LONGVIEW – One person has been killed and one injured in a Gregg County accident. The wreck occurred just before 5:00 Sunday morning on Interstate Highway 20, six miles southwest of Longview. Killed was Edward Bradley, 71, of Salt Lake City, Utah. He died about three hours after the accident at Longview’s Good Shepherd Medical Center. The driver of the other vehicle, Dylan Brown, 19, of Longview, remains hospitalized in critical condition at Good Shepherd Medical Center. According to the Department of Public Safety report, Brown was west bound on the interstate when his pickup crossed the median and hit Bradley’s vehicle.
TYLER – Student enrollment numbers for Tyler ISD are in after what officials term a successful first day of school. First day enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year increased slightly, totaling 17,085, while enrollment for the first day of classes in the 2013-2014 school year was 17,048. First day numbers showed increases at 12 campuses, while 15 campuses saw a drop in opening day enrollment. The school with the largest first day enrollment increase, compared to last year, was John Tyler High School. They saw an increase of 100 students. The largest drop was at Moore Middle School, which was down 69 students from opening day last year. According to school officials, first day of school enrollment numbers fluctuate from year to year, and District leaders anticipate enrollment changing in the coming weeks.
TYLER The Smith County Commissioners Courts final budget and tax rate hearing for the coming fiscal year is set for this morning at 9:30 in the Courthouse Annex. Commissioners have scheduled a vote on the budget and tax rate immediately following the hearing. In the budget draft, County Judge Joel Baker says, To support improvements in county roads, I am presenting a budget that is structured against a tax rate of .33000, an increase from .323564, or 1.952%. This would bring a projected $915,884 in additional revenue that would be dedicated solely to road projects.… Read More
RUSK — Authorities in Cherokee County are requesting the public’s help in solving several recent burglaries. On Wednesday, July 23, a burglary was reported on CR 3708 near Bullard. The property owner returned home Wednesday afternoon to discover the door to his shop open. Upon checking the shop he discovered several thousand dollars of equipment and tools missing. He stated that the burglary would have occurred sometime between 7:00 p.m. Tuesday and at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday. … Read More
TYLER — A man on a motorcycle led Arp police, Smith County deputies, and state troopers on a high speed chase over the weekend, but they weren’t able to catch him. KETK reports it started in Arp Saturday, after police saw the biker going more than 100 miles per hour. They, along with deputies and troopers gave chase through Chapel Hill and into Tyler. That’s when they say the biker turned into a neighborhood near Highway 64, forcing them to give up the chase for safety reasons.
TYLER — Tyler firefighters say a child playing with a lighter was the cause of a fire at a home off Travis Street. Crews tell KETK the child accidentally lit a room on fire. Mother and child managed to make it out safely. A neighbor who saw flames grabbed a water hose and began fighting the blaze. The room was destroyed in the weekend fire; the rest of the house sustained smoke damage.
KILGORE — A man who was shot by the Kilgore fire marshal during a weekend disturbance has been arrested. KETK reports Kilgore police officers took Kenny Davlin into custody Sunday upon his release from Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview. Davlin was arrested due to a warrant of arrest for the charge of aggravated assault on a public servant. Davlin was transported and booked into the Rusk County Jail in Henderson. No bond has been assessed at this time. … Read More
LONGVIEW — The cause of a house fire in Longview is under investigation. According to Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary, fire crews responded just after 6:20 Monday morning to the 1200 block of Webster Street. Zackary tells KETK the residents were out of the home by the time crews arrived on scene. There’s no word on amount of damage, but officials say it took till around an hour to extinguish the blaze. Zackary says no injuries were sustained.
LONGVIEW — A Longview man has been sentenced to one year in prison after pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges. Patrick Allen Johnson, 28, was arrested in February 2014 after his pitbull, named Chico, was left chained to a tree, January 7. According to a report filed by police officer Debra Stiles, Chico was found dead by Longview Animal Control Officer Chris Kemper.… Read More
SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Smith County will continue edge repair work on Farm Road 14 between Tyler State Park and Farm Road 16 this week. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress. Motorists should be prepared to reduce speeds and merge in and around work zones.… Read More
TYLER — As the academic year begins for public schools and other educational institutions, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding all drivers to watch out for children walking to and from school or waiting for school buses. Drivers must also follow all traffic laws related to school buses and school zones. One of the most dangerous times of a student’s trip on a school bus is when they are entering or exiting the bus. Drivers are urged to slow down and pay attention in school zones since children may step into a roadway without checking for oncoming traffic.… Read More
LONGVIEW — One person was taken to a local hospital Saturday afternoon following a car fire in Longview. KETK reports that the fire sparked after a two vehicle-accident at the intersection of Marshall and H.G. Mosley shortly before 3:30 p.m. The details of the wreck are still under investigation. The victim’s name and condition weren’t immediately available. Police say no one else was injured.
KILGORE — A vehicle fire in Kilgore shut down roadways for a time Saturday night. According to KETK, authorities say the blaze began shortly before 8:45 p.m. on FM 1249 just east of U.S. 259. They say a truck caught fire on the side of the road. Crews arrived on scene, blocked the roadways, and battled the blaze, quickly putting it out. Investigators are working to determine how the fire started. Officials say no one was injured. Kilgore police and firefighters cleared the scene later in the evening and reopened the roadways.
LONGVIEW — With the new Sanitation Simplified Collection program rolling out, many Longview residents have asked about how, when, and where they should place their carts for collection. Officials encourage residents to place carts out by 7:30 a.m. of collection day. The handles should be facing your house. Carts should be placed with the wheels at the curb whenever possible. Some areas are not safe or practical for curb placement, according to officials. In these areas, you’re asked to place the cart off the road no more than ten feet back. The last thing to remember is the four-foot rule: place carts four feet from any obstacles such as carts, mailboxes, other carts, and trash bags. City staffers say this will ensure a much faster collection time. For more information, contact the Sanitation Division at 903-237-1250.
LONGVIEW — The Longview city parking lots downtown on Cotton Street at Fredonia and Center are open to parking. Recent work included the reconstruction and asphaltic paving of a substandard parking lot at Fredonia and Cotton using pulverize-mix construction methods and an overlay of the parking lot at Center and Cotton, according to city officials. The construction amount for both lots was $230,558. This project was constructed by W.R. Welborn and Son, Inc., of Longview. City Street crews provided pavement milling, demolition, and debris removal prior to the contractor’s paving work. If you have any questions related to construction, call the City’s Project Manager, Alton Bradley, at 903-237-1067.
TYLER — The city of Tyler is putting out the word on a couple of street projects that got underway this past weekend. Roadwork on South Broadway Avenue from Erwin Street to Fourth Street will continue through Thursday, August 28. Officials say the final layer of asphalt will be applied and striping will be marked. To minimize inconvenience to the public, all work will be done between the hours of 7:00pm and 6:00am through Thursday. During this time, the road will periodically be closed to through traffic. All work is expected to be complete before August 29, weather permitting.… Read More
LONGVIEW — Starting last night, construction began on Fourth Street in Longview from Hawkins to Loop 281. For several days traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction for street maintenance, milling, and overlay work. Overlay work will continue on Fourth Street during the week of August 31 from Sunday night to Wednesday night. The contractor will be working from 7:00pm to 7:00am to help reduce traffic congestion, according to a city news release. Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes. This project is being constructed by Reynolds and Kay of Tyler. If you have any questions related to construction, call the City Engineer Alton Bradley at 903-237-1067..
VAN ZANDT COUNTY — A Grand Saline man was killed early Friday morning in a head-on collision with an 18-wheeler. According to KETK, DPS troopers say the collision happened between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m on FM 17 in Van Zandt County. Troopers say Steven Armstrong, 22, lost control of his car while driving northbound on FM 17. He swerved into oncoming traffic and crashed into the truck. Armstrong was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured. The wreck remains under investigation.
TYLER — Four East Texas men have reached plea deals with the Smith County District Attorney’s Office in connection with a 2013 murder. KETK reports Lawrence Murphy Jr. was one of the four accused in the killing of Wesley Scott Lester at the American Inn Motel in Tyler in June of last year. Instead of capital murder, Murphy was charged with murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison after reaching his plea deal Friday morning. Murphy was believed to have fled to the Dallas area after he was sought by police for the June 15 murder. He turned himself in to Tyler Police investigators nine days after the killing. … Read More
GILMER — Beginning January 1, 2015, ETMC Gilmer will no longer provide inpatient care, according to East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System officials. ETMC Gilmer will continue to operate as a 24-hour emergency center providing full-service emergency care and trauma stabilization, as well as laboratory and radiology services. KETK reports the ETMC First Physicians clinic, located at the hospital, will continue to operate as usual. “Making this decision was difficult,” said Perry Henderson, senior vice president, affiliate operations. “When ETMC came to Gilmer in 1997, the hospital had been closed and boarded up for two years. We take great pride in knowing that we reopened this facility and made healthcare more accessible to the people of Upshur County. Unfortunately, poor utilization and declining reimbursements across the board make providing inpatient care unfeasible.” … Read More
TYLER – A Flint-area man accused of manslaughter after his child died in a hot truck has been granted a lower bond. KETK reports that via request of Russell Lindstrom’s attorney, State District Judge Kerry Russell of Tyler lowered Lindstrom’s bond from $200,000 to $125,000 at a hearing Friday morning. A 911 call was received in June about two unresponsive youngsters inside a hot pickup with the windows rolled up in the 18000 block of County Road 1100 near Flint. Bella Lindstrom, 4, was taken to a hospital where she died. Her three year old sister Zoey was hospitalized and released the next day. Lindstrom, 33, was arrested last month at a mobile home park in the 17000 block of Highway 155 South. He has also been charged with injury to a child.
BURNET — A former East Texas teen was killed Tuesday in a double homicide, and the son of a Hill Country constable is charged with capital murder. Garrett Ballard, 21, Burnet, was reportedly high on LSD when he used a rifle he took from his father’s patrol unit. Ballard told authorities Tuesday he and the victims, Elijah Benson, 17, formerly of Whitehouse, and Travis Fox, 26, bought the hallucinogenic drug to celebrate a birthday at his home. He said when Benson and Fox began acting strangely due to the drug effects, he shot them with his dad’s weapon. Benson lived in Whitehouse before moving to Burnet. He was a student at Burnet High School. The Texas Rangers are leading the investigation into the incident.
TYLER — The United Way of Smith County sets a campaign goal of $1.75 million for 2014-2015. That figure was announced Thursday evening at the campaign kickoff at FRESH by Brookshire’s. The campaign will run through March, benefiting 41 community programs. Along with regular donations, community members can register to win a 2015 Hyundai Accent from Allen Samuels East Texas Dodge. The car will be given away April 2. United Way Development Director Stephen Rainwater says, “The work of United Way is centered on the belief that we are all connected and interdependent.” You can go to http://www.unitedwaysmithcounty.org for more information.
HENDERSON — If you live in Rusk County, you’ll soon be paying more to register your vehicle — but it’s for a good cause. According to KETK, just one extra dollar is all county residents will have to pay to register their cars starting in January. But county officials say that dollar can make a huge impact. The extra fee was passed by county commissioners this week. Funds collected from the fee will go directly to the Rusk-Panola Child Advocacy Center and will be used for resources to help children who are being abused or are at risk for being abused.
TYLER — Following the beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by the ISIS group in Iraq, some East Texans sounded off on whether President Obama is doing enough to combat the terrorists. One resident told KETK, “He should be doing a whole lot more. He should have been involved a long time before it got to this point.” Another added, “Well, he’s doing bombing raids, trying to take out these guys.” Still another commented, “I don’t approve of letting our men be beheaded over there, and I think he ought to do something about it immediately.”
TYLER – Beginning August 20, Sound Physicians has been contracted and formally begun managing the Hospitalist program at Mother Frances Hospital Tyler (MFH Tyler) and the Louis and Peaches Owen Hospital (LPOHH). That announcement comes in a news release from Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics. Sound Physicians will also bring on-site operations leadership and hospitalist RN’s to help drive performance and has plans to build out its post-acute provider network and transitional care management program. Sound Physicians is a physician-founded and led national management company started in 2001 with headquarters in Houston. They manage over 1,000 hospitalist physicians in more than 100 hospitals across the country. … Read More
TYLER — The public is invited to attend a workshop to be held by the Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in an effort to update the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The workshop will be held Thursday, Aug. 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Tyler Senior Center, 1915 Garden Valley Road. According to a news release, the MTP is a 25-year, long-range transportation plan which serves as the basic framework for all transportation planning through 2040. The MTP is a guide used to plan for future transportation needs in the Tyler MPO area and the expenditure of federal, state, and local funds that become available for these projects. The current MTP was approved in December 2009 and includes multiple projects totaling approximately $390 million worth of transportation improvements through the life of the plan. … Read More
KILGORE — The Kilgore Police Department is seeking the assistance of the community in identifying a man who allegedly entered a public women’s restroom for a lewd purpose earlier this month. According to the Longview News-Journal, anyone with information is asked to email Detective John Rowe at email@example.com or call him at 903-218-6906. You can also contact Gregg County Crimestoppers at 903-236-STOP or text an anonymous tip to 847411 + KILGORE + your tip. You’re asked to refer to KPD Incident #1408-0728.
MARSHALL (AP/STAFF) — The Marshall school board has voted unanimously to name its high school football field house in honor of hometown sports legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle. Tittle is 87 and lives in Atherton, California. He was born and raised in Marshall, played at Marshall High School in the 1940s, then went to Louisiana State University. He played 10 years for San Francisco in the NFL, and then led the New York Giants to three division titles before retiring in 1964. Tittle threw for more than 33,000 yards and 242 touchdowns and entered the Hall of Fame in 1971. The Marshall News Messenger reports school officials say Tittle has health issues, that officials have talked with his family and that they’re OK with the designation.
TYLER – The new interim dean of the College of Education and Psychology at The University of Texas at Tyler, effective September 1, is Dr. Wesley Hickey. The announcement was made by Dr. Ross Sherman, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. Hickey who has served the university since 2004, will fill the vacancy left by Sherman’s new appointment. A UT Tyler alumnus, Hickey is an associate professor of educational leadership. He has served as the UT Tyler Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies chair since March 1, and he was also superintendent program coordinator for 10 years.… Read More