TYLER (AP/Staff) – New information shows suspended Tyler Junior College professor Judd Harrison Quarles is accused of conversing with a 12-year-old girl online and trying to meet her for sex. Smith County jail records Tuesday didn’t list an attorney for the 31-year-old Quarles, who was arrested Friday and freed on $350,000 bond. He’s charged with online solicitation of a minor under age 14. Quarles taught economics and government at TJC. He was suspended following his arrest. … Read More
TYLER — One person has been killed in a vehicle/pedestrian accident in Tyler. It happened around 3:15 Monday afternoon in front of the River Oaks Apartments on Highway 110 South. Tyler police say a northbound truck hit Robert Allan Moore, 77, who was crossing from the west side of the Troup Highway, heading toward the apartments. Moore was transported to East Texas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. There were no citations issued and the driver wasn’t found to be at fault for the accident.
LONGVIEW – A shooting near the intersection of East Marshall Avenue and American Legion Boulevard in Longview has left one person injured. It was reported shortly before 11:45 Monday morning. Officers found a man who had been shot once in the back. He was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center with what was described as non-life threatening injuries. Investigators say they don’t have any suspect information because the victim has been uncooperative.… Read More
TYLER — The Tyler Metropolitan Planning Organization hosts a public open house today to gather input toward the Old Jacksonville Highway (FM 2493) Corridor Study. The gathering is set for 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Southside Baptist Church on Old Jacksonville Hwy. The portion of road being studied is bounded by Loop 323 in Tyler and Highway 69 in Bullard. 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 – Based on what’s termed “the overwhelming response” to its first open carry and active shooter class, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office has scheduled another session for 6:00 this evening in Green Acres Baptist Church’s Galilee Room. Officials say the first event on November 14 drew an overflow crowd to the TJC West Campus. You’re asked to contact Laura Parsons at 903-590-2720 or Lt. Gary Middleton at 903-952-3619 for more information.
LONGVIEW — The Longview Police Department is investigating a shooting reported around 11:40 Monday morning on East Marshall Ave. near the American Legion Blvd. intersection. KETK reports arriving officers discovered the victim had been shot one time. He had non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital. Suspect information was not immediately known. Although the victim has reportedly been uncooperative with officers, police say they will continue to investigate. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Longview police or Gregg County Crimestoppers at http://www.greggcountycrimestoppers.org or 903-236-STOP (7867).
JACKSONVILLE — Due to a break in the water line Monday, Gum Creek Water Supply customers in the Jacksonville area who were without water service are under a boil water advisory until further notice. According to a news release from the water company, those customers affected by the water outage are advised to bring their water to a rolling boil for a minimum of two minutes prior to consumption. The company says it will update its answering machine when the notice can be lifted. The office phone number is 903-589-9988.
TYLER — A Robert E. Lee grad and former TJC student has died over the weekend from a reported asthma attack. According to KETK, Idong Okon, a junior student-athlete for the University of Arkansas at Monticello died Sunday, December 6 after suffering an asthma attack. Okon was 21 years old. Originally from Tyler, Okon transferred to UAM for the 2015 season, but was sidelined for the year with a knee injury during fall training camp. According to UAM head football coach Hud Jackson, Okon was expected to be a vital part of the offensive line during the 2016 season.
LONGVIEW – A person is hospitalized with life threatening injuries following a Longview shooting. It was reported just before 6:00 Sunday night on Birdsong Street in the area of Willow Park. Officers reported finding shell casings in the area. They were then notified Good Shepherd Medical Center had received a gunshot victim. The person had been brought to the hospital by private vehicle. At last report, the persons name had not been released. A police department news release said investigators believe they may know who is involved in the shooting.
ALERT: The westbound lanes of SH 31 remain closed between Malakoff and Trinidad in
Henderson County due to flooding caused by Cedar Creek. All traffic has been moved to the eastbound travel lanes which will continue to carry two-way traffic until the water recedes. That is expected to happen early this week. Motorists should slow down and use caution when traveling through this area until the traffic flow returns to normal.… Read More
RUSK COUNTY – Rusk County officials are searching for the suspect involved in an armed robbery late Friday night. According to KETK, the robbery happened at a gas station near the intersection of FM 2011 and Highway 322. Deputies said an armed man wearing a hoodie stole an undetermined amount of cash and fled the scene. No one was hurt in the robbery. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office.
WHITEHOUSE – Emergency Crews responded to a two vehicle wreck involving a motorcycle Saturday night. Officials said the motorcycle was traveling on Willingham around 7:00 when it rear-ended another vehicle. The motorcyclist was identified as Tanner Harris, an 18-year-old senior at Whitehouse High School. He died from his injuries.
SMITH COUNTY — The Department of Public Safety have released the identity of the person killed in a Friday morning wreck near Chapel Hill. According to Trooper Jean Dark, Billy Lockhart, 55, Lindale, was pronounced dead at the scene. KETK reports, Department of Public Safety Troopers responded to the scene around 6:00 Friday morning at County Road 26 and County Road 2301, just outside of Chapel Hill. According to DPS official Chad Skidmore, a truck was headed east on CR 26 when a car crossed over the center line and struck the truck head-on. The driver of the truck was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. Officials are looking at sleep deprivation as a potential cause of the accident.
WHITEHOUSE – The city of Whitehouse released a statement Friday saying Police Lieutenant Gary Hinshaw has been placed on unpaid administrative leave as of Friday. According to KETK, officials say Hinshaw had been on paid administrative leave for the past several weeks, since initial allegations of domestic violence were made against him. The alleged incident took place at a residence in Smith County, and the Smith County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation. Hinshaw was indicted on two 3rd degree felony charges, assault family violence and tampering with a witness. The city says Hinshaw will remain on unpaid administrative leave pending an internal policy review. Hinshaw has been employed with the Whitehouse Police Department since February of 2013.
LONGVIEW — Three indictments have been handed up for two Longview murder. KETK reports Gary Joe Murphy, 52, of Kilgore, was charged in connection with a September 4 homicide at a Longview motel. He told police he confronted Arnold Lee McCollaum Jr., 47, of Longview, at the American Dream Inn in the 2000 block of East Marshall Avenue, about a drug deal and he stabbed the man. Murphy said he then held the victim down as he bled to death, according to police documents. Murphy was arrested September 5. His bond was set at $250,000. … Read More
TYLER – Officials say the Twelfth Court of Appeals in Tyler recently affirmed Danny Ray Lusk’s convictions of four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child by contact. Lusk will serve four life sentences and an additional 20-year sentence. Lusk, 39, formerly of Athens, was indicted by a Henderson County grand jury in September of 2011, after an investigation into the aggravated sexual assault and indecency with two children. The case was prosecuted in May 2013. According to testimony, Lusk began sexually assaulting his victims at the ages of 3 and 4.
DALLAS – A 5-year-old who was involved in a multi-vehicle wreck Wednesday afternoon has died. According to KETK, DPS Trooper Jean Dark says Camdyn Randle died at a Dallas hospital Thursday night. The four-car wreck occurred around 1:30 p.m., just north of Toll 49 in Smith County near Bruno’s. According to Trooper Dark, a crossover driven by Candace Randle, 30, of Tyler, was headed south on Farm-to-Market Road 2493 when it moved into the turning lane and hit the back left portion of a Lexus. The crossover then veered back into the southbound lane and was hit from behind by an SUV traveling south.… Read More
TYLER — A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday for the new three-story, 41,200-square-foot Mother Frances Hospital South Tyler, on S. Broadway Ave. at Cumberland Road. Citing its “neighborhood setting,” officials say services include a comprehensive emergency department, inpatient beds, advanced imaging, and diagnostic laboratory services. The facility is a collaboration with Emerus, termed a nationally recognized leader in care delivery. The hospital, which is expected to bring 100 new jobs to the city, is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2016.
LONGVIEW — The Longview Police Department has been working on seven unsolved homicides. They said they are hoping to solve the crimes by the end of 2015. Each murder happened this year and many are similar in nature and have all occurred within two miles of each other. According to KETK, all of the victims had gunshot wounds. Police said some victims were found on the side of the road, one was found in a car and a few have been found in yards or houses. Police said the community should not panic. “Lifestyle choices, people that you associate yourself with… those types of things sometimes bring people and put them in danger when, you know, if they would just chose to change their lifestyle, maybe wouldn’t have to worry about it,” said Kristie Brian, the PIO for Longview Police Department. There have been a total of 13 homicides this year in Longview. If you have any information about any crime, contact Longview Police or CrimeStoppers.
RUSK – Bullard-area child sex suspect Thomas E. Scroggins, 25, has been charged with additional offenses over the past few days as the investigations continue to progress. Scroggins has been the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, an additional $227,000 in bonds were set Tuesday by Justice of the Peace Brenda Dominy on five charges. Those included indecency with a child, injury to a child, aggravated sexual assault of a child, and displaying harmful material to minor. On Thursday a sheriff’s office investigator executed a second search warrant in Smith County at a storage facility where Scroggins stored some belongings. Officials say the results of that search warrant are not available at this time but more charges are anticipated. To date, eight criminal charges have been brought against Scroggins with bonds totaling $329,000.
Scroggins was initially jailed on $102,000 bond on two counts of indecency with a child and one count of displaying harmful material to a minor. At the time of his arrest last Friday, Scroggins was employed with the Frankston ISD Maintenance Department. He also attended a Frankston church and was involved with Little League Baseball in that community. The investigation into Scroggins began when an alleged victim claimed inappropriate conduct by Scroggins toward that person and two others, and officials said earlier this week that the case against Scroggins could expand.
TYLER — It’s official — East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert has filed for re-election. Gohmert, currently in his sixth term, has served in the U.S. House since January 2005. He’ll be challenged in the March GOP primary by Lufkin-area resident Simon Winston. Shirley McKellar of Tyler is the lone announced Democratic candidate.
EAST TEXAS – Purchasing officials for Smith and Gregg counties are working together to form a local chapter of the National Procurement Institute. Smith County Purchasing Director Kim Gould and Gregg County Purchasing Agent Kelli Davis were recently selected to serve as directors for the national organization and hope to get area purchasing officials involved. According to a Smith County news release, Davis will serve as president, and Gould will serve as vice president of the local chapter.
As quoted in the news release, Davis says a lot can be accomplished when officials “work together with a common goal of saving taxpayer money.” Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt says in the news release that Gregg County officials are “extremely pleased with Mrs. Davis’s performance and the co-leadership role she is playing in this project with Kim Gould.” Smith County Judge Joel Baker says forming a local purchasing group will be beneficial for the entire region.
Nine officials from several counties attended an initial meeting in November in Gregg County. They are hoping to spread the word to get more participation at their second meeting, planned for 1:30 p.m. on December 17 in the Smith County Commissioners Courtroom. All purchasing officials who work for nonprofit and governmental entities, including school districts, colleges and universities, are invited to attend. Davis and Gould are inviting all purchasing professionals within a 13-county region — including Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Marion, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Smith, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood counties — to become involved in the local association.
LONGVIEW – The race for state Senator Kevin Eltife’s seat is heating up between state Representatives David Simpson of Longview and Bryan Hughes of Mineola. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Simpson is accusing Hughes of slander. During a forum in November, Hughes claimed Simpson has played “both sides” in the debate over granting Texas drivers’ licenses to undocumented workers. However, Simpson says he has never supported that sort of legislation and that his voting record backs up his position. In an open letter, Simpson said Hughes is misleading their constituents and called for a public correction. A spokesman for Hughes says Simpson’s interpretation of the legislation is quote “simply just wrong.”
TYLER – Tyler police have named the people involved in a fatal crash just before 10:00 Tuesday night on County Road 2120. The deceased passenger was Jason David Cook, 37. The driver was Chasity Khan, 32, of Tyler. Officers said it appears that the vehicle ran off the road and struck several trees. Khan was taken to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Cook was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident is still under investigation, but alcohol is believed to have been a factor.
LONGVIEW – More details are released following a police involved shooting last month. The suspect police shot had stolen ammunition and a container of explosives, according to an arrest warrant after a break-in at a sporting goods store last month in Longview. According to the Longview News-Journal, Nathan David Lanicek, 35, of Longview was held Wednesday on bonds totaling $500,000, charged with two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant. Police said Lanicek broke into Academy Sports and Outdoors store off McCann Road and exchanged gunfire with police in the early morning hours of November 17. Several officers responded to the store after multiple security alarms were triggered. The Texas Rangers still are investigating the shooting, the fifth this year involving Longview police. All three officers placed on leave in the shooting were back on the job Tuesday. Lanicek was arrested by Gregg County sheriff’s deputies at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
LONGVIEW — Organizers say you should be prepared to see amazing floats, local celebrities, live performances, marching bands, equestrians, animated characters, giant balloons, and Santa at the Longview AMBUCS Christmas Parade. The City of Longview Main Street and Longview AMBUCS invite you to the parade at 6:30 this evening. The parade will begin at the intersection of Whaley and Green, travel West on Whaley to Horaney, South on Horaney, turn left to go East on Methvin past the beautifully lit Gregg County Courthouse and past the reviewing stand in front of the Regions Bank Parking Lot. The parade will disband at Methvin and Third.
TYLER — The 30th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza immediately following the Tyler Rotary Club’s Christmas Parade, kicks off tonight at 6:00 in Downtown Tyler. Parade floats will follow the same route used in previous years, moving southward on Broadway Avenue from Bow Street, turning west on Ferguson Street, south on Bois D’Arc Avenue and east on Erwin Street before returning north on Spring Avenue. Immediately following the parade, the Texas Miracle Child, Luke Skinner, will light the Christmas Tree with Mayor Martin Heines. There will be performances by the Sold Out Jazz Orchestra (SOJO), the Clarkston Elementary Chorale and the TJC Apache Belles. Santa Claus will be available for photos and to take gift requests.
All parking in the Fair Plaza Garage will be free after 5:00pm on Thursday in honor of the Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting. The Salvation Army will provide free hot chocolate to parade viewers and concessions will be available for a fee.
The following streets will be closed for the parade from approximately 5:00 to 8:00pm: North Broadway Avenue from Gentry Parkway to Elm Street, Ferguson Street from Bonner Avenue to Center Avenue, Bois D’Arc Avenue from Ferguson Street to Erwin Street, Erwin Street from Bonner Avenue to Center Avenue and Spring Street from Elm Street to Valentine Street. Those already parked in this area will be able to exit after the roads have been closed. Anyone who uses North Broadway Avenue on their route home is asked to use an alternate route on either Glenwood Avenue or Beckham Avenue.
Following the parade, Liberty Hall will feature the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” at 7:00pm. Tickets are $7 and may be purchased at http://www.LibertyTyler.com or at the door.
PALESTINE (AP/Staff) – A Palestine judge has backtracked on an earlier order that placed extraordinary restrictions on media coverage of the man suspected of killing a family of six at an Anderson County campsite. District Judge Deborah Oakes Evans on Nov. 20 approved a motion by the attorney for William Hudson that forbids reporting on the evidence compiled against him and any photographs of him. The motion also required that all pretrial hearings be held in her chambers and not in open court. Evans issued a revised order Tuesday removing those restrictions following complaints by media companies, including the Palestine Herald-Press. Evans was not available Wednesday for comment. Hudson is charged with six counts of capital murder in last month’s killing on rural land adjacent to his.
MARSHALL — The Marshall Police Department is investigating a shooting. KETK reports that police got a 911 call just before 5:30 Wednesday morning. It occurred on Loop 390 North near Tolivar Road. Upon arrival, members of the Patrol Bureau found Gantry Green, 52, of Ogden, Arkansas, lying on the ground with an apparent gunshot wound. He was taken by the Marshall Fire Department’s EMS to Good Shepherd Medical Center-Marshall, where he is being treated for what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries. A juvenile has been detained pending further investigation by members of the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
TYLER — Two people are in custody following a crash and manhunt overnight in Smith County. According to KETK, Lindale police say authorities arrested Willie Anthony Jeffrey, 24, of Lindale, and Rosemary Susie Frame, 33, of Tyler, at a Walmart in Tyler. At around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, officers were dispatched to a crash on Interstate 20 in the Lindale area. When police made it to the crash site, witnesses said a man, woman, and child ran into a wooded area. The man was believed to be the driver. The truck involved was found mangled in the trees.
While law enforcement officials searched for the people involved, investigators determined the driver was wanted on warrants in Texas and out of state. Authorities began forming a perimeter around the crash site, but the suspects were able to make it through to a La Quinta on Centennial Boulevard in Lindale. The group then hopped in a cab to a Walmart in Tyler.
Smith County deputies were sent to the store and quickly arrested Jeffrey and Frame. The 3-year-old girl, who is Jeffrey’s child, was taken to a local hospital and released to a family member. Both adults were charged with endangering a child. Jeffrey also faces additional charges of accident involving injury and four warrants outside of Smith County: possession of controlled substance and possession of marijuana (Comal County), and principal to grand theft auto and organized fraud (Marion County, Florida). Jeffrey is being held on no bond. A DPS helicopter and K-9 officers assisted in the search.