ALTO (Staff/AP) – Alto school officials say funeral services for Cam’ron Matthews, an Alto football player who died over the weekend, will be held Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the Rusk High School Gym (Eagle Coliseum). KETK reports a GoFundMe page has been set up to help Matthews’ family with expenses. Donations are also being accepted at Bancorp South Bank under the “Cam’Ron Matthews Memorial Fund.” You can also deliver them to Alto ISD.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER — Officials have arrested two suspects, one on multiple charges, after they allegedly burglarized a home in Smith County. Sheriff’s deputies got a call around 2 p.m. Monday saying a pickup that had been reported stolen from a local business was seen at a residence on CR 328E. Upon arriving at the scene, Deputy Brad Wilson saw the truck parked in the driveway of a home that appeared to be vacant. After he checked the registration on the vehicle, Wilson says it did show to be stolen. … Read the rest of the article…
GILMER — Following 30 minutes of deliberation, an Upshur County jury handed up a 10-year sentence Monday for a home burglar who was caught in the act by victims. KETK reports that Robert Wayne Fry, 34, was arrested January 2 for burglary of a habitation. Authorities were first alerted when a homeowner informed them her house on Old Union Grove Road was being broken into by an unknown person. The homeowner and her son-in-law held Fry at gunpoint until deputies arrived. District Attorney Billy Byrd said Fry had a prior felony conviction in Wood County.
CARTHAGE — A teenager was seriously injured Monday afternoon in a train-involved crash in Carthage. According to KETK, Carthage police say a preliminary investigation determined the driver tried to drive around a down crossing guard and was hit by a train near the intersection of South Shelby Street and Highway 59. The truck’s front end was struck. The driver, Hunter LaGrone, 16, was thrown out of the cab and was lying in the bed of the truck when officers arrived at the scene. LaGrone was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and flown to a Tyler hospital. His current condition is unknown.
SMITH COUNTY — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after the Bullard Baseball and Softball ballpark was reportedly burglarized and vandalized Friday night. According to KETK, a Gator utility vehicle was reported stolen. The Bullard Baseball and Softball Association has filed a report with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office.… Read the rest of the article…
PALESTINE — A Palestine armed robbery suspect is facing a variety of charges after being shot by police over the weekend. Reggie D. Dudley, 32, of Palestine, was charged yesterday with burglary, aggravated assault on a police officer and felon in possession of a firearm. He was arraigned on the charges Monday and booked into the Anderson County Jail on Bonds totaling $2 million. Officers responded to the home on Kolstad Street after the reported break-in and found the suspect in the front yard around 3:30 Sunday morning. Dudley was ordered to drop his weapon and when he refused, was shot in the leg and lower extremities. Police say he fled on foot and was apprehended a short time later. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. Officers reportedly recorded the incident with body cameras. Palestine police, Texas Rangers, and the Anderson County District Attorney’s office were involved in the investigation.
TYLER — The Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to several fires over the weekend and is urging residents not to burn, according to a news release from the county. The Commissioners Court voted October 13 to implement the county’s second burn ban of the year. Smith County Assistant Fire Marshal Connie McCoy-Wasson said the office received six calls throughout the county at which a fire marshal was needed. McCoy-Wasson says a person continued to drive on a rim of a wheel after suffering a blown tire on Eastside Road, sparking fires along the roadway. Another fire on County Road 4113 was caused by a lawnmower that set the grass on fire and spread into a structure, McCoy-Wasson reported. Other fires were started by people burning trash, violating the burn ban. McCoy-Wasson said one ticket was issued Sunday for reckless destruction in the Lindale area.… Read the rest of the article…
LONGVIEW — Four people, including a firefighter, have been reported injured, and one of them was seriously hurt in a Longview house fire that broke out Monday afternoon. According to KETK, the Longview Fire Department says the home is near Idylwood Drive and Twelfth Street. Officials at the scene said a woman at the location suffered burns and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where she was placed in the intensive care unit. An 18-year-old man reportedly helped save the woman and called for help. A man and a 3-year-old were also inside the house at the time of the fire. The man and 3-year-old were treated for smoke inhalation. Assistant Fire Chief Curtis Shaw said the firefighter suffered minor burns and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Names were not immediately available.
TYLER — Assistance may be available for some who suffered damage from severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding earlier this year in Smith County. According to a news release, farms and ranches suffering damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office if the damage:
– Will be so costly to rehabilitate that Federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use
– Is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area
– Affects the productive capacity of the farmland
– Will impair or endanger the land. … Read the rest of the article…
HENDERSON — The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a woman who went missing. KETK reports Antionette Renee Childress, 40, stands 5’5″ tall and weighs 158 pounds. She has been missing since October 13. If you have seen Childress contact the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office at 903-657-3581 or Rusk County Crime stoppers at 903-655-tips (8477).
LONGVIEW — A Tatum couple have died in a Longview accident. William Bryan Ewing, 50, and Merri Anne Ewing, 42, were pronounced dead at the scene Sunday night. They died when the car they were driving was struck by a truck pulling a trailer at the intersection of East Loop 281 and the northbound off ramp of North Eastman Road. The truck’s driver was hospitalized with what were described as non life-threatening injuries. The investigation of the accident continues.
TYLER — The intoxication manslaughter trial of Carl Crabtree, 31, of Tyler, is underway in a Tyler courtroom. The case involves the deaths of two people stemming from an alleged drunk driving crash March 4. That’s when Crabtree was driving south on Old Jacksonville Highway and his vehicle crossed the center line, colliding head-on with an SUV. … Read the rest of the article…
TROUP — A boil water notice has been issued for residents of Troup. The order came following a break in an 8-inch water main near the city’s water storage tank. Due to possible loss of pressure in the water distribution system, the boil water notice was issued for the entire city. It will remain in effect until the city has met all TCEQ requirements and notifies its customers that it is no longer necessary. Because of the water main break, Troup ISD released students early Monday, with buses running at 12:30 p.m. Parents seeking more information can contact the school’s administration office at 903-842-3067.
Night work is being implemented on Interstate Highway 20 in Gregg County along the area from State Highway 31 east to the Harrison County line. Motorists can expect delays through 6:00 this morning as the contractor applies asphalt at the Farm Road 2087 intersection. Night work moves to the State Highway 31 intersection on Monday and Tuesday. Expect temporary closures of the westbound on and off ramps, and then, the eastbound on and off ramps. On Wednesday, daytime work is planned to overlay the roadway. Motorists should slow down and use caution, expecting lane closures and delays during this work. Get more info on this project in the Gregg County updates section of this release.… Read the rest of the article…
PALESTINE — Palestine Police shot an armed robbery suspect Sunday morning just before 3:30. Officers responded to the home on Kolstad Street after the reported break-in and found the suspect in the front yard. The 32-year-old suspect, who has not been named, was ordered to drop his weapon and when he refused, was shot in the leg and lower extremities, according to police. Police say the suspect fled on foot and was apprehended a short time later. He was hospitalized, condition unknown. … Read the rest of the article…
HALLSVILLE — A Hallsville man has died after his vehicle struck a tree. According to the Department of Public Safety, around 4:30 Saturday morning on Old Highway 80, in Hallsville, Parker Gibson, 23, failed to control the speed of his vehicle. He reportedly lost control of the vehicle which then left the road and struck a tree. Gibson was not wearing a seat belt. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
CANTON (AP) — A fire has damaged a large portion of a western-themed shopping center in Canton, just two years after it was heavily damaged by another blaze. The Van Zandt County Fire Marshal’s Office reports that flames early Saturday morning damaged or destroyed about 90% of The Mountain complex in Canton, about 60 miles east of Dallas. The Mountain sits on a 26-acre wooded area that features more than 100 western-themed antique and craft shops, an amphitheater and several restaurants. It was not immediately clear what structures had been damaged in the fire. According to KETK, no one was hurt. The popular Old West town was the scene of an early morning fire in November 2013. About 20 of its buildings were damaged in that incident.
TYLER — One of Tyler’s strongest traditions moved into its 82nd year Thursday with the ribbon cutting for the Texas Rose Festival by Rose Festival Queen Madeline Shirley Wynne. The big celebration of Tyler’s rose growing heritage continues through Sunday, featuring the Queen’s Coronation, the Rose Show, the Queen’s Tea, the Rose Parade, and lots more. You can go to http://www.texasrosefestival.com/ for more information.
SMITH COUNTY — Smith County deputies have arrested a man said to have been an armed burglar. Deputies answered a call around 1:00 Friday afternoon regarding a residence off Sparks Road, which is off Highway 110 North. The caller said a man was leaving the residence on foot and had a camouflage backpack and a rifle. A suspect matching the description was caught nearby. Upon searching his backpack, the deputies reportedly found two firearms as well as several other items allegedly taken from the residence. The suspect was jailed on a burglary of a habitation charge. Officials said his identity would be available once he sees a magistrate. A second suspect is also being sought.
AUSTIN (AP/Staff) – A former University of Texas football player who’s an Athens native has been acquitted of sexual assault of a female student in a campus dorm room. Kendall Sanders was kicked off the Longhorns after he and teammate Montrel Meander were arrested in July 2014. A jury of eight men and four women deliberated for more than four hours Thursday and Friday before delivering its verdict, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Sanders had faced two to 20 years in prison if convicted. In closing arguments, Sanders’ attorney said the accuser gave more than 30 inconsistent statements, including initially telling investigators that Sanders stopped having sex with her when she told him to. Meander still faces a felony sex assault charge from the alleged attack.
LONGVIEW — A Longview man who was arrested days after calling 911 to report his mother’s death was indicted on a murder charge Thursday by the Gregg County grand jury probing the July 28 homicide. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Daniel Basor Kadima, 32, remained jailed in Longview Friday under a $1 million bond. Longview police say Kadima called 911 about 9 a.m. on July 28 to report a death but did not say the victim’s name or that she was his mother, Hauwa Esther Kadima. Responding officers found the 61-year-old woman’s body inside an apartment on Gilmer Road. An autopsy report later revealed fractures to her skull attributed to a blunt force impact.… Read the rest of the article…
BIG SANDY (Staff/AP) — Routes have been reopened following a Thursday morning train derailment in Big Sandy. KETK reports tracks were reopened just after midnight Friday morning after nearly 500 feet of them had to be repaired. 11 freight cars derailed, including two tankers carrying sulfuric acid. Some of the cars overturned. None of the toxic cargo spilled. Big Sandy police say nobody was hurt in the incident involving a 115-car Union Pacific train. Officer Noe De La Cruz says authorities are trying to determine what caused the derailment. Hazardous materials experts were at the scene as crews worked to clear the tracks. UP spokesman Jeff DeGraff says the train left Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and was bound for Fort Worth.
NECHES — A multitude of fire crews battled a massive wildfire near the Anderson-Cherokee County line. According to KETK, the Texas A&M Forest Service says a 300- to 400-acre fire was burning in Anderson County near the Neches River. The fire was contained by Friday morning. The Forest Service later said the blaze was down to 125 acres. The wildfire was officially named the “Tank Battery Fire.” Witnesses reported seeing plumes of smoke all the way from Jacksonville. The blaze began around 2 p.m. on Thursday.
WHITEHOUSE — The new Whitehouse police chief, Ed Morris, was sworn in Friday morning. KETK reports Morris has 39 years of Texas law enforcement experience, 18 of those at the command level. The city handed Morris a conditional offer late last month. He’s a retired Grand Prairie police officer who served nine years as police chief in Balch Springs. The city of Whitehouse says Morris was one of four final candidates and was unanimously selected by a board made up of department heads and local citizens. Previous Whitehouse Police Chief Craig Shelton resigned on July 27.
RUSK — A preliminary finding on the cause of an October 14 fire that destroyed the Rusk-area Atoy Baptist Church, from the State Fire Marshal’s office, concludes that the nature of the fire will be listed as undetermined. According to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, the state fire marshal said a heater used to warm the water in the baptistry may have been left on when the water was drained. Officials say the fire apparently started in the baptistry, traveled into the wall space of the baptistry, climbed into the attic space, and continued to spread further into the church.… Read the rest of the article…
GILMER — A former Gilmer volunteer firefighter has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child. According to the Longview News-Journal, an Upshur County jury returned a guilty verdict Thursday against Christopher Alan Ray, 39. Ray had been accused of sexually assaulting the child in 2010 when the child was 8 and he was 34. The child finally told authorities about the incident at age 14 after attempting to commit suicide. In addition to the 25-year prison sentence, Ray also must register as a sex offender. He must serve at least half of the prison sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
BIG SANDY (AP/STAFF) — Nearly a dozen freight cars derailed in Upshur County, including two tankers carrying sulfuric acid. None of the toxic cargo spilled. Big Sandy police say nobody was hurt in Thursday morning’s derailment involving a 115-car Union Pacific train. Authorities say 11 cars derailed, including some that overturned. Officer Noe De La Cruz says authorities are trying to determine what caused the derailment. Hazardous materials experts were at the scene as crews worked to clear the tracks. UP spokesman Jeff DeGraff says the train left Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and was bound for Fort Worth.
TYLER — Three drug fugitives from Smith County have been arrested in Mexico. The U.S. Marshals Service made the announcement Thursday. The three were identified as Dawn Rae Barron (pictured), James Mitchell Zachary, and Brandy Yvette Rucker. They were all arrested on Wednesday in San Jose Del Cabo. Since it was determined they were living in Mexico illegally, they could be deported back to the United States. Baron fled to Mexico in 2010 after bonding out of jail on a Tyler narcotics case. She had also been wanted since February 2011 by the Smith County Sheriff’s Office for failure to appear on a felony possession of a controlled Substance case. Zachary and Rucker, associates of Baron, were both wanted for felony possession of controlled substance warrants.
EAST TEXAS — Law officers in East Texas had quite a busy day Thursday. DEA officers have been working on a special investigation, and KETK reports multiple businesses were raided in connection with K2, a form of synthetic marijuana. No arrests were made, but the investigation is ongoing. Law enforcement wouldn’t say who all is involved, but at least two of the locations were Brianna’s Stop N Shop in Clarksville City and A&W Deli at Palace Avenue and Bow Street in Tyler. Officials say the people targeted are those bringing the substance into the country, those in charge of breaking it up and putting it into packages for sale, and the people who are distributing it. We’re told Thursday’s searches were successful, with product and proceeds collected.
EAST TEXAS — Extensive wildfire activity in Bastrop County is affecting more than just Central Texas residents. KETK reports East Texas agencies are receiving reports of smoke in the area due to the Hidden Pines Fire. On its Facebook page, the Henderson County Fire Marshal’s Office reports, “We have received a lot of calls due to the smoke throughout the county, this smoke is due to the Bastrop County fire. We are learning more information about this situation and will publish more information as we receive it.” The Van Zandt County Fire Marshal’s Office reports, “There has been a increasing number of 911 calls reporting smoke in the air in Van Zandt County. This smoke is coming from the large fire in Bastrop County down south…We will have periodic episodes of this smoke blowing across the County until our winds change to the north (Friday) afternoon. There is no need to panic.”