East Texas News
EAST TEXAS — As of Tuesday in Gregg County, authorities have confirmed 1,432 total positive cases, and 276 cases of recovery. There are 23 deaths associated with the coronavirus. 5,977 people have been tested; 4,304 were negative. For the latest Gregg County updates, click the link. https://www.co.gregg.tx.us/coronavirus-information. NET Health reported 45 new cases, for a total of 2416 cases as of Tuesday, in Smith County. There are 17 deaths associated with the coronavirus. There are 1,719 active cases and 680 cases of recovery.
TYLER –The capital murder trial for a Bullard man was pushed back Tuesday afternoon due to the coronavirus pandemic and both sets of lawyers awaiting DNA testing results. According to our news partner KETK, 23-year-old Brentavian Henderson is charged in connection to the killing of Roy Bowins, 77. The murder happened in November 2018 while he and two others were allegedly stealing a car and two TVs. (more…)
LONGVIEW — Gregg County is approaching double-digits of confirmed coronavirus cases. On Thursday, Longview Mayor Andy Mack announced that the county had reached its ninth case of COVID-19. According to our news partner KETK, Bowie County also has 9 cases, they both are behind only Smith County in East Texas with 47. Gregg County remains under a stay-at-home order after it was handed down last week.
GREGG COUNTY — Gregg County health officials have updated the total number of positive coronavirus cases to 1,207, with 238 cases of recovery as of July 23. Another death has been reported, bringing the number to 17 deaths now linked to COVID-19. There have been a total of 5,146 tests given, 3,705 have been negative, 234 tests are still pending. Current statistics for Gregg County are available by clicking the link. http://www.co.gregg.tx.us/coronavirus-information.
TYLER — TISD unveiled their complete Return to Learn Plan on Friday. The strategy is available with critical information on the environments offered for students this fall: In-School Learning and Learn@Home. The plan also outlines health and safety protocols that campuses will follow during the school year. After reviewing the Return to Learn Plan, parents and guardians are asked to choose the instructional method they want for their child(ren) by submitting the District’s Instructional Declaration form by Wednesday, August 5. (more…)
TYLER — Opposition continues to grow over a proposed overpass on the Loop in Tyler. The Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization decided to change the language in their transportation improvement program after an unanimous vote, eliminating the reference to the overpass. The language now reflects overall support to improving the intersection, meaning they will consider other alternatives. According to our news partner KETK, one of the fastest growing areas in Smith County is along Old Jacksonville Hwy from Tyler to Bullard, so the Tyler Area MPO started several expansion projects. (more…)
TYLER — Be Safe. Drive Smart. is a public education and awareness campaign presented by TxDOT. On Tuesday, D.P.S. Sgt Jean Dark told KTBB,”We wholeheartedly support that effort. I think one of the things that’s really important for listener’s to recognize is that the state of Texas records more than 3,700 traffic fatalities a year. When you kind of have that perspective, I think then you start to look at ok, what are my driving habits? We can point out all kind of things in other people, but what are the things that we can do ourselves?” (more…)
TYLER — An extension was granted for the trial of a Tyler man accused of multiple counts of child sexual assault. According to our news partner KETK, Luis Ortiz, 23, could receive life in prison for allegedly posing as a teenager and then sending graphic messages to minors on social media. During a Monday hearing held on Zoom, prosecutors ask for a 60-day continuance as deputies with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office have expanded their investigation. (more…)
TYLER — A nurse at Texas Oncology in Tyler has tested positive for COVID-19. According to our news partner KETK, on Thursday the facility issued a statement regarding the positive result: “Texas Oncology’s priority during the COVID-19 pandemic is to continue to provide needed cancer care to our patients, while protecting the safety our staff and patients. We are following CDC guidelines in every aspect of our response. A nurse at our Tyler cancer center has tested positive for COVID-19.” (more…)
JEFFERSON — 78-year-old David Nagy died from the coronavirus on July 22nd. -His obituary was published in a local newspaper and included an angry message from his wife. She called her husband’s death “needless” and pointed the finger at Abbott, the President, and all other politicians who she says didn’t take the pandemic seriously…She said her husband, who had underlying health issues, did everything he was supposed to do, but they didn’t. (more…)
SMITH COUNTY — Tyler-Smith County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest in the “caltrops case.” According to our news partner KETK, nearly 300 of these “tire spikes” have been collected in the past weeks along I-20 in the westbound lanes, between Hwy 69 in Smith County and FM 314 in Van Zandt County. They have also been found in the westbound lanes of I-20 near the US 69 on-ramp in Lindale, near the Hideaway and Hwy. 110 exits and in the eastbound lanes near the Hideaway on-ramp. (more…)
TYLER — Tyler Police responded to an armed robbery on Thursday night at around 9:45 p.m. The reported theft took place at the Valero on WNW Loop 323. The clerk advised that while he was mopping, a suspect wearing a red toboggan, dark blue shirt and grey shorts with a black handkerchief over his face came in the store pointing a gun at the other clerk behind the counter. The clerk mopping got into a physical altercation, causing him to drop the gun. The suspect fled on foot out of the store. The clerk behind the counter said she thought the suspect was going to shoot her. It was later determined that the gun was a replica but said neither clerk realized that until later.
LONGVIEW — Funeral services will be observed Monday for a Pine Tree ISD student. The District announced on its social media page, that Alston Roger Craver died earlier this week. Visitation will be Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Welch Funeral Home on Judson Road. Craver’s funeral service is July 27, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Longview. The family is asking mourners to wear bright colors and superhero shirts. (more…)
TYLER — Tyler found out on Thursday, that they will be one 10 winners to be celebrated by Keep Texas Beautiful as a winner at the 2020 Governor’s Community Achievement Awards. The honor is designated for outstanding community improvement. KTB, along with TxDOT, has honored Texas communities for more than 5 decades. This year, the ten winning communities will share $2 million in landscape funding from TxDOT; Tyler will receive $290,000 for a landscaping project. Keep Tyler Beautiful is scheduled to accept the award at the GCAA Gala in September, during Keep Texas Beautiful’s Annual Conference in Houston.
TYLER — The Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Transportation Policy Committee will hold their regularly scheduled meeting next Thursday, at 2 p.m. People interested in attending can join in person in the Council Chambers at Tyler City Hall, on Bonner Ave. You can also attend online through Microsoft TEAMS. There is no need to download Microsoft Teams, simply choose “watch on the web” option. (more…)
EAST TEXAS — A legend in the high school coaching died on Monday. According to our news partner KETK, Dickey Meeks death was shared by family members, but did not give details on his passing. Meeks spent 42 years as a high school football coach, with 37 as a head coach. Meeks won state championships at Chapel Hill in 1989, and Henderson in 2010. Meeks retirement became official in 2016, following his second tenure at Mount Vernon. (more…)
PALESTINE — Anderson County has issued a stay-at-home order that went into effect immediately during the outbreak of the coronavirus. In a briefing released Wednesday night, Judge Robert Johnston said the order is a reaction to Gov. Abbott’s executive order, but that the order “DOES NOT REQUIRE travel permits at this time.” On Tuesday, Gov. Abbott decreed an executive order extending social distancing requirements through the month of April. All Texas schools will be closed until at least May 4. (more…)
TYLER — After months of long and challenging shifts on the COVID-19 unit, nurse Dionne Martin has a plan for re-energizing when she’s able to finally take a break — a trip to sandy shores and sparkling blue water. The beach has always been Martin’s go-to spot when she needs rest and relaxation, and now she’ll be heading to an island destination courtesy of JetBlue, which recently recognized her as a JetBlue Healthcare Hero. (more…)
KILGORE — Rivers Recycling in Kilgore has experienced a mechanical breakdown and prompted city of Tyler and Longview officials to ask their customers to hold their recyclables until their next collection date. Tyler residents that would like more information, can contact the Solid Waste Department at 903 531-1388. Customers with questions in Longview, should call 903-237-1250.
TYLER — The East Texas Food Bank will conduct its next free produce distribution this Friday morning. Disbursements will take place from 8-10 a.m. at the East Texas State Fairgrounds. The circulation is returning to a drive-thru model. Free produce and fresh items, pending availability, will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are no eligibility or ID requirements. The distributions are held on the first and third Friday morning of each month.
TYLER — Carter BloodCare is working with doctors and hospitals to facilitate the collection of convalescent plasma. The FDA say’s that it is possible that convalescent plasma that contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) might be effective against the infection.”
Carter BloodCare has specialized equipment and the staff with expertise to collect plasma from individuals identified by their doctors as having a suitable concentration of antibodies causing the coronavirus. (more…)
TYLER — TxDOT is planning to conduct the following construction and maintenance work in the district starting on Monday. In Smith County, work continues on Loop 323 in Tyler from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Sunday through Thursday nights. Paving operations are being conducted on the south side from SH 155 moving east to US 69. Expect lane closures and delays as work is conducted. In Gregg County, Longview Maintenance crews plan to conduct ditch maintenance on FM 2275 in Warren City, east of Gladewater. Edge repairs are planned for FM 2011 from FM 2204 to SH 322. See the complete report for the entire 8 county district by clicking the link. https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/media-center/local-news/tyler/028-2020.html.
TYLER — So far this year, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network has reported approximately 55,499 identity theft cases in Texas with credit card fraud being the top reported fraudulence with 18,204 cases. “As some businesses prohibit the use of cash amid COVID-19 concerns, credit/debit cards or online payments have increasingly become only acceptable forms of payment in many cases,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB serving Central East Texas said. “As you can imagine identity thieves are out on the prowl.” (more…)
TYLER — A Bullard high school student was recognized in The Smith County Commissioners Court on Tuesday. Avery Hicks was commemorated for her achievement of the Girl Scout Gold Award. Some of Hicks accomplishments include education of first graders in Oaxaca, Mexico to learn English and Spanish. She helped produce materials intended to help the students learn translations. This included Hicks making over 7,000 game pieces that were designed, printed and laminated for the students to use for years to come. The Gold Award was established over 100 years ago establishing criteria to recognize the highest level of excellence of girls in the program.
NEW BOSTON — A former East Texas caseworker has pleaded not guilty on all charges after being accused of sexually assaulting a teen she had supervised while employed at a juvenile facility. According to our news partner KETK, Jessica Pratt, 26, is charged with three counts of sexual assault of a child. Pratt allegedly picked up the underage victim in Pittsburg, Texas, and drove him to her father and stepmother’s house, and sexually assaulted him numerous times. (more…)
PALESTINE — Palestine police arrested a suspect in connection with an alleged assault at a Wal-Mart on Loop 256 in the city. According to a news release on Monday, the victim reported an unknown black male poured a chemical, believed to be a cleaning solution, on her upper body and face while she shopped in the store. The victim, a 49 year-old Palestine resident,accompanied by two small children did not know the suspect, who fled. The victim was transported by ambulance to Palestine Regional ER for treatment. (more…)
PALESTINE — There are 11 new coronavirus cases in Anderson County, as of Friday afternoon. Judge Robert Johnston announced a new total of 395 positive cases, there are currently 177 reported cases of recovery, with 217 active. Two deaths have been linked to COVID-19 in Anderson County. More details are available by clicking the link. https://www.nethealthcovid19.org/blog/post/confirmed-cases-of-covid-19-in-east-texas.
TYLER — A traffic alert on Friday evening had Tyler police advising motorists to use caution at the intersection of West Grande Blvd. and Old Jacksonville Hwy. A crash at the scene took out power and traffic lights until early Saturday morning. Officers directed traffic until the power could be restored. According to a news brief, traffic lights were reestablished at 4:47 a.m. Details were not given as to the cause of the accident or those that were involved.
MARSHALL — East Texas Baptist University announced a sizeable donation on Monday. According to a news brief from the school, Irene Sisk gave $100,000 to ETBU. A $75,000 gift is designated for the new on-campus Health Services Clinic, and $25,000 is designated for an endowed student scholarship. ETBU’s health clinic will be named the Sisk Health Services Clinic in honor of Mrs. Sisk’s gift and and in memory of her late husband, Dr. Walter Sisk, M.D. The clinic is opening for the Fall 2020 semester.
TYLER — This year more than 1400 elementary students will be served by The Boys and Girls Club of East Texas. Mentoring Alliance After-School program offers options at 19 elementary campuses in the area. The program works with Tyler, Whitehouse, and Bullard ISD’s to offer fun, engaging, Christian after-school care that takes place at each district’s elementary campuses; Monday through Friday, from 3:00 pm. – 6:00 p.m. To register or for more information call 903-593-9211 or visit the website by clicking the link, http://www.thementoringalliance.com.