Category: Local News Archive

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Pilot from Tyler Killed in Amarillo Plane Crash

tylerplanecrashcnnAMARILLO (AP/Staff) – A federal aviation spokesman says the pilot of a small plane was killed after it crashed in a Texas Panhandle neighborhood. Family members and business associates identified the pilot as Ben Harned IV. 53, of Tyler. Harned moved to Tyler years ago, but still owns Performance Motors in Amarillo. He was alone in the Piper PA-30 aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »

ETMC Unveils Corporate History in Conjunction with Texas A&M

thumb_ETMC-hospital-sign-2TYLER – A host of healthcare and community leaders celebrated the introduction of “First in East Texas: the History and Legacy of the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System” Thursday. The 223-page volume was researched and written through a partnership between ETMC and the Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health. A luncheon on the ETMC campus brought together the book’s editorial team, board members and numerous people interviewed from across East Texas. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Cyclospora Cases Reported in Smith County

cyclospora_veggies_nbcTYLER — Two cases of the stomach bug Cyclospora have been reported in Smith County. Several cases had been reported across Texas over the past few weeks, and now the Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) tells KETK the infection continues to spread. NET Health says that the two reported cases in Smith County are not related, and they are continuing to investigate. Read the rest of this entry »

Phone Scam Targeting Wood County Residents

QUITMAN — Sheriff Jim Brown has issued a caution to Wood County residents to be aware of a phone scam that is being perpetrated. KETK reports people are calling individuals and telling them they have a relative who is in prison in a foreign country and that a large amount of money is required to have the relative released. This is a scam, and Sheriff Brown recommends you not send any money for bail or bond to anyone without verification. If you are contacted by someone who solicits you in this manner, notify the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.

Gregg County Woman Sentenced for Heroin Trafficking

thumb_dept-justice-sealMARSHALL – A 33-year-old Longview woman has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations. Lidia Gail Brooks Olivares pleaded guilty on May 29 to possession with intent to distribute heroin. She was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison on Wednesday in Marshall by U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap. Read the rest of this entry »

Balloon Race Back on Track

balloonsmgnLONGVIEW — The balloonists participating in the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship finally get a chance to take flight. KETK reports Tuesday and Wednesday’s races were canceled due to poor weather conditions, but Thursday’s weather was deemed safe for flying. Pilots launched near the old Foster school, with the option of four target sites: Maude Cobb, two at Lear Park, and the fourth at Pine Tree Intermediate School. You can go to http://www.greattexasballoonrace.com/ for more information. In 2013, Gregg County was proclaimed “The Balloon Race Capital of Texas” by the 83rd Texas Legislature.

North Fredonia Street Northbound Lane Closure

LONGVIEW — The Northbound lane of N. Fredonia Street will be closed between E. Tyler Street and Methvin Street on Friday between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. The 2-hour lane closure will be for the northbound lane only. The closure is for the installation of roof top air conditioner units at 214 N. Fredonia. The detour will start at E. Tyler and send traffic to N. Center Street or to N. Green Street. This project is being performed by Air Cybermetics 903-297-5531 and project superintendent is Jesse Hawkins 903-726-0951. If you have any questions about the construction, call the City Engineer, Mark Adas, at 903-237-1053.

Smith County Wins National Award for Tax Trust Project

naco_award_2013_bTYLER — Smith County has received the prestigious National Association of Counties Achievement Award for its role in the Tax Trust Neighborhood Revitalization Project (TTNRP). According to a county news release, that’s a collaboration of local taxing entities working together to transform neighborhoods through the creation of affordable, new housing. Smith County Judge Joel Baker; Precinct 4 Commissioner JoAnn Hampton; and Jim Lambeth of law firm Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP accepted the award at the NACo annual conference in Fort Worth on Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »

New Police Substation on the Way to Tyler

ketk_policeTYLER — The Tyler City Council voted to approve funding and planning for a new police substation Wednesday. Tyler Police tell KETK the project has been eight years in the making. The new substation will be on the west side of Cumberland Road next to Faulkner Park. “It’s added security knowing that it’s just right down the road instead of across town,” said nearby resident Benjamin Winters. “South Tyler is really poised to have an additional presence of police, and a substation will be a great addition,” said Sam Mezayek of Tyler City Council. Read the rest of this entry »

Plane Makes Emergency Landing on Highway

pilot_highway_plane_joel_robinson_viewerRUSK COUNTY — A pilot made an emergency landing on an East Texas highway. Authorities tell KETK, the pilot ran out of fuel, and was forced to land on Highway 259 in Rusk County, about half a mile north of the Nacogdoches County line. The pilot of the small plane is from Louisiana, but there is no word on his planned destination. He told officials that the navigation in his plane went out, and he ran out of fuel. He managed to land the plane safely and move it out of traffic. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. The Federal Aviation Administration is due to investigate the incident that occurred just before 5:00 Wednesday afternoon.

Missing Boy’s Body Found in Pond

BOWIE COUNTY — The body of a missing Bowie County boy has been found in a pond. KETK reports, divers on Wednesday found the body of Liam Hamilton, 7, who was described as being autistic. He was last seen around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon when he ran from his grandfather’s yard near Highway 67 and Trexler Road.

Rash of ATV Thefts Hits Lindale Area

LINDALE — An increase in ATV thefts has the Lindale area on high alert. Local law enforcement tells KETK they’re easy to steal and even easier to sell. That’s because ATVs and four-wheelers aren’t required to be titled by the state. Once the items are stolen, thieves cash in on their goods with a re-sell, without having to prove that they were the original owners. If you buy used from anyone, be aware of the risks involved. Constable Kenneth Bibby says, “If you are stopped towing a trailer, for example, on a public highway, law enforcement has the ability to check that VIN (vehicle identification number) to see if it’s stolen — and you could be a victim and not realize it.” Bibby added that if you get caught with an ATV with the VIN scratched off, or it looks as if someone has tried to remove it, law enforcement can take it, no questions asked.

Officials Seek Cause of Downtown Sinkhole; Bascom Road Re-opens

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — This afternoon at 1:00, one of the westbound lanes of Front Street in Tyler, at the Broadway Avenue intersection, was closed to allow authorities to determine the cause of a sinkhole. The Tyler Water Utilities Service Center and the Tyler Street Department will assist TxDot crews in determining the cause of the cave-in, which occurred Tuesday afternoon at that intersection. The lane will be reopened at the completion of the storm drain inspection. Drivers should exercise caution and seek an alternate route if possible. Crews worked overnight Tuesday and Wednesday to repair the damage. Elsewhere, the repair work on Old Bascom Road has been completed and the road is now open to traffic.

Tryon Road and Hollybrook Intersection Closes

LONGVIEW — Tryon Road at Hollybrook in Longview will be closed to traffic beginning today. While the intersection of Tryon and Hollybrook is rebuilt, it will be closed approximately one month. This work is in conjunction with the Hollybrook improvements between Eastman Road and Loop 281. This project is being constructed by East Texas Bridge of Longview. If you have any questions related to construction call the City’s Project Manager, Alton Bradley, at 903-237-1067.

Driver Arrested after Crash Involving Utility Pole, House

jimmy_gibsongggLONGVIEW — The Longview man police say mowed down a utility pole and slammed into a northwest Longview home, was arrested on theft and fraud charges shortly after the crash. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. Jimmy Ray Gibson, 24, was traveling south about 6:30 Tuesday night on Pine Tree Road when police say he lost control of his Toyota 4Runner just north of Silver Falls Road. Witnesses reported seeing Gibson exit the vehicle, place items in a nearby bush and leave the scene carrying two purses, according to police reports. Read the rest of this entry »

Jacksonville Police Seek Donut Shop Burglar

donut_burglary_jacksonville_pdJACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville Police are searching for a man who burglarized a donut shop over the weekend. It happened during the early Sunday morning in the 1500 block of South Jackson Street. Detective Greg Compton with the Jacksonville Police Department tells KETK that the man forced his way into the business and took an undisclosed amount of money. Based on surveillance photos, police say the thief is a black male with a black beard. Cherokee County Crimestoppers is offering a reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief. If you can help, contact Jacksonville Police Department at 903-586-2546.

New Dean at LeTourneau University

Matthew HenryLONGVIEW — LeTourneau University has named Matthew Henry to serve as the new Dean of Innovative Education and as the leader of the LETU’s new Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. As an administrative dean over academic technology, Henry will also serve as the senior academic technology officer, and the leader in quality control of online/blended educational delivery. In his new role, Henry will join LETU’s Deans Council and continue to serve on the President’s Cabinet. Henry has served as the head of LETU’s Information Technology Department as Chief Information Officer since Aug. 2009. He will continue to serve as CIO, with a shift of some of his former duties to expand the roles of others in IT. Read the rest of this entry »

New Superintendent in Jefferson ISD

Rob BarnwellJEFFERSON — The lone finalist for school superintendent in Jefferson is Rob Barnwell. School trustees on Monday night named Barnwell the lone finalist for the post. According to the school website, Barnwell will be coming to Jefferson from Queen City ISD where he has served as superintendent the past nine years. After the required 21 day waiting period the board anticipates hiring him at the August 12th meeting and have him start work the following day.

Woman in Texas Ricin Case Gives Birth in Custody

Shannon Richardson2DALLAS (AP) — The Texas woman accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has given birth prematurely to a baby boy while in custody. Attorneys for Shannon Guess Richardson, 35, and husband Nathan say she gave birth July 4 to a boy named Brody. Shannon Richardson’s attorney, Tonda Curry, says the baby faces serious medical issues due to the premature birth and remains hospitalized. John Delk, Nathan Richardson’s attorney, says the boy weighed less than 2 pounds at birth and was four months premature. Read the rest of this entry »

Smith County Man Sentenced for Methamphetamine Violations

Jose Eduardo MorenoTYLER — A Smith County man will be going to federal prison for drug trafficking violations. A federal grand jury returned an indictment on November 7, 2012 charging Jose Eduardo Moreno, 39, of Tyler, with federal drug trafficking crimes. He pleaded guilty on February 4 to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Moreno was sentenced yesterday to 70 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider. Federal prosecutors say Moreno was found in possession of approximately 52 grams of methamphetamine which he intended to distribute in the Eastern District of Texas.

Officials: Illegal Alien Sentenced for Firearms Violation in Anderson County

Federal Courthouse-ATYLER — A 28-year-old illegal alien residing in Palestine, has been sentenced to federal prison for firearms violations. A federal grand jury returned an indictment on December 6 against Eduardo Guerrero Alvarado. He pleaded guilty on February 4 to possessing a firearm while illegally in the United States. Yesterday, Alvarado was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider. According to federal prosecutors, on November 29, 2012, Alvarado was found in possession of a pistol. Further investigation revealed Alvarado was illegally in the United States and not legally allowed to carry a firearm.

Man Wanted for Longview Murder Arrested in Bossier City

paul_a._mengel_jr.BOSSIER CITY, LA. — A man wanted in Longview for murder has been captured at his Bossier City residence by a contingent of law officers. According to KETK, members of the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force, with the assistance of Bossier City Police and Shreveport Police, arrested Paul Anthony Mengel Jr., 27, at his home in the 1400 block of Gibson Drive at 1:30 Tuesday afternoon. Mengel was previously wanted for the shooting death of a Joey Espy on July 7. Read the rest of this entry »

Gohmert Seeks House Select Committee Probe of Benghazi Case

thumb_louie-gohmert-3WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tyler Congressman Louie Gohmert calls for a House select committee investigation of last September’s multi-fatality attack on the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya. Joining others at a Washington news conference, Gohmert pointed out that the committee would have subpoena power, and added, “We need to force this issue to the floor.” Amid the applause of colleagues, Gohmert said, “We owe it to those who might die in the future for want of us getting to the truth. We owe it to them to get to the bottom of this.”

Longview’s First CNG Station Open for Business

LONGVIEW — Longview’s first compressed natural gas fueling station is now fully operational. KETK reports that Independence Fuel SYstems opened the station along Eastman Road near Interstate 20 on Monday. The company now has six high flow pumps available for use. Businesses have already been using the pumps, including buses that have altered their routes to stop in Longview. The CNG Station will also have an impact for local car dealers selling CNG vehicles. Independence Fuel Systems plans to break ground on another CNG station in Carthage next week and has plans of building two more stations in Longview.

Kilgore ISD Board Discusses Policies after Bullying Incident

KILGORE — Kilgore ISD board members Monday night approved changes to several of the district’s policies, but not the one Todd McElmurry had hoped to hear about. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, McElmurry said his 5-year old son spent most of his first year at Kilgore Heights Elementary School in a state of constant worry after being bullied. Beginning in October, McElmurry said his son was spit on, tripped in the hallway and verbally abused by a student from another class in his grade. That student was later moved into his son’s classroom despite the family’s objections. The last straw, McElmurry said, was in February when the child urinated on his son’s jacket in the school bathroom. Read the rest of this entry »

Officials Seize Livestock after Complaints of Animal Neglect

animals_seized_lnjLONGVIEW — Two horses and two calves were seized Monday afternoon from a northwest Longview property after city officials said neighbors grew tired of feeding them. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. “They felt compassion for the animals and after seeing they were neglected, they stepped up,” said Buck Farrar, environmental health supervisor for the city of Longview. “You could tell by looking at these animals it wasn’t just a few days without food. This was a chronic problem that was going on for days.” Richard Fincher, executive director of Safe Haven Equine Rescue, said the animals’ pen was not stocked with food or water. “There’s no hay, nothing really for them to feed on. The water trough, I took pictures of it, and it’s empty,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Officer Sandra Nauls-Mast Retires

Sandra Nauls-MastTYLER — A 32 year veteran with the Tyler police department has retired. The retirement ceremony for Officer Sandra Nauls-Mast was held Tuesday afternoon at the Tyler Police Department. Sandra Nauls-Mast was one of the first female African American Police Officers hired at the Tyler Police Department. She currently serves as the second shift Airport Officer at the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. Read the rest of this entry »

Sheriff’s Office Adds 49 Tasers

thumb_Larry-SmithTYLER — Saying he’s fulfilling a campaign promise to equip Smith County Sheriff’s Office deputies and personnel with the tools they need to do their jobs, Sheriff Larry Smith announced Monday that 49 Tasers are now on the streets. According to KETK, Smith added that all personnel for whom the device is applicable have completed taser training. Smith says Tasers are conducted electrical weapons (CEWs) and are used worldwide by law enforcement to temporarily incapacitate dangerous, combative or high-risk subjects who pose a risk to law enforcement officers or themselves. According to Smith, Tasers are generally recognized as a safer alternative to other uses of force. Read the rest of this entry »

Habitat for Humanity and PATH Announce New Partnership

TYLER — Habitat for Humanity and PATH are announcing a partnership that closely coordinates efforts for future home ownership opportunities for the economically disadvantaged people of Smith County. PATH’s newly designed Transitional Housing Program (THP) provides assistance to low-to-moderate income families who are deemed ready and capable of breaking through the barriers that have been holding them back from self-sufficiency. Officials say the 18-24 month program includes ongoing case management, education, mentoring, accountability, and assistance. The stated goal for every family enrolled will be to prepare for ongoing success in home ownership or a market-rate rental home. Read the rest of this entry »

Road Closure on Old Bascom Road

Road Closed2TYLER – The City of Tyler Street Department has closed Old Bascom Road between Old Omen Road and Shiloh Road/Kent Road due to a drainage issue and possible pipe failure. City officials say the Department will assess the situation and determine a timeline for reopening

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