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updated 8:40 PM UTC, Dec 13, 2018

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County Clerk Updates Voters On 2012 Election Changes

by Kelli Barnes- 

There have been some big changes to voting laws, and an uncertain primary election date because of the redistricting challenges. Tyler County Clerk Donence Gregory offers Tyler County voters some updates on the situation.

Election changes/voter registration

According to Tyler County Clerk Donece Gregory, Tyler County voters would normally be having Primary elections on March 6, "Super Tuesday." "Due to some law suits filed in federal court in San Antonio, the Primary has been moved to April 3," said Gregory. "This means the deadline to register to vote also changed. It is now March 5. We are not certain at this time whether the election will be April 3; if the parties do not agree it could delay the Primary into June of this year."

The County Clerk's office usually sends new voter registration cards in December. Due to the lawsuits over redistricting, drawing new congressional lines, the mass mailing of voter registration cards is expected to be the first week of March. "Everyone needs to be watching for a yellow card from us," said Gregory." There has also been some redistricting in Tyler County. So, when voters receive their registration card, they need to look at the voting precinct listed to see if they have been moved into another voting precinct. If voters have not received their new card by the end of March, they should call the County Clerk's office at 409-283-2281."

Must present ID to vote

Another change for voters is the passing of Senate Bill 14. Effective January 1, 2012 a voter must present a photo ID to be eligible to vote. Acceptable identification is: Driver's License issued by DPS, ID card issued by DPS, Concealed handgun license issued by DPS, Military ID, Passport or US citizenship. The exceptions to presenting a photo ID are: Voter with disabilities - this requires an exemption application to be submitted to the voter registrar; religious objection to being photographed; or because of a natural disaster occurring not earlier than 45 days before the ballot is cast.

"If the voter does not have ID they can vote a "provisional" ballot," said Gregory. "However, they must present the photo ID to the County Clerk's office, unless exempted, within 6 days for their ballot to be counted."

Polling Place updates

Voters, Democrats and Republicans may vote at the following locations (These are Voting Precincts): Pct. 1 Nutrition Center, Pct. 2 Masonic Lodge, Pct. 3 Hillister Baptist Church, Pct. 4 Bethel Baptist Church, Pct. 6 Wildwood, Pct. 7 Chester Lions Hall, Pct. 8 Bethany Baptist Church, Pct. 9 Ebenezer Church Fel lowship Hall, Pct. 10 Colmesneil Community Center, Pct. 11 Rockland Baptist Church, Pct. 14 Spurger ISD Ag Building, Pct. 15 Fred Elementary School, Pct. 16 Warren High School, Pct 18 Woodville Fire Station.

Precinct 5 (A-1 Wrecker), 13 (Fairview Baptist) and 17 (Woodville Lions Den) are the voting place for Democrats. Republicans in the voting precincts will vote at the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce. According to Republican Chairman Mike Paddy, they are still working on getting someone to man the stations at these locations and, if successful, the polling places for these will be the same as for Democrats.

All early voting will be open prior to the election at the Tyler County Tax office located on Hwy. 190 West in Woodville, across from Tyler County Hospital.

Redistricting

A federal court order issued February 2, states that parties in the redistricting proceeding have been given until 6 p.m. on February 10, 2012 to submit briefs and written advisories, with oral argument set for 8 a.m. on February 15, 2012. The court order further states that it is not announcing a primary election schedule at this time. "Things are so up the air this year, we are really watching everything closely," said Gregory. "If the elections are pushed back to June, they will most likely open up the ability for people to file for office again. It could get more complicated."

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Kevin Miller Recital Video 'Greatest Hits' And Slide Show

Kevin Miller's Students were featured in a recital Thursday, February 9, on the Emporium for the Arts stage in Woodville. The packed house wasn't dissipointed with the fine performances turned in by the students. The Booster features here a compliation of clips from each students performance for you to enjoy. Great job Kevin, and all of the students!  The photo slideshow is below the video.

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Two car collision near Colmesneil sends one to hospital

One of the vehicles involved in a two car accident south of Colmesneilby Kelli Barnes-

DPS officer Buck Odom and Tyler County Sheriff's department responded to reports of a two car accident on US Hwy. 69, south of Colmesneil near Wolf Creek on Thursday, February 9.

The accident occurred just after 8 a.m. in the morning. Colmesneil Volunteer Fire Department was called in for traffic control on Hwy. 69. The accident involved a Dodge truck and a 4-door Cadillac.

According to reports, the truck, driven by Tony Swan, 60, of Ivanhoe, crossed over the line in the curve at Wolf Creek into oncoming traffic. Swan was reaching down to pick something up. His wife was a passenger in the vehicle.

The second vehicle, a Cadillac traveling southbound, driven by Herman Netherland, 85, of Colmesneil, headed toward the shoulder of the road, getting side swiped down the entire left side of the vehicle. Netherland was taken by ambulance to Tyler County Hosiptal, suffering from a laceration on his forehead. He received stitches and will be released. The driver and passenger of the truck suffered minor cuts but were not taken to the hospital.

When law enforcement arrived, the truck was approximately 300 yards from the scene. Swan told DPS he was unable to stop immediately due to the amount of smoke and the airbag in his face, causing him to struggle to a stop several yards away from the accident.

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'Knock and Talk' leads to three arrests in Fred Home

ArrestedOn February 2, 2012, at approximately 6:30 p.m., Tyler County Sheriff 's Office (TCSO), assisted by the Hardin County Sheriff s Office, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the Southeast Texas Auto Theft Task Force executed a "Knock and Talk" (a procedure where the officer identifies himself and asks to 'Knock and Talk' leads to three arrests in Fred home talk to the home occupant and then eventually, requests permission to search the residence) at the residence of Debbie Jean (Baker) Hutto in Fred, Texas. The "Knock and Talk" was the result of a two-month joint investigation involving TCSO Narcotics Sergeant Jeff Mashaw and the Hardin County Sheriff 's Office Narcotics Division, coupled with numerous complaints from concerned citizens. Deputies believed that the residence and involved parties were part of a local methamphetamine ring that engaged in the sale and distribution of methamphetamine in and around the Tyler and Hardin County areas.

Tyler County Sheriff's Office Corporal Tony Reynolds, with Deputies Rene Guitterez and Chuck Marshall, was involved in the search of the residence and arrest of suspects.

Debbie Jean (Baker) Hutto, the home owner, Lonnie Paul Chance and Wayne Buckner were all arrested as a result of the investigation. Upon arrival at the residence, deputies located three adults and two young children, aged 3 and 5. A search of the residence produced methamphetamine, marijuana, surveillance equipment, numerous firearms and an exorbitant amount of drug paraphernalia. Deputies notified Child Protective Services (CPS) due to the poor living conditions of the residence, and the fact that deputies found illegal narcotics in plain view within arm's reach of the children.

Hutto was charged with two counts of Endangering a Child, one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance, and one count of Possession of Marijuana. Chance was charged with two counts of Endangering a Child, one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance, one count of Possession of Marijuana, and one count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm . Buckner was charged with one count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

An investigation is still underway and the Tyler County Sheriff 's Office anticipates more arrests of persons connected to this case. Sheriff David Hennigan wishes to acknowledge that the citizens of Tyler County played a very important role in targeting and identifying these suspected drug dealers. Residents and neighbors who report suspicious activity and suspected illegal drug use help keep Tyler County safe for all its residents. Buckner, Chance and Hutto were all arraigned on February 3rd, with Chance and Hutto's bonds for Endangering a Child set at $7,500 per count, $10,000 for Possession of a Controlled Substance, and $2,000 for Possession of Marihuana. Buckner and Chance's bonds for Felon in Possession of a Firearm were each set at $10,000.

All three have made their respective bonds and been released from the Tyler County Jail.

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