SMITH COUNTY – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Tyler are performing base repairs on State Highway 135 between Troup and Arp with the roadway reduced to one travel lane and flaggers conducting traffic. The same work is being conducted on Farm Road 2015 from Farm Road 16 to Farm Road 14 Expect lane closures.… Read More
TYLER – Multiple vehicle burglaries may have been solved with the arrest of three suspects. The burglaries were first reported in the Flint area earlier this month. Charged with theft over $1,500 and under $20,000 are Tyrell Deshaun Choice and Triston Travon Hudson. Charged with credit/debit card abuse is Ahteuhna Taylor.(pictured) All three are from Tyler. Bonds on each were set at $500,000.… Read More
SMITH COUNTY — An early morning house fire claimed the lives of an elderly couple and their five pets. They’ve been identified as Robert Rockett, 71, and his wife, Debbie, 67. The fire started around 6:00 Saturday morning in the 11200 block of County Road 2206, near Chapel Hill. According to KETK, investigators said the blaze started in the kitchen. The officials cause of the fire has not been determined.
LONGVIEW – Faulty wires are said to be the cause of a Longview fire that has displaced five persons. The fire was reported just before 1:45 Friday morning in the 400 block of Pine Street. The blaze, which had been burning undetected for some time, started in a wall between two bedrooms. It then spread to the attic. No injuries were reported. The home apparently had no working smoke detectors.
TYLER — A Child Protective Services case against an East Texas father whose daughter died after being locked in a hot car last summer has been dropped. According to Shari Pulliam, Public Information Officer for CPS, Russel Lindstrom will no longer have to submit to testing or evaluations by CPS because Lindstrom’s wife and younger daughter, Zoey, moved out of state. According to KETK, Pulliam says because the child no longer resides in Texas, they no longer have a child to protect.… Read More
TYLER – A Tyler man has been sentenced to prison for murder. Pleading guilty Friday was Katyron Jermaine Barrett, 29. After pleading guilty to the shooting death of Brandon Deroyce Grey, 30, Barrett was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Grey was shot December 21, 2014, at the Wild Bunch Club, 1714 North Palace. He later died at Mother Frances Hospital. Barrett was arrested in the case two days later.
LUFKIN — A Lufkin man accused of fatally shooting his wife in February has been indicted by the Angelina County Grand Jury. Named this week in the indictment is Joshua Dale Ingram, 31. Acting on a tip from the suspect’s mother in California, the body of Jessica Ingram, 29, was found in a home on the 400 block of Cunningham Drive. Also found in the home was a three month old baby, who was not harmed. His mother told officers he told her he had shot his wife and was planning on shooting himself. After a three hour search for the suspect, he was found and arrested on Frank Street.
TYLER — The Junior League of Tyler’s inaugural ‘Touch a Truck’ event is scheduled for Saturday. The event will feature big-rigs, tricked out monster trucks, emergency vehicles and much more. Keeping with the name, guests will have full access to these vehicles. Community leaders will be on hand and the emphasis is on the kids. Touch a Truck starts at 10:00 tomorrow morning and runs until 4:00. It’s being held in the south parking lot of Broadway Square Mall (by Sears) and tickets are $5 each or $25 per family.
TYLER – Could there be a run for the White House in Congressman Louie Gohmert’s future? KETK reports The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, asked Gohmert if he would endorse Ted Cruz’s presidential bid. The Tyler Congressman told the paper, “Ted is a good friend and would be an outstanding president; however, I haven’t ruled out an exploratory committee myself.” Later Thursday, an aide told the Texas Tribune that Gohmert was not entirely serious. “Washington D.C. contains too many who do not recognize statements made with a figurative tongue in cheek, sometimes known as being ironic,” the aide emailed to the Texas Tribune. Earlier this year, Gohmert went up against House Speaker John Boehner. Gohmert received only three votes.
KILGORE – If you’re looking for passage of bills in Austin legalizing marijuana in Texas, you may be disappointed. That’s the word from Governor Gregg Abbott who was in East Texas last night to speak at the Rusk County Republican Party’s Lincoln Reagan Dinner. There are several marijuana related bills in the legislature, but Abbott said the legalization of marijuana in this session is highly unlikely. Texting and driving is another issue Abbott is following closely. According to KETK, the governor said he wants to ensure there are no more injuries, deaths or accidents due to texting and driving. And he added, “We need to find the right space between keeping people safe on the road and government micro-managing what people do. My concerns are we going to have laws that prohibit people from eating French fries as they drive down the roadway or where does the law end?” Abbott said he is still looking for clarity on how to draw that line.
MARSHALL – A Harrison County grand jury has indicted a Longview man for sexual assault of a child. Indicted on three counts was Edwin Craig Volcik, 45. Following a lengthy investigation, which was led by federal officials, Volcik was arrested in January at his home on Quail Lane. The Longview News Journal reports it began with an investigation of child pornography, but turned into something more. Investigators believed some of the children had been sexually assaulted.
HOUSTON (AP) — A celebrity booking agency is saying it’s not all right, all right, all right to make public how much the University of Houston is paying actor Matthew McConaughey, a former Longview resident, to speak at the school’s May commencement ceremony. The university has declined to release the information because its contract with Celebrity Talent International includes a confidentiality clause. The school asked the Texas attorney general’s office to issue an opinion on whether such information can be kept private. The Houston Chronicle reports Celebrity Talent International President Glenn Richardson sent a March 9 letter to the attorney general’s office, saying payment and other details in McConaughey’s contract are a trade secret. Richardson also wrote that a reporter could use the information to create “unfair negatives online and take things out of context.”
SULPHUR SPRINGS — A Tyler man allegedly attempting to have sex with a child was arrested late Wednesday in Sulphur Springs. According to KETK, Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jay Sanders said Joshua Strickland, 30, was taken into custody on suspicion of solicitation of a child for sexual conduct and possession of a controlled substance. Strickland is accused of planning the meetup via a Craigslist ad, but in reality, the suspect was talking to an internet crimes against children officer posing as a 15-year-old girl, according to police. … Read More
TYLER — Elections officials from all over Texas came to Tyler Wednesday to learn about election day vote centers, according to a Smith County news release. Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson said 68 people attended the workshop, including elections administrators, county clerks, county judges, county commissioners, and election judges from at least 15 counties. Smith County Commissioners JoAnn Hampton, Jeff Warr and Terry Phillips attended. … Read More
TYLER — The City of Tyler Street Department is making repairs to the 400 Block of Shiloh Road at Donnybrook Avenue today. Work started around 8:00 this morning and should be completed around 4:00 this afternoon. Officials say traffic will be diverted to one lane eastbound and one lane westbound on Shiloh Road. Donnybrook Avenue will be closed to all traffic between Shiloh Road and Knoxville Drive. Northbound traffic on Donnybrook Avenue will be detoured to Knoxville Drive. The Street Department encourages travelers to use other routes if possible. Those who must travel through this area are asked to use caution and be prepared to stop.
TYLER — An East Texas man has entered a motion to change his original plea from “not guilty” to “not guilty by reason of insanity” in a 2012 murder-kidnapping that began at a Tyler home. According to KETK, Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham says James Calvert also refused to consent to a voluntary psychological evaluation by court-appointed experts. Calvert is accused of shooting and killing Jelena Radobanovic Sriraman before kidnapping their son, Lucas, on October 31, 2012. Calvert was captured late that same night in West Monroe, Louisiana, following a short police chase and a crash. In May, 2012, Calvert was involved in a custody battle with Sriraman.
MARSHALL — Multiple reports of a gang fight and gunfire at West End Park on West Rusk Street set the stage for a busy Wednesday night for the Marshall Police Department. According to KETK, reports of a large gang fight were called in to dispatch around 7:00 p.m., but responding officers were unable to locate anything unusual when they arrived. Another large fight, with shots fired, was reported on Paula Street in Bel Air Manor 45 minutes later. Once again the crowd had dispersed before officers arrived. according to police. Officers assigned to the Marshall Criminal Apprehension Team searched the area in an effort to locate the parties involved. … Read More
LUFKIN (AP) – An East Texas man who told investigators he thought people were out to get him faces up to life in prison for starting several fires in Lufkin. Stanford Jones of Lufkin was convicted Wednesday of three counts of arson. Nobody was hurt in the November 2012 fires in Lufkin blamed on Jones, who remains in custody pending sentencing. Prosecutors say Jones posted angry comments online about thinking people wanted to get him and setting a match to Lufkin. One fire happened at a bar where the 34-year-old Jones had been drinking, later got sick and ended up hospitalized. Jones told police that he believed someone drugged him. He tested positive for cocaine and marijuana while hospitalized. The fires started the day after Jones, who has previous drug convictions, was discharged.
GREGG COUNTY — A Houston man received a 25 year prison term after pleading guilty to indecency with a child by sexual contact in Gregg County. Andrew Moses Valero, 44, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony Monday. Valero has two other charges against him that involve the same child, a 15-year-old girl, who is not related to him. Valero’s sentence begins immediately. However, he also faces two pending felony assault charges in Harris County. He must serve at least half of his 25-year sentence for the Gregg County crime before becoming eligible for parole. Valero also will be required to register as a sexual offender for life after he fulfills his prison term. Valero was arrested in December 2013.
KILGORE — A fugitive from the law has been captured in Rusk County on multiple charges. According to Kilgore Police, Hunter Alexander, 17, Kilgore, was caught in Rusk County on several vehicle burglary warrants. According to KETK, detectives were able to issue the warrants after evidence was found that tied him to crimes reported in the south part of the city.
HARRISON COUNTY — A Marshall man charged with capital murder in the death of his 7-month-old son failed to make a court appearance Wednesday and is considered a fugitive, according to the Longview News-Journal. Jayson Alonzo “Lisso” Jones III, 32, was released in December from the Harrison County Jail after posting $300,000 bond. His infant son, Shamar James Francois, was taken to a hospital emergency room in July 2012 and later died. The cause of death was ruled homicide. Jones is 6’2 and weighs 240 pounds.
LONGVIEW — A Tyler man who was released from jail earlier this month, then rearrested Wednesday morning, has bonded out of jail. Christian Earl Sibley met a $250,000 bond around 6:00 Wednesday evening and was released from the Gregg County Jail. According to KETK, judicial records show Sibley, 21, was arrested Wednesday for the murder of Jerrad Hunt, 22. On February 3, police responded to a reported shooting around 10:28 a.m. at an Exxon gas station in the 3000 block of Estes Parkway in Longview. … Read More
TYLER — Goodwill Industries of East Texas (GIET) will celebrate its 40th Anniversary at a reception and awards ceremony this afternoon at 4:00 at the Goodwill Commercial Services Division on John Carney Drive in Tyler. GIET began as a branch of Goodwill Industries headquartered in Dallas. In 1975, it was incorporated as an independent Goodwill agency and was granted 501 (c) 3 non-profit status by the Internal Revenue Service. Donated goods retail stores were opened and rehabilitation services were offered shortly later. In 1997, Goodwill of East Texas merged with a local sheltered workshop, Opportunities In Tyler, to insure continued availability of the services offered by OIT. … Read More
AUSTIN – A Jackson Heights volunteer firefighter, fatally injured on his way to an accident, has received special recognition. KETK reports Jalen Smith, 19, was added to the Texas Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Austin. On November 30, 2012, Smith and two other firefighters were responding to an accident when they were involved in an accident on Farm Road 2767. Smith died a few days later at East Texas Medical Center. He is the first Jackson heights firefighter to die in the line of duty.
TYLER — The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) and Smith County received some encouraging news about residents’ health in a national report Wednesday, though it also shows that much more needs to be done in some vital areas. That’s according to a NET Health news release, also issued Wednesday. The release of the sixth annual County Health Rankings, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI), shows where we live matters to our health, according to NET Health officials. … Read More
TYLER — The Tyler City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to authorize the city manager to advertise a request for qualifications for a design build firm for the design and construction of a hotel conference center. City of Tyler staff is in the process of developing a hotel conference center as part of the Industry Growth Initiative (IGI) plan that identifies tourism as a primary building block for economic development in the community. Officials say tourism brings in “fresh” dollars to Tyler and is a growing industry. Tyler has historically lost significant tourism revenue because of the lack of appropriate facilities to host large conferences, according to officials. … Read More
TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday approved amendments to the street closure and parade permit process and fees. “The previous street closure and parade permit process used three separate applications for events such as a block party, street closure or parade application,” said City Engineer Carter Delleney. “Often, applications were returned to the incorrect department or were missing vital information such as road names and maps. This new application process should help the applicant get approved much faster.”… Read More
TYLER — The Tyler City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to request support from Tyler’s Texas Legislative delegation to oppose Senate Bill 182. The bill is related to municipal revenue caps. According to a city news release, Senate Bill 182 has been introduced into the 84th session of the Texas Legislature by Senator Paul Bettencourt from District 7. This proposed legislation was filed on Nov. 13, 2014, read on Jan. 27, 2015, and then referred to the Finance Committee. … Read More
KILGORE — A special guest will be on hand when Kilgore College Fire Academy No. 94 holds its graduation ceremony tonight. Guest speaker will be firefighter Joe Yeakley of Lindale, who was the recipient of the Star of Texas Award in September from former Gov. Rick Perry. The award is given annually by the governor to honor peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical first responders who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty. … Read More
KILGORE — Kilgore police say a known “dope house” located at 908 West North is now boarded up so no one can sell drugs from it. According to KETK, police say a car drove by the residence March 17 and sprayed it with bullets but no injuries were reported. Authorities are investigating the incident but claim the occupants of the house were less than cooperative. Police are unsure if the shooting was motivated by a disgruntled customer, a competitor, or gang activity. … Read More