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  • 2020-21 Hunting Season

    Scott Vaughn and grandsonCOURTESY PHOTO Scott Vaughn and grandson posing with a hog shot in Northern Tyler County October 30, 2020.

    By Caleb Fortenberry

    Covid-19 has had people recreating more this past year than in the last several years and with White-tailed deer muzzleloader season being over, there have been plenty of eager East Texan sportsmen wanting to show off a few bagged game animals.

    For years, newspapers have been publishing sportsmen and their game. Here recently, showcasing has been less than normal. Maybe it’s time to start showing off those game that hunters haven’t been able to brag on for some time.

    Here’s a list of a few of the harvests from East Texas, or people from the area:

    Tyler County

    1. Tina Barnes

    Tina BarnesTina Barnes - 9 point, with crossbow in Chester, TX on October 24, 2020.

    2. Dusty Sturrock

    Dusty SturrockDusty Sturrock - 9 point in Chester, TX on November 15th, 2020

    3. KimSturrock

    Kim SturrockKim Sturrock – 8 point in Chester, TX on November 8th, 2020

    4. Mark Keller

    Mark KellerMark Keller - 9 point 14.5”, spread in Colmesneil, Tx on November 27, 2020

    5. Buck Odom

    Buck Odom 2Buck Odom – Hog shot between Woodville and Chester on December 17, 2020.

    6. Nathan Vaughn

    Nathan VaughnNathan Vaughn - 8 point buck at the Diamond T Ranch in Warren, Texas on January 3, 2021.

    7. Scott Vaughn

    Scott VaughnScott Vaughn - 10 point buck in Northern Tyler County November 8, 2020.

    Polk County 

    8. Ashton Davis

    Ashton DavisAshton Davis - Doe, harvested in Texas hunters club in Soda, TX.

    9. Paul Oliver

    Paul OliverPaul Oliver - 10 Point with a 19 Inch Spread at the Texas Hunter Club in Soda, TX.

    Houston County 

     10. Hunter Burris

    Hunter BurrisHunter Burris, 9 years old from Danbury, TX holding his first deer, 7-point, on January 2, 2021 in Crockett, TX.

  • Aircraft in distress lands safely

    N1805P42006CFILE PHOTO

    There was a report of a plane in distress from Polk County. The incident was reported on the Tyler and Polk County line. The search quickly moved to the Southern Tyler County area between Warren and Buddy Lowe road. 

    Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, along with Tyler County Sheriff's Office deputies and first responders from multiple agencies searched the scene.

    Police scanner said it landed safely at an Air Force base and was identified as a helicopter.

    More to follow.

  • Aircraft safe, after all (UPDATE)

    Staff Sgt. Jordan L. McFarland (left), 2nd Operations Support Squadron air traffic control craftsman, and Senior Airman Hunter J. Maggard, 2nd OSS air traffic control apprentice (right), keep an eye out for an aircraft that is scheduled to land at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, August 22, 2019. While working eight hour shifts in a small tower, the 2nd OSS air traffic controllers are able to spend a lot of time getting to better know their wingmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jacob B. Wrightsman)Staff Sgt. Jordan L. McFarland (left), 2nd Operations Support Squadron air traffic control craftsman, and Senior Airman Hunter J. Maggard, 2nd OSS air traffic control apprentice (right), keep an eye out for an aircraft that is scheduled to land at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, August 22, 2019. While working eight hour shifts in a small tower, the 2nd OSS air traffic controllers are able to spend a lot of time getting to better know their wingmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jacob B. Wrightsman)

    From the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office

    On March 3, 2021, at approximately 2 PM, the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a military plane flying low to the ground, with smoke coming from the engine.

    The citing was reported near the Tyler and Polk County line. First responders concentrated search efforts around and near FM 1943, West of Warren, to Highway 190 West of Woodville, into Polk County.

    The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers and Air units, Texas Game Wardens, Texas Forest Service, Warren Fire Department, Tyler County Emergency Management Office, Alabama Coushatta Fire Department and Air and Ground Medical units from Southeast Texas participated in the search.

    Approximately 2 hours later, responders received information that the aircraft had made a safe landing at the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

    Weatherford said, “Thank you to all our Southeast Texas Federal, State, and local first responders. To protect and serve is truly a team effort.”

  • Bulldogs chomp Warriors, 28-14

    PSX 20201030 233925PHOTO BY ALBERT TREVINO A Corrigan-Camden wide receiver hauls in a pass as a Warren defender hangs on for dear life to try and bring him down Friday night.

    By Albert Trevino

    The Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs defeated the Warren Warriors 28-14 on Friday.

    It was the first district win for new head coach Brett Ratliff, who finally witnessed real-game progress under his offensive system.

    "We have gotten better every week. I think we are finding weaknesses in different defenses. Sometimes, we have to run a little more or throw. Since we can play multiple, we are able to exploit those things." said Ratliff after the game.

    The Bulldog defense had another strong performance, making crucial third- and fourth-down stops throughout the game.

    "We definitely played a full team game tonight. When our offense stumbled, getting inside the red zone and not putting one in, our defense picked us up." Ratliff said.

    It was also a breakout game for Bulldog sophomore quarterback Christian Hood, who ran for three of Corrigan's four touchdowns.

    "[Hood] is a great athlete and has a heart on him." said Ratliff. "He never gets rattled and plays even keeled like a quarterback should. But he also plays physical like a running back."

    The Warriors scored first with an early touchdown by senior running back Kevin Kirk.

    Corrigan responded with Hood scoring his first rushing touchdown to tie the game 7-7 in the first quarter.

    A turnover on downs by Warren in the second quarter gave the Bulldog offense a short field and a chance to take the lead. Hood finished that drive with 11-yard touchdown run to go up 14-7 at halftime.

    The Bulldogs stretched their lead in the third quarter, as sophomore running back Anthony Harrell broke free for a 50-yard touchdown run. That score gave Corrigan a 21-7 lead going into the fourth.

    Warren's offense would keep fighting, with help from a personal foul call that kept a late possession alive. The penalty was immediately followed by a 43-yard touchdown run by Warrior sophomore back Jeremy Smith to make it a one-score game.

    Corrigan answered on its next possession, with Hood scoring his third rushing touchdown to help seal the win.

    Corrigan's final game of the season will be this Friday at home against the Newton Eagles.

  • Great gourds: Warren man grows giant pumpkins

    1CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB Rusty West poses with one of his giant pumpkins. Several average-sized pumpkins lend an interesting comparison.

     
    By Chris Edwards

    WARREN – It all begins with a seed. From the mightiest oak to a pine sapling out in a field, they all started as a single seed. Humans and their endeavors are like that, too.

    It’s a concept that Rusty West has learned in both his calling as a preacher and with his hobby of farming.

    West, who calls farming “therapeutic,” grows various crops on a five-acre spread right up the road from where he grew up. The fourth-generation Tyler Countian, who pastors the Hillister Assembly of God church, was known at one time for growing watermelons that grew in excess of 100 lbs. apiece.

    He recalled fondly the truckers who would stop as they headed from Houston, and how they would look at the fruits of his labor he sold on the roadside with a degree of shock and surprise.

    Although West said he stopped growing his watermelons a year ago (“You learn to not grow anything you can’t pick up,” he joked) he brought the same “go big or go home” mentality to his next endeavor in growing a different kind of gourds.

    West has moved on to giant pumpkins, and although the exercise in Murphy’s Law that 2020 has been tried to derail this goal, he still grew several that weighed nearly 400 lbs. or more.

    “They’re just really fun to grow. It takes a lot of tender-loving care, and you’ve pretty much got to mess with ‘em every day,” he said.

    He planted his pumpkin seeds on June 3 and picked them on Sept. 13. His goal was to grow a pumpkin that weighed 500 lbs., and although he did not meet that mighty weight, three of them weighed 395 lbs., 420 lbs. and 434 lbs.

    It’s all the more impressive when one considers that an unwelcome guest named Hurricane Laura decimated most of his pumpkin patch.

    2PHOTO COURTESY OF RUSTY WEST Rusty West poses with one of his 400+pound pumpkins prior to picking it in September.

    Next year, West said, he will plant them a little later, and instead of setting the goal at 500 lbs., he’s aiming for 700.

    The pumpkins he’s grown, thus far, are quite a bit larger than the watermelons he once grew, and deemed too heavy to lift, however, with his tractor and some straps, he came up with a way to transport them after harvesting.

    While most common pumpkins range in size from a few ounces to the plump 15-20-pounders (yes, West grows those too) Giant pumpkins are generally described as any that weigh more than 150 lbs.

    West said the growth cycle for the giant pumpkins is 120-130 days, and in the last week of growth, they can grow up to 50 pounds per day.

    While he was growing his patch of giants, he fertilized them every week, and gave them plenty of attention. He used pesticides to keep the bugs away, and used both a commercial fertilizer, as well as one of his own formulation.

    He said the giant pumpkins he grows are edible, and there have been some reactions of disbelief. West told a story about a passerby who saw one of the pumpkins and West outside his home. The traveler stopped to talk to West, and asked him where he’d bought the giant plastic pumpkin prop, or what he’d thought was a giant piece of plastic from some seasonal decor emporium.

    One of his goals for next year is to load up a giant pumpkin on a flatbed trailer and get it to the Tyler County Fair, where he’d like to showcase it as a prop for people to pose for photos in front of.

    Growing things, whether one is raising small fruit or giant gourds, is a gift. West is blessed with the knowledge, patience and attention to detail to pull it off. West credits help from the Lord above, as well.

    With all those traits and his mindset, he’ll go above and beyond next year’s lofty goal for the gourds.

  • Groveton Invitational Baseball Tournament

    031121 baseball 1TONY FARKAS | TCNS Reece White makes contact with a pitch during the Groveton Invitational Tournament on Thursday. Groveton won its two outings, 9-1 over Trinity and 5-2 over Normagee.

    Thursday Results

    Groveton 9, Trinity 1

    Groveton 5, Normangee 2

    Warren 5, Trinity 3

    Diboll 8, Normangee 4

    Diboll 13, Warren 2

    031121 baseball 2TONY FARKAS | TCNS Kaleb Coots brings the heat against a Normagee batter during the Groveton Invitation Tournament on Thursday.

  • Report on plane ‘a true mistake’

    U.S. Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense and Royal Australian Air Force aircraft fly in formation during Cope North 21 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 9, 2021. Cope North is an annual multinational exercise designed to increase capabilities and improve interoperability among partner nations, and this year’s exercise focuses on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) operations, large force employment and combat air forces training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Divine Cox)U.S. Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense and Royal Australian Air Force aircraft fly in formation during Cope North 21 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 9, 2021. Cope North is an annual multinational exercise designed to increase capabilities and improve interoperability among partner nations, and this year’s exercise focuses on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) operations, large force employment and combat air forces training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Divine Cox)

    By Chris Edwards

    TYLER COUNTY – A report from a concerned resident about an aircraft in distress led to a large-scale search effort that ultimately ended with good news.

    At approximately 2 p.m. on Wednesday, the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a military plane flying low to the ground, with smoke coming from an engine, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. The report came from a resident living on FM 1450, who reported what appeared to be a plane in distress, as well as smoke coming off of the ground. The sighting was reported near the county lines of Tyler and Polk.

    According to Weatherford, the first responders concentrated their search efforts around and near FM 1943 west of Warren, to US 190 west of Woodville, into Polk County. Tyler County Emergency Management Coordinator Ken Jobe said there were two AMBUS units staged in the two counties: one in Warren and one in Midway on 190.

    The search lasted for two hours, after the responders received information that the aircraft had made a safe landing at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier Parish, La. Jobe said the report that launched the massive search was “a true mistake,” that the person who made the report saw the smoke on the ground, which was likely from a controlled burn that was taking place on the A-C reservation, and with the smoke coming from the plane, along with the fact that it was flying low, put the elements together and feared the worst.

    Jobe added there were probably a total of 12 or 15 ambulances involved, as well as three fire departments. “We had a whole lot of medical care response in about an hour,” Jobe said.

    Polk County OEM Coordinator Courtney Comstock and Alabama-Coushatta Tribal OEM Coordinator Willo Sylestine were also part of the efforts, Jobe said.

    Along with TCSO, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Game Wardens and Forestry Service also participated.

    Jobe said that although the search was the product of “a legitimate error” from a concerned resident in the area, emergency personnel will likely treat the experience as a training exercise.

    There will be an after-action review on Wednesday, Jobe said, which will be done cumulatively with the Emergency Management offices that were involved.

  • Triple D hosts Warrior Bonfire event

    Warriors 020911PHOTO COURTESY OF JUDY LEWIS Participants and volunteers of the Warrior Bonfire hog hunt event.

    By Leann Monk

    WARREN –  With so much of what’s happening in the world today being negative, it’s nice to see something good happening right here in our own backyard. Tyler County and its people have long been known for their hospitality and big hearts. No matter what the need, Tyler County folks always rise to the occasion.

    For the fourth year, Cody and Judy Lewis, owners and operators of Triple D Ranch and Event Venue in Warren, hosted the annual hog hunt for the Warrior Bonfire Program. With the help of countless community members, volunteers and donors, this weekend was one for the record books.

    According to hunting guide and Warren Hunting Lease president, Cody Stewart there was a record 14 hogs harvested during this year’s hunt. Stewart stated how proud he was of the efforts of the 45 to 50 volunteers that helped out on the hunt, “without these guys helping and volunteering out here, this hunt would not be possible. It’s hard work.”

    Assistant Guide, Colter Stewart, 11-year-old son of Cody, rode with his dad throughout the two-day hunt ready to do whatever the senior Stewart needed.

    Colter was tasked with “remembering the spot” when his dad pointed out a good area for the men to hunt; and according to Cody, he did his job well. While Colter was assisting his dad in the lease, his brother Briar, 14, was busy back at the camp skinning the hogs. To the Stewarts, this is a family event, and they could not be prouder to be a part.

    The saying is “it takes a village” – and that is certainly the case for this event. It would appear that all of Warren seemed to participate in some way.

    The Warren Little Dribblers provided desserts while others donated money, corn, gas, food, coolers and time. The 10 Warriors left Triple D knowing that the people of Warren, and the surrounding areas, support them and the sacrifice they made for their country.

    One Warrior who participated in the hunt was Doug Shreve, from Hockley, Texas. He is an Army veteran after 20 years of service.

    “This hunt means that I get to come together with other vets and not worry about what’s going on in the world. The hunt, well that’s a plus,” Shreve said.

    Shreve joined the Warrior Bonfire program in 2018. During this hunt, Shreve harvested two hogs.

    Also at the hunt was Graham Golden, from Hot Springs, AR. Golden served as a sniper in the Marines and was shot and injured during his third deployment to Iraq. Golden has been a part of the Bonfire Project for five years and although he lives in Arkansas, hosts an event on Lake Sam Rayburn once a year. “This program means so…” Graham said, stopping mid-sentence. “The bonfire program means camaraderie. It means that I get to be around people who understand me and that I can let my guard down a little bit. You see when I’m at home, I don’t do people. I don’t do public. But when I’m here… I get to let go,” Graham said.

    The mission of the Warrior Bonfire Program is to “provide opportunities that improve the lives of enemy combat-wounded veterans—Purple Heart recipients—on their lifelong journey of recovery and healing. They create activity-based, small group retreats that foster healing, build support communities, and transform lives.”

    “I just can’t thank the Warriors enough for coming back, for trusting us to take care of them.”

    Judy Lewis commented when asked about her thoughts on the men she hosted. She went on to say, “I’m also thankful that Justin Lewis and Ryan “the Dolphin” Gooseman, the liaisons between the Bonfire Program and us, keeps thinking of us and our community. They could take these guys anywhere but say Tyler County is the only place with this kind of hospitality.”

  • Tyler County cross-country runners place at Regional meet

    11JASON CHLAPEK | PCPC Spurger Pirates Colton Fredieu and Luis Jimenez cross the finish line.

    BY CHRIS EDWARDS

    HUNTSVILLE – Tyler County was well-represented at the UIL Region 3 Cross-Country Regional Meet.

    The meet, for the 2A through 6A conference schools, was held Nov. 9-10 in Huntsville at Sam Houston State University, and found teams from Spurger; Colmesneil; Warren and Woodville competing in the 2A and 3A events, respectively.

    For the Spurger Pirates, the boys placed in eighth, overall, with 223 points.

    In the girls’ two-mile run, Katy Curry came in 55th place with a time of 15:36.60 and Jillian Leasman placed at 111th with a time of 18:34.50.

    The boys had six runners compete in the three-mile run. Jose Jimenez placed at 24th with a time of 19:26.80. Luis Molina Jimenez came in 53rd place, with a time of 20:26.70, and Colton Fredieu came in right behind at 54th with the same time. Nicholas Wilson got a 65th place finish with a time of 21:12.20; Bryce Oseguera got the 100th place finish with 25:01.80 and Coby Anthony got the 104th place with 25:32.90 on the clock.

    The Colmesneil Bulldogs’ cross-country runners put a team of six girls in the two-mile run and Treston Horton running in the boys’ three-mile event. Horton placed 66th with a time of 21:20.20.

    For the girls, Katherine Vargas-Martine placed 18th, with 14:39.40; Alyssa Mabry came in 37th with 15:04.70; Bernice Pittman placed 87th with 16:47.30. Erin Frazier got 97th place with a 17:05.20; Karen Vargas-Martinez got 113th with 18:41.20 and Katelyne Guerrero placed 115th with a time of 18:48.

    The Warren Warriors cross-country boys had a team consisting of Jerrod Yeagin (#42, 18:21.70); Eli Carrell (#105, 20:46.40); Arturo Bustamante (#118, 21:26.50); Jonathan Lee (#126, 22:02.80); Jerry Don Brinkley (#133, 23:01.30); Juan Lianes (#137, 23:45.90) and Corley Dilbeck (#138, 24:03.70.) They placed 15th in the three-mile event with a total of 378 points.

    Abby Carroll from Warren also ran in the 3A girls’ two-mile run and finished 24th with a time of 13:57.70.

    The Woodville Eagles were represented in the 3A girls’ two-mile run with a ninth-place finish for a team of seven Lady Eagle runners.

    Here are the results for Woodville individual runners at the meet: Kristina Nash (#60, 14:55.50); Brittany Lilley (#63, 15:00.30); Raegan Frantz (#71, 15:23.30); Ryleigh Stewart (#85, 15:23.30); Aubrianna Torres (#96, 15:50.40); Ashley Davis (#118, 16:35.30) and Kenadi Frauenberger (#129, 17:28.20.) The Lady Eagle runners accumulated a combined 258 points.

  • Warren lifts mask mandate

    Tribe Tribute Gladys MitchellCOURTESY PHOTO | TERRY BABINO The Warren ISD Tribe Tribute for April went to Gladys Mitchell from the WISD Food Services Department who was praised as being a model employee and "cooking from the heart". (Left to right front row) Scott Mitchell, Tammy Heriard, Gladys Mitchell, Stephen Mitchell, Dr. Tammy Boyette (Left to right back row) Kimen Johnson, Clay Brown, Steve Moore, Rocky Burks, Burt Moore, Billie Read.

    By Caleb Fortenberry

    WARREN – At its most recent monthly board meeting, the Warren ISD board of trustees voted for the mask mandate to be lifted, it passed.

    After Gov. Greg Abbott made Executive Order-GA 34 allowing school boards to determine their school’s mask policy, many schools in Texas jumped to remove the policy.

    The board voted to make masks optional effective Monday May 17, nearly seven days before some graduation ceremonies will take place.

    WISD UIL HonoreesCOURTESY PHOTO | TERRY BABINO UIL District, Regional, and/or State Qualifier Honorees (Left to right front row) Dr. Tammy Boyette, Brianne Dean, Isabell Stanford, Ty Lambert, Bryce Dean, Julia Drake, James Swinney (Left to right back row) Kimen Johnson, Clay Brown, Steve Moore, Rocky Burks, Burt Moore, Billie Read.

    WISD superintendent Dr. Tammy Boyette released a letter with the following information covering the frequently asked questions of the matter.

    • Masks will be a matter of personal choice for employees and students beginning on Monday, May 17
    • Daily self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms is still required for all employees and students
    • Employees and students remain subject to existing requirements for self-reporting and quarantining
    • The current TEA definition of “close contact” remains in effect and is enforceable for all employees and students
    • Students required to quarantine will be allowed to attend school remotely
    • The district will continue to provide notice to parents of known positive COVID-19 cases and to monitor data associated with case prevalence
    • The district will continue to provide hand sanitizer and maintain existing cleaning protocols
    • To the extent possible, schools will continue to exercise social distancing practices at lunch, common areas and in the classroom in order to reduce the likelihood that students meet the close contact definition
    • Buses will open windows to allow for improved air circulation while in transit
    • Indoor school visits will continue to be restricted to only those essential to school operations
    • To the extent possible, principals will provide events for end-of year celebrations that can be held outdoors to accommodate family attendance
    • TEA requires that screening protocols be in place for entrance into all WISD sponsored events
    • Medically fragile students may submit a waiver with accompanying medical documentation to opt in to the At-Home learning platform for the remainder of the school year, if they so choose

    Other Business:

    • The TEA 2021-2022 Allotment and TEKS certification were approved
    • Burke Dagle was approved as the “designated asbestos manager” for Warren ISD