Good Morning East Texas Headlines 12-04-09


Cold weather is moving in, and East Texas are already preparing for temperatures below freezing. Firefighters say you should make sure there is plenty of space around any space heaters you are using. Now is also a good time to check the batteries in your smoke alarm. And don't forget to protect your plants and your home's pipes.

Members of an East Texas Sheriff's Department are in mourning over the sudden loss of one of their co-workers. Smith County  Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Bennett died in a car crash Thursday, just one day after being named the department's "Rookie of theYear".

People who live near the burned-out remains of a giant tire pile in Hawkins are fed up. They say it's been six months since the pile went up in flames. They think it is taking too long to remove the mass of shredded, burned tires from their neighborhood.

And the race for Governor of Texas is heating up. Governor Rick Perry officially filed his paperwork to run for re-election, and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is expected to file her paperwork next week to challenge Perry in the Republican Party Primary. Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Bill White is expected to announce today that he's running for the Democratic Party's nomination. East Texas rancher Hank Gilbert, who has been running for the Democratic nomination, also has an announcement scheduled for today.


A winter weather advisory is in effect for Anderson, Cherokee, Nacogdoches, Shelby, Houston, Trinity, Polk, Angelina, San Augustine, and Sabine Counties.  Today will be cloudy and cold with light snow developing across the southern half of East Texas.  Snow accumulations could reach an inch in the advised areas.  High temperatures will reach the upper 30s to near 40.  Clouds and snow move out late tonight with low temperatures dropping into the lower 20s.  We will see sunshine tomorrow with warmer temperatures reaching near 50 degrees.


Woman killed in hit-and-run

An East Texas woman has died after being struck by a vehicle while crossing the roadway in the 1700 block of SSW Loop 323 at about 2pm Thursday afternoon.

6-year-old saves 2-year-old from drowning

Six-year old Riley Catchot and several friends was playing in her grandparent's backyard Saturday. But somehow two-year old Seraiah fell into the pool.

An artistic eye and new vision of life

Stephanie Vasso is a designer by trade, but every Tuesday at 1:30, you can find her hanging with her boys inside the East Texas Rescue Mission of Tyler. The ArtReach Program is Vasso's latest project.


WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's defense of the economy lands in Allentown, Pa., today. He'll tour a plant and talk to residents about the economy and job creation. He may be warming to a congressional plan to use some unspent bailout money for jobs and infrastructure but Obama is mindful of increasing anxiety over federal deficits.

WASHINGTON (AP) - November unemployment figures come out today and analysts think the economy isn't ready to start generating jobs just yet. Maybe early next year. Experts surveyed by Thomson-Reuters expect the Labor Department to announce a 10.2 percent jobless rate in November -- the same as October.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democrats continue to search for compromise on potential show-stopping issues as they press ahead with a health-care overhaul. They came together yesterday to keep Medicare cuts central to paying for the plan in the bill. The big internal debate is over government insurance, the so-called public option. Abortion funding is also a sticking point.

BRUSSELS (AP) - NATO's secretary general says he hopes the alliance will answer President Barack Obama's call for additional support in Afghanistan. The alliance has been meeting in Brussels. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters ahead of the meetings she welcomed expected allied pledges of additional support.

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Texas has executed a man convicted of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl who was snatched from her home near Fort Worth in 1997. Bobby Wayne Woods' attorneys argued he was too mentally impaired to qualify for lethal injection.     

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - An Army Reserve unit that lost three soldiers in the Fort Hood shooting is deploying to Afghanistan as scheduled today. Post officials say the unit finished its mobilization and pre-deployment requirements this week.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Association of Sports Officials is suing the University Interscholastic League over new league registration rules. For decades, the UIL required schools to use officials who registered with and paid a fee to the officials' association. Next year, the league will require officials to register and pay the UIL.