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Pickup, log truck collision results in injuries

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From Staff Reports

TYLER COUNTY – A serious crash involving a log truck and a pickup truck between Spurger and Hillister resulted in injuries for one driver.

According to a report from Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Shana Clark, the wreck occurred at about 8:30 a.m. on the morning of Friday, March 3 on FM 1013 at CR 4357. According to reports, the log truck, which was loaded with logs and the pickup truck ended up in a ditch.

Clark said that the driver of the log truck, David Hatton, 72, of Hillister, crossed into the opposing lane and attempted to make a wide right turn from the highway onto the county road, which resulted in the truck, a 2007 Ford, driven by 63-year-old Terry Blankenship of Spurger, hitting the log truck.

Blankenship was transported by ambulance to Jasper Memorial Hospital and Hatton was cited for making an unsafe turn.

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March is ‘Red Cross Month’

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From Staff Reports

“Communities are at their best when there are people helping people,” said American Red Cross volunteer David Guth. “Throughout the year the Red Cross provides people an opportunity to make a differ-ence- whether that be in responding to a disaster, donating blood or providing a financial donation- we can make a difference in our local communities by being a part.”

This March, the Texas Gulf Coast Region is honoring those who make its mission possible during the 80th annual American Red Cross Month celebration — a national tradition that began in 1943 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first Red Cross Month proclamation. Across the Texas Gulf Coast Region local officials have declared March as Red Cross Month, where we will recognize community heroes.

“When help can’t wait during emergencies, people in the Texas Gulf Coast Region rally together to pro-vide relief and hope for neighbors in need,” said Charles K. Blake, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Texas Gulf Coast Region. “This humanitarian spirit is at the heart of our community, and we are proud to honor all those who make our mission possible during this year’s Red Cross Month celebration. You can join in their commitment by donating, volunteering, giving blood, or taking a lifesaving skills course.”

Participate in Red Cross Month by visiting redcross.org/texas to make a financial donation, give blood, become a volunteer, or take a class in lifesaving skills, such as first aid, CPR and how to use an AED. On March 22, you can also join our annual Red Cross Giving Day campaign by donating at red-cross.org/givingday to help provide shelter, food, relief items, emotional support and other assistance for people affected by disasters big and small.

Today’s Red Cross volunteers and supporters are advancing the lifesaving legacy of Clara Barton, one of the most honored women in U.S. history, who founded the American Red Cross more than 140 years ago. Her vision to prevent and alleviate human suffering has never wavered. Generation after generation, people have come together to adapt this timeless mission for their communities’ most urgent needs.

Since, July 1, 2022, the Texas Gulf Coast region of the American Red Cross:

Responded to over 1,000 disasters across the region: more than 600 of them being home fire disasters.

We have also helped over 2,000 families with Red Cross emergency assistance through disasters.

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Sour Lake trio charged with organized criminal activity

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By Chris Edwards
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WARREN – An incident in the Warren area resulted in a trio of arrests, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford.

Weatherford said that around noon on Thursday, Feb. 16, deputies patrolling in the area received a call regarding a burglary in progress. Three subjects were on a property, trying to pull a vehicle out of the mud, according to Weatherford.

Three Sour Lake residents, Derek Glenn Ohaver, age 27; Shelby Brooke Smith, age 29 and Brandon Don Kerr, age 39, were present and attempting to pull the vehicle out, with a one-ton hoist, which deputies discovered had been taken from a building on the property.

Ohaver told the deputies that the vehicle belonged to him. Witnesses, according to Weatherford, told the deputies on the scene that the vehicle had been stuck in the mud the previous day and did not belong to the owner of the residence.

Deputies had also discovered the residence, along with buildings on the property, had been broken into the previous day, and they secured them.

Weatherford said that the deputies located a methamphetamine pipe in one of the vehicles, and Smith claimed it was hers. She attempted to flee, without success, while being arrested. Additionally, the deputies discovered Smith gave them a fictitious name and was wanted out of Orange County on a warrant for violating bond conditions. Additionally, Weatherford said that after transport to the Tyler County Jail, deputies searched the backseat of the patrol vehicle where Smith and Ohaver were seated, and discovered a small plastic bag containing a crystal-like substance, which field-tested positive for methamphetamines.

Ohaver, deputies learned, was on parole from TDCJ. Kerr was also arrested and charged, along with Ohaver and Smith, in engaging in organized criminal activity and burglary of a habitation, which are first and second-degree felonies, respectively.

The trio were charged with multiple other offenses. Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Mike Hughes set Kerr’s bonds at $95,000; Smith’s total bonds at $115,000 and Ohaver’s at $110,000. All three suspects are still in custody.

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Fred couple killed in Colorado crash

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By Chris Edwards
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COLORADO – A Fred couple was killed in a crash in Colorado on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 16.

According to Sgt. Troy Kessler of the Colorado State Patrol’s Public Affairs Office, the accident occurred at 7:22 p.m. at milepost 357 on Interstate 70 near Limon, Colorado. Kessler reported the roads were dry with no adverse weather conditions. The crash claimed the lives of Calvin Wallet, age 47, and his wife Jessica, age 39, both of Fred.

According to the incident report, Jessica Wallet was driving a 2022 Toyota RAV4 westbound on Interstate 70 in the right lane behind a 2015 Freightliner semi-tractor trailer. Reportedly, the vehicle collided into the rear of the 18-wheeler. After impact, the SUV and Freightliner remained in contact until the 18-wheeler travel a short distance and pulled unto the right shoulder, dragging the SUV.

Jessica Wallet was transported to a nearby hospital where she later died. Calvin Wallet was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kessler reported that the Wallets were wearing seatbelts and that excessive speed is suspected as a factor in the crash. An eight-month-old infant, in a child-restraint seat, suffered minor injuries. The 46-year-old driver of the 18-wheeler from Dallas, was not injured.

A GoFundMe site was set up to cover the Wallets’ funeral expenses. That fundraising effort can be accessed at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-expenses-for-calvin-jessica-wallet.

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Chester man declares run for U.S. Presidency

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Presidential candidate – Floyd N. Petri, of Chester, and his wife Barbara.  Photo courtesy of Floyd PetriPresidential candidate – Floyd N. Petri, of Chester, and his wife Barbara. Photo courtesy of Floyd Petri

By Chris Edwards
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CHESTER – Floyd N. Petri, of Chester, announced on Wednesday, Feb. 22 that he officially registered as a candidate for President of the United States.

Petri, who formerly served as mayor of the City of Chester, registered his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission and announced his candidacy in the 2024 United States Presidential Election.

“I support the Second Amendment, and as mayor, made the City of Chester a sanctuary for the Second Amendment, guns, hunters and Christians,” Petri said. “I also made Chester exempt from Red Flag laws.”

Under Petri’s leadership, Chester was the first city in Texas to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary City and was honored by the state legislature with a resolution (HR 1040) honoring Petri and his accomplishments in the last legislative session.

“I support America First and Americans first, before anyone. I support veterans, law enforcement, the military, Medicare and building the wall. I also have about 45 other things that I support,” Petri said.

Prior to his experience in city leadership, Petri had a lifelong career in the military and in law enforcement and achieved many honors while serving.


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