On Monday, February 13, the Tyler County Commissioners Court assembled to discuss items on the scheduled agenda. The meeting opened with the invocation and pledge of allegiance to the American Flag led by Precinct 1 Commissioner, Martin Nash.
After opening statements, County Judge Jacques Blanchette presented motions dealing with the monthly county budget. This also included allowance and account payable items, amendments and line item transfers. All items passed unanimously.
During this session, the county commissioners created a full-time position for the maintenance department, and also decided that all new county employees will be required to use direct deposit for payroll checks.
An order passed to allow the sale of fireworks in the county for Texas Independence Day. Permitted sales will begin February 25, and run through midnight March 2.
The court also agreed to allow Sheriff Bryan Weatherford the privilege of sending two deputies to represent Tyler County in Washington D.C. for National Police Week.
The Tyler County Commissioners Court looks forward to a busy and successful spring season. The group meets next on Thursday, February 23, at 8:30 a.m.
Woodville city council met Monday, February 13, with all but one member present. Business conducted included the first agenda item, an audit report for year 2015-16 by Richard Rudel from Alexander, Lankford and Heirs, Inc.
Rudel presented a lengthy and detailed report concerning city government management and the financial management. He reviewed the required standards for appropriate management, stated that the city came in slightly under budget for expenses. He stated his firm had found "no material weaknesses and no significant deficiencies" during their audit. The council unanimously approved his report.Other business transacted by the council included approval to open a "safe keeping" account as recommended from Patterson and Associates, financial consulting firm. This will provide a depository for previously purchased securities and for possible future investments. Approval was given unanimously by the council to open a safekeeping account with Frost Bank to hold such securities, and designated the city administrator and city secretary to transact business with the bank on behalf of the city.
City administrator Risinger reported that the water well at industrial park is awaiting an evaluation for corrosion control and developing a plan which will be forwarded to engineers for consideration. The city has requested an amendment to this disaster recovery project to utilize the remaining funds for improvements the city's SCADA system which electronically monitors all water plants and wastewater lift stations. The Pine St. water well is continuing with work on ground storage site construction. That construction equipment proved invaluable when an unexpected problem concerning sewer lines and repairs became apparent last week. A large hole opened as repairs were attempted by the city which quickly became beyond the scope of city equipment. Luckily, equipment from the Pine St. site was available and the excavation/filling/repairs were accomplished.
Judge Judith Haney reported a total of 130 citations issued during January and $17,000 collected in fines. One car was clocked at 104 mph. in the city limits of Woodville.
Police Chief Yosko reported a month of calls concerning drugs, thefts, and assaults. One theft occurred as a person pushed a cart full of items out of the back door of Woodville Wal Mart store, bypassing the checkout stand entirely.
The department has three vehicles they are preparing for auction, a van and two police cars.
The newly appointed fire chief Chuck Marshall reported three house fires, and an assist to Shady Grove. Other calls included one jaws, one traffic, and one controlled burn. City offices will be closed February 20, to observe President's Day.
On February 9, Tyler County Precinct Three Constable Tony Reynolds was patrolling southbound traffic near Dam B. Reynolds states that he saw a tan Chevy truck travelling north on highway 92 and he saw that the vehicle registration showed to be expired and the trailer in tow did not have a license plate on it according to Reynolds.
Reynolds initiated a stop and when he did the individual driving the truck immediately got out of the truck. Reynolds made contact with him and identified him as Ronzie Gerald Bankston from Colmesneil. Bankston was informed by Reynolds why he was pulled over and Reynolds asked Bankston for his driver's license and proof of insurance. Bankston gave Reynolds his license but did not provide him with insurance. As Reynolds continued speaking with Bankston, Reynolds reported that Bankston became aggressive and uncooperative with the investigation process. At that time Reynolds placed Bankston into custody for failure to maintain financial responsibility.
Reynolds requested by radio for a wrecker to come and pick up the vehicle, and while conducting an inventory of the vehicle, Reynolds found two clear plastic bags with what appeared to be methamphetamines. A deputy arrived on scene and was able to transport Bankston back to the Tyler county jail. After finishing the inventory, Reynolds left the scene and went back to the sheriff's office and conducted a field test on the substance in both bags and it did test positive for meth. Reynolds said that the weight of the substance was significant, totaling approximately ten grams. Bankston was booked into jail with possession of a controlled substance and failure to maintain financial responsibility. Reynolds commented on the significance of the weight of the meth found during the stop. "Ten grams may not sound like that much," Reynolds started, "but it's commonly sold around Tyler county in half-gram increments. One arrest prevents and protects 20 or more local residents from being negatively influenced and exposed to the drug."
Reynolds says there have been multiple complaints within his precinct regarding drug use. Reynolds says he has made the issues involving drugs and the reports of general theft his top priorities since taking office in January. Reynolds has been very active within the community during his first 45 days as constable, serving 47 sets of civil papers, patrolled 1500 miles in the precinct, made numerous arrests, investigated several crimes and has served in a backup role when other law enforcement officers request for it.
Reynolds says the methamphetamine and drug usage is bad, but he wants the public to know that he is putting forth his best efforts to represent the people who voted him in as constable and honoring what he promised to do for them, the precinct and the community. Reynolds has big plans and has greater visions to thwart drug use in Tyler county to prevent our local residents from being exposed and poisoned by the drug culture and protecting their safety.
2017 Tyler County Dogwood Festival Ladies-in-Waiting—Shown, from left, Front – Emily Glosson, daughter of Doug and Robyn Glosson (Warren), Vivian Zoch, daughter of Patrick and Monica Zoch (Spurger), Donna Martin, daughter of Bryan and Kristy Martin (Chester), Gracin McCollum, daughter of Brent and Emily Carney and Casey and Melissa McCollum (Woodville), and Angela Montgomery, daughter of Max and Laurie Montgomery (Colmesneil). Back – Isabelle Williams, daughter of Shannon Williams and Michael and Sondra Williams (Woodville), Bailey Stewart, daughter of Greg and Kelly Stewart (Woodville), Shelby Mixon, daughter of Shawn and Jennifer Mixon (Woodville), Chloe Weeks, daughter of John and Rachelle Weeks (Woodville); Alicyn Mitcham, daughter of Justin and Heather Mitcham (Colmesneil); and Raven Gore, daughter of Robert and LaDuska Gore (Warren).
2017 Tyler County Dogwood Festival Princesses—Shown, from left, are Mallory Monk, daughter of Rodney and Leann Monk (Colmesneil); Cayla Greer, daughter of Jamey and Christy Greer (Chester); Kylie King, daughter of Tony and Wendy King (Warren); Victoria Scoggins, daughter of Phillip and Victoria Scoggins, daughter of Phillip and Alicia Scoggins (Woodville) and Cassidy LeBoeuf, daughter of Robert and Jennifer LeBoeuf (Spurger). (Photos Courtesy Hale Hughes)
Warren ISD Tech Team display 3D printed items—Shown, from left, are Samantha Rothenberger, Morgan Clancy, Courtnie Wheeler, Lilla Jackson. (Not pictured: Colton Haynes, Brice Moore, Cole Stanley, Jeremy Chessher.) (Hale Hughes Photo)
by Hale Hughes
Warren ISD purchased a 3D printer during the summer of 2016. Few could have realized the immediate impact the machine would have on the students at Warren, and other school campuses. Teacher Daisy Morino has the printer in her office and students come in and typically pick up where the last student left off when working on projects.
Some of the first things they printed were a frog and a Yoda head that were pre-existing designs. While it was neat to seeing basic things being created in front of their eyes, they had bigger projects in mind.
Their printer only has a surface of approximately 6"x6"x9". It sits on a table and is fed by spools of plastic called 'filament'. Filament is available in multiple colors. Several items can be seen around Morino's office that were printed with the 3-D printer. A very realistic dinosaur skull, as well as an Apple phone stand and a duck call are a few of the sample items around her office.
"Duck calls have been particularly popular, especially for the boys here at Warren," said Morino. And then I see it. A robotic hand and it looks every bit as cool as something straight out of one of the Terminator movies. It's smaller than I thought it would be, but larger than the printer dimensions.
"We had to print each item separately," Morino said. There are over 30 pieces total. Every piece, knuckle, hinge and even the attaching screws had to be printed separately."
"I didn't realize what we'd be able to print with it," Courtnie Wheeler said when she first saw the printer at the beginning of the school year. "We all just thought it would just print basic, random things," she said. "We never thought printing something like a hand was even possible at the beginning." It's a small world, and when Morino saw on the internet that prosthetic limbs were being printed with 3-D printers, she thought of her high school friend, Brittany Walter, who has a daughter, Blake, with just such a need.
When Morino told the students that they were going to construct a hand, all the students said their jaws hit the floor. "I remember a former teacher who printed a prosthetic hand," added Wheeler. Then Morino's students started looking online at the possibilites and that sparked their imagination for printing something of this magnitude.
"Before we even thought about a recipient, we had to show we could build a practice hand and that is what this one is, and why it's smaller than the one we printed for Blake," Morino explained. "It's wrist powered. There are tension lines that run through the prosthetic limb that allow the fingers to grab and hold when Blake flexes her wrist." It's a stunning sight to see in person. The prosthetic hand is designed to attach to Blake's arm and wrist by various sections of Velcro.
We had to take pictures and fit the dimensions to Blake's hand," said Samantha Rothenberger, who explained that the students had several meetings with Blake and her family while everyone worked to get it right.
Lilla Jackson said there was a bond built between the team and the Walter family. "They are just really nice happy people. They've always been so positive, and meeting them makes it a lot more personal to help such sweet people," she said.
Morino added that Region 5 personnel are working to get a co-op together of Hardin Jefferson, Warren, Sabine Pass, Westbrook and area schools together to share success stories and spark brainstorm sessions, but this is all so new that the whole thing is still in development. Morino said much can be learned from others who have had longer exposure with the 3-D printers.
This experience has opened a world of possibilities for the Warren students, many who see themselves going into the medical field in large part due to this project.
"There is a great deal of fulfillment involved, and I think we've all felt that," Jackson added. Wheeler said that she aspires to become a trauma surgeon. Morgan Clancy said she sees herself going into the physical therapy field and working with athletes, and the information she has learned from this experience has helped her solidify her decision.
"This experience makes your class work really mean something," Jackson said. "This work we do is for something that far transcends just a classroom grade."
It's immediately and abundantly clear that these students are deeply passionate about what they are doing in Morino's class.