VAN — Funeral services for an East Texas couple killed during the Van tornado are today. Services for David and Brenda Tapley will be held at 11:00 this morning at Van United Methodist Church with Rev. Mark McClanahan officiating. Visitation will be held from 10:00 to 11:00, before the service at the church. A graveside service will follow in Malakoff. Mr. and Mrs Tapley died May 10 during the tornado that struck their home in Van.
CHEROKEE COUNTY — The National Weather Service has confirmed another tornado touched down in East Texas early Monday morning. A damage survey revealed an EF-1 tornado was on the ground in Cherokee County, about three miles southeast of New Summerfield. The twister left a wake of damage west of County Road 2274, between County Road 235 and County Road 4504. NWS stated the tornado was on the ground from 1:34 a.m. to 1:36 a.m. and snapped or uprooted several trees. The tornado was about 76 yards wide and reached winds of 95 to 105 miles per hour.
TYLER — Robert E. Lee High School senior, Cristina Sanchez has been selected as a member of the Class of 2015 Gates Millennium Scholars. Ms. Sanchez, along with John Tyler High School senior, Carneisha Daniels, joins only 1,000 students from across the country to be selected as Gates Millennium Scholars. “It is an honor to be a 2015 Gates Scholar,” Ms. Sanchez said. “This scholarship will allow me to help others by pursuing medicine at The University of Texas at Austin.” Ms. Sanchez has received many honors and awards as a member of the REL National Honor Society, the Red Raider Band, Spanish Club, Key Club and various other campus and volunteer organizations.… Read More
TYLER — Austin Bank has unveiled the architectural drawings for a new Downtown Tyler multi-level 23,000 square foot financial center. It is projected they will break ground on the project in the mid to late 3rd quarter. With a plan to consolidate the Tyler Commercial Lenders in one facility, Austin Bank purchased the Forum Building property at the corner of Front Street and Broadway. The building will provide the space needed to incorporate a first class Commercial Lending Center with a state of the art Retail Banking Office. … Read More
AUSTIN – On Thursday, May 7, the Texas State Jail Commission released the Smith County Sheriff’s Office from a Remedial Order that had been in place since May of 2004. That word comes in a news release from Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith. According to a document issued by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the remedial order had been in place since May 13, 2004. On that date, the Commission reviewed the status of compliance of the Smith County Jail. Although Smith County officials reported maintenance and sanitation issues had been resolved, the jail continued to experience staffing and overcrowding issues. … Read More
KILGORE — With confirmation of a case of infectious tuberculosis in Gregg County, a group of people at Kilgore College has been included in a broader pool of about 60 people sent for testing. The Kilgore News Herald reports the local investigation is being spearheaded by the Texas Department of State Health Services, which notified KC officials of a student’s possible infection May 6. This week, the agency reached out to locals who may have come in contact with the individual, encouraging them to seek testing as a precautionary measure. … Read More
MARSHALL — The Marshall Police Department has arrested one suspect and one is still at large in connection with an aggravated kidnapping incident Sunday at 900 East End Boulevard North. KETK reports that officers arrested Lionel Ray Wheeler Wednesday on an aggravated kidnapping charge. Antonio Dante Rivers (pictured), a black male who stands 5’11” and weighs 150 pounds, is still at large. Police say he is considered armed and dangerous. … Read More
RUSK COUNTY — Two Eastside volunteer firefighters have been taken to a Longview hospital after being involved in an accident while responding to a call. KETK reports the original call to the fire department concerning a rollover accident came in from Highway 79 and Farm to Market Road 348 in Rusk County around 12:40 p.m. Wednesday. On the way to the wreck, the two firemen were also involved in a rollover wreck. The cause of the wreck and the conditions of the firefighters were not immediately known.
JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville police have made a third arrest in a brawl that occurred early Sunday morning at the local Taco Bell. KETK reports Delmond Cashad McCuin, 27, was charged with assault causing bodily injury. Derrick Tatum, 18, and Deverick Tatum, 18, both of Jacksonville, were arrested earlier and charged with Class A assault. Several more arrests are expected in the near future. The case drew attention due to a seven-second video that went viral. Police Chief Reece Daniel says the whole thing could have been avoided if not for alcohol and “loose mouths.”
LONGVIEW — The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate a sex offender. KETK reports Tommy Joe Wisinger, Jr., was last seen in the Kilgore area. Wisinger is a registered sex offender and has an active felony warrant for non-compliance. If you have any information on Wisinger, call Investigator Roy Nixon at 903-236-8400 or 903-237-2532. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 903-236-STOP.
TYLER – The Testing Services Department at Tyler Junior College was recently awarded Test Center Certification by the National College Testing Association (NCTA). According to a news release from the National College Testing Association, criteria for certification are rigorous and are based on the NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines. Officials say those were developed to guide post-secondary test centers in the delivery of quality testing programs. … Read More
TYLER — Chief Gary Swindle announced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that the Tyler Police Department has been awarded its sixth re-accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc (CALEA). The current award marks the sixth re-accreditation (seventh overall) award for the police department. The department received initial accreditation in 1995 and was re-accredited in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2015. … Read More
TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday accepted an Award of Excellence in the field of New Parking Structures for the Fair Plaza Parking Garage from the Texas Parking and Transportation Association (TPTA). The TPTA is a statewide association for individuals involved in parking-related businesses for municipalities and other government bodies, according to a city news release. Each year, the organization accepts submissions for various parking structures and programs statewide. … Read More
AUSTIN — A former East Texas prison guard had his sentence affirmed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Tuesday in a child sex case. According to KETK, the Uphsur County District Attorney’s Office reports Cory Martin Colvin, 35, of Naples, had his conviction upheld for the 2013 sexual assault of a then-11-year-old girl. He was fired by the Telford Unit in New Boston in August 2013. In 2014, an Upshur County jury found Colvin guilty of assaulting the child at a home outside of Gilmer in July 2013, and sentenced him to 99 years in prison.
AUSTIN (AP) – To keep state buildings from falling into disrepair — as some have, including the Texas School for the Deaf — lawmakers have voted to establish a deferred maintenance fund and oversight committee. Sponsored by Tyler Republican Sen. Kevin Eltife, the bill authorizing the fund cleared the House on Wednesday via a voice vote. It needs only a final lower chamber vote before heading to Gov. Greg Abbott for signature into law. Under the bill, the lieutenant governor and House speaker would each appoint three members to the committee. The measure’s House sponsor, Rep. Charlie Geren, said the committee would ensure sufficient funding – including $20.6 million already earmarked for deferred maintenance and emergency repairs needed starting this year – is spent “the way they’re supposed to be spending it.”
EAST TEXAS — Due to the Sunday night storms, some area roads remain closed, or soon will be. TxDOT Monday announced plans to close FM 3204 east of SH 31 in Brownsboro on Friday, May 15, for emergency repairs. The emergency contract to replace the box culvert has been awarded to East Texas Bridge. According to TxDOT, the contractor will set barricades, close the roadway on both ends to through traffic, and start work Friday morning, weather permitting. It is expected to take about three months (late July) to remove and replace the existing structure. Motorists must use alternate routes to reach their destinations. The cost to replace the culvert is $474,700. … Read More
MANSFIELD, La. (AP) – A 24-year-old man wanted in a homicide in DeSoto Parish has been taken into custody in Texas. According to Tyler police, Jacorroyn Lavell Wilson was arrested by U.S. Marshals Service late Tuesday night. They say Wilson was found hiding in an attic space shared by four town homes. Wilson is accused of being involved in a homicide and a vehicle theft following a confrontation with a DeSoto Parish deputy who Wilson allegedly assaulted. The victim of the homicide has been identified as 58-year-old Charles Worthington, of Logansport. Police say Wilson surrendered without incident. He is being held in the Smith County Jail.
TYLER — From a list of 27 teachers in TISD who were campus teachers of the year, two have been named as the district’s teachers of the year. Honored Tuesday night at the annual banquet at the Harvey Convention Center were Karen Antique as the Elementary Teacher of the Year and Sharmecia Jackson as the Secondary Teacher of the Year. The District winners will compete at the regional level this summer.… Read More
MARSHALL — Citing personal reasons, the mayor of Marshall has resigned. Ed Smith announced his resignation Tuesday afternoon. In a statement to the City Commission, Smith said he wanted to devote more time to other business and personal interests. Smith, a native of Marshall, first served on the Commission as both commissioner and mayor from 2000 to 2008. He did not seek re-election in 2008. In May, 2012, Smith was re-elected to the commission and has served as mayor since then. … Read More
TROUP — The city of Troup laid Mayor Bill Lacy to rest Tuesday morning. KETK reports his funeral took place at First Baptist Church in Troup. Lacy is survived by his wife, Aida; daughters, Kathryn and Tiffany; his parents, Jerry and Dorothy; and his Uncle David and David’s wife. Lacy is described by townspeople as an enthusiastic Christian servant in his faith, to his family, to his work and to the Troup community. They say his friendly smile and his love for Troup and its people will be greatly missed. … Read More
VAN — A bit of good news arrived Tuesday. Meals on Wheels Ministry has resumed home delivered meal service in tornado-ravaged Van as of Tuesday through a partnership with the American Red Cross. Tuesday morning, MOWM staff members Myka Scott and Autumn Nusko attempted delivery of meals to homebound senior and disabled clients living in Van, but many of the residents live in areas that have been blocked off by emergency personnel. In order to circumvent road blockades and reach some of the area’s most vulnerable citizens, Meals on Wheels will deliver hot meals to representatives of the American Red Cross, which is equipped to travel through such conditions in order to reach individuals who are in need of assistance.
QUITMAN — The Quitman Police Department is investigating damage caused to a historic house. According to KETK, officials say the Stinson House at Governor Jim Hogg City Park had several windows on both levels shattered by rocks thrown at them. The house was built in 1869 of virgin pine and oak and became a site of interest to a group of Wood County Master Gardener students in the spring of 2007 as a trainee project. Research was done to determine what kind of plants and gardens were likely to be found around homes in the mid 1800s. The yard was cleared of all inappropriate plants, raised beds were built, and heirloom plants were obtained. The Wood County Master Gardener Association received a first place award in the educational project competition at the Texas Master Gardener State Convention in April 2008 for the project. … Read More
JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville Police Detective Greg Compton has made the first two arrests in the fight case from Sunday, May 11, at a Jacksonville Taco Bell. KETK reports several more arrests are expected in the near future and at this point the department has identified most of the alleged participants in the assault. The first two suspects were charged with assault (class A), which means that bodily injury occurred during the assault. At least one other suspect will be charged with the same offense and others will be charged with disorderly conduct. … Read More
ATHENS — According to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, a body has been found after what officials believe may have been a drowning. Around 10:30 a.m. Monday, law enforcement recovered the body of a biker on Farm to Market Road 59, according to Sheriff Ray Nutt. The Longview News-Journal has identified the victim as James Huston Hurst, a 61-year-old sergeant with the state prison system. The Department of Public Safety reports Hurst drove his motorcycle into the rushing water which washed in motorcycle into a ditch. Hurst’s body was recovered some 600 yards down stream. His body has been sent for autopsy.
TYLER — Tyler police are seeking the public’s help in locating a bank burglar. According to the department’s Facebook page, the burglary occurred at the MidSouth Bank at 1330 Old Omen Road on April 27th. It occurred just before 11:15 that night. The Facebook page contains several shots of the suspect. If you have any information please contact Detective James Holt at 903-531-1028 or call Tyler Smith County Crime Stoppers at 903-597-2833
AUSTIN (AP/STAFF) — Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in Van Zandt County and six other Texas counties hit in recent days by severe weather that’s included tornadoes, thunderstorms and heavy rains that brought flooding. Also on the list are Bosque, Clay, Denton, Eastland, Gaines and Montague counties. The declaration authorizes further mobilization of state resources to assist impacted communities. Severe weather moving through Texas over the last several days has included a tornado that killed at least two people in the East Texas town of Van on Sunday night. A tornado that hit the town of Cisco west of Fort Worth on Saturday night killed at least one person. The declaration follows an elevated activation of the Texas State Operations Center to enable rapid deployment of state resources.
VAN (AP/Staff) – Two persons have been killed in the tornado that hit Van, also injuring more than two dozen people. The victims have been identified as David and Brenda Tapley. Officials in Van say they have now accounted for everyone reported missing following the deadly tornado. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jean Dark said late Monday night that everyone on the missing list has now been accounted for. However, she says that just to be safe, cadaver dogs are checking the area.… Read More
ATHENS — The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has ordered a voluntary evacuation following a dam breach at Athens Fish and Game Club Lake near Lake Athens. Officials at the local Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center said they received an automated message from the Sheriff’s Office around 11 a.m. The message stated a voluntary evacuation has been put in place with a 4 mile radius from CR 4913 to 4812 and FM 317 to FM 2495. County Judge Richard Sanders said Fish and Game Lake is a 100-acre private lake that borders CR 317. Authorities are concerned about a small breach on the west end of the dam. “We’re concerned about it raining and concerned it might put extra pressure on the dam, and it could become compromised and it flows into Lake Athens,” said Sanders. … Read More
EAST TEXAS — Crews around the eight-county Tyler District continue to monitor and respond to flooded and debris-filled roadways following a night of storms. Motorists should use caution during travels. Henderson County is reporting flooding and washed out roadways. FM 315 is washed out and closed about 3 miles from SH 31. FM 1616 has two washouts – about a mile from Loop 7 and a second location about a mile from FM 773. Flooded roadways include: FM 2636, FM 773, FM 1803, and FM 3441.
TYLER — Drivers who use Toll 49 should plan for minor delays during the evening and overnight hours on Monday and early Tuesday. According to the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the location of maintenance activities will be approximately 4.9 miles south of Interstate Highway 20 and 2.5 miles north of State Highway 64. There will be lane closures while maintenance is performed, but one lane will remain open and flaggers will be present to keep traffic moving. Officials say the work will be performed tonight from 7:00pm to 7:00am, during non-peak hours.