Around East Texas 05/17/07


Thousands of registered sex offenders are now off the popular social networking web site MySpace. It's an effort, MySpace says to keep it's underage users safe. Using a registered sex offender database, the web site has kicked off a few thousand offenders. But with possibly thousands more not using their real name, local authorities say it doesn't mean your children are safe. Attorney generals from eight states have requested the names of the registered sex offenders MySpace removed from its web site. MySpace, however, is refusing to turn them over because of federal and state laws.

Hurricane Funds

Nearly two years after hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf coast money is still available for storm victims. The money is for Angelina County residents only who are having trouble paying their household bills because of the storms. Applications for assistance can be filled out at the Salvation Army in Lufkin. Funds are limited and are restricted to residents who have not already received disaster relief.

Diboll's New Mayor

Improving water rights is a top priority for Diboll's new mayor. The town elected Bill Brown over the weekend. He says making sure Diboll has a safe and adequate water supply is high on his list. Brown owns a construction company, but he has more than a decade of political experience. He spent ten years as a city council member.

Caught on Tape

Three masked men pull an early morning robbery at an East Texas hotel and police have them on tape. The men responsible are still on the loose. It happened around 1 a.m. Wednesday at the Microtel Inn, just off I-20 in Longview. On exclusive video provided to police by the hotel, you can see the men breaking through the locked doors, heading to the clerk. You can see one of the robbers grabbing the cash register and the second robber going into the back, taking a locked safe. Longview police tell us the men got away with about 260-dollars. If you have any information about this robbery, call Longview police or Crime Stoppers.

Red Light Camera Woes

Crews will be out today in Longview, trying to find a better place to put a troubled red light camera. This, after the camera at Spur 63 was knocked down for the second time. It happened when a driver tried to pullout of Jucy's Hamburgers Wednesday morning. The company overseeing the red light cameras say they will move the camera to make sure it does not happen again.

Cruise Ship Adventure

More than 200 vacationers were aboard the "Empress of the North" Monday when the cruise ship ran aground near Juneau, Alaska. Among those on the ship was a couple from Angelina County. Hudson resident Janet Catron was on board with her husband. They're now back home, but instead of showing family and friends photos of her vacation, she shows them pictures of her rescue. What was supposed to be a seven-day trip ended much earlier when all of a sudden the Express of the North crashed. Hundreds of passengers on board thought there had been an earthquake, but the 360-foot-long ship had hit ground. Authorities still don't know why.

H-E-B Closing some Stores

Some H-E-B employees in East Texas are looking for a new job. H-E-B is closing its stores in both Nacogdoches and Center on June 7th. A company spokesman says the stores could not meet the growing demands of the communities. The Lufkin store will remain open.

Suspected Bomb Maker Indicted

A former Lufkin resident accused of planting a bomb outside an abortion clinic in Austin last month has been indicted by a federal grand jury. Paul Evans remains in federal custody charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Authorities believe some of the materials Evans used to make the bomb were purchased in Lufkin. The bomb was defused before it went off and nobody was hurt.

School Lunch Price Hike

Parents, you can expect to pay more for your child's school meals, if they go to Lufkin schools. The plan approved by the school board will take effect next year. Breakfast will increase 20-cents. Lunches will go up 25-cents. Faculty lunches will also increase by 50-cents. The price hike will not affect students getting free or reduced lunches.

Sheriff Department Investigated

The investigation continues today into members of the Rusk County Sheriff's department. Wednesday, Sheriff Glen Deason spoke to the media, addressing the latest on the investigation. A man arrested, taken inside the sheriff's department, allegedly threatened Rusk county's narcotics officer and an "incident occurred." Chief Deputy Dusty Flanagan and criminal investigation division Lieutenant Johnny Davidson have recently resigned.

Guilty Plea

In Tyler, a Mexican citizen pleads guilty in federal court to conspiring to transport 17 illegal aliens thorough Van Zandt county. In March, 29-year old Manuel Mimila-Guzman and another Mexican citizen were stopped in their van near Canton. Mimila-Guzman now faces ten years in prison.