Good Morning East Texas Headlines 01-20-10


Coming up on Good Morning East Texas: Federal investigators are now digging through the remains of two East Texas churches that burned over the weekend. They're looking for clues on the origins of the two fires.

Other congregations across East Texas are taking steps to improve security at their buildings. Some churches are buying new security systems and hiring professional guards, while others are recruiting volunteers from the congregation to stand watch at night.

A man who was shot at a nightclub in East Texas over the weekend has died. Joshua Kelly, age 24, was shot outside the Hard Tails club in Longview and died Tuesday night. A suspect is in custody at the Gregg County Jail.

In sports, the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys will be back for at least one more season. Team owner Jerry Jones is even considering a contract extension for Coach Wade Phillips.

And…if you want your pets to have access to parts of your home that might otherwise be out of their reach, you'll want to check out the "Doggy Steps". Our Joe Terrell found a four-legged friend to try them out for today's "Does It Work?".


Parts of East Texas will be in for some rain today, as a storm system makes its way toward the area. Some storms this afternoon could be severe, with the possibility of hail and wind gusts. Highs today should reach the lower 70's.


Analysis: GOP sees Mass. win as stop sign for Dems

Reeling from the loss of a long-held Massachusetts Senate seat, Democrats are rethinking the lessons of Barack Obama's 2008 election, with the GOP cheerfully suggesting they scale back their ambitions and agenda.

UPDATE: Investigation into Tyler fires continues

Authorities are one day closer to figuring out what caused two weekend church fires in Tyler.  Two teams of investigators have been at Tyland Baptist Church and First Church of Christ, Scientist looking for any possible connections to the fires.

LeTourneau University joins U.T. Tyler nursing program

The nursing shortage is a national problem, but especially here in Texas.  Today two East Texas schools took the first steps to solve it.


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - It's been more than a week since the magnitude-7 quake in Haiti, and still some people are being pulled out of the rubble -- alive. A 69-year-old woman was rescued Tuesday. Also, two women were pulled from a destroyed university building. Another woman was saved from a collapsed store. The quake has killed an estimated 200,000 people.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new poll suggests that most people like Barack Obama as a person, but they have mixed reviews on the job he's doing. The Associated Press-GfK poll finds that nearly 90 percent surveyed like Obama personally, but only 42 percent rate him as an above average or outstanding president. Obama's overall approval rating is 56 percent, down from 74 percent a year ago.

BOSTON (AP) - Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat has gone to a Republican. In a stunning loss for Democrats, Republican Scott Brown made away with 52 percent of the vote to Democrat Martha Coakley's 47 percent in yesterday's Massachusetts special election. Brown is the first Republican elected to the Senate from the Bay State since 1972.

BOSTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is scrambling to save his health care overhaul plan following the Democrats' loss of the Senate seat in Massachusetts. Scott Brown's victory means Republicans now have enough votes to block a health care bill.

 LOS ANGELES (AP) - Authorities in Southern California plan to order residents in some 600 homes to evacuate today. After two days of rains, authorities fear their hillside structures could wash away in mudslides. Los Angeles police have been going door-to-door, asking residents in about 200 homes to leave by this morning.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Governor Rick Perry says the federal government is overreaching by planning to let school districts directly compete for education grant money the state rejected. Perry said Texas isn't competing in the "Race to the Top" competition because it would lose autonomy in educating children.

SAN BENITO, Texas (AP) - The mayor of the South Texas city of San Benito has been disqualified from his office because he's several hundred dollars behind on his property taxes. Mayor Joe Hernandez has asked the city commission for a public hearing on the matter.

McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Among the federal efforts described as "ineffective" in a new government report is at least $1.4 billion for water and sewer projects along the U.S.-Mexico border. It says seven federal agencies have contributed to infrastructure projects for slapdash communities known as colonias.

McALLEN, Texas (AP) - El Paso civil engineer Edward Drusina is the new U.S. chief of the International Boundary and Water Commission, which oversees water treaties between the U.S. and Mexico. He was appointed by President Barack Obama.