Category: Local News Archive

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Wood County Woman Sentenced for Drug Trafficking Violations

Denise Marie MeeksTYLER – A 37-year-old Mineola woman has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations. Denise Marie Meeks pleaded guilty on February 6 to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. She was sentenced yesterday in Tyler to 12 years behind bars by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider. The court also imposed a $2,000 forfeiture judgment against Meeks. According to officials, up until July 19, 2012, Meeks possessed and distributed more than 20 grams of methamphetamine in East Texas. She also admitted that she carried a firearm during, and in relation to, her drug trafficking activities.

Tyler City Council Approves Tax Abatement

thumb_tyler-city-hall-1TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday approved a tax abatement agreement with Hood Flexible Packaging Corporation, a manufacturer and supplier of heavy duty plastic shipping sacks. The agreement allows for a three-year 100 percent abatement for a $12 million investment that could result in 12 to 15 new jobs in Tyler. Read the rest of this entry »

Harrison Co. Sheriff’s Office Seeks Help Identifying Suspects

hcosuspectsMARSHALL — Harrison County investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying possible suspects in numerous vehicle burglaries during the weekend of June 8-9 in Western Harrison County. KETK reports the pictures are from two separate Wal-Mart stores’ cameras in Longview on June 9 at approximately 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. The vehicle involved is believed to be a 2000-2002 burgundy color Toyota Camry. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler ISD Analyzes State Test Scores

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER – Tyler ISD officials are analyzing the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores in math and reading. Officials say those determine whether or not fifth and eighth grade students advance to the next grade level. Recently released data shows Tyler ISD’s student scores fell slightly below the state trends in the second year of the more-rigorous STAAR test. This year students could retest in math and reading if they failed to pass on the first try. Students will have a third chance to retest on Tuesday, June 25 and Wednesday, June 26. Read the rest of this entry »

Nacogdoches Boys’ Ranch Closes

Nacogdoches Boys RanchNACOGDOCHES — The Boys’ Ranch in Nacogdoches is closing its doors. KETK reports the ranch off Farm Road 1275 has cared for young boys dealing with abuse and abandonment. It’s been open the past 27 years and has always housed about 20 kids. A counselor at the ranch says many of the boys at the camp learned positive reinforcement skills and respect while working there. The remaining boys will be relocated to similar placement areas around the state.

County Honored With Gold Leadership Transparency Award

thumb_smithcounty-sealTYLER — Smith County has been honored for a third time with the 2013 Texas Comptroller Gold Leadership Circle Award for financial transparency in government. According to a county news release, The award recognizes local governments across Texas that are striving to meet a high standard for online financial transparency through:

· opening their books to the public;
· providing clear, consistent pictures of spending; and
· the sharing of information in a user-friendly format to assist citizens in understanding how their tax dollars are spent. Read the rest of this entry »

Former Teacher Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

James Brent Malone2TYLER – A former Henderson High School English teacher has pleaded guilty in Tyler federal court to child pornography charges. James Brent Malone, 42, of Henderson was arrested in January when deputies said he was in possession of more than three images of child pornography. Judge Judith Guthrie Tuesday referred the case to federal judge Leonard Davis for sentencing. Malone is now facing up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Longview Police Charge Two with Forgery

Therion NallsLONGVIEW — Two persons have been arrested in Longview on forgery charges. Therion Nalls, 40, (pictured) was arrested at a convenience store where authorities say he was trying to cash a check that had been stolen from Sherwin-Williams Paint Store. The woman who drove him to the store, Shuntilla Richardson, 32, was arrested after officers found several checks and stolen credit cards in her purse. Nalls is being held for forgery of a financial instrument. Besides forgery charges, Richardson is also being held on a burglary warrant out of Smith County and and a drug warrant in Henderson County.

Suspected Car Thief Arrested

Jesse Adam SwensenLONGVIEW — A Longview man has been charged with stealing a car where he use to work. Arrested, following a traffic violation, was Jesse Adam Swensen, 38. Officers say he took the keys to the Infinity sedan from the dealership before he was fired last month. Besides being charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, Swensen has also been charged with fleeing from a police officer and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Jacksonville Mayor Re-Elected

Kenneth MelvinJACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville’s mayor has retained his job. In a runoff election Tuesday, Mayor Kenneth Melvin defeated challenger Rob Gowin. The unofficial tally shows the vote count was 586-510.

East Texans React to Pill Announcement

morning after pillTYLER — The Obama administration announces there will be no age restrictions on the morning-after pill. KETK caught up with several East Texans who aren’t pleased. Asked how she’d feel if she learned her daughter was taking the pill, one mother said, “I’d probably be very shocked that I didn’t know that that was going on for her.” A local man simply said, “I think it’s ridiculous.” A local woman added, “Teaching our children they can have freedom, and whatever they do, there’s no consequences, and then go take a pill, I think it’s a tragedy.”

Lengthy Sentences Affirmed for Two East Texans

George Wayne SmithATHENS — A pair of hefty sentences was affirmed last week by two Texas Courts of Appeals. KETK reports the convictions of George Wayne Smith (pictured) and Samuel DeWayne Colbert, both of Henderson County, were affirmed after both appealed their convictions. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Accused of Holding Girlfriend against Her Will

jack_millerNACOGDOCHES — A Texarkana man is jailed in Nacogdoches after allegedly holding his girlfriend against her will for several hours on Tuesday morning. KETK reports it happened on County Road 713. Nacogdoches County dispatch received a call saying that a female was being held against her will at a residence in Nacogdoches County. The victim was only able to communicate through text messages at the time, and notified a friend to call for help. Deputies were able to locate a possible residence where the victim was and verified the location through tracking her phone through the phone company. Read the rest of this entry »

Longview ISD Approves District-Wide Pay Hike

Longview Schools LogoLONGVIEW — Longview ISD trustees Monday unanimously approved ending a two-year salary freeze, effectively restoring scheduled salary steps in their entirety. According to KETK and a school district news release, the vote was 6-0, with Trustee Dr. Mark Camp absent. In addition to teachers, the restored steps will be reflected in the salaries of counselors, librarians, and nurses. All other salary increases –- including professional, para-professional, auxiliary, and manual trade employees — will be calculated at a rate of 4 percent of their pay grade midpoint. Read the rest of this entry »

Neches School Board Member Faces Child Porn Charges

NECHES — A Neches ISD school board member, busted for alleged possession of child pornography, may face more charges. Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor says Joshua Kinkaid was busted for having a picture of a nude 14-year-old girl on his cell phone. Kinkaid is out on $15,000 bond. Taylor says officials have sent Kinkaid’s other cell phones and his computers to a lab to see if there are more such images.

East Texas Chief Reprimanded, Vehicle Dispute

ZAVALLA (AP) – An East Texas police chief has been reprimanded for balking at using his personal vehicle to respond to a traffic accident. The Zavalla City County voted Monday to reprimand police Chief Joey Courtney, who does not have a take-home city vehicle. The Lufkin Daily News reported Tuesday that Courtney refused to use his personal vehicle last week on a pre-dawn traffic accident call. Specifics of the wreck weren’t released. Mayor Jimmy Davis says Courtney is a salaried employee and his job description says the chief must respond to emergencies at any time. Courtney says the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office let him know that deputies could respond because he doesn’t have a take-home patrol vehicle for emergencies.

Summer Food Program Begins

East Texas Food Bank2EAST TEXAS — The East Texas Food Bank’s Summer Food Program got underway at 11:45 Monday morning at City Park, 200 West Queen Street in Tyler. The program provides free nutritious meals to children at 60 sites throughout East Texas. Since school is out, thousands of East Texas children will be looking for places they can meet their friends, have fun and eat healthy meals. The meals are free to all children ages 1 to 18 at participating feeding sites. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Charged in Brother’s Death

Brian Jerome TownsendMT ENTERPRISE — In Rusk County, a man has been charged in his brother’s death. When sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 15000 Block of County Road 3167 in Mt. Enterprise. They found Alonzo Lewis, 32, dead from a gunshot wound. Charged in the altercation that left Lewis dead was his brother, Brian Jerome Townsend, 24. He was booked into the Rusk County Jail on first degree murder charges and his bond was set at $500,000. The investigation into the incident is continuing.

One Dies in Rusk County Wreck

DPS door signRUSK COUNTY — A one vehicle accident in Rusk County has left one person dead. Killed when he lost control of his car, which hit a bridge and caught fire, was Arthur Melton Smith, 61, of Shelbyville. The Department of Public Safety says the Sunday afternoon crash occurred at the intersection of U.S. Highway 259 and County Road 186. The crash remains under investigation.

Guilty Plea to Federal Wildlife Violations

Federal Courthouse-ATYLER — In an appearance in Tyler federal court, a Shreveport, Louisiana, man has pleaded guilty to federal wildlife violations. Stephen Anderson Sipes, Jr., 57, pleaded guilty Monday to an Information charging him with negligent transportation of wildlife when he appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love. Sipes faces up to one year in federal prison at sentencing. Sipes has agreed to pay restitution of $14,016.49 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. A sentencing date has not been set. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Stabbed Following Birthday Greeting

Doretha BowmanHARLETON — Harrison County authorities say a woman has stabbed her boyfriend after another woman wished him happy birthday. The incident happened around 1:00 Sunday morning in Harleton. Rickey Don Johnson, 53, was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Marshall where he was treated for an arm wound and released. Doretha Bowman, 45, is being held in the Harrison County Jail under a $50,000 bond. Authorities told the Longview News Journal the two had been drinking on a front porch of a home on Sid Carver Road when a woman neighbor stopped by and wished Johnson happy birthday. Bowman is said to have become angry and went into the house. When Johnson followed her, she is said to have stabbed him in the arm.

Man Dies Following Longview Accident

Longview PD BadgesLONGVIEW — A man has died after being hospitalized in a coma following a motorcycle wreck Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Judson Road and East Hawkins Parkway in Longview. According to the Longview News-Journal, Kevin Heath Puckett, 41, Longview, was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center with life-threatening injuries after the crash. Puckett was traveling westbound in the inside lane of East Hawkins Parkway when he lost control of his 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle and fell onto the roadway. Read the rest of this entry »

East Texan Killed in La. Accident

Louisiana State Police badgeMANY, LA. (AP) – Louisiana State Police says a, Angelina County, Texas man has died in a two-vehicle accident. The accident happened around 7:40 Sunday morning on Louisiana Highway 191 in Sabine Parish. Trooper Scott Moreau says the crash involved a Jeep driven by Tommy F. Tilley Jr., 29, of Diboll and a pickup driven by Earl John Broussard, 65, of Baytown. Moreau says Tilley lost control, crossed the centerline, hit the pickup, then ran off the road and struck several trees. He says Tilley was pronounced dead at the scene. Broussard suffered minor injuries in the crash. The accident remains under investigation.

TxDOT Project Updates

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

LONGVIEW — Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to begin approximately three weeks of base and pavement repairs on Southwest Loop 281, between Farm Road 2205 (Jaycee Drive) and U.S. Highway 80 (Marshall Ave.). Daytime lane 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Synthetic Marijuana Remains an Issue for Authorities

James Grunden-Gilmer police chiefEAST TEXAS — East Texas municipalities are making plans to battle synthetic marijuana locally after state lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would ban all forms of the drug. Officials say the lack of support from Austin is making it difficult for local law enforcement and drug abuse programs to make a dent in what they’re calling an epidemic. “We’ve seen a lot of kids getting messed up on this stuff,” said Gilmer Police Chief James Grunden. (pictured) Read the rest of this entry »

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