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Tyler County News - Breakout

Commissioners hear from county road resident

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TCCommCourtLogoBy Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – The regular meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners Court, on Monday, Sept. 12, began with a heated exchange.

Larry Sonnier, a resident in Pct. 3, addressed Commissioner Mike Marshall about the conditions along County Road 3240, formerly known as Turner Road. 

Sonnier, who lives on the county-maintained road, said he had addressed Marshall numerous times about having work done on the road.

When Marshall tried to explain that it was an issue with money in the budget, at present, that has curtailed any road maintenance and repair work as of late, Sonnier grew irate and told the commissioner “Why don’t you hush your mouth and let me finish,” to which County Judge Jacques Blanchette asked for decorum to be maintained.

Sonnier then asked Marshall and the other officials if any of them knew “anything about civil work,” after which an exchange took place between the two.

“I don’t need your insults,” Marshall said. “I’ve got 170 miles of roads to work on, and not just yours,” he added.

“You ought to be a leader instead of a damned follower,” Sonnier said. 

Marshall echoed Blanchette’s concern about decorum and asked if Sonnier wanted to remain in the courtroom. “Keep cussing,” he said, and Sonnier left the proceedings.

Other Business

On the regular agenda items, the commissioners voted to approve the following:

• The award of a bid for Whitley-Oliver Engineering for American Rescue Plan Act funds.

• The exemption of a standing reservation for the use of the county Nutrition Center for the Tyler County Republican Women in November.

• The re-appointment of Rick Russler for a three-year term to the Tyler County Southeast Texas Groundwater Conservation District as a representative. The term begins Jan. 1, 2023 and ends Dec. 1, 2025. 

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Woodville adopts lower tax rate

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City of Woodville Logo 300By Mollie LaSalle
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 WOODVILLE – Woodville City Council held their regular monthly meeting Monday evening. Before getting down to items for consideration on the consent docket, Mayor Paula Jones asked council and visitors to observe two moments of silence; first to remember the events of September 11, and next to observe the passing of her majesty Queen Elizabeth of England. 

Jones added that “former library director Rosemary Bunch was from England, and her husband John served in the house of commons in parliament for many years.”

City Administrator Mandy Risinger presented the proposed annual budget before council. Woodville is a small taxing entity with a tax rate of $0.50 per $100 evaluation. 

She stressed that the price of natural gas is impacting the budget the most. She also added that the city desperately needs a new haul truck for garbage services. Any surplus funds budgeted for the truck will go into maintenance on the existing vehicles. Several other items in the budget were discussed, and it was determined that overall, the tax rate for the city has been lowered to offset higher tax appraisals; this basically means no increase in city taxes for the upcoming fiscal year.

Council approved adopting a tax rate on $100 valuation for the city for the tax year 2022 for a total tax rate of $0.3394 for the purposes of maintenance and operations. $0.0000 for the payment of principal and interest on debt of the city, for a total rate of $0.3394. The tax assessor-collector is authorized to assess and collect the city taxes at the above stated rate. 

Council once again approved engaging Alexander, Lankford, and Heirs to conduct the FY audit for the year ending Sept. 30, 2022. Risinger added “we have had the same firm conduct our audits for 25 years. We need to go out for bids (different firms earlier next year) to see if we can save some money on this service.” Council also adopted a resolution designating the Tyler County Booster as the official newspaper for the city of Woodville for the fiscal year 2022-2023; “this is something we do every year” Risinger explained. “We have to approve this every year, as the Booster publishes all legal and public notices for the city”. 

Council heard a discussion on 2022 utility write-offs for water and sewer services; Risinger explained that” these accounts do not add up to huge expenses, most of them are from rental properties where the person has moved and did not have the service disconnected, or from water line leaks.”  “These are past due accounts, and every attempt has been made to collect” city secretary Terri Bible added. “We must remove and write these off for auditing purposes”, she said. The total written-off amount for the utility department comes to a little over $2,300. 

An ordinance or a grant submission from the police department for bullet-resistant shields was approved. The police department has benefited from these grants in the past with purchases of bullet proof vests, radios and video cameras for patrol units and other items. The grant application will be submitted to the Governor’s office. 

Upcoming events for the city were discussed; Risinger announced that “this is homecoming week for Woodville high school, the Tyler County Fair is fast approaching, (Oct. 5-8), and Heritage Village will host its annual Harvest Festival Oct. 14-15. 

Also, Red Ribbon Week and a parade is scheduled for the last week in October, Risinger said. 

The next meeting of Woodville City Council has been moved from Oct.11 (due to Columbus Day) to Oct.12 at 6 p.m.

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Special Invitation from the Publisher - TYLER COUNTY POLITICAL FORUM

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Early voting begins in Tyler County Monday, Oct. 24. 

All candidates and the public are invited to our first ever political forum held at the Tyler County Booster office, 205 W. Bluff in Woodville, on Thursday, Oct. 20. Doors of our office will re-open at 5:30 p.m. that evening, and candidates will begin speaking at 6 p.m. 

Evening refreshments will be served. 

The Booster is honored to host this event for the community just prior to early voting. Candidates are encouraged to RSVP by calling me personally: 409-594-7408 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Kelli Barnes, Publisher

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The Orchard celebrates National Assisted Living Week

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WOODVILLE – A weeklong celebration kicks off this Sunday, September 11, and The Orchard Assisted Living is joining tens of thousands of assisted living communities across the country for the festivities. National Assisted Living Week® – officially sponsored by First Quality in 2022 – continues through Saturday, September 17, and The Orchard honors this year’s theme, “Joyful Moments.” 

“This year’s National Assisted Living Week allows us to celebrate and create new, special memories together,” said Elaine Jefferson, Executive Director of The Orchard. “‘Joyful Moments’ reflects the strong family connection between residents and staff while providing an opportunity for local communities to celebrate the individuals who live and work in assisted living and learn more about this sector of long-term care.”

While adhering to safety requirements and precautions in place for COVID, activities offered this week at The Orchard include:

• Red, White and Blue day, Monday the 12th

• Sports Day, Tuesday the 13th

• 50’s Day, Wednesday the 14th

• Mexican Day, Thursday the 15th

• Grand Ole Opry Celebration, Friday the 16th

“We encourage members of the community to keep in touch and visit The Orchard’s social media pages to stay informed during National Assisted Living Week,” said, Jefferson. 

“Also, engaging with our residents safely is a rewarding experience and makes a tremendous difference in their lives.”

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Schools wear Uvalde CISD colors in show of support

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Uvalde District Logo largeBy Chris Edwards
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TYLER COUNTY – School districts across the state showed solidarity with Uvalde CISD on Tuesday with an urging for faculty, staff and students to sport the district’s school colors.

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s students returned to the classroom on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and it was the first time the students had been back to school since the events of May 24, when a mass shooting at Robb Elementary claimed the lives of 21 people.

Many school districts across the state spread word through social media channels asking their faculty, staff and students to wear maroon and white, which are the Uvalde CISD school colors; a showing that “our hearts are with Uvalde.”

All of Tyler County’s five school districts encouraged their populations to do the same. 

The “Chester Yellowjacket Buzz Link” on Facebook shared a post stating that “Chester ISD stands with Uvalde CISD,” and encouraged all Yellowjackets to wear maroon to show love and support.

A post on the Colmesneil ISD page encouraged everyone in the district to “Maroon Out with Uvalde,” and to “show our prayers and support” for the still-grieving community in south Texas.

Spurger ISD, which shares the same school colors, encouraged everyone in Pirate Country to wear their maroon gear in a show of support.

Warren ISD, which had Tuesday off for students, encouraged its staff and community members to wear the colors as a token of support.

A post from Woodville ISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg stated that “Woodville ISD is standing strong with Uvalde as they start their new school year,” and encouraged all Eagles to wear the colors.

According to an Associated Press story, many Uvalde CISD students did not want to return to school. Uvalde CISD superintendent Hal Harrell said in June that students would not return to the campus of Robb Elementary. Instead, the students were to be relocated to other campuses within the district.

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