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Jailer arrested for sex with inmate

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From Enterprise Staff

The Texas Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers arrested a jailer at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Thursday. Charity Desirae Prince, 25, was charged with improper sexual activity with a person in custody, a second-degree felony.

The investigation by the Texas Rangers is ongoing and was begun at the request of Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons. No additional information is available at this time.

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Naskila CFO serves as panelist at Tulsa conference

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From Enterprise Staff

Naskila Casino Chief Financial Officer Stephanie Williams served as one of three panelists at the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Conference held August 15-16 in Tulsa.

Topics the three panelists discussed were the events during COVID and how the pandemic affected their casinos and how the casinos strategized to recover and open their doors again after months of temporary closure.

“During the COVID period, we knew we were eventually going to temporarily close our doors, so we planned and set aside funding from our casino revenues to keep all our employees with paid salaries and benefits until we were able to reopen Naskila Casino,” Williams said.

Other topics discussed were the years of battling with the State of Texas to keep Naskila Casino open. A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last July, affirmed the tribe’s right to operate Class II electronic bingo.

Williams discussed the significant impact Naskila Casino has on the local economy through the creation of new jobs, assistance with tribal projects, programs and health services, as well as supporting the local communities with donations and sponsorships.

“The favorable decision by the U.S. Supreme Court for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe was a monumental event for us. This meant more jobs for our tribal members, more health care, more education funding for our tribal members and more economic opportunities for the tribe,” Williams said.

Naskila Casino is owned and operated by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas on State Park Road 56 off of U.S. Hwy. 190 East in Livingston. The casino has 825 Class II Gaming devices, Timbers Grille Restaurant and Cafe Itto si. The tribe also owns Lake Tombigbee Campgrounds, with a 26-acre lake complete with RV hookups, primitive campsites, swimming and fishing. The Alabama-Coushatta One Stop has a 17-bay fuel station including diesel fuel, convenience store, tobacco shop/gift shop and a food concession. For more information, call 936-563-2WIN or check out the website at www.naskila.com.

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Goodrich man receives 99-year sentence for 2017 murder of wife

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From Enterprise Staff

John Orbon Speights, 78 of Goodrich, was sentenced to 99 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the Aug. 26, 2017 murder of his wife, Carolyn Carroll, in the 411th District Court on Monday.

On Aug. 26, 2017, Carroll activated her Life Alert, stating that her husband, Speights, was drunk and she was afraid. Representatives of Life Alert contacted the Polk County Sheriff’s Office when they were unable to make contact with her after she activated the alert a second time. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call and found Carroll non-responsive. Speights was arrested that night for first degree murder.

Following the announcement of the sentence by 411th District Judge John E. Wells III, a member of the family gave a victim impact statement prior to Speights leaving the courtroom. Speights was represented by Bobby L. Phillips of Livingston.

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AG acquitted in impeachment trial

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By Emily Banks Wooten
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Senator Robert Nichols was one of only two Republican senators to vote for articles of impeachment against Attorney General Ken Paxton. The other was Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills.

“I voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton because of the credible testimony I heard, and the many thousands of pages of evidence presented during trial,” Nichols said.

Paxton was acquitted by the state Senate of 16 charges in his recent impeachment trial, allowing him to keep his job as the top lawyer in the state. He was impeached earlier this year by the Texas House of Representatives based on allegations that he misused his office.

“The evidence included testimony from many of his top staff, including First Assistant AG Jeff Mateer, Deputy First Assistant AG Ryan Bangert, Deputy AG for Legal Counsel Ryan Vassar, Director of Law Enforcement Texas Ranger David Maxwell, Deputy AG for Criminal Justice Mark Penley, Deputy AG for Civil Litigation Darren McCarty and Deputy AG for Policy and Strategic Initiatives Blake Brickman. I believe these individuals displayed tremendous courage by reporting what they witnessed as violations of law,” Nichols said.

“Their testimony, combined with the totality of all the other evidence presented by the House Board of Managers, proved to me beyond a reasonable doubt that the Attorney General’s actions violated Texas law and his oath of office. The oath I swore, to render a true verdict based on the evidence presented, did not leave room for politics or second guessing. I have – and always will – vote for what I believe is right,” Nichols said.

The impeachment split the chambers of the state’s Republican-led legislature down the middle. Paxton was impeached in the House by a 121-23 margin, with 60 Republicans joining 61 Democrats in voting to impeach. Once the trial reached the Senate, however, the margins were flipped, with 16 Republican senators voting to acquit him and the two Republican senators joining 12 Democrats in voting to convict, falling short of the 21 total votes needed to remove him from office.

Copies of the evidence the court considered, as well as a complete audio-video record of the arguments are available online at www.senate.texas.gov/coi.

Nichols was first elected to the Texas Senate in 2006. He represents 18 counties including the greater part of East and Southeast Texas.

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Bomb threat at judicial center

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The Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a possible bomb threat at the Polk County Judicial Center Friday at 8:20 a.m.

The facility was evacuated, and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation and coordinated a response with the assistance of the Texas Ranger’s Division.
A thorough search of the building and surrounding area was conducted, with no dangerous or suspicious materials located.  

After further investigation, a suspect was quickly identified and the threat was deemed not credible.

At this time, there is no continued threat or danger to the public or employees associated with the investigation. 

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