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Former SHSU player relishes alma mater’s national title

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IMG 0881EMILY BANKS WOOTEN | PCE Nancy and Joe Hollis, proud alumni of Sam Houston State University, show off an SH metal sign, a gift from a granddaughter, that hangs on one of the covered porches of their log home.

By Emily Banks Wooten

When the Sam Houston State University football team clinched the NCAA FCS National Championship with its 23-21 victory over South Dakota State University May 16 in Frisco, fond memories came flooding back for local residents Joe and Nancy Hollis.

Joe played football for SHSU when the Bearkats squared off against Middle Tennessee State University in the Dec. 1, 1956 Jaycee Refrigerator Bowl in Evansville, Ind. in which the Bearkats won 27-13. In those days, the Refrigerator Bowl was the equivalent of the National Championship, Joe said.

“After that, we played in the Christmas Bowl in Natchitoches, La. in 1958 but we lost,” he said.

“Joe’s 1956 team and this year’s team were the only football teams at Sam Houston that were undefeated,” Nancy said. “Other teams won championships but those two were the only undefeated teams.”

“The ’56 group was a very unique group,” Joe said. “We were a close group of guys and after graduation we kept in touch and also kept in touch with the coaches even though there were some we didn’t think we liked at the time they were coaching us, but they were our friends after we graduated. It was a very enjoyable experience.”

“It was more like a family, not a football team,” Nancy said.

“Back then, you played both ways. You played offense and defense,” Joe said. “If you started a quarter you could come out one time and go back in, but if you came out after the quarter began, you could not go back in during that quarter.

IMG 0878EMILY BANKS WOOTEN | PCE This treasured keepsake belonging to Joe and Nancy Hollis is the football program from the Dec. 1, 1956 Jaycee Refrigerator Bowl in which Sam Houston State University played Middle Tennessee State University in the Reitz Bowl in Evansville, Ind. Joe, a sophomore at the time, played guard for SHSU in this game in which the Bearkats won 27-13.

“So consequently, you had to have two complete teams. The best team would play the first half, then the second unit would go in,” he said. “At that time we were fortunate enough that our starting unit was big, but maybe a little bit slower, then they’d send in the second unit. Consequently, the second unit scored more than the first unit that year.”

Joe and Nancy met at SHSU and married in 1958.

“The first year we were married we lived in the gym in a one-room efficiency apartment with a tiny little refrigerator and a couch that made out into a bed. They furnished light bulbs and toilet paper and gave you $28 a month,” Nancy said, as they both laughed at the thought.

She began teaching at Aldine and left Huntsville every morning at 5 a.m. with her five-person carpool crew. Nancy said the reason she took the Aldine job was because it paid $3,604 a year and Huntsville and other schools around there only paid $3,204 a year.

“I graduated in three years but it took him five,” Nancy said, in some good-natured ribbing. “But I learned so much more,” Joe said, giving it right back.

A 1954 graduate of Groveton High School, Joe played football at SHSU for five years, having red-shirted his first year.

“He already had half a master’s degree when he graduated with his bachelor’s in ‘59,” Nancy said. Having played fullback in high school, Joe said in the middle of his first year at Sam they decided he needed to be a guard, hence the fifth-year eligibility.

Holding a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education with a minor in P.E., Joe taught horticulture for a number of years at both LaPorte High School and J. Frank Dobie High School. He coached football for 15 years, starting at Pasadena Junior High School and finishing up at Pasadena High School.

The Hollises moved to Livingston in 1996. Their three sons – Keith, Mark and Glenn – all graduated from SHSU. They also have seven grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Joe spoke fondly about one of his teammates who was also his roommate. Known to all of his buddies as “D’Boy,” his actual name is Franklin Williams. “He’s been the one that’s kept everybody together. He calls each of us almost every week. He keeps up with who passes and when somebody passes he sends an arrangement and on the card always puts, ‘From the team.’ He’s just been really a Godsend to the group.”

IMG 0879EMILY BANKS WOOTEN | PCE This is the 1956 SHSU Bearkat Football Squad. Joe Hollis, No. 64, is the third person from the left on the second row from the bottom.

Joe said the group used to meet yearly at Crystal Beach where one of the guys had a house. “Some would come in on Thursday and some on Friday. We’d have a big fish fry and shrimp on Saturday. We’d tell all the old lies.”

Unfortunately, the beach house was lost in one of the hurricanes and never rebuilt. Failing health has kept the group from meeting in recent years and sadly, the group is dwindling. “Three or four have passed this year,” Joe said.

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Caught on camera

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beaird pcso picMUGSHOT Steven Beaird

By PCE Staff

LIVINGSTON - The use of surveillance video helped stop a burglary while in process at a Livingston residence, leading to the arrest of an Onalaska man.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a homeowner May 13, stating his building was being burglarized. They could see the suspect on remote surveillance video. Deputies responded to the residence near Mangum Road, but the suspect had left the scene by the time law enforcement arrived.

The complainant was able to provide a description of the suspect. Deputies and detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, along with assistance from the Polk County Fire Marshall, responded to the location and began to search the area near the residence. Deputies quickly located the suspect in a thick wooded area near the Mangum address.

The suspect, Steven Beaird, 30, was detained and immediately identified. After further investigation, several items of stolen property were recovered and Beaird was subsequently arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail without incident.

Those with information in this case or any other 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, where tipsters can remain anonymous and could 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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LHS decades reunion

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LHS decade reunionCOURTESY PHOTO The last planning meeting for the Livingston High School All-Decades Reunion was in June of last year. After being postponed due to the pandemic, the event is back on for Aug. 14. A planning and reorganization meeting is slated for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Pueblo Viejo.

By PCN Staff

Event organizers said they are thrilled to announce that the Livingston High School All-Decades Reunion is back on for Aug. 14. Initially scheduled for last year, the event was postponed multiple times due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the value of friendships and how much we’ve missed that fellowship,” Patricia Snook said. “So many have been asking when are we doing the reunion. Let’s get this done!”

A reorganization and planning meeting is slated for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Pueblo Viejo and everyone interested is encouraged to attend.

“Plans have gotten somewhat cold from the postponement so we need everyone to attend this meeting,” Snook said. “Try to plan to hang around and have a visiting lunch afterward.”

For questions, or to help with a head count for the planning meeting, text Patricia Snook at 936-328-0128 or email Linda Watson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Former Police Lieutenant indicted by Polk County grand jury

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400 moore070220MUGSHOT Gabriel Phillip Moore

By PCN Staff

A former Onalaska Police Lieutenant who was arrested in July of 2020 has been indicted by a Polk County grand jury.

Gabriel Phillip Moore, 44, was indicted on the Class A misdemeanor offense of official oppression, which is punishable up to a year in the county jail and $4,000 fine.

Moore was arrested by the Texas Rangers in July after they began an investigation in May of 2020. He was later released after posting a $2,000 bond. The Magnolia resident worked at various police agencies in Polk, Montgomery, Chambers, and Harris County since 2002.

The victim spoke to the Enterprise in an exclusive interview, saying he sought assistance from
the chain of command. When he believed no action was taken, he contacted the Texas Rangers.

A few weeks after the arrest, Moore was fired from his position in a city council meeting and Onalaska Police Chief John Maddox was placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation. Maddox later resigned in August, submitting a letter to City of Onalaska officials.

Reportedly, Moore inappropriately touched an officer on several occasions. The officer was under Moore’s supervision and new to the department.

The lieutenant began to purchase items such as a ballistic vest, a polo shirt for work, handcuffs and clothes for the new officer, which the victim said could all be construed as helping a new employee with items needed for the job.

After multiple attempts to put a halt to the advances and seek assistance within the chain of command, the victim decided to file a complaint with the Texas Rangers.

The indictment handed down last week and filed in the 411th District Court of Polk County alleges that Moore, “while a public servant and acting under the color of his office or employment as a peace officer for the City of Onalaska, Texas intentionally subjected [the victim] to sexual harassment, to-wit: the defendant did then and there subject [the victim] to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, submission to which was made a term or condition of [the victim’s] exercise of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, either expressly or implicitly.”

The case, which is being prosecuted by Polk County District Attorney William Lee Hon, will be scheduled for arraignment before 411th District Judge John Wells in the coming weeks.

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Office of Emergency Management urging vaccinations

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virus logoFILE PHOTO - Coronavirus

By PCNS Staff

President Joe Biden set a goal Tuesday for 70% of the country’s adult population to receive at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot by July 4.

Polk County is well on track for that mark when considering those who are 65 years of age and older. Of that age group, 67.80% in Polk County have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and 57.63% have been fully vaccinated.

The totals aren’t as impressive amongst younger adults.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 14,540 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and 10,612 people in Polk County have been fully vaccinated. There have been 24,102 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the county.

The Polk County Office of Emergency Management has a total case count of 3,282 locally, with 1,493 of those confirmed positive, 1,789 probable and 136 cases that are active.

They are still encouraging residents in Polk County to get vaccinated and remind all that COVID-19 is a vaccine-preventable disease.

The virus and its impact are not diminishing. According to the health district, numbers in COVID-19 cases and COVID hospitalizations each day have slightly increased. There have been 112 fatalities and an estimated 3,034 recoveries.

A pause was placed on the administration of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine April 13, but lifted April 23. The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends vaccine providers in Texas resume administering the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine following the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The pause was recommended after reports of six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals following administration of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. During the pause, medical and scientific teams at the FDA and CDC examined available data to assess the risk of thrombosis involving the cerebral venous sinuses, or CVST (large blood vessels in the brain), and other sites in the body (including but not limited to the large blood vessels of the abdomen and the veins of the legs) along with thrombocytopenia, or low blood platelet counts.

The teams at FDA and CDC also conducted extensive outreach to providers and clinicians to ensure they were made aware of the potential for these adverse events and could properly manage and recognize these events due to the unique treatment required for these blood clots and low platelets, also known as thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

The two agencies have determined the following:

· Use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine should be resumed in the United States.

· The FDA and CDC have confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.

· The FDA has determined that the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older.

· At this time, the available data suggest that the chance of TTS occurring is very low, but the FDA and CDC will remain vigilant in continuing to investigate this risk.

VACCINE INFORMATION (POLK):

PROVIDERS:

Brookshire Brothers Pharmacies:

936-327-4354 in Livingston, 936-398-9227 in Corrigan, 936-646-2488 in Onalaska

 

CVS:

936-327-2561

Address: 1500 W. Church St., Livingston, TX 77351

Vaccine: Phizer

Vaccine Days: 7 days a week

Administration Fee: No Charge Appointments: Online at https://www.cvs.com/content/coronavirus

 

Wal-Mart Pharmacy:

936-327-1294

Address: 1620 W. Church St., Livingston, TX 77351

Vaccine: Check availability online

Vaccination Days: Check availability online

Administration Fee: No charge Appointment Scheduling Information: https://corporate.walmart.com/covid-vaccine To Schedule an Appointment: Online at https://www.walmart.com/cp/1228302

 

Walgreens:

936-327-1086

Address: 1501 W. Church St., Ste. 500, Livingston, TX 77351

Vaccine: Pfizer

Vaccine Days: Daily While Supplies Last (check availability online)

Administration Fee: No Charge Appointments: Online at https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19/location-screening

 

Health Center of Southeast Texas:

936-327-4660

Address: 204 West Park Drive #200, Livingston, TX 77351

Vaccine: Call to check availability

Appointments: Call 936-327-4660

 

West Park Primary Care:

936-328-5820

Address: 210 West Park Drive, Ste. 104, Livingston, TX 77351

Vaccine: Call to check availability

Appointments: Call 936-328-5820

 

Livingston (HealthMart) Pharmacy:

936-327-5510

Address: 714 W. Church St., Livingston, TX 77351

Vaccine: Call to check availability

Vaccine Days: Daily While Supplies Last (check availability online)

Administration Fee: No Charge

Appointments: Call 936-327-5510

 

Polk County Emergency Management:

Clinic Location Address: Given upon Appointment

Vaccine: Moderna

Vaccination Days: Fridays

Administration Fee: No Charge Appointments: Online at http://www.etxcovidvaccine.com

 

Angelina County & Cities Health District:

Sign up at: www.etxcovidvaccine.com. Those without internet access, can call the Coronavirus hotline at 936-630-8500 to register for a vaccine.

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