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Visiting Duchesses registration open

WOODVILLE – The 80th Annual Tyler County Dogwood Festival is only a few months away, and plans are already underway to make this one of the most memorable to date. The coronation of the 2023 Dogwood Queen and presentation of the royal court in the elaborately…

Egg prices are high, could go higher

Cartons of eggs inside a Brookshire Brothers in College Station on Jan. 23. Egg prices have climbed to all-time highs amid the avian flu pandemic. Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Michael Miller By Adam Russell Texas AgriLife Extension Egg prices continue to set all-time per-dozen price records, and a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert does…
Cartons of eggs inside a Brookshire Brothers in College Station on Jan. 23. Egg prices have climbed to all-time highs amid the avian flu pandemic. Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Michael Miller

Detectives looking for scammer

Jose Garza GonzalesOfficers are asking the public for help in nabbing a man accused of theft. Polk County Sheriff’s Office Detectives are investigating a scamming case where the suspect took advantage of an elderly resident, defrauding her of a large amount of money. Detectives identified the suspect as Jose Karim Garza-Gonzales, 33, of Kingwood,…
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Flood planning group adopts plan

Stock Photo Special to theNews-Standard After meeting to review public input and approve final plan revisions in November, the Trinity Regional Flood Planning Group has now submitted the first-ever Regional Flood Plan for the Trinity River Basin to the Texas Water Development Board. The Trinity Regional Flood Plan draws on the best available…
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Services available for people with disabilities

Special to theNews-Standard Crockett Resource Center for Independent Living’s Independent Living Services Program helps people with disabilities achieve greater independence in the home and community. Eligibility criteria for this program requires that the applicant has a significant disability who has been diagnosed by a licensed practitioner and…
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Corpus man sentenced to 30 years in prison

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com CabreraWOODVILLE – A Corpus Christi man who evaded capture was sentenced to 30 years behind bars last week. Manuel Cabrera, 27, accepted a plea deal with the Tyler County District Attorney’s Office on charges of evading arrest with a vehicle; possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of…
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Corrigan collision kills two students

Two students have died from a vehicle accident Friday afternoon in Corrigan. The deceased were students at Stephen F. Austin University traveling on Highway 59 at approximately 1:32 p.m. A 2007 Nissan Versa was traveling southbound on Highway 59 in Corrigan, when an 18-wheeler was exiting Plant Road onto the highway. The 18-wheeler made a…
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Edgar transferred to Wainwright

By Chris Edwardsnews@hccourier.com Matthew Hoy Edgar after his arrest. Photo courtesy of Sabine County Sheriff’s OfficeLOVELADY – On Tuesday, January 10, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) confirmed that Matthew Hoy Edgar, convicted for the 2020 murder of his girlfriend, Livye Lewis, is now imprisoned at the J. Dale Wainwright Unit in…
Matthew Hoy Edgar after his arrest. Photo courtesy of Sabine County Sheriff’s Office

Jackie Wilson tribute show coming to town

From Enterprise Staff “Chester Gregory: Tribute to Jackie Wilson & Friends,” the Livingston Community Concert Association’s first concert of the new year, is slated for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Polk County Commerce Center located at 1017 U.S. Hwy. 59 Loop North in Livingston. The concert will feature Chester Gregory, an award-winning actor and…
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100th birthday

Hershel Mackey of Ace was feted with quite the celebration for his 100th birthday Wednesday. Long involved in the local community, Mackey is well-respected and greatly loved by many. He served many years as the chief of the South Polk County Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) and was also instrumental in the creation of the Ace Community Park.…
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Meth dealer sentenced to 30 years

Stock Image By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com ABERNATHYWOODVILLE – Last Tuesday, an Ivanhoe man was sentenced before District Judge Delinda Gibbs Walker to 30 years in prison on a drug charge. Jason James Abernathy, age 41, was handed down the sentence for a possession with intent to deliver (methamphetamine) charge. The trial and…
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Multiple arrests made in Corrigan

Three Corrigan men were arrested while law enforcement executed a warrant Monday in north Polk County. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office, along with Corrigan Police Department, executed a warrant service at a residence off of Pipeline Road in Corrigan. Deputies were advised that there were multiple subjects with active felony warrants, living at…
MultipleArrests Corrigan

Leggett man arrested for child pornography

Anthony BartunekThe Polk County Sheriff’s Office executed a residential search warrant last week pertaining to the possession of child pornography. An investigation was initiated by detectives after the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a call in reference to a male subject in possession of child pornography, at an address off Ollie Loop in…
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Suspect in church burglary arrested

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com BarredaWOODVILLE – An arrest was made of a suspect in a church burglary, and could face additional charges in several other incidents, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. Juan Gabriel Barreda, a 47-year-old Houston man, was arrested in Houston on Dec. 30, 2022, by the Houston Police…
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Crockett Police assist with drug trafficking arrest

From Staff Reports BEAUMONT – Last week, the Crockett Police Department cited the agency’s assistance in the federal investigation and prosecution of Ingrid Yaresi Balderas De Leon. De Leon was prosecuted in federal court as part of a large drug trafficking organization responsible for transporting and distributing large quantities of…
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Early morning fire

Three trucks and 12 firefighters with the Scenic Loop Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire in the early morning hours Saturday at Pinwah Pines. The fire originated in one house and spread to a house next door. “I was the first on the scene and our main objective was to protect the exposure from getting to the third house until we got more…
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Warrant stop results in arrests

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com IVANHOE – A warrant service call last week resulted in two arrests in Ivanhoe, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. Weatherford said that on Tuesday, Jan. 3, deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office stopped at a residence in order to serve a felony warrant on Jason James Abernathy,…
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A place to rest their heads

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EastTexan Spring2021

Sleep in heavenly peace commits to ending childhood bedlessness

By Chris Edwards

In the classic song “The Weight” by The Band, a weary traveler’s lament known to every man, woman, child and beast, the late, great Levon Helm sings of someone looking for a place “where a man might find a bed,” to no avail.

There are many who are in search of that same, seemingly basic amenity/comfort, including children, a fact that bothered Woodville resident Brian Smith.

“I had no idea that children without beds was an issue, a problem at all. I simply never thought about it. I have always had a bed; everyone that I knew had a bed,” he said.

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Smith and his wife Deborah saw a story on a Beaumont television station’s news broadcast that reported on that particular issue and an organization fighting to end it, and it left a deep impression upon both their hearts and minds.

The story was about a non-profit organization named after a line in the old Christmas time hymn “Silent Night.” Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a nationwide concern, and was began by a concerned church youth group leader named Luke Mickelson.

Mickelson first encountered the issue of children without beds in his church and got a group together to build beds for a family in need. From that humble show of service sprung the organization, which became a non-profit with chapters around the country. Mickelson was even honored by CNN in 2018 as a “Hero of the Year.”

The Smiths added an East Texas chapter of the organization to its growing roster on September 5, 2020, which was a quest of approximately 10 months.

The couple investigated the practical aspects of getting a SHP chapter started, namely the cost of materials and the necessary non-profit paperwork, interest was fomenting, and several members of the community became interested in helping.

With a group together, the “core team,” they had their first building event on that day in September, when they built six twin beds to donate to families in the county who were in need.

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“There are children in Tyler County sleeping on the floor, on a couch, in a chair, or are sharing an undersized mattress on the floor with too many siblings or otherwise in a less-than-optimal sleeping environment,” Brian said.

The word got out quickly throughout the community, and Deborah said it was “an extremely rewarding experience” to see her desire to help the community pay off.

Although the story on the news brought the issue into living color for Brian and Deborah, seeing folks who could use a hand-up was nothing new to Brian. He said he has done mission work in some of the poorer areas of Mexico, places “where one sees true poverty,” he said, and seeing how people lived left a deep, lasting impression, which came back in spades when he and his wife saw that broadcast.

“Here, in the United States, to realize that our little county probably has hundreds of children without beds hurts my heart,” he said.

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“As a sentimental older man, I still get choked up when I think of the joyous reactions of the children we help. The feelings of peace and security that a real bed gives them gets me up for early morning bed builds,” he said.

SHP currently has 240 chapters across the nation, and in Bermuda, and there are hopes to break into Canada in the near future.

Anyone can volunteer at one of SHP’s bed-build events, and they do not have to bring anything, “except a desire to help others,” Brian said. The group will supply the tools, PPE, drinks, snacks and instructions.

The Woodville chapter of the group hopes to be able to build sturdy, functional bunk and twin beds from dimensional lumber one Saturday each month during the 8 a.m. to noon time period. The volunteer-driven assembly line process allows most anyone to contribute.

According to the chapter’s website, located at shpbeds.org/chapter/tx-woodville, anyone who wishes to volunteer can show up to the build day event or a delivery event, and those dates are available on a calendar on the site. There is also a link on the site to allow anyone who is interested in contributing financially to the cause, or to sponsor a build day.

According to Brian, the cost to build a twin bed is $170 and $350 for a bunk bed, and all of the materials must come from donations. Each chapter of SHP must be financially self-supporting and entirely dependent on donations, which is all carefully accounted for, from local chapters through the national headquarters.

The estimated monthly need for the SHP Woodville chapters is $2,500 to $3,000, which is enough to provide 14 to 17 beds per month, and this is the cost for the bare materials.

The organization also needs tools, such as saw blades, drill bits and other items, such as gloves, safety glasses and many other PPE items.

Brian added that for anyone who needs one of the beds, there is a place on the website to request a bed, and applicants can answer a few basic questions and submit. He and Deborah can also be contacted directly, at 844-432-2337 (extension 5757) or at PO Box 143, Woodville, Texas 75979, for anyone who might be interested in donating to the cause.

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