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Houston County News 2

Donate safely this Giving Tuesday

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FILL Graphic FTC

Rosario Méndez
Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

Giving Tuesday is a great time to show your gratitude by donating to help others. But you don’t want to give money to a fake charity or scammer (any day of the week).

Before you donate this Giving Tuesday ― and anytime you’re asked to give to charity:

Research the cause or the organization. Search online for the name of the organization or cause with words like “review,” “scam,” or “complaint.” See if others have had good or bad experiences with the charity. Check out what charity watchdog groups say about that organization.

Know that it’s ok to ask questions. If the request for a donation is over the phone, the caller should be able to answer critical questions. For example, how much of your donation will go to the program you want to help? Is the caller raising funds for a charity or for a Political Action Committee (PAC)? (Donations to PACs are NOT tax deductible.)

Slow down. You don’t have to give over the phone, and anybody who pressures you might be someone you want to avoid giving to.

Know who’s making the request. Don’t assume a request to donate is legitimate because a friend posted it on social media. Your friend might not personally know the charity or how it spends money. When you do your own research, double-check the exact name of the organization. Scammers will pick names or use website addresses that sound very similar to legitimate well-known charities.

This Giving Tuesday, and in this season of giving, consider starting with a plan for year-end donations. That way, you have time to do research, make your gifts, and tell anyone who asks that you’ve already given. Learn more at ftc.gov/charity.

 If you see a charity scam, report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and to your state charity regulator.

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Houston man wanted in shooting incident

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Shooting Graphic

By Chris Edwards
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GRAPELAND – A shooting last week left one man with a severe injury and law enforcement seeking another man.

According to Houston County Sheriff Randy Hargrove, his office received a call regarding a possible shooting incident on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 10. The incident occurred at 1441 County Road 1705, east of Grapeland, according to Hargrove.

When deputies arrived on the scene, they found a man, identified as 58-year-old John Lewis, with a severe injury to his right leg. Lewis told the deputies he had been shot with a .45-.70-caliber rifle, and named a man, Daniel Luken, as the assailant. Luken is described as a 54-year-old white male.

Hargrove said in a news release that both the rifle, which belonged to Lewis, as well as his truck, a 2007 Ford extended cab with large toolboxes in the rear, were stolen from the scene of the crime by the suspect prior to law enforcement’s arrival. 

The truck was recovered on Friday, according to HCSO. It was discovered in Harris County, abandoned and wrecked and towed to an impound lot.

Luken, who is from Houston, had been staying with Lewis for several days, according to Hargrove.

HCSO is still investigating the events leading up to the incident.

Lewis is undergoing extensive medical treatment for his injuries, according to Hargrove. He sustained extensive damage to his thigh.

Luken is believed to be back in the Houston area, and local investigators are in contact with authorities in that area in an attempt to take him into custody. He has a blue warrant out from Harris County, in addition to his Houston County warrant.

He is wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and additional charges are expected to be filed. Anyone with information regarding this case should contact HCSO at 936-544-2862.

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White stumps for ag commissioner

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State Representative James WhiteState Representative James White

By Jan White
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CROCKETT – On Thursday, Nov. 4, State Representative James White spoke to a group of Republican voters regarding his bid for the position of Texas Agriculture Commissioner in the upcoming 2022 election. 

During the meeting held at the Moosehead Café in Crockett, Representative White shared his personal history. A native Texan, White graduated from Prairie View A&M in 1986, serving in the U.S. Army from 1987 until his honorable discharge in 1992.  White began his stint as a public school educator in the Houston area and continued teaching in the Fort Bend, Livingston and Woodville school districts. 

White taught history, geography, government, and economics and coached high school football, basketball and soccer. 

In 2010, White was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In 2015, the Texas Justice of the Peace and Constable Association voted White as their Legislator of the Year. In 2019, White garnered recognition as Texas Monthly Magazine’s “Best Legislator.” He has received awards from numerous associations, such as the Texas Association of Business, Texas Eagle Forum, American Conservative Union, Texas Right to Life, and the National Federation of Independent Business. 

Currently, White serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety and sits on the Corrections and Redistricting committees. 

Representative White shared his vision for working with local constituents to improve communication and representation in the Agricultural Department. He spent an hour answering questions from the audience on topics from flooding in the Trinity River to Homeland Security involvement at the border.

The Texas election for Agriculture Commissioner will take place on November 8, 2022. The primary is scheduled for March 1, 2022, where Representative White will be competing with incumbent Sid Miller, who has held the position since 2015. 

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Two Texas legends playing Crockett

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Two Texas Legends Play

By Chris Edwards
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CROCKETT – Live music lovers have the opportunity to catch two legendary Texas singer/songwriters in Crockett next week in two separate shows.

Pat Green will perform a Piney Woods Fine Arts Association-produced show at the Crockett Civic Center at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, and Shake Russell will play at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Camp Street Café downtown.

Green, who came to prominence in the Texas County boom of the late 90s and early 2000s, began playing live during his college days at Texas Tech in Lubbock. His early string of albums were produced by the legendary steel guitarist and producer Lloyd Maines and contained several of the songs that still fill his concert setlists to this day, such as “George’s Bar” and “Southbound 35.”

Green’s major label run in the early 2000s produced such hits as “Wave on Wave,” and through his career, he has covered songs by legends such as Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Walt Wilkins.

His last full-length album was Home, which was released in 2015.

The admission price to the Green concert are $25 general admission and $55 for VIP table seating. The show is being sponsored by HCEC and Callaway-Allee.

Saturday’s show at Camp Street with Russell will showcase a performer and songsmith with more than 50 years of experience to draw from.

Russell, who is best-known to mainstream audiences for co-writing such songs as Clint Black’s hit “Put Yourself in My Shoes,” has released 30 albums in his career. His latest album is titled Chasing the Song, and according to a news release from Camp Street about the show, Russell’s new record showcases “a delightful array of original compositions” that display his talents.

Russell’s sturdy folk-rock style falls under the “Americana” banner in today’s musical marketplace, and among his accolades, he has been a two-time recipient of the BMI Millionaire Award and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Music Association.

Russell has performed solo, as well as with bands and often as a duo with fellow singer/songwriter Dana Cooper. Admission to see Russell is $22.

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