Around East Texas 05/10/07 - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Around East Texas 05/10/07

New Responder Equipment

With Hurricane season getting closer, emergency responders around East Texas are getting prepared. A new communication system is making it easier for agencies to talk to one another. Federal grants have provided new devices to local police departments and sheriff's departments that should make coordination and resource management better when emergencies happen. First responders know when disaster strikes, good communication is vital. Training with the new equipment occurred back in March.

Hospitals Ban Smoking

It's a plan that has been in the works for quite some time. Soon, smoking will be banned at Lufkin hospitals. Starting November 15th, both Memorial Health Systems and Woodland Heights Medical Center will prohibit employees, patients and visitors from smoking anywhere on their property. As expected, the announcement of the smoking ban is getting mixed reaction.

Shelby County Murder Update

A Shelby County grand jury will determine later this month if a Center man should be indicted for murder. He says all he was doing was protecting his property. 71-year old Buster Ford says he saw 50-year old Reginald Fountain breaking into his car outside his home, so, he shot him. The district attorney has to present it as a murder case because it happened in daylight, but she will let grand jury members know their options.

Whitehouse Students Mourn

More counselors will be on the campus of Whitehouse High School after one of their own dies in a car crash. It happened Tuesday night when troopers tell us 17-year old Alex Fleming lost control of his car on F-M 848, colliding with another car. Fleming, wearing number 6, played cornerback at Whitehouse High School, helping the team win their first district title in 29 years. The school says Fleming was also a great trumpet player and excelled in the classroom.

Industrial Accident

An East Texas man is dead after an industrial accident. It happened Wednesday at Baker Tank Company in Arp. Officials tell us crews there accidentally rolled over a 25-hundred pound tank, crushing 46-year old Efrain Flores. Flores was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy has been ordered.

Missing Nacogdoches Man Back

The missing Nacogdoches man that we told you about Wednesday is now safe and back home, according to police. Ricky Morris left his home Sunday to run some errands, but never came back. He finally returned home last night. No reason has been given for his disappearance.

Crime Stats

A new report from Texas Department of Public Safety says the major crime rate in Texas has fallen across the board, decreasing 5.3 percent in 2006. The total number of major crimes committed was down 2.6 percent in 2006. Murder was down 1.4 percent and rape down 1.2 percent. The total number of arrests in Texas increased 2.9 percent.

East Texas Drowning

A 31-year old Kansas man drowns in an East Texas lake. It happened Tuesday evening at Lake Quitman. The Quitman Fire Department dive team found the body about 30 yards from shore. The sheriff's department says fatigue and alcohol may have a part in the drowning.

Couple Assaults Pharmacist

A Tyler man allegedly tried to forge a check at a pharmacy and ended up assaulting the owner. Police say the owner of Woody Weaver Pharmacy in Tyler chases 18-year old DeZheron Davenport and 29-year old Tysha Ingram out of the pharmacy after they tried to pass a forged check. Police say Davenport and Ingram then grabbed an axe and sledge hammer from a nearby trailer and tried to hit the owner. A short time later, both were arrested. Police say no injuries were reported.

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