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Polk County News - Breakout

Kentucky Derby Gala planned

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For annual chamber awards banquet

From Enterprise Staff

derby hatBreak out the big hats and bowties for the Kentucky Derby Gala, the theme of the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce’s 86th Annual Awards Banquet slated for Jan. 27 at the Polk County Commerce Center.

The event will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner, remarks, awards and live entertainment. The culmination of the annual banquet is the presentation of the Small Business of the Year, the Large Business of the Year and the Polk Countian of the Year.

The Large Business of the Year recognizes a business with 21 or more employees that has been operational for at least three years in Polk County and has demonstrated professional integrity, financial stability, excellence in customer services, success through innovation and a commitment to the community. The business must be a current member of the chamber.

The Small Business of the Year recognizes a business with 20 or fewer employees that has been operational for at least three years in Polk County and has demonstrated professional integrity, financial stability, excellence in customer services, success through innovation and a commitment to the community. The business must be a current member of the chamber.

The Polk Countian of the Year recognizes a person who has made significant contributions to Polk County through time, actions, talents, dedication, leadership and striving to make Polk County a better place, as well as a passion for helping others in the community in a way that can be felt throughout.

Tickets are $30 apiece and may be purchased from the chamber office located at 1001 Hwy. 59 Loop North in Livingston. For additional information contact the chamber office at 936-327-4929.

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FIRE MARSHAL BINGO

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1 2 fire marshal bing

The Polk County Fire Marshal’s Office spent a recent morning at the Polk County Senior Citizens Center in Corrigan playing fire marshal bingo which is like regular bingo but it emphasizes fire and life safety. The numbers are replaced with pictures of fire and life safety items. When the picture is drawn, staff from the Polk County Fire Marshal’s Office discuss the importance of each picture. Winners received prize baskets filled with items donated by local merchants. Courtesy photo

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Recycling center hours changing

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recycling logoFrom Enterprise Staff

Operating hours for the county’s new recycling center are changing this week. Effective Tuesday, the recycling center will be open Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Located at 10311 Hwy. 146 in Livingston, the recycling center is operated by a group called Polk County Recycling & Beautification which is presently in search of volunteers for two to three-hour shifts every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Volunteers will greet every customer, assist with their sorting questions, help customers unload and lift their recyclables and help keep the center clean.

“Volunteering at the recycling center is rewarding, meaningful and fun. Live your commitment to Polk County Recycling & Beautification by signing up at the recycling center or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,” Kari Miller said.

Miller, assistant to Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy, serves as the county’s liaison to the Polk County Recycling & Beautification group.

Items the center can accept include:

#1 Plastics. These include beverage bottles (rinsed and without lids) and various other clear food containers. You know it’s a #1 if it has a triangle stamped in the plastic with a “1” inside it.

#2 Plastics. These are thicker containers, like milk jugs and detergent bottles (rinsed and without lids). You know it’s a #2 if it has a triangle stamped in the plastic with a “2” inside it.

Corrugated Cardboard (clean and dry)

Aluminum Cans (empty)

Mixed Paper (envelopes, magazines, newspapers, colored paper, paper-back books, etc.) Paper should be sorted separately from all other materials.

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Giving Back - Local comes through for new recycling center

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recycling logoBy Emily Banks Wooten
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A local donor will match donations to Polk County’s new recycling center—up to $20,000—County Judge Sydney Murphy announced during the informational report section of the regular meeting of the Polk County Commissioners Court Dec. 28.

The Court received the rating and recommendations from the court-appointed scoring committee regarding the selection of a grant administrator and engineer for the use of funds allocated to Polk County by the American Rescue Plan Act. “We did the procurement process on Nov. 9 and the committee scored on Dec. 16,” Murphy said. Commissioners approved the recommendation of Langford Community Management Services as administrator and Goodwin Lassiter Strong as engineer.

Regarding the land use agreement of county property located at 1200 FM 62 and 1411 FM 62 in Moscow, Commissioners approved moving forward with discussing a general contract.

Although the Court discussed a policy regarding the use of county buildings, grounds and facilities, the item was tabled so that additional research may be conducted.

Commissioners approved an order to conform election precincts following the redistricting of the commissioners court precincts pursuant to Chapter 42, Texas Election Code, and any resulting changes that may have an impact upon the justice of the peace/constable precincts.

A memorandum of understanding with Piney Wood Lakes Texas Chapter Master Naturalists, the East Texas Electric Cooperative Inc. and Polk County for the beneficial management of natural resources at the East Texas Electric Cooperative Hydroelectric Plant Gazebo was approved.

Commissioners approved a proposal to extend the concrete pad for the recycling center, to be paid for from the waste management fund, accepting the $6,500 bid from Luis Don Juan.

The plats for Rolling Pines Section 2 Subdivision located in Precinct 2 and Caney Pines Subdivision located in Precinct 3 were approved.

A memorandum of understanding with the Precinct 1 constable regarding the monthly salary of Mario Rosario, to be funded solely from the Precinct 1 constable asset seizures as long as funds are available, was approved. “This is basically a replacement MOU for the prior MOU that we had in place,” Murphy said.

Action on an agreement with Questica for budget management software was tabled.

Commissioners reviewed and considered personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and reviewed three authorized emergency hirings – one at the tax office, one at the auditor’s office and one at the county clerk’s office.

Commissioners approved everything on the consent agenda which included:

Schedules of bills;

An order designating surplus property;

The county auditor’s monthly report, pursuant to Local Government Code Sec. 114.025;

The reappointment of Garvey Jackson to the Workforce Development Board for a three-year term beginning Jan. 1; and

Acknowledgement of the addition of the City of Corrigan’s Flood Mitigation Project No. 22 on page 166 of the Polk County Multi-Jurisdiction Mitigation Plan.

Rev. Jim Mayland of Trinity Lutheran Church opened the meeting with prayer.

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Lights and revitalization of downtown Livingston

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Angelina College LogoBy Debra Jenke
AC Connections

In early Winter, I had an evening meeting in downtown Livingston. Our host, Gary Davis, took us on a “field trip” from his beautifully restored office building (the JS Coats Building) to see another beautifully restored building, Ruby Cattle Company (the former Livingston Drug Building). On the way, we stopped at Cakes by Marsha since her lights were on and she graciously opened her doors to us to showcase the renovation there. Downtown was lighting up as the sun was setting.

At Ruby Cattle Company, it was a walk down memory lane. My mother worked in that building when it was Livingston Drug. She worked in the back, her desk backed up to the wall that was maybe 10 feet from the railroad tracks. The building shook with every train passing through town. I wrapped gifts there every Christmas for years, at a card table, making Livingston Drug ribbon roses and ribbon leaves—only the best wrapping paper and designs back in the day. On Memory Lane, I could see my mom at her desk and see the old Coke machine at the base of the staircase. That coke machine is where we stopped after getting our throat swabbed with mercurochrome upstairs; after seeing the doctor, you could go downstairs and get a real glass bottle of Coke, so cold it had ice crystals. The icy Coke was to get rid of the taste of the mercurochrome.

Before we left Ruby Cattle Company, I stepped outside to look at the changes downtown. From their lovely front doors I could see the lights of Whistlestop Cafe, Good Golly Miss Molly’s, Blue Duck and Petalz.

I ventured around the corner to see the office where I got my first “real” job. My first job out of Angelina College, with my associate’s degree in secretarial sciences, was for a new law firm—Pace, Moore and McClendon. It was in an old bank building that sits across from the courthouse on the north side. At the time, I just thought it was old—now it looks great. I also looked into the building next door to the old law office. I had never realized it houses a staircase and upstairs. It is amazing what you can see when you take the time to walk downtown.

As we left our “field trip” meeting, I stopped to look at the windows of what was once H.B. Davis. As I have told Gary Davis and his mother, Sara Poston, there was a coat there in the fall of 1977 that I wanted so badly. It was gray wool with a shawl rabbit collar. I certainly couldn’t afford it while working my way through college, and I knew my parents could not buy it. Yet, Christmas morning 1977, it was under the tree in a box. I graduated from AC that December, so maybe they were happy to get me off their payroll and out of the house.

I was amazed at how beautiful downtown is now. Downtown Livingston, all lit up at night—it was almost magical. Our meeting group that night, consisting of Gary Davis, Kathy Odom, Ralph Jenke and myself, spent the rest of the evening sharing stories of Livingston 50 years ago.

Lights—lights are my first memory of Livingston. That was 50-plus years ago, after my parents dragged me here kicking and screaming—to begin our life as managers of Camp Cho-Yeh. My dad and I came up in December, before we moved in January, to work on the house that came with the new job. We slept on cots and I think it was about 10 degrees. He took me out to eat, a rare treat, and as we came down South Washington toward town (I had never seen anything like it), “Cemetery Hill” sloped toward a lighted-up downtown Livingston, with the water tower in the distance and it was like a story book. We didn’t have hills where we moved from and we didn’t have a Roland’s Restaurant, where we ate that night.

Through the years, I quit paying attention to the lights or how beautiful our little town is. Change seemed to come slowly. I worked for Dr. Watson at his building which sat somewhere near where Jack in the Box is now. I would walk to the bank to make office deposits, walk to Perry Brothers to buy Cokes and ice cube trays and other various things for his office. I’ve spent a lot of time walking downtown and not paying attention to the surroundings. On the days I didn’t work, I would drive in from Angelina College and meet Mom for pie at the White Kitchen. I always hoped all the parallel parking spots would not be gone and I could pull up right in front. She would walk over from Livingston Drug and I would be waiting with pie and coffee. I am really not that keen on pie—but I loved the ambience, the group of businessmen that gathered there every afternoon with their latest stories. They were loud, smoking and laughing—always laughing. Mom and I eating pie and drinking coffee and listening to the locals—I wish now that I had realized then how special those times were. Sometimes I think of the Toby Keith song, “I Wish I Didn’t Know Now What I Didn’t Know Then.”

Special times—dreams of lights, of unexpected gifts, dreams of the old days, dreams of progress—they can exist together. Revitalization. Maybe that is the best word for downtown Livingston today. Like towns, we often need revitalization. Change can be good, progress can be good. If you are thinking of making a change, of getting that GED, of entering college—now is the perfect time. Start the New Year with a pledge to meet those educational goals and dreams! We are ready to welcome you to Angelina College and help you get the New Year started in a great direction.

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