Category: Local News Archive

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Tyler ISD to Launch Additional Feature to Communications Efforts

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER – Tyler ISD will soon begin using its Blackboard Connect notification system to send important information quickly via text messages to parents, students and employees when an event is urgent or time-sensitive. Examples could include event cancellations, school closures or delays, lockdowns or any other notice that the District deems necessary to send via text message. “The Blackboard Connect text messaging feature provides another opportunity for the District to communicate more effectively with our parents, students, and employees,” Tyler ISD Superintendent Gary Mooring said. “Sending texts, in addition to the phone call system already in place through Blackboard Connect, will further enhance our ongoing efforts to improve communications across the District.” Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler City Council Approves Animal Care Advisory Board

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — The Tyler City Council has approved the creation of a seven-member Animal Care Advisory Board to assist with the development of the city’s animal shelter. The layout of the shelter is currently under consideration after the purchase of land was authorized in November. Consistent with state law, the ACAB will have at least one licensed veterinarian, one municipal official, one representative whose duties include the daily operation of the animal shelter, and one advocate from an animal welfare organization. The members of the board will be accountable for making recommendations to the city council and city staff regarding state law responsibilities, operation of the shelter, and community animal welfare. Read the rest of this entry »

UT Tyler Criminal Justice Graduates among Best Nationwide

thumb_uttylerTYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler 2013 criminal justice graduates are among the best in their field, President Rodney H. Mabry announced. For the first time in university history, UT Tyler graduates scored in the top five percent nationally on the Education Testing Service Major Field Test for Criminal Justice. The test is given to graduating criminal justice seniors and used to assess and compare the program’s effectiveness to programs at similar institutions nationwide. The exam covers criminological theory, the law, law enforcement, corrections, the court system, research methodology and statistics as well as critical thinking. Read the rest of this entry »

Public Citizen Wants Keystone XL Pipeline Shut Down

thumb_Keystone-Pipeline-map2DALLAS — There’s a call to shut down TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, even as oil inside is headed for Texas. It’ll be about a month before the crude makes it from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Port Arthur. The oil will travel through much of East Texas along the way, including part of eastern Smith County. Tom Smith with Public Citizen says it’s not too late to stop the flow. He says federal regulators have found a number of problems with the pipeline’s construction, like concerns about coating that prevents corrosion. He wants Congress to step in. Smith says, “Yeah, there’s oil in it, but there’ve been lots of times when the pipelines have been stopped, tested to make sure they’re adequate for additional commercial operations you’re allowed.” Read the rest of this entry »

Naked Patient Rescued from Tyler Sewer

tmf2TYLER — Emergency crews have rescued a naked 19-year-old man who was hiding in a sewer pipe near Trinity Mother Frances and East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. Rescued after three hours under ground was Roemello Lewis. It all began around 2:30, when police say they received a call saying a mentally ill patient who is on a peace officer warrant was in the sewers of East Texas Medical Center. As he escaped to the sewer, he managed to rip off his clothes and hid in the sewer with temperatures in the 30s. The water department, fire department, and sewer technicians all headed to the scene to assist in the removal of the Lewis.

Bell Presentation for World Record Bell Ringer Andre Thompson

2013-12-09_042435TYLER — Friday evening at 6:00, The Salvation Army will have a recognition ceremony for Andre Thompson, a new Salvation Army World Record holder with 105 hours of continuous bell ringing. The ceremony will take place in front of Walgreen’s on Rieck Rd. and South Broadway Ave. On Tuesday, December 3rd, at 11:00am, Andre (pictured here with KTBB’s Melissa Kiser) started ringing the bell in competition with three contestants in California, one in Montana, and one in Minnesota. Andre was allowed a five minute break for every hour that he rang the bell. He was only allowed to eat meals and sit during his breaks. Within the first 24 hours two contestants put their bells down. After 105 hours of bell ringing, Andre along with Captain Brickson in Minnesota and Major Soriano in California decided to end the contest with a three way tie. Read the rest of this entry »

Major East Texas Drug Bust

thumb_FederalCourthouseTYLER – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced Tuesday that 16 individuals have been arrested following a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas. A combined task force of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies Tuesday began arresting individuals named in a federal indictment returned by a grand jury on Nov. 20. The indictment charges the suspects with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana in the Eastern District of Texas. Read the rest of this entry »

Oil Moving through Keystone XL Pipeline’s Southern Leg

thumb_Keystone-Pipeline-map2HOUSTON — Oil is flowing towards Texas through the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada has begun putting oil into the pipeline’s southern leg, which runs from Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas. The route includes part of eastern Smith County as well as other portions of East Texas. Houston energy analyst Andy Lipow says commercial operations will begin in about a month. That’s how long it will take to fill the pipeline with oil. According to Lipow, “For Texas refineries, it’s good news, because they can now access that mid-continent oil which has been bottled up due to the lack of logistics around Cushing, Oklahoma.” He says the oil will increase supply and ultimately translate into lower gasoline prices.

Alleged Illegal Alien Arrested in Mexico for East Texas Toddler’s Death

jimenezpicMARSHALL — A 28-year-old alleged illegal alien who resided in Harrison County has been arrested in Mexico for the February 2012 death of an East Texas toddler. KETK reports that on Monday, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office and Harrison County District Attorney’s Office were notified by the U.S. Marshal’s Office that Jose Luis Casiano-Aburto had been taken into custody. Casiano-Aburto was listed as the sole suspect in a murder case of February 15, 2012, involving the death of two-year-old Yeli Madalyn Jimenez (pictured). Her death was attributed to blunt force injuries reportedly received after Casiano-Aburto struck the child. Casiano-Aburto was dating the mother of the child at the time of her death. Read the rest of this entry »

Woman Missing in Louisiana Found Safe

Machel Smith LongBOSSIER CITY, LA. — Bossier City police say a missing woman has been found safe. KETK reports Machel Smith Long, 48, of Bossier City, was recently reported missing by family members. While police say there is no indication that foul play had anything to do with Long’s disappearance, investigators and family members were concerned for her welfare. Police thought Long may have been in East Texas. No word on where or how the woman was found.

Paxton Draws Strong Support in East Texas

Ken Paxton2EAST TEXAS — State Senator Ken Paxton, a Republican candidate for Attorney General, demonstrated strong East Texas support Tuesday. During a campaign swing through the area, Paxton released a list of more than 220 Smith County business and community leaders, Republican activists, and current and former elected officials endorsing his candidacy. The list includes all three Smith County Republican County commissioners, Former Tyler Mayor Joey Seeber, Former State Representative Leo Berman, both State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) members who represent Smith County, and numerous GOP precinct chairs. Senator Paxton has previously been endorsed by State Representatives Matt Schaefer and Bryan Hughes, both of whom represent Smith County. Read the rest of this entry »

Northeast Texas Woman Pleads Guilty to Sending Ricin to Obama

Shannon Richardson2TEXARKANA (AP/Staff) – A Bowie County woman has pleaded guilty to sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Shannon Guess Richardson entered her guilty plea Tuesday in Texarkana, Texas. Her attorney, Tonda Curry, has said the plea deal caps any prison sentence at 18 years. A sentencing date has not been set. Curry said Richardson was ready to admit her role in sending toxic letters to Obama, Bloomberg and the head of Bloomberg’s pro-gun control group. Prosecutors say that before her arrest in Mount Pleasant in June, Richardson tried to frame her now-estranged husband for mailing the letters containing ricin, a powdery substance that can cause respiratory failure if inhaled. Richardson has had minor roles in the television series “The Walking Dead” and the movie “The Blind Side.”

Man Gets Life in Child Sex Abuse Case

David Brice HartmanTYLER — A Tyler man has been sentenced in Tyler to life in prison for continuous sexual abuse of a child. Officials with the Smith County District Attorney’s Office say David Brice Hartman, 42, had earlier pleaded guilty. The range of punishment for the offense is 25 years to 99 years or life. State District Judge Jack Skeen, Jr., assessed the sentence after reviewing a pre-sentence investigation and arguments from the prosecution and defense. Under Texas Law, there is no possibility of parole for continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Two Rob Gladewater Business

Gladewater robbery 12-7-13GLADEWATER — Gladewater police are looking for two men who held up a convenience store over the weekend. The men, armed with a handgun, robbed the G and J food Mart in the 200 block of South Main Street around 11:00 Saturday night. The men, one armed with a handgun, are described as white males, one standing 5’9″, with a slender build and the other being 5’6″, with a slender build. No injuries were reported.

U.S. National Hot Air Balloon National Championship Stays in Longview Longer

Balloons2LONGVIEW — The Balloon Federation of America’s U.S. National Championship will remain in Longview for a 4th year. Officials with Longview’s Great Texas Balloon Race made that announcement yesterday. The championship had originally been set for three years. But a bid was submitted for a fourth year and that bid has been accepted by the national organization. Read the rest of this entry »

Manziel in the Running for the Heisman Trophy Again

Johnny ManzielNEW YORK (AP) — Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel is one of six finalists invited to New York for Saturday’s Heisman Trophy ceremony. The Aggies quarterback, and Tyler native, is trying to become the second player to win the award twice. But Florida State’s Jameis Winston is the overwhelming favorite to win this year.

Tyler’s Christmas Parade is Tonight

TYLER — After being postponed last week by the weather, Tyler’s Christmas parade will take to the street tonight. The Jaycees Christmas Parade and the tree lighting ceremony on the square will now be held this evening at 6:00 in Downtown Tyler. The tree will be lit by one-year-old Micah Emory Read, who was named the 2013 Miracle Child, representing the Children’s Miracle Network at Trinity Mother Frances Health System. The tree lighting will take place after the parade.

Man Charged with Indecency with a Child

Paul Thomas James BuchananNACOGDOCHES — A Nacogdoches man has been arrested for indecency with a child. The youngster is said to have been younger than 12. Taken into custody was Paul Thomas James Buchanan, 27. The incident is said to have occurred at a home of relatives he was visiting. Investigators tell KETK the youngster was able to escape Buchanan and went to the master bed room to tell her family what had happened. Buchanan was later arrested at a home on County Road 825. He was booked into the Nacogdoches County jail and his bond was set at $50,000

Smith County Jail Passes Inspection

Smith County Jail-SideTYLER — The Smith County Jail has received a certificate of compliance after an inspection was completed by State officials. Sheriff Larry Smith said that the Smith County Jail was inspected on December 4 and 5, and there were no deficiencies noted. The Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards should issue the certificate of compliance after a review of the inspection report. “Jail inspections are done annually and without prior notification,” said Sheriff Smith. “I am pleased that my staff has worked hard to make sure that we are operating the jail at the level that I expect and that the State requires.”

Drug Bust Nets Two in Cherokee County

Steven Ray DavisGALLATIN — An investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department has resulted in the arrest of two persons on drug charges. Taken into custody was Steven Ray Davis, 42, of Gallatin, and Samantha Douglas, 26, of Jacksonville. Both have been charged with the manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance and theft of a firearm. Their bonds total $45,000 each. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Hurt in East Texas Wal-Mart Hatchet Attack

christopher_hamiltonMARSHALL (AP) — Three people have been hurt in a hatchet attack at a Wal-Mart in East Texas and police arrested a transient on assault charges. Marshall police Detective Sonya Johnson said Monday that Christopher Hamilton of Crawford, Ark., allegedly had the hatchet with him when entering the store. Two female workers and a male shopper were attacked early Sunday. Authorities are trying to determine a motive. Police don’t believe Hamilton knows the victims. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Betsy Harden says one worker was treated and released while the other should soon be discharged from a hospital. The customer was slightly hurt trying to help the workers and he didn’t seek medical help. Hamilton was being held Monday on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with bond set at $225,000.

East Texan Part of 3-Way Tie in Salvation Army World Record Bell Ringing Contest

2013-12-09_042435TYLER — An East Texan has joined two other men, one from California and one from Minnesota, in a three-way-tie for the Salvation Army world record for bell ringing. Andre Thompson(pictured with KTBB’s Melissa Kiser) rang the Salvation Army Kettle Bell from Tuesday, December 3, at 11:00 a.m., until Saturday, December 7, at 8:00 p.m., with only short, rare breaks. The Salvation Army declared a three-way tie at 105 hours, 25 more hours than the previous world record of 80. Read the rest of this entry »

Whitehouse Home Damaged by Fire

fire imageWHITEHOUSE — A Whitehouse family has lost all their Christmas presents in a weekend fire. The fire was reported around 2:00 Sunday afternoon at a home in the 10700 block of County Road 2173. A total of 16 people. including 10 children, were at home when the fire started. All managed to escape safely. The family tells KETK they have had several problems in the past with the house electrical system. However firefighters have not yet release the official cause of the fire. Both the Whitehouse and Flint-Gresham fire departments have started collecting presents for the children.

TxDOT Project Updates

TxDOT signTYLER — Here’s a quick look at other work planned in the Tyler District of the Texas Department of Transportation.

SMITH COUNTY — TxDOT crews on Monday are scheduled to take pavement-core samples on State Highway 110 between Aberdeen Street south of Tyler, and the south entrance to Trane. Various daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress. Also this week, TxDOT maintenance crews are scheduled to continue edge repairs on Farm Road 2710 between Farm Road 16 in Lindale and Farm Road 14 near Red Springs. Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic. Read the rest of this entry »

Authorities Continue to Pursue “Panty Burglar”

LUFKIN — The so-called panty burglar has struck again. Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches says this person has been breaking into homes in his county since 2009, always only stealing women’s underwear. But in the latest burglary, roughly the 16th, he also took $100. Sanches says he also broke into a house right on U.S. Highway 59. Thus far, according to Sanches, “thank goodness, nobody’s been home, but there’s always that time when somebody…could be home.” The sheriff says that might be either an adult or a child who’s been left at home while an adult makes a quick run to the store. He adds that in a recent burglary, the thief stole underwear belonging to a little girl.

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