LONGVIEW — Longview Police Chief Don Dingler will be retiring at the end of next month. The Longview native has served the city 42 years. He has been police chief since 2011. Starting the first of August, Assistant Chief Mike Bishop will serve as interim police chief. A set schedule has not been set for filling the police chief’s post. According to the Longview News Journal, Dingler began his career with Longview as a police officer in 1973. Over the years, he has worked assignments in patrol, traffic, training, jail services and narcotics. As a command level officer, he served as the commander in all major components of the police department.
TYLER — Some Tyler utility customers will be paying more for their services. KETK reports that the City Council Wednesday approved two rate increases. The first involves Atmos Energy, a natural gas company serving more than 200 residential customers and more than 60 commercial customers in Tyler. The average monthly bill will increase about 1.14 per cent. Garbage bills for Tyler commercial customers are also going up, by 1.7 per cent. The director of solid waste says it doesn’t affect the residential side of collection but does help offset expenses for residential customers.
LONGVIEW — The Humane Society of Northeast Texas has taken in so many cats, staffers there said they are at a 38% euthanasia rate. KETK reports they are now calling on the community for help. In 11 days, the shelter said it’s taken in 400 animals. Nationally, June is Cat Adoption Month, so the shelter is getting on board with the cause by lowering adoption fees in hopes of offseting the overcrowding. Instead of $75, the cats are being adopted out this month for $25. This includes all the basic kitten vaccinations, 30 days’ insurance, and having them fixed.… Read More
TYLER — A former Tyler pharmacist has had his request for a new trail rejected by Tyler’s 12th Court of Appeals. James Carey Prosperie, 75, Tyler, was arrested at his south Tyler Home in 2013 following a brief standoff with law officers. He was charged with sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child. Prosperie was found guilty on both counts and sentenced to two consecutive terms of 16 years each. In his appeal, Prosperie argued for a new punishment phase of his trial because of “his age and poor health.” The state court had denied his motion for a new punishment trial. There was no proof offered that he was in poor health. He also contended that the state district court “erred” by failing to conduct a restitution hearing. All of his arguments were rejected by the appeals court on Wednesday.
TYLER — Tyler city officials have scheduled an open house at which residents may provide input toward the Old Jacksonville Highway (FM 2493) Corridor Study. The open house will be held Thursday, June 18, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Lane’s Chapel United Methodist Church, located at 8720 Old Jacksonville Hwy. in Tyler. The portion of road being studied is bounded by Loop 323 in Tyler and Highway 69 in Bullard. According to a news release, the study will analyze the current conditions of traffic, travel lanes, and signals and make recommendations for upgrades as the corridor grows.… Read More
TYLER — Tyler street repair crews are sanding portions of Rice Road and Shiloh Road to soak up excess asphalt that is coming up in the wheel paths in the pavement. “Depending on temperature and traffic, sanding will continue in this area as long as excess asphalt is rising to the surface,” said City Engineer Carter Delleney. According to a news release, city staff will work with a contractor on the Rice/Shiloh pavement project to determine a cause and ultimate solution for this issue. Drivers are asked to use caution and drive safely as crews continue to sand in the area.
TYLER – A 54-year-old Tyler woman has been sentenced for wire fraud in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales Thursday. Tammy Ogden pleaded guilty to that charge last Dec. 15. She was sentenced Wednesday in Tyler to 27 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis. Ogden was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $136,237.75.… Read More
TYLER – A 45-year-old Palestine man has been sentenced to federal prison for distributing methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales Thursday. Edwin William Pacheco pleaded guilty Feb. 11 to possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. He was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison Thursday in Tyler by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider.… Read More
MARSHALL — SWEPCO crews worked to restore electricity in Marshall after a power line caught fire Thursday morning. According to KETK, the Marshall Fire Department says the blaze happened in the area of S. Wellington and W. Fannin Streets. About 900 customers were without electricity at one point late Thursday morning.
OVERTON — Two girls who tried to open a lemonade stand to raise money for a Father’s Day gift in Overton were by police told they need to get a permit from the health department. Overton Police Chief Clyde Carter said, “They were asked by officer to get a permit from the city. The city advised them that they would need to get with the health department make sure they were in compliance with the health department and get a permit from them.” Overton police said it’s the law and they’ll keep enforcing it. The sisters plan to try again this weekend. Instead of selling their lemonade, they’ll give it away for free and accept donations.
LONGVIEW — A fire at the Kimbrough Animal Hospital on Judson Road left 38 animals dead. Longview fire officials say an electrical issue in the office was to blame. Pet owners and the community as a whole have felt the impact. According to KETK, Kenneth Kimbrough built the animal hospital in 1980. For customers and staff, it became a second home over the decades, just adding to the devastation. “We live here half the time, but you know I always say that people, veterinarians, love people and they love their pets,” the owner said. Other clinics in town have contacted Kimbrough to offer their facilities. “It is a great profession and all of my veterinarian buddies in town are supporting us.”… Read More
MARSHALL — A Garland murder suspect has been arrested in Marshall. Arrested around 7:15 Wednesday night was Xavier Tyrell Smith, 23. He was charged with capital murder for a death that occurred last month. KETK reports a search warrant was executed at a home in the 1000 block of Kahn Street. When it was learned that Smith was at a nearby residence, they got permission to search the house. Smith, who was found in a bedroom of the house, was arrested without incident.
LINDALE — Because a suspected burglar returned to the scene of the crime, two persons have been arrested as a result of some Lindale burglaries. Arrested were Trae Dewey Nathan Hanson, 29, and Krista Lynn McLemore, 33. Hanson is accused of some burglaries that occurred on County Road 431 out of Lindale. Because of recent burglaries, a property owner placed a game camera on his property in an attempt to identify the thief. When a suspect returned to the property, he was photographed by the camera. It even recorded the truck he was driving and the license plate. Investigators were able to trace Hanson to a home off County Road 450 out of Lindale, where he was said to be living with McLemore, his girlfriend.… Read More
TYLER — A Palestine man has been sentenced in Tyler Federal Court to prison for drug trafficking violations in East Texas. Abel Estrada Jr., 22, pleaded guilty on February 19 to possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. He was sentenced Wednesday to 33 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider. According to federal prosecutors, on October 25, 2013, in Palestine, Estrada Jr. delivered approximately 28 grams of methamphetamine to a person. The court also found that from October 1, 2013 through September 24, 2014, Estrada distributed at least 40 grams of a methamphetamine and that during that time period, Estrada Jr. and received at least $10,000.00 from the delivery of the drug.
AUSTIN — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has extended federal disaster aid to include 51 additional Texas counties. This amendment provides for supplemental funding for infrastructure repairs in the wake of May’s severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds and flooding. Among the new counties that were added are Angelina, Bowie, Cass, Cherokee, Harrison, Henderson, Nacogdoches and Rusk. In the original May 29 declaration, Cooke, Gaines, Grimes, Harris, Hays, Navarro, and Van Zandt counties were designated for FEMA Public Assistance funding for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to protect life, public safety, and property.… Read More
LONGVIEW — A Gregg County Jail inmate is back behind bars after being accidentally released. He is identified as Anthony Cager, 23, of Longview. KETK reports he was released on May 29th on a $500 bond. He had been sentenced to 120 days in jail for violating his probation for possession of marijuana. When the error was discovered, a warrant was issued for unauthorized absence from a correction facility. After Cager was contacted, he surrendered to authorities. He was booked back into the jail late last week.
LONGVIEW (AP/STAFF) – An electrical problem is said to have caused a fire that killed 38 animals at a Longview animal hospital. Officials say the pets died from the fire that engulfed the Kimbrough Animal Hospital. Forty animals were at the facility when the fire started late Tuesday. According to Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary, the hospital’s owner took the two surviving animals to East Texas Animal Hospital for treatment. Officials say the fire department responded around 10:25 p.m. to the clinic, where flames could be seen shooting out of the roof. Authorities say the building collapsed during the fire, but crews worked through the night to rescue the animals. The deceased animals were taken to a building next door for their owners to come and identify them. The official cause of the fire is under investigation, however, investigators believe the blaze may have started from an electrical issue in the office.
HAWKINS — An anti-religion group has contacted an East Texas city council, objecting to a religious-themed sign at the edge of the city. According to our news partner KETK, the Freedom From Religion Foundation objected on grounds the sign welcoming visitors to Hawkins is an unconstitutional religious display on government property. The organization states in a letter sent to the Hawkins City Council by Staff Attorney Sam Grover, their purpose is to “protect the constitutional separation between state and church.” The sign in question reads, “Jesus Welcomes You to Hawkins” and is located on East Front Street.… Read More
KILGORE — Four new Kilgore College Board of Trustees members have been sworn in. The action came at a Monday night meeting. The new trustees include:
•Lon Ford (Central Zone, representing Kilgore Independent School District)
•J. Karol Pruett (Central Zone, representing Kilgore Independent School District)
•Cecelia Sanders (South Zone, representing Overton, Leverett’s Chapel and West Rusk County Consolidated independent school districts)
•James Walker (North Zone, representing Gladewater, White Oak and Sabine)… Read More
QUITMAN — The pilot of a home-built airplane has been injured when the craft crashed in Wood County. The pilot, Benjamin Kunziker, 64, has been airlifted to Tyler’s East Texas medical Center, where he is said to be in stable condition. State trooper Jean dark says the plane crashed southeast of Quitman, near County Road 3230 around 10:30 Tuesday morning. Preliminary information is that Kunziker was attempting to land on a private landing strip. The plane lost altitude due to decreasing winds, causing the wheels to clip the top of a group of trees. The aircraft landed nose first on the ground. The FAA has been notified and will continue the investigation.
LONGVIEW — The Texas Rangers have turned over to The Gregg County district attorney’s office the information they have gathered concerning the shooting of a teen at the Longview Police Department. The information will now be presented to the Gregg County Grand Jury. It concerns the shooting death of Kristiana Coignard, 17. Just before 6:30pm on January 22nd, the teen entered the police station and picked up the after-hours phone, called public safety communications and asked for help. When asked what she needed, she refused to tell the operator what her problem was. Police officers were dispatched to the lobby a short time later. When Officer Glenn Derr arrived, Coignard indicated to him she had a gun. According to police, the words “I have a gun,” were written on her hand. This resulted in a physical confrontation when Officer Derr attempted to secure Coignard. … Read More
KILGORE — One person is in custody following an overnight car chase through Rusk County. The Kilgore Police Department assisted DPS Troopers in a pursuit late Monday night on U.S. Highway 259, south of Kilgore. The truck involved was said to be traveling at a high rate of speed in the wrong lane. According to KETK, Kilgore officers successfully deployed a spike strip to stop the truck, which came to a halt. The driver surrendered to officers after brief negotiations. The identity of the driver has not been released.
BULLARD — A Smith County man accused of using a bat to kill a man has been indicted for murder. The indictment was handed up against James Bales, 31. He is accused of the March 6th murder of Bias Lott, 61. The incident happened in the 22000 block of Lakeway Harbor Drive in Bullard. Deputies initially responded to a disturbance call and, upon arrival, found two men involved in an altercation. Officials said one of the men had been attacked and repeatedly hit in the head with a baseball bat. Lot was transported to a Tyler hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and died early the next morning.
TYLER — A man accused in a fatal Smith County wreck has been indicted on two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault. The Smith County District Attorney’s Office announced the indictments against Carl Wayne Crabtree, 30, of Bullard. Crabtree’s vehicle crossed the center line on Old Jacksonville Highway March 4 and collided head-on with a northbound SUV. Killed were Dana Regester, 41, of Flint, and Pasha Zapolsky, 18, of Bullard. Ashley Regester was thrown from the vehicle and hospitalized, but she recovered from her injuries. Caleb Chadwell also suffered injuries, but he was also later released from a local hospital. The Department of Public Safety reported Crabtree’s blood alcohol content level (BAC) was twice the legal limit during the accident. Crabtree’s BAC was said to be at .16. The legal limit is .08. There was also a traceable amount of an unknown drug within his system.
GLADEWATER — Charges are pending against a former Gladewater kindergarten teacher. Police Chief Robert Vine Tells KETK, Amanda Hickman is facing one count of injury to a child, a state jail felony. Authorities are looking into allegations that she injured a young student. The boy’s mother claims her son had permission to be under the teacher’s desk to wind down when he becomes agitated or antsy. During this time the boy grabbed some candy from the teacher’s drawer. The mother said the teacher grabbed the boy by his feet and dragged him out of the classroom. Investigators are said to have delivered a summery of the case report to the Gregg County District Attorney’s office on June 1.
MARSHALL — A multi vehicle accident in Harrison County has left one person dead and one injured. It happened Monday morning on Interstate Highway 20, southeast of Marshall, near exit 620. KETK reports that the wreck killed Brian Buffalo, 39, of Orange Clark, Florida. His wife was injured. She is hospitalized in Marshall. Her condition is unknown. The accident occurred when their SUV clipped a vehicle that was being towed. Their SUV was then hit from behind by an 18-wheeler. The SUV then flipped and rolled down an embankment. The victim’s body has been sent to Tyler for autopsy.
SMITH COUNTY – One person has been injured in a Smith County drive-by shooting. It happened around 5:00 yesterday afternoon in the 500 block of Airway Ave, near the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. A man was hit in the leg by a single shot fired from a passing car. The man’s name has not been released. Sheriff’s department Public Information Officer Gary Middleton says they have no suspects and the investigation is continuing.
SMITH COUNTY – Tyler Maintenance are placing an overlay on Farm Road 1805 between Farm Road 1253 and the Van Zandt County line. Tyler’s second crew will be assisting in Van Zandt County making repairs on Farm Road 2475. Both jobs will reduce the roadway to one lane with flaggers controlling traffic.… Read More