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Hurricane season begins

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060922 Hurricane Outlook Map

GLO warns Texans to know risks

By Chris Edwards
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From the beginning of this month we are in until Nov. 30, hurricane season is among us.

Experts are predicting a “more active than usual” season in 2022, with a higher probability that major storms will make landfall in Texas and in other areas along the east coast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

State officials and emergency management personnel are already warning residents to be prepared.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said it is more important than ever for Texans to protect their homes and safeguard their livelihoods against natural disasters.

“Every Texan can follow the five steps of preparedness,” said Bush. “Know your risk, plan your supplies, secure documents, plan your evacuation route and protect your property. Do your part to keep yourself, your family, pets and property protected.”

NOAA has predicted that up to six of the 21 named storms could be major events, which could range anywhere from Category 3 to 5 hurricanes, in which windspeeds reach up to 111 mph or greater.

According to NOAA’s predictions, this year has the potential to be the seventh above-average season in a row, with a 65% change of an above-normal season and a 25% chance of a near-normal season; a 10% chance of below-normal season, according to NOAA figures released on Tuesday.

Factors like La Niña, warmer sea surface temperatures and an enhanced West African monsoon will all likely contribute to an above-average season this year, NOAA officials said. Climate change has contributed to make those phenomenons more intense, NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said Tuesday.

While Texas was spared the effects of any catastrophic storms in 2021, officials and experts are warning residents to be prepared.

The first storm of this season, Tropical Storm Alex, formed in the Atlantic, and as of press time, a tropical storm warning is in effect for Bermuda. That storm, according to officials, poses no threat to the East Texas region.

“Essentially everything is pointing toward an active Atlantic season,” said John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas state climatologist and director of the Texas Center for Climate Studies at Texas A&M University. “It doesn’t guarantee one but it makes it quite a bit more likely.”

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One wanted man arrested; another flees

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two guys 05262022

By Chris Edwards
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COLMESNEIL – According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, a wanted fugitive was seen near Colmesneil, and although he evaded capture, an arrest was made of another wanted man.

Weatherford said that a citizen made patrolling deputies aware of a sighting of Chastyn Malone Graham, a 43-year-old Colmesneil man, wanted on numerous charges out of Tyler and Jasper counties. Graham, according to the report, was driving a forklift down County Road 3251.

The incident occurred last Friday, May 20, Weatherford said. Although deputies were unable to locate Graham in the area of the reported sighting, they did observe a maroon Ford truck following a green forklift on CR 3325, and instigated a stop of the vehicle.

The pickup driver, whom they identified as Wylie Mitcham, a 35-year-old Colmesneil man, was arrested, but Graham, who continued travelling in the forklift down the county road, crashed into the wooded area and fled on foot.

Mitcham was taken into custody on a burglary of a habitation warrant, which was issued by District Judge Delinda Gibbs-Walker, who set a no bond on him.

Graham, who has been wanted on a felony theft warrant, and other charges, since last year, is known to stay in the Colmesneil area, as well as in Hardin County. Following Friday’s incident, Graham will face additional charges, Weatherford said.

“The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind anyone that harbors, conceals, or aids in providing Graham with any means of avoiding arrest will be charged with felony hindering apprehension/prosecution,” Weatherford said.

Graham is described as a white male, standing 6’ in height and weighing between 180-200 lbs., with brown hair. He is believed to be driving a 2004 white Chevrolet Tahoe.

Weatherford said that anyone who encounters Graham should not attempt to apprehend him, but anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should contact TCSO at 409-283-2172 or Crime Stoppers.

In order to submit a tip to Crime Stoppers regarding the location of Graham, or in regard to another wanted felon in the county, tipsters can visit the website 639TIPS.com, or they can call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 936-639-TIPS.

All tips and calls made directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous, and any tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.

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TCSO arrest Louisiana fugitive

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By Chris Edwards
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David Lummas, Jr.David Lummas, Jr.FRED – Deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Louisiana fugitive last week in the Fred area.

Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford said that while out on a routine patrol, TCSO deputies arrested David Lamar Lummas, Jr., a 30-year-old Jasper man, after responding to a verbal disturbance at the Fred RV park, which is located at the corner of FM 92 and county road 4700.

Lummas, whom Weatherford said the deputies made contact with after making the scene of the disturbance, learned he had an active warrant for his arrest out of Avoyelles Parish, Lousiana. The warrant was for theft of property. 

He was taken into custody, and transported to the Tyler County Justice Center, where he remains incarcerated awaiting extradition to Louisiana.

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Big Thicket National Preserve Announces Summer Programs

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IMG 1831 SGN crop
KOUNTZE, Texas – Are you looking for something to do during the summer when family comes to visit or when the kids need to get out of the house? Experience Big Thicket National Preserve with a variety of free summer programs, including canoe trips, nature walks, free fishing days, and more. 
Ranger-led Programs 
Explore Big Thicket with a ranger! We’re excited to host free ranger-led activities every weekend this summer. Take a nature walk and learn about carnivorous plants, life on the bayou, and other topics. Our popular canoe trips on certain Saturdays and Thursdays provide a relaxing way to see the Big Thicket’s scenic waters. And see the park after dark on a night hike! Check the calendar of events for more information. 
Kids to Parks Day 
Kids to Parks Day is a national day of outdoor play on Saturday, May 21. This annual celebration connects kids and families with Big Thicket while promoting discovery and exploration in the great outdoors. Check out the three activities for this year’s event: learn more about paddling from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Baby Galvez boat launch in Silsbee, test your map skills while hiking the Sundew Trail, and try a scavenger hunt for Big Thicket’s animals at the visitor center. During the event, pick up a free activity book—kids and families who visit all three spots will receive a special patch to take home. For more details, call us at 409-951-6700. 
Free Fishing Days & “Pop-Up” Fishing Events 
Get hooked on fishing this summer at our free fishing events on Saturday, June 4, and Saturday, August 6! From 10 am to 1 pm, join rangers at the Texas Highway 327 boat launch on Village Creek in Silsbee for free fishing and activities. Kids and families can learn about different knots, fishing limits, and fish with a ranger on the banks. Kids who finish all activities will earn a Junior Angler badge. No fishing license is required for free fishing events. 
Also, meet a ranger at “pop-up” fishing events at different Village Creek boat launches on certain weekends. Kids can fish with a ranger, get a free activity book, and earn a Junior Angler badge. A Texas fishing license is required for anyone 17 and older. 
Accessible Thicket Thursdays 
Have you ever avoided a ranger-led hike or skipped exploring the visitor center because of a disability? This opportunity is for you! Accessible Thicket Thursdays are specialized opportunities for those who would feel more comfortable in a smaller, tailored group. Email us or call 409-951-6700 to choose a Thursday and let’s design a program that’s right for you. And learn more about accessibility at Big Thicket. 
Big Thicket National Preserve is in Southeast Texas, near the city of Beaumont and 75 miles northeast of Houston. The preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 113,000 acres. The Big Thicket, often referred to as a “biological crossroads,” is a transition zone between four distinct vegetation types – the moist eastern hardwood forest, the southwestern desert, the southeastern swamp, and the central prairies. Species from all these different vegetation types come together in the thicket, exhibiting a variety of vegetation and wildlife that has received global interest. 
Find general information about Big Thicket National Preserve at our website or call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700. Visit us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Big Thicket National Preserve
US National Park Service

6044 FM 420 Rd.
Kountze, Texas 77625
409-951-6700 - Visitor Center
409-951-6800 - Park Headquarters
@BigThicketNPS(Facebook, Instagram & Twitter)
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Legendary Keen to play in Lufkin Final tour wraps up a 41-year career

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REK Kerrville 2016 08394LUFKIN – The Angelina Arts Alliance is thrilled to announce that Robert Earl Keen will perform at the Temple Theater on Sunday, July 3, 2022, at 7:30 PM.

The Road Goes On Forever…until it doesn’t. Legendary Texas songwriter and entertainer

Robert Earl Keen wraps up 41 years on the road with his 2022 Final Tour, I’m Comin’ Home: 41

Years On The Road.

Keen made the announcement in January 2022, with a personal video posted on his social

media accounts. “I’ve been blessed with a lifetime of brilliant, talented, colorful, electrical, magical folks throughout my life,” Keen said. “This chorus of joy, this parade of passion, this bull rush of creativity, this colony of kindness and generosity are foremost in my thoughts today. It’s with a mysterious concoction of joy and sadness that I want to tell you that as of September 4,

2022, I will no longer tour or perform publicly.”

With a catalog of 21 albums, his band of stellar musicians, and many thousands of shows under his belt, POLLSTAR ranked Keen in its Top 20 Global Concert Tours in July 2021. Keen has blazed a peer, critic, and fan-lauded trail that’s earned him living-legend status in the Americana music world.

The Americana genre was officially recognized by the music industry in 1998 and Keen was the first artist to be featured on The Gavin Report’s Americana Music Chart and on the debut cover of its magazine.

Keen continues to blaze a trail for other artists with Producer, Clara Rose, and their Americana Podcast. In 2019, Americana Podcast launched with the inaugural episode featuring Jamestown Revival and Lucero. The Americana Podcast has furthered the interest in artists Billy Strings, Lori McKenna, Drew Holcomb and I’m With Her.

A Houston native, Keen is one of the Lone Star State’s legendary singer-songwriters. In 2019, at a homecoming at the Houston Rodeo, Robert performed with his college friend Lyle Lovett. The old friends opened the show for George Strait to a record-breaking audience of more than 80,000.

Keen was weaned on classic rock and Willie Nelson records. By the time he entered Texas A&M University, Robert taught himself how to the play the guitar and turned his poetic musings into songs. These early days are captured in spirit on the Keen/Lyle Lovett co-write, “The Front Porch Song,” which both artists recorded on their respective debut albums, and in Happy

Prisoner, REK’s bluegrass recording.

From the beginning, Keen took the road less travelled. He produced and financed his first album, No Kinda Dancer. Robert began to make a name for himself when he won the Kerrville Folk Festival’s prestigious New Folk Songwriting Competition.

After his debut release, Keen moved to Nashville. He worked at the legendary Hatch Show Print as a pressman. When he returned to Texas, Keen had a publishing deal, a new label, and a national booking agent. He released The Live Album and West Textures, the seminal album which debuted the rowdy rockin’ fan favorite “The Road Goes on Forever.”

Keen had no idea that his song about a couple of ill-fated lovers running afoul of the law would catapult into the stratosphere of classic Americana, but he credits DJ Steve Kaufman of San Antonio radio station KRIO for helping to start the fire. “Steve talked the station into doing sort of a free-form programming format during ‘drive time,’” Keen says. “It was anything he

liked, which turned out to be great music and a last glimpse at the influence of the DJ on

radio. With an organic boost from Kaufman, I went from playing the front room at Gruene Hall for a max of 150 people to playing a show in San Antonio for 1,500 people. That was a moment that kept me going; because before that, I’d been working for 10 years and had a lot of rejection but very little success.”

Fellow Texas icon Joe Ely recorded both “The Road Goes on Forever” and “Whenever Kindness Fails” on his album, Love and Danger, and the secret was out on Keen’s credentials as a songwriter’s songwriter. He is now a member of the Texas Heritage Songwriter Hall of Fame, The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Institute of Letters.

Keen continued to steer clear of the waters of the country mainstream. His authentic alternative to three-and-a-half minute repetitious radio tunes formed the perfect storm of Keen’s literate song craft, razor wit and killer band. It stirred up a grassroots sensation not seen since the ‘70s heyday of maverick outlaw country.

Two more albums, A Bigger Piece of Sky and Gringo Honeymoon, brimmed with instant classics like “Corpus Christi Bay,” “Gringo Honeymoon,” “Dreadful Selfish Crime,” and “Merry Christmas From the Family”.

The live performance, the show, is an essential experience for REK fans. BMI acknowledged Keen’s contribution as a road warrior in 2015 when they honored Robert with the inaugural Troubadour Award.

Keen and his band hit the road, going out 180 days a year, to play dance halls, roadhouses, theaters, and festival grounds with diverse crowds of college kids, serious singer-songwriter fans, and plenty of true believers.

In 2018, Keen returned to College Station to accept the Texas A&M Distinguished Alumni Award. The prestigious honor has been granted to only a few hundred of Texas A&M’s half a million alumni. The award recognizes Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions, made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University, and in their local communities.

 Keen will continue to write music and create, host his popular podcast, support young artists, and follow his artistic muse wherever it takes him.

“We are so excited to be able to present this incredible Texas artist in Lufkin for what is his final tour. This performance demonstrates our continued commitment to bringing the very best performing arts to our community. This performance will likely draw many people to Lufkin from other cities thereby driving tourism and economic development,” said Jennifer Allen, Angelina Arts Alliance Executive Director

This is a very special pre-season performance where all single tickets will be on sale to the general public on Friday, March 18 at 10 am. Patrons are limited to purchase up to 8 seats and will be available online, in person and by phone at www.angelinaarts.org, 936-633-5454. The Angelina Arts Box Office is located at 108 South First Street, in downtown Lufkin. Tickets range from $70 to

$110 each.

The Angelina Arts Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to enrich, entertain and educate by presenting and promoting the arts in East Texas.

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