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Tyler County News - Breakout

New Chester mayor sworn-in

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chester logoBy Michael G. Maness 

CHESTER – Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette swore in Chester mayor Robert Poynter Monday evening, Feb. 7, at his first regularly scheduled council meeting. 

Poynter had officially assumed office by council vote at a specially called meeting on Jan. 17 after long-serving mayor Floyd Petri tendered resignation at that meeting for health reasons.

Poynter appointed Country Church Youth Pastor Kevin Hicks and Chester ISD business manager Austin Odom to fill the vacant spots on the council. 

At the called meeting on Jan. 17, the council hired Ovita Barnes as city secretary to undergo immediate training with retiring decades-long Secretary Annette Hickman. There have been several personnel changes in January as recent hires could not remain, and the council will be hiring a clerk to aid Barnes. 

Poynter outlined several adjustments as the council discussed concerns over making a smooth transition to Barnes and the new software. New Councilman Odom brings a financial expertise that was especially valued at this time as the city transitions to QuickBooks. 

There were adjustments in employee insurance, the grants, and a determination to keep track of the past due accountants, the latter seeming to be on the decrease. 

The previous minutes and the financials were passed without little ado.

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Miss Tyler County pageant scheduled

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MissTylerCounty

WOODVILLE – The annual Miss Tyler County Scholarship Pageant takes place on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. It will be held at the Woodville High School Summit. 

The event organizers have Brandon Belt, first baseman for the San Francisco Giants and Ashly Elam, the sportscaster for Channel 12 News as celebrity judges. In all, 20 judges are coming from all over the state of Texas. 

Shelby Tillery, Former Miss Tyler County in 2009 from Woodville, will be a special guest performer as well as Miss Southeast Texas, Madison Matlock and Miss Southeast Texas Outstanding Teen, Ella Lozier. There will also be a very special performance from the 2022 Miss Tyler County Princesses. 

There will be programs for sale at $15 a book. There is a limited supply this year, so first come first serve. Wristbands are $10 for adults and children, and age three and under are free. You can purchase those at the box office the day of the pageant. There will be no presale wristbands sold. 

Miss Tyler County Director Kristi Holmes said “We have a great group of girls this year! They have worked very hard preparing for this competition, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. I wouldn’t want to be a judge.”

Holmes added: “I would like to thank all of the contestant sponsors and the scholarship sponsors! I would like to thank all of the businesses, family and friends who bought ads and a huge thank you to all of our volunteers! We could not be successful without any of y’all.” 

The Baby Miss Tyler County Pageant will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Summit. 

The Little Miss Tyler County Pageant will be Saturday, February 12, 2022 at 2 p.m. It will also be held at the Woodville High School Summit. 

JrMissTylerCounty

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Library hosts small business workshop

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Capital Workshop

By Kay Timme

WOODVILLE – The Allan Shivers Library and Museum (ASLM), in collaboration with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Angelina College in Lufkin, hosted a mid-day workshop on Thursday, Jan. 27 for small business owners in the area.  The workshop, “Accessing Capital”, was offered at no cost, and was presented by Greg Burkett, a business advisor from the SBDC.  A light lunch was provided for participants by the Woodville Women’s Study Club.

A group of almost 20 small business owners gathered in the Bunch Reading Room at the library to learn about the five components of credit scores considered by lenders when approving or denying a loan application.  Funding sources were identified, and attendees shared their own experiences with starting and operating small businesses. 

Information was shared about services offered by the SBDC by Dianne Amerine, Director of the Angelina College SBDC office, and Cheryl Powell, financial advisor.  The SBDC, according to its website, “offers confidential, one-on-one, no cost, professional business advising to small business entrepreneurs”, and can help at any stage of the life cycle of a business. 

The Angelina College SBDC is one of 14 locations under the auspices of the Texas Gulf Coast Network of the University of Houston SBDC.  The Network serves 32 counties and offers numerous in-person sessions and online webinars (both live and recorded) that can be accessed through the SBDC website.

In addition to the information provided by the SBDC, representatives from Education First Federal Credit Union shared insights into the loan application process and strategies for addressing credit challenges. 

The local branch of Education First is located in the lobby of the Brookshire Brothers store in Woodville.

The Allan Shivers Library and Museum will host additional financial workshops in the future. 

Check the ASLM Facebook page for upcoming events.

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Commissioners approve Lakeland subdivision plat

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TCCommCourtLogoBy Chris Edwards 
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WOODVILLE – In a special-called meeting on Monday morning, the Tyler County Commissioners Court approved a pair of items pertaining to the Lakeland Ranch subdivision.

The subdivision, which will be located in the southern part of the county, is on land that was owned by the late attorney Walter Umphrey. 

The subdivision is being developed by Legacy International, an Austin-based realty firm that specializes in developing different types of communities. Clayton Signor, of Austin, is the property owner. The developers are offering potential buyers lots that range from half an acre to 11 acres.

They released properties for sale to the public in December and used the “wide open spaces” and proximity to the Woodlands and Houston in marketing to potential buyers.

Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Blacksher spoke about the first item up for approval on the six-item agenda, which was to consider for approval or disapproval the Lakeland Ranch section one subdivision. 

He said it was the recommendation of the county’s engineer to approve the measure.

The next item, which was to approve or disapprove the Lakeland play application, was also approved. Blacksher read a letter addressed to County Judge Jacques Blanchette from Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong, which recommended the plat approval.

The plat application provided to the commissioners contained a schedule of work for Lakeland’s section one construction. The timetable, after approval, is for the water utilities work to the subdivision be completed within 24 months, or by Feb. 25, 2024, which is the expiration date of the letter of credit.

Also, with the approval of the plat, the court specified that financial guarantees for maintenance measures will be provided for the streets, roads, drainage structures and ditches in accordance with existing county subdivision regulations. Lakeland Ranch, LLC, is responsible for paying all of its water improvements to supply water from the county’s Special Utility District.

SKG Engineering, LLC, of San Angelo, is handling the construction for the subdivision. 

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WISD schedules town hall meetings

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WoodvilleISD graphicBy Chris Edwards 
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WOODVILLE – Woodville ISD has scheduled a series of town hall style meetings to address the upcoming bond package that will be up for a vote in May.

WISD, in a news release, said it scheduled the three meetings in a “continued effort to be transparent and provide the community and out staff with factual information and the ability to ask questions.”

The three meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17; Monday, March 7 and Monday, March 28, all to take place in the elementary campus cafeteria.

The bond package vote, which was approved by the WISD Board of Trustees, following a recommendation by the District Facility Task Force Committee, will be presented to voters in the amount of $47,850,000, and, if approved, will be used for district-wide improvements. That vote will take place on Saturday, May 7.

“It is our desire that all Woodville ISD residents are informed and can vote with confidence,” the news release stated.

The findings of the Task Force, which was made up of Woodville residents, businesspeople, parents and school staff, recommended that new facilities be constructed for WISD elementary students. The Task Force also recommended increased safety and technology to be implemented, district-wide.

They met throughout a nine-month period to assess and prioritize key areas of focus for the district, according to WISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg.

According to Meysembourg, if the bond is approved by voters, it will be used to finance the construction of a new Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade building to replace the existing buildings that currently house the Woodville Elementary and Intermediate campuses. 

Bond money will also be used to finance renovations to the current WISD Vocations-Agriculture building at Woodville High School, which will include an addition to expand space for more career and technical education programs.

“Any bond proceeds used for capital items will be amortized over a short period of time and for a period less than the useful life of these capital items as required by law,” Meysembourg said

Anyone with questions may either visit the district’s website, at www.woodvilleeagles.org or can call the WISD administration office at 409-283-3752 or can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

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