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First Responders honored by Methodist Men

Tyler County’s First Responders were honored with a banquet hosted by the Woodville United Methodist Church Men’s Breakfast Group Saturday evening, May 29, in the WUMC’s Wesley Center.  Pictured are most of the first responders who came, though several had to return to duty before the photo was taken.  Tyler County’s First Responders were honored with a banquet hosted by the Woodville United Methodist Church Men’s Breakfast Group Saturday evening, May 29, in the WUMC’s Wesley Center. Pictured are most of the first responders who came, though several had to return to duty before the photo was taken.

by Michael G. Maness

Tyler County's First Responders were honored with a banquet hosted by the Woodville United Methodist Church Men's Breakfast Group on Saturday evening, May 29, in the WUMC's Wesley Center.

The group's president, Woodville Mayor Russ Nalley, said they wanted to honor those who risk their lives to help us. This second annual banquet drew about 50 from a variety of services including the Tyler County Sheriff's Office, Woodville Police Department and several of the local volunteer fire departments.

James Overstreet smoked ten briskets on his home pit. Ofeira Gazzaway, director of the Heritage Village, provided the potato salad. About 20 men from the men's group and several of their wives helped prepare all the fixings and patriotic decorations.

Nalley welcomed all and pointed to two banners on the wall. One was a rendition of the U.S. flag in black and white with one center stripe in dark blue—the thin blue line. "All lives matter," said Nalley, "Yet Blue lives also matter." Nalley included all the first responders under that banner, for all in their varied roles put their lives on the line to help save us from crime and in emergencies. Then he pointed to the second banner that spoke for itself, "Thank You First Responders, Our Heroes," Nalley noting that all of them there and those still on patrol were "Our Heroes."

WUMC pastor Amanda Davis welcomed all, expressed her thanks for the sacrifice the responders give and welcomed any to their church who would like a place to worship.

Nalley invited Tyler County judge Jacques Blanchette to say a few words and lead the invocation. Blanchette resonated the county's thanks to all the first responders and gave a thanks to the Methodist men for hosting, then he led all in a prayer.

Entertainment came live from Carley Smith, daughter of Rodney and Stephanie Smith, a high school senior looking to attend North Texas. She sang three songs, "Oh Beautiful," "Rainy Days and Mondays," and Lee Greenwood's patriotic hit "God Bless the USA." The last raising all to their feet, some thrusting a hand in the air, the feeling true, "Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land; God bless the USA!"
After most of the first responders filed through for a prepared dish of delectable smoked brisket and trimmings, one sheriff's deputy arrived and was given a box of to-go plates for those officers and responders still on patrol.

The WUMC's Men's Breakfast Group meets every third Tuesday morning for breakfast and is open to Christian men of all denominations see WoodvilleUMC.com. The group does service projects for the church and other members and non-members in need in the community. After breakfast, they have a brief devotion and prayer.

Chester City Council welcomes Hoke Hart

 Hoke Hart was appointed by Mayor Floyd Petri to fill a vacated term at the Chester City Council meeting Monday evening, May 1.  Pictured (L-R) are Jimmy Herrington, Petri, Hart, Charlotte Barnes and Gail Williams. Hoke Hart was appointed by Mayor Floyd Petri to fill a vacated term at the Chester City Council meeting Monday evening, May 1. Pictured (L-R) are Jimmy Herrington, Petri, Hart, Charlotte Barnes and Gail Williams.

by Michael G. Maness

Hoke Hart was appointed by Mayor Floyd Petri to fill the term vacated by Vincent Incardona after an affirmative consensus of the council at their regular meeting Monday evening, May 1. After the city council was convened, a vote was taken and passed, and then Petri swore Hart in, his hand on a Bible.

Petri led all in the pledges of allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags. Petri welcomed again Hart, a retired trucker and minister, and asked him to lead the invocation.

Petri welcomed Entergy Customer Service Manager Sam Bethea to the council. Bethea presented a request from Entergy for a city resolution supporting Entergy's desire to build the Montgomery County Power Station. Bethea gave a lot of information and fielded several questions. Essentially, the power station will bring a large economic benefit and insure Entergy's ability to meet future electrical demands. The MCPS will be a modern combined cycle gas turbine that will also use excess steam to increase efficiency. The $1 billion dollar economic impact will employ 750 during construction and supply 25 permanent jobs. Bethea had already secured resolutions from Colmesneil and several chambers of commerce. These will be part of a package submitted to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. If approved, the project will start in 2019, and the MCPS will become operational in 2021, generating 993 megawatts for Tyler County and several other counties. The council approved the resolution supporting Entergy's MCPS.

City secretary Annette Hickman read the minutes of the previous meeting, and they were approved. The financial statements were likewise approved.

Hickman and office assistant Charlot Thomas discussed at length the dates and penalties for being late on bills. The consensus was that the due date of the 15th was sufficient, and any bill not in by 12 midnight the evening of the 15th would incur the standard penalty. The council, as reflected by Charlotte Barnes and Hart, desired that "kindness" be the rule in the city's effort to meet the needs of the citizens and also be careful to be fair to the city's responsibilities.

Next month, Hickman will make a recommendation on the gas prices to help the city make ends meet during the winter months. The budget is thin, and they barely make enough to break even. Hickman, reflecting the desire of the council, did not want city to fall short during the winter months and stress funds allocated for other exigencies.

In the on-going effort to improve the city park, Petri was glad to announce that he will be speaking at the Chester Lions Club who wanted to help with a park project. Petri and the council were more than glad to welcome their aid. The city has a little money for supplies, and Petri will outline the city's planned projects, ready and willing to support the Lions Club. The council was so grateful, and this will allow more the scarce funds to go directly to material rather than labor.

Shoplifting arrest leads to multiple charges

by Hale Hughes

On Saturday, April 29, City of Woodville Police Officer Steven Hoke was dispatched to Wal-mart regarding a reported shop-lifting report that had originally occurred days earlier on April 23. Loss prevention personnel from the store told Hoke that a few days earlier on April 23, the female was observed taking items but left the premises before she could be identified. Hoke met with the store's loss prevention officer and was advised that the female subject was currently in the parking lot area.

Hoke located the female subject in question and made contact with her. He asked the woman about the incident that occurred on April 23. She admitted to him that she was involved. He obtained the woman's identification and identified her as Tiffany K. Sallas, age 34, of Woodville. A routine check revealed that she had an outstanding warrant of arrest from Calcasieu Parish, LA for a theft offense.

While waiting on the confirmation of the outstanding warrant, Sallas began to walk away from the situation and the officer. Hoke caught up with Sallas and a struggle ensued. Sallas continued to resist the officer as he attempted to secure her in his patrol car. Backup was called and Sargeant Borel arrived at the location and assisted. Sallas was secured and subsequently transported to the Tyler County Jail. Hoke later recovered several tablets from Sallas's purse that were concealed in an aspirin bottle. The tablets were later identified as prescription Xanax.

After arriving at the jail, Borel questioned the suspect about having additional illegal contraband on her person, which is routine police procedure. During the search of the Sallas's person by jail staff, Sallas attempted to destroy drug evidence by flushing it in a nearby toilet. Jail staff reported to the officers that Sallas became aggressive and attempted to forcibly take back the evidence away from the jail staff. Sallas continued with her aggressive behavior and assaulted the jail staff while attempting to take the evidence. Additional jail staff was summoned and they secured the suspect and the drug evidence, finally ending the high maintenance arrest.

Sallas faced multiple charges after the whole ordeal. She was formally charged with Resisting Arrest, Search or Transportation/ Possession of a Controlled Substance, PG#3 less than 28 grams/ Possession of a Controlled Substance PG#1 less than one gram/ Prohibited Substance in a Correctional Facility/ Tamper Fabricate Physical Evidence w/intent to Impair/ Assault on a Public Servant along with the outstanding warrant from Calcasieu Parish, LA. The bonds on Sallas totaled $87,500.

Early morning ATV Traffic Stop Leads To Burglary Discovery and Arrest; More Arrests Expected

by Hale Hughes

On Wednesday April 26, at approximately 2:45 a.m., Tyler County deputies conducted a traffic stop on Highway 69 South in Hillister. Deputies stopped a Honda 4-Wheeler driven by Jennifer Harvey, age 36, of Woodville. The ATV was pulling a small trailer that contained numerous items that included fishing rods, a chainsaw, tools and a guitar. Harvey also had in her possession a Ruger 10-22 Rifle. A check of the vehicle identification number on the ATV showed the ATV to be stolen out of Tyler County.

During a search of the trailer, deputies discovered antique drill presses and hand tools with a name and numbers engraved on them. Deputies were able to make contact with an individual who lives on Seneca Road just south of Woodville. The individual told deputies that he was currently out of town and advised deputies that no one should be in possession of his property or at his residence.

Harvey was immediately arrested for Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle and transported to the Tyler County Jail. Deputies went to the residence in question which was located just off Seneca Road and discovered the door to the residence and several storage building doors open. Deputies also observed tire tracks consistent with an ATV towing a small trailer.

Harvey was booked into the Tyler County Jail charged with Burglary of a Habitation, 4 Counts of Burglary of a Building, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Marijuana. Harvey currently remains in jail on a $51,000 bond set by Judge Trisher Ford.

Harvey could face additional felony charges after owners of an adjacent home are located. It appeared to deputies that residence had also been burglarized. Both cases are still under investigation and more suspects will definitely be arrested.

Sheriff Weatherford urges everyone to please report any suspicious activity to the Tyler County Sheriff's Office, and know that your local law enforcement team is working hard to make your neighborhood, community and Tyler County safe.

Colmesneil City Hall hit by postal carrier

by Michael G. Maness

Mayor Don Baird convened the Colmesneil City Council on Tuesday evening, April. 18.

In the public comments, citizen Wayne Dykes asked the council to allow him to repair the bridge that he struck damaged by accident. Baird requested two councilmen serve on a committee to oversee the repair, and Dykes' request was approved.

Council approved a resolution of support for Entergy, and they approved a proclamation designating April as Child Abuse Prevention month.
The audit for 2016 was performed by Todd, Hamaker & Johnson LLP of Lufkin, and the council approved it, Baird complimenting the city on a "clean report."

The council approved a reduced rate for use of the community center by Lake Amanda Water Conservation and Improvement District for weekday use only.

On April 7, after the city employees returned from lunch, they noticed items in the front of the building were out of place. Someone had run into the building. The postal carrier had run over the curb and hit the City Hall, cracking the brick on the building and causing interior damage. City secretary, Carrie Edwards, reached the driver's employer who provided insurance information, and Farm Bureau will be handling the claim.

On the lighter side, Councilman Billy Andrus congratulated Edwards on her marital engagement to Brian Holson and asked if she would be leaving the city. She responded, "We discussed relocating, however, we have decided to reside in Colmesneil." The council members gave her a round of applause, especially Baird who has consistently applauded Edwards' care for the city's affairs, allowing the council to adjourn on a very happy note.

Colmesneil ISD buys new vehicles

by Michael G. Maness

President Curtis Pitman convened the board meeting at the ISD meeting Monday evening, April 17, and asked the secretary, Kenneth Adaway, to lead the invocation. Pitman led in the pledges of allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags.

The board approved the consent agenda consisting of the previous board's minutes, the financial statements and the minutes of the special called meeting on March 27.

The board approved the bids for the old vehicles and equipment allowing the school to sell and dispose of four old buses, one old truck and an oven.

The board has had a public meeting and plans to go through with the District of Innovation Plan for 2017-2021, the initial document now posted and available at their web site, colmesneilisd.net. This plan allows CISD more freedom to control some operations and tailor educational programs for their district and students.

The board extended its depository contract with Citizens State Bank through 2019.

The board approved the purchase of a 15 passenger Ford Transit to allow the school more flexibility in taking smaller groups of students to activities rather than wasting use of a large bus. The school also purchased a seven passenger Chevy Transverse for staff and student use.
The school's maintenance department worked hard on Lake Tejas during the spring break, and they are prepping the lake for student use in May and for its formal public opening on Memorial Day.

Superintendent Angela Matterson was proud that they had a good number of students in their track program, and several students on the debate team are going to state UIL contests in Austin. "It's all about the students," Matterson said.