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updated 3:21 PM UTC, Feb 15, 2019

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Spurger, Silsbee VFDs respond to house fire --Corrected Story--

House fire near Fred Feb. 23 causes extensive damageby Emily Waldrep

--Corrected Story--

Spurger and Silsbee Volunteer Fire Departments responded to a large house fire just south of Fred on February 23. A large trailer-style house located a little less than 1/4 of a mile down CR 4905 was engulfed in flames as fire fighters arrived on the scene. The call came in from a neighbor around 3 p.m., and the fire had been contained by about 3:20 p.m. More than 50% of the home burned. The homeowner was at home at the time of the fire.

No cause has been determined for the fire, which remains under investigation.

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Steven "Staviana" Hoke Is Mr. Tyler County 2012

Mr. Tyler County 2012 Steven "Staviana" HokeSteven "Staviana" Hoke was named Mr. Tyler County 2012 Saturday night during the 2nd Annual Mr. Tyler County Relay For Life Beauty Pageant. The pageant was held at the Wooville Elementary/Intermediate school cafeteria. Seven "beauties" competed in Evening Gown and Talent for the coveted title!

Check back for more photos and video during the day Sunday.

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Colmesneil ISD Superintendent Updates Progress On Computers

by Leann Monk

In a follow-up interview with Colmesneil Superintendent, Stacy Ackley gave an update on the progress of two recently reported items from the February school board meeting. It was reported in the February 29 issue of The Booster several of the elementary teachers did not have working computers in their classrooms. Ackley stated, "This issue has been resolved. Computers from the high school lab have been moved over to the elementary building." He went on to say, "I was not aware that there were teachers without working computers in their classrooms until the board meeting. You can't fix a problem you don't know about." He explained the school district has a system in place called SpiceWorks, which is a help desk. If the teacher or faculty member has a problem, technical or with maintenance, they submit the issue through SpiceWorks and it goes directly to the superintendent's office. When asked if he had received anything from the help desk concerning the lack of working computers in the classrooms, Ackley responded, "I did not."

Ackley also gave an update on the progress of the grants the school district is pursuing to fund the majority of the cost for the upgrade in technology. "We have sent letters to Dell and HP to see what grants are available; and we are comparing the difference in leasing versus buying the new equipment," stated Ackley. "This equipment is needed to move the classrooms into the 21 Century," he said. When asked where the money for the district's portion of the new upgrade would come from, Ackley explained, "The money would come from our funds account. " Currently, there is a balance of $2.4 million in the account. He was then asked if he thought the upgrade and expense was necessary, he then responded by saying, "Yes. I believe our kids come first and they deserve the best. I will always do what is best for the kids."

Ackley has an open door policy with his office. "If anyone has a question about any of these issues or anything else, I wish they stop by and visit with me," said Ackley.

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Warren Student Pulls Gun On Fellow Student

Not Gun Used In Assault - posted to illustrate size of weaponA Warren ISD Junior High student Monday, saying he was "tired of being bullied," allegedly pulled a loaded gun on a fellow student while they were in the lunch line. There were no injuries in the incident.

According to officers, the seventh grader was approached by another student who began giving him a hard time. He responded by pulling a loaded .25 automatic handgun from his pocket, threatened to shoot the other student, and then put the gun back into his pocket. The threatened student found two coaches and told them what had happened.

The coaches escorted the student with the gun to the office, where they asked him for the weapon and called the Sheriff's office. The young man was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was removed from the school. He is being held in Hardin County awaiting trial.

Warren Superintendent Lance Johnson released the following statement Tuesday: "The brave actions of the students and teachers involved helped prevent yesterday's incident from continuing. It is important for students to remember to notify an adult when they observe any action that appears suspicious, even if it seems inconspicuous at the time.

"In most schools, students are aware of potential problems before the teachers and staff, because of the relationships with their peers, and the absolute number of students vs. the number of adults on campus. It is equally important for parents to maintain open lines of communication with their children with regards to their school and their peers.

"Warren ISD would like to say "Thank You" to the students, staff, and sheriff's department for their quick response and effective resolution to this event. We are blessed that this event was concluded with no injuries. The safety and security of students and staff is a top priority in Warren ISD.Fortunately, no one was injured in the confrontation."

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