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GILMER--The Upshur County Grand Jury returned 10 indictments Thursday, including two against a Gladewater man on charges of "criminal mischief committed because of bias or prejudice" and "deadly conduct committed because of bias or prejudice."

John Wayne Black, Jr., 53, remained in Upshur County Jail under $75,000 bond on each charge, said District Attorney Billy Byrd's office.

The deadly conduct indictment alleges Black shot into a Gladewater building, with recklessness as to whether it was occupied, primarily because of his bias or prejudice against the married couple who owned it, said Byrd.

The criminal mischief indictment charges Black drove his vehicle into the same people's Gladewater home for the same reason, causing more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 in damage, Byrd said. The husband and wife were in the kitchen when Black allegedly drove the vehicle into the living room, but nobody was injured, said the prosecutor.

Black is accused of committing the offenses Aug. 1, Byrd's office said.

Of the 10 indictments Thursday, three were sealed because no arrests had been made, Byrd reported. Defendants, charges, and bond information in the other open indictments were as follows, his office said:

--Phyllis Levone Jones, 42, of Gladewater, possession of controlled substance (cocaine) on June 14, $5,000

--Amanda Christine Pettit, 25, of Fort Worth, possession of controlled substance (methamphetamine) on Sept. 2, $5,000 bond

--Daniel Wayne Wooten, II, 38, of Gilmer, theft of property (of) less than $1,500 with two or more previous convictions on Aug. 27. He remained in county jail under $10,000 bond.

--Jason Dale Neal, 43, of Longview, driving while intoxicated; subsequent offense--habitual offender on Sept. 1, $10,000 bond

--Lester Shane Browning, 43, of Avinger, unauthorized use of vehicle on Aug. 2. He remained in county jail under $40,000 bond.

The sealed indictments included one apiece for possession of controlled substance (cocaine), forgery and burglary of habitation.




BY PHILLIP WILLIAMS/Special Correspondent

GLADEWATER--A 16-year-old Gladewater High School football player was killed and his brother was injured when their vehicle overturned near this city as they were en route to school Wednesday morning, said Upshur County Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Rhonda Welch.

Nikalas (Nik) Santos Reyes Wisinger was apparently killed instantly, while his brother, 18-year-old John Tristian Wisinger, was treated and released from Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview following the accident on Farm-to-Market Road 2685, said Judge Welch. She said she pronounced Nik Wisinger, a front-seat passenger in the vehicle, dead at the scene at 9:10 a.m.


John Tristian Wisinger was driving the southbound 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport when it ran off the right side of the roadway, he overcorrected, and the vehicle overturned several times near the intersection with Scarlet Oak Road, Judge Welch said. The crash occurred at 7:54 a.m., said Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Pam Edge.

Both youths were wearing seat belts, Mrs. Edge said. The accident occurred about two miles northwest of Gladewater, Judge Welch said.

The Department of Public Safety troopers who investigated the accident, Corporal Sandy Taylor and Trooper Billy Spears, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Nik Wisinger was a junior while his brother, who suffered only minor injuries, is a senior at Gladewater High School, said Gladewater ISD superintendent J.P. Richardson. Richardson said he believed Nik played linebacker, and that John Tristian does not play football.

Richardson said the Gladewater Bears will play the Kilgore Bulldogs in Kilgore Friday night as scheduled as the Wisingers' mother wished. Meantime, a memorial fund has been set up for the family at Austin Bank in Gladewater, he said.

Gladewater High School Principal Cathy Bedair said Nic Wisinger "was always just so full of life and always had a smile on his face and just had fun."

The youth was "very intelligent, and made friends with everybody," she added. "Everybody just loved him. Didn't meet a stranger. . .(He was) very respectful, very well-behaved. Just (a) great young man."

Asked about the atmosphere at the high school Wednesday afternoon, Richardson told the Tyler Morning Telegraph, "Well, it's quiet. It's kind of (a) somber day today...Our kids are handling it, grieving, leaning on each other."

Grief counselors and youth ministers were at the school Wednesday, and "we've slowed things down today," but "we still need to stay in routine," Richardson said. "We feel that's important."

He also said the school had to give students and staff "time to grieve," and that counselors would be available the next two days. "We've just been monitoring the kids very closely," Richardson added.

Ms. Bedair said Richardson had described the atmosphere at the high school "perfectly," and she added, "You just go into mama mode, and you just want to make sure the kids are okay. And every adult here was in mom and dad mode today."

Richardson said high school students and staff members were called about 9 a.m. into the school auditorium, where head football Coach John Berry emotionally announced his player's death. The news drew a gasp from the audience of nearly 600, who "had no idea what they were doing in the auditorium," the superintendent said.

"I thought it was best that they all heard it at once," Richardson said, although it is a "big blow when you hear something of that nature at one time." The students were told to be thinking about the Wisinger family, and a student-led prayer was said before the assembly dismissed, said Richardson.

Counselors from all the school district's campuses, youth ministers and youth pastors were waiting for the students, who were told to take their time and remain in the auditorium if they needed to, the superintendent said. As the pupils exited, there were two tables where they could write notes to the Wisinger family, he added.

"We have a plan in place (for) any time (something like) this happens," the superintendent explained.

Richardson said he was meeting with school principals shortly before 8 a.m. when he received a call from emergency services concerning the accident. He said he was told he and the high school principal needed to come to the scene, and that the caller told him "it wasn't good."

He and Ms. Bedair rushed to the accident site, arriving before the youths' mother, Richardson said. Ms. Bedair drove the mother to Good Shepherd, following the ambulance which was hauling John Tristian, and the principal was at the hospital when the death was announced to the student body, the superintendent said.

After the assembly, Berry met with the varsity and junior varsity football teams and told them "let's talk about it," according to Richardson. The coach also told the players to "lean on each other" and that "your peers are going to need you," Richardson said.

He also said he had visited the Wisinger family at their home and told the family the school district would help if it could.

Ms. Bedair said high school students would gather in the gymnasium from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. today for a ceremony honoring Wisinger before they launch 68 balloons at Bear Stadium in his honor since he wore number 68 in football.

During the ceremony, a student will sing, friends of Wisinger will speak, poetry will be read, and the lights will be dimmed so students can light up their cell phones in a candelight-type effect, she said.

Richardson meantime said Gladewater ISD had received many "positive" messages from other school districts, and it was good to know people "are praying for you." He asked the public "continue to pray for our students and the faculty."
















"He's jsut fun. He was always just so full of life and always had a smile on his facdeand just had fun...very smart young man, very intelligent, and made friends wtih everybody. Everybody just loved him. Didn't meet a stranger...He just enjoyed life and had fun...very respectful, very well-behaved. Just great young man."


"He has said everything just go into mama mode and you just want to make sure the kids are ok, and every adult here was in mom and dad mode today."


2:30 to 3:30 in gym tomorrow fora meori9al ceremon;y, featuring a student singing, his friends will speak, and poem read. Dim lights and cell phones will beon like a "candlelight" ceremony.. will walk out to field and release 68 balloons--his number.







"I received a call a little before 8 o'clock thils morning" while meeting wit hprincipals. It was emergency services iforming him he needed to come to scene and bring high school principal Cathy Bedair with him. "He had told me that it wasn't god on the phone. We rushed to the scene."

They got there before the mother arrived. Bedair drove the mother to Good Shep, following the ambulance. "We have a plan in place anytime this happens."  all kids called into high school auditorium about 9 a.m. and he had Coach Berry announce it. "We had all of our staff members in there...I thought it was best that they all heard it at once."    were told "be thinking about them."  all counselors even from lower campuses and youth ministers/pastors were on hand and kids were told take their time and stay in auditorium if need be. There were two tables for kids to write a note to the family as they exited. had student-led prayer before dismissing in the auditorium.

"When ti was announced, the kids had no idea what they were doing in the auditorium" nor did the staff. There was a "gasp"  "big blow when yuou hear something of that nature at one time."  almost 600 counting staff were in there. coach Berry was emotional and football player--JV and varsity met afterwards--and he told them "let's talk about it."  gotta "lean on each other."  "Your peers are gonna need you."

lot of "positive" messages from other districts. good to know people "are praying for you."


"We've just been monitoring the kids very closely."  he visited with family at home and told them school would help if it could. memorial fund being set up at Austin Bank in G'water. Probably some type of ceremony tomorrow afternoon before JV football game at high school. students are working on it.

he played linebacker.

brother does not play football.

"Continue to pray for our students and the faculty."

minor injuries. the mother wanted the ball game played.

cpl. sandy taylor and trooper billy spears

John Tristian Wisinger, 18, of gilmer.driver. non-incapcitating injury. nothing about good shep. both wearing seat belts.

nik, who was killed was the passenger in front seat. wearing seat belt.

7:54 a.m.









Principal Cathy :Bedair.


nic is a jr.   tristan is a sr.







Nik), 7-8-98, 16 yrs. old, little confused on the address.

gladewater high school f'ball player.

his brother, believed to be 18, was driving, treated and released from an unknown hospital.

no got brother's name. Tristan Wisinger.

1-vehicle accident. inter. of 2685 (Red Rock Road) and Scarlet Oak Road.

coming down 2685 headed south. en route to school at g'water.

jeep cherokee sport.

ran off the road to right, driver overcorreted, and overturned several times. dead boy was wearing seat belt. doesn't know if brother was.

happened about 8 a.m. dead boy was in front seat.

DPS Cpl. Sandy Taylor, Trooper Billy Spears.

she pronounced boy dead at scene at 9:10.

apparently killed instantly.

about 2 miles northwest of g'water.







Gladewater and East Mountain firefighters and police were called to a truck fire on US 271, near Red Hen Road Thursday around noon. Metal shavings and junk iron in the trailer of an 18-wheeler caught fire. A two-vehicle accident also occurred at the location as a man in a pickup truck reportedly pulled over to get out of the way of fire trucks and a woman in a car behind him collided with the pickup. An ambulance was called to the scene for the woman's injuries.


GILMER--U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) told the quarterly and organizational meeting of the Upshur County Republican Executive Committee on Saturday he is "sick of people telling me" the nation cannot secure its border with Mexico.

Speaking at the Indian Rock Baptist Church near Gilmer, Gohmert said Israel and Saudi Arabia have secured their borders and that the White House just erected a second fence, so "I think they (fences) would be helpful" at most places along the U.S.-Mexico border.

About 75 people attended the public meeting, at which Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd swore in new and reelected committee members.

They included County GOP Chairman Cynthia Ridgeway and committee members Lanette Crittenden, Jesse Loffer, Joyce Dolle, Jackie Oliver, Richard Ridgeway, Charlie Pelezo, Bill Stenger, Laurie Fisher, Michael (Micky) Denton, Ronnica Ridgeway, John Ussery, Leslie Cathcart and Madaline Barber.

Other committee members who were not present for the swearing-in included Deborah Hodge, Blanton Dawson and Joe Dodd.

During his approximately 75-minute presentation, which included a question-and-answer session with the audience, Gohmert addressed a number of issues ranging from foreign policy to his contention that some members of his own party in the U.S. Senate are "stupid."

The Congressman, who represents part of Upshur County, is opposed for reelection by Democrat Shirley McKellar in November.

Concerning security at the Texas-Mexico border, Gohmert indicated he believed the border was vulnerable to Islamic extremists wanting to enter America.

"These people are crazy, but they're not stupid," he said. "Our southern border is porous. . .How stupid would you have to be not to take advantage of our southern border?"

He further said border patrol agents had told him "we've got people coming from terrorist countries.

"I've been down there and I've heard gunfire. . .When a .50 caliber round goes off," Gohmert said, the sound is unquestionably gunfire and it is being fired to the American side.

Gohmert also contended that when it comes to border security, "Texas has made a difference. The federal goverment has not."

When Woodrow Wilson (who was President from 1913-1921), was in office, the Congressman said, Wilson sent 75,000 National Guardsmen to the border to secure it. The nation would not need that many now to do the job, the speaker contended.

He said some illegal immigrants are being arrested by non-federal officers for "trespassing" because they fail to pay the $4 admission fee to a park.

Gohmert also said President Obama contends that the number of illegal immigrants is down, but the Congressman attributed that to hot August weather, saying numbers normally drop during that time of year.

Addressing the issue of children immigranting in masses, Gohmert said rattlesnakes are in the area and "it's no place to be sending kids." And while some immigrants "want to get caught," the "coyotes" working for drug cartels do not, he added.

As for peril elsewhere in the world, Gohmert termed the Kurds faction in Iraq "our friends" who protected him when he visited there.

"You arm the people that believe in freedom" and "let them do the fighting," the Congressman said.

In addition, Gohmert indicated he had taken action to try to prevent in Yemen an attack like the one that killed an American ambassador and other Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

In Benghazi, the Congressman charged, the Obama "administration had cries for help and didn't respond." He added he knew a former Army Ranger, injured in that attack, whose superiors "were not committed to get him what he needed."

"I don't know that any crimes were committed in Benghazi, but there certainly was a lot of bad judgment," Gohmert said.

He also said he "fired off a letter" to Secretary of State John Kerry to get Americans out of Yemen--and gave a copy of it to a reporter who found talk on the internet of an attack on that country.

Murderers who were released from the American prison in Guantanomo, Cuba, were sent to Yemen, and personnel of the American intelligence operation "weren't monitoring what was happening in the capital around Yemen," the speaker said. Thus, said Gohmert, he told Kerry's chief of staff "we don't need another Benghazi" and, as a result, 80 Americans were sent to the airport.

But a constituent of Gohmert's in the area has advised the Congressman that only "eight of us made it out" so far, the Congressman said. "We've still got a lot of people over there that they haven't sent a plane for," Gohmert added.

He additionally said that while "we are now in a time when Christians are the only group it's okay to persecute in America," it is "heartbreaking" to see Christians persecuted around the world.

"To whom much is given, much is required. Christians are being prosecuted around the world, and we're not doing much to help them," Gohmert lamented.   ==

He said the United States provided former Egyptian President Morsi with aid although he persecuted Christians, and "we owe so much to the people in Egypt for rising up and breaking that caliphate in half." Gohmert termed it unfortunate that President Obama did not like Morsi being ousted.

During the question-and-answer session, where Gohmert answered questions from four citizens, former Upshur County Republican Party Chairman John Melvin Dodd asked if Republican U.S. senators are "stupid" or "traitors"--an apparent reference to GOP conservatives' disenchantment with establishment Republicans in Congress.

Gohmert said some GOP senators are "stupid--to me, that means a lack of common sense."

And "when you hear somebody say I'm a progressive, normally" it means they "believe in what the Communists believe in," he added.

Progressives believe civilization should return to a "socialist/Communist system" that has "failed every time" it has been tried, Gohmert continued.

The Congressman said he "didn't get threatened a whole lot" by Republican Congressional leadership with comments such as "you better vote for this bill." Instead, leadership is "more clever," praising newly-elected conservatives and using "more of a come-on. . .(that) 'we want you to be a team player,'" he said.

"That's what I've run into more than anything," said Gohmert.

Gohmert said he had voted against a continuing resolution on governmental spending and asked why a lame-duck Congress should come back in December and give U.S. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid "leverage" before he goes out as majority leader (if Republicans take control of the Senate in the November election.)

Yet, Gohmert indicated some Republicans wanted to pass amnesty for illegal immigrants, and a gasoline tax hike, so they could blame Reid for it. The Congressman said he disagreed with that sentiment.

"If there was one more Louie Gohmert, (Speaker of the House) John Boehner would have a heart attack," Gohmert said, alluding to his strained relationship with his party's leader in that body.  As for criticism of himself, Gohmert added, "One guy called me a moron one time, and misspelled moron."

When Upshur County Pct. 1 Constable Gene Dolle asked about military personnel saying they were being trained in martial law and to kill Americans, Gohmert replied that the government officials "always have an explanation."

"I know that this administartion has used a lot of pressure to keep people quiet," and has prosecuted so-called "leakers," the Congressman said.

Citizen Ron Cook asked whether departing Attorney General Eric Holder--with whom Gohmert had a sharp exchange of words during a Congressional hearing and who is resigning--would be charged with any crimes.

"Not in this administration, but (the) Fast and Furious (scandal) has to be properly investigated" since people died, the legislator said.

"He (Holder) has covered up things. He has obfuscated," Gohmert charged. He said Holder (who was held in contempt of Congress) has not provided certain documents to legislators although he told Holder that since the attorney general gave them to convicted terrorists, "I think you can give them to Congress too."

A citizen, Jackie Ellis, asked about the American solider being held in a Mexican prison after he supposedly took a wrong turn into Mexico at the border. Replied Gohmert, "If this administration wanted him out. . .he would have been out the first day."

President Obama or Kerry could threaten to cut off aid to Mexico if the soldier is not released, he continued. "I've raised a lot of cane about it," Gohmert said.

As he neared his presentation's end, Gohmert turned to a domestic issue, saying that every federal department's budget annually "automatically goes up by a formula," and the House had twice passed his bill to stop it. He said legislators like him "get beat up" in every Congress for just slowing the growth rate of spending.

"The only problem is we need a Republican senate," said Gohmert, a reference to the fact the GOP holds a majority in the House of Representatives while Democrats have the majority in the other body.

Upshur GOP Chairman Ridgeway afterward praised Gohmert's "conservative values."

At a luncheon in the church annex afterward, Constable Dolle discussed how his grandparents came to the United States as legal immigrants through Ellis Island in order to "better themselves," and that they believed all immigrants should become American citizens.

The constable, whose paternal grandfather was from France and married to a woman from Hungary, said immigration is designed to "help America become a better place," not fundamentally change the nation.

Although his grandfather, a mechanic, had worked on Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt's vehicle, both grandparents became "very staunch Republicans after things started changing in the Democratic Party," Dolle said.





GILMER--American Legion R.E. (Peppy) Blount Post No. 320 will be open one afternoon monthly for trained post service officers to counsel veterans about their potential governmental "benefits and any other issues they may have," said post Second Vice-Commander Jerry Holsworth.

Veterans need not be American Legion members, and may seek assistance free of charge with such issues as health care, education, homelessness, substance abuse and death benefits for their families, said Holsworth, the Gilmer post's past commander.

Advice is also available for veterans of the two Gulf wars fought since 1991 on how they can reassign their educational benefits to their children if they wish, he said.

At least one of the post's three members who are trained as service officers by the Legion will be available from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Upshur County Senior Citizens building. Post No. 320 meets in the building, located at the intersection of Harrison Street and Silver Alley one block south of the courthouse square.

"This is our start to offer our veterans more service and information about the programs that may help them best," Holsworth said in a press release. "Depending on the response, we will expand the number of days we will be available to the general vetean population.

"This is open to veterans' spouses and family as well. All veterans are welcome," he added.

Post Service Officer/Chaplain Billy Walker, along with Holsworth and post member Miette Wells, are veterans who have been trained in the duties of post service officer. As Legion members, Holsworth wrote, they "are committed" to assist veterans.

Should the time the officers are providing counseling be inconvenient for a veteran or veteran's family member to come, those seeking help are asked to call Walker at (903) 740-3868 or Holsworth at (903) 399-2818.

Holsworth also said Monday the Gilmer Legion post plans to become involved in voter registration. Plans for that will be announced, he said.





See which Gladewater business is featured in this week's Gladewater Mirror Business Spotlight.


On August 21, 2014, Gladewater Police Officers responded to the 400 block of Riverside Drive in Gladewater in reference to theft of property.  Upon arrival, officers were advised by the complainant, a JDW Services employee, that a truck and flatbed trailer hauling a John Deere backhoe had been stolen from the property.

The stolen pickup is a white, 2009 Chevrolet 3500 flatbed, bearing Texas license plate number AH77635. It is believed the truck was used to take the yellow, 2013 John Deere backhoe, which was already loaded on the trailer.

Later this same date, Gladewater Sgt. Detective, David Burrows, assisted by Smith County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, responded to a location in Smith County where a flatbed trailer and backhoe were recovered.  The 2009 Chevrolet 3500 flatbed has still not been recovered.

This is a picture of the stolen truck.  The fuel cell and tool box on the flatbed near the cab have been removed and will not be on the bed of the truck.


If you have any information regarding this offense or the whereabouts of this truck please contact the Gladewater Police Department at 903-845-2166.