Longview Robbery Suspect Killed by Police
LONGVIEW — Some Longview police officers have been placed on administrative leave following a fatal shootout with an alleged robber. It started around 6:00 last night at the New Way convenience store in the 1300 block of South Green Street. Police say the station was robbed by a suspect who fled the scene. Based upon a description provided by the store employee, officers were able to locate the juvenile a short distance away. When they tried to arrest him, there was an exchange of gunfire. The suspect was killed. His name has not been released. The investigation of the incident has been turned over to the Texas Rangers.
Suspect Arrested for Alleged Baseball Bat Assaults
TYLER — A Tyler man has been jailed for reportedly going after two hotel occupants with a baseball bat. Yesterday morning around 8:00, Tyler police responded to a call from the Economy Inn at 3301 Mineola Highway, where a man was said to be assaulting the residents of room 410 with the bat. After being told that the suspect had left in a car, officers located the vehicle in the area and conducted a traffic stop. The suspect was identified as Grover Davis, 52, who was arrested and booked into Smith County Jail for two aggravated assaults. Inside the hotel room, police found Jeremy Walker, 24, and Amber Garza, 26, both of whom were reportedly victims of the assaults. EMS was called, and Garza was transported to ETMC for non-life-threatening injuries. Walker was taken to the hospital by private vehicle.
Holly Lake House Heavily Damaged in Afternoon Blaze
HOLLY LAKE RANCH — Several fire departments were called to a blaze that caused heavy damage to a house in the Holly Lake Ranch area. KETK reports the fire started just after 2:30 Saturday afternoon in the 120 block of Pinewood Cove. Crews had no immediate word on precise extent of damage, but no one was injured. The cause remains under investigation.
Fire Burns Down Smith County Home
NEW HARMONY — A blaze burned down a two-story home in the New Harmony area of Smith County. According to the Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office, a woman and her daughter, who live in the home, were in the back yard moving items when they heard a smoke alarm beeping in the house. One of the residents opened the back door and noticed smoke was filling the house. KETK reports the home, located on the 5500 block of Twin Lakes Drive, was destroyed Friday morning before firefighters could put out the flames. No injuries were reported. The fire started on the second floor, but the cause is unknown at this time, said investigators. Both residents were housed by other family members. Dixie, Lindale and Noonday Fire Departments responded to the scene.
Water Levels Up at Lakes Tyler and Palestine
TYLER — There are signs that we are recovering from the 2011 drought. KETK reports the water levels at Lake Tyler and Lake Palestine are the highest they’ve been in years. Lake Tyler is about 96% full and Lake Palestine is overflowing. It hasn’t been this high since April 2011. “We’re just finally compensating for that long drought we went through,” said District 3C Fisheries Manager Richard Ott. Lake Tyler and Lake Palestine’s main purpose is to produce water for the citizens of Tyler. And they’re places to spend time with the family, fishing, boating, and swimming. But since the drought, a lot of those fun activities were limited. “There for awhile you couldn’t even get a boat on Lake Tyler because the lake levels got so low the ramps didn’t extend all the way to the water,” said Ott.
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TJC Residence Hall Construction to Impact Available Parking
TYLER — The Tyler Junior College Main campus is growing, with one major construction project under way and a second about to begin. This coming week, construction crews assigned to help build a new 250-bed residence hall on the west side of campus will be blocking off one existing parking lot and portions of another, to create a safe working environment. The construction will directly impact access to 185 parking spaces that are regularly utilized by TJC students, employees and TJC fleet vehicles. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to be prepared for this development. When students and employees return from Spring Break, on Monday, March 17, these 185 spaces will not be available. Read more …
Several Honored at Texas College Legacy Scholarship Fundraiser
TYLER — Honorees from near and far, including a legendary football coach, were recognized Friday night at Texas College’s annual Legacy Scholarship Fundraiser at Harvey Convention Center. According to the event’s program booklet, the college stages the yearly gala “in recognition of great support,” celebrating “individuals and organizations who have given unselfishly of themselves for a better Texas College and a better city of Tyler.” The fundraiser continued its tradition of adding a touch of Hollywood to the proceedings, welcoming back actor Marc Gomes as honorary host. Gomes also appeared last year, and previous Legacy events have featured movie star Danny Glover. Read more …
Free Bulky Item Collection Extended
TYLER — The City of Tyler Solid Waste Department and Keep Tyler Beautiful are continuing to sponsor a free bulky item collection for City of Tyler residential customers. Due to the icy weather, the free bulky item collection has been extended to Friday, March 14. 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 will be picked up. Paint must be dried out with oil dry or kitty litter. Read more …
TxDOT Project Updates
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 more …
U.S. Based Firm Has Workers on Missing Plane
AUSTIN (AP) – An Austin-based technology company says its 20 employees on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight were en route to a business meeting in China. Freescale Semiconductor spokeswoman Jacey Zuniga said Sunday the employees – 12 from Malaysia and eight from China -work at facilities in their respective countries that manufacture semiconductor chips. The employees were aboard Flight MH370, which went missing early Saturday over the South China Sea. Zuniga says the company is focusing on its employees and their families and watching for any new developments. Freescale Semiconductor has been developing microprocessors, sensors and other technology for the past 50 years. The company has more than 18,000 employees and operates manufacturing facilities, design centers and sales offices throughout the world.
Family of Texas Man on Flight Comforted by Faith
KELLER (AP) – The family of a North Texas man who was aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing says they saw him about a week ago when he visited home. “There is a shock, a very surreal moment in your life,” James Wood says. He is the brother of Philip Wood, one of three Americans on the Boeing 777. Wood spoke via telephone from the family’s home in Keller. Philip Wood’s confirmed LinkedIn page lists him as a Technical Storage Executive at IBM Malaysia. He visited Keller last week before relocating to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from Beijing, where he’d worked for two years. James Wood says the family’s faith is keeping them together. “We are one family, there are 240 other families. Our hearts go out to them,” he says.
Two Charged in Death of North Texas Student
DALLAS (AP) — Police say two 16-year-old boys have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of their 17-year-old schoolmate in North Texas. The Dallas Morning News reports that the body of Wylie East High School student Ivan Mejia was found Saturday night in Garland. Police say he had been killed on a road behind the Wylie school. It’s not clear how he died. A 911 call about a car veering off a highway Saturday led police to a wooded area in Garland. Wylie police Sgt. Donna Valdepena says officers spotted the car and waited for the two 16-year-olds to return to it. She says they asked the teens what they were doing and they said “burying a body.” They are being held at a juvenile detention facility in Collin County.
3 Fires Claim 5 lives in Houston Since Thursday
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Fire Department officials say a person has died in a house fire, bringing to five the number of fatalities due to structure blazes in the city in the past three days. The Houston Fire Department said fire crews found the latest victim Sunday morning in the back of a house as they entered to combat the flames. On Friday night, a 69-year-old man was found by firefighters inside the bathroom of a house that was on fire. Three bodies were recovered from the remains of another house that burned on Thursday. All incidents are being probed by arson investigators and police detectives.
Man Accused of Setting Fire over Marijuana
HOUSTON (AP) – An 18-year-old has been arrested after being accused of starting a fire in his mother’s Houston-area apartment because she would not give him money to buy marijuana. The Houston Chronicle reports that John Carter is facing arson charges for allegedly setting his mother’s clothes on fire on Saturday. Dean Hensley with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office says damage to the apartment was limited to the clothing. Carter is jailed on a $30,000 bond.
Plane Guided into Landing after Equipment Failure
COLLEGE STATION (AP) — A North Texas flying instructor and his student had to get some help landing their plane after one of their instruments malfunctioned. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the instructor and his student had taken off in a single engine plane from an airport in Addison Sunday morning on a training flight to College Station. Before arriving, the instructor discovered his attitude indicator, a gyroscope needed when landing through clouds and bad weather, wasn’t working. Stewart Pearcy, a Houston flight controller, talked the instructor through the landing. Pearcy says he had the instructor fly 30 miles away from the airport and come in on a straight path through the clouds, guided in by a beacon that is part of an airport’s landing system. The plane landed safely.
Study to Review Hurricane Protection Ideas
HOUSTON (AP) – A new $4 million study will look at two ideas that have been proposed as ways to protect the Houston area from hurricane storm surge that could cause billions of dollars in damage and wreak havoc on the largest petrochemical complex in the country. One idea would be a system of levees and flood gates proposed to run from Galveston to High Island dubbed the “Ike Dike.” The other is a 600- to 800-foot wall that would be placed across the 52-mile Houston Ship Channel. The Houston Chronicle reports the ideas were developed after Hurricane Ike devastated the upper Texas coast in 2009. A series of public meetings in late spring will be held to discuss both proposals.
Company Slow to Pay Judgment for Disabled Workers
DES MOINES, IOWA (AP) – Federal and state officials are having trouble collecting the multimillion-dollar judgments a Texas company was ordered to pay for mistreating 32 mentally disabled workers at an Iowa labor camp. The Des Moines Register reports Henry’s Turkey Service of Goldthwaite, Texas, has yet to pay nearly $6 million in fines and judgments against the company and Kenneth Henry. A jury agreed last year that Henry’s discriminated against its employees, who were hired out to work at an Iowa turkey processing plant. The initial verdict was the largest in the history of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which brought the case. So far, federal officials have collected assets worth between $30,000 and $40,000, and they’re collecting about $3,500 in monthly lease payments on land owned by Henry.
Mexican Border City Hopes to Lure Spring Breakers
MATAMOROS, MEXICO (AP) – The Mexican border city of Matamoros long ago gave up catering to Spring Breakers who would cross over in droves from Texas beach resorts. But in the midst of a three-year increase in American tourism in Mexico, Matamoros now sees the potential to reopen many of the bars and restaurants that closed after cartel violence drove tourists away. The city plans to open a children’s water park and pier to lure Mexican visitors for Holy Week next month. It wants to focus next year on luring Spring Breakers from South Padre Island, Texas. A pivotal part of that plan will involve working to reopen businesses geared toward young Americans. Other former Spring Break meccas, such as Rosarito Beach south of California, now focus on attracting wealthier, middle-aged travelers.