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

Around East Texas 07/10/07

Broken Water Main

Business is back to normal today at the Nacogdoches Courthouse. Monday, a broken water main shut down the courthouse. Since Saturday, officials have been looking for the break, they finally discovered it on South Street on Monday. Repairs have been made and it's business as usual at the Nacogdoches County Courthouse.

Wreck Victim Dies

An East Texas woman has died from injuries she received in a car wreck last Friday. Witnesses say 25-year old Katrin Gray was traveling south on Highway 69 when car hydroplaned and spun into oncoming traffic. Her car then collided with a Jeep driven by 24-year old Rendy Breland. When authorities arrived, Gray had to be cut out of her car. She was then taken to Memorial Medical Center in Lufkin and listed as critical. Officials say she was later transferred to Parkland Hospital in Dallas where she died over the weekend.

Neches River Bridge

To some East Texans it's an historic landmark that should be left as it is, but to others it poses a huge danger and should be relocated or rebuilt. The State Highway 94 bridge was the topic of a public hearing last night in Hudson. TX-DOT officials were on hand to answer questions and discuss alternatives for the bridge's future. TX-DOT officials say several different alternatives for the bridge have been discussed and last night they proposed a new one. "One preferred alternative is to move the centerline of the existing road 43 feet south. It all allows us to build bridges and the roadway all at one time without disturbing traffic and then we'll move them over to the new bridges and remove the old one," explained TX-DOT representative Cheryl Flood. TX-DOT officials believe their preferred plan is the safest and quickest method.

Hit and Run Accident

Nacogdoches police are looking for a motorist who is believed to have been involved in a hit and run. The accident happened Sunday at Industrial Drive and North Street. Two bicyclists were struck by a blue Chevrolet pickup that left the scene. The bicyclists didn't receive any life threatening injuries, but officers would like to know who was responsible. If you have any information, contact the Nacogdoches Police Department or Crime Stoppers(936-560-INFO or www.ncstips.com).

Bank Robbery Suspects

Police are still looking for two men who robbed a Lufkin bank last Friday. The robbery occurred shortly before 11:30 Friday morning. Investigators say two armed men walked into the Bank of America off west Loop 287 and demanded money. They fled in a stolen truck. Police believe a third suspect may have been waiting in the truck. The suspects then got into another stolen vehicle and later changed vehicles again. Police need your help. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers (936-639-TIPS) or the Lufkin police.

S-F-A Regents

Resigned, retired and replaced, that's what has happened for several top level administrators at Stephen F. Austin State University. Nothing was said publicly about the change at Monday's S-F-A Regents meeting. The Regents gathered for committee meetings. They heard from the Senate Faculty President. He praised the new buildings on campus, but now wants higher salaries for faculty. "We believe that the board and the administration can now put that same level of commitment and energy into growing the academic side, into better salaries for faculty to better academic facilities, more money for research," said Dr. Marc Guidry, S-F-A Faculty Senate President. Guidry said he's anxious to work with a new team of administrators and regents in achieving the goal. Three new Regents were sworn in this morning.

Mother's Murder Confession

New details on the suspicious death in southeast Tyler. A mother confesses to strangling her own two year old son to death. 38-year old Catherine Alana Stevens remains jailed today, charged with capital murder. Her bond has been set at one million dollars. The child was killed inside his home Sunday night on Memory Lane in Tyler. In the affidavit, the father woke up and noticed his wife was not in bed. That's when he went to little William's room and was traumatized, police say, after finding his wife over the child on the floor. "Obviously very upset, distraught over the situation... I think as any father would in this type--so he's going through the normal process is what I've been told.. most likely second guessing," said Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle. Police say they've responded numerous times in the past to that same house for what they called "mental custody warrants."

Insurance Company Robbed

The thief who robbed a local insurance company has not been caught. Police tell us, around 9 a.m. Monday, a man walked into Beckham Insurance on Mobberly Avenue in Tyler armed with a handgun. He took some money and forced everyone in the business to a back room, before making his getaway. Auto Burglaries Two East Texans have been arrested in connection to several auto burglaries. Dustin Lee Waters of Tatum and Zane Andrew Brock of Longview are each charged with two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle and one count of criminal mischief. The two reportedly admitted burglarizing several vehicles over the past four days.

Boating Advisory

The city of Tyler says it has lifted its boating advisory. Flood waters in Lake Tyler and Lake Tyler East receded enough to give boaters the go ahead. The city says the lake levels are now one foot above the spillway. However, Lake Jacksonville remains closed to boaters, so residents can have more time to clean-up their flooded homes. One homeowner we talked to says he spent the day soaking the water out of his carpet and washing his floors. One of his neighbors down the street said he's just going to have to tear the carpet out of his home. This is the second time residents near Lake Shore Drive have had their homes flooded.

Soldier Remembered

East Texans gathered to say a last goodbye Monday to an American hero. Friends, family and neighbors paid their respects to James Lee Adair in Carthage. Adair was killed earlier this month by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Adair's wife is expected to give birth to their first child in two months.

Flags Lowered in Texas

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice, John Hill has died at the age of 83-years old. Hill was a 1978 Democratic nominee for Governor. Governor Perry has ordered all state flags be ordered to half staff to honor Hill. The flags will stay at half staff until Saturday at sundown. Hill is the only person in Texas to have served as Secretary of State, Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice.

Too Many Phone Complaints

Calls to customer service have come at a steep price for some cell phone customers. Sprint Nextel, the nation's third largest cell phone provider, decided to hang up on customers who made too many phone calls to customer service by canceling their accounts. Sprint broke the news to customers ina letter saying they were unable to meet their current wireless needs. Sprint declined an interview, but said they are taking this action to enhance the level of service for their remaining customers.

Fire District Changes

Nacogdoches voters have approved two new emergency service districts and now County Judge Joe English wants to show taxpayers how the money is being used. The two new districts bring to a total of four districts that will be collecting tax revenue. Judge English says he's making sure all the emergency districts are held accountable. "Those boards will actually have to turn in their record to the county auditor for those records to be audited and that's just a good thing for the taxpayers to make sure that their monies are being spent wisely." Another police that will be followed is a rotation of emergency district board members.

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