Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Polk County News

Livingston High School Threat

Write a comment

091522 shooting threat

Many parents of Livingston ISD students were on campus Monday morning to check their child out of school.

A social media post from Sunday night was somehow linked to Livingston ISD and discovered by school officials around 7:30 a.m. Monday morning.

Livingston ISD officials released a statement Monday regarding the matter.

"At 8 p.m. last night, a viral "Snapchat" threat was sent through social media. After investigation, it is believed the actual post was generated from the Dayton, Texas, area and the Dayton Police Department has a person of interest that is being investigated behind the incident. The post has been removed from social media, and there is no information that this was ever a threat targeting Livingston ISD. We do not take this kind of threat lightly, and we have all the necessary protocols in place to ensure the safety of students, staff, and the community, which is our highest priority."

Livingston Police and state troopers were both on campus as a line of vehicles backed up to the front entrance of the high school. The Polk County Enterprise will have more on the story in the Thursday edition. 

  • Hits: 2768

Scammer sentenced to 10 years

Write a comment

David Bryan SchefflerDavid Bryan SchefflerFrom Enterprise Staff

A Houston man who was repeatedly arrested for forging deeds to sell property that he did not own, across counties that included Harris, Polk and San Jacinto, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg recently announced.

“People need to know that scams like this exist, and the scammers often target the elderly,” Ogg said. “And it’s important that these predators know that there are real consequences, including giving back all the money and prison time.”

David Bryan Scheffler, 61, was sentenced to 10 years by visiting state District Judge Randy Roll after Harris County prosecutors showed that Scheffler had swindled people in fraudulent real estate sales involving at least five properties across Southeast Texas, including Polk County and San Jacinto County, while he was on probation for the same crime in Harris County.

Scheffler, who had previously been on probation for theft by check of more than $1,500, was arrested in 2012 for forging deeds to sell property that did not belong to him amounting to more than $242,000, a first-degree felony punishable by a maximum of life in prison.

Scheffler agreed to pay back the money in 2014 and was sentenced to 10 years of probation. Instead of stopping his scams, he simply moved his criminal operation north where he began forging deeds to fraudulently sell property in at least two rural counties in East Texas.

He was arrested in Polk County in 2020 for forgery of a financial instrument and was brought back to Houston where the Harris County District Attorney’s Office worked to get his probation revoked and see that he was sentenced to prison.

Assistant District Attorney Valerie Turner, chief of the DA’s Consumer Fraud section, who prosecuted the case with ADA Haley New, said the victims were mostly elderly owners (or heirs of deceased owners) of property stolen by Scheffler.

“He would sell a property to an unsuspecting buyer without contacting the true owner and sometimes filed forged deeds in an effort to represent the estates of the deceased true owners,” Turner said. “He was not going to stop victimizing the elderly and unsuspecting public until he was held accountable.”

Precautions that property owners can take to ensure they are not being victimized include:

Checking appraisal district records online at least once a year to make sure all properties are still in their names.

Receiving a tax bill once a year. If they don’t, that is a red flag.

Purchasing title fraud insurance.

  • Hits: 1481

Marty Stuart’s coming back to town long with His Fabulous Superlatives

Write a comment

Marty Stuart and band photo 26938

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

“An Evening With Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives,” presented by the Smith Family Foundation, is planned for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Polk County Commerce Center located at 1017 U.S. 59 Loop North in Livingston.

“Mom and Dad put together this foundation way back in the 90s because they loved education, culture, art, churches and they wanted to make sure that the people in the community would have these things,” Robert Smith said, referring to his parents, Sidney and Edythe Ann Smith, who formed The Smith Family Foundation. 

This will be Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives’ second performance at the Polk County Commerce Center in Livingston. They first performed at the commerce center in April of 2016.

Stuart is an American country and bluegrass music singer, songwriter and musician. He has recorded over 20 studio albums and has charted over 30 times on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Stuart has also won five Grammy Awards out of 16 nominations. He is known for his combination of rockabilly, country rock, and bluegrass music influences, his frequent collaborations and cover songs, and his distinctive stage dress. Stuart is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame.

Tickets range from $30-$75 and are presently on sale. The link to order tickets is https://tinyurl.com/m2cwkfw4. However, tickets may also be purchased on the Polk County Commerce Center Facebook page by clicking on the ticket link. 

Ticket prices are as follows:

• Front center floor seating - $75

• Front side floor seating - $65

• Middle center floor seating - $45

• Middle side floor seating - $40

• General admission (no assigned seat) - $30

General admission tickets only are available at Main Street Merchandise and the lobbies of First National Bank Downtown Branch and First National Bank Onalaska Branch.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Polk County Higher Education and Technology Foundation.

“I’d really like to express my appreciation to The Smith Family Foundation for graciously bringing Marty Stuart to town,” Andy Evans, president of the Polk County Higher Education and Technology Foundation, said.

  • Hits: 712

Livingston man arrested after leaving repair jobs incomplete


Casey Dion SmelleyCasey Dion SmelleyA Livingston man was arrested after several people claim he took their money for remodeling work that was not finished.

Casey Dion Smelley, 29, is said to have represented himself as a contractor on home repairs. He reportedly has been hired by multiple homeowners, accepted money, then left jobs incomplete.
A woman who spoke to the Enterprise on the condition of anonymity said she has lost over $35,000 and has a bid for another $170,000 to fix what Smelley’s company left, and finish the work she wanted originally.

“He was arrested for misappropriation of funds, because he would take people’s money and he wouldn’t finish the remodel, or he would just take the money and not do the job,” the woman said. 

The woman entrusted the money to Smelley, she said, because he told her if she didn’t “lock in” a price now, the job would cost double when complete because of inflation.

“That’s how he would talk people into giving him half of the money,” the woman said. “There’s about six or seven people that have come forward to the detective and told him that they got scammed by him also. He’s taken over $150,000 and there’s got to be more.”

A report from the Polk County Sheriff’s Department shows that Smelley was arrested by the Livingston Police Department Aug. 9. The charge of misapplication of fiduciary property or property of financial institution is listed between $30,000 and $150,000. 

Under Section 32.45 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual commits an offense when he intentionally, knowingly or recklessly misapplies property he holds as a fiduciary in a manner that involves substantial risk of loss to the owner of the property.

“The work that he did was so bad that I’m going to have to have it tore out,” she said. “He didn’t finish one thing that he had to do. He did half of everything in each room.”

  • Hits: 6376

Family of eight saved by good Samaritans


082522 family savedBob Earl (left) and Trevor Mayhue near the slip from where they launched to save a family of eight. A special thanks to John Evans for bringing the story to the Enterprise. Courtesy photo

From Enterprise Staff

What was to be a day of fun quickly turned into a life-threatening situation for a family of eight in Lake Livingston.

Late in the evening of June 17, Bob Earl, owner of Lake Life Concierge, returned home to find law enforcement officers limiting access to his lakefront home. When asked, a deputy sheriff informed that there were people in the water and they could not respond.

Earl, along with 20-year-old Concierge employee Trevor Mayhue and his 22-year-old brother, Josh, quickly launched the company Tritoon boat into a dark sky blowing 20-knot winds with oncoming four-foot waves bouncing off the nearby bulkhead.

“We had the boat in the water in about a minute, but I was lucky to get it out of the slip, to be honest with you,” Earl said. “The swells were pushing me.”

A father with two daughters were the first to be found. The father had managed to hold onto their wave runner that had capsized, but the two girls had to be lifted from the wa-ter. The large waves had unseated them both. Closely followed by their father, the girls were taken to a protected cove near Tigerville and Country Lane.

Earl, Trevor and Josh then went back into the storm to find the wife and two sons. All three were in the water with their inverted wave runner rolling around nearby. The mother reportedly said her goodbyes by cellphone and was near drowning when Earl arrived. Trevor jumped in to help all three onto the boat, which then sailed back to the protected cove where the family and sheriff deputies joyfully greeted their safe return.

“We got on them just in time,” Earl said of rescuing the mother and two sons. “We caught them with a spotlight. The cops just gave me a general idea of where they thought they were, and we just got lucky. The wave action was really intense. They had (life)jackets on. The oldest son had a whistle. I have a P.A. system on the front of my boat and I was able to call out.”

One last trip was made to find two remaining family members stranded on Pine Island. Both were found and retrieved from the beach and reunited with the others.

The family was new to the lake and their wave runners had ferried family members from their launching point to Pine Island for a day on the beach.

As often happens, the storm caught the family unaware. Without wearing life jackets, Earl believes the day would have turned deadly.

The following morning, the team led by Earl found and retrieved the other wave run-ner, towing it ashore to its owner.

  • Hits: 6243