Video: Woodville Renewable Energy Project Groundbreaking

Texas AG, Tyler County Commissioners and local officials break ground on Bio-Mass project in Woodville—After several years of planning and permitting, construction offically begain June 26 on ETEC's Woodville Renewable Power Project. Texas Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples, members of area electric cooperatives, and local officials gathered Tuesday at the new plant's location south of Woodville for the Groundbreaking ceremony. The project is projected for Fall 2014 completion. It will supply power to approximately 35,000 area homes, and will generate $25 million to the economy. It will also create 250 construction jobs and 25 full-time jobs.

Read more: Video: Woodville Renewable Energy Project Groundbreaking

UTV accident in Fred sends woman to hospital

by Emily Waldrep

A UTV accident in Fred on Sunday afternoon, June 24, sent one passenger to the hospital by life flight with serious leg injuries.

Witnesses say that the two women, Debbie Kreel and Kasey Gore were riding a side-by-side Rhino near their home. Kreel was reported the be driving, and when she turned into the driveway she misjudged the turn and hit a culvert. The vehicle flipped and landed on Gore, causing her to become trapped underneath.

Gore was rushed to the Hospital by emergency life flight and she is currently undergoing treatment for serious injuries to her legs.

The accident didn't involve any other vehicles.

Neither Kreel nor Gore were reported to be wearing a helmet or seat belt while riding the UTV.

Another collision at Hwy 190 and 92 intersection

(Emily Waldrep PhotoA collision between a pickup and a semi truck at the intersection of HWY 190 and 92 at approximately 9:30p.m June 22 adds to the growing list of major accidents at that location.

Witnesses reported that a white pickup truck pulled out into the intersection and collided with a passing semi truck.

Both occupants were uninjured, but the white pickup truck suffered serious front end damage.

This wreck adds to a long list of accidents that have occurred in the same intersection over the past few years. Many of those accidents have been fatal.

Tyler County citizens want to start a petition asking for a 4-way stop light to be installed at the intersection so that future accidents can be prevented.

Doucette man charged with dealing drugs - $500,000 bond

Lonell HooperSergeant Hicks of the Woodville police department was assisting the Tyler County Sheriff's office on the evening of July 14 and seized approximately 5 grams of cocaine from Lonell Hooper, who is reportedly a frequent drug dealer in Doucette.

Around 8:30 p.m, Hicks was traveling on County Road 3050 in Doucette near the "Rump Shaker Club" when he observed a truck that was parked on the side of the road near the location. Hooper was sitting in the drivers seat with the door open, and Hicks witnessed the man throw an object out of the vehicle. The object, identified as a bag of crack cocaine, landed in the road beside the vehicle and Hooper was arrested for delivery or manufacture of a controlled substance (penalty group one) and tampering with physical evidence.

"These charges were based on the fact that the defendant had in his possession a large amount of small bills," said Captain Mike McCulley of the Woodville Police Department. "The drugs were also packaged in a way that indicated they were intended for sell or delivery," added Captain McCulley.

Hooper has been previously arrested numerous times, and both the sheriffs' department and Woodville police have known about this dealer for several years.

Police seized 5 grams of crack cocaine, $800 dollars in cash and a 2008 Chevrolet pickup truck from Hooper at the time of his arrest.

Hooper's bond was set at $500,000.

Woodville family dead in Friday Jasper County collision

A two-car accident on CR 255 in Jasper County on Friday, June 15, resulted in the death of four Tyler County residents, two of whom were students at Woodville elementary and intermediate school.

Jasper County DPS reports that a flat bed welding truck driven by Brian Paul Baker was traveling east on 255 when a Jeep driven by Christopher Lamond Douglas ran off the road to the right. Douglas overcorrected and went across the center stripe entering the eastbound lane.

"The front of the truck then hit the side of the jeep, causing it to flip," reports DPS.

Only one occupant of the Jeep was using a seatbelt, and all four occupants were ejected from the vehicle.

Stacey Henry, 37, Tiara Moye, 11, Tyra Moye, 13, and Christopher Douglas, all of Woodville, died as a result of the accident. Baker, the driver of the other vehicle, was taken to an area hospital. His condition was unknown at press time.

Tyler County residents were shocked by the tragic accident and are mourning the loss of the entire family, which included the two young girls.

"Both Tyra and Tiara were so much alike in that they were well-mannered and polite young girls," says Ashley Hennigan, a counselor at Woodville ISD. "They were very sweet and quiet students and you hardly knew they were in the room. Their mother was always available if the girls needed her or if teachers needed to call her. They were a very close knit family."

A graveside service was held at Magnolia Cemetery on June 19.

Lightning strike destroys second Warren home

(Emily Waldrep Photo)by Emily Waldrep

After one house burned down from a lightning strike in Warren on Tuesday, June 12, another house near Warren was struck by lightning and burned to the ground on June 14, just two days after the first fire.

The home belonged to Wesley McCollum and was located down County Road 1220 between Warren and Hillister.

The home was struck by lightning during the large thunder storm on June 14 and caught  fire. The home was reported to be "a total loss."

Thankfully, everyone escaped the home safely, and the family's travel trailer did not suffer any fire damage so the family has somewhere to live until their home is repaired.

Many citizens are shocked that two homes in one week were destroyed by lightning, but sadly it is very difficult to prevent the strikes.

"The only real way to help prevent lightning strikes are to install a lightning rod," says Entergy Serviceman Darrel Waldrep. "The rod is installed at the highest point of a home and helps to diffuse a strike if one were to occur."

(This story was edited June 26 to correct spelling errors)