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Tyler County News - Breakout

WISD bond, ESD #5 sales tax measure pass

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WoodvilleISD graphicBy Chris Edwards
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TYLER COUNTY – The unofficial results of the special May 7 election came in, and two ballot measures affecting parts of Tyler County both passed.

A proposal for a $47.8 million bond for district-wide improvements at Woodville ISD passed by a 51.20% majority.

“It means the work gets started now,” Woodville ISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg said after the results were made public. 

The bond proposal came on the recommendation of a district task force comprised of residents, business leaders and WISD staff members. The improvements to WISD on the table include the construction of a new Pre-K through fifth grade elementary school building, which would be housed under one roof, as well as additions to the Career and Technical Education Center.

Meysembourg said the district hopes to have the design process started soon, and the building completed by December. 

Once construction begins, there will be no disruption in the routine of WISD elementary students, as the new elementary campus will be built close to Woodville High School and the middle school campuses.

The other localized ballot item that passed, according to the results, is the Tyler County ESD #5 proposal, which adopts a local sales and use tax within that Emergency Service District at a rate not to exceed one and one-half percent in any location in the district.

The measure passed by a 79.53% majority and will benefit the Dam B community and its volunteer fire department. 

At present, Dam B is the only area in Tyler County without an 8.25% sales tax. It is currently 6.75%.

Two proposed statewide constitutional amendments passed, overwhelmingly. The two measures will provide property tax relief to homeowners.

Proposition one, which authorized the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of property taxes that may be imposed for general public school purposes on elderly and/or disabled taxpayers. Proposition two raises the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000 starting this year.

Tyler Countians voted “for” both propositions by large percentages, as with the statewide trend. According to the unofficial statewide results, 87% of voters voted “for” Proposition 1, and 85% in favor of Proposition 2.

The next opportunity for voters to make their voices heard at the polls comes May 24 with the runoff races. 

Several statewide races are slated, including attorney general and land commissioner, in both parties. In Tyler County, there are several races up to grab the Republican primaries.

An early voting period for the runoffs lasts from Monday May 16 through Friday, May 20. Several races, including that of county judge, went to runoffs in the GOP primaries.

Melissa Riley is facing Milton Powers in the runoff. The winner of the primary will face Democratic challenger Wesley Whitman in the November general election.

The race for county treasurer has challenger Maegan Rains Odom facing incumbent Leann Monk in the primary runoff. That race is unopposed by a Democrat for the general election.

Incumbent Pct. 2 commissioner Stevan Sturrock is facing challenger Doug Hughes. 

One more county race, that of Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace, went to the runoff, with incumbent Jim Moore facing challenger Henry Sawyer, Jr.

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Spurger VFD hosts training

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Photos courtesy of Anthony RossPhotos courtesy of Anthony Ross

SPURGER – On Saturday April 30, Spurger Volunteer Fire Dept hosted jaws of life training with the assistance and of TNT Rescue. 

Firefighters from Spurger; Dam B; Beech Grove; Warren and Woodville took part in the all-day training exercises and they learned how to lift vehicles and separate crashed vehicles in order to remove crash victims. Such training is necessary, and extremely useful on crash scenes. 

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Annual Health Fair Friday

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Health Fair Graphic

WOODVILLE – The Tyler County Hospital will host its annual health fair on May 6 at the LVN School lawn, located off of Kelley Blvd. in Woodville. The event will last from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

The event will offer health screening, including blood pressure testing, and comprehensive metabolic profile testing. The LifeShare van will be set up for blood donors, as well. There will be vendor booths, which will have giveaways and a gift basket. 

The lab testing available includes a battery of 13 different tests, including lipid profiles and TSH testing for women and PSA testing for men. These tests can be had for $25.

If anyone needs transportation to the event, the Lions Club has offered to assist. Lion Sarah Stephens can be reached at 409-382-2045 if anyone is in need of a ride.

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Early voting ends; runoff election May 24

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Early Voting GraphicBy Chris Edwards
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TYLER COUNTY – For Tyler County residents, the early voting period has been underway for the Saturday, May 7 election.

According to deputy county clerk Roxanne Hart, 813 voters took advantage of the early voting period for this election, at press time. 

The period began April 25 and ended on Tuesday, May 3. The May 7 election is scheduled across the state for constitutional amendments, as well as mayoral, city council and school board elections.

For this election, voters have three items on the ballot. Along with two proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot, which voters will vote “for” or “against,” there are two other items up for a vote, a bond election for Woodville ISD and a proposed sales tax to benefit the county’s Emergency Service District #5.

Voters serviced by the Woodville Independent School District have an opportunity to make their voices heard on a $47,850,000 bond package for district-wide improvements.

The recommendation to go out for a bond election came after a study conducted by a district facilities task force, comprised of Woodville residents, businesspeople and WISD staff members.

Among the scope of improvements that would be covered by the bond, if approved by voters, are a new Pre-K to fifth grade elementary school building and additions to the Career and Technical Education Center.

The ballot item pertaining to ESD #5 reads on the ballot as “adoption of a local sales and use tax in Tyler County Emergency Service District #5 at a rate not to exceed one and one-half percent in any location in the district.”

Dam B is the only area in the county without a 8.25% sales tax. At present, the sales tax rate is 6.75% in Dam B.

The sales tax would benefit the Dam B Volunteer Fire Department, if approved, and will not affect county tax levies in any way. 

For the constitutional amendment proposals, which were approved by a two-thirds vote of the Texas Legislature during its recent special sessions, the descriptions on the ballot are as follows:

Proposition Number 1 (SJR 2) SJR 2 proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of property taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled in order to reflect any statutory reduction in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the person’s homestead from the preceding tax year.

The proposed amendment will appear on the ballot as follows: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reflect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the homestead.”

Proposition Number 2 (SJR 2) SJR 2 proposes a constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from property taxes for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000.

The proposed amendment will appear on the ballot as follows: “The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000.”

On May 24, voters will have the opportunity to seal the deal on several races that went to runoffs in the Republican primaries.

In the countywide races, several, including the race for county judge, are on the ballot. 

Melissa Riley is facing Milton Powers in the runoff. The winner of the primary will face Democratic challenger Wesley Whitman in the November general election.

The race for county treasurer has challenger Maegan Rains Odom facing incumbent Leann Monk in the primary runoff. That race is unopposed by a Democrat for the general election.

Incumbent Pct. 2 commissioner Stevan Sturrock is facing challenger Doug Hughes on the May 24 ballot. One more county race, that of Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace, went to the runoff, with incumbent Jim Moore facing challenger Henry Sawyer, Jr.

In statewide elections, the office of Attorney General; General Land Office Commissioner and Railroad Commissioner went to runoffs.

George P. Bush, who currently serves as the state’s land commissioner, is facing incumbent Ken Paxton for the GOP Attorney General primary runoff.

Dawn Buckingham and Tim Westley are facing each other for the GLO Commissioner primary, and incumbent railroad commissioner Wayne Christian is facing Sarah Stogner in the primary for that office. 

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Law enforcement looking for burglars

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burglar graphicBy Chris Edwards
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COLMESNEIL – Law enforcement is looking to the public for help in solving a recent burglary.

On the early morning of Saturday, April 9, two suspects smashed their way into Murray’s Quick Stop in Colmesneil and absconded with the cash register.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, the suspects got away with some cash, but left behind video evidence.

Surveillance footage at the store showed their car, which is a silver, late-model Nissan Altima. What is notable about the car, according to a Crime Stoppers bulletin, is that it is missing its front bumper and grill, which, according to the bulletin, will make it easy to spot.

The two suspects, who are a white male and a white female, were wearing hoodies in the surveillance footage.

The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office has posted the video footage on its Facebook page.

If anyone can identify the burglars, they can submit a tip at 639TIPS.com, or tipsters can use the Crime Stoppers app, or call (936) 639-TIPS. Tips and calls directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and reward eligible.

With Crime Stoppers, the entire process, from tip to reward, is handled without identifying the tipster. 

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