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updated 9:21 AM, Oct 22, 2020 America/Chicago
  • Leggett Water Supply rescinds one notice, places another

                                   The area of the map highlighted in blue is where the boil water notice is for residents along Old Highway 35 in between Leggett and Seven Oaks.

    By Jason Chlapek

    POLK COUNTY - The Leggett Water Supply Company rescinded a nearly-week long boil water notice for residents in the Pratt subdivision and some along Marston Road in Livingston. However, some residences along Old Highway 35 in between Leggett and Seven Oaks had a boil water notice put in place for several residences in the area. The boil notice forresidences on Old Highway 35 was put into place Wednesday — the same day that the Pratt subdivision and Marston Road notice was rescinded. Both boil notices were put into place because of breaks in the respective service lines. Just like last week’s line break, the Wednesday line break was repaired quickly and a sample of the water was sent to Eastex Environmental Laboratory Inc. to get tested for bacteria.

     

  • Shepherd continues flood grant application

    Early voting 1Photo by Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula Shepherd City Hall is one of the early voting venues in San Jacinto County.

    By Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula

    POLK COUNTY - The City of Shepherd will send two revised Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (TxCDBG-MIT) applications to the Texas General Land Office before the Oct. 28 deadline. If approved, both will be used to improve drainage and sewer functions within the city. One will be for $14 million and the other for $4.2 million, with the city being responsible for paying one percent of each.

    More information on how the grants will be used if approved can be found at www.shepherdtx.org/public-notices. The city will host Trick or Treat in the Park on Friday, Oct. 30, with a time to be announced at a later date.The event will take place at the pavilion by city hall. For questions on the event or to set up a table, please contact Lauren Migil at 832-401-4058.The City of Shepherd meets every second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.shepherdtx.org and click on the “Agendas & Minutes” tab

  • Big Sandy bids farewell to board members

                                   JASON CHLAPEK | PCE Trustees Glen Goodwin (second from left) and Lee Ann Cain (second from right) receive a round of applause for their service with the Big Sandy ISD school board.Both Cain and Goodwin served their final meetings as trustees for the district. Neither one sought reelection for their terms, which expire Nov. 3.

    By Jason Chlapek

    POLK COUNTY — Monday night’s Big Sandy ISD school board meeting was the finalone as trustees for Lee Ann Cain and Glen Goodwin.

    Both trustees’ terms expire on Nov. 3, and neither one sought reelection. Goodwin was with the school board for 15 years, while Cain served four.

    “They really helped the district grow,” Big Sandy ISD Superintendent Eric Carpenter said. “They had good insight, good knowledge and worked well together. It’s a good board.”

    Four trustee positions are up for elections with newcomer Darrell Murphy and current trustees Mark Duff and Quentin Matthews running unopposed for Positions 2, 5 and 6, respectively. William Handy Jr. and Kabe Murphy are running for Position 4. Carpenter announced to the board that the Texas Education Agency approved the district’s Asynchronous Learning Plan. The TEA approved it on the first try.

    “It’s a compliment to our principals,” Carpenter said. “The Asynchronous Plan is how you’re going to utilize a learning management system, which for us is Google Classroom and how you’re going to instruct students virtually. The TEA had a template to work from and we received some good guidance from Region VI in Huntsville, who helped the administration develop it and even proofed it and gave it back to us and we made some adjustments before we submitted it.”

    The school board also approved Native American Policies and Procedures for the 2020-21 school year. The Big Sandy ISD student body is approximately 25% Native American.

    “We receive federal funds and have policies in place,” he said. “After meeting with the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, particularly their Education Department, we developed those policies and procedures. We usually do this in October.”

    The board also approved retrofit lighting to be installed in the gymnasium and a study on property values from 2012. Carpenter likes to perform retroactive property value studies.“You can do property value studies from past years to try to recoup money,” he said. “We use our tax attorneys to go and look at the data from our property values to try and garner additional funding.”

    Big Sandy ISD meets again at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16.

  • Breaking down barriers

    Livingston Football 19OCT2020Photo by Linda Jacobs and Jo’Hannah Proctor Livingston quarterback Damian Ruiz (3) dives into the end zone during the Lions’ 35-14 win at Splendora Friday night. Ruiz ran for two touchdowns and threw three more touchdown passes.

    By Brian Besch

    MONTGOMERY COUNTY – Livingston football keeps rolling, defeating the rival Wildcats 35-14 in Splendora Friday night. The team utilized the efforts of its defense and a balanced attack on offense to win in impressive fashion.

    The Livingston Lions have become one of the better stories of Class 4A football in 2020. A team for which many predicted a basement finish has won five straight games, has a 2-0 record in district play, and is trending toward a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

    “That was a long time coming,” Livingston head coach Finis Vanover said. “Three years of grueling misery, shame, embarrassment and whippings. These seniors stuck it out and went through three years of that misery and they have made a commitment and a promise, and they are fulfilling every bit of it right now. All it took was to trust us to show you how to get there and you have to trust the Lord’s gift that you have and not waste it.”

    It was just two years ago that Splendora defeated the Lions 87-21, with not-so-subtle celebrations after each score. Last year, the Wildcats enjoyed a 48-15 win on the same field. Proud of the team’s performance, the coach said accomplishments like the win Friday were something that would not have happened in the past.

    “Not the last two years, but this fall when they showed up, the way they scrimmaged and the way they played Needville, I knew there was something really special going on. We are not as good as we can even be yet. That is the beauty. They (Splendora) are tapped out,” Vanover said pointing to the opposing sideline. “They can't play any better than they have the last two or three weeks. They got matched physically tonight, speed beat them, scheme beat them, and a kneel down on the 1-yard line.”

    Splendora (3-4, 1-1) began with the lead at 7-0.

    Livingston quarterback Damian Ruiz then led two touchdown drives, ending the first with a 26-yard touchdown strike to Julian Gardner and another on a six-yard run.

    The Wildcats’ Zane Obregon, who had both Splendora touchdowns and 106 yards rushing, scored once more. But the home team’s success ended there.

    The Lion defense that has been the squad’s reliable unit made a few adjustments and did not allow further damage.

    “We made some personnel movements and coach went to a different front,” Vanover said of the defense. “There was just a change in alignment with them and we moved them around to try to get them in some spaces. We couldn't match up with them and it took us that first series to realize that. We had to bring some blitzes and bring some heat from different directions and the coaches did a great job adjusting during the first half, but especially at halftime. (Defensive coordinator Dalton Murray), the secondary coaches and the outside linebacker guys did a great job getting the kids clued in on what we needed to do the second half to get some stops.”

    Ruiz (9-for-15, 219 yards, INT, 3 TDs) would later hit Izzy Enard on a 25-yard touchdown pass, sneak in his second rushing six-pointer, and find Gardner again for a 52-yard pass to score.

    Gardner had five catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns. If that wasn’t enough, the junior standout added an interception while playing defense.

  • Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs lose defensive struggle, 6-0

    Corrigan football 19Oct2020PHOTO BY ALBERT TREVINO The Corrigan-Camden defense takes down an Anderson-Shiro running back during Friday’s 6-0 loss in Anderson.

    By Albert Trevino

    POLK COUNTY– The Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs fell to the Anderson-Shiro Fighting Owls in a 6-0 shutout from Grimes County.

    In a low-scoring showcase for both defenses, the Owls needed just one scoring possession to make the difference in Friday’s district matchup.

    Anderson-Shiro’s defense locked down on the Bulldog rush attack and put consistent pressure on sophomore quarterback Christian Hood throughout the night.

    On the opening drive, Corrigan’s offense put together a couple of runs to get past midfield before stalling out and having to punt. The Bulldogs continued to struggle in the first quarter with three-consecutive three-and-outs inside their own territory.

    The Owls also had trouble moving the ball early, although they averaged stronger field position.

    The Bulldog defense made key stops in the first half to help prevent Anderson-Shiro from reaching the red zone. This included a turnover on downs and two straight three-and-outs.

    Late in the second quarter, Corrigan started to find some rhythm, marching down the field from their own 8-yard line. Hood threw a first-down pass to sophomore running back JaVarion Williams, then ran the ball to help reach Owl territory.

    However, time ran out for Corrigan and the offense suffered two straight sacks looking for the deep pass play. This left it scoreless at halftime.

    Anderson-Shiro came out swinging in the third quarter and shocked the Bulldog defense with a quick scoring drive that would ultimately decide the match.

    Owl senior quarterback Cole Werner and senior tight end Kelvin Adair both ran for large chucks to reach a first and goal. This set up Adair for a one-yard touchdown run up the middle with the missed extra point for a six-point game.

    Corrigan’s offense continued to show decline in the second half, while the defense bounced back to prevent any further big-play opportunities for the Owls. Williams made the defensive play of the game late in the fourth quarter with an interception in the end zone.

    Despite having two more chances to respond in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs could not establish field position beyond a couple of first-down conversions.

    In the final minutes during Corrigan’s last possession, Hood converted on a fourth down with a pass to Williams to reach near midfield. The Owls responded with more pressure on Hood and forced a quick turnover on downs to seal the game.

    Corrigan is set to host the New Waverly Bulldogs for the next district game this Friday.

  • Onalaska pines on Canyon Park

    Onalaska HorizontalPhoto by Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula Mayor Chip Choate swears in newly hired Police Officer Heather Perry.

    By Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula

    POLK COUNTY — The city board met for a quick meeting this month to provide information on early voting and ongoing city events.Canyon Park Months after a tornado struck the area several structures in the Canyon Park subdivision are still in violation of city ordinances, but will continue without penalty, as plans to correct or condemn structures are finalized with Onalaska Fire Marshall Lee Parish. A request to allow the full-time residents of a motor home within city limits in Canyon Park was made and denied. While the Canyon Park POA approved the structure, Parish stated that in the past similar mobile home requests have been denied within city limits, which falls in line with the current city ordinance in place.

    Other Business
    The board accepted the resignation of Jeremy Williams in good standing, and welcomed Heather Perry onto the police force for a standard probationary period. She is a graduate of the Angelina Police Academy in Lufkin, and Onalaska Police Chief Jessica Stanton said references spoke highly of Perry and that she led by example in the academy and strived to motivate the other cadets around her. Announcements Early voting is underway in Polk County. A schedule of times, places, sample ballots, and accepted forms of identification can be found at https://www.co.polk.tx.us/page/polk.co.clerk.election. A precinct map is also available.

    Twin Harbors will host a drive-thru Trunk-Or-Treat celebration on Saturday, Oct. 31 from12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Twin Harbors POA Pool Parking lot at 274 Valley view Drive in Onalaska. For any questions or if you wish to pass out candy, contact Barbara Dickens at 281-630-5120 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. fire department will hold their annual letter drive soon, their only fundraiser this year since the barbecue event was canceled due to the tornado. The City of Onalaska meets every second Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. at City Hall. Public comments can be made at beginning of the meeting.

  • Polk County gives firm green light for road repair bids

                                   Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy (right) signs an approval for an agenda itemduring commissioners court Tuesday morning at the Polk County Courthouse as Precinct 1 Commissioner Bob Willis looks on.

    By Jason Chlapek

    POLK COUNTY — Polk County commissioners approved the services of Bryan architecture firm Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong to advertise for construction bids on a Precinct 1 road during Tuesday’s Commissioner’s Court meeting at the Polk County Courthouse.The road in need of repair is Taylor Lake Road, which has been washed away once by high water from the nearby Trinity River. The road is located in Ace off of Farm-to-Market Road 2610, and is part of the Hurricane Harvey Recovery Project.

    “Taylor Lake Road was going to fall into the river again,” Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy said. “They already lost the road before so we’re on our second one. They fixed the culverts and guardrail.”

    Commissioners also approved the holiday schedule for 2021 fiscal year. The paid holidays are New Year’s Day (Friday, Jan. 1), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, Jan. 18) Presidents’ Day (Monday, Feb. 15), Good Friday (Friday, April 2), Memorial Day (Monday, May 23), Independence Day (Friday, July 2 or Monday, July 5), Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 5), Columbus Day (Monday, Oct. 10, 2021), Veterans Day (Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021), Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26, 2021), and Christmas (Thursday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Dec. 24, 2021).

    “We try to stay with federal holidays and we also try to make sure that everybody gets Fourth of July off,” Murphy said. “If the Fourth of July falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, then they get the Friday before or the Monday after the holiday off. This makes sure thatwe’re staying within the 13 days.

    ”A grant for $71,000 was approved as well. The grant is for Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding.“Those are grants that come through,” Murphy said. “We try to stay compliant with whatever the requirements are with whoever issued the grants. We have staff whose time was stretched. We want to make sure they’re paid, especially for employees who work too much. This happens a lot with emergency management, maintenance or IT departments. We work on comp time.”

    Commissioners also drew names for the sick leave pool. The names selected were Paula Baker (District Clerk), Matthew Brown (Jail), John Cabiness (Sheriff’s Office), Cassie Kosina (Tax Assessor Collector) and Judge Tolar (Road & Bridge Pct. 4).

    All four commissioners — Bob Willis (Pct. 1), Ronnie Vincent (Pct. 2), Milt Purvis (Pct. 3) and Tommy Overstreet (Pct. 4) — had items for which they wanted to accept bids or have rebids in regard to base material.

    “(The commissioners) don’t want to spend too much time and money traveling to get materials,” Murphy said. “They want to make sure where they’re traveling to get materials is close to them and they’re prudent with their tax dollars.”The next commissioners court will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27.