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Tribe Elects First Female Chief

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Second Chief Elect Millie Thompson WilliamsSecond Chief Elect Millie Thompson Williams

(LIVINGSTON) — The citizens of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas have elected Millie Thompson Williams as the Tribe’s Second Chief Elect. Ms. Williams will be the first woman to serve as a Chief in the history of the Tribe, which was forcefully relocated to Texas in the 18th Century.

The Second Chief is known within the Tribe as the Mikko Istimatokla. The role of both the Principal and Second Tribal Chiefs, which serve for a lifetime, is to act as ambassadors of the Tribe and to provide cultural advice to the Tribal Council and key Tribal committees. Ms. Williams will be officially inaugurated along with Mikko Choba Elect (Principal Chief) Kanicu Donnis Battise on Sunday, January 1, 2023. The previous Mikko Choba, Herbert G. Johnson, Sr., passed away in August 2021. 

Ms. Williams is a lifelong resident of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal community and has been an educator and Health/Mental Health Coordinator of the Tribe’s Head Start Program for over thirty-five years.  She is also a Sunday School teacher at the Indian Village Assembly of God Church, leading the classes in the Tribal language.  She is a Tribal elder who is consulted for language preservation within the Tribal community.

A mother of four children and grandmother to six, Ms. Williams is humbly honored by this monumental and distinguished vote as the Tribe’s next Mikko Istimatokla, which will place her in a highly esteemed position within the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.

“This is an absolutely historic moment for our Tribe,” said Ricky Sylestine, the Chairman of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Tribal Council. “We are proud of our new Second Chief and look forward to this new chapter in our story.  She will be a great leader for our Tribe, and her election will send a positive message to all of the young people in our community. The upcoming inauguration of our new Chiefs is going to be a very exciting time for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.”

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas has the oldest reservation in Texas, located on approximately 10,200 acres near Livingston. The Tribe is a fully functioning sovereign government with a full array of health and human services, including law enforcement and emergency services. There are more than 1,300 members, about half of whom live on the reservation. The Tribe is governed by an elected Tribal Council and advised by the Principal Chief and Second chief.

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Tribe elects second chief by historic vote

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By Enterprise Staff

Millie T. WilliamsMillie T. WilliamsThe Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas historically elected Millie Thompson Williams as its second chief-elect on Sept. 14. Williams is a lifelong resident of the Alabama-Coushatta tribal community and has been an educator and health/mental health coordinator of the tribe’s Head Start Program for over 35 years.

She is also a Sunday School teacher at the Indian Village Assembly of God Church, leading the classes in the tribal language. Williams is a tribal elder that is consulted for language preservation within the tribal community.

A mother of four and grandmother of six, Williams said she is humbly honored by this monumental and distinguished vote as the tribe’s next Mikko Istimatokla, which will place her in a highly esteemed position within the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.

The role of both the principal and second tribal chiefs, which serve for a lifetime, is to act as ambassadors of the tribe and to provide cultural advice to the tribal council and key tribal committees.

Williams will be officially inaugurated along with Mikko Choba Elect (Principal Chief) Kanicu Donnis Battise on Jan. 1, 2023.

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Livingston High School Threat

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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. 

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Scammer sentenced to 10 years

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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.

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

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Marty Stuart and band photo 26938

By Emily Banks Wooten
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“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.

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