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Livingston man arrested after leaving repair jobs incomplete

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Casey Dion SmelleyCasey Dion SmelleyA Livingston man was arrested after several people claim he took their money for remodeling work that was not finished.

Casey Dion Smelley, 29, is said to have represented himself as a contractor on home repairs. He reportedly has been hired by multiple homeowners, accepted money, then left jobs incomplete.
A woman who spoke to the Enterprise on the condition of anonymity said she has lost over $35,000 and has a bid for another $170,000 to fix what Smelley’s company left, and finish the work she wanted originally.

“He was arrested for misappropriation of funds, because he would take people’s money and he wouldn’t finish the remodel, or he would just take the money and not do the job,” the woman said. 

The woman entrusted the money to Smelley, she said, because he told her if she didn’t “lock in” a price now, the job would cost double when complete because of inflation.

“That’s how he would talk people into giving him half of the money,” the woman said. “There’s about six or seven people that have come forward to the detective and told him that they got scammed by him also. He’s taken over $150,000 and there’s got to be more.”

A report from the Polk County Sheriff’s Department shows that Smelley was arrested by the Livingston Police Department Aug. 9. The charge of misapplication of fiduciary property or property of financial institution is listed between $30,000 and $150,000. 

Under Section 32.45 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual commits an offense when he intentionally, knowingly or recklessly misapplies property he holds as a fiduciary in a manner that involves substantial risk of loss to the owner of the property.

“The work that he did was so bad that I’m going to have to have it tore out,” she said. “He didn’t finish one thing that he had to do. He did half of everything in each room.”

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Family of eight saved by good Samaritans

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082522 family savedBob Earl (left) and Trevor Mayhue near the slip from where they launched to save a family of eight. A special thanks to John Evans for bringing the story to the Enterprise. Courtesy photo

From Enterprise Staff

What was to be a day of fun quickly turned into a life-threatening situation for a family of eight in Lake Livingston.

Late in the evening of June 17, Bob Earl, owner of Lake Life Concierge, returned home to find law enforcement officers limiting access to his lakefront home. When asked, a deputy sheriff informed that there were people in the water and they could not respond.

Earl, along with 20-year-old Concierge employee Trevor Mayhue and his 22-year-old brother, Josh, quickly launched the company Tritoon boat into a dark sky blowing 20-knot winds with oncoming four-foot waves bouncing off the nearby bulkhead.

“We had the boat in the water in about a minute, but I was lucky to get it out of the slip, to be honest with you,” Earl said. “The swells were pushing me.”

A father with two daughters were the first to be found. The father had managed to hold onto their wave runner that had capsized, but the two girls had to be lifted from the wa-ter. The large waves had unseated them both. Closely followed by their father, the girls were taken to a protected cove near Tigerville and Country Lane.

Earl, Trevor and Josh then went back into the storm to find the wife and two sons. All three were in the water with their inverted wave runner rolling around nearby. The mother reportedly said her goodbyes by cellphone and was near drowning when Earl arrived. Trevor jumped in to help all three onto the boat, which then sailed back to the protected cove where the family and sheriff deputies joyfully greeted their safe return.

“We got on them just in time,” Earl said of rescuing the mother and two sons. “We caught them with a spotlight. The cops just gave me a general idea of where they thought they were, and we just got lucky. The wave action was really intense. They had (life)jackets on. The oldest son had a whistle. I have a P.A. system on the front of my boat and I was able to call out.”

One last trip was made to find two remaining family members stranded on Pine Island. Both were found and retrieved from the beach and reunited with the others.

The family was new to the lake and their wave runners had ferried family members from their launching point to Pine Island for a day on the beach.

As often happens, the storm caught the family unaware. Without wearing life jackets, Earl believes the day would have turned deadly.

The following morning, the team led by Earl found and retrieved the other wave run-ner, towing it ashore to its owner.

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Deep East Singing Convention set for Aug. 26

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081822 deep east singing

The Deep East Texas Singing Convention at Promise Land Baptist Church, 208 Whitehouse Drive, Lufkin, Texas will be held Friday, August 26 at 6 p.m., refreshments to follow, and Saturday, August 27 at 10 a.m., lunch will be served. There will be an afternoon session on Saturday also. This event is free to the public. For more information call 936-829-2703.

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Big Time Texas Hunts, entries open for 2022-23 season

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AUSTIN — This season, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Big Time Texas Hunts program is offering Texans some of the very best hunting opportunities in the state. Ten premium guided hunt packages are offered in this year’s Big Time Texas Hunts drawing.

In the last 25 years, Big Time Texas Hunt participants have helped raise more than $18 million to fund wildlife research, habitat conservation and public hunting access. The 2021-22 hunting season was the biggest revenue producing year for the program, raising more than $1.32 million. 

Conservation efforts funded by Big Time Texas Hunts include desert bighorn sheep restoration work in West Texas, thousands of acres of brush control work across the state for the benefit of species like mule deer, pronghorn and quail, along with multiple grassland restoration projects. Public hunting efforts include the funding of numerous public hunting leases and the purchase of hunting equipment like ADA accessible blinds for a number of Wildlife Management Areas (WMA).

“Hunters pay for conservation and the BTTH program is the perfect example of that,” said Kevin Mote, TPWD’s Private Lands and Public Hunting program director. “In our 26th year, we are extremely excited to continue offering hunters an opportunity at once in a lifetime hunting opportunities and raising important wildlife conservation funding at the same time.”

Some of the popular hunts included in this year’s drawing include an Exotic Safari, where the winner and a guest will have a chance to hunt gemsbok and scimitar-horned oryx at Mason Mountain WMA — plus win a Browning X-Bolt Hunter .270 rifle with Leupold scope being donated by McBride’s Guns in Austin, the Texas Grand Slam which offers the winner four separate hunts for desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, and desert mule deer, and the Ultimate Mule Deer Hunt, a three-to five-day hunt for mature mule deer in the Texas Panhandle.

Big Time Texas Hunts entries are available online for $9 each or for $10 each at license retailers, or by calling 800-895-4248. The deadline to purchase entries is Oct. 15 and winners will be announced within two weeks.

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PCSO looking for suspect

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081422 looing for suspect

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a suspect who is currently wanted on three felony warrants, with additional warrants pending.

On Thursday at approximately 1 a.m., Jason Clowers ran from Polk County Sheriff officers near RB’s Lake Grocery and threatened to shoot deputies who were on the scene. He is thought to be possibly armed with a weapon.

Clowers is a white male, 44, standing 5-feet-7, and weighs approximately 170 pounds.

Those with information on Clowers’ current whereabouts are asked to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 936-327-6810. An anonymous tip may also be submitted at p3tips.com, the P3 App, or by calling the Polk County Crime Stoppers at 936-327-STOP, where tipsters may collect a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.

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