Category: Local News Archive

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Officials Identify Origin of Fire that Destroyed Longview Business

hazmatnightmareLONGVIEW — Officials believe they have identified the cause of the fire that burned for nearly five hours and destroyed Longview’s O’Reilly Auto Parts last Saturday. That’s according to Longview Fire Marshal/Fire Chief Johnny Zackary. KETK reports authorities have narrowed the focus to the area of an electrical component. The fire started just after 12:45pm.. Customers and employees were inside at the time, but were able to make it out safely. Motor oil, transmission fluid, and other chemicals which are part of the O’Reilly Auto Parts regular inventory threatened to contaminate a creek and drainage system behind the business on West Marshall Avenue, said Zackary, but were prevented from doing so. Read the rest of this entry »

Authorities Seek Suspect Who Fled Traffic Stop

thumb_sheriff-smithcountyFLINT — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect who fled authorities during a routine traffic stop. Shortly after 3:00 yesterday morning, Smith County Sheriff’s Sergeant DeWayne Gray was traveling southbound on Highway 155 in Flint when he noticed a silver car that was driving at a high rate of speed. It failed to signal when turning east on County Road 1170. Sergeant Gray attempted a traffic stop, but the driver of the car fled south on Lakeway Harbor Drive and accelerated. Gray alerted two other Smith County deputies, Timothy Cutright and Gerald Atchison, who were in the area responding to an EMS call, that he was in pursuit and to watch for the vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »

Flynn Running for Re-Election

Dan Flynn2VAN – State Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van) Thursday announced his plans to run for re-election in House District 2. According to a news release, “Representative Flynn has been encouraged by many constituents to run for another term and serve as their voice in Austin. Proud of his unwavering support for faith, family and freedom, many constituents want a leader who will continue to maintain a voting record that reflects the conservative views and opinions of his district. Many feel his seniority will only enhance his ability to continue to make a positive lasting impact.” KTBB has received no word of any other candidates for Flynn’s post.

Suddenlink Agrees to Purchase Northland Cable Systems

Suddenlink3ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A number of East Texans will be affected after Suddenlink Communications announced Thursday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain Texas cable systems from Northland Communications. According to a news release, Suddenlink expects to close the acquisition in the first quarter of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals. The purchase price was not disclosed. Read the rest of this entry »

Boil Water Notice Continues for Overton

thumb_boilingwater-2OVERTON — A boil water notice remains in effect for the City of Overton until further notice, and will likely stay in place until at least Friday morning. Officials say a major water break occurred on Cohagen Street at 1:30 Wednesday afternoon when a ten-inch water line split down the middle. The line leads directly to the water tower which feeds the middle of the city. The water line was repaired late Wednesday night, but work remains to be done. Read the rest of this entry »

County Commissioners Said Too Many Holidays

Hugh TaylorMARSHALL (AP) – Commissioners in Harrison County are trimming the number of holidays the county takes annually after they found the 18 days off topped most counties in the state. Harrison County Judge Hugh Taylor says the most common complaint he gets from people is the county government is closed too often. Commissioners surveyed Texas’ 254 counties, got 159 replies and discovered only their county had as many as 18 holidays. Some had only nine. The commissioners have approved a new schedule that cuts the number of holidays starting next year to 14. The Marshall News Messenger reports gone as holidays are the day after New Year’s, San Jacinto Day, Juneteenth and Lyndon B. Johnson Day.

Police Search for Suspected Kidnapper

NACOGDOCHES — A woman who was reportedly kidnapped in Nacogdoches Monday night is now safe. According to KETK, the woman reported that she was walking along East Starr Avenue in the 1300 block around 9:00 when she was approached by an armed man in a truck and instructed to get into the vehicle. She claims she was assaulted over a period of time then returned to the location where she was taken. The suspect is described as a black male in his 20’s, approximately 6 feet tall, last seen wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans.

East Texas Burglar Who Takes Only Lingerie Sought

Angelina County Sheriffs Dept PatchLUFKIN (AP) – Authorities say the theft of women’s lingerie this week from a home in an East Texas county may be the latest in a two-year string of break-ins blamed on an intruder they’ve dubbed the “Panty Burglar.” Angelina County Sheriff’s Lt. Pete Maskunas says the most recent burglary Tuesday has raised concerns because the thief also left with underwear belonging to a 5-year-old. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Injured in Tyler Accident

police-8TYLER — A car/pedestrian accident remains under investigation in Tyler. It as reported shortly after 7:30 Wednesday night at the intersection of North Broadway and Goodman. Injured was William Parker, 57. He was taken to East Texas Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries and is reported to be in stable condition. Since he did not yield to the oncoming traffic, no tickets were issued in the accident.

Two Arrested Following Longview Disturbance

Longview Police PatchLONGVIEW — Two women have been booked into the Gregg County jail following a fight after a high school volleyball game. KETK has identified them as Wykennia Wilder, 41, and Craysheuna Key, 21, both of Longview. Their arrest in the parking lot of Pine Tree High School followed the Hallsville/Pine Tree volleyball game. Later, some students were said to have gotten into a fight in the parking lot of Super One Foods. The police had to be called to break up the fight.

Gohmert, Others Help Vets See Memorial

thumb_louie-gohmertWASHINGTON, D.C. — Tyler Congressman Louie Gohmert joins other lawmakers who let Mississippi veterans into the Washington World War II memorial for a scheduled tour. KETK reports it happened Tuesday and Wednesday, after the federal government shut down. Though the memorial was officially closed, Gohmert and his colleagues broke through the barricades and helped the World War II vets get in. Gohmert said this would be the veterans’ only chance to visit the site, and that it was an honor to shake each veteran’s hand. Read the rest of this entry »

County Road 474 Reopens

LINDALE — County Road 474 between Highway 69 and County Road 463 next to Lindale Jr. High School reopened Wednesday afternoon. A section of the road was closed for repair after a culvert washed away during heavy rains on September 20.

Federally-Run East Texas Lakes, Parks Closed due to Government Shutdown

indexEAST TEXAS — Two East Texas reservoirs, Lake Sam Rayburn and Lake o’ the Pines, are affected by the federal government shutdown. That’s according to KETK. Rhonda Paige, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said campers in public park areas of Lake O’ the Pines would have to leave the grounds by 8:00pm Wednesday, and neither reservations nor people in public recreation areas will be allowed until the government reopens. A spokeswoman for the Jasper Chamber of Commerce confirmed the closure of Lake Sam Rayburn until the shutdown is over.

Council Sets Curfew at P.T. Cole Park

youngpicfbTYLER — The Tyler City Council has voted unanimously to set a curfew at P.T. Cole Park after a 20-year-old Tyler woman was killed there July 30. KETK reports that the park, on Vine Avenue, will now be closed to the public from sunset to sunrise. Briana Raquel Young (pictured) was shot in the park after gunfire erupted from within the park and also from a vehicle on Mockingbird Lane, adjacent to the park. Ke’Avier Jarrod Wilson-Hurd, Dennis Bendy, Rakheem Goldstein, and Elisha “EJ” Williams were all arrested in connection with the shooting. Council members also said at yesterday’s meeting they are looking to implement curfews at other parks in the city.

Chamber Awards Handed Out

Tyler Area Chamber of CommerceTYLER — The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce honored the community’s leading citizens at its annual meeting Tuesday night. The T.B. Butler Award for Tyler’s top citizen went to Brookshire Grocery Company. The W.C. Windsor Award for top citizen under age 40 was handed to small business owner and community volunteer Eleno Licea. Jim Toman Insurance captured Small Business of the Year honors, with John Soules Foods earning the nod as Large Business of the Year.

East Texans Have Lots of Questions about Obamacare

tThumb_joseTYLER — As open enrollment continues for the new healthcare exchanges, a growing number of Americans are trying to plan for the extra cost. KETK reports East Texans are turning to financial advisors to point them in the right direction. Feliciano Financial Group in Tyler has been getting an onslaught of callers asking about Obamacare. The biggest concerns for those callers: if they do choose to enroll, how will that affect their tax bracket and their subsidies? Company President/CEO Jose Feliciano says “all in all,” it will cost them a bit more “for everybody as a group, and…people just need to understand what their options are.” Feliciano also says some people are finding out they’re not getting a tax break under the new exchanges.

Robbery Reported at ZipCash on Troup Highway

zipcashrobberyketkTYLER — Authorities are investigating a reported robbery at a southeast Tyler business. ZipCash at 5111 Troup Highway was robbed around 4:15 yesterday afternoon. The suspect escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash. No injuries were reported. Witnesses described the suspect as a black male, about 5’05″, thin build, wearing a green flannel shirt, dark pants, and a dark toboggan style hat. He used a white shirt to cover his face. He was last seen running south beside the business.

Arrest Made in Hideway Theft Probe

meadorTYLER – Members of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division served an arrest warrant Tuesday charging Christopher Eugene Meador, 44, with the felony offense of theft in conjunction with a 4-month-long investigation related to tree-cutting. “I want to clear up some confusion relating to statements that some individuals outside of the Sheriff’s Office are making regarding this investigation,” said Sheriff Larry Smith. “This investigation has been focused on an individual who happened to be employed by Hideaway and was by no means an all-encompassing investigation into Hideaway.” Read the rest of this entry »

Smith County Receives $100,000 for Indigent Defense

thumb_smithcounty-sealTYLER — The Smith County Commissioners Court announced Tuesday that the County has received more than $100,000 after applying for a state grant to supplement the rising costs of indigent defense. The Smith County Commissioners Court thanked the Auditor’s Office Tuesday for applying for funds through the Texas Indigent Defense Commission (TIDC) after a costly trial in fiscal year 2013. Smith County is one of just five counties in the state of Texas to receive reimbursement funds for indigent defense. “Indigent defense is a required function of county government and we are very excited to receive additional funds to support the rising costs of this mandate,” County Judge Joel Baker said. Read the rest of this entry »

Gohmert Refuses to Take Healthcare Subsidy

Louie Gohmert3WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler is refusing to take a subsidy under the Affordable Care Act. Gohmert released the following statement as the battle over Obamacare continued:

“On January 1st, when millions of Americans will likely lose their employers’ contribution to their health insurance, I will refuse to receive that same subsidy. It also means I will have to pay a substantial penalty or ‘tax,’ but I cannot in good conscience accept the subsidy when so many Americans have lost their insurance altogether because of ObamaCare. We are supposed to be the servants of the American people, not the masters. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Gets Eight Years in Pilgrim’s Pride Thefts

pptheftsmppdMT. PLEASANT — A Mount Pleasant man was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to a string of thefts at Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation. Rickey Alton Wright, 39, was a maintenance worker at the plant when he stole more than $225,000 worth of equipment, according to the Titus County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s officials said Wright was selling the equipment for much less than it was worth. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report that he had been held in the Titus County Jail since December 11 under $500,000 bond. Read the rest of this entry »

New Documentary on East Texas Church Arsons

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. — In January 2010, ten area churches were torched in a span of just over a month. The fires sparked the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history. Now, according to KETK, a documentary plans to shed light into the string of arson cases. The film premieres at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis October 19. You can visit to learn more.

Armored Car, “The Beast,” Comes to Van Zandt County

Beast Armored unitCANTON — Van Zandt County Sheriff Michael Lindsey Ray is taking time to explain his office’s newest crimefighting tool, an armored car nicknamed “The Beast.” Ray said, “I have made a promise to the law abiding citizens of Van Zandt County to try to do more with less and try to make our communities safer places to live. When you get in the fight in the ‘war against drugs’ some of the necessary safety equipment can get to be very expensive. I recently received a call from Sheriff Ray Nutt, in Henderson County, asking if our deputies could benefit from the use of a Brinks armored car. These vehicles have become increasingly more valuable to law enforcement agencies because the environment we work in has become increasingly more dangerous.” Read the rest of this entry »

Street Closure in Tyler

TYLER — Traffic will be reduced to one lane while crews work on repairing a sewer main that crosses under the bridge on South Donnybrook and Victory Drive. The road will be closed one lane at a time until all repairs can be made, which could last until 5 p.m. today, according to city officials. Traffic will be detoured east on Victory Drive and loop back on Victory to Donnybrook. Or traffic can detour east on Victory Drive to Turtle Creek, south to Frazier and west back to Donnybrook.

Van Zandt County Courthouse Back in Business

Van Zandt County courthouseCANTON (AP/Staff) – The Van Zandt County Courthouse in Canton is back in business after it was closed Monday due to a weekend water leak that caused flooding. A spokeswoman for the county judge’s office said the basement remained partially closed pending further assessment and repair of damage. The Tyler Morning Telegraph reported that the situation developed after a water line broke. County Judge Rhita Koches says that on Sunday afternoon, about three inches of water stood in some of the offices, and several feet of water flooded the inside of the elevator shaft and the building’s boiler room. Water was shut off to the building while repairs were being made so the county decided to close for the day on Monday.

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