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Shooting under investigation

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071022 shooting investigation

From Enterprise Staff

The investigation into a local shooting that occurred Wednesday night continues. Javius Smith, 22 of Goodrich, suffered a gunshot wound and was transferred by ambulance to St. Luke’s Health Memorial Hospital where he was later airlifted elsewhere.

The Livingston Police Department received a call at 8:04 p.m. Wednesday of an altercation in the parking lot of the Livingston Plaza Apartments located in the 1000 block of Forest Hollow.

“There are multiple different stories,” Livingston Police Chief Matt Parrish said, adding that investigators are still collecting and reviewing witness statements and evidence from the crime scene.

Parrish said that according to witnesses, Jaylen Washington, 20 of Livingston, began shooting at a truck and then Jarquavious Nickson, 25 of Livingston, took the gun and began shooting.

Washington and Nickson fled the scene but were located by officers shortly thereafter near the intersection of East Mimosa and Thicket where they were detained. Parrish said that during a search of the vehicle, officers found several firearms including two semi-automatics and a rifle. They also observed blood in the vehicle, he said.

Nickson has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, tampering with physical evidence and unlawfully carrying a firearm. As of press time Friday, charges were pending against Washington as officers waited for him to turn himself in.

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New AC police academy graduates

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070722 police academyMembers of Class 111 of the Angelina College Law Enforcement Academy pose before their recent graduation ceremony. A total of 20 cadets received recognition inside Temple Theater on the AC campus. Gary Stallard/AC News Service photo

Sending 20 new members into law enforcement

From Enterprise Staff

The Angelina College Law Enforcement Academy recently celebrated Class 111’s graduation inside Temple Theater on the AC campus, with 20 new cadets honored for their efforts and achievements.

AC Chief of Police and Academy Director Doug Conn addressed the crowd of family members and other well-wishers, praising the cadets for their perseverance.

“We had good times, bad times and fun times, but that’s how it goes when you start out with 30 cadets and finish with 20 – the cream of the crop,” Conn said. “I’m proud of each of these cadets. I know they’re going to do a great job, and they’ll mean a lot to the community.”

Keynote speaker Randy Hargrove, a former graduate of the AC Academy and long-time member of law enforcement, shared a personal story of arresting a young man and taking him into an office for a heart-to-heart talk. Years later, Hargrove said, he received a message from the man letting Hargrove know he’d turned around his life all because Hargrove had taken the time to talk to him about his life choices.

“You’re going to be driving around, and you’re going to be the one who answers a call,” Hargrove said to the cadets. “You’re going to make a difference in their lives. You’re not here for any other reason, and those meetings aren’t going to be by accident. It’s going to be divine intervention that you’re in position to push someone from a life of failures to a life of success.”

Lt. Jack Stephenson, Academy Training Manager, offered the cadets his “simple” rules for succeeding in law enforcement.

“Remember that every department has a budget, so be prepared to spend your own money on the right equipment to make you successful,” Stephenson said. “Buy comfortable shoes. You’re going to need them. Most of all, don’t bring your work home with you. Your families worry enough about you already.”

Valedictorian Lourens Jackson, a native of South Africa, told of watching the events of 9/11 unfold, and how seeing the way police officers performed inspired him to move to America to pursue his own career.

Other cadets earning individual awards included Cory Hubbard, who won best driver; Garrett Rocchi, who won top gun; and Jeffery Cooper, who won the director’s award.

The full list of Class 111 graduates is as follows: Lawrence Adamick of Groveton, Kasey Ballard of Crockett, Ryan Boyd of Livingston, Noah Cole of Lufkin, Jeffery Cooper of Pollok, Gordon Denman of Crockett, Jonathan Evans of Livingston, Jacob Holland of Lufkin, Cory Hubbard of Huntington, Christopher Hughes of Palestine, Lourens Jackson of Grapeland, Clayton Little of Huntsville, Justin Mangrum of Lufkin, Brandon Martin of Palestine, Erick Martinez of Lufkin, Geoffrey Parker of Livingston, Tykeidren Roberts of Nacogdoches, Garrett Rocchi of Bronson, Britton Shoellhorn of Livingston and Angelo Vela of Coldspring.

Angelina College was issued a license to operate a police academy in 12 East Texas counties in September of 1993 by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). The academy offers basic and in-service training courses at sites throughout Deep East Texas with the assistance of an advisory board, which assists in directing the academy.

Academy staff members include Doug Conn, Chief of Police; Lt. Randy Holland, Training Manager; Officer Jack Stephenson, Training Manager; and Kim Capps, Administrative Assistant.

For information on the AC Police Academy, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Naskila CFO to serve on key federal committee

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070322 naskila ceoStephanie WilliamsFrom Enterprise Staff

Stephanie Williams, a member of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas and the Chief Financial Officer for the Tribe’s Naskila Gaming, will serve on the U.S. Department of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee (TTAC). Williams was appointed to the committee by U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, who is the ranking member on the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means.

The TTAC advises the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury on matters related to the taxation of native communities, the training of Internal Revenue Service field agents, and the provisions of training and technical assistance to Native American financial officers. The membership has three appointees nominated by the secretary, two appointed by the House Committee on Ways and Means and two nominated by the Senate Committee on Finance.

Prior to serving as the Chief Financial Officer at Naskila Gaming, Williams served as Internal Auditor and Executive Director for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Gaming Agency. Williams also served as Tribal Administrator overseeing various tribal and federally funded programs. After completing her MBA, Williams served as the VP of Support Services in Accounting at a local bank. Throughout her career, Williams has worked in various capacities with the Tribe’s Indian Health Service, housing and education programs. She also served a term on the Tribal Council.

“I am honored to serve my tribe and all tribal communities across the country as part of this prestigious committee,” Williams said. “I look forward to using my experience and expertise to help the Department of the Treasury serve tribal communities. I am grateful to Congressman Brady for entrusting me with this appointment.”

“Our tribe is grateful and delighted that Stephanie is going to give us this seat at the table as important policies and decisions are considered. We have full confidence in her to represent our tribe well and give the secretary guidance that is in the best interest of tribal communities across the country,” Ricky Sylestine, chairman of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Tribal Council, said.
Williams’ term on the TTAC will expire on June 20, 2023.

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DPS increases enforcement to keep roads safe on July 4th

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063022 dps fourth of july

From Enterprise Staff

 The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Texas Highway Patrol (THP) will be initiating two traffic safety campaigns during the holiday weekend looking for people violating traffic laws from Friday through Monday.

“Our nation’s freedom is something worth celebrating, and I encourage everyone to do it in a responsible way,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said. “This includes being mindful of our state’s traffic laws and being courteous of other drivers on the roads, so everyone can have a good holiday.”

Operation Holiday will run July 2 through July 4 and will target drivers who violate traffic laws, including those speeding, not wearing their seat belts or driving while intoxicated. During the 2021 campaign, there were 55,776 citations and warnings issued. This includes 17,376 citations and warnings for speeding; 2,006 for people driving without seat belts or child safety seats; and 1,632 for people driving without insurance. In addition, there were 298 people arrested for driving while intoxicated, 280 felony arrests and 145 fugitive arrests.

Operation CARE (Crash Awareness Reduction Effort) will run from July 1 through July 4, and focus on reducing crashes and violations of the state’s Move Over, Slow Down law. From Jan. 1 through June 7 of this year, there were 4,135 Move Over, Slow Down violations. The law requires all drivers to slow down when police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicles and tow trucks are stopped on the side of the road with their emergency lights activated.

DPS offers the following safety tips for people driving during the Fourth of July holiday:

  • Don’t drink and drive. Make alternate plans if you are consuming alcohol.
  • Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, TxDOT vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.
  • Buckle up everyone in the vehicle — it’s the law.
  • Slow down, especially in bad weather, heavy traffic, unfamiliar areas or construction zones.
  • Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits the use of portable wireless devices to read, write or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped. If you’re using a navigation device or app, have a passenger operate it so you can keep your eyes on the road.
  • Drive defensively, as holiday travel can present additional challenges.
  • On multi-lane roads, use the left lane for passing only. Not only is it courteous driving and avoids impeding traffic, Texas law requires slower traffic to keep to the right and to use the left lane for passing only (when posted).
  • Don’t cut in front of large trucks, and try not to brake quickly in front of them. They can’t maneuver as easily as passenger vehicles and pickup trucks.
  • If you can Steer It, Clear It: If you are involved in a non-injury crash and your vehicle can be moved, clear the traffic lanes to minimize traffic impact. Leaving vehicles in a traffic lane increases traffic congestion and leaves those involved with an increased risk of harm or a secondary wreck. On some highways, if you don’t move your vehicle when it’s safe to do so, it’s against the law.
  • Keep the Texas Roadside Assistance number stored in your phone. Dial 1-800-525-5555 for any type of assistance. The number can also be found on the back of a Texas Driver License.
  • Check your vehicle to make sure it is properly maintained and always ensure your cargo is secure.
  • Report road hazards or anything suspicious to the nearest law enforcement agency.
  • Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling. For road conditions and closures in Texas, visit drivetexas.org.
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Game wardens advise “stay dry” while boating July 4

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070322 boating on fourthTPWD Boating Education Manager Kimberly Sorenson says wear a life jacket, know how to swim and closely supervise children while boating. Alcohol, drug abuse contributes o fatal boating accidents

From Enterprise Staff

The slips and boat ramps of Texas will soon buzz with activity as Fourth of July weekend approaches. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) reminds boaters to follow basic safety precautions while on the water. Game wardens will join the United States Coast Guard and thousands of law enforcement officers on heightened alert for violations as part of Operation Dry Water, a nationally coordinated enforcement campaign focused on deterring boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“If you’re operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re putting people at risk,” TPWD Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement Cody Jones said. “Sadly, we see it time and time again – holiday celebrations that end in accidents or fatalities caused by unsafe boating practices.”

Last year, wardens arrested 42 for boating while intoxicated over the Fourth of July weekend and filed eight other charges for driving while intoxicated. They issued 1,474 citations and 1,797 warnings for various boating safety law violations.

“Texas Game Wardens will be out in force to help boaters return to land safely,” Jones said. “But help us do our job by being prepared and making wise choices.”

Statewide, injuries and fatalities peak between the months of May and August, especially on weekends. Among the top contributors are operator inattention, careless/reckless operation, inexperience and alcohol use.

Texas state law requires each occupant of a boat or paddle craft have access to a life jacket. Children under 13 must wear one while the boat or paddle craft is underway or drifting.

“Wear a life jacket, know how to swim and closely supervise children,” TPWD Boating Education Manager Kimberly Sorenson said. “Know the rules of the waterway. These are some simple but extremely effective ways to increase water safety.”

Visit TPWD’s boating laws website for more information about boating safety, laws and requirements.

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