LONGVIEW – A former Longview middle school teacher draws a long prison term for online solicitation of a minor. A jury on Wednesday found Joey Huddleston, 35, guilty. The former Foster Middle School teacher was sentenced Thursday morning to 20 years in prison. That’s the maximum sentence.… Read More
WHITE OAK — A suspect in a White Oak intoxication manslaughter case is free on $25,000 bond. Erin Fannin, 33, of Hawkins, was arrested following a Tuesday accident that killed Curtis Foulke, 48, of White Oak. KETK reports that on Tuesday, the White Oak Police Department, White Oak Fire Department, and EMS were dispatched to the wreck on East Highway 80. The initial investigation shows a pickup driven by Fannin was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of traffic when it collided with a car being driven by Foulke. Foulke was pronounced dead at the scene. Fannin was taken to the White Oak City Jail for booking on an intoxication manslaughter charge. She was then taken to a local hospital where her blood was drawn in order to test her BAC.
TYLER – A ceremony is scheduled this afternoon for a Tyler police officer who is retiring after over two decades of service. Lt. Robert Barrentine has been on the Tyler police force over 24 years. This includes 18 years in supervisory and command level positions. He was the department’s plain clothes officer of the year in 1996. He is currently the commander of the community response team. It’s responsible for most of the community-oriented policing efforts in the department, the bicycle unit and the K9’s. Lt. Barrentine leave the Tyler Police Department to become the Chief of Police for University of Arkansas medical Sciences in Little Rock.
TYLER – Some Tyler ISD students have dedicated a doghouse to Ogar, the Smith County K-9 recently slain following a traffic stop that spurred a lengthy manhunt. According to a news release, construction science students and faculty in the Career and Technology Center have spent the last few months building and selling special doghouses to benefit Pets Fur People, a local charity. However, it is the dog house they built just last week that may have meant the most: a memorial doghouse designed especially for Ogar. The doghouse was displayed during Ogar’s memorial service and then donated to Ogar’s partner, Deputy Kevin Petty. … Read More
LINDALE — Lindale Police have released photos to the public in hopes of solving a recent theft. According to KETK, police say a man entered a Walmart in the early morning hours of January 17 and stole a phone in the electronics department. The burglar then broke into an employee’s vehicle after leaving the store. The suspect vehicle appears to be a Nissan Altima and the hood is a different color. If you have any tips, contact Det. Mike Lazarine at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 903-882-3313.
LONGVIEW – Cessna Aircraft Company has selected Longview’s LeTourneau University as a Top Hawk Partner. As part of this program , LETU aviation students will have the unique opportunity to take recruiting and outreach trips to airports around the country, as well as conduct flight training, in a brand new Cessna Skyhawk 172S, which will feature the university’s colors and logo. One LETU student, who is a certified flight instructor, will be named to an internship with Cessna and will have the opportunity to job-shadow different areas of Textron Aviation, Cessna’s parent company, and participate in marketing, sales and customer service events.… Read More
TYLER — The Tyler City Council has approved acceptance of a $325,000 donation from Centene Charitable Foundation to be used toward Phase II of the Bergfeld Master Plan: the reconstruction of the park’s stage at the amphitheater. According to a news release, Centene has agreed to donate $325,000, which is the estimated project cost. According to the agreement, the funds will be distributed in two installments: one upon execution of the agreement and one upon completion of the project. The new stage at the amphitheater will be named in honor of Centene. That follows a December recommendation approved by the Parks Board to name the stage Centene Theatre. Tyler Parks and Recreation director Stephanie Rollings says the city is “thrilled” with the partnership.… Read More
TYLER — The Better Business Bureau held it’s awards banquet Tuesday at the Crosswalk Conference Center where they presented the Awards for Excellence to three companies and one nonprofit organization. Criss Sudduth, owner of Ark Assurance Group, was awarded BBB Ambassador of the Year for his volunteer involvement with BBB related activities.… Read More
De Wet came to East Texas in 1984 with his daughters Marnelle and Velmay after having lost his wife to cancer at their native home in South Africa. He began farming land on behalf of other land owners, an endeavor that would lead to his creation of a multi-state farming operation that was run by Agtoprof, Inc., a company that de Wet founded. At its peak, Agtoprof employed over 2,500 in the management and operation of tree-fruit farms in California, Florida, Arizona and Washington, as well as his own farm in East Texas.… Read More
LONGVIEW – There was brief power outage Tuesday for some Gregg County Southwestern Electric Power Company customers. Some switches malfunctioned at a substation in north Longview. This caused a brief power outage shortly after 1:15 Tuesday afternoon. Scott McCloud with SWEPCO says about 5,000 customers saw a momentary blink, but only around 650 customers saw an outage. The power for a majority of those customers was back on before 2:45.
AUSTIN – Texas Lottery officials say Gloria Tuck of Mineola claimed a second-tier Powerball prize worth $1 million for the drawing held on Dec. 12, 2015. The ticket was purchased at the Super Sak #4 located at 105 WSW Loop 323 in Tyler. Tuck’s ticket matched all five of the white ball numbers drawn (2-14-19-30-62), but not the red Powerball (22). The claimant requested minimal publicity. Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and roll until the jackpot is won. Players win the jackpot by matching five numbers from a field of 69 numbers and one Powerball number from a field of 26 numbers. Drawings occur each Wednesday and Saturday at 9:59 p.m. CT.
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today declared a state of disaster and requested Individual Assistance for Collin, Dallas, Ellis, Franklin, Rockwall and Van Zandt Counties. The governor also requested Public Assistance for 25 counties, including Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Titus and Van Zandt counties. This declaration comes after preliminary damage assessments were finalized and federal declaration criteria was met.… Read More
LONGVIEW – Two more suspected arson fires have been reported in Longview. With two fires reported on Monday, nearly a dozen suspected arson fires have been reported on the city’s south side since January 10th. One fire was reported Monday morning at 616 West Washington Street. Then, just before 10:45 Monday night, another fire was reported 112 White City Street.… Read More
TYLER — Big honors have been handed out to a local firefighter and his longtime department. The Smith County Commissioners Court and the Smith County Volunteer Fireman’s Association on Tuesday recognized Lindale firefighter Joe Yeakley with a plaque for “unrestrained sacrifice, uncommon valor and unbounded courage.” Yeakley suffered severe burns to his face and hands after he was trapped by a collapsed roof while fighting a structure fire on January 17, 2014. Yeakley lay unconscious and in critical condition for 96 days and remained in a Dallas hospital for about 10 months.… Read More
BREWSTER COUNTY — The trial for a man who police say murdered a Kilgore coach is underway this week in Brewster County. According to KETK, the body of Trey Sands was found buried under a pile of rocks on a West Texas ranch near Alpine in December of 2014. Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson said Sands was staying with a friend in Terlingua and had an altercation with the suspects. Sands was last heard from in October 2014 during a hunting trip in the Terlingua mountains, according to family members. Two weeks after he disappearance, family members contacted the sheriff’s office to report him missing. Sands’ truck was found at the home of Keith McWilliams.… Read More
WOOD COUNTY — A man connected to a case involving the death of two East Texas children has been released from jail. According to KETK, Thomas Liles, of Mineola, was released from the Wood County Jail Monday after a tampering charge was dismissed on Friday. The suspect is also facing two counts of injury to a child. On July 24, 2014, Quitman police responded to reports of two young children who were not breathing and would not wake up. When authorities arrived, they found the bodies of the two girls, Gabriella Guerroro, 3, and Natalye Price, 1. It was determined the children died from blunt force trauma.… Read More
GREGG COUNTY — A Gladewater man, arrested last week for killing his parents, had his trial on an unrelated matter delayed. Casey Lansdale, 41, of Gladewater, had been scheduled to appear before a judge Monday on a charge of assault causing bodily injury/family violence. KETK reports that trial has been delayed until March 28th. Judicial records show Casey has a history of family violence. He was previously charged with assault/family violence in December 2014 and again seven month later.… Read More
TYLER – A man wanted for a Louisiana shooting has been arrested in Smith County. Authorities were called to the University of Texas Health Science Center over a woman with a gunshot wound to her foot. Eden Miller and her boyfriend, Brett Collins, both said the injury was because of a hunting accident. Investigators, however, determined that Collins had shot Miller during an assault that occurred in Webster Parish, Louisiana. It was also learned that Collins was accused of aggravated assault and attempted murder of a man who had been shot in the face. He has since been turned over to Louisiana authorities.
CANTON – The Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers program continues handing out cash rewards for crime-fighting tips. They’ve approved over $7,500 in recent awards, the bulk of that over the past 8 weeks. Spokesman Kevin Tanzillo says they paid out $1,000 for a tip that led to the arrest of a man and a woman in connection with a case of arson, burglaries, drugs and child endangerment. Tanzillo says they can trace their success to more visibility and a new Crime Stoppers coordinator, who is also a deputy in the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office, has done diligent work to track down older tips that had been previously overlooked.
TYLER – The final day to register to be eligible to vote in the March 1st primary is February 1st. There are a variety of ways to register. Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson says you can register at her office at 302 East Ferguson, or register online at Votetexas.gov. And she points out, if registering online, the application must be printed out and signed. Then, it can be hand delivered to her office or mailed and postmarked by February 1st. Early voting in the primary election starts February 16th.
SMITH COUNTY — Law enforcement from across Texas were in attendance Saturday for the funeral service for K9 Officer Ogar. The service was conducted with full police honors. Ogar was the partner of Precinct 5 Constable Kenneth Bibby. “Dogs are different,” says Bibby. “K9s are human trained to have that special bond, that protector that we need, and I hope that the public sees the different perspective of about a K9.” According to KETK, Ogar’s service included prayers from Rev. Doug Hannig and Pastor Tom Huck. As well as remarks from Smith County law enforcement and wife of Ogar’s handler Laura Petty. … Read More
SMITH COUNTY — The man wanted for fatally shooting a Smith County K-9 has been taken into custody. Michael Paul Koch, 36, Grand Saline, was arrested Saturday morning in Garland by members of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division, Officers of the Dallas Police Department and Officers of the Garland Police Department. Koch is accused of Tuesday’s shooting near Lindale that killed Ogar, who belonged to Precinct 5 Constable Kenneth Bibby. … Read More
GLADEWATER — An East Texas man is behind bars for allegedly murdering his parents. Around 8:40 Friday morning, the Gladewater Police Department responded to a home North Main Street for a welfare check on a couple reported missing. According to KETK, officers spoke with Casey Lansdale, 41, Gladewater, who said he lived at this residence and the two missing individuals were his parents. Officers located the deceased bodies of both Raye and Charles Lansdale, both 68, inside of the residence. Casey Lansdale was arrested and booked into the Gregg County Jail on a charge of murder. His bond was set at $1,000,000.… Read More
An East Texas man is behind bars for allegedly murdering his parents. KETK reports that on Friday, around 8:40 a.m., the Gladewater Police Department responded to a North Main Street residence regarding a welfare check on two individuals who were reportedly missing. Arriving officers spoke with and questioned Casey Lansdale, 41, of Gladewater, who said he lived at the residence and the two missing people were his parents. Casey told officers his parents were not at the location and provided them with information on their whereabouts.… Read More
LINDALE – A funeral is scheduled Saturday for the Smith County police dog shot to death, allegedly by Michael Koch, following a Tuesday traffic stop. Services for K-9 Ogar are planned for 1:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Lindale, with full law enforcement honors. The incident left two in custody. Koch was arrested this morning in Garland.
LONGVIEW – A 4th airline has approached Longview’s Le Tourneau University to take part in a pilot cadet program. The latest is PSA Airlines. The program is designed to help future pilots make a smooth transition from the classroom to the cockpit. The new program offers various levels of support as the student’s certifications, training and experience evolves. This includes up to $16,000 in tuition reimbursement.… Read More
The State Bar Board of Directors approved their nominations for president elect during their quarterly meeting in The Woodlands. One of the candidates is Michael C. Smith of Marshall. He is a partner in the law firm of Siebman, Burg, Phillips and Smith, where he handles federal litigation. Smith, who has served on the State Bar Board of Directors from 2005 to 2008, has appeared as counsel in over 800 cases in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The other candidate is Thomas Vick Jr. of Weatherford. State Bar members will cast ballots from April 1st through May 2nd. The election results will be announced on May 2nd. The winner will serve as president from June 2017 until June 2018.
LONGVIEW — The Longview Police Department and Fire Department have declared a house fire as arson. KETK reports the fire broke out on Butler Drive between South 12th Street and South Mobberly Avenue around 7:45 a.m. Friday, and took 20 minutes to control. There were no injuries, but one occupant and two pets were displaced as a result of the blaze. The home is located on the same block where two other arson investigations are underway. Those fires occurred in the early hours of Sunday, January 10. Officials say four more fires were intentionally set a few days later. Those are also under investigation. No suspects have been named.
TYLER — The Better Business Bureau Serving Central East Texas hosts its annual Awards for Excellence Luncheon Tuesday to honor businesses and charities for their achievements. It’s scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Green Acres Baptist Church Crosswalk Conference Center. This year’s speaker is destination business expert Jon Schallert. He’s termed an internationally-recognized professional speaker and business consultant specializing in teaching businesses how to turn themselves into consumer destinations. BBB is also hosting a workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. which is limited to 100 guests. For more information about the awards banquet, go to http://www.bbb.org or call 903-581-5888.