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Narcotics division stops gambling establishment in Leggett

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gambling bust

Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division obtained warrants for the arrest of Sujit Baba Chalamalasetty, 29, of Beaumont, Monday.

Chalamalasetty was charged with multiple offenses of operating an illegal game room on Aug. 30. Through a lengthy investigation, Chalamalasetty, was identified as owner and manager of the establishment and found to be funding the illegal game room in Leggett. Warrants were obtained on Chalamalasetty for possession of a gambling device, equipment or paraphernalia; gambling promotion; and keeping a gambling place.

On Wednesday, Chalamalasetty turned himself in to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on his outstanding warrants and he is currently incarcerated in the Polk County Jail.

Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons would like to remind the public that when these gambling locations open, crime always increases in the area of the establishment. The crimes commonly include armed robbery, illegal narcotics transactions, theft, stolen vehicles, burglaries, assaults, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, just to name a few.

Operating a gambling establishment outside of the reservation of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe and the Ysleta de Sur Pueblo Tribe near El Paso, in the State of Texas, is considered illegal. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office remains vigilant in investigating establishments of this nature, along with the criminal activity attached to the establishments, in an effort to improve the overall quality of life in these areas. 

Per the Texas Attorney General’s Office, operating this type of establishment is a criminal offense, unless all payouts for winnings are in the form of non-cash merchandise prizes, toys or novelties. If found operating these types of establishments, any type of gambling paraphernalia, equipment, and proceeds will be seized.

At this time, no charges have been brought against any patrons of this gambling establishment. However, the sheriff would like the public to know that participating in gambling at one of these establishments is a crime as well and charges can be filed.

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Wagner arraigned for teen's death

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Arraignment

From Enterprise Staff

Roy Grant Wagner, 41 of The Woodlands, was arraigned Tuesday in the 258th District Court before visiting Judge Larry Standley of Harris County. Wagner was indicted by a Polk County grand jury in September for the felony charges of murder, manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid (fatality collision) stemming from the Sept. 24, 2021 crash on FM 350 South which took the life of 18-year-old Livingston High School Senior Cole Overstreet.

Wagner, through his attorney Wayne Hill of Houston, pled “not guilty” to the three charges. During Tuesday’s proceedings, Standley set an additional bond for Wagner in the amount of $50,000 on Wagner’s recent indictments for murder and manslaughter. Wagner was then taken into custody by deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office until he could post bond.

He had previously made bond in the amount of $250,000 following his initial arrest for failure to stop and render aid on Sept. 26, 2021. In addition to the new bond amount, Standley added conditions to all of Wagner’s bonds that he not drive any motor vehicle, report monthly to the Polk County probation department, submit to random drug and alcohol tests, and maintain a curfew at his residence between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. The next court setting in the case is scheduled to be held before Standley on Nov. 29, 2022.

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Time to fall back as daylight savings time ends

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From Enterprise Staff

The Polk County Commissioners Court lifted the burn ban for the unincorporated areas of the county Tuesday following an emergency session.

The Polk County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reviewed current conditions with the Texas Forest Service and both offices agreed that ending the burn ban is appropriate at this time. During the emergency session, the Court approved an order rescinding the prohibition of outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of the county.

However, both the Court and the OEM urge everyone to use caution in proceeding with outdoor burning, being mindful that conditions may change quickly and that individuals burning outdoors are responsible and liable for any fire damage resulting from such burning.

Additionally, the OEM suggests that anyone contemplating the outdoor burning of a sizeable amount of debris first contact the volunteer fire department in their area to receive the department’s recommendation and assistance.

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Escaped inmates face additional charges

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From Enterprise Staff

Two inmates that escaped from a contract prisoner transport bus Friday afternoon have been identified and will now face additional charges.

Initial reports were that two transport buses were on the side of the road, repairing one that had a flat tire on Highway 190, just east of FM 1276. Two inmates escaped, one of them assaulted a guard, took a weapon and ran into the woods, according to Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons.

Nicholas Cordell Graham, 30, of Houston, has now been charged with felony escape while confined, deadly conduct and unlawful possession of firearm by a felon.

Prior to escaping, Graham was able to grab an unsecured firearm from the front of the bus. Officers subsequently located the firearm in the wood line.

Braxton James Grant, 19, of Livingston, was charged with felony escape while confined.

“They ran from the bus, and while doing so, got a weapon away from an officer and knocked him down and ran into the woods,” Lyons said. “We had backup and support officers from the DPS, district attorney’s office, (Alabama-Coushatta) Indian Reservation Police Department, and several different agencies that responded. TDC dogs were on standby, but a short time after we arrived on the scene, we got the first subject in custody. The second subject, who was in possession of the firearm, was actually caught a half a mile from here, where he’d run off into the woods and ran up on a homeowner. The homeowner found him and held him there until DPS got there and took him into custody.”

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Elvis returning to East Texas

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From Enterprise Staff

He’s got the hair. He’s got the dance moves. He’s even got the pinky finger positioned just right. His attention to detail has made Travis Powell one of the best Elvis Presley Tribute Artists in the world, and he’ll soon be performing two shows nearby. He will be at the Lufkin Pines Theater at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 and at the Huntsville Old Town Theater at 4 p.m. on Nov. 6.

“Every day I do vocal rehearsals and watch videos of him for an hour. I believe the more you watch him, the more it becomes second nature and you can do the moves from muscle memory. When it’s muscle memory, and you’re on stage, you can relate to the audience better. All the little things you watched and heard come to you and you’re not worried about what moves you are going to do next,” Powell said.

Powell placed in the top five at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Graceland in 2014. He will perform an array of the King’s music, including his early stuff, some ‘70s songs and beloved “Aloha” tunes. He will be accompanied by an eight-man band, “Edge of Reality,” and will change his clothes to coordinate with the songs.

During the performances, Powell wants audience members to be taken back in time for a couple of hours and feel like they really are at one of Elvis’ concerts. Although he never met Elvis himself, he continues to meet people who tell him stories about seeing Elvis live.

“It’s a bonding experience when people tell me stories about Elvis. I appreciate the people who love Elvis as much as I do. They get it because they loved Elvis then and they still do,” he said.

Powell said that one of the reasons Elvis is “still alive” is because his music isn’t just appealing to people who were around when he was performing. He said he is hopeful that young people who attend his show will go home and look up Elvis’ tunes and get hooked.

“Elvis’ music was timeless. I believe Elvis, even though he had his faults, was a good guy who sang from his heart. I believe we, people in general, gravitate toward people that you can tell they believe what they sing. I don’t believe he ever sang a song that he couldn’t connect to in some way,” Powell said.

Being able to relate to Elvis is what Powell said has made him one of the top Elvis tribute artists in the world.

“Me and Elvis are both Southern guys. We were brought up the same way -- in terms of how much I practice and how much I really pay attention to the details in the little things -- like how he stands or how he holds his finger -- gives people a better illusion that they are watching Elvis,” Powell said.

Ever since Powell was 4 years old, he has been enamored with Elvis, but it was just four and a half years ago that he started impersonating him professionally. Since then, he has traveled the country, bringing his blue suede shoes with him. He has won eight prestigious Elvis impersonation contests, including “A Tribute to the King” competition in Milwaukee this year. In 2014, he won the Heart of the King Horizon Award for best new Elvis tribute artist, which afforded him with the opportunity to perform on the same stage that Elvis performed on in Vegas from 1969 to 1977.

Powell attributes his success to his devotion and daily study of Elvis. He also has his own sideburns and orders his jumpsuits from the company that owns the rights to Elvis’ original patterns.

“I try to make the tribute as authentic and as close to Elvis as I can get,” Powell said. The all-female group and National Doo Wop Champions, “Shake Rattle & Roll,” will open the concert and also perform as backup singers for Powell.

For reservations call Steve Fountain at 832-312-0074 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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