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Tyler County News - Breakout

Unemployment numbers on decline for county

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Unemployment TWC TableBy Chris Edwards

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AUSTIN – According to figures released last week by the Texas Workforce Commission, the unemployment rate in Tyler County continues to fall, with October’s percentage of jobless residents at 5.7%.

That figure is down from 5.8% from the previous month, and a large reduction from the year-to-date figure of 7.4% from October 2021. Tyler County experienced an average of 8.5% unemployment during 2021.

Of the county’s labor force of 7,439 workers, 432 are unemployed. Tyler, and neighboring Polk counties are in the Top 50 of Texas counties with the highest unemployment rates, by a list compiled by the website Stacker.

The peak of unemployment during the pandemic came at an alarming 14.7%, nationwide, in April 2020, and economic experts predict a recession by next year. The last recession, which took place during 2008-2010, saw interest rates rise as much as up to 10% and it was not until the spring of 2019, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that the unemployment rate finally went down to where it is at present.

Currently, according to statistics released nationally, the unemployment rate is at 3.4%, which is lower than it was in September at 3.7%.

The statewide unemployment rate is at 3.8%. According to TWC, Texas has added jobs throughout the year 2022, with 556K jobs added to the state’s employment rolls, according to projections. That represents, according to TWC, a 4.3% increase this year, up from 2021.

Texas also has the largest growing metro areas for the least amount of jobless residents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is almost double the rate in the U.S., overall, for job growth.

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Woodville debaters advance to State

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Woodville Debaters

For the fifth year in a row, Woodville High School will represent our region at the State UIL Meet in Austin in Congressional Debate.

The team made a great showing sweeping all three places. Adriana Stark won first, Savannah Ludwig, second and Kameryn Grammer placed third. Congratulations for this excellent showing.

Pictured, from left-to-right: Cathy D’Entremont, WHS Debate coach; Kameryn Grammer; Adrianna Stark and Savannah Ludewig.

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Friends of library group hosting raffle

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Raffle stock

WOODVILLE – The Friends of the Allan Shivers Library and Museum are hosting a fundraising raffle to benefit the library and museum.

The group is raffling off tickets for a chance at winning a brand-new Champion propane grill. The tickets cost $5 each or can be purchased in a set of six for $20. The drawing will take place at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 21, and the winner will be notified by 5 p.m. that day.

The grill can be viewed in person in the lobby of the Allan Shivers Library. Tickets can be purchased from the front desk or from members of the Friends of the Library. You do not have to be present in order to win.

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Tyler County Hospital wins preparedness award

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Award STock

GALVESTON – The Regional Healthcare Preparedness Coalition is a preparedness committee of the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council which provides collaborative planning and response to emergencies in a multi-disciplinary approach to preserve medical infrastructure for the region.

At the 2022 Regional Preparedness Symposium held Nov. 2-4 in Galveston, Tyler County Hospital received the Regional Healthcare Preparedness Coalition Excellence in Preparedness Award for the small hospital division.

The coalition began when several facilities in the Houston Medical Center joined together to face major events as a group of facilities as opposed to individually.

Today the Regional Healthcare Preparedness Coalition is made up of 25 counties divided into five corridors with Tyler County being part of the North Corridor.

Annually, Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council and the Regional Healthcare Preparedness Coalition host a Regional Preparedness Symposium that brings together our region as well as many others for a time of learning and networking. At this annual event, an award is presented to one small, one medium and one large facility in our 25 counties for exhibiting excellence and commitment to comprehensive emergency management in their regional community. Each facility is scored on two tiers. The first one includes their participation in training, facility reporting, meeting attendance and drill participation.

Secondly, the facility is scored based on their commitment to enhancing preparedness at their facility in at least three of six areas. These areas include leadership support, emergency management contribution, community involvement, innovation, planning and other.

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Ivanhoe mayor addresses leadership transitioning

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City of IvanhoeBy Chris Edwards
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IVANHOE – In her monthly report to the Ivanhoe City Council at its regular meeting last Thursday, Ivanhoe Mayor Cathy Bennett addressed the results of the recent election, and the transitioning phase for the city’s leadership.

Bennett lost her bid for re-election to Skip Blackstone, who has served on the council for a term. Blackstone’s unfinished term will necessitate the appointment of a councilmember to fill it, which will be on the December meeting agenda, Bennett said, along with Blackstone’s swearing-in.

Bennett congratulated Blackstone, and said she was grateful for being able to serve the city in various capacities for 14 years, and added she is “absolutely ready to retire.”

Along with Blackstone, Bennett congratulated councilmember Will Warren for winning re-election and new councilmember Carolyn Williams, for her willingness to step up and serve the community.

Bennett said she and Blackstone are working together closely to get all of the details wrapped up for the transitioning of leadership.

One resource she noted for the newly elected city leaders is a January training session hosted by the Texas Municipal League, which can be done online, at the cost of $75 per participant. She said the training is “very beneficial,” and said that it would be of benefit to those who have taken it prior, as well.

In other election news, Bennett said the city will conduct its election canvassing on Nov. 22.

Also in her report, Bennett addressed topics that were brought up at a townhall meeting held last month. Several of the topics, she said, will be addressed by the council going forward, but one topic she addressed, pertaining to the pay rate of the city’s Marshal’s Office, should be looked at and addressed during the budget planning time, she said. “We already set a budget,” she added.

One topic that came up on Thursday’s agenda dealt with a permit application from a property owner who requested to bring in a Derksen-built building to use as a habitable building.

Councilmember David Herrington spoke about the issue, and said the structure does not match the International Building Code specifics as an inhabitable space, due to ceiling clearance.

“We do not have anything on the books about this type of structure,” Herrington said, and added there are no ordinances regulating the type of structure in question.

Some discussion ensued about the structure, and the councilmembers agreed to look into the matter further.

In another agenda item, council voted to approve grant administration for the city’s Community Development Block Grant funds for the 2023-24 application cycle.

Councilmember Tommy Morris spoke about the matter, and said that the committee sent out five proposals to firms for grant administration.

Morris said on point system, the committee awarded Lankford the most points, and council voted to name Lankford the grant administrator for the coming cycle.

The firm was the city’s grant administration firm for the previous two cycles, Herrington noted.

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