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Category: Local News Archive

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Double Homicide Remains Under Investigation

aishaTYLER — Two people are dead in a Tyler shooting, and authorities are seeking leads. Police say around 2:44 Sunday morning, officers responded to a report of gunshots on Point North Dr., across from Club Ice. Upon arrival, police found 25-year-old Aisha Nicole McGee and 30-year-old Steven Ray Smith, both of Tyler, dead of multiple gunshot wounds. Anyone with information about the suspects involved in this crime is urged to contact the Tyler Police Department, at 903-531-1000, or Crimestoppers at 903-597-CUFF (903-597-2833). Crimestoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and charges filed against the suspects in this case or any felony case.

Police: Cash Register Taken in Convenience Store Heist

police-tyler-car2TYLER — Police in Tyler are following up on a weekend convenience store robbery in which a cash register was taken. On Saturday around 4:05 p.m., police responded to the Exxon gas station located at North Northwest Loop 323 and State Highway 110. An employee of the store reported that a Hispanic male had come into the store with his face partially covered. The suspect immediately displayed a knife, demanding the money from the register. When the victim was unable to open the register, the suspect grabbed the entire register and left the store with the register and an undisclosed amount of money. The victim believes the suspect left the scene driving on the Loop in a white vehicle. The clerk called 911 when the suspect left the store. Officers processed the scene, and the case remains under investigation.

Local Agencies Get $100,000 in Grants

image004TYLER — The East Texas Communities Foundation announces the recipients of $100,000 in grants from the Retail Merchants Association of Tyler Charitable Fund. The Retail Merchants Association of Tyler is a charitable fund that was established at the Foundation to provide annual grants to support designated charities within Smith County. Nineteen Smith County non-profit organizations were invited to apply for funding for strong projects based on good ideas and compelling needs which have the potential to improve the community and the lives of its people, according to an ETCF news release. These charities requested approximately $453,000 in funding during this grant cycle.… Read the rest of the article…

Glass Dragon Co-Owner Arrested Again

a74055197a20c3e9a76172060bd3253eLONGVIEW — A co-owner of The Glass Dragon stores previously indicted on federal drug and money laundering charges was back in jail Friday after being arrested at the federal courthouse in Tyler. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. Jeremy Chad Tidwell, 40, of Gilmer previously posted $25,000 bond after being indicted with his wife, Shanna Peek Tidwell, and brother, Brian Tidwell, by a grand jury on the federal charges. The trio were arrested in December 2014 in Longview in a synthetic drug raid that involved officers from numerous local law enforcement agencies and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.… Read the rest of the article…

Signing Ceremony Heralds TJC Promise Scholarship Program

tjc-logo3TYLER — As part of Tyler Junior College’s 90th anniversary celebration, college officials have announced the TJC Promise. In a news release, officials describe the effort as a bold new scholarship initiative that will benefit high school students within the college’s tax district.­ The TJC Promise will fund up to two years of college for students who meet the standards of the new program while attending high school.… Read the rest of the article…

UT Tyler Growing in Academic Research, Almanac Shows

uttylerTYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler is recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Almanac of Higher Education as one of the fastest developing institutions nationwide in academic research, President Rodney H. Mabry announced. According to a news release, over a 10-year period, UT Tyler has grown its total research spending by 1,273 percent, and the university has grown its federal research spending by 3,095 percent. Those increases put UT Tyler third in the nation among all universities – regardless of size – in both of those categories between 2004 and 2014, according to the latest Almanac. Top UT Tyler research areas within the period are education and biology.… Read the rest of the article…

City of Tyler Now Home to State Record Tree

img_0717TYLER — The City of Tyler is now recognized as home to the Texas Champion bluejack oak tree (Quercus incana) and is currently awaiting possible National Champion status. This recognition is given to the largest known specimen of its species in the State of Texas, according to a news release. The specific bluejack oak is located in Lindsey Park and was found during the City of Tyler’s 2016 annual tree inventory by urban forester Cody Goldman and urban forestry intern Aaron Lamb. The tree has a trunk circumference of 102 inches, a height of 54 feet and a crown spread of 54 feet.… Read the rest of the article…

Smith County Sex Offender Verification Check

sheriff-smithcountyTYLER — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office has completed a check of sex offenders who reside in the county. Of the 359 individuals who were investigated September 14th and 15th, fourteen were found to be out of compliance, according to a news release. Officials with the sheriff’s office said that verification checks of this type are unannounced and comprehensive. The compliance check included a team of approximately 30 officers, including members of 13 different local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, coordinated with the U.S. Marshals Service Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force.… Read the rest of the article…

Longview Police Investigate Bank Heist

police-longview2LONGVIEW — Police are investigating after a Longview credit union was robbed Thursday for the second time in three weeks. According to the Longview News-Journal, officers were called to the LeTourneau Federal Credit Union on South High Street. The credit union also was robbed by a gunman Aug. 31. Officers, along with a K-9 unit, searched an area Thursday afternoon for the suspect near the credit union on Garrett Street between Cedar Avenue and Dunbar Street. Police have not said if Thursday’s robbery is linked to the one in August.… Read the rest of the article…

Rusk County Man Sentenced for Longview Bank Robbery

patrickgilbert_1474042621528_11069619_ver1-0TYLER – A 54-year-old Mt. Enterprise man has been sentenced in Tyler to 180 months in federal prison for robbing a Longview bank. Patrick Terry Gilbert pleaded guilty on May 27 to armed bank robbery. Gilbert was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $16,134.00. According to federal prosecutors, on Oct. 23, 2015, Gilbert entered the Capital One Bank in Longview dressed in dark clothing, wearing a “Scream” mask and armed with a short-barreled shotgun. Gilbert approached two bank tellers, pointed the shotgun at them, and demanded all of their money. Gilbert took more than $15,000 from the tellers and left the bank. Several weeks later, Gilbert was arrested in Nacogdoches County. He was indicted last November.

Auto Theft Suspects Target Classic Vehicles

img_6475TYLER — The Tyler Police Department and the East Texas Auto Theft Task Force are investigating six classic vehicles that were stolen at different locations and times this past weekend in Tyler. Several suspects were caught on surveillance video hot-wiring the vehicles and driving them to an unknown location. The vehicles that were stolen are listed below:… Read the rest of the article…

Armed Suspect Arrested Following Disturbance with Neighbors

kendricksTYLER — A Tyler man has been arrested for aggravated assault following a reported disturbance Thursday afternoon. Kendricks Marsh, 40, was booked into the Smith County Jail. The incident started around 2:00 at 2701 N Tenneha, in Tyler. According to officers, Marsh was reportedly arguing with his neighbors when he left and came back with SKS style rifle. Police said Marsh attempted to fire the weapon at the residents, but the rifle failed to fire. He was arrested a short time later and the weapon was recovered. No injuries were reported. Marsh was also charged with felon in possession of a firearm.

After 54 Years, Dr. Bob Peters Retires from the Airwaves

drbobpetersTYLER — It all started October 1, 1962. Now weather wizard Dr. Bob Peters is calling it a day, retiring from the KTBB airwaves after Friday’s on-air forecasts and analyses. He says the technology has come a long way in 54 years. According to Peters, “Now our forecasts for the next 120 hours are about 95 per cent accurate; two weeks, they’re about 85 per cent accurate — and that is very much higher than what it was when I started doing this.”… Read the rest of the article…

Texas Doctor Resentenced to Prison Following Appeal

Tariq Mahmood2TYLER – A 65-year-old Dallas County physician has been resentenced in Tyler to federal prison for health care fraud and identity theft violations. In July 2014, Tariq Mahmood of Cedar Hill was found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of health care fraud, and seven counts of aggravated identity theft. That followed a four-day trial in Tyler federal court.… Read the rest of the article…

Fourth Marijuana Grow Discovered This Week in East Texas

marijuanamgn_1473950198159_11046139_ver1-0HENDERSON COUNTY — The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Thursday headed to the scene of a large marijuana grow — the fourth discovered this week in East Texas. Smith, Anderson, and Van Zandt counties had previously reported similar operations. According to KETK, the latest discovery consists of two separate fields. Henderson County Public Information Officer Mark Sanders says officials started working the fields around 4:00 p.m. Wednesday. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, DPS, and DEA have all been working the scene.… Read the rest of the article…

Gohmert Named Guardian of Small Business

louiegohmert-3WASHINGTON — Republican East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert has received the Guardian of Small Business Award from The National Federation of Independent Business for what’s termed his outstanding support of America’s small business owners. Calling the award an honor, Gohmert says, “Small businesses are truly the backbone of this nation’s economy, and The NFIB works tirelessly to ensure they are protected,” as quoted in the news release. Gohmert’s office says the Guardian recognition is the NFIB’s most prestigious award reserved for lawmakers who vote consistently with NFIB on the key issues identified by small business owners. Gohmert received a 100 voting record during the 114th Congress.

Man Arrested on Narcotics Warrant

aubreyTYLER — A man has been arrested on drug charges after Tyler police executed a search warrant Thursday at his Valentine Street home. Tyler SWAT and Patrol Officers assisted in the operation, which began at 6:30 a.m. Aubrey Ray Wilbanks, 60, was charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), a 2nd degree felony, and possession of dangerous drugs, a class A misdemeanor. Investigators also located firearms and stolen property inside the residence while conducting the search, according to a news release.

Man Suspected of Sexual Abuse Going Back 45 Years

dock-lee-minter-web_1473960930399_11051302_ver1-0HENDERSON — Law enforcement officials have taken into custody a man they say may be responsible for sexual abuse going back as far as 45 years. Dock Lee Minter, 68, of Garrison, turned himself in to deputies at the Rusk County Jail, according to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office. KETK reports he was arrested on two warrants for continuous sexual abuse of children. The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office is asking any potential victims of the suspect to come forward and talk with officials. You can call 903-657-3581 ext. 209 or 903-657-3581 ext. 220.

Fraud Investigators Continue to Investigate Gas Skimmers

tyler-policeTYLER — Tyler Police investigators continue to investigate fraud cases involving identity theft and credit card fraud. A group of suspects who are believed to be from out of town are placing hidden electronic devices inside gas pumps and obtaining your credit card information. Police say they will use that information to duplicate a credit card and obtain cash funds and merchandise.… Read the rest of the article…

Two Indicted in Alleged Home Invasion

mariovillegasmug_1473949344207_11046342_ver1-0alexisjuarezmug_1473949344041_11046341_ver1-0TYLER — Two East Texas men have been indicted in connection with an alleged home invasion in early August. According to KETK, the Smith County District Attorney’s Office names the suspects as 19-year-olds Mario Villegas (left) and Alexis Juarez (right), both of Tyler. They’re accused of breaking into a house on August 5 on West Bow Street and threatening to kill the residents. Officials say a man was assaulted inside the house and that the suspects tried to drag him outside. … Read the rest of the article…

City of Tyler Passes New Budget

cityoftylerTYLER — The Tyler City Council has approved its budget for the new fiscal year. Mayor Martin Heines tells KETK the new budget will save more money than in years past. Also approved was a one-cent property tax increase. That money will help pay for the improvement of city roads. Heines says the decisions made were all in the best interest of the people living in Tyler. He comments, “We have a staff that is committed to the community, and we are proud of the work that they do, and the ability they had to make this budget work with less money.”

Three Suspects Indicted Following Stand-Off with Police

lavinawinstonmug_1473947971391_11046119_ver1-0TYLER — Three people have been indicted for multiple counts of aggravated robbery in Tyler. According to the Smith County District Attorney’s Office, per KETK, the suspects were indicted on Thursday, September 8, for their alleged involvement in a robbery that took place Friday, August 5, in the 3800 block of Lexington Drive. Lavina May Winston (pictured) 21, Darrell Lynn Taylor, 20 and Michael Laderick Fitts, 18, all from Tyler, have been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, each. Their bonds were set at $400,000. The three were allegedly involved in a standoff at the Varsity Place apartments prior to their arrest.… Read the rest of the article…

More Fake Money Turns Up in East Texas

moviemoneyfake_1473882303270_11028683_ver1-0PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg Police Department is warning the public about fake movie money being passed around the area. According to KETK, the counterfeit cash, or “Hollywood money” has shown up in Pittsburg. The currency is typically used in television shows and looks similar to the real thing. However, authorities stated the feel of the cash is a dead giveaway for the fake money. Hollywood money has also been reported throughout East Texas, including the cities of Longview, Kilgore, Lufkin and Texarkana. Police advise citizens to not accept questionable money and to contact authorities.

Manziel Due in Court Thursday

johnnymanziel3DALLAS — Tyler native Johnny Manziel will be in a Dallas courtroom Thursday, in his domestic violence case. The former Cleveland Browns quarterback is accused of kidnapping, beating, and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, during a fight over another woman. Manziel is charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony, because Crowley didn’t suffer serious injury. The former Aggie standout is back at Texas A&M now, after being cut from his NFL job.

TJC Releases Statement on Monday Shooting

tjc-possible-shooting-scene_11028299_ver1-0TYLER – Tyler Junior College Campus Police are conducting an investigation regarding shots fired on campus Monday evening at 11:42 p.m. In a news release issued to our news partner KETK, officials say the incident involved unidentified males coming to campus to confront a TJC student outside of a residence hall. According to the released, campus police responded immediately to the scene, secured the scene and also called Tyler Police to respond. The unidentified males fled the scene, and campus police made a determination that this was an incident isolated to a dispute initially involving a few individuals. Authorities say they determined that the incident did not pose an immediate threat to students throughout the campus. There were no injuries.… Read the rest of the article…

Council Takes Next Step toward Conference Center

martin-heines1TYLER — The Tyler City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Tyler and Champ Hospitality to continue work to bring a conference center to Tyler. The conference center will be attached to a private hotel. According to a news release, the proposed brand, per the MOU, is Aloft Hotels by Starwood Suites, a global high-end hotel company with 1,300 locations worldwide. Mayor Martin Heines (pictured) said this will be Aloft’s first presence in Tyler, adding that a new hotel wanting to establish itself in the market is a good sign.… Read the rest of the article…

Tyler Man Sentenced for Drug Violations

federalcourthouseTYLER – A 23-year-old Tyler man has been sentenced to 20 years, 8 months in federal prison for drug trafficking violations. Jose Maldonado Barragan was found guilty by a jury on Feb. 10 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, aiding and abetting, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm while illegally in the United States, and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.… Read the rest of the article…

Marijuana Fields Continue to Turn Up in East Texas

potbust1_1473804792226_11015306_ver1-0EAST TEXAS — Several law enforcement agencies have discovered a marijuana field in Van Zandt County, according to a county official. It’s the latest in a series of such fields that have been found around East Texas in recent days. KETK reports the “pretty large” field is near the intersection of State Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 80 near Canton. The law enforcement official stated the find is the result of an ongoing investigation for the past several days.… Read the rest of the article…

Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas Honored Tuesday Night With Galaxy Award

img_0780TYLER — Longtime philanthropists Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas were presented the UT Health Northeast Galaxy Award during a ceremony held Tuesday at the Green Acres Baptist Church Crosswalk Center. According to a news release, the Galaxy Award honors the “stars” of philanthropy while raising scholarship funds for students in healthcare and research. UT Health President Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun cited the couple’s “numerous heartfelt gifts…to so many institutions, including UT Health Northeast.”… Read the rest of the article…

Suspect Sought in Dollar Store Robbery

091416-dollar-store-robbery-pic_1473832007109_11020024_ver1-0SMITH COUNTY — Smith County Deputies are investigating an armed robbery Tuesday night. According to KETK, it happened at the Dollar General on Northeast Loop 323 near FM 14 around 9:45. The clerk told police an armed man entered the store, displayed a handgun and demanded money. The suspect reportedly took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene. No injuries were reported. Police said this is the same Dollar Store that was robbed on September 5th. The Smith County Sheriff’s office is investigating.

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Double Homicide Remains Under Investigation

Posted/updated on: September 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm

aishaTYLER — Two people are dead in a Tyler shooting, and authorities are seeking leads. Police say around 2:44 Sunday morning, officers responded to a report of gunshots on Point North Dr., across from Club Ice. Upon arrival, police found 25-year-old Aisha Nicole McGee and 30-year-old Steven Ray Smith, both of Tyler, dead of multiple gunshot wounds. Anyone with information about the suspects involved in this crime is urged to contact the Tyler Police Department, at 903-531-1000, or Crimestoppers at 903-597-CUFF (903-597-2833). Crimestoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and charges filed against the suspects in this case or any felony case.

Police: Cash Register Taken in Convenience Store Heist

Posted/updated on: September 19, 2016 at 11:44 am

police-tyler-car2TYLER — Police in Tyler are following up on a weekend convenience store robbery in which a cash register was taken. On Saturday around 4:05 p.m., police responded to the Exxon gas station located at North Northwest Loop 323 and State Highway 110. An employee of the store reported that a Hispanic male had come into the store with his face partially covered. The suspect immediately displayed a knife, demanding the money from the register. When the victim was unable to open the register, the suspect grabbed the entire register and left the store with the register and an undisclosed amount of money. The victim believes the suspect left the scene driving on the Loop in a white vehicle. The clerk called 911 when the suspect left the store. Officers processed the scene, and the case remains under investigation.

Local Agencies Get $100,000 in Grants

Posted/updated on: September 19, 2016 at 11:45 am

image004TYLER — The East Texas Communities Foundation announces the recipients of $100,000 in grants from the Retail Merchants Association of Tyler Charitable Fund. The Retail Merchants Association of Tyler is a charitable fund that was established at the Foundation to provide annual grants to support designated charities within Smith County. Nineteen Smith County non-profit organizations were invited to apply for funding for strong projects based on good ideas and compelling needs which have the potential to improve the community and the lives of its people, according to an ETCF news release. These charities requested approximately $453,000 in funding during this grant cycle.… Read the rest of the article…

Glass Dragon Co-Owner Arrested Again

Posted/updated on: September 19, 2016 at 12:20 pm

a74055197a20c3e9a76172060bd3253eLONGVIEW — A co-owner of The Glass Dragon stores previously indicted on federal drug and money laundering charges was back in jail Friday after being arrested at the federal courthouse in Tyler. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. Jeremy Chad Tidwell, 40, of Gilmer previously posted $25,000 bond after being indicted with his wife, Shanna Peek Tidwell, and brother, Brian Tidwell, by a grand jury on the federal charges. The trio were arrested in December 2014 in Longview in a synthetic drug raid that involved officers from numerous local law enforcement agencies and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.… Read the rest of the article…

Signing Ceremony Heralds TJC Promise Scholarship Program

Posted/updated on: September 18, 2016 at 4:38 pm

tjc-logo3TYLER — As part of Tyler Junior College’s 90th anniversary celebration, college officials have announced the TJC Promise. In a news release, officials describe the effort as a bold new scholarship initiative that will benefit high school students within the college’s tax district.­ The TJC Promise will fund up to two years of college for students who meet the standards of the new program while attending high school.… Read the rest of the article…

UT Tyler Growing in Academic Research, Almanac Shows

Posted/updated on: September 18, 2016 at 7:51 am

uttylerTYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler is recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Almanac of Higher Education as one of the fastest developing institutions nationwide in academic research, President Rodney H. Mabry announced. According to a news release, over a 10-year period, UT Tyler has grown its total research spending by 1,273 percent, and the university has grown its federal research spending by 3,095 percent. Those increases put UT Tyler third in the nation among all universities – regardless of size – in both of those categories between 2004 and 2014, according to the latest Almanac. Top UT Tyler research areas within the period are education and biology.… Read the rest of the article…

City of Tyler Now Home to State Record Tree

Posted/updated on: September 18, 2016 at 7:51 am

img_0717TYLER — The City of Tyler is now recognized as home to the Texas Champion bluejack oak tree (Quercus incana) and is currently awaiting possible National Champion status. This recognition is given to the largest known specimen of its species in the State of Texas, according to a news release. The specific bluejack oak is located in Lindsey Park and was found during the City of Tyler’s 2016 annual tree inventory by urban forester Cody Goldman and urban forestry intern Aaron Lamb. The tree has a trunk circumference of 102 inches, a height of 54 feet and a crown spread of 54 feet.… Read the rest of the article…

Smith County Sex Offender Verification Check

Posted/updated on: September 17, 2016 at 5:32 pm

sheriff-smithcountyTYLER — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office has completed a check of sex offenders who reside in the county. Of the 359 individuals who were investigated September 14th and 15th, fourteen were found to be out of compliance, according to a news release. Officials with the sheriff’s office said that verification checks of this type are unannounced and comprehensive. The compliance check included a team of approximately 30 officers, including members of 13 different local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, coordinated with the U.S. Marshals Service Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force.… Read the rest of the article…

Longview Police Investigate Bank Heist

Posted/updated on: September 17, 2016 at 5:32 pm

police-longview2LONGVIEW — Police are investigating after a Longview credit union was robbed Thursday for the second time in three weeks. According to the Longview News-Journal, officers were called to the LeTourneau Federal Credit Union on South High Street. The credit union also was robbed by a gunman Aug. 31. Officers, along with a K-9 unit, searched an area Thursday afternoon for the suspect near the credit union on Garrett Street between Cedar Avenue and Dunbar Street. Police have not said if Thursday’s robbery is linked to the one in August.… Read the rest of the article…

Rusk County Man Sentenced for Longview Bank Robbery

Posted/updated on: September 17, 2016 at 5:31 pm

patrickgilbert_1474042621528_11069619_ver1-0TYLER – A 54-year-old Mt. Enterprise man has been sentenced in Tyler to 180 months in federal prison for robbing a Longview bank. Patrick Terry Gilbert pleaded guilty on May 27 to armed bank robbery. Gilbert was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $16,134.00. According to federal prosecutors, on Oct. 23, 2015, Gilbert entered the Capital One Bank in Longview dressed in dark clothing, wearing a “Scream” mask and armed with a short-barreled shotgun. Gilbert approached two bank tellers, pointed the shotgun at them, and demanded all of their money. Gilbert took more than $15,000 from the tellers and left the bank. Several weeks later, Gilbert was arrested in Nacogdoches County. He was indicted last November.

Auto Theft Suspects Target Classic Vehicles

Posted/updated on: September 17, 2016 at 5:31 pm

img_6475TYLER — The Tyler Police Department and the East Texas Auto Theft Task Force are investigating six classic vehicles that were stolen at different locations and times this past weekend in Tyler. Several suspects were caught on surveillance video hot-wiring the vehicles and driving them to an unknown location. The vehicles that were stolen are listed below:… Read the rest of the article…

Armed Suspect Arrested Following Disturbance with Neighbors

Posted/updated on: September 17, 2016 at 7:41 am

kendricksTYLER — A Tyler man has been arrested for aggravated assault following a reported disturbance Thursday afternoon. Kendricks Marsh, 40, was booked into the Smith County Jail. The incident started around 2:00 at 2701 N Tenneha, in Tyler. According to officers, Marsh was reportedly arguing with his neighbors when he left and came back with SKS style rifle. Police said Marsh attempted to fire the weapon at the residents, but the rifle failed to fire. He was arrested a short time later and the weapon was recovered. No injuries were reported. Marsh was also charged with felon in possession of a firearm.

After 54 Years, Dr. Bob Peters Retires from the Airwaves

Posted/updated on: September 17, 2016 at 1:00 am

drbobpetersTYLER — It all started October 1, 1962. Now weather wizard Dr. Bob Peters is calling it a day, retiring from the KTBB airwaves after Friday’s on-air forecasts and analyses. He says the technology has come a long way in 54 years. According to Peters, “Now our forecasts for the next 120 hours are about 95 per cent accurate; two weeks, they’re about 85 per cent accurate — and that is very much higher than what it was when I started doing this.”… Read the rest of the article…

Texas Doctor Resentenced to Prison Following Appeal

Posted/updated on: September 16, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Tariq Mahmood2TYLER – A 65-year-old Dallas County physician has been resentenced in Tyler to federal prison for health care fraud and identity theft violations. In July 2014, Tariq Mahmood of Cedar Hill was found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of health care fraud, and seven counts of aggravated identity theft. That followed a four-day trial in Tyler federal court.… Read the rest of the article…

Fourth Marijuana Grow Discovered This Week in East Texas

Posted/updated on: September 16, 2016 at 5:11 pm

marijuanamgn_1473950198159_11046139_ver1-0HENDERSON COUNTY — The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Thursday headed to the scene of a large marijuana grow — the fourth discovered this week in East Texas. Smith, Anderson, and Van Zandt counties had previously reported similar operations. According to KETK, the latest discovery consists of two separate fields. Henderson County Public Information Officer Mark Sanders says officials started working the fields around 4:00 p.m. Wednesday. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, DPS, and DEA have all been working the scene.… Read the rest of the article…

Gohmert Named Guardian of Small Business

Posted/updated on: September 16, 2016 at 3:38 pm

louiegohmert-3WASHINGTON — Republican East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert has received the Guardian of Small Business Award from The National Federation of Independent Business for what’s termed his outstanding support of America’s small business owners. Calling the award an honor, Gohmert says, “Small businesses are truly the backbone of this nation’s economy, and The NFIB works tirelessly to ensure they are protected,” as quoted in the news release. Gohmert’s office says the Guardian recognition is the NFIB’s most prestigious award reserved for lawmakers who vote consistently with NFIB on the key issues identified by small business owners. Gohmert received a 100 voting record during the 114th Congress.

Man Arrested on Narcotics Warrant

Posted/updated on: September 16, 2016 at 3:13 pm

aubreyTYLER — A man has been arrested on drug charges after Tyler police executed a search warrant Thursday at his Valentine Street home. Tyler SWAT and Patrol Officers assisted in the operation, which began at 6:30 a.m. Aubrey Ray Wilbanks, 60, was charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), a 2nd degree felony, and possession of dangerous drugs, a class A misdemeanor. Investigators also located firearms and stolen property inside the residence while conducting the search, according to a news release.

Man Suspected of Sexual Abuse Going Back 45 Years

Posted/updated on: September 16, 2016 at 1:34 pm

dock-lee-minter-web_1473960930399_11051302_ver1-0HENDERSON — Law enforcement officials have taken into custody a man they say may be responsible for sexual abuse going back as far as 45 years. Dock Lee Minter, 68, of Garrison, turned himself in to deputies at the Rusk County Jail, according to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office. KETK reports he was arrested on two warrants for continuous sexual abuse of children. The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office is asking any potential victims of the suspect to come forward and talk with officials. You can call 903-657-3581 ext. 209 or 903-657-3581 ext. 220.

Fraud Investigators Continue to Investigate Gas Skimmers

Posted/updated on: September 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm

tyler-policeTYLER — Tyler Police investigators continue to investigate fraud cases involving identity theft and credit card fraud. A group of suspects who are believed to be from out of town are placing hidden electronic devices inside gas pumps and obtaining your credit card information. Police say they will use that information to duplicate a credit card and obtain cash funds and merchandise.… Read the rest of the article…

Two Indicted in Alleged Home Invasion

Posted/updated on: September 16, 2016 at 12:27 pm

mariovillegasmug_1473949344207_11046342_ver1-0alexisjuarezmug_1473949344041_11046341_ver1-0TYLER — Two East Texas men have been indicted in connection with an alleged home invasion in early August. According to KETK, the Smith County District Attorney’s Office names the suspects as 19-year-olds Mario Villegas (left) and Alexis Juarez (right), both of Tyler. They’re accused of breaking into a house on August 5 on West Bow Street and threatening to kill the residents. Officials say a man was assaulted inside the house and that the suspects tried to drag him outside. … Read the rest of the article…

City of Tyler Passes New Budget

Posted/updated on: September 16, 2016 at 10:42 am

cityoftylerTYLER — The Tyler City Council has approved its budget for the new fiscal year. Mayor Martin Heines tells KETK the new budget will save more money than in years past. Also approved was a one-cent property tax increase. That money will help pay for the improvement of city roads. Heines says the decisions made were all in the best interest of the people living in Tyler. He comments, “We have a staff that is committed to the community, and we are proud of the work that they do, and the ability they had to make this budget work with less money.”

Three Suspects Indicted Following Stand-Off with Police

Posted/updated on: September 16, 2016 at 10:42 am

lavinawinstonmug_1473947971391_11046119_ver1-0TYLER — Three people have been indicted for multiple counts of aggravated robbery in Tyler. According to the Smith County District Attorney’s Office, per KETK, the suspects were indicted on Thursday, September 8, for their alleged involvement in a robbery that took place Friday, August 5, in the 3800 block of Lexington Drive. Lavina May Winston (pictured) 21, Darrell Lynn Taylor, 20 and Michael Laderick Fitts, 18, all from Tyler, have been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, each. Their bonds were set at $400,000. The three were allegedly involved in a standoff at the Varsity Place apartments prior to their arrest.… Read the rest of the article…

More Fake Money Turns Up in East Texas

Posted/updated on: September 16, 2016 at 3:19 am

moviemoneyfake_1473882303270_11028683_ver1-0PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg Police Department is warning the public about fake movie money being passed around the area. According to KETK, the counterfeit cash, or “Hollywood money” has shown up in Pittsburg. The currency is typically used in television shows and looks similar to the real thing. However, authorities stated the feel of the cash is a dead giveaway for the fake money. Hollywood money has also been reported throughout East Texas, including the cities of Longview, Kilgore, Lufkin and Texarkana. Police advise citizens to not accept questionable money and to contact authorities.

Manziel Due in Court Thursday

Posted/updated on: September 15, 2016 at 10:39 am

johnnymanziel3DALLAS — Tyler native Johnny Manziel will be in a Dallas courtroom Thursday, in his domestic violence case. The former Cleveland Browns quarterback is accused of kidnapping, beating, and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, during a fight over another woman. Manziel is charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony, because Crowley didn’t suffer serious injury. The former Aggie standout is back at Texas A&M now, after being cut from his NFL job.

TJC Releases Statement on Monday Shooting

Posted/updated on: September 15, 2016 at 4:34 pm

tjc-possible-shooting-scene_11028299_ver1-0TYLER – Tyler Junior College Campus Police are conducting an investigation regarding shots fired on campus Monday evening at 11:42 p.m. In a news release issued to our news partner KETK, officials say the incident involved unidentified males coming to campus to confront a TJC student outside of a residence hall. According to the released, campus police responded immediately to the scene, secured the scene and also called Tyler Police to respond. The unidentified males fled the scene, and campus police made a determination that this was an incident isolated to a dispute initially involving a few individuals. Authorities say they determined that the incident did not pose an immediate threat to students throughout the campus. There were no injuries.… Read the rest of the article…

Council Takes Next Step toward Conference Center

Posted/updated on: September 15, 2016 at 1:10 pm

martin-heines1TYLER — The Tyler City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Tyler and Champ Hospitality to continue work to bring a conference center to Tyler. The conference center will be attached to a private hotel. According to a news release, the proposed brand, per the MOU, is Aloft Hotels by Starwood Suites, a global high-end hotel company with 1,300 locations worldwide. Mayor Martin Heines (pictured) said this will be Aloft’s first presence in Tyler, adding that a new hotel wanting to establish itself in the market is a good sign.… Read the rest of the article…

Tyler Man Sentenced for Drug Violations

Posted/updated on: September 15, 2016 at 12:26 pm

federalcourthouseTYLER – A 23-year-old Tyler man has been sentenced to 20 years, 8 months in federal prison for drug trafficking violations. Jose Maldonado Barragan was found guilty by a jury on Feb. 10 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, aiding and abetting, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm while illegally in the United States, and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.… Read the rest of the article…

Marijuana Fields Continue to Turn Up in East Texas

Posted/updated on: September 15, 2016 at 10:38 am

potbust1_1473804792226_11015306_ver1-0EAST TEXAS — Several law enforcement agencies have discovered a marijuana field in Van Zandt County, according to a county official. It’s the latest in a series of such fields that have been found around East Texas in recent days. KETK reports the “pretty large” field is near the intersection of State Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 80 near Canton. The law enforcement official stated the find is the result of an ongoing investigation for the past several days.… Read the rest of the article…

Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas Honored Tuesday Night With Galaxy Award

Posted/updated on: September 15, 2016 at 10:38 am

img_0780TYLER — Longtime philanthropists Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas were presented the UT Health Northeast Galaxy Award during a ceremony held Tuesday at the Green Acres Baptist Church Crosswalk Center. According to a news release, the Galaxy Award honors the “stars” of philanthropy while raising scholarship funds for students in healthcare and research. UT Health President Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun cited the couple’s “numerous heartfelt gifts…to so many institutions, including UT Health Northeast.”… Read the rest of the article…

Suspect Sought in Dollar Store Robbery

Posted/updated on: September 15, 2016 at 2:59 am

091416-dollar-store-robbery-pic_1473832007109_11020024_ver1-0SMITH COUNTY — Smith County Deputies are investigating an armed robbery Tuesday night. According to KETK, it happened at the Dollar General on Northeast Loop 323 near FM 14 around 9:45. The clerk told police an armed man entered the store, displayed a handgun and demanded money. The suspect reportedly took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene. No injuries were reported. Police said this is the same Dollar Store that was robbed on September 5th. The Smith County Sheriff’s office is investigating.

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