Category: Local News Archive
GILMER — According to the Upshur County District Attorney, the death penalty will be sought in the case against Sarah Haslam, one of the suspects accused of murdering Ronnie Gammage in 2012. KETK reports documents were filed Monday morning after the deadline to do so was extended by the 115th District Court. Haslam, Daniel Jones, and Andrew Conrad Norwine were charged with kidnapping and killing the disabled Gammage. Jones pleaded guilty October 30, 2013, and began serving a life sentence without parole. His sentencing was part of a plea agreement accepted in Upshur County’s 115th District Court. Read the rest of this entry »
HENDERSON COUNTY — Monarch Utilities has issued a boil water notification for select customers in Henderson County. KETK reports the notice is for residents who have the Beachwood Estates water system and affects around 400 homes. Read the rest of this entry »
LONGVIEW — A Pine Tree ISD school bus ended up in a ditch on Tuesday morning. It happened on Tenneryville Road in northwest Longview. School administration tells KETK that the back tires locked up when the driver applied the brakes, sending the bus into the ditch. The school district didn’t immediately release further information on specifics of the incident. There was a light rain in the area Tuesday morning, but officials are not sure if that was a contributing factor.
TYLER — A small plane made an emergency landing at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. KETK reports the plane had a loose door warning light come on, so the pilot notified the airport for an emergency landing to check on the problem. The airport provided extra response teams on scene of the landing as a safety precaution. Control personnel signaled Tuesday morning the plane in and it landed safely without any injuries.
GREGG COUNTY — A Longview man was jailed Sunday after police said he assaulted his 7-year-old daughter. Ah Mau Tavita, 46, was charged with injury to a child and remained Monday in the Gregg County Jail on $10,000 bond. According to the Longview News-Journal, police responded shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday to a residence in the 300 block of Gum Street in reference to a call from a child who said his father was beating them with a belt. Police said eight children were at the home, and Tavita’s daughter was in a bedroom with a cut to her head. The children said their father hurt the girl while he was whipping several other children in a back bedroom.
SMITH COUNTY — The Texas Department of Public Safety has the seized nearly 240 pounds of marijuana near Lindale. According to KETK, while patrolling on Interstate 20 in Smith County Friday, a trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. Based on information obtained during the traffic stop, the trooper claims to have noted several discrepancies in the information being given. According to authorities, the trooper asked for consent to search the vehicle, and the search of the rented SUV led to the discovery of approximately 240 pounds of marijuana, valued at $1.2 million, hidden in several duffel bags. Read the rest of this entry »
LINDALE — A traffic stop on Interstate Highway 20 in Smith County has resulted in a drug bust. Because of discrepancies in the information given by a California couple, a state trooper requested permission to search their SUV. In several duffle bags, he found 240 pounds of marijuana valued at $1.2 million. Arrested were the driver, Joseph Bridges, 33, and his passenger, Kristina Watts, 41. Both were booked into the Smith County Jail with bonds set at $75,000 on each suspect.
DALLAS (AP/Staff) – Texas billionaire and Wood County native Harold Simmons’ will leaves the bulk of his estate to his widow, with no listed contributions to any political groups or charities. A Dallas judge on Monday ordered a redacted version of Simmons’ will to be released. The will lists Annette Simmons as the sole beneficiary of her husband’s savings and real estate. The will does not list a total dollar value of Simmons’ estate. Attorneys for Annette Simmons had argued for the will to be sealed to protect her safety and privacy, as well as the names of her children and grandchildren. Harold Simmons had a wide range of corporate interests and gave hundreds of millions of dollars to charity. He also bankrolled several political campaigns. He was born in the Wood County community of Golden.
PITTSBURG — A firefighter from Troup has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in Pittsburg. KETK reports, according to the Pittsburg Police Department, early last month, officers received a report of a child sexual assault. Police say after an investigation, details emerged that a 15-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted. Officials have now arrested Joseph Hayden Terrell, 19, in connection with the crime. According to Terrell’s Facebook page, he is a 2012 graduate of Troup High School and is a volunteer firefighter at the North Cherokee Volunteer Fire Department in Mixon. Terrell was booked into the Camp County Jail.
COMO — An East Texas coach and teacher has been arrested and placed on administrative leave for alleged indecency with a child. According to the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office, Carl Allen Byers, 51, was arrested Friday and charged with indecency. According to the Como-Pickton Independent School District, school officials received questions involving Byers which involved allegations of violations of district policies. Superintendent Dr. Kay Handin tells KETK this is a personnel decision and the district will not elaborate on the situation, but did say he is on administrative leave with pay. Byers was booked into the Hopkins County Jail but has since been released on $20,000 bond. We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.
LONGVIEW — A Longview man who was sentenced in July 2011 to 10 years’ deferred adjudication after being charged with murder in Wood County has been arrested again in connection with the crime. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. Ty Jordan Evans, 22, and his brother Damaracus Hearn — 20 at the time of the murder crime — were accused of killing 24-year-old Annamarie Moore during a daytime drive-by shooting in Winnsboro. Evans faced two trials, one in January 2011 and one in May. Both ended in a mistrial after neither jury could come to a decision. He pleaded guilty and received the deferred adjudication two months after the second mistrial. Now Longview police spokeswoman Kristie Brian has said Evans was arrested sometime after 2 p.m. Friday during a traffic stop at the intersection of Tryon and Eastman roads. Read the rest of this entry »
ATHENS — A Henderson County jury has found Lola Amelia Thompson guilty of assault on emergency service personnel. KETK reports Thompson, 38, formerly of Kemp, had been indicted for punching an ER nurse at East Texas Medical Center in Athens. Thompson could get up to ten years behind bars. Read the rest of this entry »
WINONA — A boil water notice has been canceled for a portion of Smith County. It was for customers of Star Mountain Water Supply in Winona and Starville. It was issued when a water main broke in the area on Friday. The break was repaired, and water company officials notified KTBB around midday Monday that customers no longer need to boil their water.
LONGVIEW — A Longview employer is shutting it’s doors. The Longview News-Journal reports Flextronics plans on closing by the end of March. The company builds components for Motorola cell phones and employs about eighty people. Flextronics is moving the work to its other plants in Texas. The company is offering employees transfer opportunities or severance packages.
TYLER — Smith County’s downtown jail expansion has made quite a lot of progress since construction began in August 2012. KETK reports it took almost two decades to get the $35 million bond approved by taxpayers, but the vision is finally coming to fruition. Phase one has already been completed at the low-risk facility which includes video visitation, the kitchen, and the laundry. And now county commissioners are working with the architects, contractors, and sheriff’s office on finishing up the downtown facility. Officials say they “just couldn’t be more pleased the way it’s turned out.” Read the rest of this entry »
NACOGDOCHES — An accident on another wet East Texas road has left one person dead and one injured. The crash occurred on Saturday on U.S. Highway 259 North of Nacogdoches. Dead at the scene was James Larry Bobo, 73, of Nacogdoches. The driver of the other car, Matja Domenicia Young, 28, of Longview, is in stable condition in a Nacogdoches hospital. The Department of Public Safety reports Bobo was traveling north when his car drifted across the center stripes and hit Young’s car.
LONGVIEW — A man arrested by Longview police for public intoxication is facing an additional charge. Samuel Fields, 52, of Longview, was arrested Saturday night near Electra Street. During a pat down at the Gregg County Jail, a pistol was found in Fields’ pocket. He has now been charged with possession of a deadly weapon in a penal institution. His bond was set at $5,000.
TYLER — A two vehicle accident in Smith County has killed a Tyler man on his 57th birthday. Ignacio Gaona died at East Texas Medical Center following the Saturday morning accident. Three persons were injured. The accident occurred on Farm Road 346 just west of U.S. Highway 69. According to state trooper Chris Brown, Gaona’s west bound car hydroplaned on the wet road and collided with an east bound pickup.
LONGVIEW — Longview police have arrested four persons in the robbery of a pizza delivery man. The robbery occurred on Morrison Street early Saturday morning. Arrested were Robert Lee Thomas, 23, (pictured) and Adrian Keko Stanford, 18, both of Longview. Thomas’ Bond was set at $25,000 and the bond for Stanford was $15,000. Two juveniles were also taken into custody. They were all arrested around midnight Saturday. The delivery man, who was said to have been attacked by the four, was not seriously injured.
AUSTIN — Now that the State Department has raised no environmental objections to the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Texas Governor Rick Perry says it’s time to move the project forward. Lucy Nashed with the governor’s office says, “If, as the president said in his State of the Union speech, he truly wants this to be a year of action, there would be no better way to kick it off than with authorizing the construction of this important project.” According to Nashed, one more environmental impact study is awaited before construction could begin. The southern leg of the pipeline runs through much of East Texas, including part of eastern Smith County. That leg began transporting oil last month.
SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue edge work on Farm Road 15 between Troup and the Rusk County Line. Elsewhere, TxDOT maintenance crews are scheduled to continue edge work on Farm Road 2710 between Farm Road 16 in Lindale and Farm Road 14 in Red Springs. 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 »
SMITH COUNTY — Smith County volunteer firefighters were out in force Saturday, raising funds for injured Lindale firefighter Joe Yeakley. They passed the helmets at intersections around the county, and raised $30,000, which will go toward his recovery and expenses. Yeakley was critically burned while battling a house fire last month. He has already undergone two skin graft surgeries at Dallas’s Parkland Hospital but still has several more to go. There’s no timeline on how long Yeakley will remain hospitalized, but the Lindale community and others are rallying around his recovery. Several benefits are already lined up in Lindale in the coming months. You can find out the many ways you can help by going to the following link:
CARTHAGE (AP) — An East Texas judge has sealed documents that could lead to a sentencing change in a murder case that inspired Richard Linklater’s film “Bernie.” The Longview News-Journal reports state District Judge Charles Dickerson recused himself from a murder case against Bernie Tiede after sealing the writ of habeas corpus. Such documents allow a defendant to air grievances such as ineffective legal representation or new evidence. Dickerson represented the estate of Marjorie Nugent. Tiede was convicted of killing the 81-year-old woman and keeping her body in a freezer for nine months. A hearing has been set for Wednesday in Carthage in Tiede’s case. If the new judge decides arguments in the case need resolution, the case will go to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
LUFKIN — A head on collision just north of Lufkin has killed one driver and injured another. The accident happened around 5:30 Thursday afternoon on U.S. Highway 69. Killed was Charles Motes , 69, of Lufkin. The Department of Public Safety reports Motes south bound car drifted into the north bound lane and collided with a car driven by Josh Huddleston, 20, of Pollok. He was hospitalized with minor injuries.
NACOGDOCHES — What started as a routine traffic stop in Nacogdoches turned into a drug bust. The car was stopped in the 400 block of Northwest Loop 224. According to a news release from the police department, when officers searched the vehicle they found about 20 pounds of marijuana and a handgun. Arrested was the car’s driver, Luis Torres, Jr., 19, of Smyrna, Georgia, and his passengers, Pedro Santiesteban, 25, of South Bend, Indiana, and Christina Garza, 18 of Houston.