“Spring Into Good Health” March 24 at UT Health North Tyler Clinic

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TYLER – “Spring into Good Health,” an annual family event that includes health screenings and education, is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the parking area of the UT Health North Tyler clinic, located at 2231 West Gentry Parkway.

Sponsored by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler’s Center for Rural Community Health, the event brings attention to Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer is the number two cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., with mortality rates for men and women higher in Northeast Texas than in other parts of the state and country (according to the 2016 The Health Status of Northeast Texas, published by The University of Texas System). Studies show that colon cancer screenings save lives because they identify precancerous growths and detect colon cancer early, when treatment can provide a better outcome.

In addition to several health screening opportunities, visitors can walk through a giant, inflatable colon to see what colon cancer looks like, and learn what can be done to help prevent it. Information on colon cancer screenings will also be available.

Other activities include:

Glucose Screenings

  • Blood Pressure Screenings
  • Cholesterol Checks
  • Immunizations
  • Children’s Dental Services
  • Fun for Everyone

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HIDEAWAY – The I-20 westbound ramps and the intersection at FM 849 at Hideaway will be closed at 7 p.m. today for pavement work. This work will be conducted over a couple of days necessitating closures from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. tonight and Thursday night. Motorists should use alternate routes to avoid delays.

 An emergency bridge replacement project is ongoing to replace the bridge at FM 849. The project is constructing a new four-span reinforced concrete bridge to replace the old steel and concrete structure which was removed after being struck last November. Work also includes the widening of the bridge approaches and improvements to the I-20 ramps.

Road conditions and traffic updates available on www.DriveTexas.org. Check us out on Facebook.com/txdot or Twitter/TxDOTTyler..

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Longview man arrested in stabbing death

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DIANA–A Longview man was arrested Sunday on murder charges in connection with the pre-dawn stabbing of a Hallsville man outside a game room in this rural Upshur County community, said Sheriff Larry Webb’s office.

Toby Glenn Dillard, 42, is charged with killing Joseph Regan, 28, who died at Longview Regional Medical Center shortly after being taken there by private vehicle, said authorities.

Dillard remained in county jail at Gilmer after Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Lyle Potter set bond Monday morning at $750,000, authorities said.

The two men “are believed to have been involved in a confrontation over money prior to a physical altercation that resulted in Regan being cut with an unknown object in the parking lot” of The Orange Room, a game room located at 2335 Texas 259 south, Chief Deputy David Hazel said Monday

In a news release, Webb said deputies responded about 4 a.m. and learned that an altercation had resulted in a stabbing. “The investigation led to the identity of the alleged suspect,” he wrote.

“Later in the morning, deputies learned of the area in which the known actor was believed to be hiding,” responded to the nearby area of the intersection of FM 3245 and 259, and “during a walking search of the area, deputies located the actor hiding under a road bridge near a creek.”

Dillard was arrested there and taken to the county jail, where he was booked on the murder charge, Webb wrote. An autopsy has been ordered in the case.

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10 Family Fishing Ideas for Spring Break in Texas

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AUSTIN – Many Texans opt outside to help reconnect with nature after a long winter, but Spring Break adventures aren’t limited to swimming, camping and hiking. Fishing also offers a great way for families to experience the diverse aquatic life and scenic places that Texas has to offer.

Here are 10 places where families can make memories fishing this Spring Break:

1. The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in East Texas offers several stocked fishing ponds, ample fishing loaner equipment, a full production hatchery and a vast array of aquatic exhibits to explore. After catching catfish and rainbow trout in the fishing ponds, spring breakers can watch a live fish-feeding dive show, take a narrated tram tour through the outdoor hatchery facility and explore the wheelchair accessible wetlands trail. For those interested in seeing freshwater species up-close, the TFFC has aquariums filled with a wide variety of freshwater fish along other species like alligators and alligator snapping turtles.

2. Though the coastal city of Rockport suffered significant damage during Hurricane Harvey, this charming coastal community is open for business, which means plenty of opportunity for anglers and visitors during Spring Break. Families can plan a fun fishing day at the Rockport Beach Park Piers or the Copano Bay State Fishing Pier. While the fishing piers at nearby Goose Island State Park are not currently open due to hurricane damage, the Redfish road area of the island will be open for fishing and kayaking in the bay.

3. Colorado Bend State Park in the Texas Hill Country provides daily access to one of the best white bass spawning runs in the state, which should be in full swing during Spring Break. The park will also be hosting a free basic fishing workshop at 8:30 a.m. March 10. No fishing license is needed to fish in a state park but anglers will need to bring their own fishing pole and tackle.

4. Mustang Island State Park on the coast near Corpus Christi reopened for day use March 1 and offers some of the best shallow-water fishing in Texas. Anglers can experience this high-quality fishing wading from the 5-mile shoreline or while paddling the 20-mile Mustang Island State Park paddling trail.

5. For a scenic spot of river away from all the tubers, the leased River Access and Conservation Area (RACA) site at Dick’s Canoes on the Brazos River is right for you. Dick’s Canoes is located at the FM 2114 crossing of the Brazos River downstream of Lake Whitney.  Fishing opportunities in this segment of the Brazos River include largemouth, spotted and occasional white bass. Channel catfish, freshwater drum, and sunfish are also good species to target. Access is open from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset for bank angling and launching non-motorized boats, canoes, kayaks, or other floatable devices.

6. For hardcore bass anglers and beginners alike, Amistad Reservoir near Del Rio offers some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the state.  The Amistad National Recreation Area offers excellent boat and angler access to the lake with multiple fishing docks and cleaning stations, miles of shoreline bank fishing and 9 public boat ramps.

7. At Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson, visitors can explore aquaria and exhibits of Texas marine life, the largest redfish hatchery in the world, 36 one-acre fish culture ponds, an outdoor wetland exhibit and a youth fishing pond. A 20-foot touch pool allows visitors to gently touch marine animals such as blue crabs, hermit crabs, stone crabs, snails and even anemones.

8. In Texas, cold-water loving rainbow trout generally can’t survive past the winter. Spring Breakers can harvest the last of the year’s stocked rainbow trout in East Texas at the Tyler Nature Center for free 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. March 12-15. TPWD Inland Fisheries staff will have loaner equipment, tackle and bait on hand to help families catch and clean up to five rainbow trout each at the free event.

9. Lake Conroe near Houston is making a name for itself this year as one of the top Toyota ShareLunker largemouth bass fishing lakes in the state with more than 12 entries so far. Anglers also have excellent opportunities to catch catfish, crappie, hybrid striped bass and bluegill in the 20 thousand acre lake. The Stubblefield Lake Recreation Area offers shore fishing as well as non-motorized boat access. Other public access facilities at Lake Conroe can be found here.

10. Near Lubbock, Lake Alan Henry has the only population of Alabama bass in Texas. This species grows much larger and faster than native spotted bass and can reach more than four pounds. Families can spend the day targeting this uncommon species or other popular sport fish like crappie and largemouth bass at the Sam Wahl Recreation Area. The facility offers an excellent dock and fishing pier facility.

For anglers over 17 years old, a valid fishing license with a freshwater or saltwater endorsement is required to take fish, mussels, clams, crayfish or other aquatic life in the public waters of Texas. A fishing license is not required if fishing from the bank in a state park or in waters completely enclosed by a state park.

More information on current fishing regulations, limits and license requirements can be found online in the TPWD Outdoor Annual, or get the mobile app free for iOS and Android here.


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New 10-hospital system includes the former East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System and UT Health Northeast 

TYLER and NASHVILLE – Ardent Health Services (Ardent) and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Health Northeast) have completed the purchase of East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System (ETMC). ETMC will be combined with UT Health Northeast to form a 10-hospital system known as UT Health East Texas.

In September 2017, Ardent and The University of Texas System (UT System) announced they would partner to acquire ETMC and create a new health system to benefit East Texas. Under the terms of the partnership, Ardent will manage day-to-day operations of UT Health East Texas while working with The UT System to expand medical education, research and community health initiatives in the region. In addition to UT Health East Texas, the nationally recognized UT System includes UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and three other major health science institutions throughout the state.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era for healthcare in East Texas,” said Moody Chisholm, president and CEO of UT Health East Texas. “ETMC has deep community roots and a strong history of delivering highly specialized care while UT Health Northeast is known for leading-edge research and clinical therapies, as well as its focus on training the next generation of healthcare professionals. By bringing these two outstanding institutions together with Ardent’s experience operating successful community hospitals, we are uniquely positioned to deliver a higher level of care while advancing medical research and education throughout the region.”

UT Health East Texas includes 10 hospitals, more than 50 physician clinics, the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, an EMS fleet of more than 45 ambulances and four helicopters, and a comprehensive seven-trauma center care network, including a Level 1. As previously announced, all entities will be renamed to reflect the UT Health East Texas brand.

“This partnership represents the best of what a university medical center brings to the communities it serves,” said Dr. Kirk Calhoun, president of UT Health North Campus Tyler (formerly UT Health Northeast). “Advancing high-quality healthcare; training physicians and other healthcare, public health, and biotechnology professionals; and conducting nationally recognized research under the UT Health East Texas banner is going to transform healthcare in our region.”

Ardent and the UT System will invest more than $125 million in the new UT Health East Texas health system over five years to support operations and fund improvements. The UT System will retain ownership of the UT Health North Campus Tyler (formerly UT Health Northeast) facilities, thereby reducing the need for additional capital investment from the partnership. Governance will be shared through a newly formed board of directors.

“We are honored to be part of advancing healthcare for this region,” said David T. Vandewater, president and CEO of Ardent Health Services. “With an extensive regional network and the clinical resources of an academic

health system, we have a unique opportunity to build a system around a shared vision of clinical excellence, innovation and convenience. Together with our partners, we look forward to providing these outstanding physicians, nurses and employees with the tools, resources and management support they need to succeed in today’s changing healthcare environment.”

UT Health East Texas marks Ardent’s eighth partnership with a leading academic or not-for-profit health system. The company also maintains partnerships with Seton Healthcare, Hackensack Meridian Health, Sacred Heart Health System, the University of New Mexico Health System and The University of Kansas Health System among others. Ardent now operates 31 hospitals across seven states, including BSA Health System in Amarillo, Texas, and Seton Medical Center Harker Heights in Harker Heights, Texas.

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Gladewater, Texas