Come out Friday and meet a congressional hopeful, and get some of the world's finest fried chicken while you're at it.
Dayna Steele for U.S. Congress – the Voice of South-East Texas — is holding a town-hall style meeting Friday, Feb. 23 from 6-8 pm at the Pickett House, Heritage Village. Bring your questions and come meet Dayna Steele. Refreshments provided, See you there!
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a suspicious death that occurred off of the Scenic Loop area of Polk County. The deceased was identified as 51-year-old Donald Brannon of Livingston. If you have any information in reference to this death please contact Captain Rickie Childers at 936-327-6810 or Polk County Crime Stoppers at 936-327-STOP.
2 Big Sandy students arrested for terroristic threat directed at school
From Staff Reports
Two Big Sandy ISD students have been arrested by Polk County Sheriff’s deputies after administrators received a report of a verbal threat to the safety of Big Sandy High School on Tuesday, Feb. 20, according to a statement released by Superintendent Eric Carpenter/...
Aaron Thompson, 17, and Isaiah Adam Thompson, 18, have been charged with terroristic threat impair public service/public fear of serious bodily injury/influence government agency. Both are being held at the Polk County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bond.
Carpenter said deputies were on campus Wednesday as part of their investigation.
“The district does not believe that at any time that any students or the campus was in imminent danger,” Carpenter said.
“I would like to remind parents to have conversations with their children about the seriousness of making statements that could be construed as threats either verbally or on social media. Such statements may be considered “terroristic threats,” and if substantiated, are punishable as a crime and also through the District’s Student Code of Conduct,” Carpenter said.
Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon echoed the need for parents to speak with their children.
“This is something that we’re going to take seriously,” Hon told the Polk County Enterprise. “In the current atmosphere, it’s a major concern.”
Two Polk County law enforcement officials said there were no reports of any threats to other campuses.
“Administrators are in a posture where they can’t afford to make a mistake,” Hon said. “Threats — regardless of the intent behind them — have to be taken seriously. Parents are going to be very concerned then (a threat) involves a school their kids are attending.”
Hon said he has talked with one superintendent about making a presentation to students informing them about the serious consequences involved when someone makes a threat; even it is in a joking manner.
“Kids need to understand this is like yelling fire in a crowded theater,” Hon said. “That’s something that we grew up knowing not to do.”
Both students now in custody play on the Big Sandy Basketball team.
Isaiah Thompson was held out of Big Sandy's Bi-District playoff game Tuesday night against Malakoff Cross Roads. BIg Sandy won the game 90-45.
Aaron Thompson scored 17 points for the Wildcats.
Abbott extends disaster declaration
AUSTIN – The state disaster declaration for Texas counties affected by Hurricane Harvey was extended for another 30 days last week to ensure that all 60 Texas counties impacted by last year’s story will continue to be eligible for assistance.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued the proclamation which covers all counties included in the original declaration including Polk County.
State disaster declarations must be renewed every 30 days for assistance ...to remain available. Abbott said he will continue to renew them as they are needed throughout the recovery process.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport on Aug. 26, 2017 as a Category 4 storm with 130 mile per hour winds before skipping along the Texas coast, moving to the northeast. While the wind intensity declined following the initial landfall, the storm dumped unprecedented amount of rain in the coastal counties and flooded much of Houston. Some areas of the state recorded 40 inches of rainfall over a four-day period.
In Polk County, major flooding occurred due to the rain along the Trinity River below the Lake Livingston Dam. Subdivisions locating along the river were inundated as the river left its banks.
Harvey is currently tied with 2005’s Hurricane Katrina as the costliest Atlantic hurricane in U.S. history at $125 billion in damages. A total of 108 people -- including 103 in Texas -- died from storm-related incidents.
New track, soccer facility planned at LHS
By Brian Besch
LIVINGSTON -- The Livingston Independent School District took a step toward constructing a track and soccer facility on its high school campus and approved a company for its operations during February’s school board meeting on Monday.
The board approved the design build method for construction of a track and soccer facility. It would be placed next to the recently constructed tennis facility on the high school campus, with restrooms and concessions to follow.
The first designation and planning process of this action item started on Oct. 29, 2015 in the district’s capital planning document. These funds are the remainder of the TRE capital funds that once spent do not have a revenue stream to support continued spending from this fund.
It is thought that re-occurring expenses should not be spent from this revenue source. The vision for this facility through the planning process was that the high school needed the track for the purposes of training athletes during the athletic period. It is impossible for athletes to be bussed to the junior high — where a track exists — during the athletic period and make it back in time for the next class.
For more information on this breaking story, be sure and pick up Thursday’s edition of the Polk County Enterprise.
TRAIL RIDE TIME – A member of the Old Spanish Trail Ride made his way through Livingston on Tuesday afternoon, where he and the other trail riders were scheduled to spend the night camping at the Barney Wiggins Memorial Arena off Hwy. 146 S. Establishing in 1956, the trail ride left Logansport, La. on Saturday and is scheduled to arrive in Memorial Park in Houston on Friday. There they will join up with other trail rides to help kick off the 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Spring cleaning can alleviate allergies
Allergies affect people of all ages. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports that allergic rhinitis affects between 10 and 30 percent of the world’s population. In addition, the prevalence of allergic diseases has risen in industrialized nations for more than 50 years.
Seasonal allergies tend to be the strongest in spring and autumn. Allergies can be exacerbated by many factors, including in homes where improvement...
Early voting opens Tuesday
LIVINGSTON -- The early voting for the March 6 primary elections will kick off Tuesday, Feb. 20, and continue through Friday, March 2.
Polk County voters will be able to cast ballots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at three locations: the Polk County Judicial Center in Livingston, the Onalaska Sub-Courthouse and the Sechrest Webster Community Center in Corrigan. In addition to weekday voting, all three locations will be open from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday,... Feb. 25.
During the early voting period, voters registered in Polk County may cast ballots at any of the three locations.
Both the Republican and Democratic parties will be conducting elections on March 6 with the winners advancing to the November general election.
On election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 21 locations throughout the county. On that day voters will be required to cast ballots in the voting precincts in which they reside.
Legislation filed to authorize Tribe’s gaming center
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On the heels of a federal court ruling regarding the status of the Alabama-Coushatta’s gaming operation, U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Woodville) has introduced legislation intended to allow the Tribe’s Naskila Entertainment Center to remain open.
H.R. 4985 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to correct a conflict between the Indian Restoration Act of 1987 or the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act o...f 1988. The two federal measures are at odds in that the Indian Restoration Act -- which created the Alabama-Coushatta federal reservation -- prohibits gaming while the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) allows it.
Under the IGRA, in 2015 the National Indian Gaming Commission issued the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas a Class II license which allows bingo and electronic bingo gaming.
Under Babin’s bill, the Indian Restoration Act would be amended to include, “Nothing in this act shall be construed to preclude or limit the applicability of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”
The Texas Attorney General’s office currently is challenging the Tribe’s legal right to operate its electronic bingo facility based on the Indian Restoration Act.
Calling it an “unjust” situation, on Feb. 6 U.S. Magistrate Keith F. Giblin sided with the state and ruled that the restoration act superseded the IGRA and that the Tribe would have to shut down its gaming center.
For more information see Sunday's Polk County Enterprise
Five jailed in burglary, drug investigation; authorities still seeking another suspect
CORRIGAN -- Five Corrigan residents were arrested and a sixth was being sought by Corrigan police as the result of a burglary and drug investigation launched following a traffic stop.
On Jan. 31, a traffic stop conducted by detectives Christopher Lima and Dana Vanya of the Corrigan Police Department uncovered methamphetamine and marijuana. The discovery in turn led to the subsequent arrest... of several individuals involved in a burglary of a Corrigan residence.
Following the traffic stop, the officers interviewed the occupants of the vehicle and received information about the possible burglary of a residence that had occurred a few days prior.
Police Chief Darrell Gibson was able to confirm the burglary after doing a check of the home located off U.S. 59 near FM 942 and finding the door to the residence standing open after being broke into.
Detectives and patrol officers began an extensive search of the surrounding pawn shops and were able to recover nearly all of the property taken during the commission of the crime.
Detectives were able to obtain a search warrant for the residence of one of the suspects, where additional stolen property was located along with narcotics during execution of the warrant.
Arrested and charged in connection with the case are the following suspects;
Dillon Lee Scroggins, 24, of Corrigan, arrested on felony burglary of habitation and felony tampering with evidence charges. He remained in the Polk County Jail early this week under bond totaling $35,000 bond.
Bret Dakota Scroggins, 20, of Corrigan, arrested on a burglary of habitation charge. He remained in the Polk County Jail early this week under a $25,000 bond.
Donna Michelle Isaacks, 37, of Corrigan, arrested on possession controlled substance and tampering with evidence charges, as well as a felony warrant issued by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. She remained in the Polk County Jail early this week under bonds totaling $15,000 on the first two charges, but was being held without bond on the parole violation warrant.
Garin Gesford, 30, of Corrigan, arrested on a tampering with evidence charge.
Toni Cooper, 43, of Corrigan, arrested on a possession of marijuana charge.
In addition, the Corrigan Police Department is actively seeking the whereabouts of Meagan Redding, 17, of Corrigan, who has an outstanding warrant for her arrest for burglary of habitation in connection to the break in.
Anyone with information that would lead to the location of Redding is asked to call the Corrigan Police Department at (936) 398-2551 or Polk County Crime Stoppers at (936) 327-STOP.
Unique ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, folks. Here are some unique ways you can make it a memorable holiday with your sweetheart, if you haven't already hatched plans.
• Paint and sip: Couples can take part in a growing trend this Valentine’s Day. At paint-and-sip events, people are guided step-by-step through the process of painting their own masterpieces. ...
Breaks are provided through the evening to indulge in beverages and snacks of choice. Couples can bring along a bottle or two of wine and a platter of cheeses, chocolates or other Valentine’s Day fare. Those interested can inquire at their nearest paint and sip location, such as Pinot’s Palette, for Valentine’s Day specials.
• Activity night: Couples who are naturally competitive or devoted sports fans can enjoy the evening by engaging in some healthy competition. Some restaurants host trivia nights, or couples can head to the nearest arcade and battle it out.
• Chef lessons: Although some couples may dine out on Valentine’s Day, men and women who like to dabble in culinary arts can prepare their own meals from the comforts of their own kitchens. Others may want to enroll in classes that provide expert instruction from area chefs or culinary instructors. Cooking classes can be an ideal way to spend time together learning skills that can be put to use again and again.
• Adventures: Couples who like to push the envelope can explore the possibilities of thrill-seeking activities. Some may include bungee-jumping, hot-air balloon rides, taking laps at the racetrack, or hitting the ski slopes.
Valentine’s Day might be a time for romance, but couples should not hesitate to buck tradition and spend the day together engaging in activities that accommodate their interests.
Remember to be responsible where our animal friends are concerned
A story published in the Polk County Enterprise Thursday, Feb. 8 edition reported on the plight of several horses in the Bold Springs area who were reportedly “being starved and neglected,” in the words of a resident who voiced concern over the animals.
The story, which was also published to the Enterprise Facebook page on Tuesday, Feb. 6, tugged at many readers’ heartstrings and also raised th...e ire of many animal lovers who could not fathom the level of neglect necessary to allow for these animals to almost starve to death.
In a twist of kindness, another concerned citizen, Karen Pruitt, took in the horses and has plans to rehabilitate them and get them healthy as, well, horses, again. Sadly, one of the horses died before the intervention took place, but the remaining eight will surely be on the road to recovery with the TLC that Pruitt and her family can provide them. According to the story, the absentee owner of the animals lives about 70 miles from the property, and gave the concerned neighbors a series of excuses as to why the horses were not cared for.
The only constant in our lives, in the universe at large, is change. This maxim is something we hear so frequently that it has almost become a cliché, yet its truth in explaining the courses our lives take on remains. Change is one thing, and sure, our lives and living situations can change at a moment’s notice. Still, there is no excuse for the abuse and/or neglect of any living thing.
Everyone matters. Every living thing matters. Period.
We bristle and blanch when we read or hear stories about the abuse and/or neglect of children, elderly, and the disabled, but the same things happen to our animal friends. To paraphrase a comment made by one of our readers on the Facebook page, it is not the horses’ fault that what happened to them happened. They are born innocent and trusting, and at the mercy of their humans.
Sharing your life with an animal friend can be one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences in this life, but remember: they are dependent on you not only for love, affection, and friendship but for their basic needs, as well.
If you have an animal, or animals, you cannot take care of, do the right thing, and find someone who can, or call one of the organizations available that can provide assistance here in Polk County. There are a number of resources available to assist with these matters, including the SPCA of Polk County, the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, and in Livingston, there is an animal control officer available through Livingston Police Department.
If you hear of, or see, signs of animal abuse and/or neglect, pick up the phone and call someone who can help. Not only might you save a life, but you may even find yourself with a new best friend; one who is always happy to see you and one who doesn’t mind all your quirks.
PREDATORS RETURN -- Winged predators such as this ferruginous hawk displayed during a 2016 show will return to the Lake Livingston State Park on Saturday, March 24. Presented by EarthQuest, the Birds of Prey program will feature several different species of avian predators along with information about each of the amazing creatures.
‘Old meth cook’ faces life in prison
LIVINGSTON -- A Polk County jury deliberated about 15 minutes Thursday before returning a “guilty” verdict against a 62-year-old Livingston man described as an “old meth cook.”
Danny Lee Schanfish was found guilty of felony offense of possession or transport of chemicals with intent to manufacture a controlled substance and now faces a possible sentence ranging from five years to life in prison....
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 13 before 258th District Judge E.L. McClendon.
The jury trial, which was prosecuted by Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon, stemmed from a Jan. 29, 2015 investigation by Polk County sheriff’s narcotics detectives of Schanfish’s residence at 142 Loop 115 North in Livingston.
For the complete story, see Sunday's Polk County Enterprise
SENIOR CENTER RIBBON CUTTING – County dignitaries and staff members celebrated the ribbon cutting to welcome the new senior center into being earlier this afternoon afternoon. Polk County Aging and Social Services Director Barbara Hayes (center) spoke to the crowd about the long road it took to get the new facility built. The new center should be open to the public by Tuesday, Feb. 13, and will offer home-cooked meals and activities aplenty for Livingston-area senior citizens.