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Four arrested on drug charges

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four arrested on drug chargesTwo law enforcement agencies contributed to an investigation that led to the arrest of four individuals for charges that included drugs, weapons and stolen property last week on the south end of Polk County.

On Dec. 1, the narcotics division of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Liberty County Sheriff’s Office began looking into tips received in reference to the possession of illegal narcotics, at an address located in the 300 block of Swick Trail in Big Thicket Lake Estates.

Investigators from both agencies arrived at the residence, making contact with Levi Eugene Weatherford, 41, Thomas Clint McKelvey, 44, and Lori Ann Howe, 40, all of Livingston, and Blake Allen McCreight, 17, of Cleveland. 

The investigation led to law enforcement obtaining a search warrant for the property, where a large amount of methamphetamine and over 35 firearms was seized. After further investigation, numerous items of stolen property were also recovered. All subjects were subsequently arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail without incident. 

Weatherford was charged with a first-degree felony of manufacture/delivery of methamphetamine and two charges of prohibited weapon, a third-degree felony. Howe had the same charges, along with a third-degree felony of unlawful possession of a firearm by felon and second-degree felony of unlawful carrying of a weapon by a felon. 

McKelvey was charged with a third-degree felony of possession of methamphetamine and had a pardon and parole warrant. McCreight’s charge was a state-jail felony of possession of methamphetamine.

All charges have been filed in Polk County. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division is actively attempting to locate and identify owners of the recovered stolen property. 

Those with information on cases in Polk County are asked to submit a tip at p3tips.com, (the P3 App), or call Polk County Crime Stoppers at 936-327-STOP. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may collect a cash reward for information leading to an arrest. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division may also be contacted directly to speak with a detective at 936-327-6810.

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Podcast for Foodies

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Ive never been a fan of books on tape. While I think it’s a great idea, I find that I’m just too easily distracted. I’ll catch myself thinking about something random and then realize that my mind has wandered and I haven’t been paying a bit of attention.

Podcasts, however, are a different story altogether. I absolutely love podcasts. I guess I discovered them three or four years ago and had a few I would listen to sporadically. However, last year during the pandemic when we were trapped in our homes with what seemed to be an inordinate amount of time on our hands, I really doubled down and listened to far more podcasts than I can count.

For me, podcasts hold my attention much better than books on tape. I think it’s the informal nature. Plus, once you get to know the host of the podcast, he or she seems to become a new friend and it’s like carrying on a conversation. I find myself not only laughing out loud at the occasional joke but also answering their questions and attempting to converse with them. And podcasts aren’t as much of a time commitment. Some of the shortest ones I’ve listened to come in around 20 minutes. The longest one that I’m a fan of usually runs an hour and a half and I typically break that one up into two or three separate sessions.

I typically listen to my podcasts in the morning while fixing my face and getting dressed after I’ve gotten out of the shower. I also listen to them while I’m making the bed, cleaning the kitchen or even cooking.

This week I’m going to tell you about my favorite cooking/food-related podcasts and even share some of my favorite episodes in the event you’d like to dip your toes in the water.

The Kitchen Counter Podcast, according to its website, is “a place where homecooks of all skill levels can find tips, inspiration and interesting conversations with other cooks and food lovers alike. Whether your goal is to eat healthier, become a better recipe improviser or just figure out how to make the best homemade mac and cheese in the world, I want to help you get there.”

It’s hosted by Roger Anderson, who said, “I’ve been a home cook for 25-ish years or so. I truly believe that learning to cook, and doing it as regularly as you can, is one of the single most important things you can do for your health, sanity and wallet.”

My favorite episodes are: Episode 164 Let’s Cook Scrappy with Joel Gamoran; Episode 168 Cooking Fish with Sena Sea; Episode 170 Fusion Cooking with Eatsperience Madrid; Episode 184 Copper River Salmon with Sena Sea; and Episode 198 Demystifying Your Freezer with Andrew Zimmern.

Dan Pashman is the James Beard and Webby Award-winning creator and host of The Sporkful Podcast and according to Dan, “It’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters. Each week on the show, we use humor and humanity to approach food from many angles, including science, history, race, culture, economics and lengthy debates on the best way to layer peanut butter and jelly in a sandwich.” You may be familiar with Dan from Cooking Channel’s You’re Eating It Wrong, which he also created and hosted.

My favorite episodes are: Pati Jinich Can Read Your Fridge Like A Tarot Card; How Dr. Jessica B. Harris Redefined American Food; In Search Of Rosa Parks’ Pancakes; Celebrating Other People’s Holidays; Free Ice Cream For Science!; and LeVar Burton Even Reads Recipes Dramatically.

The Splendid Table Podcast, hosted by award-winning food writer Francis Lam is a culinary, culture and lifestyle program that has hosted conversations about food culture, eating and cooking for more than two decades.

According to its website, “Listeners get a modern, multicultural weekly snapshot of the food world – exploring different cultures, cuisines and ideas. You’ll hear conversations with chefs as well as home cooks and the small personal stories that come out of the expansive world of the table.”

The Splendid Table frequently visits with the test cooks at America’s Test Kitchen to discuss a wide range of topics including recipes, ingredients, techniques and kitchen equipment.

My favorite episodes are: Episode 744 Secretly Simple Desserts with Anne Byrn, Dave Beran, Aran Goyoaga, & Paola Velez; Episode 692 Passing the Torch; Episode 690 Confessions of Culinary Superfans; Episode 717 Summer Kitchens; and Episode 695 Sean Brock is Still Learning About Southern Food.

On Allrecipes’ Homemade Podcast, Hosts Sabrina Medora and Martie Duncan talk with celebrated cooks of all stripes and reveal the memories and traditions behind their favorite foods.

“Tune in for nostalgia, banter, and stirring questions as Allrecipes gets to the heart of what cooking means to our guests,” the website states.

My favorite episodes are: Episode 61 Pati Jinich on Food Culture at the Mexican Border; Episode 58 Chef Daniel Boulud on Holiday Meal Prep and Entertaining at Home; Episode 51 MasterChef Judge Joe Bastianich and Season 10 Winner Dorian Hunter; Episode 38 Leslie Jordan on Chicken Salad and Choosing Happiness; Episode 31 Jesse Tyler Ferguson on Chiles, Chicken & Dumplings, and His New Cookbook; and Episode 29 Adam Richman on Soup, Spinach Pie, and Saving Local Restaurants.

A couple of others that I occasionally listen to are KCRW’s Good Food by Evan Kleiman, which shares Kleiman’s taste of life, culture and the human species, and  Salt + Spine, which according to its website, “We tell the compelling stories behind cookbooks you won’t get anywhere else. Featuring interviews with leading authors, we explore the art and craft of cookbooks, looking at both new and vintage cookbooks.”

I listen to my podcasts through an app on my phone called TuneIn Radio.  But most of these may be found on Stitcher, Apple, Spotify, PlayerFM, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to your other podcasts.

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A little wine history

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Hollenbeck logoIn the canyons of Wall Street there is a landmark restaurant, Fraunces Tavern, a favorite of George Washington. Over the bar at the Tavern there is printed a phrase, “De gustibus non disputandum est.” For those of you who are not Latin scholars, this phrase is commonly used to mean, “There is no accounting for taste.”

De Gustibus is the title we have chosen for some notes about wine. We admit to being quite fond of wine and when Emily, the Enterprise Editor, started printing her wonderful food articles we thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to add short articles about wine.” The article we had just read was about cornbread and we laughed out loud when we tried to figure out what wine would be good to drink with cornbread! The fact is, “it doesn’t matter. Drink what you like.” That’s what de gustibus means and that is our basic philosophy about these wine notes. De Gustibus.Nobody can tell you what to like.

We don’t pretend to be a wine expert, but over some years we have experienced the great, the good, the bad and the ugly of wines. These notes are our attempt to share some of the lessons learned along the way. We think of them as The Joy of Wine. For those readers more sophisticated and more experienced than we, we say “Great. Tell us what you would like to share.” So here goes, our first note ... a little wine history.

Start with the fact that wine has been around for a very long time … since the Stone Age, 4000-6000 BCE in Armenia. By the times of the Roman Empire wine drinking was widespread. Pompeii, eventually covered by 9 feet of volcanic ash, had 20,000 citizens and 100 wine bars and 20 wine stores. The first real wine writer was Pliny the Elder, 200 years before Julius Caesar. Caesar was a great wine lover, his favorite wines were Greek. His favorite Roman wine was called Mamertine and you can still buy Mamertine today—a dry, strong undistinguished (by today’s standards) white wine.

Wine figures prominently in the Holy Bible. Jesus’s first miracle was to make wine out of water at a wedding when the wine supply ran out (John 2). And of course, wine was an essential ingredient of the Last Supper.

Scroll forward to more modern times … what did the Pilgrims drink? On the ships coming over they drank beer. Upon landing in the New World they wanted to unload some beer but the sailors, afraid of running out on the way back to England, refused to let them take any ashore. Without the resources to make beer, those early settlers drank mostly hard cider at that first Thanksgiving.

In colonial times, people had learned that drinking water made you sick, so all day they drank fermented beverages like beer, ale, cider and wine. Children drank “small beer,” brewed from the leftover hops and had little alcohol. On average, colonials drank a gallon of ale a day. They believed alcohol was good for your health and doctors even prescribed it for patients. Alcohol was served at social events, funerals, court hearings and business meetings. Thomas Jefferson was quite a wine lover, importing French wines and even building an underground wine cellar at Monticello to store his wine under lock and key.

Such good times could not last forever. By the early 1800s many people were drinking rum and whiskey and society was plagued with an epidemic of alcoholism and the accompanying problems and social ills. And so was formed the temperance movement which became a major political force. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution (Prohibition) took effect in 1920 until repealed by the 21st amendment in 1933.

So much for history. Our purpose here has been to show how much drinking wine has been a part of society from the earliest times until today. Like it or not, wine is now widely available throughout the U.S. and Texas and even in Polk County (since 2006). Given that for so long so many people have enjoyed wine and that so much has been written about it, (even movies made about it), there must be something there worth learning about.

Sharing information about wine is what these wine notes will be about. We are not ones to encourage you to drink wine; our goal is to help you become a better informed wine drinker, or non-drinker … de gustibus.

As for these notes, here is a “teaser” for the next one: Did you know that all grapes are white on the inside, and that red wine comes from the red grape skin, not from the grape? What else would you like to know about grapes? Send your questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Piney Woods area nature classes begin Feb. 2

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Master Naturalists in training meet in classrooms and in the field. Piney Wood Lakes Chapter’s next class begins Feb. 2. Courtesy photoMaster Naturalists in training meet in classrooms and in the field. Piney Wood Lakes Chapter’s next class begins Feb. 2. Courtesy photo

From Enterprise Staff

If you prefer being outside watching bugs and birds, like playing in the mud, hanging out with other naturalists, and have a willingness to keep learning and share what you learn, come be a Master Naturalist.

Pine Woods Lakes Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists 2022 class begins Feb. 2. Interested nature enthusiasts from Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity and Tyler counties will take 10 weeks of virtual and classroom trailing delivered by Master Naturalists and specialists from universities, Texas Parks and Wildlife, AgriLife and nature centers.

Master Naturalist certification requires 40 hours of training and 40 hours of chapter and community service within one year of beginning training. Topics covered in the training include interpretation and management of natural resources, ecological concepts, eco-regions in Texas, pollinators, bird and wildlife identification, and natural systems management.

Additionally, each trainee must complete the annual requirement for eight hours of advanced training in an area of personal interest. Various presentations offered at chapter meetings can fulfill much of this requirement.

The cost to become a Texas Master Naturalist is $140 and includes the bound State Curriculum, first year chapter annual dues of $25, temporary and permanent name badges and covers any fees for speakers and facilities. Each candidate must pass a Texas Parks and Wildlife background check.

Classes will be held on Wednesdays for 10 weeks beginning Feb. 2 and ending on April 13 with a spring break March 14-18. Locations for the classes include the virtual on Zoom, Polk County AgriLife Office, Lake Livingston State Park, Lake Livingston Nature Preserve or in the field.

For additional information or to fill out an application, contact Nelda Tuthill at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit https://txmn.org/pineywoodlakes.

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