KILGORE — One person is in custody following an overnight car chase through Rusk County. The Kilgore Police Department assisted DPS Troopers in a pursuit late Monday night on U.S. Highway 259, south of Kilgore. The truck involved was said to be traveling at a high rate of speed in the wrong lane. According to KETK, Kilgore officers successfully deployed a spike strip to stop the truck, which came to a halt. The driver surrendered to officers after brief negotiations. The identity of the driver has not been released.
BULLARD — A Smith County man accused of using a bat to kill a man has been indicted for murder. The indictment was handed up against James Bales, 31. He is accused of the March 6th murder of Bias Lott, 61. The incident happened in the 22000 block of Lakeway Harbor Drive in Bullard. Deputies initially responded to a disturbance call and, upon arrival, found two men involved in an altercation. Officials said one of the men had been attacked and repeatedly hit in the head with a baseball bat. Lot was transported to a Tyler hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and died early the next morning.
TYLER — A man accused in a fatal Smith County wreck has been indicted on two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault. The Smith County District Attorney’s Office announced the indictments against Carl Wayne Crabtree, 30, of Bullard. Crabtree’s vehicle crossed the center line on Old Jacksonville Highway March 4 and collided head-on with a northbound SUV. Killed were Dana Regester, 41, of Flint, and Pasha Zapolsky, 18, of Bullard. Ashley Regester was thrown from the vehicle and hospitalized, but she recovered from her injuries. Caleb Chadwell also suffered injuries, but he was also later released from a local hospital. The Department of Public Safety reported Crabtree’s blood alcohol content level (BAC) was twice the legal limit during the accident. Crabtree’s BAC was said to be at .16. The legal limit is .08. There was also a traceable amount of an unknown drug within his system.
GLADEWATER — Charges are pending against a former Gladewater kindergarten teacher. Police Chief Robert Vine Tells KETK, Amanda Hickman is facing one count of injury to a child, a state jail felony. Authorities are looking into allegations that she injured a young student. The boy’s mother claims her son had permission to be under the teacher’s desk to wind down when he becomes agitated or antsy. During this time the boy grabbed some candy from the teacher’s drawer. The mother said the teacher grabbed the boy by his feet and dragged him out of the classroom. Investigators are said to have delivered a summery of the case report to the Gregg County District Attorney’s office on June 1.
MARSHALL — A multi vehicle accident in Harrison County has left one person dead and one injured. It happened Monday morning on Interstate Highway 20, southeast of Marshall, near exit 620. KETK reports that the wreck killed Brian Buffalo, 39, of Orange Clark, Florida. His wife was injured. She is hospitalized in Marshall. Her condition is unknown. The accident occurred when their SUV clipped a vehicle that was being towed. Their SUV was then hit from behind by an 18-wheeler. The SUV then flipped and rolled down an embankment. The victim’s body has been sent to Tyler for autopsy.
SMITH COUNTY – One person has been injured in a Smith County drive-by shooting. It happened around 5:00 yesterday afternoon in the 500 block of Airway Ave, near the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. A man was hit in the leg by a single shot fired from a passing car. The man’s name has not been released. Sheriff’s department Public Information Officer Gary Middleton says they have no suspects and the investigation is continuing.
SMITH COUNTY – Tyler Maintenance are placing an overlay on Farm Road 1805 between Farm Road 1253 and the Van Zandt County line. Tyler’s second crew will be assisting in Van Zandt County making repairs on Farm Road 2475. Both jobs will reduce the roadway to one lane with flaggers controlling traffic.… Read More
MOUNT PLEASANT — A brother and sister have been killed in a fiery crash in Mount Pleasant. It happened just before 1:00 yesterday morning in the 2200 block of West 1st Street, Farm Road 899. The vehicle, driven by Manuel DeJesus Diaz, 19, was traveling eastbound when it left the roadway, striking several trees and becoming engulfed in flames. According to KETK, witnesses reported seeing Diaz, as well as Maria Gonzales, 33, trapped inside the vehicle during the fire.… Read More
UPSHUR COUNTY — A coach for Big Sandy ISD has been killed in a two vehicle wreck. Officials said the wreck happened on Highway 155 near Lemon Road Saturday morning. Jeff Blackstone, head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Big Sandy High School, died in the accident. The driver of the other vehicle was transported to a local hospital. The Department of Public Safety is investigating.… Read More
SMITH COUNTY — A major accident in Smith County Saturday sends six people to the hospital. It happened around 4:15 on Toll Road 49, near Frankston Highway. According to KETK, an 18-wheeler ran into the back of the car. The ages and conditions of the injured are unknown at this time but officials said none of the injuries are fatal. Noonday VFD, DPS, and EMS responded to the scene. Traffic was backed up in the area.
HOUSTON (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has added 20 counties to a disaster declaration for Texas after severe flooding last month. The new counties are: Bastrop, Blanco, Caldwell, Denton, Eastland, Fort Bend, Gaines, Guadalupe, Henderson, Hidalgo, Johnson, Milam, Montague, Navarro, Rusk, Smith, Travis, Wichita, Williamson and Wise Counties. Seven counties were part of the original disaster declaration signed by President Barack Obama last month. The declaration offers federal aid to supplement other recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe weather since May 4. FEMA on Saturday said residents can register for aid by calling 1-800-621-3362 or signing up online at http://DisasterAssistance.gov FEMA says it has already approved more than $7.3 million in aid for individuals. The death toll from the Memorial Day weekend storms is 33, including 28 in Texas.
TYLER — An emergency contract to remove debris from tornado-ravaged Van in Van Zandt County has begun. The contract was awarded to Drewery Construction of Nacogdoches. The process includes five trucks making rounds through the city and surrounding impacted areas to remove the mounds of debris piled along city streets and on state right-of-way. The month-long contract is expected to haul away some 40,000 cubic yards of debris. According to TxDOT, the contract includes the removal of construction and demolition material from impacted properties such as roofing material, boards, concrete and tin, but also trees, tires, appliances, etc. … Read More
TYLER — The Scott Firefighter Challenge kicked off in Tyler Friday and will continue through Sunday. It’s the tenth year in row for the city of Tyler to compete. The competition is taking place in the Broadway Square Mall parking lot. It’s free to the public. The challenge itself seeks to encourage firefighter fitness and show the public what they go through on a daily basis.… Read More
TYLER — Burns Commercial Properties in Tyler has confirmed a mouth-watering French bistro is making its way to the Rose City. According to KETK, la Madeleine Country French Café will land at Old Bullard Road and Loop 323 in Tyler where a group of townhouses currently sits. Demolition of the townhomes will be required to build the retail center that will house the bistro. Construction should be completed by early 2016.
VAN — A Mobile Registration Intake Center (MRIC) has opened in Van to serve homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the ongoing severe storms and flooding. Specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are there to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors.… Read More
LONGVIEW — LONGVIEW — A former Longview police officer has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of aggravated child sexual assault. Leland Thomas Carver, 71, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated child sexual assault. According to KETK, Carver assaulted the child while she spent time visiting him at his home in the 300 block of Montclair Street in North Longview. The child was in the second grade when the abuse started. … Read More
MINEOLA — Two alleged burglars have been taken into custody for the theft of several thousands dollars from a Mineola Bank’s ATM. According to KETK, it turns out the pair was wanted for crimes across several states. Police said around 1:30 a.m. on May 31, an alarm was reported at BTH Bank on North Pacific, but responding officers did not find anyone at the scene. The following day, authorities discovered optic and phone lines had been intentionally cut and the ATM had been the target of a burglary. The vault was cut open with a torch and grinding tools. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken.… Read More
GREGG COUNTY — Two people are dead and two are injured following a wreck on Highway 31 Thursday night. It happened around 8:45 at the intersection of Hwy 31 and Farm to Market Road 3053. According to KETK, a truck pulling a trailer, driven by Carl Linkinhoker, 42, of Kilgore, was stopped on 31, facing south. A car, driven by Brandon Aills Sr., 29, of Longview, was heading west on 31 and did not have the headlights on. The Department of Public Safety report stated that Linkinhoker pulled into the intersection and attempted to turn east on HWY 31 and hit Aills’ car on the front left side. Aills was taken to a local hospital where he is reported to be in stable condition. … Read More
TYLER — The Smith County Road and Bridge Department has compiled an updated report of the status of county roads and bridges in the process of being repaired or replaced or waiting for parts to be repaired or replaced. Most of the roads were damaged due to the storms throughout the county last month. But two additional roads in Precinct 1 that will require culverts replacement were not affected by recent weather events, according to Smith County Engineer Frank Davis. Also included in the list are four county bridges being replaced by the Texas Department of Transportation.… Read More
GALVESTON (AP) – A Galveston woman who ran over her 75-year-old boyfriend before driving her car carrying her baby into a bayou last year has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Galveston County Daily News reports 31-year-old Latonya Kirven was sentenced May 21 to two concurrent 15-year prison terms after pleading guilty to attempt to commit capital murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Kirven argued with Mack Gray before hitting him with her car. He survived. Police have said teenagers fishing nearby rescued the 6-month-old son, who was unharmed. A man who was among the rescuers said they tried to help Kirven too, but she resisted. A charge of driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle against Kirven was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
VAN — The Van ISD Education Foundation received a donation of $1,000 Thursday from the Lindale ISD Education Foundation. According to a Van ISD news release, the donation is for disaster relief after multiple Van ISD buildings sustained significant damage from an EF3 tornado on May 10. “The support has been tremendous,” said Van ISD Superintendent Don Dunn. “We are incredibly appreciative for all the donations we have received.” Lindale ISD Superintendent Stan Surratt wore a red shirt designed by Lindale ISD teachers to show support for Van while presenting the check to the Van ISD Education Foundation. “Any day we can get Stan Surratt in a red shirt is a good day,” Dunn said.… Read More
TYLER — A Tyler man’s execution for the 2005 murder of an elderly women has been scheduled. According to KETK, Judge Christi Kennedy’s office says Clifton Lamar Williams, 31, will be put to death by lethal injection July 16 in Huntsville. The then 23-year-old Williams was convicted of strangling, beating, and stabbing 93-year-old Cecelia Schneider to death on July 9, 2005, at her Tyler home. He then set her body and bed on fire and took her purse and car. During the investigation, Williams’s DNA and fingerprints were found in Schneider’s car, and he led detectives to the scene where he disposed of the murder weapon and her purse. Williams was convicted of the murder on October 27, 2006. Eight inmates have been executed so far in 2015.
GILMER — A former Gilmer ISD student aide has been indicted on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. KETK reports a grand jury indicted Orlandos Lugene Johnson, 47, who had been a 22-year employee of the school district. He was arrested on April 1 and booked into the Upshur County Jail. He is being held on $250,000 bond. Allegations were made by a former student. Johnson was placed on leave immediately once the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office alerted the school district. The suspect was an instructional aide at the time.
GILMER — The Upshur County Sheriff’s Department is continuing to investigate a body that was found burned near Highway 271 and Pacal Road Wednesday. According to KETK, investigators say the case began with a search for a missing person in Smith County. Their investigation led them to a house in Upshur County. A search warrant was executed, which ultimately led them to the gruesome discovery. Investigator Freddie Fitzgerald said officials have a person of interest who was taken into custody on unrelated charges Tuesday, before the body was located. Although the sheriff’s department said it’s investigating this as a homicide, that person has not been charged with anything related to this case. Investigators are not releasing the identity of the victim or the person of interest at this time. The body has been sent to Southwest Forensics in Dallas for an autopsy.
TYLER — A law officer’s missing cemetery marker has been returned to its gravesite, thanks to the efforts of a citizen. Tyler police say in May of this year a veteran’s cemetery marker was found at a residence that was being renovated by a new homeowner. Upon finding the marker the homeowner did some research and determined that the marker belonged to a Milus (Mike) Nichol, who died in the line of duty on October 12, 1962, while serving with the Tyler Police Department.… Read More
LIBERTY CITY — Family members of a Liberty City teenager missing since April say a person matching her description has been spotted near Leadville, Colorado — a small town about 100 miles west of Denver. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. Vickie Raymond, Paiglynn Raymond’s grandmother, said over the weekend two East Texas men traveling through Colorado on business saw a young girl wandering around a gas station, and it struck both of them as strange. “They considered asking her if she needed transportation, but they didn’t want to scare her,” she said.… Read More
TYLER — Pets for People, formerly The Humane Society of East Texas, is in danger of closing its doors. Executive Director Gayle Helms told KETK,”We make our money strictly from private donations. We’re not government funded by any way, we’re not funded by any of the national organizations, so everything that we get actually comes from private donations.” Helms says Pets Fur People needs another $20,000 per month in order to continue operation, with each pet costing the agency about $13 per day. According to Helms, if the organization does not receive the funding, it will shut down by the end of July. “That would be a real tragedy for Smith County and East Texas, not having a brick and mortar no kill animal shelter here,” said Helms. … Read More
AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott added 24 more counties to the states disaster declaration, including five from East Texas. According to KETK, Nacogdoches, Polk, San Augustine, Shelby and Trinity counties joined a long list of others. … Read More
TYLER — Tyler Police are searching for two suspects involved in a reported aggravated assault Thursday morning. It happened around 1:45 at Target, 7003 South Broadway. Officials said an employee was outside waiting to enter the business when he was approached by two black males with their faces partially covered. One of the suspects was armed with a pistol and demanded all of the victim’s property. About that time, another employee unlocked the door from the inside to let the victim in. The suspects fled in a white vehicle and have not been located. Please contact police with any information. At this time the case is still being investigated. Anyone with information concerning this case is encouraged to call the Tyler Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 903-597-CUFF.
GLADEWATER — Gladewater police reported a registered sex offender was arrested early Wednesday after he was allegedly caught peeking into several homes. KETK reports that around 1:30 a.m., authorities received a call about a person looking into the windows of homes in the 100 block of N. Cotton Street. When police made it to the scene, they found a suspect matching the description that was called in to dispatchers. The man had reportedly been spotted at two different houses.… Read More