LONGVIEW — Populations across the nation grew 0.71% last year, making it the slowest growth since The Great Depression. But KETK reports that here in East Texas, the Smith and Gregg County populations increased by over 1,500. New population estimates released by the U.S Census Bureau show a rise of 283 Gregg County residents and over 1,400 in Smith County. … Read More
GLADEWATER — A Gregg County Constable has taken leave following a DWI charge in Franklin County last week. Gregg County Precinct 3 Constable Michael Baggett released the following statement: “I am voluntarily taking leave from my position as Gregg County Precinct #3 Constable to take care of my personal health and medical needs following an incident that occurred recently in Franklin County, Texas. I believe it is in the best interests of myself, my family, and my constituents for me to take this time to regain my focus and my health. During my absence the duties of my office will be carried out by the Gregg County Precinct #3 Deputy Constables with the assistance of other Gregg County law enforcement officers.” … Read More
NACOGDOCHES (AP) – Stephen F. Austin State University is shelving its new logo after hearing complaints from students and commenters on social media. SFA announced late last week that it would not use a logo designed by a marketing firm for about $14,000. The new logo had the letters “SFA” placed over an outline in the shape of the state of Texas, with a star in the “A” where SFA is located, in Nacogdoches. It would have replaced the old design, shown at left. The change sparked an online petition and complaints, and eventually led to university president Baker Pattillo saying the university would be “suspending the new logo effective immediately.” The old logo will go on billboards and banner ads.
GLADEWATER — The Gladewater Police Department is warning citizens of a new scam spreading in the area. KETK reports unknown persons will call residences posing as electric company representatives threatening to cut a customer’s power off unless an outstanding balance is paid. Once a person agrees to pay the bill, credit or debit card information is handed over to the con artist. If you receive a call similar to this scenario, police advise you to verify the true identity of the caller before providing any personal information. Officials say you should call your local electricity provider to verify the status of your account before ever giving out personal or financial information. You can report the scam to the Gladewater Police Department at 903-845-2166 or the Better Business Bureau at 903-581-5704.
LONGVIEW — Harrison County investigators are seeking information on the whereabouts of a missing teenager. KETK reports Destiny Battensby is a runaway from the Longview area of Harrison County. Her mother said she was last seen wearing a red “hoodie” style jacket, blue jeans, and a red and white striped tank top. Battensby is described as a white 16-year-old girl, standing 5’7” and weighing 125 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes. She has numerous tattoos on both arms and legs and stars with the word “Destiny” on her hip. She was last seen on Tuesday, March 25, at 10:00 p.m., when she left her house with an unknown male. She may possibly be in Texarkana or Hughes Springs. Any information about her location may be reported to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office at 903-923-4000.
PALESTINE — An Anderson County woman remains hospitalized in Tyler following shooting that left her ex-husband dead. It occurred shortly before 11:30 Friday morning north of Palestine on County Road 362. Investigators say Octoavio Guerrero Garcia forced his way into his ex-wife’s mobile home and shot her a couple of times. She was able to wrestle the handgun from him and shoot him. Garcia later died in a Palestine hospital. Nicole Lynn Guerrero, 32, has undergone surgery at a Tyler hospital and is listed in stable condition.
SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue base and pavement repairs on State Highway 135 between Troup and Arp, then move to SH 135 near the Overton City Limits. A second crew is scheduled to resume base and pavement repairs on East Loop 323 in Tyler between the Loop 323 Extension and Commerce Street. 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 More
WINONA — Fire crews were on scene of a grass fire that destroyed more than 10 acres near Winona in Smith County. KETK reports it happened Sunday afternoon in the 15000 block of County Road 354. The fire started as a controlled burn, but the wind picked up, and the fire quickly spread. Officials said there was minimal damage to a fence surrounding a home but no major damage reported to any of the structures nearby and no injuries reported. The Winona and Red Springs Volunteer Fire Departments put the fire out.
TYLER — The Tyler Fire Department has handed its Firefighter of the Year Award to Matt Ford (pictured). That honor was just one of many presented as the department held its 23rd Annual Awards Banquet Saturday at the Tyler Rose Garden Center. During the ceremony, firefighters, along with retired firefighters and civilians, were honored for their actions and service to the City of Tyler. … Read More
GILMER — An Upshur County woman whose body was discovered this past month in a house fire was killed by blunt impact to the head and stab wounds to the neck, according to an autopsy report. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report the bludgeoning of Erica Cook’s head led to a skull fracture, bruises to the brain, and cuts of the mouth. She also was stabbed in the ear, the trachea, and the spinal cord, according to the autopsy performed by Robert Lyon of Forensic Medical of Texas in Tyler. … Read More
TYLER — With what’s termed the slow comeback of the economy, the most vulnerable among us are still at risk, according to a news release from the Tyler Salvation Army. The U.S. Census Bureau now rates almost half of all Americans in the poor or low-income categories. The Salvation Army nationwide is seeing heavy demand for food relief. Tyler is no exception as, more and more, local residents are reaching the end of their savings and desperately need help, according to local officials. … Read More
TYLER — Hometown folks and visitors were greeted with a welcome sight over the weekend: Tyler’s iconic azaleas have finally begun to bloom. And officials at the Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau are keeping their hopes up about further spring blooms during the 55th annual Azalea & Spring Flower Trail. CVB staffers blame the long winter for the flowers’ late appearance. You can view the CVB’s Facebook and VisitTyler Instagram pages to check the progress of the blooms. The Azalea and Spring Flower Trail continues through April 6. Click on http://www.visittyler.com for more information. … Read More
LONGVIEW — Three Longview men have been jailed after allegedly stealing several televisions from a home Thursday afternoon. KETK reports it happened around 1:50 p.m. Thursday in the 400 block of Fairlane Drive in Longview. According to police, a neighbor saw three men enter a trailer through a window, remove multiple televisions, and place them in the trunk and back seat of their vehicle. Officers arrested Laderrion Devonte Johnson, 20; Demond Gawayne Colbert, 18; and Demanuel B. Fletcher, 31. All three are charged with burglary of a habitation, and all were booked into Gregg County Jail on a $20,000 bond each.
SMITH COUNTY — The Smith County Road and Bridge Department is replacing a well-traveled bridge on County Road 137 just north of Bullard. The wooden bridge, which crosses over Henshaw Creek, was only large enough to allow a single car to pass at a time. The replacement bridge is made of concrete, has two full lanes, and will improve a number of safety issues for that road, officials say. According to a news release, crews are moving the location of the bridge to straighten out a dangerous curve in CR 137, improving visibility for both directions of traffic. Weather allowing, the project is expected to be complete in approximately seven weeks. Improvements are also under way on two bridges on County Road 1141, also known as Dean Road. The bridges are being rebuilt where CR 1141 crosses Indian Creek and the railroad tracks between CR 1134 and CR 1140. … Read More
TYLER — Smith County and the city of Tyler are seeking public input and recommendations concerning one of the most frequently traveled corridors in the region, Interstate 20. Officials say I-20 from the Louisiana/Texas border to the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area provides an important east-west connection for travel and trade in Texas, directly impacting Tyler and Smith County. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is partnering with the city, the county, and 19 other entities to evaluate the I-20 roadway as it goes through the East Texas region. This project, called the I-20 East Texas Corridor Study, was specifically created to assess current safety and capacity needs, to plan for future growth, and to identify specific rural and rail transportation needs along the heavily traveled corridor. … Read More
TYLER — The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) has announced Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass as the recipient of the 2014 W. T. “Doc” Ballard Award for Excellence in Public Health. Officials say the award is the District’s highest accolade for outstanding service contributing significantly to the enhancement of public health. According to a news release, Bass “has demonstrated a true commitment to protect and promote the health of the public.” … Read More
PALESTINE — The Texas Transportation Commission, TxDOT’s governing body, has approved nearly $80,000 engineering and design work to improve the pavement infrastructure at Palestine Municipal Airport. Project costs will be funded through the city of Palestine and TxDOT’s Aviation Facilities Grant Program, which preserves and improves the state’s general aviation system.
TYLER — The toll rates on Toll 49 will be going up April 1st. The base toll rates will increase, on average, to $.14 cents per mile on Toll 49 for passenger cars. All other classes of vehicle rates will increase as well. … Read More
KILGORE — A one vehicle accident in Gregg County has left one person dead. The accident occurred just after midnight Friday morning on Farm Road 2204, three miles east of Kilgore. Dead at the scene was Branden Bennett Harkey, 20, of Longview. According to the Department of Public Safety report, Bennett was east bound when his pickup ran off the road and hit a tree. He was wearing his seatbelt.
TYLER — A convicted sex offender from Tyler has been indicted on child exploitation charges. U. S. Attorney John Bales announced Friday the indictment of Anthony Nelson, 31. Nelson, also known as Flip, was indicted by a federal grand jury on March and charged with transportation of minors, transportation, and penalties for registered sex offenders. If convicted of all counts, Nelson will receive life in federal prison. According to the indictment, in November and December 2013, Nelson, a previously convicted sex offender, transported individuals, including two minors, across state lines with the intent that they engage in prostitution
LINDALE — A fire has destroyed the outdoor women’s restroom at Old Mill Pond Museum in Lindale An additional building was slightly damaged. The fire broke out around 10:00 Thursday night. It was quickly contained by Lindale Volunteer Fire Department. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Because of the lack of public restroom facilities, and pending insurance inspection, the museum will remain closed until further notice.
TYLER — The four missing Smith County children who were allegedly abducted by their non-custodial mother Monday reportedly tested positive for methamphetamine last year. KETK reports that according to Child Protective Services spokeswoman Shari Pulliam, the children were tested after being taken from their home during a drug raid on December 10, 2013. All of the kids allegedly had traces of meth in their system. … Read More
TYLER (AP) – Alumni of Texas College have gathered to mark the 120th anniversary of the founding of the historically black college. William Parker Jr. was among alumni attending the celebration Wednesday. The 54-year-old retired deputy sheriff from Georgia makes the trip annually to his alma mater. He told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that his education at Texas College gave him the skills necessary to be successful in life. The college in Tyler was started by a group of Christian Methodist Episcopal Church members in 1894. In addition to celebrating the school’s founding, the college also celebrated 50 years of existence for the Top Ladies of Distinction Inc., a public service organization founded on the Texas College campus that now operates chapters nationwide.
TYLER – Progress is visible on Tyler ISD’s new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center located at the corner of Bennett Avenue and Earl Campbell Parkway, according to a news release from the school district. The new facility is a result of a multi-million dollar bond package passed by voters last May. BOND 2013 projects also include two new middle school campuses at the existing Moore MST Magnet School and Boulter Middle School locations, one new middle school at the Three Lakes location in South Tyler and renovations and additions to Dixie and Rice elementary schools. … Read More
LEVERETT’S CHAPEL — A motorcyclist has been killed in a wreck with a Overton school bus. Killed in the accident around 5:15 Wednesday afternoon was Kaylon Lamar Crain, 35, of Gladewater. None of the children aboard the bus were injured. The accident happened on State Highway 42 near Leverett’s Chapel. The Department of Public Safety reports the motorcycle pulled out of a driveway and into the bus’ path.
TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday endorsed the Veteran and Military Growth Initiative to create sustainable opportunities for Veterans and their families to thrive in East Texas, according to a city press release. On March 17, 2011, the City of Tyler, under the leadership of Mayor Barbara Bass, chartered the Veterans & Community Roundtable. Three years later, the Roundtable engages more than 150 individuals and organizations that serve Veterans, Guard/Reserve, and military families in East Texas, according to the release. Members focus on five key Veteran and military transition issues: employment, education, housing, healthcare, and financial/legal services. … Read More
NACOGDOCHES — Two Nacogdoches County teenagers have been arrested for allegedly killing animals in a satanic-type ritual. According to the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were investigating the disappearance of a dog near County Road 769 in Nacogdoches when they made the discovery. KETK reports that during this time, officials received word the dog had been killed in a cult-style manner. Investigators determined the animal had been tied up and skinned on a tree. Authorities also learned a cat and three kittens were victims of the act. … Read More
ATHENS — The Henderson County trial for a woman who starved her teenage daughter has been halted after she changed her plea. KETK reports that on Wednesday morning, a jury trial came to an abrupt ending when Irma Espinoza, 52, of Athens, stopped the trial in progress and changed her plea of not guilty to guilty after one day of graphic testimony. The testimony depicted the long-term chronic neglect of her 17-year-old severely disabled daughter, who weighed only 29 pounds when investigators from Adult Protective Services and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office became aware of her condition. … Read More
TYLER — Bergfeld Park was named a Lone Star Legacy Park for its special prominence in the local community and the state of Texas, according to a city of Tyler news release. City officials say these parks have endured the test of time and have become iconic to those who have visited, played, and rested on their grounds. A designation as a Lone Star Legacy is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a park by the Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS). … Read More
LONGVIEW — Longview police are investigating a robbery at the Capital One Bank, located in the 1700 Block of West Loop 281. KETK reports the crime occurred just after 11:30 Wednesday morning. The suspect is described as a black male dressed as a female, wearing a long black curly wig, dark jacket or sweater, dark shirt, and sunglasses. The criminal was also believed to be carrying a black bag. Anyone with information on this robbery is asked to call Longview Police immediately at 903-237-1199. The tipster can also remain anonymous by contacting Gregg County Crimestoppers at 903-236-7867.