Category: Local News Archive

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Texas Judge Halts Oil Pipeline Work

HOUSTON (AP) – A Texas court has ordered TransCanada to temporarily halt work on a private property where it is constructing part of an oil pipeline designed to carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Texas County Court at Law Judge Jack Sinz signed a temporary restraining order and injunction Friday. The injunction went into effect Tuesday after Michael Bishop, the landowner, posted bond. TransCanada says this will not delay its project. Bishop argued the Canadian company defrauded him by taking his land in Nacogdoches County for a pipeline it said would carry crude oil. He argues that tar sands oil is not crude oil and that the company’s claims that it is are fraudulent. The judge says there’s sufficient cause to halt the project until a hearing December 19.

Mother Killed in Fire; Children, Firefighter Hurt

FRUITVALE (AP/STAFF) – An East Texas mobile home fire blamed on a space heater has killed a woman and left two of her children and a firefighter hurt. Van Zandt County authorities say the fire happened around 12:30 Tuesday Morning in Fruitvale. Fire Marshal Chuck Allen says items left near a space heater apparently caught fire.

Killed was Wendy Harris, 41. Her 16-year-old son sustained cuts by breaking a window to rescue his 14-year-old sister, who suffered burns and smoke inhalation. He was treated and released from a Dallas hospital. Allen says the girl’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. The woman’s 20-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old friend escaped unharmed. A firefighter who was hit by a falling object was treated and released.

One Killed and Three Injured in Wreck on Hwy 69

BULLARD — One person has been killed and three injured in a two vehicle accident in Bullard. It was reported around noon Monday On U.S Highway 69 at County Road 3801. Involved in the wreck were a dump truck and a van. Reports indicate the truck was crossing Highway 69 when it was struck broadside by the van. Two of the injured were flown to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. Two others were carried by ambulance. A woman in the van died at the hospital. Names have not been released. The accident remains under investigation.

Man Dies in Lufkin Fire

LUFKIN — An elderly Lufkin man has died following a fire in his home. Johnny King, 72, was pulled through a bedroom window by neighbors. He was flown to a Houston hospital where he later died. The fire was reported around 9:00 Monday morning in the 100 block of Lubbock Street. The cause of the fire, which appears to be electrical in nature, remains under investigation.

UTHSCT Researcher Receives Two Grants

TYLER — A professor of biochemistry at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has been awarded a total of almost half a million dollars to investigate the mysteries of serious heart and lung diseases. Anna Kurdowska, Ph.D., received $325,000 from the Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) to explore how second-hand smoke makes atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries, worse.

With the three-year FAMRI grant, Dr. Kurdowska and her team hope to uncover the mechanisms that enable second-hand smoke to boost the development of atherosclerosis. If they can identify this process, they have a better chance of developing treatments that can interfere with it.

In addition, the American Heart Association (AHA) awarded Dr. Kurdowska $140,000 to investigate how white blood cells called neutrophils contribute to the development of acute lung injury (ALI), and its more severe form, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

There are no effective treatments for ALI and ARDS, which kill about 200,000 people in the United States every year. They are frequently found in people who have an illness such as severe pneumonia. Dr. Kurdowska and her team will use the two-year AHA grant to try and discover what role neutrophils play in ALI and ARDS. Their goal is to produce significant research that could lead to new and effective treatments.

Toys Stolen in Longview

LONGVIEW — The Grinch has paid a visit to Longview. Someone has stolen about $1,000 worth of donated Christmas toys and decorations from the Longview Police Department’s Blue Santa program. The theft is said to have occurred at the Green Street Warehouse, a storage facility in the 2100 block of Green Street, between 6:00 and 7:30pm on November 22nd.

Missing Longview Man’s Truck Found

LONGVIEW — Longview police are looking for a man reported missing over the weekend. He is said to suffer from a mental disability which can impair his ability to make sound judgments. He is identified as Ronnie Joe Gammage, 27. He is said to be about 6’8″ and weighs around 265 pounds. He usually dresses in western attire. His pickup was found abandoned in the parking lot of the Waffle House at 318 East Loop 281. One of the ires had been slashed. If you know the wereabouts of Gammage you are asked to contact detective David Cheatham at 903-237-1147.

Kilgore Police Arrested Tyler Man after Violent Foot Chase

KILGORE — A Tyler man accused of injuring a child has been taken into custody after leading authorities on a violent foot chase through Kilgore. According to KETK, Mikeal Reeves, 22, Tyler, who is wanted in Wood County for felony injury to a child, was reportedly working at a new school construction site at Baughman Road and U.S. Highway 259 South.

Responding officers spotted Reeves working on the rooftop and ordered him to come down. Instead, the fugitive ducked out of sight and was seen running from the area to a nearby neighborhood. Police immediately began chasing Reeves through several yards, a creek bed and a culvert. He then forced his way into the home on the 2300 block of Redbud Street and attacked a house keeper, stealing their cellphone.

Authorities found Reeves in a back bedroom and arrested him after a short struggle. He was taken to the Kilgore Jail last Friday and charged with felony burglary of habitation, evading arrest, and injury to a child via Wood County. His bonds total $320,000.

Water Restored to Some Coffee City Residents

COFFEE CITY — Some residents breath a sigh of relief as others wait patiently for water services to be restored. According to KETK, water has been restored to most of the houses that were without water for most of Sunday evening and early Monday morning. Authorities say that they were able to localize the leak around midnight, but it was too dark and hazardous to correct the damage, due to the fact that it was in a creek bed. Crews were forced to shut off water to about 100 houses until it was safe enough to repair the leak. Officials are working on the leak now, and water has already been restored to most of the houses. Only 14 remain without water at this time. Authorities aren’t sure what caused the leak, but they now have the water outages isolated just to County Road 4218 (or Stevenson Rd).

Rep. Simpson Running for Texas House Speaker

AUSTIN (AP) – Tea party-backed state Representative David Simpson says he’s running for Texas House speaker while another conservative favorite, state Rep. Bryan Hughes, is abandoning his bid for the post. Simpson, a second-term Republican from Longview, had said previously he wasn’t interested in challenging fellow Republican Joe Straus of San Antonio for the speakership. But he announced Monday that he had been urged to run and decided to do so “after much prayer, consideration and counsel.” Simpson caused a stir last year by sponsoring legislation to criminalize excessive touching during airport security pat-downs. Straus has been speaker since 2009 but has been criticized by the far-right for being too moderate. Hughes, a Republican from Mineola, announced months ago that he would challenge Straus. But he released a statement Monday endorsing Simpson.

Two Dead after Wreck on Spur 364

SMITH COUNTY — A fatal wreck on Spur 364 closed both lanes and sent numerous people to the hospital. Department of Public Safety officials said two persons died after the multiple vehicle accident. The victims are identified as Tammy Latson and her 11-year-old son Rowdy. Officials said the victims were in a pickup truck that flipped. Both lanes of Spur 364 were closed while crews cleared the scene. The injured were taken to Tyler hospitals.

Teachers of the Month – December 2012

Tyler ISD – Patricia Bajali – John Tyler High School

Troup ISD – Lisa Stegall – Troup Elementary

Chapel Hill ISD – Marsha Nolan – Chapel Hill Middle School

Arp ISD – Faith Williams – Arp Elementary School

Lindale ISD – Heidi Aubuchon – Velma Penny Elementary

Teachers of the Year
Whitehouse ISD – Cathryne Patterson – Higgins Elementary

Whitehouse ISD – Michelle Richardson – Stanton-Smith Elementary

Motorcyclist Involved in Wreck Died from Injuries

TYLER — A motorcyclist involved in a Tyler wreck has died from his injuries. Tyler police said Dillon Shelton, 20, Tyler, passed away Saturday. Police, Fire, and EMS responded to the motorcycle/SUV wreck at the intersection of South Broadway and Heritage last Thursday. Officials said Shelton was northbound on South Broadway in the outside lane entering the intersection. The driver of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe, identified as Pam Davis, 63, of Kilgore, was southbound on South Broadway trying to make a U-Turn in the intersection. The motorcycle struck the front of the Tahoe. Police said accident investigators were trying to determine who was at fault. Davis and a passenger in the Tahoe were not injured.

Clothes Dryer Sparked House Fire

TYLER — A house near the intersection of Farm Road 14 and Loop 323 at 477 Dobbs Terrace has been damaged by fire. Authorities believe the flames were sparked by a dryer overheating and starting a fire in the laundry room, which is connected to the garage. The house received minor smoke damage. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly. Two resident were able to escape the home safely and no injuries were reported.

TxDOT Project Updates

TYLER — Here’s a quick look at other work planned in the Tyler District of the Texas Department of Transportation.

TYLER – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue pavement-repair work on State Highway 64 inside West Loop 323 between the Loop and U.S. Highway 69 (Glenwood Blvd.). Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes if possible to avoid delays.

ANDERSON COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to make base and pavement repairs on State Highway19 north of Palestine between Farm Road 837 in Bradford and Farm Road 860 in Bois d’Arc, followed by one day of pavement-texturing operations on Farm Road 3309 (Link Street) outside Loop 256. A second crew is scheduled to continue edge repair operations along various highways throughout northwestern Anderson County. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic in two-lane areas.

Also this week, TxDOT maintenance crews on Wednesday are scheduled to perform fog seal operations on the runway and taxiways of the Palestine Municipal Airport, which will add additional maintenance-free years to the runway.

WOOD COUNTY – TxDOT contract crews this week are scheduled to continue approximately two weeks of base and pavement repair on Farm Road 2966 between State Highway 154 in Yantis and Loop 173 in Quitman. The work is being done in preparation for a seal coat application next summer. Also this week, TxDOT maintenance crews are scheduled to perform base repairs and resurfacing work in various locations on Farm Road 1801 east of Mineola, and edge work on Farm Road 1643 southwest of Winnsboro between Farm Road 515 and State Highway 37. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic.

VAN ZANDT COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue fog seal operations on Farm Road 47 north of Wills Point. Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress, and flaggers and pilot vehicles will control traffic. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes if possible to avoid lengthy delays associated with fog seal work.

HENDERSON -Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to conclude pavement-repair work on U.S. Highway 79 Business (East Main Street) between US 79 and Marshall Street by Thursday this week, weather permitting. Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress, and flaggers and pilot vehicles will control traffic. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes if possible to avoid delays.

GREGG COUNTY -Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue pavement-repair operations on both eastbound and westbound Interstate 20 main lanes and various entrance and exit ramps between State Highway 322 (Estes Parkway) and the Harrison County Line. Daytime lane closures and various temporary ramp closures will be in effect while the work is in progress. Motorists are encouraged to be prepared to reduce speed and merge in and around the work zone.

HENDERSON COUNTY -Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to begin pavement-repair operations on Farm Road 2636 south of Malakoff between Farm Road 3441 and the end of state maintenance. Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic.

Looking ahead, TxDOT maintenance crews in the coming weeks are scheduled to perform pavement-repair operations on State Highway 31 in and around its intersection with State Highway 274 in Trinidad, and on State Highway 31 between Farm Road 607 and Farm Road 314 in Brownsboro.

CHEROKEE COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue shoulder work on Farm Road 855 between U.S. Highway 69 in Mount Selman and U.S. Highway 175 near Cuney. A second crew is scheduled to perform resurfacing operations in various locations on State Highway 204 between U.S. Highway 84 and the Nacogdoches County Line. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic.

Pedestrian Killed on I-20

GREGG COUNTY — A Smith County man has been killed when he was hit by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 20. The victim is identified as Humberto Antonio Douglas, 26, of Tyler. The accident occurred near mile marker 594 just west of the Longview city limits around just before 10:15 Friday night. The man was not carrying any identification when he stepped in front of the tractor-trailer. Texas Department of Public Safety troopers worked the wreck.

Marshall Murder Suspect Arrested

MARSHALL — A murder suspect is arrested after a shooting at a Marshall pizza shop. Eric Alexander Mills, 25, Marshall, has been charged with capital murder. The shooting happened around 9:55 at Domino’s Pizza, 2100 Victory Drive. According to KETK, Marshall Police Officers; MPD Crime Scene/Detectives; Harrison County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Marshall Fire/Ambulance responded to the scene where two store employees had been shot during an armed robbery of the establishment. The two employees were transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center-Marshall where one of the gunshot victims died of his injuries. The deceased is identified as Raymond Gomez, 21, Marshall. Judge Ken Alford, Justice of the Peace-Precinct 2 has ordered an autopsy. The condition of the second victim is unknown.

Around 7:00 Saturday morning, Marshall/Harrison County Crimestoppers received a tip with information on the suspect that was described from the surveillance video. After further investigation, a warrant was issued for the charge of Capital Murder. The investigation is ongoing.

Late Night Shooting Under Investigation

TYLER — Tyler Police respond to a report of shots fired. It happened shortly before 11:45 Friday night in the 600 block of South Kennedy Avenue. When officers arrived they discovered a large crime scene in the six and seven hundred blocks of South Kennedy. Officers discovered a blood trail leading to an apartment at 710 South Kennedy. Officers said a large amount of blood along with bloody clothing were discovered inside the apartment. CSI Investigators were notified and responded to the scene. The victim has not been located and his/her status is unknown. There are no suspects in custody. The case remains under investigation.

Anyone with information about the suspects involved in this crime are urged to contact the Tyler Police Department, at 903-531-1000, or Crimestoppers, at 903-597-CUFF (903-597-2833). Crimestoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and charges filed against the suspects in this case, or any, felony case.

Funeral Services for Jackson Heights Firefighter

SMITH COUNTY — Jackson Heights Volunteer Fire Department Firefighter Jalen Smith is being remembered at events covering two days. Smith died this week after being critically injured in a rollover crash the night of November 30.

Services began Friday with a family only viewing from noon till 1:00 at Jackson Heights VFD Station #2, 19823 Hwy 31 East, Tyler. That was followed by a public visitation from 1:00 till 4:00. A candlelight vigil was held Friday evening at the fire station. A traditional firefighter funeral service was held today, with public viewing from 11:30am to 12:45pm. The official services began at 1:00 at the Green Acres Baptist Church “Chapel” located at 1607 Troup Highway, Tyler.

A memorial fund has been established in behalf of Smith at Austin Bank. Donations can be made at any Austin Bank location. The account is set up as: Jackson Heights Volunteer Fire Department Benefit Account for Jalen Smith. For more information, you’re asked to contact Johnny Brown, President, Smith County Volunteer Firefighters Association, 903-714-8506.

Charges Planned against Driver in Pedestrian Fatal

GREGG COUNTY– Officials with the Gregg County Department of Public Safety say they will submit a request to the District Attorney’s Office to charge Stormy Scott with criminally negligent homicide, a third degree felony, in a fatal pedestrian accident. It happened around 8:00 Friday morning on Highway 135 near Crews Road, just north of Liberty City.

According to KETK, Darrell Cannon, 50, died at the scene. Officials said Cannon was hit by the 20-year-old Scott, a Kilgore College student who had reportedly fallen asleep. Scott allegedly hit Cannon and a mailbox and kept driving until a witness chased her down and alerted her to what happened. Scott returned to the scene and has been questioned by officials.

Earthquake Reported near Timpson

TIMPSON — The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting an earthquake in Shelby County. It happened just before 2:00 on Friday afternoon, two miles southwest of Timpson. The USGS says it was a magnitude 2.8. Timpson Police tell KETK they felt the ground shake. At this time, there are no reports of any injuries or damage. One person was injured in a magnitude 4.3 earthquake that struck the region on May 17.

Keyes’ Family Pastor Says Killer Ranted at Wedding

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A Texas pastor says an Alaska murder suspect who confessed to targeting people across the country ranted at his sister’s March wedding about how he didn’t believe in God. Israel Keyes told authorities he killed Anchorage barista Samantha Koenig and at least seven others over the past decade. He was found dead last Sunday in his Anchorage jail cell after he killed himself. Pastor Jacob Gardner told The Anchorage Daily News that he was traveling with Keyes’ mother and other relatives for the killer’s funeral Sunday in Deer Park, Wash. Gardner says Keyes attended a sister’s wedding in March in Texas, where he ranted about how he didn’t believe in God. That would have been shortly before his arrest in Lufkin. The pastor says some of the preaching there had targeted Keyes to get him to “denounce his atheism.” But Gardner says the ceremony ended with Keyes raging against God.

Boil Water Notice Ends in Overton

OVERTON — Officials have ended a boil water notice in Overton. The notice was issued earlier this week after a city water pipe broke, leaving numerous citizens without water and forcing the early dismissal of local schools. Officials say the water is now safe to drink.

Longview Bar Investigated after Fatal Fight

LONGVIEW — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission this week confirmed agents are investigating a Longview bar after the fatal beating this summer of a man in the establishment’s parking lot. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, an investigation is underway for outstanding complaints filed with the agency against Lodge Sports Bar & Billiards. Sean Drake was beaten to death in the Lodge parking lot after closing July 12. This past month, Drake’s death was ruled a homicide, and police said the case would be referred to the Gregg County District Attorney’s Office to determine if evidence will be presented to a grand jury.

East Texas Woman Charged with Bigamy

KILGORE — Candice Mechell Andrade, 32, of Kilgore, was arrested Nov. 15 by Gregg County Sheriff’s Deputies on charges of bigamy. According to KETK, she was booked into the Gregg County Jail on a $5,000 bond. The grand jury indictment lists five men reportedly married to Andrade: B. Culp, S. Key, B. Keyser, E. Pepper and Q. Garza. Her trial date has not been set. Online records indicate a criminal history dating back to 2007 for charges including theft/stolen property and assault causing bodily injury.

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