Good Morning East Texas Headlines 12-24-09


Coming up on Good Morning East Texas : Two East Texas cities are cleaning up after severe weather damaged buildings and homes. They're surveying the damage in Lufkin this morning after a tornado touched down late Wednesday night, and work is underway to clean up damage in Longview after a tornado struck Wednesday afternoon. Fortunately, in both cases, no injuries were reported.

Sheriff's deputies in Angelina County have a suspect in custody in the death of a Huntington man.   The body of 47-year-old Gary Lynn DeFratus was found outside his mother's home on Monday. Deputies have arrested 39-year-old Thomas Hugh Fielder.

And, those overnight storms caused some additional damage in Nacogdoches County. Witnesses say they sparked a blaze at a series of oil wells. Firefighters were able to quickly get the flames under control.


We will continue to see some scattered showers across East Texas today as temperatures drop. We will reach the lower 30's this evening. For Christmas morning, you can expect to see temperatures in the mid 20's with mostly sunny skies.


Tornado Rips Roof Off Home

One hard hit Longview neighborhood is still reeling from the tornado damage. It was a disaster scene Wednesday night in the 4300 block of Page road.

East Texas viewers capture tornado as it travels through area

KLTV 7 cameras weren't the only ones covering the severe weather in East Texas as it came through on Wednesday evening.

Warning: Thieves wanting to steal Christmas

Before you head out for that last minute shopping, we have a warning for you: Thieves are watching to find a way to steal your Christmas.


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Parts of Kansas, North Dakota and Minnesota are under blizzard warnings this morning as a major winter storm slams its way across the nation's midsection. The National Weather Service says travel will be extremely dangerous and anyone venturing out should take a winter survival kit including water in case of emergency. Nearly 100 flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport have been canceled.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's signature program, the overhaul of the health care system, is expected to pass the Senate today. The measure will still need to be reconciled with a House bill sometime after the holidays. After three procedural votes requiring 60 senators, only a simple majority is required today.

WYTHEVILLE, Va. (AP) - A disabled man who allegedly perpetrated a daylong hostage drama in a small-town Virginia post office has given up peacefully. His three hostages were freed and no one was injured. Police are trying to figure out what triggered Warren "Gator" Taylor of Sullivan County, Tenn.

SAN'A, Yemen (AP) - Backed by U.S. intelligence, Yemeni security forces struck a series of suspected al-Qaida hideouts in Yemen. The government says more than 30 militants were killed. Airstrikes in the eastern Shabwa province targeted an al-Qaida leadership meeting.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) - A suicide bomber has killed four people and injured more than a dozen in Pakistan's main northwest city. The attack was the second in three days in Peshawar and the latest in a wave of violence that has killed more than 500 people in apparent retaliation for an army offensive against the Taliban along the Afghan border.

KENNEDALE, Texas (AP) - Police tell the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that a man has admitted he was involved in the deaths of three relatives in Kennedale. The bodies of Johnny Hummel's pregnant wife, daughter and father-in-law were found Friday after a fire at their home.

HOUSTON (AP) - A man has been sentenced in Houston to nine years in prison for recruiting others to steal truck tractors, trailers and equipment for transport to Central America. Yuri David Melendez pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and an unrelated drug charge filed in Florida.

 WACO, Texas (AP) - A Waco funeral home says the man considered to be the country's most decorated soldier has died at age 70. Retired Colonel Robert Lewis Howard died yesterday. He was wounded 14 times in Vietnam, received eight Purple Hearts and was nominated three times for the Medal of Honor.

 WASHINGTON (AP) - Chevron will pay $45.5 million to resolve a lawsuit in Texas over claims that it underpaid natural gas royalties to the government and Native Americans. The Justice Department says most of the money will go to affected federal, state and American Indian accounts.