Good Morning East Texas Headlines 12-02-09


Coming up today on Good Morning East Texas: President Barack Obama announces his plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, with the first group arriving before the end of the month. He also set out a time-table for bringing home some U.S. service men and women. Now, top officials in the Obama administration will try to convince Congress to support the plan.

Some layoffs at an East Texas business are happening earlier than expected. Sitel has begun laying off employees from its facility in Longview.  About 250 job cuts were announced last month, but they were supposed to happen after December 31st.

People in a East Texas neighborhood fed up with dodging potholes get their wish from Gregg  County Commissioners. They voted to repair Dodd Street and Jones Road after getting complaints from residents.


The rain will come to an end by midday today, with colder air moving in behind an arctic front.  Blustery northwesterly winds will make it feel quite cold tomorrow afternoon.  Highs will reach the upper 40s to near 50 early and then fall through the 40s in the afternoon hours. The big story is still the chance of our first freeze Thursday morning, followed by the possibility of rain or snow on Friday.


More troops to deploy, East Texans weigh in

President Obama plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan on an accelerated timetable.Some East Texas troops and their families are directly affected by the decision.

$8,000 for first-timers, $6,500 for old-timers

The government has extended the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. "Anything you can put in your pocket is a help, for sure," said Jason Glasscock. 

Making sure gifts go to those most in need

The ringing of a bell reminds passerby the holidays are near. As donations are made, more people will be taking from this pot than years before.


WASHINGTON (AP) - Some lawmakers plan to use two days of high-profile congressional hearings on the Afghan war to express misgivings about President Barack Obama's surge strategy. It calls for a quick infusion of 30,000 troops through July 2011, when the U.S. will begin to withdraw its forces. The  hearings begin today on Capitol Hill.

ISLAMABAD (AP) - Police say one security guard was killed and three others wounded when a youthful suicide bomber set off explosives he was carrying outside the entrance of Pakistan's navy headquarters today. Officials say the naval installation suffered no damage because it was a safe distance from the gate

 WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is wading into a new property rights dispute over who owns sand the state of Florida dumped onto a stretch of beach to control erosion. Six homeowners are challenging a Florida Supreme Court decision that designates the new sand public property. Homeowners say it deprives them of the exclusive beach access they had enjoyed.

NEW YORK (AP) - New laws passed in 25 states are making it easier for the big social networking Web sites to purge their membership lists of convicted rapists, gropers and child molesters. For example, a New York law requires sex crime convicts to register their e-mail addresses, as well as their dwellings.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - An attorney for the man suspected of fatally shooting 13 people at Fort Hood says the Army is ordering a mental evaluation for his client. It would look at whether Major Nidal Hasan had mental responsibility at the time of the November 5 attack and whether he's competent to stand trial.

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - The chairman of the Senate corrections committee is calling for the governor to shake up the Texas prison system and its oversight board. Democratic Senator John Whitmire of Houston commented as authorities searched for a convicted sex offender who escaped Monday.

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A former Army nurse has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for infecting patients with hepatitis C during surgeries at an El Paso medical center. Jon Dale Jones had pleaded guilty to assault and theft charges.