CLEVELAND (AP/STAFF) — Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has apologized to the team and its fans and asked for privacy during his recovery from an undisclosed substance problem. Manziel, a Tyler native, released a statement through the Browns on Friday. He thanked doctors and staff at Caron, a Pennsylvania facility which specializes in the treatment of drugs and alcohol. Manziel was discharged last week following a 2 1/2-month stay. Manziel says he takes “full responsibility for my actions” and he intends to “work very hard to regain everyone’s trust and respect.” Manziel, who earned his “Johnny Football” nickname while winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman at Texas A&M, intends to attend Cleveland’s offseason practices next week. Earlier this week, he attended a Texas Rangers game followed by a visit to see the Dallas Mavericks play. Manziel had a rough rookie season in 2014. He spent most of it as the team’s backup before making two starts.
DIBOLL (AP) — Authorities say a pilot and two passengers have been slightly hurt when a private plane bound for Houston made a crash landing along an East Texas road. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the crash happened Friday morning beside U.S. 59 near Diboll. The twin-engine plane ended up in a grassy area. DPS Sgt. William Kennard says the Cessna took off from the Angelina County Airport in Lufkin then apparently had mechanical trouble. Kennard says the pilot, Edd Campbell Hendee, 63, of Houston, and the two passengers suffered minor injuries. All were taken to a hospital to be examined. Hendee is a former radio talk show host in Houston, where he also owns a restaurant.
AUSTIN (AP) — Unemployment in Tyler and Longview, like the trend in the state, continues to run well below the national numbers. Texas unemployment rate slipped to 4.2% in March for the seventh straight month of declines.
The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday announced the figure is down slightly from February unemployment of 4.3 percent. The nationwide jobless rate was 5.5% in March. Tyler’s unemployment rate in March was 4.3% while in Longview it was 4.2%. A year ago it was 5.6% in Tyler and 5.3% in Longview. … Read More
GLADEWATER — The severe weather that moved through East Texas has killed a Smith County man in Gladewater. Killed when a large tree fell on his car was Tony Lively, 33, of Winona. He was found shortly after 7:15 Thursday night in the 1600 block of Vesta Drive. KETK reports a woman in the vehicle was able to escape the vehicle and was treated at a hospital for minor injuries. Lively, who was unconscious, was trapped in the vehicle. After SWEPCO removed a down power line from the car, first responder were able to remove him from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead shortly before 10:00pm.
AUSTIN — A bill inspired by an East Texas tragedy won passage Thursday morning in the Texas Senate and will now move to the House. According to KETK, Tyler State Senator Kevin Eltife’s Senate Bill 788, also known as Kari’s Law, calls for hotels and businesses to eliminate the need to dial 9 to reach an outside line when making 911 calls. In December of 2013, Kari Hunt, a mother of three, was stabbed to death by her estranged husband in a Marshall hotel room. Her nine-year-old daughter tried to dial 911 but didn’t know she had to dial 9 to reach an outside line. The measure will now go to the House floor where Representative Chris Paddie of Marshall says it will get to legislators as early as next week.
QUITMAN — A Wood County man was taken into custody for allegedly stealing brass from headstone markers — many from deceased veterans. KETK reports that on April 12, detectives began investigating possible thefts of gravestone markers. Authorities had not received an official report at the time, but were tipped off that a man may have been stealing brass from two cemeteries. Detectives followed up on the leads and discovered the claims to be true, according to officials. Evidence eventually led a to Mineola man, Chad Hennessey. He was arrested on a parole warrant. … Read More
NATCHITOCHES, La. — It’s been learned that two Henderson County men were arrested last weekend in Louisiana after allegedly leading authorities on a brief chase. KETK reports that around 1:30 on Sunday, Natchitoches Parish deputies responded to a reported gas drive-off at a Clarence, Louisiana, convenience store. Law enforcement intercepted the vehicle on Louisiana Highway 6 East near the city of Natchitoches, according to Sheriff Victor Jones, Jr. … Read More
TYLER – Tyler police are looking for the suspect in the robbery of a man in the Whataburger parking lot at 5003 Troup Highway. It happened around 6:30 Thursday night. The victim said he was meeting a person he had been communicating with on Craig’slist. He said he was approached by a man with a handgun who took an undisclosed amount of money. The suspect left the scene in a silver four door car. The victim was not injured. The suspect was described as a black male about six feet tall with a thin build. Tyler police remind you, when buying and selling items online, you should always meet in a public place and take the extra steps in identifying the individual you are planning to meet.
A lengthy YouTube video has been released by a woman who left the controversial Church of Wells on Good Friday, only to return to the church this week. According to KETK, the video starts with words from church pastor Sean Morris. Then Catherine Grove starts talking and mentions the night she left. Grove tells viewers, “I called the police, and they thought I was leaving the church for good, and I was not leaving like that…I was frustrated about this situation with my parents.” Grove says her parents held her against her will and made up all kinds of accusations against the church. There was no immediate comment from Grove’s family. You can go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a6o5Up3haI to watch the video in its entirety.
LONGVIEW — The woman who mailed poison to President Obama is suing Gregg County. Shannon Guess Richardson is serving 18 years in federal prison for mailing ricin to President Obama in 2013 and trying to frame her husband for it. She’s now filed a $10 million civil suit against four Gregg County jail workers and two U.S. Marshal’s deputies. She claims they neglected her medical care when she spent three weeks in their custody. At the time, she was six months pregnant. The lawsuit accuses county jailers of laughing at her when she complained of uncontrollable bleeding. Days later, she gave birth prematurely. The county attorney calls the lawsuit frivolous and notes it could be thrown out by a federal court.
WASKOM — The Texas Department of Public Safety has identified the victims in a crash near Waskom in which one person was killed and three injured. According to KETK, shortly before 5:30 Tuesday afternoon, a car was traveling east on Highway 80 when it crossed into the westbound lane and collided head-on with a truck. DPS was not immediately able to identify why the vehicle drove into the wrong lane. The driver of the truck was pronounced dead at LSU Hospital around an hour after the wreck. He is identified as Tom Davidson, 50, Waskom. … Read More
TYLER – Mother Frances Hospital Tyler announces it has recently earned a 2015 Patient Safety Excellence Award from Healthgrades as one of the country’s top performers in patient safety. Trinity Mother Frances is the only hospital in East Texas to earn this prestigious national designation, according to a news release. “It is an honor to be recognized on this list of some of the most outstanding facilities in the country through this designation,” said Barbara Allen, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Quality Officer. “This award is a testament to the hard work, dedication and expertise of our entire medical staff and every member of our team who give their all every day to ensure that our patients are cared for in the safest possible environment.” … Read More
DALLAS (AP/Staff) – The sentencing in Tyler federal court this week of hospital administrator Dr. Tariq Mahmood concludes a legal saga that included the closure of four rural Texas hospitals he operated, including Cozby-Germany Hospital in Grand Saline. But those closings also accelerated the number of hospitals shuttering in rural parts of the state and increased a void for many seeking medical care. Federal prosecutors say the damage caused by Mahmood’s Medicaid and Medicare fraud contributed to the collapse of the hospitals. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison. The Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals says 10 rural hospitals have closed in the last two years. David Pearson, the organization’s CEO, says regulations and the need for new technology result in high costs for hospitals. At the same time, state and federal reimbursements to them are being cut.
MINNEAPOLIS MINNEAPOLIS (ESPN/Staff) — Minnesota Vikings running back and former Palestine standout Adrian Peterson is being reinstated today, making him able to fully participate in all team activities, the NFL announced Thursday. Peterson had been suspended from the league since Nov. 18. Peterson pleaded no contest on Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless injury charges after injuring his son while disciplining him last May. In a letter from commissioner Roger Goodell, Peterson was informed that he is expected to fulfill his remaining obligations to the authorities in Minnesota and Texas, as well as the additional commitments Peterson made during his April 7 meeting with the commissioner, including counseling.
RUSK — A Jacksonville man was sentenced to 60 years in prison Tuesday for burglarizing a Cherokee County home. KETK reports a jury needed just 16 minutes to find Desiree Chumbley, 25, guilty of burglary of a habitation. The same jury later assessed the sentence. Jurors heard testimony from Deandre Jones that he and Chumbley kicked in the door of the home of Al Chavira in the middle of the day on January 13, 2014, and went inside. Additional evidence revealed a neighbor watched the burglary in progress from her home as she called 911.… Read More
LONGVIEW — An East Texas man remains behind bars after allegedly stealing from a self-storage business, and an investigation of the case continues. KETK reports that Gregg County deputies responded around 4:40 p.m. Sunday to a self-storage business on George Richey Road on reports of a burglary. A witness at the location reported seeing a truck leaving the area with a refrigerator in the bed. The storage units were checked and locks were missing from several doors. Based on information provided by the witness, Jackie Ray Lucas of Big Sandy was stopped by Gladewater police on Highway 271 near the airport. His truck reportedly contained items stolen from the units valued at about $2,000. … Read More
A key committee in Austin took testimony Tuesday on a bill by Rep. David Simpson that would allow people to sue makers of synthetic pot in civil courts. Simpson, R-Longview, reported afterward he expects the Committee on the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence to move his House Bill 1200 on to the House of Representatives next week for floor debate. According to the Longview News-Journal, Simpson said Tuesday evening he had agreed to tweak that bill to ensure FDA-approved products are not caught in its net. The bill creates a civil liability for people who make synthetic drugs, which have sent many users to emergency rooms and are blamed in some deaths across the state. Simpson’s measure targets the pocketbooks of those who make and market the substances, which are sold as bath spices, potpourri and other harmless products.
SMITH COUNTY — Two burglary suspects are in custody following a high speed chase. Arthur Jenkins, 63, Winona (pictured) and Ashtyn Walker, 27, Tyler, have been charged with burglary of a business and evading arrest. Tyler Police responded to a commercial alarm at Royal Donuts, 3213 West Gentry just after 2:00 Thursday morning. They learned that prior to their arrival, a Smith County Deputy witnessed a car leaving the scene at a high rate of speed. A chase ensued, and ended a short time later in Wood County. Jenkins immediately surrendered, but Walker took off on foot and had to be subdued by a Taser, according to officials. … Read More
LUFKIN — Word came in Wednesday that an Arkansas native who was at the center of a controversy involving the Church of Wells has returned to the church and is engaged to be married to a fellow church member. That’s according to the Lufkin Daily News. The deep East Texas newspaper reports Catherine Grove intends to marry Ronnie Saltsman. Grove told the news outlet Ronnie proposed to her on her birthday, January 15. The couple hasn’t set a date, but she says she wants to marry her fiance in the church’s new building once construction is complete. … Read More
LUFKIN (AP) – Former Railroad Commissioner Buddy Temple, who withdrew from the 1982 Democratic primary for governor and unified the party behind state Attorney General Mark White’s eventual winning campaign, has died at age 73. Buddy Zeagler, executive director for the Temple family’s philanthropic foundation, told The Lufkin Daily News that Temple died at his Lufkin home Tuesday. Temple, an heir to his family’s East Texas timber empire, worked in the family business until his election to the Texas Railroad Commission in 1980. In 1982, he was part of a six-candidate Democratic primary field for governor and garnered 31 percent of the vote to White’s 45 percent. However, he declined to run in the runoff against White, who went on to topple Republican incumbent Bill Clements.
TYLER — The Texas Education Agency has officially announced Tyler ISD as one of 44 newly approved Early College High School (ECHS) designations for the 2015-2016 school year. “I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the first ECHS Program for Tyler ISD,” ECHS Director DelSenna Frazier said. “This program is going to positively impact the lives of so many students and families in Tyler. The ECHS model is the new high school experience.” … Read More
AUSTIN — A Tyler man convicted of murdering a 2-year-old in 2008 had his death row appeal denied Wednesday morning. According to KETK, a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals document shows the court reviewed five allegations made in Demontrell Lamar Miller’s application and recommended his appeal be denied without an evidentiary hearing. The 28-year-old was sentenced to death in November 2009 for the June 2008 murder of his then-girlfriend’s two-year-old son, Kelynn. … Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler has unveiled his “No Taxation Without Representation Act.” According to a news release, the measure would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to insure that there is no taxation without representation — and to make tax law regarding residents of the District of Columbia consistent with tax law affecting territories of the United States that also do not have a voting member of the U.S. House of Representatives. … Read More
KILGORE — The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man wanted out of Kilgore. KETK reports authorities are searching for Otis Ray Austin, 43, who is wanted on an outstanding felony warrant and is a person of interest in a recent burglary case. The suspect is described as 6 feet tall and weighing about 160 pounds. If you have information on Austin’s whereabouts, contact Gregg County investigator Craig Harrington at 903-237-2529 or Crime Stoppers at 903-236-STOP.
LONGVIEW — Longview police have canceled their search for a 50-year-old man after he was found safe. KETK reports officials were looking for John Garland, Jr., of Henderson, who had last been reported in Longview on April 8. The family was worried about the man’s disappearance because of mental health issues and his known use of narcotics, according to information from police.
TYLER — Some doctors in Texas are getting paid a lot of money, but not from patients, from pharmaceutical companies. http://betterdoctor.com says when it comes to taking money from big pharma, doctors in Tyler take second place. Dallas is ranked third. Spokeswoman Divya Raghavan says payments can be gifts or speaking fees and it could sway doctors. She suggests asking your doctor if there are cheaper alternatives if you’re given a prescription. Go to http://www.openpayments.com to find out how much your doctor has received.
This story has been modified since it was first reported in order to correctly identify the organization name and website.
SMITH COUNTY — Tyler Police are warning area residents about three recent scams where Tyler citizens have been taken advantage of by scammers. The most recent one is a “House on Fire Scam.” Tyler Police and Smith County Sheriff’s Office have been contacted in reference to two Hispanic males who will knock on your door very late into the night and tell you that your house is on fire. They will attempt to get you outside your residence while one of them will go inside and check your electrical box. However they are looking to steal or leave a rear window open to return to your residence to commit a crime. … Read More
ATHENS – For the second time in six months, there has been a bomb threat at the Henderson County Courthouse. Two calls were received before 9:00 Tuesday morning claiming there was a bomb at the courthouse. The building was closed and neighboring businesses were closed. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms brought in a dog to assist in the search. No bomb was found and the buildings were reopened. A similar bomb threat was made at the courthouse last October. No bomb was found then either. Authorities feel the two threats are connected.
AUSTIN (AP/STAFF) — With seven weeks left, the real wrangling in Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s first session now begins. That’s because the Senate on Tuesday approved a new spending blueprint for Texas: a $211.4 billion budget proposal that more than triples border security spending, boosts highway construction and leaves Democrats grumbling over classroom spending and pre-K dollars. Among those weighing in is Republican Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler. … Read More
TYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler has received a substantial materials grant to provide educational training for K-12 teachers. With the $80,000 award – the largest of its kind in Texas – the UT Tyler Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy will equip area teachers with the knowledge and tools they need to incorporate economics and personal finance into the K-12 curriculum. … Read More