TYLER – Southside Bancshares, Inc., parent company of Tyler-based Southside Bank, and OmniAmerican Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for Fort Worth-based OmniAmerican Bank, announced Tuesday that they have signed a definitive agreement under which OmniAmerican will merge into Southside. The combined company will have nearly $5 billion in assets and will be the ninth-largest bank headquartered in Texas, by deposits, according to information from Southside. … Read More
LUFKIN (AP) – An East Texas man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for using a spear-like object to threaten workers during a 2012 convenience store robbery. A judge in Lufkin on Monday sentenced 45-year-old Calvin Rushing of Alto. Rushing in March was convicted of aggravated robbery in the May 2012 holdup. Investigators say Rushing held the spear-like object and had a towel on his head when he forced unharmed employees into a back room while stealing money and beer. Surveillance video helped lead to Rushing. Records show he has previous convictions for robbery, burglary and escape.
NACOGDOCHES – A Nacogdoches woman who tried to drown her daughter last year has been found not guilty by reason of insanity by a state district judge in Nacogdoches. Shari Kamile Brandon, 38, will now be sent to a state hospital further evaluation. After the evaluation it will be up to the court to determine the next course of action. The incident happened in June of 2013 along Farm Road 1878 and County Road 228. State troopers say Brandon tried drowning her 6 year old daughter in a creek after a crashing into a motorcyclist. After the crash, Brandon grabbed her daughter from the car and jumped into a nearby creek. Troopers say while Brandon and her daughter were in the creek, she tried drowning her daughter. The girl says she played dead and survived. Brandon’s had been charged with attempted capital murder.
TYLER — An Anderson County man has been sentenced in federal court in Tyler for the sexual exploitation of children. Robbie Newby, 46, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 17, 2013, and pleaded guilty on January 9, 2014. Newby has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison by United States District Judge Leonard E. Davis. According to Federal prosecutors, on or about March 14, 2012, Newby knowingly used and coerced a minor under the age of sixteen to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct.
HENDEDRSON – One person has been killed in a two vehicle wreck in Rusk County. It happened around 3:15 Sunday afternoon on U.S. Highway 259, about 7 miles north of Henderson. Killed was Kenneth Willard Sprague, 72, of Henderson. He died shortly before 9:45 Sunday night at Tyler’s Mother Francis Hospital. Sprague, who was not wearing his seat belt, is said to have pulled into the path of a pickup driven by Donna Carroll Cole, 66, of Overton. She was not injured.
WILLS POINT – A two vehicle accident in Van Zandt County has left one person dead. The accident occurred around 1:00 Sunday afternoon on Farm Road 1504 about five miles north of Wills Point. Dead at the scene was John Wellington Harroun, 63, of Wills Point. The Department of Public Safety reports his south bound car drifted into the north bound lane and hit a car driven by George Michael Row, 66 of Wills Point. Row, and his wife Bessie are said to be hospitalized in stable condition.
TYLER — Beckham Avenue, between Front Street and Line Street has now been reopened to through traffic. This section of Beckham Avenue has been closed since April 14 for the repair of the sanitary sewer at the intersection of Beckham Avenue and East Erwin Street.
WHITEHOUSE — Child Protective Services says a mother who disappeared with her infant son has been found and the baby has been placed in a foster home. According to the CPS there was a concern since Kimberli Tennison, 26, of Whitehouse, has a history of drug use. Her two month old son Michael had been placed into a temporary managing conservertorship with CPS last week. Kimberli was arrested last night and her son was located and is safe.
TYLER — Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass has been awarded the Champion of Trees Award at the Arbor Day Foundation’s 2014 National Awards Competition for her work with the Tree Tyler Initiative. This award is presented to a government official or employee for demonstrating leadership in advancing forestry public policy at a community, state or national level. Mayor Bass was recognized and honored for her outstanding work at the Arbor Day Awards Ceremony held April 25-27 in Nebraska City, Nebraska.… Read More
LONGVIEW — This fall The University of Texas at Tyler Longview University Center will expand the number of courses taught in the field of criminal justice. “We are working with Dr. Barbara Hart, Interim Chair of the Department of Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, to eventually bring a criminal justice program to the Longview campus,” said Dr. Van Patterson, UT Tyler LUC director. “This fall we will offer three new junior level courses which include Criminology, Probation and Parole, and Law and Society.”… Read More
TYLER — Michael Donley has been named The University of Texas at Tyler’s first legal attorney, effective May 1, President Rodney H. Mabry announced. Donley comes to UT Tyler from Loewinsohn Flegle Deary, a significant Dallas litigation firm. In this newly developed role, he will handle contracts and also be a part of UT Tyler’s top leadership team. “As our university has expanded in size and complexity, so has our need for legal advice on the ground here in Tyler,” President Mabry said. “These needs are in such diverse areas as writing contracts, buying land, building schools, protecting intellectual property rights and simply understanding rules and regulations.” … Read More
TYLER – The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) will administer immunizations at three Tyler ISD middle school campuses beginning this week. The clinics are intended to give parents an opportunity to update their children’s required school immunizations before the last minute rush in August. “The more people who are immunized, the less chance of vaccine-preventable diseases,” Sylvia Warren, immunization and TB director with NET Health, said. “Waiting until August will cause nothing but long waiting periods, frustration and anger. This can all be avoided if parents take this opportunity to get their children’s vaccinations now.” … Read More
TYLER – Early voting is now underway in municipal elections around East Texas. Early voting continues through May 6, and the elections are May 10. In Tyler, Martin Heines faces Joel Rando in the race for mayor; Don Warren and Eleno Licea square off in the bid for City Council District 4, which Heines represented until recently. In the Tyler school board elections, incumbent Orenthia Mason faces Cedrick Granberry in District 2, while incumbent Ross Strader is challenged by Barbara Smith in District 5.
LINDEN — On the heels of losing the T-Bone Walker Blues Fest to Longview, the town of Linden is now taking another hit. It’s losing its hospital and its local drug store. The hospital is owned by Good Shepherd Health System and has been struggling to stay afloat since the company took over operations in 2006. It’ll close Wednesday, leaving its clinic in the dust. Town fathers managed to negotiate to keep that open. Linden Mayor Clarence Burns tells the Longview News-Journal that he feels the clinic is viable and makes money for Good Shepherd, and is badly needed in the community. The nearest emergency room and rehabilitation clinic is now a 15-minute drive into Atlanta.
HAWKINS – A two vehicle accident in Wood County has left one person dead and one injured. It was reported around 10:45 Friday night on Farm Road 14, south of Hawkins. Dead at the scene was Billy Ray Tant, 61, of Hawkins. The driver of the over vehicle,Stacie Lynn Warren, 37, of Combine, was taken to a Tyler hospital for treatment. The Department of Public Safety says Tant’s car crossed over into the opposite lane of traffic and collided with Warren’s SUV.
SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to make base and pavement repairs on State Highway 64 between West Loop 323 and Farm Road 724 near Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. Meanwhile, a second crew is scheduled to continue base and pavement repairs on East Loop 323 between the Loop 323 Extension and Commerce Street. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress, and motorists should be prepared to reduce speed and merge in and around the work zone. … Read More
TYLER — Tyler ISD continues to move forward with construction and renovation projects as a result of the multimillion dollar bond package passed by voters last May. BOND 2013 projects include a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, two new middle school campuses at the existing Moore MST Magnet School and Boulter Middle School locations, one new middle school at the Three Lakes location in South Tyler and renovations and additions to Dixie and Rice (pictured) elementary schools.… Read More
MARSHALL – Marshall police are investigating after a pellet gun was found at Marshall Junior High School. According to School district communications officer David Weaver, “School administrators at Marshall Junior High School confiscated an Airsoft pellet gun brought on campus by a student on Friday, April 25. Police were contacted and parents of the students involved were notified.”
TYLER – The injury to a Smith County infant is under investigation. Around 4:30 Thursday afternoon, authorities were dispatched to the 16000 block of Farm Road 2767 in reference to an unresponsive 6 month old infant. The child was transported by ambulance to Trinity Mother Francis hospital in Tyler, and was then flown to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas to receive treatment. There has been no update on the infant’s condition. Deputies were told by family members that the child fell from a bed and received an injury to the head. The investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as it becomes available.
EAST TEXAS — Again this year, Tyler and Longview are holding medication clean-out events, all scheduled for today from 10:00am till 2:00pm. The Tyler Police Department and Super 1 Foods are teaming up at the Super 1 at 113 NNW Loop 323. Longview’s events are set for Louis Morgan Drug, 110 Johnston Street, and CVS Pharmacy at 1754 West Loop 281. It’s a nationwide effort, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is also involved. Police say you can just drive up and drop off your unused and expired medications for safe disposal without getting out of your vehicle — “no questions asked.” … Read More
LONGVIEW — Longview officials announce Neal McCoy will headline the city’s 4th of July concert. KETK reports the city attracted national attention after paying more than $16,000 to end negotiations with controversial rocker Ted Nugent. At the following City Council meeting, residents flooded the building, with some calling for the mayor and city manager to resign. Now Mayor Jay Dean says he’s happy to have a family-friendly fellow East Texan take the stage, and McCoy says he’s happy to perform at home.
LONGVIEW — Longview City Planner Michael Shirley will serve as Longview’s interim director of development services after the resignation of Kevin Cummings earlier this week. City Manager David Willard placed Cummings on administrative leave April 10, citing job performance issues, and recommended his termination. KETK reports Shirley will officially begin overseeing the office on Monday.
LINDALE — The Lindale firefighter severely burned during a house fire in January is continuing to make progress. Joe Yeakley was battling the blaze when part of the roof collapsed on him. KETK reports good news came on Tuesday, though, when Yeakley was doing well enough to move to a rehab center. Fundraising efforts continue around the area to offset the hefty cost of Yeakley’s recovery.
TYLER — Tyler Police are currently asking for assistance in trying to locate a mentally challenged 15 year black female. Her name is Carlaina Nicole Hopkins. She was last seen yesterday afternoon at shortly after 3: 30 in the area of 1600 Rice Road. She was wearing a burgundy Dickey type school shirt and khaki capris pants. Her shoes are black with glitter. She is approximately 150 pounds and 5’03” tall. She also has some medical conditions that require medicine. She is believed to be on foot and may be heading towards Gresham. If anyone knows of her location or sees her, please call 911 or the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000.
TYLER — The City of Tyler has launched a campaign to raise funds toward the development of “get acquainted rooms” and “adoption display areas” at the new Animal Care Facility. The Crowdfunding source, Citizinvestor, will be used to make it easy for those who want to make donations of any size, according to a city news release. “This is a wonderful tool to allow everyone in the community to be a part of creating a space for animal adoption to take place,” said Mayor Barbara Bass. … Read More
TYLER — A number of Tyler-area residents are experiencing power outages this afternoon. KETK reports over 1,000 customers have been affected. Officials estimate that all power should be restored by early this evening.
EMORY — An East Texas deputy has been fired after shooting a family’s dog while responding to a burglary. The family is outraged after a necropsy shows their dog was shot dead while apparently moving away from law enforcement. KETK reports the family’s dog, Candy, was shot by a deputy responding to a burglary call at the home of Cole and Jayna Middleton on Farm to Market 514 in the Daughtery Community April 18. Officials with the Rains County Sheriff Office say Deputy Jerred Dooley responded to the call at 2:41 p.m., nearly two hours after the initial call for help. According to Rains County Communication Supervisor Patrick Wilson, the two-hour delay was investigated and the cause was found and corrected with administrative actions. … Read More
SMITH COUNTY — Smith County deputies searched for two burglars following an incident in northwestern Smith County. According to KETK, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office reports that a woman was asleep in her home on County Road 411 near Hideaway when she was awakened to an unknown man in her home shortly after 10:30yesterday morning. The burglar was startled by the homeowner and ran from the house without taking any items. The burglar jumped in a dark colored sedan with another man and possibly headed toward Highway 110. Both men were described as black males. … Read More