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School board candidates may submit announcements

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SchoolBoardCandidate

From Enterprise Staff

Individuals running for school board in the Nov. 8 election may submit a one-time free announcement and photo to the Polk County Enterprise to introduce yourself and your vision to our readers. This announcement and photo may be emailed to the editor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The photo should be a large .jpg (actual size when emailing) and the announcement should be typed in a Word document not to exceed 400 words. Both should be emailed to the editor or may be brought into the office on a USB flash drive.

The announcements will run on a first come first served basis as space allows. The deadline to submit announcements is Sept. 20. If you have any additional questions, please contact the editor at the above email address.

Out advertising staff is available to assist with your advertising needs and our Print Shop can help with political signs and other printed materials. Contact Jessica at 936-327-4357 for pricing and available products.

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Recycling headed to Onalaska

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Recycle graphic

But volunteers are needed

By Emily Banks Wooten
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In its 10 months of operation, the Polk County Recycling Center has diverted over 62,000 pounds of materials from the Polk County Landfill. The center is operated by Polk County Recycling & Beautification (PCRB), a nonprofit organization that has partnered with Polk County to provide a reliable recycling service for the residents of East Texas, sustained by grants, donations and the sale of recyclable materials.

The venture has been such as success that PCRB is now in the process of bringing recycling to Onalaska. The county is providing a drop-off area and storage at the Onalaska Citizen’s Collection Station at 416 Onalaska Loop. PCRB will be responsible for managing the site and transporting materials to the recycling center in Livingston.

“Before we can open the Onalaska site, we will need more volunteers and we will need to raise funds for additional staffing and transportation of materials. It will cost us at least $500 a month to operate the site,” Operations Manager Brian McNinch said. “PCRB is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and we rely almost entirely on grants and donations to fund our recycling operation.”

The recycling center is located at 10311 Hwy. 146 in Livingston at the intersection of Hwy. 146 and FM 2665. The hours for collection are Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The enter can accept #1-#7 plastics, flattened corrugated cardboard and aluminum and steel “tin” cans.

“We ask that all materials be relatively clean which will make them more valuable to our buyers, helping us to support the program for years to come. We also ask that materials be presorted as much as possible,” McNinch said.

“We are now accepting most #1-#7 plastics, but no Styrofoam. These include bottles, jugs, jars, cups and food/household containers. Look for the recycling triangles. We are also accepting plastic grocery bags and any other bags/wrap that have a recycling triangle with a 2, 4, or Store Drop-off inside,” McNinch said.

“We are no longer accepting paper or paperboard boxes. Paperboard boxes are not corrugated and include cereal and soda boxes. We can now only accept corrugated cardboard, and we ask that you please flatten all boxes,” McNinch said.

“We are looking for volunteers to assist with collection and sorting materials, and welcome those that want to learn about recycling best practices and help spread the word throughout the community,” McNinch said.

To learn more about volunteering or donating, visit PCRBTexas.org or Facebook.com/PCRBTexas. Checks may be mailed to 10311 TX-146, Livingston, TX 77351. Call 936-337-3315 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional information.

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Volunteer group helps local veteran return home

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Polk County Recovers, the county’s long-term recovery group, recently celebrated one of its first success stories when the organization helped a local veteran return to his home after it was severely impacted by Winter Storm Uri in February 2021. (l-r) Polk County Recovers Board President Vernon Ware, Precinct 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent, Homeowner Robert Johnson and Johnson’s son, Mark Johnson. Courtesy photoPolk County Recovers, the county’s long-term recovery group, recently celebrated one of its first success stories when the organization helped a local veteran return to his home after it was severely impacted by Winter Storm Uri in February 2021. (l-r) Polk County Recovers Board President Vernon Ware, Precinct 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent, Homeowner Robert Johnson and Johnson’s son, Mark Johnson. Courtesy photo

By Emily Banks Wooten
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Polk County Recovers celebrated a success story recently when the organization helped a local veteran return to his home after it was severely impacted by Winter Storm Uri in February 2021.

“This was a long road for Mr. Robert Johnson who soon after his home flooded due to the freeze, he had a car accident resulting in him being airlifted to Houston and spending much of the past year in a rehabilitation facility. Thankfully, he recovered from his accident, but his home was not livable for some time,” County Recovery Liaison Melissa Gates said.

Through the efforts of Polk County Recovers, the county’s recognized long-term recovery organization, and Randy Hill of Randy’s Handyman Services, and with funding available from St. Bernard Project (SBP), Johnson’s home was completed in April of this year.

“Due to his extended time receiving fulltime care, the transition back home was delayed so that he could be properly prepared for independent living.” Gates said. “At long last he is back in his home and on Aug. 5 he was welcomed back by Polk County Recovers Board President Vernon Ware, Precinct 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent, his son Mark from Minnesota, and myself.”

Polk County Recovers is the name of the county’s Long-Term Recovery Group (LTRG) which was formed about a year ago. A LTRG is a cooperative body that is made up of representatives and volunteers from faith-based, non-profit, government, business and other organizations working within a community to assist individuals and families in their recovery after a disaster such as hurricanes or tornados.

Recovery is that time in which communities and organizations help affected households develop and implement plans on how to best move forward following disaster, and by providing trusted viable resources. This time period can be months to years.

One of the main goals of an LTRG is to assist individuals and families with long-term recovery following a natural or man-made disaster by determining their unmet needs through a case management program and working to obtain the resources necessary to meet those needs while avoiding duplication of services.

“It was a pleasure working on this project and helping Mr. Johnson return home, but this would not have been possible without the funding from SBP,” Gates said.

SBP, or St. Bernard Project, is a nonprofit, disaster relief organization. After temporarily volunteering in St. Bernard Parish, La. after Hurricane Katrina, Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg returned permanently in March 2006 and founded the project. The organization eventually expanded to include offices in Baton Rouge, La., Joplin, Mo., Columbia, S.C., New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia.

“Since 2017, SBP’s SHARE Intervention has granted $6.7 million to dozens of rebuilding partners across five disaster-impacted states, shared 72 AmeriCorps members and trained 1,073 individuals from 31 organizations on disaster recovery best practices. The added capacity led to their partners rebuilding more than 800 homes for families than SBP could have done alone,” Gates said.

Polk County Recovers received its 501(c)3 non-profit status and is presently working on the construction of its website as it continues to seek available funding sources.

Polk County Recovers’ board has undergone disaster leadership team training and meets regularly. “I have a great board. These are active people who participate. I’m blessed by the group that we have put together,” Gates said.

 Gates also serves as the county’s veterans service officer. She said that additional training is on the horizon and that she really wants to put together a veterans group as responders.

So what does Polk County Recovers need most? Money, manpower and materials. To learn more about the organization, or to volunteer, contact Gates at 936-933-2735.

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Filing ends for school board races

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school board race graphic

From Enterprise Staff

Filing ended Monday for those seeking to place their name on the ballot to run for Board of Trustees in the Livingston, Leggett and Big Sandy Independent School Districts. These three districts will hold their school trustee elections Nov. 8. The other school districts in the county – Corrigan-Camden, Goodrich and Onalaska ISDs – held their trustee elections the first Saturday of May.

Eight people have filed for the four at-large positions available on the Livingston ISD board. Incumbents Marty Drake and Kevin Wooten filed for reelection. Others filing include Andrew Boyce, Kevin Grimm, Mandi Pipes, Cynthia Thomas, Christopher Moehlmann and John D. Whiteside. Candidates for Livingston ISD School Board will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday to draw names for ballot order.

Leggett ISD will be able to cancel its trustee election as Incumbents Vicki Russell, Irma Rodriguez and Marcus Bailey all filed for reelection and drew no challengers.

Big Sandy ISD will also be able to cancel its trustee election as all incumbents filed for reelection and drew no challengers. The incumbents include Darrell Murphy, Sheila Neal, Lyndon Alec, Maynard Williams, Zack Williford and Kabe Murphy.

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Wiggins warns of scam

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Scam Graphic

By Emily Banks Wooten
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Scammers have been working overtime lately to take people’s money, resorting to intimidation tactics, as well as threats of arrest and threats of utilities being disconnected. Livingston City Manager Bill S. Wiggins is warning people to be aware of the scams and not fall for them.

“Earlier this week, we learned that scammers were calling city customers saying they were with our electric department, that their bill was past due and they needed to give their credit or debit card information to avoid being disconnected,” Wiggins said. “Our phone was blowing up. We got eight or 10 calls.

“We would never, ever contact someone and threaten to cut their utilities off,” Wiggins said, urging citizens to call the city office if they do receive one of these calls.

After learning of the scam, the city immediately put an alert on its website and its Facebook page and also sent emails and automated calls to customers.

“The City of Livingston Utility Department has received reports of scammers calling the public falsely representing the city and demanding immediate payment of utility bills. These calls are not from the city. Please do not give these callers your credit or debit card information, and call Livingston City Hall if you have any questions,” the alert said.

To sign up to be on the city’s contact list for emergency situations, highway closures or other updates such as this, go to the city’s website at cityoflivingston-tx.com or call 936-327-4311 or go by city hall at 200 W. Church St.

Just last week, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office was warning people to be aware of scams after learning that strangers were calling local citizens, purporting to be sheriff’s deputies, and threatening to come arrest them if they didn’t give their credit or debit card number and expiration.

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