71st Annual Dogwood Festival Tickets Now On Sale

Tickets for the 71st Annual Tyler County Dogwood coronation and historical play are on currently on sale and available at Jarrott's Pharmacy, Sullivan's Hardware, Heritage Village and the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce Office. Festivities at the Dogwood Amphitheatre will be April 5th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. The theme for this year's historical play is "Prom Night in Tyler County". The coronation and a modified version of the play will be moved to the Summit on the campus of Woodville High School in the event of rain. For more information visit the website at or call (409) 283-2632.

Ticket Prices:
Presale - $7 and $5
At the Gate - $8 and $6
(ticket price is based upon seat selection)

Courthouse security tightened after man attempts to jump from window

by Emily Waldrep

Tyler County officials want citizens to know that courthouse security has tightened over the past several months, especially after a man attempted to jump from a courthouse window in early January.

The man, identified as Steve Brown, Jr., of Colmesneil, was reportedly inside the courtroom on January 8 talking to his attorney about possible jail time. Shortly after, the attorney alerted Sheriff's Deputies at the location that Brown had opened a window, climbed out, and was attempting to jump.
Terry Riley and a deputy on scene went into the courtroom and were able to coax Brown off of the ledge.

The ledge that he had attempted to jump from was about 25 feet high and a concrete walkway was under the ledge.

"The courthouse used to be pretty calm but here lately it has been worse," Riley said.
Knives are beginning to be a huge risk in the courtroom, and earlier in the year six knives were confiscated from a woman attempting to enter the courtroom.

"We are not required to returns knives to their owners," Riley said.

Officials also want to remind people to think about the way they dress and what they bring into the courtroom before they enter.

Brown is now serving a five-year prison term.

Alcohol fueled assault lands four Tyler County residents in trouble

by Emily Waldrep

Football and alcohol often don't mix well. That seemed to be the case for an intoxicated Tyler County man who fell victim to three other very intoxicated folks February 9 after the Super Bowl.

At around 11 p.m., Woodville Police Officer Parton was dispatched to the 300th block of Kelley Blvd. following reports of shots being fired. He saw a male subject walking down the road shirtless and bleeding. The person was detained and identified as Billy Wayne Costlow. While Parton was accessing the scene, Costlow said that he had been riding his motorcycle and someone had come out into the road causing him to lose control and he wrecked.

"After that happened, the people that knocked him off his motorcycle were accused of assaulting him as well by hitting and kicking him," said Captain Mike McCulley of the Woodville Police Department. "This was confirmed by a neighbor who was at the scene."

The person who had fired that shot was the neighbor officers spoke to, who claimed he shot into the air so that he could break up the fight between the four men.

During the interview with Costlow, officers determined that he was highly intoxicated.
The other three subjects at the scene, who were accused of assaulting Costlow, were also determined to be highly intoxicated. They were identified as Buddy Calvin White, age 36, of Jasper, Curtis Eugene White, age 38, of Woodville, and Corey Randall Jeansonne, age 33, of Woodville. The three were charged with Disorderly Conduct Fighting.

Costlow was charged with Public Intoxication and transported to the Tyler County Jail after he received treatment at Tyler County Hospital for his injuries.

Additional charges could be pending.

Questions remain unanswered after recent raid on Jasper DETCOG offices

by Emily Waldrep

Questions remain this week after a February 5 raid on the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG), their executive directors home, and the office at the church where he is minister. The investigation is ongoing, and Executive Director Walter Diggles, said that DETCOG was fully cooperating with the FBI, Homeland Security and IRS who conducted the raid.

DETCOG distributes grant money from the government to each of 12 Deep East Texas counties it represents. The organization also helps fund 9-1-1 service, emergency preparedness, the regional housing authority, 211 Texas Information, and Service to Youth at Risk, among other important programs.

"All of the monies that come through for the Hurricane Disaster Relief Project come through DETCOG," says Tyler County Commissioner Martin Nash who also serves as Second Vice President on DETCOG's executive board. "Any grant that we get and any funds that come from Austin float through DETCOG. It is a clearing center for all funds.

"So does the investigation affect us? Yes. If something is messed up over there it is going to be a problem, but we really don't know what this is all about yet. They are interviewing quite a few people, and I look for it to be a fairly extensive investigation."

Nash said he didn't know exactly how the investigation might affect the county, but said DETCOG is a very well run organization. He believes any problem would be an isolated one, rather than a problem with the entire organization.

"With my dealings with DETCOG, I have never seen anything inappropriate," Nash said. "DETCOG is one of the most successful and best run Council of Governments in the state. When they want to know how a Council of Government is run, they look at DETCOG because it is run so well.

"DETCOG is going to function. It is not an organizational issue, and DETCOG has been very successful in procuring and delivery of grant funds. We expect that to continue."

Nash, who was interviewed, explained that he could not comment during the investigation.
"Pretty much all of the executive board, past presidents and past board members will be or have been interviewed," Nash said. "DETCOG is constantly being audited both internally and externally every year. There is just not money floating around and people get to write checks. It is all being investigated by the FBI and I fully expect them to do their job and that the justice system will do its job."

Nash added that he thinks more information may be available at the February 27 DETCOG meeting to be held at 11 a.m. in Crockett.

Wilbur T. of Wilbur T's Barbecue is a minority representative. Woodville Mayor Ben Bythewood is a past member of the executive board.

East Texas Home Health is Chamber 'Business of the Year'

Tyler County Chamber Business of the Year

East Texas Home Health is Chamber 'Business of the Year'—Tyler County Chamber of Commerce held their 67th Annual Banquet Tuesday night, and East Texas Home Health was named this year's "Business of the Year." Woodville City Administrator Mandy Risinger (left) presented the award to Leann Monk. "Outstanding Citizen of the Year" honors went to Tyler County Industrial Corporation. The Booster will feature a special section covering the Banquet in the February 20 issue, with photos of all the award winners this year. It was a great banquet, despite the weather, so don't miss the section!

Spurger man charged with Marijuana possession

by Emily Waldrep

On January 27 a deputy with the Tyler County Sheriff's Department was on patrol near U.S. 69 south of Ivanhoe when he witnessed a vehicle driving 80 mph in a 75 mph zone. The driver was pulled over on F.M. 1013, and when the deputy approached the car he could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The driver, identified as K.C. Viator, age 21, of Spurger, was extremely nervous after speaking to the deputy about the minor traffic violation.

A second deputy arrived on scene and spoke with Viator and received consent to search Viator's vehicle. A pat down search of Viator revealed a baggie containing methamphetamines. Deputies also found marijuana inside the vehicle.

Viator was placed under arrest and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Marijuana.

The substance in the baggie tested positive for methamphetamine.