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The man accused of kidnapping and murdering 10-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco, of Tyler, from a Bullard church last November was back inside of the courtroom last week for a pre-trial hearing. Gustavo Zavala-Garcia, along with his defense team represented by lead counsel Jeff L. Haas, was presence inside the courtroom of the 241st District Court of Judge Jack Skeen Jr. for a pre-trial hearing Wednesday, Nov. 8, inside the Smith County Courthouse in Tyler. During the pre-trial hearing, Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham informed Judge Skeen that a report from the Cherokee county Sheriff’s Office has been received. Bingham stated that the report previously was missing a page, but now, it has been turned over in full. more
Smith County voters voted to approve the county’s $39.5 million road bond proposal, passing the measure with 73 percent of the vote Tuesday, Nov. 7, according to unofficial voting totals. Smith County ballots showed 4,411 people, or 73 percent, voted for the bond, while 1,629 people, or 27 percent, voted against the issuance of bonds for road and bridge construction and major improvements. more
Patriotism was clearly on display throughout the streets of Bullard last weekend, as the Bullard Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the 18th annual BACC Red, White, and Blue Festival Saturday, Nov. 4, in downtown Bullard. “This year’s festival was an exciting journey that came to fruition well,” said Tiffany Fletcher, co-chair of the BACC Red, White, and Blue committee. “I’m excited to see the year’s worth of planning that has taken place and all the ideas and hard work put in by countless volunteers put into action.” more
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced recently that he will send cities, counties, transit systems, and special purpose taxing districts a total of $660.4 million in local sales tax allocations for the month of October. The amount released by Hegar’s office represents a 1.6 percent increase from the sales tax allocations released in October 2016. The October sales tax allocations report showed increases for the city of Bullard and Smith County, while also reporting a slight dip in monies received by Cherokee County. more
Last week marked the anniversary of one of the darkest days in the history of Bullard and the East Texas community when a young girl was taken from a local church by a family member and found dead four days later. more
Lauren Bright, a senior at The Brook Hill School, will soon be vying for one of the top titles in the state, as she takes part in the upcoming Miss Texas Teen 2018 competition, to be held Friday through Sunday, Nov. 24-26, at the Hilton Post Oak Hotel in Houston. more
In preparation for the opening of a new Texas Department of Public Safety Driver’s License Office that will potentially serve drivers in the area, officials closed down the office’s former location in Jacksonville, while opening the city’s new office days later. more
The Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office remains on the scene Monday morning of a structure fire that damaged one business and completely destroyed another in the southwest part of the county. Smith County Fire Marshal Connie McCoy-Wasson said her office was dispatched at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, November 5, to CubeSmart Self Storage, at 12324 Highway 155 South. more
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