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Tyler County News - Breakout

High-speed chase results in arrest

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Chester Mayor Robert Poytner (L) with Child Welfare Board Member Melanie Calhoun made a proclamation supporting the April as Child Abuse Prevention Month at their regular meeting Monday evening, April 4.  PHOTO BY MICHAEL G. MANESS Chester Mayor Robert Poytner (L) with Child Welfare Board Member Melanie Calhoun made a proclamation supporting the April as Child Abuse Prevention Month at their regular meeting Monday evening, April 4. PHOTO BY MICHAEL G. MANESS

By Chris Edwards
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DAM B – A high-speed chase last week in the Dam B area resulted in the arrest of a Woodville man, and could result in additional charges, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford.

Last Tuesday morning, at approximately 10 a.m., Weatherford said that deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office were out patrolling around Dam B and attempted to make a stop on a 2006 Cadillac for a traffic violation on FM 92, just north of where U.S. 190 intersects. 

Weatherford said the suspect, Tommy Lee Chambless, a 28-year-old Woodville resident, refused to stop for the deputies, who had activated lights and a siren. 

Chambless continued onto county road 3725, and maintained high rates of speed, getting up near 100 mph, Weatherford said. He led deputies on the chase for two miles, before wrecking the car, after the road had turned to dirt.

Chambless attempted to evade capture, on foot, but was caught a short distance from the crash site. He was taken into TCSO custody, and transported to the Tyler County Hospital, where he was medically cleared a short time later, Weatherford said. 

He was then booked into the Tyler County Justice Center and charged with felony evading arrest (with a motor vehicle.) 

Chambless’s bond was set by Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Ken Jobe at $75,000. He is currently out on bond, but according to Weatherford, could face additional charges, along with several other individuals. 

TCSO has been investigating several recent burglaries in the Dam B area, Weatherford said.

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Benton to begin as community health agent

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AgrillifeExtensionBy Jacob Spivey

WOODVILLE – Friday, April 1 will see a new day dawning in the Tyler County AgriLife Extension Office, and the addition of a new face. 

In early January the Tyler County Commissioners Court, at the request of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, appointed Shannon Benton to serve Tyler County as the new Family and Community Health Agent. Shannon’s first day in the office will be on Friday. 

In the waning months of normalcy in 2019 just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the county saw the family community health agent for Tyler County, Kelly Jobe, retire. When Jobe retired, a hole opened in our ability to serve the community that has remained open through the last two years. 

For the month of March, Benton worked in Angelina County learning the role of a county agent in serving their community. Shannon is a native of Spurger and comes home with a zealous spirit of service. Benton will be serving Tyler County with the FCH program and directing the 4-H program for our youth. 

On Tuesday, April 5, at 3 p.m., the office will host a short reception for anyone wishing to come by and welcome Shannon to our office and hear about the great plans she has for serving our community.  The Tyler County AgriLife Extension Office is located at 201 Veteran’s Way Woodville, Texas 75979. 

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Tyler County Historical Commission: preserving cultural resources

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TylerCountyHistoricalCommissionBy Chuck Davidson

Do you know that the Tyler County Historical Commission (TCHC) exists because of state legislature approval back in 1963 giving authority to the county judge to appoint a “County Historical Survey Committee? This was amended in 1987 of Local Government Code Title 10, Subtitle B, Chapter 318, Subchapter A, Section 318.002, where the commissioners court of a county could appoint a county historical commission?  The purpose:  for the preservation of the county’s historic cultural resources. 

The TCHC currently has 14 members appointed in the fall of 2021 to serve two-year terms and we do have two vacancies.

The Tyler County court has submitted members names and addresses to the Texas Historical Commission, thus we fall under the leadership of TC Commissioner’s Court and the states Historical Commission. All members must have an interest in historic preservation as well as an interest and understanding of local history and resources. 

TCHC meets once a month, normally at noon on the second Tuesday in the county courthouse, with the Booster giving us an ad each week reminding readers of our existence and next meeting details.  We do welcome visitors at any public meeting and do maintain a website:  www.tylercoutyhc.org which gives a good overview of what we do and has most of the historical resources in Tyler County. 

As you may know, our recent focus has been on the 1891 courthouse, with its 1937 addition, holding several galas and raising funds to help the county with the state’s approval in its efforts to restore it. 

TCHC recently gave the county $34,000 which was used to pay for most of the doors found now in the courthouse and continue to be involved in the appearance of the courthouse. 

TCHC looks forward to the future restoring of the clock and bell tower on the courthouse.

We continue to work on resource identification such as cemeteries and historic buildings, and periodically write articles of historic interest in the Booster, while our website contains material and resources useful to both educators and anyone interested in TC history.  We are partially funded by the county, along with sales of various books and items such as knives found at the Heritage Village Museum gift store and at Sullivan’s Hardware store in Woodville.

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Tyler County Art League winners announced

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Enlightening of the road From the Past - Ted AbbeyEnlightening of the road From the Past - Ted Abbey

WOODVILLE – Winners in Tyler County Art League’s Winter Show are: Best in Show: “What Now” by Sam Keith (Acrylic) and “Enlightening of the Road from the Past” by Ted Abbey (Oil); First Place: Piney Woods by Merilyn McDonald (Oil); Second Place: “Light Ship” by Brenda Cox (Oil); Third Place: “At the Farm” by Barbara Noll (Oil); Honorable Mentions: “White Oak Leaves with Acorns” by Fred T. Turner (Pencil/Acrylic) and “Corona Anguish” by D. Richard Ishmael (Oil). Judge’s Choice went to “The Eagles Nest” by Sondra Hensarling.

The show will be on view through April 3 at the Gallery, 210 W. Bluff in Woodville. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (or by appointment).

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CISD board addresses ‘Gender Queer’ controversy

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Bulldog Colmesneil logoBy Mollie LaSalle

COLMESNEIL – At its regular monthly meeting last Monday, the Colmesneil ISD Board of Trustees addressed a letter from State Representative Jared Patterson (R-Frisco). 

Patterson, who represents Texas’s 106th Congressional District, sent the letter via e-mail to every superintendent in the state requesting that all school districts sign an attached pledge stating that they will not knowingly partner with, purchase from, or associate in any way with a vendor who has supplied pornographic materials to schools, nor allow pornographic materials to remain on campus. 

In his letter, Patterson said school children across the state have been exposed to material such as Gender Queer: A Memoir, which is a graphic novel. This book has become a hot button issue both nationwide and in the state of Texas among parents and Republican officials. 

The novel has been shelved in multiple Texas school libraries, but “sadly, we don’t know how many children across Texas have been exposed to this obscene material, or others like it,” Patterson added.

Patterson stated “this book, or anything similar, is absolutely inappropriate and should be removed from public school library shelves immediately.” Superintendent Eldon Franco commented that this should be “a parental issue”, and to his knowledge, “we don’t have anything of this sort” in the school’s library. He also said “I wouldn’t want my children reading it”. 

Board member Kenneth Adaway asked “do we have any say on what teachers have in their classrooms?” All members present voted to sign the pledge sent by Patterson.

The next item up was passing a resolution honoring State Representative James White for his work. White recently resigned his seat in the state House of Representatives to run for the statewide office of Agriculture Commissioner in an unsuccessful bid.

The board wanted to thank him for always being there, taking care of his district and schools. Franco said “He supported us, we want to support him, we should appreciate him as a board”. Board members unanimously approved the resolution honoring White.

Another item on the agenda discussed was hotly debated at a special called meeting on Feb. 7. Local resident John England had gone before the board with the possibility of the district purchasing his property which is adjacent to the new tennis courts. The property is a four-bedroom house on two acres of land. The house has had a lot of remodeling work done, with more planned, and the appraised value is worth

 considerably more that what England is asking for it. Kenneth Adaway said “if we can afford it, we need to go ahead and purchase it”. The board approved the proposal to purchase England’s property.

Elementary School Principal Yvette Carlton presented her monthly report to the board and was excited to announce that the elementary campus will have their first open house in two years on March 22 and will also have a spring book fair. Enrollment for Pre-K through sixth grade is up in March, from 256 to 259 students. Carlton announced her intent to retire at the February meeting.

Junior High/High School Principal Walter McAlpin informed board members that the UIL film kids made it all the way to the state semi-finals with their documentary about Coach Sergio Ramos: this achievement put them in top twelve in the state out of 1A-4A. Colmesneil’s team was the last 2A school left standing, all other qualifiers being 4A schools. FFA members are competing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo again this year and are gaining great experience. 

McAlpin has also recently announced his intent to retire from his position at the February board meeting.

Athletic Director Cody Day gave his report on spring sports programs; track, powerlifting, softball, baseball and tennis are front and center. 

The high school track teams placed first among all 2A schools at the recent Deweyville meet; the softball/baseball programs are performing well; the Tennis team has a district meet March 31, and the Powerlifting teams, both boys and girls are performing well. The girl’s powerlifting team competed at the state meet in Corpus Christi last week.

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