"It has been several years since a Tyler County resident contracted with Billy Ray Welch to cut their timber," said Tyler County District Attorney Joe Smith. "He never paid them in full and on Friday, April 13, Welch, 55, of Bronson, pled guilty and was given the maximum two year sentence in the Texas State Jail."
Welch's charge in Tyler County was timber trustee defraud greater than $500 and less than $20,000. He was already serving time for other timber theft related charges and now another two years have been added to his sentence.
The Warren FFA recently competed in the Area 9 Judging Contest. Warren had six teams competing and brought home five first place awards and one second place finish. These individuals also won five belt buckles for being the top judge in each of the contests.
The Meats team finished first with team members Mitchell McCluskey finishing as 8th high, Meagan Hollingsworth finishing as 5th high, Larry Jones finishing as 4th high and Mason Hatch winning the buckle for the being the top individual.
The Livestock team also finished first with team members Amy Baumgartner, Amy Gutierrez finishing 5th high, Tara Ard finishing 4th high and Jacob Blackshear winning the high individual buckle.
The Floriculture team also came in first with Selena Llanes finishing as the 6th high, Jade Tucker finishing 4th, Rachel Babino finishing as the 2nd high and Katie Jeffcoat winning the high individual buckle.
The Nursery Landscape team finished first with team members Taylor Conner finishing as the 5th high contestant, Rebekah Moore finishing 3rd high, Kacy Priddy finishing as the 2nd high and Taylor Moore winning the high individual buckle.
The Forestry Team also placed first and had the top four individuals. The team members consisted of Hunter West who finished as the 4th high individual, Mason Hatch finished 3rd, Quinton Cawley finished as the 2nd high and Emily Sisk won the high individual buckle.
The Poultry team finished second in the competition with team members Nathan Aulbaugh, Jordan Spivey finishing as the 6th high individual, Destiny Allain finishing as the 5th high and Jordan Greer winning the 3rd high award.
Each of these teams will now advance to the State FFA competition striving to be the best in Texas.
The ongoing saga of the resolution to the failure of the recently applied road material on Seneca Rd. appears to be heading for a conclusion as Commissioners approved a plan Thursday by the contractor to fix the entire road beginning next week.
Tyler County Commissioner Martin Nash, who has been working for months on making the contractor fix the failure of the road, sent them a letter last week giving them 10 days to respond with a solution. The letter appears to have been successful, with work planned to begin next week when temperatures warm up again.
The plan is to complete a one-mile section of the road and then watch it for a couple of weeks to be sure it holds up under traffic before completely reworking the entire six plus miles of road.
For the past few weeks, large purple boxes can been seen hanging from trees and bushes in various places in Tyler County. Many people have questioned what these boxes are, and some have said that kids playing a prank put them in the trees. But, the truth is that these boxes are doing a very important job. Earlier in the year, the Texas Forest Service started surveying trees across the state to look for the "emerald ash borer," an insect that harms trees.
The Emerald Ash Borer is described as a half-inch long, exotic, wood boring beetle that is metallic green in color. The bug digs into the bark of ash trees and feeds on the material between the wood and the bark, and can quickly kill the entire tree.
The pest has killed millions of trees up north in Michigan, and has been spotted in states as close as Missouri, but has yet to be seen in Texas. These purple boxes are just large, sticky traps that are designed to catch any insects crawling on them. They were placed in March, and will be checked in June and August.
More than 700 traps have been set out in 71 counties in Texas already as part of a cooperative effort between the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Texas Forest Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Stephen F. Austin State University College of Forestry and Agriculture and several volunteer citizen scientist groups.
Highway 1746 in Tyler County is receiving some maintenance this week that is expected to help the ride on the road become smoother, quieter and safer.
TxDot is overseeing the small project that covers about three and one half miles of 1746 between Woodville and Town Bluff. The road is getting a new layer of "hot mix" that is expected to improve the general quality of the highway. The "hot mix" solution is a newer mixture that has only been used for 3 years on Tyler County highways, but is much more durable than the LDR (Lime/Dirt/Rock) mixture that had been used in previous years.
The small construction project does only allow one lane of traffic to operate, and wait times are around 10 minutes at the longest. The roadwork is expected to be completed by Friday.
Tyler County Sheriff's Department narcotics division has been investigating Lonnie Potts, 62, Woodville, during the past several months. Potts lives in the Barlow Lakes area of Woodville and was charged with manufacturing or delivery of controlled substance – Hydrocodone. Potts was arrested on Friday, April 13, and bond was set at $10,000.
Hydrocodone addiction is now plaguing the United States. The abuse of this drug is not far behind the reigning crisis of illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. Recently, a survey revealed that hydrocodone addiction is the most widespread prescription drug abuse in United States. In the last decade, use has gone up by nearly four times the original standard.