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)


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.

Kree Harrison to perform Friday & Saturday during Dogwood Festival Rodeo

Kree HarrisonThe 72nd Tyler County Dogwood Festival is rapidly approaching and Woodville Lions Club is announcing that American Idol Runner-Up Kree Harrison will perform both March 27 and 28, during the Rodeo. And to make the event even more fun, the are selling raffle tickets with a special prize: the winner gets to ride with Kree! The Rodeo starts at 7 p.m. Friday night and 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Advance tickets are available at Sullivan's Hardware, Jarrott's Pharmacy, the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce and from any Lions Club member.

Don't miss the Bull Riding, Calf Roping, Goat Scramble, Barrel Racing, Team Roping and Calf Scramble.

Long time Tyler County EMS employee dies in Colmesneil collision

by Emily Waldrep

A two vehicle crash in Colmesneil took the life of a beloved Colmesneil resident and Tyler County EMS employee who definitely made her mark on citizens in the area.

Sara IrvinSara IrvinAt approximately 5:50 a.m. on Wednesday, March 11, a tractor trailer truck was driving southbound on US 69 and Sara Vaughn Irvin was driving a Chevrolet Cobalt car northbound on US 69. For unknown reasons, Irvin drifted into the southbound lane of traffic and struck the 18-wheeler. Irvin, age 67, of Colmesneil was pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Powers. The driver of the truck was Jackie Lanning, age 44, of Arkansas. He was not injured in the crash.

Investigation is still underway to see what caused Irvin to drift into the other lane.

Irvin made her mark in Tyler County as an Tyler County EMS employee that had a passion for her line of work. Those that knew her say she was an inspiration to anyone wanting to work with EMS or first responders.

"I met Sara in the mid 1980's when I first started my career and I will just say that she is someone I admired and really respected, and I knew she was a true public servant because she loved what she did and her enthusiasm for what she did was obvious because she always had a smile on her face, she was always upbeat," Captain Mike McCulley of the Woodville Police Department said. "She was a tremendous inspirations to so many people in that line of work, whether it be police, fire, or EMS."

Irvin worked closely with all first responders in Tyler County, and was very well known and respected.
"All the guys always talked and agreed if anything happened we wanted Sara there to get us help. That was understood," McCulley said.

"On behalf of the entire Woodville Police Department and Tyler County Sheriff's Department, we want to say that Sara was a tremendous inspiration to anyone who wanted to get into this line of work. Looking back on all the calls of service we were at during the same time, every time we saw her work with EMS it was obvious that she cared about the people and she cared about what she did. We are all really going to miss her. She was a mentor to so many people and was very well thought of and respected by anybody in law enforcement that worked with her all these years. She was a fantastic person."

Sara Irvin's Funeral was held at Stringer and Griffin Funeral Home on March 16 and was well attended by all of Tyler County's first responders, friends and family.

"Sara made an impact on everyone," said one Dogwood EMS worker. "Everyone she met knew that she had a passion for what she did and she just genuinely cared about people, and that was obvious when you talked to her."

Police pursuit in Woodville ends with vehicle crash

by Emily Waldrep

A police chase ended in an one car accident in the early morning hours of March 8 after officers with the Woodville Police Department received reports of a vehicle acting suspiciously in the Woodville area.

According to Mike McCulley with the Woodville Police Department, just before midnight on March 7, Sargent Borel observed a vehicle driving through a neighborhood near South Magnolia Street with no headlights. Borel had also received calls from a Woodville resident stating that the driver of the vehicle was trying to create a disturbance at their house.

Due to the report and the fact the vehicle was driving with no headlights, Borel attempted to stop the vehicle.
According to McCulley, whenever Borel attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver turned on Cobb Mill Road and began accelerating while refusing to stop. The driver was not using signals to turn the vehicle and continued up Cobb Mill Road and took the sharp curve on that street near Wal-Mart at high speed and crashed into a yard on the corner. The vehicle struck a large rock and went thru chain length fence and came to stop, McCulley said.
Officers apprehend driver after vehicle was crashed and the driver was identified as Jimmy Lee Scott, age 34 of Woodville.

"A search of the vehicle revealed a usable amount of marijuana in the front seat," McCulley said. "Scott refused medical attention because he was only slightly injured, and was taken into custody and transported to the Tyler County jail."

Scott was charged with Felony Evading with a Vehicle and Possession of Marijuana, plus several traffic offenses.

"We have encountered an increase in drivers refusing to stop once the officers have initiated their lights and sirens," McCulley said. "These situations create a lot of uncertainty when our officers are put in the position to decide whether or not to pursue this person."

McCulley said that if at any point the chase becomes an extreme danger to the public and the person running is not a wanted person, they may call off the pursuit and pick them up later.

"These two pursuits were fairly short and didn't get up to speeds that were too excessive," McCulley said. "It's just something law enforcement is starting to see now and we don't know why."