BULLARD — The head volleyball coach at Bullard’s Brook Hill School has been arrested on a charge of enticing a child. According to KETK, Smith County judicial records indicate 61-year-old Ricky Clements, aka “Papa Ricky,” was arrested by the Bullard Police Department on Thursday. His name and email information have since been deleted from the school’s website. Enticement of a child, by legal definition, is “Inviting, persuading, or attempting to persuade a child to enter any vehicle, building, room, or secluded place with intent to commit an unlawful sexual act upon or with the person of said child.” Clements was booked into the Smith County Jail. His bond was set at $4,000.
SMITH COUNTY — A shootout in Smith County between an estranged husband and wife has left the woman dead and her husband critically injured. Killed was Margaret Reach Pulsipher 67 of Winona. Injured was Jerry Francis Pulsipher, 70. Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched around 1:00 Friday afternoon to reports of a domestic disturbance and shots fired on County Road 3116, also known as Philpot Road, in northeastern Smith County. Investigators later determined the man was bringing food to his estranged wife at her home when she allegedly shot him at least twice. … Read More
RUSK — Sheriff James Campbell in Cherokee County has officially announced he is running for re-election. Campbell has been sheriff since 1994. According to KETK, Campbell says he had contemplated retiring but he’s in good health and still has a lot he wants to do with the department. With the support of his family, he decided to try for another four years as sheriff. Campbell says some of his motivation comes from his desire to stay competitive with the Rusk Police Department, whose chief is his son.
TYLER — Due to the potential for inclement weather this evening, representatives with the Grace Community School have advised that this evening’s homecoming football game will start earlier than originally planned. KETK lists a 6 p.m. start time for the contest. As a result, the after-game fireworks display may begin between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., instead of the previously scheduled time of 9:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. The Tyler Fire Department says it will have a unit on stand-by during the event to provide any needed services. Officials note that the display has been properly permitted through the city of Tyler and will comply with all state and local requirements. School representatives provided notification to the nearby neighbors and businesses to alert them of the event.
KILGORE — The Kilgore College Board of Trustees has narrowed the field to four as it seeks its next president. Current President Dr. William M. “Bill” Holda announced July 2 that he will retire effective Jan. 31, 2016. Officials say the finalists will undergo extensive interviews on a one-day campus visit.
Finalists and campus visit/interview dates:
Dr. Kyle Wagner – Thursday, Nov. 5
Dr. Mark Smith – Tuesday, Nov. 10
Dr. Brenda Kays – Thursday, Nov. 12
Dr. Lynn Moore – Monday, Nov. 16… Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. — East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert says he voted against newly-chosen Paul Ryan for speaker of the House because Ryan’s record and vision don’t line up with East Texas. Just two of Gohmert’s concerns: Ryan’s support of the Wall Street bailout and an amnesty package for illegal immigrants. But Gohmert says Ryan’s a good man who does bring some positives to the table. The Tyler Republican said he’s looking forward to working with Ryan and that the two of them will look for things that they agree on. Gohmert commented that he thinks Ryan will “do a much better job of messaging.” Gohmert also noted that Ryan has said he won’t push some things that Gohmert considers “damaging.”
TEMPLE – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA is investing $3.7 million to help rural families repair and rehabilitate their homes — and a Smith County agency is getting a chunk of the money. Habitat for Humanity of Smith County will use a $93,392 grant to rehabilitate 30 homes for very low and low income owner-occupied dwellings. The funds are being awarded through the Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) program in 46 states and Puerto Rico to support the renovation of 1,147 units. In a news release, Vilsack says many low-income families in rural areas struggle to afford necessary housing upkeep. He says the grants put properties are in compliance with health and safety codes — and help people lower their maintenance costs through energy efficiency and weatherization improvements.
DALLAS — Domino’s is testing cars with built-in pizza ovens, and East Texas is in the picture. Tyler, Lubbock, and four other markets will see about two dozen cars during phase one of the trial run. Domino’s will be offering the $20,000 cars to local franchisees. The car is called the DXP — as in delivery expert — and is a converted Chevy Spark. The company hopes to have the cars in operation by Thanksgiving. Pizza delivery counts for about 66% of Domino’s business, without about 400 million pies delivered each year in the United States.
KILGORE — The Kilgore Police Department is seeking help identifying a man responsible for a theft at the local Walmart October 14. KETK reports anyone with information about the man pictured at left should contact Gregg County Crime Stoppers at 903-236-STOP or text your anonymous tip to 847411+KILGORE+your tip. Refer to KPD Incident #1510-0871.
HENDERSON — The city of Henderson is getting a new animal shelter. KETK reports Henderson policeman Brian Bathke decided to head up the project to give animals in the area a larger home. He is renovating what used to be the East Texas Professional Credit Union into office space and kennels for the animals. The shelter was supposed to be completed by this month but has had setbacks due to weather. It’s now due to open by January. Bathke says, “The animals won’t be exposed any longer to the elements, to the wind, heat, rain. And it’ll all be climate-controlled back there. And not only for them but for the employees, it’ll be much easier to keep them contained, and keep them safe, and keep them inside.” The shelter does not currently have a capacity limit, but officials hope the 3,000-square-foot area will serve many.
KILGORE — Kilgore residents and those just passing through have lost a familiar face. KETK reports drivers on the Charles Duvall Parkway could always count on a friendly wave from a man sitting in his wheelchair along the road. That man was Larry W. Grant, who suffered a stroke 18 years ago that left the right side of his body paralyzed. His sons say he rode lawn mowers, electric scooters, and a wheelchair to get around his community. “He wore the wheels off of everything he owned, that was almost a full time job for everybody here, just keepin’ him rollin’,” says Grant’s youngest son, Larry D. Grant.… Read More
LONGVIEW — Longview police arrested two people Tuesday morning in a SWAT raid on East Birdsong Street. Officers said they found drugs inside the house including PCP, marijuana, and Xanax. They also recovered an undisclosed amount of cash. Warren G. Daniels, 40, of Longview, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. Christie Rena McCray, 38, of Longview, was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and tampering with physical evidence. Both suspects were taken to the Gregg County Jail.
TYLER — Smith County is donating some of its old office furniture to Habitat for Humanity of Smith County’s ReStore. According to a news release, the county’s Cleanup Committee tries to find ways to re-purpose the desks, chairs, and other office equipment when offices get new furniture. If the old furniture can’t be used by another department and it’s not ready for the trash, Smith County donates the furniture to local nonprofit organizations. On Tuesday, Smith County Commissioners approved the donation of nine desks to Habitat for Humanity to sell at its ReStore. Smith County has donated furniture to Habitat for Humanity three times in the past, as well as to Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
EAST TEXAS — Expected inclement weather is already causing some schedule changes around East Texas, mainly for high school football games. According to KETK, the following games are among those that have been re-scheduled:
Tyler Lee at Rockwall – 6:30 p.m. on Friday
Jacksonville at John Tyler – Saturday at 2 p.m.
Nacogdoches at Whitehouse – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday
Melissa at Bullard – 7 p.m. Thursday
Hallsville at Pine Tree – 7 p.m. Thursday
Gladewater at Spring Hill – 7 p.m. Thursday
Lindale at Ennis – Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Waskom at Troup – Thursday at 7:30 p.m. … Read More
TYLER — University officials say Laila Assanie, business economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, will be the featured speaker of The University of Texas at Tyler Hibbs Institute 2015 Economic Forecast Summit. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Thursday at the UT Tyler Ornelas Activity Center on Old Omen Road. Assanie will present “Current Texas Economy and Outlook.” Officials say Assanie conducts research on regional economic issues, produces articles for various bank publications and contributes to the Dallas Fed’s website. Sponsorships and tickets are available by contacting college marketing coordinator Jessica Brown at email@example.com or 903-565-5741. … Read More
MARSHALL — The Marshall Police Department is investigating a fatal crash just before 6:45 Tuesday evening on Poplar Street. According to KETK, a preliminary investigation determined an SUV was headed east near Loop 390 when the vehicle left the road on the north side for unknown reasons. The driver has only been identified as a 57-year-old woman from Avinger. She was taken to a local hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
TYLER — A suspected car thief is hospitalized after a chase with police. Tyler officers responded to a report of a woman following her stolen car near Gentry just after 2:00 this morning. As authorities attempted to stop the suspect, he sped off and crashed the car into a tree. The suspect, identified as Deaveron Dean, 24, reportedly fled into a wooded area and was caught a short time later. He was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.… Read More
CARTHAGE (AP) – An East Texas judge has determined a trial must be moved for the man whose 1999 murder conviction inspired the dark comedy “Bernie.” The Dallas Morning News reports the court Tuesday ordered the January trial of Bernie Tiede be moved from Panola County to nearby Rusk County because of Tiede’s notoriety around his hometown of Carthage. He’s facing a new sentencing phase for the murder conviction and prosecution on theft charges. He was convicted of killing wealthy widow Marjorie Nugent, whose body was found in 1997 in her freezer. Relatives say Tiede spent $618,000 of Nugent’s money. He was released last year after the original prosecutor agreed Tiede was wrongly sentenced to life imprisonment. A new prosecutor wants him returned to prison.
LONGVIEW — Gregg County authorities announce big results in a large-scale child support roundup held on Tuesday. Officials say the Sheriff’s Office sponsored the operation, which also included the Longview, Kilgore, White Oak, Gladewater, and Lakeport police departments. The teams picked up 23 of the 50 initial people with warrants. Officials say those arrested owed approximately $690,368.21 in back child support. The operation began at 5:00 a.m. with teams of officers trying to find people who owed a combined total of over $1,144,501.72 in delinquent child support.… Read More
TEXARKANA – A Tyler man is among 31 people named in a 43-count indictment announced Tuesday in Texarkana as part of a massive methamphetamine investigation. Sam Rich, 47, joins a group of primarily Texarkana-area residents. People from both Texas and Arkansas are named in the indictment. Federal officials say arrests were made Tuesday as part of Operation Flashback, a two-year joint federal and state investigation.… Read More
LONGVIEW — One person was taken to a Longview hospital after crashing into a home, ripping a large hole in the side of the residence. According to KETK, Longview police say the driver was stopped on Dundee Road and began to turn left on Sage Road when the vehicle lost traction on the slick road. The car then hydroplaned through a fence and into the home on Sage Road. The driver suffered minor injuries, no one else was hurt, and no citation was issued.
TROUP — It will apparently be early November before we get an update on the status of Troup head football coach Dennis Alexander. KETK reports a special meeting with Troup ISD officials was held Monday night to discuss the allegations against the legendary coach. But no action was taken, and Alexander remains suspended until further notice. Alexander said last week he’d been suspended due to allegations he slapped a player, which he denies. He was notified by the school district last Wednesday of the complaint against him. School officials plan to revisit the discussion November 9. Alexander’s storied career includes two state championships when he headed up the football program in Daingerfield.
EAST TEXAS — Following this past weekend’s heavy rains, the number of East Texas counties rescinding their burn bans continues to grow, with Smith and Van Zandt Counties joining the list Tuesday. Interim Smith County Fire Marshal Connie Wasson recommended to the Commissioners Court that the burn ban be lifted, according to a news release. She said the drought index is at 37, the lowest she has seen it in a long time. She also noted that more rain is expected this weekend. Wasson said the Fire Marshal’s Office does have sandbags for Smith County residents who might need them if heavy rains continue.… Read More
TYLER – People around the country are falling victim to a phone scam by scammers pretending to be IRS agents, according to information from the Better Business Bureau Serving Central East Texas. The callers seem to be targeting East Texas residents, as BBB received numerous calls Tuesday morning. The impersonators are calling up their targets, demanding that they pay taxes they don’t even owe, by either loading money on a prepaid card or sending it via a wire transfer. Those who refuse to pay immediately are then threatened by the “IRS agents.” BBB officials say the threats include jail time, deportation, or the suspension of the victim’s business or driver’s license.… Read More
WHITEHOUSE — A boil water notice has been rescinded for customers of the Whitehouse area’s Walnut Grove Water Supply Corporation. Officials said Monday that the notice from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was prompted when a routine monthly sample tested positive for E. coli. According to a statement issued by the water company Tuesday, “Our system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore adequate pressure, disinfectant levels, and/or bacteriological quality and has provided TCEQ with testing results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling as of October 27, 2015.” You can visit http://www.walnutgrovewatersupply.org for more information or call Dan at the Walnut Grove WSC office at 903-839-4372. The TCEQ number is 512-239-4691.
GREGG COUNTY — A Gladewater man has been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. According to KETK, Deadrian McKinley, 20, was arrested Monday and jailed in Gregg County with bond set at $50,000. The victim is said to be a 13-year-old girl. McKinley’s charge is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
EAST TEXAS — A Smith County mail carrier who has resigned could face charges. About a hundred pieces of mail were found strewn on a Smith County road last month. Kenny Smith, Special Agent with the Office of Inspector General for the US Postal Service says this is unusual. He says in the last year, his office arrested 348 people out of 445 thousand employees…or point zero, zero, zero eight percent.
LUFKIN — A two vehicle accident in Angelina County has killed three persons. The accident happened just before 1:00 Monday afternoon on state Highway 103, about four miles east of Lufkin. Killed was Carl Hammerly, 49, of Broaddus, and Sarah Melinda Rya, 68, and James Harvey Ryan, 70, both of Etoile. The Department of Public safety reports it appears as if Hammerly was trying to pass a vehicle when he hit Rya’s vehicle head-on. The accident remains under investigation.