PALESTINE – Two suspects are being sought in connection with a home invasion in Palestine in which an elderly man was injured. The 86 year old victim said the incident began around 3:00 Friday morning at his home in the 200 block of Joe Louis. He said two men, both with hand guns, forced their way in through a rear door and demanded money. They hit the man numerous times with their guns. After taking the man’s wallet and some change, the two fled. They were described as black males about 5’5” and 5’8” and with medium builds. Both were wearing gloves and ski masks. The victim was treated and released at a Palestine hospital.
TYLER — Information has been brought to the attention of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office management staff that documents required to be kept in the normal course of jail operations were being falsified. An employee who had been employed in the jail for only a few months brought the incident to the attention of supervisors once other detention officers attempted to add his name to the form and he did not participate in the required jail check. As a result of the criminal and administrative investigation, one Detention Sergeant and three Detention Officers have resigned. Also, one Detention Sergeant and two Detention Officers have been placed on administrative leave. Sheriff Smith stated that additional administrative actions are expected over the next two weeks, however he is awaiting recommendations from his Jail Administrator and Chief Deputy.… Read More
TYLER — Texas Senator John Cornyn was on the UT Tyler campus Friday meeting with local leaders to discuss and to learn more about the university’s initiatives in the area of primary education, particularly as it pertains to science, technology, engineering and math. Sen. Cornyn made a statement to members of the local media regarding the importance of those initiatives, saying that education must be pursued in such a way as to avoid the danger of having acquired skills become obsolete. A portion of his remarks may be seen in the video below.
During the event, KTBB’s Paul Gleiser asked Sen. Cornyn to address the U.S. response to the terrorist organization ISIS. His response is in the video below.
TYLER — On Thursday, September 11, the City of Tyler Traffic Department will be intermittently closing lanes on the Southwest Loop from Spur 364 to Donnybrook Avenue to perform necessary maintenance on traffic signal poles. That’s according to a city news release. Work will begin at 9:00am and is expected to be finished at 3:00pm. Drivers are asked to seek alternate routes, if possible. According to the release, “The Traffic Department is committed to upholding the safest environment possible for all motorists while maintaining the city’s traffic equipment to the highest standard with minimal impacts to traffic flow.” For any questions or comments, go to http://www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/TrafficEngineering or call the City of Tyler Traffic Department at 903-531-1201.
WHITEHOUSE An RV has been destroyed on Highway 110 South in Smith County after an unknown source sparked a fire inside the vehicle. According to KETK, around 11:30 Friday morning, a Whitehouse volunteer firefighter spotted smoke in the air and began to search for the cause. After a short time, he found an RV burning in the 15000 block of Highway 110 near Toll 49. He quickly called for backup and notified the owners. … Read More
TYLER — The Children’s Park of Tyler, at 110 East Dobbs, broke ground Friday on its Phase II Expansion. Local community leaders, including Mayor Martin Heines and past Mayor Barbara Bass, were on hand to help celebrate, along with several Major Donor families. … Read More
ATHENS — An Athens teenager has been indicted for the murder of a 23-year-old man killed during an apparent robbery. According to KETK, the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office says Raheem Mark Miller, 19, was indicted by a grand jury for capital murder on Thursday. He is accused of shooting and killing Cedrick Collins on June 8. The suspect was arrested nine days after the incident. Police said they found the Malakoff man lying beside his vehicle in the 700 block of Robbins Road in Athens with a gunshot wound. Miller was taken to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his wounds. Investigators say they determined the victim was shot during a robbery. The suspect is being held on $2 million bond.
ATHENS — An Athens woman has been indicted for the murder of her young daughter in Henderson County. According to KETK, the Henderson County District’s Office says Stacie Marie Parsons, 25, was charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted capital murder. An autopsy showed she allegedly killed her 4-year-old by “blunt force injuries of the head, stab wound of the chest and drowning” on July 22. According to authorities, she later admitted to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office that she committed the gruesome crime. Officials said the murder took place at a bridge on County Road 1500. Parsons is being held on $2 million bond.
TYLER — As an ongoing effort to improve customer service, Tyler Water Utilities will be conducting computer software upgrades this weekend, according to a city news release. Note that these upgrades will affect online and telephone payment options. … Read More
TYLER — The Tyler Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire at a Texas College dormitory Thursday night at 9:00. The dormitory, located at 2404 North Grand Avenue, was evacuated. Initial calls indicated that the fire was on the 3rd floor of the building, with smoke inside the structure. Investigators believe that the fire started as a result of clothing placed on top of a room lamp. There was very little smoke or fire damage and no injuries were reported.
RUSK — Investigators are still working to determine the identity of a decomposed body found in Cherokee County after a preliminary autopsy failed to yield any answers. According to Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Captain John Raffield, the apparent female sent to Tyler for autopsy could not be identified. He also stated the cause of death was not determined. According to KETK, Raffield said the body will now be moved to the University of North Texas anthropology department for forensic testing. Officials will attempt to link the body to a missing Angelina County woman, 33-year-old Sheila Ann Morton. She was last seen in Huntington on June 2. … Read More
TYLER — Tyler Police are continuing to search for a second suspect wanted in an auto burglary and shooting. Just before 6:30 Thursday morning, the Tyler Police Department received a call of an auto burglary in the 3200 block of Curtis. According to police, the caller indicated that they had observed two people in the neighborhood in a blue Cadillac. The passenger in the Cadillac got out of the vehicle and walked up to a pickup truck. The witness observed the Cadillac driving away. The passenger of the Cadillac broke out a window on the truck. As he was doing so, witnesses went to the pickup to contact the suspect. The suspect ran from the scene, and the witnesses followed. … Read More
MARSHALL — The Marshall Police Department has established an Internal Affairs Section. KETK reports the Internal Affairs Section is designed to be a fact finding entity and its purpose is three-fold: Protection of the Public, Protection of the Department, and Protection of the Employee. … Read More
GUN BARREL CITY — A Dallas woman was taken into custody for allegedly possessing methamphetamine in Henderson County. According to KETK, deputies stopped a vehicle around 6:22 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Oak Harbor Drive and Welch Lane in Gun Barrel City. The vehicle matched the description of one seen driving away from the scene of a disturbance at Wedgewood Loop in the Oak Harbor subdivision. The driver was identified as Joyce Patricia Williams, 55. Her vehicle was searched and a baggie of meth was found inside, according to officials. The suspect was arrested and booked into the Henderson County Jail for possession of a controlled substance.
TYLER — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit between an East Texas man and Famous Chicken of Shreveport, L.L.C., after the man accused a Longview Popeye’s of employment discrimination due to his having HIV. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report an agreement between the parties was reached Tuesday in federal court. The agreement requires Famous Chicken, the parent company of the Longview Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits, to pay $25,000 to Noah Crawford. The company was also ordered to train its management in federal anti-discrimination laws with additional hours of school for its human resources director. Crawford said he was denied employment because he has the virus that causes AIDS. The suit was filed last September 13 in Tyler federal court.
KILGORE — The Kilgore Police Department is continuing to seek the whereabouts of an accused child predator. Police tell KETK Lewis Lavon Jones, 51, of Kilgore, is wanted for aggravated child sexual assault and indecent exposure. He reportedly ran from police in Rusk County and was able to escape capture. Jones is known to drive a 1992 tan Ford pick-up truck with Texas license plate number BNK-4913. If you know of this suspect’s whereabouts, contact the Kilgore Police Department at (903) 983-1559. If he is spotted in Rusk County, call the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office at (903) 657-3581. You can also contact Rusk County Crime Stoppers at (903) 655-8477, and you may be eligible for a reward for information leading to an arrest of Jones.
SMITH COUNTY — One person was injured and cited after an early Thursday morning wreck south of Tyler. Just before 6:45, an 18-wheeler and passenger vehicle collided at Highway 69 and County Road 152 near Bullard. According to KETK, the driver of a passenger car fell asleep at the wheel. As the 18-wheeler was driving northbound on Highway 69, the car struck the semi. The driver of the car was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injures and was cited for causing the wreck.
MARSHALL — After being determined competent in July to stand trial, Christopher Lynn Hamilton, the suspect accused of attacking two Marshall Wal-Mart associates and a customer with a hatchet, has now been declared legally insane. That’s according to KETK and the Marshall News-Messenger. Hamilton, a 28-year-old Arkansas transient, was arrested last December and charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. … Read More
WELLS — According to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, a decomposed body has been found near Wells, in the southern part of the county. KETK reports that around 10:45 Wednesday morning, the body was found by a TxDOT contracted mowing crew off Highway 69 near County Road 2620. The body, which was found in a median, is believed to be a female. The approximate age and race are unknown at this time. The median was last mowed in June. Law enforcement said an Angelina County investigator was en route to the scene. Authorities are currently looking for a missing female in the area. Officials at the scene said the body would be sent to Tyler for autopsy.
ATHENS — Deputies arrested two Henderson County men Tuesday evening in connection with a home burglary. According to KETK, at 7 p.m., The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office stated it received a 911 call from a resident on FM 3273 in the Cross Roads area. The caller told dispatchers there were two men breaking into a home. A Malakoff police officer, along with a deputy, found and pulled over a suspect vehicle on Railroad Street in Malakoff. Authorities say they determined the two men were responsible for the burglary in Cross Roads. The suspects were still in possession of all the stolen items, according to the Sheriff’s Office. John Wesley Dodd of Cross Roads and Jamie Lee Phillips of Athens were arrested and booked into the Henderson County Jail for burglary of a habitation. Both men remain in the Henderson County Jail on $50,000 bond.
AUSTIN (Staff/AP) — A veteran Lindale firefighter seriously injured during a January house fire received a prestigious Star of Texas Award Wednesday morning from Governor Rick Perry. KETK reports Joe Yeakley was battling the blaze when part of the roof collapsed on him. Yeakley was among dozens of police officers, firefighters, and first responders honored with the awards, distributed during a ceremony at the Texas Capitol. All recipients were killed or severely hurt in the line of duty. The award was created to honor police and other emergency personnel who exhibited extraordinary service to the state. Some 363 awards have been distributed since it was first distributed in 2004.
GLADEWATER — Three people were taken into custody for an alleged oilfield theft on Wednesday evening. KETK reports that around 6:00pm, officers were called to the area of Locker Plant Road on reports of a possible oilfield burglary in progress, according to the Gladewater Police Department. Once authorities made it to the scene, they were given a description of a suspect vehicle seen leaving the vicinity. Officers were able to find the vehicle and three alleged burglars inside. There was also a trailer hooked up to the vehicle with several pieces of stolen pipe, officials say. Authorities arrested Tony Joe Sprayberry, 52, of Mt. Enterprise; Beth Maxwell, 26, of Kilgore; and Daniel Sunday, 38, of Kilgore for theft greater than $1,500, less than $20,000.
MARSHALL — A former Marshall Police Department narcotics officer is accused of alerting a drug dealer that he was being investigated. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, the federal charges against William “Brody” West were filed August 5 in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall. He is charged with misprision of a felony, which accuses him of withholding information on a crime or deliberately concealing knowledge of a felony. … Read More
RUSK (AP) – Riding the rails in East Texas could be part of a history lesson for some students. The Texas State Railroad has announced reservations are now being accepted for its fall educational school runs. The special train trips happen on three Fridays this month, beginning September 12. The train departs from the Rusk Depot on 90-minute round trips. The Texas State Railroad was established in 1881. Spokeswoman Janet Gregg said Tuesday that the special runs will help students learn the history of the railroad, especially use of its 1890′s turntable. Railroad officials are offering discounted rates for education groups.
TYLER – A Dallas man has been arrested in Tyler for drug violations. Taken into custody was Robert William Zandstra, 27, of Dallas. He has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, penalty group 1, one gram or more but less than four grams, in a school zone, a 2nd degree felony. The ATF also entered the case because of the weapons that were found and additional charges may be filed.… Read More
AUSTIN (AP) — Longtime Texas journalist Donnis Baggett has been selected as recipient of the 2014 James Madison Award presented by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. Baggett, executive vice president of the Texas Press Association, will receive the award September 12 during the John Henry Faulk Awards luncheon at the foundation’s Bernard and Audre Rapoport State Conference in Austin. The Madison award is given to those demonstrating a commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment. Baggett leads the press association’s governmental affairs program, focusing on protecting open records, open meetings and public notices. Baggett worked for Texas newspapers, including the Longview News-Journal, for nearly 40 years before joining the press association in 2012. Foundation President Diana Fuentes said Baggett “has spent his career working for freedom of the press and open government.”
TYLER — A 53-year-old Dallas man has pleaded guilty to smuggling charges in a Tyler courtroom. KETK reports Carlos Delgado Rodriguez was indicted by a federal grand jury May 14 and charged with smuggling dead hummingbirds from Mexico into the United States. According to the indictment, from February 2013 through January 2014, Rodriguez was alleged to have unlawfully imported approximately 61 dead hummingbirds of various varieties into the United States for sale. The five-count indictment specifically alleged that the importation of dead hummingbirds violates the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the Lacey Act, the federal smuggling law, and Texas state law. Rodriguez pleaded guilty August 27 and faces up to 20 years in federal prison. A date for sentencing has not been set.
GLADEWATER — An East Texas man is behind bars after a call concerning shots fired led to the discovery of meth, according to authorities. KETK reports that on Monday around 6:00 p.m., Gladewater police officers responded to the area of Phillips Springs and Paradise Hill in reference to possible shots fired. Upon arrival, police located a 30-year-old female and Randy Holloway, 35, of Gladewater, who said they had been the ones responsible for firing shots. Officers say through the course of the investigation they seized illegal narcotics and drug paraphernalia and made two arrests. The woman was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, and Holloway was allegedly found to be in possession of meth. He was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The name of the female suspect was not immediately released.
TYLER – Students returned to campuses this week to see large amounts of progress made on Tyler ISD Bond 2013 construction projects, according to a news release from TISD. Bond 2013 projects include the new Career and Technology Center (CTC), two new middle school campuses at the existing Moore MST Magnet School and Boulter Middle School locations, the new Three Lakes Middle School in South Tyler, and renovations and additions to Dixie and Rice elementary schools. … Read More