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Early voting commences October 18

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Vote GraphicBy Chris Edwards
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The early voting period began on Monday, Oct. 18 and will last until Friday, Oct. 29. Voters across the state will decide several key propositions, either by showing up early during the window, or on Nov,. 2.

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

CISD voters are faced with at-large trustee positions on the board, with Eric L. Lee, Becky Graham and Seth Fasske running against incumbents Twyla Darder, Luke Wilkinson and Kris Lindsey.

WISD has three seats on the ballot. Richard “Kooter” Shaw, Jr., is running unopposed, while places 4 and 5 have drawn opponents. Incumbent trustee Bryan Shirley is facing Shaun Dunn for Place 4 and Place 5 is between challengers Kris Fowler; Joshua A. Johanson and Kevin McQueen.

Colmesneil also has some city leadership positions on the ballot, as Mayor Duane Crews is challenged by Russell “Rusty” Warner. Councilmembers Dennis Moffett and Gene Allen are running unopposed in their seats.

The Ivanhoe City Council has David Herrington; Skip Blackstone and Tommy Morris up for re-election and Laura Cleland Fregia on the ballot as a challenger.

Below are a list of the eight, statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot. In order to make changes to the state’s constitution, amendments must be voted in by a two-thirds majority in the state’s House and Senate, and then be approved by voters.

The amendments range from those that deal with COVID-19 related matters to tax exemptions for surviving spouses of military personnel killed in the line of duty.

Polling times begin at 8 a.m. and run through 4:30 p.m. from Oct. 18 through 22. On Oct. 23, the polls open at 2 p.m. and close at 6 p.m. They run 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on the 25 and 26 and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 through 29.

Important Dates to Know

• Oct. 18 – First day of early voting

• Oct. 22 – Last day to apply for mail-in ballot

• Oct. 29 – Last day of early voting

• Nov. 2 – Election Day

What you need to vote

To cast a ballot, you need to bring one of these forms of identification:

• Texas Driver’s License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

• Texas Election Identification Certificate (EIC) issued by DPS

• Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS

• Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) issued by DPS

• U.S. Military ID Card containing the person’s photograph

• U.S. Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph

• U.S. Passport

Except for the U.S. citizenship certificate, the form of identification you use must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented at the polls.

If you don’t have any of these to use for identification, you can (1) sign a sworn statement explaining why you don’t have those IDs and (2) bring one of the following:

• Valid voter registration certificate

• Certified birth certificate

• Current utility bill

• Government check

• Pay stub or bank statement that includes your name and address

• Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph).

Mail-in voting

According to the Texas Secretary of State website, you can request a mail-in ballot if you meet one of the criteria: 

Be 65 years old or older

Be sick or disabled

Be out of the country on Election Day or during early voting

Be confined in jail but still eligible to vote

You can request an application for a mail-in ballot online here or print out the form. Once you fill out the form, you must mail it to County Clerk Donece Gregory at 116 S. Charlton, Woodville, TX 75979.

Constitutional Amendments on the ballot

Proposition 1 — If approved, professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations will be allowed to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.

Proposition 2 — This would authorize counties to issue bonds to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in underdeveloped areas.

Proposition 3 — This would prohibit government entities and institutions from enacting rules that would prohibit or limit religious services of religious organizations. This was passed by state policymakers as a response to some communities shutting churches down to avoid crowds gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposition 4 — This is a judiciary-related measure that would update the eligibility requirement for Texas Supreme Court justices, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals and a district judge. Candidates for those judicial seats would need to be Texas residents and U.S. citizens. Candidates for state supreme court, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals or an appeals court would need 10 years of experiences as a practicing lawyer or judge of a state or county court and candidates for district court would need eight years of experience. Candidates whose license to practice law was revoked or suspended would be disqualified from office. These rules would apply to appointed or elected officials who assume their role after Jan. 1, 2025.

Proposition 5 — This is a judiciary-related measure that would authorize the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate complaints against candidates running for state judicial office, just as it can do for current judicial officeholders.

Proposition 6 — This would establish a right for people living in nursing homes or residents of assisted living facilities to designate an essential caregiver who cannot be barred from visiting in person. 

Right to caregiver visits in Texas nursing homes on ballot for November election 

Proposition 7 — This would allow the state to extend a homestead limitation on school district ad valorem taxes for surviving spouses of disabled individuals if the spouse is 55.

Proposition 8 — This would allow homestead tax exemption for surviving spouses of military members killed or fatally injured in the line of duty will also appear on the ballot. The constitution currently allows the exemption for spouses of members of the armed forces who are killed in action, but the expanded language would incorporate military members who die in military training or other military duties.

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Arrests made in church burglary case

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Jared Michael Saulsbury, left, age 17, of Silsbee and 20-year-old Justin Wyatt Chaison of Spurger. Jared Michael Saulsbury, left, age 17, of Silsbee and 20-year-old Justin Wyatt Chaison of Spurger.

By Chris Edwards
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SPURGER – Two young men found themselves charged with burglarizing a Tyler County church last week.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, a combination of items that were identified and surveillance video helped toward the apprehension of two suspects, Jared Michael Saulsbury, age 17, of Silsbee and 20-year-old Justin Wyatt Chaison of Spurger. The two are charged with burglarizing that Oak Grove Church, which is located between Spurger and Fred.

The church’s pastor was able to identify items that were taken from the church from photos that were provided by an anonymous source, according to Weatherford.

When deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office were able to view surveillance video footage from the church, they observed and identified a male subject leaving the church on the Saturday, Oct. 9 date when the incident occurred. The subject was identified as Chaison.

The deputies were then able to obtain and execute a search warrant at a residence located along County Road 4550, where they were able to recover the majority of the items stolen from the church.

Weatherford said that while his deputies were speaking with individuals at the residence, Salsbury and Chaison admitted to the break-in. They were taken into custody and transported to the Tyler County Justice Center. They are both charged with Burglary of a Building, and their bonds were sat by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford, with Chaison held on a $6,000 bond and Saulsbury on $5,000. Both have since bonded out of the jail.

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32nd Annual Harvest Festival held at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville

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A jam session during the 32nd Annual Heritage Village Museum Harvest Festival. (Jim Powers/Tyler County Booster Photo)A jam session during the 32nd Annual Heritage Village Museum Harvest Festival. (Jim Powers/Tyler County Booster Photo) 

Beautiful weather, lots of kids and a big helping of Tyler County history were served Friday and Saturday at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville where the 32nd Annual Harvest Festival was held.

The event features food, entertainment, demonstrations and crafts in the museum, a recreation of life in early Tyler County.

Here's a photo gallery from this year's event. (Jim Powers/Tyler County Booster Photos)

 

2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
2021 Harvest Festival at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville, Tx.
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Family still looking for missing Tyler County man

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Missing ManMissing ManBy Chris Edwards
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The family of a missing Tyler County man issued a bulleting via social media to remind the public to be on the lookout for 72-year-old Thomas Thornton.

The Town Bluff resident has been missing since Wednesday, March 24 and was last seen on video footage the next day at a gas station in Hemphill.

His family has been concerned for his wellbeing. Thornton, who is a combat veteran who served during the Vietnam War, has issues with PTSD as well as dementia, according to family members. More troubling, he did not take any of the medications with him, on which he is dependent.

When he was last seen leaving his home in Town Bluff around 6 p.m. on that day in March, he was heading to Jasper, where he used his debit card at Brookshire Bros.

According to the timeline of Thornton’s last known whereabouts, which were gleaned from security cameras and cell phone pings, he was last on the grid on March 26, when his cell signal was pinged in Shelby County, but lost after that. It is surmised that his cell phone lost its charge, and that is when his family and the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department attempted to get a Silver Alert issued for him, which was activated two days later.

The Silver Alert has since been discontinued, but Thornton’s family members are still asking the public to be on the lookout for the missing man. His niece Dana Lee Summerlin Hutto asked the public to check their hunting clubs and fish camps. “We are really hoping for some clues to lead us to him,” Hutto said.

Hutto said her uncle, who has lived in Tyler County for more than 20 years, enjoys fishing and walking in the woods, and of primary concern, medically, is the fact that he is in the early stages of dementia, which has caused his family to fear for his wellbeing since he initially went missing.

“Tommy,” as his family knows him, typically wears a baseball cap with a “Vietnam Veteran” patch on it, and usually sports T-shirts and carpenter-style blue jeans. He stands 5’7” tall and weighs 255 lbs. Thornton drives a dark grey 2017 Ford Edge with the Texas license plate number NJJ-8580. He also has blue eyes and a visible scar on his right arm.

Anyone with information regarding Thornton’s whereabouts is encouraged to call the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office at 409-283-2172.

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Emporium Stage hosting Ina Dilemma

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Ina Dilemma, pictured left-to-right: Michael Hanna (guitar/vocals); Felesha Sterling (vocals); Krista Thompson (drums) and Mike Jones (bass). (PHOTO COURTESY OF INA DILEMMA)Ina Dilemma, pictured left-to-right: Michael Hanna (guitar/vocals); Felesha Sterling (vocals); Krista Thompson (drums) and Mike Jones (bass). (PHOTO COURTESY OF INA DILEMMA)By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – The Emporium Stage in downtown Woodville is bringing another live music event to the public this weekend. Regional blues-rockers Ina Dilemma will take the stage at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $15 for general admission. All proceeds from the show will go toward the Emporium Stage and its efforts to continue bringing quality live entertainment to Woodville.

Singer/guitarist Kirsten Hardmant will open the show. Hardmant will start at 6:15 p.m. and has played around town at venues such as Doretta’s Lair and the Magnolia Bar and Grill as a solo act. 

She draws from a large repertoire of classic singer-songwriter-type rock and soft rock songs, including covers of Tom Petty and James Taylor.

Ina Dilemma, a four-piece band that combines elements of traditional rock n roll, electric blues and hardcore country, consists of frontwoman Felesha Sterling; guitarist/vocalist Michael Hanna and the rhythm section of Mike Jones on bass and drummer Krista Thompson.

The band has been active for several years in the area, and plays a variety of tunes, from blues-rock standards like “Pride and Joy” to Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman.”

The show’s organizers are encouraging the public to get there early to get a good seat. The show is BYOB.

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