Category: Local News Archive

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Man Stabbed During Monday Night Incident

police-car-lights2SMITH COUNTY — A man was stabbed during an argument Monday evening at a residence on West Lakeshore in Smith County, according to authorities. Around 7:00, a Smith County deputy was dispatched to a disturbance at the residence. Officials say the deputy responding to the call determined that Jermaine Lamar Benson, age 29, had arrived home and was allegedly intoxicated when a verbal altercation began between Benson and his wife. The altercation turned violent when Benson allegedly began assaulting his wife, according to a news release. Read the rest of this entry »

Former Gun Barrel City Mayor Dead at 35

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A former East Texas mayor passes away. KETK reports 35-year-old Randall Tye Thomas died suddenly in Providence, Rhode Island. Thomas was the former mayor of the Gun Barrel City. He recently relocated from Dallas to Providence. Thomas made history when he was elected mayor of the Henderson County town. At the time, he was the youngest person to be elected as mayor of any city in Texas. He was 21 and won with 67 per cent of the vote to become leader of the city of several thousand. But the term didn’t last that long. He resigned after 54 weeks.

Man’s Body Recovered from Pond

bodypondlnjPANOLA COUNTY (Staff/AP) — The search for a missing 83-year-old Panola County man ended tragically Monday when searchers discovered his body in a pond near where he had last been seen. According to the Longview News-Journal, Panola County Sheriff’s deputies, members of Carthage and Gary fire departments, Panola County Constable Bryan Murff, Texas Department of Fish & Wildlife and EMS personnel were at the scene searching for the man reported missing by his wife Monday afternoon. The search took place at a pond along CR 121 south of Carthage, just off of FM 10. The man was reported missing when his wife found the boat in a pond where he had last been seen and could not find him. His body was found in the water just before 4 p.m. by search teams not far from the shoreline. His name has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

Former President of East Texas BBB Passes Away

TYLER — Kathleen “Kay” Robinson, former President of the Better Business Bureau of Central East Texas, has passed away at the age of 77. She died Monday morning, according to a Stewart Family Funeral Home notice. She worked as President of the local BBB from 1985 until her retirement in 2009.

Road Work Around Tyler Hospitals

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — There was a single lane closure on Hospital Drive and Osler Drive Monday for the placement of new asphalt paving. Today, there will be a single lane closure on Clinic Drive for the placement of asphalt paving. There may be traffic delays both days. Drivers are encouraged to seek alternate routes if possible.

Van Zandt County Explosion Said to be Accidential

Van Zandt County fire 1-19-14CANTON — Investigators in Van Zandt County say a fatal explosion and fire was accidental. The explosion and following fire left an elderly woman dead. Van Zandt County Emergency Management tells KETK the explosion was caused by a partially open propane valve on a line that ran into the house that was not being used. The propane reportedly seeped into the residence and something ignited the vapors The fire was reported around 5:00 Sunday afternoon on County Road 2430 between Canton and Mabank. The woman’s name has not been released.

Tyler Holds Annual King Day Event

Martin Luther KingTYLER — A standing-room-only crowd in Tyler’s St. Gregory Cathedral School gym honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Event spokesman Jeff Williams says he was very pleased with the city’s annual March, Rally, and Ecumenical Service; he says the crowd was “more of a rainbow” this year. Williams noted “multiple ethnicities, multiple races, multiple religion — much more showing the diversity of Tyler and how we can come together and be united as a community.” Williams also noted good support from local elected officials. Read the rest of this entry »

Pair Slain Outside Church after Child Visit

thumb_crimescene-1COLMESNEIL (AP) – An East Texas man and his wife have been fatally shot outside a church after a supervised visit with his 4-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office says nobody has been arrested. Autopsies were scheduled Monday for Nathan Bradley Maddox and Krystal Renee Maddox of Zavalla. Sheriff Bryan Weatherford says investigators ruled out murder-suicide. He did not release details on suspects or a possible motive in the shootings Saturday afternoon outside Mount Carmel Baptist Church near Colmesneil, 110 miles northeast of Houston. Nobody else was hurt. The child and others participating in the court-ordered supervised visit were inside the church when the victims walked outside. A mediator inside called 911 after hearing gunfire. Details weren’t immediately available on who has custody of the child.

Overton Man Dead in Upshur County Crash

Charles Kenneth GibbsUPSHUR COUNTY — Officials have identified a man who was killed early Saturday evening in a head-on collision in Upshur County. KETK reports the victim was Charles Kenneth Gibbs, 73, of Overton. He was pronounced dead on scene by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lyle Potter. Officials say the accident happened between 7:00 p.m.and 8:00 p.m. on Highway 155 north of Gilmer. There were no immediate details on how the accident occurred.

Mayor Offers Support of Injured Firefighter, Fire Department

Joe YeakleyLINDALE — The mayor of Lindale is offering his support of injured firefighter Joe Yeakley and the community’s entire fire department. Yeakley (pictured) was seriously injured while battling a house blaze last week. Another firefighter was less seriously injured and released from the hospital. KETK reports the homeowner made it out of the house safely. Read the rest of this entry »

Jacksonville Business Damaged by Fire

JACKSONVILLE — The Sonic in Jacksonville was damaged by a weekend fire and will be closed till further notice. The fire at the restaurant, at 1105 South Jackson Street, was reported shortly before 4:45 Saturday afternoon. No injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but according to KETK, witnesses say an air conditioning unit caught fire.

TxDOT Project Updates

TxDOT signTYLER — Here’s a quick look at other work planned in Smith County by the Tyler District of the Texas Department of Transportation.

SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to perform edge work on Farm Road 838 between State Highway 135 northeast of Arp and the Rusk County Line. Elsewhere, TxDOT maintenance crews are scheduled to perform edge work on Farm Road 2710 between Farm Road 16 in Lindale and Farm Road 14 in Red Springs. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress. Motorists are encouraged to be prepared to reduce speed and merge in and around the work zone. Read the rest of this entry »

Lindale Relief Route Draws Support, Concerns

thumb_loop-49LINDALE — There’s growing concern in Lindale over the latest leg of Toll 49. Advocates say the new road helps take away traffic congestion. But KETK reports some Lindale taxpayers are worried the road will take away something more important.
Read the rest of this entry »

Two Charged with Unauthorized Vehicle Use

Tylon ThomasTYLER — Two teenagers are charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after being arrested by Tyler police. Saturday afternoon around 3:45 p.m., the Tyler Police Department received a 911 call about a possible robbery of an individual on the 2800 block of Garden Valley. The victim stated that two black males had tried to steal his truck and produced a gun when confronted. Police say both suspects ran towards Boulter Middle School. According to a news release, officers quickly responded and spotted one of the suspects behind the school. A brief foot chase followed, and the first suspect was taken into custody. A few minutes later the second suspect was found hiding under one of the buildings on school property, according to law officers. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Mobile Homes Go Up in Flames

cr_389_fireSMITH COUNTY — Authorities say two mobile homes were destroyed after a fire broke out around 11:00 Saturday morning in Smith County. KETK reports multiple crews responded to the scene, on County Road 389 near Farm to Market Road 2767 (also known as Old Kilgore Highway). There were no injuries, but the homes have no insurance. Red Cross has been contacted to help the residents. The cause of the fire is still under investigation

Civil Air Patrol Disaster Response Exercise

EAST TEXAS — A couple of East Texas communities are taking part this weekend in a statewide drill to test the Civil Air Patrol’s disaster response. KETK reports Tyler Pounds Regional Airport and Civil Air Patrol Headquarters in Nacogdoches are among locations that kicked off the exercise Saturday and will continue with it today. “This will test our response should we be called up by Texas emergency management officials,” said Lt. Col. Steve Kinter, incident commander for the activity. The weekend scenario includes disaster relief, search and rescue, and homeland security missions, conducted by veteran air and ground crews and trainees.

Man Faces Third Assault Charge in a Week’s Time

james_pierceHALLSVILLE — Police arrested a Hallsville man, charging him with a third sexual assault of a child offense in a week’s span, according to police reports. James Wesley Pierce, 44, was arrested Thursday on charges of sexually assaulting a child younger than age 17, according to police files. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report he also was arrested the previous Friday on the charges of sexual assault of a child and aggravated sexual assault of a child. Read the rest of this entry »

Cherokee County Man Killed in Friday Wreck

thumb_DPS-car-2CHEROKEE COUNTY — An East Texas man was killed early Friday morning after the vehicle he was driving was hit by an 18 wheeler. KETK reports the accident happened around 6:45 a.m. at the intersection of FM 13 and FM 856, about 4 miles east of Troup in Cherokee County. Cherokee County DPS troopers say the driver of a 2003 Mustang pulled out in front of an 18-wheeler on FM 13. The driver of the Mustang, Joshua Page, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the 18-wheeler, Jay Cloud, 45, was not hurt. Troopers say Page was not wearing his seat belt. They’re still investigating the incident.

Kari’s Law Petition Gets New Symbol, More Supporters

no9MARSHALL — A movement to honor a Marshall woman’s memory has now taken on worldwide significance. According to KETK, Friday marked one month since the petition for Kari’s Law started. Now, the cause has a new symbol for those backing the petition to show their support. It’s a story that’s captured worldwide attention. According to police, Kari Hunt Dunn was murdered at the Baymont Suites in Marshall in December. Police say Kari’s children were in the room as their father stabbed their mother to death. Kari’s 9-year-old daughter hopelessly tried to dial 911, but as her grandfather, Hank Hunt, explains, she didn’t get through. Read the rest of this entry »

Bicyclist Badly Hurt in Accident

thumb_police-tyler-car2TYLER — A Tyler woman has been seriously injured in a collision with an SUV. The bicyclist has been identified as Petra Spence of Tyler. Tyler police say officers responded around 3:43 Friday afternoon to the intersection of East Second and Belmont. The initial investigation showed that Spence, 52, was riding a bicycle eastbound on Second. According to authorities, she failed to yield to a stop sign at the intersection with Belmont and was struck by the SUV, which police say was northbound on Belmont with the right of way. Spence was rushed to ETMC with life-threatening injuries.

Nacogdoches County Drug Bust Nets Three

Javosky ThomasNACOGDOCHES — An ongoing narcotics investigation into the distribution of crack cocaine in Nacogdoches County has resulted in three arrests. The three were arrested after authorities obtained a warrant when learning that large amounts of cocaine were being sold at a house in the 1600 block of Martinsville Street. Officers seized over $2,000 along with four crack cookies, weighing 64 grams. Booked into the Nacogdoches County Jail were Javosky Thomas (pictured), 31, of Nacogdoches; Lakeith Howard, 34, of Houston; and Eric Thomas, 34, of San Augustine.

Marshall’s City Manager Resigns

Frank JohnsonMARSHALL — The Marshall City Commission has accepted the resignation of City Manager Frank Johnson. The action came during a called meeting on Thursday. The reason for Johnson’s resignation was not announced. Appointed as acting city manager, until a replacement is found, was Marshall Fire Chief Kenneth “Buzz” Snyder. Johnson was named Marshall’s city manager in 2001. Before that he was the city’s Director of Planning and Community Development for 15 years and was Assistant City Manager for three years.

East Texas Home Destroyed by Fire

Marietta fire 1-16-14MARIETTA — A Cass County home has been destroyed by a fire that followed a couple of explosions. The Marietta Fire Department tells KETK the call came in around 7:15 Thursday night. The home on Front Street was hit by two explosions and then the fire. No one was at home when the fire started and there were no injuries. They continue to try to determine what caused the explosions.

East Texas Fugitive Arrested in Washington State

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP/Staff) – A fugitive from East Texas was arrested Thursday in Bellingham, Washington, on a warrant accusing him of first-degree murder. Michael Maurice Dupree is accused of killing 72-year-old Paul Marshal in 2009 in Van Zandt County. Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks told The Bellingham Herald the 59-year-old has been living in Bellingham under the name Billy Michael Dupree. Dupree even had been arrested twice. He pleaded guilty to harassment and obstructing law enforcement after threatening to shoot firefighters who responded to an aid call in May 2012. He was jailed again in December for a probation violation. Authorities in Texas became aware of Dupree and asked deputies to hold him in jail for extradition.

Furlow Says He’s Ready to Fight Lawsuit

John FurlowTYLER — Major General John Furlow says he’s ready to go to court. Furlow is running against current Smith County Judge Joel Baker. But KETK reports he’s also in the middle of a lawsuit with the state. That lawsuit claims Furlow was getting paid twice for the same job during his military service. Furlow responded to the suit, saying he was not “double dipping” and plans to fight this to the end. Furlow says, “This is something, when I made my announcement in September, I disclosed… this is not something I’ve walked away from.” He says his campaign is “about the issues of a failed administration that continues to fail and make the wrong decisions for the citizens of Smith County.” Furlow is being sued for nearly $130,000. But the candidate maintains the state actually owes him money.

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