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Laken Read is 2015 Tyler County Dogwood Festival Queen

2015 Dogwood Queen Laken Read

Laken Read of Chester was crowned 2015 Tyler County Dogwood Festival Queen during a cermony at the Queen's Pageant Saturday, April 4. She was escorted by Keaton Whitworth. 2015 Mr. East Texas David Waxman crowned the Queen.

Drunk driver discovers how fast his Dodge Challenger can take him to jail

by Emily Waldrep

On March 25 a corporal with the Tyler County Sheriff's Department was patrolling northbound on Highway 69 near Doucette when he saw a vehicle traveling southbound at 130 miles per hour after a check with a radar. According to Chief Deputy Phil Ryan, the corporal turned around and followed the vehicle down County Road 3100 in Doucette.

After the vehicle was pulled over, the driver was identified as Dorvis Rigsby, age 36 of Woodville. Rigsby was unable to provide a driver's license or insurance. According to Ryan, the corporal noticed the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on Rigsby's breath and asked him to step out of the vehicle. When Rigsby exited the vehicle, he was very shaky and the corporal asked him how much he had to drink, to which he replied that he had consumed "more than the average." Later in the interview, Rigsby admitted he had "much more than average" and that he was trying to get his 2013 Dodge Challenger up to its top speed of 140 miles per hour, Ryan said.

When the corporal searched the vehicle he found a Bud Ice beer in the passenger floorboard that was still cold and contained a small amount of liquid.

Texas DPS Trooper Amber arrived to assist with the DWI investigation.

Rigsby was taken to jail on charges of Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More.

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.

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.

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.