TYLER — A former T.K. Gorman assistant basketball coach accused of attempted sexual assault has a trial date August 19 . According to our news partner KETK, Jakeal Lockett, 25, was accused of breaking into a UT Tyler student’s apartment around 1:00 a.m. on February 24 and attempted to kiss her numerous times. Lockett was the middle school boy’s basketball coach and assistant varsity boy’s basketball coach at Bishop Gorman Catholic High School in Tyler. Lockett was arrested in March for assault and has since been held in the Smith County Jail on a $250,000 bond since that arrest. If convicted, Lockett will face five years to life in prison.
TYLER — A Smith County jury has found Colby Viers guilty of driving while intoxicated in his 3rd conviction of that offense. Viers was sentenced to 7 years in the Texas Department of Corrections. Court proceedings revealed that Viers was stopped for speeding by Bullard police when he admitted to drinking alcohol and subsequently failed a field sobriety test. At sentencing, the jury heard evidence of 2 prior DWI convictions, as well as other prior convictions including theft, evading, false report to a peace officer, and attempted burglary of a building.
AUSTIN — On Thursday, Governor Abbott celebrated two East Texas-linked bills he signed into law in June. At two state capitol events, Abbott re-signed laws dealing with religious liberty and lemonade stands. The controversial “Chick-fil A Law” was authored by State Senator Bryan Hughes of Mineola. That law prevents local governments from discriminating against companies like Chick-fil-A due to its financial support of religious organizations. Abbott was surrounded by some of the children who testified before the state legislature earlier this year in favor of a law legalizing lemonade stands. That bill grew out of an Overton case, and Abbott called the measure common sense.
TYLER — The health science center has announced a three-year award of $750,000 from The Health Resources and Services Administration. It will establish a residency program in rural Northeast Texas. The goal is to increase rural mental health outcomes. The health science center was the only institution in Texas to receive the award. The new rural residency track will begin interviewing candidates in 2020. The new program will be hosted in Pittsburg, where the health science center says they have already experienced great success with their residency program for rural family medicine.
KILGORE — Nearly 3 dozen young women realized hopes and dreams on Friday morning. 34 young ladies were selected as the newest members of the world-famous Kilgore College Rangerettes dance and drill team. The announcement culminates a week long process of 91 “Hopefuls” vying for a position on the 80th Rangerette line. The new Rangerettes will join 36 sophomores to make up the 70 member team. For more information, visit https://www.rangerette.com/media/press-releases/2019/rangerettes-select-80th-line
TYLER — The 6th annual back to school event “#SchoolisCool” is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 1 at Harvey Hall and the Rose Garden Center. The gathering helps children prepare for the new school year. Free backpacks filled with supplies are given to the first 2,000 school-aged children in line. The time is set for 4:30 p.m to 7:00 p.m. The committee is asking for donations and sponsorships from local businesses and organizations. Both monetary and supplies donations are needed. To donate or obtain a vendor application, visit http://www.SchoolisCoolTyler.com.
TYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler signed a partnership with Kilgore College on Friday afternoon. With the alliance, undergraduate students admitted to the Kilgore College Associate Degree in Nursing program planning to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree will be offered admission to UT Tyler, provided they meet admission requirements. The co-partnership will define a pathway for students to complete degrees at both institutions.
MARSHALL — Pre-k students at Marshall ISD will have all-day classes when the new school year starts. Communications director David Weaver says the only thing holding up the process was a facility that was too small to take on all the students all day long, so officials had to split the program into two sessions. Now the district is retrofitting a much larger school campus that’s been out of use for several years to house the all-day pre-k. Weaver says the extra hours of pre-k level instruction will be invaluable to Marshall’s youngest students.
LONGVIEW — According to our news partner KETK, Gregg County jury duty has been canceled for Monday, July 22.
MALAKOFF — For one East Texas woman desperately looking for her late son’s dog, it’s an answered prayer. Thursday, Renee Peterson drove from her home in Malakoff to San Antonio after getting word that a family there may have had the dog, named Milo. After Peterson played an audio recording of her son’s voice, it became apparent that there was no doubt that the blue heeler puppy was indeed Milo. She said her son had trained Milo in German commands and this turned up in the recording. The family that took Milo in after he wandered onto their yard made ID tags with his name on them, in case the dog was Milo. On her way home, Peterson noticed that the family took it one step further. She said, “I noticed it said, ‘In loving memory, Ben Olson, always in my heart.'”