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Benefit scheduled for McNeal

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Benefit STOCK

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – Coleman’s Family Mortuary of Woodville is hosting a donation drive-thru to benefit Jonathan McNeal.

McNeal, an Ivanhoe resident, was injured in a freak accident that occurred in Woodville last Wednesday afternoon. According to Kendall R. Coleman, of Coleman’s Family Mortuary, a piece of heavy equipment connected with McNeal’s head, as he was attempting to provide assistance as Coleman and his son Isaiah were attempting to recover a water tank that had fallen off of Isaiah’s truck.

Coleman said he had pulled up with his backhoe to lift the tank, and a bucket attachment on the backhoe snapped and hit McNeal. He was subsequently airlifted to two different hospitals, and it was discovered he sustained a hairline fracture to his neck, along with a gash in his head.

McNeal has long been a fixture of the Tyler County community, volunteering wherever he can, and alongside his late wife Mary Jo, was active in community outreach in Ivanhoe.

One friend of McNeal’s, who did not wish to be identified in this story, said he “would do anything for anyone, but never ask for anything, himself.”

Coleman said McNeal’s survival, as well as his son Isaiah’s survival, from the incident, is “a testimony of God’s goodness.” What’s more is that, according to Coleman, had McNeal not told his son to get out of the way as the bucket was about to snap, he would likely have died.

“He has a servant’s heart and he’s not concerned with the pain he was feeling,” Coleman said. He said he was talking with him while he was in the ER, and all McNeal could focus on was how Isaiah was doing. He was released the next day, and is home recovering.

Coleman has organized a donation-based drive-thru benefit scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 25 at Coleman’s Family Mortuary. Anyone who wants to donate can receive a free barbecue plate.

For those interested in donating via cash app to help with McNeal’s medical expenses, the code is $Jmac9007. The mortuary is located at 409 South Magnolia in Woodville.

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Lovelady feted for utility district leadership

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Tyler County Special Utility District general manager Jerry Lovelady was presented with a special token of appreciation for his leadership from the SUD board of directors at the board’s Tuesday morning meeting. Outgoing SUD president Jim Boone is shown presenting him with the award.  CHRIS EDWARDS | TCBTyler County Special Utility District general manager Jerry Lovelady was presented with a special token of appreciation for his leadership from the SUD board of directors at the board’s Tuesday morning meeting. Outgoing SUD president Jim Boone is shown presenting him with the award. CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB

By Chris Edwards
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SPURGER – At its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday morning, the Tyler County Special Utility District recognized its general manager Jerry Lovelady for outstanding service.

Lovelady, who has served as GM of the utility district for 14 years, was hired due to his experience with water systems, following a statewide search. Jim Boone, who is the outgoing president of the organization, said that when Lovelady was hired, the utility district was suffering due to theft and “gross mismanagement.”

Boone said it was during this time that he was elected to the board and has watched the organization “pull itself out and up to become one of the top rural water suppliers in the state.”

Boone recalled an incident when Lovelady came onboard, at the first board meeting he was at, a group of customers from the Rockland area brought jars of discolored water with them, which Boone likened to the color of chocolate milk.

“With his recommendation we cleared up Rockland, and we haven’t had, to my knowledge, another Rockland customer come up and complain about the water in 14 years,” Boone said.

Boone also highlighted Lovelady’s clearing up of multiple TCEQ violations, which prior management “either ignored or failed to understand,” which kept the utility district from shutting down.

Lovelady has attained a bachelor of science degree, a master’s in public administration and completed post-graduate work in management and environmental science, along with holding the highest level of TCEQ water and wastewater licenses. He is also a certified instructor in licensing education, which Boone said has been a cost-saving credential.

Boone said all of the utility district’s projects are done with its own people, who are trained by Lovelady.

“Mr. Lovelady has saved Tyler County SUD over $18,000 over the years in that he trains our own employees at no cost,” Boone said. Water workers must be state-certified and licensed with specific training in the areas specific to their work.

Boone presented Lovelady with a clear crystal sculpture from the SUD’s board of directors with text honoring him etched onto it.

Lovelady said he appreciates the board of directors, and that in his 54 years of working with water districts, the SUD board is the best board he has worked for. “We have accomplished a lot for our customers and for the district,” he said.

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RETIRING A FLAG

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RetiringAFlag

On Flag Day, which was celebrated Wednesday, June 14, the Tyler County Republican Women, along with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2033, held a flag retirement ceremony at the VFW post in Woodville. The proper way to dispose of a worn flag; to make certain it is treated with dignity and honor befitting it, according to the United States Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8k, is preferably by burning. The TCRW wanted to thank several military veterans who also participated in the ceremony. PHOTOS COURTESY OF WILDA BARTON

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Special ed co-op discussed by WISD board

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At its monthly meeting, the Woodville ISD Board of Trustees recognized district retirees Pam Minyard and Teresa Bryant (pictured in front). Pictured behind them (left-to-right) are: WISD superintendent Lisa Meysembourg; WISD trustees John David Risinger; Jimmy Tucker; John Wilson; Bryan Shirley; Richard “Kooter” Shaw and Kris Fowler.  CHRIS EDWARDS | TCBAt its monthly meeting, the Woodville ISD Board of Trustees recognized district retirees Pam Minyard and Teresa Bryant (pictured in front). Pictured behind them (left-to-right) are: WISD superintendent Lisa Meysembourg; WISD trustees John David Risinger; Jimmy Tucker; John Wilson; Bryan Shirley; Richard “Kooter” Shaw and Kris Fowler. CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – At its regular monthly meeting on Monday evening, the Woodville ISD Board of Trustees heard a presentation from Emily Wilson, the director of special education for the Tyler County Special Education Cooperative.

The co-op program services all five of the county’s school districts, and their needs for students who are eligible to receive special education services due to a disability.

Wilson said that since 2014, the co-op had 364 students, and is presently at 564 with the last snapshot.

Wilson said the co-op has made some adjustments this year with regard to how the Texas Education Agency has changed how it monitors results-based accountability.

“We’re pushing our kids out more into general education,” Wilson said, which has put many of the students into their home districts.

Wilson said another challenge faced by the co-op is a shortage of special education teachers.

WISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg said that administration is looking at potentially pulling out of the co-op and providing its own services.

Meysembourg said that other districts contribute financially, but the co-op program is housed in WISD facilities, and is responsible for all of the staffing, which takes a lot of the district’s resources.

“Every month it seems we have a change in para-professionals in our special ed program,” Meysembourg said. “Keeping those students staffed with varying degrees of disabilities is very difficult,” she added.

In light of the resource issues, as well as growth in the program, Meysembourg said that she, Wilson and WISD assistance superintendent/head of finance Cody Jarrott have determined it would be best to provide services to WISD students instead of serving the whole county. The growth of the program, she said has been “massive.”

“It is a hardship on our district to continue to do that, but we want to make sure that everyone still has those services,” she said.

Meysembourg said that in July, the board will be asked to make a decision as to whether or not WISD should stay in the co-op or pull out.

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Williams a vital part of the team at the Allan Shivers Library and Museum

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By Mollie LaSalle

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CAROLYN WILLIAMSCAROLYN WILLIAMSEditor’s Note: The Booster is pleased to present “Getting to know you…” a series of profiles of Tyler County residents. The first batch of these features focuses on the administrative staff of the Allan Shivers Library and Museum.

The Allan Shivers Library and Museum has been serving the residents of Tyler County for 58 years. A lot has changed over the years, and still some things have remained the same. The complex has expanded and updated over the years, most recently with the renovations to the museum and the remodeling of the library.

Rosemary Bunch was the director of the complex for more than 25 years, and she was the driving force behind the addition of the “John and Rosemary Bunch Reading Room” which was opened in the summer of 2010.  Bunch passed away in June of 2020, and with her passing, the library took on new faces, with new titles.

ASLM is led by a team which includes Kay Timme, director; Roschelle Springfield, museum manager and Carolyn Williams, who is the assistant director and head librarian.

Williams took a detour on her path to becoming ASLM’s assistant director/ head librarian. She attended school in Kirbyville, and after graduation, went to work at the newly opened Gib Lewis unit as a correctional officer, a job she held for six years, from 1999 to 2005.

She also worked at a daycare in Warren for three years, from 2010 to 2013. She earned an associates degree at Angelina College while employed with TDCJ, went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Lamar University, and ultimately got her master’s degree, in Library and Informational Science in 2020 from Texas Woman’s University.

She arrived at ASLM in late 2014 and was hired on as a back desk worker. Within a year, she moved up to become Bunch’s assistant.

Williams said “I was doing double duty for half the pay for a short time”. After Bunch’s passing in June 2020, Williams was named interim director. The ASLM governing board decided to restructure the format of the library in early 2021, and Williams was named assistant director and head librarian.

In addition to her duties at the library, Williams was elected to serve on the Ivanhoe City Council last November, adding to her already full plate.

She has been passionate about her role in “exploring, connecting, and creating” all the services ASLM has to offer everyone who walks through the door.

“Libraries are information centers, if you pick up a book and don’t read it, what’s the point of having it on the shelf. When you read a book, you see yourself in the characters, it’s like looking in a mirror, you see a reflection of yourself. I may never go off to India, but I can pick up a book, movie, or audio book and explore a whole new world, I get very passionate about the library and the learning experiences here,” Williams explained.

She added, “our current thing is making sure everyone knows who we are as a library and museum and knowing what we have available”.

She added “I wish somebody would’ve explained to me exactly what librarians did. I was under the impression like a lot of people that you check in and out books; books are a part of it, but it’s not the entire thing. Connecting people with that information and connecting people to each other is a really good thing. Working here, I started seeing all the little background things that we did, and the more interesting it became.”

ASLM offers several programs for all ages; they are currently in the middle of their summer reading program. The libraries summer reading program was previously only scheduled for six weeks during June and July. The format was changed this year, and it runs through June, July and August. Williams is super excited to be able to offer so many new and different events during these months; she wanted to promote their first ever “Trivia Night”, which will take place June 20 from 5-8 p.m., “our first evening event, free for ages 14 and up”, she added.

Another change was the annual used book sale, which was held every May. The library staff opted to hold one every Friday. Proceeds from the sale of used books go towards the purchase of new books, so it’s a win-win situation all the way around. They always accept donations and when you donate new books, they scour the shelves, remove older books that haven’t been checked out for years, and move them over to the used book sale. This way, there’s something fresh and new every week.

The library is open Monday through Friday from 9-5, and Saturday from 10-2, so drop by and take advantage of the many resources your library has to offer and get to know the friendly faces behind the desk. They will go above and beyond to assist you.

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