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Babin, other GOP leaders stand behind Trump

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Indicted Stock

By Chris Edwards
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When news broke on Thursday that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office confirmed a multiple-count indictment of former president Donald Trump, many Republican lawmakers backed Trump, including Texas congressman Brian Babin (R-Woodville). Babin issued a statement through Twitter following news of the indictment, calling it “purely political theater.”

Babin further stated that New York DA Alvin Bragg “won’t prosecute violent criminals but is eager to weaponize the justice system for attempted political gain.” Texas Senator Ted Cruz also weighed in on what he saw as the justice system being weaponized and called the indictment a “catastrophic escalation” in that alleged weaponization.

Trump has reportedly been under investigation for some time for allegedly paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels over an alleged affair that occurred prior to Trump’s 2016 successful bid for the presidency.

The exact charge or charges are not public at this time, and reportedly Bragg’s office said it has contacted Trump’s attorney to set up a surrender and an arraignment at a later date.

The news makes Trump the first former president in the country’s history to be under criminal indictment. Despite this, Trump continues to push another bid for the White House in 2024. Recent polls show that Trump is currently favored by potential voters over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis, although polling high among likely Republican voters, has not announced his candidacy for the presidency. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is expected to run for re-election.

Other Republican lawmakers rushed to back Trump on Thursday. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) called the indictment a “sham,” and a clear example of “extremist Democrats weaponizing government to attack their political opponents,” which he stated in a tweet.

Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House referred to the episode as an “injustice” that the American people “will not tolerate,” and criticized Bragg.

Trump issued a social media statement, himself, through his own Truth Social platform. He wrote that “Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED (sic) the President of the United States of America,” and referred to the Grand Jury’s action toward him as an “attack on our once free and fair elections,” stating that he is the “leading Republican Candidate, by far, for the 2024 Nomination for President.”

Sources indicate that Trump has said he plans to fight the charges against him.

The issue of the hush money for the alleged affair in of itself is not illegal, but what is being reported by outlets such as the New York Times is that the charges likely are related to business fraud and campaign finance violations. As of Friday morning, it was being reported that Trump faces more than 30 counts in the indictment handed down from the Grand Jury.

The reaction from lawmakers of the Democratic party emphasized the rule of law and fairness. New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) tweeted that “No one is above the law,” while Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) referred to Trump’s indictment as a “somber” moment for the nation.

“As we see this process unfold, I hope Americans can find faith in our judicial system and take heart in knowing justice benefits us all.”

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Saturday Rodeo exciting close to Dogwood Festival Western Weekend

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WW Rodeo 03 25 2023 012 Dramatic

Western Weekend is the second of three weeks of the Annual Tyler County Dogwood Festival. The weekend featured a parade and two rodeos.

Both Friday and Saturday events drew a good crowd who enjoyed exciting rodeo action for both the crowd and participants, though the crowd probably enjoyed this young woman's ride more than she. Next weekend is Queen's weekend featuring a parade Saturday afternoon and Pageant Saturday night. (Jim Powers/Tyler County Booster Photo)

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TCSO offering career opportunity

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Career STOCK

By Chris Edwards
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TYLER COUNTY – Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford announced last week that a new opportunity is available for county residents who are interested in pursuing a law enforcement career.

The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office will award up to two individuals an opportunity to attend a local law enforcement academy, which will be paid in full by the county.

Weatherford said the program is similar to what TCSO has done in the past, as far as recruiting applicants; that if someone is employed with a fire department, or with TCSO as dispatch or in the jail and could be an asset, they can be sent to the academy.

Weatherford said that anyone who is interested can apply, and if selected, an applicant will have to sign a three-year patrol contract with TCSO. “Our goal is to have the candidates attend the 2023 fall semester of a local academy,” Weatherford said.

Weatherford said that Tyler County Treasurer Leann Monk and TCSO investigator Chase Nalley really got the ball rolling on the opportunity. The money was already in the budget, Weatherford said, so TCSO did not have to go out for any funding for the program, but Weatherford, Monk and Nalley brought the matter before the Tyler County Commissioners Court last week to get the court’s approval to start it.

“We are looking for qualified and committed individuals interested in a professional law enforcement career who want to make a positive impact in Tyler County,” Weatherford said.

Nalley said the program will be an important motivator to young people in the county who might want to pursue a law enforcement career, but do not have the means to attend the academy.

“New applicants in law enforcement are down and retirements are up,” Nalley said. “There’s no reason why we can’t be proactive in retaining our officers here in Tyler County.”

Monk said the measure will be a great investment for the county, and said in recruiting and retaining officers, the county is looking for “lifers,” who love Tyler County and do not have any plans to leave.

In order to be considered, candidates must be legally able to attend a law enforcement academy and work as a Texas Peace Officer and submit an essay stating as to why they are an ideal candidate. Three letters of recommendation are required from Tyler County residents. The applicants must also be able to pass a comprehensive background investigation and complete a board interview.

Duties of an officer, according to Weatherford include patrolling the entire county in order to enforce criminal laws and maintain order; the enforcement of traffic laws for safety and responding to dispatched calls, among other tasks.

Anyone interested in applying must contact Monk’s office, located at the Tyler County Courthouse, at 100 West Bluff, room 103, in Woodville. Applicants must appear in person. No phone inquiries will be taken.

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Western Weekend continues festival

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Mutton Bustin’ is always a popular and fun event at the annual Western Weekend Lions Club Rodeo. Booster file photo by Jim PowersMutton Bustin’ is always a popular and fun event at the annual Western Weekend Lions Club Rodeo. Booster file photo by Jim Powers

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – Now that the annual Dogwood Festival is in week two, that can only mean one thing: Western Weekend is among us.

Tyler Countians and visitors, alike, will be able to enjoy two evenings of rodeo, sponsored by the Woodville Lions Club, along with plenty of other events, running Friday, March 24 through Saturday, March 25.

Friday and Saturday will both play host to the rodeo out at the 4-H/FFA arena, located west of Woodville on highway 190.

The rodeo, which is being produced by Branded for Christ Rodeo Productions, is a CPRA-sanctioned event, and will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Events at the rodeo include bull riding, mini bareback riding, calf roping, barrel racing and team roping. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. The rodeo also includes a favorite event for the little ones: Mutton Bustin’. Kids aged 7 and under (and 60 lbs. and under) can sign up and pay to compete. Each ride is $25 and sign-ups will be held before each rodeo performance.

Sign-ups at the gate are from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The roots of the Western Weekend date back to 1958, when 75 horseback riders joined the Dogwood Festival parade, starting from the Dickens County Line Store. That tradition continued for 10 years, and due to the increasing numbers of horseback riders, the trail bosses requested a parade of their own.

As a consequence, according to the Dogwood Festival Publicity Committee, the first Tyler County Dogwood Festival Western Weekend was held on March 23, 1968. 

In addition to the Western Day Parade, activities included a special show at the 4-H/FFA arena with performances by riding clubs and drill teams. A Western Teenage Dance and Western Adult Dance were also held that evening. 

A big part of the Western Weekend activities are trailrides, according to the festival’s directors, which are kept up in an effort to preserve the heritage of the East Texas cowboy and to enjoy the natural beauty afforded by the region.

Next week, the Booster is releasing a special, tabloid-sized commemorative section for this year’s Dogwood Festival. It will be inserted in each issue of the newspaper, and also available at the Booster office during the Queen’s Weekend parade for anyone who might want one as a keepsake.


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Axe-carrying man arrested

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Stock PhotoStock Photo

By Chris Edwards
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MirandaMirandaWOODVILLE – A man who was seen carrying an axe while walking along a county road was arrested, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford.

The incident occurred at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 5. Deputies were on a routine patrol when they were dispatched to CR 1040, south of Woodville, in reference to a suspicious male subject who was walking in the roadway and carrying an axe, reportedly.

The subject, Jose Luis Miranda, a 30-year-old Woodville man, was found to have two active arrest warrants, both for criminal mischief charges, issued by Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Ken Jobe.

When the deputies searched Miranda’s person, they discovered a clear plastic baggie with a crystalline substance, which field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

Miranda was taken into custody and transported to the Tyler County Jail. He remains in custody, charged with possession of a controlled substance (for greater than one gram, less than four grams) and the two previous charges that resulted in warrants.

Miranda’s bond was set at $10,000 by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford.

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