Category: Local News Archive

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TJC Eyes Future Expansion

thumb_tjc-signTYLER — Tyler Junior College is growing by leaps and bounds. According to KETK, trustees this week discussed plans for upcoming campus construction. On the agenda: a new dorm, a health center which is under construction, and expanding the energy center on the West Campus. Trustees say the school’s already bulging at the seams. Board President John Hills says there’s currently a 500-person waiting list. A lot of those students are from outside the area, so Hills says if there’s not student housing available, a lot of those students wind up going to another school where they can get housing. According to Hills, college officials plan to have all the new buildings finished by the fall of 2015.

Police Need Help Identifying TV Theft Suspect

23853753_BG1 TYLER — Tyler police need your help identifying the suspect allegedly responsible for walking out of Wal-Mart on Troup Highway. with a flat screen TV and other items without paying for them on Friday, October 25. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Tyler Police Department, at 903-531-1000, or Crimestoppers at 903-597-CUFF (903-597-2833).

Search Continues for East Texas Native Reported Missing in Florida

lindsey2PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (ABC/Staff) — The daughters of a missing East Texas native, now a Florida school nurse, have made a tearful plea for help to find their mother. 49-year-old Kimberly Lindsey, originally from Jacksonville, Texas, mysteriously went missing earlier this week without a trace. Lindsey’s aunt, Gina Lindsey Priest, contacted our news partner KETK. Priest told the TV station authorities, family members, and friends are concerned for Lindsey’s well-being. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Fire Department Reminds Citizens to Change Smoke Alarm Batteries

thumb_tyler-fire-dept-truck-2TYLER — Smoke alarms are a vital part of any home fire escape plan, according to local fire officials. According to the Tyler Fire Department, the alarms can provide the early warning needed for occupants to safety evacuate their home in the event of a fire emergency. It is estimated that approximately two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes that do not have smoke alarms or working smoke alarms. Statistics indicate that citizens who have working smoke alarms inside their homes can cut their chance of dying in a home fire in half. It is because of these continuing statistics that the Tyler Fire Department reminds area residents to take this opportunity to change the batteries in their smoke alarms throughout their homes. Read the rest of this entry »

Driver Gets 7 Years in Death of Liberty City Bicyclist

LONGVIEW — A man convicted Thursday morning of fatally driving into a bicyclist in Liberty City has received a seven-year prison sentence. Andrew Martin Shelton, 50, faced up to 20 years. He was convicted and sentenced for assault causing serious bodily injury or death. 31-year-old Brian Carr died in July 2011, two weeks after being struck. He was able to describe the driver of a white van who approached him as he lay on the ground but then fled. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Badly Burned in Tyler

tyler-fire-dept-logoTYLER — A man has been severely burned in Tyler after his costume caught fire. It happened just before 6:45 Thursday night in the 2100 block of Holly Leaf Drive. Fire Marshall Paul Findley says the man in his late 40s suffered extensive burns of varying degrees over multiple parts of his body. Bystanders extinguished the flames. The man was taken to a Tyler hospital for treatment and later flown to a Dallas hospital. The initial report was the fire may have started from a cigarette. The investigation into the incident continues.

Fire Alarm at Texas College

Texas College logoTYLER — Tyler firemen responded Thursday night to a report of a dorm fire at Texas College at 2400 Grand. The call came in shortly after 9:15. Arriving units reported no smoke or fire. Fire Marshall Paul Findley said firefighters initially indicated a potential electrical cause and noted a tripped circuit breaker in the dormitory. There were no injuries and the investigation continues.

Lufkin Woman Killed, Husband Arrested

Richard Wayne Taylor2LUFKIN — A woman has died from a Lufkin stabbing and a suspect is in custody. Officers had been looking for Richard Wayne Taylor, 51. He is a suspect in the stabbing of his wife Thursday afternoon at the Ministry in Action apartment complex. The woman, identified as Shirley Taylor, died at Lufkin Memorial Hospital just before 6:00 last night. About an hour earlier, Richard was arrested by Corrigan police officers. At the time, he had been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. That will likely be upgraded to murder.

Man Gets 375 Years for Child Sex Assault

375_yearsacdaPALESTINE — A Palestine man was sentenced to a total of 375 years in prison on five counts of sexual assault of a child Tuesday afternoon at the Anderson County Courthouse. KETK reports a jury of eight men and four women reached verdicts of 75 years on each count for Willis Demond Carwell, 32. That followed a sentencing hearing which started on Monday. Carwell had earlier pleaded guilty to the assaults, which are second degree felonies. However, the possible punishment range was increased to a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 99 years or life because Carwell had been to prison for burglary of a habitation. The victim is now 15 years old.

Doctor’s License Suspended Following July Arrest

terrellmugshotscsoTYLER — The Texas Medical Board and Gregory Scott Terrell, M.D., of Tyler have entered into an Agreed Order of Suspension, suspending Dr. Terrell’s Texas medical license. According to KETK, the parties entered into the agreement October 18. The board says it’s effective until such time as Terrell appears before the board and provides clear and convincing evidence that he is competent to safely practice medicine. The board found Dr. Terrell was arrested July 31 for diversion of controlled substances for another person’s use. Read the rest of this entry »

Bullying Concerns Continue in Spring Hill

LONGVIEW — Earlier this week we brought you the story of a Spring Hill student who left the district because of severe bullying. She enrolled down the road in Longview ISD. But was her case the tip of the iceberg? KETK reports more parents are coming forward, with some calling it a complete nightmare. They say students in the Spring Hill school district are being bullied and there’s nothing being done to stop it. Read the rest of this entry »

Kaufman County Murder Suspect Wants Trial Moved

thumb_Eric-WilliamsKAUFMAN — A high-profile defendant in Kaufman County wants his case heard elsewhere. Former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams, who faces three capital murder charges, wants his trial moved. Williams (pictured) and his wife are jailed on charges of murdering District Attorney Mike McLelland; his wife, Cynthia; and Assistant D.A. Mark Hasse. Criminal defense attorney Ed Klein says if he were representing Williams, “I would want it moved to a county that’s at least two or three hundred miles away where it hasn’t been…the lead story on the 6:00 news for weeks and then on the front page of the local paper for weeks. Klein feels the case will have to be moved. A prosecutor says his office will fight to keep the case in Kaufman County.

Longview Home Partially Damaged by Fire

Longview Fire DepartmentLONGVIEW — The Longview Fire Department responded to a home fire in the 500 block of Oakdale Avenue yesterday morning. According to Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary, the fire broke out around 6:00 at a house undergoing renovations. Zackary tells KETK there was significant roof damage and the utility area was destroyed. About 30 percent of the home was damaged in the blaze. The home was vacant at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. The cause is under investigation.

Police: Suspect in 5 Killings Hoped to Kill 2 More

Charles BrownlowTERRELL (AP) — Investigators now say the man accused of a bloody rampage in a small North Texas town that left five people dead, including his mother, hoped to kill two others. A Terrell police affidavit says Charles Everett Brownlow Jr. killed five of seven that he had hoped to kill before his arrest early Tuesday. The 36-year-old suspect was arraigned Wednesday on capital murder and evading arrest charges in the death convenience store clerk Luis Leal, 22. He’s in the Kaufman County Jail in Kaufman without bond. Terrell Police Chief Jody Lay says other charges are pending. The affidavit says Brownlow stole beer from the store after shooting Leal. Also killed Monday night were Brownlow’s mother, Mary Brownlow; his aunt, Belinda Walker; and associates Jason Michael Wooden and Kelleye Lynnette Sluder.

Lufkin Man Pleads Guilty to Assulting Baby

Randy Lee CasperLUFKIN — A Lufkin man has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting an 8 month old baby boy. Randy Lee Casper, 38, entered the plea in state district court Wednesday. He now faces up to 30 years in prison. The sentencing portion of his trial should occur within the next 45 days, following a pre-sentence investigation.

Sportswriter Indicted on Child Sex Assault Charge

harold_wilsonTYLER — An East Texas sportswriter has been indicted by a Smith County grand jury, according to documents released by the 241st Judicial District Court. KETK reports Harold Lamonte Wilson, 36, of Tyler, was arrested by police on June 26 for sexual assault of a child. He was held on $100,000 bond in the Smith County Jail until he was released later that night. Wilson was indicted in the past week. According to Texas law, a child is defined as a person younger than 17 years old. Wilson is a sportswriter for ET Final Score and the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

City Eyes Upgrades to Bergfeld Park, Rose Garden

thumb_tyler-rose-gardenTYLER — Tyler’s Parks and Recreation Board is working on a new and improved Bergfeld Park. KETK reports the board is also trying to make Tyler’s Rose Garden more beautiful and useful. The team hired a design company. Now it’s collected some ideas from hundreds of East Texans to see that everything meets expectations. These focus groups include master gardeners and casual Rose Festival viewers. One official says it’s important not to destroy any of the key elements of the Rose Garden’s historical features. Since the plans met supporters’ approval, the board will now seek the go-ahead from the city council.

Man Gets Life Sentence in Beating, Burning Death

Daniel Paul JonesGILMER — A capital murder defendant has pleaded guilty and begins serving a life sentence without parole for the December kidnapping and killing of a Longview man. The Longview News-Journal reports Daniel Paul Jones’s sentence was part of a plea agreement accepted in Upshur County’s 115th District Court. Investigators have said Jones, along with Sarah Haslam of Longview and Andrew Norwine of Arlington, robbed Ronnie Joe Gammage, 27, and later kidnapped and beat him before slicing his throat and setting him on fire. Haslam and Norwine remain in the Upshur County Jail awaiting trial. Gammage’s body was found December 19 in rural Upshur County after his mother reported him missing December 8. Jones was facing the death penalty for his role in Gammage’s death.

Residents Voice Thoughts on Longview Animal Shelter

thumb_longview-cityofLONGVIEW — The issue of stray animals has been a contentious one in Longview for a long time now, and a big turnout Tuesday night demonstrates the issue is far from settled. KETK reports a public meeting at City Hall allowed residents to offer their thoughts on a new animal shelter. Mayor Jay Dean says the purpose of the meeting was to present preliminary design plans and get feedback. Officials with the Humane Society and animal control say they’re happy the city is proactive and that people get to have a voice throughout the process.

Longview Police Release Statistics for Recently Completed S.T.E.P. Year

thumb_police-longview-shieldLONGVIEW — The Longview Police Department has released the year-end statistics for the recently concluded Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (S.T.E.P.) that ran from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013. Off-duty officers working on the grant program put in a total of 1,358 hours of additional traffic enforcement in the City, issuing 3,925 traffic citations and making 108 arrests during the year. Read the rest of this entry »

Motive Sought in Bloody Rampage that Left 5 Dead

Charles BrownlowTERRELL (AP) — Investigators are seeking a motive behind a bloody rampage in a small Texas town that left five people dead, including the suspect’s mother. Terrell Police Chief Jody Lay says he thinks Charles Everett Brownlow Jr. (pictured) might have attacked others if an off-duty officer hadn’t seen his car. The 36-year-old suspect was chased into the woods after a high-speed chase and was arrested at about 1:30 Tuesday morning. He is being held on one preliminary count each of capital murder and evading arrest, although additional charges were expected. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Arrested in Kilgore Shooting

Chase AlfordKILGORE — A former Halliburton employee has been arrested after shots were fired at the company’s Kilgore plant. Arrested at his mother’s home in Coffee City was Chase Alford, 30. Kilgore Police Department Public Information Officer Captain Roman Roberson tells KETK Around 10:30 Monday night, a man drove up to the security gate of Halliburton Energy Services in the 200 block of Knowles Street, pointed a rifle at the security guard, and demanded he open the gate. The man then told the guard to leave the premises and proceeded to drive onto the complex. He drove over to a fracking building and shot his rifle through a few windows before leaving. Alford is facing charges of aggravated assault against a security officer and deadly conduct, discharging a firearm.

Heavy Rain, Especially in NE Texas, Could Flood

heavy rainEAST TEXAS (AP) Much of Texas finds itself in a rainy cycle, with heavy rain bringing a flash-flood watch to northern and northeastern Texas. After a soggy Wednesday in North and Central Texas, East Texas and the Texas Gulf Coast was to have a second day of rain on Thursday. The National Weather Service says the sun was expected to shine over Texas through the weekend, but the state was expected to get off to a west start to the week Monday.

Former Commissioner’s Son Pleads Guilty

crabtreemuggggGILMER — The son of a former Upshur County commissioner arrested in October 2012 for holding a state game warden at gunpoint has pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful restraint, a Class A misdemeanor. KETK reports that 115th District Judge Lauren Parish of Gilmer sentenced Todd A. Crabtree, 28, to a one-year jail sentence, probated for two years. In addition, Crabtree was ordered to publicly apologize to the game warden and other law enforcement officers who responded to the scene last year. Crabtree also will have to pay a $250 fine, take an anger management class, pay court costs and other fees, and perform 100 hours of community service. While on probation he will have to submit to monthly drug tests and will be barred from drinking alcohol. He also will be prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition during his probation. Read the rest of this entry »

Caterpillar Closing Kilgore Facility

caterpillar_logo_mgnPEORIA, ILL. — The Caterpillar facility in Kilgore is closing. Word comes in a statement issued Tuesday by spokesperson Rachel Potts of Caterpillar’s home office in Peoria, Illinois. The facility will shut down by the end of the year. Potts says, “In Caterpillar Inc.’s 3Q financial release on October 23, 2013, it was stated that the company has taken many actions to align our costs with the environment we’re in currently. Further, we reported that while we’ve done much already, we’re not finished and expect to take deeper actions to improve our cost structure and balance sheet. Today, the company notified employees in its Kilgore, Texas, plant that following an extensive strategic review of its mining operations in Kilgore, it will close the facility to position this business to be more successful and competitive throughout the cycles in a rapidly changing mining industry.” Read the rest of this entry »

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