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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024

OLDER SPORTSMEN HAVE MORE FUN

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

Polk County News

Additional arrests made in murder investigation

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More Suspects

By Emily Banks Wooten
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Additional warrants have been issued and arrests made in conjunction with the investigation into the Jan. 2 shooting at a residence in Kickapoo Marina Subdivision that left one dead and three wounded.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office received calls around 11:25 p.m. Jan. 2 in reference to a shooting at the residence. Detectives arrived at the location and identified the homeowners as William Kenneth Schultea, 42, and Britney Alice Campbell, 42, both of Livingston. Detectives also located a deceased male, identified as James Michael McClanhan, 50 of Livingston. A search warrant was obtained and a large quantity of narcotics were also found in the home.    

Detectives were able to determine that three males who were involved also suffered gunshot wounds. They were identified as Schultea, Derrek Monroe Hughes, 33 of Shelbyville, and David Eugene Stimmell, 50 of Trinity.  Hughes and Stimmell were located later that night and transferred to CHI St. Luke’s Hospital, although both were later transferred to out of county hospitals for further treatment. Schultea was located later that day at a residence in San Jacinto County with a single gunshot wound.  He was then also transported to an out of county hospital.

Sheriff’s Office detectives, along with assistance from the Texas Rangers Office, located several witnesses who identified many of the parties involved in this incident.

Stimmell was arrested and charged with murder, tampering with evidence and violation of a protective order. He is in the Polk County Jail on bonds totaling over $1 million. Steven Ray Davis was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and remains in the Polk County Jail on bonds totaling over $90,000. Campbell was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance but is out on a $30,000 bond.

Warrants have been issued for Schultea for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a controlled substance and for Hughes for two pardon and parole warrants, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and failure to identify fugitive.

“I would like to thank the Polk County District Attorney’s Office, Texas Rangers Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Games Wardens Dive Teams, Onalaska Police Department and the offices of Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Terri Mayer and Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Jamie Richardson for assisting in the investigation,” Sheriff Byron Lyons said.

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Icy roads prompt closures, one fatality

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From Enterprise Staff

The Arctic cold front that sent temperatures plummeting the last few days resulted in an extra day off for local students. Students in Livingston, Leggett, Goodrich, Onalaska, Big Sandy and Corrigan-Camden ISDs were already off Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. However, the inclement weather resulted in school officials in all six districts opting to close Tuesday as well. All of the districts were slated to return to school on Wednesday, although a couple of the districts (Goodrich and Corrigan-Camden) were having delayed starts to accommodate the buses.

Icy road conditions also resulted in all Polk County offices, as well as City of Livingston offices and City of Onalaska offices opting to close Tuesday.

A series of five separate collisions prompted by the icy road conditions on U.S. 59 on the Trinity River Bridge south of Goodrich around 8:30 a.m. Monday resulted in a 12-vehicle pileup that resulted in the death of a Jasper woman and three other individuals being transported to area hospitals with injuries sustained in the collisions.

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Tribe swears in first appellate judges

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TribalCouncilThe Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Tribal Council and Principal Chief Donnis Battise begin a new year. (l-r) Melanie Battise, Nita Battise, Ricky Sylestine, Donnis Battise, Ronnie Thomas, Crystal Stephenson, Tina Battise and Yolanda Poncho. (Below) Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Principal Chief Donnis Battise swears in Jeremy Sylestine as the tribe’s first ever chief appellate judge. Sylestine is joined by his father, Ricky Sylestine, who serves as chairman of the Alabama Coushatta Tribe of Texas Tribal Council. (l-r) Battise, Sylestine and Sylestine. Courtesy photo

From Enterprise Staff

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas swore in its first-ever appellate court judges recently, including a tribal member who will serve as chief appellate judge.

The Appellate Division of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Court System hears appeals from the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Court, which handles civil, criminal and child custody matters, including child support. The tribe created the court system almost 10 years ago after a change in federal law granted tribes more authority to handle criminal matters, as long as judges are law-trained and public defender services are offered to those charged. The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe was one of the first in the country to set up its own court system in compliance with the new law.

Tribal member Jeremy Sylestine, who has extensive experience as a prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer, was sworn in as the tribe’s first chief appellate judge on Jan. 8. He later swore in two other appellate judges – Alfred Urbina, the attorney general of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Derrick Beetso, a professor of Indian law at Arizona State University.

“We are honored to take on this responsibility and to administer justice on behalf of the tribe and tribal citizens,” Sylestine said. “The existence of this court system is an important exercise of our sovereignty.”

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Court has two law-trained attorney judges, as well as a tribal prosecutor and two public defenders. A Peacemaker Court consisting of three tribal community leaders attempts to resolve disputes outside of the Tribal Court, using culturally appropriate resolution methods, when requested by the parties.

Also on Jan. 8, the tribe swore in returning Tribal Council Member Yolanda Poncho for her second term, as well as new Tribal Council Member Tina Battise. Council Member Battise replaces longtime Council Member Roland Poncho.

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Arctic cold front To bring hazardous conditions

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111524 bad weatherWeather conditions as of Monday 6 a.m. from the National Weather Service for Polk County

From Enterprise Staff

An arctic blast is expected to send temperatures plummeting to 20-30 degrees below normal over the weekend and into Wednesday, giving the area the coldest temperatures in years and creating hazardous conditions.

The National Weather Service has forecasted temperatures as low as 23 degrees on Monday morning, 17 degrees on Tuesday morning, and 16 degrees on Wednesday morning. The Polk County area may have approximately 61 consecutive hours of below-freezing temperatures.

According to Dan Reilly of the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service, an arctic cold front was forecast to cross the area from north to south late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Behind the front, a very cold air mass will overspread the area bringing very low temperatures and wind chills.

Dangerously cold windchill values of 16 degrees Monday morning, 2 degrees Tuesday morning, and 10 degrees Wednesday morning are in the forecast. Limit time outdoors to reduce risk of hypothermia.

Light freezing rain or freezing drizzle is possible starting late Sunday night into Monday evening. Amounts are uncertain, but generally less than 0.10 inches is expected. There is a probability of minor impacts from icing, mainly icy patches on roadways, especially bridges and overpasses, and slick spots on sidewalks.

Crews with the Texas Department of Transportation in the nine-county Lufkin District began pre-treatment operations and shift work on Friday ahead of a winter weather event expected late Sunday.

A meeting was held Wednesday morning to plan emergency operations and responses. Crews will begin placing a brine mixture on major roadways, overpasses, and bridges Friday ahead of the predicted winter weather. Crews will again treat Saturday and/or Sunday, if needed. 

If freezing precipitation occurs, workers will monitor and inspect roadways and bridges, and again treat with brine, if necessary. Should roadways need to be cleared of winter precipitation, equipment will be staged for quicker response times in local areas. Tier I roadways will be treated and monitored. Those roadways include U.S. 59 and U.S. 259. Bridges and overpasses throughout the district will also be treated, including those on U.S. 69, U.S. 190, U.S. 84, U.S. 287, and U.S. 259, S.H. 94, S.H. 103, S.H. 7, S.H. 21 and others throughout the district.

“While we know how unpredictable East Texas weather can be, TxDOT plans to be prepared and respond appropriately should we see extreme winter weather,” public information officer Rhonda Oaks said. “We ask that motorists slow down and give our crews room to work, should they encounter TxDOT vehicles and workers preparing the roadways.”

Brine operations are a moving work zone. Motorists should obey all traffic control in place, do not try to pass a TxDOT moving convoy placing brine, and stay alert for the possibility of crews working near the roadways during this time.

For more information on work TxDOT will perform, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 936-633-4395. To monitor TXDOT road conditions, visit www.DriveTexas.org.

All are encouraged to check people, pets, pipes, plants and pools. Check on your family, elderly and neighbors that may need help winterizing their home or a warm place to stay. Bring pets indoors. Ensure adequate warmth for livestock. Cover or insulate exposed pipes, including those pipes underneath raised homes. Apply a thick layer of mulch around plants. Water your plants, which helps trap heat or slow heat loss around the plant. Cover plants or bring potted plants inside a shelter or into your garage.

Life Vine Church in Livingston has communicated to Polk County Emergency Management that their Thirty-Two Degrees ministry will be operational Sunday night, Monday (all day, possibly into Tuesday) Friday and Saturday. For more information and details on the Thirty-Two Degrees ministry, contact Life Vine Church.

To view the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s warming center map, go to https://tdem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/instant/interactivelegend/index.html?appid=063f8332ed0 24ebe8cf0760576311d0f.

Polk County Emergency Management urges everyone to remain informed on weather and local hazards by following their Facebook page, visiting www.PolkCountyOEM.com and by registering with AlertMePolkCounty to receive emergency alerts at https://polk.genasys.com/portal/en.

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GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER

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Exhibit 4

The Polk County Memorial Museum has a new temporary exhibit that is open now through Jan. 26. Called “National George Washington Carver Day: Scientist, Inventor and Educator; Honoring the Father of Modern Agriculture,” the exhibit honors Carver on the anniversary of his death which occurred on Jan. 5, 1943. Born into slavery and emancipated at age 12, Carver sought out an education and dedicated his life to educating students at the Tuskegee Institute. He pioneered crop rotation and salvaged the failing economy of the south. The exhibit includes raw peanuts and soybeans that have been clear coated to reduce dust. Polk County Memorial Museum is located at 514 W. Mill St. in Livingston. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays and the second and fourth Saturdays. Admission is free to all. Courtesy photos

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