News

Wed
25
Oct
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Fire claims lives of mother, 5 children

Tragedy hits community for third time in 3 months

By Dannie Oliveaux

For the third time is less than three months, tragedy has struck the Silsbee community.

A mother and her five children died in a house fire after midnight on Oct. 18.

According to Hardin County Sheriff Mark Davis, at 12:15 a.m. the Silsbee Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire located in the 8700 block of Fountain Drive, off Old Spruger Highway north of Silsbee. Firefighters discovered the bodies of one adult female and five children.

 

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Wed
25
Oct
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Pair of (Homecoming) Queens

Evadale and Lumberton High Schools celebrated homecoming on Oct. 20. EHS senior Jamie Jackson (left) and Katie Page (right) were crowned queen during the halftime ceremony at their respective schools. 

 

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Wed
25
Oct
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Evadale VFD promises ‘spooky thrills’ at annual Haunted House

By Tim Collins

EVADALE — Unwary visitors file into an unlit hallway, where a thick fog has settled. In the distance they can hear the creaking of plywood and the distant echoes of a baby crying.

One person stumbles in the dark and reaches her hand out, until her fingers rest on the shoulder of a friendly figure. But then she realizes the person in front of her is unfamiliar; too tall, too lanky to be the friend she walked into the maze with.

Then the figure’s arms raise high above its head to reveal a chainsaw and a mask made from human skin. Then the woman screams. And runs.

 

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Wed
18
Oct

Mother, five children die in house fire

A mother and her five children died in a house fire after midnight on Oct. 18.
According to Hardin County Sheriff Mark Davis, at 12:15 a.m. the Silsbee Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire located in the 8700 block of Fountain Drive, off Old Spruger Road north of Silsbee. Firefighters discovered the bodies of one adult and five children.
They were identified as Ashley Pickering, 31; Cristian Mattox, 11; Serenity Mattox, 7 (the only girl among the children); twins Cash and Cavence Mattox, 4, and Camden Mattox, 3. The twins would have celebrated their birthdays this week.
Investigators said Pickering and her children live in an unattached garage apartment behind her parent’s home which was not damaged.
The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the fire with the Texas State Fire Marshals to determine the cause. Davis reported that the preliminary investigation doesn’t indicate suspicious circumstances.

Wed
18
Oct
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Governor visits Hardin Co., meets with local officals

By Dannie Oliveaux

KOUNTZE — Gov. Greg Abbott met with several city, county and district officials about the recovery efforts from Tropical Storm Harvey at the Hardin County Courthouse on Oct. 11.

It was Abbott’s final day of a three-day tour to Southeast Texas that included Kountze, Orange, Vidor and Port Arthur.

“We want to see how the recovery efforts were progressing and making sure they have access to all the resources they need, and to offer assistance in any way,” Abbott said. “We are proud of how they (Hardin County) has responded, both as leaders and as well as the community. This is a great example of Texans helping Texans, which has accelerated the response.

 

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Wed
18
Oct
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AMC to sell Pines Theater

By Tim Collins

AMC Theatres corporate communications director Ryan Noonan confirmed last week AMC is looking to sell the Pines Theater in downtown Silsbee.

Noonan said AMC Theatres had decided to not re-open the historic theater because of “significant damage to the building and equipment” caused by Tropical Storm Harvey.

Silsbee resident Lisa Ricks-Bozyone said she hopes the theater reopens, and that her kids will miss riding to the theater on their golf cart to watch family movies.

 

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Wed
18
Oct
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KHS Homecoming Royalty

Lane Ramsey and Kennedy Flower (center) were crown as the 2017 Kountze High School homecoming king and queen during the pregame coronation on Oct. 13. Koby Cummings (left) was honored as Lord in Waiting and Amberly Stutts (right) was crowned as the Lady in Waiting.

 

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Wed
11
Oct
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Fake wreck staged for training

By Tim Collins

Silsbee Volunteer Fire Department firefighters and local EMT students trained in retrieving victims from a car wreck on Oct. 9.

The wreck was staged at Payne’s Wrecker Service, where an eighteen-wheeler was placed on top of three previously-crashed vehicles, including a pickup truck, a Buick Rendezvous and a Sable Mercury.

 

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Wed
11
Oct
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Suicide note tells different account of girl’s murder

By Dannie Oliveaux

JASPER — A suicide note left by a 19-year-old deceased male suspect in the murder of a Silsbee High School freshman cheerleader stated he was not responsible for the girl’s death.

Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman released to the media contents of a note left by Paul Audrey Adams of Vidor, who is the suspect in the Oct. 1 shooting death of 14-year-old Tristan Hope Dilley. 

Dilley was found shot in the upstairs bedroom of her mother’s home located on County Road 784 near Buna. The victim was found lying facedown on her bed by her 13-year-old brother about 7:45 p.m.

 

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Wed
11
Oct
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Ninth Court of Appeals ruled in favor of cheerleaders’ religious banners

By Tim Collins

The Texas Ninth Court of appeals ruled in favor of the Kountze cheerleaders who displayed religious quotes on football run-through banners, Sept. 29. The cheerleaders sued Kountze ISD on First Amendment grounds in 2012 after the school banned the use of religious quotes during football games.

“It was a sweeping decision,” David Starnes, the Beaumont attorney representing the cheerleaders, said.

 

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