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Schools wear Uvalde CISD colors in show of support

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Uvalde District Logo largeBy Chris Edwards
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TYLER COUNTY – School districts across the state showed solidarity with Uvalde CISD on Tuesday with an urging for faculty, staff and students to sport the district’s school colors.

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s students returned to the classroom on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and it was the first time the students had been back to school since the events of May 24, when a mass shooting at Robb Elementary claimed the lives of 21 people.

Many school districts across the state spread word through social media channels asking their faculty, staff and students to wear maroon and white, which are the Uvalde CISD school colors; a showing that “our hearts are with Uvalde.”

All of Tyler County’s five school districts encouraged their populations to do the same. 

The “Chester Yellowjacket Buzz Link” on Facebook shared a post stating that “Chester ISD stands with Uvalde CISD,” and encouraged all Yellowjackets to wear maroon to show love and support.

A post on the Colmesneil ISD page encouraged everyone in the district to “Maroon Out with Uvalde,” and to “show our prayers and support” for the still-grieving community in south Texas.

Spurger ISD, which shares the same school colors, encouraged everyone in Pirate Country to wear their maroon gear in a show of support.

Warren ISD, which had Tuesday off for students, encouraged its staff and community members to wear the colors as a token of support.

A post from Woodville ISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg stated that “Woodville ISD is standing strong with Uvalde as they start their new school year,” and encouraged all Eagles to wear the colors.

According to an Associated Press story, many Uvalde CISD students did not want to return to school. Uvalde CISD superintendent Hal Harrell said in June that students would not return to the campus of Robb Elementary. Instead, the students were to be relocated to other campuses within the district.

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Sept. events at Heritage Village

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Award-winning storyteller Angela Davis will be featured at the Village’s “Ghosts and Legends of Texas Past” on Sept. 24. BOOSTER FILE PHOTO BY CHRIS EDWARDSAward-winning storyteller Angela Davis will be featured at the Village’s “Ghosts and Legends of Texas Past” on Sept. 24. BOOSTER FILE PHOTO BY CHRIS EDWARDS

WOODVILLE – Heritage Village is presenting two nifty events for the public to enjoy in the month of September.

First up is the “Jam on the Green,” which features live music in a fundraiser for the future Miniature Train Muesum. It takes place this Saturday, Sept 10. Gates open at 6 p.m. with pre-entertainment by The Big Thicket Ramblers and Chris Edwards. Followed at 7 p.m. by the featured performance by Courtney Hale Revia with Rustic Bird Band. 

The cost for admission is: adults $15; couples $20; 11 years & under $5. 

Sept. 24 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Heritage Village we will again have the “Ghosts and Legends of Texas Past” fundraiser event. 

Price is adults $5; children under 12 $3. 

This event is held on the Village grounds. Listen to fascinating stories regarding Legends & tales from Texas and Tyler County’s colorful history. (They are not all ghost scary stories, sometimes just legends.) The barber’s store was not so scary, but he had a scary ending. You had to be there!

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Miss Tyler County gives back

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Check DonationMiss Tyler County pageant organizers presented a $2,000 check to distribute to non-profits as a way of giving back to the community. CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – The Miss Tyler County scholarship organization made a presentation last Thursday to give thanks to the various charities that helped make this year’s pageant a success.

The organization presented a check to several non-profit organizations in the county at the request of its donors.

Kristi Hughes, of the Miss Tyler County organization, said that this year’s pageant was the most successful one yet, with the most donations received in its history. 

“We had the most participants and the most support that we have ever had,” she said.

Part of that success, Holmes said, could be attributed to the pandemic. In 2021, the pageant had to be put on hold, as COVID was still rampant. 

“I personally give credit to COVID for this because I believe people were excited that the world was opening back up, and people were ready to get their lives back to normal,” Hughes said.

The check presented on Thursday on the lawn of the Tyler County Courthouse represents donations of $200 apiece to give back to non-profit organizations, in the names of the pageant’s sponsors.

A total of $2,000 was given back. “We are so excited to give back to our community that always gives to our organization and participants,” Holmes said.

Miss Tyler County provided a list of the sponsors and the organizations they wanted donations given to. It as as follows:

 

Moffett & Company Real Estate and Jenny Kirkpatrick-Castillo Children’s Center

Modica Brothers- 

Markus and Sunny Clowers- Warren Fire Department 

Kirkpatrick Construction-

Katie Evans – Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Keith and Julie Hatton- 

Read Logging-

Emilee Ag Services- Tyler County Youth Softball League

B&H Auto- Lori Johnson 

Kevin and Felicia Franks

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Rotary Club hears distillery presentation

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Pictured left-to-right: John Bradford and Taylor Bradford-Alvarez of Nacogdoches’ Front Porch Distillery are pictured with Woodville Rotary Club president John Wilson.  MOLLIE LASALLE | TCBPictured left-to-right: John Bradford and Taylor Bradford-Alvarez of Nacogdoches’ Front Porch Distillery are pictured with Woodville Rotary Club president John Wilson. MOLLIE LASALLE | TCB

By Mollie LaSalle
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WOODVILLE – The Woodville Rotary Club hosted a delightful and informative presentation from John Bradford and his daughter Taylor Bradford Alvarez, owners of the Front Porch Distillery in Nacogdoches at their August 24 meeting at the Pickett House.

John had retired, and wanting to keep busy, decided to open a distillery. He told his daughter Taylor “we’re going to make alcohol”. Together with his daughters the Front Porch Distillery opened in early 2017. Taylor explained “It is a family-owned business, we have less than 10 employees, and it is a seven-day-a-week job.” 

John is the head distiller/owner and Taylor is the president and marketing coordinator. 

Front Porch produces a variety of spirits, their most popular being their barrel aged whiskey, rum and moonshine. Their best-selling whiskey is their signature 19 Oaks brand, and their watermelon vodka is another popular offering. 

Taylor added that they “have sold around 30,000 bottles of spirits since they opened in 2017. 

The distillery used to be the location of a popular catfish restaurant and the Bradfords put their signature touches to the property; there is a laid-back, kick-back feel at the Front Porch. 

“We wanted to bring a Hill Country vibe to the heart of East Texas”, Taylor explained. 

Their busiest days are on Friday and Saturday when there is live music on the Pickin’ Porch. They have recently expanded the inside of the business, moving the distillery operations to the back, and have doubled in size, with more seating space and extra restrooms. The distillery also has food trucks on site on Friday and Saturdays, and they host a wide range of events throughout the year. “We are going to have Movie Nights beginning in October,” Taylor added. 

They have hosted a classic car show and a chili cook-off, among other things, so far this year.

The question of the name of the distillery was posed by Rotarian Fred Sullivan. John Bradford answered that his cousin is Robert Earl Keen, and they got the name from his tune “The Front Porch Song.”

Taylor went on to add, that “when we first opened in 2017, there were less than 300 distilleries nation-wide; we were number 277; now there are over 2,000.” 

In 2020, when Covid basically shut down everything, the distillery began making hand sanitizer, giving it away on a drive through basis. On one single day, they made and gave away 300 gallons. 

The distillery is located at 7905 US 59 in Nacogdoches. Their hours are Wed-Thurs 1 p.m.-7 p.m., Friday, 1 p.m.-10 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Their signature 19 Oaks Whiskey and Tall Pines Vodka await your visit.

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Write-in candidate announces judge bid at event

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Tyler County Judge candidate Neil Alderman spoke to a crowd last Tuesday as he made public his intention to run for office. CHRIS EDWARDS | TCBTyler County Judge candidate Neil Alderman spoke to a crowd last Tuesday as he made public his intention to run for office. CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – Warren resident businessman Neil Alderman hosted a dinner party last Tuesday at Venue on the Square to officially announce his candidacy for Tyler County Judge.

Alderman, who did not file in the party primary, is running as a Republican write-in candidate. Before a room-filling crowd, he spoke on a variety of topics, and opened up about himself and his impetus to run for office.

Alderman spoke of his longtime friendship with current County Judge Jacques Blanchette, whom he said he has known for 35 years.

He said Blanchette, who announced last year that he was not seeking re-election, was “one of the reasons” why he decided to run.

Alderman spoke about the process of voting for a write-in candidate, and distributed a flyer showing a mock-up of a ballot and how voters can input a write-in candidate. Alderman said there has never been a successful write-in candidate in a countywide race before.

Alongside his work as a consultant with his business, the Synergy Group, Alderman has also been involved in activism as it pertains to local issues, primarily with the Facebook platform “Concerned Citizens of Tyler County,” which he co-managed with Sal Baldovinos.

Alderman said at Tuesday’s event that he has bowed out of administrative duties with CCTC, due to ethical considerations involving his bid for the judge’s office.

“I would never want to harm that page’s credibility by making it a political platform,” he said. “I stepped down because I made the decision to do something for Tyler County,” he added.

One attendee was Melissa Riley, who ran in the Republican primary for the office, and lost in the run-off to Milton Powers by 36 votes.

Riley said she wanted to publicly endorse Alderman for the office. “While we may not have always seen eye to eye on certain issues, Neil is a savvy businessman who is respected throughout his industry.  I believe he will bring integrity, growth and transparency back to Tyler County. He will work tirelessly to bring industry into our county that will be for the betterment of our citizens,” she said. 

In the lone competitive countywide race, voters have the option between Powers, who is running as a Republican; Democrat Wesley Whitman or Alderman. Election Day is Nov. 8.

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