Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Houston County News - Breakout

Founder’s Day celebrated

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dr. Ianthia Fisher, Mayor of Crockett, stands beside a historical picture display. JAN WHITE | HCCDr. Ianthia Fisher, Mayor of Crockett, stands beside a historical picture display. JAN WHITE | HCC

By Jan White
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CROCKETT – On Saturday, Feb. 12, members of the community gathered at First Presbyterian Church in Crockett for the 4th Annual Founders Day Celebration of Mary Allen College. Master of Ceremonies for the event was David Beaulieu.

Jacqueline Bonner Calhoun began the program with an inspirational rendition of the song “My Praise.” Pastor Johnie Wood welcomed guests and offered the opening prayer, followed by greetings from the President of Mary Allen College Museum, Dr. Thelma Douglass. 

Speakers for the program included Katlyn Marshall, who read the Emancipation Proclamation, Reverand Jim Tom Ainsworth, who shared a brief history of the college, and Special Guest Speaker, Crockett Mayor Dr. Ianthia Fisher. After additional music selections by Jacqueline Bonner Calhoun, presentations by Elnora Shepherd and Daphne Sessions, and remarks by Hilliard McKnight and David Beaulieu, Pastor Johnie Wood concluded the event with the benediction.

The luncheon meal was provided by the Moosehead Café and The Chuck Wagon Grill.

The vision and mission statements for the Mary Allen College and Museum reflect the original intent of the idea established back in 1886 -   “To be an academic institution and skills training center that serves as a historical landmark for a cross-culture society in Houston County and the world. Mary Allen College Museum exists to continue a collaboration and partnership journey to enhance academics, cultural opportunities, and the historical legacy of Crockett and Houston County which was conceptualized on college hill.”

Participants at the event and community members are encouraged to consider contributing a tax-deductible gift to help further that vision. For more information on ways to donate and levels of support, please contact Earlene Clebourn, Mary Allen Museum Treasurer, at 936-544-9344.

  • Hits: 280

Commissioners approve hirings, donations

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Houston County Seal 1280x640By Jan White
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CROCKETT – The Houston County Commissioners Court met at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 8 to vote on a wide variety of agenda items. Besides the general ‘housekeeping’ matters such as budget approvals and county department reports, the commissioners approved the following:

•The hiring of Neatis Montgomery, Theresa Hayes, and Brooke Steubing to fill jailer and dispatcher positions, respectively

•Payment for vacation and comp time for a county employee

•Accept donations from Patsy Harrington for improvements to CR 2126 and Charles Cunningham for improvements to Navarro Crossing Road.

•Addition of Private Road 5222 to the ArcGIS 9-1-1 Database and County Maps

•Accepting office furniture from Sam Houston State University Surplus

•Accepting the donation of two bullet-proof vests to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office by Houston County Law Enforcement Association

•Purchase of an airport hangar from Mark Whitfill for $42,500 for the purpose of storage

•Appointment of Ken Lair, former finance manager for Shell Oil, as Commissioner to Emergency Service District No. 2

•Renewal with Angelina County for the housing of inmates in the Houston County Jail

The court adjourned to executive session to consult with the county attorney regarding entering into or rejecting a settlement offer agreement in Civil Action Cause No. 9:18-CV-0182 styled Kyle Ray v. Houston County, Texas. 

After reconvening, the court recommended that no action be taken at this time.

  • Hits: 362

Council creates Community Advisory Committee

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Crockett City HallBy Jan White
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CROCKETT – At the Monday, Feb. 7 regular meeting of the Crockett City Council, members held a lengthy discussion about the creation of a community advisory committee for each city council precinct. 

A statement produced by the council outlined possible duties the advisory Committee would perform. The Committee would be comprised of interested citizens who would assist the City Council and staff with maintenance, revitalization, and beautification programs designed to maintain property values throughout the City. The committee would also work as a liaison between residents and their respective Council members. Additional information will be provided when more details are known.

The council voted to approve a motion to allow the city administrator, John Angerstein, to assign the position of fire marshal to report directly to the fire chief. The City Charter currently states that the Fire Marshal is a separate entity and reports directly to the city council. The city administrator now can amend the Ordinance to allow for the change.

The council also approved a motion to allow the city administrator to draw up a lease for property owned by the city to be used by  Piney Woods Sanitation as a mechanics shop.

Other items that passed were:

•Approvals for amendments and new policies in the City of Crockett Personnel Manual

Awards to Brother’s Concrete and Crockett Construction for city construction projects

Approval of a resolution for the regular election of Council members in Precincts 3, 4, and 5

Approval of the Joint Election Agreement between the City and Crockett Independent School District 

Approval of the appointment of Wade Thomas and Lawyer Jolley as Ex-Officio Directors to the Crockett Economic and Industrial Development Corporation

The addition of the Ex-Officio Directors for the CEIDC is meant to add a level of experience to the Board. Thomas is a former member of the CEIDC Board and is a local business owner, and Jolley is a retired manager for Chevron Phillips and is also a local business owner.

  • Hits: 233

New life coming to downtown Crockett

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Zoning Proposal Map

By Jan White
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CROCKETT – At the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Lunch and Learn” event, held at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 2, attendees learned about proposals for revitalizing historic Downtown Crockett.

The first speaker was Kerriann Grounds, a member of the Downtown Crockett Association (DCA). She explained that while the group initially was engaged in minor beautification efforts for the downtown area, their role has expanded to work with Houston County and the City of Crockett to further improvements and upgrades to the area. The DCA was instrumental in obtaining funding for the Christmas lights installed on the Crockett Square buildings and creating city banners that highlight areas of interest in Crockett. 

Planning and Zoning member Wade Thomas began his presentation by displaying a couple of the city banners. One features a portrayal of Davy Crockett, and the other says “Welcome to Historic Downtown Crockett” and is accented with pine trees. Plans are in the works to create more banners that represent different points of interest in the community, like Camp Street and Crockett’s historic homes. Thomas indicated that these banners will be available for purchase by individuals and businesses based on location and ability to display. More information about the banners will be shared as it becomes available.

Thomas then spoke about the proposal, initiated by local business owners, to make changes to the zoning of downtown Crockett to help revitalize the local economy. As it stands, the downtown area is not zoned for single-family residences. Due to interest by current business and property owners, the Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Committee was asked to revisit the zoning law. 

 The idea is that unoccupied buildings would be more attractive to new business owners, especially those from out of town, if they could use the extra space as their residence. One caveat regarding utilizing a portion of the building as a residence would be that the owner maintain a business frontage. 

The P&Z Committee met with Planning Concepts, a planning, design, and land-use solutions firm out of Tyler. The company specializes in developing creative solutions to help towns make the most of their buildings and real estate. Thomas provided a map created by Planning Concepts that presents some of the proposed changes.

The map shows a grid of occupied and unoccupied buildings, as well as potential residences and parking. Besides rezoning the area for residential use, other ideas include purchasing additional property for parking. At this time, if all the downtown buildings were occupied, Planning Concepts estimates the area would be 300 parking spaces short. Consequently, much interest has been placed on downtown parking issues.

Pedestrian traffic and the number of heavy equipment trucks and 18-wheelers that use the streets around Crockett Square are another major concern. One possible solution would be to designate main thoroughfares that converge on the square as Business 287, Business 19, Business 21, and Business 7 in an effort to redirect heavy-duty vehicles. Also explored was the idea of making Goliad and Houston Avenue one-way streets. 

It should be noted that all proposals must be approved by their respective overseers. The Planning & Zoning Committee, the Crockett City Council, and TxDOT would hold public hearings and meetings to discuss the proposed changes before acting on them. 

From a timeline aspect, Thomas said that some of the improvements will only take a few months. Other projects might take up to ten years to complete. 

Thomas also reported on the influx of new businesses to the downtown area. Small Town Treasures, an antique and gift boutique, occupies the old Thames Jewelry Shop building. 

An eating and entertainment venue, Bear Hall, has indicated a possible February opening. The Grind coffee shop is under new management and will open soon. Robinson’s Dry Cleaning property has been sold with plans to reopen as a custom T-shirt store. Filthy Gringos is a metal fabricator that builds choppers and motorcycle equipment. The Tchoupitoulas Restaurant building will be the new home for a men’s beard-care supply store, Maestros Classic.

In closing, Thomas reminded the group that since Crockett is in direct competition with Palestine, Lufkin and Nacogdoches, every facet of what we have needs to match up favorably with those towns if we hope to bring in new businesses.

  • Hits: 1423

CISD celebrates School Board Appreciation Week

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

CrockettISD logoBy Jan White
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CROCKETT – On Monday, Jan. 25, the members of Crockett ISD Board of Trustees were honored for their service in recognition of School Board Appreciation Week. Among the gifts received by the trustees were handmade cards, monogrammed blankets and hoodies, Yeti cups, a flip-board and student-made floral arrangements. 

The theme for Appreciation Week was “Rising Above.” CISD Superintendent John Emerich thanked the board members for their hard work. 

Then representatives from the Early Childhood Learning Center, Crockett Elementary, Crockett Junior High and Crockett High School spoke on behalf of their students and expressed gratitude for the board members. 

In other business, Emerich asked the board to determine a date for “Team of Eight” training and encouraged the members to consider goals for the upcoming school year.

The Board also voted to the Joint Agreement with the City of Crockett on the May 7, 2022 Board of Trustees Election. The representatives for District 1 and District 6, seats currently held by Ansel Bradshaw and Josh Crabtree, respectively, are up for re-election.

The board adjourned to executive session to discuss the appraisal and contract of the superintendent. When the Trustees returned to the Open Session, they voted to extend Emrich’s contract for another year. 

A request had been made for a Level Three Hearing to consider possible action on a student/parent FNG(LOCAL), Level Three Appeal. After reconvening to open session, the appeal was denied. 

  • Hits: 320