as delivery of contraband to inmates. Olison was originally hired at the Sheriff’s Office on May 20, 2012. Approximately six weeks ago, information was received by the Special Services Unit of the Sheriff’s Office that a detention officer was smuggling contraband and controlled substances into the Smith County Jail Low Risk Facility. Read the rest of this entry »

Shooting Investigated as Accidental

thumb_sheriff-smithcountyTYLER – Smith County officials are investigating an apparently accidental shooting that sent a man to the hospital. At 12:21 p.m. Friday, sheriff’s dispatchers received a 911 call from a woman at a residence on County Road 397 who reported that a man at that location had accidentally shot himself. According to a news release, Smith County Deputies and emergency personnel responded and found a man with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was taken to a local hospital where he was reportedly undergoing surgery for his injuries. At this time, a preliminary investigation is underway to determine the exact cause and reason for the man’s injuries. Officials say other information will be released as it becomes available.

Wood County Authorities Probe Drug and Theft Ring

thumb_police-5QUITMAN — The Wood County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of conducting a large scale investigation into a drug and theft ring that has been operating in the southeastern part of the county. According to KETK, investigators determined certain suspects were stealing property such as four wheelers and firearms to trade for drugs. The “middle man” drug dealer was then exchanging the stolen property for a larger amount of drugs, officials say. Read the rest of this entry »

Major Theft, Damage at New East Texas School Site

thumb_police-4KILGORE — The Gregg County Sheriff’s Department is asking the public for help in solving recent burglaries and criminal mischief cases. Between 6:45 p.m. Thursday, March 6, and 6:30 a.m. on Friday, five construction companies working on the new Sabine school at 645 Access Road in Kilgore were burglarized. Thieves damaged portable buildings and steel boxes to take tools and equipment. Values of the tools are expected to be in the thousands of dollars. Some of the items include gas and electric hammers, saws, drills, nail guns, and air compressors, as well as copper fittings and chains. Anyone with information regarding these crimes is asked to contact Gregg County Investigator Eddie Hope at (903) 237-2530 or Crime Stoppers at (903) 236-STOP.

Vehicle Damages Longview Building

longviewcrashketkLONGVIEW — A Longview business was severely damaged Friday morning when a vehicle crashed head-on into the building. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. At around 7:45 a.m., a man was driving his 5-year-old son to school, but lost control of his truck and wrecked into Pine Tree Nails. Luckily, the business was closed at the time of the accident, according to the Longview Police Department. The driver was hospitalized with minor injures, and the child was uninjured. The boy’s mother picked up the child and took him to school. The building’s front exterior and interior were extensively damaged, but can be repaired. The name of the driver wasn’t immediately released. Officers could not speculate on whether drugs or alcohol were involved until a toxicology report is returned.

Mother Frances Makes Truven Top 100 List

thumb_MotherFrances-signTYLER — Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler was named this week as one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics, termed a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. According to a news release from Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals study identifies hospitals and leadership teams that provide the highest level of value to their communities, based on a national balanced scorecard. Read the rest of this entry »

East Texas Teen Charged with Killing Stepfather

yodershotCARTHAGE (AP) – Investigators say an East Texas teenager has been charged with killing his stepfather to stop an attack on the youth’s mother. Panola County jail records show 17-year-old Koby Yoder of Carthage was booked Thursday on a murder charge and freed on $25,000 bond. Sheriff’s Chief Deputy John DePresca on Friday said 43-year-old Leonard Digiliormo was punching and beating his wife when her son intervened. DePresca says Yoder retrieved a handgun and fatally shot Digiliormo Wednesday night at the family’s home near Carthage. The woman’s 13-year-old daughter was also present. DePresca says the mother and both teens told investigators that the woman was being attacked. She was treated and released from a hospital. Jail records do not list an attorney for Yoder.

Tyler Man Dies in West Texas Accident

BROWNFIELD (AP) – A demolition worker from Tyler has been killed in an industrial accident at a West Texas job site. Terry County Sheriff Larry Gilbreath says 43-year-old James Croft died at the scene Thursday afternoon when a silo tank fell on him. Gilbreath says the accident happened at a location between Brownfield and Seagraves. Authorities say Croft was operating an excavator and helping take down a structure when the tank fell on him and the equipment.

Woman Charged with Shooting Husband Dies

DocumentFragment_3909670GREGG COUNTY — A Longview woman accused of shooting her husband, a Gregg County Justice of the Peace, passed away over the weekend. Relatives said Ina Lawson, 71, died of natural causes Saturday morning. According to KETK, in July of last year, Lawson was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after police said she shot her husband in the back July 25. She was out on $100,000 bond, awaiting a trial date. Sam Lawson is still recovering from his wounds at a Dallas rehab.

Rusk County Raises Taxes to Help Fire Departments

thumb_firefighters-2HENDERSON — Tax increases aren’t generally popular, but KETK reports Rusk County residents have voted to increase their taxes for a good cause. The county has increased its tax rate from three to seven per cent — all to benefit its 16 fire departments. The increase raises the county emergency service budget from $600,000 to $1.6 million. The money will be used to purchase fire trucks, fire equipment, and training tools. The fire departments are in need of the funds after attempts to get money from the state failed and state grants were taken away. The increase only affects those not living in a city municipality.

Former Law Officer Charged with Animal Cruelty

tewaterPALESTINE — Nine dogs were seized from a home in Anderson County Monday and a former lawman was arrested after authorities received a call reporting animal cruelty. That’s according to KETK. When deputies made it to the house in the 1600 block of County Road 415, a warrant was served and the dogs were taken, said Sheriff Greg Taylor. Seven other dogs were also running around the property, but officials could not catch them at the time. Traps have been set up to rescue them. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Hospitalized after Stabbing

vazquezKILGORE — An East Texas man was hospitalized Wednesday morning following a physical argument with a co-worker at a Kilgore business. KETK reports that at 7:15 a.m. police were dispatched to a scene in the 800 block of South Rusk Street on reports of a stabbing, according to a police lieutenant. When officers arrived at JDW Services, they learned Dionicio Vasquez, 62, of Kilgore had allegedly stabbed Samuel Milan, 52, in the area of his left abdomen during a dispute. Milan was treated for minor injuries and released from a local hospital the same day. Vasquez was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Gregg County Jail, and bond was set at $100,000 by Judge Glenn Phillips.

Good Shepherd Cuts 24 Positions

thumb_Good-Shepherd-Medical-Center-2LONGVIEW — Good Shepherd Health System eliminated another 24 positions from its payroll this week as part of a continuing effort to reduce operating losses. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. The layoffs come after an announcement last week that Good Shepherd is closing its Linden medical center and Good Shepherd Medical Associates Family Health Centers in Linden and Hughes Springs. Those moves affect 100 employees. Read the rest of this entry »

Garland Man Arrested in Gregg County on Drug, Weapon Charges

andersongreggcoLONGVIEW — A Garland man has been arrested in Gregg County on charges relating to marijuana and weapon possession. At about 4:20 Wednesday afternoon, Gregg County Deputy Tracy Freeman stopped Jonathan Dewayne Anderson, 30, on Interstate 20 for allegedly speeding. Freeman says he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, Deputy Freeman located approximately 28 pounds of marijuana with a street value of around $20,000, according to authorities. Two loaded handguns were also reportedly found in the vehicle. Anderson was transported to the Gregg County Jail, charged with possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Judge B. H. Jameson set bonds at $50,000 and $10,000 on the charges.

Gregg County Election Recap

thumb_voting-computerLONGVIEW — Gregg County voter turnout was at about 15%, which may sound low, but county officials say that’s only a little below average and they aren’t disappointed with that number. According to KETK, it appears voters were satisfied with how county officials were serving the county, as incumbents really swept the election. Incumbent commissioners Darryl Primo and John Mathis were re-elected to their spots. County Judge Bill Stoudt, who ran unopposed, will also serve another term. District Attorney Carl Durrough was re-elected as well, and Justices of The Peace Precincts 1 and 3 are back to serve Gregg County. We’ll have to wait until May to see who will serve as Justice of The Peace for Precinct 4, as neither contender received more than 50% of the vote. Read the rest of this entry »

Deputy Released after Being Injured in Smith County Wreck

hwy155cr344wreckSMITH COUNTY — Smith County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim McDonald has been treated and released from Tyler’s East Texas Medical Center after being involved in a multi-vehicle accident near Lake Palestine. Public Information Officer John Moore says the wreck happened Wednesday morning at the intersection of Highway 155 and Farm Road 344 when the driver of an SUV, Christion Caldwell, rear-ended McDonald. Caldwell was expected to be charged with failure to maintain speed.

Tyler Man Dies in Wreck Near Kilgore

DPS badgeKILGORE — One person has been killed and one injured in a head-on crash near Kilgore. It happened just before midnight Tuesday on State Highway 31 about four miles west of Kilgore. Killed was Brice Goodgion, 27, of Tyler. He was west bound when a, east bound pickup driven by Christian Banks, 24, of Tyler, crossed over to the west bound lane. Banks is listed in serious condition at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview.

Two Arrested in Longview Prostitution Sting

Chrysty Lynn StittLONGVIEW — Two women have been arrested and several warrants filed following a prostitution sting operation by Longview police. Arrested during the undercover operation were Chrysty Lynn Stitt, 35, of Longview (pictured) and Derrick Terrell Evans, 25, of Dallas. Both are currently free on a Bond of $1,000 each. Longview police spokeswoman Kristie Brian said the arrests stem from a website often used to advertise sexual services to potential clients. Homeland security also took part in the sting operation because those prostituting are often victims of human trafficking.

Former Whitehouse Officer Charged with Burglary

Reginald WilsonWHITEHOUSE — A now-former Whitehouse reserve police officer turns in his uniform and badge after officials say he was caught on camera stealing from someone else’s truck. KETK reports the suspect, Reginald “Reggie” Wilson, 36, of Tyler, also spent some time as a full-time officer in Whitehouse and ran for a constable post a couple of years ago. Along with that, he was a trainer at a Tyler gym — where he was allegedly spotted making the theft from a client’s vehicle. The client said items including cash and checks had already been taken from his truck before he set up the camera that reportedly caught Wilson in the act. Wilson turned himself in to Tyler police and was charged with two counts of burglary of a vehicle. He’s now free on $1,000 bond. Wilson has also been terminated by the health club. The Whitehouse police chief says he’s shocked by the news about his former employee.

Congressman Hall Faces Runoff after 34 Years in Office

Ralph HallROCKWALL — The dean of the Texas congressional delegation finds himself in the fight of his political life. 90-year-old Rockwall Congressman Ralph Hall (pictured) led the primary field, but failed to get the required 50%. That pits him against former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe in the May runoff. University of North Texas political scientist Kimi KIng says while age may have been a factor, Ratcliffe never made it an issue. King says, “Ratcliffe really played that one quite well. In fact, I think that’s also one of the things about (lieutenant governor hopeful Dan) Patrick…you don’t necessarily paint yourself as being more conservative. You paint yourself as having other characteristics that the candidate doesn’t.” Hall has served in Congress 34 years, the last ten as a Republican. His district covers much of East Texas, and he once represented Tyler.

Home Destroyed, Burn Victim Flown to Dallas

winonafiregregSMITH COUNTY — A Smith County man has been flown to Parkland Hospital in Dallas after suffering severe burns in a fire at his home. The Smith County fire marshal tells KETK officials were called to the scene of a mobile home fire in the 12,000 block of County Road 336, north of Interstate Highway 20, Wednesday morning. Neighbors were able to get the resident out, and he was transferred to a local hospital before it was announced he would be flown to Dallas. The name of the victim is not being released at this time, but the house was destroyed.

Boil Water Notice in Starrville

STARRVILLE — All of the customers of Starrville Water Supply Corporation in the Starrville community are advised to boil drinking water for 2 minutes before consuming. If there are any questions, you’re asked to call 903-343-4599.

Longview Man Guilty in Counterfeit Silver Scheme

frattarolagreggcountyTYLER – A Gregg County man has pleaded guilty in Tyler federal court to counterfeiting violations. James Leroy Frattarola, 47, of Longview, pleaded guilty Wednesday to possessing counterfeit silver bars with the intent to defraud. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell. Federal prosecutors say on September 13, 2013, Frattarola possessed approximately 90 one-ounce silver bars, stamped with the impression “.999 FINE SILVER” and “NORTHWEST TERRITORIAL MINT” with intent to defraud. Frattarola admitted to possessing the counterfeit bars in Longview and to engaging in similar criminal conduct on other occasions involving a total of nine victims. Frattarola was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 23, 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Building Briefly Evacuated

TYLER — There was a brief evacuation of a city of Tyler building Wednesday morning. The Tyler Fire Department was dispatched to Tyler Neighborhood Services, 900 West Gentry, around 8:30 for what was termed a strange odor in the building. Officials said workers inside the building started experiencing headaches. They were evacuated before calling 911. Fire units investigated the cause, but after testing the air, they were unable to detect any problems. The building was ventilated and employees were returned to work. No serious injuries have been reported.

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