AUSTIN — The State Board of Education has recognized 15 Texas public school students as Student Heroes for their outstanding volunteer efforts at their schools and communities. One of the students is from Smith County. He is Drvyer Cowart, a second grader in Lindale. He had one wish for his birthday, to help area foster children. He asked his family and friends to raise money for Together We Rise, a non-profit that works with foster children in Smith County. The $2,000 that was raised was used to purchase duffle bags that he and his guests decorated. They were then filled with a blanket, stuffed animal, toiletries and other items.
ATHENS — Area law enforcement agencies have joined together to conduct a “Knock and Talk” sex offender compliance check in Henderson county. The action has resulted in some arrests. The goal of the operation was to verify the offender is complying with the law. It requires adult and juvenile sex offenders to register with the local law enforcement agency in the city or county where they reside. Nearly 200 compliance checks were conducted earlier this week. Fourteen sex offenders were found to be out of compliance, four were arrested for probation or parole violations. Those who were arrested were booked into the Henderson County Jail.
TYLER — Police are seeking leads in a Thursday morning bank robbery in south Tyler. According to KETK, Public Information Officer Don Martin says two thieves hit Citizens National Bank on W. Grande Boulevard near Old Jacksonville Highway. According to police records, officers were dispatched to the report at 10:07 a.m. Police say they may have found the suspect vehicle, described as a four-door silver Chevrolet with Oklahoma plates. One of the two robbers is described as a black male who is 5 feet 6 inches tall and wearing dark clothes, a hood, and camo face paint. No description is available of the second person. Police said the black male robbed employees at gunpoint as they put cash in an exterior ATM.
TYLER — A man indicted in a 2015 Longview bank robbery is set to take a plea Friday at a hearing in federal court in Tyler. Patrick Terry Gilbert was indicted in November on charges of bank robbery; using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence; felon in possession of a firearm; and possession of an unregistered firearm in the Oct. 23 robbery of Capital One Bank in the 1100 block of Judson Road. Gilbert is accused of robbing the bank with a shotgun while wearing a mask from the movie “Scream.” Attorneys in the case notified the district court Monday that a plea agreement was reached, and a hearing is set Friday morning in Tyler.
GLADEWATER — A Gladewater teenager has been taken into custody after reportedly shooting his father. According to KETK, officers responded to a home on Ferry around 3:00 Wednesday morning and found Noel Garner Sr. with a gunshot wound. Officials said he was shot by his son, Noel Garner, Jr.,19. Garner, Sr. was shot in his face but was able to give officers details of what happened. His injuries were not life-threatening. Garner, Jr. fled the scene before officers arrived but was found a short time later. He was taken into custody without incident and has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
CUSHING — In an argument over a woman, one person is injured and one is in custody in a drive by shooting in Nacogdoches County. It happened around 1:30 Wednesday morning on County Road 971, northwest of Cushing. After diving by the victim’s home several times, and becoming involved in a traffic accident with the home owner, the suspect is said to have driven by an and fired several shots. The homeowner wasn’t there, but a man in the backyard was wounded. He’s being treated at Nacogdoches Medical Center. Sheriff Jason Bridges says the suspect, William Hyde, 26, of Nacogdoches, was arrested at his Cushing area home. A shotgun, thought to have been used in the attack, was found hidden in nearby woods. Hyde was booked into the Nacogdoches County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
LONGVIEW – The public is being asked to help identify a man responsible for thefts around East Texas. He is wanted for questioning in connection with thefts at Wal-Mart stores in Longview, Kilgore and Marshall. The thefts were reported between May 8th and 17th. In each case, the suspect entered the store in the morning, filled a shopping cart with electronics, and then leaves through an emergency exit. He has been seen driving a red pickup, a silver or gold Firebird and a gold Saturn. If you know this man, you are asked to contact authorities.
WINNSBORO — A grand jury has returned a no bill in last year’s death of a Wood County toddler. Sixteen-month-old Madison Cannon was found unresponsive in a home on McKinney Street in Winsboro in April of last year. She was first treated at a local hospital, and then flown to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where she later died. An autopsy showed the little girl died from blunt force head trauma and the death was ruled a homicide. At the time of the death, police said there were persons of interest in the case, but no one was ever arrested. Now, a grand jury has issued a no bill in the case. According to a statement from the Winnsboro Police department, “this is a a sad and disappointing day for us.”
SMITH COUNTY — The hours of operation at Smith County’s debris collection site near Lindale have changed. The county is altering the hours it is open to 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, because traffic has slowed. Smith County has been collecting vegetative debris at the site, at 10347 Farm-to-Market Road 16, just east of County Road 4104, since the April 29 storms. Road and Bridge crews continue to work to remove tree debris on the county road rights-of-way to take to the collection site. They ask that area residents take debris from their private property to the collection site instead of placing it on county rights-of-way. The debris collection site will remain open until it is no longer needed, according to officials.
TYLER — The City of Tyler has appointed Gordon Mayer as interim director of utilities. Mayer was previously deputy director of public works and city engineer for the city of Southlake. He is a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) and a member of the Texas City Managers Association and the American Public Works Association, among others. He holds a Master of Engineering degree from Texas A&M and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER — Stores in East Texas and around the state will be offering once-a-year savings on Saturday, May 28, and Monday, Memorial Day, May 30th, during the Texas Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday Memorial Day Weekend. During Memorial Day weekend, Shoppers get a break from state and local sales and use taxes on purchases of certain energy efficient products including refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less, clothes washers, and dishwashers.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER — Smith County commissioners met Tuesday and updated their rules of decorum. KETK reports they addressed the amount of time members of the public may speak, limiting them to three minutes at the podium. Commissioners also addressed the type of language allowed in the courtroom, and they’re looking at starting workshops to better communicate with the public.
LONGVIEW- Scammers are trying to con Texans out of money. And they are using the Gregg County Sheriff’s name in the scam. Someone is calling locally and around the state threatening threatening arrest unless paid with a pre-paid debit card. They are even using the name of actual Warrants Lieutenant Bill Drennan. Gregg County Sheriff’s Office PIO Josh Tubb told the Longview News Journal they probably got his name off the department’s web site. The calls are said to have come from the telephone number 903-371-1035. Tubb’s advice is to disregard the calls and report it to the sheriff’s office.
TYLER — One person has been hospitalized following a wreck in Tyler this morning. According to KETK, three vehicles collided at the intersection of East 4th Street and Broadway Avenue, near Walgreen’s, around 5:45. Police closed the southbound lanes on Broadway while the wreckage was cleared. The roadway has since been reopened and traffic is moving normally. No word on the extent of injuries.
EAST TEXAS (AP) – A boost from former presidential candidate Ted Cruz may have helped an East Texas Republican win the nomination for a state Senate seat. Bryan Hughes beat David Simpson on Tuesday night in a primary runoff between the two state House members. Cruz called Hughes a “conservative fighter” in recorded phone messages to voters. Cruz seldom gets involved in legislative races and has been mostly quiet since ending his White House run. But the raucous support the U.S. senator drew at the Texas Republican Convention earlier this month was a reminder of his influence with GOP voters statewide. No Democrats bothered to run in the solidly conservative senate district. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who controls the Senate, had also endorsed Hughes to replace outgoing Republican Sen. Kevin Eltife.… Read the rest of the article…
LONGVIEW – The northbound lane of Farm Road 2087 at the Sabine River Bridge in Gregg County will be closed today, and possibly even Thursday. This will be necessary for work in advance of building a new bridge. Motorists can expect delays during the day. A report from the Texas Department of Transportation says the southbound lane will carry two-way traffic through this work zone with flaggers providing traffic control. Work will be conducted between 7:00am and 7:00pm, so it will be to your advantage if you can take alternate routes during this time. The project to build the new Sabine River Bridge is scheduled to go to bid in August with construction starting in the fall.
HARRISON COUNTY — The bug that changed Major League Baseball has been found in East Texas. The Texas A&M Forest Service trapped four adult emerald ash borer beetles in Harrison County just south of Karnack. Although the ash trees in the immediate vicinity of the trap did not exhibit symptoms of the pest, efforts are underway to identify any infested trees. Before the emerald ash borer was discovered in michigan in 2002 baseball bats were made of ash. After millions of ash trees were destroyed, manufacturerers were forced to switch to maple.
TYLER- East Texas Giving Day raised over $479,000 for area non-profits. Of that figure, $357,514 went to 96 Smith County charities. Leading the pack was the Promise Academy which received over $30,000 in gifts. They were followed by PATH and The Hospice of East Texas. The donations to East Texas charities came from 22 states and 2 countries earlier this month. East Texas Communities Foundation President Kyle Penny said they thought the first year’s results are remarkable and they see great potential for Giving Day 2017.
TYLER — Oncor Electric Delivery is upgrading electric facilities in the downtown Tyler area. The area can expect a power outage from 10:30pm through 6:00 Wednesday morning. According to a news release from the county, Oncor says the Smith County Elections Office, which is conducting the primary runoff elections, will not be affected. But, as a precaution, the county has brought in a backup generator. Early voting totals were expected to be released shortly after the polls close at 7:00. Because of the threat of a potential power outage, election workers planned to count the election totals without stopping to post any updates, in an effort to get the complete but unofficial totals released before 10:30pm.
MARSHALL – The Marshall School District is a step closer to getting a new school superintendent. At a called meeting Tuesday, school trustees named Jerry Gibson as the lone finalist for the post. Now comes the 21 day waiting period before the selection can become final. Gibson is currently Superintendent at Coldspring-Oakhurst ISD, a post he has held since 2013. He was selected from over 50 applicants for the Marshall position. Gibson succeeds Marc Smith who left a couple of months ago to become school superintendent in Duncanville.
BROWNSBORO — School trustees in Brownsboro have named the lone finalist for the superintendent’s position. At a called meeting Monday, the Brownsboro School Board selected Tommy Hunter for the post. As required by law, they must now wait 21 days before making a final appointment. Hunter was selected from over 50 applicants for the position. He is currently superintendent of the S & S Consolidated School District north of Sherman. He will succeed Dr. Christopher Moran, who has become school superintendent in Whitehouse.
PALESTINE – An Anderson County teacher has been arrested on charges of having an improper relationship with a student. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department began an investigation after receiving a call from the Cayuga school district last Wednesday. Spanish teacher, 37 year old Lori Lynn Slack of Tennessee Colony, resigned from the school last Friday. She surrendered to authorities over the weekend. Slack is accused of having sexual relations with a 17 year old male student. Her bond was set at $50,000.
WASHINGTON – It’s now up to the U.S. Senate to takeup the Kari’s Law bill. The house has passed the measure, which has its roots in East Texas. In December, 2013, Kari Dunn died in a Marshall hotel after her estranged husband stabbed her 30 times. Her 9-year old daughter tried to call for help but did not know you had to press 9 to dial out. Kari’s law would make it so you would not have to dial 9 to reach emergency personnel from a hotel, or any business nationwide. Tyler Congressman Louie Gohmert calls the law a “common sense reform.” The measure is already law in Texas. The governor signed the measure in May of last year. Kari’s husband, Brad, is currently serving 99 years for his wife’s murder.
LONGVIEW — The decline in sales tax revenue is forcing cities like Longview and Gladewater to go into “conservation mode.” KETK reports East Texans are spending less than they used to at local businesses and that’s causing Longview to tighten its budget planning. The city says it’s been a trickle effect since the decline in oil and gas prices. The state Comptroller’s Office says Longview sales tax revenues have dropped over 15 consecutive months. … Read the rest of the article…
LONGVIEW — As the investigation into a fatal shooting in Longview continues, the victim’s family has released his name. According to the Longview News-Journal and KETK, Devin Newson, 20, of Lakeport, was shot in the parking lot of a Food Fast convenience store on South Eastman Road just before 2:00 Monday morning. He was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Talyna Carlson. Anyone with information regarding the shooting is urged to contact police. … Read the rest of the article…
AUSTIN (AP) – A retired Texas schoolteacher who claims President Barack Obama is a gay prostitute is the front-runner in a Republican primary runoff for a seat on the influential state education board. Mary Lou Bruner is back on the ballot Tuesday after nearly clinching the Republican nomination outright in March. That was despite her lengthy social media history of posting about conspiracy theories, including that Democrats orchestrated John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Her election would be stunning, even given that the 15-member Texas State Board of Education was chaired until 2011 by a creationist who tried weakening evolution lessons in science classes. The board more recently fought over whether textbooks contain anti-American biases. Bruner has said she wasn’t intending to run for office when she posted her beliefs on Facebook.
TYLER — Voters around the area will be going to the polls today to decide some runoff elections. Two candidates are seeking to succeed Senator Kevin Eltife, who did not seek re-election. State Representatives Bryan Hughes of Mineola and David Simpson of Longview are on the ballot. In the Texas House District 5 race, the runoff to succeed Hughes is Jay Misenheimer of Lindale and Cole Hefner of Mount Pleasant. In the race for Smith County Constable, Precinct 4, it’s incumbent John Smith challenged by Josh Joplin. And in the race for place 9 on the State Board of Education, it’s Mary Lou Bruner, who lives in northern Smith County, and Kevin Ellis of Lufkin on the ballot. You’ll be able to follow the returns at KTBB.com.
AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott has named appointees to the Texas Board of Respiratory Care. One of them is from Tyler. The Tyler appointee is Dr. Jim Stocks, professor of medicine at U-T Health Northeast. He is also medical director of the Tyler Junior College Respiratory Therapy Program. Dr. Stocks is a Fellow of the American Sleep Disorders Association and the American College of Chest Physicians and a member of the American Thoracic Society, Smith County Medical Society and the Texas Medical Association. His term expires February 1st of 2019.
SMITH COUNTY — The New York-based American Kennel Club has announced the first “AKC Paw of Courage” medal winners. One of them is Ogar, a Belgian Malinois, who was shot and killed following a January 19th traffic stop in Smith County. Ogar was working for the Precinct 5 constable’s office out of Lindale when he was shot. The suspect, 36 year old Michael Koch of Grand Saline, was later arrested in Dallas. He was indicted by the Smith County Grand Jury last month.… Read the rest of the article…
LAS VEGAS (TSN) – Former Texas A&M and Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is back in the news again for all the wrong reasons. T-M-Z reports the Heisman Trophy winner was kicked out of a Las Vegas night club Friday night. He’s accused of punching another man. Witnesses claim he was in a VIP booth near the stage, when the Canadian rapper Drake showed up for a surprise performance. Customers started to push and shove in an effort to get up front. That’s when the punch allegedly occurred. Manziel was indicted last month for the assault to his ex-girfriend.