Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Tyler County News

Traffic stop results in two arrests

1 Comment

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active


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

WOODVILLE – A recent traffic stop near Woodville resulted in two arrests and multiple felony charges for a man and a woman from Colmesneil.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, along with Pct. 4 Constable Anthony Ross, were on patrol south of Woodville, along US 69, when they made a stop on a vehicle at County Road 4260 (Seneca Road) on a traffic violation.

The driver, Justin Duane Staples, a 30-year-old Colmesneil man, had no driver license and gave the officers probable cause to search the vehicle, according to Weatherford. A passenger in the vehicle was identified as 33-year-old Amanda Leanne Haughton, also of Colmesneil.

A search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a baggie in the center console containing a crystalline substance, which field-tested positive for meth. There was also a makeup bag, with another baggie containing more meth and, according to Weatherford, 14 more baggies and a digital scale.

Both Staples and Haughton were taken into custody and transported to the Tyler County Jail. Staples was charged with felony manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, for 17 grams of meth, as well as tampering with physical evidence. Haughton was also given a felony manufacture/delivery charge on 17 grams of meth, and additionally, once she was being processed at the jail, TCSO jail staff discovered additional meth on Haughton, concealed in her undergarments, which netted another charge of felony-level -possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility.

Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Tina Self set bonds on both suspects at $35,000 for Staples for $40,000 for Haughton. Both have bonded out of jail.

  • Hits: 3937

TxDOT seeking public input on $100 billion projects plan

1 Comment

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active


AUSTIN — As the Texas population continues to boom, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is drafting a record-breaking 10-year transportation plan and now the public is invited to weigh in on the projects proposed in their communities.

To help guide transportation projects over the next decade, TxDOT is seeking public input on the draft 2024 Unified Transportation Program (UTP), the state’s 10-year transportation plan. The draft 2024 UTP totals $100 billion, which is $15 billion more than the 2023 plan. The increase primarily comes from growth in revenues from Proposition 1 (passed in the 2015 legislative session) generated by oil and gas severance fees dedicated to highway improvements.

“The UTP is TxDOT’s road map to developing projects across the state,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “It’s important to work with our transportation partners and hear from the public to guide transportation improvements that address congestion and enhance safety.”

Projects included in the UTP will improve safety, address congestion and connectivity, and preserve roadways for Texas drivers. The UTP also addresses public transportation, maritime, aviation, rail, freight and international trade, and bicycle and pedestrian connectivity.

The public is invited to participate in a virtual public hearing on July 25 at 2 p.m. The public may join the meeting and hearing by phone or online via TxDOT Public Involvement.

The draft 2024 UTP public comment period began on Friday, July 7, and will end Monday, Aug. 7, at 4 p.m. (CDT). There are multiple ways to comment throughout the process, and they can all be found on the Public Involvement section of TxDOT.gov, along with recordings and presentations from each meeting and hearing. Comment forms are also available in English, Arabic, Cantonese, Hindi, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The UTP is updated annually, and TxDOT works with its transportation partners to identify projects to be included. Public comments and feedback are a very important part of developing the plan. Available in English and Spanish, a UTP Fact Sheet provides an overview of the program.

The Texas Transportation Commission approves the UTP annually in accordance with Texas state law at its August commission meeting and publishes the approved UTP on TxDOT.gov.

  • Hits: 2428

Nichols named to ‘Best Legislators’ list

Write a comment

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Legislator STOCK

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

Nichols MugAUSTIN – One tradition that comes after the conclusion of a legislative year in Texas is the lists of the best and worst state legislators from Texas Monthly magazine. The magazine has been doing this since its inception in 1973.

Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) who represents Senate District 3 in the state’s upper chamber, was named to the magazine’s 10 Best Legislators list in its July issue, making it his second appearance on the list. He also received the honor in 2017.

The profile of Nichols in the magazine began with a nod to Nichols’s often against-the-grain philosophy regarding his party affiliation; noting that Nichols has long opposed creating a school voucher system, which was one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s primary goals going into the 88th Legislature.

The profile also highlighted Nichols’s stance as one of the few Republican lawmakers in Austin who support adding an exception for rape to the state’s existent abortion ban, as well as his support for raising the legal age of purchase for certain semiautomatic weapons to 21.

The article states that “When a state’s priorities are set by a small but vocal minority, standing up for broadly popular policies counts for real courage,” referencing Nichols’s stances.

Despite differences of opinion with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, namely on the voucher system issue, Nichols has appeared to maintain a relationship with Patrick, the article states, and got several bills passed during the regular session.

It notes how Nichols’s greatest accomplishment during the session was to make Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches a part of the University of Texas system, which will provide the now-100-year-old venerated East Texas institution with a needed infusion of energy and funding.

The profile also quotes an unnamed Capitol insider who noted Nichols’s effective representation of his vast East Texan district despite “the political hostile work environment created by Dan Patrick.”

In the feature, the writers prefaced the best and worst lists with a re-cap of the regular session; that “transformational opportunities” for the state were on the table, but “petty intrigues” prevented many opportunities from seeing legislative action.

Nichols was not the only East Texan statesman to make the best-of list. House of Representatives member Ernest Bailes, who represents House District 18, was also named to the list.

  • Hits: 1038

July 4 shooting suspect arrested

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Handgun STOCK

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

Jama WiseJama WiseWOODVILLE – A suspect in a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, July 4, was taken into custody the same day, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford.

According to Weatherford, deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported shooting that occurred at a scene along County Road 4470 (MLK), at approximately 5:44 p.m. on Tuesday. The deputies were told that the victim had sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the neck, face, torso and buttocks, according to Weatherford.

When the deputies arrived, they were able to locate and take Jama Dalee Wise, a 46-year-old Hillister resident, into custody without incident.

Weatherford said a crime scene was established around the area before search warrants were executed on the residence and on a vehicle.

“During a search of the crime scene, deputies and investigators were able to recover physical evidence along with multiple witness statements,” Weatherford said.

Wise was booked into the Tyler County Jail where he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and according to Weatherford, is awaiting magistration.

The name of the victim has not been released at this time.

  • Hits: 1811

Texas to receive $3.3 billion in funds for broadband

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Broadband Stock

By Jayme Lozano Carverand Pooja Salhotra
The Texas Tribune

Texas will receive more than $3.3 billion in federal money — the most of any state — to help expand broadband availability statewide, the Biden administration announced Monday.

The money will be distributed from the $42.45 billion in the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program as part of President Joe Biden’s 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funds aim to connect more than 8.5 million households and small businesses nationwide — and nearly 2.8 million of those households without broadband are in Texas. Each state received at least $107 million.

Separately, the BEAD program includes more than $14 billion in funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which makes broadband service more affordable for eligible households nationwide (and can be applied for now), $2 billion for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, and $2 billion for the Department of Agriculture’s Reconnect Program that provides loans and grants to build broadband infrastructure in eligible rural areas.

Texas and the other states can submit initial funding proposals from July 1 through Dec. 27. After the National Telecommunications and Information Administration approves proposals, which will occur on a rolling basis, states and territories will be able to access at least 20% of their funds. The Texas Broadband Development Office will allocate the funds, which will go to where the state and federal broadband maps indicate service is needed. However, service providers and local officials have disputed the accuracy of those maps.

The Biden administration has compared its investment in broadband to the 1936 Rural Electrification Act, which offered low-cost loans to help bring electricity to rural areas.

“Whether it’s connecting people to the digital economy, manufacturing fiber optic cable in America, or creating good paying jobs building internet infrastructure in the states, the investments we’re announcing will increase our competitiveness and spur economic growth across the country for years to come,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement Monday.

The $3.3 billion federal allotment will boost investments made by Texas lawmakers during this year’s legislative session. House Bill 9, filed by State Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, allocates $1.5 billion to expand internet availability in the state. Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 9 into law this month, and Texans will vote on the final approval of the funds in November.

“The Legislature had the forethought to put up $1.5 billion this session toward further broadband deployment and to leverage the full potential of the federal funding set aside for the state,” said A.J. Rodriguez, executive vice president of Texas 2036, a data-based think tank. “This is one of many crucial down payments they made this session. It targets Texas’ rural communities and underserved pockets of our urban areas so that those Texans can fully participate in the 21st century digital economy.”

Ashby said the state has never been in a better position to increase connectivity, with billions of dollars in store to improve broadband and telecommunications infrastructure.

“I’m very pleased the state of Texas stands to receive more federal grant funding for broadband deployment than any other state,” Ashby told the Tribune. “By awarding Texas with over $3.3 billion, the NTIA has reaffirmed our long-standing belief that there is an urgent need to deliver reliable high-speed internet to the people of Texas.”

In a statement released Monday, the Texas Cable Association applauded the funding announcement, saying the investment will play a big role in closing the state’s digital divide.

“We look forward to working with state leaders to ensure unserved and underserved communities are prioritized for connectivity and that strong guardrails are established to protect these investments from wasteful abuse,” the association said in their statement.

According to a statement, the Biden administration expects that all states and territories will now have the resources to connect everyone in the country by 2030.

  • Hits: 1169