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East Texas fugitives added to 10 Most Wanted

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Edgar Corona Fugitives

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added two fugitives to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Lists. Matthew Edgar is on the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List, and Sergio Corona is on the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders List. Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to Edgar’s arrest, and up to $3,000 for information leading to Corona’s arrest. All tips are guaranteed to be anonymous.

 Matthew Hoy Edgar, 26, of Hemphill, has been wanted since January 2022, when the Sabine County Sheriff’s Office issued a murder warrant for his arrest after he absconded from his trial.

 Edgar was originally arrested for murder in 2020, and at the beginning of 2022, attended the initial days of his murder trial before absconding on January 26. He was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 99-years of confinement.

 Edgar is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds. He has ties to Sabine County, Texas. 

 Sergio Corona, 56, of Coldspring, has been wanted since July 2021, when the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for his arrest for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements. In December 2021, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida issued a warrant for his arrest for a probation violation.

In 1989, Corona was convicted of indecent exposure and sentenced to six months of probation in Texas. In 2002, he was convicted in Florida of sexual battery of a victim under 12. After serving time in prison, he was also sentenced to 10 years of probation. In 2016, he relocated back to Texas.

Corona is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. In addition to Coldspring, he has ties to Florida and Tennessee. 

Texas Crime Stoppers, which is funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, offers cash rewards to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of one of Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Fugitives or Sex Offenders. So far in 2022, DPS and other agencies have arrested 52 people off the lists, including 19 gang members and 28 sex offenders. In addition, $77,500 in rewards has been paid for tips that yielded arrests.

 To be eligible for cash rewards, tipsters MUST provide information to authorities using one of the following three methods:

 •Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).

•Submit a web tip through the DPS website (https://www.dps.texas.gov/Texas10MostWanted/MostWanted) by selecting the fugitive you have information about then clicking on the link under their picture.

•Submit a Facebook tip by clicking the “SUBMIT A TIP” link (under the “About” section).

 All tips are anonymous — regardless of how they are submitted — and tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.

 DPS investigators work with local law enforcement agencies to select fugitives for the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Sex Offenders Lists. You can find the current lists — with photos — on the DPS website.

 Do not attempt to apprehend these fugitives; they are considered armed and dangerous.

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Council lights way for citywide Christmas celebration

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By Jan White
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CROCKETT – Christmas is coming sooner than you think. If you don’t believe it, all you had to do was attend the City Council meeting on Monday, October 17, when members approved a request from the Downtown Crockett Association for street closures to accommodate the first-ever Christmas Lighting in Downtown Crockett.

The event, sponsored by the Downtown Crockett Association in partnership with the Crockett Ministerial Alliance, will include choirs and speakers from area churches. Last year the downtown area saw a resurrection of outlining their buildings with Christmas lights, in great part assisted by funds provided by the Houston County Commissioners Court. The Christmas Lighting ceremony will take place on Nov. 16, beginning at 6 p.m. Organizers predict that the event will last approximately an hour. 

The council also approved the request from Robin Ogg of FG Metalwork to allow the mixed residential and commercial use of the property located at 202 E. Goliad. During the Public Hearing portion of the meeting, Ogg thanked the City and residents for their support of the business and expressed her appreciation for welcoming them to Crockett. Ogg stated that one of the reasons they wanted to locate here was because of the new ordinance allowing business owners to also reside in their downtown establishments. With no public objections, the Council moved on to approve Ogg’s request.

The council voted to approve the city’s application to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for the Texas Home Investment Partnership Program. The city previously participated in the program, which is designed to increase homeownership and affordable housing opportunities for lowand very-low-income persons through tenant-based rental assistance, housing rehabilitation, new construction, property acquisition, and other services. Council members authorized the Mayor or City Administrator to act on the city’s behalf as authorized representatives in the program. The council awarded the bid from Traylor and Associates as administrators of the grant. 

Because the transfer station built by Piney Woods Sanitation is now complete and can process garbage more promptly, the department requested that the City approve a change in the garbage route for residential homes that consolidates the trash pick-up from five days down to three days. Council members were provided with a map of the expanded pick-up area. City Administrator John Angerstein explained that Piney Woods would send notifications of the new trash pick-up days before the implementation and that the new schedule would likely begin in November. He also reiterated that this is for residential customers only and will not affect businesses whose trash collection days will remain the same.

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‘The Goober Carnival’ is all grown up

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By Jan White and Chris Edwards
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GRAPELAND – On October 13, Grapeland will begin celebrations for an annual event that began in the fall of 1945 and continues today. The fall Peanut Festival.

Before television, cell phones, and social media, folks found other ways to get together and have a good time. They held festivals. And Grapeland’s history is steeped in festivals. There was the PossumWalk and the Turkey Trot, and the North Houston County Fair. In the 1940s, peanut farming had replaced cotton as the main agricultural crop in the area.

So why not have a festival honoring the popular cousin of the legume?

Sept. 27, 1945, was the chosen date for the first annual Goober Carnival. The town held a banquet featuring food dishes made from peanuts, served to about four hundred people. Fiddlers, fiddling bands and quartets competed at the local fiddler’s contest, and the first Peanut Queen title was given to Grapeland High School sophomore Frankie Lois Richardson, with Sam Hill chosen as King Peanut.

The festival was pronounced a great success by townsfolk and peanut growers alike, although the following week saw heavy rains and saturated crops that caused massive crop failures for local growers.

But nothing would daunt the immutable spirit of the citizens of Grapeland. The Goober Carnival continued for the following six years until organizers dropped the “goober” moniker and the event became known as the Peanut Festival. And despite the decline in peanut production over the years, Grapeland has held on to its traditional fall event.

The theme for this year’s Peanut Festival, now in its 77th year, is “Home of Heroes.”

Because the festival is held in conjunction with Grapeland’s High School Homecoming Game, the weekend is packed with events. The celebrations begin on Thursday, Oct. 13, with a carnival at the Grapeland City Park and plenty of food vendors and games, and attractions for the whole family.

On Friday, the celebration continues when the carnival reopens at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., the Sandies crown their Homecoming Queen and King and battle the Shelbyville Dragons during the homecoming game. Saturday morning features a parade that includes bands, floats, antique vehicles, local civic organizations, and plenty of excitement. The festival in the park resumes with live music, arts and crafts vendors, delicious food, and carnival rides. And Saturday evening, the Peanut Festival ends on a high note, as four Grapeland Seniors vie for the title of the Peanut Queen.

The live music portion of the festival kicks off on Saturday. The Austin-based group Rochelle and the Sidewinders will headline the day’s festivities, beginning at 1 p.m.

The band has recorded and released two full-length albums and is working on a third. They are veterans of the music festival scene in Texas and are described as an “award-winning, high-energy R&B/funk band” capped off with the dynamic stage presence and vocals of its namesake frontwoman.

Other acts slated for Saturday include Almost Legal, which will begin its set at 11 a.m. The headliners will play from 1 to 3 p.m. and the Johnnie Helm Band will play until 4:30 p.m.

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Crockett ISD inducts four into Ring of Honor

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Ring of Honor Wall 22022 Ring of Honor inductees Monte Jack Driskell, Fernando J. Harris, Paul Richmond and Charissa Scott stand at the wall in Driskell Stadium where plaques bearing their names will be displayed along with the previous honorees.

By Larry Lamb
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CROCKETT -- Crockett ISD tapped a former coach and three alumni for the 2022 class of the Bulldog Ring of Honor.

Coach Monte Jack Driskell, Fernando J. Harris, Paul Richmond and Charissa Scott were inducted during a ceremony Friday evening in the CHS commons.

Crockett ISD Supt. John Emerich said in welcoming attendees, “You all know as well as I do that Crockett is a special place and this is a very special celebration of some very special people that we have here tonight. I’ve never been anywhere else that honors the past the way we do here with the Ring of Honor. I think it’s a great thing."

Emerich continued, " I know some of you in the audience are on the wall yourself already and that’s why you’re here. There’s a lot of family here for these four individuals that are being honored. I look at these (school) board members here and every one of them is a Crockett graduate, so they know about how special this place is and they've stayed here or come back here, whatever the case may be. We’re proud to have you here tonight and we’re proud of these four individuals. Let’s get on with celebrating them.”

Master of ceremony Ansel Bradshaw read brief biographies of each inductee before they were presented their Ring of Honor plaques.

After the ceremony and a brief reception, the new members gathered at the Ring of Honor wall in Driskell Stadium where plaques bearing their names will be displayed.

At halftime during the Bulldogs' football game, the four honorees were introduced to the large homecoming crowd.

The Ring of Honor was established in 2010 with an inaugural class of 53 and has grown to 106 with the addition of the 2022 class.

Monte Jack Driskell

Born and raised in Lovelady, Monte graduated from Lovelady High School in 1952.

He received a basketball scholarship from Wharton Junior College, where he played basketball and met the love of his life, Janet.

Monte transferred to Sam Houston State University where he played basketball for three years. He received his bachelor's degree from Sam Houston in 1957 and his master's in 1961.

Monte got his first coaching job in Groveton in 1957 and served as head coach and athletic director from 1961 until 1966. He then moved to Crockett to be head coach and athletic director from 1971 to 1974.

Because Monte wanted to go back home and coach high school, he returned to become head coach and athletic director in Lovelady from 1974 to 1981.

He returned to Crockett as head coach and athletic director from 1981-1999 and had great success.

In 1988, Monte was inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Hall of Fame as well as the Sam Houston State University Hall of Fame.

Monte's record as head coach is 268-82-9.

Bulldog Stadium was renamed Monte Jack Driskell Stadium in his honor on October 1, 2010.

The Driskells have been married 65 years, marking their 66th football season. They have three children, Cheryl, Dusty and Jamie, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Fernando J. Harris

Fernando, a Crockett High School graduate, is the owner and president of Blue House Partners, LLC in San Diego Calif.

Harris is a business professional with over 20 years leadership and management experience, combined with extensive strategic planning and business operations capabilities.

Harris is a retired U.S. Navy Commander and has been director has been a director  of a Fortune 500 company.

His educational accomplishments include earning a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from U. S. Naval Academy; a master of science in National  Security and Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He was also recognized as a top graduate of the Darden Navy Executive Educational Program at the University of Virginia.

His work has taken him around the world, including time spent in San Diego, Washington D.C.; Kabul, Afghanistan and even time aboard the USS Kitty Hawk in Yokosuka, Japan.

Paul Richmond

Paul graduated with the CHS class of 1998 with several awards reflecting his success as a student-athlete.

In football, he was awarded 1996-97 All-District Linebacker First Team, All-State Second Team and the 1997-98 District Defensive MVP and All-State Second Team.

In baseball he was awarded the 1996 All-District Catcher First Team, 1997 All-District Catcher First Team and All-State Second Team, and the 1998 All-District Catcher First Team and All-State First Team. He lettered all four years of high school in baseball and continued his baseball career at Navarro Junior College where he received Texas Eastern Athletic Conference All-Conference Catcher and NJCAA All-Star in 2000.

Paul continued his academic and athletic career at Baylor University where received the 2002 NCAA All-Region Team and First Team Academic All-Big 12 Conference and his BBA in accounting.

Following college, Paul was drafted in the 28th round 2002 MLB draft by the Toronto Blue Jays where he played for two years.

Now the senior vice president for Transcarent Health Care, Paul leads national efforts to expand the company's market-leading Centers of Excellence panel. For more than 16 years he has been an expert in provider relations and has extensive experience in healthcare, specifically intra-operative consultive  sales, negotiating system-level agreements for medical devices and capital equipment, and value-based care initiatives. Paul has served in numerous leadership positions throughout his professional career in healthcare, most recently as an account executive serving Fortune 500 clients and the surgical management benefit space.

Charissa Scott

A 1999 CHS graduate, Charissa excelled academically while participating in various school organizations and sports.

Some of the honors she is most proud of are All-District awards in basketball and softball, Academic All-State, U.S. Army Academic Athlete, cheerleader/mascot, drum major, prom queen, National Honor Society ,Miss Juneteenth 1995, Who's Who, homecoming queen and Miss CHS.

Upon graduation Charissa continued her education at the University of Houston.

For the past 14 years, Charissa has continued to share her academic talents in her career and resides in Houston.

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