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Texas Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 5-7

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tax holiday

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is reminding shoppers they can save money on clothes and school supplies during the state’s sales tax holiday on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-7.

State law exempts sales tax on qualified items — such as clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks — priced below $100, saving shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. The dates of the sales tax holiday and list of tax-exempt items are set by the Texas Legislature.

“Most Texans won’t hear the back-to-school bell for another month, but it’s never too early to take advantage of the opportunity to save money on everything from book bags to ballpoint pens,” Hegar said. “With inflation driving prices higher on just about everything, this sales tax holiday provides Texas families some small relief managing the costs associated with kids heading back to the classroom. As the father of three school-aged children myself, I know how these expenses can add up.”

The Comptroller’s office estimates that shoppers will save $112 million in state and local sales tax during this sales tax holiday.

Apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax-free are listed on the Comptroller’s website at TexasTaxHoliday.org.

During the annual sales tax holiday, qualifying items can be purchased tax free online or by telephone, mail, custom order or any other means (including in-store purchases) when either:

  • the item is both delivered to, and paid for by, the customer during the exemption period; or,
  • the customer orders and pays for the item, and the seller accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period ends.

Texas’ sales tax holiday weekend has been an annual event since 1999.

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Be aware of phone scammers

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072422 phone scammers

From Enterprise Staff

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging people to be aware of a scam that’s been going on recently in which people are impersonating employees of the sheriff’s office.

“The scammers are attempting to extort money by asking for payment for various fines over the phone. This is NOT a practice used by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office or any other legitimate law enforcement agency,” Captain Dave Sottosanti said.

“A recent example shows that scammers are using the real names of certain deputies and/or detectives who work for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and stating that they need credit card information to pay for a bond. No employee of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office will call and ask anyone for money, for any reason,” Sottosanti said. “The phone number used by the scammers are spoof numbers and are not legitimate numbers to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The phone number for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is 936-327-6810.

“There are times when detectives or deputies will contact you by phone in reference to law enforcement business and investigations, but they will NEVER ask anyone for money. If you receive this type of phone call, please contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to make a report,” Sottosanti said.

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DPS is recruiting

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072122 dps training

From Enterprise Staff

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is currently searching for applicants for upcoming recruit schools at the DPS Academy. The department is hosting a recruitment and testing session on July 23 at the Lufkin DPS Office which is located at 2809 S. John Redditt Dr. in Lufkin.

The recruiting and testing session in Lufkin offers an opportunity for those interested in a career with DPS to meet with recruiters, as well as complete the written and physical testing requirements needed, prior to applying for the DPS Training Academy.

There is no RSVP required. The point of contact is Sgt. Corey Bean at 936-404-9248. For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/3pZ3JQm.

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Helping young mothers in need

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071722 house of maryBoard members and directors take part in the ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon. Photo by Brian Besch

By Brian Besch
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A group of approximately 70 people joined founders and board members at the House of Mary just off North Houston Avenue Thursday afternoon to open the new shelter for pregnant women.

The idea started in motion August of 2015 and ground was broken on the project in March of 2019. The organization was able to pay cash for the existing building through its donations.

“There were too many times that we thought this day would never come,” House of Mary Founder and President Rusty Garcia said before cutting the ribbon. “I will say that it was God’s Army beside us that kept reminding us the purpose of what we are here for, what we are doing, and what He has placed here in Polk County.”

Garcia asked those in attendance to keep praying and spreading the word.

The House of Mary is a maternity home and can house up to eight residents at a time. Four residents will share each of the two bathrooms and each bedroom has enough for two residents per room.

“They can stay for the duration of their pregnancy and up to eight weeks postpartum,” House of Mary Co-Founder and Vice President Cyndie Schmidt said while giving a tour of the home. “While they are here, they will learn life skills like financing, meal planning, how to budget and opportunities for continuing education — whether that is finishing their GED or college degree or any short training program.”
The group is always looking for sponsors for events and monthly donations. Ladies’ Tea, an annual event, will occur each April to fundraise. General donations will go to operating expenses to keep the lights and water on, and pantry full.
The house includes a laundry room, kitchen and living room. Bible studies and family dinners will take place every night in the home. Each of the residents will take turns planning, shopping and cooking meals.

There is a house mother that will remain on duty 24 hours a day, along with other house mothers who will come in and relieve her on occasion. The home is for those 18 and older, and the house mother will serve as a mentor to offer guidance.

House of Mary is a program and not an emergency placement center. The hope is that those successful in the program will leave with housing, skills to manage and maintain a home, and a job that will support the mothers and their child.

071722 house of mary twoThe George Baily Learning Center will be used for education and research. Each mother will be responsible for meal planning and has access to laundry facilities. Bedrooms in House of Mary have space for two expecting mothers. Photos by Brian Besch

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Houston teenager drowns

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071422 houston teen drowning

From Enterprise Staff

An investigation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office into the Sunday drowning of a young man from Houston is ongoing.
“We received a 911 call in reference to a 15-year-old who went under water and did not resurface while swimming with family in the Trinity River, just below the Lake Livingston Dam,” Captain Dave Sottosanti said.

Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies, along with Texas Game Wardens, immediately arrived on the scene and began attempts to locate the youth.

“On Monday, first responders were able to recover the body of the 15-year-old, approximately 400 yards from where he initially went under water,” Sottosanti said, adding, “If anyone has any information in reference to this case, please contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 936-327-6810.”

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