The Texas Department of State Health Services confirms a person has died in Harrison and Cass County as a result of West Nile.

A total of five people have died from the illness in East Texas. Gregg, Panola, and Cherokee Counties each reported a death resulting from the mosquito-borne virus.

That brings the 2012 West Nile death toll statewide to at least 50.

DSHS has confirmed 1,127 human cases of West Nile illness in Texas this year. This is the worst year ever for West Nile in Texas, which has about half of the nation's deaths from the illness.

DSHS reminds Texans to reduce the risk of exposure by eliminating standing water and other mosquito breeding areas; making sure door, porch and window screens are in good condition; and using a repellent that contains DEET.


Woman Robbed at Tyler Shoe Store; Police Seeking Suspect

Tyler Police responded to the Payless Shoes located at 3840 Highway 64 West on a Robbery call at 11:11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.

Police say the suspect walked into the store, displayed a handgun to the clerk and advised her it was a robbery.

During the course of the robbery a customer walked into the store.  The suspect became nervous and grabbed the customer’s purse from her and ran out the store.  The suspect  drove away in a dark green possibly a Ford Explorer SUV, unknown license plate.

The suspect is described as a black male in his early 20’s 6’ tall, thin build, wearing a gray shirt with a black garment wrapped around his neck.

No one was injured during the incident.



Cass County Man Guilty of Bank Robbery

A 52-year-old East Texas man has pleaded guilty to robbing a bank in Atlanta, Texas.

Robin Marion Allen pleaded guilty to bank robbery today in connection with the June 25, 2012 hold-up of the Wells Fargo Bank on East Main Street in Atlanta, Texas.

According to information presented in court, Allen borrowed a car and then drove to the Bank and approached a bank teller with a hand-written note on instructions to fill a black bag with cash.  The teller placed $1,944 in cash in the bag and returned it to Allen.  Allen was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 11, 2012 and charged with bank robbery.

Allen faces up to 20 years in federal prison.  A sentencing date has not been set.

This case is being investigated by FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Hurst.


East Texas Burglary Suspect Arrested in Dallas

On Monday September 10th, 2012 the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office received a Crime Stoppers tip of the whereabouts of wanted suspect Michael Schwankner.  The Sheriff’s Office has received many tips for Schwankner but this tip was the first one giving his location in Dallas.

The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Dallas Task Force.  The Dallas Task Force organized a team and reported to the suspected location where Michael was hiding.  The Task Force conducted the operation and while doing so, Schwankner attempted to flee the residence through the back door and was quickly placed into custody.

He is currently booked into the Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas, Texas awaiting arraignment on several charges.

“This is a great day for many victims in Van Zandt County and surrounding counties.  There were many law enforcement agencies that worked lots of hours together trying to apprehend this wanted fugitive and today there are many victims who can rest easy knowing he is behind bars.”

Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office