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You’re invited to a countywide baby shower

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070722 county baby shower

To benefit G.R.A.C.E. Pregnancy Outreach

From Enterprise Staff

Love Never Fails Ministries is hosting a countywide baby shower to benefit G.R.A.C.E. Pregnancy Outreach. Donations will be collected from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Onalaska City Hall. Cake and punch will be served.

G.R.A.C.E. Pregnancy Outreach is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that opened in 2017. It provides a place where individuals can find compassion and help without judgment or condemnation. The organization provides pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, prenatal services and parenting classes. These services are provided free of charge through the support of donors. Client advocates at the Outreach Center are committed to offering the emotional support and personal concern.

Items needed for babies include: diapers size newborn, fives and sixes; onesies, wipes, shampoo, baby wash, baby lotion, diaper rash medication, towels, wash rags and receiving blankets.

Items needed for moms and dads include: maxi pads, lanolin cream, breast pads, deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, tucks medicated pads and deodorant.

For additional information contact Susan Richardson at 936-646-3832.

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Scouts attend camp in Arkansas

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070322 boy scoutsMembers of Scout Troop 97 in front of Kia Kima Dining Hall. (l-r) Lowell Tompkins, Evan Couch, Raven Franklin, Jaxson Potter, Assistant Scoutmaster Tristan Brown and Scoutmaster David Brown. Courtesy photo

From Enterprise Staff

Members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 97 and Boy Scouts of America Troop 197 attended Camp Osage at the Kia Kima Scout Reservation in Hardy, Ark. in June. After an eventful drive to Arkansas, the troops settled into camp comfortably and had a great week of fun and education.
Of the scouts attending, nearly 30 merit badge classes were attended, and two leaders attended scoutmaster training. The troops hiked up a mountain to have midweek vespers at the “Golightly” chapel and several scouts spent a morning tubing on Lake Thunderbird and then whitewater kayaking that afternoon.
They concluded the week with a scoutmaster cookoff with Dutch oven enchiladas, a scoutmaster dance contest, an “Order of the Arrow” ceremony and the closing campfire where Troop 97 was named Honor Troop.
They volunteered and completed a camp conservation project and had a scout complete the “trailblazers” program and camp independently on the mountain with that group. Both troops scored almost perfect on their campsite inspection. The leaders worked kitchen duty several times, volunteered for latrine cleaning and the scouts decided to host a cracker barrel with another troop in their campsite.
Through fun, yet challenging, physical and mental activities, scouting encourages personal growth by teaching youth how to set goals and achieve them with determination. Scouting is something the whole family can experience together. The program is designed so that anyone—brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers—can have fun and make an impact.
For information about joining one of the local units, go to beascout.org and search 77351. Scouts has a program for everyone from kindergarten and up. 

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Hurricane season is upon us

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070322 hurricane seasonPolk County Emergency Management Coordinator Courtney Comstock and Deputy Coordinator Samuel Murra presented a program on hurricane preparedness during the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce’s recent quarterly membership meeting. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

By Emily Banks Wooten
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Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Courtney Comstock and Deputy Coordinator Samuel Murra presented a program on hurricane preparedness during the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce’s recent quarterly membership meeting Cho-Yeh Camp & Conference Center.

“Hurricanes are tropical storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Atlantic hurricane season is June 1-Nov. 30. People who live in hurricane prone communities should know their vulnerability and what actions should be taken to reduce the effects of hurricanes,” Comstock said, adding that the Texas Department of Emergency Management, NOAA and local communities join together to recognize hurricane preparedness week every year.

“Polk County is located a little over 100 miles inland. Polk County is not affected by storm surge. However, torrential rains, tornados and high winds can result from hurricanes and cause damage to life and property,” Comstock said. “Heavy rains produced by a hurricane can cause flash flooding near the Trinity and Neches rivers.”

Comstock reviewed the list of items that should be in a hurricane preparedness disaster supply kit. The list includes water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation; food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food; battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both; flashlight and extra batteries; first aid kit; whistle to signal for help.

Comstock encouraged people with functional and access needs to call 211 to register to be included in the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry. She said those that should register are people with disabilities, people who are medically fragile, people with functional needs and people who require transportation assistance. She also recommended that these people have a checklist of medical equipment and assistive devices; a list of model numbers or serial numbers of medical devices and equipment; medical alert tags or bracelets; medications and copies of all prescriptions; hygiene supplies; phone numbers and names of physicians; and supplies for service animals.

Comstock told everyone about AlertMePolkCounty, the county’s emergency notification system which delivers emergency alerts via phone, text and email. The emergency alerts may include severe weather, wildfire, hazmat, evacuations and crime. You may register online but if you need assistance or do not have internet access, you may call the Officer of Emergency Management please at 936-327-6826 or visit the office at 602 E. Church St. Suite 165 in Livingston. You may be registered for the service in person or over the phone. Choose the “Outreach Message Option” in AlertMePolkCounty to receive notifications.

Other upcoming chamber events include:

• Ribbon cuttings for Fields Paint Contractors at 10:30 a.m. on July 8; Farmers Insurance Lawson Agency at 1:30 p.m. on July 29; and Sheri Clamon Insurance Agency at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 10.

• Power Hour with the Chamber from 8-9 a.m. July 5 at The Bull Shack. This event is held the first Tuesday of each month.

• Quarterly Membership Luncheon on Sept. 27.

• Learning Luncheons on Sept. 20, Oct. 18 and Nov. 15.

• WINOs (Women Interested in Networking Opportunities) on Sept. 29, Oct. 27 and Nov. 17.

• Come Clean Lake Livingston on Oct. 15.

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Annual hurricane party hosted by county

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070322 hurricane partyCounty and city officials, law enforcement agencies, first responders and others recently gathered at the Dunbar Gym to review the 2022 Hurricane Forecast and the Polk County Response Plan during the Polk County Office of Emergency Management’s 5th annual Hurricane Party. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

By Emily Banks Wooten
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Polk County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) recently hosted its 5th annual Hurricane Party in which county and city officials, law enforcement agencies, first responders and others gathered at the Dunbar Gym to review the 2022 hurricane forecast and the Polk County response plan and to learn about the Individual State of Texas Damage Assessment Tool (iSTAT) and the Public State of Texas Damage Assessment Tool (pSTAT).

“We’ve definitely recognized that it requires a full team effort and I want to thank everyone for their continuous dedication. We want to maintain open and clear communications as possible,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said.

Dan Reilly, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service Houston/Galveston Office, was in attendance and kicked things off.

“It’s always great to come to this event. We really want to keep you informed of what’s happening. We think of June 1 as the beginning of hurricane season but in recent years we have had several storms develop in May before June 1. There’s a very slow, gradual buildup in May, June, July and then it quickly ramps up in August, with the most active period being mid-August through mid-October.

For Texas, storms are rare after Oct. 1,” Reilly said.

“In Polk County we don’t have storm surges. In Polk County we have to worry about water-related hazards that cause about 50% of fatalities and non-weather hazards such as carbon monoxide poisonings. With these type of storms, you tend to have more physical and mental stress leading to heart attacks and such,” Reilly said.

Reviewing the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, Reilly said there is a 65% chance of above-normal activity, a 25% chance of near-normal activity and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Courtney Comstock shared the county’s response plan, reviewing the countdown to landfall which are the itemized steps that will be taken five days prior, all the way up to landfall and then on to three days post landfall.

Comstock said the response locations will include the emergency operations center (EOC), shelters, points-of-distribution, field (first responders/damage assessment team), Center of Hope (disaster donations and spontaneous volunteer management) and resource staging areas. Once open, the EOC will operate daily until deactivation with two daily operational periods – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

The first two shelters the county will open will be the Dunbar Gym and the Polk County Commerce Center. Schools will be the last resort so as not to interrupt them, Comstock said.

Primary points-of-distribution (Pods) will be the Precinct 1 Road and Bridge office, the Onalaska High School, the Corrigan High School and the VF Outlet parking lot. Secondary Pods will be located at Goodrich ISD, Onalaska VFD Station 51, Big Sandy High School and South Polk County VFD.

Comstock said her office will distribute emergency public information via: AlertMePolkCounty, Polk County OEM Facebook page and Polk County, Texas Facebook page, Polk County, Texas and OEM websites, local radio stations (KETX, KDOL and KSBJ), the Polk County Enterprise’s newspaper, website and Facebook page, the Pineywoods Express and PolkCountyToday.com.

Comstock said the following volunteers will be needed: English and Spanish speaking operators to answer the phones in the EOC); shelter managers to oversee the operation of a shelter; shelter workers - volunteers who will be trained to assist the county shelter managers. Duties may include tracking shelter occupants, keeping records of meals served, tracking supplies requested, received and expended through the EOC and assisting in welfare inquiries; people available to work at the Pods to distribute MREs, water, ice and commodities to the public; and Center of Hope helpers - English and Spanish speaking volunteers to assist with donations intake and sorting. Helpers may assist in tracking donations, record volunteer time, and other activities required by the Center of Hope. Those interested in volunteering as a shelter manager or associate are encouraged to contact the OEM and they will have the American Red Cross contact you regarding training.

Polk County Veterans Service Office Melissa Gates serves as the county liaison for Polk County Recovers, a long-term recovery group that 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.

One of its main 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.

Gates said what Polk County Recovers needs is money, manpower and materials – funding required to meet the needs of the impacted community, people power that gets the hard work done including repairing and rebuilding homes, and the tangible things that disaster-impacted people need so they can get back into their homes.

Jon Clingaman, the coordinator of TDEM’s District 14 which includes Polk County, reviewed the sequence of events, specifically, the purpose of rapid damage assessment and self-damage reporting.

“The primary objective of the rapid damage assessments (RDA) and self-damage assessments (SDA) is to help disaster-impacted local governments and the State of Texas capture the scale and scope of the disaster,” Clingaman said.

“Later in the process, the same data will be used to determine whether the impacts of a disaster warrant a presidential disaster declaration. Presidential disaster declarations specify whether jurisdictions are eligible for FEMA disaster assistance and what types of assistance are available,” Clingaman said.

“There are four categories of damage. Affected is a home that is considered affected if the damage to the home is mostly cosmetic.

Minor is a home with repairable non-structural damage. Major is a home with structural damage or other significant damage that requires extensive repairs. Destroyed is if the home is a total loss,” Clingaman said.

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Outdoor burning prohibited

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070322 outdoor burn ban

From Enterprise Staff

The Onalaska City Council approved Ordinance No. 427 prohibiting outdoor burning during a special called meeting Wednesday.

Council approved the employment of John Cleveland for a fulltime maintenance position and Denise Ross for a fulltime telecommunications operator position. Both will have the standard 90-day probationary period.

In other activity, Council approved adding the Kohler gasoline, LPG or natural gas generator Model No. 50RZ62 Serial No. 351343 “as is, no warranty, no guarantees” to surplus property and advertising it on the city’s website for those interested to submit bids to the city administrator.

In related activity, Council approved authorizing the city administrator to release and create a bill of sale for the generator to the highest bidder.

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