Category: Local News Archive

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Woman Arrested after Restaurant Burglary; Male Suspect Sought

deforemugacsoPALESTINE — A Palestine woman is behind bars after she allegedly burglarized a Palestine barbecue restaurant. KETK reports April Nicole DeFore, 38, was arrested on Wednesday night for reportedly breaking into Shep’s BBQ in the 1000 block of East Palestine Avenue. Police responded shortly before 9:00 p.m., after receiving a report that someone had been seen entering the building through a window. Police arrived and found that a window on the front of the building had been broken. Read the rest of this entry »

Smith County Judge Participating in I-20 Corridor Study

JoelBaker_MugTYLER — The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is working with local officials to kick off an I-20 Corridor Study to evaluate current safety and capacity needs and plan for the future along a 155-mile stretch of I-20 from I-635 in Dallas to the Louisiana State Line. The working group comprises public and private stakeholders including representatives from the counties of Smith, Dallas, Kaufman, Van Zandt, Gregg and Harrison; the cities of Mesquite, Balch Springs, Terrell, Tyler, Longview and Marshall; the North Central Texas Council of Governments; The Tyler Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Longview MPO; and the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority. Read the rest of this entry »

Schaefer Running for Re-Election

thumb_matt-schaeffer-1TYLER — District 6 State Rep. Matt Schaefer of Tyler announces that he will seek re-election to a second term. “In my first term in Austin I stayed true to the liberty-minded principles in which I believe. I didn’t just go along with lobbyists and insiders who believe in more government involvement in our lives. By the grace of God and with the permission of the voters, I am ready to serve again,” Schaefer said. Read the rest of this entry »

Longview Woman Arrested Again for DWI

Jabina Janie MartinezLONGVIEW — A Longview woman on bond for DWI with a child passenger, has been arrested on the same charge. Jabina Janie Martinez, 34, was arrested Tuesday night. Her bonds total $6,250 on a variety charges, including possession of marijuana and driving while intoxicated with a child passenger younger than 15 years old. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Promotions at the Tyler Police Department

Matthew SmyserTYLER — A promotion ceremony was held Wednesday afternoon at the Tyler Police Department. Police Chief Gary Swindle promoted Sergeant Matthew Smyser (pictured) to Lieutenant and Officer William Sinclair to Sergeant.

In May of 2002 Sergeant Matthew B. Smyser earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas at Tyler. He was hired by the Tyler Police Department in April of 2003. He attended the Tyler Junior College Police Academy then was assigned to the patrol division where he served as a patrol officer for approximately 5 years. As a patrol officer, he was cross-trained as an intermediate crime scene officer and attended a variety of schools, to include the Basic Rifle School, Intermediate Rifle School, Active Shooter School and the Crisis/Hostage Negotiations School. Sergeant Smyser is a TCOLE Instructor; he holds a Master Peace Officers license and is a member of the Tyler Police Department’s Honor Guard. Read the rest of this entry »

TJC to Hold Second Public Hearing on Tax Hike

thumb_tjc-signTYLER — Tyler Junior College trustees will hold a second public hearing this afternoon on a proposal to increase tax revenues for 2013. It’s set for at 5:30pm in the Board Room of the White Administrative Services Center. College spokesman Fred Peters says the proposed tax rate of $0.199926 is the same as this year’s, “but by Texas law, we must hold hearings if it appears that property valuations will result in revenues exceeding the prior year’s.”

United Way of Smith County to Kick Off Annual Campaign

thumb_unitedway-logoTYLER — The United Way of Smith County kicks off its 2013 campaign this afternoon from 5:30-7:00 with a celebration at FRESH by Brookshire’s in Tyler. The program will include guest speakers and check presentations by local companies who have “set the pace” for this year’s campaign. FREE refreshments are being provided by Brookshire Grocery Company, as long as supplies last. The 2013 Campaign theme is “Think Local. Help Local. Give Local.” Read the rest of this entry »

Police Nab Tyler Burglary Suspect

aundral_bealTYLER — A report of a burglary in progress sent Tyler police to the 700 block of Chimney Rock Wednesday afternoon. Arrested was Aundral Beal, 48, of Tyler. He was charged with burglary of a habitation and was transported to the Smith County Jail. Read the rest of this entry »

Second Suspect Arrested in P.T. Cole Park Shooting

bendy_dennis_smith_co_jailTYLER — Tyler Police Investigators have arrested a second suspect in connection to the murder of Bri’ana Raquel Young, who was shot in P.T. Cole Park on July 30. The suspect is identified as Dennis Montrell Bendy, 19, of Tyler. Bond was set at $1,000,000 by Judge Jack Skeen. Bendy surrendered to investigators at the Tyler Police Department and arrested around 4:00 Wednesday afternoon. He was then transported to Smith County Jail. Investigators say they’ve determined that Bendy was a second shooter along with Rakheem Goldstein, who had reportedly shot from the street into the park. Goldstein was arrested Monday. The case remains under investigation.

More Charges against Fatal Shooting Suspect

Erbie BowserDeSOTO (AP/STAFF) – Police in DeSoto say they’ve filed additional charges against a former Tyler football star accused of fatally shooting four people and wounding four others. DeSoto police Cpl. Melissa Franks said Wednesday that Erbie Bowser, 44, is charged with two counts of injury to a child. Authorities say he shot an 11-year-old and 13-year-old in the same DeSoto home where he killed his estranged wife and her daughter. He’s already been charged with two counts of capital murder in the August 7 attack. Police say the children will recover. Read the rest of this entry »

Body Found in Burning Vehicle

burningtruck2lpdLUFKIN — A body has been found inside a burned truck in Angelina County. Responding Lufkin Police Department officers located the vehicle around 1:00 Wednesday morning near the intersection of Renfro Drive and Valley Avenue; the vehicle was off the roadway, on a dirt drive leading to the rear of a manufactured housing business. Upon approaching the still burning vehicle, the officers saw a burned body in the remains of the vehicle. According to KETK, officers said the body was too burned for the officers to make any determinations on identity or gender. Officers have determined the vehicle was a Ford F-150 truck. An autopsy has been ordered, and DNA testing will be used to determine the identity of the body — but police don’t expect to receive the results of the autopsy and testing for several weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

Court Rolls Out New Collection Process

thumb_TylerMunicipalCourt-frontTYLER — The City of Tyler and Smith County have joined together to enforce collections on fines due to the City of Tyler by placing a hold on the vehicle registration of individuals with warrants. These persons will not be able to register their vehicles until all fines have been satisfied. “Placing a hold on the license registration is an efficient collection process; registrations are due every year, so information does not get old,” said Tyler Municipal Court Administrator Cam McCabe. “An additional benefit from placing holds on registration for the collection of fines is that the statewide computers carry this information. The holds will be able to be seen by all officers when they enter a license plate.” Read the rest of this entry »

Largest Grant in UT Tyler History Expands Afterschool Programs

thumb_uttylerTYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler Ingenuity Center has been awarded an $11 million grant to expand afterschool programs administered to improve student performance in middle schools. The announcement comes from Dr. Michael Odell, associate vice president for sponsored research and director of federal relations. This five-year grant, awarded by the Texas Education Agency, surpasses the 2011 TEA grant as the largest in university history. Read the rest of this entry »

Nursing Home Workers Jailed for Allegedly Stealing from Patients

Whitney McFarlandFRANKSTON — Two East Texas nursing home workers have been jailed after allegedly using patients’ funds to pay for things for themselves. That’s according to KETK. Frankston Police Chief Richard Goodman says Robin Slaughter, 43, and Whitney McFarland, 26, (pictured) both turned themselves in to the Frankston Police Department and Anderson County Sheriff’s Office around 8:00 Tuesday evening. “The nerve of some people,” said Goodman. “It’s hard to trust anyone these days.” Read the rest of this entry »

Second Phase of Green Street Construction Begins

thumb_longview-cityofLongview — The second phase of the construction project to renovate Green Street in downtown Longview will begin today. To accommodate construction, Green Street will be closed from north of the Tyler Street intersection up to and including the Methvin intersection. Drivers are urged to drive cautiously in these areas for the safety of construction workers. The Phase 2 street closures are expected to remain in effect through early December. Read the rest of this entry »

City Contributes toward Energy Center

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday voted unanimously to execute an agreement with the Tyler Economic Development Council (TEDC) to provide mutual funding for the Energy Center addition project located on the Tyler Junior College West Campus. The project will expand the Skills Training Center located on the campus and will provide 51,024 square feet of additional space for student training. The new Energy Center will contain space for HVAC labs, three power plant labs connected to the adjacent Luminant facility, computer labs, a large assembly room, and as many as nine classrooms for alternative energy programs. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler City Manager Talking Tax Increase

thumb_MarkMcDanielTYLER — Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel presented his proposed 2013-14 budget to the City Council Wednesday morning, calling it a responsible restoration budget. “Because of the recession of the last four years, City staff has done everything possible to cut spending to keep the property tax rate flat (and even lowering the rate in 2012) for our citizens,” said McDaniel. “With strong signs of a recovering economy, we must now take steps to restore funding for our core functions. We cannot count on use of savings any longer to fund costs that reoccur every year.” Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Carrier Plant Closing Soon

TYLER — More than 300 employees at Tyler’s Carrier Plant will lose their jobs by the end of this year. KETK reports the company decided to move about 102 of those jobs to its civil manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico. Tyler’s Carrier Plant has been up and running since the late 1940s. “We have employees there that are multi-generation, second, third-generation families at that plant,” said Chamber of Commerce president Tom Mullins. But soon its doors will be closing, and about 100 employees will be laid off by the end of September, and even more by the end of the year. Read the rest of this entry »

Nacogdoches Teen Found Safe

Makenzie SpeerNACOGDOCHES — Authorities with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office confirm local teen Makenzie Speer has been found safe. KETK reports an Amber alert was issued Tuesday for Makenzie, 15, who had last been seen on Friday, August 2. Further details weren’t immediately available.

Man Arrested after Allegedly Injuring Officer

cookmugccsoLAKE JACKSONVILLE — A man accused of fleeing officers, injuring one in the process, has been arrested by Cherokee County authorities. Richard Ryan Cook, 42, was arrested at his home in the area of FM 747 South around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon. He was arrested without incident on a pardon and parole warrant as well as aggravated assault on a public servant. Read the rest of this entry »

City Announces New Program to Fund Sidewalks

sidewalkTYLER — The City of Tyler has been notified that a grant application submitted for the 2012 Transportation Enhancement Program offered through the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has been selected to receive a maximum of $1,648,322 in federal funds. The grant funds will allow the City of Tyler to be reimbursed for 80% of the construction cost for sidewalks to be placed in numerous locations around the City. Read the rest of this entry »

Authorities Target K-2 in Van Zandt County

thumb_Van-Zandt-County-Sheriffs-DeptCANTON — The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Department, Canton Police Department, and Van Zandt County District Attorney’s Office executed two search warrants on two separate businesses in the area Monday, with an eye on alleged K-2 sales. A sheriff’s office news release says the Van Zandt County Drug Task Force has had these businesses under investigation for illegal activity. According to authorities, the sale of K-2, spices, bath salts, etc. is a growing trend among young people in the community. These items have been the cause of over 600 calls to poison control in the last year. The effects are said to be compared to marijuana. The State of Texas has banned the sale, possession, and use of these items. Read the rest of this entry »

Habitat for Humanity of Smith County Announces 100th Build

TYLER – Habitat for Humanity of Smith County announces the 100 For 100 In 100 Campaign: 100 sponsors for the 100th home to be built in just 100 hours. Traditionally, Habitat homes are sponsored by one or more businesses, churches or organizations. For the 100th home, however, Habitat is inviting at least 100 sponsors to be involved. Read the rest of this entry »

Officials Seek Leads on Alleged Serial Killer

image_largeDALLAS (STAFF/AP) — The Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Dallas Division has announced a timeline of events in the Israel Keyes investigation. Diego G. Rodriguez says the timeline includes information about possible unsolved homicides and other crimes. Based upon the investigation conducted following his arrest in March 2012, Keyes is believed to have committed multiple kidnappings and murders across the country between 2001 and March 2012. Keyes lived in Washington from 2001 to March 2007, at which time he moved to Alaska. While living in Alaska, Keyes traveled extensively while working as a general contractor. In a series of interviews with law enforcement, Keyes described significant planning and preparation for his murders, reflecting a meticulous and organized approach to his crimes. Read the rest of this entry »

Police Identify Man Shot by Officer

Longview PD BadgesLONGVIEW — Longview police Tuesday identified a man hospitalized after being shot by an officer. Police were called shortly after 8:45 Monday night to an incident involving an armed suspect at the Penwood Apartments, in the 500 block of Scenic Drive in west Longview. Police spokesman Kristie Brian says Shaun Antonio Thompson, 26, confronted officers and one of the officers shot the man. Thompson, of Longview, was taken to Longview Regional Medical Center for Treatment. The officer has been placed on administrative leave with pay. The Texas Rangers are now investigating the shooting, which is Longview’s third officer involved shooting of the year.

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