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Tyler County News - Breakout

Willis saga continues: Potential buyer lined up

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Mandy to CouncilMandy to Council

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – The Woodville City Council held a hearing on Monday evening, prior to the council’s regular monthly meeting. The topic of the hearing was to receive an update on the Willis Motel.

The council spoke via Zoom, and in person, with representatives of the property’s owners, including Caitlin Morrell, an attorney, who was present at the meeting.

The owners have indicated that there is a pending sale, and the potential buyer has asked for additional time to close the sale, as well as assurance that the council has no demolition order scheduled.

Last month, another hearing was held, where city attorney Brad Elrod informed council that the owners had reacquired the property from foreclosure. Previous owners had been served notice two years ago by the city that the property was found to be a nuisance and ordered condemned in August 2021.

An inspection showed the property is more than 50% dilapidated and would cost more to repair or rehab than what it is worth.

The council agreed to give 30 days to resolve the sale of the property, and have asked the owners to report back with an update at the Jan. 8 meeting of the city council, along with a written plan for what is to be done with the property.

Councilmember Lee Mann said “we just need to move forward with this.”

The city does not have the ability or resources to secure the property, since it is private property, however, the owners have said they have taken the steps to secure it.

Subdivision variance denied

A subdivision within the city limits, the plat of which was approved in 2021, came up on Monday’s agenda. Representatives with Suarez Construction interacted with the councilmembers via Zoom and approached the city about decreasing setback lines for the lots in the subdivision as well as the size of the lots.

City ordinance calls for lots to be at least 5,000 square feet, and the request called for 3,900 square-foot lots for a total of 20 lots in the subdivision, with 20-foot setback lines from the street and seven foot from the rear.

Originally, the subdivision, which is owned by Gil Tubb and to be located behind the former Magnolia Bar and Grill, called for 12 lots, each 50-foot wide.

The representatives said that all of the information on the subdivision is, at present, preliminary, as no replatting or survey has been done, but the idea is to offer 1,000-square foot, two-bedroom homes in the $225-$250K range.

Mayor Amy Bythewood warned that a precedent is set once an ordinance variance is granted and added that she did not see how it would be possible to fit 20 homes in the space outlined by the developers.

Councilmember Paula Jones motioned to not grant the variance, and all but Lee Mann voted with Jones.

Other Business

During Monday evening’s meeting, the Woodville City Council also approved the following items of business:

• Councilmember Paula Jones was appointed to represent the City of Woodville on the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

• Councilmember Joyce Wilson was appointed to serve as Mayor Pro-Tem for the current term.

• City Administrator Mandy Risinger announced the plans for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade to take place on Jan. 15, 2024.

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Davis resigns as CISD superintendent

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By Mollie LaSalle
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Sharon TuleSharon TuleCOLMESNEIL – The board of trustees for Colmesneil ISD met Monday, December 11 for their regular monthly meeting. With only one member absent, the board opened the meeting at 6 p.m., and immediately went into executive session for a level III grievance hearing regarding discipline of a student per Policy FNG (LOCAL).

Upon returning to open session at 6:53 p.m., the board moved on to the consent agenda items. Board operating procedures for 2023-24 were approved, as was the appointing of Kris Lindsey as president, Kelly Eddins, vice president, and Kenneth Adaway, secretary.

Superintendent Dr. Scott Davis tendered his letter of resignation to the school board, effective at midnight, Dec. 31, 2023. Davis addressed the board with the following remarks, “to the Colmesneil ISD board of trustees, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity of serving the students and staff of Colmesneil ISD. Colmesneil ISD represents a true diamond in Tyler County. I will always count the kids and staff as some of the finest with whom I have served in my 30-year career, and I mean that”. He added, “only a special district like this one could have enticed me in the first place. It’s been a true, personal, and professional blessing. I wish only the best for our amazing school district as you move forward in your search for your next leader. I know that you will shoulder the responsibility.”

Board president Kris Lindsey spoke next and added “I reached out to him (Davis), he got a lot done, more than any superintendent I’ve worked with in the last 15 years. He went above and beyond for this community.

Originally, we had asked him for help at the elementary campus. Our teachers and staff were making the turn around that we so desperately needed for TEA, so with those improvements, we asked him to take on more and more. He made some big decisions, started getting the ball rolling on big projects, we finally got someone in here who would take the initiative and get things done without having to get a bond passed. Dr. Davis went above and beyond from day one”.

Walter McAlpin spoke in the open forum part of the meeting and had the following remarks, “34 years ago, I was the sitting board president at Warren ISD, that was a long time ago. Tonight, you (the board) went into executive session right off the bat and you were forced with making a hard decision. Your decisions are often hard, but you make them in the best interest of the students at Colmesneil schools. As an administrator on the outside looking in, I want to say thank you for everything you have done for us”. The main thing McAlpin was most appreciative for Davis doing was getting the teachers a pay raise across the board.

Also, the money on a flex health spending card is greatly appreciated. McAlpin was visibly moved when relaying a story from three months ago. “I want to say thank you, for what my family has gone through. I was standing in the hall, and some big-shots came by, all ‘dignitaries’, and knocked on the door, and I reached out, and they put a very generous check in my hand. I appreciated that stuff as a retired administrator. I just want to say, thank you, I appreciate it.”

The board went into executive session for a second time to discuss and consider hiring an interim superintendent. Sharon Tule was hired to take over from Dr. Davis upon his resignation. She will officially start January 1, 2024. Tule is a long- time educator herself; she received her bachelors and master’s degrees from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Tule and her husband, James spent about 10 years there before coming to Texas. She taught for many years at various grade levels before becoming a school administrator. She was superintendent at West Hardin CCISD for many years.

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ALSM offering a Christmas gift to Tyler County

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Special to the Booster

WOODVILLE – The Allan Shivers Library and Museum is offering a Christmas gift to all Tyler County citizens.

If you are looking for a place to take your Christmas or holiday photos, the ASLM will be decorated for Christmas and is providing several locations for you to capture Christmas memories. Bring your camera, cell phone or tablet and take your own photos (a tripod will be available to aid in taking the pictures) on an antique settee in front of the Board Room fireplace, on the 1881 Museum staircase, on the front porch and/or in the lighted gazebo on the facility’s south lawn.

The gazebo area will have recommended positions designated as to where to stand for a treasured photo-op. Indoor locations will be available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. Outdoor locations will be available from morning to dusk. Contact the ASLM at 409.283.3709 for details.

Merry Christmas from the Allan Shivers Library and Museum.


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Woodville ag mechanics selling grills, barbecue pits

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Ag mechanics Smoker

From Staff Reports

WOODVILLE – If you are looking for a great Christmas gift that will last a lifetime, come by and check out the barbecue pits; fire pits; grills and smokers that the Woodville Ag Mechanics class has built.

All of them are on sale priced from $100 to $800. They will be heat painted and ready to go by Dec. 20. Thank you for your support. Contact George Pyle, if interested, at 409-283-3714.

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Band students advance in tryouts

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Band Kids 12 06

From Staff Reports

Several members of the Woodville High School Band tried out on Saturday for the Region Band. The tryouts were held at Hardin-Jefferson High School, and WHS Band Director Gabrielle Chandler said she is excited to announce some “outstanding” results from the tryouts.

Students who placed were:

Aidyn Williams (Tenor Saxophone) – Alternate

Caitlin Eubanks (French Horn) – Alternate and advancing to area

Kody Vaughan (Bass Trombone) – Second Chair and advancing to area

Brax Love (Percussion) – Fifth chair and advancing to area

Jack Ryan (Percussion) – 12th chair and advancing to area

Students advancing to area-leveltryouts will compete on Jan. 6 at Chapel Hill HS for a chance to advance to the State-level band.

“Congratulations to ALL of our students who auditioned today. Going through the tryout process itself is a huge accomplishment. We are so proud of you,” Chandler said.



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