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Tyler County News - Breakout

Lions to host chili dinner

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WOODVILLE – The Woodville Lions Club is inviting everyone to mark their calendars for the club’s annual Chili Dinner fundraiser.

The event is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14. Anyone who is interested in partaking of some yummy chili can buy tickets from any Woodville Lion, or just show up at the Lion’s Den on Oct. 14 to get a yummy chili dinner with all of the fixings.

Tickets are $10 per meal. A silent auction will also be held, with plenty of great items available to browse, all donated from local businesses, crafters and friends of the club. 

Be sure to check out the club’s Facebook page for photos of the items as they come in. 

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Burn Ban Declared

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BurnBanBy Chris Edwards
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TYLER COUNTY — The county is under burn ban, as of Tuesday. It is the second one this year.

The county issued the disaster declaration burn ban effective 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4 and according to the county’s office of emergency management, will be in effect until rescinded.

The lack of sufficient rainfall as of late has been a statewide concern, and fire analysts have cited the potential for significant wildfires throughout the pineywoods region, as well as southeast and central Texas.

In Tyler County, a burn ban was issued in June and rescinded in mid-August, following a brief period of plentiful rainfall.

A map published on Tuesday morning by the Texas A&M Forest Service showed that burn bans were active for 107 counties. At the time of the map’s publication, Tyler County had not been added, but neighboring Polk County was shown to be under a burn ban.

The dry conditions across the state have been “significant” as far as fires go, according to Wes Moorehead, who serves at the Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief.

Moorehead said that firefighters have responded, statewide, to more than 9,800 wildfires this year.

“The state received beneficial rainfall mid- to late-August, which helped to significantly slow the operational tempo for wildland firefighters. However, the benefits of that moisture have started to wane, and we are, once again, observing dry conditions across the state that is resulting in increased wildfire activity,” said Moorehead.

Burn bans occur when local governments are empowered to take action on the behalf of constituents when drought conditions exist. Burn bans are put in place by county judges or county commissioners to prohibit or restrict outdoor burning in the name of public safety.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by human activity, which means that most wildfires could be prevented by taking simple actions.

“It is important that all residents take care to prevent wildfires while conditions are windy and dry,” said Karen Stafford, Texas A&M Forest Service Prevention Program Coordinator. “Consider waiting to conduct any outdoor burning or lighting campfires until conditions improve. Even if your county does not have a burn ban in place, we encourage everyone to be cautious with any activity that may cause a spark.”

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Court rules in favor of WISD

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WoodvilleISD graphicBy Chris Edwards
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 AUSTIN – A Travis County district court ruled in favor of Woodville ISD regarding litigation over the May 7 bond election.

The judgement, which was issued last week in the 250th civil court presided over by Judge Karin Crump.

The suit, brought about by Woodville resident Charles Rawls claimed that voters within the WISD balloting area were given incorrect ballots for the special election. The outcome of the election was that the $47.8 million bond passed by a slim 51.2% majority. When canvassed at the regular May meeting of the WISD Board of Trustees, the tally was 621 voting “for” and 592 “against.”

In a statement following the decision, WISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg called the decision “a win for our kids.”

The judgement determined that the election is legal, valid and binding and authorizes the WISD Board of Trustees to proceed with the public offering, issuance and sale of bonds.

According to the summary, the court’s ruling also is a “permanent injunction against any person filing or prosecuting claims in any proceeding contesting the outcome of the May 7 election.”

“We are moving forward with our plans to build a new elementary pre-K-5th campus and renovate the Career and Technology Building at the high school,” said Meysembourg.

 At a public hearing last week, WISD Business Manager Cody Jarrott reviewed the proposed tax rate, with the assistance of Christian Merritt of Live Oak Public Finance, which serves as the district’s financial adviser.

 Although WISD adopted its 2022-23 budget in August, it did not adopt a tax rate, as the bond election was still in litigation.

 By law, school districts have to adopt a tax rate by Sept. 30 so the district scheduled a special meeting for Sept. 28 with the hopes that a final judgment would be received by then.  

Also by law, public notice of the hearing and meeting must be published at least 10 days in advance.  As WISD was unsure of how or when the bond election litigation would be decided, the notice included a tax rate proposal for the maximum rate allowable, which for Woodville ISD would be $1.3146.  The school board could always adopt a lower rate than what was published, but never more.  

According to Meysembourg, upon receiving the news of the suit, the district’s legal counsel, bond counsel, bond underwriters and financial advisers went to work to structure bond sales in the best interest of the district and to ensure that the obligations promised to the taxpayers would be met.  

WISD adopted tax rate for the 2022-23 school year is $1.0945 - an increase in I&S of $0.24, which is less than the anticipated $0.46. 

The Interest and Sinking levy which can be used for debt payment only. However, the I&S tax rate for the next school year will be the full amount of $0.46, as was presented to the public during the bond presentations.  

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Longtime Sullivan’s employee retires

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Top row: Marvin Katzen, Stanley Hensarling, Jason Owens, John Kenner Bottom: Fred Sullivan, Sally Hall PHOTO BY MOLLIE LA SALLETop row: Marvin Katzen, Stanley Hensarling, Jason Owens, John Kenner Bottom: Fred Sullivan, Sally Hall PHOTO BY MOLLIE LA SALLE

By Mollie LaSalle and Darby Kethan

WOODVILLE – Friends and well-wishers stopped into Sullivan’s Hardware last Saturday to wish Sally Hall a happy retirement after 44 years of loyal service. 

Hall will be greatly missed. At her party, she greeted all her friends with a sweet smile and told them all to “come and have a piece of cake”. 

She was gifted the bench she sat on every day when she had her lunch by Fred Sullivan. A plaque was added to the bench, which says “Sally Hall, 44 years of service and smiles.” 

Hall was a groundbreaker in the world of plumbing supplies, building materials, electrical fixtures. She is a fast learner and stalwart employee, and quickly learned the unfamiliar terms; figured out how she could help customers who sometimes seemed to speak an unfamiliar tongue, using such terms as “male threaded” pipe and “bus-bars”. 

She stayed, learned and quickly became a fixture at Sullivans. For many generations of Tyler County resident, she was a smiling and welcoming face and the “go to” source of much help and information.

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Fair time is here

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Booster File Photo - Jim PowersBooster File Photo - Jim Powers

By Jacob Spivey

WOODVILLE – On the Christmas episode of his variety show in 1962, Andy Williams declared that Christmas was “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year”. He would release a single with that title the following year, and since then, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” has been a standard of the Christmas season, regularly appearing as one of the top 10 Christmas songs of all time on a variety of lists. 

I offer all due respect to Andy Williams, but if I had to make a declaration, for me, the most wonderful time of the year for me, starts each year as the weather begins to cool, and it becomes time for the Tyler County Fair. 

While we don’t usually tell scary ghost stories, if you listen around the barns, you’ll certainly hear tales of glories of fairs long, long ago. 

Starting on Wednesday, Oct. 5 we’ll have young people from all over the county bring their livestock, home economics, art, and ag mechanics projects they’ve worked on for months out to the Clinton Currie Fairgrounds to showcase not only their work, but our future. 

One of my favorite projects is the broiler project. Exhibitors that show broilers started a short but challenging project back on August 26. They started that day with 35-day-old broiler chicks, provided by the Texas A&M Poultry department, that weighed less than three ounces each. On Wednesday night, they will exhibit three of those birds that may be in excess of 8-10 pounds in just 40 days.

One of those exhibitors will be Elyn Meredith. Elyn is a junior at Warren High School and the Sentinel for the Warren FFA. This will be Elyn’s first year showing broilers at the Tyler County Fair, and to say she has enjoyed it would be a huge understatement.

To be successful raising show broilers requires near-constant attention. To manage the broiler project well, you have to manage every part of their lives. You manage the temperature in their pen, provide them water and feed, maintain a clean environment for them to live in by changing shavings and cleaning up after them and if you do it successfully, you stir those chicks every few hours to inspire them to get up and eat. 

A broiler chicken has just a few desires, namely to eat, drink, and go to the bathroom. They also have a pretty short memory, so if you stir them up, they’ll get up, eat, drink and then sit back down. If you come back a few minutes later and stir them again, they’ll get up and do it again, without it having any effect that they just ate a few minutes ago. Not all that different from me on Thanksgiving Day. 

One of the best things about the Tyler County Fair is that for a kid to find a whole lot of success in most projects, it involves the entire family supporting them. Elyn has certainly had that with her parents and sister taking part in stirring birds to help Elyn grow her birds to their greatest genetic potential. 

Broiler chickens for the fair, just like those for the agriculture industry, do not receive any antibiotics, steroids or other substances and are able to grow to their large size, due to management, genetics, and high-quality feed. Elyn’s birds have gotten all three and I hope nothing but the best for her. 

To watch Elyn and all the other broiler exhibitors, I’d love to see you join us at 7 p.m. on Wednesday Oct. 5. Other market projects will show on Thursday, and many of the cattle projects will be showcased on Friday, Oct. 7. Finally on the afternoon and evening of Saturday October 8th, those young people who were selected for the auction will auction off their projects. The Home Economics building will have projects showcased on both Thursday and Friday. Venders and the carnival will both open on Wednesday evening and be open until Saturday night. 

The Tyler County Fair is certainly the most wonderful time of the year for me, and I hope you will join me out at the fairgrounds to see these young people showcase their hard work, with cakes, art, livestock, and more! 

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