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Crockett ISD inducts four into Ring of Honor

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Ring of Honor Wall 22022 Ring of Honor inductees Monte Jack Driskell, Fernando J. Harris, Paul Richmond and Charissa Scott stand at the wall in Driskell Stadium where plaques bearing their names will be displayed along with the previous honorees.

By Larry Lamb
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CROCKETT -- Crockett ISD tapped a former coach and three alumni for the 2022 class of the Bulldog Ring of Honor.

Coach Monte Jack Driskell, Fernando J. Harris, Paul Richmond and Charissa Scott were inducted during a ceremony Friday evening in the CHS commons.

Crockett ISD Supt. John Emerich said in welcoming attendees, “You all know as well as I do that Crockett is a special place and this is a very special celebration of some very special people that we have here tonight. I’ve never been anywhere else that honors the past the way we do here with the Ring of Honor. I think it’s a great thing."

Emerich continued, " I know some of you in the audience are on the wall yourself already and that’s why you’re here. There’s a lot of family here for these four individuals that are being honored. I look at these (school) board members here and every one of them is a Crockett graduate, so they know about how special this place is and they've stayed here or come back here, whatever the case may be. We’re proud to have you here tonight and we’re proud of these four individuals. Let’s get on with celebrating them.”

Master of ceremony Ansel Bradshaw read brief biographies of each inductee before they were presented their Ring of Honor plaques.

After the ceremony and a brief reception, the new members gathered at the Ring of Honor wall in Driskell Stadium where plaques bearing their names will be displayed.

At halftime during the Bulldogs' football game, the four honorees were introduced to the large homecoming crowd.

The Ring of Honor was established in 2010 with an inaugural class of 53 and has grown to 106 with the addition of the 2022 class.

Monte Jack Driskell

Born and raised in Lovelady, Monte graduated from Lovelady High School in 1952.

He received a basketball scholarship from Wharton Junior College, where he played basketball and met the love of his life, Janet.

Monte transferred to Sam Houston State University where he played basketball for three years. He received his bachelor's degree from Sam Houston in 1957 and his master's in 1961.

Monte got his first coaching job in Groveton in 1957 and served as head coach and athletic director from 1961 until 1966. He then moved to Crockett to be head coach and athletic director from 1971 to 1974.

Because Monte wanted to go back home and coach high school, he returned to become head coach and athletic director in Lovelady from 1974 to 1981.

He returned to Crockett as head coach and athletic director from 1981-1999 and had great success.

In 1988, Monte was inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Hall of Fame as well as the Sam Houston State University Hall of Fame.

Monte's record as head coach is 268-82-9.

Bulldog Stadium was renamed Monte Jack Driskell Stadium in his honor on October 1, 2010.

The Driskells have been married 65 years, marking their 66th football season. They have three children, Cheryl, Dusty and Jamie, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Fernando J. Harris

Fernando, a Crockett High School graduate, is the owner and president of Blue House Partners, LLC in San Diego Calif.

Harris is a business professional with over 20 years leadership and management experience, combined with extensive strategic planning and business operations capabilities.

Harris is a retired U.S. Navy Commander and has been director has been a director  of a Fortune 500 company.

His educational accomplishments include earning a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from U. S. Naval Academy; a master of science in National  Security and Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He was also recognized as a top graduate of the Darden Navy Executive Educational Program at the University of Virginia.

His work has taken him around the world, including time spent in San Diego, Washington D.C.; Kabul, Afghanistan and even time aboard the USS Kitty Hawk in Yokosuka, Japan.

Paul Richmond

Paul graduated with the CHS class of 1998 with several awards reflecting his success as a student-athlete.

In football, he was awarded 1996-97 All-District Linebacker First Team, All-State Second Team and the 1997-98 District Defensive MVP and All-State Second Team.

In baseball he was awarded the 1996 All-District Catcher First Team, 1997 All-District Catcher First Team and All-State Second Team, and the 1998 All-District Catcher First Team and All-State First Team. He lettered all four years of high school in baseball and continued his baseball career at Navarro Junior College where he received Texas Eastern Athletic Conference All-Conference Catcher and NJCAA All-Star in 2000.

Paul continued his academic and athletic career at Baylor University where received the 2002 NCAA All-Region Team and First Team Academic All-Big 12 Conference and his BBA in accounting.

Following college, Paul was drafted in the 28th round 2002 MLB draft by the Toronto Blue Jays where he played for two years.

Now the senior vice president for Transcarent Health Care, Paul leads national efforts to expand the company's market-leading Centers of Excellence panel. For more than 16 years he has been an expert in provider relations and has extensive experience in healthcare, specifically intra-operative consultive  sales, negotiating system-level agreements for medical devices and capital equipment, and value-based care initiatives. Paul has served in numerous leadership positions throughout his professional career in healthcare, most recently as an account executive serving Fortune 500 clients and the surgical management benefit space.

Charissa Scott

A 1999 CHS graduate, Charissa excelled academically while participating in various school organizations and sports.

Some of the honors she is most proud of are All-District awards in basketball and softball, Academic All-State, U.S. Army Academic Athlete, cheerleader/mascot, drum major, prom queen, National Honor Society ,Miss Juneteenth 1995, Who's Who, homecoming queen and Miss CHS.

Upon graduation Charissa continued her education at the University of Houston.

For the past 14 years, Charissa has continued to share her academic talents in her career and resides in Houston.

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Lions host Amazing Race

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Sitting:  Ellen Brooks, Naomi Martin, Grace Nesbitt, Annabelle Sibley.  Kneeling: Gideon Sinclair, Emelie Arvizu, Jenni Hargrove, Nayeli Popoca, Ayriel Parker, Katie Angerstein, Sofia Taylor, Alexander Ledesma, Camden Aiken, Mayra Martinez, Ariana Gonzalez, Landon Pennington, Ryan Arvizu, Nathaniel Cariker. Standing:  Josue Ramirez, Anna Lynch, Keshia Thomas, Crista Angerstein, Frank Vulpa, Jessica Ingle, Nicole Sinclair, Karla Popoca, Jodi Jones, Grant Sinclair, Vicki Melanson, Miguel Benavides, June Ashley, Margaret Tuggle, Shawna Gardner, Dorian Sullivan, Jan White, Gary White, Ruby Berry and Alexander Burke. PHOTO COURTESY OF ELLEN BROOKSSitting: Ellen Brooks, Naomi Martin, Grace Nesbitt, Annabelle Sibley. Kneeling: Gideon Sinclair, Emelie Arvizu, Jenni Hargrove, Nayeli Popoca, Ayriel Parker, Katie Angerstein, Sofia Taylor, Alexander Ledesma, Camden Aiken, Mayra Martinez, Ariana Gonzalez, Landon Pennington, Ryan Arvizu, Nathaniel Cariker. Standing: Josue Ramirez, Anna Lynch, Keshia Thomas, Crista Angerstein, Frank Vulpa, Jessica Ingle, Nicole Sinclair, Karla Popoca, Jodi Jones, Grant Sinclair, Vicki Melanson, Miguel Benavides, June Ashley, Margaret Tuggle, Shawna Gardner, Dorian Sullivan, Jan White, Gary White, Ruby Berry and Alexander Burke. PHOTO COURTESY OF ELLEN BROOKS

CROCKETT – Piney Woods Lions Club’s annual fundraiser the Houston County Amazing Race was held on Oct 1st. 

The number of teams competing increased to 12 teams this year. There was a lot of competition throughout the event, and a lot of laughs along the way. 

 The Young and the Rest of Us team placed first, the Rita Racers placed second, and the Frontline to Finish Line placed third.  Thank you to all of our amazing sponsors, to all of the participants, and to the Piney Woods Leo Club for assisting us with this event!

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Kinetic announces fiber internet in Crockett

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FiberOptic Graphic

From Staff Reports

CROCKETT — More than 2,500 homes and businesses in the Crockett area, or a third of the community, are now equipped for ultrahigh-speed internet with the deployment of optical fiber by network provider Kinetic.

 “Fiber in Crockett means you’ll have more bandwidth to stream, game and surf on every device in your house,” Kinetic state operations President Danny Ferguson said. “And your connection will stay superfast no matter how many other people are online. They can even be streaming a movie and you’ll still have the same connection.”

 He added that Kinetic’s fiber-optic network offers users symmetrical speeds to upload and download at 1,000 megabits, or one gigabit, a second.

 “Fiber is the technology that can meet today’s demands and tomorrow’s potential,” Ferguson said. “‘High Speed for Here’ now includes Crockett.”

 The Crockett fiber project is part of a $2 billion multiyear capital investment strategy to dramatically expand gigabit internet service across Kinetic’s 18-state footprint.

 Customers may visit GoKinetic.com to find out if they are eligible for a speed upgrade and how Kinetic can help meet their home or business needs.

 The reliable fiber connections in Crockett empower residential customers to gig speeds to navigate the internet safely from home with no lag times while they work, participate in virtual classrooms or stream entertainment services. Businesses from small to enterprise size can take advantage of the fiber-backed network to deploy solutions that make their companies more efficient and profitable.

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Museum holds open house

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Alexandria Hubbard, Artist in Residence Photo courtesy of Thelma Douglass Alexandria Hubbard, Artist in Residence Photo courtesy of Thelma Douglass

By Jan White
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CROCKETT – The Mary Allen Museum of African American Art and History opened its doors to the public on Sept. 10 - a culmination of the combined efforts of the Mary Allen Museum board, local pastors and their church members, the CEIDC, and volunteers from the community.

The re-opening celebrated the beginning of a new era for the museum, located inside the Heritage House, which is home to art, artifacts, and the history of Mary Allen Seminary College, established in 1886 for African American women, later becoming a co-educational seminary school. 

Heritage House had suffered from neglect during the Covid shutdown, but due to the persistence of the board, visionaries, and supporters of the museum, renovations were completed so that the building could continue its original mission - to honor and remember the college and its place in African American history.      

Speakers included Dr. Thelma J. Douglass, Mary Allen Museum president, Rev. David Beaulieu, Mayor Dr. Ianthia Fisher, James Gentry, Executive Director of the CEIDC and CISD Superintendent John Emerich. Each speaker expressed gratitude for the impact that Mary Allen College had – from the education of young African American women, to the history surrounding the college, to future opportunities to educate the youth and young adults of Houston County. 

Douglass gives credit to Michael Ewing, art curator and member of the Mary Allen Museum advisory board, for planning the open house program and developing the “artist in residence” opportunity. The artist in residence position was offered to Alexandria Hubbard, who will not only occupy the Heritage House but also act as activity director, facilitating special events that will attract people to the Museum and highlight its continued value to the community. “As an inaugural artist in residency, Alexandria will host an art show exhibition at the end of the residency,” said Ewing. “Also, she is doing art with the Crockett Library, and her art will be displayed in November at the library.”

After giving an overview of the Museum, Douglass thanked everyone for attending and invited the guests to stay for refreshments. Bruce Middleton, producer at Houston Media Source, provided jazz music as a background accompaniment as attendees viewed the various exhibits. Middleton told Douglass that the Mary Allen Museum Open House event would air on television in Houston. 

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Judge proclaims Oct 2-8 National 4-H Week

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Houston County Seal 1280x640By Jan White
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CROCKETT – The Houston County Commissioners Court meeting held on Tuesday, September 27, opened with a group of 4-H students who spoke to the Court about National 4-H Week and their roles in the local 4-H Program. Afterward, Judge Lovell read a proclamation declaring October 2-8 as National 4-H Week and commending the 4-H Youth Development Program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the men and women who have made the program a success.

The month of October was proclaimed “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” October was first declared as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 1989. Since then, October has been a time to acknowledge domestic violence survivors and be a voice for its victims.

Commissioners accepted a donation from the Crocket Elks Lodge of $2,000 for the Department of Aging Meals-on-Wheels program. 

The Hotel and Occupancy Tax Fund request from the Grapeland Chamber of Commerce for the 77th Annual Peanut Festival for $7,000 was granted. This year’s festival will be held at the Grapeland City Park on Oct. 13-15. A request was also granted to The Loft for $1,000 for the Curtis Grimes Concert, to be held on Nov. 4.

A lengthy discussion was held regarding the pay scale for county employees for FY 2023. City Auditor Melissa Jeter explained how the pay scale was calculated and what increases needed to be made to make the pay equitable to the position, after which the changes were approved by the Court.

Commissioners voted to retain the 9 a.m. meeting time for the 2023 Fiscal Year. Also passed was the motion to purchase a 16’ Bumper-pull Hydraulic Dump trailer.

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, developers for a solar farm project spoke to commissioners about a proposed project in the Crockett area. No action was taken on the subject at this time.

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