Around East Texas 07/28/07

Alleged Child Rapist

Alleged child rapist, Gary Miller, has been brought back from Jasper county to Shelby county. He made a stop at the hospital after swallowing an undetermined amount of cocaine upon arrest. Miller was at a friend's house when he was loaded into a squad car and started having difficulty breathing. Investigators say Miller allegedly raped a nine year old girl a week ago. They say it was "not the first time it happened, but the last the little girl could take it." A man called the Shelby county's sheriff's office and told dispatchers Miller's whereabouts. "He said that Miller had told him that his vehicle had broke down and he hitchhiked and the people he hitchhiked with had driven off with his clothes and that's the reason he didn't have any belongings with him when he showed up," said Sheriff Newton Johnson. Sheriff Johnson said when deputies showed up to arrest Miller, he suddenly ingested an unknown about of cocaine. At one point Miller's heart stopped beating, paramedics revived him and soon after Miller slipped into a coma. Miller was released from the hospital late Friday and authorities transported him back to Shelby county to face charges, including sexual assault of a child.

Divine Mesa Update

On Wednesday, we told you about several residents living in a Lufkin apartment complex full of housing, health and safety violations. Since our story first aired, code enforcement officers have spoken with the owners of Divine Mesa and ordered them to repair the plumbing within 24 hours before citations are issued. J-A-T and Associates also has ten days to make other improvements at the complex. Further investigation by the East Texas News has revealed plumbers were on the property Friday and so were air conditioning repair men.

Angelina Estates

We also have an update on housing violations at Angelina Estates in Lufkin. H-U-D inspectors have been on the property working with their clients and the landlord to find available Section 8 rental property in the area. The Housing Authority is also helping the property manager meet Section 8 quality standards. Eight government-assisted clients were living at Angelina Estates when inspectors discovered bat infestation in the building. Some of those residents have moved out. The others will also be relocated to safer housing. Angelina Estates management hired an out-of-town exterminator to get rid of the bats.

Demand for Fans

With East Texas temperatures on the rise, so is the demand for fans. Store retailers tell us fans have always been a popular way to beat the summer heat, especially since they are cheaper now than they've ever been. Using fans will save you money on your monthly electric bill, even if you do adjust the temperature on your A-C several degrees to cut costs. A community-wide fan drive is underway. Radio stations K-S-W-P and K-A-V-Y are collecting fans until Tuesday for those in need. If you'd like to help out, you can drop off your fan donation at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Lufkin, or Nacogdoches, the radio studios, or the Community Action Centers in East Texas.

Dangerous Intersection

They are tired, fed up and they want action to fix a dangerous intersection. This week outside of Gilmer, three wrecks have happened in just three days at the intersection of Highway 271 and F-M 726. The worst of those wrecks killed an elderly couple. Verl and Marion Hagler were turning onto 271 Monday night, right into the path of a pick-up truck. East Texans who live near the intersection took the intersection took their concerns to TX-DOT, hoping to prevent this road from taking more lives. Residents are also petitioning state representatives and Congressman Louis Gohmert to intervene on their behalf.

Robber Strikes

Caught on tape, a robber strikes at an East Texas gas station. Surveillance video from Thursday night at the Food Fast on Houston street in Tyler shows a robber walking up to the counter and handing the cashier a note demanding money. He flees with an undisclosed sum. If you have any information about this case, you're encouraged to call police, or Crime Stoppers.

Wes Rivers Obit

Funeral services are set in Tyler for a former U-S Attorney and prosecutor. Fifty-six year old Wes Rivers died from an aneurysm while he was on vacation in Galveston. Rivers was the U-S Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas for about six years. He is survived by his wife and two sons. Visitation will be Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Stewart Family Funeral Home in Tyler. On Monday, funeral services will start at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

New C-P-S Safeguard

A new safeguard by Child Protective Services to help children living with drug or alcohol addicted parents. It will allow children under three years old to be placed with a family member under a court order, while parents try and seek treatment. "For the families that are unwilling or unable to take care of their drug problem, then we'll know it sooner, that they're unable or unwilling and we'll know to make plans for the children," said Judge Carole Clark, 321st District Court, Smith County. The measure is in direct response to the recent death of a Tyler child, killed while riding in the car with his father. Police say he was drunk behind the wheel. For now, the measure will only affect children in Smith county, but C-P-S is hoping to have similar actions in other East Texas counties.