Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Tyler County News

Councilman recognized for birthday and service

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

NEWS Herb Branch photoCOURTESY PHOTO Woodville Mayor Paula Jones presents long-serving councilman Herbert Branch with a key to the city. Branch was recognized on Monday night for both his coming 90th birthday and his long, faithful service to the city.

By Chris Edwards

WOODVILLE – Woodville Mayor Paula Jones began Monday evening’s regular meeting of the Woodville City Council with a proclamation to acknowledge the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Along with the proclamation, Terry Allen, with the Tyler County Child Welfare Board was on hand with other volunteers from the CWB and spoke about the problem of child abuse as it affects the county.

Allen said there are 31 children from Tyler County in foster care, and added that the pandemic has complicated the data, in her estimation, on how many children have died as a result of abuse or neglect.

Branch honored with key

Under the standing agenda item set aside for reporting community interest news, City Administrator Mandy Risinger announced a special “milestone” birthday approaching for a certain Woodville resident – longtime councilmember Herbert Branch. Branch will turn 90 next month.

Jones presented Branch with a key to the city and a hearty thanks for his service to the city. Branch said he has lived in Woodville for 48 years and was appreciative for the gift. “That is so nice. Thank you very much,” he said.

In other business on the brief agenda for Monday evening, the city approved the procurement of Lufkin firm Goodwin Lasiter Strong for engineering services for an upcoming CDBG program grant application.

The grant cycles every two years, Risinger said, and the city will be applying for a street improvement project. One stipulation is that a grant administrator and engineer must be appointed, and Risinger said the city has utilized the firm’s services for past projects.

A special meeting will take place this week to authorize the submission of the application.

  • Hits: 1513

Tyler County declared 2A sanctuary

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Blacksher Resolution 041321COURTESY PHOTO Tyler County Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Blacksher holds a copy of the Second Amendment-supporting resolution he introduced before Commissioners Court on Monday.

By Chris Edwards

WOODVILLE – Before tackling its regular slate of agenda items for consideration, approval or informational purposes, the Tyler County Commissioners Court approved several resolutions. One of those resolutions, brought to the court by Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Blacksher, declares the county to support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Blacksher said he was encouraged by an official from Montgomery County who drafted the resolution. He said it is likely Texas will become a 2A Sanctuary state.

Blacksher said he worked on the resolution with the support of District Attorney Lucas Babin and Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. After approving, Pct. 2 Commissioner Stevan Sturrock made it clear that he supports all amendments to the Constitution, to which Blacksher replied with his reasoning for bringing the resolution to the court – that the Second Amendment is frequently under attack.

“The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states very clearly ‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,’” Blacksher said. “I want to assure the citizens of Tyler County where we stand on defending their right to bear arms.”

A Second Amendment sanctuary, or gun sanctuary, is a state, county or municipality that has adopted ordinances or resolutions opposing the enforcement of various gun control measures. Recently, the City of Chester adopted an ordinance naming it a Second Amendment sanctuary city (see story on page 2A.) At the state level, a new bill in the House (HB 1911) which was authored by Rep. James White (R-Hillister) would allow Texans to carry a firearm without a permit and has gathered support from lawmakers.

White issued a statement on the bill Tuesday, which featured testimony from several License to Carry instructors in support of the bill.

Opponents of the bill, according to White, claim that it would dismantle the state’s LTC law. “Experience shows that residents will continue to voluntarily seek out training and licenses in permitless carry states, recognizing the benefits of instruction as well as acquiring and maintaining a license,” White said.

In other business, on Monday, the commissioners approved a proclamation to recognize the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Also, a pair of resolutions were approved by commissioners to submit a Texas Community Development Block Grant program application, and to authorize Judge Jacques Blanchette to serve as the county’s executive officer in submitting the CDBG grant application.

  • Hits: 4174

Man arrested on child porn charges

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
Jeremy NoblesJeremy Nobles
 
WARREN — A Tyler County resident was arrested yesterday on child pornography charges.
 
According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, 45-year-old Jeremy Nobles was arrested on the morning of Tuesday, April 6, at his residence near Warren.
 
TCSO along with state officials executed a search warrant of his home regarding the possession and distribution of child pornography.
 
Nobles was previously convicted as a sex offender and on the Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry since 2012.
 
Weatherford said that law enforcement working the case were able to recover evidence “involving an individual uploading and sharing an image of child pornography utilizing a social media application.”
 
Weatherford said Nobles is now charged with four counts of Promotion of Child Pornography; five counts of Possession of Child Pornography and one count of Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements.
 
Bond was set at $150K by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford, and Nobles was later released after making arrangements to post bail.
 
According to data available from the DPS Sex Offender Registry, Nobles was convicted in 2011 for Indecency with a Child/Sexual Contact, with the victims being a 6-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl.
  • Hits: 1899

WHS speech and debate competitors excel

1 Comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Izzy NarvaezPHOTO COURTESY OF CATHY D’ENTREMONT Izzy Narvaez prepares to compete at Congress State Debate.

By Chris Edwards

WOODVILLE – Students in Woodville High School have excelled in a great number of extracurricular pursuits throughout the years, with each endeavor preparing them for some sort of skill in life beyond graduating. A group of WHS students recently took home top-notch honors in a field of competition that is relatively new to the school.

The sport of speech and debate is, in the words of WHS’s speech and debate coach Cathy D’Entremont, “the consummate academic activity”; one that uses research, analysis, critical thinking skills and a variety of other skills, for competitors to succeed. WHS’s speech and debate team recently took home the first-place honors in District-level UIL competition.

D’Entremont, a seasoned speech and debate coach, has been involved in the world of forensics, for more than 50 years. From the time she started competing as a seventh grader in Beaumont, she was active throughout the rest of her student career as a speaker and debater.

After graduating from the University of Texas, she began coaching in public schools, and coached a national champion in 1983 in Houston.

When she began working at WISD, she said she began looking for students to debate, and a recommendation from a colleague bore her witness to a transformation. “A teacher suggested I recruit a student who was acting out,” she said. That student, whom she said was a “bright, articulate smart aleck,” was Drake Broom a 2020 WHS graduate, who became a standout success and went to state in Student Congress and Cross-Examination Debate.

“He developed great leadership skills, stayed out of trouble and is now in the Marines planning to become a JAG (Judicial Advocate) and follow a career in law,” D’Entremont said.

“I have seen the transformative power of speech and debate many times in my years as a coach,” D’Entremont said. “I remain lifelong friends with numerous former students who are professors, attorneys, entrepreneurs, physicians and CEOs.”

The current crop of award-winning speakers and debaters at WHS includes Izzy Narvaez; Jaydee Borel; Zander Duckworth; Kyler Coleman; Riley Vaughan; Kirby Wright; Mollie Jarrott; Kesean Paire; Kevon Paire; Rachel Risinger; Conner Risinger; Adriana Stark; Savanah Ludwig; Tanyia Mitchell; Chase Gray and Cailee Stephenson. All of the students took home awards from the recent UIL District competition in their respective events. Team captain Narvaez won first place in Congressional Debate and has been to state two years in the event.

As the speech and debate program at Woodville High School flourishes, D’Entremont said it is a great benefit, both to her and the student body. “Anything that helps make better thinkers, writers and communicators is a huge educational success,” she said.

She added that the support of WISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg, along with WHS Principal Rusty Minyard and special programs director Terry Young, along with the WISD Board of Trustees, has been encouraging and supportive.

“I feel blessed to have opened the door to this activity I love to the kids here,” D’Entremont said.

  • Hits: 1338

‘Wit’ challenges notions about life and death

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

OAP Kids 032521PHOTO COURTESY OF WHS THEATRE The cast and crew of Woodville High School’s One Act Play entry “Wit” is advancing to UIL Regionals and officially placed in the Top 32 in the state of Texas. Adrianna Stark received Top Performer; Madison McGinty got All Star Crew and Tatum Chandler earned an Honorable Mention Cast award. The cast and crew will compete for advancement to the State competition on April 17.

By Jacob Spivey

Saturday March 20, Woodville High School Theatre competed at the Bi-District One Act Play Contest. After a convincing performance that won district the week prior, this week’s contest would select the best performances from Bi-District to compete at the Regional Contest in Houston April 16.

Woodville’s selection by Director Melanie Spivey, is scenes from the Pulitzer prize winning play Wit. Wit is the story of Dr. Vivian Bearing, and her death from ovarian cancer. Over the course of the play, Bearing reflects on her life which she has dedicated to the study of metaphysical poet John Donne.

Throughout her career, Bearing has developed a reputation as a harsh intellectualist, preferring knowledge to kindness, throughout the play, as she realizes that she if of interest to her physicians more as research than as a person, Vivian finds a new appreciation for humanity and kindness.

Wit is headlined by Adiranna Stark’s rendition of Dr. Vivian Bearing. Stark, who received Top Performer honors at both District and Bi-District, captivates the audience throughout the performance, never leaving stage she is unequivocally the star of the show and shows tremendous range. In the course of 40 minutes, Stark showcases Bearing as a force of nature in the classroom lambasting students who have no passion for poetry, a graduate student still unsure of her convictions, a child learning to read, and woman dying as she grapples with the reality of death. Stark’s performance as a woman who has studied the humanities only to find that it is in her death, not her life, that she finally understands the depth of what it means to be part of humanity is both breathtaking and awe-inspiring.

Joining Stark on stage is an ensemble that includes Joseph Ratcliff playing Dr. Harvey Kelekian, Tatum Chandler as E.M. Ashford, Savannah Ludewig as Jason Posner, A’Nijah Betts as Susie Monahan, and Zachary Woravitz as Vivian’s Father.

Chandler, who was awarded as an All-Star Cast Member, joins Stark in showing a wide range as she and the crew backstage does a masterful job of showing Dr. E.M. Ashford in her prime as Vivian’s professor while in graduate school, and then thru the force of makeup and costuming she ages 30 years to return to the stage as Vivian is dying to provide comfort and love that Vivian has so desperately needed.

Other standout performances included Savannah Ludewig as young medical resident Jason Posner, who along with Bearing, learns that there is more to people than just research. Ludewig showcases a depth of understanding of her role as she embraces the intellectual complexity of remaining professional well having compassion for her patients. Susie Monahan RN, played by A’Nijah Betts plays opposite Posner, as a nurse who is long on compassion, and truly tries to provide comfort and dignity to Vivian as she fights, and ultimately loses, her battle with cancer.

Other members of the cast include Madison Benthall, Alexis Lee, Taniya Mitchell, Brianna Gilbert, Gladys Abbey, and Elizabeth Mullins, who provide support in a variety of strong roles that bring the story of death to life. Crew members include All-Star Stage Manager Madison McGinty, Lights Mckenzie Perkins, Sound Theta Drake, Katelyn Jasper, Brek Wagon, Jeremy Waldrep and Kesean Paire.

While the crew may be behind the scenes, it should not be lost on those who come to see this show, that the lights and set for Wit were by far the most complex showcased on Saturday. This show, directed by Melanie Spivey and assisted by Donna Blackerby, was truly a delight that challenges our assumptions about what it means to die, and live with dignity.

Woodville One Act Play will next perform in Houston at the Regional Contest on April 16. By Advancing to this level, they are already ranked in the Top 32 3A plays in the state, in April, they will compete for a place on the stage in Austin for the State Competition and a top eight finish.

At this time a public performance is being planned for the near future and trust me when I say you don’t want to miss an opportunity to witness fantastic theatre right here at home.

  • Hits: 1584