National Indian Gaming Commission Approves Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas' Class II Gaming Ordinance

Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation - Oct. 27, 2015 - The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) in coordination with the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) has affirmed the right of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas to operate a Class II gaming facility on tribal lands pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The tiered classification system for gaming applies only to Indian gaming regulated by the federal government's National Indian Gaming Commission. Generally, Class I is considered traditional and ceremonial activities, Class II typically includes bingo and electronically aided versions of bingo, and Class III refers to casino style gaming with agreements negotiated with the State of jurisdiction.

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe has sought approval at the state and federal level since the closure of the Tribe's Entertainment Center in 2002. This approval provides clarification that the Tribe is able to provide Class II games pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. In addition, the National Indian Gaming Commission will provide regulatory oversight to the Tribe's Class II gaming facility.

"Past Tribal Councils have worked hard to get where we are today with this approval. The Tribe's perseverance has paid off. It is a testament to the dedication and support of our Tribal Members that helped accomplish such a major milestone in our tribal history. A Class II facility will allow the Tribe to better address the needs and functions of the Tribal government, and take care of our people," said Nita Battise, Tribal Chairperson of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe.

"Not only will it benefit the Tribe, it will benefit the entire region in southeast Texas because an entertainment business attracts visitors to the region and we will be able to provide employment in the area." Battise added.

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, is a federally recognized tribe with the oldest reservation in the State of Texas. Their original lands were granted to the Tribes at the end of the fight for Texas Independence with the support of General Sam Houston. Their reservation is located on approximately 10,200 acres in the Big Thicket of Southeast Texas, 17 miles east of the city of Livingston on U.S. Highway 190. They are one of only three federally recognized tribes located in Texas.

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Candidates Announce For Office

Four Candidates annouced runs for offices this week.

Judge Stover Seeks Re-Election

Hardin - Tyler County- Judge Earl B. Stover, III announced recently that he will seek re-election as 88th District Court Judge in the 2016 Republican Primary. The 88th District Court serves Hardin and Tyler Counties.

Judge StoverJudge StoverStover said, " I have thoroughly enjoyed my job as District Judge and hope to continue my career in the Judiciary. When I first sought election, I pledged to be absolutely committed to preserving our heritage of equal justice, fairness to all, and swift, severe, sure punishment for those who would transgress our laws. In compliance with my pledge I have worked hard to serve and maintain the high standards of the judiciary." Stover is very proud of his work as a District Judge. Chosen by his peers, he is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Judicial Section of the State Bar and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of District Judges. He was a member of the first graduating class of the Judicial College where he met the standards for certification of special competence. Judge Stover received a Presidential Commendation from the State Bar of Texas in 2006 for leadership in improving justice in Texas. He is a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas and is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and has also served as past president of the Hardin County Bar Association.

Judge Stover is deeply committed to the youth of Hardin and Tyler Counties and has become widely regarded in the field of juvenile justice. He is the chairman of both the Hardin and Tyler County Juvenile Boards. Underscoring his dedication to the youth of Hardin and Tyler counties, Stover has organized and has spoken at several Juvenile Law Seminars in the past and plans to do so again on October 29, 2015. The seminar will inform school officials, law enforcement officers, attorneys and the public in general about recent changes in Juvenile Law. Judge Stover said, "I believe that education and communication between all groups are the keys to ensuring that the Juvenile Justice System protects and instructs our youth and is an effective part of the justice system". Judge Stover is particularly proud of the Hardin County Juvenile Reading Program which he instituted for juvenile offenders. It is a successful program which requires the juvenile offender to read an approved book and write a report or take a test on the book as a condition of probation.

Judge Stover is proud to have received the Distinguished Service Award from the Hardin County Crime Victims Association multiple times. Known for his dedication and commitment to Crime Victim's Rights, Judge Stover has been the featured speaker at Crime Victims programs as well as local Chambers of Commerce and service clubs about various issues related to the Judiciary.

Stover also said, "Judges must be accountable to the people. I recognize that a judge holds office as a sacred trust from the people. Each citizen is entitled to be treated fairly and equally. A Judge must possess an unbiased mind and be able to reach an equitable decision and he must have the courage to render justice."

Richard Shaw Announces For Woodville ISD School Board

I would like to take a moment and share some information about myself and after reading ask that you prayerfully consider me when voting in the Woodville I.S.D. School Board Election. My name is Richard Shaw Jr. (Kooter). I am 45 years old and was born and raised in Woodville. I graduated Woodville High School in 1988. I am an Army Reserve Veteran and hold a Associates Degree in Richard ShawRichard ShawAutomotive/Diesel Mechanics. I have been a Owner/Operator in the Logging buisness for over 20 years. My wife Corrie has been a Elementary Teacher for 12 years and currently a 2nd grade teacher at Woodville I.S.D. My oldest son Riley graduated in 2015 as the Woodville Salutatorian and currently a Freshman at Texas A&M. My youngest son Reese is a Freshman at Woodville High School. I am seeking election to the Woodville School Board to be more involved with the operating procedures of our education system at our local and state levels and do my part to see that our students, teachers and parents are being informed and educated at the highest level. I would appreciate your vote. God bless and thank you.


Mark Hanks Announces For Woodville ISD School Board

Mark HanksMark HanksI, Mark E. Hanks, announce my candidacy for Woodville Independent School District Board Place 4.

I am a life-long resident of Woodville, Texas and a 1975 graduate of Kirby High School. I retired from the Texas Department of Transportation after 33 years, where I served Tyler County, as well as Jasper and Newton Counties.

The opportunity to serve the students and families of Woodville ISD would be an honor and a privilege.

Thank you for your consideration.

Bennita Saylor, RN, CHPN, For CISD School Board

While I was not born and raised in Colmesneil , Texas , I would like to become a member of the Colmesneil School Board. My name is Bennita Saylor. I am a registered nurse for a hospice agency, and a certified hospice and palliative nurse.

My family and I moved here from Livingston, Texas after living there for almost 30 years. We chose Colmesneil for the excellent ratings they have in the district. We felt that would be a great fit for us and our 10 year old daughter at the time. She was welcomed with open arms. After living here for several years I felt a calling to be a part of this community by running for a position on the school board. I feel I would be a positive addition to the school board.

I respectfully am asking for your vote. Please vote for Bennita Saylor RN CHPN for Colmesneil School Board

Sunday wildfire threatens homes, involves estimated 800 acres

Pate Hill Fire

by Emily Waldrep

On Sunday, October 18, firefighters from all over southeast Texas were called out to a wildfire in the Chester and Barnum area. All Tyler County volunteer fire departments either responded directly to the fire, were put on standby or stood in for the firefighters battling the blaze. Each department played a integral role in getting the blaze under control.

The blaze began on Sunday and was located entirely in Polk County off of HWY 287, but Chester Volunteer Fire Department has a fire coverage area that extends over the Tyler County line and into Polk Count, making the fire in Chester VFD's coverage area. Several highways and back roads were shut down during the fire, forcing travelers to detour.

"The aerial estimates of the fire was about 800 acres but the ground forces had originally estimated that it was 600 to 700 acres," said Tyler County Emergency Management Dale Freeman. "The exact number is not yet determined."

The fire has since been dubbed "The Pate Hill Fire" due to its location down Barnum Loop Road and then onto Pate Road to a location called Pate Hill. Firefighters were able to contain 75 percent of the fire within one day. Plow lines were swiftly put up by the Texas Forest Service dozers to make sure the fire didn't spread. Although the threat of hot embers escaping the plow lines and reigniting a fire still remains, those chances decrease daily.

Several people in the area evacuated to the Barnum Baptist Church where the Tyler County Sheriff's Department delivered and setup the DETRAC Trailer for use as an incident command post. Thankfully, no homes or property were severely damaged in the fire and no injuries have been reported.

The Pate Hill Fire began in a burn ban in both Tyler and Polk Counties, when fires should not have been burned.

"There is a reason for the burn ban and it is for your safety," Freeman said. "We certainly don't want an event in our area that results in the loss of standing timber, property and heaven forbid, the loss of lives and homes."

The Tyler County Commissioners court as well as the Tyler County Sheriff's Department ask that citizens respect the rules of the burn ban until it is lifted.

Wreck near Oilfield Loop Road injures nine people

by Emily Waldrep

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, a crash involving multiple vehicles on Highway 69 just past the Tyler County Line near Oilfield Loop Road injured nine people, one of which was a young child taken by helicopter to Hermon Memorial Hospital in Houston.

Texas DPS reports that at approximately 7:30p.m, the driver of a Mercedes identified as Mark Jefferson, age 57 of the Woodlands and the driver of a Nissan identified as Ashley Shows, age 21 of Silsbee, collided head on, which caused three other vehicles to crash into those two vehicles.

Jefferson and his passenger along with Shows and her front seat passenger were taken to local hospitals to receive treatment for unknown injuries. Shows backseat passenger, a juvenile, was taken via helicopter to Herman Memorial Hospital in Houston.

The three vehicles that wrecked after the initial wreck were identified as a Toyota Pickup truck driven by Scott Paulino, age 43 of Lumberton, a black Chevrolet pickup driven by Tiffany Jackson, 26 of Silsbee and a tan Chevrolet truck driven by Lynn Williams, age 47 of Beaumont.

The details of the crash are under investigation by DPS.

Burn Ban Suspended


WHEREAS, the County Judge finds that circumstances present in the unincorporated area of the county that would create a public safety hazard that could be exacerbated by outdoor burning to have been alleviated due to recent precipitation and anticipation of further precipitation;

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED by the Commissioners Court of Tyler County on October 1, 2015, that the order prohibiting outdoor burning in Tyler County be temporarily suspended for a period of 4 days beginning at 3:30PM on Thursday, October 1, 2015 until 3:30PM on Monday, October 5, 2015.