updated 4:54 PM UTC, Aug 12, 2020



Courthouse remediation deadline extended

TCHC Award 081320CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB Mary Nell Rainey and Debbie Walker of the Tyler County Historical Commission are pictured with Judge Jacques Blanchette. Rainey and Walker accepted a Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Historical Commission, which Blanchette presented during Monday’s meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners Court.

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – Tyler County Commissioners voted Monday to accept an offer from the Texas Historical Commission to extend the deadline for the remediation requirements on the courthouse project.

The agreement was signed between the county and THC last year in order to resolve a dispute concerning several modifications made to the courthouse by the county between the years 2015 and 2018 during the ongoing restoration project.

The original agreement provided a 24-month timeframe, or by March 31, 2021, for the county to fulfill several measures required by THC, at the county’s expense. The new deadline for the requirements is Dec. 1, 2021.

County Judge Jacques Blanchette said the offer from THC was due to the ongoing pandemic response and setbacks due to it.

In another agenda item pertaining to the ongoing courthouse project, Blanchette had originally expressed the desire to resign from the steering committee. “I think the committee has done an amazing job in keeping up with all of the responsibilities,” he said, but added that he felt a need to step away if the work did not continue to progress.

Ultimately, Blanchette withdrew his intention to resign from the committee at Monday morning’s meeting of the Commissioners Court.

County Historical Commission receives award
Members of the Tyler County Historical Commission were on hand to receive an award from the state Historical Commission. The group received the Distinguished Service Award for work done in 2019.

The county Commission’s Mary Nell Rainey spoke about the work the group is doing and spoke of the thoroughness of chairman Bob Morris.
According to the THC’s website, the county historical commissions which have received the award “document well-rounded programs that preserve and promote Texas history.”

Update on county annex
Precinct 4 Commissioner Buck Hudson gave an update on the Tyler County Annex building during Monday’s meeting. The building’s interior sustained water damage last August due to a water heater bursting and flooding the building.

Hudson said the electrical and plumbing work has been mostly completed, and there is sheetrocking and painting work to commence soon. “Hopefully by next several weeks” the building will be ready, Hudson said. He added that since the work has begun it is moving along quite well.

Since the flood, the tax assessor/collector’s office; the Department of Public Safety Driver’s License office and State Representative James White’s office have been temporarily located on North Charlton Street in the same suite of offices that houses the adult probation office.

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TCSO, Crime Stoppers seeking fugitive

MUGSHOT_-_Andrus.jpgMUGSHOT: Kaci Andrus

TYLER COUNTY – The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a Tyler County woman who is wanted on several charges, and Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for anyone who can help TCSO locate her.

Kaci Leane Andrus, a 36-year-old Colmesneil resident is wanted on five warrants for charges ranging from burglary of a building to tampering with physical evidence. According to a news release from Crime Stoppers, investigators believe that she frequents flea markets in the region as a seller – from Angelina to Mongomery counties and from Tyler to Jefferson counties.

She was most recently arrested in Tyler County in January, when she was booked into the jail for burglary of a building and criminal trespass charges.
Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward to any anonymous tipster who can help law enforcement locate Andrus. According to the Crime Stoppers website, anyone who sees a suspect should never attempt to apprehend them. “[D]oing so may be dangerous and Crime Stoppers will not pay a reward to anyone involved in such action,” the website states.

If anyone knows the current and exact location of Andrus, they can visit 639TIPS.com to submit a tip or download the Crime Stoppers app. Tipsters can also call 936-639-TIPS. All tips and call to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.


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County GOP chair and educator Paddie dies

Mike Paddie 081320File photo - Mike Paddie

By Chris Edwards
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Michael M. Paddie, the long-serving chairman of the Tyler County Republican Party, died Thursday afternoon at the age of 62.

Paddie died at Woodland Heights Hospital in Lufkin. His death was reported to the county’s emergency management office as being COVID-19 related. Information relating to underlying causes for his death was unavailable at press time, but Tyler County Emergency Management Coordinator Ken Jobe said that the virus impacts individuals more with other health conditions.

“The science has shown that people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, cardiac conditions and COPD can have a lot better chance of having a negative outcome,” said Jobe. Paddie, a Warren resident, was recently at a Trump campaign event hosted by the county GOP in Woodville, where the speaker, a worker with the state Republican Party, tested positive for the virus.

A representative from the party said that those who were in attendance were notified confidentially as soon as possible so they could get tested for the virus.

He was known to many for his work within politics and as a tireless volunteer for various causes, but Paddie was an educator first and foremost, and served Warren ISD for more than 40 years.

Pull Quote SpiveyPaddie worked in many areas throughout the district through the years, as a teacher and coach, and most recently in the district’s administrative ranks as assistant superintendent. He was also a familiar figure at Warrior football games, as the announcer. Paddie was known affectionately to many Warren ISD alumni and faculty and staff as “Coach,” and several who commented on social media posts about his passing referred to him as “the voice of the Warren Warriors.”

A statement from the district made on Friday asked the public for time to grieve and heal as it mourns Paddie. “[M]ost of all, we as that you send strength and wisdom our way,” Jacob Spivey, a Warren alumnus and close friend of Paddie’s, said that although he preferred that people call him Mike, it was a hard habit to break of not referring to him as “Coach” or “Mr. Paddie.”

“I had so much respect for him,” said Spivey. “There are few men that I admire as much as Mike Paddie, a teacher, a mentor, a father figure at times and a dear, dear friend of mine.”

Many tributes to Paddie on social media came from former students who made note of his dedication to education and of how much he cared for his students. “He wanted every child to be successful in anything they did, whether it were college, trade school, refinery, or just a stay at home mom. He cheered all of those students on the same,” stated one post on the Warren Warriors Baseball Facebook page. Another Facebook tribute stated that “Mike Paddie IS Warren ISD.”

Several friends, colleagues and former students noted his kindness, generosity and good humor, as highlights of knowing him, and his genuine, caring nature toward all students who walked the halls of Warren ISD.

In 2012, the press box at Warren’s football field was named in his honor, and more recently, the baseball and softball field was named for him. The school district also has a scholarship named in Paddie’s honor and hosts the annual Mike Paddie Scholarship Rag Ball Tournament to raise money for the scholarship.

Paddie also served with the Woodville Rotary Club, where he was a Director-at-Large. For his unfinished term with the county Republican Party, a source said that an official announcement will be made more than a week in advance on the party’s Facebook page as to how it will proceed with finding someone to finish his term.

A representative from Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home in Woodville, who are handling his arrangements, said that in accordance with his wishes, there will be no memorial service held.

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Abbott plans to visit East Texas

Networking 071620PHOTO BY MICHAEL G. MANESS Former Mayor Jimmie Cooley networked with JEDCO Director Eddie Hopkins, U.S. Representative Dr. Brian Babin, NAPC President Lonnie Grissom, TCIC President Gil Tubb, and Texas Rep. Dr. James White at the Magnolia Bar and Grill in Woodville on July 6 to help schedule a visit to East Texas by Governor Greg Abbott. Pictured (L-R) are Grissom, White, Cooley, Babin, Tubb, and Hopkins.

By Michael G. Maness

WOODVILLE – Governor Greg Abbott is planning on coming to East Texas soon.

Former Woodville Mayor Jimmie Cooley and Texas Rep. James White were visiting Abbott at his mansion in Austin, and Abbott expressed to Cooley an interest in coming to East Texas. Cooley said she would have to “check with her boys.”

Abbott deferred to his scheduler who set a date with Cooley and White, then Covid-19 surged again, and that forced a rescheduling.

Cooley networked with Eddie Hopkins, executive director of the Jasper Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO), who hosted a meeting at the Magnolia Bar and Grill in Woodville on July 6 with U.S. Representative Dr. Brian Babin (R-Woodville); Lonnie Grissom of the North American Procurement Company; Gil Tubb of the Tyler County Industrial Corporation; White and Cooley.

They discussed options and will be working on a date with Abbott’s office to come to Jasper in the near future. Hopkins said, “We need more partnership with each other for the betterment and growth of East Texas.”

Babin said, “Great to think regional. We need to meet together more often.”

The meeting of economic shakers in East Texas also discussed the new sawmill coming to Jasper County, timber and logging in the area, the redistricting of Texas, the I-14 highway that will go through Woodville and Jasper, Mobile Oil Credit Union in Woodville, and much more.

They also discussed the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe U.S. H.B. 759, and the need to get U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to support that bill. It will, if passed, clarify gaming laws and allow the tribe to continue to operate its gaming facility, Naskila Gaming.

Pappys 6x3 Grad20

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