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Category: Local News Archive

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Relief Fund Established after House Is Destroyed by Fire

thumb_firefighters-1RED SPRINGS — A relief fund has been set up after a fire north of Tyler destroyed a home and killed the family dog. According to KETK, firefighters were called out to the 15,000 block of Farm to Market Road 14 around 5:00 yesterday morning. Frances Galindo, her two teenage daughters and a two year old boy all managed to escape the fire unharmed. Officials said there were no smoke detectors in the house. The family reportedly did not have insurance. Red Cross has been called in to assist the family. The cause of the fire is under investigation. You can help the Galindo family by visiting any Southside Bank branch or United Heritage Credit Union on Broadway near the Houston Street intersection. The relief fund has been set up under the name “Frances Galindo.”

Tyler ISD BOND 2013 Construction Update

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER – Progress continues as planned on Tyler ISD BOND 2013 construction projects, according to a news release from the school district. The multi-million dollar bond passed by voters last May includes a new 147,000 square foot Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, two new middle school campuses at the existing Moore MST Magnet School and Boulter Middle School locations, one new middle school at the Three Lakes location in South Tyler, and renovations and additions to Dixie and Rice elementary schools. … Read More

Man Arrested after Allegedly Destroying Classroom while Drunk

dseancaldwellgcjLONGVIEW — A Longview man is behind bars after police say he destroyed a classroom at a local college campus while he was drunk. According to KETK, D’Sean James Caldwell, 19, was arrested after allegedly ransacking a classroom at the Kilgore College-Longview campus around 9:00 Tuesday night. Caldwell was booked into the Gregg County Jail on charges of criminal mischief and public intoxication. He reportedly caused between $1,500 and $20,000 worth of damage. He is being held on a $5,000 bond.

Gilmer Residents Could See Wet/Dry Election

alcohol_bar_lnjGILMER — With two petitions in their hands, Gilmer city officials prepare for two possible alcohol votes this spring. When the city council meets February 26, it will vote whether or not to approve putting the measures on the May ballot. KETK reports that if the petitions are approved, Gilmer residents will vote on two measures. The first: approve the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption. The second: approve the sale of mixed beverages in restaurants. Officials point out that the items are “totally separate matters.” They say if they make the ballot, “a person can vote against both of them, vote for both of them, or vote for one and not the other.”

Burglaries Put Neighborhood on High Alert

chapel_hill_burglariesCHAPEL HILL — A recent rash of burglaries in one Smith county neighborhood has residents on high alert. KETK reports several people who live off of Highway 64 in Chapel Hill have seen an increase of suspicious behavior, and some have even had things taken. Bobby Logan and his family have lived in Chapel Hill for more than twenty years. He says they’ve never had to deal with anything like this, but early last week more than $700 worth of tools and equipment went missing from his truck during the night. “I’m just a working guy trying to make it and they took the tools that i use to make my living and that’s really aggravating,” said Logan. … Read More

East Texan Wins $1 Million in Lottery

thumb_lotto-texasAUSTIN – Kilgore resident Jerelene Waters has claimed a 50X The Cash top prize worth $1 million, the first of 10 top prizes for this game. Lottery officials say the ticket was purchased at the AFM located at 3099 Estes Parkway in Longview. For selling the winning ticket, the retailer is eligible for a $10,000 bonus. With more than $143.7 million in prizes, the overall odds of winning any prize in the game are one in 3.06, including break-even prizes. 50X The Cash is part of the Texas Lottery’s new suite of multiplier scratch-off games offered at price points ranging from $1 to $20, which includes 5X The Cash, 10X The Cash, 20X The Cash and 100X The Cash.

New Trial in East Texas Murder Case

Jason PayneQUITMAN — A Wood County man accused of killing his wife and stepson gets a new trial. KETK reports Jason Payne was found guilty in 2010 of shooting and killing Nicole and Austin Taylor. The murders happened in 2007. Payne’s new trial is scheduled for July 14.

Henderson County Inmate Escapes

Marcus Tyrone GraysonATHENS — Henderson County authorities are asking the public’s help on locating an escaped jail inmate. Marcus Tyrone Grayson, 28, escaped from a work detail at the Henderson County Fairgrounds around 8:00 Sunday night. He was last seen wearing a tan inmate uniform and a tan jacket. Grayson had been in jail on a charge of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. If you have any information about Grayson, you are asked to contact the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office or the nearest law enforcement agency

Tax Preparer Indicted in SYAM Tax Service Scheme

Eastern District of Texas SealBEAUMONT — A Dallas tax preparer has been indicted for federal violations in East Texas. Shannon Tecoko Mays, 36, has been indicted by a federal grand jury charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to prosecutors, an investigation began in August 2012 in response to numerous complaints to state and federal authorities from citizens in Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Port Arthur and Anahuac regarding income tax returns that were being fraudulently prepared on their behalf. During the investigation, it was discovered that Mays was operating numerous offices across the United States under the name “Syam Tax Services, L.L.C.” and “Baby Momma Tax.” Although the principal office was located in Dallas, Mays also operated or sought to operate satellite offices in numerous other locations, including Fort Worth, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles. … Read More

Tiede Seeks Lighter Penalty for Rich Widow’s Death

bernie_tiede_news_journalCARTHAGE (Staff/AP) — According to documents released by the Panola County District Attorney’s Office, previously unsealed documents prompted a reinvestigation of Bernie Tiede’s case. That’s according to KETK. The documents are regarding a newspaper article written by Tiede’s nephew stating Tiede was severely sexually abused as a child but the state has been unable to verify the history of his childhood. With a heavy presence in a courtroom, Tiede entered with his attorney, Jodi Cole, around 1:00pm, seeking a motion to present relief for sentencing with new evidence and to discuss a pending felony theft charge against Tiede. … Read More

Man Gets 30 Years for Several Burglaries

joshua_shapley_book_in_henderson_county_jailATHENS — A Chandler man, 31-year-old Joshua Shapley, has been sentenced in Athens to 30 years in prison after being convicted of several burglaries that happened last spring. KETK reports that during one burglary, deputies with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office were called to a home that had been broken into off Anderson County Road 3030. The owner of the home had left for work and came home to find her home had been ransacked and her television, shotgun, and jewelry had been stolen. Hours later a DPS trooper noticed during a traffic stop that Shapley was in possession of several items matching the description of the items taken. … Read More

Perry Renews Call for Keystone XL Approval

thumb_rick_perry-2AUSTIN — Governor Perry says it’s time for the president to quit stalling and approve the Keystone XL pipeline project. The governor says the State Department announcement that the pipeline would not negatively impact the environment should be enough for President Obama to act. Perry remarked, “The president of the United States knows this is good for this country.” He says the labor unions are pushing to get the project done “and the North American region could become economically and energy secure.” Appearing on CNBC, Perry said the pipeline is state-of-the-art, with satellite monitoring and automatic shutoff valves. The White House says the president will decide once other cabinet members review it. The southern leg of the pipeline runs through part of Smith County and other sections of East Texas.

Man Gets 40 Years in Child Sex Case

Casey PhillipsGILMER — An East Texas man has been sentenced to 40 years for the aggravated sexual assault of a child. According to the Upshur County District Attorney’s Office, Casey Phillips, 34, had pleaded guilty. KETK reports he must serve at least half of his sentence before he will be eligible for parole. If released, he must register as a sex offender for life. The case came to light after an investigation in Harrison County involving the Hallsville Police Department. Evidence showed that in 2010, Phillips lived in New Diana and the victim was nine years old. Phillips was indicted for the offense in November 2013.

Florida Man Charged with Animal Cruelty in Smith County

Gaylord StevensLINDALE — A Florida man has been arrested in Smith County on animal cruelty charges. The Lindale Police Department reports the arrest of Gaylord Stevens, 64, of Pensacola. His bond was set at $2,000. The police department has seized the horses and they are now being cared for by a veterinarian.

Woman Accused of Stealing Mail

kilgoremailmugKILGORE — An East Texas woman is behind bars accused of stealing residents’ mail. KETK reports Rashunda Renee Butler, 31, of Kilgore, was booked into the Kilgore Municipal Jail Saturday. She was charged with fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of marijuana. … Read More

City Seeking Input on Draft Updates for Tyler 1st Plan

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — As part of the Tyler 1st comprehensive planning process, the City of Tyler is seeking input from residents on the draft updates Plan before it is presented to the City Council for adoption. The City will host a public open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. today at the Rose Garden Center in the Camilla Room, 420 Rose Park Drive. … Read More

Woman Accused of Stealing Mail

Rashunda Renee ButlerKILGORE — An East Texas woman is behind bars accused of stealing residents’ mail. KETK reports Rashunda Renee Butler, 31, of Kilgore, was booked into the Kilgore Municipal Jail Saturday. She was charged with fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of marijuana. … Read More

Man Held on Kidnapping, Human Trafficking Charges

thumb_police-5LONE STAR — An East Texas man is accused of kidnapping a woman he allegedly tried to sell. Lone Star Police Chief Larry Fleet says Anthony Dewayne Hopkins, 45, had been drinking when he asked a woman to take him home. Fleet says he then kidnapped her, taking her to Titus, Morris, and Marion Counties to try to sell her for drugs. According to Fleet, one would-be customer was on to Hopkins and helped the girl escape. Calling the incident “one of the most hideous crimes that you can commit,” Fleet says Hopkins has done this before. He says the drug in question was likely crack cocaine. Hopkins is charged with kidnapping and human trafficking. Bonds total $600,000.

Tyler Main Street Program Recognized

thumb_tyler-mainstreetTYLER — Tyler has been commended for successful annual progress as a designated Main Street community by the Texas Historical Commission. Tyler’s Main Street program was reaccredited with a near perfect score. 63 designated Main Street programs in Texas were recognized. Tyler’s score of 105.5 out of a possible 106 was the second-highest in the state for communities of comparable size. … Read More

City of Tyler Plans System-wide Outage

TYLER — The City of Tyler IT Department will be making necessary upgrades to the network on Feb. 5, according to a news release. The upgrade process begins at 12:01 a.m., and city officials said it should take approximately four hours. The upgrade will affect all city systems. Employees will not be able to access any city systems or resources. Citizens will not be able to access any City websites or online bill payment systems. Officials say the maintenance window will allow any upgrades or changes that require system outages to be completed at this time. According to the release, “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause your department and we hope to have the network back up as soon as possible.”

Rusk County Sees Spike in Animal Cruelty Calls

thumb_sheriff-ruskcountyHENDERSON — The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office says animal abuse calls reached a record high in January. KETK reports animal control personnel had a total of 16 calls last month. That’s more than the previous three months combined. But Sheriff Jeff Price says don’t let the numbers startle you. “People are being cautious and worrying after the story came out about the dog that had frozen to death back during the very cold weather that we had,” says Price, “and people are just more aware, and they’re watching out for the animals now. So that’s where most of our spike has come from.” He says most of the calls are for dogs, but none of them have been in grave danger.

Death Penalty to Be Sought in Murder of Disabled Man

haslamGILMER — According to the Upshur County District Attorney, the death penalty will be sought in the case against Sarah Haslam, one of the suspects accused of murdering Ronnie Gammage in 2012. KETK reports documents were filed Monday morning after the deadline to do so was extended by the 115th District Court. Haslam, Daniel Jones, and Andrew Conrad Norwine were charged with kidnapping and killing the disabled Gammage. Jones pleaded guilty October 30, 2013, and began serving a life sentence without parole. His sentencing was part of a plea agreement accepted in Upshur County’s 115th District Court. … Read More

Boil Water Notification Issued for Select Henderson Co. Residents

thumb_boilingwaterHENDERSON COUNTY — Monarch Utilities has issued a boil water notification for select customers in Henderson County. KETK reports the notice is for residents who have the Beachwood Estates water system and affects around 400 homes. … Read More

Pine Tree School Bus Drives into Ditch

ptbusLONGVIEW — A Pine Tree ISD school bus ended up in a ditch on Tuesday morning. It happened on Tenneryville Road in northwest Longview. School administration tells KETK that the back tires locked up when the driver applied the brakes, sending the bus into the ditch. The school district didn’t immediately release further information on specifics of the incident. There was a light rain in the area Tuesday morning, but officials are not sure if that was a contributing factor.

Emergency Landing at the Tyler Airport

TYLER — A small plane made an emergency landing at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. KETK reports the plane had a loose door warning light come on, so the pilot notified the airport for an emergency landing to check on the problem. The airport provided extra response teams on scene of the landing as a safety precaution. Control personnel signaled Tuesday morning the plane in and it landed safely without any injuries.

Longview Man Arrested for Reportedly Assaulting Child

beaterGREGG COUNTY — A Longview man was jailed Sunday after police said he assaulted his 7-year-old daughter. Ah Mau Tavita, 46, was charged with injury to a child and remained Monday in the Gregg County Jail on $10,000 bond. According to the Longview News-Journal, police responded shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday to a residence in the 300 block of Gum Street in reference to a call from a child who said his father was beating them with a belt. Police said eight children were at the home, and Tavita’s daughter was in a bedroom with a cut to her head. The children said their father hurt the girl while he was whipping several other children in a back bedroom.

Big Marijuana Haul near Lindale

thumb_DPS-carSMITH COUNTY — The Texas Department of Public Safety has the seized nearly 240 pounds of marijuana near Lindale. According to KETK, while patrolling on Interstate 20 in Smith County Friday, a trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. Based on information obtained during the traffic stop, the trooper claims to have noted several discrepancies in the information being given. According to authorities, the trooper asked for consent to search the vehicle, and the search of the rented SUV led to the discovery of approximately 240 pounds of marijuana, valued at $1.2 million, hidden in several duffel bags. … Read More

Big Marijuana Haul near Lindale

Joseph BridgesLINDALE — A traffic stop on Interstate Highway 20 in Smith County has resulted in a drug bust. Because of discrepancies in the information given by a California couple, a state trooper requested permission to search their SUV. In several duffle bags, he found 240 pounds of marijuana valued at $1.2 million. Arrested were the driver, Joseph Bridges, 33, and his passenger, Kristina Watts, 41. Both were booked into the Smith County Jail with bonds set at $75,000 on each suspect.

Texas Billionaire Simmons’ Will Released

Harold Simmons2DALLAS (AP/Staff) – Texas billionaire and Wood County native Harold Simmons’ will leaves the bulk of his estate to his widow, with no listed contributions to any political groups or charities. A Dallas judge on Monday ordered a redacted version of Simmons’ will to be released. The will lists Annette Simmons as the sole beneficiary of her husband’s savings and real estate. The will does not list a total dollar value of Simmons’ estate. Attorneys for Annette Simmons had argued for the will to be sealed to protect her safety and privacy, as well as the names of her children and grandchildren. Harold Simmons had a wide range of corporate interests and gave hundreds of millions of dollars to charity. He also bankrolled several political campaigns. He was born in the Wood County community of Golden.

Volunteer Firefighter Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teen

Joseph Hayden TerrellPITTSBURG — A firefighter from Troup has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in Pittsburg. KETK reports, according to the Pittsburg Police Department, early last month, officers received a report of a child sexual assault. Police say after an investigation, details emerged that a 15-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted. Officials have now arrested Joseph Hayden Terrell, 19, in connection with the crime. According to Terrell’s Facebook page, he is a 2012 graduate of Troup High School and is a volunteer firefighter at the North Cherokee Volunteer Fire Department in Mixon. Terrell was booked into the Camp County Jail.

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Relief Fund Established after House Is Destroyed by Fire

Posted/updated on: February 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm

thumb_firefighters-1RED SPRINGS — A relief fund has been set up after a fire north of Tyler destroyed a home and killed the family dog. According to KETK, firefighters were called out to the 15,000 block of Farm to Market Road 14 around 5:00 yesterday morning. Frances Galindo, her two teenage daughters and a two year old boy all managed to escape the fire unharmed. Officials said there were no smoke detectors in the house. The family reportedly did not have insurance. Red Cross has been called in to assist the family. The cause of the fire is under investigation. You can help the Galindo family by visiting any Southside Bank branch or United Heritage Credit Union on Broadway near the Houston Street intersection. The relief fund has been set up under the name “Frances Galindo.”

Tyler ISD BOND 2013 Construction Update

Posted/updated on: February 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER – Progress continues as planned on Tyler ISD BOND 2013 construction projects, according to a news release from the school district. The multi-million dollar bond passed by voters last May includes a new 147,000 square foot Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, two new middle school campuses at the existing Moore MST Magnet School and Boulter Middle School locations, one new middle school at the Three Lakes location in South Tyler, and renovations and additions to Dixie and Rice elementary schools. … Read More

Man Arrested after Allegedly Destroying Classroom while Drunk

Posted/updated on: February 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

dseancaldwellgcjLONGVIEW — A Longview man is behind bars after police say he destroyed a classroom at a local college campus while he was drunk. According to KETK, D’Sean James Caldwell, 19, was arrested after allegedly ransacking a classroom at the Kilgore College-Longview campus around 9:00 Tuesday night. Caldwell was booked into the Gregg County Jail on charges of criminal mischief and public intoxication. He reportedly caused between $1,500 and $20,000 worth of damage. He is being held on a $5,000 bond.

Gilmer Residents Could See Wet/Dry Election

Posted/updated on: February 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

alcohol_bar_lnjGILMER — With two petitions in their hands, Gilmer city officials prepare for two possible alcohol votes this spring. When the city council meets February 26, it will vote whether or not to approve putting the measures on the May ballot. KETK reports that if the petitions are approved, Gilmer residents will vote on two measures. The first: approve the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption. The second: approve the sale of mixed beverages in restaurants. Officials point out that the items are “totally separate matters.” They say if they make the ballot, “a person can vote against both of them, vote for both of them, or vote for one and not the other.”

Burglaries Put Neighborhood on High Alert

Posted/updated on: February 7, 2014 at 12:07 pm

chapel_hill_burglariesCHAPEL HILL — A recent rash of burglaries in one Smith county neighborhood has residents on high alert. KETK reports several people who live off of Highway 64 in Chapel Hill have seen an increase of suspicious behavior, and some have even had things taken. Bobby Logan and his family have lived in Chapel Hill for more than twenty years. He says they’ve never had to deal with anything like this, but early last week more than $700 worth of tools and equipment went missing from his truck during the night. “I’m just a working guy trying to make it and they took the tools that i use to make my living and that’s really aggravating,” said Logan. … Read More

East Texan Wins $1 Million in Lottery

Posted/updated on: February 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

thumb_lotto-texasAUSTIN – Kilgore resident Jerelene Waters has claimed a 50X The Cash top prize worth $1 million, the first of 10 top prizes for this game. Lottery officials say the ticket was purchased at the AFM located at 3099 Estes Parkway in Longview. For selling the winning ticket, the retailer is eligible for a $10,000 bonus. With more than $143.7 million in prizes, the overall odds of winning any prize in the game are one in 3.06, including break-even prizes. 50X The Cash is part of the Texas Lottery’s new suite of multiplier scratch-off games offered at price points ranging from $1 to $20, which includes 5X The Cash, 10X The Cash, 20X The Cash and 100X The Cash.

New Trial in East Texas Murder Case

Posted/updated on: February 7, 2014 at 10:37 am

Jason PayneQUITMAN — A Wood County man accused of killing his wife and stepson gets a new trial. KETK reports Jason Payne was found guilty in 2010 of shooting and killing Nicole and Austin Taylor. The murders happened in 2007. Payne’s new trial is scheduled for July 14.

Henderson County Inmate Escapes

Posted/updated on: February 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Marcus Tyrone GraysonATHENS — Henderson County authorities are asking the public’s help on locating an escaped jail inmate. Marcus Tyrone Grayson, 28, escaped from a work detail at the Henderson County Fairgrounds around 8:00 Sunday night. He was last seen wearing a tan inmate uniform and a tan jacket. Grayson had been in jail on a charge of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. If you have any information about Grayson, you are asked to contact the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office or the nearest law enforcement agency

Tax Preparer Indicted in SYAM Tax Service Scheme

Posted/updated on: February 7, 2014 at 2:19 am

Eastern District of Texas SealBEAUMONT — A Dallas tax preparer has been indicted for federal violations in East Texas. Shannon Tecoko Mays, 36, has been indicted by a federal grand jury charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to prosecutors, an investigation began in August 2012 in response to numerous complaints to state and federal authorities from citizens in Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Port Arthur and Anahuac regarding income tax returns that were being fraudulently prepared on their behalf. During the investigation, it was discovered that Mays was operating numerous offices across the United States under the name “Syam Tax Services, L.L.C.” and “Baby Momma Tax.” Although the principal office was located in Dallas, Mays also operated or sought to operate satellite offices in numerous other locations, including Fort Worth, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles. … Read More

Tiede Seeks Lighter Penalty for Rich Widow’s Death

Posted/updated on: February 6, 2014 at 4:36 pm

bernie_tiede_news_journalCARTHAGE (Staff/AP) — According to documents released by the Panola County District Attorney’s Office, previously unsealed documents prompted a reinvestigation of Bernie Tiede’s case. That’s according to KETK. The documents are regarding a newspaper article written by Tiede’s nephew stating Tiede was severely sexually abused as a child but the state has been unable to verify the history of his childhood. With a heavy presence in a courtroom, Tiede entered with his attorney, Jodi Cole, around 1:00pm, seeking a motion to present relief for sentencing with new evidence and to discuss a pending felony theft charge against Tiede. … Read More

Man Gets 30 Years for Several Burglaries

Posted/updated on: February 6, 2014 at 2:55 pm

joshua_shapley_book_in_henderson_county_jailATHENS — A Chandler man, 31-year-old Joshua Shapley, has been sentenced in Athens to 30 years in prison after being convicted of several burglaries that happened last spring. KETK reports that during one burglary, deputies with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office were called to a home that had been broken into off Anderson County Road 3030. The owner of the home had left for work and came home to find her home had been ransacked and her television, shotgun, and jewelry had been stolen. Hours later a DPS trooper noticed during a traffic stop that Shapley was in possession of several items matching the description of the items taken. … Read More

Perry Renews Call for Keystone XL Approval

Posted/updated on: February 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm

thumb_rick_perry-2AUSTIN — Governor Perry says it’s time for the president to quit stalling and approve the Keystone XL pipeline project. The governor says the State Department announcement that the pipeline would not negatively impact the environment should be enough for President Obama to act. Perry remarked, “The president of the United States knows this is good for this country.” He says the labor unions are pushing to get the project done “and the North American region could become economically and energy secure.” Appearing on CNBC, Perry said the pipeline is state-of-the-art, with satellite monitoring and automatic shutoff valves. The White House says the president will decide once other cabinet members review it. The southern leg of the pipeline runs through part of Smith County and other sections of East Texas.

Man Gets 40 Years in Child Sex Case

Posted/updated on: February 6, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Casey PhillipsGILMER — An East Texas man has been sentenced to 40 years for the aggravated sexual assault of a child. According to the Upshur County District Attorney’s Office, Casey Phillips, 34, had pleaded guilty. KETK reports he must serve at least half of his sentence before he will be eligible for parole. If released, he must register as a sex offender for life. The case came to light after an investigation in Harrison County involving the Hallsville Police Department. Evidence showed that in 2010, Phillips lived in New Diana and the victim was nine years old. Phillips was indicted for the offense in November 2013.

Florida Man Charged with Animal Cruelty in Smith County

Posted/updated on: February 6, 2014 at 2:22 am

Gaylord StevensLINDALE — A Florida man has been arrested in Smith County on animal cruelty charges. The Lindale Police Department reports the arrest of Gaylord Stevens, 64, of Pensacola. His bond was set at $2,000. The police department has seized the horses and they are now being cared for by a veterinarian.

Woman Accused of Stealing Mail

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 2:43 am

kilgoremailmugKILGORE — An East Texas woman is behind bars accused of stealing residents’ mail. KETK reports Rashunda Renee Butler, 31, of Kilgore, was booked into the Kilgore Municipal Jail Saturday. She was charged with fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of marijuana. … Read More

City Seeking Input on Draft Updates for Tyler 1st Plan

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — As part of the Tyler 1st comprehensive planning process, the City of Tyler is seeking input from residents on the draft updates Plan before it is presented to the City Council for adoption. The City will host a public open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. today at the Rose Garden Center in the Camilla Room, 420 Rose Park Drive. … Read More

Woman Accused of Stealing Mail

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Rashunda Renee ButlerKILGORE — An East Texas woman is behind bars accused of stealing residents’ mail. KETK reports Rashunda Renee Butler, 31, of Kilgore, was booked into the Kilgore Municipal Jail Saturday. She was charged with fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of marijuana. … Read More

Man Held on Kidnapping, Human Trafficking Charges

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm

thumb_police-5LONE STAR — An East Texas man is accused of kidnapping a woman he allegedly tried to sell. Lone Star Police Chief Larry Fleet says Anthony Dewayne Hopkins, 45, had been drinking when he asked a woman to take him home. Fleet says he then kidnapped her, taking her to Titus, Morris, and Marion Counties to try to sell her for drugs. According to Fleet, one would-be customer was on to Hopkins and helped the girl escape. Calling the incident “one of the most hideous crimes that you can commit,” Fleet says Hopkins has done this before. He says the drug in question was likely crack cocaine. Hopkins is charged with kidnapping and human trafficking. Bonds total $600,000.

Tyler Main Street Program Recognized

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm

thumb_tyler-mainstreetTYLER — Tyler has been commended for successful annual progress as a designated Main Street community by the Texas Historical Commission. Tyler’s Main Street program was reaccredited with a near perfect score. 63 designated Main Street programs in Texas were recognized. Tyler’s score of 105.5 out of a possible 106 was the second-highest in the state for communities of comparable size. … Read More

City of Tyler Plans System-wide Outage

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 2:33 am

TYLER — The City of Tyler IT Department will be making necessary upgrades to the network on Feb. 5, according to a news release. The upgrade process begins at 12:01 a.m., and city officials said it should take approximately four hours. The upgrade will affect all city systems. Employees will not be able to access any city systems or resources. Citizens will not be able to access any City websites or online bill payment systems. Officials say the maintenance window will allow any upgrades or changes that require system outages to be completed at this time. According to the release, “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause your department and we hope to have the network back up as soon as possible.”

Rusk County Sees Spike in Animal Cruelty Calls

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 1:14 pm

thumb_sheriff-ruskcountyHENDERSON — The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office says animal abuse calls reached a record high in January. KETK reports animal control personnel had a total of 16 calls last month. That’s more than the previous three months combined. But Sheriff Jeff Price says don’t let the numbers startle you. “People are being cautious and worrying after the story came out about the dog that had frozen to death back during the very cold weather that we had,” says Price, “and people are just more aware, and they’re watching out for the animals now. So that’s where most of our spike has come from.” He says most of the calls are for dogs, but none of them have been in grave danger.

Death Penalty to Be Sought in Murder of Disabled Man

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 12:06 pm

haslamGILMER — According to the Upshur County District Attorney, the death penalty will be sought in the case against Sarah Haslam, one of the suspects accused of murdering Ronnie Gammage in 2012. KETK reports documents were filed Monday morning after the deadline to do so was extended by the 115th District Court. Haslam, Daniel Jones, and Andrew Conrad Norwine were charged with kidnapping and killing the disabled Gammage. Jones pleaded guilty October 30, 2013, and began serving a life sentence without parole. His sentencing was part of a plea agreement accepted in Upshur County’s 115th District Court. … Read More

Boil Water Notification Issued for Select Henderson Co. Residents

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 11:48 am

thumb_boilingwaterHENDERSON COUNTY — Monarch Utilities has issued a boil water notification for select customers in Henderson County. KETK reports the notice is for residents who have the Beachwood Estates water system and affects around 400 homes. … Read More

Pine Tree School Bus Drives into Ditch

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 10:33 am

ptbusLONGVIEW — A Pine Tree ISD school bus ended up in a ditch on Tuesday morning. It happened on Tenneryville Road in northwest Longview. School administration tells KETK that the back tires locked up when the driver applied the brakes, sending the bus into the ditch. The school district didn’t immediately release further information on specifics of the incident. There was a light rain in the area Tuesday morning, but officials are not sure if that was a contributing factor.

Emergency Landing at the Tyler Airport

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 10:33 am

TYLER — A small plane made an emergency landing at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. KETK reports the plane had a loose door warning light come on, so the pilot notified the airport for an emergency landing to check on the problem. The airport provided extra response teams on scene of the landing as a safety precaution. Control personnel signaled Tuesday morning the plane in and it landed safely without any injuries.

Longview Man Arrested for Reportedly Assaulting Child

Posted/updated on: February 5, 2014 at 2:42 am

beaterGREGG COUNTY — A Longview man was jailed Sunday after police said he assaulted his 7-year-old daughter. Ah Mau Tavita, 46, was charged with injury to a child and remained Monday in the Gregg County Jail on $10,000 bond. According to the Longview News-Journal, police responded shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday to a residence in the 300 block of Gum Street in reference to a call from a child who said his father was beating them with a belt. Police said eight children were at the home, and Tavita’s daughter was in a bedroom with a cut to her head. The children said their father hurt the girl while he was whipping several other children in a back bedroom.

Big Marijuana Haul near Lindale

Posted/updated on: February 4, 2014 at 2:20 am

thumb_DPS-carSMITH COUNTY — The Texas Department of Public Safety has the seized nearly 240 pounds of marijuana near Lindale. According to KETK, while patrolling on Interstate 20 in Smith County Friday, a trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. Based on information obtained during the traffic stop, the trooper claims to have noted several discrepancies in the information being given. According to authorities, the trooper asked for consent to search the vehicle, and the search of the rented SUV led to the discovery of approximately 240 pounds of marijuana, valued at $1.2 million, hidden in several duffel bags. … Read More

Big Marijuana Haul near Lindale

Posted/updated on: February 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Joseph BridgesLINDALE — A traffic stop on Interstate Highway 20 in Smith County has resulted in a drug bust. Because of discrepancies in the information given by a California couple, a state trooper requested permission to search their SUV. In several duffle bags, he found 240 pounds of marijuana valued at $1.2 million. Arrested were the driver, Joseph Bridges, 33, and his passenger, Kristina Watts, 41. Both were booked into the Smith County Jail with bonds set at $75,000 on each suspect.

Texas Billionaire Simmons’ Will Released

Posted/updated on: February 4, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Harold Simmons2DALLAS (AP/Staff) – Texas billionaire and Wood County native Harold Simmons’ will leaves the bulk of his estate to his widow, with no listed contributions to any political groups or charities. A Dallas judge on Monday ordered a redacted version of Simmons’ will to be released. The will lists Annette Simmons as the sole beneficiary of her husband’s savings and real estate. The will does not list a total dollar value of Simmons’ estate. Attorneys for Annette Simmons had argued for the will to be sealed to protect her safety and privacy, as well as the names of her children and grandchildren. Harold Simmons had a wide range of corporate interests and gave hundreds of millions of dollars to charity. He also bankrolled several political campaigns. He was born in the Wood County community of Golden.

Volunteer Firefighter Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teen

Posted/updated on: February 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Joseph Hayden TerrellPITTSBURG — A firefighter from Troup has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in Pittsburg. KETK reports, according to the Pittsburg Police Department, early last month, officers received a report of a child sexual assault. Police say after an investigation, details emerged that a 15-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted. Officials have now arrested Joseph Hayden Terrell, 19, in connection with the crime. According to Terrell’s Facebook page, he is a 2012 graduate of Troup High School and is a volunteer firefighter at the North Cherokee Volunteer Fire Department in Mixon. Terrell was booked into the Camp County Jail.

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