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Defective headlight stop March 29 leads to drug, alcohol charges

by Emily Waldrep

On March 29, a Tyler County Sheriff Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle south of Spurger whose driver was identified as Josiah Riley, age 23, of Silsbee. According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, the vehicle was originally pulled over for a defective headlamp. There was also a passenger in the vehicle who was identified as Mark Callahan, age 30, of Woodville.

The deputy asked Riley to exit the vehicle, and when he did the deputy noticed him attempt to hide an alcoholic beverage behind his seat. When asked if he had anything illegal on his person, he told the deputy he had a marijuana pipe in his pocket. The deputy also found a black bag containing a small baggie with a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine.

Deputies also found an open bottle of alcohol under the passenger seat and additional methamphetamine paraphernalia in the vehicle.

The deputy took Riley into custody at that time, and was also informed that Callahan had warrants out of Hardin County and placed him into custody as well.

Both subjects were transported to the Tyler County Jail and their vehicle was towed.
Callahan was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving While Intoxicated 2nd Warrant and Open Container.

Riley was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Controlled Substance and Open container.

Sheriff responds to drunk driver call, finds Bon Wier man in TxDOT gravel area on Hwy 190 East

by Emily Waldrep

On March 27, Tyler County Sheriff's Office Communications Center advised all units of a possible intoxicated driver in an older model Chrysler Dodge passenger car followed by a tractor-trailer Fed-ex vehicle on 190 East Westbound.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, the vehicle was observed crossing the white line onto the shoulder as well as crossing the yellow line into oncoming traffic. The driver was also slumped to the right leaning hard on what was possibly an armrest.

According to Weatherford, the vehicle then took a sudden right onto a Tx-Dot gravel area, almost striking a piece of equipment and coming to a stop. Weatherford arrived on scene and approached the vehicle, immediately detecting the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle. Weatherford ordered the driver to turn off the vehicle and exit, but it took several commands for the driver to exit. Weatherford had to reach into the vehicle and turn it off himself.

At that time, Weatherford knew the driver was intoxicated due to his slurred speech and the unsteady state that he was in. The driver was identified as John Rejman, age 58, of Bon Wier. Rejman admitted to drinking beer all day and Weatherford discovered three empty 32 oz Miller Highlife cans and one open half consumed Miller can in the floorboard along with seven unopened cans in the floorboard.

According to Weatherford, Rejman kept repeating that he had to deliver some fried chicken in the backseat to his wife on a trail ride. Rejman was unable to exit the vehicle without assistance and upon exiting was placed into a Woodville Police Department car for transport to the Tyler County Jail.

Texas DPS also preformed tests to determine his level of intoxication and they finalized the investigation.
Rejman was charged with Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More, which is a felony.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Tyler County

Tyler County—During April, the Tyler County Child Welfare Board will ask Judge Jacques L. Blanchette and the Tyler County Commissioners to proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Tyler County. The Proclamation states that everyone in the community should become more aware of child abuse prevention and all citizens should become more involved in supporting families to provide safe, nurturing environments for their children, giving them the opportunity to grow up to be caring, contributing members of the community.

As part of the emphasis on child abuse prevention, there are several other activities that members of the Tyler County Child Welfare Board (CWB) have planned during the month of April.

CWB members have placed blue crosses on Highway 190-W by Hennigan Ballpark. The crosses represent the 151 children who died in Texas last year as a result of child abuse.

To recognize the need for prevention and awareness of child abuse, blue "Stop the Hurt" pencils were given to all Tyler County students this month. Each pencil has the numbers to report child abuse or neglect: Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-252-5400, the Tyler County Sheriff's Office 409-283-2172 or Emergency Call Number 9-1-1.
During the month of April, CWB members are asking churches, schools and businesses to put the following message on their marquees - "STOP THE HURT" Report Child Abuse at 1-800-252-5400.

Friday, April 10 is Texas Go Blue Day. Please join us in raising Child Abuse awareness across Texas by wearing blue.
Sunday, April 26 is "Blue Sunday" and the National Day of Prayer for victims of child abuse. Please join church members in recognizing these victims by wearing a blue shirt, dress, tie or ribbon to raise awareness of child abuse.

Wear blue anytime during the month of April. Blue is the international symbol for Child Abuse Prevention. The color blue was chosen to represent the bruised and battered bodies of the thousands of children that are abused everyday. It serves as a constant reminder that all of us have a responsibility to help keep children safe. Protecting children should be the mission of every one in our county.

For more information concerning Child Abuse Prevention Month or the Tyler County Child Welfare Board please call the CWB office at 283-2503. Those serving on the CWB are Mike McCulley, Terry Allen, Kathy Harris, Tina Self, Sue Wood, Tonya Sheffield, Paula Gibbs, Jackie Skinner, Shandola Langham, Renee Smith, Ashley Hennigan and Delores Wigley.

Tyler County Dogwood Festival Queen's Weekend April 4


This weekend is the 72nd Tyler County Dogwood Festival Queens Weekend, the third and final week of the annual celebration. The Dogwood Festival brings out hundreds of people every year, and offers fun and activity for the entire family.

Schedule of events: Saturday, April 4: Dogwood Dash 8am; Arts & Crafts 9am-5pm; Antique Autos 9am-5pm; Motorcycle Exhibition 9am-1pm; Queen's Parade 2 pm; Queen's Coronation & Historical Play 7:30pm @ Dogwood Amphitheater; Fireworks following production.

Tickets for the 72nd 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 Amphitheater will be April 4, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. 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)


Fire damages two Woodville apartments

Photo courtesy of Sheriff Bryan WeatherfordPhoto courtesy of Sheriff Bryan Weatherford

by Emily Waldrep

A fire on Monday, March 23 at the 200th Block of Shivers Street took an hour to put out and destroyed two apartments.

At approximately 2:00 p.m., a caller who lived near the units reported smoke coming from one of the apartments. According to Captain Mike McCulley with the Woodville Police Department, all occupants that were home had safely vacated the apartments.

Fireman with the Woodville and Shady Grove Fire Departments responded to assist and were able to extinguish the fire, but unfortunately two apartment homes suffered from severe smoke, fire and water damage.

The fire took approximately an hour to completely extinguish, and initial reports state that the blaze may have started because a resident had left something on the stove, but no concrete investigation has been conducted, McCulley said.

Older couple lose home in Hillister fire

House Fire

by Emily Waldrep

On March 6, Ivanhoe and Spurger Volunteer Fire Departments responded to a house fire in Hillister. According to Tyler County Emergency Management Coordinator Dale Freeman, the blaze started in an older mobile home on County Road 4551 about 100 yards off of FM 1013. The home was unfortunately a total loss.

According to Freeman, the home belonged to an elderly couple who were both transported to the hospital with where they were treated for smoke inhalation and released.

"I did not know the couple well, but I have had several interactions with them over the past several years." Freeman said. "One time, I delivered meals to them and the man was selling Dewberries that he picked to help pay his bills. He offered some to me as a gesture of appreciation for me delivering the meals, and despite his protest I actually bought them from him to help him out."

Freeman said that it is odd that those who have little, seem to be the ones who lose the most in tragic events, like the house fire.

"Please remember this family in your prayers," Freeman said.

The immediate needs of the family were promptly met by the American Red Cross and they were given a room at the Woodville Inn and were able to stay there for approximately two weeks. Food, clothing and support were provided by Tyler County Citizens. . If anyone is interested in contributing to their recovery, please contact the American Red Cross or Tyler County Emergency Management.