Around East Texas 05/26/07

Graduation Night

The Nacogdoches High School graduation went on Friday night despite some concerns about a boycott of the ceremony. Some students and parents were upset Nacogdoches seniors who passed all their course work but did not pass the TAKS test were not allowed to take part. Police officers were ready just incase of a protest, but the ceremony did not have any disruptions. Hundreds of proud parents, family members and friends turned out to honor the class of 2007. Lufkin, Diboll, Central and Zavalla seniors all marched across the stage to pack audiences Friday night.

Graduation Coordinator Resigns

Her name is Julie Davis. She's an assistant principal at Nacogdoches High School. She's retiring this year. She has been helping to organize the graduations for 24 years. Davis handled her last graduation ceremony Friday night, but she is also excited about what still lies ahead.

Bio-energy Bill Dies

A bio-energy bill that economic leaders claim was needed to bring a bio-mass power plant to Nacogdoches county has died. The bill that Nacogdoches Power wanted because of its subsidies died when Senator Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay did not introduce it to the floor at the state capitol. The bill was strongly opposed by Temple Inland and the Texas Association of Manufacturing. For that Representative Wayne Christian says he is very bitter and disappointed.

Alleged Shooter Transferred

"Did you shoot those deputies?," asked a reporter. "Honestly, yes I did," replied Randall Mays, the man accused of fatally wounding two East Texas deputies. The accused murderer is out of the hospital and in jail. Mays made that statement Friday while being taken from Mother Frances hospital in Tyler to the Smith county jail. He had been hospitalized since a week ago Thursday after the shootout in Payne Springs that killed Henderson county deputies Tony Ogburn and Paul Habelt. Deputy Kevin Harris was also wounded in that shooting. At this time, Mays is only charged with one count of capital murder for Deputy Ogburn's death. There's no word on when additional charges will be filed. Randall Mays' bail is set at two million dollars.

Drunk Driver

An 18-year sentence has been given for a convicted East Texas drunk driver. 20-year old Brandon Berry pleaded guilty to intoxicated manslaughter for a crash last September. A teen riding with Berry was killed in that wreck. Berry must also pay a ten thousand dollar fine.

T-J-C National Champs

Tyler Junior College has plenty to celebrate. A perfect ending to a magical season. T-J-C routed Joliet college Friday night, 13 to 5, to take home the baseball program's first-ever national title. They went through strike outs and high water to get there, but they made it. For the first time in school history, the T-J-C Apaches are national champions. T-J-C finishes the season 42 and 11. John Groth was named coach of the year. Third baseman Brock Lemire was named tournament M-V-P. Teammates, Michael LaCourse, Jordan Rutenbar and Jose Moline made the all-tournament team.

S-F-A Eliminated

S-F-A baseball needed two wins Friday, but the most explosive in the conference came up empty. Texas State blanked the Jacks, 7 to nothing, Friday afternoon in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The Jacks were held to just three hits. With the loss, S-F-A is eliminated from the Southland Conference tournament. Jacks end the year with 31 wins. The championship game is one o'clock today (Saturday) between Sam Houston State and Texas State. Sam Houston would have to lose twice to the Bobcats. A second game, if needed, would be played 30 minutes after the first.