Category: Local News Archive

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Suspect Arrested for Theft

Craig Andrew HawkinsTYLER – Thanks to what’s termed quick collaboration between The Smith County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation and Patrol Divisions, a suspect is in custody related to the theft of truck parts, forklift accessories, and other metal items. The materials, said to be worth several hundred dollars, were taken on April 27. Craig Andrew Hawkins, 30, was arrested on May 8 and charged with the theft at Transport Services, located at 2887 Highway 271.

Detective Ron Rathbun investigated the theft on April 29 and obtained surveillance video from the location. The video captured two unknown white males and a vehicle. Photos of the vehicle were distributed to the SCSO Patrol Division. During the early morning hours of May 3, the vehicle was located at a mobile home park on Highway 64 West by Deputy Justin Redding. Redding contacted Detective Rathbun, who, with another detective from the Sheriff’s Office, later made contact and spoke to the vehicle owner, Hawkins, a former employee of Transport Services. According to officials, Hawkins admitted that he was one of the individuals who took the items and sold them for scrap. He was arrested and booked in to the Smith County Jail. An arrest warrant is pending for the other suspect.

Man Arrested for Online Solicitation

Shawn Christian GliddenGLADEWATER — Gladewater police have arrested a Kilgore man for online solicitation of a minor. Arrested was Shawn Christian Glidden, 40. Police say a parent contacted them about a man who they knew from church. It was said that he had tried to contact their daughter by way of Facebook with with some inappropriate comments and requests. A detective, playing the role of a 13 year old girl, took the man’s phone call and agreed to meet the man in a restaurant parking lot for sexual intercourse. When the suspect arrived at the restaurant, he was taken into custody. Gliden’s bond has been set at $75,000.

Union Grove ISD Building Destroyed by Fire

UNION GROVE — A home being used by the Union Grove School District has been destroyed by fire. The building was being used as the district’s Information Technology Department. No injuries were reported in the fire that was reported around 7:00 Thursday night. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. School officials say it may he been started by lightning from some of the storms in the area.

College Graduations

graduationEAST TEXAS — It spring graduation time at colleges and universities in east Texas. Tyler Junior College will hold commencement ceremonies at 10:00am, 2:00pm and 6:00pm today in Wagstaff Gymnasium, recognizing 909 candidates for graduation for the Spring 2013 semester. Graduates in the TJC School of Nursing and Health Sciences will be recognized at 10:00; the TJC School of Engineering, Math and Science and the TJC School of Humanities, Communications and Fine Arts will be recognized in the 2:00 o’clock ceremony; and the 6:00pm ceremony will recognize graduates in the TJC School of Professional and Technical Programs.

Kilgore College will host two spring graduation ceremonies today with the possibility of awarding 580 degrees and certificates. The two graduation ceremonies are set for 5:30 and 8:00pm in Dodson Auditorium on the Kilgore campus. The 5:30pm ceremony will include students receiving Associate of Applied Science and Certificates of Completion. At 8:00pm, Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts in Teaching and Associate of Science degrees will be awarded.

SWAT Situation Ends in Longview, One Dead

swat_lnjLONGVIEW — Officials say an hours-long standoff at a Longview home ended late Thursday afternoon after the person inside the home, Candace Jackson, 38, was shot and killed. That happened after police deployed tear gas. At that time Jackson exited the house with a weapon and fired several more rounds in the direction of the police. The officers returned the fire. Jackson was rushed to Good Shepherd Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead.

The house where the standoff took place is on the 2000 block of Eden. The incident started out as a welfare check that was being handled by a Longview Police sergeant. The call came in at 1:18 Thursday afternoon. Police did not believe that there were any hostages inside the house. However, there were an unknown amount of weapons inside. According to officials, the woman was in her house with multiple weapons. The Longview News-Journal said officers were fired upon from the home.

Police evacuated people in the surrounding neighborhood of the standoff. There were dozens of Police officers and SWAT on scene. During the ordeal, some residents who could not get to their homes due to the standoff situation were waiting at a nearby convenience store. Longview ISD officials said some bus routes were affected. KETK reports those impacted were the students coming from JL Everhart Elementary and Forest Park Middle School. The buses already running returned to campus. Parents were notified by the school district’s mass contact call system, and they told they could pick up their children at the schools. Additionally, streets in the area were blocked off while the situation continued. The case remains under investigation by the Texas Rangers.

Woman Held in Alleged Assault of Jailer

NACOGDOCHES — A Nacogdoches woman has had additional charges filed against her after allegedly assaulting a jailer at the Nacogdoches County Jail. According to KETK, Sheriff Jason Bridges stated that the Nacogdoches Police Dept. arrested Dominique Macon on a misdemeanor warrant charge and she was transported to the jail. A female jailer searched Macon and found a bottle that officers believed contained the drug PCP hidden inside of Macon’s pants. Macon started fighting with the jailer and was able to throw the liquid substance inside the bottle onto the jailer, according to authorities. Officials say the liquid substance struck the jailer in the face and went into her eyes and mouth. Macon was quickly subdued without further incident, according to officials.

The jailer was taken to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and later released. Charges have been filed against Macon, 21, for assault on a public servant, tampering with physical evidence, and having a prohibited substance in a correctional facility.

Diesel Theft Suspect Still Sought; Reward Offered

thumb_police-4TYLER – Crimestoppers is now offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for some recent crimes. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office continues to seek the public’s help in the recent theft of almost $10,000 worth of diesel fuel and other items from three locations in South Tyler and Southern Smith County.

During the overnight hours of April 22-23, a male suspect was caught on security video at Trendsetter Recycling, at 15580 County Road 164, where some 250 gallons of diesel fuel was taken. The same man is suspected of burglarizing Compton Roll Off, at 15692 Farm Road 2493, where about 30 gallons of diesel fuel was taken and a company truck was broken into and tools were stolen. A third location was also robbed and is being investigated by the Tyler Police Department. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect or the burglaries is asked to call Sheriff’s Detective Aaron Hinton at 903-590-2698.

Suspect in 2012 Murder Claims He’s Not Guilty

Michael Vincent MooreCANTON — The man jailed in Canton for the murder of his niece and the dumping of her body made several claims in saying he is not guilty, during an exclusive interview with reporter L.P. Phillips. The defendant says he loved 16-year-old Alicia Moore and wanted to help her, claiming, “She was addicted to sex.” In a jailhouse interview, Moore said he has been through this before, claiming he was a suspect in a California murder — a case in which he claims another man was ultimately convicted. Moore says local police zeroed in on him from the beginning, and he “wasn’t surprised when they came.” Moore also claims to have an alibi. He says he was in Grand Prairie with his dad the day Alicia disappeared. Officials say DNA links Moore to the murder; Moore claims if that’s their evidence it was planted.

Meanwhile, officials in Greenville and Van Zandt County issued a joint statement saying their investigation is still ongoing, adding, “we anticipate the discovery of additional evidence that will further implicate Michael Vincent Moore. They also say, “until we conclude our investigation, we will continue to restrict the release of sensitive information in this case…While we would like to share more information at this time, doing so could compromise our investigation and jeopardize a subsequent prosecution.” Moore, 57, of Grand Prairie, was arrested at his home exactly six months after the teenager’s body was discovered last fall. He’s held on $10 million bond, charged with capital murder. The girl was last seen in Greenville, and her body was found in Van Zandt County.

City Seeking Input on Historic Preservation for Tyler 1st Plan

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — As part of the Tyler 1st comprehensive planning process, the City of Tyler is seeking input from residents about the future of Historic Preservation in the community. Residents may provide input in two ways:
· By going to to take a quick survey.
· At a Public Open House from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. today at Gallery Main Street, 110 W. Erwin St.

According to officials, the purpose of the survey and public open house is to seek citizen input on the importance and quality of Historic Preservation. City officials say they’ll analyze the input and incorporate the citizen feedback into their decision process during the Tyler 1st Comprehensive Plan update. “The Steering Committee has already reviewed Vision, Principles, Parks, Open Space, Lakes and Transportation elements of the plan,” said City Planner Heather Nick. “Getting citizen input is critical to ensuring the plan reflects the vision of the entire community.” Tyler 1st was originally known as Tyler 21. Visit the link above for more information.

Couple Faces Charges Including Child Abandonment

NACOGDOCHES — There’s a laundry list of charges against a Nacogdoches couple. Jodie Strahan, 26, and Norman McDonald, 47, are charged with driving while intoxicated, possession of marijuana, and abandonment of a child. Nacogdoches police tell KETK the couple dropped a baby off Tuesday night in the Melrose community. Straham claimed she couldn’t raise the baby any longer, so she handed the baby over to a resident there. The baby was then taken to a local hospital. Authorities eventually tracked down the couple and arrested them.

East Texas Man Gets 75 Years for Machete Attacks

Nijinksi Tywon MurphyNACOGDOCHES (AP) – An East Texas man convicted of using a machete to attack people after breaking into their homes has been sentenced to 75 years in prison. A jury in Nacogdoches sentenced Nijinksi Tywon Murphy, 36, over last July’s attacks that injured five people. The Nacogdoches man was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of burglary. Investigators say Murphy used a machete to attack people after going door to door in a neighborhood. Murphy testified he heard voices telling him the people he attacked were going to kill him. Records show Murphy has previous convictions for aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, deadly conduct, theft, criminal mischief and burglary.

Woman Who Skipped Her Sentencing Arrested

bradLONGVIEW — A Longview woman who failed to show at a Monday sentencing, has been arrested. Rachel Elaine Bradley, 40, has been arrested in Upshur County. Wednesday, Bradley was booked into the Gregg County Jail on four counts of bond forfeiture.

Bradley failed to appear at a hearing for her role in the December 2011 burglary of a storage unit containing Christmas gifts meant for area foster children. According to KETK, Rachel Elaine Bradley, 40, was scheduled to appear Monday afternoon in the 124th District Court to be sentenced by Judge Alfonso Charles.

Bradley’s attorney, Joe Black, told Charles his client was on her way to the hospital with chest pains. When the judge asked Black to which hospital Bradley was going, he said he did not know because her mother was taking her. When court was adjourned, the Longview Police Department issued warrants for Bradley’s arrest on three counts of bond forfeiture.

Bradley pleaded guilty April 4, to theft, burglary of a building, burglary of a habitation and possession of a controlled substance, according to the Gregg County District Attorney’s office. Officials with the Harrison County sheriff’s office have also named Bradley as one of two suspects in the theft of 59 manholes covers from Longview business parks, which were reported between April 20 and 23.

Police said Bradley, along with Sarah Marie Adams, 47, of Gilmer broke into the unit at Home Climate Storage in where they stole about $20,000 worth of Christmas gifts that belonged to the Gregg County Child Welfare Board.

Tyler City Council Initiates Annexation Proceedings

Tyler City Hall-2TYLER — The Tyler City Council adopted a resolution initiating annexation proceedings for land located north of the northeast intersection of Spur 248 and County Road 272, authorizing creation of a service plan, and setting the dates, times and places for the two required public hearings to consider the annexation.

“This land is part of The Reserve Apartment Complex. The owner has asked for this remaining portion of the complex to be brought into the city limits,” said City Planner Heather Nick. “This would help address public safety concerns.”

According to State law, it is necessary to conduct two separate public hearings to consider the proposed approximately 2.13 acres lying adjacent to the present boundary limits of the City of Tyler. The City Council will conduct the first public hearing at a regularly scheduled City Council meeting to be held on May 22 at 9 a.m. in the City Council Chambers. The City Council will then hold a second public hearing at a Special Called City Council meeting to be held on June 5, at 9 a.m. in the City Council Chambers.

The Service Plan will be available for review in the Planning Department prior to the first public hearing. Final consideration of the Annexation Ordinance for the proposed annexation area would be considered by the City Council at its regularly scheduled City Council meeting on June 26.

Former ETMC Doctor Arrested for Alleged Intoxicated, Terroristic Threats

Laurence William Cunningham-DRJACKSONVILLE — A former ETMC-Jacksonville doctor who was discovered intoxicated and in possession of a shotgun in the hospital’s parking lot Wednesday morning was arrested and taken into custody by police, authorities said. Laurence William Cunningham, 57, a Jacksonville resident, is a pulmonary disease specialist, according to the Texas Medical Board website. According to KETK and the Jacksonville Daily Progress, Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel said Cunningham was fired a day earlier after he is alleged to have made threats against another doctor of Middle Eastern descent. “The report says he thought the other doctor was happy about 9/11 and the Boston bombings and he didn’t like it,” Daniel said. “ … We are charging him with public intoxication and making terroristic threats.”

According to his TMB profile, Cunningham was convicted of Driving While Intoxicated in Tyler in November 2001. The doctor also was fined $500 by TMB in February 2008 for failing to correct inaccurate information in his correspondence and advertisements, the website shows. Cunningham was expected to spend the night in jail and be arraigned Thursday morning, the chief said. “That’s about the extent of what I can release at the moment,” Daniel said Wednesday afternoon. A spokeswoman for ETMC-Jacksonville declined to comment Wednesday afternoon.

Officials Identify Man in Gregg County Wreck

Jason Bradley SlaughterGREGG COUNTY — Officials have identified the man killed in a wreck in Clarksville City as Jason Bradly Slaughter, 36, of Kaufman. According to KETK, the incident happened around 6:45 Wednesday morning when a White Oak police officer pulled a car over. Slaughter was said to be acting suspiciously when he took off. He eventually lost control of his vehicle at the intersection of Old Longview Highway (Highway 80) and Texas Street in Clarksville City. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police found what they believe to be meth in his car.

Monthly City Sales Tax Figures Grow Nearly Six Percent

thumb_MarkMcDanielTYLER — Tyler’s sales tax revenues deposited for the month of May have grown 5.84% as compared to May 2012, resulting in a cumulative fiscal year-to-date increase of 3.39 percent. The Texas Comptroller reports Tyler’s revenue of $3,474,349 comprises $2,316,233 general sales tax revenue and $1,158,116 half-cent sales tax revenue. The figures represent receipts from March 2013 collections as there is a two-month lag before taxes are reported and remitted back to the City from the State. “It is nice to see this kind of an increase after disappointing collections in April,” said City Manager Mark McDaniel. “We are pleased that the three percent cumulative growth is on target with what was projected during our last budget process.”

Tyler Remains Under Voluntary Step One Modified Drought Measures

thumb_lawn-sprinklers-1TYLER — The City of Tyler Water Utilities Department is reminding citizens that Tyler remains under voluntary “Step One” Drought Contingency Measures as outlined in Article X (Water Conservation/Emergency Demand Management Plan) of the City of Tyler Code of Ordinances. “We are anticipating a possible dry summer; therefore are encouraging residents to be aware of their water use and to conserve as possible,” said Water Utilities Managing Director Greg Morgan.

Under Step One modified drought measures, recommended watering schedules are voluntary and are as follows:
· For customers with street addresses ending in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6, 7), limit irrigation of landscaped areas to Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
· For water customers with a street address ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) limit irrigation of landscaped area to Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays.
· Additionally, irrigation should be done between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am.

Additional steps that the City will take under “Step One” include expedited repair of water line breaks, reducing flushing of water mains and discontinuing fire hydrant testing.

The City of Tyler is in better shape than other municipalities and water districts in the northeast Texas region at this time, according to officials. The Lake Tyler system is down 3.49 feet but is at 79.4% capacity. Lake Palestine is only down .21 feet and at 98.9% of capacity.

Street Closures for AlleyFest

AlleyFest2LONGVIEW — The City of Longview announces temporary street closures in the downtown area during the annual AlleyFest event, which will be held May 10 – 12, in downtown Longview. Street closures will be done in phases in preparation for the event.

Streets closed from 6:00pm, Wednesday, May 8 until 6:00pm, Sunday, May 12:
• Fredonia Street from Tyler Street to Hoover Street in both directions.
• Fredonia Street southbound lane from Whaley Street to Hoover Street.

Streets closed from 6:00 p.m., Thursday, May 9 until 6:00pm, Sunday, May 12:
• Tyler Street from Center Street to Fredonia Street
• Center Street from Tyler Street to Methvin Street

Streets closed from 3:00pm, Friday, May 10 until 6:00pm, Sunday, May 12:
• Methvin Street from Center Street to just east of Fredonia Street in front of the Post Office.

AlleyFest is coordinated by One Hundred Acres of Heritage Main Street. Described as a “Real East Texas Celebration of the Arts,” AlleyFest features activities including Alley Art, Alley Run, Kids Fest, Music Fest, Car Show, and Food Fest. Volunteers are needed to help with a variety of activities throughout the weekend. For more information about the event, visit or call 903-237-4000.

More Details Released in Longview Shooting

longviewpdmuglpdLONGVIEW — More details were issued Wednesday afternoon on a shooting incident in Longview Tuesday afternoon just before 1:30, Longview Police Officers received several calls about a shooting that had just occurred. Police were notified that two men had been taken by private cars to Good Shepherd Medical Center. When officers arrived at Good Shepherd, they located both male victims.

According to statements made, Officers were able to determine that the shooting occurred in the 1200 Block of Lorin Drive. Reports received from both men and other witnesses indicated that the victims, identified as Christian Sibley, 19 and Rashaad McCray 20, both of Longview, were involved in an altercation inside the residence at the location. Both men allegedly produced weapons and began firing their guns at each other, and police say both were shot during the exchange. Sibley was placed under arrest. Police say while being escorted to a waiting patrol car, he broke free from police and attempted to escape custody. Police say he was located approximately 5 blocks from Good Shepherd and taken back into custody with no further incident.

Sibley was transported to Gregg County Jail and charged with Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon and Escape from Custody, both of which are Class A misdemeanors. McCray was treated and released from the hospital. The investigation into the shooting continues.

Authorities Investigating Early Morning Fire in Smith County

lindale_fire_ketkLINDALE — Smith County authorities are investigating an early Wednesday morning house fire in the Lindale area. More details are awaited, but video from the scene indicates extensive damage. KETK reports the fire happened in the 10000 block of County Road 494 just after 5:00am. There was nobody at home at the time, and there were no injuries.

Former Pastor Set for Trial, Charged with Online Solicitation of Minor

Raymond Earl CooperMARSHALL — A former pastor arrested in May 2012 and accused of online solicitation of a minor is set to stand trial this month. According to Harrison County Criminal District Attorney Coke Solomon, the trial for Raymond Earl Cooper is scheduled to begin the week of May 20. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report the ex-pastor was placed on leave from the First Church of the Nazarene in Marshall following his arrest. At the time of Cooper’s arrest, Rob McDonald, district superintendent for the Church of Nazarene, said church officials consider the allegations “tragic.” McDonald said church officials would conduct their own investigation.

Cooper was arrested for allegedly soliciting a person online that he believed to be 14 years old. A warrant was issued for his arrest after the Louisiana State Police Internet Crimes against Children Task Force out of Lafayette, La., alerted the Marshall Police Department and the Texas Rangers of the activity. According to the complaint filed by Texas Ranger Jason Dudley, Hall Hutchison, a trooper with the Louisiana task force, contacted Texas authorities on April 23, saying that Cooper had exposed himself on a webcam to someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.

Police Chief: 14-Year-Old Kidnap Victim Was Terrorized

RUBY_ZAVALA_PIC.1367796866MT. PLEASANT — A 14-year-old East Texas girl endured what police called a terrifying experience after being abducted Sunday. Mount Pleasant Police Chief Wayne Isbell said Tuesday that during de-briefing of Ruby Zavala after her Monday rescue, it became clear the teenager was terrorized by the suspect in her abduction, Jesus Resendez Ramirez, 23. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, Isbell said the girl was forced to plead for her life several times, convincing her captor not to harm her. She was held hostage with a knife to her throat as she and her mother and little sister were forced into her family’s pickup as they left church Sunday. Police say Ramirez later freed mother Maria Zavala and her 3-year-old daughter but kept Ruby Zavala as his captive.

Police have said Ramirez was obsessed with the girl, whom he had been forbidden to see. The two dated for awhile and broke up, police said, without the knowledge of Zavala’s parents. When they became aware of it, the parents made a report to the Titus County Sheriff’s Office. Ramirez was released from Terrell State Hospital, a psychiatric facility, about a week before the abduction. After his release, police said, the girl’s parents had been so concerned about her welfare that they asked Mount Pleasant ISD campus police to watch Ruby to make sure the seventh grader got on the school bus safely.

Isbell said Tuesday that Ramirez was being held without bond. Isbell said the girl exhibited remarkable strength enduring the abduction. Late Tuesday, her parents, Santiago and Maria Zavala, issued a statement thanking local law enforcement officers and the community for their support during the ordeal.

Details Begin to Emerge in Teen’s 2012 Death

Michael Vincent MooreCANTON — Disturbing details have begun to surface about the murder of a Greenville teenager. According to sources, it appears 16-year old Alicia Moore had been sexually assaulted, and that DNA from that assault led investigators to her uncle. Michael Moore, 57, was arrested at his home exactly six months after the teenager’s body was discovered.

The girl was last seen in Greenville, her body was found in Van Zandt County, and Moore lives in Grand Prairie. Van Zandt County Sheriff Lindsey Ray says for the time being, his county has the crime scene. Ray says it took a long time to pull all the facts together. He says his office tries to work as quickly as it can on such cases, all the while being methodical, logical, and certain the right suspect is being pursued. Moore is being held on $10 million bond. Sources say he did not appear surprised when he was arrested.

One Arrested in Van Murder

VAN — One person is in custody in connection with a stabbing death in Van. Arrested late Monday night was Delano Garcia, 48. He has been charged with the stabbing death of Jesse Lee Hudspeth of Wills Point. Garcia is being held on a $1 million.

Van police and DPS responded after police got a 911 call just before 10:30 Monday morning. Someone was said to be lying in the road after an apparent stabbing near Ohio Street and North Bois D’ Arc Street. The victim died from a stab wound to the chest, according to Van Police Chief Tony Richardson.

Two Injured in Henderson County Fire

ATHENS — Two men have been injured in an explosion and fire that extensively damaged a Henderson County home. The fire was reported late Monday night in the home at Cherokee Shores. The two men have been flown to the burn unit at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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