We have a new method of doing our Letters to the Editor. As always, we encourage you to voice your thoughts on news and events in and around Polk County and beyond. To do this, just email us at: email@example.com.
As always, keep it clean and try to stear clear of personal attacks.
Willie P. Openshaw, Editor
Murphy Memorial Library Closing for Move
Murphy Memorial Library will be closed from April 21 - May 3. The Library is moving to 707 North Tyler Avenue. The Library is being renamed Livingston Municipal Library. Any items that may be due during this time should be returned to the old location. The book drop on the back wall of the old building will be available for library customers to deposit their items.
Officer Brandon Brewer cited 25 year old Johnny Dickey 2 times.
Driver Fails to Yield, Gets Broadsided, LIVINGSTON,April 10, 2014 - At 9:13 am on April 10, 2014, a maroon Dodge Charger driven by Johnny Levy Dickey, 25, of Leggett was north-bound on North Washington Avenue (near the DPS Office) and attempted a left turn into a Valero service station. Dickey failed to yield to an oncoming south-bound black Dodge Ram pickup. The pickup slammed into the passenger's side of Dickey's vehicle. Officers Brandon Brewer and Caleb Barker (both with Livingston PD) were dispatched to the scene. Additionally, Americare Ambulance Service was dispatched. The driver of the pickup was okay, Dickey was up and walking around and appeared okay, but opted to be transported toLivingston Memorial Hospitalby Ambulance for precautionary reasons. Officer Brandon Brewer cited Dickey for failure to yield right-of-way and driving with a suspended license. Both vehicles were recovered by Ken's Towing and will be stored at Harrison Body Shop in Livingston.
MedL Available at Memorial Gift Shop and Online, LIVINGSTON, April 9, 2014 - Each year, 125,000 people die because they did not take their medicine as directed. Memorial is dedicated to reducing that number through the Medication List program, or MedL.
The MedL program was developed as a part of Memorial’s ongoing objective to reduce potentially avoidable 30-day readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries. Memorial Medical Center-Livingston, the East Texas Heart and Vascular Initiative and the Memorial Volunteer Auxiliary have joined together to encourage the community to keep an updated medication list. An easy-to-fill-out form is available at the Memorial Gift Shop or at memorialhealth.org.
“We noticed that many people who were admitted to the hospital could not give us a complete and accurate list of the medications they were taking at home,” said Patricia Jones, RN, BA, CHCE, Director of Community Based Care, Memorial Homecare and Community Care Transitions Project. “We want to help our patients be prepared for every encounter with the healthcare system.”
Jones said the purpose of the MedL campaign is to motivate the public to have ready access to a list of all the medications they are taking; to give the public the tools to make a complete and accurate list; and to prompt them to take the list and their medication bottles to every healthcare appointment.
“Fifty percent of the U.S. population is prescribed medication for chronic conditions,” Jones said. “Of those prescribed medication, only 50% are taking it as directed. It’s our responsibility to help our patients be prepared when they go to their doctors’ appointments or to our hospital so we can reduce readmissions and prevent medication errors.”
Anyone who fills out a MedL list will receive stickers and magnets to hang their lists on the refrigerator. Patients also will receive medication bags upon discharge.
A complete and accurate MedL includes prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs. A MedL should be kept in a wallet or purse at all times so it can be readily accessed in case of an emergency.
Memorial Health System of East Texas Volunteer Auxiliary members Dell Philippi (left) and Charlotte Carpender (right) display the MedL that are provided free of charge at the Memorial Gift Shop or at memorialhealth.org.
Went to My Big Brother's the Other Day... I grew up in East Houston as the youngest of 5 kids in my family (I actually had a twin (Millie) who made it to the world 5 minutes ahead of me). There was Mom, Dad, Bobby, Debbie, Michael, Millie and myself. Dad passed away in 2000 and cancer took Millie a few years ago. Very early on in my childhood, I stood in awe of my oldest brother, Bobby. Bobby is five years older than me. He was always the smartest, the fastest runner, the strongest, the biggest and when necessary, the baddest...Click Here for More
CRIME STOPPERS PAYS CA$H REWARDS!
On Saturday March 29, 2014 the Polk County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle which occurred off of Cherokee Forest Lane located off of Mangum Road.
During the commission of the crime the suspect(s) targeted a 2001 Honda Goldwing GL1800 motorcycle (trike), a three wheeled motorcycle.
The motor cycle is described as red in color and has a value of $25,000.
The motorcycle was last seen parked at a residence off of Cherokee Forrest Lane and was taken in between the hours of 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm while the owner was away from the residence.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division is requesting anyone who may have information about this crime to contact Detective Christopher Lima at 936-329-9027 or you may also call crime stoppers at 936-327-STOP where you can remain anonymous and may collect a cash reward for information leading to the property or a suspect(s) in this case.
Coca Cola Minivan Rolls, LIVINGSTON, March 30, 2014 - At approximately 6:30 am on March 30, 2014, a Scion minivan driven by Christian Collard, 18, of Lufkin was south-bound on US-59. According to Collard he swerved to avoid a dog and lost control of his vehicle. His minivan (owned by Coca Cola, Lufkin) left the highway to the right, rolled through the grass, entered the SB feeder, crossed over the pavement and rolled into the grass on the right of the feeder near Livingston Walmart. His vehicle came to rest upright facing north. Americare Ambulance Service was dispatched to the scene along with Officers Kevin Ward and Scott Paske (both with Livingston PD). Collard was transported to Livingston Memorial Hospital to be checked out, but appears to have only sustained bruises and scratches. A rollback wrecker from LakeView Wrecker recovered his vehicle and it will be stored in Livingston.
On March 22, 2014 the Livingston Police Department was dispatched to Walmart in reference to a theft of merchandise. During the investigation it was determined that a unidentified white male subject concealed merchandise in a back pack and exited the store without rendering payment. The white male suspect in the photograph is described as wearing dark colored sweat pants with a red stripe on each leg, a dark colored t-shirt, dark color hair and possibly a mustache. The suspect is a smoker and was last seen getting in a red or maroon colored Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by another person. If you know the identity of the person or have information related to this incident you are asked to contact Detective Leon Middleton at the Livingston Police Department 936-327-3117 or Polk County Crimestoppers at 936-327-7867. Your name and information will remain confidential and anonymous.
Willie P. Openshaw
On a Personal Note... I got to experience a first in my life over the weekend. My daughter gave birth to my first grandchild. Leading up to this moment, I had no idea what it would be like...Click Here for More
Ribbon Cutting... LIVINGSTON, March 20, 2014 - If you're a local country music artist, then you might want to visit Jason Mclelland with HGN Music. Mclelland is a country music artist promoter and manager. Additionally, Mclelland is the owner of new local country music station, 98.1 KXAX "The X of Texas" (on FM dial). Give Jason a call at 936-239-2380.
Jason Mclelland cuts the ceremonial ribbon.
Back in Black... Corrigan PD Sports a New Look...(CLICK HERE)
Thank you for your patience... We're having technical issues regarding PolkCountyToday.com, namely getting published fast as we'd like. Please bear with us as we are doing some upgrages. In the (hopefully not too distant) future, we'll have the website rebuilt. With 6 years worth of news archived and a surplus of other things, PolkCountyToday.com is a large website and upgrading and rebuilding will be a time consuming and monumental task. Again, thank you for your patience.
Corporal Ramey Bass speaks with Ernesto Machuca, 32, of Goodrich.
Driver Rolls Pickup in Goodrich...
GOODRICH, March 18, 2014 - At approximately 4:20 am on March 18, 2014, a tan Ford F-250 Lariat was west bound on FM-2969 when the pickup left the road to the right, and rolled. The truck slammed upright on the driver's side into a tree. Americare Ambulance Service was dispatched to the scene along with Sergeant Lee Rogers with the Polk County Sheriff's Office and deputies, Terri Valka and Edward Thomas. Machuca was checked out by medical personnel and was physically okay. Corporal Ramey Bass with the Texas Highway Patrol investigated the accident. According to Corporal Bass, Machuca was cited for unsafe speed. Machuca's vehicle was recovered by Fawbush Wrecker Service.
Ribbon Cutting... Livingston Dominos Pizza held a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Owner Randy Brown and Manager Lars Smith were joined by staff members, family, friends and Polk County Chamber Ambassadors. Owner Randy Brown said "We are very happy to be here in the community and are looking forward to providing excellent service". "We have so much more to offer now compared to when Dominos first opened years ago", stated Brown. Dominos offers not only pizza with endless toppings, but pasta, sandiwiches, hot wings, bread products and lava cakes. Dominos of course delivers but has a small dine in area as well and is located at 1934 Hwy 190 W. Hours of operations are Sunday - Thursday 10am to 12am, Friday and Saturday 10am to 1am. You can email 'em at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach them by phone at 936-327-4444. All of law enforcement and fire personnel receive a 50% discount.
Accident Hospitalizes 2, LIVINGSTON, March 11, 2014 -Shortly after 7 pm on March 11, 2014, a white 1998 Dodge pickup driven by Robert Lee Lewis, 51, of Livingston, was west-bound on US-190 West (next to Raceway). Lewis attempted a left turn into the parking lot of Raceway but failed to yield to an oncoming east-bound silver 2008 Chevy Cobalt...more
CRIME STOPPERS PAYS CA$H REWARDS!
The Livingston Police Department is currently investigating a theft that occurred on March 10, 2014 at approximately 5:15 p.m. involving this male subject seen in the photographs. The male subject is observed as wearing tan cargo shorts, a blue T-shirt that reads "Nothing Like Your First" and a dark colored ball cap worn backwards. The male subject is possibly driving a silver/gray colored SUV. Anyone with information on the identity of this person is asked to contact Detective Leon Middleton at the Livingston Police Department or Polk County Crimestoppers. Your name will remain anonymous.
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Local Business Makes Polk County Great...
Stories of Local Business here in Polk County, Texas
Onalaska Business Owner Strives to be a Cut Above...
Making people's hair look great is in Stephanie Johnson's blood. She worked alongside her mother, Pat Rambin, for 7 years. At the end of 2012 Pat decided it was time to hang up her apron and pass the styling torch to Stephanie...(Click here for more!)
Career Criminal Gets Life for Firearms Violation, LIVINGSTON, March 8, 2014 - On Friday, March 7th 2014, Phillip Farrell was found guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon by a Polk County jury and was sentenced to Life in prison based on his extensive criminal history. On August 5th of 2013 Richard Gagnon, Adam Horn, and Katrina Barnes had delivered a .22 rifle to Mr. Farrell in exchange for drugs...more
AUSTIN, March 7, 2014 – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will increase DWI patrols from March 7 – March 23, which coincides with one of the busiest Spring Break periods in Texas. During this effort, DPS troopers will focus on DWI patrols in high-risk locations at times when alcohol-related crashes are most frequent. The enhanced patrols that target intoxicated drivers are funded by a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) grant.
“The decision to drink and drive during Spring Break – or any time – can often lead to disastrous and deadly consequences,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Taking impaired drivers off Texas roadways during Spring Break is a top priority for the department, and we also call on the public to do their part and designate a sober driver or find alternate transportation if they plan to drink alcohol.”
During last year’s Spring Break enforcement period, DPS troopers made more than 1,000 DWI arrests, and approximately 226 were the direct result of the increased patrols funded by the grant. DPS enforcement also resulted in more than 11,400 speeding citations, 1,600 seat belt/child safety seat tickets and about 12,000 other citations. In addition, troopers made 552 fugitive arrests and 463 felony arrests during this time period.
The drinking age in Texas is 21, and any driver under that age with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can be charged with breaking the law. Additional troopers will also be patrolling in areas with high concentrations of Spring Break activity.
DPS offers the following tips for safe travel during the Spring Break holiday:
Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.
Eliminate distractions while driving, including the usage of mobile devices.
Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.
Don't drive fatigued, and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before your trip begins.
Slow down or move over for tow trucks and police, fire, EMS and TxDOT vehicles stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law.
Avoid travel to Mexico. (U.S. citizens who do travel to Mexico should always check the U.S. Department of State website for the latest information regarding security issues in Mexico, and they should register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program by visiting http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html.)
LIVINGSTON, March 5, 2014 - At around 2:50 pm on March 4, 2014, a gold Toyota Camry was south-bound on Business 59. As the driver crossed over 190 (courthouse square) she was slammed by an east-bound Ford Sedan. The collision caused the Toyota to strike the courthouse lawn as the Ford pulled over to the shoulder on Business 59 next to the courthouse. Americare Ambulance Service was dispatched to the scene, but fortunately nobody was injured. Livingston Police Officer Kevin Ward invesgiated the accident. The Toyota was recovered by Ken's Towing and will be stored at Harrison Body Shop in Livingston.
SODA, March 2, 2014 - At approximately 3:30 am on March 2, 2014, a gray 2008 Dodge pickup driven by Joshua Wade Skinner of Colmesneil was east-bound on US-190 East, when his pickup crossed over the oncoming west-bound lanes, left the road to the left and jumped three culverts. After the third culvert, his pickup landed sideways and rolled. His vehicle came to rest upside down in the grass on the west-bound side of 190. Americare Ambulance Service was dispatched to the scene along with Deputy Cody Hardy with the Polk County Sheriff's Office and John Sikes with Alabama Coushatta Police Department. Hardy and Sikes were able to help free Skinner from his pickup. Trooper Allen Stanton with the Texas Highway Patrol investigated the accident. Skinner's pickup was recovered by LakeView Towing.
At around 11 pm on February 26, 2014, the driver of an SUV was north-bound on FM-350 south when she lost control of her vehicle, crossed over the south-bound lane and left the pavement and rolled it (a short distance south of Livingston High School. Americare Ambulance Service was dispatched to the scene along with the Livingston Volunteer Fire Department and Corporal Terry White with the Polk County Sheriff's Office. Fortunately, nobody was injured. The vehicle was recovered by Fawbush Body Shop in and will be stored in Goodrich.
Women's Power Lunch Collects Items for Childrenz Haven, LIVINGSTON, February 25, 2014 - Childrenz Haven was the most recent recipient of donated items from the Memorial Medical Center - Livingston Women's Power Lunch. Susie Adams (far right), Executive Director of Childrenz Haven, accepts the donations from representatives of the Women's Power Lunch including, from left, Charlotte Doughty, Rhonda Walsh, Elizabeth Coker, Joan Reeves, Wynona Presler and Bunny Orr. Donated items included monetary donations, snacks, children activity books and more. Each month the Women's Power Lunch group collects items for various non-profit agencies. In March, attendees are asked to bring items for MANNAFEST. The luncheon is free to the public. To learn more about The Women's Power Lunch and to view the 2014 schedule, please visit www.memorialhealth.org.
CRIME STOPPERS PAYS CA$H REWARDS!T
The Livingston Police Department is investigating several Car Burglaries which have occurred in different subdivisions in Livingston. If you know the subject in the photographs please contact Detective Marty Drake at Livingston Police Department. If you have any information on this case you are urged to contact Livingston Police Department 936-327-3117 or Polk County Crime Stoppers @ 936-327-STOP where you can remain anonymous and may collect a cash reward.
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Sheriff Kenneth Hammack advised that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a call on February 10, 2014 in reference to allegations of Stalking. An investigation was conducted and it was found that Tyler Jamison Castle has been harassing a female who had broken up with him in January of 2014. Castle makes continuous phone calls not only to her but her family also. Castle sends messages over facebook and email threatening to harm himself and her loved ones if she does not make contact with him. This has been ongoing for over a month. Sheriff Hammack stated Stalking is a very serious crime that should not be taken lightly. The law was recently changed making stalking a third degree felony.
Sheriff Hammack advised Tyler Jamison Castle has an outstanding warrant for Stalking if you see this person please call Polk County Crime Stoppers at 936-327-7867 or the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Onalaska Water and Gas Supply Corp. held a Ribbon Cutting on February 18, 2014. Board President, Rus Schmidt was joined by board members, Gary Evan, Joseph Crain, Richard Mckee and Bruce Price. Also joining members were management and other staff members, along with friends, family and Polk County Chamber Ambassadors (complete with a Chamber Ambassadors K-9, Joanie). Onalaska Water and Gas is located on FM 3459, by the high school. Office hours are Monday through Friday 7:30-4:30 and can be reached at 936-646-5393. Visit the website at www.onalaskawaterandgas.com.
Vape and Escape held a Ribbon Cutting on February 13, 2014. Vape and Escape is an electronic cigarette and accesories provider. Co-owners Ginger Murdock and Kim Keiser were joined by friends, family and Polk County Chamber Ambassadors. Vape and Escape is located at 411 E Abbey St in Livingston. Store hours are Monday through Friday, 10-6 and may be reached at 936-327-VAPE. Visit the website at www.vapeandescape.com.
Narcotics Detectives Bust Meth House, LEGGETT, February 18, 2014 -According to Polk County Sheriff, Kenneth Hammack, on Tuesday February 11, 2014 Detectives with the Narcotics Division and Criminal Investigation Division along with the Deputies with the Patrol Division from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to Fagin Farm Road in Leggett in reference to an open investigation involving the manufacture of methamphetamine...more
Driver Rolls Vehicle Delivering Flowers to His Wife, LIVINGSTON, February 17, 2014 - Shortly after 11 am on February 17, 2014, the driver of a 1999 Honda CRV was south-bound on US-59 (less than a mile south of the Livingston City Limits). The driver was about to deliver flowers to his wife for their anniversary when, according to the driver, he lost control of his vehicle, slid onto the shoulder, and was about to hit a construction sign. He opted to avoid the construction sign and took faulty evasive action causing his vehicle to roll (taking out a mailbox in the process). Fortunately, he was uninjured. Deputy Jacob Chapman with the Polk County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the scene along with Trooper Kevin Burman with the Texas Highway Patrol. The driver's wife who worked a short distance from the accident showed up to check on her husband. Trooper Burman cited the motorist for unsafe speed. A rollback wrecker from Ken's Towing recovered the vehicle and it will be stored at Pollock's Body Shop in Livingston.
WEATHER UPDATE: Temperatures have remained just above freezing across northern areas this morning with patchy areas of light precipitation occurring. Precipitation coverage will increase across the area late this morning and this afternoon and then shift east of the area around midnight, shifting from west to east during the evening hours. The freezing rain advisory will continue as there is still a threat of freezing rain across the advisory area late this afternoon and through the evening hours. Accumulation amounts are still expected to be in the .01 to .10 inch range. See the attached graphics.