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Ted Kamel is looking to retake his former seat in the Texas House of Representatives, as he announced his campaign for State Representative District 6, against incumbent Rep. Matt Schaefer, last October. Kamel served in the role as District 6 representative for a total of four terms, from 1991 to 1999. During his time in the Texas House, he passed 50 bills, including expanding The University of Texas at Tyler to a four year university and creating the UT Tyler School of Engineering. more
Two men from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex were arrested last week after an investigation by the Tyler Police Department led to the discovery of a credit card skimming device on a gasoline pump in the city of Bullard. more
Local dog lovers can now help a local animal shelter while interacting with several pets who will soon be adopted. The animal shelter is accepting applications from people who would like to volunteer to assist with cleaning duties, as well as photographing, washing, grooming and walking dogs available for adoption. The applications are available at the shelter, located at 322 E. Ferguson, which is open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. more
On Thursday, Feb. 8, a Smith County Grand Jury returned indictments against a total of 25 individuals, with 19 of the indictments being for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, as well as five indictments for Theft and one indictment for Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant. During the morning of Thursday, Feb. 15, law enforcement officers from multiple agencies began executing arrest warrants related to the indictments in Smith, Henderson and Van Zandt Counties. more
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced last week he would send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $911.9 million in local sales tax allocations for February. This is a 6.2 percent increase over Feb. 2017. The amounts are based on sales made in December by businesses that report tax monthly. Smith County received $1,832,567.89 for the month, which is an increase of 2.59 percent over last February’s payment of $1,786,146.26. The year-to-date total of $3,317,652.02 is 4.56 percent greater than the $3,172,853.14 reported in 2017. more
Hike and bike trails have been a popular idea among the residents of Whitehouse for some time. Plans for such trails were included in the Vision 2020, or city comprehensive plan, formed in 2005. Some of those ideas may soon become reality. Plans have been drawn for the location of a trail along a portion of the Blackhawk Creek near the wastewater treatment plant with possible access from Patrick Road, according to city manager Aaron Smith. The first phase of development will likely offer 1-1½ miles of trail, all on city property. What is currently proposed would be a primitive trail similar to that of Faulkner Park, according to Smith. more
The Whitehouse Fire Department is getting an update. Though perhaps not noticeable from the outside, necessary changes are being made inside to the existing building which has been around over 30 years. The original construction was intended for little more than holding meetings as there were no full-time fire fighters stationed around the clock, according to Fire Chief Madison Johnson. The building has since undergone some changes, but it was finally time for a remodel. more
Troup Mayor Joe Carlyle is proud of the city he grew up in and still calls his home. Carlyle gave a presentation about Troup during Smith County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, Feb. 6, as part of the county’s Connecting Communities initiative. In 1872, a 45-mile rail line running from Palestine to Troup was completed. At one point, the city was running 6,000 to 8,000 bales of cotton through the steam-powered locomotive. The cotton industry in Troup faded and was replaced by peaches, bell peppers and tomatoes, Carlyle said. more
Smith County residents will be able to celebrate Texas Independence Day with fireworks again this year. On Tuesday, Feb. 6, Smith County Commissioners voted to approve an order authorizing fireworks sales from Feb. 25 through midnight March 2. Although fireworks can be discharged any time of year, there are only certain state-approved holidays when fireworks can be sold in Texas, including July 4 and New Year’s. more
Smith County Engineer Frank Davis has plans for several road bond projects to be done in the next couple of months. During Commissioners Court Tuesday, Feb. 6, Davis gave the second monthly report on the progress of the $39.5 million bond approved by voters in November. Four roads in the Bullard area are pegged for reconstruction and overlay in February. They include County Roads 113, 119, 121, and 152. more
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