Category: Local News Archive

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Kilgore Police Probe Vandalism

KILGORE — Kilgore officials are searching for individuals connected to numerous acts of vandalism in the area. Between January 7 and 9, Kilgore police responded to multiple acts of vandalism in various parts of the city. KETK reports these crimes consisted of damage or destruction of mailboxes and causing water damage to private property. All reported incidents occurred during the nighttime hours. Anyone with any information regarding the identities of the actors in these offenses is asked to contact Crimestoppers at 903-236-STOP (7867) or TIP411 or call the Kilgore Police Criminal Investigation Unit at 903-983-1559.

New Chief for TISD Foundation

Maya BethanyTYLER — The Tyler Independent School District announces the hiring of Maya Bethany as the executive director of the Tyler ISD Foundation. Bethany has been approved by the foundation’s board of directors and joins the Tyler ISD Foundation from the Lindale Independent School District, where she currently serves as the district’s communications specialist and executive director of the Lindale ISD Education Foundation. She is a familiar face to many in Tyler as she previously worked as a news reporter and sports anchor for KLTV from 2004-2009. An Emmy-winning journalist known on-air as Maya Golden, she has also earned several Texas Associated Press Broadcasters awards. Read the rest of this entry »

Burglary Suspect Sought

thumb_sheriff-smithcountyTYLER – Smith County authorities are still on the hunt for a suspect in a burglary last fall. On November 6, 2013, a Smith County deputy was dispatched to a burglary of a building call at Bulldog Storage, located in the 11000 block of Highway 64 East. Upon arrival, the deputy discovered that entry to the office building had been gained during the evening hours on November 5, by breaking a front window. Surveillance video shows what appears to be a light-complected man, possibly in his 20s or 30s, average build, wearing jeans, a bandana over the bottom of his face, and gloves. Authorities say the suspect took an undetermined number of items. If you know anything about this burglary or the identity of the suspect, contact Detective Matthew Christian at the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-590-2968.

Lighten Up East Texas Kicks Off

TYLER — Participants from all over East Texas can join together to create a healthier East Texas community. The kickoff event for Lighten Up East Texas will be held at the Broadway Square Mall in Tyler. Registration got underway Friday from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. and continues Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Registration tables will be located inside the mall on both days. Free health screenings and prize giveaways will be available on Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »

Number of Failing Texas Schools Nearly Doubles; Many in East Texas

Texas Education Agency3AUSTIN (AP/Staff) — Texas education authorities say the number of schools falling short of minimum standards and placed on the Public Education Grant list doubled from 2012 because of newer, higher standards. A number of East Texas campuses are named. A total of 892 schools were listed statewide in 2013, up from 456 in 2012. The list allows students to transfer from substandard schools to other campuses. Read the rest of this entry »

Body Found in Longview Creek Identified

body_found_lpdLONGVIEW — Longview Police have identified the body of a man that was found in a creek Thursday afternoon. Police tell KETK the body is that of Timothy Liles, 25, of Longview. Around 1:00 p.m., a meter reader stumbled upon Liles’s body in the 2400 block of Loop 281. This is in the area of Brandon Avenue, across the loop from Goodwill. Authorities originally believed Liles was from Winona before confirming his Longview residence. Liles had been staying at the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission for the past few nights.The case remains open pending autopsy results. Officials do not immediately suspect foul play is involved, but they are waiting for the results of the autopsy before it is completely ruled out.

Grapeland Man Pleads to Child Sex Exploitation

thumb_FederalCourthouseTYLER — A 46-year-old Grapeland man pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of a child. Robbie Newby entered the plea in Tyler federal court. According to authorities, in March 2012, Newby coerced or persuaded a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of creating child pornography. Newby faces a minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

Child Porn Possession Plea in Tyler

thumb_tyler-federalbuilding-3TYLER — 49-year-old Alvin Westley of Palestine pleads guilty in Tyler federal court to possession of child pornography. According to prosecutors, Westley was found with child porn in January 2011. During the investigation, it was revealed that he’s a registered sex offender, having been previously convicted of three counts of indecency with a child. Westley faces a minimum of 10 years and up to 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

Tyler Rose Queen Named

thumb_roses-2TYLER — The queen of the 2014 Texas Rose Festival is Kathryn Elizabeth “Katie” Peltier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert James Peltier. The announcement came at the Tyler Rose Museum’s annual Winter Gala. Katie says she’s excited about the honor. She tells KTBB, “I don’t think anyone really realizes, if they’re not from Tyler, how much goes into this…It’s great for our economy, it’s great for our rose industry…It truly is more than just girls standing around in pretty dresses.” This year’s festival runs Oct. 16-19. The theme, also announced at the Winter Gala, is “Cirque de la Rose.”

Homicide Ruled Out in October Death

Longview PD BadgesLONGVIEW — Longview police say the death of a woman whose body was found near a creek on Sabine Street back in October was not a homicide. The body was that of Maria Raquel Johnson, 41, of Longview. Witnesses reported seeing an SUV parked on the side of the road in the 1000 block of Sabine Street the day before the body was found. The witnesses say they saw a Mexican male come out of the woods near the vehicle. It is thought to have been an early 2000’s model Chevrolet Suburban or similar SUV. If anyone has seen this vehicle, you are asked to contact Longview Police.

U.S. Marshal’s Task Force Arrests Smith County Fugitive

Elizabeth Ann FrowleyTYLER — A woman wanted by Smith County authorities since August of last year has been arrested in Wood County. The U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force arrested Elizabeth Ann Frowley, 33. She was found hiding in a freezer in the garage of a relative’s home in the Enchanted Lakes community near Mineola. She was wanted on four felony charges, two warrants for felon in possession of firearm, bond forfeiture for manufacture or delivery of Methamphetamine, and Failure to Appear for court. Another wanted person was also at the home where Frowley was arrested. Taken into custody was David Eugene Walker, 31. He was wanted for probation violations/original charge possession of controlled substance in Van Zandt County.

Police: Man Caught Sneaking into Girl’s Home

Javier Eduardo RamirezLONGVIEW — Longview police have arrested a man who is accused of sneaking into a house to have sex with a 12 year old girl. Javier Eduardo Ramirez, 29, of Mount Pleasant was arrested after the girl’s parents contact authorities. According to a report in the Longview News-Journal, the parents had intercepted text messages between the two in which Ramirez said he was on his way to the girl’s house. Police reports say the man went through a window of the house to meet the girl. Instead, he found the girl’s parents. A police officer was waiting nearby. Ramirez has been charged with burglary of a habitat with the intent of committing a sexual offense. He was booked into the Gregg County jail under a $50,000 bond.

Flu Concerns on the Rise; Two Deaths Reported in Tyler

thumb_ETMC-hospital-sign-2TYLER — This flu season, there have been two confirmed deaths in Tyler as a result of the contagious virus, one at ETMC and another at Mother Frances. KETK reports these flu numbers for ETMC Tyler:

Week of December 8, 2013 – 20 patients tested positive for the flu.
Week of December 14, 2013 – 46 patients tested positive for the flu.
Week of December 22, 2013 – 59 patients tested positive for the flu and one tested positive for H1N1.
Week of December 30, 2013 – 42 patients tested positive for the flu and one person died.

Mother Frances in Tyler reports 57 patients tested positive for the flu, nine were admitted to the hospital, and one person has died. 98.6 percent of cases at TMF have been flu-related. Read the rest of this entry »

Kilgore Alcohol Petition Likely Headed to Ballots; Marshall Effort Continues

alcohol_bar_lnjEAST TEXAS — A drive to place an alcohol proposition on the May ballot in Kilgore achieved its goal Wednesday, while an effort to do the same in Marshall is picking up steam. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. In Kilgore, a petition drive that started in late November garnered the required number of signatures Wednesday to ask elected officials to put the measure in front of voters. Kilgore City Clerk Deborah Dane said the signatures would be reviewed by Gregg and Rusk County elections administrators. “Based on the verification of the signatures, it will then be up to the City Council to order the election,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »

Perryman Assesses Economic Picture

thumb_ray_perryman-1TYLER — Renowned economist Dr. Ray Perryman Thursday offered up a generally upbeat look at the economy, with some caveats. At the quarterly membership luncheon of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and the Tyler Economic Development Council, Perryman gave his annual economic forecasts for the U.S., Texas, and the Tyler area. He said the East Texas area is doing well, pointing to some relocations, expansions, and commercial development. On the whole, according to Perryman, projections show that the area will grow at about the same rate as the state. He says East Texas will continue to see a lot of expansion in business services, health services, and biomedicine –- “some of the core areas that have been growing for quite some time.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ex-Doctor Charged with 9 Counts of Murder

William Martin ValuckOKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A former Oklahoma City doctor who was arrested in East Texas has been charged with nine counts of murder after eight patients died of drug overdoses and another reportedly caused a fatal wreck. The Oklahoman reports 71-year-old William Martin Valuck was also charged Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court with 72 counts of distributing a controlled substance. Prosecutors say Valuck caused the deaths of eight people who died of drug toxicity from pills. Records also show that one person was killed by a driver allegedly under the influence of drugs illegally prescribed by Valuck. Valuck was licensed to practice medicine in Oklahoma until Dec. 13, when his attorney surrendered his license. Federal agents arrested him December 27 at his home in Kilgore. Valuck’s attorney did not immediately return a message from The AP.

East Texan in Critical Condition after Sunday Night Wreck

Joe David HubbardTYLER — A Tyler man is in critical condition, but a woman is out of the hospital following a Sunday night wreck during a pursuit in Smith County. While on patrol on Farm Road 344 just west of Farm Road 756, Deputy Corey Cameron attempted to stop a 2005 gold passenger car after the vehicle’s driver repeatedly failed to dim his headlights. Deputy Cameron’s intentions were to investigate the driver to ensure he was not driving while intoxicated. The vehicle, driven by Joe David Hubbard, 42, of Tyler, fled, and a brief pursuit ensued. Read the rest of this entry »

Outrage Grows Over Dog Found Frozen to Death

LONGVIEW — Outrage grew Wednesday, locally and nationally, over a dog chained to a tree found frozen to death at a South Longview residence. No arrests have been made in the case, which drew a sharp response Wednesday from the national People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. No arrests have been made but according to the Longview News-Journal, the detective in charge of the investigation will submit evidence to the district attorney’s office for an arrest warrant to be issued. Read the rest of this entry »

Fatal Angelina County Wreck

DPS door signLUFKIN — One person has been killed and one injured in a two car wreck in Angelina County. The accident occurred around 8:00 Wednesday night northwest of Lufkin at the intersection of U.S. Highway 69 North and State Highway 7 West. Names have not been released and the accident remains under investigation.

Safety Measures Urged Following Tyler Fire

thumb_tyler-fire-dept-logoTYLER — TYLER — The Tyler Fire Department is urging safety measures after responding to a two-alarm structure fire at 1217 South Glenwood. The initial call was received just before 10:45 yesterday morning and the caller reported seeing smoke coming from the house. The first unit saw heavy smoke coming from the attic when they arrived on scene and called for a second alarm. Five engines and one Ladder Company, along with a district chief and an investigator, responded to the scene. Read the rest of this entry »

One Sought, One Arrested on Animal Cruelty Charges

williamsmugwoodcoWOOD COUNTY — One Holly Lake Ranch resident is behind bars and one is being sought after an aggressive dog call resulted in animal cruelty charges. KETK reports Johnny Joe Munoz was arrested after officials were called to his home in the 100 block of Willow Branch Tuesday. Police have secured a warrant for Jared Michael Williams (pictured), who is being sought in connection with animal cruelty charges. When officials arrived on scene, Deputy David Hitt and Sgt. Jacob Richardson detained Munoz and felony animal cruelty charges were filed. A warrant is still outstanding for Williams and anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Wood County Sheriff’s Office. Munoz was booked into the Wood County jail on $10,000 bond.

Former Longview Man Wanted by Gregg County Officials

marcosmuggggLONGVIEW — A former Longview resident, who authorities believe may be back in East Texas is being sought by authorities on sexual assault charges. Marcos Rodriguez, 23, is wanted by Gregg County officials for alleged violation of probation/sexual assault. KETK reports he was initially arrested on child sexual assault charges in September 2010 prior to his April 2011 release. Rodriguez has ties to the Longview area. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts you can leave a tip on TipSoft at or contact your local authorities.

Elderly East Texan Arrested after Allegedly Shooting Gun at Car

haroldlongmug GOLDEN — An elderly East Texas man has been arrested for reportedly shooting a gun at a car in Wood County. KETK reports Harold Long, 82, of Mineola, was detained after officials received calls around 5:15 Tuesday afternoon that he was reportedly shooting at a car with a shotgun. Deputies were dispatched to the scene on Farm to Market Road 1799 near Golden. Long was booked into the Wood County Jail and charged with deadly conduct. His bond has been set at $10,000.

ETMC Offers New Way to Treat Common Form of Atrial Fibrillation

Arctic Front Advance Cardiac Cryoballoon SystemTYLER — Physicians at the ETMC Cardiovascular Institute are among the first in the U.S. to treat paroxysmal atrial fibrillation patients with the new Medtronic Arctic Front Advance Cardiac Cryoballoon System and FlexCath Advance Steerable Sheath, according to an ETMC news release. Building upon the what’s termed the proven safety and efficacy of the original system, Medtronic’s second-generation technology provides an efficient approach to treating this common, yet serious, heart rhythm condition, according to ETMC officials. They say it affects approximately three million Americans. Tyler Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A., and ETMC are said to be the first to bring this technology to East Texas. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Dies in Mobile Home Fire

vlcsnap_2014_01_08_11h18m37s129ARP — A 93-year-old man was killed in a early morning mobile home fire in the Arp area. Killed was was a former minister and World War II veteran Leon Hackett. His wife recently passed away and he lived alone in the mobile home. The blaze erupted around 3:00 Wednesday morning on Highway 135 and County Road 2153. Officials with the Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office tell KETK they believe a wood-burning stove was the cause of the blaze.

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