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Chester ISD Board recognizes Athletes

Chester ISD Board honored their football team at their meeting Monday evening, Jan. 19, for their outstanding performance:  students surrounded by board members, front row (L-R), Ladarius Kirkwood, Tyler Blevins, Jutty Vaughn, Levi Watts, Coach Chris Fudge, Vernon Lewis; back row (L-R) Board President Ray McKnight, Dakota Thomas, Bryan Martin, Clay Thomson, Steve Havis, Chris Carter, Tyler Olds, Jake David, Colten Martin, Billy Thompson, Jared Greer, Wade Read and Cord Neal. Chester ISD Board honored their football team at their meeting Monday evening, Jan. 19, for their outstanding performance: students surrounded by board members, front row (L-R), Ladarius Kirkwood, Tyler Blevins, Jutty Vaughn, Levi Watts, Coach Chris Fudge, Vernon Lewis; back row (L-R) Board President Ray McKnight, Dakota Thomas, Bryan Martin, Clay Thomson, Steve Havis, Chris Carter, Tyler Olds, Jake David, Colten Martin, Billy Thompson, Jared Greer, Wade Read and Cord Neal.

by Michael G. Maness

Chester ISD Board honored their football and volleyball athletes at their meeting Monday evening, January 19.

Before the meeting was officially convened, Chester Superintendent Wayne Ivey welcomed the student football and girls volley ball teams and with the aid of their coaches handed out certificates to each one present. The students had excelled in many areas.

Coaches Chris Fudge and Ryan Hall brimmed with pride. Those from the football team present included Ladarius Kirkwood, Tyler Blevins, Jutty Vaughn, Levi Watts, Dakota Thomas, Clay Thomson, Chris Carter, Tyler Olds, Colten Martin, Billy Thompson, Jared Greer and Cord Neal. Those from the volleyball team present included Amory Parker, Maddie Read, Kalee Thomason, Meagan Clarke, Cayla Greer, Donna Martin, Jaci Davis and Haley Cawan.

Chester President Ray McKnight convened the board, and member Vernon Lewis led in the invocation and the pledges of allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags.

Citizen Rebecca Chambers was welcomed by Ivey and McKnight, and Ivey, familiar with her case, said the board would consider her case and instruct him.

As mother of two students, Chambers gave a heartfelt plea to the board on behalf of her special-needs child. Her tears were heavy with concern for how he was treated by one teacher. Knowledgeable of the law and district policy, quoting a couple statutes, she outlined several very serious allegations against the teacher citing the exact words used, several specific humiliating actions and several instances where the teacher withheld required performance. She wanted to keep her child in school and pleaded with the board to do something. The board takes up personnel issues in a closed session.

The board approved the previous meetings' minutes and the financial statements.

Ivey presented the audit by Preston Singleton, Clark and Company in writing and through a video presentation by the accountant. The law has changed on a couple of things, leaving all schools in a bit of quandary regarding how to relate their pension items. Not an easy thing to relate in an audit, the accountant joked to the pages as items that would surely put one to sleep. The essence of all was that the schools will have to wait until their specific portions were spelled out further by the state before they will know how much, more or less, will be needed to correct those line items. Chester was well within the current guidelines. After all, the board approved the audit.

Citizen Chuck Davidson was present, a regular guest, and the board heartily approved the donation from Shell that came via his wife Beverly Davidson's volunteer hours in the library, which once submitted to Shell yielded a $500 donation to the school.
The board also received a donation to the general fund of $2,500 from the Athletic Booster Club.

Beards now allowed. Upon considering the facial hair dress code in previous meetings, Ivey came with a recommendation from a committee of parents and teachers to allow the students to grow facial hair. Though positive that most would remain honorable, there was concern that someone might take advantage and get shaggy. Though there may be a need to refine the code as they went along, yet reflecting the current trend, the board unanimously approved student facial hair.

Chester ISD Board honored their girls volley ball team at their meeting Monday evening, Jan. 19, for their outstanding performance:  students surrounded by board members (L-R), Board President Ray McKnight, Coach Ryan Hall, Amory Parker, Bryan Martin, Maddie Read, Steve Havis, Kalee Thomason, Wade Read, Meagan Clarke, Cayla Greer, Donna Martin, Vernon Lewis, Jaci Davis and Haley Cawan. Chester ISD Board honored their girls volley ball team at their meeting Monday evening, Jan. 19, for their outstanding performance: students surrounded by board members (L-R), Board President Ray McKnight, Coach Ryan Hall, Amory Parker, Bryan Martin, Maddie Read, Steve Havis, Kalee Thomason, Wade Read, Meagan Clarke, Cayla Greer, Donna Martin, Vernon Lewis, Jaci Davis and Haley Cawan.

Warren Board Recognizes District Teacher of the Year

by Doug Glosson

During the Warren ISD Board of Trustees meeting on January 18, Robyn Glosson was recognized as District Teacher for the year 2015-16, as well as for the Warren Elementary campus. Other campus Teachers of the Year are Warren High School, Michelle Weichert, Warren Junior High, Kristen Elliott, and Fred Elementary, Lauren Sizemore. The Chamber Banquet where teachers will be recognized will be held at First Baptist Church in Woodville on Thursday, February 11 at 6 p.m.

Kicking off the meeting, the Board was recognized by each campus with gift certificates, gift baskets filled with candies, cards, and books that were donated to the campus libraries in honor of the board. Recognition was presented to each individual member by a high school student thanking the board and recognizing them in some special way for what they have contributed to the school as a board member. Superintendent Brad McEachern presented each member with a certificate of recognition for the dedicated leadership in public education and continuing service to the children of the community.

McEachern reported that enrollment is up 17 students from this time last year, totaling 1257 students.

The consent agenda, including minutes of December 14, 2015, along with December 2015 bills, accounts totaling $523,386.10 and October 2015 tax office report were unanimously approved.

The next public board meeting will be held on February 22 at 7 p.m. in the Warren School Board Room, located in the Warren School Administration Office.

WISD Board studies 2014-15 Annual Performance Report

by Darby Kethan

WISD Board of Trustees met January 19 with almost all members present. The public hearing and review of Woodville ISD 2014-15 Annual Performance Report was given by Superintendent Glen Conner. The report, covering 92 double sided pages, collects information about the district including individual campus performance, summary of school violence prevention and intervention policies, reports on violent or criminal incidents by campus, student performance in postsecondary institutions, financial data for WISD, District Accreditation Status and Texas Academic Performance reports for the district as well as each campus.

The report is posted online at www.woodvilleeagles.org, and is available, printed, at the school administration office for those interested in reading the information. Mr. Conner's comment was, "It is a good report".

The financial reports were made by Cody Jarrott and accepted by the board. Activities concerning WISD track at Eagle Stadium include resurfacing with a non porus surface, which will allow the district to gain 2-4 years more time to elapse before such work needs to be repeated.

The board adopted a Preliminary Long Range Facilities plan in which the they recognized the need for such a plan and for the work to be done in phases as money allows. Work will begin as soon as possible, with work beginning on the high school campus, which will be the least expensive work to be done.

The Superintendent's Report reviewed the updating of the lights at Hennigan Park to provide more adequate light; track resurfacing will be done during Winter Break week; and baseball and softball schedules were provided.

Other information included the enrollment and attendance report, with an average attendance rate of 9.6 which Conner says is "very good".
Athletics realignment, which schools are paired for athletics and other activities, will be announced February 1, and the Proposed 2016-2017 calendar was discussed. The purchase of property NW of the High School campus has been completed.

The next meeting of WISD Board will be February 8.

Law Enforcement Appreciation/Recognition in Ivanhoe

Law enforcement honored

At the December meeting of the city council, council member, Chuck Vonderlin proposed a resolution in support of our Tyler County law enforcement officers and declaring January 14 to be officially declared Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Councilman Vonderlin felt that in light of the controversy in many parts of our country regarding law enforcement it was important to express our gratitude for the outstanding job our officers perform.
In honor of that, a dinner was held to which all of the law enforcement officers who serve Tyler County were invited.
Framed copies of the resolution were presented to each of the different entities in attendance which included Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, Chief Scott Yasko, Constable Dale Freeman, Constable John Fuller, DPS Captain Michelle McDaniel from Beaumont, and Tyler County DPS Sargent Greg Evans . In total, 28 law enforcement officers were in attendance.
The "Friends of Ivanhoe" furnished the ham and cake and the side dishes were provided by the wonderful cooks of Ivanhoe. A great time was had by all and look forward to next year's event!

Colmesneil appoints Andrus to council

Colmesneil appointed Billy Andrus to fill the city council seat vacated by Charlie Branch Tuesday evening, Jan. 12, at its regular meeting. Seated are city secretary Carrie Edwards and Mayor Don Baird;  standing (l-r) are councilmen Gene Allen, Andrus, Bubba Sheffield, Duane Crews and Kenneth Davis.Colmesneil appointed Billy Andrus to fill the city council seat vacated by Charlie Branch Tuesday evening, Jan. 12, at its regular meeting. Seated are city secretary Carrie Edwards and Mayor Don Baird; standing (l-r) are councilmen Gene Allen, Andrus, Bubba Sheffield, Duane Crews and Kenneth Davis.

by Michael G. Maness

Mayor Don Baird called the council to order a little past the hour because one member was running late and they needed a quorum. Regular citizen guest Chuck Polito had just lost his grandson in an accident, so Baird asked Councilman Gene Allen to say a prayer for him and his family.

On citizen comments, citizen and regular guest Catherine Deason praised city secretary Carrie Edwards for how well the new renovated and decorated council chambers looked, saying she "gets an A+."

First on the agenda, Baird entertained a motion and second to appoint Andrus, and then Edwards swore him into office. Andrus pulled up a chair to join them in their work.

The city had been looking for a bumper pull dump trailer to haul road material and had a purchase in mind. As the council discussed options, one concern was the cost of having road material shipped from Jasper, an expense they truly wanted to cut. Worse, if they could not use all the asphalt quickly, it would harden causing much more work.

If they could haul the road material themselves, and have a trailer to recycle other work, all the better.

Another problem was the load rating of their pickup and toll the four-ton-capacity trailer would take. Councilman Bubba Sheffield mentioned the military option the Woodville Police Chief Scott Yosko had used so successfully. They might be able to secure a dump truck there. Councilman Kenneth Davis added how much more they could do with a dump truck, though Councilman Duane Crews countered that many of the military ones would be too large for Colmesneil day-to-day use.

The council tabled the issue to further research the best option and explore further the military options.

The council voted to secure the accounting firm of Todd, Hamaker and Johnson LLP to complete the city's 2015 audit. The financial, office and water reports were passed without comment.

In closing, Baird encouraged the council members to come to the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce Banquet on Feb. 11 at Woodville FBC's Family Life Center, all tickets courtesy of the city.

Baird wanted a good presence this year because their own Carrie Edwards was the chamber president, and several signed up. Edwards noted that with Texas Custom Catering the food would be excellent and the entertainment would come from the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe's "Hoop Dance" for a very exciting evening.

Chester lights to shine brighter

by Michael G. Maness

All ready for the New Year, the honorable Mayor C. E. Lawrence convened the Chester City Council Monday evening at its regular time on January 4.

The minutes from the previous meeting were passed without comment, except a few who had been approached on their new firearm ordinance. Some jokes aside, it was noted that another local business that had not normally approved was going to allow open carry in their facility too.

There was some discussion on the bills. City Secretary Annette Hickman explained how the regular bills are paid and reported for approval at the following meeting; that is, all of December's regular bills were reported at January's meeting for approval as a matter of course and prior long-standing policy. Irregular, suspicious or unusually high bills were always held unpaid until the council can discuss and approve, as with the insurance latter on the agenda. Sometimes, a bill comes in for something no one ordered, and it was simply not paid—no one was going to "accidently" scam Chester. If there was an emergency, the mayor would call the council members and, if need be, call a special session to handle.

The lights installed at the city park were not bright enough, and Lawrence has already gotten with Entergy who will soon install brighter lights. The city itself has purchased some additional street lights that they will install soon in the ongoing effort to upgrade and brighten the park at night. Lawrence will also ask Entergy's representative, Sam Bathea, to come and explain what further options the city has.
The concession stand renovation was discussed, and Councilman Floyd Petri voiced the con-cerns of a few about what appeared to be a make-shift door and the size of the windows being conducive to an active concession stand. His concerns seemed to resonate well, and the city will be looking closer as construction progresses. Petri recollected a construction project in his past that needed his supervision to ensure the quality he had paid for, and his concerns about the city getting its money's worth were duly noted.

After some explanation on the broad range of coverage, the council voted to pay the city's liability insurance.

Last, Hickman presented the city's budget for the year. After a few comments about the budgeting of regular and annual items by Councilman Vincent Incardona and Petri, items that appeared to be handled as they arose out of the "miscellaneous" line, the council passed the 2016 budget.