If you have traveled on Seneca Rd. in Woodville lately, especially after a rain, you already know it is in bad condition, even though work on resurfacing the road was completed only six weeks ago. Tyler County Commissioners heard a report last week from engineers who have been determining what went wrong, and how much of the road needs to be replaced or repaired.
Tyler County Commissioner Martin Nash said that the $1.3 million project to resurface the road started about three months ago, but there were quality issues throughout the process that became apparent only after the rain started, when it became obvious that the product used for the road had never hardened.
Nash explained that lab tests on the material determined the problem was "dirty sand," which is sand with too much clay in it and too large an aggregate. The result is that the material, which is supposed to harden, never did, and when the rain started it began washing away. Goodwin-Lasiter, the engineers who examined the road, have determined that as much as 80 percent of the job needs to be replaced and said there were a number of problems with the road material.
Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette asked the engineer what would happen if, after repairs to the percentage of the road they had identified needed repair, the road that remained began to break down. "If we get to summer and the heat starts baking the road and it starts breaking down, what recourse do the citizens of the county have?" Blanchette asked. The engineer explained that there is a 12-month warranty after the county accepts the work.
As a result of the continuing deterioration of the road, the county has not accepted the project as completed and, Nash said, is asking Pinto Construction, the general contractor, to provide the road the contract called for. He also suggested that it would be a good idea to request an extended warranty on the areas that will stay in place.
The Seneca Road project was funded by a General Land Office Ike Round 2 grant with no expense to the county. The GLO was the entity who actually contracted with Pinto Construction for the project.
Commissioners will meet Friday at 10:30 a.m. to consider, and to accept or reject, written recommendations from Goodwin-Lasiter concerning the fix for Seneca Road.
The regular meeting of the Woodville ISD Board of Trustees was held Monday, February 20. There were several items on the agenda that needed to be discussed and voted on. First, after the review of the usual reports such as the January financial report, tax report and investment report, and a brief explanation from Cody Jarrott from the WISD business office, the board voted to approve them and move on the other matters at hand. However, before moving on, Mr. Jarrott did inform the board that to date the Woodville ISD Funds balance is $9.5 million.
In what was the first real item of business, a motion was brought before the WISD board to vote to amend the current budget by an increase of $660,000. Superintendent Glenn Conner explained that the increase in funds would be divided in five ways. The money would be used to purchase five acres behind the high school, erect a covered softball/baseball practice facility, fix a current drainage issue and finish construction on the music building. The board supported this motion.
Secondly, to go along with an item in the previous motion, board member Todd Dinger brought a motion to construct a softball/baseball practice facility. After some discussion as to where the building would be placed, the board voted to pass this motion as well.
Conner made a recommendation to make changes to the Woodville ISD Board Policy EIA (LOCAL) concerning state assessment. He gave a report on the new guidelines and laws required by the State concerning the mandatory testing requirements. Based on his report, the Board moved to adopt the recommended changes. The final agenda item was the Superintendent's Report. Conner presented the Board with several reports showing comparisons in enrollment, attendance, grades and discipline. His reports showed that the enrollment in WISD has grown from 1,299 students in May of 2011 to 1,312 students currently. He also showed the Board the school has an average percentage attendance of 95.95%.
The Board then dismissed into executive session to discuss personnel matters. The Woodville School Board meets on the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building. The members of the Board are President, Trey Allison; Vice President, Brenda Maloy; member, Tedd Watts; member, Todd Dinger; member, Brett Smith; member, Jimmy Tucker; and member, Tony Castillo.
The 2012 Tyler County Dogwood Festival Trainbearers have been named. They are, Carmen Mahaffey, daughter of Keith and Balela Mahaffey (Chester); McKayla Marshal, daughter of Mike and Michele Marshall (Colmesneil); Savanah Hudson, daughter of Buck and Donna Hudson (Spurger); Victoria deVarona, daughter of Jack and Stephanie deVarona (Woodville) and Regan Foxworth, daughter of Jerry and Sonja Foxworth (Warren).
2012 Tyler County Dogwood Festival Children of the Court have been named. They are, from front, Miranda Moore, daughter of Phillip and Desiree Moore (Warren); Natalie Standley, daughter of Matt and Carrie Standley (Woodville); Jackson Rayburn, son of Scott and Jana Rayburn (Chester); Reed Best, son of Robert Best, Jr. and L'Chanda Best (Colmesneil); Brayden McIntosh, son of Bart Dean and Nicole Rebbe (Woodville); Kinley Thompson, daughter of Nick and Stephany Thompson (Spurger) and AlyssaMcIntosh, daughter of Bart Dean and Nicole Rebbe (Woodville).
On Sunday, February 5 Tyler County Sheriff's office received a call about a suspicious vehicle parked on CR 4300 off FM 1746. Deputy Casey Whitworth responded to the call. According to reports, the vehicle was abandoned. Whitworth noticed a door open on a nearby travel trailer and called for back up. Officer Jeremy Byrum and Corporal Mike Williams, along with canine officer Drake, searched the area and found two suspects inside a travel trailer. Shelton Beaty, 25, of Hillister and Michael Criddle, 23, of Hillister were taken into custody. Criddle was armed with a stun gun and Beaty had a handgun. The men burglarized three travel trailers at the hunt club. Bond was set at $100,000 by Judge Bryan Weatherford for Criddle for two charges of burglary of a habitation. Beaty received a $110,000 bond by Weatherford for two charges of burglary and a third charge of unlawfully carrying a weapon. Both are in the county jail awaiting trial.
On Saturday, February 11 a witness observed a burglary in progress on Hickory Street in Colmesneil. According to an eyewitness, two suspects broke into the side door of a home. Officers stopped the vehicle, seen leaving the scene, at the Exxon store in Colmesneil. Corey Brian Shird, 30, of Colmesneil and Sierra Nicole Patrick, 19, of Colmesneil were both arrested for burglary of a habitation. Officers found a checkbook from the home in the vehicle. Upon further inspection, officers also found a commercial size Ozarka water bottle and a cashed-in coin receipt for over $200 from Jasper WalMart. Bond was set at $75,000 each by Judge Bryan Weatherford.
During the investigation, deputy Steven Zeller discovered Jasper County had an unsolved burglary of a habitation in the Sam Rayburn area. Missing from the home was a commercial size Ozarka water bottle filled with coins. With cooperation between the Jasper County and Tyler County sheriff's departments, Shird was also charged with burglary of a habitation in Jasper County and bond was set at $10,000.
Few people have heard of or experienced geocaching, but a few adventure seekers in Tyler County have become part of the widespread geocaching community and are enjoying being able to take part in the massive game of outdoor "hide-and-seek."
For those who don't know, geocaching is a real world treasure hunting game that uses GPS devices, such as a smart-phone, to find the GPS coordinates of a small box called a "cache." The game can be played alone, or with a group of people. All you need is a free membership to a geocaching website and a GPS enabled device. Once you enter the location and find the cache, you sign a logbook or leave a treasure in the box.
There are a few rules of geocaching. First, if you remove something from the cache, you have to leave something else of equal or greater value. Many people leave old small trinkets and trade items. There is also a logbook in most caches that the geocacher has to sign and date. In addition to the paper log, geocachers log their experience on the geocaching website for others to read about.
Shelby Adaway, a resident of Woodville, has been geocaching for 2 years and has found close to 70 geocaches in and around Tyler County. She once found a cache with a "travel tag" that had been all over the country, including Hawaii.
"There is a geocaching map that shows a lot [of geocaches] around Tyler County," says Adaway. "There are some in nature trails and even in the Wal-Mart parking lot."
Brandon McKee, another geocacher in Tyler County says there are a ton of cache locations all over Tyler County, and many are in places that you drive by all the time.
If you are interested in geocaching or want more information, the website www.geocaching.com is a great resource and they also offer free geocaching memberships.