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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024


Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

Tyler County News

Rangers seeking help in solving 1988 cold case

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Susan BolenSILSBEE – On July 28, 1988, 26-year-old Caroline Susan Bolen was found deceased by a friend at her home in Silsbee.

An extensive investigation was immediately initiated and conducted by the Silsbee Police Department and Texas Rangers, but no viable leads have been developed since Bolen’s death.

The Texas Rangers Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program and The Silsbee Police Departments Special Assignments Unit reopened the case in 2019 and are seeking the public’s assistance with this investigation.

Any information can be submitted to the Silsbee Police Department SAU Investigator Justin Holt at 409-385-3714, Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip to https://www.dps.texas.gov/coldCase/Home/Details/301 Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program; all tips are anonymous.

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Man arrested for drugs, warrant

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By Chris Edwards
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ManArrested0727TOWN BLUFF – A Woodville man was arrested last week on a suspected theft charge and possession of drugs.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff ’s Office ar-rested 30-year-old Devon Ray Moucheron, of Woodville, on the morning of Sun-day, July 16. Weatherford said that the patrolling deputies were made aware of a possible theft that had allegedly just occurred at a residence on County Road 4140. The deputies were provided a description of the suspect’s vehicle, a black Chevrolet se-dan, which was southbound along FM 92.

The deputies located the vehicle, and were able to con-duct a stop, near Spurger. passenger in the vehicle, whom the deputies identified as Moucheron, told them that he had permission to take two car rims from the residence on CR 4140.

“During a search of the trunk, deputies located the car rims,” Weatherford said. He added that a search of the vehicle turned up a crystal-line substance that field-test-ed positive for methamphetamines. Other items of drug paraphernalia were present in the vehicle, and Moucheron admitted to the deputies that the meth and items of paraphernalia were his.

He was taken into custody and transported to the Tyler County Jail, where he was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance for the meth and was found to have a warrant out of Tyler County for engaging in organized criminal activity. Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Tina Self set Moucheron’s bond at $30,000. Moucheron has  since bonded out of jail, ac- cording to jail records.

Weatherford said that the rims were returned to the caller, and Moucheron was issued a criminal trespass warning for the residence.

Additionally, Weatheford said, Moucheron could face additional charges related to the theft.

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Refill time at Steinhagen

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By Chris Edwards
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DAM B – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced on Monday that the process to refill B.A. Steinhagen Lake has begun, as of last Wednesday, July 19.

The drawdown of the lake was first announced at the end of June, as repairs were needed to the Robert D. Willis Powerhouse. The USACE Fort Worth District Water Management stated in a news release that the maintenance work on the powerhouse has been successfully completed ahead of schedule.

According to the USACE, the current schedule is to have the lake returned to its full pool, which is 82.5’ above mean sea level (msl) by the date of August 15, at the latest.

The rise, however, is contingent on several key factors, including inflow from the Neches River; Sam Rayburn Dam releases on the Angelina River through hydropower generation as well as downstream flow requirements.

Originally, the target goal was to begin filling the lake back up by Wednesday, July 26, and the estimated time of the repair work was 10 days.

The public access to the East End Day Use area, the Town Bluff Dam spillway and the fishing piers at the powerhouse all opened on Monday, July 24, according to the USACE.

Potential rainfall is also a factor in refilling the lake more quickly, according to the news release. The region has seen minimal rainfall throughout the month of July, but according to the news release, if any substantial rainfall is received over the next few weeks, or if the generation from Sam Rayburn is increased, the full lake level elevation might be achieved more quickly.

The USACE stated that “every effort will be made to return the lake to a usable elevation as quickly as possible.”  

Additionally, the USACE noted that foot access to the exposed lake bottom is permitted but discouraged, as mud flats can be unstable and present a safety hazard, and all vehicle and ATV/UTV traffic on the lakebed is prohibited.

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DETCOG board to meet in Hemphill

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From Staff Reports

HEMPHILL – Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) Board of Directors will hold their regular monthly meeting Thursday, July 27, at First Baptist Church Life Center at 301 Mann Street in Hemphill, Texas. A Luncheon will be served at noon, and the Board meeting will be held immediately following.

Welcoming members and guests to Sabine County will be Sabine County Judge Daryl Melton and Shelby County Commissioners Brent Cox, Keith Nabours, Stanley Jacks, and James Lowe.

DETCOG’s President, San Augustine County Judge Jeff Boyd would like to extend an invitation to the meeting to all interested parties.  Anyone needing information concerning this event may contact the Deep East Texas Council of Governments office in Lufkin at 936-634-2247.

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Legislative statute revisions to affect Texas timber sales

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From Staff Reports

AUSTIN – Effective Sept. 1, 2023, members of the timber industry will be better protected buying and selling timber in Texas.

Due to a rising occurrence of timber theft cases, members of the 88th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1772, The Timber Asset Protection Act, to improve and clarify Texas’ forestry bill of sale laws, required documentation for mills and landowners and to apply the same penalties to fraud as has been applicable for unauthorized harvest of timber.

Current forestry bill of sale laws have been effective in the past, but over time, the changing process of growing, delivering, manufacturing and valuating of forest products, certain legal changes are needed, as well as adjustments to penalties for illegal behavior.

“The first laws dealing with requiring bills of sale were passed in 1977, and as the industry has evolved, subsequent adjustments in timber asset protection laws have been needed,” Rep. Trent Ashby, author of HB 1772, said. “This revision of our Natural Resources Code will ensure transparency and accountability in timber transactions which will keep our forest economy working and healthy for future generations.”

The intent of this new legislation is to deter theft by requiring a more transparent timber transaction starting with an accurate bill of sale from the forest to the mill and delivery documentation for pay-as-cut timber sales to the forest landowner within 45 days. This will require mills to provide an addendum to their documentation and a new or revised notice sign at receiving truck scales.

The penalties for knowingly providing false information to the mill or failing to provide proper and timely documentation to the forest landowner are now the same misdemeanors and felony levels as in timber theft cases of harvesting timber without permission.

“While investigating timber theft cases, we frequently noticed inconsistencies in chain-of-custody documentation, or lack thereof,” Jarred Lemmon, Texas A&M Forest Service Assistant Chief of Law Enforcement, said. “Buttoning up the requirements of the timber sale process with a few minor statutory changes would benefit all facets of the timber industry in Texas, from the time it was procured and harvested until its final destination after manufacturing.”

Over the past four years, the Texas Forestry Association petitioned for the changes provided in HB 1772 with targeted education, as well as through consultation with Texas A&M Forest Service for statutory and operational expertise.

TFA Executive Director Rob Hughes said the upgrades reflected in the Timber Asset Protection Act are part of the association’s mission of forestry education and resource protection.

“Texans enjoy many benefits from our forests which are 95% privately owned. This legislation will keep our forest products markets competitive ensuring healthy working forests for the future,” Senate Sponsor Robert Nichols said.

A summary of the timber theft legislation and penalties includes:

Revised bill of sale statute to include “information be true and accurate” with current methods of describing the property address or use of GPS coordinates

Someone who knowingly provides false information on bill of sale would be guilty of a misdemeanor which increases to felony levels

Bill of sale information retention increase from two years to five years

A new requirement of legal proof documentation from the buyer to the seller, such as a delivery receipt, within 45 days after delivery to a mill

Penalties for “unauthorized harvest of timber” now apply to bill of sale information and documentation from purchaser to forest landowner

For more information on 2023 Timber Asset Protection Act visit

https://www.texasforestry.org/ and https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/LawEnforcement/

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