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Tyler County News - Breakout

Suspects arrested on burglary charge

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SuspectsArrested TCB 0817

By Chris Edwards
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WARREN – Two men were arrested last week on burglary charges in Warren. According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, the incident occurred on the night of Sunday, August 6, when deputies responded to a report of a theft that had just occurred.

The deputies were able to locate two men, Stephen Allen Gordon, a 25-year-old Spurger man, and Michael Joseph Dianni, 28, of Woodville, on a pasture near the victim’s property.

Weatherford said the deputies initially made contact with the victim, who said that multiple tools, ATV tires and welding equipment had been stolen from a barn on his property. “Deputies were then informed a relative of the victim had followed one of the suspects off of their property to an adjoining pasture after seeing them breaking into a vehicle,” Weatherford said.

Weatherford said that during the investigation, the deputies were able to link both suspects to the burglary and later recovered personal property listed as stolen to the victim.

Gordon and Dianni were booked into the Tyler County Jail on the charges of burglary of a building and burglary of a vehicle. Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Tina Self set both men’s bonds at $12,500. Dianni has since bonded out, but Gordon remains in custody.

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Commissioners hear dog complaints

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By Chris Edwards
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Warren resident Jim Willis speaks to the Tyler County Commissioners Court on Monday morning about concerns with dogs near the Watson Preserve.  CHRIS EDWARDS | TCBWarren resident Jim Willis speaks to the Tyler County Commissioners Court on Monday morning about concerns with dogs near the Watson Preserve. CHRIS EDWARDS | TCBWOODVILLE – On Monday morning, the Tyler County Commissioners Court heard detailed comments from two residents associated with the Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve regarding allegedly dangerous dogs, which they allege were responsible for a man’s death.

According to Jim Willis, who lives in the Lake Hyatt community and serves as a volunteer and board member of the Watson Preserve, which is located on the east side of Lake Hyatt, “a number” of dogs appeared at a residence that adjoins the Watson property several years ago and have harassed and attacked numerous volunteer workers at the preserve, Willis said.

Willis said that he had made complaints to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office but was told that nothing could be done of the situation until someone was bitten.

Willis said that on Feb. 10, Duane C. Osadchuk was found dead inside of the residence with the dogs. A copy of the autopsy report lists the cause of death as multiple sharp and blunt force injuries. Under the listing of injuries in the report, many lacerations and punctures are noted.

Pauline Singleton, who serves as president of the Watson Preserve board, also spoke, and said she has received calls from people stating they were at the preserve, and wished to walk the trails, but were afraid to leave their cars because of the dogs.

The Watson Preserve is comprised of about 10 acres, and features walking trails and is open to the public. Singleton told the officials on Monday morning that last year, in late March, a group of volunteers were working on the property and felt “menaced” by the dogs, who got out of their yard.

“We outnumbered the dogs and were able to persuade them to go home,” she said, and noted that at least six of those volunteers filed complaints with TCSO.

Singleton also referred to Osadchuk’s death. “This man died a terrible death,” she said.

“A lot of our visitors are older people, or families with children,” Singleton said. “I lose sleep worrying that a child might fall victim to these dogs.”

Singleton said she has been told that the owner of the dogs is a man named Robert Gryder.

“We will certainly check into something that we can do,” Pct. 3 Commissioner Mike Marshall said.

Health incentive approved

The county approved an initiative to help offset future health insurance premium increases for county employees and officials on Monday.

The “Healthy County Employee Incentive,” as it was labelled on Monday morning’s agenda, offers eight hours of sick leave and reimbursement of $12.59 for each employee who gets a wellness check-up by Oct. 7 at the Tyler County Hospital Family Clinic.

The amount of money is equal to one-half of the co-pay for the visit, and the money will come from funding received by the county from Texas Association of Counties as part of the Health County Program, which means no tax dollars will be spent toward to incentive.

County Treasurer Leann Monk gave a thank you to Tyler County Hospital and its CEO Sondra Williams, who was present. Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Blacksher said the initiative will certainly help to lower the rate of the county’s insurance premiums going forward.

Other business

During Monday morning’s meeting, the Commissioners Court also approved the following items:

• County employees were recognized for years of service. These included: Gail Dowden, 20 years; Lucas Babin, five years; Kathy Harris, 25 years; Carol Powers, 15 years; Michelle Brunelle, 5 years and Renee Crews, 20 years.

• Two new members of the county’s Child Welfare Board were approved: Maegan Odom and Stephanie Voth.

• The 911 addressing clerk duties were reassigned from the County Clerk’s office to the office of the County Treasurer.

• Election contracts were approved between the County Clerk’s office and the entities of Chester; Colmesneil; Colmesneil ISD; Ivanhoe and Woodville, with an amended motion to include any other taxing entities that need to enter into election agreements with the county for the coming Nov. 7 election.


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Harvey speaks to WISD faculty

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Tom Harvey 8 10

Special to the Booster

WOODVILLE – Dr. Tom Harvey, Assistant Professor at Lamar University and former Woodville High School Band Director and Principal, spoke to the Woodville ISD middle and high school campuses during recent teacher in-service. He spoke on the importance of collaborative instructional leadership and was able to share his knowledge and experience as a veteran educator. Harvey has been inducted into the Lamar University Educator Hall of Fame.

Lamar has one of the largest principal preparation programs in the nation, and several of Woodville’s current and future administrators have been inspired by Harvey’s classes. Harvey has been nominated for Principal of the Year twice in Texas, and he has also been twice nominated as Texas Superintendent of the Year. He currently serves as Director of Field Supervision in the Department of Educational Leadership at Lamar University.

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Chester grant work progressing

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chester logoBy Michael G. Maness

CHESTER – Chester Mayor Robert Poynter welcomed GLS engineers Nicholas Hoelscher and Pat Oats at their regular council meeting, Monday, August 7.

Work on one road was in process, and Hoelscher and Oats updated the council on work on two other road projects.  Seems they need to resubmit for more bids from the Community Development Block Grant budget. This time, as Oats explained the law, the council will announce for a fifteen-day timeframe, the minimum allowed by law.

Oats anticipated more bids and explained that it was possible the current contactor could submit a lower bid, giving that the contractor will not have to add equipment moving to the cost, if the bidding was expedited.

Chester signed up with Paradigm to do their public awareness notifications on all gas and safety issues as required by law, the citizens will receive that information soon.

Director of Public works Ivan Coronado gave an update on his training from Dale Clamon, and the city was pleased with his work and looking forward to sponsoring more training in the weeks to come.

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Golden High Steppers are WISD’s new drill team

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Drill Team 8 03

By Mollie LaSalle
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WOODVILLE – The Golden High Steppers, Woodville ISD’s new drill team, were guests last Wednesday of the Rotary Club of Woodville.

According to Tammy Myers, the team’s director, there are currently 13 members, and two managers. Myers brought team members Ebony, Kolbi, Shelby, and Emma to the Pickett House and they performed a short dance routine they have been learning for the last two weeks.

Woodville High School had previously never had a drill team; two of the new members got together a petition and passed it around the cafeteria at lunch asking if this was something the students would support. The girls got close to 50 signatures that day and approached Myers one day after school after starting up a drill team. Multiple students said yes, that would be so good for the school, “football games would be more fun to attend”, one stated. The girls got organized and presented a slideshow to Myers. The next step was going to the school board, and they loved the idea.

Myers said, “we started from the ground up. The school district did not have any money in place for this, we spent hours looking for donations, and the community really stepped up. We will be having more fundraisers in the future. The community has been very supportive.” She went on to say “these young ladies are excited and looking forward to performing at football games, parades, and other sporting events.”

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