Last updateWed, 22 Oct 2014 11am

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GILMER--Gilmer-based American Legion R.E. "Peppy" Blount Post No. 320, and the Area Agency on Aging of East Texas, will co-sponsor a "Medicare Open Enrollment Event" in Gilmer Nov. 11.

The event is set from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the building housing the Upshur County senior citizens program, the Legion, and the nutrition center (Meals on Wheels), 201 West Silver Alley.

Senior citizens are invited to "see what new benefits Medicare has to offer," the agency said. "Medicare plans may change their benefits and costs each year, so it is worth taking the time to review and compare Medicare prescription plans or Medicare Advantage."


Certified benefits counselors from the area agency on aging, also known as the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, will attend "to compare your current coverage with available options and assist you with enrollment," the agency said.


Call 903-218-6521 for an appointment.


GILMER--American Legion R.E. (Peppy) Blount Post No. 320 in Gilmer will hold one of its periodic public disposal ceremonies for worn and damaged American flags Saturday afternoon.

The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. beside the Upshur County Senior Citizens Center at 201 Silver Alley, one block south of the courthouse square.

The Gilmer High School Air Force Junior ROTC will furnish a Color Guard and personnel to assist with burning the flags in a barrel according to United States Code.

Flags to be disposed may be left at either Williams Furniture Company, Gilmer Drug, Baker's Cleaners or Huey Jones Automotive, all in Gilmer, or brought to the ceremony.

"Everyone is encouraged to come and learn about how to treat and respect our U.S. flag," said Jerry Holsworth, second vice-commander and past commander of the Gilmer Legion post. "Bring your chair with you."


For more information, call Holsworth at (903) 399-2818.


Sabine Valley Ducks Unlimited Announces Banquet Date

This year’s Sabine Valley Ducks Unlimited Banquet is scheduled for 6 p.m.,
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, at the Gladewater Former Students’ Building,
located on Hendricks St. at the north end of the rodeo grounds. Kent
Abernathy is the 2014 Sabine Valley area chairman

Advance tickets to the 2014 Gladewater DU banquet are available from any
Gladewater DU committee member and cost $45 for a single ticket, $60 for a
couple’s ticket and $25 for a youth under 17 years of age. Ticket prices
increase to $50 for a single and $70 for a couple at the door. Each ticket
includes admission to the event, the catered meal, and a year’s membership
in DU.

“We hate to increase the ticket prices at the event,” Abernathy said. “But
we really need for people to get their tickets in advance. It helps us
estimate our crowd size, and that tells us how much food to order.”

Abernathy anticipates having 20 different guns at this year’s event. Among
the feature guns at the Gladewater DU banquet are the 2014 DU
Gun-of-the-Year--a Benelli Montefeltro Silver semi-automatic shotgun in
12-gauge--and the 2014 DU Handgun-of-the-Year--a Beretta Model 92 FS 9-mm
semi-automatic pistol.

“Both the Benelli shotgun and the Beretta pistol are top-quality items,”
Abernathy said. “And, of course, they both feature custom Ducks Unlimited

Besides those two guns, Abernathy has ordered a special DU edition
Howa-Hogue .308 rifle, a DU Savage .17 HMR, and a DU TriStar Raptor
12-gauge shotgun.

A special item at this year’s event is a “Bayou Classic” propane fish
cooker, donated by Martin LP Gas, of Kilgore. The “Bayou Classic” is a
three-basket, eight-gallon fryer, capable of handling both large and small
amounts of fish.

The Gladewater DU banquet will include both live and silent auctions,
several games and expanded raffle opportunities including a tiered raffle

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s
largest wetland conservation organization. Its mission is to conserve,
restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s

“Right now, wetland conservation is critical. Each year, the United States
loses about 800,000 acres of native wetlands,” Abernathy said. “That’s
more than seven football fields per hour. All the science shows that more
habitat on the ground equals more ducks in the sky. DU is the single
greatest organization at putting habitat on the ground.”

Since its founding in 1937, DU has raised more than $2.5 billion, which
has contributed to the conservation of almost 13 million acres of wetland
habitat throughout the North American continent. These areas provide
habitat for ducks, geese, deer, elk, moose, bear and more than 900 other
documented wildlife species.

For more information about Ducks Unlimited, visit the organization’s Web
site at For information about DU activities in Texas, visit

For information about the Gladewater DU banquet, contact Kent Abernathy at
McKaig Chevrolet-Buick. For banquet tickets, contact Aaron Abernathy at
McKaig Chevrolet-Buick or at 903-738-1461. Tickets are also available from
Brent Abernathy at Shipp’s Marine or from any Sabine Valley DU committee



GILMER--The Upshur County Grand Jury returned 10 indictments Thursday, including two against a Gladewater man on charges of "criminal mischief committed because of bias or prejudice" and "deadly conduct committed because of bias or prejudice."

John Wayne Black, Jr., 53, remained in Upshur County Jail under $75,000 bond on each charge, said District Attorney Billy Byrd's office.

The deadly conduct indictment alleges Black shot into a Gladewater building, with recklessness as to whether it was occupied, primarily because of his bias or prejudice against the married couple who owned it, said Byrd.

The criminal mischief indictment charges Black drove his vehicle into the same people's Gladewater home for the same reason, causing more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 in damage, Byrd said. The husband and wife were in the kitchen when Black allegedly drove the vehicle into the living room, but nobody was injured, said the prosecutor.

Black is accused of committing the offenses Aug. 1, Byrd's office said.

Of the 10 indictments Thursday, three were sealed because no arrests had been made, Byrd reported. Defendants, charges, and bond information in the other open indictments were as follows, his office said:

--Phyllis Levone Jones, 42, of Gladewater, possession of controlled substance (cocaine) on June 14, $5,000

--Amanda Christine Pettit, 25, of Fort Worth, possession of controlled substance (methamphetamine) on Sept. 2, $5,000 bond

--Daniel Wayne Wooten, II, 38, of Gilmer, theft of property (of) less than $1,500 with two or more previous convictions on Aug. 27. He remained in county jail under $10,000 bond.

--Jason Dale Neal, 43, of Longview, driving while intoxicated; subsequent offense--habitual offender on Sept. 1, $10,000 bond

--Lester Shane Browning, 43, of Avinger, unauthorized use of vehicle on Aug. 2. He remained in county jail under $40,000 bond.

The sealed indictments included one apiece for possession of controlled substance (cocaine), forgery and burglary of habitation.




AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is informing Texans in need about federal programs such as the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that offer nutritious meals to children and adults. Approximately 13,000 adult and child care centers and home-based day cares in Texas are serving free or reduced-priced meals through the federally-funded CACFP.

These federal funds are available to help Texas families who find themselves in difficult times financially. Assistance programs should be utilized as a temporary bridge to a better economic situation — not as an endless highway. TDA is committed to helping these families with their immediate nutritional needs to assist them in becoming food independent in the future.

Meals provided through the CACFP are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). CACFP provides nutritious meals to children and adults enrolled in participating child care centers, day care homes and adult day care centers.

Households with children enrolled in a participating center or home who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits; receive Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC); or who are enrolled in Early Head Start, Head Start or Even Start Programs; or who receive Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits, automatically qualify for free meals.

Households with children enrolled in a center or home that does not receive any of the above assistance may qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on household income. See the chart below for income eligibility guidelines. 

Foster children placed with a caregiver by the state or courts are eligible for free and reduced-price meals. If you have foster children living with you and wish to apply for free or reduced-price meals for your foster child, contact your child care center or day care home for assistance.

Parents or guardians who become unemployed may apply for free or reduced-price meals on behalf of their children at any time during the period of unemployment. Adults who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits, Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income automatically qualify for free meals.

Adults who do not receive any of the above assistance may qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on household income. See the chart below for income eligibility guidelines. 

The information provided on the application will be treated confidentially and be used only for eligibility determinations and verification of information.

USDA prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You also may write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339, or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

To apply for free or reduced-price meals, you may request an application from your child care center, adult day care center or day care home provider. An application for free or reduced-price meals cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions. Only one application is required per household, and households may apply at any time.

If your application for free or reduced-price meals is denied, you have the right to request a fair hearing from your child care center, adult day care center or day care home. Verification of the accuracy of your application for free or reduced-price meals can occur at any time.

Child care centers, day care homes and adult day care centers participating in CACFP serve nutritious meals to all participants enrolled in their facilities. To locate a center or day care home participating in CACFP, call (877) TEX-MEAL. Participating locations also will display the official "Building for the Future" poster.

Income Eligibility Guidelines
Ingresos máximos para determinar

For Determining Free and Reduced-Price Benefits
la elegibilidad para el programa de nutrición

July 1, 2014- June 30, 2015
1 de julio de 2014- 30 de junio de 2015

Household Size

Total Income



Twice Per Month

Every Two Weeks


No. of Household Members



































































































For each additional family member, add













BY PHILLIP WILLIAMS/Special Correspondent

GLADEWATER--A 16-year-old Gladewater High School football player was killed and his brother was injured when their vehicle overturned near this city as they were en route to school Wednesday morning, said Upshur County Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Rhonda Welch.

Nikalas (Nik) Santos Reyes Wisinger was apparently killed instantly, while his brother, 18-year-old John Tristian Wisinger, was treated and released from Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview following the accident on Farm-to-Market Road 2685, said Judge Welch. She said she pronounced Nik Wisinger, a front-seat passenger in the vehicle, dead at the scene at 9:10 a.m.


John Tristian Wisinger was driving the southbound 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport when it ran off the right side of the roadway, he overcorrected, and the vehicle overturned several times near the intersection with Scarlet Oak Road, Judge Welch said. The crash occurred at 7:54 a.m., said Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Pam Edge.

Both youths were wearing seat belts, Mrs. Edge said. The accident occurred about two miles northwest of Gladewater, Judge Welch said.

The Department of Public Safety troopers who investigated the accident, Corporal Sandy Taylor and Trooper Billy Spears, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Nik Wisinger was a junior while his brother, who suffered only minor injuries, is a senior at Gladewater High School, said Gladewater ISD superintendent J.P. Richardson. Richardson said he believed Nik played linebacker, and that John Tristian does not play football.

Richardson said the Gladewater Bears will play the Kilgore Bulldogs in Kilgore Friday night as scheduled as the Wisingers' mother wished. Meantime, a memorial fund has been set up for the family at Austin Bank in Gladewater, he said.

Gladewater High School Principal Cathy Bedair said Nic Wisinger "was always just so full of life and always had a smile on his face and just had fun."

The youth was "very intelligent, and made friends with everybody," she added. "Everybody just loved him. Didn't meet a stranger. . .(He was) very respectful, very well-behaved. Just (a) great young man."

Asked about the atmosphere at the high school Wednesday afternoon, Richardson told the Tyler Morning Telegraph, "Well, it's quiet. It's kind of (a) somber day today...Our kids are handling it, grieving, leaning on each other."

Grief counselors and youth ministers were at the school Wednesday, and "we've slowed things down today," but "we still need to stay in routine," Richardson said. "We feel that's important."

He also said the school had to give students and staff "time to grieve," and that counselors would be available the next two days. "We've just been monitoring the kids very closely," Richardson added.

Ms. Bedair said Richardson had described the atmosphere at the high school "perfectly," and she added, "You just go into mama mode, and you just want to make sure the kids are okay. And every adult here was in mom and dad mode today."

Richardson said high school students and staff members were called about 9 a.m. into the school auditorium, where head football Coach John Berry emotionally announced his player's death. The news drew a gasp from the audience of nearly 600, who "had no idea what they were doing in the auditorium," the superintendent said.

"I thought it was best that they all heard it at once," Richardson said, although it is a "big blow when you hear something of that nature at one time." The students were told to be thinking about the Wisinger family, and a student-led prayer was said before the assembly dismissed, said Richardson.

Counselors from all the school district's campuses, youth ministers and youth pastors were waiting for the students, who were told to take their time and remain in the auditorium if they needed to, the superintendent said. As the pupils exited, there were two tables where they could write notes to the Wisinger family, he added.

"We have a plan in place (for) any time (something like) this happens," the superintendent explained.

Richardson said he was meeting with school principals shortly before 8 a.m. when he received a call from emergency services concerning the accident. He said he was told he and the high school principal needed to come to the scene, and that the caller told him "it wasn't good."

He and Ms. Bedair rushed to the accident site, arriving before the youths' mother, Richardson said. Ms. Bedair drove the mother to Good Shepherd, following the ambulance which was hauling John Tristian, and the principal was at the hospital when the death was announced to the student body, the superintendent said.

After the assembly, Berry met with the varsity and junior varsity football teams and told them "let's talk about it," according to Richardson. The coach also told the players to "lean on each other" and that "your peers are going to need you," Richardson said.

He also said he had visited the Wisinger family at their home and told the family the school district would help if it could.

Ms. Bedair said high school students would gather in the gymnasium from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. today for a ceremony honoring Wisinger before they launch 68 balloons at Bear Stadium in his honor since he wore number 68 in football.

During the ceremony, a student will sing, friends of Wisinger will speak, poetry will be read, and the lights will be dimmed so students can light up their cell phones in a candelight-type effect, she said.

Richardson meantime said Gladewater ISD had received many "positive" messages from other school districts, and it was good to know people "are praying for you." He asked the public "continue to pray for our students and the faculty."
















"He's jsut fun. He was always just so full of life and always had a smile on his facdeand just had fun...very smart young man, very intelligent, and made friends wtih everybody. Everybody just loved him. Didn't meet a stranger...He just enjoyed life and had fun...very respectful, very well-behaved. Just great young man."


"He has said everything just go into mama mode and you just want to make sure the kids are ok, and every adult here was in mom and dad mode today."


2:30 to 3:30 in gym tomorrow fora meori9al ceremon;y, featuring a student singing, his friends will speak, and poem read. Dim lights and cell phones will beon like a "candlelight" ceremony.. will walk out to field and release 68 balloons--his number.







"I received a call a little before 8 o'clock thils morning" while meeting wit hprincipals. It was emergency services iforming him he needed to come to scene and bring high school principal Cathy Bedair with him. "He had told me that it wasn't god on the phone. We rushed to the scene."

They got there before the mother arrived. Bedair drove the mother to Good Shep, following the ambulance. "We have a plan in place anytime this happens."  all kids called into high school auditorium about 9 a.m. and he had Coach Berry announce it. "We had all of our staff members in there...I thought it was best that they all heard it at once."    were told "be thinking about them."  all counselors even from lower campuses and youth ministers/pastors were on hand and kids were told take their time and stay in auditorium if need be. There were two tables for kids to write a note to the family as they exited. had student-led prayer before dismissing in the auditorium.

"When ti was announced, the kids had no idea what they were doing in the auditorium" nor did the staff. There was a "gasp"  "big blow when yuou hear something of that nature at one time."  almost 600 counting staff were in there. coach Berry was emotional and football player--JV and varsity met afterwards--and he told them "let's talk about it."  gotta "lean on each other."  "Your peers are gonna need you."

lot of "positive" messages from other districts. good to know people "are praying for you."


"We've just been monitoring the kids very closely."  he visited with family at home and told them school would help if it could. memorial fund being set up at Austin Bank in G'water. Probably some type of ceremony tomorrow afternoon before JV football game at high school. students are working on it.

he played linebacker.

brother does not play football.

"Continue to pray for our students and the faculty."

minor injuries. the mother wanted the ball game played.

cpl. sandy taylor and trooper billy spears

John Tristian Wisinger, 18, of gilmer.driver. non-incapcitating injury. nothing about good shep. both wearing seat belts.

nik, who was killed was the passenger in front seat. wearing seat belt.

7:54 a.m.









Principal Cathy :Bedair.


nic is a jr.   tristan is a sr.







Nik), 7-8-98, 16 yrs. old, little confused on the address.

gladewater high school f'ball player.

his brother, believed to be 18, was driving, treated and released from an unknown hospital.

no got brother's name. Tristan Wisinger.

1-vehicle accident. inter. of 2685 (Red Rock Road) and Scarlet Oak Road.

coming down 2685 headed south. en route to school at g'water.

jeep cherokee sport.

ran off the road to right, driver overcorreted, and overturned several times. dead boy was wearing seat belt. doesn't know if brother was.

happened about 8 a.m. dead boy was in front seat.

DPS Cpl. Sandy Taylor, Trooper Billy Spears.

she pronounced boy dead at scene at 9:10.

apparently killed instantly.

about 2 miles northwest of g'water.