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Tyler County News - Breakout

Memorial Day Observed

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060522 Flags in CemeteryPhoto by Chris Ewards

The Memorial Day holiday was celebrated across the county with the closure of businesses, and an extra day for many to spend with family, or to just relax. However, the federally recognized holiday, which was originally known as Decoration Day, observes those who served in the United States armed forces and died while serving.

Displays of rememberance were shared across the county to remind citizens of the true reason why the holiday is observed. Each year, the Woodville Rotary Club places flags on the graves of service veterans in Magnolia Cemetery (above).

On Monday morning, members of the Woodville VFW Post 2033 conducted a wreath ceremony in front of the Tyler County Courthouse (below photo). Pictures, left-to-right are: Vice Commander Michael King; Post Commander Barry Perkins; Sergeant-at-Arms Luther Rogers and Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette.

060522 Wreath CeremonyPhoto by Chris Ewards

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Chester ISD board hears reports

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Chester ISD logo template 300By Chuck Davidson

Special to the Tyler County Booster

CHESTER – The Chester ISD Board of Trustees president Ray McKnight called the board’s regular monthly meeting on Monday, May 23, to order at 6 p.m., with six of the seven trustees present.
After prayer, pledges, and a short public comment thanking the district for allowing the Chester Lions club to use their facility for a scholarship fundraiser on May 7, the board went into executive session at 6:02 p.m. to discuss a level III parent grievance.
They returned an hour later, and a motion to uphold the level II decision was made and approved by all present.
Several information items were presented by business manager Austin Odom covering purchase of new furniture, cafeteria tables, summer school hours, and Title funding.
Lindsey Thompson then updated the board on a pilot program funded to accelerate student learning due to COVID. The consent agenda and revenue/expenditures were approved without comment.

Sex education nixed
Two action items were presented by Becki Byrd coming from the SHAC team, first was recommendation that the district not participate in HB 1525 sex education curriculum and second was the approval of the revised District Wellness Policy.
After discussion, the first was tabled for more study, and the second was approved. Chester ISD Superintendent Paul Drake then asked the board to consider some amendments to the 2022-23 compensation plan, noting that currently all teaching positions are filled but if a critical need might arise, that he would need to act quickly thus needing authority to act.
The district’s current enrollment stands at 218, and the next board meeting is set for June 20.

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Warren ISD announces movie theater at Fred Elementary

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By Chris Edwards
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


warren isd logoFRED – According to Warren ISD, the district has been keeping a secret about some exciting developments on the Fred Elementary campus.

Staff has been working hard to convert the Fred Elementary auditorium into a fully functioning movie theater for the community.

“As we continue to move forward making this a year-round place for our kids, parents and community members to enjoy, we invite you to join us this summer for our first few showings,” a statement from the WISD Facebook page read.

Beginning in July, on each Thursday, the auditorium will host a film screening, complete with concessions, open to the public.

Admittance for showings will be $2 per ticket, and a movie schedule, with concessions pricing and times, will be posted soon to the Warren ISD Facebook page.

The auditorium will still be used for campus events, in addition to film screenings.

The district said in a statement that a word of thanks goes to FES PTC for a donation, as well as running the concessions, without which, the theater experience would not be possible.

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vanhoe council hears tax reports

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 City of IvanhoeBy Chris Edwards

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IVANHOE – In the most recent regular meeting of the Ivanhoe City Council, Ivanhoe Mayor Cathy Bennett began the regular agenda with a report on the city’s certified estimates of taxable value for the current year’s levy.

The estimates, from county appraiser David Luther, represent the same value as the previous year, Bennett said. There have been no re-evaluations of properties done, and the estimated values for properties across the city amount to $84,995,604.

Bennett said the interesting note of this year’s estimates came from Luther’s comments on the estimates. Luther, who has been doing appraisals for 40 years, stated that he had “never squirmed and worried so much” about providing estimates.

Luther, who was unable to attend the meeting, cited in a provided statement uncertainty with the real estate market, soaring land prices and “unbelievable” housing market activity as reasons for his nervousness with appraisals.

The next presentation on the agenda for the Thursday, May 19 meeting, was a report from the city’s delinquent tax attorney James Guest, of Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, LLP.

The report covered the city’s delinquent tax actions from the period of Sept. 1, 2020 through August 1, 2021. Guest said the firm mails out letters on every delinquent account for Ivanhoe property owners, five times a year. Last year the firm sent out a little more than 4,000 letters, Guest said.

The fees for the process, Guest said, are at zero cost to the city, but paid for by delinquent taxpayers. 

Guest said a lot of help is available for delinquent taxpayers, and said that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has partnered with Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson to provide information about federal grant assistance for taxpayers.

Guest said the firm has sent out letters containing the information and offered help to guide anyone through the process who might need the help.

Guest said it has been difficult to have hearings on some properties subject to tax litigation. “The district judge will not sign tax warrants. I have approached him several times,” Guest said.

He mentioned a “hot topic” property on Lakeview, which the firm is trying to obtain a judgment on to take to a tax sale.

Guest said Bennett stays on top of the firm’s actions; working overtime to make sure the movements are conducted with regard to the properties in question.

Overall, Guest said there has been an uptick in collections over the period his reportage covered. 

Haney resigns

After reading the report from Judge Cathy Rader, Bennett read a resignation letter for long-serving magistrate Judith Haney.

Haney has been serving with Rader in the city’s court system, and gave her notice to be effective May 31. Bennett said the city was talking with Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford about working with the city court, and will look toward an agreement for Ford to work with Rader.

Haney said that if the city had any need for her to continue to serve, she would, until a replacement can be found. 

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Weatherford responds to Uvalde mass shooting

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By Chris Edwards
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TYLER COUNTY – In response to the tragic events of last Tuesday, May 24, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford committed to increasing the presence of law enforcement on the five public school campuses in the county.

Weatherford said that last week, for graduation ceremonies, there would be an increase in law enforcement, as “the safety of our citizens, especially the precious children, remain our number one priority.”

Last Tuesday, an 18-year-old shooter identified as Salvador Ramos fatally shot 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary, and remained inside a classroom for about an hour before a U.S. Border Control Tactical Unit fatally shot him, according to reports.

Weatherford said that with many similar incidents, county residents feel distanced, but this one is different.

“A lot of time you see where these incidents are further away from us and don’t hold on to us as long,” he said. He said that several people have called him and were both angry and sad about the event. 

“I pray that we stay as vigilant,” he said.

“As long as I’m in office, I’m protecting you and your family,” he added. 

In addition to upping the security detail for last week’s events on school campuses, Weatherford has reached out to school superintendents to have a round-table discussion about school security and safety protocol.

He also spoke with the county’s commissioners about school safety, and to consider added measures in next year’s budget.

In the aftermath of the Uvalde massacre, law enforcement officials have been criticized for their lack of action in response to the shooting, which has resulted in separate investigations by the Texas Rangers and the federal Department of Justice.

Weatherford said Tyler County Sheriff’s Office is committed to being “very proactive on our end with the schools.”

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