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Benefit account established

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080422 benefit account

To keep youth from being deported

By Emily Banks Wooten
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Heights Conservation, a 501(c)3 foundation dedicated to the preservation of green spaces and ecologies through educational scholarships and project sponsorships, has set up a dedicated account “For the Benefit of Daniil Rusanyuk” and has raised approximately $12,000. However, an additional $4,000 is needed by the end of this week.

Daniil came to Livingston last year as an exchange student at Livingston High School. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the spring, Daniil’s family was forced to flee their homes in Kyiv. His father has since returned to Kyiv and is serving in the city’s defense. His mother is currently a refugee in Italy. His parents are displaced, unemployed and completely without resources.

Although Daniil remains here in Livingston with his host family, he is facing imminent deportation. If he is returned to Ukraine, he will be conscripted, and forced to fight in the war. Several people and organizations are working to get Daniil into college and protect him from deportation.

For Daniil to stay in the United States and go to college with an F-1 student visa, he must demonstrate financial resources (i.e., a dedicated account, managed for his sole benefit) of approximately $18,000. Raising that much money for Daniil’s student visa has been a challenge. Daniil is actively pursuing scholarship opportunities with several universities, along with conventional types of financial aid. However, most scholarships are awarded 10-12 months prior to college enrollment. Because Russia invaded Ukraine just five months ago, the vast majority of scholarship and financial aid sources are already exhausted.

However, there is the existence of a much more achievable path. In April of this year, Daniil filed for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), under 87 CFR §23211. With TPS status, Daniil could enroll in any university without having to demonstrate $18,000 in dedicated resources. More importantly, TPS status would protect him from deportation which could be a virtual death sentence.

Approval of Daniil’s application for TPS status would relieve him from the financial burden of an F-1 student visa. However, Daniil has had no response of any kind from USCIS.

Lone Star College has offered Daniil a full ride (all tuition, books, and health insurance) but does not have student housing. Work is underway with Lone Star to find a faculty member to host him, as the Lone Star College faculty is very active in hosting international students. Raising the additional $4,000 by the end of the week will be sufficient for Lone Star College to file his F-1 application.

Anyone donating through this account will get a tax deduction receipt. For information regarding the account email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Daniil’s desire is to stay in the states and earn a college degree in construction management so that he may ultimately return home and help rebuild his country.

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PCPC newspapers earn awards

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080422 ChrisEmilyTony

At Texas Press Association Convention

From Enterprise Staff

Polk County Publishing Company received 26 awards, six of which were first place, in the 2020-2021 Texas Better Newspaper Contest during the 142nd annual Texas Press Association (TPA) Convention and Trade Show June 28-30 in San Marcos. This year, 80 newspapers submitted 850 entries in the contest.

Publisher Kelli Barnes, Polk County Enterprise Editor Emily Banks Wooten, Tony Farkas, editor of the Trinity County News-Standard and the San Jacinto News-Times, and Chris Edwards, editor of the Tyler County Booster and the Houston County Courier, attended the convention and trade show, participating in numerous informative sessions on current industry topics.

The Polk County Enterprise, in Division 3, won first place awards for headline writing and news writing, second place for sports coverage, second place for best magazine, third place for feature writing, fourth place for column writing and fourth place for general excellence.

The Tyler County Booster, in Division 7, won first place for advertising and second place for feature writing, third place for headline writing, third place for feature photography and third place for column writing.

The Houston County Courier, in Division 6, received a third place for sports photography, a third place for news writing, a fourth place for headline writing and a fourth place for feature writing.

The Trinity County News-Standard, in Division 8, won first place in both headline writing and news photography, a second place in column writing, a third place in general excellence and a fourth place in sports coverage.

The San Jacinto News-Times, in Division 9, won first place for headline writing, third place for feature photography, fourth place for column writing, fourth place for sports photography and fourth place for general excellence.

Four individuals were inducted into the Texas Newspaper Foundation’s Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame for exemplary service to their communities and to the Texas newspaper industry. These included: Robert Moore, Greg Shrader, Ed Sterling and George Dolan, posthumously.
Nonnie Barton, of The Fayette County Record, and Mary Henkel Judson, of the Port Aransas South Jetty, were honored with TPA’s Golden 50 Award which honors men and women who have displayed exemplary service and selfless contributions to journalism for 50 or more years.
Next year’s convention and trade show is slated for June 1-3 at the Kalahari Resort in Round Rock.

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Parents urged to register LISD students

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080422 .lisd registrationParents urged to register LISD studentsCourtesy photo

By Brian Besch
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All Livingston ISD students, both new and returning, need to register for the 2022-23 school year before attending classes.

Registration opened in May for returning Livingston ISD students and takes about 15 minutes to complete the process. Required are uploading a current driver’s license, current electric bill to verify residency, and completing the required online forms.

LISD staff worked through the summer with three employees dedicated to supporting parents in this process. A minimum of 10 registration notifications have been sent to ease the process on the first day of school.

As of Monday evening, there were 2,485 students enrolled out of an expected 4,086 for the 2022-23 school year. The first day of school for Livingston ISD is Monday and students not registered by that time will likely be delayed in receiving a class schedule.

“As in the past, the district requires student registration prior to the release of a class schedule for secondary students or a teacher assignment for students attending the primary or elementary campuses,” LISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins said. “This greatly aids in the safety protocols for the district, ensuring an orderly first day of class.”

To register, go online to livingstonisd.com and click the yellow box. Forms may be filled out online, or could be emailed or dropped off at the campus. Bus information and a link for frequently asked questions can also be found on the page.

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Great things are happening at the Polk County Recycling Center

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073122 recycling center

By Kari Miller
County Liaison, Polk County Recycling & Beautification
With the continuation of the county-wide burn ban, more and more people are learning about the recycling center. Since outdoor burning is not an option right now, many have discovered the new recycling center and started bringing their cardboard to us to dispose of. We hope that they’ll continue bringing their cardboard, in addition to the other materials we take, since recycling old products into new ones has a wide-reaching environmental impact and helps to conserve our ever-dwindling natural resources.

It’s important to realize though that those materials going to a recycling center need to be treated differently than regular trash.

Trash ends up in a landfill, so it doesn’t matter if it gets dirty, but for recyclable materials to be turned into new products, they have to remain in relatively good condition. So, if you’ve been storing your old boxes outside for weeks or months waiting for the rain to come so you can burn them, it might be better to take those straight to the dump. If they look like trash, they probably are. Don’t forget to remove the packing inserts and break down the boxes if you can. Rule of thumb: If a box is smaller than a postcard, it’s too small for the baling machines.

In addition to cardboard and paperboard boxes, the recycling center also accepts aluminum cans, steel cans and clean plastic bottles and jugs at no charge. While we’re no longer taking paper (we ran into some safety issues), we are working on expanding the other materials we can take, especially plastic. As of this week, we are now accepting #5 plastic as well as #1 and #2. That includes take-out cups, pill bottles, reusable storage containers, and more; the plastic just needs to be clean. Look for the recycling triangle with a 1, 2 or 5 inside. Most plastic containers fall into one of these three categories, so recycling these can greatly reduce your trash bill. Soon, we’ll be able to accept even more. Just remember, if it smells like trash, it is.

We’ve got some great volunteers that enjoy working with us at the center. Since we need them to keep coming back in order to stay in operation, we don’t want our facility to start looking or smelling like a trash dump, attracting rodents and other nasty pests. So, keep them in mind when you’re getting your recyclables ready. If they’ll stink up your garage, please don’t drop them off with us.

Speaking of great volunteers, with the recent uptick in operations, there’s room for more volunteers to fill shifts at the center. If you’ve got an interest in recycling or helping to keep Polk County beautiful, our volunteers will tell you that working at the recycling center is a unique, fun and rewarding opportunity. We also welcome those that want to pitch in with marketing, fundraising and beautification projects, like our next Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup event on September 24. Visit our website - PCRBTexas.org - or stop by the center when we’re open to ask about volunteer opportunities.

We’re looking forward to our one-year anniversary in November and have come up with an exciting way for the community to get involved with a “Recycled Art” Contest. Individuals and groups can enter by creating a work of art out of materials that we accept at the Polk County Recycling Center for a chance to win prizes. Art pieces will be displayed at the recycling center Nov. 4-15, and people bringing in clean recyclables will get a chance to vote for the People’s Choice. Rules and entry forms will be coming soon to our website. We will also have some great raffle prizes from local businesses, and hope everyone will take the opportunity to come out and see us.

(Editor’s Note: The recycling center is located at 10311 State Hwy. 146 in Livingston (nine miles south of Hwy. 190), across from FM 2665. Google Maps tends to steer people wrong (telling them to turn off on Old Hwy. 146), so people should be aware of that if they rely on Google Maps for directions. Polk County Recycling & Beautification is the nonprofit organization that relies on grants, donations and volunteers to run, staff and maintain the recycling center. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.)

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