Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Polk County News

LISD Stipend voted down

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

lisd logoFrom Enterprise Staff

The Livingston school board heard a quarterly investment report and voted against a stipend in September’s regular school board meeting Monday.

LISD Chief Financial Officer Ben Davidson presented the quarterly investment report and annual investment policy. The beginning balance on May 31 was $34,272,448, and the ending balance on Aug. 31 was $28,861,805. The interest earned in June was $6,668, July was $6,754 and August was $6,015.

The Livingston ISD Investment Schedule reflected a beginning balance on Sept. 1, 2020, of $24,546,206 and an ending balance on Aug. 31, 2021, of $28,861,805. The interest earned over the year was $76,257 in investments. The board approved the quarterly investment report and investment schedule as presented.

Upon returning from closed session, the board voted 4-3 against a resolution to provide a one-time Covid-19 vaccination stipend for all LISD employees. The stipend would have been a $500 addition for those who received the vaccine.

The board also voted unanimously to request the State Board of Educator Certification to pursue sanctions against Rosemary Allen in accordance with law and policy. 

Dr. Marcia McMahon, Texas Education Agency Lone Star Governance facilitator, discussed how she has encouraged school boards to look at basic goals and target goals to see if they are realistic, based on what has transpired over the previous 18 months. She encourages a future workshop to review and set target goals that outline the priorities of the district, as well as student outcome targets. McMahon is available to help with a survey or lead workshops virtually that would involve members of the community.

The board approved the consent agenda, which included approval of minutes from previous board meetings, the financial statement and payment of bills, overnight trips, and purchasing additional reading materials from Heinemann, Carnegie Learning, Saddleback. The reading materials would be used at all campuses grades Kindergarten through 12th for the Intervention program in the amount of $125,000.

  • Hits: 1734

LISD will not tolerate TikTok challenge

1 Comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

LISD LOGOBy Emily Banks Wooten
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The “devious lick,” a challenge on the social media application TikTok, has come to the Livingston Independent School District and LISD officials are not going to tolerate it.

In fact, any student involved in these actions could face the consequences of in-school suspension, school suspension, disciplinary alternative school placement or even criminal charges.

Through this challenge—which seems to have become something of a national phenomenon—students video themselves stealing property from their school or faculty and see what attention they can get from vandalizing school facilities.

“At this point, the vandalism of school property has been mild, but the theft of property from both the school and staff has been both monetary value and sentimental as well. Our dedicated custodial staff has gone above and beyond expectations to clean up after these poor decisions have been made by some of our students. Either way, these decisions by our students are wrong, and some students face the consequences of these poor decisions,” LISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brent E. Hawkins said in an email that was sent to parents Wednesday, seeking help.

“We reach out for your help in talking with your Lion or Lady Lion. In public schools, we must partner with our families to ensure that our values are taught and reinforced at home and school. We want our students to have great pride and ownership of their school and respect for all others in Lion Country,” Hawkins said.

The superintendent emphasized that the school district sees this as theft and vandalism, not as a joke or students “just playing around.

“I ask that you visit with your student about the seriousness of these types of behaviors. We need to send the united message to our students that theft and vandalism are wrong no matter how glorified it is on social media or the gratification that comes with this ‘challenge’ on social media. Our custodial staff deserves more respect than this, and our facilities belong to all of us. Regardless of what you see or hear on social media, please have these conversations with your student,” Hawkins said.

“This pandemic has been hard on everyone involved and we do not need social media to make life harder on anyone. We hope this can be turned into a positive in our community moving forward as a teachable moment for our young people,” he concluded.

  • Hits: 1945

Infectious disease doctor addresses monoclonal antibody therapy

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Dr. Nagakrishnal  NachimuthuDr. Nagakrishnal NachimuthuBy Emily Banks Wooten
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“The best strategy is prevention which is through vaccination. In addition, continue to do masking and physical distancing.”

These are the words of Dr. Nagakrishnal Nachimuthu, an infectious disease physician at CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial-Livingston.

Nachimuthu addressed the media during a press conference Monday to announce the opening of the state-supported Polk County Regional Infusion Center to help treat COVID-19 patients in East Texas.

“I would like to start off by mentioning that I am very appreciative of the initiative taken up by State of Texas in partnership with Polk County administration, hospital administration during this unprecedented time to set up this monoclonal antibody infusion for our community,” Nachimuthu said.

“Monoclonal antibody therapy is an outpatient therapy. It is indicated for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at risk of progression to severe disease. This should be given early in the disease within 10 days of start of symptoms. If a patient has COVID-19, they should approach their primary care physician/provider to see if they qualify for this treatment,” Nachimuthu said.

“The mechanism of action is that it reduces viral load by binding to the viral spikes thus preventing virus from attaching to the host cell and entering the host cell. Monoclonal antibody therapy thus helps reduce symptom severity and prevent hospitalization,” she said.

“Indications for monoclonal antibody therapy—based on criteria—most of the people will qualify. It includes age, high risk ethnicity groups, body mass index, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. Exclusion criteria are new requirement of oxygen or increase in oxygen requirement from baseline, hospitalization and more than 10 days from symptom onset,” Nachimuthu said.

“Post exposure prophylaxis criteria also added as an indication for monoclonal antibody therapy. If a patient receives monoclonal antibody therapy they are advised to defer vaccination for 90 days as it hinders vaccine immune response,” she said.

“Adverse reactions such as rash, diarrhea or dizziness are mainly related to infusion and generally given as intravenous. Subcutaneous injections also available,” she said.

“This monoclonal antibody therapy strategy is good to prevent inpatient hospitalization and helps reduce some of the burden to our health care system but monoclonal antibody therapy does not replace and is not a substitute for vaccination,” Nachimuthu said.

  • Hits: 714

Regional infusion center opens in Livingston

1 Comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

A press conference to announce the opening of the Polk County Regional Infusion Center was held Monday morning at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston. The center opened Monday afternoon at the Dunbar Gym at 1103 N. Dunbar Ave. in Livingston (l-r) Sam Murra, Polk County deputy emergency management coordinator; Courtney Comstock, Polk County emergency management coordinator; Dr. Nagakrishnal Nachimuthu, infectious disease physician with CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston; Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy; Kristi Froese, vice president of clinical operations at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston; and Jason Minchew, director of hospital operations at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten | PCeA press conference to announce the opening of the Polk County Regional Infusion Center was held Monday morning at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston. The center opened Monday afternoon at the Dunbar Gym at 1103 N. Dunbar Ave. in Livingston (l-r) Sam Murra, Polk County deputy emergency management coordinator; Courtney Comstock, Polk County emergency management coordinator; Dr. Nagakrishnal Nachimuthu, infectious disease physician with CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston; Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy; Kristi Froese, vice president of clinical operations at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston; and Jason Minchew, director of hospital operations at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten | PCe

By Emily Banks Wooten
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The state-supported Polk County Regional Infusion Center to help treat COVID-19 patients in East Texas opened Monday afternoon at the Dunbar Gym at 1103 N. Dunbar Ave. in Livingston and patients are already receiving treatment.

The center’s hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

 Medical professionals will be able to administer a monoclonal antibody treatment to approximately 30 patients per day. The infusions are meant for COVID-19 patients who are not yet hospitalized or on oxygen supplements. The infusion center includes personnel, equipment, supplies and wraparound services for a five-chair regional infusion center.

The treatment is available at no cost to patients. Patients must be confirmed COVID-19 positive and have a referral from a primary care physician. The referral form is on the Polk County Emergency Management website which is www.polkcountyoem.com.

Patients who do not have a primary care physician and are confirmed COVID-19 positive may contact the infusion call center for further information. The local telephone number is 936-327-7655 and the toll-free telephone number is 866-480-POLK (7655).

This infusion center, equipped with Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies, will treat COVID-19 patients with therapeutic drugs that can prevent their condition from worsening and requiring hospital care. The center also increases bed capacity in hospitals for the most ill patients. The state deployed similar measures back in November 2020 to communities across Texas.

To be eligible for the medication patients:

Must not be hospitalized or require oxygen therapy;

Must not require an increase in oxygen rate due to COVID-19 if using for underlying comorbidity; and

Must be within 10 days of symptom onset.

An additional resource for treating COVID-19 patients, the center was opened through a partnership between the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), Polk County, CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston and the Polk County Office of Emergency Management.

A press conference to announce the opening of the Polk County Regional Infusion Center was held Monday morning at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston.

“We believe this monoclonal antibody infusion center will ease the burden on our hospital and ER and the taxing of our emergency medical resources by reducing hospitalizations and deaths. The infusion center in Polk County will also provide an additional resource to surrounding rural counties with limited resources and prevent further deterioration and taxing of rural healthcare systems,” Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy said.

“Polk County appreciates the state’s quick response to our request and the partnership that we have with the Texas Division of Emergency Management and CHI St. Luke’s Memorial-Livingston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by COVID-19 and those who are battling this disease. I want to say a resounding thank you to CHI, doctors, nurses and medical personnel in the county and across the state for what you have done to save lives during this pandemic,” Murphy said.

At Governor Greg Abbott’s direction, TDEM contracted with a private vendor who will provide necessary equipment and staffing resources to ensure the center is fully operational. Polk County is providing facilities for the infusion center and infusion call center.

The Polk County Regional Infusion Center in Livingston is the 16th state-supported center operational in Texas.

  • Hits: 1422

Livingston senior killed in hit and run

1 Comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Cole OverstreetCole Overstreet

From Enterprise Staff

A Livingston High School student was killed in a two-vehicle head-on collision Friday night on FM 350 South near Kate Lowe Road.

LHS Senior Cole Overstreet, a member of the Livingston Royal Brigade Band, was southbound on FM 350 South driving a friend home following the Homecoming football game when a northbound vehicle crossed the centerline striking Overstreet’s vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle that crossed the line fled the scene. The collision is under investigation. 

Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Robert “Dooley” Johnson performed an inquest at the scene.

Livingston ISD posted the following statement on its Facebook page Saturday: “It is sad when our district loses a member of its family. It is even more tragic when such a young life is taken away from us. We mourn the loss of Cole Overstreet, a member of our senior class and Livingston Royal Brigade who was in a car accident last night. We extend our thoughts and sincere condolences to his family members, friends and classmates.”

  • Hits: 2889