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Category: Local News Archive

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Longview Robbery Victim Dies

club_reo_ketkLONGVIEW — The victim of a weekend crime, Jorge Pinon, 22, of Longview, has died. The investigation into his murder continues, according to police. Sunday morning shortly before 1:45, Longview police were dispatched to a shooting in the parking lot of Club Reo in the 4700 Block of West Loop 281. When officers arrived they found Pinon in the parking lot with a gunshot wound. He was transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Both suspects fled the scene prior to officers’ arrival. The suspects are believed to be two males. One of the suspects is believed to be approximately 5’6″ tall and was possibly wearing a blue hoodie. At this time police believe the motive for this attack was robbery. Read the rest of this entry »

Firefighter Injured While Battling Blaze

tyler-fire-dept-logoTYLER — A firefighter has been injured fighting a Tyler fire. It happened just after 4:00 yesterday morning at 2905 Gardner Street. Officials said the fire was contained to the kitchen area. The kitchen area suffered heavy fire, smoke and water damage. Fire investigators determined that the fire originated on the stove as a result of food being left unattended. The injured firefighter is said to have suffered a minor knee injury.

One Night without a Home

homelessTYLER — To draw attention to what they’re calling the increasing number of homeless, some East Texans traded their warm beds for a night in Bergfeld Park. The East Texas Human Needs Network, the Salvation Army, PATH, and Tyler Junior College hosted “One Night without a Home,” which began Tuesday afternoon and wrapped early Wednesday morning. The crowds kicked it all off with dinner at the Salvation Army, then walked to the park for a candlelight vigil and overnight stay. One participant told KETK, “I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring my daughter — to kinda open up my daughter’s eyes, to kinda show her it’s not always so rosy out there.” Some hard and fast rules for the evening: no electronics, no camping gear, no more than two dollars, no watch, and no jewelry.

Man Who Sexually Assaulted 14-Year-Old Gets 55 Years in Prison

Marcus Allen EdminstonTYLER – A man pleads guilty and gets a 55-year prison term in the sexual assault of a teen. On June 11 around 2:00am, deputies and detectives from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call on FM 756 in reference to a suspect who had entered the residence and assaulted a 14-year-old female. Detectives followed several leads in this case. Information gathered pointed to Marcus Allen Edminston, 22, of Bullard. Detectives were able to get enough evidence to get a warrant on Edminston for burglary of a habitation with intent to commit indecency with a child. Edminston was arrested in reference to this case the next day and was placed in the Smith County Jail on a $750,000 bond.

SWEPCO Rates Going Up

swepco_logo_swepcoCOLUMBUS, Ohio — Southwestern Electric Power Company, or SWEPCO, customers will be seeing a rate increase soon. The company served numerous customers in Northeast Texas. Referencing a SWEPCO news release, KETK reports the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) has approved a base rate increase for the company. In Texas, the bill for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) will increase approximately $7.00 per month, or 8.9%. The PUCT approved this increase in base rates to recover costs associated with two major power plants and for vegetation management to maintain and ensure reliability. Read the rest of this entry »

Officials: Fleet Program to Save TxDOT, Taxpayers Millions Annually

thumb_TxDotTYLER — The Texas Department of Transportation Wednesday was joined by members of the Texas Transportation Commission in Tyler to showcase Fleet Forward. TxDOT officials say that’s a program designed to streamline the number of TxDOT vehicles and heavy equipment in order to increase productivity while reducing maintenance and storage costs. The fleet reduction will save the agency approximately $50 million annually and make it possible to address other TxDOT projects benefiting Texas drivers over the next decade, according to officials. Read the rest of this entry »

Aggravated Robbery Suspect Arrested

lopez, francisco mastacheLONGVIEW — Police in Longview say they’ve taken an aggravated robbery suspect into custody. Tuesday evening around 11:15, police were dispatched to the 100 Block of West Harrison Road for a robbery just occurred. The victim told officers he was closing his store for the evening when a man approached him and brandished a knife. The victim said the suspect then put the knife to the victim’s throat and demanded his property, phone, and jewelry. He said the suspect took more of his property from inside his car and ran from the scene. Officers in the area located the suspect a short time later. The suspect was identified as Francisco Lopez-Mastache, 17, of Longview. Lopez was transported to the Gregg County Jail without incident.

Big Crowds Greet Palin in Tyler

palinsignketkTYLER — Former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin made a stop in Tyler Wednesday morning for a scheduled book signing. Lines to meet Palin stretched around the Sam’s Club store on SSW Loop 323, according to KETK. The book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” follows other publications such as “Going Rogue,” a book that sold more than 2 million copies. In a release from Harper Collins Publishers, the book is described as one about a “little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, who arrived long before hope and change became political manipulations.” The hardcover edition of Palin’s newest book sells for about $14. The former governor also visited Tyler in 2010 for a speaking event at the Oil Palace hosted by KTBB

UT Tyler Seeks Participants for Colorectal Cancer Survivor Research

thumb_uttylerTYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler College of Nursing and Health Sciences invites men and women to participate in a research study for colorectal cancer survivors, Dr. Pam Martin, college interim dean, announced. Participants must be at least 18 years old, have been diagnosed with Stage I, II or III colorectal cancer within the past five years (since January 2008), be able to read and write English, and be willing to complete testing of memory/thinking and questionnaires. Testing will require one to one and a half hours of time at a location of the participants’ choosing. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Convicted of 5th DWI

dwipersonATHENS — An Athens man will spend time behind bars after he was convicted of his 5th DWI after he was arrested for drunken driving on a 4-wheeler in 2012. KETK reports Willie Earl Davis, 51, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. According to the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office, a sergeant noticed a 4-wheeler driving on public roads, which is not legal. The officer stopped Davis and was issuing him a warning when he noticed alcohol on his breath. He admitted to drinking and was asked to perform a sobriety test. After angrily refusing to submit to a test, Davis was taken into custody for driving while intoxicated, authorities say. He later told authorities his blood would show traces of embalming fluid, marijuana, alcohol and cocaine. A crack pipe was also found underneath the seat of the ATV.

East Texan in Foster Kids Gift Thefts Arrested Again

LONGVIEW (AP) – An East Texas woman on probation after serving time for stealing nearly $20,000 in Christmas gifts meant for foster children has been accused of shoplifting. Gregg County jail records show Sarah Marie Adams, 48, of Longview was being held Wednesday on a theft charge. The Longview News-Journal reports Adams was arrested Monday and charged with shoplifting $170 worth of items. Adams last fall was sentenced to eight years in prison for the 2011 Christmas gift thefts, 10 years for burglary of a habitation and two years for burglary of a building. An attorney for Adams later found a mistake in the plea deal’s wording and sought a new trial. A judge amended her sentence to probation.

Man Allegedly Shoots Brother with Shotgun, Could Face Charges

thumb_police-5NACOGDOCHES — Authorities are investigating a shooting involving brothers. According to the Nacogdoches Police Department, shortly after 8:45 Tuesday night, dispatchers received a report about two brothers engaged in a disturbance in the 2400 block of Saratoga Street. According to KETK, officers later learned a man had allegedly shot his brother with a shotgun in the shoulder inside a mobile home at the scene. The injured sibling was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for non-life-threatening wounds. At last report, no arrests had been made and no charges filed. It’s possible the alleged shooter could face one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Gregg Co. Officials Seek Information Regarding Stolen Coils

coilLONGVIEW — Sheriff Maxey Cerliano and the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office request information regarding a large number of scrapped coils that are believed to be stolen. At left is an example photo of a large number of new coils that have been recently sold to local scrap dealers. The coils have the brand name of “Heatcraft” and model #3CSH-C23312 stamped on them. They are approximately 20” tall x 26” wide x 2” thick and are black in color with blue plastic caps covering the open ends. Anyone with information regarding these coils is asked to contact Gregg County Investigator Cecil Shelton at 903-237-2531.

Large Fight Reported in Southeast Tyler

Varsity Place ApartmentsTYLER — Tyler police were called out last night to a reported fight at southeast Tyler’s Varsity Place Apartments. There were reports of shots fired into the air during the large disturbance. It happened shortly after 8:00 Tuesday night. No injuries were reported and there have been no reports of any arrests being made.

Elderly Man Critically Hurt in Rollover

thumb_police-longview-shieldLONGVIEW — A 93-year-old man is in critical condition after an auto accident . KETK reports it happened Monday morning in the southbound lane of Eastman road near Hollybrook Drive in Longview. Police say William Champion was driving his truck at a high speed when he swerved and hit another vehicle. This caused him to flip his truck and roll several times. Champion had to be cut from the vehicle and was taken to a local hospital.

Longview Superintendent Stepping Down by 2015

wilcox_jamesLONGVIEW — Dr. James E. Wilcox announced this week that he intends to wrap up his service as Longview ISD’s superintendent by January 2015. He plans to spend several of his final months in the school district helping his replacement with the transition, Wilcox said. According to KETK, the district’s Board of Trustees is expected to begin scheduling interviews with internal candidates, should they express interest in the job, in January 2014. Additional interviews would follow, if necessary, and school officials hope to name a new superintendent by mid-year, Wilcox said. Wilcox came to Longview from Waxahachie ISD in April 2007. He retired from the district at the end of 2011 and was rehired to fill the role in February 2012.

Sarah Palin Brings Book Tour to Tyler

thumb_sarahpalin2TYLER — Conservative activist and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will be in Tyler today to promote her new book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy.” Palin will appear at Sam’s Club on SSW Loop 323 from 10:00am till noon. According to her Facebook page, “In her book, Palin defends the case for holding traditional Christmas dear to our hearts and for bringing back the freedom to express the Christian values of the season.” The event is part of a swing through various locations around the country. It began November 12 in Bethlehem, Pa., and wraps up this Friday in Minneapolis.

New Academic Center at UT Health Northeast

U T Health Northeast
TYLER — The second and third floors of the Academic Center at UT Health Northeast were officially dedicated at a celebration and ribbon-cutting Tuesday. Officials say a comprehensive Breast Center, Surgery Clinic, GI Clinic, and Urology Clinic are located on the second floor. A large amphitheater, the Watson W. Wise Medical Research Library, and classrooms for medical residencies, continuing education, and future undergraduate and graduate degree programs make up the third floor. Read the rest of this entry »

Significant Fire Damage to Tyler Home

burnedhouseTYLER — Fire has damaged a Tyler home. The blaze began in the front bedroom of the house in the 1100 block of Shaw Street off Old Noonday Road. The initial call was received by fire crews from a passerby at just after 9:45 yesterday morning. Authorities say the fire was quickly brought under control. One person was inside the home, but got our safely. Investigators with the Tyler Fire Marshal’s Office believe that the fire originated in a bedroom closet. The point of origin appears to be located near a light fixture. No injuries were reported and the American Red Cross was notified to assist the occupants. Read the rest of this entry »

White Oak Six-Year-Old Found Wandering in Arkansas; Cousin Arrested

thumb_police-4WHITE OAK (Staff/AP) — Authorities are following up after a small child from White Oak was found wandering in Texarkana, Arkansas. Just before 3:30 last Sunday morning, White Oak police were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of East Center Street in reference to a missing six-year-old girl. After a search of the home and area, officers obtained other information concerning a possible suspect named Jeremy Jones, who is a 29-year-old cousin of the victim. Officials say it was determined through investigation that Jones had taken the child from the residence. Read the rest of this entry »

Woman Arrested after Allegedly Driving into Crowd

Whitney WolfeLONGVIEW — A 19-year-old Gilmer woman is free on $30,000 bond after allegedly driving into a crowd in South Longview. Police say Whitney Wolfe is charged with accident involving injury, a felony. Several were injured, including a man who was seriously hurt. The incident occurred in the 1700 block of East Myrle Street Saturday night. KETK reports that according to police, Wolfe intentionally drove a gray Toyota Camry into the people gathered in the area. Police say Wolfe fled the scene but was later arrested. Two other people in the crowd were taken to a local hospital for their injuries and were later released.

Two Sought in Gladewater Robbery

thumb_police-1GLADEWATER — Gladewater Police are investigating an aggravated robbery that happened at the Texas Traditions restaurant located in the 600 block of East Broadway. Authorities report two black males wearing ski masks and dressed in all black clothing entered the back office area and displayed a weapon, demanding an employee give them all the money in the office. The two suspects then collected an undisclosed amount of cash before leaving the business. The robbery happened Sunday night around 9:00. Read the rest of this entry »

Nacogdoches Hotel Closing

Hotel FredoniaNACOGDOCHES — A landmark in Nacogdoches is closing its doors and laying off 90 people. The Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation reports the the historic Hotel Fredonia is closing. The hotel opened in 1955. It was purchased five years ago by Susan Pack Reents.

Gunfire Targets Restaurant Windows

thumb_police-longview2LONGVIEW — Police are seek suspects after gunfire rang out at Longview restaurant KETK reports windows of a fast food eatery were shot out. It happened at the Whataburger off Spur 63 around 2:00 Sunday morning. No one was injured, but a large glass window was shattered by the gunfire.

Burglary Probed in Gregg County

thumb_police-9LONGVIEW — Sheriff Maxey Cerliano and the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office request assistance in obtaining information in a burglary case. Between midnight and 6:00 Saturday morning, unknown person(s) broke into a Union Pacific crossing station shed at the railroad tracks on Meadows Lane. The suspect(s) cut wires to the electronic equipment and took seven large batteries. Damage to the wiring and the batteries was estimated at $2,000. Anyone with information about this case can contact Investigator Terry Mitchell at 903-237-2529 or Crime Stoppers at 903-236-STOP.

Man Accused of Punching Firefighter Assisting in DWI Crash

thumb_police-8LINDALE — A local man is in jail after allegedly assaulting a firefighter who was assisting in a Lindale-area crash the suspect reportedly caused. Jason Horton, 33, of Van, was driving when he caused a wreck with another motorist, according to Smith County DPS Trooper Jean Dark. KETK reports Lindale Fire Department officials were called to the scene, and as crews were assisting the drivers, Horton allegedly punched the firefighter. Horton was booked into the Smith County Jail on charges of DWI and assaulting a public servant.

UT Health Northeast Names New Associate VP of Institutional Advancement

Bondurant_Derrith_NRTYLER — Derrith Bondurant has joined UT Health Northeast as its new associate vice president of Institutional Advancement and chief development officer. She comes to UT Health from The University of Texas at Tyler, where she was director of Alumni Relations. Ms. Bondurant also has held positions as development officer for the College of Arts and Sciences, development officer for the College of Business and Technology, and director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. Read the rest of this entry »

Longview Police Warn of Mobile Banking Scam

cellscamLONGVIEW — Longview police are warning of a scam that is hitting the area, mostly targeting those with Longview-based cell phone numbers. KETK reports a text message is being sent around saying there is a problem with a local bank’s credit cards and asking for information verification through a link sent in a text. The message then asks the cell phone owner for personal account information. The message reads:
(CommunityBankLongview) Call(972-865-1395)

If you receive this message, delete the text and do not provide your information to the scam artists.

Residents Escape out Window during Longview Duplex Fire

fire2mgn43LONGVIEW — Significant damage was sustained, but residents were able to escape through a window after a Longview duplex caught fire. Just after 1:00 Monday morning, according to KETK, fire crews responded to a residential fire at 1213 Hughey Drive. Upon arrival, fire crews found heavy fire and smoke coming from the rear of the building. The occupants credit the sounding of the smoke alarm for saving their lives. The bedroom door was closed and slowed the smoke from entering the bedroom. They attempted to open the door, but were unable to escape down the hall due to the smoke conditions. They then broke out the window of the bedroom and were able to escape. Read the rest of this entry »

Ex-Tatum Athlete Dies in Rusk County Wreck

tatum_fatalRUSK COUNTY — A former high school athlete is dead after a car accident Saturday morning in Rusk County. KETK reports Michael Ochetto, Jr., 18, of Henderson, was killed when his car struck a culvert. According to Trooper Jean Dark with the Smith County DPS, Ochetto was driving down Farm to Market Road 1716 near County Road 2166 around 2:47 a.m. when he went around a curve, lost control of his car, and hit a culvert. Ochetto was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:00 a.m. Ochetto was a May 2013 graduate of Tatum High School, where he played football and basketball for the Eagles. In Tatum’s upcoming Area playoff football game, Collin Gage, defensive end and tight end for the Eagles, will be wearing #80, Ochetto’s football number from last year, to honor the late athlete.

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