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Constable, Local Residents Rescue Man From Toledo Bend - November 26, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers


Fishermen are seen above in boats on Toledo Bend on the day A.L. Magby was pulled from the water.

Residents near Toledo Bend Reservoir and Billy Hearnsberger, Constable Precinct 3, took part in rescuing a local man from the lake after he had been on the water in the cold for a long period of time.

Calls for help were heard by a man who had been doing bulldozer work near Toledo Bend Reservoir on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 on a Forest Service road located off County Road 3405 at Toomey's Bridge south of Joaquin.

The bulldozer operator was taking a break at the time he heard someone calling for help and walked to the edge of the water to see if he could identify where the calls for help were coming from. It appeared that a man was clinging to a stump a good distance out in the water. The bulldozer operator contacted the landowner, Kevin Yates, who then called Constable Hearnsberger.

"It's hard to access that piece of property, but I did manage to finally get there. I spoke to the employee and he pointed out the man that was in distress," said Constable Hearnsberger. "It looked like he was on a stump, as it turned out it was an elderly gentleman by the name of Mr. A.L. Magby."

At around 2pm, Hearnsberger arrived and contacted game wardens to inform them of the circumstances and had them on standby, because another individual nearby was bringing a boat to the scene to help get to Magby.

Brent and Micah Andress arrived with the boat used to go out into the water, "We were able to get the boat launched and it's really shallow, there are a lot of stumps," said Constable Hearnsberger.

Once on the water, it was slow going in the boat as the rescuers traveled across the water in between stumps toward Magby who was clinging to his capsized boat, "There was just enough of the boat up out of the water, just barely enough, that he was able to get up and get out of the water. He was wet, he was cold," said Constable Hearnsberger.

It was learned that Magby had been in those conditions in the water since 9:30am that morning, meaning he was in the water for nearly 4 1/2 hours. According to Constable Hearnsberger, Magby has a heart condition and was in a lot of distress. Although an ambulance was offered for him he just wanted a ride home so he could go to the hospital by private vehicle.

"Without Kevin Yates, Brent Andress and Micah Andress he'd have been out there a whole lot longer, because by the time the game warden came we would have had to launch in a different place an it would have taken a long time to get to the man. It might have turned out differently, he was really weak," said Hearnsberger.

Mr. Magby was available to speak with Shelby County Today on Wednesday, November 26 and he described some of his experience on the water. "I ran over a stump, that old stuff that's in the lake that grass and salvinia, it was a little short stump and that grass was solid I didn't see the stump. Anyway, I ran over it and got hung up and the back end of my boat sunk," said Magby. "The front end of my boat, I got it– the boat turned upside down and got the front end of it tied to a stump and I crawled up on the boat."

Magby, who fishes for a living, confirmed he had been on the water for several hours and the temperature of the water was at about 48 degrees when he was in it, "It's a miracle that somebody happened to be out there."

Magby says the two things he can recommend for anyone traveling out on the open water is to carry a life jacket and watch for the stumps.

"There wasn't anything I could do but just wait. I'm 75 years old and there wasn't any way I could swim."

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Shelby County Courthouse Closed Until December - November 26, 2014

As of 12-noon today Wednesday, Novemeber 26, 2014 the Shelby County Courthouse is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. The courthouse will re-open at 8am Monday, December 1, 2014. Please keep this in mind if you have business at the courthouse, you will now not be able to accomplish this until Monday.

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Sheriff's Department Investigates Robbery at Dollar General - November 26, 2014
Submitted by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department is investigating a robbery at knifepoint which took place on Tuesday night, November 25, 2014 at the Dollar General store on Haslam Strip.

In a press release issued by Sheriff Willis Blackwell late on Wednesday morning, a Dollar General Store employee in Joaquin contacted the Sheriff's Department at 8:35pm Tuesday night after the incident and indicated a slender white male in a black ski mask walked into the store carrying a knife and demanded cash.

Complying with the demand, the employee handed over approximately $200 to the knife wielding suspect who quickly left the scene. At this time it is unknown if the suspect left the scene by vehicle or on foot.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Office at 936-598-5601.

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Grand Cane Man Shot During Altercation with Stepfather - November 25, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

A Grand Cane man was shot following an altercation with his stepfather on Monday night, November 24, 2014. Billy Hearnsberger, Constable Precinct 3, and additional authorities were dispatched to the residence of Lonnie Glaze , 62, of Joaquin at 1465 County Road 3280.

According to Constable Hearnsberger, Glaze's stepson William Craig Hearn, 42, of Grand Cane, Louisiana left the residence a day or two previous to the incident and returned to gather some items from the house; however, Mrs. Glaze did not want to allow Hearn into the house and was fearful of him. She contacted her husband, unlocked the door to the house, and ran to her car in which she left the property.

Following her departure from the residence, Mr. Glaze, armed with a .22 rifle, arrived at the front of the residence before Hearn, armed with a 30-06 rifle, could finish removing items from the house and that is when the exchange between the men took place with both men firing their weapons.

One of the projectiles fired from Glaze's rifle found it's target and traveled through Hearn's leg. He was transported from the scene by ambulance to LSU Hospital for treatment of his wound. Hearn was treated at the hospital and was later released at 2am on Tuesday, November 25.

The incident remains under investigation and no charges have been made at this time against either party.

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Single-vehicle Crash Sends Driver to Carthage Hospital - November 24, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

The driver involved in a single-vehicle crash in Tenaha on Sunday, November 23, 2014 was transported from the scene by ambulance following the incident.

According to Tenaha Deputy City Marshal Darren Gray, at 8:15pm off-duty Timpson Police Officer Jake Metcalf discovered a white Honda Accord had wrecked at the city limit of Tenaha on U.S. Highway 59 South and he called the crash in to dispatch.

Gray stated Destiny Torres, 21, was traveling south on Highway 59 when she recalls having fallen asleep. As the Honda passed Iglesia Bautista Monte Sinai church, at the Tenaha City limit, it traveled off the roadway to the right and skirted the edge of a treeline before striking a tree head-on with the front passenger side of the vehicle.

The Tenaha Volunteer Fire Department provided assistance and traffic control at the scene and ACE EMS transported Torres to ETMC Hospital in Carthage to confirm she had no serious injury.

Deputy City Marshal Gray was also assisted at the scene by City Marshal Jimmy Wagstaff.

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JVFD Responds to House Fire on FM 2787 - November 24, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

The Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house fire at 246 FM 2787 Sunday night, November 23, 2014 at 6:40pm.

When the firemen arrived the homeowner had extinguished a good portion of the fire; however, smoke continued to emanate from within. The firemen worked through the house in the kitchen where a great deal of damage had been incurred due to flame, and smoke.

They also sought fire in the attic as a lot of smoke was exiting from the home there. The house, which is owned by Ricky Smith and is resided in by Eark Dunn, caught fire as the result of a grease fire in the kitchen and the fire traveled up the wall.

The firemen were able to leave the scene and return to the station at 7:14pm.

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Jury Cancellation for 123rd District Court - November 21, 2014
Submitted by Lori Oliver

The jury that has been summoned for Monday, December 1 2014 for the 123rd District Court, Honorable Charles C. "Brick" Dickerson, presiding has been cancelled due to the scheduled cases being resolved or passed.

Anyone receiving a summons for that day is released from jury service until they receive a future summons.

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Sheriff's Department Busts Center Woman for Meth Possession - November 20, 2014
Submitted by Shad Sparks

Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on November 17, 2014, Narcotics Investigator John Pope, while on patrol in the Joaquin area, observed a black Nissan four door car traveling west on Highway 84 East.

Investigator Pope conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle for traffic violations. The driver, identified as Stephanie Louise Jackson, W/F, 25, from Center, did not have a drivers license nor proof of insurance. At this time, Deputy Bradley Horton and Deputy Kurtes Lawrence, who were also patrolling the Joaquin area, arrived on scene to assist Investigator Pope.

Upon further investigation, the subject was found to be in possession of a white powder and rock substance believed to be Methamphetamine. Jackson was arrested for Possession of Controlled Substance, Felony 4, with a set $5,000 bond and Tampering with Evidence, Felony 3, a $10,000 Bond. JP 3 Margie Anderson set bonds.

Sheriff Willis Blackwell would like to encourage citizens that if you suspect illegal narcotic activity, please contact Center Crime Stoppers or Sheriff's office at 936-598-5600. All calls will remain anonymous.

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Lufkin DPS Office Shut Down Due to Gas Leak (Update) - November 19, 2014
Submitted by David Hendry

Update: November 19, 2014 at 5:35 PM Center Point Energy crew completed the necessary repairs to the damaged natural gas line at the Lufkin DPS Office. Normal business hours and operations will resume November 20, 2014 at 8am.

According to a press release issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety, On November 19, 2014 at approximately 3pm a natural gas line was incidentally damaged during construction to the public parking area at the Lufkin DPS Office located at 2809 S. John Redditt Dr.

Center Point Energy has been notified and are on the scene at this time. The damaged line has been shut down to make the necessary repairs. No injuries have been reported and all employees have been evacuated from the building for safety purposes. None of the surrounding areas have been affected.

The Lufkin DPS Driver’s License Office as well as the Highway Patrol Office will be closed for the remainder of the day while repairs are being made. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

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Gross Prosecutorial Misconduct Hearing in Recess Until December - November 18, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

The gross prosecutorial misconduct hearing which has been ongoing Tuesday, November 18, 2014 is now in recess until 9am December 8, 2014.

Following a heated discussion with Robert Goodwin and an attorney from San Antonio representing The Light and Champion Newspaper during the hearing, Goodwin appeared to have a health issue and left the courtroom with co-counsel Deck Jones left to represent Rebecca Gail Fountain for the time being.

Following a long pause Judge Dickerson made an announcement for the court, "Certain circumstances have arisen, this case is recessed until December 8 at 9 o'clock a.m. (when) we'll take up the matter until conclusion. The motion for continuance on behalf of the defendant is granted. The case is set for trial on April 6, 2015 at 9 o'clock a.m. That being said I do not foresee any circumstances which would remove the trial from that setting."

Witnesses subpoenaed at this time remain under oath and are excused until December.

One item of issue with the court is an alleged response by District Attorney Ken Florence to an inquiry by the newspaper via Leah Dolan in regards to Robert Goodwin's motion to dismiss. Florence is alleged to have replied to the newspaper's inquiry by email, yet representatives from the paper will not confirm nor deny the existence of the email and so an attorney representing the paper is now involved and has filed a motion to quash the subpoena for Dolan.

Alicia Calzada, is an associate in the Business Litigation Practice Group in the San Antonio and Austin offices of Haynes and Boone, LLP. who spoke by telephone from San Antonio with Judge Dickerson and Goodwin and stated to the court that she stands by the motion to quash.

Goodwin explained his purpose in calling for the testimony of Dolan and the alleged email in reference to the hearing, "My concern is that one matter does go to the matters contained therein and that is whether or not the comments attributed to Mr. Florence on that occasion were comments that the newspaper made up on their own or whether they had in fact received a communication to-wit an email from Mr. Florence's office which they published as his comment in that story."

Judge Dickerson attempted to compel Calzada to agree with the court in its request for the information; however, Calzada referenced the motion to quash which suggests the defense has not exhausted all reasonable efforts to obtain the information from alternative sources as required by the privilege in law. Judge Dickerson made arrangements with Calzada to be present for court on Wednesday, November 19 until "circumstances" arose which caused the hearing to be delayed until December.

As the proceedings got started on Tuesday morning, Herbert Hancock made an objection to several things. The attorneys were discussing invoking the rule in which witnesses would be sequestered from the courtroom until they were to testify. Goodwin did not wish to invoke the rule; however, Hancock did, "Mr. Goodwin is playing games with the court at this time, he knows what the law is, he knows that the rule can be invoked there's a reason for it. Sometimes witnesses lie, sometimes witnesses or officers of the court lie. So, the state wants to know who's telling the truth and who's not and when they get on the witness stand I anticipate they're going to be cross-examined and they're going to be addressed in that way and I object to the continued band standing of Mr. Goodwin. He's playing games, that's what he's been doing for the last two or three months and he ain't stopped now and we object to that. We want to go forward with the case and let it be tried, all we want to do is get this case to a jury and Mr. Goodwin is dodging every bullet to try to keep it away from 12 people in this county and I object to that on that basis."

Goodwin made his own objection as well following Hancock's statement, "I object to him referring to members of the bar and local council as probable liars."

Judge Dickerson ruled to invoke the rule and the majority of witnesses were sequestered from the courtroom barring any exceptions involving some officers of the court.

 

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