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Tyler County News - Breakout

Mann appointed to fill Branch’s council seat

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Woodville City SealBy Mollie LaSalle

WOODVILLE – Woodville City Council held their regular monthly meeting last Tuesday, and prior to the meeting being called to order, David Waxman spoke about the CDBG Grant money the city has applied for. Three million plus has been allocated for Woodville, with no max required. The total amount of the CDBG grant is $3,325.000.00. Waxman stated that a portion of the funds have to be used for low method of distribution, or approximately $1,163,750.00 of the grant. 

The Texas General Land Office concentrated on towns by zip code that sustained the most damage from Hurricane Harvey, and Waxman added that most of the damage was 100% in the city of Woodville. 

Per Waxman, the deadline to apply for the grant is Nov. 15, 2022, with letters of awards going out sometime in April of 2023. 

Council voted to fill the unexpired term of Alderman Herbert Branch, who recently stepped down from the council. Joyce Wilson nominated Lee Mann to serve the remainder of Branch’s term, with Kelly Dillard seconding the motion. The board must meet to approve Mann’s appointment, and should he be approved, Mann will be sworn in at the next council meeting on Nov. 14.

City Manager Mandy Risinger acknowledged Woodville native Kim Cruse’s success on the NBC show “The Voice”, having all four judges turn their chair around at the audition. 

Cruse is the daughter of Ramona and Bobby Cruse of Woodville. Bobby Cruse was a longtime employee of the city for 25 years, and was “a joy” to be around, said Risinger. 

Risinger also mentioned events coming up in Woodville; the Lion’s Club held their Chili Lunch on Friday, Oct. 14, the Harvest Festival took place last Friday and Saturday at Heritage Village, and the Rotary Club’s annual Gumbo Dinner is slated for October 28th at the Fire Station in Woodville. 

The annual “Red Ribbon Day” for the schools (Just Say No To Drugs) is scheduled for the 24th, and the Tyler County Child Welfare Board’s 14th annual “Adopt An Angel” Holiday Tea and Purse Auction is going “live” again (after a two year online auction) at the Family Life Center of Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church, on November 12, at 10 am. 

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School threat suspect indicted

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MUGSHOT TauschChassin Tausch

By Chris Edwards
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COLMESNEIL – A Tyler County Grand Jury has handed down an indictment to a 17-year-old Colmesneil ISD student who was charged with making a terroristic threat last month.

Chassin Tausch was arrested in late September after allegedly making threatening statements. According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, he had made threats to shoot other students following an argument on campus. 

District Attorney Lucas Babin presented the case to the Grand Jury on Sept. 29, and the jurors decided to indict Tausch for Felony Terroristic Threat. 

Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Ken Jobe set Tausch’s bond at $50,000 and required that numerous bond conditions be completed, including wearing an ankle monitor.

The charge of which Tausch has been indicted is a third-degree felony.

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Early voting begins Monday

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voting boxBy Chris Edwards
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The early voting period for the upcoming Nov. 8 General Election will begin next Monday, Oct. 24 and will last through Friday, Nov. 4. 

Voters across the state will decide several key propositions, either by showing up early during the window, or on Tuesday, Nov. 8, which is Election Day. This mid-term race finds Texans faced with the opportunity to keep or reject incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott, as well as several other officials on the ballot.

Abbott, who is running for a third term as the Republican nominee, faces Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, Libertarian Mark Tippetts and Green Party nominee Delilah Barrios.

In terms of countywide races, a hotly contested race for County Judge drew not only a Democratic challenger but a write-in candidate, as well. Milton Powers, who currently serves as Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace, won the county’s GOP Primary in a run-off in May. Powers, the Republican nominee faces Democrat Wesley Whitman and Neil Alderman, a Republican running as a write-in.

Alderman, a Warren businessman, is not the only write-in candidate vying for a county office. Pct. 4 Commissioner Charles “Buck” Hudson is facing challenger Amanda Radke-Hastings in his re-election bid.

To vote by mail, applications must be received no later than Friday, Oct. 28, according to Secretary of State John Scott.

Several city and school district elections are also on the ballot in Tyler County. Voters who are serviced by the Woodville Independent School District have the opportunity to choose candidates for two positions on the WISD Board of Trustees.

Incumbent John Wilson is running for re-election of Place No. 6 on the board against challengers Kevin McQueen and Ben Shepherd. Place No. 7 incumbent Josh McClure drew opponent Eleanor Holderman.

The City of Woodville has a mayoral election, with Mayor Paula M. Jones running against three challengers: Amy Bythewood, Sarah L. Stephens and Michael G. Maness.

On the Woodville City Council, the incumbent Alderman for Place 2, Kelly Cordes Dillard, is running against Lori Benthall. Place 4 Alderman has two challengers running for the seat left by Tony Greer, who opted to not run for re-election. Mike Cabaniss is running against Elizabeth Grammer for that seat on the council.

Spurger ISD has three seats on the ballot for this election. Incumbents Paul Bingham (position 7) and Brent Marcum (position 6) are running unopposed, while position 1 incumbent Forrest Anderson is running against challenger Jessica Hensarling. 

Voters in Colmesneil have an at-large position to decide, with incumbent Bo Bendy facing challengers Brandon Martin, Jacob Adaway and Eric L. Lee.

Warren ISD voters have candidates running for positions 1, 2, 6 and 7 on the Warren ISD Board of Trustees. Incumbents Billie Read, Steve Moore and Blake Burkett are running unopposed for positions 1, 2 and 7, respectively, while position 6 incumbent Kimen Johnson is running against challengers Calvin Wallet and Marianne Pate.

Ivanhoe residents have a mayoral election and a council position to vote for. Mayor Cathy Bennett is running for re-election against challengers Skip Blackstone and Bob Stoneman. Incumbent councilmembers John Craven and Will Warren are running to keep their seats on the council against challenger Carolyn Williams.

Polling times begin at 8 a.m. and run through 5 p.m. for Monday through Friday. On Saturday, Oct. 29, the polls open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

 What you need to vote

To cast a ballot, you need to bring one of these forms of identification:

• Texas Driver’s License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

• Texas Election Identification Certificate (EIC) issued by DPS

• Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS

• Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) issued by DPS

• U.S. Military ID Card containing the person’s photograph

• U.S. Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph

• U.S. Passport

Except for the U.S. citizenship certificate, the form of identification you use must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented at the polls.

If you don’t have any of these to use for identification, you can (1) sign a sworn statement explaining why you don’t have those IDs and (2) bring one of the following:

• Valid voter registration certificate

• Certified birth certificate

• Current utility bill

• Government check

• Pay stub or bank statement that includes your name and address

• Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph).

Mail-in voting

According to the Texas Secretary of State website, you can request a mail-in ballot if you meet one of the criteria: 

• 65 years of age or older on Election Day

• Disabled.

• Expecting to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day.

• Absent from the county of registration during the Early Voting period and on Election Day.

• Civilly committed under Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.

• Confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.

You can request an application for a mail-in ballot online here or print out the form. Once you fill out the form, you must mail it to County Clerk Donece Gregory at 116 S. Charlton, Woodville, TX 75979.

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Allan Shivers Library and Museum celebrates anniversary

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By Roschelle Springfield,
ASLM Museum Manager

WOODVILLE – October 1, 2022, marked the 56th anniversary of the Allan Shivers Library and Museum dedication and opening to the public.  The more than half century of serving the patrons of Tyler County and the East Texas area has seen many changes.  The original courtyard with Clyde Gray tiles has been enclosed to make a children’s room for books specifically chosen for young readers, weekly story time and other activities for children.

The Bunch Reading room is used for meetings, special group crafts and group activities, as well as an additional area for reading.  All the books in that room are large print editions.  The Study room is the newest addition to the library and is a smaller space available for meetings and a quiet place for studying or doing research.

The museum, housed in the 1881, R.A. Cruse home that was moved to the current site, shares its history of the Cruse family in Tyler County while displaying the extensive collection of Woodville’s own Governor Allan Shivers’ books, photographs, collections, and memorabilia from his terms in office and across his lifetime.  The permanent exhibits in the museum are exclusively those relating to the Shivers.

The Shivers family never lived there but purchased and gave the house to Woodville and Tyler County for use as a Library and Museum to preserve his legacy.  The mission statement for the museum is, The Allan Shivers Museum invites the public to step into the life, career, and accomplishments of Governor Allan Shivers to preserve, educate, and share his role in contributing to the history of Texas. (Also note, “Allan” does not have an “e”).

Presently, the museum is closed to the public for renovation and a complete overhaul to reorganize and display items from the Shivers family not previously on exhibit.  Besides the permanent Shivers collection, the museum plans to begin hosting special, short-term exhibits to share with the public. Having been awarded a grant from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, the museum will reopen with an elevator allowing visitors with physical challenges to view the entire museum experience on both floors.

Mark your calendar: there will be a library/museum sneak peek open house and Christmas exhibit, Friday, Dec. 2, to coordinate with other Christmas in Tyler County events that weekend.

The full library and museum complex will have a grand re-opening in early February to share the improvements and additional services available to patrons. Come be a part of this extraordinary gift and continue the second half century of the Allan Shivers Library and Museum with us.

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Committee focused on economic development

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Trent AshbyCapitol Updateby Rep. Trent Ashby

On the misty morning of October 2nd, 1835, fighting broke out at Gonzales between Mexican soldiers and Texas militiamen, signifying the start of the War for Texas Independence. 

When the Mexican commander received word that Texas settlers refused to surrender a small cannon, he dispatched 100 soldiers to retrieve it. There were around 140 Texan rebels ready for action in Gonzales, and they flew a makeshift flag reading “Come And Take it.” And thus, the first shots of the Texas Revolution were fired.

The famous flag from that Gonzales clash has become a hallmark of Texas pride, with the “Come And Take It” message enduring today, nearly 200 years later, as a testament to the strength and bravery of the Texas spirit. 

With that bit of Texas history, we’ll dive back into our examination of House interim charges:

House Interim Charge: International Relations & Economic Development

The committee of focus this week is the House Committee on International Relations & Economic Development. With nine sitting members, this Committee is responsible for matters involving trade relations between other states, nations, and the federal government. Additionally, the Committee has jurisdiction over economic and industrial development, efforts to support small businesses, and job creation programs. The Committee also has purview over several state agencies, including the Office of State-Federal Relations, the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office, and the Texas Workforce Commission.

Like most House committees, this Committee will conduct active oversight of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature and ensure the policies are being implemented as intended. To touch on a few, HB 3767 established the Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative as a permanent collaborative effort between the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative aims to build a strong Texas workforce and ensure that Texans are prepared for jobs in the industries that power the state’s economy both today and into the future. Additionally, the Committee has been tasked to monitor several bills related to supporting child-care workers who play a vital role for families with working parents but often lack adequate compensation and opportunities for career growth.

Following the pandemic, the Committee has been tasked with several charges associated with the state’s economic recovery. These charges include examining the economic impact of inflation, monitoring current economic development incentive programs and opportunities to enhance job creation, evaluating labor shortages and unemployment numbers, and identifying initiatives to expand opportunities to help meet labor demands. The Committee will also examine the state’s ongoing efforts to attract businesses in the technology and innovation sector, such as semiconductors. The production and manufacturing of semiconductors has become an essential component of our state and national economy over the last decade. Attracting capital investments allows semiconductors to elevate Texas as a hub for semiconductor manufacturing activity to rival chip production in foreign countries like China. 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will post regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and share information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.

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