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Polk County News - Breakout


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The SPCA of Polk County’s annual Wine & Whiskers fundraising event held at Tempe Creek Vineyard recently brought in about $3,500 to assist the shelter and its residents. Participants got a chance to listen to Dr. B on the Keys, a Galveston musician. They also got to give and receive kisses from two rescue puppies, snack on charcuterie boxes and bid on silent auction items. To make a donation to the SPCA of Polk County so that it can continue its mission to help dogs and cats find loving homes, please visit spcapolk.org/donate, call 936-755-3020 or mail in donations to SPCA of Polk County, P.O. Box 1403, Livingston, TX 77351, or visit 802 S. Houston Ave. in Livingston. The SPCA of Polk County is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit no kill animal welfare organization (EIN: 74-2119232). Courtesy photo

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Rotarians Bev Reed (l) and Brenda Mahan (r) presented a program on the upcoming membership drive for the Rotary Club of Livingston during a recent meeting. The service club meets at noon on Thursdays at Cho-Yeh Camp & Conference Center. To learn more about the Rotary Club of Livingston and its mission, visit its two Facebook pages. One is Livingston Rotary Club and the other is Rotary Club of Livingston. Photo byEmily Banks Wooten

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Nominations being accepted for annual chamber awards gala

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From Enterprise Staff

Noon Dec. 15 is the deadline to submit nominations for the 88th annual Awards Gala of the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce which is slated for Jan. 25 at the Polk County Commerce Center.

The chamber will recognize and honor a large business, a small business, a non-profit organization, community service awards such as teachers, first responders or community volunteers and an outstanding Polk County citizen. Nomination forms may be printed from the chamber’s website at polkchamber.com or picked up at the chamber office at 1001 Hwy. 59 Loop North in Livingston. Once completed, the nomination form may be submitted online, emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., faxed to 936-327-2660 or dropped off at the office.

The large and small businesses of the year awards will recognize two businesses (one with 21 or more employees and one with 20 or less employees) that have been operational for at least three years in Polk County and have demonstrated professional integrity, financial stability, excellence in customer service, success through innovation and a commitment to the community. The businesses must be current members of the chamber.

The non-profit organization of the year, which also must be a current member of the chamber, will honor a non-profit organization or church that invests time and resources in the community. The recipient should demonstrate the action required to create awareness around the needs of others and take steps to meet those needs through education, connection and service.

Up to five community service awards will be presented, including, but not limited to, the following descriptions – teachers, first responders, community volunteers, etc. These should be people who have made a positive life-altering investment in the children of Polk County, people who are familiar faces and names for their generous time and service to the community and those who serve above and beyond the call of duty either in an outstanding circumstance or someone who has a history of being the one everyone can count on. These award recipients do not have to be members of the chamber.

The outstanding Polk County citizen should be someone who has made a significant contribution to Polk County through time, actions, talents, dedication, leadership and striving to make Polk County a better place. It should also be someone who has a passion for helping others in the community.

For additional information, contact the chamber office at 936-327-4929.


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Filing continues for March primary elections

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

Filing continues for county, district and statewide offices for the 2024 Texas Primary Elections and will conclude at 6 p.m. Dec. 11. Filing began on Nov. 11.

For primary elections, candidates file their applications with their state party chairs or, in the event that a district is wholly contained within a single county, their county party chairs. The state and county chairs, in turn, upload approved candidates into the Texas Secretary of State’s portal. Early voting for the March 5, 2024 Primary Elections begins on Feb. 20.

Polk County Publishing Company has a policy to run a free announcement with photo in the newspaper for every candidate who runs for a political office in the county, or as a representative of the county, allowing the candidates to have the opportunity to introduce themselves and their vision to readers.

The photo should be a large .jpg and the announcement should be typed in a Word document not to exceed 400 words. Both should be emailed to the editor or can be brought into the office on a flash drive.

In addition, a candidate may choose to pay a one-time charge to be added to the official Political Calendar. This advertisement runs every week in the newspaper through the election and includes the candidate name/position/party affiliation. The cost is the same if you sign up early or late for the calendar. The pricing is as follows: $100 for precinct offices, $150 for county offices, $200 for state offices and $250 for national offices.

According to PCPC Publisher Kelli Barnes, all political advertising must be paid for by 5 p.m. Monday of the week you want your advertisement to run in the newspaper. Late advertisements can only be accepted as space allows due to press concerns. Advertising position requests can accompany advertisements. We do not charge more for location requests and we cannot guarantee location without advance notice of two weeks. We no longer accept political ads for our Facebook page. Ask to speak to an advertising representative at your newspaper to discuss paid advertising.

“We look forward to helping all candidates in their campaign efforts,” Barnes said.

Local races that will be on the March primary ballot include: sheriff, tax assessor-collector, Precinct 1 commissioner, Precinct 3 commissioner, all four constables and the 411th district judge.

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Fraud specialists discuss prevention, protection

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

Heather Brooks and Kim Fults from the fraud prevention department of First National Bank of Livingston presented the program for the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce’s final Lunch & Learn of the year held Nov. 28.

“Fraud is not just a big city problem. It’s an everywhere problem. No matter where you bank, your bank will have a website and a mobile app. You need to check it daily,” Heather Reed said, informing the group that one of the latest scams is called check-washing. “They’re stealing them out of mailboxes and from the post office and washing the ‘payable to’ portion.

“You can help prevent check washing by being proactive. Set up mobile apps and online banking alerts,” Reed said.

Kim Fults addressed debit card fraud, commenting that two of the biggest are ‘free’ and ‘chance to win’ claims, where an item is allegedly free and the consumer only has to pay shipping but the fine print (which most people do not read) indicates the consumer is agreeing to a subscription. Similar scams are various sweepstakes, often offering chances to win an iPhone, she said.

Go to a reputable site to check it out because they (the scammers) are always going to sign you up for more,” Fults said, also mentioning the gift card scam where someone purports to offer some type of service or reward to you, but you must first purchase a number of gift cards and provide the card numbers to them.

Another scam often perpetrated is convincing people to be money mules who unknowingly transfer illegally obtained funds.

“A scammer likes to have different layers. We want to be careful. We want to warn our parents, our grandparents, our teenage kids.”

Fults said other scams are romance scams and elder financial exploitation, which is the act or process of taking advantage of an elderly person through manipulation, coercion or deception for financial or personal gain.

“There are three ways to prevent this – educate yourself, recognize and spot the warning signs. It’s up to all of us to report it so we can prosecute. It is our responsibility to help. Scams and elder exploitation can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Freeze your card and watch your account,” Fults said.

“Gone are the days of getting your statement at the end of the month and checking it. You have to check your statement daily,” she said, adding that FNB posts little tips every Friday on all social media platforms.

“Pay your bills electronically. Try not to write checks period. Set mobile alerts. Share information with your family, your friends, your siblings. Set up mobile banking,” Fults recommended.

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