Around East Texas 06/01/07

Teacher Investigated

A former Center Middle school teacher who was arrested Wednesday for having sex with a 14 year old student has spent her first night in jail. Janet Gallager Parker might be there for a while. Her bond, on 23 charges, totals 405-thousand dollars. Parked turned herself in on Wednesday. Nude photographs of the 26 year old computer science teacher were found on the boy's cell phone. More pictures were found on Parker's home computer. A complaint affidavit says the photos are of Parker in the nude draped in a rebel flag. The teen admits to taking the pictures and having sex with his teacher at least three times.

Shooting Arrest Made

Tyler police arrest three people in connection with a shooting. Officers got a report a man was shot on the 12-hundred block of south Lenox. The victim was stopping one of the suspects trying to burglarize his car. The suspects fled the scene and were caught at Hill and First streets. The victim was not injured.

Accident Victims Identified

We now know the identities of two Texans who died in a traffic accident near Timpson. Tony and Rebecca Carter of Humble were driving on Highway 59 north on Wednesday when their van hydroplaned and crashed into a truck coming in the other direction. The couple was killed after being thrown from their van. A Houston man driving the truck was treated and released.

Hurricane Season Begins

Emergency responders in East Texas say they are ready for today's official start of the 2007 Hurricane Season. The American Red Cross in Lufkin has been hosting meetings for shelter and emergency management personnel. They say they have plenty of shelter kits ready just in case storm evacuees have to be housed here. Officials say going through Hurricanes Katrina and Rita has helped them prepare for future hurricanes. The Hurricane Season runs through November.

Lightning Strike

In Rusk county, a big oak tree was struck by lightning during the storms earlier this week. That tree belonged to Jack Ayers who says the jolt felt like the beginning of an earthquake. "This one looks like it were blown up by dynamite. It split into about four pieces and scattered all over the place. There's a piece stuck in the ground, but praise God we weren't injured," Ayers told us. Ayers said the storm didn't appear to be all that big. Just a few dark clouds and three claps of thunder, one of which followed a lightning strike that caused the massive oak to explode.

Gas and Retailers

Gas prices across the state have dropped several cents a gallon over the past few days, though they still hover close to three dollars a gallon for regular unleaded. Even so, the slight drop is welcome news for local drivers. But area retailers say prices at the pump are still too high for some of their customers and they are losing business because of the high cost of gasoline. To make up for the drop in diners, some East Texas restaurants are now offering more specials to save customers money. On the flip side, the high cost of fuel is keeping some local shoppers close to home and shopping locally say other retailers we spoke with.

Suspicious Fire Investigated

Investigators will be back out today at an East Texas home destroyed by fire. The fire broke out at a home in Clarksville, near Gladewater. The couple who owned the home had just dropped their daughter off at school when the fire started. The woman got into a car accident on her way to the fire. She was not seriously hurt. The couple says they have no idea what could have caused the blaze.

Game Warden Drowns

For the second time this year, a Texas game warden has died in the line of duty. Twenty-eight year old Teyran "Ty" Patterson drowned when he and his partner were doing a search in a river near Glen Rose, when their boat capsized. His partner sustained severe injuries trying to rescue him.

County Commissioner Fined

A former Smith County Commissioner is facing hundreds of dollars in fines. Gus Ramirez was fined 15-hundred dollars for failing to report and for under-reporting contributions to his 2006 primary campaign against Representative Leo Berman. Ramirez narrowly lost that race.

Game Room Robbery

Another robbery at an East Texas game room. This one happened Wednesday night at the Jack Pot Game Room in Henderson. The robber, described as a tall, black male, pulled out a gun and took some money. Henderson police are trying to determine if the latest robbery is related to one that happened earlier this week at the Touch of Luck Game Room.

Mosquitos are Back

Because of the recent wet weather, mosquitos are coming back to East Texas. Smith county crews just wrapped up another round for spraying for the insects. Standing water around East Texas has created a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. Animal control experts say they are trying several things to fight them off. Crews say they will spray every two weeks until July. Then they'll spray every week. Tonight on the East Texas News hear what officials in Angelina and Nacogdoches are doing to fight mosuqitoes.

East Texas Weather Forecast

Chief Meteorologist Conley Isom says expect some high clouds this morning, blocking the sun briefly at times. We will warm up quickly and it'll be muggy again. The heat index will approach 90 degress by this afternoon. A few showers and thunderstorms could pop up during the afternoon, lingering into the early evening and dissipating by 10pm. Get your East Texas weather forecast on the East Texas News and go to the weather section of for weather information anytime.