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Abbott: Plenty of resources for Harvey recovery

By Valerie Reddell

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Gov. Greg Abbott addressed the crowd of supporters who attended a dinner in his honor Sept. 27 at Grissom’s Golden Pine. (Valerie Reddell photo)Gov. Greg Abbott addressed the crowd of supporters who attended a dinner in his honor Sept. 27 at Grissom’s Golden Pine. (Valerie Reddell photo)WOODVILLE — Gov. Greg Abbott traveled to Woodville on Sept. 27 to attend a fish and shrimp dinner hosted by Lonnie and Jill Grissom, Jimmie Cooley, Gil Tubb and Cheri Woodard at the Grissom's beautiful ranch just outside Woodville.

Among the crowd of invited guests were many elected officials from throughout East Texas and supporters of his bid for a second term as Governor.

Abbott delivered a stump speech in which he vowed to continue to uphold the values that those who live "behind the Pine Curtain" hold dear.
After his remarks, Abbott met with attendees individually and in small groups, posing for photos with many of them.

Abbott spoke about the need for the state to step in to provide border security for the safety of Texans.

When asked about how the additional state police who have been assigned in the border region in the last couple years would be able to enforce federal laws about illegal border crossings, the governor pivoted to a discussion on sanctuary cities.

In response to comments from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner publicized earlier that day, Abbott told the Tyelr County Booster that the state has access to adequate funding to assist Houston and the rest of the area of the state impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

"And Mr. Turner knows that from his experience as a former legislator," Abbott said. He said Turner's request to call a special session and use money from the Rainy Day fund was unnecessary.

"I have pledged to deliver a check on any invoice presented within 10 days," Abbott said.

Courthouse bell tower, facade renovations begin

Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette accepts a check from Bob Morris, chairman of the Tyler County Historical Commission in front of the courthouse wrapped in scaffolding in preparation for renovation. Other members of the commission were on hand to celebrate the milestone in the multi-year project. (Jim Powers photo)Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette accepts a check from Bob Morris, chairman of the Tyler County Historical Commission in front of the courthouse wrapped in scaffolding in preparation for renovation. Other members of the commission were on hand to celebrate the milestone in the multi-year project. (Jim Powers photo)

By Mary Nell Rainey

Seeing the awesome scaffolding on the courthouse square is visual evidence that the restoration of the 1891 Tyler County Courthouse is underway.

The Tyler County Commissioners Court and the Tyler County Historical Commissioner are engaged in a joint effort to bring back the original look of the exterior of the 1891 courthouse.

Bob Morris, chairman of the TCHC, presented a check to County Judge Jacques Blanchett in the amount of $89,729.12, which will be used for architectural and engineering draws, a road map of events and timeline for the restoration project and a 3D rendition of the courthouse for citizens to see and track progress as the project proceeds.

Funds from the commissioner came were made possible by various fund-raising projects including the sale of courthouse commemorative knives, Courthouse Christmas ornaments, books and note cards along with the proceeds of the historical tours and gala.
The exterior renovation consists of the removal of the bell and clock tower, installation of a new roof, reconstruction and replacement of the new tower and removal of the stucco facade added to the building in 1937.

Removing the stucco will reveal the courthouse's original brick.

The project will be overseen by the Texas Historical Commission and the amazing work of local artisans who are totally commited to the history of this building and restoring it for future citizens to use and enjoy.

Cash taken from lumber store, two arrested Sept. 15

MugsTyler County Deputies were dispatched to Parker Lumber & Supply, located just South of Woodville on Highway 69 at about 12:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15.

Deputies, along with Woodville Police Officers, were told that a burglar alarm had been activated showing office entry.

Responding officers discovered that suspect(s) had made entry into the building through the back wall, but no one was found in the store.

During a search of the area, deputies found a white female walking along Highway 69 just south of Parker Lumber. She was identified as Sommer Nicole Lynch, 30, of Kountze. As Deputies spoke with Lynch, they told her that they were in the area due to a burglary that had just occurred at Parker Lumber.

"That's sad to hear, my boyfriend works at Parker Lumber," Lynch said.

She identified her boyfriend as Michael Dianni and told deputies that he was at her home in Kountze.

Hardin County deputies were unable to locate Dianni at that residence.

Tyler County deputies and police continued to search the area for suspects.

Around 4 a.m., deputies located a white male on County Road 1020, just south of Parker Lumber. He was identified as Michael Joseph Dianni, 22, of Ivanhoe.

Dianni admitted to the burglary and led deputies to several items used and taken during the break-in.
Dianni was arrested and taken to the Tyler County Jail charged with burglary of a building.

Lynch was later arrested on a Warrant for burglary of a building. Deputies were unable to immediately locate a backpack containing cash taken from the store.

At day break, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice K-9 Unit was contacted. They arrived on scene with their scent-specific dog, Jethro, and found the backpack in a wooded area between Parker Lumber and County Road 1020.

Deputies also learned that Dianni had been fired from Parker Lumber on Sept. 11.

Both Dianni and Lynch are currently out of jail on a $2,500 bond set by Justice of the Peace Martha Dawson.

TCSO seeking tips on burglary

On Sept. 9, at approximately 5:57 a.m., Tyler County Deputies responded to an alarm call at Jerry's Saw Shop located South of Woodville on Highway 69.

Deputies arrived at 6:01 a.m. and saw the front door open and a window broken out.

Deputies were unable to locate any suspects in the building or the surrounding area.

It was determined that 12 New Stihl Chainsaws varying in models, totaling approximately $6,000, were taken from shop.
Investigators were able to collect evidence at the scene, and are currently working with the Crockett Police Department who are investigating a similar burglary case that occurred the same week in Crockett.

Anyone who may have seen anything unusual on the morning of Sept. 9, persons, vehicle(s) etc., please contact the Tyler County Sheriffs' Office at (409) 283-2172.

Chester man killed in collision near Polk County Line

BARNUM – A Chester man was killed Tuesday when the pickup truck he was driving collided with an 18-wheeler on FM 287 East near the Polk County line.

The deceased, 63-year-old Alfred Bryan, had been driving a 2004 Ford pickup truck eastbound when, for unknown reasons, the pickup crossed the center line into the westbound line and collided with the front left of a 2014 Kenworth truck driven by Steven Coleman, 43, of Jefferson, according to a preliminary report filed by Texas Highway Patrol Cpl. Ramey Bass. Following impact, the pickup truck spun and came to rest, facing west, in the eastbound lane. Coleman was able to pull his truck onto the grass on the right side of the highway.

Alfred was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace at 4:17 p.m. His body was transported by Corrigan Funeral Home to the medical examiner's office in Beaumont. Coleman was listed as uninjured in the accident, which occurred at approximately 2:50 p.m.

Investigation into the cause of the accident is continuing. Bass was assisted at the scene by DPS Sgt. Sam Lattner and Troopers Robert Akers, Darwon Evans and Zach Lenderman. The Corrigan and Woodville volunteer fire departments and Polk County Sheriff's Department also responded to the scene.