The Beaumont Enterprise

Isaac Windes has spent a year and nine months as an education reporter at the Beaumont Enterprise in Southeast Texas. In that time he has covered the impact of disasters on both K-12 and Higher Education, discipline issues in schools and the fight for federal funding for hurricane-ravaged school districts. He has also received several APME awards for his coverage of suicide in a local district, and beat coverage of education.  

Lamar says fired employee had guns, ammo on campus

Lamar University said Tuesday that it has found no evidence a recently fired maintenance worker was planning an attack on campus when he was arrested with loaded assault weapons and handguns in his truck. The incident occurred at Iowa Avenue and Rolfe Christopher Drive after 9 p.m. Monday, Lamar spokeswoman Shelly Vitanza said. The investigation continues, she said. Lamar police pulled over the 63-year-old Nederland man, who they said was following a police car in a white pickup. Police descri

In-school mental health counseling successful amid continued tragedy

When Tropical Storm Harvey inundated Southeast Texas, it took thousands of homes and uprooted livelihoods. While much of the devastation has been repaired and reconstructed, the trauma reverberates to this day. In Vidor, two schools were flooded beyond repair, leaving beleaguered staff to return to teach with limited resources in temporary buildings. Students, some with no homes and few clothes, returned, too. One student The Enterprise interviewed in 2019 was excited to learn he would spend

Two weeks until murder suspect must be transferred

An Ohio man arrested more than a month ago related to the 1995 assault and murder of a Beaumont teacher has been ordered by an Ohio judge to return to Jefferson County to face trial — weeks after a Governor’s warrant was issued. The latest ruling came Thursday and was provided to The Enterprise by the Franklin County Ohio Clerk of Courts. It “states that (Foreman) must be picked up by 11:59 p.m on July 6th.” Clayton Foreman, 61, was arrested after an exhaustive investigation into the death of

Beaumont mother demands charges be filed in death of 6-year-old son

More than three weeks after 6-year-old Carter Osborn died after being run over by an ATV in Tyrrell Park, no charges have been filed against a 36-year-old suspect, who is being held in jail on unrelated warrants. “I can’t even begin my grieving process without peace behind the scenes, with it feeling like people (are) playing with me still,” said Taylor Osborn, Carter’s mother. “I can’t even grieve the loss of my child, with my kids and our family.” Officials with the Jefferson County District

Jasper Co. receives historic flood control grant

Floodwaters had not even receded from this week’s torrential rainstorms when Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush gathered with local leaders in Jasper to announce that the region would be receiving $29.4 million to fund badly needed flood control projects, the largest such grant in Jasper’s history. Bush’s announcement also revealed aid totaling a combined sum of almost $30 million for improvements in Orange County and Sour Lake. The Jasper County funds will go toward flood mitigation proje

Deweyville details plans for passed bond

Frustrations continue to pervade school districts across Southeast Texas as federal funding remains tied up in review years after flooding events, which are becoming increasingly more common. Deweyville ISD turned to voters this year, who approved a $7 million bond issue aimed at alleviating some of the cost the small district was facing while waiting for federal funds to replace an elementary school destroyed in 2016. “In 2016, delays in addressing federal regulations caused the Toledo Bend R

Sit down with former BISD Board President Thomas Sigee

Former Beaumont ISD trustee and board President Thomas Sigee would end every board meeting, debate and interview by repeating the same phrase. “Forward, forward, forward, we have always got to keep moving forward. God gave us armor on the front of us for a reason.” That still is his attitude despite being disqualified from running for his board seat after mistakenly moving outside of his district. “Honestly, I was sick,” Sigee said. “Once I realized what happened, I felt sick because I felt l

Youngest PAISD hopes to bridge gap between students, parents, admin

Taylor Getwood, 18, on Tuesday will become the youngest trustee in PAISD history. His campaign pitch and promise to voters was to bridge the divide between students, parents and administrators and make the board process more transparent and accessible. “I think it is really imperative that we have the student perspective,” Getwood told The Enterprise on election night. “Now more than ever, education is constantly changing. And I think with me being as young as I am, I will be able to bridge th

Former council candidate arrested on child sex abuse charge

A Beaumont community figure and former city council candidate has been indicted on charges of indecency with a child, which authorities say stem from a series of incidents that began decades ago. According to court documents, an adult woman in Jan. 2020 told Child Protective Services that she had been sexually abused. Beaumont Police detectives followed up on the report and learned that the woman was referring to abuse that started in 2005, when she was 4 or 5. The documents show that the acc

I-10 crane 'malfunction' reflects larger pattern across industry

When Tara Latil heard that two men were killed by a “malfunctioning” crane in Jefferson County Thursday evening, she was taken back to 2015. Her son was killed in a crane accident at the port of Beaumont, and since then, his story has been used by safety managers to show employees what can happen and encourage them to take the tasks more seriously, she said. “I feel for the families because I know how tough the road ahead of them is,” she told The Enterprise. That road, Latil said, is full of

Silsbee ISD nixes mask mandate over advice of health authority

Silsbee ISD will no longer require masks, despite more than an hour of testimony from the Hardin County Health Authority urging them to keep the safety precaution in place The decision was made by the board of trustees during a late-night meeting last week. . “If you choose not to (require masks), that is your choice,” Hardin County Local Health Authority Jana Winberg told the board in closing. “But the CDC recommends it, the state of Texas recommends it, the TEA recommends continuing masks. S

First Black woman elected in Beaumont reflects on trailblazing career

As a student in 1960s Beaumont, Zenobia Bush took the bus with other Black students every day from Hebert High School across town to attend a computer science class that was offered only at a school in the predominantly white South Park ISD. “I remember when I first walked into Forest Park High School, seeing their facility versus the facility I had come from, it was a whole different world,” she recalled. “It was like I was on a college campus compared to where I was coming from.” It was a cr

Teachers with health conditions face impossible choice

Marilynne Wall taught for Beaumont ISD for more than four decades, until November when she said she was asked to cease all communication with her students unless she agreed to return to campus. “That’s when I got an email that said ‘you may not support the kids in any way, contact them, post lessons — no transactions that have to do with your classes,’” Wall told The Enterprise in January. “I’ve gone through a gamut of emotions, but I was in shock.” Wall, who was a key figure in the foreign la

Recovery begins as SE Texas thaws out

Roads have reopened and power is expected to be restored Friday morning to nearly every Entergy customer as warming temperatures signal the near-end of a nightmarish winter week. By noon Thursday the Texas Department of Transportation had reopened all Beaumont roads, and Entergy signaled that most outstanding power outages could be resolved as soon as Thursday night. Entergy is still working on restoring power in its service area, but most of Jefferson and Orange counties had service returned

Weather begins slow warming trend, schools extend closures

A thaw is in the forecast for the end of the week with rising temperatures continuing through the weekend, but lows at or just below freezing are slowing the meltingof ice, complicating recovery efforts by state and local officials to restore power and water to the region. Those delays have caused schools to keep their doors closed and the Texas Education Agency to extend waivers for missed days related to the power outages. Beaumont, Port Arthur and Hamshire-Fannett schools extended campus cl

Schools close, shelters open as frigid temps persist

With freezing rain in the forecast for the third time this week, schools are extending closures and many are taking refuge in shelters opening up in churches across Southeast Texas. Last night, when temperatures dipped to their lowest, a make-shift shelter at Victory Temple in Beaumont had roughly 35 guests staying on cots set up around two long rows of tables for meals, which volunteers are preparing morning to night in the center’s large commercial kitchen. Wesley Coleman conceived of the id

BISD returns artwork to Black History Month display

Students at Vincent Middle School were excited to return to class this week and help their teacher, Mikelle Patillo, put up artwork they created in honor of Black History Month. A week before, top district administrators made the decision to take down the artwork for being “politically controversial and not pedagogically related to Black History.” Patillo, parents, fellow teachers and even members of the BISD administration expressed confusion and anger at the decision to remove the artwork in

BISD returns full Black History Month display after community backlash

Update: Beaumont ISD has made the decision to return the artwork of students to a Black History Month mural just days after removing them for being “too political.” “Over the past several days, we have heard opinions from many regarding the decision to remove student artwork at Vincent Middle School,” the district said in a statement Saturday. “We value and respect the voices of all community members, and in this instance, we have chosen to amplify the voices of our students’ above all.” Initi

LU community mourning loss of engineering department head

The Lamar University professor was described as friendly to all who met him. He often would eat lunch with students and take walks with colleagues to discuss the ideas he had to expand the mechanical and engineering department, which he was leading on an interim basis after 20 years at the university. Aung went on one of those walks with another professor, Jenny Zhou, before Christmas break in December. But he did not return to the campus once classes resumed. The widely-respected professor, w

Southeast Texans join in GameStop short squeeze

A local speech pathologist, a Lamar University student and a recruiter for a Southeast Texas construction company are among thousands of small investors wrapped up in an unprecedented battle between Wall Street and Main Street — with a fading video game store at the center of it all. The unusual trading event began earlier this week when members of various social media messaging boards, namely Reddit, discovered that several large investment firms were taking out massive bets on the stock of st
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