TYLER — State Senator Kevin Eltife of Tyler will not be running for re-election in 2016. The news comes shortly after Eltife was named the Senate’s president pro tem. The former Tyler mayor and city councilman tells KTBB he feels “it’s time to take a break.” He says he never set out to be a career politician but kept running because people asked him to. Eltife has served in the Senate since 2004. He says once out of office, he plans to stay involved in state government and local nonprofits. He adds, “I will still work hard in Austin make sure Northeast Texas is represented. I don’t have to hold office to do that.” … Read More
TYLER — A new partnership could benefit college students and professionals. KETK reports Tyler Junior College will partner with the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors. Officials say GTAR will work closely with TJC by giving the college feedback on the program. For now, TJC will offer a certificate in proficiency in real estate. The school would eventually like to offer an associate degree in that field. GTAR said it will benefit the students by bringing in better-trained real estate agents. “Some of the courses will be in the classroom,” said Claudia Carroll, the board chairman of GTAR. “They will be taught by people who have experience in real estate, and they will be getting the proper context for the information that they’re learning.” TJC trustees approved the program in January.
ATHENS — FEMA, along with the SBA, opened a Mobile Registration Information Center Saturday at the Cain Center at 915 South Palestine Street in Athens. People in Henderson County who had damages from the recent severe weather and flooding are urged to visit the center to register with FEMA and have their questions answered about possible federal assistance. Also, anyone with damage who lives in one of the four other East Texas counties which are part of the disaster declaration is welcome to visit the center, according to a news release. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
STARRVILLE — Starrville Water Supply in northeastern Smith County (PWS ID 2120100) has conducted required lab tests and determined that its water is now safe for consumption, according to information from the company. The boil water notice issued on June 9 for this system is now lifted. If you have any questions concerning this matter, you may contact Hattie Miller at 903-343-4599 or Glenn Trimble at 903-245-1357.
TYLER — Expect delays today on Shiloh Road and Rice Road. The City of Tyler Street Department will be milling sections of the roads due to excess asphalt rising to the surface, according to a city news release. Starting Wednesday, June 17, a contractor will place a new micro surface to repair the milled out sections of pavement. Citizens should expect temporary lane closures along Shiloh Road and Rice Road until repairs are completed.
LONGVIEW — A Longview man has been arrested in connection with a double murder in Pittsburg. According to KETK, Friday morning around 12:20 a.m., Pittsburg officers responded to a shooting at a home located in the 400 block of North Greer Boulevard. Upon arrival, officers determined one victim had been taken to a local hospital by private vehicle and another was being taken by ambulance. A a third victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim who was taken by ambulance later died of his wounds. Autopsies were ordered on the deceased victims, whose identities were not immediately released pending notification of next of kin.… Read More
TYLER – Smith County has now been included in a Presidential Disaster Declaration, and local residents impacted by recent weather may register for help with FEMA and the Small Business Administration. Deadline to register for assistance is July 28, 2015, according to a Smith County news release. Officials say representatives with both agencies are currently in Smith County visiting those who were hardest hit and those identified with special needs.… Read More
TYLER — While most chambers of commerce struggle through their annual membership drive, the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a membership event that is like none other, according to a Chamber news release. Chamber officials say for 2½ days, over 400 volunteers worked against the clock and against each other to sign up 914 new Chamber members and created a greater community awareness of the important role of the Chamber of Commerce. The event is organized by Jimmy Cusano and a group called Your Chamber Connection. Their specialty is high-energy membership campaigns that allow volunteers to conduct “out of the box” membership fun while building the membership base, according to the news release.… Read More
OVERTON (AP) – Two Texas girls whose lemonade stand was shut down because they lacked a permit will instead offer the drink for free. 8-year-old Andria Green and her 7-year-old sister, Zoey, will take only donations for lemonade Saturday in Overton. A police officer on Monday approached the stand, which offered lemonade for 50 cents and “kettle korn” for $1. In patrol-car video, the officer can be heard asking the girls’ mother, Sandi Evans, for a permit. She says she wasn’t aware they needed one. A family friend went to City Hall to get one. Authorities waived the $150 fee, but said health department officials needed to inspect the stand. Overton’s police chief says police must follow state health guidelines.
HARRISON COUNTY — An old scam making the rounds again has led to an elderly East Texas man losing a huge fortune. It’s called the Jamaican or New York lottery scam — the one where they call people and ask them to get pre-paid debit cards to insure the delivery of their millions. A Harrison County man fell for it to the tune of $500,000. Lieutenant Jay Webb says the callers start out nice, then get belligerent, even threatening harm to you and your family. They’re convincing because of all the information they have. Another victim in the area lost $5,000.
LONGVIEW — Longview Police Chief Don Dingler will be retiring at the end of next month. The Longview native has served the city 42 years. He has been police chief since 2011. Starting the first of August, Assistant Chief Mike Bishop will serve as interim police chief. A set schedule has not been set for filling the police chief’s post. According to the Longview News Journal, Dingler began his career with Longview as a police officer in 1973. Over the years, he has worked assignments in patrol, traffic, training, jail services and narcotics. As a command level officer, he served as the commander in all major components of the police department.
TYLER — Some Tyler utility customers will be paying more for their services. KETK reports that the City Council Wednesday approved two rate increases. The first involves Atmos Energy, a natural gas company serving more than 200 residential customers and more than 60 commercial customers in Tyler. The average monthly bill will increase about 1.14 per cent. Garbage bills for Tyler commercial customers are also going up, by 1.7 per cent. The director of solid waste says it doesn’t affect the residential side of collection but does help offset expenses for residential customers.
LONGVIEW — The Humane Society of Northeast Texas has taken in so many cats, staffers there said they are at a 38% euthanasia rate. KETK reports they are now calling on the community for help. In 11 days, the shelter said it’s taken in 400 animals. Nationally, June is Cat Adoption Month, so the shelter is getting on board with the cause by lowering adoption fees in hopes of offseting the overcrowding. Instead of $75, the cats are being adopted out this month for $25. This includes all the basic kitten vaccinations, 30 days’ insurance, and having them fixed.… Read More
TYLER — A former Tyler pharmacist has had his request for a new trail rejected by Tyler’s 12th Court of Appeals. James Carey Prosperie, 75, Tyler, was arrested at his south Tyler Home in 2013 following a brief standoff with law officers. He was charged with sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child. Prosperie was found guilty on both counts and sentenced to two consecutive terms of 16 years each. In his appeal, Prosperie argued for a new punishment phase of his trial because of “his age and poor health.” The state court had denied his motion for a new punishment trial. There was no proof offered that he was in poor health. He also contended that the state district court “erred” by failing to conduct a restitution hearing. All of his arguments were rejected by the appeals court on Wednesday.
TYLER — Tyler city officials have scheduled an open house at which residents may provide input toward the Old Jacksonville Highway (FM 2493) Corridor Study. The open house will be held Thursday, June 18, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Lane’s Chapel United Methodist Church, located at 8720 Old Jacksonville Hwy. in Tyler. The portion of road being studied is bounded by Loop 323 in Tyler and Highway 69 in Bullard. According to a news release, the study will analyze the current conditions of traffic, travel lanes, and signals and make recommendations for upgrades as the corridor grows.… Read More
TYLER — Tyler street repair crews are sanding portions of Rice Road and Shiloh Road to soak up excess asphalt that is coming up in the wheel paths in the pavement. “Depending on temperature and traffic, sanding will continue in this area as long as excess asphalt is rising to the surface,” said City Engineer Carter Delleney. According to a news release, city staff will work with a contractor on the Rice/Shiloh pavement project to determine a cause and ultimate solution for this issue. Drivers are asked to use caution and drive safely as crews continue to sand in the area.
TYLER – A 54-year-old Tyler woman has been sentenced for wire fraud in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales Thursday. Tammy Ogden pleaded guilty to that charge last Dec. 15. She was sentenced Wednesday in Tyler to 27 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis. Ogden was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $136,237.75.… Read More
TYLER – A 45-year-old Palestine man has been sentenced to federal prison for distributing methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales Thursday. Edwin William Pacheco pleaded guilty Feb. 11 to possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. He was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison Thursday in Tyler by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider.… Read More
MARSHALL — SWEPCO crews worked to restore electricity in Marshall after a power line caught fire Thursday morning. According to KETK, the Marshall Fire Department says the blaze happened in the area of S. Wellington and W. Fannin Streets. About 900 customers were without electricity at one point late Thursday morning.
OVERTON — Two girls who tried to open a lemonade stand to raise money for a Father’s Day gift in Overton were by police told they need to get a permit from the health department. Overton Police Chief Clyde Carter said, “They were asked by officer to get a permit from the city. The city advised them that they would need to get with the health department make sure they were in compliance with the health department and get a permit from them.” Overton police said it’s the law and they’ll keep enforcing it. The sisters plan to try again this weekend. Instead of selling their lemonade, they’ll give it away for free and accept donations.
LONGVIEW — A fire at the Kimbrough Animal Hospital on Judson Road left 38 animals dead. Longview fire officials say an electrical issue in the office was to blame. Pet owners and the community as a whole have felt the impact. According to KETK, Kenneth Kimbrough built the animal hospital in 1980. For customers and staff, it became a second home over the decades, just adding to the devastation. “We live here half the time, but you know I always say that people, veterinarians, love people and they love their pets,” the owner said. Other clinics in town have contacted Kimbrough to offer their facilities. “It is a great profession and all of my veterinarian buddies in town are supporting us.”… Read More
MARSHALL — A Garland murder suspect has been arrested in Marshall. Arrested around 7:15 Wednesday night was Xavier Tyrell Smith, 23. He was charged with capital murder for a death that occurred last month. KETK reports a search warrant was executed at a home in the 1000 block of Kahn Street. When it was learned that Smith was at a nearby residence, they got permission to search the house. Smith, who was found in a bedroom of the house, was arrested without incident.
LINDALE — Because a suspected burglar returned to the scene of the crime, two persons have been arrested as a result of some Lindale burglaries. Arrested were Trae Dewey Nathan Hanson, 29, and Krista Lynn McLemore, 33. Hanson is accused of some burglaries that occurred on County Road 431 out of Lindale. Because of recent burglaries, a property owner placed a game camera on his property in an attempt to identify the thief. When a suspect returned to the property, he was photographed by the camera. It even recorded the truck he was driving and the license plate. Investigators were able to trace Hanson to a home off County Road 450 out of Lindale, where he was said to be living with McLemore, his girlfriend.… Read More
TYLER — A Palestine man has been sentenced in Tyler Federal Court to prison for drug trafficking violations in East Texas. Abel Estrada Jr., 22, pleaded guilty on February 19 to possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. He was sentenced Wednesday to 33 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider. According to federal prosecutors, on October 25, 2013, in Palestine, Estrada Jr. delivered approximately 28 grams of methamphetamine to a person. The court also found that from October 1, 2013 through September 24, 2014, Estrada distributed at least 40 grams of a methamphetamine and that during that time period, Estrada Jr. and received at least $10,000.00 from the delivery of the drug.
AUSTIN — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has extended federal disaster aid to include 51 additional Texas counties. This amendment provides for supplemental funding for infrastructure repairs in the wake of May’s severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds and flooding. Among the new counties that were added are Angelina, Bowie, Cass, Cherokee, Harrison, Henderson, Nacogdoches and Rusk. In the original May 29 declaration, Cooke, Gaines, Grimes, Harris, Hays, Navarro, and Van Zandt counties were designated for FEMA Public Assistance funding for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to protect life, public safety, and property.… Read More
LONGVIEW — A Gregg County Jail inmate is back behind bars after being accidentally released. He is identified as Anthony Cager, 23, of Longview. KETK reports he was released on May 29th on a $500 bond. He had been sentenced to 120 days in jail for violating his probation for possession of marijuana. When the error was discovered, a warrant was issued for unauthorized absence from a correction facility. After Cager was contacted, he surrendered to authorities. He was booked back into the jail late last week.
LONGVIEW (AP/STAFF) – An electrical problem is said to have caused a fire that killed 38 animals at a Longview animal hospital. Officials say the pets died from the fire that engulfed the Kimbrough Animal Hospital. Forty animals were at the facility when the fire started late Tuesday. According to Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary, the hospital’s owner took the two surviving animals to East Texas Animal Hospital for treatment. Officials say the fire department responded around 10:25 p.m. to the clinic, where flames could be seen shooting out of the roof. Authorities say the building collapsed during the fire, but crews worked through the night to rescue the animals. The deceased animals were taken to a building next door for their owners to come and identify them. The official cause of the fire is under investigation, however, investigators believe the blaze may have started from an electrical issue in the office.
HAWKINS — An anti-religion group has contacted an East Texas city council, objecting to a religious-themed sign at the edge of the city. According to our news partner KETK, the Freedom From Religion Foundation objected on grounds the sign welcoming visitors to Hawkins is an unconstitutional religious display on government property. The organization states in a letter sent to the Hawkins City Council by Staff Attorney Sam Grover, their purpose is to “protect the constitutional separation between state and church.” The sign in question reads, “Jesus Welcomes You to Hawkins” and is located on East Front Street.… Read More