East Texas News
TYLER — On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott announced the end of the mask mandate and that Texas would open to 100 percent capacity March 10th. On Wednesday, NET Health’s George Roberts told KTBB, “The Governor basically said, he’s removing the mask mandate, but basically still encouraged personal vigilance. At NET Health our recommendation does not change. We still encourage people to stay home when you’re sick, to practice physical and social distance when you are out in public, to wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds and to wear a mask or face covering when you are out in public or large gatherings or around people that are not in your immediate household.” (more…)
EAST TEXAS — NET Health has been reporting COVID-19 death information primarily received from area hospitals and nursing homes. The State of Texas has reported larger numbers of COVID-19 deaths per County on their State Dashboard, as compared to NET Health’s COVID-19 reports, by utilizing information obtained from the State of Texas’ death certificates data. COVID-19 deaths are attributed to the county of residence, not where the individual died. NET Health reported 49 new cases of coronavirus in Smith County Wednesday. There are 1,776 active cases and 16,890 cases of recovery. There have been 278 COVID-19 related deaths. In Gregg County, there were 17 new cases reported Wednesday, with 864 active and 9,652 that have recovered. There have been 194 COVID-19 related deaths in Gregg County. For a full list of vaccination providers across East Texas, click here.
TYLER — The longest-serving pastor in the life of Green Acres Baptist Church will be retiring August 31. On Wednesday he told KTBB how his call to ministry began. “I did have a pretty dramatic call experience, like some of the people in the bible, like Gideon and Moses. In the sense that I was sitting in a service one night, with a bunch of other teenagers. And the preacher, who was maybe middle-age at the time said, ‘God called me to preach when I was 17 and I have been doing it ever since.’ I happened to be 17, and there was just a voice that was louder than an audible voice said in my heart, David that’s what I want you to do.” Pastor Dykes has served GABC since March of 1991. Pastor Dykes has lead the church to over 17,000 members. (more…)
TYLER — The President and CEO of UT Health East Texas has resigned. According to our news partner KETK, Moody Chisholm stepped down Wednesday. During Chisholm’s tenure, three of the systems hospitals — UT Health Tyler, UT Health North Campus Tyler and UT Health North Jacksonville, received “A” ratings in the most recent Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. Leaders say healthcare executive Donald Baker, will serve in the role of Market CEO on an interim basis. Baker is currently the health system’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer. (more…)
HENDERSON COUNTY — A suspect has been taken into custody after shooting at a Henderson County deputy early Thursday morning. According to our news partner KETK, the shooting happened in the Eustace area around 3 a.m. following an attempted traffic stop. The deputy was struck in the foot and leg. He was taken to a Tyler hospital for treatment and released a short time later. Jack Cody Raburn, 40, of Kemp, was eventually located on the roof of a house. He was said to be in possession of a handgun and shotgun. Raburn has been charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm by a felon and attempted capital murder. The Texas Rangers have taken over the investigation.
JACKSONVILLE — A man wanted in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash in Jacksonville has turned himself in. According to our news partner KETK, Josef Anton Lustig, 26, is now being held in the Cherokee County Jail, after going to authorities. Regelio H. Martinez, 64, was killed at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday night, when he was crossing HWY 69. A police officer was originally flagged down by a motorist who reported the accident had just happened. The officer came to the aid of Martinez, who died at the scene. Lustig faces up to 20 years in prison for the charge of “accident involving personal injury or death.”
HENDERSON — A man was arrested at a Henderson motel Wednesday morning, after barricading himself inside for more than 7 hours. According to our news partner KETK, authorities were called to the scene at the Woodlawn Hills Motel on HWY 79. Officers arrived in the 3 o’clock hour after a call for an “unwanted guest.” Officers then secured the scene. The Longview Police Department Tactical and Negotiation Team responded to assist, as well as numerous other departments. The incident came to a peaceable end at 10:15 a.m. The man’s name has not been released as of this writing.
QUITMAN — The Wood County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man who fought with a deputy Thursday, in an early morning stop. Authorities say before the suspect could be arrested he attacked the deputy and got away. Deputies carried out an extensive search, however the man could not be found. The wrong doer faces several charges, including resisting arrest. If you know the identity of the man pictured, you are urged to contact authorities at 903-763-2201 or Wood County Crime Stoppers at 903-763-CASH (2274) or by clicking here.
TYLER — Local healthcare workers have been treated to free coffee all week long by Visit Tyler and the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. The next event is scheduled for Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon. “It has been a long year, especially for those working on the frontline,” Henry Bell, Chamber of Commerce President said. “With everything that’s going on, we felt like this was the perfect time to remind healthcare workers that the community supports them.” The last scheduled date is next Monday. Coffee will be provided by Esprezio Mobile Espresso Bar & Cafe. The last event will be Monday, at UT Health East Texas, with two times slots available from 6:30 -8:30 in the morning and evening.
KILGORE — American Electric Power Foundation has announced a presentation to Kilgore College with a $190,000 grant in support of the East Texas Police Academy. The presentation will take place Friday at 2 p.m. at the ETPA Spear Training Facility. The AEP Foundation has pledged $190,000 to the ETPA as part of the two-year grant. The first $140,000 of the contribution has been received with an additional $50,000 gift planned for 2022. The money will be used to remodel the ETPA classroom building to better accommodate female cadet officers, expand the classroom facility and purchase new training vehicles. The AEP Foundation is funded by American Electric Power and its utility operating units, including Southwestern Electric Power Co.