PALESTINE — A man convicted of trying to steal a Palestine ISD school bus full of students was sentenced by an Anderson County jury to 82 years in prison Tuesday. KETK reports Cedrick B. Lewis, 31, was convicted on 20 of 30 counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to 80 years on each count of kidnapping; those sentences will run concurrently. The suspect will serve an additional two years for the motor vehicle conviction. He was also fined a total of $210,000. … Read More
WINONA — The city of Winona has canceled the boil water notice issued on Monday. According to City Administrator Bryan Richards, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has given permission to lift the notice and stated the water is safe. According to KETK, city officials first issued the notice after the chlorine pump at Well #5 failed and was replaced.
LINDALE — Many students, parents and now school superintendents are frustrated with the State Assessments of Academic Readiness test or better known as the STAAR test. According to KETK, Lindale ISD superintendent Stan Surratt wrote a letter to parents assuring them that this test does not define their kids. The letter is getting state wide attention, and a lot of other administrators are following suite. The Lindale ISD also got an overwhelmingly positive response from parents.… Read More
SMITH COUNTY – A one vehicle accident in Smith County has left one person dead and one injured. Dead at the scene on Farm Road 14, near John Soules Foods, was Brandon Knowles, 26, of Tyler. Injured was a passenger, Leslie Wilkins, 23, of Tyler. The Department of Public Safety reports Knowles’ car was south bound when it left the road and overturned. The accident occurred Monday evening around 10:30.
LONGVIEW – In a meeting lasting just over two hours, Longview school trustees made no decision about their superintendent finalist. Controversy continues after an initial search narrowed the candidates down to current Assistant Superintendent Horace Williams. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report school board negotiations first stalled over Williams’ salary demands. Since Williams’ apparent appointment was made public, though, questions have been raised over his history. That most recently included filed grievances, questionable employee hiring, extensive travel logs and financial deficits at Cedar Hill schools, the Dallas-area district he previously served as superintendent.
LINDALE — Lindale police are warning of a scam in East Texas that has popped up locally. According to KETK, police say groups of men are calling people stating they are either federal agents or members of a federal Texas police force. The caller will then say the recipient has won money or applied for a grant. The scam is to get personal information or ask you to send money to secure funds to be transferred to your account. If a person does not cooperate, the callers begin a tirade of verbal abuse and repeated calling, according to authorities. Police ask you not to continue the call once you learn the scam has started. Law enforcement advises residents to hang up and continue to do so when the calls continue. Do not engage in conversation or arguments.
TYLER — Smith County has received the prestigious National Association of Counties Achievement Award for developing a first-of-its-kind electronic bond posting system that has streamlined the process of bonding individuals out of jail and saved the County thousands of dollars in labor. That’s according to a county news release. The “Smith County eBond Program” was awarded the Achievement Award for the category of Information Technology, which highlights outstanding innovation and advancement of information technology in county governments, according to the release. … Read More
TYLER — The Tyler Police Department is seeking the help of the public in identifying two people who are believed to have stolen a wallet from a vehicle and used the credit cards. The picture shows the suspects entering the Wal-Mart on Highway 64 West, where they allegedly charged hundreds of dollars on the stolen cards. According to KETK, if you recognize the people in the picture or know of their location, you should contact Detective Brock at (903) 535-0122.
MARSHALL — A Harrison County jailer was killed after his gun accidentally discharged. Deon John Adams, 22, of Marshall, was found dead at his home in the 900 block of Alvin Street around 12:45 yesterday morning said Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jay Webb. The Marshall Police Department responded to the scene. KETK reports Adams had been a jailer with the sheriff’s office since last August. No foul play is suspected.
KILGORE – As part of a recent partnership initiative designed to expand opportunities for student success in the Gregg County area, The University of Texas at Tyler and Kilgore College have launched the Roadmap to Success Program. “Our nursing program at the Longview University Center and Kilgore College’s nursing program have been strong partners for many years. We are excited to announce the next phase of collaboration, which will help high school students transition seamlessly from Kilgore College to the bachelor’s degree nursing program at UT Tyler’s Longview University Center,” said UT Tyler President Rodney H. Mabry. … Read More
GILMER — An East Texas man convicted of murder has been sentenced to prison. Eddie Baker, 28, Gilmer, was sentenced to 45 years behind bars after pleading guilty last week to several charges, including murder. According to KETK, in February of last year, Baker stabbed three people, killing one of them after an argument turned violent.
LONGVIEW — The trial for a Longview man accused of murder has been postponed. KETK reports the trial of Cedric Bernard Carldwell, 43, was originally scheduled to begin this week. Carldwell allegedly shot and killed Huey “Bull” Gray April 14 of last year during an argument at a neighborhood party in the 400 block of Walnut Street. Carldwell was taken into custody the following day but was released on $175,000 bond. He was re-arrested 10 days later, when he was allegedly found to be in the possession of a firearm. Being a felon, one of the restrictions placed on Cardlwell after his 2007 prison release was he was not allowed to own or carry a gun.… Read More
WINONA – Until further notice, Winona is under a boil water notice. The problem is low chlorine residuals. The chlorine pump at the city’s Well 5 location failed and had to be replaced. The system is back in operation but the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says, until they can test the well, the boil water notice must remain.
PALESTINE — Short-haul freight service has resumed at the Texas State Railroad after a 45 year absence. This is the first revenue generating freight service on the railroad’s line since Iowa Pacific Holdings, LLC took over as operator in August 2012, and the first on the railroad since before it became a historic passenger train operated by the state of Texas through Texas Parks and Wildlife. The last freight hauler was Texas Southeastern Railroad, which leased the line in the 1960’s and gave up the lease in 1969. … Read More
LONGVIEW — Longview school trustees meet this evening to continue their discussions about their superintendent finalist. Controversy continues after an initial search narrowed the candidates down to current Assistant Superintendent Horace Williams. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report school board negotiations first stalled over Williams’ salary demands. Since Williams’ apparent appointment was made public, though, questions have been raised over his history. That most recently included filed grievances, questionable employee hiring, extensive travel logs and financial deficits at Cedar Hill schools, the Dallas-area district he previously served as superintendent.
LONGVIEW – A man sentenced to three life prison sentences for aggravated robbery in Upshur County, now has four more on his ledger. Robby Brian Stevens, 43, of Leander, appeared in state district court in Longview Monday morning. He pled guilty to four counts of aggravated robbery in Gregg County. He was sentenced to four more life sentences. They will be served concurrently with the life sentences from Upshur County. Stevens was captured in Tyler on January 2nd following a manhunt of several hours.
TYLER – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews were scheduled on Monday to complete several days of weather-interrupted work on South Loop 323 between Broadway Avenue and Paluxy Drive. But the work was halted by equipment failure. Crews will not be able to continue and finish the work until today.
ATHENS — A Silver Alert has been canceled in Henderson County after a missing man was found. Authorities had been looking for Marvin Delbert Gardner, 82. He is diagnosed with a cognitive impairment. He had last been seen around 8:15 Sunday night at 7907 Farm to Market Road 2494 in Athens. Law enforcement officials said it was believe that his disappearance posed a credible threat to his health and safety. In cancelling the Silver Alert Monday, authorities said he has been found and is safe. No other information was released.
MINEOLA — According to the Mineola Police Department, a shooting that took place Sunday night at a local convenience store has resulted in one death. Police tell KETK the incident occurred at the E-Z Mart located at 115 North Pacific Street at around 11:30 p.m. When police responded, they found Christopher James Griffin, 19, of Mineola, with a gunshot wound to his neck. Officials say when they arrived they spotted Griffin lying on the ground in the alley and Jason Russell Walters, 41, (pictured) of Mineola, holding a handgun. After further investigation, it was discovered a verbal altercation had taken place between Walters and Griffin and they decided they would meet in the alley to discuss their problems. Police say that is when Walters shot Griffin. Griffin was taken to the hospital, where he later died from the wound. Walters was arrested and charged with murder.
TYLER — The city of Tyler is giving Midtown a facelift. According to KETK, planners are hoping for more of an “urban feel.” Blue “Midtown” street signs have already started popping up — but that’s just the beginning. Midtown is the area that runs from Front to Fifth — from hospitals to the college scene. Seeing everything come together has developers excited. Planners are looking at the possibility of mid- to higher density. For example, in the bottom level of a multi-story building you could see retail and restaurants, and maybe some residential space above that. Other long-term possibilities include a more pedestrian-friendly environment. The city has already installed adaptive controls on traffic signals along Beckham.
SMITH COUNTY — A portion of Smith County Road 411, also known as Mack Thompson Road, will be closed for repair starting today. The temporary closure for bridge repair will last approximately three weeks. County Road 411 is in the western part of Smith County, south of Lindale. The bridge scheduled for repair is located between County Road 46 and State Highway 110. Alternate routes are recommended starting today until completion of the bridge repair project
TYLER — Old Jacksonville Highway in Tyler will have southbound lane closures between Grande Boulevard and Three Lakes Parkway beginning today for a box culvert installation. Lanes will be closed between 7:00am and 4:00pm. The first block of Elkton Drive west of Old Jacksonville Highway will also be closed. Drivers are advised to seek alternate routes when available. The construction is anticipated to be finished around 4:00 on Friday afternoon.
EAST TEXAS– A revised system goes into effect today for people who have been using the East Texas Council of Governments’ GoBus system. Smith County Friday announced a temporary solution for GoBus users living outside the Tyler city limits. Beginning today, GoBus will no longer serve 107 customers in the area surrounding the city of Tyler. According to a news release, last-minute efforts by Smith County and TxDOT were able to identify federal funds that could be redirected to provide service to the people affected by the reduced GoBus service area. Affected people should phone transit provider NDMJ, Ltd. at 903-592-3232 to arrange service one day in advance.
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TYLER — An East Texas man linked by authorities to a double homicide in Longview has been arrested in Tyler following a high-speed chase. Police tell KETK Isaiah Christopher Roberts, 29, shot and killed two people at a home on Thelma St. near Scenic Dr. in Longview around 9:00 Sunday morning. Roberts then reportedly took off at high speed. Longview police say they began chasing Roberts as he sped down U.S. Highway 271, reportedly reaching speeds up to 100 mph. Authorities report Roberts then made his way into the Tyler area. At this point, Smith County sheriff’s deputies, DPS, and constables began pursuing him, according to police. … Read More
LONGVIEW — Authorities are investigating an aggravated robbery claim over the weekend in Longview. Police tell KETK the victim reported walking along Oden Street when two men pulled up next to him and robbed him. He says they took all of the money he had on him. A description of the men and the car involved is unknown at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact police right away.
TYLER — It was another big night as Tyler held its 27th annual Cattle Barons’ Gala Saturday at Rio Neches Ranch. The event is the largest local fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, typically bringing in some $500,000 annually — and co-chair Brian Merritt told KTBB this year should be no exception. Merritt said, “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work throughout the last year and people giving out of their pockets, their time, their energy to fight cancer, to fund research, and to help those that are battling cancer — and we’re out here celebrating all that hard work.” Merritt emphasized that the anti-cancer effort never stops. He added, “Year round, research is done, work is done to help find a cure — and this is just one night to celebrate all that hard work.” … Read More
TYLER — Dr. Ross Sherman has been named interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas at Tyler, effective July 1, President Rodney H. Mabry announced. He follows Dr. Alisa White, who has been named the next president of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. Sherman has served as dean of the UT Tyler College of Education and Psychology since last May. “For more than two decades, Dr. Sherman’s vision, energy and belief in the mission of UT Tyler have contributed greatly to this institution,” President Mabry said. “He has an exemplary history of service to this university and a truly strong standing in the field of education at the local, state and national level.” … Read More
SMITH COUNTY — A Smith County home has been destroyed after a lawn mower caught fire. KETK reports the fire started around 11:45 Saturday morning at a home in the 1800 block of County Road 233. Smith County fire officials say homeowner Napoleon Square had just finished mowing his yard when he parked the lawn mower inside the garage. He then went inside the house. A passerby noticed the fire and notified Square and his wife. Jackson Heights, Chapel Hill, Red Springs, Arp, and Winona fire crews were then called to the scene. The house was destroyed by the time crews were able to put the fire out. Early investigation shows the lawn mower had a shortage in the battery which sparked the fire. No one was injured in the blaze.
CANTON — A man is in custody in Van Zandt County following a hostage incident. According to a news release, the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call Friday from County Road 2151 in the Wynn Community near Canton. The caller told 911 operators that his father, 40-year-old Johnny Ray Harris, had pointed a firearm at him and threatened to shoot him, subsequently forcing him out of the residence. Officials say deputies arrived at the location a short time later and determined that Harris, who was reported to be armed with a handgun, was inside the residence and refused to come out. According to authorities, tactical officers from the Sheriff’s Office and Canton Police Department were dispatched to the residence and determined that the suspect was holding a female hostage inside the home. … Read More
TYLER — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office has completed a check of sex offenders who reside in the county. Of the 320 individuals who were investigated June 12 and 13, 25 were found to be out of compliance, according to a news release. Officials with the Sheriff’s Office said that verification checks of this type are unannounced and comprehensive. The check included a team of approximately 40 officers, including members of 12 different local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, coordinated with the U.S. Marshals Service Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force. … Read More