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Pair wanted on sex abuse charges

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PairWanted TCB

By Chris Edwards
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TYLER COUNTY – Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford put out a wanted bulletin on asking for the public’s help in locating Sidney Fletcher McCollum and Amber L. Carnley-McCollum. Sidney McCollum is wanted on charges of continuous sexual abuse of a young child and failure to comply with registration requirements. Amber McCollum is wanted on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

According to Weatherford, Sidney and Amber are known to stay in the Mt. Neches area of the county but are believed to have absconded from the county.

Sidney McCollum is a White male; 5’6” in height and weighs 170 pounds. He is described as having blue eyes and blonde hair, and has tattoos on his right forearm, his neck and on his left tricep. The wanted bulletin lists his date of birth on July 13, 1968. Amber McCollum is a White female, standing 5’5” and weighing 205 lbs. She has blue eyes and brown hair. Her birthdate is listed as Oct. 25, 1980. In her mugshot, Amber is shown with a piercing below her lip.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry database, Sidney McCollum has a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender with the county sheriff’s department in his county of residence, annually. His previous two convictions on indecency with a child charges stem from 1998, when he was sentenced to 10 years’ probation on the charges.

For anyone who has information about the McCollums’ whereabouts, they are encouraged to contact the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office at 409-283-2172 or East Texas Crime Stoppers at 936-369-TIPS. Crime Stoppers also has a website and accompanying app, www.639TIPS.com. TCSO participates in the Crime Stoppers network, and tips leading to an arrest may result in a cash reward. All tips are anonymous.

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Southern Style bluegrass band to perform at Triple Creek

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Southern Style band

From Staff Reports

WOODVILLE – Bluegrass group Southern Style will take the stage at Triple Creek during the venue’s “Bluegrass Weekend,” on Saturday, August 26.

The group is known for its lively performances and for keeping audiences entertained and wanting more and more music.

The event will begin with a prayer and potluck dinner at 5 p.m. Southern Style will begin playing at 6 p.m., and a general jam session with the band will begin at 7 p.m., open to all pickers.

The event is free, so come and bring your instruments and join in the fun. Triple Creek is located at 2850 Private Road 8335 in Woodville. To get there, the road is located 5.5 miles off of FM 1746.

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Hurricane season: Planning steps for those who may need extra help

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HurricaneSeason STOCK

Special to the Booster

from the American Red Cross

Hurricanes are becoming more intense and more destructive as these storms bring increased rainfall and higher storm surges due to the worsening climate crisis. Of the 10 most costly weather disasters in U.S. history, eight are hurricanes.

These powerful storms not only cause problems for people in coastal areas but can also cause damage hundreds of miles inland. The American Red Cross is preparing to respond if necessary and urges everyone to get ready too.

Decide how to best protect your home from high winds and flooding. Plan how you will evacuate and how you will shelter safely at home. Take three important steps get a kit, make a plan and be informed. Learn more here.

Some people may need extra attention during an emergency. For them, planning ahead is crucial. And don’t forget your pets they depend on you for their safety.

STEPS FOR OLDER ADULTS

Understand how your medical, physical and cognitive needs may affect your ability to respond to an emergency.

Consider what you may need if the power goes out, you have to stay home for two weeks or more, or if you have to evacuate.

What help do you need and who can help you.

Identify helpers include family, friends, neighbors, caregivers and care providers to build your network of people who may be able to assist you or that you can assist.

Meet with your helpers to assess your needs and plan together.

If you require power to operate medical devices or keep medicines cold, make a back-up plan.

Keep at least 30 days of medications and extra items such as a cane or eyeglasses. Plan for your food needs if you follow a special diet.

Get batteries to back up devices that require power.

Keep an up-to-date list of medical information conditions, allergies, medications, prescription records, doctors and insurance cards.

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Mobility, hearing, learning, or seeing disabilities can create specific needs for individuals responding to an emergency.

Create a personal support network and make a plan after thinking about these topics:

Do you regularly need assistance with personal care? Do you use adaptive equipment to help you get dressed? Do you use a shower chair, tub-transfer bench or other similar equipment? Do you use special utensils that help you prepare or eat food independently?

How will you continue to use equipment that runs on electricity.? Do you have a safe back-up power supply and how long will it last?

Do you need a specially equipped vehicle or accessible transportation?

Do you need help leaving to your home or office? Can you reach and activate an alarm? Will you be able to evacuate independently? How will you call for help to leave the building?

Will you be able to care for your service animal during and after a disaster?

If you use a wheelchair, make exits from your home wheelchair accessible. If you use an electric wheelchair or scooter, have a manual wheelchair for back-up.

Know how to connect and start a back-up power supply for your essential medical equipment.

If you are vision impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, plan ahead for someone to convey essential emergency information to you if you are unable to use the TV or radio.

CREATE A PET EMERGENCY PLAN

The Red Cross encourages people to develop emergency preparedness plans for themselves and their pets. When possible, Red Cross shelter workers will do all they can to accommodate domesticated pets comfortably, however, depending on the situation, pets may need to be housed in a different location. Service animals that assist people with disabilities are allowed in Red Cross shelters.

Know which hotels and motels along your evacuation route will accept pets in an emergency. Call ahead for reservations if you know you may need to evacuate. Ask if no-pet policies could be waived in an emergency.

Know which friends, relatives, boarding facilities, animal shelters or veterinarians can care for your animals in an emergency. Prepare a list with phone numbers.

Include your pets in evacuation drills so that they become used to entering and traveling in their carriers calmly.

Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are current and that all dogs and cats are wearing collars with securely fastened, have up-to-date identification.

Consider having your pet “microchipped” by your veterinarian.

Create a pet emergency kit place the following items in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container:

Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that they can’t escape.

Food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter/pan and a manual can opener if your pet eats canned food.

Medications and copies of medical records stored in a waterproof container.

A first aid kit.

Current photos of you with your pet(s) in case they get lost. Since many pets look alike, this will help to eliminate mistaken identity and confusion.

Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.

Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.

MORE GOOD STEPS TO TAKE

Download the free Red Cross First Aid app so you’ll know what to do if emergency help is delayed and the free Emergency app for weather alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety steps for different emergencies. Choose whether you want to view the content in English or Spanish with an easy-to-find language selector. Pet owners can download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app for more information on how to include pets in emergency preparedness plans and step-by-step instructions for first aid emergencies and more. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

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Nichols, Ashby named ‘Public Education Champions’

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Nichols Ashby

By Chris Edwards
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AUSTIN – Last week, the organization Raise Your Hand Texas announced its list of the 100 legislators designated as “Public Education Champion Award” recipients. Both Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) were named to the list.

In a news release from the organization, its executive director Dr. Michelle Smith said the award “honors that steadfast commitment to the legislators’ local community when making decisions at our Texas Capitol.”

Smith cited the legislators named to the list as being steadfastly opposed to school vouchers, which have been a hot topic throughout the 88th Legislature, and a priority of Gov. Greg Abbott.

While attempts to create a voucher program were unsuccessful, with both Nichols and Ashby voting against various legislation, including an education savings account program that spawned in the Senate, Abbott has said that in one of the upcoming special sessions, “education freedom” will be the focus.

Smith said that in Texas, public education leaders, as well as legislators, are continually fighting “political forces and well-funded out-of-state organizations from across the United States that want to reshape public education with little or no accountability and transparency.”

“These 100 legislators are doing the most for their communities and public schools,” said Smith.

School voucher legislation has failed in the past in the state legislature. Polling from the Charles Butt Foundation shows that a majority (89%) of Texans polled are satisfied with the quality of public schools in Texas, while 82% of those polled said they would keep their child/children in their current public school, if given other options. Fifty-four percent, the poll showed, also oppose school vouchers.

Raise Your Hand Texas, according to its website, is a non-partisan, non-profit organization, committed to supporting public policy solutions that invest in the state’s public school student population, and advocates for innovation and autonomy toward the goal of college and workforce readiness.

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Almanac predicts ‘unseasonably’ cold winter

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ColdWeather STOCK

By Chris Edwards
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EAST TEXAS – Days with triple-digit-plus highs have been the norm for most of the summer, and the National Weather Service issued, on Sunday, a weeklong excessive heat warning.

Such factors likely have many folks in the area wondering if relief is anywhere in sight. One glimmer of hope could be found in The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which released its 2023-24 winter forecast this week.

According to the Almanac’s website, predictions show Texas to be unusually cold and stormy this year in the wintertime.

The extended winter forecast published to the Almanac website stated “The BRRR is back,” and that “[w]inter weather is making a comeback,” following a warm winter anomaly last year, nationwide.

In its overview of the country’s different regions, the Almanac predicted that Texans “will need to bundle up, as unseasonably cold weather is forecast throughout January and February, with a possible major winter storm in mid-January.”

The Almanac states that its forecasts are based on a mathematical and astronomical formula. Reportedly, the publication’s methodology is a closely guarded secret, and Almanac forecasters have denied using any satellites or weather-tracking equipment, but the formula, a secret, was created by an astronomer/mathematician in 1918.

Although the winter season officially begins on Thursday, Dec. 21, the meteorological winter season begins the first day of December. The Almanac predicts that along with unseasonably cold Texas winter weather, neighboring states, such as New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas, will receive plentiful snowfall, and in some areas, possible blizzard conditions.

Last winter’s predictions from the Almanac called for a chilly season with normal precipitation in most of Texas.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management did report statewide below-freezing conditions in late December of 2022.

The Almanac’s summation of the season states that indications of an El Nino (an abnormally high-water temperature off the Pacific Coast of South America) will be brewing in the latter half of the year, and last until the winter of 2024. This could mean that cold temperatures could occur nationwide, with snow, sleet and ice.

At present, there is a rare La Nina pattern, which sees warmer and drier weather, and the NOAA Climate Prediction Center gives the odds of continuation of this pattern at 62-66% through the early winer.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been in publication annually since 1792, making it the oldest continuously published periodical in the country. It is published every September, and features a variety of information, including forecasts, planting charts, recipes, feature stories and folklore.

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