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OEM urges be prepared for wildfires

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FireFighter STOCK

From Enterprise Staff

The Polk County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is urging everyone to be prepared for wildfires due to the elevated wildfire risk.

“Hot and dry weather conditions in the state are expected to continue with no substantial precipitation in the immediate forecast to bring relief. The National Weather Service and Texas Forest Service warn that an increase in fire activity is possible for our area late this week as high temperatures persist, winds increase and soil moisture is depleted,” Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Courtney Comstock said.

“According to the Texas Forest Service, wildfires due to lightning may emerge in dry fuels and could be difficult to contain and extinguish,” Comstock said.

Residents are encouraged to prepare a go-bag should you need to evacuate your home. Plan evacuation routes and know where you will go to seek shelter and safety. Know how to obtain information by following the OEM on Facebook for notifications and updates; visiting the website at www.PolkCountyOEM.com for information; and registering for AlertMePolkCounty to receive emergency alerts from the OEM, by visiting https://polk.genasys.com/portal/en.

To prepare for wildfires, the OEM recommends the following:

•Inform everyone in your household about the evacuation plan.

•Update important documents and store copies securely online.

•Ensure insurance policies and IDs are current.

•Locate an outdoor water source with a long hose.

•Create a 30-foot fire-resistant zone around your home.

•Practice evacuation routes with family and pets.

•Decide on a safe evacuation location.

•Keep your vehicle fueled and ready for quick departure.

•Follow local authorities’ instructions and safety guidelines.

•Prepare a go-bag with ample supplies, including a first aid kit.

•Gradually stock up on essentials to minimize shopping trips.

•Handle flammable household products with care.

•Keep your cell phone charged and have backup charging devices.

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Former local inducted into hall of fame

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From Enterprise Staff

Scott GallowayScott GallowayScott Galloway, a 1995 graduate of Livingston High School, is one of three people who were inducted into the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association (SWATA) Hall of Fame during a ceremony held July 21 at the 69th annual meeting of SWATA in Arlington. His mother, Terri Galloway of Livingston, was given the honor of pinning him in the prestigious ceremony. The other inductees were Doin Dahlke and James “Bubba” Wilson.

Galloway is currently the Director of Athletics for the White Settlement Independent School District. He served WSISD as Associate Director of Athletics from 2018-2022. Prior to that, he served DeSoto ISD as Assistant Athletic Director & Director of Sports Medicine from 1999-2013 and 2015-2018. He worked for Texas Health Resources from 2013-2015 in sports medicine and orthopedic service line development.

Galloway holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health education from Texas A&M University and an MBA from WGU Texas. He has supported teams in 11 UIL state championships and 10 UIL state runner-ups. He is an author and presenter for the Texas High School Athletic Directors Associations’ athletic administrator’s certification course, and serves on the THSADA TAAC committee.

He helped author and implement HB 2038 which governs how Texas public schools manage concussions. He is a frequent national speaker on topics including sickle cell trait and sudden death, GPS and athletic performance, concussion, and program development.

Galloway was inducted into the inaugural Texas State Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Honor. He has been awarded the John Harvey Humanitarian Award, the James Dodson New Horizon Award, the Eddie Wojecki Award and the Bobby Gunn Unsung Hero Award by the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association. He was awarded the Athletic Training Service Award by the NATA and the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award by SWATA. He has served on the NATA Finance Committee, the NATA Compensation Task Force, and the NATA Diversity Equity Inclusion and Access Task Force. He currently serves as the District 6 National Director and serves on the executive council as secretary-treasurer for the NATA.

He and his wife, Melissa, have three children, Lucas, Emmerson and Darby.

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Proposed tax rate on special agenda

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Onalaska logoThe Onalaska City Council will review and consider approval of a proposed tax rate for publication during a special called meeting at noon on Monday.

Several personnel action requests are on the agenda for the regular meeting of Council at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Council is slated to accept the resignations of Officer Koriell Campbell and Court Clerk Tammy Seader and to approve the appointment of Macey George as court clerk.

Departmental reports will be presented on behalf of the police department, fire department, fire marshal/building inspector and library representative.

Other items on the agenda include approval of the minutes, vouchers and financial reports.

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Students return to school this week

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From Enterprise Staff

Students in the Corrigan-Camden Independent School District returned to school Wednesday and the other school districts will resume this week. Leggett ISD students will return to school on Monday. Students in Onalaska ISD return Tuesday. Big Sandy, Chester, Livingston and Goodrich ISDs will resume on Wednesday.

As local students begin a new school year, the Texas Department of Transportation is calling on everyone to be extra cautious in school zones and around school buses to help keep them safe. Drivers are reminded to stay alert in school zones. They are chaotic before and after the bell rings each day and traffic congestion increases. Children might dash in and out of traffic, and unfortunately, crashes can and do happen.

While there were no serious injuries, there were six traffic crashes in school zones in 2022 in TxDOT’s nine-county Lufkin District which includes Polk County. Across the state, there were 746 traffic crashes in school zones, resulting in 23 serious injuries. The most common causes were driver inattention, speeding and failure to yield the right of way.

Driving near a school bus also requires close attention on the driver’s part. Across the state, there were seven people killed and 51 seriously injured last year in the 2,305 crashes involving a school bus. Driver inattention and speed were also the top factors in those crashes.

“We all experience increased traffic in the mornings and afternoons when school begins each year,” TxDOT Public Information Officer Rhonda Oaks said. “We urge drivers to reduce speed and stay alert in a school zone and near a school bus. Excited children don’t think about moving vehicles near the school or when they are exiting a school bus.”

TxDOT urges drivers to slow down, pay attention and follow all traffic laws to keep children safe and avoid costly fines and tickets as parents, teachers and students prepare for a new school year.

Be aware of these safety tips for driving in school zones:

•Traffic patterns around schools may have changed since last school year due to construction or new facilities.

•Stay alert and put your phone away. Using a handheld electronic device while driving in an active school zone is against the law.

•Stop and yield for people in crosswalks.

•Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines increase in school zones.

•Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.

•Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.

•Watch for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles.

These are safety tips for drivers sharing the road with school buses:

•Follow at a safe distance, keeping in mind that school buses make frequent stops.

•Always stay alert for children around buses and remember that they may not always look for vehicles before crossing the street.

•Stop for flashing red lights or a stop sign on a school bus, regardless of which direction you’re headed. Continue your trip once the bus has moved, the flashing lights stop flashing or the bus driver signals it’s okay to pass. Violations can lead to a fine of up to $1,250 for a first offense.

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Court to eye any changes to county budget

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Polk County LogoAny changes to the proposed fiscal year 2024 budget will be discussed by the Polk County Commissioners Court during its regular meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Approval to advertise for the fiscal year 2024 annual bids will also be considered.

The Court will discuss and consider any necessary action relating to adoption of Fire Code-NFPA 1 Fire Code 2021 Edition.

Several requests from Sheriff Byron Lyons will be considered for approval. One is to pay all FLSA comp and holiday time accrued as of July 5, 2023 by telecommunication operators and jail staff in fiscal year 2023 using funds remaining in the jail salaries line item. The other is to pay all but 20 hours of equivalent comp time accrued as of July 5, 2023 by telecommunication operators and jail staff in fiscal year 2023 utilizing funds remaining in the jail salaries line item. An additional request is to transfer $30,000 from the jail salaries line item to the sheriff vehicle maintenance line item.

An executive session is on the agenda authorizing certain deliberations about officers and employees regarding the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee; or to hear a complaint or a charge against an officer or employee. Any action, however, will be taken upon return to open session.

In personnel matters, the Court will review and consider approval of personnel action form requests submitted by department heads since the last meeting and review any authorized emergency hirings.

Additionally, the Court will consider action on the fiscal year 2023 budget revisions and amendments as presented by the county auditor’s office.

Items on the consent agenda include:

•Approve minutes of the July 25 regular meeting;

•Approve schedules of bills;

•Receive and record personnel action form requests submitted by elected officials since the last meeting;

•Approve memorandum of understanding with Polk Central Appraisal District to provide support during a time of natural or manmade disaster to include mapping services;

•Approve request from District Attorney Shelly Bush Sitton for asset forfeiture expenditure of seized property not to exceed $435 for training expenses;

•Approve re-appointment of Rachel Drake to Burke Center Board of Trustees for a two-year term beginning Sept. 1, 2023;

•Terminate memorandum of understanding between Polk County and Precinct 1 Constable Scott Hughes approved on March 24, 2020 to provide constable reserve deputy patrol in Precinct 1;

Terminate memorandum of understanding between Polk County and Precinct 1 Constable Scott Hughes approved on March 8, 2022 regarding the monthly salary of Beau Price; and

Receive and record the 258th and 411th district judges’ orders setting the fiscal year compensation for the county auditor, assistant auditors, court reporters, court coordinators, bailiffs and labor pool staff pursuant to Local Government Code.

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