Texarkana has made national news for various reasons. Some are good reasons, others are not. Criminals, famous athletes, severe weather and a big explosion make the top five times that Texarkana has been in the national news.

 

  • 1

    Train Explosion of 2005

    It was in the early hours of Saturday, October 2005 when two trains collided. One train was standing still and the other was west bound. It caused a huge explosion with a massive fireball that almost caught up with a Texarkana, Arkansas Police officer as you can see in the dash-cam of the officer's police car. According to the National Transportation Safety Board Railroad Accident Brief: "The collision resulted in the puncture of a railroad tank car containing propylene, a compressed flammable gas. The propylene was heavier than air and flowed near the ground into a nearby neighborhood. The flowing gas reached a house where an unknown ignition source ignited the gas, and the house exploded. The single occupant was killed. The fire moved quickly along the flowing gas back to the punctured tank car. A second, unoccupied, home was destroyed in the fire, and a wooden railroad trestle burned completely. Approximately 3,000 residents within a 1-mile radius of the punctured tank car were advised to evacuate the area."

  • 2

    The 'Phantom Killer'

    The Phantom Killer” remains to this day as an unsolved case in Texarkana. In 1946, the Texarkana “Phantom Killer” attacked at least eight people, five of whom were killed. No one has ever been convicted of these crimes. The “Phantom Killer” made national news and became the inspiration for the movie, “The Town that Dreaded Sundown,” which hit theaters in 1976.

  • 3

    Baseball Celebrities

    Two baseball stars from Texarkana who are currently playing in the National Baseball League are Michael Wacha and Will Middlebrooks. Wacha pitched for Pleasant Grove in high school and now plays for the St. Louis Cardinals. Middlebrooks is a former Liberty Eylau Leopard and now plays for the Boston Red Sox. These two sports stars from Texarkana have played against each other in a World Series, too.

    Elsa, Getty Images
    Elsa, Getty Images
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  • 4

    Severe Weather

    Texarkana gets hit by a lot of storms but when we get mentioned in national news, you know it is time to take notice of the chances for severe weather. In 2014, we actually had fewer tornadoes than other years but the ones that came through the south were big and bad. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center predicted a Significant Severe Weather Outbreak for our area specifically for Sunday, April 27, 2014. The Center issued this notice several days in advance, which is a very rare occurrence. Storms chasers even set up waiting for tornadic weather to roll through. Maps showing Texarkana smack dab in the middle of the enhanced risk area were popping up on many different news sources. According to the Texas Storm Chasers, “An enhanced risk of severe weather there has a nearly 1 in 3 chance of severe weather within 25 miles of your location.”

    ThinkStock
    ThinkStock
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  • 5

    Texarkana Criminals

    Shannon Richardson was held, tried and later sentenced at the federal courthouse in Texarkana, in 2013 and 2014. She pleaded guilty to sending ricin-laced letters to President Obama and other public officials. Richardson was actually a resident of New Boston, Texas, but since the trial happened in Texarkana, it put us in the national news spotlight.

    Titus County Sheriff's Office
    Titus County Sheriff's Office
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