Year in Review: 2017

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Silsbee, county weather tragedy into new year

By Tim Collins


Throughout 2017, a series of tragedies rocked the Silsbee community and Southeast Texas.

The string of tragedies began in May, when Kirbyville principal Dennis Reeves took his life on May 23. Less than three months later, Silsbee Volunteer Fire Chief Jay Hinkie was struck and killed by a vehicle while working the scene of a wreck on Aug. 2.

"The loss of Jay Hinkie was felt in every heart," Silsbee councilwoman Adalaide Balaban said. "He was a man who answered every call. He went to the fires, but he also went to the schools to teach fire safety to our children. He spoke at every business and community organization that requested his presence. He was a leader, a teacher and a friend. Our community grieved together."


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