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Entergy line failure leads to blackout

LIVINGSTON – A problem with an Entergy transmission line knocked out electrical service to the entire City of Livingston and a portion of Sam Houston Electric Cooperative Thursday night.
The power was off for just over 90 minutes starting about 5:30 p.m. but the exact cause of the disruption was still not known at press time.
"There was some real concern about a prolonged outage last night because temperatures were expected to drop," Livingston City Manager Marilyn Sutton said Friday. "Fortunately, Entergy was able to reroute the power through their Goodrich substation and get electricity to the city through a backdoor."
Sutton said Entergy crews were working Friday trying to isolate the problem along a 1.54-mile section of their main transmission line located between Israel Road and Old Woodville Road near Livingston.
Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Pitts noted the power outage affected the normal operation of several small businesses.
"The Polk County Office of Emergency Management encourages these entities to consider the installation and routine testing of back-up generator power to ensure the continuity of operations within our community. Please be mindful that periods of extreme cold and heat can affect power systems. Please take time to review your emergency plans. Know our office is willing to assist you in your planning efforts."
In the aftermath of the outage, a number of telephone systems experienced problems, including the one serving the Polk County Courthouse. While the systems in most other county buildings was not affected, the main courthouse was totally without telephone service for most of Friday morning. While the service to the county judge's office was up and running by about 11:30 a.m., some of the other offices in the building were still down Friday afternoon.

Filing complete for May 9 ballots

BY BRIAN BESCH
Enterprise staff
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POLK COUNTY -- Ballots are now set for the May 9 elections, with only a few school board positions to be be contested.

The only races that developed for the local elections were for seats on the Goodrich and Corrigan-Camden school boards.

All city council elections in the county will most likely be cancelled with Onalaska, Goodrich, Livingston and Corrigan all either retaining incumbents or having just one new applicant to fill each open seat.

Onalaska Independent School District board member Linda Vincent in Position 6, as well as Lewis Landsman's Position 3 will remain with the incumbents. The Onalaska City Council had three seats available, and the incumbents Carl Cruse, Patsy Goins and Shirley Gilmore will stay put with no one challenging.

In Goodrich, Janice Brooks will serve another school board term with no competition and Billy Stutts' at large position will go to a vote between Bertha Baldwin and Angela Heslin. Cindy Meyer and Joan Strong's alderman at-large seats on the Goodrich City Council will go to Bill Sikes and Yalonda Holcomb, respectively. Marlene Arnold and Mayor Jeremy Harper will return with no one challenging their re-election bids.

The Corrigan City Council will welcome back Johnna Lowe-Gibson, Johnnie Brooks and Irene Thompson, who hold positions 1, 3 and 5, respectively. The Corrigan-Camden School Board will have Chris Ricks challenging incumbent Seth Handley for Position 4 and Lesly Wilkinson will challenge incumbent Anthony Harrell for Position 5.
In Livingston, Aldermen Elgin Davis, Judy Cochran and Dr. Raymond Luna will also retain their seats without opposition.

School boards in Livingston, Leggett, and Big Sandy will all hold their elections until Nov. 3 of this year.
To vote in Texas, you must be registered. The last day to register for voting in the May 9 election is April 9. Early voting will be April 27 – May 5. Ballots by mail must be received April 30 – May 9.

Voter registration applications may be picked up at a library, any government office or download one from votetexas.gov. Upon acceptance, a voter registration will be effective 30 days from registration.

Completed applications may be mailed to the Polk County Voter Registrar, Tax Assessor-Collector Leslie Jones Burks at 416 N. Washington Livingston, TX 77351. The phone number is (936) 327-6801.

Corrigan park damage believed to be arson

PARK DAMAGED — Playground equipment at the City of Corrigan’s new park was heavily damaged early Tuesday by a fire believed to have been the result of arson. (Corrigan Times Photo)PARK DAMAGED — Playground equipment at the City of Corrigan’s new park was heavily damaged early Tuesday by a fire believed to have been the result of arson. (Corrigan Times Photo)

BY KIM POPHAM
Contributing writer

CORRIGAN -- The recently opened Corrigan city park was vandalized early Tuesday morning and officials are asking the public for help in finding the perpetrators.

According to Corrigan Police Chief Darrell Gibson, someone set fire to the playground equipment at Corrigan Central Park, which opened in September off Martin Luther King Street. At 5:45 a.m., a resident living close to the park called and reported the park was on fire.

Personnel with the Corrigan Volunteer Fire Department and Corrigan Police Officer Charles Murray responded to the call.

According to City Manager Darrian Hudman, the damage to the park is valued at approximately $100,000.

The FBI, Texas Fire Marshal's Office and the Corrigan Police Department are investigating the fire and Gibson said the crime is being investigated as an arson, which is a second-degree felony.

Gibson also wanted to clarify it was not being investigated as a potential hate crime. "That's not even on the table," Gibson said. Gibson noted, however, that with more investigation into the damages, the crime could possibly be a potential first-degree felony offense. Initially, damages were estimated at $40,000 before the $100,000 figure was released at press time.

The City of Corrigan is offering a $1,000 reward, the Administration by Texas Advisory Council (ATAC) is offering a $1,000 reward and Polk County Crime Stoppers are also offering a $1,000 reward for a possible total reward of $3,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandal or vandals responsible for the damage.

No injuries in two-vehicle Livingston wreck

Wreck

NO INJURIES — No injuries were reported Friday following a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Washington and Polk streets in Livingston. According to police, the driver of the silver GMC truck attempted to pull onto Washington from Polk Street but was unable to see the northbound white Pontiac traveling due to an illegally parked truck. The drivers of the illegally parked truck and the GMC truck were issued traffic citations.

Pig smooching was for fun and charity

CURING CANCER? – Dr. Janel Sewell (right), principal of Pine Ridge Elementary School in Livingston, was among those who kissed a pig last week to help raise money for the fight against cancer. At all three Livingston elementary campuses, students donated money – a penny per vote – and selected "winners" among the school administration and teaching staff to kiss the pig. A total of $1,646.92 was raised for the Polk County Relay for Life fundraiser in April. (Contributed Photo)CURING CANCER? – Dr. Janel Sewell (right), principal of Pine Ridge Elementary School in Livingston, was among those who kissed a pig last week to help raise money for the fight against cancer. At all three Livingston elementary campuses, students donated money – a penny per vote – and selected "winners" among the school administration and teaching staff to kiss the pig. A total of $1,646.92 was raised for the Polk County Relay for Life fundraiser in April. (Contributed Photo)

LIVINGSTON – There are fundraisers and then there are "fun"-raisers and that idea was demonstrated to Livingston students during the "Kiss the Pig" event conducted on all three elementary campuses.

Students contributed a penny per vote to select who among the school's administrative and teaching staff got the honor of kissing a live pig in front of the student body.

A total of $1,646.92 was raised, which will be donated to the Polk County Relay for Life by the Educators for a Cure Team in April. The Relay for Life is the big local fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and the Educators for a Cure Team is composed of school personnel who work to raise money for the fight against cancer throughout the year.

The students and staff of Cedar Grove, Pine Ridge, and Timber Creek elementary schools have a history of giving when it comes to fundraisers for Relay for Life. The campuses use a variety of events throughout the year including selling "Smencils," cupcake sales, luncheons, t-shirt sales, Santa pictures, hat days, jean days, wind suit days, Kiss the Pig and Kid Walk to generate the donation that Educators for a Cure make to Relay for Life.

The team donated $8,158 last year and received the "Super School Team" award.

This year the team hopes to top last year's total and with last week's Kiss the Pig event, appear to be well on their way to meeting that goal.

Those who "won" the right to kiss the pig this year included Mrs. Barnes, Ms. Bookman, Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Cotton, Mrs. Eickenhorst, Mrs. Fuller, Mrs. Greer, Mrs. Haynes, Coach Isaacs, Mrs. Long, Mrs. McDaniel, Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Patranella, Mrs. Placker, Mrs. Plunk, Dr. Sewell, Ms. Vera and Mrs. Waters.

Texas Independence Day Celebration Saturday - Indians aided settlers during the revolution

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The Polk County Historical Commission is preparing to celebrate Texas Independence Day with a program set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Old City Cemetery in Livingston)

BY WANDA BOBINGER
Curator, Polk County Museum

The onward march of the Mexicans had caused the people to become terror-stricken. Most of the men, even many of the boys, had joined the army, leaving only women and children at home.

Soon the roads going east were clogged with wagons and ox-carts carrying household goods. Many colonists trudged on foot. Added to the fear was the sadness of leaving everything behind. This was intensified by cold, rain, hunger and diseases. Many died and were buried where they fell.

The refugees reached this area of East Texas to find the waters of the Trinity River at flood stage as a result of prolonged spring rains. They feared that they would not reach the Sabine to cross into the United States and find safety.

Then appeared a group of Indians in buckskin leggings, hunting jackets and feathered turbans on their heads. They were friendly Coushatta, led by Chief Kalita.

The group dismounted and offered to assist the Texans. Wheels were removed from the wagons, then poles were fastened underneath and "snaked" across the river.

Suddenly a woman in bed with a baby several days old began to scream and cry out. Another of her small children could not be found. The child had been left on the other side of the river.

Without hesitation, Chief Kalita guided his horse into the raging water. After a time, he came back into view holding the child in his arms.

After the Texan's victory at the Battle of San Jacinto, Sam Houston sent Kalita and some of his scouts to assist the refugees in returning to their homes. On the long trip home, as they neared Kalita's village, the Chief invited the families to rest there. Calves were killed and a feast prepared for the weary, but jubilant travelers.

A monument, at Liberty, Texas, erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution was placed in appreciation of Chief Kalita and the Coushatta for giving help to Texans during the dark days of their struggle for independence.

On April 21, 1836, Santa Anna's Army at San Jacinto numbered around 1,200. He did not know that Sam Houston, with 900 Texans, were just a few miles away. Around 4:30 p.m., the Mexican soldiers began to awaken from their siesta to the smell of gunpowder and cries of vengeance.

Over 600 Mexican soldiers were killed and 700 allowed to surrender. Only nine Texans were killed or mortally wounded. The Battle of San Jacinto took only 18 minutes, but it was 18 minutes that changed the world.

For Mexico, the defeat resulted in the loss of nearly one million square miles of territory. For Texans, the victory led to annexation into the United States, who would gain not only Texas, but also New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California, Utah and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.

Almost one third of what is now the United States of America changed ownership as a result of the Battle of Jacinto, one of the most decisive and consequential battles in the history of the western world.