AUSTIN — Tyler’s sales tax allocation from the state is down for the May payment and down for the year. The state comptroller’s office reports Tyler’s May sales tax allocation comes to $3.7 million dollars. This is down 2.3% from the same period last year. The allocation is based on sales made in March. For the year, Tyler’s sales tax allocations are down 4.3% Longview is in the same boat with the May allocation from the state down 4.2%. The yearly figure is off 6.7%.… Read More
TYLER — Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith weighs in on the outcome of the West fertilizer plant explosion. Before he became Sheriff, Smith worked more than 20 years as a certified fire investigator for the A-T-F. Smith says he knows from talking to some of the people involved that there has been a “great amount of research where they reconstructed part of this at the fire research laboratory.” Smith says officials were able to reach a conclusion after going through numerous hypotheses. Officials announced Wednesday that the blast resulted from arson.
TYLER — A memorial service for fallen peace officers was held on the Square in Downtown Tyler Wednesday. Family and law enforcement agencies from several counties came together to remember their own. The ceremony recognized men and women who died in the line of duty in Smith County and across Texas. Tyler Police Public Information Officer Don Martin says the ceremony has been held for “many, many years.” He tells KETK that every year, the honorees’ relatives say they just want to thank participants “very, very much.” Martin adds, “It’s still very touching to them, there are still tears in the eyes — they miss their loved one.”
TYLER — Tyler Police investigate after being called to a local hospital around 1:00 Thursday morning regarding a man with a gunshot wound, reportedly sustained during a robbery. The victim told officers he was walking on Martin Luther King Boulevard around the intersection of Church Avenue when he was reportedly robbed at gunpoint. He described the suspects as two black males and two black females. The victim was shot in the left thigh during the mugging but was able to drive himself to the hospital. He said the suspects fled in a blue four door passenger car.
PALESTINE – A man has been arrested after trying to beak into the Anderson County Jail. Deputies found Dedric Price, 41, of Groesbeck, banging on a secured door shortly after 6:15 Tuesday morning. He told deputies he was trying to rescue his brother because someone was trying to hurt him. As they tried to talk wit him, Price became combative. They had to use low-level force, along with pepper spray to subdue him. After being arrested, deputies found on Price a syringe and a small amount of methamphetamine. They also found a small amount of meth in his vehicle. Price got his wish. He got into the jail, charged with possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.
LONGVIEW – The North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority will soon be in a position to issue bonds for the expansion of Loop 49. At a meeting in Longview, the panel said they will soon be able to issue $225 million in bonds to expand the toll road from Interstate Highway 20 to U.S. Highway 69 north of Lindale. A committee will be meeting next week with bond houses in New York in preperation for a loan, which includes $60 million to repay the deby to the Texas Department of Transportation. Interim Executive Director Everett Owen told the Longview News Journal, this would put them out of debt with TxDOT and they could fix a price on the bonds by May 24 and close on the package by June 16.
ATHENS — The president of Trinity Valley Community College in Athens has resigned. School trustees have accepted the resignation of Dr. Glendon Forgey. In accepting his letter of resignation, they say they agree with his view that it is in the best interest of the school’s students and employees that new leadership be put into place as soon as practical. Late last month school trustees suspended Forgey with pay pending an investigation into his contract. Monday night, school trustees selected the school’s Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Jerry King, as president pro tem of the college. The announcement came following a specially called board meeting.
AUSTIN – Texas Governor Greg Abbott has appointed university student regents and student representative to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. One is a Nacogdoches student. The student regent to the board of trustees at Stephen F. Austin State University is Chad Huckaby of Nacogdoches. He is pursuing a Master of Science in mathematical sciences from SFA. Huckaby received his Bachelor of Science in mathematics and political science from SFA. His term, which is set to begin June 1st, will run through May 31st of next year.
AUSTIN (AP/Staff) – Gov. Greg Abbott plans to stop in East Texas as he launches a bus tour to promote his book detailing how he overcame an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. For nine days beginning May 18, Abbott plans to hit 19 Texas cities. He’ll be at Hastings in Tyler beginning at 11 a.m. on the 19th. Copies of his book, “Broken But Unbowed,” will be at this week’s Texas Republican Convention in Dallas. They go on widespread sale next week. In 1984 at age 26, Abbott was jogging when a falling tree crushed his spine and left him using a wheelchair. Abbott says the book tells his story and his plans to “restore the Constitution.” On Tuesday, Abbott tweeted a picture of a bus stenciled with his face and the book’s title. He wrote: “Get on the bus that will force Washington D.C. to follow the Constitution.”
VAN — Van residents are looking back — and looking ahead — more than a year after a major local tragedy. On Mother’s Day last year, a devastating tornado hit the city. KETK reports that since then, residents have been picking up the pieces from that tragic day. The tornado left dozens of people injured and killed two. But the town has come together with fundraisers and cleanups to help pick up what was left behind by the tornado. And in remembrance of the tragic event, the community came together this week to celebrate its unity. Residents say last year’s hardships made their community stronger. One year later, they’re celebrating life and remembering the two who lost theirs. … Read More
SMITH COUNTY — Authorities have arrested a man after he was found lying near the roadway on Highway 69 north of Tyler. According to KETK, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office reports 38-year-old Calvin Dewayne Ellison, was spotted just north of County Road 471, on the northbound side of Highway 69 in front of Tyler Pipe. Officials say he was “under the influence of something” and he was taken into custody on warrants. Ellison has a lengthy history with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, with arrests on a variety of charges dating to 1994.
TYLER — Tyler police are investigating an aggravated robbery at the Dollar General on west Gentry Wednesday morning. Officers said just after 6:45, a black male wearing a mask entered the store and reportedly robbed the clerk at gunpoint. The suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. No injuries were reported. The suspect was said to be wearing a black shirt and camo pants. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Tyler Police Department.
TYLER — Smith County Commissioners Court has received their annual update on Tax Abatement Agreement projects with the county. The Tax Abatement Agreement with Smith County includes John Soules Foods, Reef Services and Scotts Hyponex. Felicia Herndon, vice president of finance for the Tyler Economic Development Council, told commissioners Tuesday the three businesses have added a combined 255 jobs to the community and invested more than $37 million in the local economy.… Read More
NACOGDOCHES (AP) – East Texas law officers have fatally shot an armed man after he fired at them during an assault investigation. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the suspect, 29-year-old Jamie Stotts, died Tuesday at Memorial Hospital in Nacogdoches. A DPS trooper and a Nacogdoches County sheriff’s deputy on Monday night responded to a report of an assault and located Stotts riding a motorcycle. A DPS statement says Stotts refused to stop and officers chased him to his home. Once inside, Stotts grabbed a shotgun and fired at officers. Authorities say he then went back into the home and retrieved a rifle. The suspect refused to drop the weapon and was shot by officers when he pointed the gun at them.
TYLER — A U.T. Health Northeast occupational medicine physician received the Marcus Key Award. The Award was presented to Dr. David Rowlett in Dallas at the annual Texas College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The award is presented each year to a person who exemplifies the ideals to which Dr. Key was devoted. Dr Key was the first director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Dr. Rowlett is board certified in occupational medicine and has master’s degrees in preventive medicine and chemical engineering. He has supervised occupational medicine services in the areas of oil refining, healthcare, and manufacturing.
TYLER — A California murder suspect has been arrested in Tyler. Efrain Serrano-Ramirez, 37, was arrested Monday by the U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force. He was taken into custody in an apartment at 5105 Old Bullard Road. He had been named in arrest warrants from Los Angeles for murder in connection with a gas station shooting in 2006. It is believed he initially fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution. Later, there was evidence he could possibly be living in Texas under the alias of Jose Miguel Navarro. When investigators determined where he was living, he was arrested without incidence.
ATHENS — Henderson County Commissioners have reluctantly accepted the resignation of Sheriff Ray Nutt. His term was scheduled to end at the end of the year. But the sheriff decided to resign at the end of this month. Nutt, who has been sheriff since 2009, said he is stepping down to spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren. The commissioners then named Sheriff-elect Botie Hillhouse to take his place. Hillhouse will serve the remainder of Nutt’s unexpired term. Hillhouse won the March Republican primary election for sheriff. He has no Democratic opposition in November.
TYLER — Four suspects have been named in arrested warrants in connection with a Tyler robbery. They are suspects in the Saturday night robbery of the Valero convenience store at 4833 Troup Highway. Investigators say they found evidence that he store clerk, her boyfriend and two friends were in on the robbery that was planned by all four. Officers have arrested Lovie Sharlene Davis, 26, the store clerk and James Michael Rierson, 27, who is accused of driving the getaway car. They are still looking for Christopher Lamar Arnold, 29, believed to be the suspect that entered the store and hit a customer with his gun. They also want Candice Renae McGee, 27. They believe she entered the store as a lookout. Both are being charged with aggravated robbery.
MOUNT PLEASANT — Titus County authorities have used to social media to locate a stolen vehicle. And, it was not just any vehicle, but a near pristine hot rod 1970 model Chevy Camaro. Within hours of posting a picture of the car on Facebook, they had received several leads. This led to the car being found in Balch Springs. A felony arrest warrant for has now been issued for Adam Lee Miles. He’s accused of theft over $2500.00 and under $30,000.00.
KILGORE — Some changes are in store at Kilgore College. Because of lower local and state revenue, Kilgore College trustees voted Monday night to shut down the school’s child learning center and the 448 acre demonstration farm. The Childhood Center provides early childhood care and education for children from the ages 18 months to 5 years old. It also serves as a learning laboratory for the students enrolled in the Child Development & Education program. In other action, the Kilgore College trustees also consolidated the college’s continuing education program onto the main campus. They also combined the functions of the East Texas Oil Museum and annual Rangerette Showcase into one office.
PALESTINE — A memorial service was held Monday night for the victims of deadly flooding in Palestine. KETK reports, many came out to the Palestine Civic Center to remember the six people who lost their lives in the floods that sweep through East Texas in April. First responders were in attendance and staff from Palestine ISD , who spoke about fond memories of the children. Lenda Asberry, 64, Venetia Asberry, 9, Devonte Asberry, 8, Von Anthony Johnson Jr., 7 and Jamonicka Johnson, 6, all died in the flood waters. The body of Giovani Olivas, 30, Palestine, was also discovered in the flood waters. More than 7 inches of rain fell in less than an hour in Palestine April 29th.
TYLER — Stephen F. Austin State University and Tyler Junior College officials Monday announced the creation of a formal Destination SFA program. They say the program will help students transfer more easily between the two institutions and continue to expand educational opportunities for young people all across Texas. TJC President Dr. Mike Metke and SFA President Dr. Baker Pattillo signed the agreement during a ceremony at TJC. The Destination SFA program begins in the fall 2016 semester. Officials say it will serve TJC students who, upon meeting the program’s criteria and graduating from TJC with an associate’s degree, will transfer to SFA toward the goal of completing their baccalaureate degree.… Read More
TYLER – A Smith county man is being charged in a child sexual assault case. He is William Gerald Kennington, 67, of Tyler. He turned himself in to Smith County authorities on Friday. Kennington remains in the Smith County Jail on one count of sexual assault of a child and four counts of indecency with a child sexual contact. His bonds total $850,000. All of the warrants were issued from the 241st State District Court.
TYLER — Tyler police have arrested a suspect in a weekend shooting. Curtis Wayne Bagby, 38, is accused of shooting into his ex in-laws home at 2910 Baldwin. Over 30 rounds from an AR rifle were fired into the home shortly after 9:45 Saturday night. 63 year old Linda Tribble was in here bed when hit by one round. The family dog was struck and killed. Bagby is in the Smith County jail on two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bonds total $500,000.
ATHENS — Henderson County Commissioners will consider Tuesday the resignation of Sheriff Ray Nutt. The term of Sheriff Nutt, who did not seek re-election, ends at the end of the year. But he has submitted his resignation, effective May 23rd. Besides considering accepting the sheriff’s resignation, Henderson County Commissioners will also consider appointing someone to fill out his term, starting June 1st. Sheriff’s Nutt has been in law enforcement near 50 years. He became a state trooper in 1969 and a Texas Ranger in 1979, a position he held for nearly 15 years. He became Henderson County sheriff in 2009.
DALLAS (AP/STAFF) ― Three Dallas Baptist University students, including one from Smith County, have been killed in a Dallas accident. The Dallas Baptist University administration identified one of the dead as Will Smith of Bullard. The three died after the pickup truck in which they were riding clipped a curb and launched into a utility pole near Mountain Creek Lake in Dallas. The truck came to rest on its top. The crash happened about 3:00 Saturday morning on Mountain Creek Parkway.… Read More
LUFKIN — An all day argument has led to the arrest of a Lufkin woman. The woman was arguing with her common-law husband. The argument ended when 21 year old Amber Nicole Fipps is said to have attacked the man and stabbed him in the shoulder with a steak knife. He told authorities he didn’t want to press charges. But, since it was a family violence issue the Angelina County Sheriff’s Department charged her with felony assault with a deadly weapon charge. She was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia driving with no license. Fipps is currently free on bond.
SMITH COUNTY — The Department of Public Safety has released the names of three people killed in a four vehicle wreck Saturday night. It happened around 10:30 on Toll 49, five miles west of Tyler. Officials said Skyler Todd Harper, 34, Lindale, was pronounced dead at the scene. Karol Ann Rank, 77 and Ted Rank, 87, both of Tyler, were pronounced dead at a local hospital. … Read More
EAST TEXAS — In area elections, both incumbents at Tyler city hall have been re-elected. Martin Heines has been elected to his second term as Mayor. Also re-elected is District 6 City Council member John Nix. In the race for Tyler School Board District 6, incumbent Fritz Hager Jr. has defeated Marc Loredo. All three Tyler Junior College trustees seeking a new six-year term on the college’s board were unopposed. Longview City Council District 5 race has been won by David Wright with over 84% of the vote. In the District 6 City Council Race, there will be a run off between Karen Maines and Steven C. Pirtle Sr. The run off will be held on June 11th. And the race for place 5 on the Longview School board Shan Bauer defeated John Preston by three votes in the unofficial returns. … Read More