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Goodrich Texas City Hall 2018

Goodrich council hears presentation, adjusted fees

The Goodrich City Council heard a presentation from the new truck stop, adjusted fees for the community center and planned holiday festivities in October’s regular meeting Thursday. Representatives from the new On The Road truck stop on Highway 59 attended Thursday’s meeting, asking the council to consider a liquor store within the structure. The business, which opened last month, has considered other options like restaurants, but feel the space is not large enough or the right location. Positives shared with the council is that the store would bring additional business, revenue, and create more jobs. It was said that to purchase liquor currently, one must drive 6-20 miles and those consuming would wait until they are home with the proximity. Alderman Bobby Wright said he is not a drinker and doesn’t condone it, but that those wanting liquor would get it regardless. There are no laws in Goodrich against selling liquor. An application will be filed and sent to Austin and the City of…
Onalaska logo

City of Onalaska repeals old ordinances with new one

From Enterprise Staff The Onalaska City Council approved Ordinance No. 415 during its regular meeting Tuesday. Adoption of the new ordinance repealed Ordinance No. 395, the manufactured and modular home ordinance, Ordinance No. 396, building regulations, and Ordinance No. 409, building regulations. Onalaska Police Chief Jessica Stanton reported that the police department drove 2,822 miles during the month of September, conducting 216 subdivision checks and 63 business checks and responding to 329 calls. Two misdemeanor arrests and four felony arrests were made. Fifty warnings and 50 citations were issued. The department assisted the Polk County Sheriff’s Office 10 times and the Onalaska Volunteer Fire Department nine times. Thirty-five cases were worked and 11 warrants were issued. Onalaska Fire Chief Jay Stutts reported that the fire department responded to 29 calls during the month of September, 13 calls in the city and 19 in the county. The department responded to 28 calls during…
Easten Dean was the leading rusher for the night with  256 Yards on 19 carries and 2 Touchdowns. Photo by Charles Ballard. (Courtesy photos by Charles Ballard)

Coldspring wins homecoming tilt

Easten Dean was the leading rusher for the night with 256 Yards on 19 carries and 2 Touchdowns. Photo by Charles Ballard. (Courtesy photos by Charles Ballard) By Charles BallardSJNT correspondent COLDSPRING — After sweeping Tarkington 51-0 and Trinity 48-0, the Trojans finally faced a challenge with the Huntington Red Devils. COCISD faced a team that could push through the its defense, but only during the first half; after making a few alterations, the defense returned to hold the Red Devils scoreless in the second half en route to a 48-14 homecoming win on Friday. The opening drive set the tone of the game, as the Trojans managed to hold the Red Devils to a 3 and out. At the 5:15 mark in the first quarter the Trojans posted the first score of the night, with a nice run off-tackle for a 7-0 lead. The Red Devils did manage to move the ball the second set of downs but could not post any points. They turned the ball back over to the Trojans with a pick six, and 14-0 lead. Huntington…
COHS teacher James Smith preps students for SAT - COHS students have been studying hard under the tutelage of COHS math teacher James Smith for their upcoming SAT tests on Oct. 13. COCISD CCMR Counselor Kathryn Pedigo believes prepared students are successful students. "Nothing builds confidence like practice," said Pedigo. Courtesy photos by Kathryn Pedigo

Building tomorrow

COHS teacher James Smith preps students for SAT - COHS students have been studying hard under the tutelage of COHS math teacher James Smith for their upcoming SAT tests on Oct. 13. COCISD CCMR Counselor Kathryn Pedigo believes prepared students are successful students. "Nothing builds confidence like practice," said Pedigo. Courtesy photos by Kathryn Pedigo By Kathryn Pedigo COCISD College, Career & Military Readiness Counselor COLDSPRING — Coldspring-Oakhurst High School students are getting set for future opportunities as they prepare for the SAT and visit colleges. On Wednesday, Oct. 6, more than 50 Coldspring-Oakhurst High School seniors traveled by bus to Lufkin to participate in Rowdy Week, a recruiting event for Angelina College. Upon arrival, student ambassadors divided the students into groups and handed each student a Rowdy Week T-shirt. They learned college information such as the application process, degrees/certificates offered, student activities, housing, scholarships…
House Proposed

House, Senate representation stable

House ProposedBy Tony [email protected] AUSTIN — While San Jacinto County retains its representation in the Texas Legislature, population changes in the state means changes to district boundaries. Rep. Trent Ashby of Lufkin still has House District 57, and Sen. Robert Nichols still represents the county from Senate District 3. However, the borders of those districts will look different, should the Legislature approve the plans. Ashby’s district as it stands now is comprised Angelina, Houston, Leon, Madison, San Augustine and Trinity counties. Under the proposed plan, the district will be redesignated 9; Leon County will become part of a recast District 13, and Madison County will become part of District 12, currently represented by Kyle Kacal. In his column of Oct. 7, Ashby said that while he was pleased and excited about the new House district, but was disappointed not to keep Leon and Madison counties after months of advocating for them. He also said that he intends to run…
Trinity Countyseal 200

Officials to swap offices

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — An office swap proposal for officials of Trinity County met with some opposition Friday, but ultimately was approved by the Trinity County Commissioners Court. County Clerk Shasta Bergman and her team, as well as the voluminous records the office is required to keep, will be moved to an office in the annex across the street, one currently occupied by Elections Administrator Priscilla Rasbeary and 911 Addressing Coordinator Jolynn Wars. Elections and 911 Addressing will in turn be placed in the office on the second floor of the courthouse, currently occupied by the County Clerk. The reason for the moves is the files and record books the Clerk is required by law to keep, namely dealing with real estate, are heavy and causing weight stress on the courthouse’s second floor. The offices in the annex are on the ground floor. The motion passed, with Commissioner Tommy Park voting against it. In other business, the county: Appointed Lawrence…
The Livingston 10U team finished the season as runners up in the Dixie League World Series in Laurel, Miss. in August and was recognized by the Livingston City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

City honors baseball team, awards bid

The Livingston 10U team finished the season as runners up in the Dixie League World Series in Laurel, Miss. in August and was recognized by the Livingston City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten By Emily Banks [email protected] The Livingston 10U team that finished the season as runners up in the Dixie League World Series in Laurel, Miss. in August was recognized by the Livingston City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday. With the city having received a proclamation from State Representative James White recognizing the team’s achievement, Mayor Judy Cochran took the opportunity to invite the team and their parents so that she could congratulate them and present the proclamation on White’s behalf. Having won state three years in a row, the team defeated Louisiana 15-5 and dropped the final game 6-5 to Alabama. However, it is worth noting that the boys were awarded the sportsmanship award at the conclusion of the World Series. In…
Naskila Gaming Logo 250

List of groups supporting Naskila tops 80

From Enterprise Staff The number of civic and business groups stating formal support for Naskila Gaming recently surpassed 80 in a demonstration of building momentum for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas’ electronic bingo facility. The growing support for Naskila Gaming is the latest positive development for supporters of the facility, which is responsible for 700 jobs in East Texas. A federal judge in Beaumont recently ruled that the tribe can legally continue to operate Naskila Gaming, despite the state’s efforts to close the facility. Also, the U.S. House passed legislation earlier this year that would effectively protect Naskila Gaming from the state’s push to shut it down. “Our supporters in the community continue to actively advocate in support of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas and the hundreds of Texans who work at Naskila Gaming,” Nita Battise, Chairperson of the Tribal Council of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, said. “We are profoundly grateful to the…
Polk County Logo

Redistricting is underway for county

From Enterprise Staff The Polk County Commissioners Court recently received the numbers from the 2020 Census, much later than expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Texas Constitution requires all counties to look at redistricting after the census, Polk County is beginning this process now that the information has arrived. According to 2020 Census figures, Polk County gained 10.4% in its population since the last accounting in 2010, up from 45,413 to 50,123. The firm of Allison, Bass & Magee LLP was retained to assist in examining the data and developing a redistricting plan for Polk County. Texas Law allows a deviation in commissioners’ precincts of up to 10% before boundaries are required to be redrawn and the county is over—in total—by 30.66%. Precinct 1 is 18.26% higher than the ideal population and Precinct 3 is 12.4% below the ideal, so a shifting of boundaries must occur. Attorney Eric Magee gave a preliminary presentation of the numbers during the September 28th meeting…
A jam session during the 32nd Annual Heritage Village Museum Harvest Festival. (Jim Powers/Tyler County Booster Photo)

32nd Annual Harvest Festival held at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville

A jam session during the 32nd Annual Heritage Village Museum Harvest Festival. (Jim Powers/Tyler County Booster Photo) Beautiful weather, lots of kids and a big helping of Tyler County history were served Friday and Saturday at Heritage Village Museum in Woodville where the 32nd Annual Harvest Festival was held. The event features food, entertainment, demonstrations and crafts in the museum, a recreation of life in early Tyler County. Here's a photo gallery from this year's event. (Jim Powers/Tyler County Booster Photos)
K’Twon Franklin died at three months after he stopped breathing during a nap.

On track to a solution

K’Twon Franklin died at three months after he stopped breathing during a nap.By Brian [email protected] The tragic events on Sept. 30 have those who live on Glover Road pleading once more for a second option to cross the railroad tracks. The dirt road in Leggett is a mile from the railroad crossing to a dead end. To compound the issue, trains commonly stop on the tracks, blocking the crossing for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, and up to four hours. Last week, the Enterprise reported the story of Monica Franklin, whose 3-month-old baby, K’Twon, had stopped breathing during a nap. After an hour of CPR, paramedics arrived. A train was on the track for an hour and 10 minutes the day of Franklin’s emergency. It took the ambulance 30 minutes to receive K’Twon because they were stuck on the other side. The train started once Franklin and paramedics reached the tracks, delaying another five minutes to get across. An autopsy is still pending to determine the cause of death,…
coldspringcity

Coldspring to restart cleanup process

By Tony [email protected] COLDSPRING — After putting an ordinance banning nuisance properties within the city limits, the Coldspring City Council authorized the city attorney to begin contacting property owners. At its regular meeting on Oct. 4, the council directed the attorney to write a certified letter to property owners and give them time to respond. Should the city receive no response, the properties will be cleaned up and then the owners will be billed. The city approved the ordinance in August, saying it would be more appropriate dealing with junk storage, leaky exterior pipes, certain types of waste discharge, and grass and tree growth, as well as unkempt properties. The ordinance also would ban the accumulation of abandoned or derelict vehicles, unless it’s for a business such as a scrap yard. The ordinance also states that if a property owner is notified, they have 10 days to clean up the property; after that, the owner could be subject to a $500 fine per day, and…
Trinity Lady Tiger Ava Morrison (center) takes off in the crowd during the Lufkin Coke Classic Invitational cross country meet. (Courtesy Photo)

Tigers participate in Lufkin meet

Trinity Lady Tiger Ava Morrison (center) takes off in the crowd during the Lufkin Coke Classic Invitational cross country meet. (Courtesy Photo) TCNS staff LUFKIN — Lady Tiger Ava Morrison logged the best time and place in the Lufkin Coke Classic Invitational on Oct. 6. Morrison posted a time of 14:12 on the day. Coke Classic results Trinity Boys Varsity 87, Esteban Ruiz, 21:53.3; 92, Nicholas Parras, 22:18.3 Junior varsity 64, Christian Moreno, 23:19.6; 67, Preston Riddle, 23:27.8; 75, Misael Acosta, 24:26.5; 84, Gabriel Lopez, 26:14.8; 94, Christian Lopez, 28:36.6; 98, David Mckendree, 30:30.9; 99, Cash Allen, 30:31.7; 103, Benjamin Kaufman, 32:48.5 Junior High 43, John Parrish, 14:26.6; 63, Austin Beasley, 15:03.1; 106, Daniel Sanchez, 16:36.6; 135, Alex Sanchez, 17:56.8; 168, Jose' Lopez, 21:42.9; 169, Michael Ramirez, 22:59.5 Trinity Girls Varsity 9, Ava Morrison, 14:12.0; 48, Alyssa Cerda, 16:29.6; 54, Lilian Uresti, 16:56.1; 80, Zoey Gray, 18:28.0 Junior High 29, Skylar Knight, 16:11.3; 140,…
Polk County Logo

County approves recycling partnership agreement

By Emily Banks [email protected] A public/private partnership agreement between Polk County and Polk County Recycling and Beautification for operation of the recycling center was approved by the Polk County Commissioners Court during its regular meeting Friday. Tuesday’s regular session of the court was moved to Friday due to the court’s attendance at the County Judges and Commissioners Association Conference in Round Rock this week. “On December 8, 2020, the Court received a presentation from Dick Burr and Shawn Loring regarding their commitment to recycling efforts in Polk County. The collection station has been built and we did a grant application to DETCOG for equipment to make it successful. Shawn and Dick have managed volunteers to staff the facility and today we have a verbal agreement and so the proposed agreement was amended for your review to make it official,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said. “The terms of the proposed agreement are that Polk County agrees to…
Hero's Welcome Home

A HERO’S WELCOME HOME

Traffic downtown came to a halt early Wednesday as nearly 200 units from law enforcement, area fire departments and Sam Houston Electric Cooperative showed their respect for a hometown hero as the body of Yancy Williams, 54, of Livingston, was escorted home from a Houston hospital. Yancy died Tuesday after a lengthy battle with COVID-19. A graduate of Livingston High School, Yancy proudly served his country in the U.S. Marine Corp and in the U.S. Army Reserves. He served his community as a line technician with Sam Houston Electric Cooperative and as a firefighter with the Livingston Volunteer Fire Department. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten | PCE
Cole Overstreet

Parents mourn loss of son

Cole OverstreetBy Brian [email protected] It’s been two weeks since the fatal vehicle collision that took the life of Livingston High School senior Cole Overstreet. The accident was a head-on collision with Roy Grant Wagner, 40, of The Woodlands, who fled the scene after crossing over the road’s centerline. Wagner was charged with failure to stop and render aid resulting in death, along with unlawful carrying of a weapon and possession of marijuana. His criminal history reflects multiple arrests for DWI, and alcohol has been suspected to play a role in his most recent troubles. According to documents received by the Enterprise, his first DWI was in August of 2001, when he would have been 20 years of age. He received six months of probation from Harris County. His second DWI charge was 10 years later by the Pasadena Police Department, where he received a year of probation. In March of 2018, Wagner was charged with DWI and was convicted on a lesser charge, receiving two years…
Plant Sale

Plant sale options come straight from member gardens

Special to the News-Times SJC Master Gardeners will be at Livingston Trade Days on Oct. 16 for a fall propagation plant from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Members from Polk and San Jacinto counties have been propagating their own garden favorites throughout the spring and summer so buyers can choose from perennial, pollinator, succulent, and hopefully, herb and winter veggies. Long-time SJC Master Gardener Shirley Baker conducted a survey of plants that best survived our frozen week in February to provide suggestion for the plants best suited to our unpredictable weather. Many of the plants available are proven survivors of extreme Zone 8 weather. Most plants will be half-gallon size, ready for planting in the ground or larger containers. Some of the hundreds of plants available include bromeliad, white/yellow plumerias, amaryllis and giant crinium bulbs, sweet almond verbenas, multiple salvias and sages, passion vines, vitex trees, blackberries, redbud trees, copper canyon daisies, spider lilies,…
Taylor Red

Taylor Red to perform locally

For its second show this season, Livingston Community Concerts will present Taylor Red at 7:30 p.m. October 16 at the Polk County Commerce Center. Taylor Red is composed of identical triplet sisters hailing from Nashville. Nika, Natalie and Nicole Taylor make up the girl band whose sound is best described as fresh, fun and country. They are singers, songwriters, composers and multi-instrumentalists who play guitar, banjo, fiddle and mandolin. They were a Dove Award Nominee for Country Album of the Year in 2014. “Their program is influenced by country artists such as Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash as well as pop music artists like the Eagles and Tom Petty.” They have opened for Amy Grant, Charlie Daniels, Diamond Rio, Don Williams, High Valley, Josh Turner, Michael W. Smith, Neil McCoy, Ray Stevens and many others. They are also famous for their Sonic Drive-In commercials featured in 2020-2021. They have been featured in People Magazine not only for their music but also their success on…
Polk County Logo

County to begin process off redistricting

By Emily Banks [email protected] Attorney Eric Magee discussed and reviewed the initial assessment of Polk County for the purposes of redistricting during the recent regular meeting of the Polk County Commissioners Court. To ensure equal representation, Magee said the county’s total population, 46,409, divided by four, 11,602, should be the population of each precinct. Of the four precincts, he said Precinct 1 grew the most, with a population of 13,721, and Precinct 3 shrunk the most, with a population of 10,164. Commissioners approved adopting the findings of fact regarding the political boundaries of Polk County, Texas and an order redistricting of county political boundaries. A public hearing on the creation of a reinvestment zone to be known as Polk County Reinvestment Zone-Lone Spur for purposes of tax abatement to provide economic development within the county was held. “This is a reinvestment zone of approximately 6,600 acres east of Lake Livingston State Park and…
Groveton ISD logo 250

Groveton schools extend staff benefits

TCNS staff GROVETON — Groveton ISD staff will still have time available to them if necessary to take off because of a positive COVID test. Superintendent Jim Dillard said the board passed a resolution to extend the employee emergency sick leave that covers employees for COVID days. “The government had extended it to Sept. 30, but the board will continue it through the remainder of the school year,” he said. The policy covers employees for 10 days if they or a child in their immediate family has to be out because of a positive COVID test. Documentation must be provided to the district justifying the leave. Additionally, Dillard said the number of staff and students being out because of COVID dropped significantly from the beginning of the year, when the district was closed. There are two cases in staff members at the elementary school, and none at the other campuses, Dillard said. There are students that have tested positive at the other campuses, but only a few. In other business, the…
Fun was had by children of all ages on the midway during the Trinity Community Fair. )Photos by Tony Farkas/TCNS)

Trinity Community Fair - Fair-ly excellent (Gallery & Winners)

Fun was had by children of all ages on the midway during the Trinity Community Fair. )Photos by Tony Farkas/TCNS) By Tony [email protected] TRINITY —Another fair, another rousing success, and another exciting time for the youth of Trinity. The Trinity Community Fair, held Friday and Saturday, was a great success, said Misty Coleman, PR person for the fair association. Coleman said the success is not possible without the community and the sponsors that always give back. The auction Saturday night totaled $84,415. 2021 Trinity Community Fair Results Parade First Place: Trinity FFA and Trinity 4-H 2nd Place: Trinity PeeWee Cheer Third Place: The Haley Burk Memorial Foundation Steer Show Grand Champion: Haden Coleman Reserve Champion and Showmanship: Kayla Kembro Third place: Grace Tullos Fourth place: Hunter Ogden Heifer Show Grand Champion Heifer: Kayla Kembro Reserve Champion Heifer: Grace Tullos Junior Showmanship: Drew Kembro Senior Showmanship: Grace Tullos Goat Show…
Trinity Countyseal 200

County forms jail committee

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — The county is taking the first steps toward possibly building a new jail. At its regular meeting on Sept. 28, the Trinity County Commissioners’ Court approved a committee to do research and bring recommendations back to the court regarding the jail. The panel consists of four people from public — one from each County Precinct — as well as the District and County attorneys, Sheriff Woody Wallace, and two members of the court. Sam Shanafelt, Ricky Hortman, Julie Merchant and Don Hamilton will serve on the committee, and the court members nominated were Neal Smith and Steven Truss. County Judge Doug Page said the county has spent $400,000 this year to house inmates out of county. In other business, the county: approved a raise in per diem meal rates from $46 per day to $59 per day — $13 for breakfast, $15 for lunch and $26 for dinner; approved a tax rate which is the same as last year — $0.5846 per $100 valuation; approved the county…
100721 car show 250

Coldspring Chamber to host annual car show

SJNT staff COLDSPRING — The 36th annual Wolf Creek Car, Truck and Bike Show opens Oct. 16-17. Sponsored by Coldspring Chamber of Commerce and the Trinity River Authority, it is one of the largest events in the county. It is held at TRA Wolf Creek Park, FM 244 at Park Road 60, in Coldspring. It features old classics and new machines; vendors will be present; and there will be activities for children. Of course, awards will be given out for the different categories. Those categories include: Cars and Trucks (34 categories) Pre-war cars and truck 1939 & Older; Street Rods; Cars 1940-1954; Cars 1955, 1956, and 1957; Cars 1958-1965; Cars 1966-1979; Cars 1980-1999; Cars 2000-present; Trucks 1940-1969; Custom Cars 1970-1999; Custom Cars 2000-present; Trucks 1940-1959; Trucks 1960-1969; Trucks 1970-1979; Trucks 1980-1989; Trucks 1990-present; Custom Trucks (all years); SUV 1960-2000 (Blazer, Bronco, Jimmy, Tahoe, Suburban); 4x4; Muscle Cars 1960-1972; Imports; Imports Muscle Tuner/Sports Car; Rat Rods; Convertibles; Under Construction;…
This is the only crossing for Glover Road, also known as Old Highway 35 North. Photos by Brian Besch

Tragedy on the tracks

This is the only crossing for Glover Road, also known as Old Highway 35 North. Photos by Brian Besch By Brian [email protected] Getting to and from home has, at times, been difficult for those living on Glover Road in Leggett the past 30 years. The one-mile stretch has homes on around 16 different plots of land. Glover Road, also known as Old Highway 35 North, is next to the train tracks that run parallel to Highway 59 in Leggett. The problem is that the road dead ends and there is only one crossing to reach Highway 59 or any other road. Residents remember a time when there was a second crossing and many are hopeful that will again be the case in the future. “My daughter and my nephew are the only ones that go to Leggett (ISD) on this road because there are a lot of elderly people that live here. I told my husband about a week ago that someone is going to have an emergency out here and they (emergency responders) are not going to be able to get to them. Sure enough, it was my…
COCISD Special Programs & CTE Director Jeff Eichman and Child Nutrition Director Amanda Dunaway stand in line for the delicious meal prepared and served by the Coldspring-Oakhurst High School advanced culinary arts students for the COCISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Sept. 27.  (Photos Courtesy Cassie Gregory)

Coldspring-Oakhurst ISD board discusses the future

COCISD Special Programs & CTE Director Jeff Eichman and Child Nutrition Director Amanda Dunaway stand in line for the delicious meal prepared and served by the Coldspring-Oakhurst High School advanced culinary arts students for the COCISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Sept. 27. (Photos Courtesy Cassie Gregory) Special to the News-Times COLDSPRING — The Coldspring-Oakhurst ISD board heard public comment on the consideration of developing a District of Innovation Plan to commence with the 2022-23 school year. The Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting on Sept. 27. Special Programs Director Jeff Eichman presented the results of a public survey on the subject, which reflected overwhelmingly positive support for opportunities a DOI makes available, such as starting the school year earlier, personnel flexibility, and other innovations that would improve student outcomes. In a separate matter, principals campus enrollment numbers as of Monday, Sept 27. James Street…
groveton texas city limits 250

Groveton utility rates to go up

TCNS staff GROVETON — The Groveton City Council approved a modest increase in water rates at its regular meeting on Sept. 27. Mayor Tommy Walton said council members approved a 6 percent increase, which will increase the average bill around $4. City Accountant Jack Pashtag had petitioned the council for a 10 percent increase in water and sewer rates, saying the city has not had a rate increase in years, which was creating a funding problem for maintaining the city systems. After some discussion, the council approved a 6 percent increase, but left room for another increase if after a few months the city needed more. In a related matter, Walton presented information on converting the city systems to electronic water meters. “Our old meters are not accurate and we have performed studies on a sampling of meters and realize that we have at least a 17 percent loss on the old meters under-reading,” he said. “The new meters will be more accurate and can even be monitored by apps on customer…
Lady Pirates go to block a shot. (Courtesy Photos)

Lady Pirates dominate Livingston

Lady Pirates go to block a shot. (Courtesy Photos) Special to the News-Times SHEPHERD — Shepherd Volleyball had a big district win against the Lady Lions on Friday night. Head Coach Sarah Evans said the team went four sets, losing the first set 15-25, and winning the next three 26-24, 25-20 and 25-22. The Shepherd Lady Pirates volleyball team enjoys a moment. “It was a big team win including Crista Hinds (front row) and Nevaeh Murphy (back row),” Evans said. “Both added to the team's success with digs and blocks.” Evans said Grace Ramos, Kaylee Barlow, Crista Hinds and Valentina Beiza all had crucial kills and digs on the front row, and the back row was on fire with digs and coverage. At the game against Liberty, Evans said Crista Hinds was a blocking machine and helped keep Shepherd in the game. “We fought hard throughout the game but we just didn't have it that night,” he said. “We lost in three sets.” The Lady Pirates face Hamshire-Fannett on the road and Huffman this week. Going…
District Librarian Erin Goad, along with other members of the Shepherd School District, recognized the Shepherd Intermediate Library Art Contest winners. Students were encouraged to submit an entry — painting, writing, photograph, or a drawing — which included information about an animal. Those winners include: Third Grade, Mixed Media – Christopher Cabrera, Photography – Rylan Firmin, and Painting & Drawing – Olivia Payton; Fourth Grade, Mixed Media – Devin Wedergren, Photography – Josie Guereque, Writing – Catherine Santiago, and Painting & Drawing – Briley White; and Fifth Grade, Mixed Media – Carol Brown, Photography – Harley Newton, Writing – Kaitlyn Brown, and Painting & Drawing – Karlee McGee. (Courtesy Photo)

Shepherd ISD Board approves additional leave

District Librarian Erin Goad, along with other members of the Shepherd School District, recognized the Shepherd Intermediate Library Art Contest winners. Students were encouraged to submit an entry — painting, writing, photograph, or a drawing — which included information about an animal. Those winners include: Third Grade, Mixed Media – Christopher Cabrera, Photography – Rylan Firmin, and Painting & Drawing – Olivia Payton; Fourth Grade, Mixed Media – Devin Wedergren, Photography – Josie Guereque, Writing – Catherine Santiago, and Painting & Drawing – Briley White; and Fifth Grade, Mixed Media – Carol Brown, Photography – Harley Newton, Writing – Kaitlyn Brown, and Painting & Drawing – Karlee McGee. (Courtesy Photo) By Tony [email protected] SHEPHERD — The Shepherd ISD Board of Managers will continue offering extended leave to staff members who test positive for COVID. The vote was at the Sept. 16 regular meeting. Superintendent Jason Hewitt said the days shall be capped at 10…
KINDNESS SHOWN - Students at Leggett ISD recently made and posted a banner in their school that says “Leggett ISD is thinking of Livingston ISD,” signed by numerous students, to show their support for Livingston ISD in light of the tragedies that have befallen the district this past week. A senior band member was killed in an automobile accident following the Homecoming football game last Friday and just days later, two beloved teachers died from complications stemming from COVID-19. (l-r) Addison Hinson, Jacolby Sells and Jesse Calderas. Courtesy photo

Missionary addresses Rotary Club

Josh Dorrell, a member of the Galveston Rotary Club, recently presented a program to the Livingston Rotary Club about the Segera Mission in Kenya, of which he serves as executive director. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten | PCE By Emily Banks [email protected] Josh Dorrell, a member of the Galveston Rotary Club, recently presented a program to the Livingston Rotary Club about the Segera Mission in Kenya, of which he serves as executive director. According to Dorrell, the Segera Mission was founded by Rev. Carlton “Pappy” Gleason in 2002, after first visiting Kenya four years earlier and seeing the tremendous needs. At the age of 88, Gleason, called “Pappy” by all that knew him, started a medical clinic, a school, a feeding program for widows and orphans, and a mission outreach program. When he died there at age 94 over 1,400 people attended his funeral. Following his death, Gleason’s daughter Janice ran the mission while searching for someone who could carry on her and her…
Tracy Adrian

Two Livingston locals convicted of DWI

Tracy AdrianFrom Enterprise Staff A Polk County jury returned a guilty verdict against Tracy Todd Adrian, 52 of Livingston, Wednesday. Adrian was found guilty of the offense of driving while intoxicated in conjunction with an incident that occurred at 1:35 a.m. on April 7, 2019. According to evidence presented during the trial, a 911 caller told a dispatcher that Adrian’s vehicle, which was traveling eastbound on Hwy. 190, was “all over the road … like really, really bad … he just almost ran into the guardrail.” An officer with the Livingston Police Department responded, locating and making contact with Adrian. Standard field sobriety tests were administered and blood was drawn pursuant to a search warrant. The analysis reflected Adrian’s blood alcohol content to be more than twice the legal limit. Video of the stop was not provided to jurors as the camera was in nonworking condition at the time of the stop. Adrian faces up to six months in jail and up to a $2000 fine. On Thursday, a…
Covid graphic

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing available

From Enterprise Staff Polk County has partnered with AIT Laboratories, a HealthTrackRx company, to offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing in the parking lot behind the Polk County Annex at 602 E. Church St. Hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. To register for a COVID-19 test in the patient portal and to receive your results go to https://cov19.health and enter the following information: • Location code: POLKCOTX • Agree to disclaimer • Complete medical data questionnaire • Enter insurance and driver’s license information and bring insurance card and license to testing location • Click agree and submit You will receive a confirmation via text/email that you have registered. Please have your confirmation number with you when you come to test. You will get your test results via text and email once finalized. There is a specific route to take to participate in the drive-thru testing. Head east on East Church Street and turn right on Campbell Avenue, then turn…
Dr. Gregory Maze (left) and Coach Norris Taff both died of Covid-19.

Livingston ISD loses 2 teachers to COVID

Dr. Gregory Maze (left) and Coach Norris Taff both died of Covid-19. The tragic news from Livingston ISD has continued, as two faculty members have died due to Covid-19. The same day an auto accident claimed the life of a high school senior last week, Dr. Gregory Maze, a substitute teacher who had been with the district for many years, died due to Covid. Maze was a 1980 graduate of Livingston High School and said to be a lifelong musician, world traveler, psychiatrist and medical doctor. He was recognized in 2013 as the LHS Outstanding Graduate. “In times like this, we are reminded just how precious life can be and how fragile each of us truly is,” Livingston superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins said. “We were fortunate to have Dr. Gregory Maze work for years as a long-term substitute for LISD. He passed away yesterday, losing his fight with Covid. Prayers are needed for his entire family, including his mother, Delores Maze, a long-time teacher, and Greg’s brother, Jerry Maze, who was a…
093021 youth football

Trinity Youth Football Season starts

The Trinity Youth Football team has its first game of the season on Oct. 2. Freshman, Junior Varsity and Varsity games start at 9 a.m. at Trinity High School. Courtesy photo
A Trinity runner gains ground against the Diboll Lumberjacks. (Courtesy photo by Scott Womack)

Trinity falls in opener

A Trinity runner gains ground against the Diboll Lumberjacks. (Courtesy photo by Scott Womack) By Scott WomackTCNS correspondent DIBOLL — The Tigers were unable to sustain any scoring drives and dropped the district opener 49-8. The Tigers faced the 2020 defending District Champion Lumberjacks on Friday. The Tigers received the opening kickoff and were unable to move the ball and were forced to punt. The Lumberjacks first possession resulted in a 72-yard scoring drive, and with the Tigers blocking the extra point kick, Trinity trailed 6-0 with 5:15 left in the first quarter. The Tigers were able to move the ball on their next drive, starting at their own 23-yard line, and a mix of passing and running put the Tigers in position to reach the end zone. On third & 10 from the Lumberjack 12-yard line, Cole Caldwell was able to complete a pass to Terius Maxie for a touchdown. The Tigers took the lead on a pass from Andrew Crabtree to Caldwell for a successful 2-point try and an 8-6 lead…
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Redistricting may mean change in Trinity

Proposed districts By Tony [email protected] AUSTIN — A plan being considered by the Texas Legislature for redistricting U.S. Congressional Districts could mean a different representative for Trinity County. Labeled PLANC2101, Trinity County will become part of Congressional District 17, leaving District 8. Other notable area changes include part of Walker County, as well as Madison and Grimes counties, will move into District 10. According to documents from the Texas Legislative Council, congressional districts have been apportioned by a population count of 766,987 Current DistrictsDistrict 8 currently is represented by Republican Kevin Brady, who has announced his retirement and will serve out his remaining term. District 17 is represented by Republican Pete Sessions, a Republican from Waco. District 10 is represented by Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin. While District 17 picked up more of East Texas, it lost ground in the west, which was assumed by District 10.…
The marker at Jim English Cemetery is one of the 255 historic site markers in Houston County issued by the Texas Historical Commission. (COURIER FILE PHOTO)

How historical markers came to be in Texas

The marker at Jim English Cemetery is one of the 255 historic site markers in Houston County issued by the Texas Historical Commission. (COURIER FILE PHOTO)By Jan [email protected] Houston County is rich with historical markers. You can spot their distinctive shape without even knowing what they commemorate. But where did they originate? What qualifies a person or place for this distinction? A little background information helps us understand how these markers came into being. As much as we'd like to think that historic preservation was an American idea, the practice actually started in England. In 1863 a member of Parliament, William Ewart, presented the idea to the House of Commons. It wasn't until 1889 that the United States government took a step in this direction by reserving a tract of land in Arizona containing the prehistoric Casa Grande Ruin. But there was no actual legislation concerning preserving natural, cultural, or scientific features, although there were…
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Family still looking for missing Tyler County man

Missing ManBy Chris [email protected] The family of a missing Tyler County man issued a bulleting via social media to remind the public to be on the lookout for 72-year-old Thomas Thornton. The Town Bluff resident has been missing since Wednesday, March 24 and was last seen on video footage the next day at a gas station in Hemphill. His family has been concerned for his wellbeing. Thornton, who is a combat veteran who served during the Vietnam War, has issues with PTSD as well as dementia, according to family members. More troubling, he did not take any of the medications with him, on which he is dependent. When he was last seen leaving his home in Town Bluff around 6 p.m. on that day in March, he was heading to Jasper, where he used his debit card at Brookshire Bros. According to the timeline of Thornton’s last known whereabouts, which were gleaned from security cameras and cell phone pings, he was last on the grid on March 26, when his cell signal was pinged in…
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County approves budget

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners’ Court approved its budget for the next year, but not without some disagreement. The approval was given at a Sept. 21 special meeting. The county also approved the salary schedule for elected officials, which reflect changes that were made after the county commissioned a salary survey several months ago. Commissioner Neal Smith pointed out that the commissioners had an older version of the budget document, which did not show the same figures as County Judge Doug Page and County Auditor Bonnie Kennedy had. While questioning some of the differences, and specific line items, Kennedy upbraided Smith for his disrespectful attitude, while Smith maintained he needed to be able to question items in the budget. During the public hearing on the budget, David Robison, owner of Groveton EMS, petitioned the court for a $250 per month increase to help offset costs that have gotten out of control because of COVID. The…
Ina Dilemma, pictured left-to-right: Michael Hanna (guitar/vocals); Felesha Sterling (vocals); Krista Thompson (drums) and Mike Jones (bass). (PHOTO COURTESY OF INA DILEMMA)

Emporium Stage hosting Ina Dilemma

Ina Dilemma, pictured left-to-right: Michael Hanna (guitar/vocals); Felesha Sterling (vocals); Krista Thompson (drums) and Mike Jones (bass). (PHOTO COURTESY OF INA DILEMMA)By Chris [email protected] WOODVILLE – The Emporium Stage in downtown Woodville is bringing another live music event to the public this weekend. Regional blues-rockers Ina Dilemma will take the stage at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $15 for general admission. All proceeds from the show will go toward the Emporium Stage and its efforts to continue bringing quality live entertainment to Woodville. Singer/guitarist Kirsten Hardmant will open the show. Hardmant will start at 6:15 p.m. and has played around town at venues such as Doretta’s Lair and the Magnolia Bar and Grill as a solo act. She draws from a large repertoire of classic singer-songwriter-type rock and soft rock songs, including covers of Tom Petty and James Taylor. Ina Dilemma, a four-piece band that…
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County ready to implement technology action plan

By Chris [email protected] HOUSTON COUNTY – The push to get broadband access into rural areas, such as Houston County, has been on the lips of many for the past several years, including several legislators and governing bodies. Legislative efforts in the last regular session of the Texas Legislature resulted in bills being passed into law, which were spearheaded by local state representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) and state senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville). Their legislation, which was deemed a priority issue by Gov. Greg Abbott, resulted in the adoption of a statewide broadband office. Last week, Connected Nation Texas announced it is getting ready to implement the Technology Action Plan in Houston County. The plan was developed after a survey was conducted between the period of January and May of this year. Through the survey, responses were collected from 391 households. The purpose of the survey, according to a Connected Nation news release, was to determine the…
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Houston County Authorities asking help in finding fugitive Low

Rex Low, Jr.HCC Staff Reports CROCKETT – The Houston County Sheriff’s Office put out a bulletin last week regarding a wanted man. According to Houston County Sheriff Randy Hargrove, Rex Duncan Low, Jr., currently has three outstanding warrants for his arrest. The active warrants include: theft (elderly individual); engaged in organized criminal activity and aggravated assault. Hargrove said that if Low is spotted, anyone who sees him should not attempt to contact him but should instead contact local law enforcement and provide the location and any other information available to dispatch, so that an officer can act upon the information. HCSO can be contacted at 936-544-2862 or via email at [email protected] A basic public records search showed that Low’s last known address was in Crockett and he has used the alias Low Radley. He is 32 years old and is heavily tattooed.
James White

White files COVID-related bills

James WhiteBy Chris [email protected] AUSTIN – State Rep. James White (R-Hillister) has filed two COVID-related bills last week, one of which prohibits vaccine mandates. While filed the two bills, HB 93 and 94, last Tuesday, after the Texas Legislature’s third special session began. The text of the bill refers to the Pelosi Congressional Vaccination Doctrine Act, and would prohibit businesses and governmental entities in the state of Texas from requiring customers and employees from requiring vaccinations or documentation certifying vaccination status. The text of the bill also states that businesses which require employees to provide proof of vaccination(s) will not be eligible to receive a grant or enter into a contract payable with state funding. The accompanying bill, HB 94, relates to the establishment of a COVID-19 health information clearinghouse through the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM). TDEM would, under the bill, maintain a database of…
Memorial to student - Students gather around a memorial built in Cole Overstreet’s parking space Monday afternoon. The Livingston High School senior was said to be someone who was always smiling and caused others to do the same. Photos by Brian Besch | PCE

Livingston senior killed in hit and run

Memorial to student - Students gather around a memorial built in Cole Overstreet’s parking space Monday afternoon. The Livingston High School senior was said to be someone who was always smiling and caused others to do the same. Photos by Brian Besch | PCE By Emily Banks [email protected] Livingston High School student Cole Edward Overstreet, 18, of Livingston, was killed in a hit-and-run collision that occurred Friday night on FM 350 South near Kate Lowe Road. Overstreet, a member of the Livingston Royal Brigade Marching Band, was driving southbound on FM 350 South following the Livingston football game when a northbound vehicle crossed the centerline, colliding head-on with Overstreet’s. Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Robert “Dooley” Johnson performed an inquest at the scene. Roy WagnerAlthough the other driver fled the scene, he turned himself in Sunday night and was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail. Roy Grant Wagner, 40 of The Woodlands, was charged…
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Investigators seeking help in murder investigation

By Chris [email protected] SPURGER – A murder that occurred in March near Spurger has investigators asking for the public’s help in solving the case. The shooting death of Jamerion D. Mitchell, a 32-year-old Lufkin man, occurred at a party on the early morning of Sunday, March 21, at a residence known as Stittem Hill. According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, investigators with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office are working with the Texas Ranger to investigate Mitchell’s murder. Weatherford said that law enforcement working on the case have interviewed “several potential witnesses and followed several leads.” One aspect of the crime that had investigators puzzled from the beginning is the number of people who were present at the party, and the lack of cooperation from anyone regarding the crime. There were more than 100 individuals gathered at the residence, which was a trail ride party, and shortly after the initial investigation, Weatherford reached out to…
Chamber Board Chairman John Frank Clifton, above left,  presented Francisco Lopez of Corrigan, above right, with a Community Service Award from the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.  Photo by Emily Banks Wooten | PCE

Community service award presented

Chamber Board Chairman John Frank Clifton, above left, presented Francisco Lopez of Corrigan, above right, with a Community Service Award from the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten | PCE Emily Banks [email protected] Francisco Lopez of Corrigan received a Community Service Award from the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday during the chamber’s quarterly membership luncheon held at the Sechrest Webster Community Center in Corrigan. Chamber Board Chairman John Frank Clifton presented the award. Beginning this year, the chamber is presenting community service awards quarterly during its membership luncheons, recognizing citizens from various communities within the county rather than just one at the annual banquet. All four award recipients this year will be recognized at the 2022 awards banquet. “This year, the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce has elected to present a Community Service Award to…
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LISD Stipend voted down

From Enterprise Staff The Livingston school board heard a quarterly investment report and voted against a stipend in September’s regular school board meeting Monday. LISD Chief Financial Officer Ben Davidson presented the quarterly investment report and annual investment policy. The beginning balance on May 31 was $34,272,448, and the ending balance on Aug. 31 was $28,861,805. The interest earned in June was $6,668, July was $6,754 and August was $6,015. The Livingston ISD Investment Schedule reflected a beginning balance on Sept. 1, 2020, of $24,546,206 and an ending balance on Aug. 31, 2021, of $28,861,805. The interest earned over the year was $76,257 in investments. The board approved the quarterly investment report and investment schedule as presented. Upon returning from closed session, the board voted 4-3 against a resolution to provide a one-time Covid-19 vaccination stipend for all LISD employees. The stipend would have been a $500 addition for those who received the vaccine.…
The Brookshire brothers and their parents at a family reunion on Fern Lake in Nacogdoches, Texas, in the 1930s. Pictured left to right: Bryan (Jack) Brookshire, Wood Brookshire, Houston Brookshire, Fannie Brookshire, Jasper Brookshire, Austin Brookshire and Lee Brookshire Sr. (Courtesy Photo)

Brookshire Brothers celebrates 100th anniversary

The Brookshire brothers and their parents at a family reunion on Fern Lake in Nacogdoches, Texas, in the 1930s. Pictured left to right: Bryan (Jack) Brookshire, Wood Brookshire, Houston Brookshire, Fannie Brookshire, Jasper Brookshire, Austin Brookshire and Lee Brookshire Sr. (Courtesy Photo) Special to the News-Times LUFKIN — Brookshire Brothers Inc. whole-heartedly believes in being good people who sell good food and do good deeds in the communities where they live and work, and they’ve been doing just that for the past 100 years. In honor of its centennial anniversary, Brookshire Brothers and its more than 6,000 employee owners celebrated on Saturday. A surviving legacy Founded in September 1921, Brookshire Brothers has grown from a small general store in downtown Lufkin to encompass 116 grocery and convenience stores, 72 pharmacies, 87 fueling stations, a fleet of trucks and trailers, a massive, centralized distribution center, a handful of coffee shops and two event venues. In…
Rep. Trent Ashby (right) and Sen. Robert Nichols discuss some of the successes of this year’s legislative session during a Town Hall meeting recently. (Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS)

Legislators give session update

Rep. Trent Ashby (right) and Sen. Robert Nichols discuss some of the successes of this year’s legislative session during a Town Hall meeting recently. (Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS) By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — During a brief two-week respite between legislative sessions, area legislators gave updates to their constituents about the work being done — before having to return to Austin for a third special session. Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, and Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, spoke to members of the Trinity County Republican Party on Sept. 13. “I feel like I’m in the session that will never end,” Nichols said. Nichols recounted some of the larger issues that was dealt with during the main session — Winter Storm Uri, and how our electricity grid was so vulnerable; a voter integrity bill that made it harder for people to cheat, and that Texas is now a Second Amendment sanctuary state. However, one big area of concern which flew under the radar was spam and…
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Trinity passes contentious budget

By Tony [email protected] TRINITY — The Trinity City Council approved a budget that includes a 5 percent raise for employees, but not without pushback from council members. At a meeting on Thursday, the council approved a budget with general fund expenditures of $3,854,750. Additionally, the council approved a tax rate that is exactly the same as last year’s, $0.6138 per $100 valuation. State accountant and City Council Member Clegg DeWalt said he looked over both versions of the budget, but budgets do not guarantee the availability of funds. He in particular questioned a “$120,000 hole in our bucket” regarding income from selling water to other county entities. “If we pass this budget with pay raises, and the money doesn’t materialize, what will we do to cover those pay raises?” he asked. Council Member Bubba Smith said the city will end up going into debt. He also said that a blanket raise of 5 percent did not seem fair. “Why does (a police officer) that has been here 6…
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Ivanhoe adopts proposed tax rate

By Chris [email protected] IVANHOE – In an emergency meeting of the Ivanhoe City Council, last Thursday, council voted on the city’s proposed tax rate for the coming fiscal year. Mayor Cathy Bennett began the meeting, after calling it to order, by explaining that the proposed tax rate needed to be published in the newspaper prior to adopting the official rate, which will take place on Sept. 29. after a public hearing on the budget and tax rate. Bennett explained that the proposed tax rate is 0.8322 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. This rate includes factoring in the over 65 exemption, and the estimated values of taxable property with this rate would decrease by $1 million from last year’s values, from $84 million to $83 million. The proposed rate was unanimously approved by the council. A regular council meeting followed the emergency-called meeting, and the council and Bennett heard from Victoria Dye, of LJA Engineering. Dye spoke about bids received for road…
Scene from a past Heritage Village Harvest Festival. (Jim Powers Photo)

Harvest Festival slated; volunteers needed

Scene from a past Heritage Village Harvest Festival. (Jim Powers Photo) By Chris [email protected] WOODVILLE – Following a forced hiatus due to the coronavirus, the Harvest Festival is returning to Heritage Village. The festival will take place on Oct. 15-16, and this will mark year number 32 for the region’s premiere folk-life festival. Ofeira Gazzaway, the director of Heritage Village, said the festival is still in need of demonstrators and volunteers. Volunteers, Gazzaway said, are essential to the Village’s (and the Harvest Festival’s) success and longevity. For those who wish to participate in the festival as a vendor or demonstrator, they are welcome to do so if their product(s) are appropriate to the time period of 1840-1920, which is the span of time that the Village covers. During Harvest Festival, participants dress in period costumes, use tools of the period and demonstrate skills that settlers used during the time period. The festival always includes…
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LISD will not tolerate TikTok challenge

By Emily Banks [email protected] The “devious lick,” a challenge on the social media application TikTok, has come to the Livingston Independent School District and LISD officials are not going to tolerate it. In fact, any student involved in these actions could face the consequences of in-school suspension, school suspension, disciplinary alternative school placement or even criminal charges. Through this challenge—which seems to have become something of a national phenomenon—students video themselves stealing property from their school or faculty and see what attention they can get from vandalizing school facilities. “At this point, the vandalism of school property has been mild, but the theft of property from both the school and staff has been both monetary value and sentimental as well. Our dedicated custodial staff has gone above and beyond expectations to clean up after these poor decisions have been made by some of our students. Either way, these decisions by our…
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Infectious disease doctor addresses monoclonal antibody therapy

Dr. Nagakrishnal NachimuthuBy Emily Banks [email protected] “The best strategy is prevention which is through vaccination. In addition, continue to do masking and physical distancing.” These are the words of Dr. Nagakrishnal Nachimuthu, an infectious disease physician at CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial-Livingston. Nachimuthu addressed the media during a press conference Monday to announce the opening of the state-supported Polk County Regional Infusion Center to help treat COVID-19 patients in East Texas. “I would like to start off by mentioning that I am very appreciative of the initiative taken up by State of Texas in partnership with Polk County administration, hospital administration during this unprecedented time to set up this monoclonal antibody infusion for our community,” Nachimuthu said. “Monoclonal antibody therapy is an outpatient therapy. It is indicated for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at risk of progression to severe disease. This should…
A press conference to announce the opening of the Polk County Regional Infusion Center was held Monday morning at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston. The center opened Monday afternoon at the Dunbar Gym at 1103 N. Dunbar Ave. in Livingston (l-r) Sam Murra, Polk County deputy emergency management coordinator; Courtney Comstock, Polk County emergency management coordinator; Dr. Nagakrishnal Nachimuthu, infectious disease physician with CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston; Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy; Kristi Froese, vice president of clinical operations at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston; and Jason Minchew, director of hospital operations at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten | PCe

Regional infusion center opens in Livingston

A press conference to announce the opening of the Polk County Regional Infusion Center was held Monday morning at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston. The center opened Monday afternoon at the Dunbar Gym at 1103 N. Dunbar Ave. in Livingston (l-r) Sam Murra, Polk County deputy emergency management coordinator; Courtney Comstock, Polk County emergency management coordinator; Dr. Nagakrishnal Nachimuthu, infectious disease physician with CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston; Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy; Kristi Froese, vice president of clinical operations at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston; and Jason Minchew, director of hospital operations at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten | PCe By Emily Banks [email protected] The state-supported Polk County Regional Infusion Center to help treat COVID-19 patients in East Texas opened Monday afternoon at the Dunbar Gym at 1103 N. Dunbar Ave. in Livingston and patients are already receiving treatment.…
Cole Overstreet

Livingston senior killed in hit and run

Cole Overstreet From Enterprise Staff A Livingston High School student was killed in a two-vehicle head-on collision Friday night on FM 350 South near Kate Lowe Road. LHS Senior Cole Overstreet, a member of the Livingston Royal Brigade Band, was southbound on FM 350 South driving a friend home following the Homecoming football game when a northbound vehicle crossed the centerline striking Overstreet’s vehicle. The driver of the vehicle that crossed the line fled the scene. The collision is under investigation. Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Robert “Dooley” Johnson performed an inquest at the scene. Livingston ISD posted the following statement on its Facebook page Saturday: “It is sad when our district loses a member of its family. It is even more tragic when such a young life is taken away from us. We mourn the loss of Cole Overstreet, a member of our senior class and Livingston Royal Brigade who was in a car accident last night. We extend our thoughts and sincere condolences to his…
Coldspring-Oakhurst High School students got a jumpstart on the college application process at the Apply Texas Workshop held in partnership with Angelina College held on Friday, Sept. 10.  (Kathryn Pedigo Photo)

Schools host college application workshop

Coldspring-Oakhurst High School students got a jumpstart on the college application process at the Apply Texas Workshop held in partnership with Angelina College held on Friday, Sept. 10. (Kathryn Pedigo Photo) By Kathryn Pedigo COCISD College Career & Military Readiness (CCMR) Counselor: COLDSPRING — Coldspring-Oakhurst High School recently partnered with Angelina College to host an Apply Texas Workshop for seniors. At this workshop, recruiters from Angelina College walked COHS seniors through the Apply Texas college application process in real-time. Apply Texas is a common application site in which students can apply for admission to any Texas public university, as well as many junior colleges and some private colleges. Students create accounts, enter their demographic data one time, and then they are able to copy a submitted application into other institutions for a variety of college applications. Through this site, students can also submit their application essays online, apply…
The Coldspring-Oakhurst Marching Band fills the air with music.

San Jacinto County Fair in full swing

The Coldspring-Oakhurst Marching Band fills the air with music. SJNT staff COLDSPRING — While the cooking and check-in portions of the San Jacinto County Fair and Rodeo are in the books, events and contests still go on. County youth will shoot for the top, and top dollar, and it all comes to a head Saturday with the Youth Auction. Schedule of events Wednesday 9 a.m. Fine Arts/Handicraft interviews 3-5 p.m. Steers and all heifers check-in TBA Carnival 7 p.m. Market Swine Show- Jr then Sr Thursday 9 a.m. Horticulture/Food Interviews 9 a.m. Ag Mechanics Judging Clearly enjoying the ride, 72-year-old Marshall Roberts rides in the annual SJC Fair and Rodeo parade. TBA Carnival 7:30 p.m. Rodeo and Queen's 2nd Horsemanship Friday 9 a.m. Breeding Heifer Show, followed by Commercial Heifer Show, followed by Market Steer Show 1 p.m. Auction set up. Volunteers appreciated! 2 p.m. Species Chair Notify Sale Committee of Non-Sale animals After show until 4 p.m. Non-Sale Animal check-out TBA…
Queen candidates - Trinity High School seniors (from left) Zoey Gray, Anneliese Beasley and Alivia Wallace are candidates for 2021 Fair Queen. The Fair Queen coronation will be held underneath the pavilion at the Trinity Community Center at noon on Saturday, Oct. 2. (Courtesy Photo)

Trinity Community Fair slated

Queen candidates - Trinity High School seniors (from left) Zoey Gray, Anneliese Beasley and Alivia Wallace are candidates for 2021 Fair Queen. The Fair Queen coronation will be held underneath the pavilion at the Trinity Community Center at noon on Saturday, Oct. 2. (Courtesy Photo) TCNS staff TRINITY — The Trinity Community Fair will kick off a grand slate of events, with judging, entertainment and the selection of this year’s queen all on tap. Several musical guests also are expected to perform. Check-in and vendor setup starts Wednesday. 2021 Trinity Community Fair Schedule of Events Wednesday, Sept. 29 6-8 p.m.: Exhibitor Stall set-up and unloading of tack, Livestock Arena Thursday, Sept. 30 10 a.m.: Begin commercial/exhibitor set-up, Exhibit Hall and Fairgrounds 4-6 p.m.: Livestock project shop project check-in, Livestock Arena 5 p.m.: Begin receiving non-commercial exhibits, Exhibit Hall Friday, Oct. 1 8 a.m.: Receive non-commercial exhibits, Exhibit Hall; Swine judging,…
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Trinity county enters discussion on new jail

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — An item on the agenda at the County Commissioners’ Court on Sept. 14 ended up being a leap of faith, but was intended to start the process for the county to look at new jail facilities. Originally, Sheriff Woody Wallace placed items on the agenda to put up earnest money to purchase a 10-acre tract of land, as well as begin title search work on that property. “We are in a bind at the jail — we have no place to keep criminals,” Wallace said. “I’m afraid that is going to create a chain reaction in the crime rate, one that (District Attorney Bennie Schiro) and I worked to get under control.” The local jail was designed to hold only seven prisoners, and the county has been housing inmates at different facilities in the area. However, space has become a premium everywhere, and it’s becoming a large problem, Wallace said. Also, it costs up to $75 per day per prisoner housing them elsewhere. “I need you all to seriously consider getting some…
FCCLA students who stepped up to help students are (starting at top, from left) Brianna Commiato, Lauren Lee, Makenzie White, Leo Conner, Audra Bolton, Samantha Smith, J.P. McLaughlin, Ryan Brister, Malacie Bolton, Grayson Robinson, Karlea Commiato, Josilin Jones, Mrs. Dubose, Easton Dyson, Collin Carlton WillieClede, Mason Jones, Sawyer Price, Rylan Thorne, Johnny Mikel, Cason Pyle and Kristin Fry.

Centerville FCCLA takes on Pre-K

FCCLA students who stepped up to help students are (starting at top, from left) Brianna Commiato, Lauren Lee, Makenzie White, Leo Conner, Audra Bolton, Samantha Smith, J.P. McLaughlin, Ryan Brister, Malacie Bolton, Grayson Robinson, Karlea Commiato, Josilin Jones, Mrs. Dubose, Easton Dyson, Collin Carlton WillieClede, Mason Jones, Sawyer Price, Rylan Thorne, Johnny Mikel, Cason Pyle and Kristin Fry. Special to the News-Standard CENTERVILLE — The Centerville FCCLA student group has adopted the Pre-K class this year. Students asked Emily Dubose, the Pre-K teacher, if she had $1,000 what would she buy for her classroom? She thought about the question and decided it would be an interactive sand table. She was then asked to go online and choose one, and being the considerate person she is, the cost of the table she found was well under the budget given. FCCLA students decided to surprise her and also bought a water table, sand and water play kits, a storage center for the play kits, and…
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Hitting 100- Shepherd Bank celebrates centennial

Special to the News-Times SHEPHERD — Peoples State Bank, the oldest chartered bank in San Jacinto County, will hit the 100-year mark in October. The event will be marked Oct. 2 by a barbecue, door prizes, giveaways and a concert with the Kenny Martin Band. The bank was originally chartered as San Jacinto State Bank and opened in Coldspring on Oct. 11, 1907. On Sept. 21, 1921, the Guaranty Bank of Shepherd assumed ownership of the bank. In 1926, it changed its name to Peoples State Bank. In 1932, the bank merged with the Coldspring State Bank, but remained in the town of Shepherd and did not open a branch in Coldspring again until 1996. A third location in Livingston was opened in 1998. The original location of the bank is where JC’s Pharmacy now stands. The bank then moved across the street to the building currently occupied by City Hall. The present location in Shepherd was opened in 1976. Since that time, it has been expanded and remodeled numerous times. The bank has grown to more…
One of the most immediate and obvious signs of the damage done by Winter Storm Uri was seen on all the palm trees planted around East Texas. None of their palm branches survived. 

Local plant expert shares how to prepare for the next 'Snowpocalypse'

One of the most immediate and obvious signs of the damage done by Winter Storm Uri was seen on all the palm trees planted around East Texas. None of their palm branches survived. by Adam Conway Winter Storm Uri was an unusual and devastating weather phenomenon that not only damaged the lives of people in East Texas, but also the plant life that inhabits the state. “Severe freeze damage and even death to immature large trees or shrubs was caused to Fan-Tex ash trees, small live oaks and Wax Myrtles, Italian Cypress, some species of palms and immature Slash and Loblolly pines,” said Brenda Swagerty, General Manager of Plants of Texas. “To help insulate our crops for the impending storm, our company spent three days prior to the storm irrigating all crops up to two times a day in order to insulate the roots, stems and foliage of all plants and trees by filling them with water.” Swagerty explained that East Texans can prevent damage to their plants and trees by watering early and often…
Angal Biano, above, the mother of a Latexo ISD student, addressed the district’s trustees and superintendent about vaping, an issue that she said is affecting district students, including her son, at a Sept. 9 meeting of the district officials.  (ALTON PORTER | HCC)

Paid leave extended for Latexo coronavirus-infected employees

Angal Biano, above, the mother of a Latexo ISD student, addressed the district’s trustees and superintendent about vaping, an issue that she said is affecting district students, including her son, at a Sept. 9 meeting of the district officials. (ALTON PORTER | HCC)By Alton [email protected] LATEXO – Members of the Latexo ISD board have approved extension of paid leave that may be taken by district employees who need to quarantine due to coronavirus virus infection. At a regular meeting of the Latexo Independent School District’s Board of Trustees, held on Thursday, Sept. 9, the trustees voted to pass a motion to adopt a “Resolution of the Board Regarding Extension of Leave for Employee Quarantine.” “This has come out across the state, of course, because we’re still fighting Covid,” Superintendent Michael Woodard said to the trustees. “And so, everybody’s putting their resolutions at different districts to benefit all employees. Some are putting in 10 days to 20 days. “I…
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White announces Aerospace Scholars project

James WhiteBy Chris [email protected] AUSTIN – Last week, State Rep. James White (R-Hillister) announced the launch of the High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) project, which White says will help young Texans compete in a rapidly changing, tech-dependent workforce. “Math and science are integral to educating our young Texans to compete in a 21st century high-tech global economy and ensuring our economic freedom in Texas,” he said. HAS will enable high school juniors who are selected to become a part of NASA’s plan for space exploration. Students who score high enough during the school year on assignments in the program will have the opportunity to travel to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and implement what they have learned for a two-day stay. According to White, those who are selected to travel to the Space Center will be able to design a mission to Mars and take part in several hands-on engineering challenges, under the guidance of NASA scientists and…
2021 Jr. Queens

Numerous events are planned for the 74th annual San Jacinto County Fair

2021 Junior Queens Court Special to the News-Times COLDSPRING — Numerous events are planned for the 74th annual San Jacinto County Fair, including a perennial favorite, the Queen Contest. The 2020 SJC Fair and Rodeo Queen, Tori Matthews, will crown the new Queen from the following contestants: Contestant No. 1, Bobbie McBride 16-year-old Junior at Texas Connections Academy of Houston, sponsored by Weiman Air. Contestant No. 2, Leah Phillips, 14-year-old eighth-grader at Shepherd Middle School, sponsored by Hempel USA. Contestant No. 3, Kaylen McAdams, 17-year-old Junior at Coldspring High School, sponsored by Coldspring Vet Clinic. Contestant No. 4, Abigail Mosley, 13-year-old eighth-grader at Shepherd Middle School, sponsored by Magnolia Academy. Contestant No. 5, Shelby Lee, 14-year-old Freshman at Coldspring High School, sponsored by Coldspring Farm & Ranch. Contestant No. 6, Layla Howton, 13-year-old eighth-grader at Shepherd Middle School, sponsored by Last Chance Feed & More.…
Apple Springs runner Dakota Campbell looks for room during the Eagles’ 48-0 loss to Ovilla Christian on Sept. 10. (Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS)

Trinity County teams blanked

Apple Springs runner Dakota Campbell looks for room during the Eagles’ 48-0 loss to Ovilla Christian on Sept. 10. (Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS) TCNS staff It was a tough week for football as Trinity County teams — Apple Springs and Groveton — were held scoreless in their respective games. The Apple Springs Eagles 6-man team fell to the Ovilla Christian Eagles 48-0 on Sept. 10. After a sustaining the opening drive down to the goal line of Ovilla, Apple Springs could not muster much offense, and the defense couldn’t stop the Ovilla running game. Also, the Groveton Indians lost to the Joaquin Rams 62-0 on the road. Thirty-five of Joaquin’s points came in the first half. Apple Springs is to face Huntsville Alpha Omega JV at 6 p.m. Thursday. Groveton will host Shelbyville at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
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Trinity County inches closer to approved budget

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners’ Court got one step closer to approving its next budget. The court discussed budget matters and request at a special meeting on Sept. 7, but took no action. However, the court did submit its proposed tax rates, which will drop some; the proposed no-new revenue tax rate is $0.5309 per $100 valuation, and the proposed voter approval tax rate is $0.6023. In 2020, the no-new-revenue tax rate was set at $0.6340 per $100 valuation, and the voter approval tax rate was $0.6328. Additional revenue is expected, however, through a jump in property values and federal grants. Commissioners also went through each department’s budget, but again took no action. In other business, the county: approved bids for chip sealing Helmic-Apple Springs Road, Joe Bailey Road and Jim Butler Road, for a total estimated cost of $52,750; changed the name of a road in the Westwood Shores subdivision of Trinity from Winding Creek to…
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LHS principal speaks to Rotary Club

LHS Principal Dr. Paul DrakeBy Emily Banks [email protected] Dr. Paul Drake, principal of Livingston High School, spoke to the Livingston Rotary Club Thursday, providing an update on things going on at the high school. A 2001 graduate of LHS, Drake returned five years ago to become the high school principal. He touched on the variety of programs offered for students entering the work force instead of secondary education. “We have several new programs. One is cosmetology. We have eight or nine in there and they will graduate with a certificate. It’s been successful,” he said. “We have an HVAC program through Angelina College. Three students will get HVAC certification right after graduation or shortly thereafter,” he said, adding, “We have a welding program at Angelina where the students can earn certificates and we also offer welding at LHS with Mr. Sitton. “Last year was the first year of our LVN program. Seven participated and can get licensed in August following…
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City of Livingston adopts budget, approves 5.1% pay raise

By Emily Banks [email protected] Following a public hearing in which no one spoke, the Livingston City Council approved the proposed ordinance adopting its budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2021 and ends Sept. 30, 2022 during its regular meeting Tuesday. Also approved were adjustments to the budget for the fiscal year ending September 30. Council approved the proposed salary schedule for the fiscal year beginning that begins October 1. The salary schedule reflects a 5.1% cost of living/salary increase. A public hearing on the determination of unsafe and/or dilapidated buildings and cleanup of property located at 154 Banks Drive was held. City Attorney James W. “Jim” Wright showed photos and video taken by City Fire Marshal/Code Enforcement Officer Josh Mohler of the grounds and the structure itself, which showed rotten studs, mold, the ceiling caving in in multiple areas and deteriorated walls. Mohler said the city has received several complaints over the…
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Polk County Commissioners Court approves building expenses

By Emily Banks [email protected] Proposed expenditures from maintenance capital outlay buildings—which are budgeted funds—for the installation of a secure transaction window for the Precinct 3 justice of the peace and an HVAC unit for the Polk County Sub-Courthouse in Onalaska were approved by the Polk County Commissioners Court during its regular meeting Tuesday. Based on the recommendations of Polk County Maintenance Superintendent Jay Burks, Commissioners approved a quote of $5,100 from Covenant Security Equipment for the window and a bid for $3,490 from Delta T Heating & Cooling for the replacement of the HVAC unit that recently caused damage in the office of Precinct 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent. “I’d also like to say that Jay and his department did an excellent job in getting that and got it back together in a timely manner,” Vincent said. “The maintenance department has done a tremendous job,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said. Commissioners approved a $66,177.50…
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Governor Abbott, TDEM Launch COVID-19 Antibody Infusion Center In Livingston

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), in partnership with local officials, will launch a new COVID-19 therapeutic infusion center in Livingston. The infusion center will begin accepting patients tomorrow and has been provided with monoclonal antibodies to treat outpatient cases of COVID-19 who have a referral from a doctor. This treatment is available at no cost to the patient. Local partners include Polk County, CHI St. Luke’s Memorial - Livingston, and Polk County Office of Emergency Management. “The State of Texas is continuing to expand access to COVID-19 antibody therapeutics in communities across the Lone Star State," said Governor Abbott. "This new facility in Livingston will ensure East Texans who test positive for COVID-19 have access to this free and effective treatment." Governor Abbott, TDEM, and the Texas Department of State Health Services have established and expanded antibody infusion centers in…
Coldspring quarterback Luke Monroe (No. 8) looks for the pitchback during the 18-14 Coldspring loss to Shepherd in the battle of San Jacinto County. (Charles Ballard Photos)

Pirates plunder Trojans

Coldspring quarterback Luke Monroe (No. 8) looks for the pitchback during the 18-14 Coldspring loss to Shepherd in the battle of San Jacinto County. (Charles Ballard Photos) By Charles BallardSJNT correspondent SHEPHERD — The Pirates won the “Battle of San Jacinto County” on Friday by downing the Coldspring Trojans 18-12. Coldspring put the traveling trophy on the bus with the expectations of bringing it back to Coldspring, but the Trojans missed an entire week of practice due to problems with COVID and were not as sharp on the field as previous games. Shepherd Head Coach Miles Robison said It was a heck of a game. H.D. Green, (No. 1), Junior QB for the Shepherd Pirates, looks down field for an open receiver during the 18-14 victory over the Coldspring Trojans.“We’re just glad we came out on top,” he said. “It could have gone either way, but came down to the final tick before determining the winner. This is the way the Battle of San Jacinto should be played every year. It was good to…
Wells girls first-place with Head Coach Jason Ashworth. (Courtesy Photos)

Centerville hosts tournament

Wells girls first-place with Head Coach Jason Ashworth. (Courtesy Photos) TCNS staff CENTERVILLE — The Lady Bulldogs took second and the boys team fourth during the Centerville Junior High School basketball tournament, held Sept. 9-11. For the girls, first went to Wells, who went 3-0; second, Centerville, 2-1; third, Kennard, 1-2; and fourth, Leggett, 0-3. For the boys, first went to Wells, 3-0; second, Kennard, 2-1; third, Centerville, 1-2; and fourth, Leggett, 0-3. Individual Results, Girls MVP — Gracie Hise, Wells, 17.6 points per game. 1st Team All-Tournament: Kaitlyn Collins, Wells, 5 points per game; Brooke Taylor, Centerville, 2 points per game; Peyton Noack, Centerville, 3 points per game; Makenzie Cole, Kennard, 8 points per game; Chey Anne Simons, Leggett, 2.6 points per game. Individual Results, Boys: MVP — Slade Tarrant, Wells, 14 points per game. 1st Team All-Tournament: Roy Gardner, Wells, 13 points per game; Devante Tolliver, Kennard, 10.3 points per game; Demari Tolliver, Kennard,…
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Population estimates show very modest growth

By Tony [email protected] WASHINGTON, D.C. — While some agencies claim that 2020 Census figures are skewed toward larger population centers, the estimates available for Trinity County show an estimated gain of 298. The 2020 population estimate shows Trinity County to have a population of 14,883, up from the 2010 Census figure of 14,585. Groveton, the county seat, should hit an estimated population of 1,030, down slightly from the 2010 figure of 1,057; and Trinity should reach 2,800, up from 2,697. The bulk of the county’s population is rural, and that is expected to rise to 11,053 from 10,831. However, Lonnie Hunt, executive director of Deep East Texas Council of Governments, said at a recent meeting that according to his figures, rural counties in the DETCOG area, with few exceptions, are expected to take a dip, some as much 15 ½ percent. For instance, his figures show that Trinity County population will drop my almost 1,000. Trinity County Judge Doug Page said he does not…
Christopher Lima

Deputy arrested on drug charge

Christopher LimaTCNS staff GROVETON — A Trinity County Sheriff’s Deputy was arrested on Sept. 11 on a drug charge. Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace said in a Facebook post that on Sept. 11, following a joint investigation with the Texas Rangers, arrested Christopher Lima, 40, on a charge of conspiracy to commit possession of a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor. Wallace said he received a complaint from a resident of Walker County that witnessed something peculiar involving a deputy sheriff, and an investigation was launched. Since it was determined that the deputy was from Trinity County, the Texas Rangers led the investigation, and they came back with a warrant. “In a I believe about transparency, and I believe that we should operate that way,” Wallace said. “I encourage my officers to hold themselves to a higher standard, and criminal behavior will not be tolerated.” Wallace said that he thought this officer was doing a great job, but something happened. “I’m a firm…
The final assignment of the Tower Project involved students working together in groups to build their own towers out of pencils using the information they had learned. Shown from left are Mark Romagus, Stetson Faulkner, Landon Lane and Briar Leasman. (Photos by Courtney Bailes)

Towering above

The final assignment of the Tower Project involved students working together in groups to build their own towers out of pencils using the information they had learned. Shown from left are Mark Romagus, Stetson Faulkner, Landon Lane and Briar Leasman. (Photos by Courtney Bailes) Special to the News-Times COLDSPRING — Coldspring Intermediate third-graders reached new heights during their recent study of towers in Courtney Bailes' gifted and talented class. The Tower Project was a multi-level learning adventure that engaged students with fun activities even as they investigated and converted heights, created word problems, and geographically mapped skyscrapers around the world. The final assignment of the project involved students working together in groups to build their own towers out of pencils. The team of Mark Romagus, Stetson Faulkner and Landon Lane created the winning tower with a height of 37 inches. "It is fun to turn students loose with a facilitated task and see where their…
The varsity, JV and junior high boys cross country teams placed first in the Race to the Summit CC Meet in Woodville on Sept. 11.  (Courtesy Photos)

Running for gold

The varsity, JV and junior high boys cross country teams placed first in the Race to the Summit CC Meet in Woodville on Sept. 11. (Courtesy Photos) On Sept. 8, the varsity girls were the second place team, with Isavel Bautista receiving the 10th-place medal. Junior high also came out strong with Janette placing fifth.
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Houston County adopts tax rate, budget

By Alton [email protected] CROCKETT – Houston County’s commissioners have adopted the county’s tax year 2021 property tax rate and its budget for the coming fiscal year. The members of the county’s commissioners court took the actions after offering to conduct a public hearing on the proposed ad valorem tax rate at a meeting Tuesday morning. The adopted tax rate is 53 cents per $100 of appraised property value. The commissioners had voted to pass a motion, proposing that the rate be set at that amount at a meeting held on Aug. 24. A public hearing on the rate and the budget was held at a Sept. 7 meeting. The maintenance and operations (M&O) rate, also known as the General Fund rate, which is the largest part of the overall property tax rate is 45.991 cents per 100 of property valuation. The interest and sinking (I&S), or Debt Service Fund rate, the other part of the total property rate, is 7.009 cents for each $100 of property value. “Our tax rate is going down from 53.2,”…
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Woodville adopts tax rate, budget

Woodville City Administrator Mandy Risinger gives reports to the city council. (Chris Edwards Photo) By Chris [email protected] WOODVILLE – The Woodville City Council met for its regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 13. The first items on the council’s agenda were to approve the city’s tax rate and budget for the coming fiscal year. A public hearing and workshop took place before the meeting to field any questions or concerns residents may have had about the tax rate and to discuss any budgetary matters between the city officials. Council voted to adopt a tax rate 0.3261 per $100 of valuation, which is the same rate the city currently has. The budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year includes a roughly 2% increase in expenditures. City Administrator Mandy Risinger noted a nearly 6.1% decrease in overall revenue for the city, which is primarily due to the loss in gas revenue from the closure of AmeriForge. The increase in the budget does include a 3% cost of living adjustment…
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Commissioners dismiss initial landfill concerns

By Emily Kubisch-SabrsulaSJNT staff writer COLDSPRING — Opening the meeting with public comment, Van Weldon, owner of a produce farm near the proposed landfill in the southern part of the county, wanted to know if commissioners were OK with the newest addition. The court would not return comment, citing the matter was not on the agenda, though several times Weldon stated he had filed the appropriate paperwork with the County Clerk’s office to create an action item on the agenda. Commissioner David Brandon, who wrote to TCEQ earlier this year regarding road conditions and “unwanted changes” nearby residents would endure as a consequence of the landfill, refused to give any statement or opinion when asked by Weldon. When Commissioner Mark Netunno, also a DETCOG chairman familiar with the situation, was asked if he was for or against it, stated “I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be here. If you buy a piece of land you should be able to do anything as long as it doesn’t affect…
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Board discusses COVID measures again

By Tony [email protected] APPLE SPRINGS — With area schools closing at the beginning of the school year because of COVID outbreaks, the Apple Springs ISD Board of Trustees discussed changes to policies for leave and closings. Superintendent Dr. Cody Moree said the school has been given funds for testing supplies, but at this time has not been testing. He also said that school only has authority to test staff, as testing students requires parental consent. The district had been sent 200 rapid test kits at the beginning of the year, but all were expired. “There’s your tax dollars at work,” he said. At this time, there are no new regulations from the Texas Educators Association, Moree said. Currently, there are three confirmed student cases of COVID, all of which are at home recuperating, and Moree said that hopefully cases don’t become widespread through the student body or faculty. “Losing staff would cause us to have to close faster,” he said. “We don’t have any of our…
Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Chester. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB)

Restoration efforts undertaken on Mt. Zion church

Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Chester. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB) By Chris [email protected] CHESTER – The oldest church still standing in Tyler County has been undergoing a facelift, and there are plans to fill the church with worship soon. Mt. Zion Baptist Church, which is located on Hwy. 287, in Chester, was built in 1845 at Mt. Hope, and in 1870, it was moved to its present-day location. The restoration efforts begun in October 2019, and according to Lisa Wappler, who has helped spearhead the efforts, it has taken longer than initially anticipated, due to the problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Wappler said that the majority of the work done to the church has been by family members of those who are buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery, which is located behind the church building. The land that was donated for the purpose of that cemetery, according to Wappler, was given by her great-great grandfather, Joseph Peters. “As children, many of us remember going to church…
Petalz will hold its grand opening Wednesday. This sign from Glover’s was found on top of the Blue Duck. (Photos by Brian Besch | PCE)

Planting new roots - Petalz relocates to downtown Livingston

Petalz will hold its grand opening Wednesday. This sign from Glover’s was found on top of the Blue Duck. (Photos by Brian Besch | PCE) By Brian [email protected] Many of the buildings in Livingston’s old downtown on North Washington Avenue have sat vacant for years. In the last few months, however, those dark windows are beginning to fill with light, as businesses have moved in to help revive the area. One couple, Jeremy and Andrea Buie, have plans for Petalz by Annie, Fain Theater, and The Plumber in Livingston. Petalz has moved locations and found a home at the corner of Polk and Washington. “Glover’s Hardware was the original building,” Jeremy said of the boutique’s new site. “Before that, the original slab of the building was built to be the Fain Theater. Someone across town built another theater and it was bigger than this. So, Fain said, ‘I’m going to go over here and build one bigger.’ He built one bigger and put the guy out of business and this was bought by the…
Jonathan Paul Sensat

Massage therapist arrested on sexual misconduct charges

Jonathan Paul Sensat By Chris [email protected] CROCKETT – An investigation of sexual misconduct at a Crockett massage parlor led to an arrest on Monday. According to Crockett Police Chief Clayton Smith, investigators with CPD, along with Houston County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 48-year-old Jonathan Paul Sensat at his home in Belott. Smith said that the arrest was the conclusion of a month-long investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, some of which occurred while Sensat was giving massages at the Crockett business. It was also discovered that Sensat’s license to practice massage therapy has been expired. A search of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation database shows his license as having expired on August 31, 2020. Smith added that Sensat is also a licensed Texas Peace Officer but is not currently employed by any law enforcement agency. In their investigation, Crockett Police investigators interviewed multiple victims who gave…
U.S. Rep Kevin Brady, R-Texas, told members of the Trinity Peninsular Chamber of Commerce he dreaded seeing a headline such as the one in the Houston Chronicle state the Taliban was cheering U.S. troop withdrawal. (Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS)

U.S. facing uncertain future

U.S. Rep Kevin Brady, R-Texas, told members of the Trinity Peninsular Chamber of Commerce he dreaded seeing a headline such as the one in the Houston Chronicle state the Taliban was cheering U.S. troop withdrawal. (Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS) By Tony [email protected] TRINITY — The situation in Afghanistan has left the United States less safe, as well as seen as an unreliable partner to its allies around the world, according to U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas. Brady held an informal roundtable discussion at the Trinity Peninsular Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday in Trinity. “For a country as great as ours, this is a shame, and this is a day that will live in infamy, the day we surrendered to the Taliban,” Brady said. “We betrayed our allies, both locally and internationally, we left Americans behind. Russia and China are cheering this, as we just gave them a foothold here. There was no reason, or no political boast that was worth this. Brady said that while there was no…
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HCHD directors adopt 2021 tax rate, approve budget

By Alton [email protected] CROCKETT – Members of the Houston County Hospital District board held a hearing and special meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 31, adopting a lower ad valorem tax rate for the district. The new rate will be levied later this year, and the directors also approved the district’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021-22. The board members, who held the hearing and meeting, at First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall in Crockett, unanimously voted to pass a motion made by Place 5 Director Roy Langford and seconded by Place 6 Director Rhonda Brown, adopting the proposed 2021 property tax rate, which is 13 cents per $100 of appraised property value. The 2021 adopted rate is 1.315 cents, or 9.18%, lower than the 2020 adopted rate, which was 14.315 cents per $100 of appraised property value. The action to approve this year’s tax rate was taken after members of the HCHD board discussed the matter and heard a presentation given by county Tax Assessor-Collection…
Mark Meysembourg is shown presenting donations totaling over $19,000 collected during fundraisers this past year to National Commander James “Bill” Oxford from the Department of Virginia. Donations from Texas alone totaled approximately $35,000. Also pictured to the left of Mark is the Department of Texas Commander Bret Watson. On the right is the National Auxiliary President, Nicole Clapp from the Department of Iowa.  Looking on is National American Legion Riders Chairman Mark Clark from the Department of Missouri.

Woodville veteran participates in Legacy Run

Mark Meysembourg is shown presenting donations totaling over $19,000 collected during fundraisers this past year to National Commander James “Bill” Oxford from the Department of Virginia. Donations from Texas alone totaled approximately $35,000. Also pictured to the left of Mark is the Department of Texas Commander Bret Watson. On the right is the National Auxiliary President, Nicole Clapp from the Department of Iowa. Looking on is National American Legion Riders Chairman Mark Clark from the Department of Missouri. Special to the Booster Mark Meysembourg of Woodville and a member of Woodville’s American Legion Post 299, participated in this year’s American Legion Legacy Run. The Legacy Run was started by the American Legion Riders (ALR) which is a post run program made up of veterans and spouses who are also motorcycle enthusiasts. This year’s run started on August 22 in Rogers, Arkansas, ending 5 days and 1,400 miles later at the National Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Donations…
Jim McLain

PCSO arrests Livingston man for child pornography

Jim McLainFrom Enterprise Staff Jim Olin McLain, 42, of Livingston, was arrested Wednesday on several counts of third-degree felony possession of child pornography. Detectives from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office began looking into McLain on August 26, after numerous images and video were discovered on electronic equipment belonging to him, according to Captain David Sottosanti, an investigator with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The videos and images depicted young children displayed in numerous sexual acts. Detectives obtained a search warrant for McLain’s residence as well as an arrest warrant for him. He was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail without incident. According to Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons, his office works tirelessly to protect children by using the latest investigation technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil online predators. Lyons urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks children face on the Internet and take…
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Afterschool enrichment program to begin

Jose Vazquez is project director and F. Sunnie Frazier is site project director of a new afterschool enrichment program at Livingston Junior High School that is being funded by a grant in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Deep East Texas. Photo by Emily Banks WootenBy Emily Banks [email protected] An afterschool enrichment program at Livingston Junior High School will soon be underway and is being funded by a grant through the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Deep East Texas. The opportunity has been awarded to Livingston, Crockett and Nacogdoches. Worth $750,000, the grant will be distributed over five years and will fund a project director and core subject tutors. The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century CLC is a program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and…
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Countdown To Tragedy

Countdown to the moment of the attack on the twin towers on 9/11/2001 during a ceremony held to commemorate the event held Saturday at Tyler County Courthouse in Woodville. (Jim Powers Photo)
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Sept. 11 – A look back locally

By Emily Banks [email protected] Following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that occurred at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pa., flags throughout Polk County could be seen flying at half-staff. Stunned office workers all over town huddled around televisions and radios to hear updates on the catastrophe. Although it was occurring thousands of miles away, it may as well have been here, as one could feel the quite pall that fell over everyone as shock and disbelief gave way to tears and anger. Some may think that Polk Countians had nothing to worry about in conjunction with the attacks, but regardless, numerous precautions were underway locally that fateful Tuesday. Although none of the school districts in Polk County closed or dismissed early that day, several campuses in the Livingston ISD were under a self-imposed lockdown. Prayer vigils open to the public were held at Central Baptist Church, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church…
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Blaze claims Houston County mother, son

CROCKETT – A housefire that occurred last Tuesday in Crockett resulted in the deaths of a mother and son. According to Crockett Fire Chief Jason Frizzell, firemen responded to a call of a structure fire at 105 McLean Drive at 5:31 a.m. When they arrived, the residence was “heavily involved in fire,” Frizzell said. “We rapidly began a search of the interior, as well as an offensive attack, to extinguish the fire,” he added. They discovered 44-year-old Shelly McDaniel and her son dead inside the residence. Crockett Fire Department was assisted on the blaze by the volunteer fire departments of Latexo, Lovelady as well as personnel from the Houston County Fire Marshal’s Office, Crockett Police Department and Houston County EMS. There is no word on a possible cause for the blaze at present. The fire department has turned over the investigation to the State Fire Marshal’s Office due to the city fire marshal being out on medical leave. Frizzell, on behalf of the fire department and the city…
Bad Sneakers, Houston’s own Steely Dan tribute act, will appear in Woodville at the Emporium Stage on Sunday, Sept. 12. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BAD SNEAKERS)

Steely Dan tribute act playing Woodville show

Bad Sneakers, Houston’s own Steely Dan tribute act, will appear in Woodville at the Emporium Stage on Sunday, Sept. 12. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BAD SNEAKERS) By Chris [email protected] WOODVILLE – As proprietor of the namesake Wild Bill’s Grill, Bill Spurlock is known for serving up tasty meals (with enormous portion sizes) around Woodville. There is, however, another side to Spurlock that is rooted in the intricate, yet smooth, jazz-rock sounds of a certain band that took its name from a William S. Burroughs novel. As part of the band Bad Sneakers, Spurlock knows the music of Steely Dan like the back of his hand. Spurlock, who is an ace singer and guitarist, fronts the band, which is a tribute act named, naturally, after one of “The Dan’s” classic songs. Bad Sneakers will play a show in Woodville on Sunday, Sept. 12 at the Emporium Stage, located at 216 W. Bluff. The show begins at 5 p.m. Sam Haney, of the Emporium, said the show will be a surefire, can’t miss…
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Arrest made in ATM theft

Lamont GreenBy Chris [email protected] SPURGER – A Houston man is currently incarcerated in the Tyler County Justice Center on multiple charges, including felony theft. Lamont Green, 28, was one of several individuals on the scene of the Citizens State Bank in Spurger when deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office were patrolling and discovered the subjects running from the back of the bank. According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, the incident occurred at 2 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 3, when the deputies on patrol observed two dark passenger cars following one another closely, pulling into several different parking lots and moving around town. Weatherford said that a short time later, the deputies saw a third vehicle, which was followed by a white Ford pickup truck, make a quick turn into the bank’s parking lot, and the other vehicles they had observed pulled up and parked just south of the bank, while additional vehicles continued to drive past the bank…
Pirate partners are featured in monthly Shepherd School publications and online. (Courtesy Photo)

Partnership helps schools

Pirate partners are featured in monthly Shepherd School publications and online. (Courtesy Photo)Special to the News-Times SHEPHERD — Shepherd ISD would like to join up with individuals, businesses and companies to help empower and educate all students for success in society. By becoming a Pirate Partner, individuals have the opportunity to support the district and the students in the community. The proceeds go to the Shepherd Blue and White Scholarship and for staff appreciation. Shepherd is a school district with an unwavering commitment to excellence and embraces the responsibility to create a space where everyone feels confident to perform at their very best and we want the community to help us achieve this. There are different levels of partnership, costing from $100 to $500. For information, contact Brooke Rhoden, SISD Parent and Community Liaison, at (936) 628-3396 ext. 4005 or [email protected]
Numerous pot plants were seized, and six arrests made, during a drug bust on Thursday and Friday near Trinity. (Courtesy Photo)

Sheriff’s Office investigates drug houses, shooting

Numerous pot plants were seized, and six arrests made, during a drug bust on Thursday and Friday near Trinity. (Courtesy Photo)TCNS staff TRINITY — The Trinity County Sheriff’s Department labored over the weekend investigating a shooting and complaints about drug use and manufacturing. Sheriff Woody Wallace said that on Sept. 2, a man was shot three times after three men began shooting at each other on Camp Branch Road east of Trinity. Wallace said on Facebook that they found the victim, whose name has not yet been released, at a house that reportedly is connected with methamphetamine use. The victim was Lifeflighted to a hospital for treatment. The other people involved in the shooting have not yet been identified, as the investigation is continuing. Following the shooting reports led law enforcement officials to a complaint of suspicious activity in four homes in the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of Cherry Creek in the Lake L subdivision. Wallace said that officials found four houses with…
Sam Rayburn waterways suffering from Giant Salvinia.

Clean, drain, dry: How to protect your favorite East Texas bodies of water

Sam Rayburn waterways suffering from Giant Salvinia. By Adam Conway Lake Sam Rayburn is suffering from an invasive species of plant known as Giant Salvinia. This plant not only disrupts swimming and fishing but is also an obstacle for local fish and birds trying to use the lake’s native plants for food and shelter. According to Cody Turner, Environmental Specialist from the US Army Corps of Engineers, treatments such as biocontrol weevils and aquatic herbicides are used to try to eliminate the plant. Biocontrol weevils are released into areas where Giant Salvinia is present. These insects eat away portions of the plant. Turner explained that they also lay their eggs in the same area, and their offspring eventually eat the plant as well. By spraying aquatic herbicides and releasing biocontrol weevils, the US Army Corps of Engineers helps mitigate the spread of Giant Salvinia. To assist the US Army Corps of Engineers, Turner stated that visitors of Lake Sam Rayburn should use a simple…
Walter Umphrey

Legal legend Umphrey dies

Walter UmphreyBy Chris [email protected] BEAUMONT – Walter Umphrey, an attorney of international renown and philanthropist, died on Tuesday at the age of 85. Sources indicate that Umphrey died in Beaumont. He owned Timberline Ranch in the southern end of Tyler County, and donated his time and money to numerous causes and public works in the region. In a statement from his widow, Sheila, Umphrey was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. “He was my best friend and the love of my life for 63 years,” she wrote. “I’m broken-hearted, but it’s for the best,” she added, before explaining his diagnosis. Umphrey was the founding partner of the Beaumont-based Provost-Umphrey Law Firm, and he was named “Lawyer of the Year” in 2012 in personal injury litigation. Terry Allen, the county’s chief juvenile probation officer, wrote on Facebook that she and her husband, Kenneth, moved to Tyler County in 1989 so that he could work for Umphrey on Timberline Ranch. “We have lived at…
Representatives from Tyler County Farm Bureau were on hand at Monday night’s meeting to present Woodville ISD with a $500 donation to go to school supplies. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB)

WISD board discusses new year, proposed budget

Representatives from Tyler County Farm Bureau were on hand at Monday night’s meeting to present Woodville ISD with a $500 donation to go to school supplies. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB) By Chris Edwards WOODVILLE – The start of a fresh school year and planning the upcoming budget were among the topics discussed at the regular monthly meeting of the Woodville ISD Board of Trustees on Monday night. Before giving her monthly report, district superintendent Lisa Meysembourg spoke about the WISD Strong Start program, an initiative the district adopted, Meysembourg said, out of necessity to apply for ESSR funding. The Strong Start program rolls out a series of guidelines and recommendations set in accordance with Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders and guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA.) Meysembourg said the guidelines set forth in WISD’s plan cover COVID prevention, mitigation and sanitation techniques. Currently, the state is under an executive order from Abbott prohibiting entities from…
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Arrest made in baby’s death

Thomas Allen JanczakFrom Enterprise Staff Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Thomas Allen Janczak, 22, of Livingston, Thursday night. Janczak was charged with capital murder and is being held in the Polk County Jail under a $1 million bond. The arrest was made in conjunction with the death of Janczak’s one-month-old child. Polk County Detectives received information of the infant arriving at the Texas Children’s Hospital in The Woodlands in November of 2020. After doctors determined the severity of the injuries the infant was transported to Texas Children’s Hospital Downtown where he died from blunt force trauma 12 days later. “Due to the severity of the crime of capital murder, these investigations require months of detectives conducting interviews, gathering evidence and consultations with professionals in the medical field, to obtain concrete evidence for prosecution. There is no way to predict how much time a police investigation will take,” Captain David…
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Groveton closes campuses

Special to the News-Standard GROVETON — All Groveton ISD campuses were closed Friday based upon the number of students and staff members who were ill, showing symptoms, and testing positive for COVID-19. The facilities will remain closed until Tuesday, Sept. 7. According to a letter to students and faculty from incoming Superintendent Jim Dillard, GISD had only 12 students and two employees who tested positive for COVID-19 during the first full week of instruction. However, in the second week, the numbers of cases increased by more than four times that amount. Dillard wrote that the action is an inconvenience for many people, but the number of positive cases indicates that action must be taken, as the health and safety of students and staff are of utmost importance. The 10-day period will allow infected individuals time to self-quarantine and recover, while allowing the cleaning staff an opportunity to deep clean the facilities. Additionally, no remote instruction will be provided by…
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Groveton school tax burden dips slightly

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — The Groveton ISD Board of Trustees approved a tax rate that is lower than that of the last fiscal year, meaning property owners will see less on the bill. The board approved the measure, as well as the certified tax rolls for both Houston and Trinity counties, at its regular meeting on Aug. 23. Superintendent Don Hamilton said there will be very little change in the budget from last year as well. ESSER grants helped keep budgeting needs low, which means the proposed tax rate is .9401 per $100 valuation, down from the current rate of .9664 per $100, he said. Hamilton said it will be about 6 cents per $100 less for property owners. He also said that the money used to give raises would be offset by a decrease in staff due to positions not being filled. In other business, the board: •approved the district improvement plan for 2021-22; •approved a notice of intent to file for additional ESSER funds; •discussed continuing a federal policy of…
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LISD tax rate, budget approved

Ben Davidson LISD CFOThe Livingston Board of Trustees approved the budget, tax rate and additional leave for Covid-19 in a meeting Monday evening at Creekside Elementary. The 2021-2022 proposed budget was presented by Livingston ISD Chief Financial Officer Ben Davidson. General fund revenues for 2021-2022 are projected at $40,207,901. Expenses are expected at $39,018,461 and LISD is anticipating a budget surplus at the end of the year. The funds are to be rolled into fund balance and earmarked for use to extend the initiatives funded by the ESSER program. Food service revenues are projected at $2,940,750 with expenses budgeted at $2,739,134. Debt service revenues and expenses are thought to be at $4,490,000, while instruction is budgeted at $22,174,705 with a 2% midpoint raise for all staff. The overall budget decreased from last year, as certain expenditures will be paid from federal ESSER funds. Dr. Brent Hawkins SuperintendentDavidson also presented the LISD tax rate history,…
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LISD to close for four days

From Enterprise Staff Livingston ISD will close the week of Labor Day, Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins announced via email Wednesday. “The trajectory of the COVID-19 virus-positive cases has caused teacher staffing issues for our district. Monday, Sept. 6, is Labor Day and is an LISD school holiday. Livingston ISD will be closed Tuesday, Sept. 7 through Friday, Sept. 10, due to the staffing shortage from COVID-19 positive cases,” Hawkins said. “There will not be regular instruction on any campuses or remote conferencing instruction for COVID-19 positive students during the closure.” All district instructional facilities will be closed Sept. 6-10. Angelina College dual credit classes will be held online during the LISD closure. LHS extracurricular activities will continue as long as they can be sustained by non-COVID positive staff. A free COVID-19 testing clinic will be available on the Livingston High School campus for staff and students from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Friday.…
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East Texas Tribe Wins Major Victory in Federal Court

Judge rules in support of Naskila Gaming, against state’s effort to shut facility down. Press Release (Livingston, TX) – After five years of litigation, the United States District Court in Beaumont ruled this week that the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas may legally operate its Naskila Gaming electronic bingo facility near Livingston, saying that such gaming is permissible under the Tribe’s 1987 Restoration Act. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Keith Giblin is a major victory for the future of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, the hundreds of people employed at Naskila, and the economic stability of the East Texas region. For years, the State of Texas has worked in court to close Naskila Gaming, even as tens of thousands of Texans, dozens of civic groups, and elected leaders from both parties have expressed strong support for allowing the Tribe to operate the facility. “This ruling affirms that we have a legally sound right to support our Tribe by operating Naskila Gaming,” said Nita…
Susie Hammond receives the 2020 Do-Gooder of the Year award from Texas Forest Country CEO Nancy Windham for her efforts to help the area during the COVID crisis. Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS

DETCOG sets $21.5 million budget

Susie Hammond receives the 2020 Do-Gooder of the Year award from Texas Forest Country CEO Nancy Windham for her efforts to help the area during the COVID crisis. Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — The Deep East Texas Council of Governments will spend about $21.5 million dollars in the next fiscal year in its mission to assist the counties in the area. The budget was approved by members at an Aug. 26 meeting, which was held in Groveton. DETCOG meetings rotate through counties. Executive Director Lonnie Hunt said the budget reflects a 30.26 percent rate for indirect costs — administration, finance and IT — which is the lowest it has been in years. “Most of this is very similar to last year,” he said. The budget reflects revenues of about $21.7 million. Separately, Hunt discussed problems that he felt occurred in the U.S. Census, which impacted all counties except Nacogdoches, Polk and San Jacinto negatively. Those figures show that Polk County…
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OISD closes due to COVID numbers

From Enterprise Staff Families in the Onalaska Independent School District were notified Monday that all campuses in the district will be closed until Tuesday. All extracurricular activities, games and practices will be suspended until 3 p.m. Monday. The decision was made due to the rising number of students and staff members who are currently ill with COVID-19, demonstrating symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 or who have experienced possible exposure, the letter from Superintendent Anthony Roberts states. “The health and safety of our students, staff and families is our main priority and the data indicates that we must take this action to curb the current trajectory,” Roberts said. “I understand how difficult this closure will be for many of our families and our students, so I assure you this decision was not made easily. Our hope is that this closure will allow COVID-19 positive individuals time to isolate and recover, while also allowing those who have experienced possible…
Corrigan was named as one of the 21 cities in Texas where officers stopped an average of over 500 drivers each. (File Photo)

Corrigan ranks high on places for speed traps in Texas

Corrigan was named as one of the 21 cities in Texas where officers stopped an average of over 500 drivers each. (File Photo) Corrigan has made the news in a Houston newspaper for being a place where one might be stopped by flashing lights. The north Polk County town was named as one of the 21 cities in Texas where officers stopped an average of over 500 drivers each. The article tells of a man who is stopped on Highway 59, on his way to Houston from his parents house. He complains that the speed limit drops from 75 to 40 miles per hour “in a matter of seconds.” He said an officer was waiting at the point where the limit changed, and the driver left with a parting gift that would cost $200. After an analysis of traffic-stop data from more than 2,500 police departments, the newspaper determined Corrigan officers among the most aggressive in the state. It stated that Corrigan’s 12 police officers stopped 8,100 drivers — nearly 700 per officer. Corrigan Police Chief Darrell Gibson said…
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Cypress logs donated for cabin

Twenty-two cypress logs from some acreage along the Trinity River bottom were recently donated to the Polk County Heritage Society in conjunction with the restoration of the Jonas Davis log cabin at Heritage Park. David Parker, a longtime resident of Dayton, generously made the donation from his property on the edge Dayton.“He has been tremendous. He’s just an amazing man. He does so much for Dayton for the betterment of the community. He loves log cabins,” Patrick Swilley, a member of the Polk County Heritage Society, said of Parker. Swilley and Gary Davis, a member of the Polk County Historical Commission, made several trips to Parker’s property along the Trinity River bottom to retrieve the cypress logs and haul them to Livingston. Tree-trimming and limb removal earlier this summer kicked off the multi-step project at Heritage Park. Located in the 500 block of West Church Street, Heritage Park is home to the W.T. Carter and Bro. Locomotive No. 5, the Jonas Davis log cabin and the…
Rep. Brian Babin

Babin calls for Biden’s removal

U.S. Rep. Brian BabinBy Chris [email protected] WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Woodville) called for President Joe Biden to be removed from office. Babin released a statement following the events in Afghanistan on Thursday, when attacks in Kabul resulted in the deaths of more than 170 people, which included 13 U.S. servicemembers. An ISIS affiliate has reportedly claimed responsibility for the incident. Despite the attacks, the president has committed to continuing the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Babin referred to Biden as “an unserious clown” in his statement and said that the president’s “harmless gaffes and blunders” have now given way to the deaths and injuries of servicemembers and “imperiled thousands of Americans and Afghan allies stuck in Kabul.” The congressman, who represents Texas’s 36th congressional district called the situation in Kabul “a full-blown humanitarian crisis and hostage situation of historic…
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Daycare fire impacts Colmesneil

Daycare Fire Damage 300By Emily Eddins COLMESNEIL – With all the changes that Colmesneil ISD has implemented this year, some parents are feeling overwhelmed and confused. It is hard to find places they trust to watch their children while they are busy. Parents and local businesses have been trying to work together in order to establish a new normal. However, one Colmesneil business will no longer be able to assist in the care of these children due to a recent fire. On the early morning of Sunday, August 8, the Colmesneil Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call that would leave an impact on the community, indefinitely. The structure fire destroyed Little Bulldog Country, a local childcare service in the heart of Colmesneil. The business operated as a childcare center focused on helping small children develop social skills and early education all while parents were able to work and provide for their children. The once-thriving business has now shut its doors indefinitely with no…
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Repairs underway in Livingston's Heritage Park

The much-needed repairs are finally underway at the Jonas Davis Log Cabin in Livingston’s Heritage Park. Located in the 500 block of West Church Street, Heritage Park is home to the W.T. Carter and Bro. Locomotive No. 5, the Jonas Davis Log Cabin and the Heritage House. A multi-step project is underway at the park in which the roof of the cabin—which had been taken over by resurrection fern—will be replaced and other repairs made. Heritage Park is maintained by the Polk County Heritage Society. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten
Latexo ISD officials and administrators, along with representatives of one of their contractors, the Berry and Clay commercial construction company, broke ground for the school district’s $5 million bond project last Thursday. (ALTON PORTER | HCC)

Ground broken on Latexo ISD bond

Latexo ISD officials and administrators, along with representatives of one of their contractors, the Berry and Clay commercial construction company, broke ground for the school district’s $5 million bond project last Thursday. (ALTON PORTER | HCC) By Alton Porter [email protected] LATEXO – Latexo ISD officials and staffers are set for contractors to begin constructing facilities planned for the district’s $5 million bond project. The Latexo Independent School District Board of Directors, Superintendent Michael Woodard and others held a ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday morning, Aug. 19, to kick off initial aspects of the bond project. The project will include construction of a multi-purpose facility, which will be used as a gymnasium and a community events venue; a cafeteria/dining room for elementary school students; and a career and technical education (CTE) classrooms unit for high school students. “We’re excited to get started—to finally get the fence up and start some…
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Tyler County Commissioners set proposed tax rates

By Chris [email protected] WOODVILLE – Tyler County officials got down to business on Monday morning in a regular meeting to set proposed tax rates for the county. The first proposed tax rate on the brief agenda for Monday’s meeting was to set the proposed rate for the county’s general fund. Pct. 2 Commissioner Stevan Sturrock recommended adopting a rate of $0.6492, which, he said, would cover the increases of retirement and longevity pay. That proposed rate would represent a 2% increase to the budget, according to Sturrock’s estimate, but a decrease to the current tax rate. County Judge Jacques Blanchette wanted to clarify what the officials were discussing and voting on in adopting the proposed tax rates. “For clarification, it’s just putting it out there to let the public know what the thinking of the court is at this point; not that we’re setting it today,” Blanchette said. The proposed tax rate for the general fund was approved with a 3-1 vote with Pct. 1…
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Thanks for the assist

The Shepherd ISD Transportation Department shows appreciation to Texas Department of Public Safety State Troopers, as well as Corporal Chris Koonce of CVE Nacogdoches County and Trooper Linley Clark of San Jacinto County. These Troopers take great pride in their work, public safety and the betterment of all communities. DPS Troopers are always there to lend a hand and help us grow into something better. The officials dedicated time and knowledge to help the district grow and further its goals for the future and providing better transportation for students. Courtesy photo
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Kennard ISD closing campus due to COVID 

By Chris Edwards KENNARD – Kennard ISD is the fourth East Texas school district to cancel classes due to COVID outbreaks. A letter from KISD superintendent Malinda Lindsey, which went out on the morning of Wednesday, August 25, states that KISD will resume classes on Wednesday, Sept. 1. “Based on attendance rate over the last few days, we feel it is in the best interest of our students and staff to close the district for deep cleaning and disinfection,” Lindsey said in the letter. KISD is releasing all students early today, at 1 p.m., due, according to Lindsey, to a large number of students who are ill. “We are taking this very seriously. The health and safety of our students and staff are of the utmost importance,” Lindsey said. The letter noted that in addition to a large number of ill students, there are also staff members who are sick with fever, cough, vomiting and diarrhea, and the positive numbers of COVID cases continues to rise. In addition to classes, all of the district’s…
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VFW Post 6899 kicks off its fall scholarship programs

Special to the News-Standard TRINITY —Commander Dan Murphy of the VFW Post 6899 and Auxiliary announces the start of this year’s Veterans of Foreign Wars scholarship programs. One of the VFW objectives is to help the young people in Trinity County meet their educational goals. Students in our local area schools — Trinity, Groveton, Centerville, Apple Springs and home-schooled — students can compete in the “Voice of Democracy” and “Patriot’s Pen Essay” contests and win thousands of dollars. Scholarship money is awarded at four different levels: the local, district, state and national. The 2021-2022 theme is “How can I be a good American?” for the Patriot’s Pen Essay (Grades 6 – 8). The theme for the “Voice of Democracy” (Grades 9 – 12) is “America: Where do we go from here?” For the VOD, the students compete by writing and then recording a 3-5-minute audio/essay expressing their views of this year’s theme. Local, district, state and national scholarships are available, with the largest…
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Livingston Home Burglarized

HOME BURGLARIZED - Numerous units from the Livingston Police Department responded to a home in the 1200 block of Brinwood Place that was burglarized Monday afternoon. The homeowners returned home to discover a suspect taking weapons from the residence. The suspect fled on foot and has not been apprehended. All of the weapons were recovered near the scene. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten
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One killed in two-vehicle collision on U.S. Highway 59

Special to the News-Times SHEPHERD —A two-vehicle crash on U.S Highway 59 on Saturday claimed the life of a Liverpool man. According to reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Phillip Marone, 57, was pronounced dead at the scene the crash, which occurred three miles south of Shepherd. The report indicates that at 2:14 p.m., a 2003 Ford Expedition, driven by Marone, was traveling southbound on U.S. 59. A 2020 Mazda M3, driven by Coby Duncan, 22, of Shepherd, was traveling northbound. Marone’s vehicle suffered a tire blowout on the left rear of the vehicle causing it to roll across the center median into the northbound lane, striking the Mazda on the driver’s side. Marone was pronounced dead at the scene by San Jacinto County Justice of the Peace Harris Blanchette. Duncan was transported to HCA Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Additionally, there were multiple passengers in the Mazda: Maria Garcia, age and address unknown, was transported to HCA Hospital for…
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City of Groveon looks to next fiscal year

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — The City of Groveton looks to enact an extremely modest hike in its tax rate for the FY 2021-22 budget. Currently at .9341 cents per $100 of property valuation, the city is looking to enact a .9479 cents rate. The numbers were discussed at a special budget meeting on Aug. 9. Mayor Tommy Walton said that increase only will raise an additional $7,000 in additional revenue for the city, or about $13.80 per $100,000 valuation on a home. “We’re going with what is called a voter approval rate, the highest rate we can charge before having to put a referendum before the voters,” he said. The small amount of revenue is because the city’s tax base is so small, but won’t become official until it is approved at the next meeting, Walton said. That number could change as well between now and then. Walton said the proposed budget includes cost-of-living raises for city employees get modest, which will vary from 1 to 3 percent. The city also hopes to…
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San Jacinto County resident honored

Special to the News-Times SHEPHERD — The San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Department honored an Shepherd man for his assistance in solving a burglary case. Brenda Myers, executive director of the Community and Children's Impact Center, said Teddy Theodore Elliot’s efforts helped stop numerous thefts from the center’s thrift shop. “Each time Deputy Brian Cosme would respond to take statements, Teddy was always delighted to assist by reviewing all the videos and putting them on a sim card for the deputy,” Myers said. “Every time he would tell each and every customer how he helped solved a crime in our community.” Myers said Teddy is a very kind and much-loved person in the community and is always helping others, so because of that, she contacted the Sheriff’s Department and asked him if there was a recognition process for this. “(Cosme) reached out to Sheriff Greg Capers and with no hesitation, they made arrangements for Teddy to be picked up in a patrol car and escorted to the Police…
Pictured are (from left) Timothy Skinner, GP Camden Plywood Shipping Forklift Operator; Andrew Krenek, Groveton Ag Science Teacher; and Luther Cockrell, Groveton ISD Maintenance representative. (Courtesy photo )

Building a Better Future

Pictured are (from left) Timothy Skinner, GP Camden Plywood Shipping Forklift Operator; Andrew Krenek, Groveton Ag Science Teacher; and Luther Cockrell, Groveton ISD Maintenance representative. (Courtesy photo ) Special to the News-Standard CORRIGAN — Georgia-Pacific is helping students build a better future by contributing to schools’ building and trades and Future Farmers of America programs. Recently, the local building products company provided plywood to the students at Groveton Independent School District to build various projects, including feed troughs and deer stands. The students sell their crafts to the community and, in return, raise funds for their FFA chapter. This is just one of many East Texas schools receiving GP products like plywood, lumber and particleboard each year for school projects. Based in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries are among the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of bath tissue, paper towels and napkins, tableware, paper-based…
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Coldspring trooper honored

Special to the News-Times AUSTIN — The Texas Public Safety Commission along with Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw presented one Medal of Valor, the highest honor and award bestowed by DPS, two Lifesaving Awards and two Director’s Awards to department personnel at the PSC meeting on Aug. 12 at DPS Headquarters in Austin. The Outstanding Women in State Government Award also was presented. “These awards exemplify the bravery and dedication that our employees exhibit on a daily basis within DPS,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “I’m pleased to recognize each of these men and women for their service and commitment to the state of Texas.” Sgt. Rae Lee, a member of the Highway Patrol Crash Team in Coldspring, received the 2020 Outstanding Women in State Government Award. The award was created by the State Agency Council, which hosts the Outstanding Women in State Government Awards every two years. The 2020 awards ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19. Lee is…
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Trinity ISD Board inks OK on dress code

Tattoos cause concern for one board member By Tony [email protected] TRINITY — The Trinity ISD School Board approved an employee dress code, but not before the policy regarding tattoos was questioned as being discriminatory. The new policy was being discussed at a special meeting on Aug. 9. Superintendent John Kaufman the purpose of the code is for the staff, especially teachers, to project a professional image. “That’s my whole objective of this policy,” he said. “I want everyone to dress professionally, to look professional.” Board Member Ricky Hortman said that he had issues with the policy, because in this day and age, tattoos are mainstream. “We’re going to discriminate against people who have tattoos? A person can’t be professional if they have tattoos?” Hortman asked. “I would hate to lose a … teacher because of a tattoo. We have lots of other issues than to worry about this.” Hortman said times are changing, and other entities, such as police departments, are…
Vicki Shelley, elections administrator for San Jacinto County, provides an example of the new process for casting ballots. Photo by Tony Farkas/SJNT

San Jacinto New process for voting in place

Vicki Shelley, elections administrator for San Jacinto County, provides an example of the new process for casting ballots. Photo by Tony Farkas/SJNT By Tony [email protected] COLDSPRING — In order to comply with state mandates, as well as fulfill a mission of voting integrity, the San Jacinto Elections Office has implemented a new voting process. Elections Administrator Vicki Shelley said the county has completed a conversion of its voting machines from DRE — direct record electronic — to PVR — print vote record. Shelley said that previously, voters went to a touch screen voting machine, make their selections, get to the end and review them, and then press cast, which would record the vote. It was a one-step process. Now, it is a two-step process, she said; while the voter still will cast votes using the same touch screen setup, instead of casting the vote electronically, it will instead print the votes onto a special, elections-office-only brand of paper. “It will print out…
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Trinity County Sheriff warns of future funding crises

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace told the Commissioners’ Court that unless something is done, there will be a population problem at the county jail. At a budget workshop during the regular Commissioners’ Court meeting on Aug. 10, Wallace said there were two areas of his budget that needed additional funding — the jail and vehicles. Wallace said that even though the office contracted with Enterprise Fleet earlier this year, all vehicles are on back-order, and he believes the county should put in additional funds for purchases — at least $125,000 — even if they continue with the lease program. Currently, the fleet of Sheriff’s Office vehicles are averaging 200,000 to more than 300,000 miles driven, he said, and they need 10 patrol vehicles and two transport vans. Wallace also said that all of the jails this county contracts with to house prisoners has informed him that they cannot take any more. Also, most counties are looking to…
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Crash claims life of Trinity resident

Special to the News-Standard TRINITY — One person died and one injured as law enforcement officials on Tuesday worked to investigate three separate vehicle accidents in Trinity County. James Golden, 75, of Trinity, died as the result of a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 94 about 2 1/2 miles east of Trinity. According to DPS reports, a 2000 Ford pickup was traveling eastbound on 94 collided with a 2021 Dodge pickup, which was traveling westbound, at about 5 p.m. Golden, the driver of the Ford, reportedly drove off the roadway to the right, overcorrected back to the left and traveled into the westbound lane where it was struck by the Dodge. Golden was transported to Huntsville Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the Dodge is identified as Richard Herring, 31, of Conroe. Herring was transported to Conroe Regional Hospital for treatment. Later on Tuesday, a two-vehicle crash occurred at about 6:50 p.m. on FM 356, about 2 1/2 miles south of FM 355. Reports…
Dorothy Harris, president of the Houston County Depot Museum board, recently showed museum visitors—in addition to many other items—a former Crockett Fire Department fire truck that was the main vehicle used to extinguish a fire at the former Crockett Hotel in 1973 and is now on display at the museum.ALTON PORTER | HCC

Re-opened Houston County museum welcomes public

Dorothy Harris, president of the Houston County Depot Museum board, recently showed museum visitors—in addition to many other items—a former Crockett Fire Department fire truck that was the main vehicle used to extinguish a fire at the former Crockett Hotel in 1973 and is now on display at the museum.ALTON PORTER | HCC By Alton Porter CROCKETT – The Houston County Depot Museum is back open and invites the public to come visit the historical items exhibition facility, view its display items and learn about the history of the county. Dorothy Harris, president of the museum’s board of directors noted, in an interview with the Courier, that it was closed over a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and structural damage caused by February’s severe winter storm. However, the museum reopened for its 2021 season July 9. It is open Friday and Saturday each week, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. “We’ll be open until it turns cold; that could be November or December,” Harris said. “We’re not open in the winter…
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Lecture series returning to Heritage Village

Dr. Adrian Van Dellen By Chris Edwards WOODVILLE – A series of lectures is returning to Heritage Village with an event scheduled for Thursday, August 26. Dr. Adrian Van Dellen, DVM, will present a lecture and samples from his photography exhibit which is focused on black bears. The title of the presentation is “Recovering the Louisiana Black Bear to Southeast Texas.” The lecture series began in 2019 and had to enter hiatus last year due to COVID-related restrictions. Lecture topics have ranged from a music and lecture presentation about Susana Dickinson to a lecture from Ray Hensarling focusing on the King Ranch. According to a news release from the Tyler County Heritage Society, Van Dellen’s photographic passion tells the tale of black bears, which are scientifically known as Ursus Americanus Luteolus. There are 16 species of black bears, with two of them native to East Texas in the past. Van Dellen joined a photography group that visited a natural black bear reserve, and he was able…
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Goodrich ISD postpones classes one week

Goodrich ISD students will start school one week later than originally planned following action taken by the Board of Trustees during an emergency called meeting Saturday. The decision comes after several employees have tested positive for Covid-19. As of Monday morning, eight employees have been confirmed positive for the virus, according to school sources, with some among that number including administrators. The 2021-22 school year is now set to begin Wednesday, Aug. 25, while an open house is scheduled for the Monday two days before. The school district will interview four candidates for its superintendent position and could have a lone finalist named as early as Thursday at a regular board meeting. Once that person is named, state law requires a 21-day waiting period until he or she could be hired. Goodrich ISD is strongly recommending all staff, students and parents who enter the campus to wear masks. They also encourage those who are sick to remain at home.
RESTORING OUR HERITAGE The Jonas Davis Log Cabin in Heritage Park is the beneficiary of a $35,000 gift from The Smith Family Foundation given to the Polk County Heritage Society to repair and refurbish the roof of the cabin which has been taken over by resurrection fern. (l-r) Livingston City Manager Bill S. Wiggins; Heritage Society Member Molly Anderson; Robert Smith, representing The Smith Family Foundation; Samantha Legg, Smith’s personal assistant; Heritage Society Member Patrick Swilley; and Heritage Society Member Ruth Hollenbeck. Not pictured: Fred M. Smith, representing The Smith Family Foundation. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

Heritage Park Cabin repairs to begin soon

RESTORING OUR HERITAGE The Jonas Davis Log Cabin in Heritage Park is the beneficiary of a $35,000 gift from The Smith Family Foundation given to the Polk County Heritage Society to repair and refurbish the roof of the cabin which has been taken over by resurrection fern. (l-r) Livingston City Manager Bill S. Wiggins; Heritage Society Member Molly Anderson; Robert Smith, representing The Smith Family Foundation; Samantha Legg, Smith’s personal assistant; Heritage Society Member Patrick Swilley; and Heritage Society Member Ruth Hollenbeck. Not pictured: Fred M. Smith, representing The Smith Family Foundation. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten By Emily Banks [email protected] The Jonas Davis Cabin in Heritage Park is about to undergo a substantial facelift thanks to the generosity of The Smith Family Foundation. “Mom and Dad put together this foundation way back in the 90s because they loved education, culture, art, churches and they wanted to make sure that the people in the…
DISTINGUISHED HIGH SCHOOL PARTNER Unfurling a banner that states that Stephen F. Austin State University recognizes Livingston High School as a Distinguished High School Partner during a kick-off ceremony Friday are (l-r) LISD Board Member Kevin Wooten, Livingston High School Principal Dr. Paul Drake, SFA President Dr. Scott Gordon and LISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

LHS selected for SFA distinguished program

DISTINGUISHED HIGH SCHOOL PARTNER Unfurling a banner that states that Stephen F. Austin State University recognizes Livingston High School as a Distinguished High School Partner during a kick-off ceremony Friday are (l-r) LISD Board Member Kevin Wooten, Livingston High School Principal Dr. Paul Drake, SFA President Dr. Scott Gordon and LISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten By Emily Banks [email protected]> A kick-off ceremony was held Friday to formalize an agreement between Livingston High School (LHS) and Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) that will have far-reaching implications for local students for years to come. LHS is one of 12 East Texas schools to be included in SFA’s Distinguished High School Program. Through the program, top-ranking LHS graduates will be automatically eligible for scholarships worth up to $20,000 at SFA as a result of a new partnership between the schools. “We appreciate you coming on this special day,” LISD…
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One killed in two-vehicle crash near Shepherd

Special to the News-Times SHEPHERD — A Goodrich man died following a two-vehicle collision on U.S. Highway 59 about one mile south of Shepherd. Jaime Ortega, 47, of Goodrich, was pronounced dead at the scene by San Jacinto Justice of the Peace Harris Blanchette following the Aug. 11 crash. According to information from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 59 occurred at approximately 1:05 p.m. Reports indicate that a 2021 Dodge pickup traveling southbound swerved out of the lane and collided in the rear with a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe that was stopped on the improved shoulder. The driver of the Dodge, Melissa Smith, 37, of Cleveland, suffered minor injuries. There were two passengers with Smith — a 14-year-old male an 11-year-old female, both of which suffered only minor injuries. All occupants in the Dodge were transported to HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe. A passenger in the Hyundai, Francisco Becerra, 47, of Shepherd, was taken to HCA Houston…
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Coldspring discusses old audit

By Tony [email protected] COLDSPRING — On its way to getting caught up, the City of Coldspring finalized its audit for FY 2016 at its regular meeting on Aug. 2. Molly Abele of the auditing firm of Axley & Rode said that it was giving an unmodified opinion, meaning there were little to no problems with the city’s finances. Mayor Pat Eversole said that city audits were behind because of several problems over past years, but Axley & Rode has essentially done yeoman’s work getting the past-due audits completed. Mayor Pro Tem John Benestante said that in regard to some of the operational deficiencies, he will draft policies to ensure that the city maintains proper record-keeping and retention. He also said that deficiencies will continue to appear until later audits, which will reflect any changes the city will make. In other business, the city: approved a new nuisance ordinance dealing with dilapidated property or items; discussed fencing at the Dixie Youth Ball Park; approved a…
A little water from a firehose keeps the bad cool during marching practice.

Ready to play - Trinity Marching Band season also starting

A little water from a firehose keeps the bad cool during marching practice. By Tony [email protected] TRINITY — It’s almost time for Friday Night Lights, which means not only will there be the sound of pads clashing, but there will be musical entertainment as well — just as much anticipated as the game. The Trinity Tiger Marching Band will take the field on Aug. 27 for the first performance of this year’s halftime show, and Team Captain and Senior Zoey Gray is looking forward to it. This year, the band will play “Rise of the Phoenix,” a compilation of several classical pieces arranged by Doug Moore, Drum Major and fellow Senior Andi Hickman said. Andi said the group started drills last week after two weeks of band camp, and will perform in front of a crowd at first home game on Aug. 27. The two seniors believe the band will do extremely well this year. “We have a very young band this year — about half of the band are sophomores or younger,” Andi said. “We have about eight…
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Alabama-Coushatta Principal Chief dies

Chief Herbert G. Johnson Sr.From Enterprise Staff Herbert G. Johnson Sr., Principal Chief of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, died Monday after a brief hospital stay. He was 79 years old and had served as Mikko Choba Skalaaba since Jan. 1, 2020. “It is with profound sadness that the Tribal Council of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas reports that the Tribe’s Mikko Choba Skaalaba passed away,” Debrina Sylestine-Dirden, the Tribe’s communications director, said. A member of the Beaver Clan, Johnson served his people in many capacities throughout his entire life. He was twice elected to the Tribal Council and worked as the Tribal security director for over 21 years. He was elected as the Tribe’s Second Chief following the passing of the then-Principal Chief—Mikko Colabe III—the late Clem Sylestine in 2019. A deacon and elder at the Indian Presbyterian Church, Johnson also served on the Big Sandy ISD Board of Trustees for 48 years. Johnson was born on April 3, 1942 on the…
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Emergency Management reports uptick of COVID cases - Update

By Chris Edwards TYLER COUNTY – Tyler County’s Emergency Management Coordinator Ken Jobe reported “a major uptick in COVID-19 cases” throughout the county. Jobe said that during the last two weeks, the county has gone from 0-3 active cases per day to more than 35 actives. However, Jobe said his office has had no confirmation as to whether these cases are of the new delta variant of the virus. Jobe’s office also began providing updates on active case counts again. As of last Thursday, the county has 91 active, up from the previous week count of 38. Since reporting began last year, Tyler County has had 1,453 confirmed cases of COVID, with 1319 recoveries and 43 deaths. Jobe said the sort of tests needed for variant type are requested and performed by labs at the state’s request, but it is, he said, safe to assume they are of the Delta variant based on its widespread nature. Nationwide, the delta variant, which was first identified in India, is rapidly spreading. In an Associated Press…
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San Jacinto County Commissioners seek to balance out sheriff’s budget and policy

By Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula SJNT staff writer COLDSPRING — Settling into the hot August temperatures, tensions inside the courtroom matched the temperatures outside when proposed policy changes at the hands of the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Office were addressed head-on by local business members. Wrecker redistribution Prior to the agenda item, during public comment, several old-guard wreckers from the county, including GW Wreckers and East Texas Towing, spoke on behalf of historical practices, citing a 2008 policy in which the wreckers and previous Sheriff’s Office came together to get approved by the court, in which wreckers purchased permit rotation numbers that enabled them to buy into a rotation that the Sheriff’s Office used to distribute business between the entities. Chief Tim Keen took the microphone, addressing the proposed changes that seek to remove the buy-in system altogether, citing that Sheriff Greg Capers doesn’t want to continue with the current system. The Sheriff’s Office…
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Trinity County Commissioners, sheriff spar over pay raises

By Tony Farkas [email protected] GROVETON — A request for pay raises for dispatchers and jailers by Sheriff Woody Wallace touched off an argument over timing and budgets. At the July 27 meeting of the Trinity County Commissioners’ Court, Wallace had submitted requests for four employees, currently making between $9-$10 per hour, to be paid $14 per hour. While initially against the raises, the county relented and approved a $12 per hour rate, but not before tempers flared. “We’re taxing the people, we might as well pay our people better salaries,” Wallace said. “Is there any opposition to that, or do we want to defund the police by not funding them properly? Because that’s what we’re doing.” Wallace said that neighboring counties are paying $14 per hour, and his employees are looking elsewhere. However, the county had just commissioned a salary study, which was to be incorporated into the Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget, which becomes effective Oct. 1, two months away. Commissioner…
Dr. Terra Smith

COCISD welcomes new administrators

Dr. Terra SmithSpecial to the News-Times COLDSPRING — The Coldspring-Oakhurst ISD School Board met the districts newest administrators at its regular meeting on July 26. Dr. Terra Smith is the new COCISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. Smith has served as a high school social studies teacher, dean of instruction, a secondary assistant principal, an associate principal, a middle school principal, and a central office administrator within the Houston area. During the 2020-2021 school year, she worked as an independent education consultant with Houston-area school districts. "Professionally I have been in the field of education for 17 years," Smith said. "I earned a bachelor’s degree in History and master’s degree in Teaching from Trinity University in San Antonio. I earned my doctorate in Education from the University of Houston, and my dissertation topic was the importance of the campus principal as an instructional leader in building instructional capacity in…
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Accident victims identified

Special to the News-Standard TRINITY — While the details surrounding the July 23 death of two men near White Rock City Marina remains unknown, they have been identified. Bruce Devlyn Sutton, no age given, of Point Blank, and Eric Franklin Womack, no age given, of Trinity, were found dead. The bodies of the two men were recovered Friday after officers responded to a caller reporting a body floating on a private lake near the marina, according to police reports. Deputies and game wardens retrieved the body, and officers noticed what appeared to be vehicle tracks leading into the water. Game wardens were able to use the sonar on a boat to locate a vehicle submerged in about 12 feet of water. A second man was discovered inside the truck that was pulled from the lake by a wrecker service. DPS Troopers were called to investigate, and Justice of the Peace Lyle Stubbs pronounced the two dead at the scene. The investigation continues, and autopsies were ordered to determine the cause of death,…
Jessie White at the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony last week.

Hometown pride in the Hall of Fame: Tyler County native Jessie White proves every step can be a teachable moment

Jessie White at the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony last week.By Chris Edwards Soft-spoken and insightful, Tyler County native Jessie White is the type of man who exudes kindness and intellectual depth. “It can happen,” he said. With one simple three-word sentence, White referred to the limitless capacity all humans possess to achieve things toward their betterment. “I’ve never allowed barriers to stop me,” he said. White, who was just named to the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame “hasn’t changed in 64 years,” according to his wife, Wanda, but beneath his calm, gentle demeanor is one of the greatest coaching minds the southeast Texas region has known. White tends to eschew labels such as “legend,” though, and said it even sometimes angers him when people refer to him in such ways. White, who grew up in Warren, has worked for 40 years at West Brook ISD, where he led the Lady Bruins to more than 350 wins…
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Rain both blessing, curse

Wet year can lead to wet problems By Tony [email protected] This year has shown to be wetter than average, as anyone with a familiarity with The Farmer’s Almanac can tell you. According to the almanac, rainfall for the year was to be above normal in our neck of the woods, but below normal in the north. September and October will be cooler than normal, with rainfall below normal in the north and above normal in the south. The data for San Jacinto County, according to the National Weather Service, shows that to date, 33.13 inches of rain has fallen. The annual average is just less than 51 inches. Additionally, the wettest day was on April 30, on which 4.62 inches of rain was logged. The wettest month was May with a whopping 13.69 inches. In all, 84 of 200 days so far this year have had rainfall; the average is 94. April and May will be cooler and rainier than normal. Summer will be cooler than normal, with the hottest periods in mid-June, mid- to late July, and mid-August, the…
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Groveton offers no-cost student meals

Special to the News-Times GROVETON — For the 2021-2022 school year, healthy meals will be offered every school day to all students at no cost. Typically, a student’s household must meet income eligibility requirements to qualify for free or reduced-price meals; however, the United States Department of Agriculture issued guidance that allows schools to offer meals to all students at no cost for the 2021-2022 school year. Each school/site or central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed upon request. While no application or eligibility determination process is required for your student to receive free meals this school year, the income eligibility requirement will likely resume in the 2022-2023 school year. In accordance with federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color,…
Several of Shepherd ISD’s FFA members took the microphone during the Student Recognition portion to congratulate students on their summer achievements through the program. (Photo by Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula )

Shepherd Board, community meet face-to-face

Several of Shepherd ISD’s FFA members took the microphone during the Student Recognition portion to congratulate students on their summer achievements through the program. (Photo by Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula ) By Emily Kubisch-SabrsulaSJNT staff writer SHEPHERD — Holding its first completely in-person board meeting since the pandemic began last year, the Shepherd School Board met for a final summer round-up in preparation for the upcoming school year to discuss plans for the growing district. The district boasts 100 percent online enrollment this year, which added 1,031 new students. With school slated to start back up on Aug. 11, Dr. Jason Hewitt will resume the State of Shepherd Facebook Live programs. The July program took place after going to press, but upcoming live streams will be announced via the Shepherd ISD Facebook page. Parents, guardians, and community members will be able to ask questions and receive live updates about changes across the district. Cabinet reports Taking the…
Trinity County Sheriff’s Office deputies examine a vehicle that was pulled from a private lake at the scene where two men were found dead. (Courtesy Photo)

Trinity County Sheriff’s Office investigating deaths

Trinity County Sheriff’s Office deputies examine a vehicle that was pulled from a private lake at the scene where two men were found dead. (Courtesy Photo) Special to the News-Standard TRINITY — The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of two men. The identities of the two men are not being released at this time. The bodies of two men were recovered Friday after officers responded to a caller reporting a body floating on a private lake near White Rock City Marina, according to police reports. Deputies and game wardens retrieved the body, and officers noticed what appeared to be vehicle tracks leading into the water. Game wardens were able to use the sonar on a boat to locate a vehicle submerged in about 12 feet of water. A second man was discovered inside the truck that was pulled from the lake. DPS Troopers were called to investigate the crash. The investigation continues, and no other details are available at this time.
Members of the Houston County Historical Commission, pictured with the Houston County Commissioners, were presented a Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Historical Commission for their outstanding service during Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting.  (ALTON PORTER | HCC)

Houston County government supporting summer events

Members of the Houston County Historical Commission, pictured with the Houston County Commissioners, were presented a Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Historical Commission for their outstanding service during Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting. (ALTON PORTER | HCC) By Alton Porter CROCKETT – Houston County government officials have shown that they have been and are in support of summer concerts and other performance events in the county by granting funds to entertainment sponsors. Members of the county’s commissioners court voted to approve requests for funding from the Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund to three entertainment sponsorship organizations at a regular meeting of the court Tuesday, July 27. The commissioners approved granting $3,000 to Salmon Lake Enterprises LP to assist in covering expenses incurred by putting on the Camp Rock Fest (Pitmasters Edition) held in Salmon Lake Park, in Grapeland, this past weekend. In addition, the commissioners granted $2,000 to…
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Authorities seeking burglary suspect

Jesse Evetts JonesBy Chris Edwards TYLER COUNTY – Authorities are on the search for a Colmesneil man who is facing several felony charges, and are asking for the public’s help in finding him. Jesse Evetts Jones, a 29-year-old man who is known to stay in and around Colmesneil, is currently wanted for four different burglary charges, including one habitation burglary charge, unauthorized use of a vehicle and felony evading. According to a Crime Stoppers bulletin released last week about Jones, he is also known to stay along FM 92, between Tyler and Hardin counties. Jones is a white male with brown hair and stands six feet tall. His weight is described as being between 180 and 200 lbs., and he has two tattoos: a barbed-wire design on his left bicep and a cross on his left arm. Anyone who has information about Jones’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office at 409-283-2172, or Crime Stoppers via the website 639TIPS.com, or by calling 936-639-TIPS. Any tips…
Carol Shields, the librarian for the Whitmeyer Genealogical Library at Heritage Village in Woodville, gave a recent presentation to the Tyler County Heritage Society Board of Directors on Monday morning concerning a digital archival service, Family Search, that is in the process of digitizing the library’s family records holdings.  (PHOTO BY CHRIS EDWARDS)

Genealogical documents being digitized at Whitmeyer Library

Carol Shields, the librarian for the Whitmeyer Genealogical Library at Heritage Village in Woodville, gave a recent presentation to the Tyler County Heritage Society Board of Directors on Monday morning concerning a digital archival service, Family Search, that is in the process of digitizing the library’s family records holdings. (PHOTO BY CHRIS EDWARDS) WOODVILLE – Currently FamilySearch, a non-profit family history organization dedicated to gathering, preserving, and sharing the world’s records, is in Woodville digitizing the Whitmeyer Library’s genealogical documents. This is a free service to the Whitmeyer Library as well as other organizations. FamilySearch has sent volunteers and equipment to our library at Heritage Village to do the work. Our Librarian Carol Shields is assisting with identifying family related information in our library. When the project is completed, the digitized data will be made available on FamilySearch’s website, FamilySearch.org/archives. In addition,…
The Johnson family¬—Aaliyah, 14, Stormi, 8, Herb Jr. and Victoria—celebrate Aaliyah’s and Victoria’s inclusion in the newly released PBS book “American Portrait: The Story of Us, Told by Us.” Both women shared about their creative pursuits in the book. The Johnsons are residents of the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

Creative expression runs in family

The Johnson family¬—Aaliyah, 14, Stormi, 8, Herb Jr. and Victoria—celebrate Aaliyah’s and Victoria’s inclusion in the newly released PBS book “American Portrait: The Story of Us, Told by Us.” Both women shared about their creative pursuits in the book. The Johnsons are residents of the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten Local mother, daughter featured in PBS project By Emily Banks [email protected] The talents and interests of a mother and daughter from the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation were spotlighted when they were both featured in an ambitious storytelling project conducted by the Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS as it’s more commonly known. In January 2020, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, PBS launched the storytelling project, American Portrait, inviting people across the country to participate in a national conversation about what it means to be an American today. The result is “American Portrait: The Story of Us,…
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Standoff ends peacefully

Anderson By Tony [email protected] COLDSPRING — A 36-year-old Houston resident was arrested Friday after a lengthy standoff in the 200 block of West Cedar Avenue in Coldspring Christopher Edward Anderson, 36, is facing a charge of murder in the July 20 shooting death of Tonya Davis, 44. Police reports indicate that early on July 20, police were called to an apartment complex on Ella Boulevard in Houston, after being called by the teenaged son of the victim. Davis suffered at least one gunshot wound, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Forced entry was found at the scene; Anderson and Davis had been in a relationship and recently separated, the report states. Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigators processed the scene, and an arrest warrant was issued for Anderson. Reports indicate Anderson went to his parents’ home in Coldspring, and HCSO deputies with the homicide unit, the warrants unit, as well as the San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office and Texas Rangers, went to the…
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Trinity County tends to nuisances

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners’ Court will be on the side of Trinity Cove’s POA in helping abate some nuisances located within the subdivision. At its regular meeting on July 12, the court set a public hearing for Aug. 10 into a list of 12 properties in Trinity Cove that have been deemed public nuisances. County Judge Doug Page said the county had taken this matter up about 1 ½ years ago, under former County Attorney Joe Warner Bell, but did not finish the matter. Bell was defeated in a subsequent election, and the matter went dormant. The current attorney, Colton Hay, said that it needed to be revived, and the commissioners agreed. In other business, the county: approved bids for the sale of tax resale properties submitted by the County Appraisal District; approved the deletion of Crabapple Lane from the county’s 911 addressing map; approved the purchase of body cameras for the county’s four constables, and signed an agreement with…
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Centerville ISD applies for funding

By Tony [email protected] CENTERVILLE — The Centerville ISD will once again seek funding to help students in the district who have been identified as socially disadvantaged. The CISD Board of Trustees held a public hearing at its regular meeting on July 15. Superintendent Mark Brown said that for Title I funding, which is to be used for socially disadvantaged students, the district is applying for $42,920, which will be used to fund enrichment programs to reach children identified as disadvantaged, as well as for stipends for teachers in high-needs areas. Title II funds are used for teacher training and recruitment, and Brown said the district is applying for $6,986. The funds help keep qualified teachers and administrators in a district that has less economic opportunities for funding. In the past, the money was used to pay teachers in science and math because those areas are harder to recruit and retain, Brown said. Additionally, the district will seek Title IV funding,…
Jenkines joins Latexo ISD as elementary principal

Jenkines joins Latexo ISD as elementary principal

Jenkines joins Latexo ISD as elementary principalBy Alton Porter LATEXO – Kathryn Mattox Jenkines has been hired by Latexo Independent School District officials to serve the district as principal of Latexo Elementary School. District Superintendent Michael Woodard introduced Jenkines and the district’s five custodial staff members at a board meeting Thursday, July 15, and the Latexo ISD board of trustees approved the hiring of the new principal. “I’m excited for this opportunity to be back in the community that I grew up in and graduated from Crockett High School,” Jenkines said. “I’ve been gone for a long time but happy to be back. According to the district’s website, Jenkines has worked in child welfare prior to becoming an educator, and she worked in various capacities at Madisonville Intermediate School. “We’re looking forward to having you here and think you’re going to do a great job,” Latexo ISD Board President and Position 5 Trustee Kelly Nicol told Jenkines. The custodial…
Judy Connelly enjoys a day working in her garden. (PHOTO BY EMILY EDDINS)

Polio survivor shares insight of past epidemic

Judy Connelly enjoys a day working in her garden. (PHOTO BY EMILY EDDINS)By Emily Eddins As we, as a species, continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic, we have had time to reflect on our struggles throughout the past year. These perilous times have highlighted just how fragile life can be. While it was one of the greatest struggles in recent history, the coronavirus pandemic was undoubtedly not the first time our country has endured something like this. Just a short time ago, another epidemic was raging throughout the country, paralyzing thousands of children - the polio outbreak of the 1900s. Polio is a viral disease that affects the nervous system. This disease spreads directly from contaminated water, food, or even people. Once infected, victims face a host of symptoms, including fatigue, fever, loss of muscle, headache, nausea, and eventually face paralysis. The peak of polio occurred in the United States from 1916 until a vaccine was finally approved in 1955, resulting in a…
Daryl “Harry Cheaks” Morris with his son Aiden and wife Connie Williams and Bear.

Woodville veteran/musician’s service dog missing

Daryl “Harry Cheaks” Morris with his son Aiden and wife Connie Williams and Bear. By Chris Edwards HILLISTER – To local residents and those in the area who enjoy good times and good tunes, Daryl Morris, a.k.a “Harry Cheaks” is a familiar sight – and so is his ever-present canine companion Bear. Morris, a local musician, DJ and music producer is also a combat veteran who received the service dog two years ago through a program called the Wins for Warriors Foundation. However, for about a month, Bear has been missing, and Morris fears someone stole him. “I’ve been looking for him, hoping he’d come back around and he hasn’t come back,” he said. Morris’s service dog is more than just a best friend to him, Bear has also helped him overcome PTSD-associated issues and get out of his house to engage in his calling: entertaining folks as a musician and DJ. Morris said Bear was last seen on county road 4455 in Hillister, possibly at FM 1013, which crosses the road. Morris added that Bear, being…
The Dixie Youth Ballpark in Coldspring is looking forward to sprucing up the area. (Photo by Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula)

Coldspring City Council looks to stiffen nuisance ordinance

The Dixie Youth Ballpark in Coldspring is looking forward to sprucing up the area. (Photo by Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula) By Tony [email protected] COLDSPRING — The Coldspring City Council, looking to clean up derelict and unkempt properties within the city, is strengthening its rules as well as its enforcement. The city had originally demanded the property owners at 210 Slade St. and two pieces of property in the Park Place addition clean up their properties; however, the demand was made through an ordinance which only dealt with substandard structures. The city is now looking to create an ordinance that would be more appropriate, including dealing with junk storage, leaky exterior pipes, certain types of waste discharge, and grass and tree growth, as well as other issues. The ordinance, which was discussed at the city’s regular meeting on July 19, also would ban the accumulation of abandoned or derelict vehicles, unless it’s for a business such as a scrap yard. The ordinance also…
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Apple Springs looks to boost test scores

By Tony Farkas APPLE SPRINGS — STARR test scores for the Apple Springs ISD were higher than the state average, but could be better. The ASISD Board of Trustees discussed the results at its regular meeting on July 8. Superintendent Cody Moree said that the district’s overall scores were lower than normal, but on par or slightly better than the state averages. He said that the math scores were exceptionally good. However, he said that the results, coming off a year where education was interrupted because of the pandemic, should not have been used. “My opinion is that none of the state's scores should have been published this year,” he said. “If anything, they should have only been used as diagnostic information moving forward.” Moree said the district’s mitigation plan for the future is comprehensive, and includes an emphasis on curricular vertical alignment, longer instructional periods in core subjects, a district-wide reading and writing initiative and the hiring of a dedicated…
The U-Haul in which Davidson led authorities on a chase.  (Photos courtesy of Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace)

‘U-Haul Bandit’ chase ends in Tyler County

The U-Haul in which Davidson led authorities on a chase. (Photos courtesy of Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace) By Chris Edwards TYLER COUNTY – A four-county chase in a U-Haul truck ended in Tyler County, and a Desoto man is in jail following the incident. According to a social media posting from Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace, the chase lasted two hours and began early in the morning on Saturday, July 17, in Angelina County. Ronny Dwight DavidsonWallace said that the chase began before 3 a.m., and the driver, later identified as 43-year-old Ronny Dwight Davidson, drove the moving vehicle through Trinity County, where he struck a deputy’s patrol unit, spinning it around and doing extensive damage. “While you were sleeping, a U-Haul bandit led officers on a two-hour long chase,” Wallace said. The chase continued, at a speed of around 80 mph through Polk County and ended in Tyler County at around 5 a.m., where deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office were able to deploy…
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Livingston Walmart closes doors for “sanitizing”

One of the county’s busiest stores closed its doors Friday with thepromise of re-opening Sunday.Around 2 p.m. Friday, a few of the final Walmart shoppers left thestore and shoppers attempting to enter were told they no longer could.Livingston Police were on hand to assist Walmart employees withinforming customers that the store had closed until Sunday at 6 a.m.Sanitizing and restocking were the reasons given for the closure topatrons at the front door.Livingston Police and Walmart employees both said they were notnotified of the closure until Friday morning.The Enterprise has been informed that an outbreak amongst employeescould be the reason for a shutdown of about 40 hours, but that has yetto be confirmed.Management at the store would not comment on the situation, and theEnterprise was instead directed to a website for media requests, whichwas not returned by press time Friday.
Mark Collins, playing the part of George Washington, spoke to attendees at Friday’s conference. (ALTON PORTER | HCC)

Constitutional sheriffs’ conference held in Crockett

Mark Collins, playing the part of George Washington, spoke to attendees at Friday’s conference. (ALTON PORTER | HCC) Hargrove encourages attendees to stand up for their rights By Alton Porter CROCKETT – Houston County Sheriff Randy Hargrove and the Houston County Sheriff’s Office hosted a public conference last Friday, themed “The County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope.” Joint-presented by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) and HCSO, the event featured and was headed up by Richard Mack, a former county sheriff in Arizona and founder of the CSPOA and was held in the Crockett Civic Center. Other speakers included Mark Collins, who acted out a role as special guest and the nation’s first president, George Washington; former sheriff Brad Rogers, of Elkhart County, Indiana; and attorney Michael Peroutka, of Maryland, known as a defender of the Constitution. Conference attendees were welcomed and thanked for being at the event by Houston County Judge Jim Lovell…
Pastor Kevin Hicks speaks to the Chester City Council on Monday night. (PHOTO BY MICHAEL G. MANESS)

Chester plans community watch program

Pastor Kevin Hicks speaks to the Chester City Council on Monday night. (PHOTO BY MICHAEL G. MANESS) By Michael G. Maness CHESTER – Chester welcomed members of the Dam B Community Watch (DBCW) at their council meeting Monday evening, July 12. Representatives from the group included CW President Johnny Page and his wife Nancy; Secretary Jan Johnson and husband Lawrence and Glen Kenney, who serves as the group’s public relations. Chester Mayor Floyd Petri and Mayor pro-tem Robert Poynter have taken point on planning a community watch group for Chester, and Poynter will be the council’s lead. Pct 2 Constable Casey Whitworth will be the lead law enforcement officer, saying he was honored to help in any way. Johnny Page pointed out that the sheriff’s office said the CW lowered the calls by 75 percent. The Dam B Community Watch Group has been operating with great success for five years. They do patrols but stressed that they do not do any law enforcement, such as stopping vehicles. That was…
Toppled monuments in Magnolia Cemetery. (Photo by Chris Edwards )

Vandalism reported in Magnolia Cemetery

Toppled monuments in Magnolia Cemetery. (Photo by Chris Edwards ) By Emily Eddins As a tight-knit community, it is part of the job of the citizens to take pride in our county and all its unique and historical attributes that it has to offer. These key features from past descendants have had such a significant impact on Tyler County; it is only fair that we treat them with respect and kindness. Recently, concerned citizens have noticed a lack of appreciation for our area and believe that this issue is overdue for concern. Magnolia Cemetery, which is located in the heart of Woodville, is a resting place for many of Tyler County's loved ones. While the groundskeepers do their best at keeping the property maintained, especially the new and more accessible sections of the cemetery, many citizens are disturbed at recent degrading activities that have been taking place on the grounds, causing an upset in the community. One of the most remarkable parts of the cemetery is the ancient graves of…
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Trinity Council talks more grant work

By Tony [email protected] TRINITY — The Trinity City Council began planning for the use of grant funds it received to help shore up its infrastructure. Mayor Wayne Huffman said the city received a $35,000 grant to assist planning the work, which will be paid for by a separate $4.2 million grant for work on parks, water and wastewater services, drainage and streets. Carlos Beceiro of GrantWorks facilitated the discussion, Huffman said. In a related matter, the city tabled a request to seek bids for grant administration and engineering services related to the Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant program. Huffman said the council did not have enough information about the grant, so action was delayed. He also said the HMA grant was a gamble, in that the city would be required to put up certain fees, which would not be reimbursed should the grant request be denied. In other business, the city: appointed Council Member Clegg DeWalt as the city’s representative on the Deep East…
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Landfill opposition growing in Cleveland

By Tony [email protected] CLEVELAND — A proposed landfill in the southwest part of San Jacinto County, opposed by area residents, is now being panned by neighboring counties. On June 21, the Cleveland City Council, at its regular meeting, unanimously approved a resolution opposing an application by Peach Creek Co. for a landfill seven miles northwest of the intersection of Highway 59 and State Highway 105. While the intersection is within the Cleveland city limits, the landfill would be located in San Jacinto County. Area residents have attended several meetings of the San Jacinto County Commissioners’ Court in protest of the landfill over the last several months. Among the complaints registered include the possibility of contamination of ground and surface water, as well as access roads not included in the permit application. According to the resolution, the Cleveland City Council will oppose the application because the city is directly downstream from the landfill site. The…
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Trinity County Treasurer Arrested

Bob Dockens By Tony [email protected] TRINITY — A Trinity County elected official was arrested Friday for an outstanding warrant. County Treasurer Bob Dockens was arrested on a warrant for a Nov. 11, 2020, traffic citation that was issued in Corrigan. The charge was for passing a stationary emergency vehicle. Police reports indicate that Dockens did not show for a scheduled court date on the citation, and an arrest warrant was issued on May 18. The Corrigan Police Department contacted the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office while doing a warrant sweep, and Dockens was arrested by Trinity County Constable Mark Cole. Sheriff Woody Wallace said his office was notified Friday morning, but since Dockens was attending a meeting of the Trinity County Commissioners’ Court, he was allowed to finish the meeting and then quietly left with officers for booking. Wallace said that it was his understanding is that someone in Dockens family took care of the charges in Corrigan; the Sheriff’s…
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San Jacinto County celebrates July 4

Beating out the chance of rain, residents from San Jacinto County gathered outside of the Shepherd Community Center to celebrate Independence Day with funnel cakes, face painting, and plenty of family activities at the 2021 Shepherd Independence Day Celebration. Photos by Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula
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New COCISD super setting priorities

By Tony [email protected] COLDSPRING — Newly minted Superintendent Bryan Taulton is now taking control of Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD, and is setting priorities for the coming year. At its regular meeting June 26, the COCISD board approved changes to the student dress code and staff dress guidelines for the 2021-22 school year. Communications Coordinator Cassie Gregory said that as part of Taulton’s plan, enforcement of dress codes and codes of conduct will be a top priority for the coming year, as student appearance is directly related to attitude and learning. Part of the code addresses masking in the wake of the pandemic; the police states masks are optional for all students. Other items included are shorts, with the exception of biker shorts or Spandex; and leggings are allowed, provided a shirt or sweater is of skirt length. Items that are prohibited include revealing clothing, bare midriffs, sagging pants, pants with Velcro or snaps on the side, clothing that shows visible…
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Groveton Council changes police chief pay

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — The Groveton City Council approved a pay range for its police chief, but it took prodding from Interim Police Chief Daniel Kee to get his pay adjusted to the new rate. Mayor Tommy Walton suggested a rate of $18 per hour for a new hire, and then after a year of service the rate would be raised to $20. Walton also said that the council intends to seek applications for another 30 days before making any decision on replacing John Raiford, who resigned in May. Additionally, the city plans to allow any new chief to fill the open position, leaving the city’s law enforcement at one full-time officer and reserves. However, Interim Chief Daniel Kee asked about the rate he is being paid, which is not $18; he also said that his 10 years of working for the city should mean his pay should be raised to $20 per hour. He also questioned why the city decided to extend its search without discussing it with him. “I’ve been back there cleaning up the office,…
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Groveton ISD discusses grant funds

By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — The Groveton ISD Board of Trustees discussed a third round of grants for the district at its regular meeting June 26. Assistant Superintendent Jim Dillard said the money needed to be spent on certain items, which include $219,000 in funds for construction of items involving social support for students. The funds are being released under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief grants, part of the American Rescue Plan. He also said a survey sent out into the community had 59 responses, and showed there was a need for technology updates and instructional materials. A survey of the staff showed a desire to pay the teachers more money and building repairs. Additionally, new technology would be a benefit, he said, as well as hiring two additional counselors to have one assigned to each campus. Dillard said that at the time, no plans have been made for using the money. In other business, the board: approved the district’s…
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Trinity ISD Board discusses academic performance

By Tony [email protected] TRINITY — As with many school districts this year, Trinity found that while most STAAR test scores came in as expected, there were some areas that were surprising. Superintendent John Kaufman said that overall he and the principals were happy with the scores, but did say they’re not where they should be. The scores were discussed at the June 26 meeting of the Trinity ISD board. The Elementary grades did well generally, he said; third grade was at 65 percent meets or masters in math, and at about 47 percent meets or masters in reading. Also, one grade in Middle School was struggling in math, and the High School was able to come out at 2018-19 levels, the last year tracked because of COVID-19. Kaufman said he attributes the scores to the pandemic, as remote learning is not as effective as it could be, and unforeseen closures, such as the week before Christmas, the week of the winter storm, and starting school late because of weather. “We had some…
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Livingston teen dies after jumping from vehicle

A Livingston student was killed when Houston police say she jumped outof a moving vehicle after an argument Monday night.Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office responded to reportsof the crash that occurred on I-45 between FM 1960 and Richey Roadaround 8 p.m.The deputies said that the 15-year-old incoming freshman at LivingstonISD had an argument with her mother. She was killed after jumping outof the vehicle and struck by an unknown car that fled the scene.Livingston ISD released a statement via social media regarding theincident Tuesday afternoon.“We lost an LISD student this week,” the statement said. “In timeslike this, we are reminded just how precious life can be and howfragile each of us truly is. It is sad when our district loses amember of its family. It is even more tragic when such a young lifeis taken away from us. We extend our thoughts and sincere condolencesto the family.”The girl was pronounced dead on the scene. Reportedly, a witness whosaw the teen jump…
American legion post 629 salute the flag and the empty chair for those heroes who did not return. (Courtesy Photo)

Good times at great celebration in Shepherd

American legion post 629 salute the flag and the empty chair for those heroes who did not return. (Courtesy Photo) Editor’s Note: The following story is being run in its entirety as part of it was inadvertently left out of this week’s edition of the San Jacinto News-Times. The SJNT regrets the error. The Independence Day celebration in Shepherd on July 3 was a big success. We were blessed when it did not rain. Surprisingly it was forecast to rain for most of the day and although it rained close to us, we were not rained upon. Humidity was high but everyone enjoyed the volleyball and cornhole tournaments. The latter continued late into the evening and we are grateful to the City of Shepherd for working on the overhead lights, and for Commissioner Donny Marrs for loaning us his portable Lights. The event opened with the American Legion Post 629 performing a Flag Ceremony in which all who fought for our freedoms were honored, especially those who did not return. This was symbolized by a…
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Shepherd Council sets priorities

SJNT staff SHEPHERD — At a special study session on June 22, the Shepherd Board of Aldermen began setting priorities for the grant funds the city received, as well as discussed proposed projects that may end up being funded in an alternative manner. City Secretary Debra Hagler said that while no action was taken at the meeting, the city began focusing on smaller projects that can be completed quickly, such as sewer lines and streets that have no infrastructure running beneath them. “It was only a brainstorming session,” she said. Financial advisor Bill Blitch offered some resources to the board, which could provide the city with low interest loans, as well as discuss issuing certificates of obligation for some immediate funding. The city of Shepherd received a $4.2 million grant in May, and hopes to shore up the city’s infrastructure, particularly relating to water, wastewater and storm drainage. More detailed information can be found at the city’s website, www.shepherdtx.org.
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Shepherd prepares to celebrate Independence Day

SJNT staff SHEPHERD — After the pandemic shutdowns, the Fourth of July celebration scheduled for Saturday promises to be exciting for everyone. Sponsored by the Shepherd Chamber of Commerce, events will kick off a 1 p.m. with a service by the American Legion Harold G. Davis Post 629. Events scheduled for the day include: Face painting Games Patriotic dress contests for youth, adults and pets Vendors Volleyball and cornhole tournaments Live music And, of course, the day will cap off with a fireworks extravaganza at 9 p.m. Vendors can still sign up, and forms are available at the Library, City Hall or the Impact Center Resale Shop. More information can be obtained by calling (210) 995-7420 or (936) 499-2632.
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Trinity County to see two Independence Day celebrations

News-Standard staff The cities of Trinity and Groveton will hold individual celebrations for the Fourth of July — Trinity’s on Saturday and Groveton’s on Sunday. Both will have events that will make for a great afternoons. On July 3, Trinity will host a barbecue cook-off, a car show, games for kids of all ages, music and vendors, culminating with a fireworks show when the sun goes down. The third annual Car Show, hosted by the Trinity Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 103 Stadium St. The inaugural Beat the Heat BBQ Cook-Off, being held at the Trinity Community Center, 604 S. Robb St., kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Organizer Steven Jones said he is actively seeking tasters for the judges. He can be reached at (936) 662-2319 The IBCA-sponsored event boasts a $20,000 guaranteed cash payout for a $250 entry fee. The deadline for entries and payments is July 2. The also will be games, bouncy houses, music, entertainment and vendors, as well as fireworks.…
Trinity County Commissioners (from left) Tommy Park, Neal Smith, County Judge Doug Page, Mike Loftin and Steven Truss stand with Charlene Martin, a specialist with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services on June 22 as the county proclaimed June as Elder Abuse Prevention Month.  (Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS)

Trinity County to seek grant assistance

Trinity County Commissioners (from left) Tommy Park, Neal Smith, County Judge Doug Page, Mike Loftin and Steven Truss stand with Charlene Martin, a specialist with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services on June 22 as the county proclaimed June as Elder Abuse Prevention Month. (Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS) By Tony [email protected] GROVETON — In the wake of the reception of unanticipated funds, Trinity County will now seek to hire its own grant administrator to help manage all of its grants, as well as seek new funds for county projects. The County Commissioner’s Court approved the measure at its June 22 regular meeting. The position will answer to County Treasurer Bob Dockens, who said that if everything works as it is supposed to, there could be some good-sized checks coming to the county. The county decided to hire it own, instead of using grant writing services, in order to save funds. Dockens said that in the course of their researching a grant-writing…
State Representative Trent Ashby named to Texas Monthly "Best Legislators" list. (Photo courtesy Ashby's Office)

Ashby named to Texas Monthly’s best legislators list

State Representative Trent Ashby named to Texas Monthly "Best Legislators" list. (Photo courtesy Ashby's Office) By Chris Edwards AUSTIN – Like anything else in the Lone Star State, legislative sessions are given to their own, unique traditions. One such tradition that has become a standard is Texas Monthly’s list of best and worst legislators, in the wake of the Lege’s sine die. District 57’s own Trent Ashby, who represents the state House district that encompasses Houston, Trinity, Angelina, Leon, Madison and San Augustine counties, found himself given kudos from the magazine recently. Ashby is one of 10 named to the best list, and he called the recognition “an honor,” but said the credit really belongs to his family and constituents. “[They] allow me the privilege to serve in this capacity,” Ashby said. “My mother instilled in me a belief at a young age that public service was a noble calling and that those entrusted with public office must serve with integrity, humility and a…
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Board OKs raises

TCNS staff CENTERVILLE — The Centerville ISD School Board is loosening the purse strings a bit, just in time for the next school year. Superintendent Mark Brown said the board approved a new teacher salary schedule at its regular meeting on June 17. Brown said the board OK’d the measure, one that extends the pay scale from 20 years to 25 years, and gives a 2 percent increase across the scale. In other business, the board: discussed new updates to school policies based on recommendations from the Texas Association of School Boards. No action was taken, as it was only an initial hearing, Brown said; and approved the hiring of Cheryl Sterret as a math teacher for the elementary school. The Centerville ISD School Board meets the third Thursday of the month, changing the meeting date from the third Monday, at 7 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for July 15.
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Company bringing broadband to Houston County

By Chris Edwards CROCKETT – The topic of high-speed internet service in rural areas has been one of statewide, as well as national concern. Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill penned by Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) and Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) that will increase access to, and the adoption of, high-speed internet throughout the state. That legislative item was prioritized as an emergency item in the 87th Legislature. Federally, President Joe Biden has made rural access to high-speed, or broadband, internet a focal point of his infrastructure package, with a proposed $100 billion allocation to expand rural internet access. One network has been up for about five months in the Houston County region. Ruralink, a provider, whose mission statement is “connecting the unconnected,” is expanding its network to cover more aras. “Right now we’re covering from the high school to the west, outside of the loop and a little bit inside the loop,” said Dan Clapp, a marketing…
Members of the Kennard ISD board of trustees, Superintendent Belinda Lindsey and Business Manager Cari Parrish met Thursday, June 17, and addressed grant application items and other matters in preparation for upcoming school years. Alton Porter Photo.

KISD officials preparing for ESSER II grant funds

Members of the Kennard ISD board of trustees, Superintendent Belinda Lindsey and Business Manager Cari Parrish met Thursday, June 17, and addressed grant application items and other matters in preparation for upcoming school years. Alton Porter Photo. By Alton Porter KENNARD – Kennard ISD officials are finalizing the district’s application for its 2020-2022 federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief II (ESSER II) grant funds and preparing to receive the grant, according to district Superintendent Malinda Lindsey. Lindsey informed members of the Kennard Independent School District Board of Trustees at a meeting Thursday, June 17, that “we have received our allocation for ESSER II application; we are working on that.” “While our allotment is $555,000, a portion of that will be taken up to offset funds we will get, Lindsey explained. “So, we don’t know exactly how much we will have to spend in addition.” During the recognition part of the meeting, the trustees and Lindsey…
Tania Davis, 14, a Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church attendee and Crockett High School ninth grader, was named 2021 Miss Juneteenth Queen June 12 at a Juneteenth pageant in Crockett - ALTON PORTER | HCC

Crockett hosts annual Juneteenth celebration

Tania Davis, 14, a Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church attendee and Crockett High School ninth grader, was named 2021 Miss Juneteenth Queen June 12 at a Juneteenth pageant in Crockett - ALTON PORTER | HCC By Alton Porter CROCKETT – Crockett’s 35th annual Juneteenth Celebration, themed “Justice for All,” was held, with events being held beginning Thursday, June 10, and rising to a high point with a parade, an official ceremony and a Fun Day Activity taking place Saturday, June 19. The Crockett celebration “is a cultural awareness project, sponsored by the Groves Educational Foundation,” according to Crockett Mayor Dr. Ianthia Fisher, the Juneteenth coordinator, and Groves Educational Foundation chief operating officer. Juneteenth is a celebration commemorating the day in 1865, June 19, when union soldiers arrived in Galveston and spread the word to Texans that President Abraham Lincoln had issued an Emancipation Proclamation calling for the end of the enslavement of Black…
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Colmesneil mayor Baird resigns; Crews appointed mayor

Don Baird and wife Barbara By Mollie [email protected] COLMESNEIL – After serving 19 years, and one year into his ninth term as mayor, Don Baird submitted his resignation to the Colmesneil city council at a special called meeting on Monday June 21. Baird was a city council member when the late E.B. Sheffield approached him and asked him to consider running for mayor. Baird had no conceivable thoughts of running for the office, but after a lot of discussion back and forth, he changed his mind and in 2002, he ran and beat the incumbent mayor 2-1. Baird accomplished many things while in office. He has been a part of the many grants the city has been awarded over the years, and he is most proud of his partnership with Mike Marshall in the creation of the Emergency Service District #7, Colmesneil’s first Volunteer Fire Department. Baird explained, “Mike Marshall told me if he got elected (Commissioner Pct #3) and he ever got any money, he would help me get the Fire…
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Multi-county chase leads in Tyler County arrest

By Chris Edwards WARREN – A parole violator from Colorado was arrested in Tyler County, right near the Tyler/Hardin county boundary. The arrest came after a pursuit that spanned four counties. Gregory A. Sawin, a 45-year-old Denver, Colo., resident, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon at approximately 2 p.m., according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. Weatherford’s office was made aware of the pursuit of Sawin at 10:30 a.m. that morning when Hardin County deputies were in pursuit of a BMW passenger car on US Highway 69. Gregory A. SawinWeatherford said the pursuit began in Orange County, and proceded through neighboring Jefferson and Hardin counties. The vehicle stopped on a private road just inside of Tyler County, and Sawin fled, on foot, into a wooded area, just south of Warren. Reportedly, the chase reached speeds in excess of 120 MPH, and began when law enforcement in Orange were conducting a welfare check on an allegedly suicidal person. Weatherford said that several…
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Cleveland man holds police at bay -Three-hour standoff ends with arrest

Special to the News-Times CLEVELAND — A 39-year-old man threatening to shoot himself was taken into custody by San Jacinto County Sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday morning. According to a press release from Sheriff Greg Capers, the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call shortly after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday stating the suspect was in the yard of a residence in the 200 block of Rayburn Street in Cleveland. The report indicates the man, who has not been identified, was holding a long rifle threatening to hurt himself. Sheriff deputies and DPS troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety spoke with the man’s girlfriend, who told police her boyfriend said he was tired of living and threatened to hurt himself. Deputies contacted the man, who was pacing back and forth armed with the rifle; the suspect reportedly was making statements he wanted to harm himself and wanted to commit suicide by cop, the report states. He also said he was suffering from depression as well as other mental health issues…
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Salmon Lake Park rebuilding after storm

Salmon Lake on Monday ready to re-open (Photo courtesy of Carly Foster) By Chris Edwards GRAPELAND – When the rains came down overnight on the first of the month, they came and came to Grapeland and the surrounding area and washed-out roads and caused creeks to overflow. One of the parts of the area that sustained serious damage was the Salmon Lake Park, which is the home of the popular Salmon Lake Park Bluegrass Festival and an attraction for out-of-towners and locals looking to get away and seek some rest and relaxation in the summer months. The Salmon Lake dam burst during the period of heavy rain, and according to the National Weather Service, an estimated 11 inches of rain fell during the storm. Many features of the park sustained damage, including the stage, and the water wheel and mill were destroyed, as they were washed up against the stage, according to the park’s owners. The damage also necessitated a temporary closure to non-resident guests. It was re-opened on Monday,…
The Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Class of 2021 celebrated the end of their high school years with a jubilant toss of their hats at graduation on Saturday, June 12. (photo by Cassie Gregory)

Trojans march onward

The Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Class of 2021 celebrated the end of their high school years with a jubilant toss of their hats at graduation on Saturday, June 12. (photo by Cassie Gregory) Special to the News-Times COLDSPRING — The Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony was held on Saturday. Faculty, staff, families and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of these graduates who have gone through so much in their school years. This is a class that saw some of the most tumultuous times in school — and state — history, including Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Imelda, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the record-breaking freeze of Winter Storm Uri. But through it all they faced the challenges with courage and determination to press on, with positive attitudes and good humor in spite of the obstacles. Congratulations Class of 2021. You have overcome and we are so proud of you. You will not be stopped.
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Coldspring still looking to clean up its image

By Tony [email protected] COLDSPRING — The Coldspring City Council continues its mission to clean up its streets and dilapidated property. Mayor Pat Eversole said that at the June 7 meeting, council members were given updates on the status of complaints on the house on Slade Street and the two homes on Highway 150 that have been notified by the city that cleanup was needed. None of the property owners have responded, and Eversole said that the city’s attorney will take the next step in the process. The council took no action. In other business, the city: discussed expansion of Dixie Youth League Ball Park. Eversole said the council is in discussions with a couple property owners on purchasing new property for expanding the park. tabled adopting an ordinance banning helicopter landings within the city limits, as new Council Member Larry McElhaney said that he did not read over the ordinance. discussed the construction of 22 RV parking spaces to be made available behind the…
Shepherd Grads

SISD welcomes new class of Pirate alumni

Shepherd High School graduates toss their caps in their air, marking the end of their high school careers. Courtesy photo by Michelle Cones-Minton By Emily Kubisch-SabrsulaSJNT staff writer WILLIS — In a year plagued by pandemic-related setbacks, the Pirate Class of 2021 had one more final hurdle before crossing the stage — and that was cross the county. With recent rains making the field unusable, according to Facebook comments made by Superintendent Jason Hewitt, the call was made to move graduation from the district stadium to the Willis ISD Performing Arts Center due to continued concerns over weather. With limited seating concerns, graduating students were allotted eight tickets each to give to family members, with the district also live-streaming the event for those unable to attend. Salutatorian Diane Vasquez addressed her fellow students and with a heart-felt speech detailing the ups and downs of their school years together and future decisions ahead of them, ending her speech…
Rep. James White (File Photo)

White not seeking reelection

Rep. James White (File Photo) By Chris Edwards Tyler County’s own James White (R-Hillister), who has represented House District 19 in the state legislator, announced last week that he will not seek reelection. White made the announcement in an interview with a television news station. His current two-year term ends next year, and in comments to the Texas Tribune, he said he is considering a run for a statewide office, just as long as “the people want me to pursue that.” White has served in the House since 2010, when he was first elected. Prior to that, he was an educator in Woodville ISD. In his time as a state representative, redistricting has shifted the landscape of his district, and while he lost three of the four counties in his original district, he gained four new counties to represent. District 19 comprises Tyler, Jasper, Newton, Hardin and Polk counties. White said that he will “definitely consider joining the statewide field,” and cited his qualifications and…
Ivanhoe City Marshal Terry Riley spoke about his late Deputy Marshal Chuck Marshall and helped to dedicate the Charmaine South Park to him. EMILY EDDINS | TCB

Honoring a local hero - Ivanhoe park renamed in Marshall’s memory

Ivanhoe City Marshal Terry Riley spoke about his late Deputy Marshal Chuck Marshall and helped to dedicate the Charmaine South Park to him. EMILY EDDINS | TCB By Emily Eddins IVANHOE – When Ivanhoe Deputy Marshal Chuck Marshall died last year, his passing left a huge hole in the community. Last Wednesday, June 10, dozens of Ivanhoe residents and well-wishers gathered to honor Marshall’s memory with the renaming of the city park in his honor. Marshall was a vital member of the Tyler County community. He loved his job and worked diligently to ensure the safety of the population. When he was not protecting and enforcing, he had a passion for making people smile. Marshall especially loved young children, the future of the community that he cherished so much. which is why it is so fitting that the city decided to name the Charmaine South Park after him. City Marshal Terry Riley presented Marshall’s family with a letter from Gov. Greg Abbott officially renaming the park to Chuck Marshall…
Architect Speaks

Presentation outlines possible infrastructure projects

Architect Ben Miller made a presentation before the Woodville City Council on a series of proposed pedestrian infrastructure projects. CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB By Chris Edwards WOODVILLE – The Woodville City Council, at its regular monthly meeting on Monday evening, received a presentation on some possible future projects. Ben Miller, who works as a landscape architect with Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong, spoke about a series of three proposed pedestrian traffic improvement projects for the city. The funding for the projects, if awarded, will come through the Texas Department of Transportation from federal funding earmarked for building any kind of non-vehicular transportation infrastructure. “Luckily this year, in this particular call for projects, towns of under 5,000 have a special pot of money set aside for them, so I think you are all well-suited to get these funds,” Miller said. The three projects Miller outlined in his presentation include improvements along North Beech Street and two…
Chesswood Baptist Church has plans to be back in their building off Highway 59 by July 1. Photo By Brian Besch | PCE

Chesswood Baptist set to reopen July 1

Chesswood Baptist Church has plans to be back in their building off Highway 59 by July 1. Photo By Brian Besch | PCE By Brian Besch There are big plans at Chesswood Baptist Church, as pastor Col. Howard Daniel says they will soon move back into their building just three months after it was decimated by fire. July 1 is the targeted move-in date to 4357 U.S Highway 59, where there will be offices, restrooms, a nursery and exercise room. Last week, construction crews painting, putting in electricity and walls and spreading a new parking lot. Also included is a room for worship that holds a capacity of 15 pews. That room is a temporary fix for Sunday mornings. On Dec. 25 and beyond, it will only be used for Wednesday and Sunday nights. That is because there is a goal for the church to hold services in a newly completed sanctuary by Christmas Day. Daniel admits that it is an ambitious goal, but work on the facility has been steady since the fire March 24. "The cause of the fire was never…
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Binnion receives 10 years deferred

Eli Binnion By Emily Banks [email protected] A sentencing hearing was held June 3 in the 258h Judicial District before the Honorable Judge Travis E. Kitchens Jr. for Eli Binnion, 22, of Livingston in Cause Nos. 26,265, sexual assault of a child, and 26,266, aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. Binnion pleaded guilty to the offenses on March 14, 2019, and has been in the Polk County Jail since that time. The sexual assault of a child offense allegedly occurred on July 2, 2018, at the Hampton Inn in the 200 block of Commerce Lane. Binnion was 19 at the time and the alleged victim was 14. The aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury stems from an incident that occurred on September 2, 2018, while Binnion was incarcerated in the Polk County Jail in which he allegedly punched a jailer more than once with a clenched fist and fractured his jaw. On the charge of sexual assault of a child, Binnion was placed on deferred adjudication probation for 10 years…
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San Jacinto County talks trash

By Tony [email protected] COLDSPRING — The San Jacinto County Commissioners Court talked a little trash at its regular meeting on May 19. County Judge Fritz Faulkner said that about 20 people from the Trails End subdivision in the southwest part of the county came to express their concerns about a proposal for an area landfill planned in that part of the county. Faulkner said Peach Creek Environmental has put in an application with Texas Commission for Environmental Quality for a proposed landfill. Area residents that showed up told the court they don’t want it in their back yards; however, Faulkner said that the county is not part of any of the process. Peach Creek has 2,000 acres of land purchased, and 600 acres will be part of the initial phase. “When you put one of these things in, there’s a valid concern about water quality,” Faulkner said. “There is a membrane put down to protect water table, but it could rupture. You’re also talking about 500 trucks a day coming in…
Cassie Gregory The COCISD Board of Trustees voted to officially hire Dr. Bryan Taulton as Superintendent of Schools on Thursday. Shown are (from left) Trustee Ashney Shelly, Trustee William Baker, Board Vice President Daniel Williams, Board President Paul Buchanan, Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton, Trustee Barbara Moore, Board Secretary Tony Sewell and Trustee Berlin Bradford. (Courtesy Photo)

Board makes it official

Cassie Gregory The COCISD Board of Trustees voted to officially hire Dr. Bryan Taulton as Superintendent of Schools on Thursday. Shown are (from left) Trustee Ashney Shelly, Trustee William Baker, Board Vice President Daniel Williams, Board President Paul Buchanan, Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton, Trustee Barbara Moore, Board Secretary Tony Sewell and Trustee Berlin Bradford. (Courtesy Photo) Special to the News-Times COLDSPRING — The Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Board of Trustees officially hired Dr. Bryan Taulton as Superintendent of Schools at a special meeting on May 27. Taulton was named lone finalist on May 4, but due to state law, there was a 21-day waiting period before the Board could formally vote to approve him for the position. Taulton has 15 years of professional experience in public education and has served as a teacher, assistant principal, junior high principal, high school principal, and assistant superintendent before taking the position of superintendent at Goodrich…
Former Houston County Emergency Services District No. 2 President George Crowson, left, and Vice President Bobby Hutcherson, right, were recognized and presented plaques in grateful appreciation for their many years of dedicated service and personal commitment to the district and county fire departments by Houston County Firefighters Association President Michael Sessions, center, and other association members.

Houston CountyESD2 members informed about its future software, website

Former Houston County Emergency Services District No. 2 President George Crowson, left, and Vice President Bobby Hutcherson, right, were recognized and presented plaques in grateful appreciation for their many years of dedicated service and personal commitment to the district and county fire departments by Houston County Firefighters Association President Michael Sessions, center, and other association members. By Alton [email protected] CROCKETT ­– Members of Houston County Emergency Services District No. 2 (ESD2) are considering making some software adjustments to the website they’re having developed. The ESD2 members heard a presentation given by Keith E. Tate, of Emergency Solutions, Inc., based in Whitehouse, who is offering to make the upgrade adjustments to the district’s future website at an ESD2 board of commissioners meeting Thursday, May 27. Tate was asked to make the presentation to the ESD2 members and introduced by former ESD2 Board Secretary Roy Langford, who…
ALTON PORTER | HCC Ten CHS graduating seniors were recognized at the school’s second academic signing day ceremony Wednesday, May 26. The college-bound students, from left to right, are: Jayron Daquon Wooten, Aaliyah Trishell Price, Sha’Driauna Hackett, Alexis Cheyanne Goolsby, Adrianna Gayle Juares, Jacob Walker, Carina Villegas Quintero, Rodrigo Hidalgo, Jennefer Cruz and Shatavia Rodgers.  (Alton Porter/HCC Photo)

CHS seniors recognized on academic Signing Day

ALTON PORTER | HCC Ten CHS graduating seniors were recognized at the school’s second academic signing day ceremony Wednesday, May 26. The college-bound students, from left to right, are: Jayron Daquon Wooten, Aaliyah Trishell Price, Sha’Driauna Hackett, Alexis Cheyanne Goolsby, Adrianna Gayle Juares, Jacob Walker, Carina Villegas Quintero, Rodrigo Hidalgo, Jennefer Cruz and Shatavia Rodgers. (Alton Porter/HCC Photo) By Alton Porter CROCKETT – Crockett High School administrators continued a new tradition they started in March, recognizing 10 graduating seniors who have been accepted for enrollment at universities colleges and a vocational school. Crockett Independent School District Superintendent John Emerich and CHS Principal Deborah Revels recognized the college-bound students at the second installment of the school’s recently established scholastic signing day ceremony held in the Andrew J. Hopkins Activity Center dome on the school’s campus Wednesday, May 26. The students, who…

Lady Dogs defeat Goodrich

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Micah Hughes lofts a shot over the net.Micah Hughes lofts a shot over the net.

By Brian Besch
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Corrigan-Camden volleyball continued its impressive start to the year by sweeping Goodrich 25-6, 25-7 and 25-10 Tuesday on the north end of Polk County.

The Lady Dogs began both the first and second games with 6-0 starts to ease into victories. Corrigan-Camden coach Sage Gardner said the quick starts were a positive turn after making some adjustments.

“We hit a little bump there where I think girls were getting complacent,” the coach said. “The one thing we have focused on is just not being complacent and making sure that we stay up and stay positive and focus on fundamentals and just being prepared for every ball coming back over.”

The final game began in a 2-2 tie, but nine consecutive points gave the Lady Dogs all the buffer they would need to complete the win.

Corrigan-Camden has dropped games to Madisonville, Neches and Splendora for a 10-3 record after a start to the season that garnered a few votes in the state rankings. However, Gardner said the games were good competition for her girls and important in the preparation for district play.

“District is always going to be tough. We go against Central Heights, Diboll, Huntington and Hemphill. This year we only have a five-team district and we dropped Woodville and Newton. Everything is going to be a fight to the end for first.”

Gardner said Central Heights has been district champions and the team all schools have targeted in recent history.

“Of course, that is what we want and that is what we are going after. We are going to do what we can to get there.”

For Goodrich, the Lady Hornets are just beginning the spike season. Tuesday was the squad’s third game and new coach Khadijah Carter said her young group needs the experience.

“We have started out OK. We have to communicate better and we have to get more aggressive,” Carter said. “There are times when you can tell they were getting themselves down. We have to keep pushing and play like we did at the beginning of the Coldspring game. That was good, and we have to get back to that.”

Carter is instructing four freshman, two sophomores and a junior in her small group of seven. Another reason for optimism is a talented group of eighth graders that will soon be part of the Lady Hornet program.

Goodrich has played Burkeville and Coldspring to this point. Though both were losses, Carter is optimistic about the team, especially following the game versus a larger Lady Trojan program. Their first district contest is Friday versus Kennard. The five-team district also includes Chester, Apple Springs and Latexo. 

Corrigan-Camden will next see action Friday when they host Shepherd.

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