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Triple D hosts Warrior Bonfire event

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Warriors 020911PHOTO COURTESY OF JUDY LEWIS Participants and volunteers of the Warrior Bonfire hog hunt event.

By Leann Monk

WARREN –  With so much of what’s happening in the world today being negative, it’s nice to see something good happening right here in our own backyard. Tyler County and its people have long been known for their hospitality and big hearts. No matter what the need, Tyler County folks always rise to the occasion.

For the fourth year, Cody and Judy Lewis, owners and operators of Triple D Ranch and Event Venue in Warren, hosted the annual hog hunt for the Warrior Bonfire Program. With the help of countless community members, volunteers and donors, this weekend was one for the record books.

According to hunting guide and Warren Hunting Lease president, Cody Stewart there was a record 14 hogs harvested during this year’s hunt. Stewart stated how proud he was of the efforts of the 45 to 50 volunteers that helped out on the hunt, “without these guys helping and volunteering out here, this hunt would not be possible. It’s hard work.”

Assistant Guide, Colter Stewart, 11-year-old son of Cody, rode with his dad throughout the two-day hunt ready to do whatever the senior Stewart needed.

Colter was tasked with “remembering the spot” when his dad pointed out a good area for the men to hunt; and according to Cody, he did his job well. While Colter was assisting his dad in the lease, his brother Briar, 14, was busy back at the camp skinning the hogs. To the Stewarts, this is a family event, and they could not be prouder to be a part.

The saying is “it takes a village” – and that is certainly the case for this event. It would appear that all of Warren seemed to participate in some way.

The Warren Little Dribblers provided desserts while others donated money, corn, gas, food, coolers and time. The 10 Warriors left Triple D knowing that the people of Warren, and the surrounding areas, support them and the sacrifice they made for their country.

One Warrior who participated in the hunt was Doug Shreve, from Hockley, Texas. He is an Army veteran after 20 years of service.

“This hunt means that I get to come together with other vets and not worry about what’s going on in the world. The hunt, well that’s a plus,” Shreve said.

Shreve joined the Warrior Bonfire program in 2018. During this hunt, Shreve harvested two hogs.

Also at the hunt was Graham Golden, from Hot Springs, AR. Golden served as a sniper in the Marines and was shot and injured during his third deployment to Iraq. Golden has been a part of the Bonfire Project for five years and although he lives in Arkansas, hosts an event on Lake Sam Rayburn once a year. “This program means so…” Graham said, stopping mid-sentence. “The bonfire program means camaraderie. It means that I get to be around people who understand me and that I can let my guard down a little bit. You see when I’m at home, I don’t do people. I don’t do public. But when I’m here… I get to let go,” Graham said.

The mission of the Warrior Bonfire Program is to “provide opportunities that improve the lives of enemy combat-wounded veterans—Purple Heart recipients—on their lifelong journey of recovery and healing. They create activity-based, small group retreats that foster healing, build support communities, and transform lives.”

“I just can’t thank the Warriors enough for coming back, for trusting us to take care of them.”

Judy Lewis commented when asked about her thoughts on the men she hosted. She went on to say, “I’m also thankful that Justin Lewis and Ryan “the Dolphin” Gooseman, the liaisons between the Bonfire Program and us, keeps thinking of us and our community. They could take these guys anywhere but say Tyler County is the only place with this kind of hospitality.”

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Police pursue, apprehend nude car thief

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Tyler County Sheriff OfficeLOGO Tyler County Sheriff Office

By Chris Edwards

WOODVILLE – A Jefferson County woman is in the custody of the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office following a police pursuit that began in Dam B and ended in Woodville.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, on Monday, at approximately 7:25 a.m., a 911 call came in, reporting a nude woman standing on the side of the road. Deputies with TCSO and EMS headed toward the location, FM 92 North at county road 3715, as the caller had reported. The caller, who was a female passerby, told dispatch that she had stopped to check on the naked female subject, and in the process, a log truck driver had also stopped.

While the deputies were heading to the location, the subject jumped into the driver seat of the vehicle and drove away with the caller’s two grandchildren in the backseat. The woman had reportedly offered the woman, who complained of thirst, a bottle of water, and when she went to open her trunk is when she took off with the car and children.

Weatherford said that two minutes later, the deputies received word that the suspect dropped the children off at the Dam B Jiffy Mart at the intersection of FM 92 and US Highway 190. Weatherford said the two children were returned safely to their grandmother.

The deputies were soon able to locate the stolen vehicle westbound on 190, and traveling at speeds of up to 95 mph.

TCSO deputies and officers with the Woodville Police Department pursued the vehicle throughout the city of Woodville, and the pursuit ended on Wheat Street, right before 8 a.m.

The suspect was identified as 28-year-old Lacie Cole, of Orange, and was taken into custody.

During the pursuit, one eyewitness said the suspect was seen in the Walmart parking lot, where she backed into a patrol unit. Reportedly, she also traveled into opposite lanes of traffic during the chase.

Cole was later evaluated at Tyler County Hospital, and according to Weatherford, the case is under investigation.

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Tyler County’s Dogwood Festival planned

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Allie JarrottPHOTO COURTESY OF THE TYLER COUNTY DOGWOOD FESTIVAL DIRECTORS The current, reigning Dogwood Queen, Allie Jarrott.

BY CHRIS EDWARDS

WOODVILLE – The directors for the annual Tyler County Dogwood Festival have met and set in motion preliminary measures to produce the annual festival.

Last year’s festival was postponed and re-tooled due to concerns with the pandemic, and instead of taking place over the course of three weekends in March and April, was limited to one date on the second weekend in June, still, the 77th annual Dogwood Festival was celebrated in Woodville. It was only the second time in the festival’s history that a drastic change had to be made. Throughout America’s involvement in World War II, the festival was cancelled.

The festival’s executive director Buck Hudson, now in his 30th year of being associated with the festival, said that last year’s festival was the most challenging of any to produce, but that it was important to have the event for the youth of the county, and to uphold the tradition.

According to a news release from the festival directors, the event has, for more than 80 years, allowed Tyler Countians the opportunity to “[pay] tribute to the glories of spring and the lovely dogwood trees.”

Hudson and the directors announced that they are planning the full and traditional range of Dogwood activities, which will begin with Festival of the Arts weekend, on March 20-21, followed by Western Weekend on March 26-27 and concluding with Queen’s Weekend on Saturday, April 3.

Along with all of the fun events that comprise those three weekends, the directors also announced the traditional historical play will commence. “This year’s historical play will go back to the very beginnings, as this is the 175th anniversary of Tyler County,” according to the news release.

The theme for the festival, overall is “We are Tyler County: A Celebration of the Beginning.”

At present, the selection process is underway to choose the new Dogwood Queen for 2021, with the first round of selection planned for Thursday, and subsequent rounds scheduled for Feb. 11 and 25.

According to the directors, the contestants will be evaluated on the basis of beauty, poise and personality through individual interviews conducted by the Kingsmen Committee.

The current, reigning Dogwood Queen is Allie Jarrott, who is the daughter of Cody and Joanna Jarrott of Woodville.

She was a senior at Woodville High School when she was crowned and is now attending Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree.

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Help available for small businesses

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1 SBDCCHRIS EDWARDS | ETN Woodville businesswoman Tammy Rucks, of Tammy’s Pizza and Party Palace, chats with Christina Cole, of the Angelina College Small Business Development Center, at an open house event in Woodville hosted by the SBDC and the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce.

BY CHRIS EDWARDS

WOODVILLE – On Thursday evening, the Angelina College Small Business Development Center, in conjunction with the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce, hosted an open house event, at the Nutrition Center in Woodville. The event was a networking opportunity to showcase the variety of services the SBDC has to offer for small businesses, as well as non-profit organizations.

According to Dianne Amerine, director of the center, funding from the CARES Act allowed the SBDC to hire three independent contractors to assist its regular staff and to help conduct events such as Thursday’s open house.

Amerine said the SBDC and the Chamber both agreed the event would be a good method for local businesspeople to network and learn about the services that are available. “We decided this would be a good opportunity to get the word out,” she said.

The consultation services available to businesses are free and confidential and range from creating comprehensive plans to assistance with debt restructuring, financial analysis, as well as marketing. According to a one-sheet provided to attendees of the event, the college’s SBDC, which is under the Texas Gulf Coast Network of Small Business Development Centers, the advisers working to help businesspeople through Angelina College’s center have more than 100 years of practical business experience to assist local entrepreneurs.

“If a business was impacted by COVID, the SBDC can help them,” Amerine said.

Anyone who is interested in seeing what the SBDC can do for them can contact the center by phone at 936-633-5400 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Weatherford named to Burke board

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Bryan Weatherford 020421 copyMUGSHOT Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford

By Chris Edwards

WOODVILLE – Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford was named to the Burke Board of Trustees as an ex-officio, or non-voting, member.

The Burke network services the 12-county deep East Texas region, serviced by the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) and provides mental health services. Weatherford, along with another law enforcement leader, Sheriff Jason Bridges of Nacogdoches County, were named to the board, with appointments resulting from Senate Bill 632 of the 86th Texas Legislature.

The bill promotes cooperation between local mental health authorities and law enforcement by appointing sheriffs or sheriffs’ representatives, to their local governing boards as non-voting members.

“I am honored to have been elected to serve as a Burke Center Trustee,” said Weatherford. “This position will allow me the opportunity to represent not only Tyler County, but all 12 counties in the DETCOG region.”

According to a news release from the Burke organization, Weatherford was appointed to represent the smaller counties of the region and Bridges will represent the larger ones.

“I want to make sure the citizens of Tyler County and East Texas continue to receive the necessary mental health care treatment,” said Weatherford.

The Burke network was established in 1974 as the Deep East Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services, as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, which is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees.

The network has grown from a small organization, which offered limited services, into a major behavioral health provider, which serves more than 5,000 people annually, through a variety of services, according to its website.

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