SMITH COUNTY — A burglary suspect has been arrested by Smith County sheriff’s deputies. He is accused of breaking into the United States Postal Service Center located in the 12600 block of Farm Road 3311. He is identified as Jess Dean Spencer, 23, of Kilgore. He is being charged with burglary of a building and evading arrest.… Read More
Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the Week of August 10. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Motorists are reminded to put safety first by slowing down and paying attention when driving through work zones.
Districtwide Seal Coat Operations continue in several counties this week as follows:
*FM 1805 in Smith County from the Van Zandt County line northeast for 1.8 miles to FM 1253
*FM 1805 in Van Zandt County from SH 110 going NE to 1.8 miles W of FM 1253 (Smith County line)
*FM 16 in Van Zandt County from SH 64 east to I-20
*FM 316 in Van Zandt County from SH 198 at Phalba south to FM 1861 (Henderson County Line)
*FM 756 in Smith County from FM 346 south to FM 344
*FM 13 in Cherokee County from Smith County line going southeast and east to Rusk County Line
*FM 13 in Smith County from SH 135 in Troup going south to the Cherokee County line
*FM 13 in Rusk County from the Cherokee County line to SH 42… Read More
TYLER — Tyler police are looking for two men who robbed the Jack in the Box at 6915 South Broadway. It happened around 4:00 Sunday morning. Employees reported two men entered the business and confronted them in the office. One of the men held the employees at gun point with a black small semi-automatic handgun and demanded money. The other suspect then proceeded to gather the money as the other man kept the employees at gun point. The suspects then left the business and fled the area. The armed suspect was described as a light skin black male, thin build, between 5’7” to 5’9”. Both suspects were wearing all black clothing and had bandanas covering their faces. … Read More
CHAPEL HILL — An accident east of Tyler has left three persons dead and one injured. The two vehicle accident was reported on State Highway 31 near County Road 279 shortly after 1:00 Saturday afternoon. The dead have been identified as Matthew Keith Jones, 36, of Tyler and Kent Jones, 8, of Tyler. Also killed was the driver of the other vehicle, Ellisa Phippen, 53, of Gilmer. Her daughter, Carlee Nicole Phippen, 23, of Tyler, is in stable condition at Tyler’s Mother Francis Hospital. Investigators say Jone’s car west bound when the driver lost control of the vehicle. It left the road and them came back and crossed the road, hitting Pippen’s east bound truck.
LONGVIEW — A bicyclist is injured when his cycle and a truck collide. The accident happened shortly after 6:15 Satuday morning near Loop 281 and West Marshall. Longview police said the cyclist failed to stop at a red light and hit the truck that was north bound on the loop. The bicyclist was hospitalized with non life threatening injuries.
TYLER — Some traffic delays can be expected on Tyler’s West Loop this morning as more night work is planned for the Loop 323 West Widening project. The contractor switched traffic onto the new temporary northbound detour so that work can begin on the southbound lanes. Lane closures started last night 7:00pm and will end this morn ing at 6:00am. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes to avoid delays.
TATUM — A head-on collision near Tatum has killed one person and left one injured. It happened just before 6:30 Friday morning on State Highway 43. Killed was Clint Canter of Tatum. Taken to a Tyler hospital for treatment of his injuries was James Ross, 73, of Jacksonville. The Department of Public Safety reports Canter’s south bound car drifted into the north bound lane. Ross’ truck took evasive action and moved into the north bound lane only to have Canter’s car move back into that lane.
AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott has made appointments to the OneStar Foundation. One of those appointed is a Smith County man. The governor has named Andres G. “Andy” Navarro of Tyler to the panel. His term is set to expire on March 15, 2016. The appointment must still be approved by the Texas Senate. … Read More
KILGORE — Kilgore College will receive a grant to train area child caregivers. The school has been selected to be a “Texas School Ready!” Comprehensive Lead Agent for the 2015-17 school years and will receive a grant worth around $250,000. The two-year grant will allow KC to hire three coaches to train area child caregivers to serve at-risk pre-school aged children through shared resources between public and private early childhood education programs. These coaches will mainly be at local childcare centers, but they will office upstairs at the Early Childhood Center. The grant was written and submitted by Lara Pauley, instructor and program coordinator of KC’s Child Development and Education Department.
GLADEWATER — A Gladewater police officer, in uniform on his day off, has proposed to his girlfriend. The moment was captured by camera and posted on the Gladewater Police Department’s Facebook page. Gladewater Police Officer Alfonso Rodriguez dropped to one knee and asked for the hand of his girlfriend, Maria Rodriguez, in marriage and to become his partner in life. And she said, “Yes”.
CONROE (AP/STAFF) — A Texas prosecutor has criticized the judge who cut short the probation of Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson in a child abuse case. State District Judge Kelly Case on Thursday reduced the 2012 NFL most valuable player’s probation from two years to nine months already served. Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said Case seemed “enamored with an elite athlete.” Requirements also have been waived for the Vikings’ star running back to complete a public service announcement about child abuse, check in monthly with a probation officer and undergo mandatory drug tests. Peterson, a native of Palestine, pleaded no contest last year to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son. Peterson’s attorney told the Houston Chronicle his client didn’t receive special treatment. Case declined to comment.
TYLER (AP) – An East Texas man who pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend has been sentenced to life — in matrimony. KLTV-TV reports 21-year-old Josten Bundy pleaded guilty on July 2 to assault with bodily injury for a February fistfight with the ex-boyfriend of 19-year-old Elizabeth Jaynes. Bundy tells the television station that the man “had been saying disrespectful things” about Jaynes, so he challenged him to a fight and punched him twice in the jaw. Smith County Court-at-Law Judge Randall Rogers sentenced Bundy to probation on the condition that he marry Jaynes within 30 days. Otherwise, it would be 15 days in jail. Reluctantly, Bundy and Jaynes applied for their marriage license and scheduled a date with a justice of the peace.
TYLER — The Silver Alert for a missing Smith County man has been canceled. It has been reported that Marvin Price, 68, who had last seen near his residence in the 12200 block of Wild Horse, has been found. Price suffers from Alzheimer’s as well as other medical conditions and had removed his tracker bracelet.
EAST TEXAS – More East Texas counties have now imposed bans on outdoor burning due to continued hot, dry conditions. The latest map from KETK shows Smith, Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Panola, Anderson, Cherokee, and Angelina among the counties with burn bans. Smith County Judge Joel Baker says the current weather poses a serious threat of wildfires throughout the county, adding that the Smith County ban will be in effect until further notice.
GREGG COUNTY — Two people were injured friday morning in a Gregg County shooting. KETK reports law enforcement responded to a local hospital around 2:58 a.m. regarding a man with a gunshot wound and injuries to his head. He was identified as Jamone Champion, 18, of Longview. Champion was not able to give details about the shooting and was last reported in serious condition, according to officials. A short time later, a second gunshot victim, 26-year-old Ladarrin Rayson of Longview, arrived at a local hospital and was treated for a minor wound and released.… Read More
TYLER — Smith County authorities are looking for one more suspect in a Thursday morning home invasion and robbery — and they identified him Friday afternoon. Authorities say Justin Lamar Tave has scars/tattoos on his upper left and right arms and the left side of his neck. Tave stands 5’9″ tall, weighs about 170 pounds, and has brown eyes and black hair. … Read More
TYLER – The Tyler ISD Friday released its figures after the Texas Education Agency issued the 2015 state accountability system ratings for school districts and charter schools across the state. According to a TISD news release, districts, campuses, and charters receive one of three ratings under the new accountability system: Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard, or Improvement Required. The District, Robert E. Lee and John Tyler high schools, five middle schools, and nine elementary schools were rated as Met Standard. Of those, eight earned one or more distinction designations. Distinctions are awarded based on high levels of achievement in a particular index, according to the release. The performance index framework includes four areas: Student Achievement, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps and Postsecondary Readiness.… Read More
QUITMAN — The Wood County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are investigating after two people were found dead in a house in Quitman. According to KETK, on Monday, deputies were conducting a welfare check at the home on County Road 1416. When deputies arrived, they found the doors and windows locked and had to force entry. Emma Moore, 75 and Bobby Harper, 67, were found dead. Their bodies have been sent for autopsy.
TYLER — A Tyler man has been given an eight year prison sentence for bank robbery. State District Judge Jack Skeen handed out the sentence to Samuel Dwayne Carroll, 45. Carroll, who was said to be a preacher at God’s Amazing Grace Ministries, was arrested on April 23, for the robbery of Regions Bank in downtown Tyler. He was caught shortly after the robbery at his home only four blocks away.… Read More
LONGVIEW — The Gregg County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a man and a woman using counterfeited checks in the Longview and Henderson areas. The woman’s identity has not been confirmed. A felony warrant for forgery has been obtained for Colton Wayne Underwood. According to the sheriff’s department Facebook page, the two are going to Wal-Mart stores and liquor stores cashing counterfeit checks on a local business’ bank accounts. They may be traveling in a silver or grey Dodge Durango. If you have any information regarding the subject, you are asked to contact Inv. David Falco at 903-236-8438 or our anonymous Crime Stopper’s line at 903-236-STOP.… Read More
TYLER – The Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office has determined the cause of Tuesday’s Continental Battery Warehouse fire as accidental. But that comes with a strong advisory from Fire Marshal Jay Brooks, who says the blaze was sparked by an improperly disposed of cigarette butt. The facility is located on Reynolds Road in northeastern Smith County. The discarded cigarette ignited ground cover which quickly spread to a pile of recently cut brush from around the building, as well as a vehicle parked near the building, according to Brooks. He says the fire then spread to the building before firefighters arrived on the scene. No civilians were injured, but one firefighter was treated at the scene for minor heat illness. The building and vehicle were a total loss, but Brooks says the condition of the inventory has not yet been received.
TYLER — Emergency signal repairs are continuing today at the intersection of Loop 323 and Old Jacksonville Highway in Tyler. A traffic signal pole was damaged Wednesday night by a transport truck hauling salvaged construction materials. Drivers should avoid this intersection and seek alternate routes if practical. Repair is expected to be complete before evening rush hours.
LUFKIN — A Tennessee man suspected in a Lufkin theft is killed after leading officers on a chase and then rolling his SUV. KETK reports that after a Lufkin business reported a theft, officers found the suspect’s vehicle near the Ellen Trout Zoo. When they tried to stop the vehicle, he sped away. The chase ended shortly after 1:00 Wednesday afternoon with the SUV driving in the wrong direction on Ellen Trout Drive and crashing into a truck. The SUV, which had been stolen in Tennessee, then rolled into a ditch. Two persons in the truck were hospitalized. The man killed in the incident is identified as Clarence Edward Noe, 46, of Russellville, Tennessee.
TYLER — The Women in Tyler Planning Committee announced the 2016 Women in Tyler luncheon theme, “Women with a Cause,” on Thursday at the McClendon House. According to a news release, the community is encouraged to send in nominations for the award by Aug. 24 to P.O. Box 1432, Tyler, TX 75710. Honorees will be announced in January 2016 and will be honored at the Annual Women in Tyler Luncheon on March 31, 2016, at the Rose Garden Center. … Read More
TYLER — A Tyler man is held on several charges following a burglary. Authorities say Smith County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Dunklin responded Tuesday to a home on Yancy Lane in the northern part of the county and learned the house had been ransacked. While Dunklin was talking with the homeowner about the stolen property, which included a handgun, he overheard a deputy constable on his radio checking a handgun during a traffic stop of a motorcycle at Loop 323 and FM 14. Officials say the gun matched the description of the stolen firearm. Dunklin contacted the deputy constable and confirmed it was the handgun taken in the burglary, according to officials. … Read More
MANKATO, Minn. (AP) – The attorney for Adrian Peterson says the Minnesota Vikings star running back who was accused of injuring his 4-year-old son is off probation early. Rusty Hardin says Peterson finished one-third of his probation and its terms, which allowed him to apply for early termination. The Palestine native is done with probation nine months after he pleaded no contest to recklessly injuring his son by striking him with a wooden switch. Hardin tells the Star Tribune a judge in Texas agreed that Peterson fulfilled the requirements of his probation and signed the early termination order late last week. … Read More
TYLER — Tyler police are searching for an armed suspect involved in a shooting Wednesday night that sent one man to the hospital. It happened around 11:30 at a home in the 300 block of North Beckham. Officers said they responded to the location and found a man with at least two gunshot wounds to his legs. The victim said he had gotten into an argument with another man. The suspect reportedly left, then showed back up with a gun and shot him numerous times before fleeing the scene on foot. The suspect is described as a a young black male with a thin build, wearing a red T-shirt and black shorts. He is also known to frequent the area and may live nearby. … Read More
TYLER — Smith County volunteer fire departments have put out a call for bottled drinking water. The Smith County Volunteer Firemen’s Association says because of the high temperatures and lack of rain, they have extinguished more fires which have added physical stress on firefighters. You are asked to drop off bottled water at any of the volunteer fire departments in Smith County. They include Arp, Bullard, Chapel Hill, Dixie, Flint-Gresham, Jackson-Heights, Lindale, Noonday, Red Springs, Troup, Whitehouse, and Winona.
HENDERSON — A Henderson woman accused of killing three people in a July 2014 accident near Kilgore is back behind bars. KETK reports Shelby Taylor, 23, was indicted by a Rusk County grand jury last October on three charges of intoxication manslaughter. Her bond was initially set at $750,000. On Wednesday, the bond was declared unpaid. Taylor was re-arrested and placed back into the Rusk County Jail for the same charges. Taylor waived her right to a pre-trial arraignment and pleaded not guilty. She is asking the jury to grant her community supervision as punishment because she has never been convicted of a felony in Texas. The accident took the lives of three people from Caldwell, Texas — a 43-year-old woman and her two children, ages 5 and 12.
LONGVIEW — Longview Police say a post circulating on social media in the area is incorrect. According to information from police, the original post said a man ran across a woman’s yard and she called police regarding a suspicious person. After people began to share the story on social media it changed to include a claim that a child was playing in the driveway and someone attempted to kidnap that child, according to officials. Police say as of late Wednesday afternoon, the Longview Police Department has not received any calls with this type of situation in the past week. Longview Police do remind citizens to always be vigilant and keep their children safe by watching their children when they are outside playing at home, in the park, or other places where someone might have quick access to their children.