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Polk County News

Looking for supects

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081122 looking for suspectsThe Polk County Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance from the public in finding two subjects who are wanted on felony warrants. Arley Cozell Bean has two counts of controlled substance, penalty group 1. Arthur Earl Bean Jr. is wanted for manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance, penalty group 1. Those with information on the whereabouts of the two suspects are asked to contact the sheriff’s office, at 936-327-6810. An anonymous tip may be submitted at p3tips.com, the P3 App, or by calling Polk County Crime Stoppers, at 936-327-STOP, where tipsters may collect a cash reward for information leading to an arrest. COURTESY PHOTO

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Small plane crashes in Lake Livingston

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081122 plane crash

State and local responders rescued a pilot in Lake Livingston Tuesday afternoon after an aircraft was downed in the water.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, a Fire Boss Single Engine Air Tanker/Scooper crashed in Lake Livingston while responding to wildfires in Polk County around 5 p.m.

Texas A&M Forest Service was requested to assist on multiple new ignitions in the Corrigan area. The agency mobilized several aircraft to assist with suppression efforts on the fires. The pilot was quickly rescued and taken to shore and the individual was treated on scene.

Texas A&M Forest Service does not own any aviation resources, but instead uses federal aviation contracts through the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management for all firefighting aircraft.

The Trinity River Authority has enacted an ordinance prohibiting access to the immediate area on Lake Livingston surrounding U.S. Highway 190 West causeway, as well as several boat ramps, for a period of 24 hours. Closed boat ramps will have traffic cones restricting access.

This action is for public protection, as well as preservation of the accident area for investigation.

TRA is taking this action at the direction of county and state emergency management officials.

East Texas News will update this story as more becomes available.

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Plane crashes in Lake Livingston

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081122 plane crash

 

State and local responders rescued a pilot in Lake Livingston Tuesday afternoon after an aircraft was downed in the water.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, a Fire Boss Single Engine Air Tanker/Scooper crashed in Lake Livingston while responding to wildfires in Polk County around 5 p.m.

Texas A&M Forest Service was requested to assist on multiple new ignitions in the Corrigan area. The agency mobilized several aircraft to assist with suppression efforts on the fires. The pilot was quickly rescued and taken to shore and the individual was treated on scene.

Texas A&M Forest Service does not own any aviation resources, but instead uses federal aviation contracts through the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management for all firefighting aircraft.

The Trinity River Authority has enacted an ordinance prohibiting access to the immediate area on Lake Livingston surrounding U.S. Highway 190 West causeway, as well as several boat ramps, for a period of 24 hours. Closed boat ramps will have traffic cones restricting access.

This action is for public protection, as well as preservation of the accident area for investigation.

TRA is taking this action at the direction of county and state emergency management officials.

East Texas News will update this story as more becomes available.

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Application period for Community Wildfire Defense Grant now open

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080711 wildfire grant

COLLEGE STATION — Eligible communities in Texas can apply now for a federal grant administered by Texas A&M Forest Service to plan for and mitigate against risks created by wildfire.

The Community Wildfire Defense Grant offers financial assistance to at-risk local communities for the development of Community Wildfire Protection Plans and associated mitigation projects. The program is authorized in Public Law 117-58, commonly referred to as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“The Community Wildfire Defense Grant offers high-risk communities a way to improve their mitigation planning efforts,” said Alex Bregenzer, Texas A&M Forest Service Community Wildfire Protection Plans Program Coordinator. “These types of mitigation efforts are reducing wildfire risk across the state at a time when human-caused wildfires are an ever-present threat to our communities.”

There are two primary objectives for which the grant will provide funding: the development and revision of Community Wildfire Protection Plans, and the implementation of projects described in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan that is less than 10 years old. The Act prioritizes at-risk communities that are in an area identified as having high or very high wildfire hazard potential, are low-income, and/or have been impacted by a severe disaster.

“Our personnel at Texas A&M Forest Service are taking a leadership role in the administration of the Community Wildfire Defense Grant in Texas,” said Bruce Woods, Department Head of Mitigation and Prevention. “We stand ready to offer technical support and subject matter expertise to communities throughout the grant application process.”

Entities eligible to apply for funding under the Community Wildfire Defense Grant are:
• Local governments representing communities in an area with a risk of wildfires,

•Native American tribes,

•Non-profit organizations including homeowner associations that assist such communities,

•State forestry agencies.

Eligible applicants may apply for grant funding for a project proposal to be conducted on local government, state government, tribal, homeowner association and privately owned lands, provided the project proposal directly reduces wildfire risk to a community.

There is no minimum federal funding limit for projects under the Community Wildfire Defense Grant. The maximum amount of funding awarded to any one community or tribe via this competitive grant is:

•$250,000 for the creation or updating of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan,

•$10 million for projects described within a Community Wildfire Protection Plan less than 10 years old.

Cost-share is required for all applications funded under the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program. The cost-share rates for this program are:

•not less than 10 percent for development or revision of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan; and

• not less than 25 percent for project implementation as described in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan that is not more than 10 years old.

Potential applicants are recommended to attend the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Webinar for Southern states on August 9 at 9 a.m. CST. Instructions for registration can be found at https://bit.ly/3SyhyTh.

The closing date for applications is October 7, 2022.

Learn more about the Community Wildfire Defense Grant: fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/grants.

Learn more about your community’s wildfire risk: https://texaswildfirerisk.com.

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Gazebo Nature Preserve at Lake Livingston Dam receives grant

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080422 gazebo nature preserve logo

By Timi Maples
Gazebo Nature Preserve Co-Lead

While it may not look like it to walk around our Gazebo Nature Preserve, or GNP as some have dubbed it, there is much work underway. In spite of the drought and triple-digit heat there is life near the seep and within the pollinator loop. We have locked in a critical element for our branding. Plans for our birding platform are moving forward. And in spite of the heat and drought, our grasslands are alive with wildlife.

Perhaps our biggest news is receiving a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s Lone Star Bird Award Conservation Grant of $5,000 at the conclusion of the Great Texas Bird Classic. The application was submitted by our newest interns to fund their class project – building the bird tower.

With the help of Emily Sabrusula and Beth Miller, we have a logo to begin the production of signage, flyers, and online communication. The logo we settled on is pretty simple and flexible to fit well in a variety of uses. We’ll soon have a GNP Facebook page, a section on the Piney Wood Lakes Texas Master Naturalists website devoted to the GNP and more updates. Maybe we’ll have some shirts or caps for sale.

Willows are coming back along the native seep and in the spring, we may need to do some judicious removal of a few according to our maintenance agreement with Trinity River Authority. Throughout the GNP, there is plenty blooming, thriving and even flying. Field birds were all over the place feasting on seed provided by our Illinois bundle-flower (Desmanthus illinoensis). Protein from this seed equals that of soybean, and as a legume, it’s a nitrogen-fixer to improve the soil. The bundle flower also provides nectar, high in sugar and amino acids, for hummingbirds, songbirds, butterflies, moths, bees and beetles. The American basketflower (Centaurea americana) has also gone to seed and is providing high nutritional value to song and game birds. Bumblebees are major visitors to the basketflowers.

You want to talk about drawing pollinators to your land – these are two great plants to add. Our overgrown pollinator loop has many starts of our native butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa). Its orange flowers are popping up even in the deepest of weeds, mostly Johnson grass. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is the larval host to the grey hairstreak, monarch and queen butterflies. It’s also a special value to our native bees.

Whether you visit the GNP to explore or volunteer, come early. The gates open at 7 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. There is no water out there so bring your own and be careful in the heat.

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