This Week’s Front Page News

Last chance to vote for ‘Best of …’

Today’s paper will be the last issue with the “Best of 75941″ entry form. This is the second year that the Diboll Business Association and The Diboll Free Press has sponsored this interesting event.

Look for the entry form in the Diboll Free Press, cut it out and fill in the blanks; it’s that simple! (You may stuff the ballot box by stopping by the Free Press office and purchasing old copies of the paper for 25 cents each!)

The deadline to submit is Feb. 2. Mail to or drop by your entry form to The Diboll Free Press, 101 Weber, Diboll. Remember, it’s all about folks in Diboll. The winners will be recognized at a reception on Thursday, Feb. 12, at the TLL Temple Memorial Library, the best library in town!

Some of the categories include Best … teacher(s); pastor; day care worker; city employee; elected official; waitperson; teller; hair stylist; insurance agent; store clerk; food(s); and others.

Remember also to patronize our local businesses. Members of the Diboll Business Association pay dues and work hard to encourage you to shop locally.

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Last week I was out driving during one cold very rainy day when to my surprise the wind shield wiper on the passenger side of my car suddenly detached itself from the blade and disappeared. After the shock and realizing how thankful I was that it was not on the driver’s side, I decided to drive straight to Diboll Motors and get Mike Shivers to help me. Arriving at his shop I realized my inspection sticker would expire the last day of the month. While Mike took care of my car I went inside and visited with his wife Rhonda, daughter and son-in-law, Kim and David Mettlen. Rhonda has a new business in their home in Burke, Southern Pines Boutique, which she promotes on Facebook. She has very fashionable outfits for sale in her home and on FB. Her shop is open to the public on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rhonda and Kim were explaining to me the benefit and simplicity of marketing using FB when Mike came in and said my car was ready. It all happened so quickly while getting a FB tutorial. Diboll Motors is a member of the Diboll Business Association so please remember them and shop locally. Oh yes, don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE Southern Pines Boutique on Face Book and while you are on FB, please do the same for Pouland Real Estate.

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I twisted Trey Wilkerson’s arm for the following information about their 10th wedding anniversary. Trey and Michele Wilkerson returned this week from celebrating their 10th anniversary with a cruise on the Carnival Triumph. This was their first cruise, and so the whole experience was new to them. Trey especially enjoyed the fact that he could eat as much as he wanted, and he set out to make sure he got his money back just in food. The five-day cruise from Galveston called on the ports of Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. While in Cozumel, the Wilkersons visited a Mayan Living History exhibit, and also took a tour that showed how tequila is made. In Progreso, they visited the Dzibilchaltun Mayan ruins, and dipped their feet in the sinkhole that the Mayan nobility used for rituals. At both ports, Trey and Michele enjoyed shopping and visiting with the local people. They brought back nearly a full suitcase loaded with souvenirs for their children, Annabeth and Ryan. And, of course, Trey found some local food to try, including seasoned chicken wrapped in banana leaves and baked, then served with corn tortillas. On the ship, they were impressed with the elaborate shows performed every night. Being the musician that he is, Trey was especially impressed by the quality of the musicians that played to accompany the musical productions. All in all, it was a great anniversary trip.

Trey is president of the Diboll ISD Board of Trustees and it was by chance that the Diboll Dazzlers Drill team was on this same cruise to perform. Trey and Michele rearranged their dinner time one night to take in the Dazzlers’ performance. Despite the ship going through some rough waters, the girls did a great job and really represented Diboll well.

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Fran McGilvra’s two sons came in to be with her during a recent procedure on her back. Neil, from Claremont, Calif., and Chris, from Phoenix, Arizona. They stayed with her during the recovery. At home, Chris did most of the cooking and Neil entertained them with his sense of humor (check him out on Facebook). Since they grew up in Diboll, they always enjoy coming back home. Both graduated from DHS and were involved in sports. Chris was a golfer and Neil was a basketball player for his dad, John McGilvra, deceased. Fran has recovered really well and is back at the Round Table here at Pouland’s as a regular coffee drinker.

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Valentine’s Day conveniently falls on a Saturday this year, making it convenient for you guys to treat your valentine to a special banquet Feb. 14, sponsored by DHS Project Graduation. You are invited to join in an evening of “Dining Delight by Candlelight.” Each table will be set and themed “One of a kind,” Come ready to be dazzled and enjoy an evening of great food and entertainment. Dine in or carry-out, $25 for one or $40 for a couple. Your choice of rib-eye or chicken breast and go home with a tantalizing dessert from the dessert Auction at 8 p.m. The banquet will be held in the fellowship building of Diboll First Baptist church, located at 208 Devereaux. The time is 6:30 p.m. To make reservations, contact Lacy Chandler at 936-676-3236 or Andrea Swor at 936-829-4040.

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The following Saturday, Feb. 21, is another fun event to be held at the Lottie and Arthur Temple Civic Center. Beginning at 6 p.m. will be the fourth annual Black Tie Bingo benefitting the Boys and Girls Club of Diboll. “Heart to Heart Vegas Style” is the theme with an evening filled with good food, live and silent auctions, games and of course, bingo. For more information call the Boys & Girls Club office at 936-560-6844 or locally, Patsy Colbert at 936-829-3543. “Black Tie” describes the upscale event not a requirement to attend. Just learned there will be a $20 discount on individual tickets that are sold before Feb. 5. Make that telephone call and save $20. It’ll be a fun evening.

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Stay warm and dry and come see us when you can … at the roundtable.

Sandra Pouland of Pouland’s Real Estate writes The Round Table column each week. Email her at

It’s academic

Diboll High School students are preparing for a new season of academic competition as administrators place a fresh emphasis on this area of extracurricular activity. Practice during the school day is being held twice a week, and sponsors plan to take competitors to practice meets at other schools as well as host some meets here.

Principal John Clements has modified the class schedule two days each week to allow preparation and practice time for those who want to participate in University Interscholastic League (UIL) contests. Approximately 130 students are taking advantage of the opportunity.

“We left it open for some time to allow as many as possible to be involved,” said Clements. “They haven’t commented much to me about it, but I walked through during UIL time a few days ago, and they are practicing.”

Kalin Roberts is the UIL coordinator this year. She teaches English II and Theatre and has assisted with UIL in the past. She also directs the One Act Play for competition.

“Teachers have been very appreciative of having time during the school day to work with the students,” Clements said. “This way there are fewer conflicts with other extracurricular activities or with students’ jobs and other after-school commitments.”

DHS students will get their first taste of competition when they participate in a practice meet at Mt. Pleasant this weekend. About 75 of them are planning to make the trip.

In addition, all the schools in the area have been invited to practice meets in Diboll on Feb. 21 and Feb. 28. The first one will offer several math, science and computer events, while the second will focus on speaking events. Community volunteers will be needed as facilitators and judges both days, but especially for Informative and Persuasive Speaking and Prose and Poetry Interpretation. Contact the high school if you would like to help in any way.

“This is all part of the process to increase pride in DHS,” explained Clements. “We have bright students who can stand with the best. We want to do more than just talk. We want our actions to show the world what we can do.”

He also added that research has shown that students who are involved in activities do better in school. When an academic component such as UIL contest is added, test and college entrance scores go up, and many times scholarships result.

“And sometimes we can get people that just don’t care about athletics or band, but they don’t mind doing an academic test or a writing or speaking event,” Clements concluded.

District Spring Meet Contest will be held at Angelina College on March 27, with winners advancing to regional competition at the end of April. All participants will be recognized at the Renaissance Academic Banquet on May 11.

Booster Club allocates funds, realigns board

The Diboll Booster Club met recently to allocate Diboll Day 2014 funds and realign the board for the next two years.

The new officers for the next two years are the following: Trey Denman, president; Sarah Thompson, vice president; Katherina Crager, treasurer; and Sharon Brown, secretary.

The board also welcomes new members Thompson, Crager and Trey Wilkerson.

Diboll Day two-year allocations awarded thus far include the following:

City of Diboll – Park Maintenance & Civic Center 29,000

TLL Temple Memorial Library 12,500

The History Center 5,000

Diboll Cares – Drug Free Program 2,500

Renaissance Program 1,000

KST Child Care Center 36,000

Diboll Youth Basketball 3,500

Getting around Diboll

Even though the weather was cold and rainy, a large crowd turned out for the Open House at the Civic Center last Thursday to get information and express opinions about the US 59 Diboll Relief Route proposed by the Texas Department of Transportation as part of the Interstate 69 project.

Maps showing the proposed route for the highway were spread out on long tables, and posters containing data and information were set up around the room on easels for residents to examine at their leisure. Representatives from TxDOT and project consultants were also on hand to explain the material and answer questions one-on-one.

According to Kelly Morris, TxDOT project manager, the Diboll Relief Route was identified as the No. 1 priority by the citizen-driven Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties Committee working on the I-69 project. Plans are for the interstate to use as much of existing US 59 as possible. The new highway would leave US 59 south of the Diboll city limits, go around town on the east side, and rejoin US 59 just south of the airport in Burke.

Morris said that access to town from the interstate would be at the north and south junctions and by feeder roads and an underpass where it crosses FM 1818 (Dennis Street). She said exits would also be constructed at the Lumberjack Drive crossing, but that street would have to be extended at least a short distance from where it currently ends at the H.G. Temple schools.

When questioned about why the bypass was not proposed to continue north to reconnect somewhere on Lufkin’s east loop, Morris said it was a matter of money.

“This part of the project will cost $125 million,” she explained. “To build a new highway for that six- to eight-mile stretch would be another $100 million. That proposal is on the table for the future, but Diboll is the current focus.”

One of the poster displays noted that a relief route is needed because accident rates along US 59 in Diboll exceed the statewide average; traffic congestion and delays result from heavy truck traffic; there is decreased mobility due to signalized intersections; and US 59 is designated for contra flow traffic during emergencies such as hurricane evacuations.

Most of the residents who attended the Open House seemed to be primarily concerned with how the proposed route would affect their or their family’s property.

“It looks like it will only impact some of my rent property,” said Benny Ford. “But that’s my livelihood, so I want to know how to plan for the future. I do think the relief route is needed to address traffic congestion.”

Connie Moreno said, “I’m afraid it will encourage more crime such as drug trafficking. If it comes too close to me, they’ll just have to buy me out, and I’ll move.”

Raymond Lenderman determined that the highway will not affect his land, but he would rather just have a loop around Diboll or overpasses in town.

“I’m afraid it’s going to hurt our town,” Charlotte Parrish said. “I think the truck stops will close, and we will have fewer vehicles coming through town and stopping at our businesses.”

Mayor John McClain said that it’s hard to tell whether it will be good or bad for Diboll.

“I know that some businesses would be affected,” he said. “But it might be good because the town could expand in that direction. The city would annex the property on both sides of the highway, and there are some businesses that will build on an interstate that won’t build in other locations.”

The most common comment seemed to be similar to: “It won’t happen in my lifetime.” TxDOT officials acknowledge that the project has been in the works for a long time, interstate designation is an involved process, and money has not yet been allocated for construction.

Freed By Christ 1-29-15

The first month of the year is coming to an end. How have you spent this first month?

God has blessed you already in many different ways. God’s Bible says in James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

Jesus Christ wants you to have everything you need for this life and eternity. He is the only One who can give you all that you need. Jesus has so many good things for you. Please start by accepting His gift of salvation today.

– Bro. Kenny Hibbs,

First Baptist Church