KILGORE — Kilgore police are still investigating leads following a murder Sunday evening in a residential neighborhood. According to KETK, investigators said a man knocked on the door of Franciosa Lakeefe Jackson’s home and asked for him by name. Family members heard gunfire and found the 36-year-old victim dead in the front yard with a least one gunshot wound. The lead investigator, Trae Portwood, said they believe the victim knew the person who shot him. “There was some indication they conversed in the front yard. They didn’t have any conflict. They weren’t arguing in the front yard when the conversation started. They shook hands when he came out of the house. Until the gunfire was heard by the family inside the house there was no indication anything was wrong.”… Read More
LONGVIEW — Longview Transit, in partnership with R&K Distributors , the Local Budweiser Distributor, is preparing to provide a “Safe-Ride-Home” on New Year’s Eve. For the seventh consecutive year, Longview Transit will give free rides to anyone within Longview city limits on New Year’s Eve between 8:00pm and 3:00am. Rides can be scheduled by calling Longview Transit at 903-753-2287 ext.10. To prepare for the Safe-Ride-Home project, Longview Transit’s regular route service will end early at Noon on Wednesday, December 31. This curb to curb service will be available to and from any destination.… Read More
LONGVIEW – Following his indictment by a grand jury, a Gregg County man has been arrested on a charge of sexual assault of a child. The Longview News-Journal reports Denys Velasquez, 20, was booked into the Gregg County Jail. His bond was set at $35,000. According to the indictment, Velasquez is accused of having sexual contact with a child younger than 17.
TYLER — Tyler Police Department will participate in the ‘No-Refusal’ DWI Campaign once again this year. Upon the arrest of a suspected drunk driver, he or she will be asked if they would submit to a breath or a blood test. If the driver refuses and says “No” officers will obtain an immediate search warrant signed by a judge on call to have blood drawn by a nurse on staff at the Smith County Jail. The No-Refusal campaign will start Wednesday, December 31, at 3:00pm and run through Saturday, January 3rd.… Read More
TYLER – A female elephant at Tyler’s Caldwell Zoo has died. The zoo announced that Binti, a female African elephant, died Tuesday following a short illness. A necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. Binti was born in in South Africa in 1978 and arrived at the Tyler zoo by way of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago in 2000. She was the zoo’s only tuskless elephant, which is a not-so-common trait. It is believed around 38% are born without tusks, much higher than the estimated 1% in the 1930s. According to National Geographic, the average female African elephant’s lifespan born in the wild is 56 years and 17 years in captivity.
GREGG COUNTY — A Longview man has been charged with intoxication assault with a vehicle causing serious bodily injury. According to KETK, Christopher Eric Waltrip, 36, was being held Monday on $10,000 bond. Waltrip was arrested following a car wreck around 11:30 Sunday night on Highway 80. Waltrip was parked on the highway perpendicular to the flow of traffic when Nancy Wells’ vehicle hit his pickup. … Read More
TYLER — A house at 2816 Staley Drive in Tyler has been damaged by fire. It was reported around 1:15 Monday afternoon. The fire investigator determined the fire started in one of the children’s bedroom around a wall plug located behind the bed. Officials said the bed initially caught on fire before spreading to the rest of the room. The bedroom sustained heavy fire damage. Crews were able to contain the fire to the bedroom resulting in only heat and smoke damage to the remainder of the house. The house was occupied by two adults and five children. No injuries were reported. The family is staying with other family members.
TYLER – Another Tyler convenience store has been robbed. This time it was held up by two black men all in black clothing. The robbery occurred around 9:00 last night at 1707 East Front Street. The suspects displayed a handgun and stole an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing the scene on foot. The suspects were last seen running south bound on Palmer Street. No injuries were reported.… Read More
LUFKIN – An Angelina County man has died following a 4-wheeler accident. He has been identified as Dakota Wayne Lee, 25, Lufkin. The accident on Kimberly Lane occurred shortly before 5:45 yesterday afternoon. Investigators say Lee was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the 4-wheeler and it flipped over on top of him.
MARSHALL — One person is in police custody after an alleged attack during a carjacking in Marshall. According to KETK, on Monday evening, just after 5:00, 911 dispatch received a call about a man bleeding and attempting to flag down cars in the 2600 block of Loop 390. Responding officers located the man and took him to a local hospital for treatment. Investigators determined Shon Dupre Leal, 46, Marshall, had allegedly stabbed the victim and jacked his car. He was arrested and booked into the Harrison County Jail for aggravated robbery.
LINDALE — Authorities are asking for the public’s help solving a recent purse theft at a business in Lindale. According to the KETK, Lindale Police said two men were allegedly involved in the theft of a purse at Walmart. The first suspected thief is described as a black male wearing a hat with flowery jeans. The second man involved is described as a white male wearing a green and black #5 NASCAR jacket. If you know the identity of the two individuals, please contact Det. Mike Lazarine with the Lindale Police Dept at 903-882-3313.
TYLER — Drivers who use Toll 49 should plan for an increase in the toll rates effective on January 1, 2015. According to Everett Owen, Interim Executive Director of the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the toll rate adjustments are not new. It was decided back in February that the rate adjustments would be incremental during the 2014 calendar year to bring Tyler closer to the state average. Revenue will be used to maintain and expand the toll road. You can go to http://www.netrma.org for a list of the upcoming rate changes.
EAST TEXAS — Drivers who use Toll 49 should plan for an increase in the toll rates effective on January 1, 2015. According to Everett Owen, Interim Executive Director of the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority advised, the toll rate adjustments are not new. It was decided back in February that the rate adjustments would be incremental during the 2014 calendar year to bring Tyler closer to the state average. Revenue will be used to maintain and expand the toll road. For more information, including rates, visit http://www.netrma.org/
LONGVIEW — Gregg County authorities are seeking the public’s help in locating a fugitive. He is Preston Cole Green, 42. He is wanted for theft over $1,500 and less than $20,000. He is also named in felony warrants out of Louisiana for hot checks. Green is described as a white male, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weighing about 260 pounds. If you have information that can lead to his arrest, contact Crime Stoppers at http://www.greggcountycrimestoppers.org or call 903-236-STOP (7867).
TYLER — The City of Tyler Water Department will be doing work at a busy intersection today causing lane closures. According to the Tyler Police Department, the westbound lanes at Troup Highway and Shiloh Road will be closed all day today for the Water Department to perform maintenance. Drivers are urged to use an alternate route.
KILGORE – One person has been shot and killed at a home in Kilgore. It happened around 7:00 Sunday night in the 300 block of Rogers Street. KETK was told the gunman had knocked on the door and asked to speak to Franciseo Jackson, 36. He then gunned down Jackson on his porch and the shooter then left the scene. According to a witness, a suspect was seeing feeling the scene on foot. He is described as a black male, described as being between 5’7′ and 5’9″ and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and grey pants. The investigation continues.
TYLER — – A man has suffered a leg wound following a disturbance at a Tyler club. The man was taken shortly before 3:00 Sunday morning by private vehicle to Mother Frances Hospital where was he was treated for a grazing gunshot wound to the leg. He told officers he had been in a disturbance with the suspect at the Farwest Club, located at 13087 Highway 271. The victim was followed by the suspect from the club. At the intersection of Highway 271 and Highway 155, the suspect fired from his vehicle into the vehicle that the victim was in. One of the rounds grazed the victim after passing through the door. The incident remains under investigation.
TYLER – Two Tyler businesses have been robbed over the weekend. In both cases, the suspect was described as a black male wearing all black clothing. Shortly before 8:45 Sunday night, the Super Food Mart convenience store at 2030 West Gentry Parkway was robbed by a lone gunman. Saturday night around 9:00, the Midway Convenience Store at South Broadway and Houston Street was robbed by a lone gunman. In each robbery, the suspect stole an undisclosed amount of cash and merchandise while holding the clerk at gun point. No injuries were reported in either robbery. Anyone with information in the cases is urged to contact the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000 or Tyler/Smith County Crime Stoppers at 903-597-CUFF.
PEERLESS – The body of a soldier, who had just turned 20, has been recovered from a private pond in Hopkins County. The body of Arsenio Ugalde, who was home on leave from Fort Louis, Washington, was recovered shortly after 1:00 Saturday afternoon. He found was found by a Texas Parks and Wildlife diver in about five feet of water some 45 feet from the bank. His family had thrown a party for him Friday night for his return home. Early Saturday morning he was with friends near the pond. He was last seen swimming toward a boat that appeared to be drifting toward the middle of the pond. When he didn’t return, officials were called to the pond off County Road 4744 just before 4:30 Saturday morning.
TYLER (AP) — The Tyler Fire Department has sent a 17-year-old fire truck to a village in Guatemala. The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports that Tyler officials arranged through the nonprofit group Ignited to donate the truck to the municipality of San Jose Pinula. The truck was being used as a backup in Tyler because it has a leaky water tank and a bent frame. But when Hope Ignited’s executive director went on a medical outreach trip to Guatemala, he saw a new fire station without a fire truck because local officials couldn’t afford one. Tyler was eventually identified as having a truck available. City officials from San Jose Pinula flew to the United States to pick up the truck from Tyler, then drive it about 1,500 miles back to Guatemala.
AUSTIN (AP/Staff) – Rising office rent prices in downtown Austin have lawmakers again pushing for two new state buildings after Gov. Rick Perry vetoed those construction plans in 2013, and an East Texan is weighing in. One proposed 360,000-square-foot addition would be the first new office building in the Capitol complex since 2000. The Texas Facilities Commission says construction would cost $174 million but also get nearly one-fourth of the state’s existing leases in Austin off the books. Republican state Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler told the Austin American-Statesman that the plans make sense given escalating rent prices as the Austin economy flourishes. … Read More
SMITH COUNTY – A man has been treated and released following a Smith County shooting. Sheriff’s deputies are still looking for the suspect. It was said to have resulted from an argument between the man and his girlfriend. The man, Larry Rhodes, was said to have been shot once in the hip and then taken by private vehicle to the University of Texas Health Center. The shooting occurred at a home on U.S. Highway 271 North. The investigation is continuing.
LONGVIEW — Drinking and driving is an avoidable crime that affects many innocent people’s lives every day. The Longview Police Department Officers encourage everyone to have a safe, happy, and festive Holiday season. This holiday season the Longview Police Department encourages everyone to choose a designated driver or stay sober. According to a news release, Longview police will be out in force over the next few weeks working to make our streets safer for the citizens and visitors to Longview. … Read More
EAST TEXAS – Fires in East Texas have left several families displaced. In the Winona area, a home was extensively damaged by fire. It was reported around 11:00 Christmas morning in the 12000 block of Smith County Road 316. Several county fire departments extinguished the blaze, which is thought to have started in the home’s attic. No injuries were reported.
Off Cherokee County Road 3409 in the Mt. Selman area, a family lost everything when their mobile home was destroyed by fire Christmas morning. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.… Read More
Kilgore, Texas (KETK) — Police have identified a woman who was killed Thursday afternoon in a Kilgore crash. Assistant Chief Roman Roberson said at 2:04 p.m., emergency crews responded to a two-vehicle crash at U.S. Highway 259 North and I-20. Investigators determined a car heading southbound on 259 hit a truck-trailer which had exited I-20.
The car struck the back of the truck-trailer as it was trying to cross the highway. The driver of the car was identified as Ashley Brooke Norris, 31, of White Oak. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the truck was not injured. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
If you witnessed the crash or have any information related to this case please contact KPD Officer Josh Sims or Detective John Rowe at 903-983-1559.
NACOGDOCHES – Authorities are searching for three burglary suspects in Nacogdoches County following a chase that started in Rusk County. It started around 3:00 Wednesday morning. According to a news release from the sheriff’s department, the men are suspected in the burglary of a Longview Pharmacy. The chase with the car containing four suspects started on U.S. Highway 259. During the chase, two of the men were let out of the car on Highway 259 near County Road 915. Another suspect exited the car on Highway 204. The driver was later taken into custody near Cushing. Sheriff Jason Bridges says all of the suspects are from the Houston area and may be trying to return there. All are described as black males wearing all dark clothing. According to Sheriff Bridges, “Area residents should make sure that their vehicles are secured. The subjects are not believed to be armed; however they may be very desperate at this point from being out in the cold weather for so long.”
NEW YORK (AP/STAFF) — “The Interview” has been put back into theaters, now that Sony Pictures Entertainment has announced a limited Christmas Day theatrical release. And it might be showing in East Texas. It’s the latest twist in a topsy-turvy trip for the film from the producers to the screen. The comedy provoked an international incident with North Korea and outrage over its canceled release. Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton says Seth Rogen’s North Korea farce will be in a number of theaters beginning Thursday. He says Sony also is continuing its efforts to release the film on more platforms and in more theaters. Kilgore’s 4 Star Cinema owner Byron Berkley said he has put in a request to show the movie. He should know the first of next week if his request is granted.… Read More
AUSTIN — There’s more reaction now that the East Texas killer made famous by the hit flick “Bernie” will get a new sentencing hearing following a recent decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Bernie Tiede has been out of prison since May. He was released 17 years into a life sentence for the murder of a wealthy Carthage widow. Family spokesman Ryan Gravatt wants the judge to ask the district attorney to bring in all the evidence — “Tiede forging checks before and after he killed Marjorie Nugent, and weigh this with the justice that’s the equivalent of what’s deserved for a man who conned and killed and executed an elderly woman in order to keep her money.” He says the Nugent family has released those checks and that Tiede stole millions from Nugent over six years. He says the family would be highly disappointed if the judge went along with the district attorney and released Tiede with time served.
TYLER — The Smith County Jail had once again passed the Texas Commission on Jail Standards inspection. The announcement was made by Sheriff Larry Smith. “I would like to recognize and congratulate the jail staff and detention officers on a job well done. I continue to be in awe of the dedication exhibited constantly by employees of the Smith County Jail and Smith County Sheriff’s Office as a whole.” The sheriff added, even though they have faced recent challenges, the employees continue to strive for excellence and go the extra mile.
DALLAS (AP/Staff) — The city of Dallas and a North Texas river authority are at odds over the price of lake water after six years of failed negotiations, and an East Texas lake is in the picture. The Dallas Morning News reports Dallas has asked the Texas Public Utility Commission to block the rate set by the state-created Sabine River Authority. The river authority decided to charge Dallas $24.1 million a year for water after negotiations failed. The city this year started drawing from Lake Fork, which provides about 13 percent of water coming out of Dallas faucets. Dallas officials say the price could be passed on to consumers, which would add about $4 a month to the average residential water bill. The commission has scheduled a hearing for Jan. 6 and will determine if it has jurisdiction in the dispute.