Good Morning East Texas Headlines 12-21-09


Coming up on Good Morning East Texas: An investigation is underway into what caused a weekend fire at an East Texas home.

Christmas came a little early for two East Texas towns.  We'll have a double dose of state championship celebrations coming up in sports.

Plus, he had one more Purple Heart waiting for him. In today's "Freedom Fighters", Joan Hallmark will have the story of Gene Mahan, who signed up to serve his country at the age of 15 and came close to making the ultimate sacrifice.


Today is the first official day of winter in East Texas, and we're getting off to a chilly start. We will see sunny skies across the region today with temperatures rising into the lower 60's by mid-afternoon. But the overnight low will dip back down into the upper 30's this evening. We can expect more of the same on Tuesday with the possibility of some precipitation moving into the area on Wednesday.


Cities Celebrate State Football Championships

Two East Texas towns are riding high this weekend, after each won their second straight state football championships.

Procrastinators seek last minute holiday bargains

Christmas is less than a week away, and yet some of us haven't finished gift shopping - some procrastinators haven't even started.

Former Smith County Commissioner arrested

A disturbance at an East Texas department store ends with a former Smith County Commissioner facing gun charges.


TOKYO (AP) - Iran's nuclear negotiator is calling for a worldwide ban on atomic weapons. On a visit to Japan, Saeed Jalili also argued that all countries have a right to develop nuclear energy. He insisted that Iran's nuclear program is for civilian purposes. The U.S. and other nations have expressed concern that Tehran is trying to produce nuclear weapons.

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's Army Radio says the prime minister and his top lieutenants are meeting to decide whether to approve a prisoner exchange with Hamas militants. Israel would hand over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier held captive in the Gaza Strip. Sgt. Gilad Schalit was abducted by Hamas-affiliated militants more than three years ago.

 WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate appears on track to pass its health care overhaul before Christmas. The bill passed a key test vote last night by the 60-40 margin needed to overcome a threatened Republican filibuster.

NEW YORK (AP) - The morning commute could be tricky for anyone trying to make it to work in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic today. For many though, it's a day off. Schools in Philadelphia have canceled classes for 195,000 students as the city tries to clear roads and sidewalks. It's the same for many other schools across the region.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A public memorial service is planned for evangelist Oral Roberts today. It will be held at the university he founded nearly half a century ago. The president of Oral Roberts University says Roberts' "mission and vision" will continue to guide the school.

PASADENA, Texas (AP) - A 40-year-old Pasadena woman accused of shooting her husband and the couple next door has been held on a murder charge. Tanya Lin Schmidt was charged when a female neighbor died after the shooting Saturday night. Police say the men are in stable condition.

DALLAS (AP) - The Dallas Morning News reports Texas has spent only $1.8 million of the $163 million it's received to help poor residents cut their energy bills. Seven homes had been weather-treated by last month. State officials say the process has been slow, but they're trying to avoid waste and fraud.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - Some soldiers who have served about a year in Iraq are heading home to Fort Hood for the holidays. About 650 returned this weekend, and 450 more are due back within the next several days.

NEW YORK (AP) - An out-of-work pharmaceuticals saleswoman has defeated a Texas oil millionaire to win the CBS reality TV show "Survivor: Samoa." Natalie White of Arkansas won the $1 million prize last night by outplaying Russell Hantz of Dayton, who finished second.