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Category: Local News Archive

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TxDOT’s Weekly Roadwork Update

TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in TxDOT’s Tyler District during the Week of May 8. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones.

Smith County – Tyler Maintenance crews plan to conduct edge repairs on FM 2607 and pavement repairs on FM 2493 north of Bullard. Expect lane closures at both work locations. … Read the rest of the article…

Assistance Continues for East Texas Storm Victims

CANTON – Assistance continues for East Texas residents affected by recent tornadoes. Starting Monday, Red Cross representatives will be at the Canton Distribution Center at the Canton Fair Grounds. They will be able to answer questions and make arrangements for casework. The Red Cross’s Tammy Prater says they will remain there as long as the center remains open. Additionally, says Prater, mobile caseworkers are out in every affected community trying to reach as many victims as possible.… Read the rest of the article…

Tyler ISD Bond Proposal Passes by Wide Margin; Other Election Results

EAST TEXAS – John Tyler and Robert E. Lee High Schools will be undergoing major renovations in the next few years. That’s the outcome of Saturday’s bond election, in which the makeovers were approved by a margin of approximately 83 to 17 per cent. School district officials value the project at $198 million. Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford is among those celebrating. He says the results show “Tyler’s commitment to its kids, and it’s a game changer for generations of kids in Tyler, Texas.” Next up: fine-tuning architectural plans, with an eye on breaking ground next spring. Crawford estimates construction will take about two years.… Read the rest of the article…

Police: Longview Man Leads Officers on High-Speed Chase

LONGVIEW — A Longview man was arrested Thursday after reportedly leading officers on a high-speed chase. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, Kerry Dale Rawlinson, 61, was held Friday on bonds totaling $17,500. He was charged with evading arrest detention with a vehicle and possession of a prohibited weapon.… Read the rest of the article…

Historic Mayfair Building Restoration Project Announced

TYLER — A new historical restoration project has been announced by the Friends of the Mayfair, a non-profit organization. According to a City of Tyler news release, the project will focus on bringing the Mayfair Building on West Front Street to full restoration. City officials say the organization is committed to saving the Mayfair Building and has been working to complete a preservation master plan for its restoration. The building is owned by the City of Tyler, which has allowed the Friends of the Mayfair group the opportunity to spearhead and work on the project.… Read the rest of the article…

GOP Chairman Warns Agencies about Requests for Records

WASHINGTON (AP/Staff) – The Republican chairman of a House committee is telling several government agencies to hold back communications with his committee when asked to provide them under the federal open records law. Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, whose district stretches into East Texas, says those are congressional records — not agency records covered under the Freedom of Information Act. He says they often contain sensitive and confidential information. The advocacy group Public Citizen says Hensarling’s letter violates the spirit of the open records law. Hensarling is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, says it’s hypocritical of Hensarling to shield himself from the oversight of the American people. She says people should ask, “What is he trying to hide?”

Smith County Robbery Probed

TYLER – Smith County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for two persons who robbed a man north of Tyler. It happened shortly after 1:15 Friday afternoon in a business parking lot on U.S. Highway 271 at Interstate Highway 20. The victim had gone there to meet a person to sell a cell phone. He was approached by two black males with a handgun who stole his phone. They fled in a in a tan Mercury Grand Marquis. A black woman was seen in the vehicle. No one was injured during the offense. Deputies searched the area but were unable to locate the suspects. The investigation is active and ongoing.… Read the rest of the article…

Erbie Bowser Found Guilty in Dallas County Murder Case

DALLAS — A Dallas County jury has reached a guilty verdict in the death penalty capital murder trial of a former Dallas Mavs Maniac Dancer, who was a highly regarded high school footballer in Tyler. Erbie Bowser was accused of killing four people in two cities in August of 2013. The victims were his estranged wife, her daughter, his ex-girlfriend, and her daughter. The case has now moved on to the life or death punishment hearing. Bowser is a 1987 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, where he was an all-state football selection in 1986.

Two Smith County Runaways Sought

TYLER – Two teens, who are being called runaways, are being sought by Smith County Sheriff’s deputies. Angel Michelle Owen and Mason Alexander Bautista, both who are 15, were reported as runaways on Wednesday. They were last seen in a Gold 2003 Jeep Liberty with Texas License Plates CLL-2436. The vehicle has since been observed via video and both juveniles were safe at that time. The Sheriff’s Office and the Whitehouse Police Department are asking for the public’s help in locating these two.… Read the rest of the article…

Tyler Resident Wins State Award

AUSTIN – An employee with the Texas Department of Transportation has been presented the 2017 RAMP (Routine Airport Maintenance Program) Coordinator of the Year award. She is Rebecca Petty, who is employed with the TxDOT-Tyler District. She has maintained 100% grant participation in the program from airports located within the district. According to a TxDOT news release, working with district maintenance staff, she has provided project and contract management assistance, resulting in extensive pavement maintenance work utilizing district work forces and contracts.… Read the rest of the article…

A Scout Troop is Celebrating

LONGVIEW – A Boy Scout troop in Longview will be holding a special celebration on Saturday. It will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. Scout Troop 201 was chartered in 1917, a little under seven years after the Boy Scouts of America was founded. The Longview Lions Club is the current sponsor of the troop, a role it has held since 1935. The celebration will be held from 11:30 till 4:30 at the scout hut above Teague Park. Among those on hand for the celebration will be Governor Gregg Abbott. He joined that scout troop in 1967, when the troop celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Boil Water Notice Rescinded

PALESTINE – A boil water notice in Palestine has been lifted. Because of a fire hydrant replacement, the boil notice was issued for residents on Timble Street from Between Ragland and Fitzhugh streets. But a city news release on Friday said they have taken the necessary action to restore adequate pressure, disinfectant levels and/or bacteriological quality and testing results show that the water no longer requires boiling.

The Western Group Managing the Texas State Railroad

RUSK – A new company is now operating the Texas State Railroad. At a Wednesday night meeting, the railroad’s board finalized a contract with the Western Group to operate the railroad. The new group plans food service and shopping options at the Rusk and Palestine depots and a new rolling stock museum, that will be located in Palestine. They plan to have improvements underway by the middle of the month and completed by mid-June, with the exception of the museum. Included in the planned upgrades are coach car renovations, new interiors for cabooses, and the makeover of unique observation car #1511 which has hosted Texas governors and U.S. presidents going back to Lyndon Johnson.… Read the rest of the article…

Gladewater’s New School Superintendent

GLADEWATER – Gladewater school trustees have named a former middle school principal as their new school superintendent. After two final interviews and a one hour executive session Thursday night, school trustees named Sedric Clark as the district’s lone superintendent finalist. He had been the Foster Middle School principal from 2004 to 2010. He left to become principal at Mansfield High School in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana, where he is today. They must now wait at least 21 days before officially offering Clark a contract. He will succeed J.P. Richardson, who resigned in March to become school superintendent in Tatum.

Man Sent to Prison Following Ten DWI Arrests

TYLER — After picking up 10 DWI arrests in the past 13 years, a Tyler man has been sentenced to eight years in prison. According to KETK, Smith County judicial records name 44-year-old Christopher Rawlings. His most recent DWI arrest was in July of last year. Judicial records show Rawlings’s sentence began Tuesday.

Longview Meth Arrest

LONGVIEW – A woman suspected of shoplifting is in custody on drug charges. The police were called to the Family Dollar Store on East Marshall. A clerk said it was thought that Jessica Ferguson, 36, of Longview had placed several items in her purse, and they were unsure if she had paid for them. The Longview News Journal reports officers didn’t find any stolen items. But she was arrested on an outstanding warrant for camping within the city. And, when, a small bag of meth fell out of her bra, she was also charged with possession of a controlled substance. She remains in the Gregg County Jail.

Teen’s Body Recovered from Athens Pond

ATHENS — The body of an Athens teen was recovered after officials say he tried to swim from the shoreline to an island on Coleman Park Pond Thursday night. According to KETK, three people reported their friend, identified as James Riley Wallace, 19, went under when trying to swim around 8:00 p.m. Officials from the Athens Fire and Police Departments, as well as a dive team from Longview and an ETMC helicopter, searched the pond and surrounding areas. Wallace’s body was recovered around 12:55 this morning. Foul play is not suspected. The body has been sent for autopsy.

18 Registered Smith County Sex Offenders Out of Compliance

SMITH COUNTY — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office completed a compliance check of registered sex offenders who reside in Smith County. Of the 373 individuals who were checked on May 3rd and 4th, eighteen were found to be out of compliance. Unannounced residential checks are conducted on a regular basis. The residential checks were executed by approximately 40 officers from eight different local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, coordinated with the U.S. Marshal’s Service Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force. Participation agencies included the Tyler Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Criminal Justice – OIG, Smith County Adult Probation Office, Palestine Police Department, Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal’s Office.

Palestine Fraud Alert

PALESTINE – A warning is being sent out to the residents of Palestine about a fraudulent service that is attempting to collect payment from the citizens on behalf of the city. There is an online bill pay service, identified as doxo.com., which has a link established to collect payments for water services from the city. According to a news release from the city, this service is not authorized to take payments on behalf of the City of Palestine and any payment sent through this service is not forwarded to the city in a timely manner. Utilizing this service may dramatically decrease the speed of a payment, causing the payment to be received by the city long after the due date. This may result in a disconnection of services, creating inconvenience to the water customer. The service also charges a premium service fee to the customer for using the system.… Read the rest of the article…

Gohmert Pleased with House Passage of Obamacare Replacement Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One of the 217 Congress members who helped the Obamacare repeal pass the U.S. House was Tyler’s Louie Gohmert. He offered a thumbnail on what helped push the bill through. Gohmert told KTBB, “We had gotten with the president, and he put pressure on, we got some provisions in the bill that will help us bring premiums down sooner rather than later.” Gohmert added, “It’s been a good day…we’re gonna get control back to patients.” 213 House members voted against the bill, which now heads to the Senate.

Smith County Couple Sentenced in Federal Court

TYLER – A Smith County couple is sentenced in Tyler federal court for health care fraud violations. Gerard Dengler, 61, and Suzanne Dengler, 52, pleaded guilty back in January. Judge Thad Heartfield sentenced Gerard to to 24 months in Federal prison. Suzanne received a sentence of five years of probation. Both were also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $161,695, which represented the loss to Medicare. Last December, the Denglers and Elite Lab agreed to pay the United States $3.75 million to settle a false claims act lawsuit in connection with the case. This stems from a lawsuit filed by former Elite Lab employee.… Read the rest of the article…

Athens Fire Victim Named

ATHENS – An Athens man who died in a fire on April 22nd has been identified. Authorities say it was Arthur Delmar Jones, 77, who died in that fire on East College Street. The fire was was reported just before 8:45 that night. Jones lived on the second floor of that two story home. Early the next morning, firemen found a his body in the debris. Athens Fire Chief John Mcqueary says the fire was started when two electrical cords, which had been connected, overheated the homes circuit box.

Volunteers Needed in Van Zandt County

CANTON – Van Zandt County officials say volunteers are still needed in the cleanup and recovery efforts following last weekend’s tornadoes. Volunteers can go to the Van Zandt County Fairgrounds, 24742 St Highway 64 in Canton. Go to the Free State Building located at the end of road once you enter Fairgrounds. Sign in at the (VRC) Volunteer Reception Center. You can also go to the First Baptist Church, 181 VZCR 1910, Fruitvale. You are required to sign in and you will receive an arm band. You must wear the arm band while volunteering.

Longview’s Amphitheater Study

LONGVIEW – A consultant’s study indicates Longview can support a 7,500-seat outdoor amphitheater with the right private-public funding plan and event management. They are looking at building the $19 million facility southwest of the Estes Parkway-Interstate 20 interchange. The Longview Economic Development Corp. announced the results of the study during a Wednesday night Gathering. The Longview news Journal reports the consultants estimate such a venue could generate $4 million in operating revenues, incur $3.8 million in operating costs and turn a potential $200,000 yearly profit after paying management fees. They also believe it would pump $5.4 million yearly into Longview’s economy. So far, reviews have been mixed as they start work on how to fund the project.

Curfew in Effect for Portions of Van Zandt County

CANTON – Van Zandt County Judge Don Kirkpatrick has issued a curfew for the areas of the county impacted by last weekend’s tornadoes. The curfew went into effect at dusk on Wednesday until dawn on Saturday morning. It covers the time frame of dusk to dawn each day. You can see the curfew map on the Van Zandt County website under the tornado information link.

Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Held in Tyler

TYLER — Hundreds turned out Thursday out for Tyler’s annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at Harvey Convention Center, part of the National Day of Prayer. Mayor Martin Heines lauded the attendees, calling them “the fabric of this community.” Heines said, “If you want to compare us with any place in the world, I will tell you that I would want to live right here with each and every one of you, because we make our town special. We volunteer. We care for others. And if it wasn’t for the people in this room, Tyler would not be Tyler.” The event was highlighted by a variety of prayers along with music and videos.

Tyler Police Search for Armed Robbery Suspect

TYLER — Tyler Police are searching for the suspect wanted in an early morning armed robbery. It happened around 3:30 at the Exxon gas station, 5502 Old Bullard Road. According to the store’s clerk, a black male, wearing a mask and wielding a rifle, entered the store. That’s when the clerk ran to the Best Western and called police. The suspect was able to steal an undisclosed amount of money from the store’s safe, then fled the scene. Responding officers noticed a man matching the suspect’s description riding a bike on Rieck Road near Donnybrook. He fled from officers and is still on the loose.… Read the rest of the article…

Six Tornado Victims Remain Hospitalized

EAST TEXAS — Six people are still recovering in local hospitals following the East Texas tornado outbreak on Saturday, April 29. Four people were killed and 56 others were injured. According to KETK, as of 3:00 Wednesday, two patients in Athens are in fair condition and the four remaining patients are at a Tyler hospital. One victim is in critical condition, one serious, one fair and another good condition. The four victims killed have been identified as: James Clayton Young, 39, of Alba. Lucretia Yvette Sykes, 49, of Ft. Worth. Kenneth Hughes, 57, of Canton. Russell Rusty Barlow, 51, of Corsicana. Nine tornadoes touched down in East Texas during the severe weather day.

Fruitvale Schools Still out

EAST TEXAS – East Texas schools affected by this past weekend’s tornado outbreak are getting back to normal. Canton schools reopened on Wednesday. But Fruitvale schools are still out. According to their Facebook page, Fruitvale schools will be out on Thursday and Friday.

Palestine Boil Water Notice

PALESTINE – A boil water notice is out in Palestine today for Trimble Street. Due to a fire hydrant replacement, the boil notice was issued for residents on Trimble Street between Ragland and Fitzhugh streets, including the 400 block of Fitzhugh Street. It will remain in effect until water system officials notify residents that the water is safe for drinking.… Read the rest of the article…

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TxDOT’s Weekly Roadwork Update

Posted/updated on: May 8, 2017 at 4:08 pm

TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in TxDOT’s Tyler District during the Week of May 8. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones.

Smith County – Tyler Maintenance crews plan to conduct edge repairs on FM 2607 and pavement repairs on FM 2493 north of Bullard. Expect lane closures at both work locations. … Read the rest of the article…

Assistance Continues for East Texas Storm Victims

Posted/updated on: May 8, 2017 at 4:00 pm

CANTON – Assistance continues for East Texas residents affected by recent tornadoes. Starting Monday, Red Cross representatives will be at the Canton Distribution Center at the Canton Fair Grounds. They will be able to answer questions and make arrangements for casework. The Red Cross’s Tammy Prater says they will remain there as long as the center remains open. Additionally, says Prater, mobile caseworkers are out in every affected community trying to reach as many victims as possible.… Read the rest of the article…

Tyler ISD Bond Proposal Passes by Wide Margin; Other Election Results

Posted/updated on: May 8, 2017 at 4:00 pm

EAST TEXAS – John Tyler and Robert E. Lee High Schools will be undergoing major renovations in the next few years. That’s the outcome of Saturday’s bond election, in which the makeovers were approved by a margin of approximately 83 to 17 per cent. School district officials value the project at $198 million. Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford is among those celebrating. He says the results show “Tyler’s commitment to its kids, and it’s a game changer for generations of kids in Tyler, Texas.” Next up: fine-tuning architectural plans, with an eye on breaking ground next spring. Crawford estimates construction will take about two years.… Read the rest of the article…

Police: Longview Man Leads Officers on High-Speed Chase

Posted/updated on: May 8, 2017 at 10:34 am

LONGVIEW — A Longview man was arrested Thursday after reportedly leading officers on a high-speed chase. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, Kerry Dale Rawlinson, 61, was held Friday on bonds totaling $17,500. He was charged with evading arrest detention with a vehicle and possession of a prohibited weapon.… Read the rest of the article…

Historic Mayfair Building Restoration Project Announced

Posted/updated on: May 8, 2017 at 10:35 am

TYLER — A new historical restoration project has been announced by the Friends of the Mayfair, a non-profit organization. According to a City of Tyler news release, the project will focus on bringing the Mayfair Building on West Front Street to full restoration. City officials say the organization is committed to saving the Mayfair Building and has been working to complete a preservation master plan for its restoration. The building is owned by the City of Tyler, which has allowed the Friends of the Mayfair group the opportunity to spearhead and work on the project.… Read the rest of the article…

GOP Chairman Warns Agencies about Requests for Records

Posted/updated on: May 7, 2017 at 4:33 pm

WASHINGTON (AP/Staff) – The Republican chairman of a House committee is telling several government agencies to hold back communications with his committee when asked to provide them under the federal open records law. Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, whose district stretches into East Texas, says those are congressional records — not agency records covered under the Freedom of Information Act. He says they often contain sensitive and confidential information. The advocacy group Public Citizen says Hensarling’s letter violates the spirit of the open records law. Hensarling is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, says it’s hypocritical of Hensarling to shield himself from the oversight of the American people. She says people should ask, “What is he trying to hide?”

Smith County Robbery Probed

Posted/updated on: May 7, 2017 at 2:13 pm

TYLER – Smith County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for two persons who robbed a man north of Tyler. It happened shortly after 1:15 Friday afternoon in a business parking lot on U.S. Highway 271 at Interstate Highway 20. The victim had gone there to meet a person to sell a cell phone. He was approached by two black males with a handgun who stole his phone. They fled in a in a tan Mercury Grand Marquis. A black woman was seen in the vehicle. No one was injured during the offense. Deputies searched the area but were unable to locate the suspects. The investigation is active and ongoing.… Read the rest of the article…

Erbie Bowser Found Guilty in Dallas County Murder Case

Posted/updated on: May 7, 2017 at 2:13 pm

DALLAS — A Dallas County jury has reached a guilty verdict in the death penalty capital murder trial of a former Dallas Mavs Maniac Dancer, who was a highly regarded high school footballer in Tyler. Erbie Bowser was accused of killing four people in two cities in August of 2013. The victims were his estranged wife, her daughter, his ex-girlfriend, and her daughter. The case has now moved on to the life or death punishment hearing. Bowser is a 1987 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, where he was an all-state football selection in 1986.

Two Smith County Runaways Sought

Posted/updated on: May 7, 2017 at 2:12 pm

TYLER – Two teens, who are being called runaways, are being sought by Smith County Sheriff’s deputies. Angel Michelle Owen and Mason Alexander Bautista, both who are 15, were reported as runaways on Wednesday. They were last seen in a Gold 2003 Jeep Liberty with Texas License Plates CLL-2436. The vehicle has since been observed via video and both juveniles were safe at that time. The Sheriff’s Office and the Whitehouse Police Department are asking for the public’s help in locating these two.… Read the rest of the article…

Tyler Resident Wins State Award

Posted/updated on: May 6, 2017 at 4:01 pm

AUSTIN – An employee with the Texas Department of Transportation has been presented the 2017 RAMP (Routine Airport Maintenance Program) Coordinator of the Year award. She is Rebecca Petty, who is employed with the TxDOT-Tyler District. She has maintained 100% grant participation in the program from airports located within the district. According to a TxDOT news release, working with district maintenance staff, she has provided project and contract management assistance, resulting in extensive pavement maintenance work utilizing district work forces and contracts.… Read the rest of the article…

A Scout Troop is Celebrating

Posted/updated on: May 6, 2017 at 4:03 pm

LONGVIEW – A Boy Scout troop in Longview will be holding a special celebration on Saturday. It will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. Scout Troop 201 was chartered in 1917, a little under seven years after the Boy Scouts of America was founded. The Longview Lions Club is the current sponsor of the troop, a role it has held since 1935. The celebration will be held from 11:30 till 4:30 at the scout hut above Teague Park. Among those on hand for the celebration will be Governor Gregg Abbott. He joined that scout troop in 1967, when the troop celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Boil Water Notice Rescinded

Posted/updated on: May 6, 2017 at 4:03 pm

PALESTINE – A boil water notice in Palestine has been lifted. Because of a fire hydrant replacement, the boil notice was issued for residents on Timble Street from Between Ragland and Fitzhugh streets. But a city news release on Friday said they have taken the necessary action to restore adequate pressure, disinfectant levels and/or bacteriological quality and testing results show that the water no longer requires boiling.

The Western Group Managing the Texas State Railroad

Posted/updated on: May 6, 2017 at 4:04 pm

RUSK – A new company is now operating the Texas State Railroad. At a Wednesday night meeting, the railroad’s board finalized a contract with the Western Group to operate the railroad. The new group plans food service and shopping options at the Rusk and Palestine depots and a new rolling stock museum, that will be located in Palestine. They plan to have improvements underway by the middle of the month and completed by mid-June, with the exception of the museum. Included in the planned upgrades are coach car renovations, new interiors for cabooses, and the makeover of unique observation car #1511 which has hosted Texas governors and U.S. presidents going back to Lyndon Johnson.… Read the rest of the article…

Gladewater’s New School Superintendent

Posted/updated on: May 6, 2017 at 4:04 pm

GLADEWATER – Gladewater school trustees have named a former middle school principal as their new school superintendent. After two final interviews and a one hour executive session Thursday night, school trustees named Sedric Clark as the district’s lone superintendent finalist. He had been the Foster Middle School principal from 2004 to 2010. He left to become principal at Mansfield High School in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana, where he is today. They must now wait at least 21 days before officially offering Clark a contract. He will succeed J.P. Richardson, who resigned in March to become school superintendent in Tatum.

Man Sent to Prison Following Ten DWI Arrests

Posted/updated on: May 6, 2017 at 7:53 am

TYLER — After picking up 10 DWI arrests in the past 13 years, a Tyler man has been sentenced to eight years in prison. According to KETK, Smith County judicial records name 44-year-old Christopher Rawlings. His most recent DWI arrest was in July of last year. Judicial records show Rawlings’s sentence began Tuesday.

Longview Meth Arrest

Posted/updated on: May 6, 2017 at 4:05 pm

LONGVIEW – A woman suspected of shoplifting is in custody on drug charges. The police were called to the Family Dollar Store on East Marshall. A clerk said it was thought that Jessica Ferguson, 36, of Longview had placed several items in her purse, and they were unsure if she had paid for them. The Longview News Journal reports officers didn’t find any stolen items. But she was arrested on an outstanding warrant for camping within the city. And, when, a small bag of meth fell out of her bra, she was also charged with possession of a controlled substance. She remains in the Gregg County Jail.

Teen’s Body Recovered from Athens Pond

Posted/updated on: May 6, 2017 at 8:40 am

ATHENS — The body of an Athens teen was recovered after officials say he tried to swim from the shoreline to an island on Coleman Park Pond Thursday night. According to KETK, three people reported their friend, identified as James Riley Wallace, 19, went under when trying to swim around 8:00 p.m. Officials from the Athens Fire and Police Departments, as well as a dive team from Longview and an ETMC helicopter, searched the pond and surrounding areas. Wallace’s body was recovered around 12:55 this morning. Foul play is not suspected. The body has been sent for autopsy.

18 Registered Smith County Sex Offenders Out of Compliance

Posted/updated on: May 6, 2017 at 8:40 am

SMITH COUNTY — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office completed a compliance check of registered sex offenders who reside in Smith County. Of the 373 individuals who were checked on May 3rd and 4th, eighteen were found to be out of compliance. Unannounced residential checks are conducted on a regular basis. The residential checks were executed by approximately 40 officers from eight different local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, coordinated with the U.S. Marshal’s Service Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force. Participation agencies included the Tyler Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Criminal Justice – OIG, Smith County Adult Probation Office, Palestine Police Department, Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal’s Office.

Palestine Fraud Alert

Posted/updated on: May 6, 2017 at 7:58 am

PALESTINE – A warning is being sent out to the residents of Palestine about a fraudulent service that is attempting to collect payment from the citizens on behalf of the city. There is an online bill pay service, identified as doxo.com., which has a link established to collect payments for water services from the city. According to a news release from the city, this service is not authorized to take payments on behalf of the City of Palestine and any payment sent through this service is not forwarded to the city in a timely manner. Utilizing this service may dramatically decrease the speed of a payment, causing the payment to be received by the city long after the due date. This may result in a disconnection of services, creating inconvenience to the water customer. The service also charges a premium service fee to the customer for using the system.… Read the rest of the article…

Gohmert Pleased with House Passage of Obamacare Replacement Bill

Posted/updated on: May 5, 2017 at 6:41 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One of the 217 Congress members who helped the Obamacare repeal pass the U.S. House was Tyler’s Louie Gohmert. He offered a thumbnail on what helped push the bill through. Gohmert told KTBB, “We had gotten with the president, and he put pressure on, we got some provisions in the bill that will help us bring premiums down sooner rather than later.” Gohmert added, “It’s been a good day…we’re gonna get control back to patients.” 213 House members voted against the bill, which now heads to the Senate.

Smith County Couple Sentenced in Federal Court

Posted/updated on: May 5, 2017 at 3:46 pm

TYLER – A Smith County couple is sentenced in Tyler federal court for health care fraud violations. Gerard Dengler, 61, and Suzanne Dengler, 52, pleaded guilty back in January. Judge Thad Heartfield sentenced Gerard to to 24 months in Federal prison. Suzanne received a sentence of five years of probation. Both were also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $161,695, which represented the loss to Medicare. Last December, the Denglers and Elite Lab agreed to pay the United States $3.75 million to settle a false claims act lawsuit in connection with the case. This stems from a lawsuit filed by former Elite Lab employee.… Read the rest of the article…

Athens Fire Victim Named

Posted/updated on: May 5, 2017 at 3:32 pm

ATHENS – An Athens man who died in a fire on April 22nd has been identified. Authorities say it was Arthur Delmar Jones, 77, who died in that fire on East College Street. The fire was was reported just before 8:45 that night. Jones lived on the second floor of that two story home. Early the next morning, firemen found a his body in the debris. Athens Fire Chief John Mcqueary says the fire was started when two electrical cords, which had been connected, overheated the homes circuit box.

Volunteers Needed in Van Zandt County

Posted/updated on: May 5, 2017 at 1:50 pm

CANTON – Van Zandt County officials say volunteers are still needed in the cleanup and recovery efforts following last weekend’s tornadoes. Volunteers can go to the Van Zandt County Fairgrounds, 24742 St Highway 64 in Canton. Go to the Free State Building located at the end of road once you enter Fairgrounds. Sign in at the (VRC) Volunteer Reception Center. You can also go to the First Baptist Church, 181 VZCR 1910, Fruitvale. You are required to sign in and you will receive an arm band. You must wear the arm band while volunteering.

Longview’s Amphitheater Study

Posted/updated on: May 5, 2017 at 12:56 pm

LONGVIEW – A consultant’s study indicates Longview can support a 7,500-seat outdoor amphitheater with the right private-public funding plan and event management. They are looking at building the $19 million facility southwest of the Estes Parkway-Interstate 20 interchange. The Longview Economic Development Corp. announced the results of the study during a Wednesday night Gathering. The Longview news Journal reports the consultants estimate such a venue could generate $4 million in operating revenues, incur $3.8 million in operating costs and turn a potential $200,000 yearly profit after paying management fees. They also believe it would pump $5.4 million yearly into Longview’s economy. So far, reviews have been mixed as they start work on how to fund the project.

Curfew in Effect for Portions of Van Zandt County

Posted/updated on: May 5, 2017 at 11:53 am

CANTON – Van Zandt County Judge Don Kirkpatrick has issued a curfew for the areas of the county impacted by last weekend’s tornadoes. The curfew went into effect at dusk on Wednesday until dawn on Saturday morning. It covers the time frame of dusk to dawn each day. You can see the curfew map on the Van Zandt County website under the tornado information link.

Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Held in Tyler

Posted/updated on: May 5, 2017 at 10:26 am

TYLER — Hundreds turned out Thursday out for Tyler’s annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at Harvey Convention Center, part of the National Day of Prayer. Mayor Martin Heines lauded the attendees, calling them “the fabric of this community.” Heines said, “If you want to compare us with any place in the world, I will tell you that I would want to live right here with each and every one of you, because we make our town special. We volunteer. We care for others. And if it wasn’t for the people in this room, Tyler would not be Tyler.” The event was highlighted by a variety of prayers along with music and videos.

Tyler Police Search for Armed Robbery Suspect

Posted/updated on: May 5, 2017 at 10:25 am

TYLER — Tyler Police are searching for the suspect wanted in an early morning armed robbery. It happened around 3:30 at the Exxon gas station, 5502 Old Bullard Road. According to the store’s clerk, a black male, wearing a mask and wielding a rifle, entered the store. That’s when the clerk ran to the Best Western and called police. The suspect was able to steal an undisclosed amount of money from the store’s safe, then fled the scene. Responding officers noticed a man matching the suspect’s description riding a bike on Rieck Road near Donnybrook. He fled from officers and is still on the loose.… Read the rest of the article…

Six Tornado Victims Remain Hospitalized

Posted/updated on: May 5, 2017 at 9:03 am

EAST TEXAS — Six people are still recovering in local hospitals following the East Texas tornado outbreak on Saturday, April 29. Four people were killed and 56 others were injured. According to KETK, as of 3:00 Wednesday, two patients in Athens are in fair condition and the four remaining patients are at a Tyler hospital. One victim is in critical condition, one serious, one fair and another good condition. The four victims killed have been identified as: James Clayton Young, 39, of Alba. Lucretia Yvette Sykes, 49, of Ft. Worth. Kenneth Hughes, 57, of Canton. Russell Rusty Barlow, 51, of Corsicana. Nine tornadoes touched down in East Texas during the severe weather day.

Fruitvale Schools Still out

Posted/updated on: May 4, 2017 at 4:13 pm

EAST TEXAS – East Texas schools affected by this past weekend’s tornado outbreak are getting back to normal. Canton schools reopened on Wednesday. But Fruitvale schools are still out. According to their Facebook page, Fruitvale schools will be out on Thursday and Friday.

Palestine Boil Water Notice

Posted/updated on: May 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm

PALESTINE – A boil water notice is out in Palestine today for Trimble Street. Due to a fire hydrant replacement, the boil notice was issued for residents on Trimble Street between Ragland and Fitzhugh streets, including the 400 block of Fitzhugh Street. It will remain in effect until water system officials notify residents that the water is safe for drinking.… Read the rest of the article…

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