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MLK Day Celebrated

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MLK Day Parade 2023

January 16 is Martin Luther King, Jr. day and celebrations were held all over Southeast Texas to recognize the great man's legacy.

Here's a photo from the MLK day parade held annually in Woodville, Tx. (Jiim Powers/TCB Photo)

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Babin sworn-in for new congressional term

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Babin for Web

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Brian Babin (R-Woodville) issued the following statement after swearing into the 118th Congress last week: “This week, we saw democracy hard at work, and I believe we all move forward stronger because of it,” said Babin.

“The compromises made on the House floor will empower us as individual members to fight the Democrats’ woke ideology that is destroying the country.

“It is clear that we are firm in our beliefs, cling to what’s right, and lead by action rather than mere words. With the unwavering determination to protect our constitutional principles, we will make certain our government remains of, by, and for the people to the very end.

“Our nation is truly the greatest in the world, with unmatched opportunity and attainable success for all willing to work for it. As Americans, we are among the few who have tasted true freedom and know it’s always worth fighting for.

“I have once again sworn my oath and am ready to fight tirelessly to ensure you are free, safe, and have every tool necessary to prosper. Now, let’s get to work!”

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Daycare facility cleared by state agency

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DayCare STock

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

WOODVILLE – A Woodville daycare facility was cleared of charges of neglect and abuse.

According to Bill Morian, Jr., attorney for Jillian and Kelly Bass, the owner and operator of Early Birds Learning Center, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services completed its administrative review and ruled out any findings consistent with the charges made last year.

“Jillian Bass and Kelly Bass thank the individuals involved in the review process for their hard work and due diligence,” Morian said.

In a statement made on behalf of Jillian and Kelly Bass by Morian, it is noted that “a disgruntled former employee of the childcare facility made unfounded allegations of abuse ranging from giving the children melatonin to spanking.”

The allegations began last year, and while the state was in charge of investigating the claims, concerning the facility’s licensing, there was also a criminal investigation conducted by Woodville Police Department.

The criminal component of the case was dismissed in late September by a Tyler County Grand Jury.

At the time the criminal charges were quashed, Morian referred to the investigation conducted by the state as “a one-sided quasi-investigation,” and added that in the wake of the allegations, both Bass women had been subject to harassment and death threats.

The state’s investigation resulted in the involuntary closure of the facility, a decision which was appealed.

“While the process took longer than we wanted, we are thankful to have a final conclusion, appreciate the community’s support, and look forward to continuing future childcare services,” Morian’s statement concluded.

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Fugitives added to Texas 10 Most Wanted List

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Ten Most Wanted

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Rogelio Salinas, Salomon Marquez and Shacory Pryor to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders List, and Crime Stoppers is now offering a cash reward of up to $3,000 for information leading to each of their arrests. All tips are guaranteed to be anonymous.

 Rogelio Salinas, 32, of La Grulla, has been wanted since August 2020, when the United States Marshals Service issued a warrant for his arrest for a probation violation. The Starr County Sheriff’s Office issued warrants for Salinas’ arrest in September 2021, for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements and terroristic threat.

 In 2010, Salinas was convicted of indecency with a child by exposure after an incident involving a 13-year-old girl. He subsequently was sentenced to three years of confinement. In 2016, he was convicted of driving while intoxicated with a child under the age of 15. The following year, he was convicted of smuggling illegal aliens and received a 30-month federal sentence with 36 months of supervised release. Salinas was released from federal custody in February 2020.

 Salinas is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 195 pounds. He has tattoos on his neck, both arms, left wrist, left hand and an ear. For more information or updates in the event of his arrest, view Salinas’ wanted bulletin.

 Salomon Olivas Marquez, 59, of Odessa, has been wanted since March 2022, when the Ector County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for his arrest for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements with a previous conviction.

 In 2002, Marquez was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child after an incident involving a six-year-old girl. He was subsequently sentenced to five years of confinement. In 2010, he was convicted of failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements and sentenced to three years of confinement and three years of probation.

 Marquez is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 195 pounds. He has tattoos on both arms. In addition to Odessa, he also has ties to Midland. For more information or updates in the event of his arrest, view Marquez’s wanted bulletin.

 Shacory Lee Pryor, 43, of Overton, has been wanted since March 2021, when the Smith County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for his arrest for possession of marijuana. Additionally, since December 2021, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office has issued warrants for his arrest for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements, tamper/fabricate physical evidence with intent to impair, resisting arrest, evading arrest and two counts of possession of marijuana.

 In 2002, Pryor was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child after an incident involving a 12-year-old girl. He subsequently was sentenced to 12 years of confinement. In 2016, he was convicted of burglary of a habitation and sentenced to four years of confinement.

 Pryor is 6 feet tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He has tattoos on his chest, abdomen, right shoulder, both arms and both legs. In addition to Overton, he also has ties to Dallas and Kilgore. For more information or updates in the event of his arrest, view Pryor’s wanted bulletin.

 Texas Crime Stoppers, which is funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, offers cash rewards to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of one of Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Fugitives or Sex Offenders. In 2022, DPS and other agencies arrested more than 70 people off the lists and a total of $88,000 in rewards was paid for tips that yielded arrests.

 To be eligible for cash rewards, tipsters MUST provide information to authorities using one of the following three methods:

 Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).

Submit a web tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about then clicking on the link under their picture.

Submit a Facebook tip by clicking the “SUBMIT A TIP” link (under the “About” section).

 All tips are anonymous — regardless of how they are submitted — and tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.

 DPS investigators work with local law enforcement agencies to select fugitives for the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive and Sex Offender Lists. You can find the current lists — with photos — on the DPS website. 

Do not attempt to apprehend these fugitives; they are considered armed and dangerous.

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Regional manhunt ends in arrest

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MATTHEW EDGARMATTHEW EDGAR

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

HEMPHILL – A manhunt that lasted almost a year came to a close on Dec. 29, 2022 near Hemphill.

Matthew Hoy Edgar, a 26-year-old Sabine County man, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Edgar, who was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend, Livye Lewis, in January of 2022, had fled during his trial proceedings.

Edgar was convicted and sentenced, in absentia, to 99 years in prison. According to a news release from the U.S. Marshals Service issued after his arrest, Edgar, who was on the Texas 10 Most Wanted list, was apprehended when investigators received information about his whereabouts.

The Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force, along with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Sabine County Sheriff’s Office, located and arrested Edgar at a residence in rural eastern Sabine County.

The news release also mentioned Edgar’s previous convictions for evading arrest and serious bodily injury from 2015. He was charged with Lewis’s murder in 2020, and while awaiting trial, was arrested in 2021 on an assault of a family/household member charge.

When Edgar disappeared, on Jan. 27, 2022, the ensuing manhunt drew national attention to the case, with Lewis’s mother telling several national news outlets that she and the family wanted closure.

When the Sabine County issued a warrant for Edgar’s arrest, law enforcement from around the region joined in on the hunt. According to Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox, in a press conference held last Friday following the arrest, lawmen followed leads provided by citizens and other law enforcement agencies, which took them into neighboring states. Ultimately, Maddox said, Edgar was taken into custody while sitting on the back porch of a local residence located not far from his family’s property and the actual homicide scene.

He was immediately taken to the Sabine County Jail to await formal sentencing by the court, according to Maddox.

Maddox said that no other individuals were arrested with Edgar, however, two subjects were detained and later released by SCSO deputies.

“The investigation into Edgar’s disappearance continues and could eventually lead to additional arrests by the Sabine County Sheriff’s Office,” Maddox said.

Maddox said he would like to thank all law enforcement agencies involved in the lengthy investigation for their commitment to getting Edgar back in custody, and especially the United States Marshal’s Service for their hard work and perseverance. 

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