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Tyler County News - Breakout

WISD educator receives prestigious award

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By Chris Edwards
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Kayla ConnerKayla ConnerBEAUMONT – Each year the Beaumont-based Beaumont Foundation of America awards a handful of educators the Wayne A. Reaud Excellence in Education Award. This year, Woodville Middle School science instructor Kayla Conner was among those recipients.

The award, which is named for the philanthropic organization’s chairman, was created to celebrate superior contributions of teachers, and 15 teachers are selected annually to receive the award, which comes with a crystal obelisk, a portrait and $10,000. The recipients are honored at an awards gala.

“On behalf of Woodville ISD, we are extremely proud of Kayla Conner,” WISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg said.

“She’s just an excellent instructor and epitomizes the best in all of us. We are so thrilled to have her teaching, and working with the students, and her impact carries over into all areas of their lives and in their future successes.”

The award was established in 2009, and according to the foundation’s website, teachers who are recognized demonstrate superior teaching skills and the “leadership and dedication [to] inspire a spirit of learning in students of all backgrounds and learning abilities.”



Meysembourg added that this year was the first year Woodville Middle School earned a distinction from the state in its science scores and Conner “is certainly a big part of that.”

In order to be eligible for the award, a teacher must have five years of teaching experience and be employed full-time at a public or private school within Tyler, Jasper, Newton, Orange, Hardin or Jefferson counties, and has to complete a nomination and application process by a fall deadline.

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Event venues offer up something for everyone

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The interior of Simply Charming, an events venue located in downtown Woodville. MOLLIE LASALLE | TCBThe interior of Simply Charming, an events venue located in downtown Woodville. MOLLIE LASALLE | TCBBy Mollie LaSalle
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TYLER COUNTY – Are you looking for a place to have a special event? Well, you don’t have to leave the county to find the perfect setting. Tyler County is home to several event venues, with more opening up every day. In fact, Tyler County may possibly be the capitol of events venues in the state.

A few of the older venues include, The Gathering Place and the Community Center in Colmesneil, the Emporium for the Arts in Woodville, and Triple Creek RV Park and Event Venue.

Newer venues getting a lot of attention include The Lively Oak Event Center in Fred; Ramsey Ranch; Arrow Acres Tiny Home Retreat and Events Space, and Black Creek Ranch Event Venue in Warren.

In Woodville, on the courthouse square you have Venue on the Square and Simply Charming Event Room, and not far down the street is the Emporium for the Arts.

The Gathering Place is owned and operated by Vance Cowart and is known for hosting monthly men’s prayer breakfasts. Cowart’s parents, Doyle and Kathy founded the venue years ago, and operated it until their passing in 2021. It is a beautiful space for weddings, family reunions, and just about whatever your heart desires. The Gathering Place is located at 11981 US Hwy 69 north in Colmesneil, and the phone number is 409-382-3848.

The Community Center, behind City Hall in Colmesneil is another popular place for reunions, birthday parties and special events. You can call City Hall at 409-837-5211 to inquire about renting the center.

Triple Creek RV Park Music Venue is known for their Saturday music shows, which range from gospel to country and bluegrass. The park is situated on more than 2,000 acres and offer up good music and good times. Triple Creek is located at 2850 PR 8335 in Woodville.

The Emporium for the Arts is another unique gem in Woodville. Sam and Judith Haney own the venue, and they have everything from live music to plays, and special gatherings. Call 409-283-2632 to inquire about booking the Emporium. They are located at 212 West Bluff.

Two of the newer event venues are located on the courthouse square. Venue on the Square opened in the summer of 2022 and is a little piece of history for your next party, shower, or meeting. Leann Monk and Elizabeth Grammer converted the former Dee’s Flower Shop into a unique venue for showers, birthday parties and special gatherings. They are located at 102 Charlton. You can message Venue on the Square through their Facebook page.

Sunny and Markus Clowers recently opened Simply Charming Event Center at 204 West Bluff in the old Mann Furniture building and can accommodate any small or large event. They have done a wonderful job converting the space and they also own C4 Inflatables & More. Call 409-698-7228 for inquiries about the event venue and 409-698-4115 about C4 Inflatables. The Waymaker Event Center is also in Woodville, at 611 PR 8345. Visit their website: waymakerevents.com for more info on booking.

The Lively Oak Event Center, located at 840 CR 4900 in Fred is nestled on 25 acres and features a 90- foot canopy live oak tree, and offers the perfect setting for any event in quiet and peaceful surroundings. Call 907-841-4015.

Heritage Village is home to Cherokee Church, which is a special place to hold a wedding, and offers beautiful surroundings and peace and quiet: they can also host other events. Call the Village at 409-283-2272 to reserve Cherokee Church. Ramsey Ranch is yet another venue for a wedding or any special event. The ranch is a beautiful hidden gem in the country. To schedule a private tour call 832-444-8587. Ramsey Ranch is located at 1475 CR 1700 in Warren.

Another beautiful setting to have a wedding is Black Creek Ranch. This venue has it all. A beautiful huge pavilion with a stage, a charming bridal cabin, and beautiful countryside. Owners Melody and Steve Daigle have pulled out all the stops to make this your dream come true. They are located at 358 CR 1525 in Warren. Call 409-377-2829 to ask for a tour. Arrow Acres Tiny Home Retreat and Venue is another beautiful place to hold a wedding or any special moment. They are located at 10135 US Hwy 69 S in Warren. Call 832-477-1533 to inquire about booking the venue. Yet another venue in Warren is Triple D Ranch at 4299 CR 4800. They are a private venue for weddings, receptions, and party needs, and boast air conditioned/heated banquet halls. Call 409-893-7700 to inquire about booking availability.

The choice is yours. Please consider any of these beautiful venues when planning your next big event. You can’t go wrong no matter which one you choose, as each one is unique and offers something special for everyone. Let any of these fine businesses assist you in having your dream wedding, engagement party, rehearsal dinner, birthday party or baby shower.

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Chester ISD holds bond meeting

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Chester ISD logo template 300By Chuck Davidson

CHESTER – About 45 Chester residents attended the Thursday, March 23 “bond information meeting” held in Chester’s cafeteria.  Chester ISD Superintendent Paul Drake gave presentations, with input from Mark Strong (GLS engineering firm) and the district’s financial advisor who addressed tax implications.

Drake presented slides giving an overview of the plans to replace the current middle school and high school buildings with a new 8-10 classroom building on the east side of the administration building. The middle school building is in poor condition and only has three classrooms while the high school built in 1967 of wood does not meet any current building codes. Other projects are described in the brochure produced by the district and available to the public.

Questions related to taxes, restrooms, classrooms, possible timeline, contractors, state legislative potential actions, and values were answered.

Drake said that anyone with questions should contact the school as they are willing to give tours or explain the current plans.  Details can also be found on the district’s website, located at https://www.chesterisd.com

Another public meeting is set for April 20 prior to early voting which begins April 24.

All voting will be done in the school’s board room.  Informational pamphlets can be picked up at the school, the bank and at Jiffy Mart.

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Courthouse topics focus of special meeting

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TCCommCourtLogoBy Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – During a special-called meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners Court on Monday morning, county officials tackled a short agenda dominated by items dealing with the courthouse and the ongoing restoration efforts.

Prior to the regular agenda, Kay Timme spoke before the officials during the public comments portion of the meeting. Timme, who came on behalf of the Tyler County Historical Commission, which she chairs, voiced support for two agenda items.

One item Timme spoke to regarded the installation of blinds in the courthouse, which would be reimbursed from TCHC funds under an entity set up years ago for courthouse restoration purposes. Timme said if the cost of the blinds exceeds $48K, TCHC will see if it has additional funds for the reimbursement.

Timme also spoke on behalf of an agenda item from Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Blacksher and County Treasurer Leann Monk to recommend the hanging of photographs of historic value on the courthouse walls.

Timme said there are nine photographs, which were restored some years ago, and included is an image of former Tyler County Judge Henry West, who was in office when the courthouse was built in 1891.

That item was approved on the agenda.

The matter of the blinds, when addressed on the regular agenda, was approved, at a total cost of $57K. Blacksher said the county was greatly appreciative of TCHC and its reimbursement donation.

The court also approved the removal of lamps and conduit from the courthouse stairs upon the recommendation of architect Dohn LaBiche.

County to share appraisal fees

During Monday’s special meeting, the commissioners approved an agreement between the county and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2033 to share the cost of commercial appraisal fees for the building where the county Nutrition Center is housed.

The matter was approved following closed session discussion at the regular monthly meeting of the Commissioners’ Court earlier in the month.

The commissioners then voted to approve a $6,000 (plus expenses) contract with Stout Company for the appraisal of the building, with the cost split between the county and the VFW.

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Dogwood parade, coronation this weekend

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Dogwood PrincessesDogwood Royalty – Reigning Dogwood Queen Kirby Wright (left) visited with 2023 Princesses Kaylee Tolar of Chester; Ella Hatton of Spurger; Natalie Standley of Warren; Savannah Ludewig of Woodville, and Gracen Lindsey of Colmesneil at the meeting of the Rotary Club of Woodville last Wednesday. MOLLIE LA SALLE | TCB

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – The third and final weekend of the annual countywide Dogwood Festival is this weekend.

Queen’s Weekend will conclude the festival’s 80th year, and a new Dogwood Queen will be crowned in the evening, with the festivities beginning at the Dogwood Amphitheater which will also play host to the traditional historical play. The play is the longest-running outdoor historical play in the entire American south.

Kirby Wright, of Woodville, is the reigning Dogwood Queen, but after Saturday, one young lady from one of the five Tyler County school districts will be chosen to succeed her.

Throughout the morning and afternoon, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the courthouse square will play host to a wide variety of arts and crafts vendors, as well as food and drink and demonstrations. The Queen’s Weekend parade will begin at 2 p.m. with its route along Highway 190 east. The parade lineup begins at 1:30 p.m.

The theme of this year’s festival is “New Beginnings in Tyler County: 80 Years of Traditions.”

Whether festivalgoers are longtime Tyler County residents or visitors, the Dogwood Festival offers up a celebration of springtime in the region that provides a testament to the strength and purpose of community and allows an opportunity for great fun for all.

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