Around East Texas

Store Robbery

A Tyler convenience store has been robbed this morning. It happened around 4 a.m. at the Kulsom's Exxon at Vine and Glenwood streets. Tyler police tell us the suspect entered the store and told the clerk he had a gun and to get on the floor. Police say no gun was shown and there were no injuries. The suspect is described as a black male around five foot tall and around forthy years old. We'll continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.

Red Light Cameras

As early as this summer, you may find red light cameras at some intersections in Nacogdoches. Police Chief Jim Sevey got unanimous approval from the city commission to begin the process. Sevey says he wants the cameras installed to stop red light violations and hopefully save lives. They say the installation comes at no cost to taxpayers. A percentage of the fines collected will go to the service provider.

Doctor Sentenced

Five years in federal prison for an East Texas doctor who was arrested in an online predator sting. Ali Vagafi of Tyler pleaded guilty in February to soliciting what he thought was a 14 year old girl, for sex. That girl was actually an undercover officer in Collin County. Vagafi was also fined 100-thousand dollars.

Death Penalty for Sex Offenders?

A compromise in the Texas Senate would allow the death penalty for repeat sex offenders. The Senate bill would make it legal to execute offenders convicted two times or more of sexually assaulting a child 13 years of age or younger. The House passed a similar bill last month. It could go up for debate later this week.

Belcher Center Unveiled

The crown jewel of an East Texas university is unveiled today in Longview. After months of construction, the two thousand seat Belcher center will be officially dedicated today on the campus of LeTourneau University. The dedication will be the first glimpse of the 20 million dollar facility which will be used as a chapel and performance center. The building is named for the late benefactor Shelby Belcher who gave a lead gift of five million dollars.

Trash-off Results

Angelina County is a little cleaner thanks to hundreds of volunteers at last weekend's trash off. Dozens of East Texas teams collected more than 250 bags of trash and litter from several area highways. Angelina Beautiful/Clean and TX-Dot partnered up for the trash off again this year. The event is held in conjunction with the statewide trashoff. This year's top collector in Lufkin was the Top Teens of America.