Category: Local News Archive

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Lane Closure of Mobberly Avenue near Downtown

longview-cityofLONGVIEW — Beginning today, traffic on Longview’s Mobberly Avenue will be reduced to two lanes from the north side of the East Cotton Street intersection to the south side of the East Methvin Street intersection to allow for construction projects. Drivers are urged to drive cautiously in these areas for the safety of construction workers. It is anticipated that this partial closure will remain in effect until March 9. This street closure is part of the train depot renovation project. For additional information, contact the City of Longview Public Works Engineering Department at 903-239-5504.

Longview Police Warn of Pet Scam

thumb_police-longview-shieldLONGVIEW — Nothing says love like man’s best friend, and East Texans are falling victim to a scam pulling at their heart strings. According to KETK, The Longview Police Department is warning anyone who is looking to buy a pet — or really any item — on the Internet should be cautious with the purchase. Authorities have recently noticed a scheme enticing people to buy animals that don’t exist through the use of stock photos taken from the web. Buyers will send their money before receiving the pet, and in turn are duped by the predators, left with an empty wallet and nothing to brighten their day. If it seems to good to be true, it’s never a good idea, warned Longview PD.

Alleged Walmart Hatchet Swinger Indicted

christopher_hamiltonMARSHALL — A transient from Arkansas has been indicted in Marshall for injuring three persons in a hatchet attack at a Wal-Mart Store. The incident occurred last December. Christopher Lyn Hamilton of Crawford, Arkansas, has been indicted by a Harrison County grand jury on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Investigators say Hamilton allegedly had the hatchet with him when entering the store. Two female workers and a male shopper were attacked. Hamilton fled the store following the atatck. He was found in a wooded area near the store.

Smith County Man Indicted in Longview Murder

alejandrogarciamugLONGVIEW — The Gregg County Grand Jury has indicted a Smith County man in the death of a Longview teen. Indicted was Alejandro Garcia, 22, of Winona. He is accused in the death of Andres Chavez, 19. His body was found lying outside a car in the 1100 block of Sabine Street on December 23rd. During the probe, investigators said Chavez may have been lured to his death by a catfish. A catfish is a person who creates a false online identity to pursue an online romance. Garcia had allegedly set up a fake Facebook account. Authorities say he posed as a woman named Monica Ayalin and had several conversations with the victim. According to Facebook posts, Ayalin and Chavez were in a relationship and he believed he was meeting “her” for a date.

Injured Firefighter Now in Stable Condition; More Benefits Scheduled

Joe YeakleyLINDALE — Officials report injured Lindale firefighter Joe Yeakley has made many improvements, and is now in stable condition in Parkland Hospital in Dallas. And according to a Lindale Fire Department news release, there’s an opportunity coming up Wednesday to help Yeakley and his family. On Wednesday, “His” Music Ministry is working with members of the Lindale community to present a benefit Fajita Dinner and Concert featuring Lindale’s own Casey Rivers as well as local entertainers Mike Huff, Steven Giles, McFarlin & Mabry and Iron Mountain Project. This event will be held at the Lindale High School campus at 902 E. Hubbard. Read the rest of this entry »

City of Tyler Offers Update on Services

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — The city of Tyler is among many entities that have faced challenges in the wake of Sunday’s storm. The city offered this update Tuesday afternoon:

The Glass Recreation Center remained closed Tuesday due to a power outage. It is anticipated that it will reopen Wednesday.

The Solid Waste Department did not collect trash Tuesday due to weather related road conditions. They will pick up recycling Saturday and resume normal collection on Thursday and Friday this week. Customers with bulky collection items should place them on the curb and they will be picked up in the next week.

The warming center at St. Louis Church has been closed. Those who may still need shelter are encouraged to contact the Salvation Army.

The Airport remains open.

Power Outages Decrease in East Texas

thumb_power_linesEAST TEXAS — Things are getting better for East Texans who were hit with power outages caused by Sunday’s storm. KETK reports about 35,000 people in the region lost power beginning Sunday. That led to families packing into cars to stay warm and additional hotel room bookings. There’s been quite a bit of improvement since the storm hit, though a number of people remained without electricity late Tuesday. The Longview News-Journal reports some customers may not get their electricity back on until today. Oncor brought in crews from unaffected cities, along with a helicopter to help pinpoint the outage areas.

City of Tyler Keeps Warming Center Open

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — In response to inclement weather conditions that persist today, City of Tyler Emergency Management officials say a warming center will remain open for citizens in need of these services. The temporary warming center, operated by the American Red Cross, is located at the St. Louis Baptist Church, 4000 Frankston Hwy. The site is capable of housing 140 occupants and will provide light refreshments, including coffee and snacks for those in need. Officials will continue to evaluate weather conditions throughout the day and will decide on the need for overnight sheltering services as the day progresses. If additional shelters are needed for long-term stays, officials will release this information, along with the locations of any potential sites. Read the rest of this entry »

Roads Improving, but Caution Still Urged

EAST TEXAS — Following Sunday’s storm, the Smith County DPS says roadways are generally passable around East Texas. But KETK reports officials are still urging motorists to proceed carefully due to remnants of the storm. There have been no road closures, but traffic has continued to back up in some areas. As usual during cold, wet weather, bridges and overpasses call for additional caution. You might also want to allow yourself more travel time as you’re heading out.

Power Outages Prompt Boil Water Notice

boilingwater-2SMITH COUNTY — Due to continued power outages in the area of Starrville-Friendship, a boil water notice has been issued. Officials said it will be in effect until further notice.

Traffic and Intersection Advisory

thumb_police-tyler-badgeTYLER — The Tyler Police Department Monday evening asked drivers to avoid the intersection of Loop 323 SSW and Hwy. 31W if at all possible. Shortly after 5:00 p.m. a commercial vehicle attempting to make a U-turn at the intersection struck a traffic control pole knocking out all power at the intersection. Officers with the Tyler PD headed to the scene to direct traffic. According to a statement from police issued shortly before 7 p.m., small personal vehicles can travel in all directions, but due to low hanging wires commercial vehicles are only able to travel north or southbound. The City of Tyler Street department also headed to the scene and began attempting to restore power to the intersection. Again, drivers have been asked to use caution if traveling through the intersection and be prepared for delays until power is restored.

Crews Address Brief Scare at Assisted Living Facility

TYLER — No injuries were reported and no evacuations were needed after the Tyler Fire Department responded to the Azalea Trails Assisted Living and Memory Care facility at 5550 Old Jacksonville Hwy. Five units answered the call. The initial call was received just after 3:00 Monday afternoon, with the caller reporting fire in an area of the electrical panel near the kitchen. Upon arrival, firefighters reported light smoke in the kitchen and determined the source to be a pile of towels smoldering in a nearby area. Firefighters quickly brought the situation under control. Firefighters remain on the scene at this time, along with investigators from the Tyler Fire Marshal’s Office. Authorities say additional information will be released as it becomes available.

Tyler Firefighters Battle Two-Alarm Structure Fire

thumb_tyler-fire-dept-logoTYLER — Tyler firefighters got busy Monday with a blaze at 2315 Devine St. The initial call was received around 1:45 p.m., with the caller reporting that a generator was on fire in close proximity to a storage building behind the residence. Firefighters observed smoke conditions while en route to the scene and upgraded the incident to a two-alarm call. Five engines and one Ladder Company, along with a District Chief and an Investigator, responded to the scene. Upon arrival, the fire had spread to a nearby storage building, which was fully involved. Firefighters discovered propane bottles in the building and quickly worked to extinguish the blaze, while also preventing the bottles from overheating. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and officials say they’ll release more information when it’s available

Texas Electric Grid Operators Urge Conservation

thumb_power_linesDALLAS (AP) — Operators of the state’s electric grid have urged conservation after freezing, icy weather led to power outages and forced some North Texas schools to call off classes. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked consumers to limit power use Monday morning amid concerns over high demand. Oncor reported about 7,600 homes and businesses without electricity, mainly in the Tyler and Dallas-Fort Worth areas.

Texas Electric Grid Operators Urge Conservation

DALLAS (AP) — Operators of the state’s electric grid have urged conservation after freezing, icy weather led to power outages and forced some North Texas schools to call off classes. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked consumers to limit power use Monday morning amid concerns over high demand. Oncor reported about 7,600 homes and businesses without electricity, mainly in the Tyler and Dallas-Fort Worth areas. The Dallas Independent School District canceled classes Monday and cited safety concerns for students and staff due to icy roads. The Denton and Arlington districts also called off school due to inclement weather. The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory until midmorning Monday for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Forecasters say sunny conditions should return by Tuesday with highs predicted in the upper 40s.

Gilmer Football Player Dies

GilmerFootball_DesmondPollard_7on7state-300x225GILMER – A Gilmer High School Football Player has died while playing basketball with his friends. Coach Jeff Traylor confirms the death of junior wide receiver Desmond Pollard Sunday night. According to a tweet from Coach Traylor, “Desmond Pollard a Jr. WR #8 just passed away. He was the 4th of his brothers we coached. His sweet smile will always be missed.” The coach said Pollard was playing basketball when he collapsed and stopped breathing.

McConaughey Wins Oscar for Best Actor

Matthew McConaughey
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Longview Resident Matthew McConaughey has won the Academy Award for best actor for his performance as a desperate and determined AIDS patient in “Dallas Buyers Club.” McConaughey lost some 40 pounds for the role, which capped a remarkable recent career transformation for the 44-year-old actor, once a regular in lightweight romantic comedies. It was his first Oscar nomination; he won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama earlier this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Time for Tyler’s Bulky Item Collection

bulky item collectionTYLER — The City of Tyler Solid Waste Department and Keep Tyler Beautiful are sponsoring a free bulky item collection for City of Tyler residential customers as a part of Spring Cleanup Week. Bulky items that will be picked up at no charge include furniture, appliances, carpet, fence material up to four noncommercial vehicle tires, old toys and other large items that would normally require a special fee. No liquid waste, limbs or brush will be picked up. Paint must be dried out with oil dry or kitty litter. The Solid Waste Department will be picking items up for one week only, Monday, March 3 through March 7. Read the rest of this entry »

Fire Marshal to Continue Ammonium Nitrate Tour

Chris Connealy-State Fire MarshalATHENS (AP) — State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy is continuing to meet with local officials in Texas counties about the dangers of ammonium nitrate, the chemical that detonated in the West fertilizer explosion. Connealy and officials from other state agencies will appear Monday afternoon in Athens. They will meet with businessmen and officials in Henderson County. Read the rest of this entry »

TxDOT Project Updates

TxDOT signTYLER — Here’s a quick look at other work planned in Smith County by the Tyler District of the Texas Department of Transportation, weather permitting.

SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue base and pavement repairs on Northeast Loop 323 in Tyler, between the Loop 323 Extension and Commerce Street. A second crew is scheduled to continue edge work on Farm Road 15 between Troup and the Rusk County Line. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress. Motorists are encouraged to be prepared to reduce speed and merge in and around the work zone. Read the rest of this entry »

Pipeline Protesters Arrested at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police arrested hundreds of people who strapped themselves to the White House fence on Sunday to protest the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. The protesters were mostly college students who participated in a peaceful march that began at Georgetown University and ended outside the White House. They chanted “climate justice now” and carried signs with slogans such as “don’t tarnish the earth” in an effort to persuade President Barack Obama to reject the pipeline. They say it will worsen global warming. Read the rest of this entry »

Longview Police Urge Drivers To Stay Off Roads

LONGVIEW — Hundreds of East Texans are without power and Longview police are urging motorists to stay off the roads as freezing rain blankets the region. According to the Longview News-Journal, as of about 5:45 p.m., AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co. 546 customers in Gregg County and 285 customers in Upshur County were without power.

Arctic Cold Front Sweeps Across East Texas

photoEAST TEXAS — An Arctic blast has blown through East Texas today dropping temperatures into the 20s. Just a reminder, bridges and overpasses are the first to become icy. Periods of sleet and freezing rain will last into early tonight before ending around 9 or 10 pm. Depending on how much precipitation falls, we could wind up with ice accumulations of one tenth to one quarter of an inch of sleet and freezing rain. According to KETK, this could make driving hazardous and cause some tree and power line damage, resulting in power outages by this evening. The precipitation will end before midnight and temperatures will continue to drop reaching the mid to upper teens by early tomorrow morning. Skies will become partly sunny on Monday with highs in the 30s.

Prom Night for Foster Kids

TYLER — Young adults in foster care had their very own prom Saturday evening at the Glass Recreation Center in Tyler. It’s the annual “Pal Prom 2014″. According to KETK, the project allows teens who share similar experiences to meet and have fun together. Before the big event at 5:00, the girls got to pick up a dress, shoes and jewelry at Shiloh Road Church of Christ. The young boys also had their time to get ready and were treated to bowling. Star College of Cosmetology in Tyler gave the girls a full beauty experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Injured in Longview House Fire

firefighters-1LONGVIEW– Two people have been injured in a Longview house fire. It happened at a home in the 400 block of Dawn Street Saturday afternoon. According to KETK, three people were inside the house at the time of the fire and were able to escape; however, two were injured in the process. An adult and a child were taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries. The house did receive some smoke damage. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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