District 22-5A alters football schedules

by Brian Besch

New Schedule Follows Story

The 2017 football schedule for District 22-5A has been changed to accommodate schools in the southeast that have not yet returned to school due to weather-related issues.

Beginning Sept. 20, the Livingston Lions will play contests every six days over the next few weeks. The new plan allows games to take place later in the month, allowing those still dealing with fallout from Harvey to recover and begin a school schedule.

The Sept. 15 district opener for the Lions at home versus Nederland has been moved to Wednesday Sept. 20. A road game with Lumberton, originally scheduled for Sept. 22, will be Tuesday Sept. 26. Port Neches-Groves was to be Sept. 29 and will now move to Monday, Oct. 2.

Also changed will be the Oct. 20 and Oct 27 games scheduled versus Vidor and Port Arthur Memorial, respectfully. Those two games will be switched, with Oct. 20 at Port Arthur Memorial and Oct. 27 hosting Vidor.

Livingston Athletic Director Brian Broussard said the Thursday, Oct. 12 contest with Baytown Lee could also be moved to the following day.

All games will remain at 7 p.m. just as they were scheduled to begin.

Tennis and volleyball schedules will also be altered during this time. Those schedules will be released once they are finalized.

The new proposed Livingston Lion football schedule

(Cancelled) New Caney
Sept. 8 at Caney Creek
Sept. 20 Nederland (Wed.)
Sept. 26 at Lumberton (Tue.)
Oct. 2 Port Neches-Groves (Mon.)
Oct. 7 Open (Sat.)
Oct. 12 at Baytown Lee (Thu.)
Oct. 20 at Port Arthur Memorial
Oct. 27 Vidor
Nov. 3 Beaumont Central
Nov. 10 at Beaumont Ozen

district-sched edit


Emergency blood drive set

LIVINGSTON -- An emergency community blood drive held in response to Hurricane Harvey will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, in the parking lot of the Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, 120 U.S. 59 Loop North in Livingston.

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will have its donor coach in the parking lot.

Because of the devastation created in Houston by Hurricane Harvey, the blood center has been unable to receive donations in that city since Saturday, Aug. 26. Blood center officials are asking East Texas donors to help rebuild the blood supply.

Call or text Connie at 936-553-4403 to sign up.

Center of Hope handling relief

LIVINGSTON – In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Center of Hope is now coordinating Polk County’s relief efforts for those affected by the storm’s flood. Located at 600 S. Washington in Livingston, the center is the centralized location for donations, financial assistance and help with flooded homes moving forward.

County Judge Sydney Murphy said, “Center of Hope has literally been a Godsend to the community during this disaster. They have provided assistance during the entire time and are prepared to continue. We look forward to a continuous, solid partnership between the center and county.”

A partnership between many local churches, the Center of Hope was formed to meet the physical and spiritual needs of Polk County’s citizens. In the past, the center has concentrated its efforts on food and education. However, with the damage caused by the recent storm, the center has now shifted its immediate focus to include clothing, cleaning supplies and helping with the clean up effort.

“We want the people of Polk County to know that there is hope in the midst of their storm,” said Jim Mayland, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church and president of the Center of Hope. “We want them to know that the church…not just a church, but the church as a whole…is ready to be the hands and feet of Christ to those who are hurting.”

Those whose homes were damaged due to flooding are encouraged to contact the center at 936-327-7634. Forms are available to help assess the damage so that teams can be mobilized to help with recovery and clean up efforts. Teams have already been clearing out flood-damaged homes in several communities in the county.

Gloria Barber, director of the Center of Hope, has been overwhelmed by the response of the community so far.

“The spirit of volunteerism is alive and well in Polk County,” Barber said. “We have had more than 1,500 volunteer hours in just the first two days. They have been sorting clothing and bedding, packing food bags, answering phones, spending time with those that have been affected and doing what they can for those in need.”

Financial assistance for those affected by Harvey may be available through Campaign 300, which is a part of the Center of Hope. All financial donations made to the center through Campaign 300 will go to assist projects and recovery in Polk County.

The Center of Hope will be open to assist flood victims from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Regular food bank hours will remain Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., and 5:30-7:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month.

Those who would like to volunteer or find out more information about how their church can partner with Center of Hope, are invited to stop by during operating hours or call 936-327-7634.

County added to federal disaster declaration

AUSTIN -- Polk, Tyler and Walker counties were added to the list of counties covered under the Federal Disaster Declaration previously approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Friday.

The addition of Polk County means that FEMA can now provide assistance to help with the recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

The addition of the three on Friday brought the number of Texas counties receiving FEMA assistance to 36.

The three newly added counties will now be eligible to receive Individual Assistance, Public Assistance (Categories A and B including Direct Federal Assistance) and Hazard Mitigation from FEMA in response to the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Additional counties will be added as they meet federal requirements.

“I am grateful for the quick action and flexibility of the President and FEMA to ensure Texans receive the resources they need so that we can focus on recovering as quickly as possible,” said Governor Abbott. “I want to assure Texans, as they begin to rebuild their communities, they are not alone, and we are doing everything we can to get them what they need. This disaster declaration will help provide much needed resources to Texans in their more dire time of need.”

Individual assistance means that home owners can obtain help for items not covered by insurance including housing while businesses damaged by the flood can obtain low interest loans through the Small Business Administration.

The public assistance portion of the FEMA program will help the county pay for the massive amount of repair work that will be needed to the roads, bridges and drainage systems.

On Friday, the Polk County Office of Emergency Management published a number of phone numbers and website addresses that local residents can contact for assistance. Those wishing to apply for help from FEMA should go to their website Help from the American Red Cross can be obtained by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS and employment assistance through the Texas Workforce Commission can be found at
or at the Workforce Solutions office at 1241 W. Church Street, Suite 300, in Livingston.

Helping Hands!


HELPING HANDS — Texas Game Wardens and High Patrol Troopers (above) joined local fire fighters in pulling children and adults from flooded subdivisions along the Trinity River in southern Polk County. No deaths or major injuries have been attributed to the flooding created by Hurricane Harvey.

Mandatory evacuation order lifted on Friday

LIVINGSTON -- The mandatory evacuation order issued for areas along the Trinity River below the Lake Livingston Dam was lifted Friday morning to allow residents of the area to check on their property.

The mandatory evacuation order was issued by Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy on Tuesday, replacing an earlier voluntary order, as the water being released from the dam forced the river levels to rise dramatically.

Although the mandatory order has been lifted, officials are asking that only residents of the impacted subdivisions go into the area.

“The roads have been damaged from having been under water for so long and having too much traffic on them can damage them further,” said Marcia Cook, assistant to the county judge. “Right now the roads are ‘passable’ but that is a relative term so anyone going into those areas need to exercise caution.”

The water level for local creeks and rivers began to subside beginning midweek once the heavy rains generated by Hurricane Harvey ended. During the height of the storm, area firefighters, Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens and others were helping remove residents from the river subdivisions often by boat.