Around East Texas 05/22/07

Classes Resume after Gas Leak

School is back in session today for one Tyler elementary school shut down after a natural gas leak nearby. Fire crews were out at Austin elementary school Monday after students had already been evacuated to the gymnasium at Ramey elementary school. That's where parents picked them up. The school was closed as a precaution.

Gruesome Highway Discovery

Officials are still searching Interstate 20 for a suspect after a gruesome discovery. Authorities found a man shot to death Monday near the Highway 19 entrance ramp, just inside the Canton city limits. An autopsy has been ordered on the victim, who, we're told was traveling with the alleged shooter and a female eye witness. Authorities have identified the suspects as Ronald Rosemond, a white male in his mid-50ies. He was last seen in a 1991 white Plymouth Voyager with Texas license plate WO6RCD. If you have any informaiton, contact local authorities, or Crime Stoppers.

MySpace Registered Sex Offenders says it willprovide Texas and other states with date on registered sex offenders using their site. Last week, we told you attorney generals from eight states demanded thre data. MySpace initially refused, citiing federal privacy laws. The chairman of the site says they had always planned to share information on identified sex offenders.

Vandalism Suspects

Trinity county authorities are investigating a major case of vandalism. It happened on a deer lease several weeks ago. Two young Houston-area hunters are suspected of causing thousands of dollars in damage. Trinity county authorities believe the men found two four wheel tractos unattened back on April 29th and took them for a joy ride, driving them all over the pasture and destroying land before crashing the heavy equipment into a ditch. The suspects have not been charged. They are from Baytown and authorities believe they may have been drinking bfore they took the skidders for a ride. If charged and convicted, they face up to 99 years in prison.

New Police Car Colors

The police cars in Lufkin are changing. They will soon be white instead of blue. The new cars will also have more modern features, like a drain on the floor of the backseat in case prisoners get sick. The cars will also have different rear seatbelts so offficers will not have to lean over prisoners to fasten them. The department has already replaced half its fleet. The rest will be switched out next year.

Click It or Ticket

Next Monday, May 28, is Memorial Day. It is widely observed as the unofficial start of the summer vacation season. East Texas law enforcement will be cracking down on seatbelt violators. A program called "Click it or ticket" is underway and runs through June 3rd. State troopers and local police departments will be saturating the highways and city streets with heavy patrols and enforcement, checking to see if you're driving the speed limit and using your seatbelt. They'll also be checking for violations of child safety seat laws.

Gasoline Savers

With gas prices on the rise many East Texans are wondering if there's anything they can do to make their vehicles more fuel efficient. Keith Loving a Lufkin mechanic for 25 years says the main consideration is proper car maintenance. He says remember to keep a steady driving speed. Keep your engine properly tuned, otherwise your car's gas mileage could decrease by four percent. Change air filters every 30,000 miles because limited air flow consumers more fuel. Change your oil every 3,000 miles because when oil stays in too long, especially in the summer, it breaks, creating sludge and causing engine friction. Monitor the air pressure in your tires, because not only can low air pressure affect your gas mileage, but it can also be dangerous. Under-inflated tires can make your vehicle burn more fuel and can cause a blowout.

Officers' Funeral Services Scheduled

Visitation and funeral services have been set for the Henderson county deputies, who were killed in the line of duty. The visitation for Deputy Paul Habelt is today (Tuesday) until 9 p.m. at the Cooper funeral home in Athens. His funeral service will be on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at First Baptist church in Athens. Visitation for Tony Price Ogburn will be this Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cooper funeral home in Athens. The funeral for Deputy Ogburn will be this Thursday at 3 p.m. at First Baptist church in Athens. Deputy Kevin Harris, who was wounded in last week's shooting is back home after being treated for gunshot wounds to his legs. He is expected to begin rehabilitation soon. As for the alleged shooter, 47-year old Randall Mays, could have more charges filed against him. He remains hospitalized, under 24 hours watch by Smith county sheriff's deputies. Once he is out of the hospital, he will be transferred to the Smith county jail.

I-20 Fatalities

Two people are killed when an 18 wheeler collides with their S-U-V. The crash happened just after 5 o'clock Monday on I-20 and Highway 110. D-P-S says the 18-wheeler was driving east, when it went over the center lane, hitting the S-U-V. 28-year old Dione Taylor and 8-year old Kloe Simone, in the S-U-V, were both pronounced dead at the scene. Another cihld involved in the wreck was treated and released from a local hospital. The driver of the truck was also treated and released. All of the people involved were from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.