Reward Offered

Reward Offered

From the Panola County Sheriff's Department:

This is an updated missing person poster for Lauren Thompson. Her family has now posted a $5,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of Lauren Thompson. No new information has been obtained in the past few weeks. We continue to follow-up on this case.

American Legion Post 90 of Timpson along with Timpson ISD will present a Memorial Day Program at the Gazebo in downtown Timpson at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 27th.

Simple Faith with Jeff Shadowens will be in concert at Deberry Baptist Church on Saturday, June 1 at 6:00 p.m.

Registration forms are available at the Bulldawg Stop and the Carthage City Hall.

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame

The 2019 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees have been announced. They are:

Jeannie C. Riley
Claude Gray
Rodney Crowell

The Gatlin Brothers will be the special performers this year.

Shooting in DeBerry

Sheriff Kevin Lake shared information of a shooting in Panola County in an exclusive Panola Pride interview.

At approximately 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, the Panola County Sheriff’s Office received multiple 911 calls reporting a shooting during an argument and that the actor was still on the scene armed with what appeared to be a rifle.

While deputies were en route to the scene, the Sheriff’s Office received further information that the victim was going to be transported by private vehicle to the hospital. As the driver of that vehicle began to travel toward the hospital, they noticed an Inter-Community Firefighter vehicle on highway 79, about a mile from the scene so they flagged down the firefighter for assistance. The firefighter discovered that there were 2 shooting victims in that vehicle. They were able to relay that information to responding officers. Deputies and investigators that arrived on the scene where they made contact with the suspect and later placed him in custody for that shooting. While deputies secured the scene of the shooting, other investigators responded to and secured the scene on highway 79 where the firefighters were conducting lifesaving measures on the more seriously injured victim as well as helping the other shooting victim.

One of the victims appeared to have sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene by Panola County Justice of the Peace, Toni Hughes. The other victim had a single gunshot wound to his hand and he was transported by EMS.

The suspect, identified as Tramaine Butler, age 20 of DeBerry, Texas, was taken into custody and charged with murder. The deceased, Keileon Johnson, age 22 of Waskom, was transported to Dallas for autopsy. The Sheriff’s Department has been in contact with the criminal district attorney, Danny Buck Davidson’s office throughout the event and relaying the information of the case available.

Rusk County Accident

At approximately 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department, the Henderson Fire Department, and Henderson EMS were dispatched to a location off Rusk County Road 311 and 317. First reports indicated that some type of oilfield explosion had occurred.

Later reports indicated a crew was removing old pipe from the ground with heavy equipment. The pipe sheared and struck two workers. One was airlifted from the scene with head injuries. The second was transferred to a local hospital by ambulance with unknown injuries.

Sales Tax Revenue Totaled $2.8 Billion in April

Sales Tax Revenue Totaled $2.8 Billion in April

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar today said state sales tax revenue totaled $2.8 billion in April, 3 percent more than in April 2018.

“State sales tax revenue continued to grow, but at a modest pace compared to recent months,” Hegar said. “Increased sales tax collections were mostly from the construction and services sectors, while collections from retail trade saw a moderate decline.”

Total sales tax revenue for the three months ending in April 2019 was up 6.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Sales tax is the largest source of state funding for the state budget, accounting for 57 percent of all tax collections.

In April 2019, Texas collected the following revenue from other major taxes:

motor vehicle sales and rental taxes — $297 million, up 1.3 percent from April 2018;
motor fuel taxes — $322 million, down 0.2 percent from April 2018;
natural gas production taxes — $128.1 million, down 0.7 percent from April 2018; and
oil production taxes — $344.2 million, up 8.9 percent from April 2018.

Weekly Roadwork Report – TxDOT Atlanta District

Weekly Roadwork Report – TxDOT Atlanta District

For May 5-17, 2019

Bowie County

US 82 – From SH 8 to Spur 86 east of New Boston, resurfacing highway.

Camp County


Cass County

FM 3129 – From US 59 to SH 77, resurfacing highway.

SH 11 – From Morris County Line to FM 130, upgrading guard rails.

Harrison County

I-20 – Through Harrison County, repairing concrete pavement. Expect lane closures and delays at various locations

SH 43 – at I-20 overpass, conducting preventative maintenance work on overpass.

Loop 281– at I-20 overpass, conducting preventative maintenance work on overpass.

I-20 – at the Louisiana State Line, LaDOTD is conducting a bridge widening project just across the state line. Expect delays and watch for stopped traffic.

US 80 – At Tom Brown Road in Hallsville, adding left turn lane and upgrading signal.

FM 9 – From FM 2625 to Panola County Line, resurfacing highway.

FM 451 – From 0.6 mile east of FM 31 to FM 9, resurfacing highway.

Marion County

US 59 – From two miles north of SH 49 to Cass County Line, repairing concrete pavement.

Morris County

US 259 – From FM 250 to FM 557, upgrading guard rails, repairing pavement and resurfacing highway.

US 259 – From FM 557 to SH 155, rehabbing and resurfacing highway.

Panola County

SH 149 – At SH 315, constructing overpass and widening highway.

FM 699 – At FM 2517, reconstructing intersection.

US 59 – From FM 2792 to Harrison County Line, upgrading guard rails, repairing pavement and resurfacing highway.

Titus County

US 271 – At Ripley Creek and Ripley Creek Relief, replacing bridges.

Upshur County

US 271– From SH 155 South to FM 726, upgrading guard rails, repairing pavement and resurfacing highway.

Representative Paddie's Weekly Capitol Update

Representative Paddie's Weekly Capitol Update

This week the House passed SB 2, the Texas Taxpayer Transparency Act. If signed into law, taxpayers will be provided with information on who proposed to raise their property tax rates, the amount of which the taxes increased, and where and when they can go to ensure their voices are heard.

Every homeowner deserves the right to know why their property taxes increased, and this piece of legislation will ensure property owners have the tools they need to make informed decisions about their property taxes. SB 2 would require an election if a taxing unit proposes a tax increase of more than 3.5% and 2% for school districts. This gives taxpayers control over how much their tax rates increase. Should there be a meaningful reason, then local governments can make the case to their citizens.

The bill’s intent is to establish a more transparent and open process that is beneficial for everyone. The final passage of the Texas Taxpayer Transparency Act is contingent upon HB 3, “The Texas Plan” which addresses school finance reform and public education. The two bills are nearly impossible to separate, as property tax and school finance reform go hand in hand. In fact, while SB 2 limits the growth of property taxes and increases transparency, HB 3 will actually lower your property taxes by adding additional state funding for public education.

The highlights of SB 2 are:

• Lowers the rollback rate to 3.5% for most taxing units and 2% for school districts;
• Calculates how much one would owe under the proposed tax rates and discloses the "No New Revenue" tax rate for each taxing unit on an individual's tax notice (like a line-item receipt);
• Maintains the current rollback rate for special taxing units with unique situations like junior colleges, hospital districts, and those with an M&O tax rate of $0.025 or less;
• Further enhances tax notices by requiring local governments to include a chart comparing what the recipient paid in property taxes last year versus what they will pay this year;
• Gives taxpayers the option of filling out a short form - attached to their electronic tax notice - that will generate a message outlining the taxpayer's stance on their tax rate before automatically sending it to the appropriate taxing unit.

With the passage of SB 2, the House has now accomplished its top three priorities. The other two were a fiscally responsible budget and a substantial school finance plan. I'm proud to have voted for all three, which work together to provide meaningful tax reform and relief for Texans that desperately need it.

As the last few weeks of session are approaching, there are many deadlines that the House must meet in order for legislation to advance. If you have any questions about legislation that has already passed or which is still pending, please contact me at or one of my office numbers. My Capitol office number is (512) 463-0556 and my district office is (903) 935-1141. It is with your input that I am able to best represent you as we finish the 86th Legislative Session.