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Polk County News - Breakout

 CORRECTION - Sitton wins DA race

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N1206P36001CBy Emily Banks Wooten
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In our election night coverage, the Polk County Enterprise incorrectly reported that Shelly Bush Sitton and Tommy Coleman will face off in the May 24 runoff election in the race for criminal district attorney. This is incorrect.

To win outright, a candidate must have 50% plus one vote, not 51% as reported. Sitton received 3,305 votes which was 50.86% of the votes cast in this race.

Coleman received 2,099 votes, or 32.30%, and a third candidate, Julie Mayes Hamrick, received 1,094 votes, or 16.84%.

The Enterprise regrets the error and apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.

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Local churches ready to “Serve Together”

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Under the direction of the Lake Area Pastor’s Council, numerous local churches are joining together for “Serve Together,” a weekend of service to the county April 29-May 1. (l-r) Robert Abate of Messiah Messianic Assembly, Jim Mayland of Trinity Lutheran Church, Simon Geller of LifeVine Church, Sean Ferry of Pine Forest Baptist Church, Wayne Bickley of Soda Baptist Church, Chris Borden of First Assembly of God, Chaplain Britton Shoellhorn-U. S. Army-Livingston Police Department and Brett Lester of First Baptist Church Livingston. Not pictured: Allen Bramlett of First Baptist Church Onalaska, Robert Murphy of First Baptist Church Providence, Mike Hooper of Church on the Lake and First United Methodist Church. Courtesy photoUnder the direction of the Lake Area Pastor’s Council, numerous local churches are joining together for “Serve Together,” a weekend of service to the county April 29-May 1. (l-r) Robert Abate of Messiah Messianic Assembly, Jim Mayland of Trinity Lutheran Church, Simon Geller of LifeVine Church, Sean Ferry of Pine Forest Baptist Church, Wayne Bickley of Soda Baptist Church, Chris Borden of First Assembly of God, Chaplain Britton Shoellhorn-U. S. Army-Livingston Police Department and Brett Lester of First Baptist Church Livingston. Not pictured: Allen Bramlett of First Baptist Church Onalaska, Robert Murphy of First Baptist Church Providence, Mike Hooper of Church on the Lake and First United Methodist Church. Courtesy photo

From Enterprise Staff

Local churches are once again joining together for a weekend of service to Polk County this April 29-May 1. Formerly known as “Rise Up,” this is a partnership between local churches under the direction of the Lake Area Pastor’s Council.

“Our churches believe that the problems we face in our community are too great for any one congregation to address by themselves,” Chris Borden, pastor of First Assembly of God in Livingston, said. “But if we come together and serve on behalf of our great God, then we believe we will see God do something only He can do.”

The weekend of service began in 2013 in one local congregation. Over the past several years, the event has grown to include thousands of people from many congregations around the county. Last year, 14 churches accomplished over 200 projects.

This year, the event will kick off with a community-wide night of prayer and worship at LifeVine Church beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 29.

“We know that all of our churches in the county serve throughout the year. This weekend isn’t designed to take away from anything we are all doing already,” Brett Lester, pastor of First Baptist Church, said. “But this weekend was born out of a simple question: What if the people of God came together and focused on the same thing at the same time? What could God do in Polk County if our community was able to see firsthand the unity we feel as the body of Christ?”

Service projects have benefited the City of Livingston, several local school districts and many elderly in Polk County.  The projects have included people of all ages and any skill or activity level. The group is also open to projects suggested by the community.

“You don’t have to be anything but willing to serve,” Simon Geller, pastor of LifeVine Church, said. “There will be something for everyone.”

If your church would like more information on joining the “Serve Together” weekend of service or you would like to suggest a project, you may contact Kevan Wood at 936-327-4417 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

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Local SPCA needing donations to operate

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SPCA RECEIVES DONATION  The SPCA of Polk County recently received a donation from the Livingston Lions Club. (l-r) SPCA Director of Community Engagement Kevin Swackhamer, SPCA Operations Manager Sindi Dresslaer and Lion Kim Brown. Courtesy photoSPCA RECEIVES DONATION The SPCA of Polk County recently received a donation from the Livingston Lions Club. (l-r) SPCA Director of Community Engagement Kevin Swackhamer, SPCA Operations Manager Sindi Dresslaer and Lion Kim Brown. Courtesy photo

The SPCA of Polk County relies on donations to continue its operations in Polk County and the surrounding communities. On Feb. 16 the Livingston Lions Club made a donation to the SPCA of Polk County, continuing its support for animal welfare in the community. Donations from the Livingston Lions Club go directly to the care of cats and dogs at the SPCA of Polk County shelter.

“Donations are particularly needed at this time of year,” SPCA Executive Director Ron Hornsby said. “If you would like to adopt, donate or get involved with the SPCA of Polk County, please visit the website www.spcapolk.org or call 936-755-3020 or donate via cell phone by texting “SPCAPOLK” to 44321 or visit the SPCA at 802 S. Houston Ave. in Livingston. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.”

The SPCA of Polk County is a no-kill animal shelter that serves the residents of Polk County and surrounding communities. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization operated primarily by volunteers and a few paid staff members. The SPCA of Polk County is not funded by ASPCA other SPCA organizations nor does it receive any city, county, state or federal funding.

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VFW meeting entry denied

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A representative from the Enterprise was denied entry to the VFW meeting Monday. Courtesy photoA representative from the Enterprise was denied entry to the VFW meeting Monday. Courtesy photo

By Emily Banks Wooten
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Over a hundred people showed up for a meeting at the VFW Post 8568 of Livingston Monday. Members of the post were urged by the state commander to attend Monday’s meeting if they wanted to save their post. State Commander Norman J. Macey suspended operations of VFW Post 8568 on Feb. 15 for a period of up to 90 days.

A long line of people patiently waited their turn to enter the building. The delay occurred because each person entering the building was checked to see if they were indeed a member. Each person was required to show their VFW membership card or give their membership number which was then crosschecked with a computer printout.

A representative from the Enterprise was denied entry. When she referred to the large sign posted outside the building that said, “Open to Public,” she was told by Kevin Bost, “Post meetings are open to the public but this is not a post meeting. It’s an administrative meeting.”

The suspension came about due to violations of the laws and usage of the organization, specifically, the failure to have all required elected and appointed positions filled. In conjunction with the suspension, Macey assigned an administrative committee to supervise and assist the post. His actions were relayed to post members via an email.

“If a quorum of five members is established, an election will be held to fill all post officer vacancies and a discussion will be held on what VFW Post 8568 must do to rectify any problems. If a quorum is not met, I will have no choice but to recommend to the VFW National Commander in Chief that the charter of VFW Post 8568 be cancelled in accordance with Section 212 of the National Bylaws and Manual of Procedure,” Macey said.

Judging by the number of people that entered, it’s safe to say a quorum was established.

The administrative committee will supervise all activities of the post and ensure full compliance with all applicable bylaws, rules and regulations of the organization during the suspension period.

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Miss Polk County pageant is Saturday

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Reigning Miss Polk County Tatum Smith will crown a new Miss Polk County on Saturday.  Courtesy photoReigning Miss Polk County Tatum Smith will crown a new Miss Polk County on Saturday. Courtesy photo

From Enterprise Staff

The 45th Annual Miss Polk County and 6th Annual Junior Miss Polk County pageant is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday in the Florence Crosby Auditorium at Creekside Elementary School. Tickets are $10 with program and $5 for students with no program. The doors will open at 6 p.m.

Twelve contestants are vying for the title of Miss Polk County and seven contestants are vying for the title of Junior Miss Polk County. Students must be a junior or senior to vie for Miss Polk County and a freshman or sophomore to vie for Junior Miss Polk County. (Contestants and their bios may be seen on pages 4B-5B.)

Tatum Smith is the reigning Miss Polk County and Calie Ray is the reigning Junior Miss Polk County. Both young women were crowned in the 2020 pageant. The pageant was not held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the history of the pageant there have been three years that the pageant was not held – 2021 due to the pandemic and 2012 and 2013 due to LISD’s remodeling of the auditorium.

The scholarships and awards that may be won through the Miss Polk County Pageant have increased dramatically compared to the first pageant in 1975 when the winner received a $250 scholarship.

Today, the following titles are awarded from the highest combined scores from interview, evening gown and final question:

Miss Polk County - receives a $2000 scholarship, satin monogrammed sash, trophy, crown and bouquet of roses;

First Runner-up - receives a $1500 scholarship and trophy;

Second Runner-up - receives a $1000 scholarship and trophy;

Junior Miss Polk County - receives a $250 cash award, crown, satin monogrammed sash, trophy and bouquet of roses;

First Runner-up - receives a $150 cash award and trophy;

Second Runner-up - receives a $100 cash award and trophy;

Miss Congeniality - (chosen by the Junior Miss Polk County contestants) receives a trophy and a gift card from HomeGrown; and

Miss Photogenic - (chosen by the judges) receives a trophy and a gift card from HomeGrown.

  These titles are awarded for the highest score in that individual category and only Miss Polk County contestants are eligible:

Interview Winner - (Sponsored by First National Bank) receives a $500 scholarship and a trophy;

Evening Gown Winner - receives a $500 scholarship and a trophy; and

Optional Talent Competition - (Score not figured in with Miss Polk County scores) – receives a $500 scholarship and a trophy.

Other awards include:

Miss Congeniality - (MPC - Chosen by the contestants and sponsored by First State Bank) receives a $500 scholarship and a trophy;

The Kenny Holsberry Spirit of Polk County Award - (MPC) receives a $250 scholarship and a trophy

Photogenic Winner - (MPC - Chosen by the judges) receives a $400 scholarship and a trophy;

Fundraising Winner - (MPC or JMPC) Receives a scholarship based on a percentage of all ad sales not to exceed $500 and a trophy; and

The People’s Choice Award - (MPC - Voted on the night of the pageant by the audience) receives a $100 scholarship and a trophy.

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