Annual rodeo includes new features

LIVINGSTON -- With the week-long 72nd Annual Trinity-Neches Livestock Show kicking off on Monday, plans for one of its signature events, the rodeo, call for both traditional and new activities.

The rodeo will be held on Thursday, March 9, and will open at 6 p.m. with the traditional TNLS Queen’s Contest in the Barney Wiggins Memorial Arena off South Houston Street (Hwy. 146) in Livingston.

Contestants from each Polk County FFA Chapter and the Polk County 4-H will take part in all of the rodeo event to claim the title of 2017’s First Place Rodeo Team.

One of the new attractions this year is something that organizers hope the audience will enjoy. Vern Kaylor of Jasper is scheduled to bring a couple of his mini-bucking bulls and plans call for a riding exhibition from one of Kaylor’s famous riders.

Then, for the crowd’s enjoyment, one of the Polk County agriculture teachers or county extension agents will ride one of the bulls. The rider will be determined by how much money their chapter or 4-H raise throughout the week. Those attending the livestock show throughout the week will be asked to place money in containers at the concession stand for each FFA chapter or the 4-H and the “winner” will be the group that raises the most money.

The funds raised by the event will be used to provide a scholarship to a senior participating in this year’s show.

Wrist bands for the rodeo will be sold throughout the day Thursday and at the gates starting at 5 p.m. Admission is $5.

Other events planned during the rodeo include a mutton busting for children six and younger. Registration will be prior to the start of the rodeo at the information booth by the bucking chutes.

A goat scramble also will be held for the children in the audience.

Concession workers as well as outside vendors will be on hand to offer food items.

The annual show will run through Friday, March 10, and will conclude with the annual livestock auction.

Casino Royale Gala will benefit children

Childrens-Haven-Gala2Area residents will be able to place their bets on Childrenz Haven at the 2017 Casino Royale Gala fundraiser from 6-11p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Polk County Commerce Center.

The evening will be a “whirlwind of table games” as well as live and silent auctions, a raffle, entertainment, and a steak dinner prepared and served by the Polk County Cookers.

Those attending will be invited to try their hand at Texas hold-em, Black Jack, roulette and craps. They will be able to bid silently or live for items like premier Rockets tickets, hunts, spa days, local restaurant and retail offers and of course gourmet cakes. They also may choose to stylishly sit, have a drink and people watch the action.

Three winners who end the night with the most chips will win Visa gifts cards of $2,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. One raffle winner will win a $3,000 gift certificate for travel and accommodations through Moore Travel.

Tickets for the event are $75 per person, $130 per couple or $650 for a table of 10. Each ticket also will include two drink tickets, $1,000 in gambling chips, a $25 raffle ticket for Moore Travel gift certificate and a steak dinner by Greg Pearson’s cooking team for each ticket purchased. Additional raffle tickets will be available at the event for $25 each or five for $100. Players can add to their chip pile for $25 per 1,000 chips.

Childrenz Haven is also seeking sponsors to offset costs. Individuals and businesses are invited to join the Williams Firm and Polk County Abstract as a Table Sponsor for $2,500, Naskila Entertainment Center as a High Roller Sponsor at $1,200; and Americare EMS/Allegiance Mobile Health and Dr. Ralph Jenke, DDS as a Glitter Ambiance Sponsor for $500.

Additionally, Veronica Cuevas, an event decorator extraordinaire, is donating her magic to transform the Commerce Center.
All proceeds will help Childrenz Haven, a Texas Child Advocacy Center, meet the increasing need for support and counseling to victims of child-abuse and their families throughout and after the legal process.

Call Childrenz Haven at (936) 327-4757 to for ticket information and to become a Casino Royale sponsor. Tickets also may be purchased online at

Seniors receive holiday "prayer bears"


Hundreds of local seniors will get a special Christmas Day surprise as church volunteers will deliver teddy bears to residents of six Livingston-area nursing homes.

The public is invited to volunteer Sunday morning as members of First United Methodist Church will deliver the Christmas “prayer bears” to senior residents of The Bradford at Brookside, The Gardens at Livingston, Pine Ridge Health, Provident Memory Care, Tall Pines Assisted Living and Timberwood Nursing Home.

“This is our first time doing this and it’s something we wanted to give to the community,” said FUMC secretary Cheyenne Lusk. “Instead of just going home [after church,] we will be out singing and delivering these gifts.”

Church members started collecting the bears on the first day of Advent on Nov. 27 and have made them a big part of worship services at FUMC.

“The bears have all been prayed over, loved and blessed during church each week,” Lusk said.

“This will be special for the seniors because a lot of them won’t have their loved ones with them and they just want something soft to hug,” she added.

The church was able to exceed their original goal of 387 teddy bears, thanks to the generosity of many of its members.

“Because of all the people at our church wanting to bring extra, we now have 400 bears to give on Christmas.” said Lusk.

FUMC invites anyone who would like to volunteer during the delivery, which will begin immediately after Christmas services at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Christmas-BearsA VERY BEARY CHRISTMAS — Members of the First United Methodist Church of Livingston have collected 400 teddy bears to give to the residents of local nursing homes. The public is invited to join the church members in distributing the bears on Christmas Day following the morning services.

Remembrance on Veterans Day (Photo)

Veterans-Day-Celebration640pAs part of a Veterans Day observance, Chaplain John Benoit of American Legion Post #312 remembers a lost loved one on the Vietnam War memorial display as Auxiliary President Jeanette Jackson recites a poem called “His Name on the Wall.” Friday’s event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and was a joint presentation by the American Legion Post #312, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, F.A.I.T.H., VFW Post #8568 and American Legion Post #402.

Lake planting at Waterwood Marina


LAKE LIVINGSTON – About 120 area high school and intermediate students propagated and planted 3,500 American water-willow plants in to the Pools Creek area of Lake Livingston on Thursday.
Students from six school districts took part in the Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs project which is designed to reintroduce native plant live into the lake.

During the event, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Trinity River Authority provided boats and site planting supervision for the planting, which occurred on the San Jacinto side of the lake. In addition, there were over 40 adult volunteers helping to make the day successful and fun for all.

Goodrich High School hosted the event at the old Waterwood Marina site.

Among the volunteer who helped pickup the plants and transport them to the Waterwood Marina on Tuesday were Deb Burleson, Pam Klouda Ron Diderich, Kimberly Short, John Benesante, Jim Meyer and Tom McDonough.

Schools taking part in the project include Livingston Intermediate School as well as Livingston, Onalaska, Goodrich, Corrigan-Camden, Shepherd and the Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated high schools.



PREPARING THE PLANTS – Students in six area school districts worked last week to propagate and plant 3,500 American water-willow plants into Lake Livingston as part of the Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs project to reintroduce native plant life into the lake. Above are students from Livingston Intermediate School caring for the plants in the growth tanks while below students from Onalaska High School care for the plants at their growth tanks.

Amario family on path to citizenship

LIVINGSTON - Luis Amario and his family are sleeping better these days, since their extension Visa was approved through Nov. 30 of this year. “We are still waiting on the needed paperwork from the Department of Labor, but things are moving along nicely and we are very positive,” said Amario.

The Polk County Enterprise reported several weeks ago that the Amario family would be facing deportation due to a paperwork mistake by the attorney appointed to his case. Since then, the Livingston Independent School District, where Amario works as a bilingual teacher on a H1B Visa, appointed the school district’s attorney to the case.

“Dr. Brent Hawkins and the LISD are directly responsible for helping to get this problem corrected,” said Amario. He also credits the prayers of his community and church. “I couldn’t be more thankful to the politicians who helped our cause: Congressman Brian Babin, Representative James White, Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Please continue to pray for our family.”

Amario-FamilyVISA EXTENDED -- Luis Amario and his wife Zaritma are enjoying the school year with daughter Daniela, a third grader at Livingston ISD, and their son Matthew, age two, who spends his days with Mommy. The family is living and working in Livingston on a H1B work Visa, with plans to become American citizens.


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