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Breaking - Hon to “decline acceptance” of award

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honNamedFrom Enterprise Staff

Polk County Criminal District Attorney William Lee Hon made the decision today to “decline acceptance” of the Polk Countian of the Year award he was presented last Thursday at the 86th annual awards banquet of the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce.

Presentation of the award came as a shock to many as the chamber has always had a strict policy of not presenting awards to political candidates during election years. Hon is presently a candidate for 258th District Judge.

Such an uproar ensued that a special called meeting of the chamber’s board of directors was held Monday–lasting five hours the Enterprise was told–in which the board accepted the resignation of Janet Wiggins, its president/CEO. Wiggins is Hon’s first cousin. It’s been intimated that Hon was selected over other nominees who Wiggins allegedly deemed ineligible.

“I had no prior knowledge of my consideration for the award, my nomination, or that my children would surprise me by being there for the presentation. As you might expect, it was a very emotional and uplifting evening. Subsequent to that evening, it was brought to my attention that due to my present candidacy for district judge and pursuant to some written or unwritten chamber rule or bylaw, I should not have been considered for the award,” Hon said in a press release emailed to the Enterprise Wednesday.

He added that he and his family have subsequently “been subjected to scurrilous public criticism by my political opponents to the point that any honor associated with the award has lost its luster.

“I have been informed by members of the chamber board that a nominations committee considered and approved my award–presumably well before January 27th and with ample time to be aware of my candidacy for district judge. Why the award was allowed to proceed I do not know,” Hon’s press release said.

“I did not seek it, nor expect it. My career has never been motivated by the pursuit of personal accolades but rather by a simple desire to give back to the community I grew up in and that I have called home for the vast majority of my life,” Hon’s press release stated.

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Two shot and one killed in Polk County

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Shooting GraphicFrom Enterprise Staff

Two people were shot, one fatally, following an altercation that occurred at the Down Under Club in the 300 block of Pan American Drive early Sunday and a local man has been charged with murder.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Livingston Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Ranger responded to the 911 call arrived at the scene and learned that two people had been shot and taken to St. Luke’s Health Memorial Hospital by personal vehicles, according to Chief Deputy Rickie Childers. Jeric Smith, 26, was pronounced dead at the hospital. Tykedrick Love, 22, was air-lifted to a Houston hospital.

The suspect, Marcell Thomas Jr., 39 of Corrigan, turned himself in to the sheriff’s office where he was interviewed by investigators, charged with murder and booked into the Polk County Jail.

The case is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 936-327-6810.

“We would like to thank the Livingston Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Ranger Eric Lopez for their assistance in the investigation,” Childers said.   

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Chamber president resigns amid award controversy

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Polk County ChamberFrom Enterprise Staff

The Board of Directors of the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce accepted the resignation of President/CEO Janet Wiggins Monday following “an exceptionally long and arduous special called meeting” according to an email that went out to all chamber members Tuesday, notifying them of the resignation.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, I would like to express our appreciation to Janet for her many contributions to the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce. Please join me in wishing her well with her future endeavors,” the email continued before listing the current board: Chairman Craig Jones, Chair-Elect Andrew Boyce, Treasurer Brandon Wigent, Vice Chair Amber Dominy, Vice Chair Dan Ellis, Vice Chair Krystal Parker, Vice Chair Mandy Wilson, Past Chair John Clifton and Directors Tina Alexander-Sellers, Matt Anderson, Kim Brown, Cheryl Downing, Judy Ebert, Joyce Knierim, Shane Lyons and Kole Puckett.

The brouhaha stemmed from the presentation of the Polk Countian of the Year Award to Lee Hon, Wiggins first cousin, at the culmination of the chamber’s 86th annual awards banquet. It came as a surprise to many in attendance as the chamber has always had a strict policy of not presenting awards to individuals seeking office during election years. Hon, the Polk County district attorney, is running for 258th District judge in a contentious race against Incumbent 258th District Judge Travis Kitchens.

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Candidates reminded of election signage law

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From Enterprise Staff

During campaign season, the landscape blooms with political signs. The TxDOT Lufkin District is reminding local candidates that putting political signs on public lands and/or a right-of-way is illegal. TxDOT regulates campaign signs under Chapter 394 of the Texas Transportation Code.

“We are beginning to see many signs in several counties of the Lufkin District placed illegally on the right-of way,” TxDOT Public Information Officer Rhonda Oaks said. “If they do not pose a hazard, we try to contact the owner so they can remove them for placement off the right-of-way. If that contact cannot be made or the owner does not move the signs within a couple of days, we will remove them. However, if the sign poses a traffic hazard, we will remove them immediately.”

Below is a guide for placing political signs:

What You Need to Know

It is illegal to place any signs on or within the right of way. This includes posting signs on trees, telephone poles, traffic signs and other objects on the state right of way.

Campaign signs along Texas roads can be placed on private property with the owner’s permission.

Before placing a sign inside of incorporated city limits, check with the city for applicable ordinances.

Sign Removal

If a sign is placed in the right-of-way or is posing a traffic hazard, crews will remove the sign without prior notice. All costs associated with sign removal will be paid by the sign owner.

More Information

TxDOT only controls the placement of signs in relation to the highway. For other questions concerning campaign signs or political advertising, candidates can visit the Texas Ethics Commission website. Candidates may also visit the Texas Transportation Code, chapters 392-394 for further information.

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (936) 633-4395.

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AC honoring Black History Month

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black history

Series of events planned highlighting cultural contributions

From Enterprise Staff

Angelina College will honor Black History Month during the month of February with a series of events including art galleries, guest speakers and musical performances. Beginning with a public reception for artists in the Angelina Center for the Arts Gallery at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the college will host events geared toward raising awareness of cultural contributions in all forms. This year’s gallery is dedicated in memoriam to longtime contributing artist Dwight Gipson.

“As black artists we create more than just Black Art. We do not want you to lump us as artists together based on our race without looking at the art we are creating because it does not give enough credit to the work,” Karen Moore-Christopher, group member and contributor, said.

“Come and see ‘what we do’ and leave with and concede that ‘once you viewed’ there is something significant about the traditions of a black artist’s work that is empowering. It allows connections to be made in the curating process that make for meaning about black art. Black artists are practicing art that speaks loudly and unapologetically of and to the black experience,” Moore-Christopher said.

“As an artist, creating beauty is a challenge. Each time we pick up a canvas, it’s about the colors of the work. The artist who’s creating it happens to be African American. The art has no boundaries–only the boundary of the mind. The joy is seeing and hearing people’s reactions to the paintings,” Group member and Artist Shelia Thomas added.

Following is a list of scheduled events:

• Feb. 1-24: Artists will display their works in various mediums in a gallery exhibited in the Angelina Center for the Arts Gallery on the AC campus.

• Feb. 3: Guest speaker Joseph Ceasar, will offer a presentation titled “Finance and Business Ownership and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream.” The presentation takes place from 11:25 a.m. until 12:25 p.m. at AC’s Temple Theater.

• Feb. 15: Guest speaker Johnny Giles will discuss “Local Black History and Voting Rights” from 11-11:20 a.m. at AC’s Hudgins Hall Auditorium.

• Feb. 16: A screening of “Women of the Movement” will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at AC’s Hudgins Hall Auditorium.

• Feb. 17: Presenter Martha Hernandez of the Angelina County Health District will offer “Health Equality vs. Health Equity,” followed by a discussion, from 10:50-11:20 a.m. at AC’s Hudgins Hall Auditorium.

• Feb. 22 and 23: Jazz and Blues bands – and the AC Chorale on the 23rd – will perform for attending fans from 10:50-11:20 a.m. in AC’s Hudgins Hall Auditorium. 

All events offer free admission to the public. For additional information, contact Krista Brown at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Le’Anne Alexander at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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