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Let them eat Kix

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LetThemEastKix

By Tom Purcell

I never parted with a $20 bill faster.

It happened at one of my favorite diners. The Western omelet and Diet Coke I often get wasn’t the $11 it had been for as long as I remember. It was $16.

That expense, with my tip for the excellent waiter, consumed my entire $20 bill.

I feel bad for the diner’s owner. He told me that soaring food costs have been killing his profits for months. He’s been forced to raise his prices, yet he’s making half of what he used to. Why?

First, his labor costs are up because there is a shortage of workers and he has to pay them a higher hourly wage or they won’t take the job.

And second, because he has to charge higher prices, his customer base is dwindling.

As wonderful as a diner breakfast is, more people, getting hit by inflation across the board, are choosing to stay home and eat a bowl of Wheaties or Kix instead. I’m certainly no economist. But I know this: inflation stinks.

According to one financial advisor quoted in Forbes, there are a few driving factors behind our current spike in prices – high demand and low supply.

COVID-19 lockdowns caused Americans to sit on their money for months but lately they’ve been injecting those dollars back into the economy with abandon.

The nearly zero-percent mortgage interest rates we’ve been enjoying since March 2020 are driving up the demand for houses – and therefore their sales prices. And global supply chains for many products are all goofed up because of the pandemic’s disruptions.

For instance, due to a shortage of vehicles for sale — new vehicles are being held back by car makers because of a shortage of computer chips — new and used car prices are ridiculously high.

I bought a new Toyota Tacoma Off Road truck in December of 2019 and it’s done something no other vehicle I’ve bought has ever done in my life: gone up in value. Kelly Blue Book tells me that my truck with 11,100 miles on it is worth $3,000 more than I paid for it brand new.

That is one of the few upsides to inflation. Owning property is another. If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, but the dollar “value” of your home keeps rising, you at least keep pace with inflation.

But if you are retired, as my parents are, and living on a fixed income, inflation is an invisible  tax that nibbles at the buying power of your money.

Your limited dollars buy fewer groceries and other increasingly expensive basic items you need to sustain yourself.

I trust in the efficiency of the many very talented businesspeople in our mostly free economy to adjust to inflation and get our markets running smoothly again.

But I don’t trust our government leaders who have been spending recklessly for years and are currently attempting to ram a massive, ridiculous spending bill down our throats that could make high inflation a lasting problem.

I fondly remember the Clinton presidency when, for a blip in time, our government actually took in more money than it spent.

But since 2001 Presidents Bush ($6 trillion), Obama ($9 trillion) and Trump ($6 trillion) have reversed that trend and added trillions to our total debt.

Way too few people in Washington seem to care about our $28 trillion national debt or the inflation they’ve caused.

They don’t care a whit about struggling diner owners or cash-strapped patrons who now eat cereal for breakfast.

Tom Purcell is an author and humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Police investigating drive-by shooting

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Police Shooting GraphicBy Chris Edwards
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 WOODVILLE – The Woodville Police Department is investigating a drive-by shooting that occurred on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 23, and needing the public’s help in finding a suspect or suspects.

Woodville Chief of Police Mike McCulley said that officers were dispatched initially to a call of shots being fired at the intersection of Pecan and Robin, near the Woodville Housing Authority.

McCulley said that upon arrival, the officers observed a parked vehicle, a grey Dodge Charger, in front of a residence on Robin Street. The vehicle had “obvious” damage from multiple gunshots, McCulley said. 

Two men were inside the vehicle, and they were unharmed. McCulley said that at this time their names are being withheld, but they were from Jasper and Hutto and aged 19 and 20.

“Right now, there is no direct motive as to why the shooter or shooters targeted this particular vehicle and its two occupants,” McCulley said. He added that they were “extremely lucky they were not hit.”

The victims both had their backs turned and did not see the shooter(s), McCulley said, as the shots were fired from their rear.

McCulley said there were multiple empty cartridges at the scene, and that a dozen rounds were fired at the car. He said the scenario was that possibly there were two shooters, or one shooter who had two different guns, as there were multiple calibers of shell casings.

Aside from being unable to locate any suspects on the scene, McCulley said there were no witnesses in the neighborhood and no one saw a suspect’s vehicle. “We don’t have a whole lot to go on right now, but we’re trying to find out things,” McCulley said.

“We are running down leads, but asking for the public to please contact us if they are aware of anyone involved in this incident,” he said.

McCulley added that such an incident is uncommon to the area and “needs to be solved as soon as possible.”

Officers did interview both of the occupants of the vehicle and they did not have any information as to who might have been responsible.

Along with Woodville PD, deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office along with personnel from the Texas Department of Public Safety assisted on the scene.

Anyone who has information about this incident can contact Woodville Police Department at 409-283-3791. McCulley added that any information provided to officers will be kept anonymous. 

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Woodville man arrested on sex charge

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Gavin Wayne AllenGavin Wayne AllenBy Chris Edwards

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 LIVINGSTON – A Woodville man was arrested last week in Polk County on a sex charge.

According to Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons, 23-year-old Gavin Wayne Allen, of Woodville, was taken into custody last week and charged with Online Solicitation of a Minor (under the age of 14.) 

Lyons said his office had received a complaint from the parents of a 13-year-old female child, claiming that the child had received sexually explicit messages on social media from Allen.

Detectives with PCSO began investigating the complaint, and discovered nude photographs sent by Allen to the child. Allen, according to Lyons, served as a bowling coach for local youth at the bowling alley in Livingston. 

According to Lyons, when detectives were conducting interviews to gather evidence, and monitoring cell phone messages, they observed that Allen was attempting to meet the child later that evening (Monday, Oct. 18) to have sex. 

It was then, Lyons said, that detectives felt “for the safety of the child to further their attempts to locate Allen,” who was then found and taken into custody and booked into the Polk County Jail. 

The following day he was released on a $50,000 bond set by Justice of the Peace Sarah Rasberry.

Additionally, Lyons asked that any parent whose child had contact with Allen to contact and speak with Lt. Craig Finegan with PCSO’s Criminal Investigation Division at 936-329-9028.

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Unofficial voting totals from Tyler County reported

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Voting GraphicChris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – Tyler County residents turned out to the polls during the early voting period and on Tuesday (Election Day) to vote in the statewide constitutional amendment election as well as several local elections.

Locally, voters who are serviced by the Colmesneil Independent School District as well as Woodville ISD had the opportunity to choose from candidates on the ballot.

The CISD election for two places on its board saw 566 total votes cast, with Becky Graham receiving 132; Kris Lindsey 124; Twyla Darder 112; Luke Wilkinson 111; Eric L. Lee 55 and Seth Fasske 32. 

On the WISD board of trustees, Richard “Kooter” Shaw, Jr., ran unopposed for the Place 3 position, and received 654 votes.

For the Place 4 seat, incumbent Bryan Shirley received 505 votes to challenger Shaun Dunn’s 194. Place 5 drew three challengers to fill the seat, with Kris Fowler getting 308 votes; Kevin McQueen 237 and Joshua A. Johanson 143.

In citywide elections, the leadership of Colmesneil will remain under Duane Crews as mayor, with 91 votes received to Russell “Rusty” Warner’s 29. Crews was appointed mayor after longtime mayor Don Baird’s stepping down earlier in the year.

Colmesneil city councilmembers Dennis Moffett and Gene Allen ran unopposed, and received 108 votes and 86 votes, respectively.

The Ivanhoe City Council had three at-large positions up, with Laura Cleland Fregia challenging incumbents David Herrington, Skip Blackstone and Tommy Morris. Blackstone received 126 votes; Morris 106; Herrington 105 and Freiga 52.

All the numbers tallied on Tuesday night are unofficial numbers, but do represent in-person, as well as absentee voting.

For the statewide constitutional amendment election, all eight of the amendments up for a vote passed. The amendments ranged from counties’ authorization to issue bonds to fund infrastructure projects (amendment 2) to homestead tax exemptions for surviving spouses of veterans (amendment 8). 

In this election, according to those unofficial results, there were 1,849 ballots cast, with 212 of them absentee. For early voting, 450 Tyler County voters took advantage of the early period, while 1,187 came out on Tuesday.

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Winning Powerball ticket sold in Colmesneil

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Lottery WinnerBy Chris Edwards
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COLMESNEIL – Someone who darkened the doors of the Colmesneil Jiffy Mart had Lady Luck on their side.

The Texas Lottery Commission reported that a winning ticket was sold at the store last week. The winning ticket was for the Powerball drawing, which took place on Saturday, Oct. 30. The winning amount was $2 million.

An employee of the store said on Tuesday morning that to her knowledge no one has claimed the prize, and calls to the state lottery office had not been returned at press time.

In order to claim the prize, the holder of the winning ticket must report to one of the claim centers in Beaumont or Austin.

The winning numbers of the prize were 5, 23, 28, 43 and 56 with a 19 Powerball and a 2 Power Play. The winner, according to the state lottery website report had opted for the Quick Pick, and got five of the five numbers correct, for the $1 million prize amount, with the Power Play number also chosen, which added another million atop the initial prize.

According to the Lottery Commission, tickets must be claimed no later than 180 days after the draw date, and tickets are not considered valid winning tickets until they are presented for payment and meet the Commission’s validation requirements.

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