This Week’s Front Page News

Spreading Goodwill: Store changes format, expands operations

Goodwill in Diboll is changing to better serve the needs of the community.

Over the next six months, the Diboll store will be renovated in phases to serve multiple purposes for local residents. The store, which is 5,000 square feet with an additional 4,000 square feet of warehouse space, will house a Goodwill career center along with retail operations to include an outlet store, E-commerce and an attended donation center/warehouse.

A portion of the facility will become a career training center as Goodwill works to provide more job skills training opportunities to better meet the employer needs of the Angelina County community.

Erica Cook, executive director of Goodwill Central East Texas, said Goodwill needs more space in order to provide for the increased demand for the job skills training and job opportunities Goodwill offers.

“The building will be redesigned to function as a training center in order to provide employment-related services to more individuals in Diboll and the surrounding area,” Cook said. “This will allow us to have a large space that is designed and set up specifically for this function with retail operations that provide continued opportunities for on-the-job training through the outlet store, E-Commerce and donation center.”

The programs will be staffed by 10 current employees, some of whom are from the Diboll area and with others transferring in from the current Lufkin location, Cook said. Positions include donation attendants, sales associates, and E-commerce staff, including the E-commerce manager, E-commerce sorters, shippers, and photographers.

“By mid-year, the career Center will open and will initially house one new Workforce Development specialist to be hired locally, and more staff will be added as demand for services and funding increase,” Cook said.

Goodwill’s outlet store, known to many as “As-Is,” is now from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and will sell all items for $1.49 per pound, excluding furniture, mattresses and picture frames.

In early 2015, the Diboll store also will become home to Goodwill’s E-commerce department. Goodwill has created an online sales program similar to eBay at This program has grown rapidly, and the Diboll location has the space to house those working in E-Commerce as well as the merchandise being put online for sale. The E-commerce department offers job-training skills in retail sales, customer service, logistics/warehousing, and computer skills for clients, including students at Diboll ISD.

The building’s attended donation center includes a large warehouse that will give Goodwill the space needed to hold its recycled goods and donations. More space will allow Goodwill to better prepare the donated goods for retail sale as well as bring in even more donations from the community.

“It is the sales of those donated goods at our stores that help fund the programs we provide at Goodwill,” Cook said. “We are very excited about the changes to come at our Diboll location and look forward to opening the Diboll Career Center in the coming months.”

For more information, check out the website at or “like” the Facebook page, Goodwill Industries Lufkin-Nacogdoches-Diboll for updates as progress is made.

That’s the ticket 

Three Diboll students were among the 34 Stubblefield Learning Center graduates who walked the stage Monday, Dec. 15, at Angelina College’s Temple Theater.

“The word ‘commencement’ means ‘the beginning’,” said commencement speaker Gary Stallard, marketing director and professor at Angelina College. “Today is not the end of what you set out to do; it’s just the beginning. Keep working on your education or training; take this brain you now know you have and do something with it. You’ll lead happier lives by working with something you love. Your diploma isn’t a piece of paper. It’s a ticket to wherever you want to go, to be whatever you want to be. You have a ticket in your hand. Use it.”

The December 2014 Stubblefield graduates include: Diboll High School — Jaci Kay Havard, April Yvonne Rast and Mark Anthony Reyna; Central High School — Joseph Austin Mathew Anthony, Kayla Reheanne Bradford, Ashlon Aileen Clark, Dustin Lane Johnson, Jasmine Briana Morales, Jazmine Nichole Wallace, Tabitha Amethyst Welsh, Kamron Rachel Wright and Kimberly Ann Wright; Hudson High School — Ty Blayton Allen, Brian Albert Davis, Jesse William Urias, Stephanie Valles and Lauren Madison York; Lufkin High School — Michael Allen Cartlidge, Sara Elizabeth Flores, Rodgianna Monique Fourney, Jennifer Guadalupe Garcia, Roshella Romona Hamilton, Aaron Deshawn Harris, Tyler Allen Hatt, Jabarion Mantrell Johnson, Caren Lopez, Benjamin Booker Phillips, Brian James Ploof, Selena Monique Reyes, Trevaunce LaVarron Taylor, Nakeiya Nicole Whitmore and Samuel Kenneth Wood; Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce — Adelita Cordero and Angela Michelle Richard.


Commencement Address

December 15, 2014

I want to let you in on a secret, and then I want to talk to you about disposable diapers.

First, the secret: We’re not supposed to be here. Not you, and certainly not me.

I’m not supposed to be here, working at Angelina College and giving a commencement speech to a group of graduates.

I grew up as a farmer/hillbilly in Tennessee. I actually tried to quit school before my senior year. I had trouble (my fault) and other circumstances. I had every reason to fail.

And yet here I am. I work here at Angelina College.

You’re not supposed to be here, either.

Something tripped you up before you finished high school. Maybe it was your life’s circumstances; maybe it was your own actions. Whatever the reason, you, too, had every excuse to fail.

Now about the diapers: We live in a world of disposable items. Disposable diapers we throw away because they’re full of…stuff. Disposable containers. Disposable everything. Once it’s of no use to us, we throw it away.

People, however, aren’t supposed to be disposable. We’re not supposed to throw people away because they’ve made mistakes or because they don’t fit into certain groups.

But we also live in a society that’s more than willing to throw people away – to give up on them. To sit back and watch them fail, or wait for them to end up in prison or in low-paying jobs. Sometimes a person can make one mistake, and they’re thrown away with the disposable diapers.

You and I are here because someone saw something in us worth saving. To them, we weren’t disposable. To them, we had potential (For a long time I thought the definition of “potential” was “What you could be if you’d quit screwing up.”) To those good people, we had a purpose. We just didn’t know or understand that at the time.

For me, it was a high school counselor – a friend of my mom’s – who found out I’d quit school. She made it her personal mission to get my booty back in class. Somehow, she saw something in me I didn’t.

I’m here today because of her.

For you, it’s the teachers, counselors, social workers, the director of Stubblefield, even some of your family members sitting here on your behalf today; those people saw some good in you. They weren’t willing to throw you away. They knew that with the right motivation, you would become a high school graduate.

You’re here today because of them.

Sometimes people – and I was one of them – just need to know someone believes in them. Someone sees them more as screw-ups or misfits; someone sees them as good people even if it seems nobody else thinks that way. Thank God they’re stubborn; they refused to give up on us when everyone else was ready to dump us in a trash pile somewhere.

We owe them. So how do we pay those people back?

You’ve started by being here today. By finishing high school and receiving this diploma. You need to remember: People love to say, “I told you so.” Your being here today allows those who believed in you to say, “I told you he or she could do it. I told you he or she was smart enough to graduate.”

Had you not done this, there would have been an entirely different group of people saying, “I told you so. I told you he or she would never accomplish anything.”

Two groups of people waiting to say, “I told you so.”

Which group do you want to prove right?

That leads into the final part of my speech: DON’T STOP HERE. Don’t let this be your last great accomplishment. This is just the beginning.

The word commencement means “The beginning.” Today is not the end of what you set out to do; it’s just the beginning. Keep working on your education or training; take this brain you now know you have and do something with it. You’ll lead happier lives by working with something you love. Your diploma isn’t a piece of paper. It’s a ticket to wherever you want to go, to be whatever you want to be. You have a ticket in your hand. Use it.

Another thing: Pay it forward. Someone made an effort to save you; as you get older, you’ll encounter young people who will remind you of yourself. Encourage them. Believe in them. Let them know they don’t have to be disposable.

Finally, you now know some of the most important words you can ever possibly learn: “Yes, I can.” There will be countless obstacles facing you the rest of your life, but from this point on, you should never mention the words “I can’t” again. You’ve already learned you can. It won’t always be easy, but neither was this.

You’re already far ahead of some of the young people who would have been your classmates today. They haven’t had to overcome the same struggles and obstacles you have; their lessons will come later, and they won’t always be successful.

But you? You’ve already learned that if you make up your mind to do so, you can accomplish anything.

If you’ll take that knowledge with you when you leave here today, you’ll no longer have to worry about being disposable.

Most important?

You’ll have the right people saying, “I told you so.”

Prove them right.

Thank you, and congratulations.

Gary Stallard is a professor at Angelina College. His duties also include marketing and sports information.

 School suspects teen of ‘Snapchatting’ video of another student

Diboll ISD’s Police Chief Jason Burrous arrested a Lufkin teenager Monday after the Diboll High School student allegedly uploaded a video via “Snapchat” of a 14-year-old using the restroom at the school.

The 17-year-old suspect is charged with “improper photography,” a state-jail felony after using the cellphone application to send video shot by holding his cellphone under the adjacent stall.

According to Gary Martel, Diboll ISD superintendent, several students brought the issue to the attention of Principal John Clements.

“The high school staff handled the incident, and the student was disciplined according to our code of conduct and school policy. We are proud that some of our students stood up for what was right and immediately notified a responsible adult leader in this issue,” Martel said. “Unfortunately sometimes students will make bad choices. This was one of those times and there are consequences for poor choices.”

If convicted, the suspect faces up to two years in state jail.

“We will continue teaching and communicating with our students about the consequences for poor choices — especially using personal devices and social media sites,” Martel said. “We encourage all of our parents and guardians to set good examples and also check their students’ personal devices while watching what they do on social media sites.

Freed By Christ 12-18-14

Glory to God in the Highest! The angels proclaimed. Creation exemplifies. The shepherds went. The wise men came.

God’s Bible says in Luke 2: 7, “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Please do not tell Jesus Christ that there is no room for Him in your heart and life. Unlike the inn that was full, you will be empty and miserable. Please let Christ fill your heart and life today.

– Bro. Kenny Hibbs,

First Baptist Church

Dateline Diboll 12-18-14

Tangled Threads

T.L.L. Temple Memorial Library in Diboll invites is organizing “Tangled Threads” for crafters of all ages. The program is from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month. All skill levels are welcomed. Please bring your own hooks, yarn, and supplies. “Tangled Threads” will on the second Tuesday of the month in the Community Room. For more information call Mary Howell at 936-829-5497.


Lose weight with TOPS – Taking Off Pounds Sensibly. Check out the local TOPS chapter at First United Methodist Church, 805 E. Denman Ave., Lufkin. Weigh-ins are at 8:30 a.m. Fridays and the meetings are at 9:05 a.m. Fridays. For more information, call Sylvia at 936-639-4017. First visit is free. Check out