Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Tyler County News

Warren’s Standley named to sports marketing team

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

SportsMarketing STOCK

Special to the Booster

NACOGDOCHES – A team of three sports business students in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Rusche College of Business earned a spot in the final four of the Sport Marketing Association’s 2023 Case Study Competition in October at the SMA annual conference in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Eli Standley of Warren, helped secure SFA a spot in the top four by demonstrating solid working knowledge of the issues confronting the case study team and presenting in a persuasive, enthusiastic fashion, according to Dr. Derek Walton, assistant professor of sports marketing at SFA and faculty sponsor for the team.

“Their impressive achievement in the case study competition was not only a testament to their dedication and skills but also a reminder that students from deep East Texas can achieve great things in the sport industry if they set their minds to it,” Walton said.

SMA hosted a record 22 collegiate teams from across the country to create strategies that Super League Tampa Bay can use to help the United Soccer League Super League launch a new women’s professional soccer league. The league will be featured in up to 10 markets throughout the U.S., and Tampa Bay is one of the original clubs that will begin playing in August 2024.

Student teams had 48 hours to create a plan to build a fan base for the new league, differentiate their brand story, develop and cultivate their supporter group, and show how SLTB can leverage corporate and local sponsorship opportunities. They then presented their ideas in several rounds to judges who included executives from SLTB, the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team and the Tampa Bay Lightning National Hockey League team as well as sports management academicians.

To prepare, the team worked on channeling nervousness into confidence, responding thoroughly, creating a captivating slideshow and using a professional tone, Walton said.

“Our overall approach to the case study was that there is no right or wrong answer, only well-supported, feasible responses,” he said. “Tell a relevant and appropriate story to link with the dilemma being considered in order to develop an emotional connection.”

Matthew Morgan said he applied many of the skills he learned in Walton’s sports promotion class to help his team advance in the competition.

“One of the questions we got in the first round was, ‘Give me your season ticket pitch,’” Morgan said. “Based on the skills Dr. Walton helped me develop, my group and I were able to nail our sales pitch and advance to the final round.”

Eli Standley said his experiences at the conference and competition are helping with both his schoolwork and career planning.

“The SMA conference prepared me in multiple ways for my academic work and my future career,” he said. “It taught me hard work, time management and how to talk to people in a professional way.”

Steven Luenser also said his conference experiences reinforced his planned career path.

“During the case study competition, we had to find sponsors for the new team, and I want to work in the partnership area of sports,” he said. “We also got to hear from people in the sponsorship field talk about their experiences.”

In addition to the competition, students explored the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice facility, attended a Lightning game, and engaged in invaluable networking sessions with prominent industry executives from Tampa’s professional sports teams, including SLTB, the Rays and the Lightning.

Though making the final four at the competition was nice, another memorable moment made the trip’s highlight reel, Morgan said.

“We got to kick field goals on the Buccaneers’ practice field!”

  • Hits: 1196


1 Comment

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Fentanyl STOCK

Educators, law enforcementspeak to fentanyl problem

By Chris Edwards
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AccordingToCDCSPURGER — Last September, Brandy Melo received a call that no parent wants to receive. One of her sons called her to inform her that her 13-year-old son Kaysen Villarreal was dead.

Villarreal was the victim of an unintentional fentanyl overdose. The teenager had attended a sleepover, and was given a blue pill, which his friends informed him was Aleve. Melo tearfully recounted her late son’s story, and the nightmarish way she found out about his death.

The young overdose victim was more than just a statistic, as his mother recounted in an interview that was screened at a community meeting hosted by Spurger ISD last Tuesday night. He was a son, a brother and a teenaged boy with a zest for life.

Villarreal’s story is common to poisoning deaths among young people. According to statistics available from 2021, from the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 72,000 Americans were killed by fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.

According to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, opioids, including fentanyl, are the most common cause of poisoning deaths among children, aged five and under.

At the meeting, which was hosted to inform community members about the dangers of the deadly drug, two regional law enforcement officials Matthew Quinn and Brit Featherston, who work as prosecuting attorners with the Eastern District of Texas, presented the film featuring Villarreal’s story, along with facts and infographics about fentanyl.

Part of the problem, according to Featherstone, as to why the drug is becoming such a problem, is there is a lack of media attention and/or information, in general, about it within the public sphere.

The fentanyl that is being put into, or “laced” within black market drugs, such as heroin, meth and illicit pharmaceuticals is different from the pharmaceutical of the same name that is administered in clinical settings, Featherston said. The fentanyl in question is manufactured in China and India, and cartels are able to maximize profits by utilizing the drug into other drugs to increase the desired effect (i.e. the “high). Featherston said that cartels can make up to six times the profit from fentanyl, due to the small amounts needed, than from a drug like cocaine. The drug is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

The resulting overdoses “is just part of doing business” for the dealers, Featherston said. Typically, fentanyl overdoses don’t fit the profile of the typical drug user, or addict, and that, according to Featherston and Quinn, is another reason why there has been relatively little attention focused on the problem.

Further compounding problems with the drug from a law enforcement perspective is the fact that it takes advanced testing protocols to detect fentanyl’s presence, Featherston said.

Information available from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) states that seven out of 10 pills with fentanyl are potentially deadly, and that in 2022, the agency seized more than 59.6 million fentanyl-laced fake pills, and in excess of 13,200 pounds of fentanyl powder, which is enough to result in more than 396 million lethal doses. That fact, Featherston said, is enough to kill the entire population of the United States.

Spurger ISD has the overdose reversal medication naloxone (Narcan) on hand, according to SISD superintendent Jeff Burnthorn. The drug, Burnthorn said, is “at least an arrow in the quiver to deal with this problem.”

Burnthorn and SISD counselor Arlene Robinson organized the meeting, and their measures were lauded by the visiting lawmen. Featherston said all school districts should invest in Narcan in case an overdose is suspected.

The drug blocks the effects of opiates on the brain and restores breathing. It will only work on a person if they have opiates in their system, but otherwise will not harm. The way fentanyl works to cause an overdose, Quinn explained, is that it works to shut down pulmonary function.

Among the information presented at the meeting was the fact that fentanyl, itself, is ranked as the number one killer of persons aged 18-45 in the United States.

Another story that painted a picture attesting to the “it could happen to anyone” idea of the drug’s tragic outcome centered around Blain Padgett, a Sour Lake native, who, according to Featherston “did everything right,” concerning his diet, workout routines and other health practices, toward accomplishing his dream of someday playing college football.

Padgett, who died on March 2, 2018, took what he believed was a hydrocodone pill from a trusted friend and teammate at Rice University. The pill, which Padgett took for shoulder pain, contained the deadly drug, and he overdosed.

The teammate was arrested and federally charged. Since then, laws have strengthened pertaining to fentanyl distribution. Even if someone unknowingly gives a person a drug containing fentanyl and death results, that person is liable to spend a minimum of 20 years in federal prison, or 10-99 years in prison under Texas law.

“This drug is affecting people just like you,” Quinn said, after he told a story that hit close to home for him. Quinn spoke of a relative, a young woman, who became addicted to prescription pills. When she could no longer obtain prescriptions, she began buying her drugs on the black market, and the pills contained fentanyl, which led to a fatal OD, he said.

This year, Quinn said, the DEA is estimating that 120,000 Americans will die as a result of the drug.

Robinson spoke to the crowd at the end of the meeting and encouraged everyone in attendance to involve the community in the concern over the drug. The drugs, she said, are already present in Tyler County, and are already a problem.

“We need to see the community intrested in this,” she said.

  • Hits: 1412

‘Brother 2 Brother’ to play Emporium Stage

Write a comment

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

“Wild” Bill Spurlock and Randy C. Moore“Wild” Bill Spurlock and Randy C. Moore

By Chris Edwards
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WOODVILLE – Magic is bound to happen when you get two well-travelled, musically adventurous singer-songwriter/musician types together in the same room in a small town, right?

Randy C. Moore and “Wild” Bill Spurlock are proof of that hypothetical. The two musicians met when Moore, who tours as a solo act under his own name, played Spurlock’s Woodville eatery, Wild Bill’s Grill.

From regular jam sessions and gigs at Wild Bill’s, a full band project, Brother 2 Brother, has blossomed. The band will perform at the Emporium Stage on Saturday, Nov. 18, beginning at 7 p.m.

Aside from the duo of Moore and Spurlock, the band will also feature Anthony Malone playing six-string bass and Eric Sanders on percussion. Moore will handle vocals and guitar while Spurlock plays lead guitar.

According to a news release from Brother 2 Brother, the four-piece combo will take the listener on a trip through Texas music from the blues, rock and roll and country-rock, with “stops along the way in Memphis, Chicago and Kingston, Canada.”

Along with its repertoire of tunes, Brother 2 Brother will serve up “some small tales and tall musical arrangements.”

The Brother 2 Brother sound has its roots in the musical chemistry between the two frontmen, both of whom are experienced players. Moore has long led a career as a studio musician and songwriter, and in the past few years, since moving from Nashville back to his native Texas,

he has flourished as a solo singer-songwriter act, and recorded albums that have received airplay here and abroad.

Spurlock, a veteran guitarist and singer, has fronted the Steely Dan tribute band, Bad Sneakers, which is based in Houston. Both Spurlock and Moore have played at the Emporium, together and separately.

Tickets to the show are $25 for reserved seats and $20 for general admission. For tickets, call 409-200-4759.

  • Hits: 1423

Update on injured officer

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Update STOCK

By Chris Edwards
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WOODVILLE – Less than a month after Woodville police officer Troy Costello returned home from the hospital, after being shot during an incident in September, he is reportedly making great progress.

According to Woodville Chief of Police Mike McCulley, Costello continues to improve “day to day while at home,” and can communicate by mouth, and is now able to drive.

McCulley added that Costello even recently helped with a show-and-tell program at a daycare where his child attends.

McCulley said that Costello is “in good spirits and is eager to recover to be able to return back to work.”

The timeline, according to his doctors, who are optimistic, that he will be able to return to work in six to eight weeks.

Costello was shot in the face during an incident on the morning of Sept. 17 in Woodville, in response to a call of a man causing a disturbance. The suspect, Reginald Owens, a 41-year-old Hemphill resident, was later found by multiple lawmen representing multiple agencies after a manhunt that lasted about an hour. He refused to follow commands, began to reach for his weapon and was shot and killed by deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office.

Costello subsequently endured multiple surgeries and a hospital stay. When he returned home, he found a community united in support for him and his family, with blue ribbons tied around doors, utility poles and other displays of support made public.

Costello’s wife, Dr. Delynda Costello, made a statement on social media to give thanks for all of the support.

“We have been deeply humbled by the prayers, contributions, meals, and support. We truly cannot thank everyone enough, and really wanted to express our gratitude. It was also touching to see the blue ribbons around town, when we came back home.

I know Troy was deeply touched to see so much love and support for him,” she wrote.

Delynda added that Troy has had his stomach tube removed and he recently passed a swallow test, and has been able to eat on his own.

“I know that he is anxious to get completely healed, so that he can go back to serving the community,” she said.

McCulley said that the support from the citizens of the community has been great, and that Woodville PD has submitted an application to the 100 Club for assistance, which is being reviewed.

“The 100 Club representative advised me that most, if not all, of Officer Costello’s expenses and income adjustments will be taken care of,” McCulley said.

  • Hits: 3085

Comptroller’s office returns record $344 million in unclaimed property

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

UnclaimedProperty STOCK

AUSTIN — The Texas Comptroller’s office approved and paid out a record $344 million in unclaimed property during the past fiscal year, Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced recently.

The record in unclaimed property returns tops the $309 million returned to rightful property owners in fiscal 2022, and it is the fourth time in the last five fiscal years the Comptroller’s office has returned $300 million or more in unclaimed property.

“The $344 million represents almost 200,000 claims paid to their rightful owners, and the fact that my office has returned $2.6 billion to Texans since I became Comptroller is a testament to the hardworking folks in our Unclaimed Property Division,” Hegar said. “I encourage everyone to visit ClaimItTexas.gov to see if the state is holding their unclaimed property.”

The Unclaimed Property Division has returned more than $4 billion in unclaimed property to its rightful owners since Texas’ unclaimed property program began in 1962. The state is currently holding more than $8 billion in cash and other valuables through the program.

The $344 million in unclaimed property returned in fiscal 2023 includes forgotten utility deposits or other refunds, insurance proceeds, payroll checks, cashier’s checks, dividends, mineral royalties, dormant bank accounts and abandoned safe-deposit box contents. Businesses generally turn property over to the unclaimed property program after it has been considered dormant for one to five years.

There is generally no statute of limitations for unclaimed property the state holds, which means there’s no time limit for owners to file a claim; they can do so at any time.

For more information about the unclaimed property program, or to search for unclaimed property and begin the claims process, visit the Comptroller’s unclaimed property website, ClaimItTexas.gov, or call 800-321-2274 (CASH).

  • Hits: 5081