Around East Texas 06/29/07

Deputy Hospitalized

Three people are hospitalized today, including an East Texas deputy. Harrison County Sheriff's deputies were in pursuit of Danille Hanspard on F-M 2199 and Interstate 20 iun Marshall, after he was clocked going 97 miles per hour. Police say Hanspard intentionally ran into deputy Michael Freeman's patrol car, causing him to slam into two oncoming vcehicles. Freeman and both drivers were transported to Marshall Medical Center. We're told Freeman has extensive injuries to his head and chest. The female driver of one of the cars is reportedly not doing well. The third driver's condition is unknown at this time. Hanspard could face charges of assault on a public servante with a vehicle.

Rising East Texas Rivers

With all the rain that Texas has received, many areas close to rivers are concerned about flooding. The Neches River is two feet above flood stage. It hasn't flooded any homes, yet, but Alto residnets say it's because there aren't many people who live along the river. They said it hasn't flooded in about five or six years and the past few days of rain isn't scaring them. Meanwhile, the threat of flooding along the banks of the Sabine River has many who live there worried for their homes and possessions. Many still remember 2001, when massive flooding damaged dozens of homes, literally carrying away everything that wasn't nailed down. Adding to the problem of flooding is the possiblity that area dams may release more water. Some say all they can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Folks who live near the Sabine River are warning their neighbors. Officials say the River could reach its crest in East Texas as early as mid-day today. The main area of concern is a stretch that runs through Gladewater and White Oak. You'll remember in 2001, floods destoryed dozens of homes in that area.

Car Stereo Thefts

Vehicle burglaries are a problem that most people don't often think about. But local authorities say it's a lot more common than people think;. They also say that people shouldn't help criminals. To protect factory C-D players and speakers, experts recommend keeping your music at a reasonable volume. They say playing your music too loud is like advertising to thieves. Police also say one reason vehicle thefts are so common is because state penalties are so lenient. Lufkin police say they would like to see the state upgrade motor vehicle burglary to a felony.

Fireworks Crackdown

Police want to make it clear this fourth of July holiday, if you are caught detonating fireworks illegally, you will be fined. All fireworks must be set-off at least 300 feet away from the Lufkin city limits. Unless they are a professional display. Anyone caught shooting off fireworks inside the city limits risk having them confiscated along with a fine. Because of improper usage and preventable accidents, the state is putting a stop to the sale of certain fireworks.

Not Guilty Plea

A "not guilty" plea for suspected killer Randall Mays. He's charged with capital murder in last month's shootings of Henderson County Deputies Paul Habelt and Tony Ogburn. There's also a separate assault charge for allegedly wounding Deputy Kevin Harris. Today, Mays remains in the Smith County jail.

Red Light Camera Woes

The City of Longview is hoping the third time is the charm. A red light camera is back up today on Spur 63 and Marshall Avenue. The camera has already been knocked down twice by drivers backing out of Juicy's Hamburgers.

Your Child's School Lunch

A new tool to help East Texas parents keep track of what their children are eating at school. Starting this fall, Kilgore Independent School District will launch a website that allows parents to monitor their child's lunch account, day or night. It also lets parents pre-pay their kids lunch money by credit card and view available balances, but more importantly, it gives a list of what all the child is buying to eat. "Too many times there's a wall between what happens at school and what happens at home, we want their continual experience so that the parent is involved with everything their child does," said Holly Davis, a Kilgore parent. The program does not cost the shcool district anything, but if a parent wants to pay online with a credit card, there is a small transaction fee.

Robbery Follow-up

The man shot Wednesday morning during a robbery is out of the hospital and behind bars. Tyler police tell us Chris Battles was arrested because he had warrants out on him. Meanwhile, Tyler police have identified a man they say shot Battles during that robbery. Police believe 35-year-old Eddie Lamon Black may have been involved in the home robbery on North Forest Street in Tyler. Police also have a second suspect, but the identity has not been released.

Pharmacy Robbery Suspect

The search is on today for a Cleveland man who is believed to have robbed the San Augustine Pharmacy Thursday morning. Police say Robert Meloy threatened two employees with an ice pick while demanding money and prescription drugs. He then taped them up and fled. Meloy is described as having long hair and tattoos. He is believed to be driving a white van which he stole from Speedy Plumbing in La Porte. Please contact San Augustine police if you have any information.

New City Manager

It's the first week of duty for the new Longview city manager. David Willard is the new man in charge and he's already constantly on the phone or in meetings. Willard is immersed in budgetary concerns, but the top priority for his first week on the job is to try to get know everybody.

Lady Bird Johnson

Former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson is now resting comfortably at her home today. She was released from an Austin hospital Thursdya afternoon. She was admitted last week after coming down with a low grade fever.