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Burglary suspect arrested in Polk County

STOCK PHOTO By Chris Edwards news@tylercountybooster.com POLK COUNTY – Tyler County authorities are reporting an arrest made recently in a burglary that occurred in March. According to Tyler County Sheriff Byran Weatherford, deputies with the Tyler County…

How to avoid getting wrapped up in a car wrap scam

By Ari Lazarus FTC Consumer Education Specialist You’re looking to make some extra money and you get a text or email or see an ad on social media: Get paid to wrap your car and drive around. The offers can sound good: $600-700 a week to drive around with an ad for some well-known company — usually an energy drink. Many times, these offers are…
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Fishing event set for special needs kids

Special to the News-Times COLDSPRING — Wolf Creek Park will be the site of the CAST for Kids fishing event, set for Saturday. The event is sponsored by San Jacinto County, the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office, and Texas Farm Bureau Insurance. The children participating in the event will enjoy a morning of fishing followed by lunch and an awards…
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Tribe announces plans for new casino resort

From Enterprise Staff The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas has announced plans to build a brand-new casino resort on its tribal lands. “We are incredibly excited to embark on this new chapter. This new casino resort will not only provide significant economic benefits for those living and working in the region, but it will also become a vibrant…
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Two million fry released into Lake Livingston as part of hybrid bass stocking program

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s (TPW) Inland Fisheries Jasper District Supervisor Todd Driscoll hands a box containing 50,000 fry to TPW Inland Fisheries Biologist Dan Ashe as TPW Technician Ray Lenderman waits in the wings. Two million fry are being released into Lake Livingston through a stocking program that is a joint effort of many,…
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s (TPW) Inland Fisheries Jasper District Supervisor Todd Driscoll hands a box containing 50,000 fry to TPW Inland Fisheries Biologist Dan Ashe as TPW Technician Ray Lenderman waits in the wings. Two million fry are being released into Lake Livingston through a stocking program that is a joint effort of many, including Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Trinity River Authority, Lake Livingston Fishing Club aka “The Happy Hookers,” Friends of Lake Livingston and local fishing guides Michael Richardson and Jeff Friederich. Photo by Emily  Banks Wooten

Child abuse/neglect statistics show 173 dead in 2023

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com During Monday morning’s regular meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners Court, County Judge Milton Powers read some sad, sobering and stark statistics. In Tyler County, last year, there were 267 reports of child abuse and/or neglect, and of those reports made, 41 cases were confirmed and of those…
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Arrest made following pursuit

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com SPURGER – The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office recently made an arrest following a high-speed pursuit in the Spurger/Fred area, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. Weatherford reported that on the night of Monday, March 18, TCSO deputies were patrolling the area, and observed a…
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Charges dropped against constable candidate

By Tony Farkasnews@sanjacnews.com Peter SpartaThe felony charge against a candidate for the San Jacinto County Precinct 3 constable’s position, arrested in January, was dismissed Friday because it was characterized as a case of mistaken identity. The charge was dismissed by a representative of the Waller County District Attorney’s Office, Tiffany…
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Fire department rescues stranded boaters on river

Four people were rescued from a sinking water craft on Thursday. Courtesy photo TCNS staff TRINITY —Trinity Fire & Rescue rescued four adults from a sinking boat on Thursday. Fire Chief Keith Johnson said that at approximately 8:30 p.m. Thursday, rescue personnel were sent to the site of the sinking craft on the Trinity River across from Trinity…
Four people were rescued from a sinking water craft on Thursday. Courtesy photo

Stolen trucks

On Thursday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received reports that three newer model Ford pickup trucks had been stolen from multiple locations across Polk County. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has requested the public’s assistance in locating the vehicles pictured that were stolen. Those with information in reference to this casethat may help…
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Hybrid bass stocking program could have huge economic impact

Mike Bischoff of “The Happy Hookers” Lake Livingston Fishing Club signs a permit application as Ron Diderich, president of Friends of Lake Livingston, and Dan Ashe, an inland fisheries biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, look on. The three men and the groups they represent are part of a larger effort to stock Lake Livingston with…
Mike Bischoff of “The Happy Hookers” Lake Livingston Fishing Club signs a permit application as Ron Diderich, president of Friends of Lake Livingston, and Dan Ashe, an inland fisheries biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, look on. The three men and the groups they represent are part of a larger effort to stock Lake Livingston with hybrid bass, making it a destination lake for anglers. Courtesy photo

Red Cross Opens Two Shelters to Help those Impacted by Storms

Wednesday, April 10, 2024- The American Red Cross has opened two emergency shelter in our Southeast and Deep East chapter to help those impacted by the overnight storms across the region. Our Texas Gulf Coast Disaster Team is working with local county officials and emergency managers to determine the needs in several communities due to the…
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Online Independent Living class offered

STOCK PHOTO Crockett-Palestine Resource Centers for Independent Living are beginning a new online class, Independence Corner, for people with disabilities. Classes will be held on Mondays from 1-2 p.m., with the first class on April 8. The topics for the first series of classes include making decisions, money management, career preparation, health…
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UH musical theatre showcase concert slated

From Enterprise Staff The Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts is proud to announce a collaboration between Tony Award-winning Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown and acclaimed actress and singer Sally Mayes at the University of Houston on April 12. This concert, a highlight of the spring semester, serves as the culmination of the “Song…
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Eclipse to hit Texas Monday

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com TYLER COUNTY – A cosmic event that at least one economist is predicting to be “the most profitable 22 minutes” in Texas history is occurring next Monday, April 8. A total solar eclipse, which the site Great American Eclipse, is calling “the greatest sight nature offers,” where the sun will be eclipsed by…
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Arrests made for drugs, road rage incident

From Enterprise Staff Polk County Sheriff’s Office narcotics detectives served a felony warrant on Brandon Michael Dunaway, 21 of Livingston, on March 26 in relation to an overdose that occurred at a Polk County residence earlier this week. Upon arrival, detectives identified Dunaway’s girlfriend, Christian Cari Stanley, 19 of Livingston, who…
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Trinity-Neches Livestock Show kicks off Monday

STOCK PHOTO From Enterprise Staff The 78th annual Trinity-Neches FFA and 4-H Livestock Show kicks off Monday at the Barney Wiggins Memorial Arena on S.H. 146 and will run through April 6 with a rodeo slated for 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Gates will not open prior to 6 a.m. each morning and will close at 10 p.m. each night. Everyone must leave the…
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Several new ministries available at Center of Hope

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On behalf of the Rotary Club of Livingston, Rotarian Mark Waters presents a check to Mike Fortney for the Center of Hope. Photo by Emily Banks WootenOn behalf of the Rotary Club of Livingston, Rotarian Mark Waters presents a check to Mike Fortney for the Center of Hope. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

By Emily Banks Wooten
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Mike Fortney with Center of Hope recently spoke to the Rotary Club of Livingston, apprising the local service club of some of the organization’s new ministries. Center of Hope, the Polk County Mission, has grown dramatically since it started back in the 1980s with about five local churches.

“The pantry is job number one,” Fortney said, adding that 125 families had come through on the previous Tuesday. “The numbers are approximately 45% higher than two years ago. And those that are at or below the poverty level in our area – those numbers are huge. We’re seeing a rise in Hispanics, but it’s really no different than the increases in the Caucasian population and Black population.

“The need is extremely high right now, but the shelves are stocked and we have lots of volunteers,” he said.

Fortney also told about Campaign 300, a ministry under the umbrella of Center of Hope. “It’s a financial assistance ministry and 98% of the people we’ve helped this year is with utility bills,” he said.

Fortney said they have approximately 70 active clients in the Cancer Support Group. “We assist cancer patients with getting back and forth, parking and their meds for cancer.”

Another arm of the Center for Hope is disaster response and Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy asked Fortney to be the point person when it comes to heading up the volunteers. They have already worked Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and the tornado in 2020. “We worked about 65 repair projects in the Onalaska area and received lots of donations and supplies,” Fortney said, adding that as the volunteers arrived, the first thing the disaster responders would do is find out what skill set they have.

“We didn’t meet the threshold for FEMA but we got a call from a group out of Nebraska that said they wanted to help. They ended up sending about $35,000 worth of lumber, screws, metal, nails. They sent it and we needed a place to put it. I was driving down the highway one day and saw a building behind Calvary Medical that I’d never seen before. I went over, got the phone number, called the person that owned it and within 10 minutes we had the warehouse.”

Center of Hope also has a bus ministry, with a bus that was donated by Brazos Transit. “We pick up people to take to the center or to take food to them. It’s been a real blessing to us,” he said.

Another new ministry for the Center of Hope is the Emergency Health Board, which they took over last year.

“It is a wonderful, wonderful ministry,” Fortney said. “We see probably 40-plus clients a month, help with prescriptions and medical supplies and recently expanded it to pay for gas to appointments through a voucher system we established with a local gas station.

“Another new ministry is our clothing ministry which began when we received 26 pallets of brand-new clothing from Walmart. We set up a clothing shop and everything is free. We were open half a day several times over summer until the store was depleted. Jonathan, the manager of Walmart, wants to make this an annual thing.

“Another new ministry is the Christmas program which was formerly the empty stocking program. It was a big success last year and we learned a lot. It will happen again. We are fundraising now and will start taking applications soon. The only criteria is they must show proof of Polk County residence. Last year we furnished over 5,000 presents to over 600 kids. It’s not the Center of Hope though. It’s the donors that just come out of the woodwork. There will be some changes this year, but it will still be a ‘shopping’ experience with gift-wrapping. The goal this year is $30,000 and we need volunteers.

“Business is up and numbers are up. That’s not a good thing necessarily, but it’s a great thing the Center of Hope is there,” Fortney said in closing.

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