An East Texas math teacher returns to work today, a week after he thinks someone laced his drink at school, poisoning him and putting him in the hospital. It happened in the town of Beckville, that's northwest of Carthage in Panola County. The allegations made by Beckville Middle School math teacher, Ray Chitwood, are now part of a ciriminal investigation. The Panola County sheriff's office has been asked to investigate whether a student put something in the teacher's drink that made him test positive for an illegal narcotic. Fo now, no suspects have been identified. Authorities aren't even sure if the drink was laced at school. The teacher made two stops on the way home. The liquid is being sent to a lab for forensic analysis.
Oil Spill Cleared
Part of highway 59 south in Lufkin is back open to traffic this morning after being shut down for part of the day on Thursday following an oil spill. The oil fell from a truck and landed on the highway, forcing traffic in that area to detour for several hours. A hazardous materials team was called in to clean up the mess.
Injury to a Child
An Angelina County man has been sentenced to probation for hurting a child. Michael Mitcham is pleading guilty to injury to a child. A judge sentenced him to five years probation and ordered him to complete anger management classes. Micham was changing a child's diaper and spread the baby's legs too far apart, causing a tear. The child has since recovered from the injury.
Hundreds of East Texas students got an up close and personal look at the damage that drinking and driving can cause. A program called "Shattered Dreams" was presented in Hudson on Thursday. The mock-accident scene is intended to be a startling reminder of why drinking and driving can be a deadly mistake. Onlooker, Mariah Naylor who is a Freshman at Hudson High had this to say, "I wouldn't drink anyway because like, I've seen what it's done to my family, but that looks really real you know, so I wouldn't do it." The staged accident invloves teen actors. They act critically hurt or killed on the road when one of their fellow classmates gets behind the wheel after a few drinks.
Rusk County Jail
A fourth jail is officially open now in Rusk County. Thursday morning, county and city leaders dedicated the private facility in Henderson. The jail, built by a company called Management Training Corporation, will house male and female inmates from all over the state. Officials say the jail will have a big impact on the local economy, bringing in more jos and an estimated 10-million dollar boost to the local economy.
County Records Requested
An open records request involving a Smith County Commissioner has been made by attorney Ken Good. He is asking for e-mails and other correspondence between Precinct One Commissioner Jo Ann Fleming and several county departments. He also wants the e-mails between Commissioner Fleming and former Smith County Judge Becky Dempsey. During a press conference, Commissioner Fleming said she does not know what information Good is looking for specifically, but says she would be happy to provide him with the e-mails. "Am I saying here today that there will not be any innuendo or anything out of it that will not be used against me either in a political way or a personal way? I have no way of knowing that. But the potential there is great," Fleming said. Commissioner Fleming has ten days to release the e-mails.
A gunfight breaks out an an East Texas baseball game, sending two to the hospital. The Rusk County Sheriff's department says the fight began when a man threw a beer can at his cousin, who was playing baseball at the Fairview Community Center. That's when the man grabbed a shotgun, filled with bird pellets, and began firing. The cousin reportedly grabbed another shotgun and began firing back. Both men were hit several times with pellets, but no one else was injured. The Sheriff's department says the man sho started the fight faces aggravated assault charges.
Sexual Assault Case
An East Texas man gets 35 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child. 20-year old Joshua Travis Roberson had sex with a 13-year old girl who lived in his neighborhood. Smith County jurors deliberated four hours Thursday before arriving at the 35-year sentence.
Code Red Test