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Warren man arrested on meth charge

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By Chris Edwards
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CECIL ZIMMERMANCECIL ZIMMERMANSPURGER – Tyler County Sheriff’s Office recently concluded an investigation and made an arrest of a Warren man.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, deputies began an investigation late last year in reference to a dollar bill that was received at the Spurger Exxon and covered in an unknown white powder. 

Weatherford said that TCSO recently received a lab report from the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab that confirmed the white powder to be methamphetamine. 

Additionally, deputies were able to work with the store’s employees to gather evidence, including video surveillance footage. 

“With video footage and knowledge of the individual, deputies and clerks were able to identify the individual in possession of the meth as Cecil Zimmerman,” Weatherford said.

Zimmerman, a 29-year-old Warren resident, was located and arrested in Spurger at a residence, and transported to jail on a felony possession of a controlled substance charge, as well as a parole violation warrant issued by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Parole Division.

Zimmerman is a registered sex offender, and according to the Texas DPS Sex Offender Registry, has a lifetime registration requirement, stemming from two rape charges from 2010, one of a 15-year-old girl and another of a 14-year-old. He was on 10 years’ parole and probation for each charge.

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Warren man in custody on murder charge

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By Chris Edwards
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John OverstreetJohn OverstreetHARDIN COUNTY – According to Hardin County Sheriff Mark Davis, a Warren man is in custody and charged with murder following a Sunday evening incident.

Davis said that at 7:09 p.m., deputies with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting incident that occurred on the banks of the Neches River, north of Silsbee, at the Hardin County Park. When deputies arrived, they discovered the body of Randy Reed, a 39-year-old Silsbee man. Another shooting victim was air-lifted to a hospital and listed in critical condition at press time. He was identified as 44-year-old Adam Hall, a Silsbee man.

The shooter, John Richard Overstreet, a 24-year-old Warren man, is charged with murder and aggravated assault. His bonds were set at $500,000 and $250,000, respectively, Davis said.

A handgun that was believed to be the murder weapon was recovered at the scene by authorities. Davis said that no motive is known at this time, but witnesses reported a disturbance taking place prior to the shooting.

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Wanted fugitive arrested

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By Chris Edwards
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TidwellTidwellTYLER COUNTY – The hunt for a man wanted on multiple charges ended last week when deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office arrested Christopher Allen Tidwell.

Tidwell, a 33 year-old man, was arrested on Tuesday without incident, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. 

Tidwell was the subject of a month-long manhunt, after being wanted on charges of burglary of a habitation and engaging in organized criminal activity. TCSO asked the public’s help in locating Tidwell and Crime Stoppers had offered a reward for any information as to his whereabouts.

Tidwell, who was believed to reside either in the Dam B area or in Jasper County, was arrested at a residence in the Brookeland area. Weatherford said that TCSO deputies had received information that he was possibly staying at a residence there. Deputies with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office located and arrested him and transported him to the Tyler County Justice Center.

Weatherford said that during a search of Tidwell’s property during booking, deputies discovered a clear plastic baggie containing a crystal-like substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine.

Tidwell is in custody and his bonds were set by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford, totalling $200K.

His charges include engaging in organized criminal activity; burglary of a habitation and possession of a prohibited substance in a correctional facility.

Tidwell is also a convicted rapist. He is listed as a lifetime-required registrant on the Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry stemming from a 2011 conviction.

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Tribe breaks ground on education center site

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actribe logoLIVINGSTON – The Alabama- Coushatta Tribe of Texas recently broke ground on the site of what will be the Aati Imaabachi Imiisa Education Center.

The 49,000-square foot facility will serve as the epicenter of education for tribal citizens of all ages. Anticipated for completion in the fall of 2024, the new center will house the tribe’s Education Department, Head Start Program, Tribal Youth Program, Tribal Library, two play yards, and a multipurpose gym.

Services available at the center will include afterschool tutoring and college readiness classes for students. The new facility will also accommodate the Tribe’s Inner Voice Youth Council.

“Leaders of our Tribe have long dreamed of building this Education Center,” said Ricky Sylestine, Chairman of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas’ Tribal Council. “Throughout our history, this tribe has valued learning and recognized the importance of preparing the next generation for success. This center will help the younger members of our tribe become better citizens while also offering facilities, such as the library, where adults can continue to learn and better themselves as well.”

Sylestine added, “The construction of this new center also signifies our optimism about the future. We have been in this region for many generations and plan to be part of the East Texas community for a long time to come. Education is the key to a brighter future, for our tribe and for our neighbors.”

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas has the oldest reservation in the state located on approximately 10,200 acres in the Big Thicket of Deep East Texas. The tribe is a fully functioning sovereign government with a full array of health and human services, including law enforcement and emergency services. There are more than 1,300 members, about half of whom live on the reservation

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Emergency supplies sales tax holiday lasts April 23-25

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tax holidayAUSTIN — As we enter severe weather season, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminds Texans they can purchase certain items taxfree during the state’s sales tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies, which begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 25.

“Whether it’s fires, freezing temperatures or tornadoes, severe weather conditions can strike at any time, so it is important that families, homes and businesses have the supplies they need to face these and other emergencies,” Hegar said.

“This tax holiday can help Texans save money while stocking up for emergency situations.”

The comptroller’s office estimates shoppers will save more than $1.5 million in state and local sales taxes during the tax holiday, which was approved by the Texas Legislature in 2015. There’s no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase.

These include:

• household batteries, fuel containers and flashlights priced at less than $75;

• hurricane shutters and emergency ladders priced at less than $300; and

• portable generators priced at less than $3,000.

For purchases made online, note that delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation item being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation item can be purchased tax-free during the holiday.

For example, if you purchase a rescue ladder online for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, the total sales price is $309.

Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.

Several over-the-counter self-care items, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray and wipes, are always exempt from sales tax if they are labeled with a “Drug Facts” panel in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

Purchases that do not qualify include:

•batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles;

• camping stoves and camping supplies; • chainsaws; • plywood; • extension ladders and stepladders; and tents.

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