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Turkey Trot draws large crowd on Thanksgiving morning

BEAUMONT - Some people exercise to burn off calories from all the turkey they'll eat today, but a large crowd in Beaumont had a different idea-burn calories early by taking part in the annual Turkey Trot.

(Picture of Roy West and group of children)

The 10K run and the 5K run/walk began at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day at the Event Centre in downtown Beaumont. The Kid's K Fun Run began at 9:30 a.m.

Chip timing will be used for the 5K and 10K.

The 2014 Triangle Therapeutics Turkey Trot is sponsored by a number of companies and the City of Beaumont.


Prominent East Texas businessman Walter Kyles, Sr. dies

JASPER - By Steve W Stewart/KJAS and Rayburn Broadcasting Company

Jasper has lost longtime businessman Walter Kyles, Sr. The man who has been called "One of the finest East Texas logging contractors", died from natural causes on Monday in his Jasper home at the age of 87.

Kyles was a native of the Jamestown Community in Newton County, and later moved to Jasper. For 66 years, since he was just a teenager, he owned and operated Kyles Logging and was a major contractor in the lucrative Deep East Texas timber business, which is the third largest agricultural industry in Texas behind cattle and cotton.

Kyles was known to look much younger than his actual age, and even into his 80’s he was devilishly handsome.

One of fourteen children, Kyles was still just a kid when he started earning money - the hard way - with a crosscut saw. After school every day, he and his brother would cut the timber, and on Saturdays they would use horses to haul the product to mill.

Business was in his blood and in 1948, at the age of 19, he bought his first log truck financed by a railroad employee. His payments on the loan were 40 cents per cord of wood hauled, which is the equivalent of $3.98 in today’s dollars.

He paid the truck off in only six months, and less than a year later he bought his second truck. Six years later he owned four trucks, and by 1964 he had a fleet of 24 trucks.

Those were the good years in East Texas, when timber was king.

Kyles was recognized for his expertise in the timber industry when interviewed him for an article entitled "Working Texas", in which Kyles talked about changes in the way timber is harvested in modern times, which is very different than when he started more than a half-century ago. The article quoted Kyles as saying "Nowadays, we have equipment so that the guys do not have to cut trees down by hand anymore. We have what we call a ‘shearer,’ this shearer will go out and cut the tree and carry this particular tree and lay it down where the shearer’s driver/operator wants it. Then we have skidder drivers, they come by and pick this tree up and they do not have to get off their skidder, they just bring that tree to the landing, and they don’t even have to get off."

Kyles and his employees were also featured in a 1993 article in the Temple-Inland company paper "InTouch". Kyles was quoted as saying "I take pride in this business, and this business provides so much to so many people".

In January of 2007, he was honored by Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church during their Annual Men’s Breakfast, which draws hundreds of attendees each year from across the region.

Later, in 2009, Kyles was nominated to receive one of the very first Pillars of the Community Awards, which was created that year and is now an annual event which honors current and past black residents of the Jasper area who show leadership. Pillars of the Community Director Wretha Rawls-Thomas said on Wednesday that Kyles was, unfortunately, not able to attend that first banquet because he was ill at the time.

Wretha said she has very fond memories of Walter Kyles. She said "My daddy, George Rawls, and Mr. Kyles were very good friends, in fact when we were little kids we always went to his house to play". Wretha went on to say "He was a man of few words, but he always had a beautiful and welcoming smile".

Walter Kyles, Sr. is survived by a son, Walter Kyles, Jr., of Beaumont, and two daughters, Yvonne Kyle Calvit and Martha Conley, both of Houston, along with a grandson, Felix L. Kyle-Ford, of Richmond.

A memorial service will be Friday evening and the funeral service will be Saturday afternoon at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.

Chase leads to arrest of teen suspect accused of burglarizing cycle shop

BEAUMONT - From Beaumont Police Department

One juvenile is in custody and officers are searching for at least one other suspect in an overnight burglary attempt.

At about 2:29 a.m., a Patrol Officer responded to a burglar alarm at Leon’s Cycle Shop located in the 4800 block of S. Martin Luther King Blvd. As he arrived, he saw two people inside the closed business. The two men fled the scene and the officer pursued. After a lengthy foot pursuit, the officer located one suspect hiding in the backyard of a house. The apprehended suspect is a 15-year-old Beaumont resident.

After apprehending the suspect, officers checked the business and found that a perimeter fence had been cut and the front doors had been pried open. Evidence found in the business and on the perimeter indicated that the two suspects were in the process of burglarizing the business when they were interrupted by the responding officer.

Officers transported the juvenile suspect to the Minnie Rogers Juvenile Justice Center. Officers have not been able to locate the second suspect. The only description available of the second suspect is that he was a black male.

Lamar University is going to the dogs during finals week

Certified therapy dogs with the local organization Paws 4 Love and rescue dogs from the Humane Society of Southeast Texas will be on campus at the Mary and John Gray Library during the week of finals, December 4-10.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes can be seen, held and snuggled by all students. Therapy dogs will be in a roped area inside the library on the first floor on December 2 from 6-8 p.m.; December 3 and 4 from 4-8 p.m.; and December 5 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Humane Society rescue dogs will be outside the library under the shade tree on December 4, 8, 9 and 10 from 8-10 a.m. and 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Many students had to leave a beloved pet at home when they entered college and may be a little homesick to pet and hold a dog again.

“Our goal is to help students de-stress during finals and bring a smile to their faces,” said Sara Gubala, a member of Paws 4 Love and LU political science instructor. “Research shows petting a dog lowers your blood pressure, provides stress relief, and improves your mood, which is something most students need during finals week.”

Paws 4 Love is a non-profit local chapter of the national organization Intermountain Therapy Animals that strives to bring animal-assisted therapy to schools, nursing homes, hospitals and other locations across the Golden Triangle.

“My favorite part is seeing the excited look on students’ faces when they walk into the library,” Gubala said. “This is the fourth semester that the therapy dogs have come, and I encourage students to come out and have some fun during finals. Even if you’re scared of dogs, these dogs have been trained and they just want to be loved on.”

The Humane Society of Southeast Texas is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of animals and the promotion of animal welfare throughout Southeast Texas.

The Humane Society operates solely on donations and volunteer work and welcomes support from the community. The Humane Society can be contacted at (409) 833-0504 or (409) 722-0605.

For more information, contact Sara Gubala at or Karen Nichols at

Seahawks Dance Team steps out at soccer game

Lamar State College-Port Arthur’s dance and cheer squad, the Seahawks Dance Team, will perform Saturday, December 6, at the Oxford City FC indoor soccer game at Ford Park Arena in Beaumont.

Game time against the Brownsville Barracudas is 7 p.m.

“Performing at Ford Park will be a great way for the dancers to gain exposure throughout the community,” Brooke Ancelet, Seahawks Dance Director, said. “Not only will it help the girls gain experience, but they will be introduced to an entire new set of fans who may not have known otherwise that Lamar State-Port Arthur has a dance team.”

Team members for the Fall 2014 season are Ashleigh Burleigh, Ashley Gallentine, Darnisha Wells, Jessica Buckner and captain Jacqueline Robinson. The Dance Team performs on campus at LSC-PA basketball games, spirit rallies, orientations and other special events.

Tryouts for Spring 2015 were held this past week.

“We are still trying to grow the dance program at Lamar State,” Ancelet said, “so we are thankful for the opportunity to showcase our talent to the public.”

Oxford City FC is a soccer club founded in 1882 in England, with more than 40 teams of all ages and skill levels competing in outdoor and indoor leagues in Europe and North America. This is its first year to field a team in the United States.

The Beaumont team is a member of the Major Arena Soccer League, competing against teams from Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico, among others.

According to the team’s website, additional entertainment at Saturday’s game will be provided by No Remorse, a Metallica tribute band.


For more information about the Seahawks Dance Team, contact Ancelet at 409-984-6197. To apply to LSC-PA online, go to or call Admissions/Advising at 409-984-6186 or Financial Aid at 409-984-6203.


A number of stores will open on Thanksgiving

BEAUMONT - A number of stores aren't waiting until Friday to open their doors to customers for the start of the holiday shopping season.

Click here to read the list of 15 stories that'll open on Thanksgiving

Several retailers are opening early Thursday morning while many others will open at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.


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