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LISD hoops coach dies

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082122 lion hoops coach dies

By Brian Besch
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Livingston basketball coach Calvin Phillips died Tuesday night following medical complications.
Phillips resigned for the 2022-23 school year in order to have hip areplacement surgery on both legs. The process was supposed to take around nine months before he could return on light duty.

Just before the surgery, blood work was performed and the surgery was canceled after it was found there were issues. A few weeks later Phillips was diagnosed with bone cancer. He took injections for treatment in his hips.
He died Tuesday night in his sleep at his home.

Livingston athletic director Finis Vanover hired Phillips in 2006 at Angleton to become his head basketball coach. The two met when he was head coach and athletic director at West Columbia. Phillips there was the athletic director, head football coach and head basketball at different points in time. He took over Lion hoops in July of 2020.

The coach had stops at Cleveland, Wharton, Columbia, Stafford, Brazoswood, Angleton, Dickinson, Brazosport and Livingston since 1978.

“He was a great, great family guy,” Vanover said of his friend. “He loved his kids. He and Rodney were close. He raised his grandson, who just graduated from Manvel year before last and he plays basketball at Sam Houston.

“He was very family-oriented and a deeply religious guy. He was a tremendous mentor for his family and the kids around him. He went around and did tons of stuff quietly in the background for kids in the community and families everywhere he had ever been. He was a down-to-earth and caring type of guy. He was passionate about his profession and coaching. He was hard-nosed when he had to be and just as fun loving and genuinely kind all at the same time — whatever mask he had to wear to get to each individual kid.”

Funeral arrangements are set for E. Viola & Sons Funeral Home in West Columbia, Texas. The funeral will be Saturday, Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. A viewing and memorial service will be 5-7 p.m. the day before at Life Foursquare Church in Angleton, Texas.

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Texas ISDs rated by TEA

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report card epsThe Texas Education Agency’s report cards for public schools in the state of Texas were revealed this week, and Polk County school districts brought home an A and four B’s. Some of the individual campuses earned high marks, but a few schools will need improvement to bring up a low score, according to the TEA.

Each of the schools were scored on three different criteria. Student achievement measures whether the students met expectations on the STAAR test. It also measures graduation rates and how prepared students are for success after high school. School progress shows how students perform over time and how the districts performance compares to other districts with similar economically disadvantaged student populations. Closing the gaps tells how well a district is ensuring that all student groups are successful.

Grades are similar to report cards issued by some schools, with an A ranging 90-100, B 80-89, C 70-79, and a “not rated” score is anything below 70.

Corrigan Camden ISD performed the best of Polk County schools with a score of 90 to receive an A. The district received 89 out of 100 for student achievement, 91 out of 100 for school progress and 88 out of 100 for closing the gaps. Corrigan-Camden High School was given an 88, while the junior high scored 83 and the elementary received a 90. 

Onalaska ISD was a point away from the coveted A, scoring 89 for the district. Student achievement received an 86, school progress was 90, and closing the gaps was given a mark of 85. Onalaska Junior/Senior High School scored a B with an 85, and the elementary notched an 89.

Big Sandy ISD missed an A by two points with an 88. They received a 90 for student achievement, 92 in school progress, and a 79 for closing the gaps. They were scored for grades K-12.

Leggett ISD received a B with 82 out of 100. Student achievement was a 71, school progress scored 89, and closing the gaps was not rated with a score of 64. The high school just missed a B with a 79, while the elementary was also not rated, scoring 59.

Livingston ISD received a B grade, scoring 81 out of 100. In student achievement, Livingston scored a 78. An 81 was given for school progress and an 80 was scored for closing the gaps. Livingston High took a C score of 78. The Livingston Academy received a “not rated” scored a 69. Livingston Junior High produced a 72, Creekside Elementary a 91, Cedar Grove Elementary 87, Timber Creek Elementary 91, and Pine Ridge Primary a 91.

Goodrich ISD graded a 74 overall. They were not rated for student achievement, given a 69 in that area, while school progress scored a 79 and closing the gaps graded a 61. Goodrich High School has a score of 77, the middle school a 78, and the elementary a 54. 

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County VFDs fight multiple blazes, receive donations

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Georgia-Pacific invests $16,000 in local firefighters

FireFighter 200pxGeorgia-Pacific is hoping to give some relief to area firefighters as they continue to battle an active fire season in Texas. The extreme hot weather has resulted in fire departments seeing a significant spike in brush fires — and with limited resources — most volunteer fire departments are feeling the heat when it comes to keeping operations running smoothly during one of the driest seasons in the state’s history.

“Georgia-Pacific understands the vital role volunteer firefighters have in East Texas communities,” said Yana Ogletree, Georgia-Pacific Public Affairs Manager. “For many years Georgia-Pacific has invested in area volunteer fire departments, whether it is helping to purchase new tankers and life-saving equipment or funding training and operations.” 

Polk County volunteer fire departments have busied themselves fighting blazes caused by lightning strikes and individuals burning illegally during a county ban. Livingston Fire Chief Corky Cochran said all departments have trekked north to battle fires in Corrigan and Camden over the past 10 days. Many have been in wooded areas and difficult to locate, according to Cochran. The department recently purchased a drone that has aided in that process.

‘Lightning strikes are causing it,” Cochran said. “We may get a little shower, but it is so dry. Then, we’ll get a call or two for an illegal burn. The burn ban is in effect until the county lifts the ban. All they have to do is make a phone call. (If they burn during a ban), it is going to be a fine, and maybe a trip to jail.”

Recently, the local building products company donated $16,000 to volunteer fire departments in Corrigan, Livingston, and Onalaska. 

Receiving $10,000 from Georgia-Pacific, The Corrigan Volunteer Fire Department will use the money to upgrade their trucks. 

“These funds come at a time when we have been inundated with brush fires,” Corrigan Volunteer Fire Chief Jimmy McDonald said. “With limited equipment, high fuel costs, and outfitting firefighters with the appropriate equipment, we can use all of the donations we can get.” 

Despite the financial challenges small volunteer fire departments face on a regular basis, Corrigan is planning for the future and is raising funds for a new facility. According to McDonald, the department has secured land which will eventually be home to a new fire department.

Georgia-Pacific is also donating $5,000 to the Livingston Volunteer Fire Department. With a 37-member force, Livingston firefighters cover not only the city of Livingston, but approximately 250 square miles of Polk County. 

“We actively work more than 500 calls each year while also providing backup to the other ten departments located within the county,” said John Haynes, Livingston Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief. “Georgia-Pacific’s contribution is significant and greatly appreciated. The funds will help us obtain more rescue equipment and they will provide additional capital to purchase a new pumper unit.” Haynes says the new pumper truck, which will be used to take the pressure off an aging fleet, is scheduled to arrive in the fall.

Serving the Lake Livingston area, the Onalaska Fire Department is receiving a $1,000 donation from Georgia-Pacific to purchase equipment and training. 

“Georgia-Pacific is a continuous supporter of local volunteer fire departments in Polk, Angelina, and Sabine counties. Georgia-Pacific is proud to partner with local firefighters who dedicate their lives to keeping our families, homes, and property safe. Thanks to their bravery and tireless efforts, we can all rest easier knowing help is only a phone call away,” said Ogletree. 

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Illegal burn results in damages

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IllegalBurn 250Polk County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a burn ban violation off of FM 62 Monday in the Corrigan area off Bryant and Pine Groves Road that destroyed property and several acres of land.

Deputies arrived and observed a homeowner attempting to put a fire out that had spread from a burn barrel on his property. As the fire traveled quickly to a nearby residence, deputies immediately attempted to extinguish the flames, without success, due to the size of the fire.

Deputies then began warning other residents of the danger as fire officials and Texas Forest Service personnel arrived to protect other nearby homes and structures. First responders worked tirelessly for hours, finally able to contain the problem.

The fire was caused by a homeowner who was illegally burning household refuse in a burn barrel on his property. Embers escaped from the barrel and caught the vegetation, which spread to nearby properties, destroying a home, two structures, a travel trailer, and approximately 14 acres. Although many people suffered severe property loss or damage, no one was hurt in the incident.

Deputies identified the homeowner, who advised that he was aware of the current burn ban. The homeowner was subsequently arrested for illegal burning (in violation of burn ban) and booked into the Polk County Jail without incident. This case is still under investigation with help from the Texas A&M Forrest Service, with additional charges possible.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and local volunteer fire departments would like to remind all that Polk County remains under a burn ban. The Enterprise will have further reports once the ban is lifted.

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Five OISD students serve as foundation ambassadors

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081422 five oisd studentsOnalaska FFA students Samantha Valdez, Katy Stolley, Lilith Maichetti, AJ Pinkert and Rylee Taylor served as ambassadors for the Texas FFA Foundation during the 93rd annual Texas FFA State Convention held July 5-9. The foundation ambassadors served as liaison to sponsors, special guests and dignitaries on behalf of the Texas FFA during the annual convention. Courtesy photo

From Enterprise Staff

Onalaska FFA students Samantha Valdez, Katy Stolley, Lilith Maichetti, AJ Pinkert and Rylee Taylor, served as ambassadors for the Texas FFA Foundation during the 93rd annual Texas FFA State Convention held July 5-9. The foundation ambassadors served as liaison to sponsors, special guests and dignitaries on behalf of the Texas FFA during the annual convention. Sixty-four students served this year.

“The Texas FFA Foundation Ambassadors have a unique opportunity to professionally network with some of our state and country’s top executives in business, education, agriculture and leadership,” Texas FFA Foundation Executive Director Aaron Alejandro said. “It is an honor to serve as a foundation ambassador. It is a program that parents, teachers, schools and communities can be proud their students are experiencing. Student participation can serve as a competitive edge with academic activities, career exploration and college pursuits.”

Ambassadors received comprehensive virtual training focused on donor relations, personal skills development and professional networking. They were taught to lead in a virtual world, and how to “Live Your Brand” on social media. Ambassadors led the innovative virtual scavenger hunt and social media challenge which connected students with sponsors, business leaders and stakeholders. Ambassadors discovered unique ways to highlight sponsors and recognize their generous support to agricultural science education and the Texas FFA.

During the annual convention, more than $2.3 million in scholarships were awarded and 2,500-plus students were recognized for their accomplishments at the state level. The 93rd annual Texas FFA Convention recorded approximately 10,000 members and guests. Members of the state’s largest agricultural youth leadership organization spent the week attending leadership workshops, participating in events and activities, being recognized for their achievements and serving as the legislative body for the Texas FFA Association.

The Texas FFA is the nation’s largest state FFA association with a membership of more than 139,000. FFA gives students the opportunity to apply practical classroom knowledge to real world experiences through local, state and national competitions. For more information about the Texas FFA, visit www.mytexasffa.org.

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