Keep Crockett Beautiful Receives DOW Chemical Community Grant

Keep Crockett Beautiful is the recipient of a Keep America Beautiful Community Paint Donation Program grant, Ashley Perry, affiliate coordinator, announced Tuesday, Sept. 9.

Keep Crockett Beautiful will use the grant funds to paint the outside of the city pool building in Davy Crockett Memorial Park, Perry reported.

"Keep Crockett Beautiful invites the entire community to come out and volunteer for this wonderful opportunity to work and grow together," she said.

"We plan to meet at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27 to beat the heat and hopefully wrap up around 12 noon. We'll be meeting at the city pool building in the Davy Crockett Memorial Park," Perry continued. "All supplies are paid and sponsored by DOW Chemical; just come out ready to help!"

"Efforts are being made to make it a family fun day with booths sponsored by local businesses to promote family groups to come out and join in on taking pride for our public locations," Perry continued.

If you are interested in sponsoring a booth at the event, contact Perry at 936-546-3427 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

National nonprofit Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and Dow (NYSE: DOW) launched the merit-based community grant program to support KAB affiliates' efforts to build and sustain vibrant communities at a local level.

Grant awards are being used to purchase paint that features innovative raw materials provided by Dow Coating Materials.

Dow is continuing to demonstrate its commitment to making a difference in communities where it has a presence by donating materials for approximately 2,500 formulated gallons of 100 percent acrylic interior paint for community improvement projects that KAB affiliates and Great American Cleanup participating organizations initiate in Dow communities.

"Thriving communities are rooted in individual responsibility and action as well as public-private partnerships," said Becky Lyons, COO of Keep America Beautiful. "Thanks to Dow, the Community Paint Donation Program will help our network of affiliates and partnering organizations generate more positive impact in their communities."

"Dow is proud to be a long-time supporter of KAB and we hope this effort will be a further catalyst toward building and maintaining thriving communities," said Howard Ungerleider, executive vice president, Dow Advanced Materials. "We're especially pleased that we can tie this important philanthropic work to our Dow Coating Materials businesses – this is the embodiment of corporate citizenship at its best."

Dow is in its seventh year as a national sponsor of Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup. Dow is anticipating more than 1,000 Dow employees and their families and friends will volunteer at more than 60 locations during the 2014 GAC, with activities ranging from park restorations and litter cleanups to prescription drug/household hazardous waste take-back programs and painting projects.

Keep Crockett Beautiful

Need Continues For Kalin’s Center Services

Ashley Day (left), Kalin’s Center staff, and Debbie McCall (right), Kalin’s Center executive director, accepted a giant $2,000 donation from Crockett Walmart, an underwriter for the 7th Annual Styles for Smiles Ladies Luncheon and Style Show on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.  at the Crockett Civic Center. Presenting the check is Debbie Warden (center), store manager.  Ansel Bradshaw of Crockett will emcee the event and Raelynn Axelson will provide entertainment.   All proceeds go to the Kalin’s Center. (Photo by Lynda Jones)Ashley Day (left), Kalin’s Center staff, and Debbie McCall (right), Kalin’s Center executive director, accepted a giant $2,000 donation from Crockett Walmart, an underwriter for the 7th Annual Styles for Smiles Ladies Luncheon and Style Show on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the Crockett Civic Center. Presenting the check is Debbie Warden (center), store manager. Ansel Bradshaw of Crockett will emcee the event and Raelynn Axelson will provide entertainment. All proceeds go to the Kalin’s Center. (Photo by Lynda Jones)

By Lynda Jones, Editor-in-Chief

A traditionally fun event, the 7th Annual Styles for Smiles Ladies Luncheon and Style Show, for a tragically serious cause, Kalin's Center, will be held Saturday, Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the Crockett Civic Center.

Each year in Houston and Trinity Counties, hundreds of children experience the lasting trauma of physical, sexual and mental abuse and neglect. They need medical examinations, therapy and assistance from many different agencies and professionals.

Kalin's Center, located in Crockett, is a non-profit organization that provides a safe, child-friendly environment where victims only have to tell their story once, to a forensic interviewer.

The video-taped interview is shared with the involved agencies so the child does not have to relive the experience multiple times, telling the story to each agency. Instead, they get the help they need to start on the road to becoming a survivor, not a victim.

Kalin's Center began in 2001, and the need for its services has not diminished.

Shortly after this school year started, Kalin's Center helped five newly reported children in one evening.

While the center provides all its services free of charge to the children and their families, Kalin's Center has expenses, Executive Director Debbie McCall explained.

One year ago, Kalin's Center moved from a small office space where there was little privacy to a home-like environment, a house that was remodeled to meet the center's needs and decorated for the comfort of the children.

Thousands of dollars are raised for Kalin's Center at the Styles for Smiles Ladies Luncheon and Style Show to help meet the financial needs of the child advocacy center.

The funds received are used for expenses for counseling services, mileage for counseling services, trial preparation/court accompaniment, trainings for staff and multi-disciplinary team members, educational material for schools, churches and other organizations; and some basic operational costs.

The funds will also help Kalin's Center to actively participate in educational events in the community that are focused on prevention and victim identification programs in both Houston and Trinity Counties. These programs bring awareness that despite harsh realities of child abuse, the community as a whole can help keep children safe, as well as help child victims become child survivors of abuse," McCall said.

On Saturday, Ansel Bradshaw of Crockett will bring humor and wit as he emcees, drawing out generous bids from the audience during a live auction.

Local residents model fashions from local businesses, and Raelynn Axelson will provide entertainment.

The guest speaker this year is a 15-year-old survivor of family violence and neglect. She will share the story of her transition from being a victim to being a survivor.
For more information about Kalin's Center, to purchase tickets to Styles and Smiles or to make a donation, call the center at 936-545-9455 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . No tickets will be sold at the door on Saturday.

Efforts To Hire Administrator For Crockett Progress

By Lynda Jones, Editor-in-Chief

After an hour-long executive session with Ray Associates President Katherine Ray and City of Crockett Attorney Bill Pemberton on Monday, Sept. 8, the Crockett City Council emerged and unanimously voted to take the next step in its search for a city administrator, narrowing the field of candidates.

Ray Associates is a management consulting firm based in Austin that assists government and private sector companies in public policy, human resources and executive development.

The Crockett City Council contracted with the firm in mid-June to find candidates for the city's position that has been open since May 2013. City Secretary Mitzi Thompson has been acting as interim city administrator.

Also in mid-June, the council described to Ray the primary traits and skills they desire in a city administrator.

Since that time, Ray Associates has advertised the position for the council and received applications from candidates interested in the job.

On Monday, the council voted to allow Ray Associates "to proceed" with the candidates they discussed during the executive session.

In other business, the council voted 4-1 to set the FY 2015 ad valorem tax rate the same as last year, $.54514 on each $100 valuation of property. Precinct 3 Council Member Larry Robbins voted "no".

The vote to accept the certified tax roll was unanimous.

In another matter, the council had to rescind its acceptance and award of a bid for construction of homes for the 2013 Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Home Preservation Program (TDHCA).

At a previous meeting, the council awarded the bid to Lawrence Construction, which had the highest bid ($106,378.60). Lawrence Construction was the only local bidder of three.

The city was notified by the TDHCA that, by law, the city cannot award a bid based on local geographical preferences. It also would have to produce documented evidence for disqualifying the other two bidders or show that they are not "reasonable, responsive nor responsible" bidders.

The council voted to award the bid to Whitaker Homes, which had the low bid of $93,338.25.

Robbins abstained due to a conflict of interest and Precinct 1 Council Member Chris Gunnels voted "no."

The third bidder was Dixon Construction with $95,663.50.

'Make The Call' Football Contest winner!

Contest Winner

Darsey Furniture owner, Charley Darsey, gives $25 cash to Tammy Cousins, winner of the Houston County Courier "You Make the Call" Football Contest. Entries are in the Sunday issue of the Courier through football season and can be turned in by 5 p.m. on Friday each week at the Courier office in downtown Crockett for a chance to win $25. All perfect entries are also entered into a drawing for $100 at the end of the season.

Crockett Council Votes To Terminate Agreement With County For Environmental Control Officer

By Lynda Jones, Editor-in-Chief

One week after Mayor Robert Meadows and Interim City Administrator Mitzi Thomas terminated Public Works Director Kelli McChesney, the Crockett City Council unanimously voted Tuesday, Sept. 2, not to renew its interlocal agreement with Houston County for the position of environmental control officer.

Currently, Ashley Perry holds that position. She works part-time in the City of Crockett and part-time in the rest of Houston County.

After reading the resolution to terminate the city-county agreement, Meadows said, "We intend to retain the position."

Precinct 5 Councilmember Mike Marsh asked what that meant, and Meadows responded that the city thinks it can hire someone to work part-time for the city.

Meadows then praised Perry, saying she has done a great job and the decision has nothing to do with her performance.

Unofficial plans are for Perry to work full-time for Houston County (excluding Crockett).

McChesney has requested an appeal board hearing regarding her termination the previous week. The city will schedule a hearing in the next 25 days, according to a letter she received from Meadows on Tuesday night.

"I just want my job back," McChesney said.

Brady Voices Views On VA, IRS Scandals

By Robert Neel, Reporter

U.S. District 8 Congressman Kevin Brady came to Lovelady for a town hall meeting on Tuesday, Sep. 2.

Approximately 50 people meet with Brady at the Lovelady Old Gym to hear him share thoughts about scandals at the IRS and Veterans Affairs and on the crises at the nation's borders.

The first issue Brady discussed was the scandal at Veterans Affairs (VA).

"If it is any group in America that deserves health care and to be treated right, it's our veterans; they have sacrificed so much for us," Brady said.

He indicated the veteran's health care scandal has reached about 18 VA regional centers with three or four of those in Texas.

"Of 330 bills passed by the House of Representatives, with most related to jobs, getting the budget under control and getting people back to work, none were acted on by the senate, except they finally acted on the VA bill and we got it signed by the President," Brady said.

According to Brady the bill will:
• Allocate $5 billion to hire more doctors and nurses at VA clinics;
• Open 27 new VA clinics;
• Give the new VA Secretary the ability to immediately fire "bad apples";
• Help nearly 1 million veterans who are backlogged and waiting for care;
• Give veterans the option to see a local doctor or use a local hospital if they have to wait more than 30 days to see a VA doctor or drive more than 40 miles to a VA clinic.

"We have to take care of them -- whatever it takes," Brady said of veterans.

The second issue discussed by Brady was the IRS. Brady is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee who is jointly investigating the IRS.

This investigation has revealed that the IRS has targeted conservative groups and their donors for over two years. According to Brady these groups included those standing for the Constitution and those that were pro-Israel and pro-life.

"Some disagreed with the way government was run. So what, in America are you supposed to be able to do that," Brady said.

Brady thinks it strange that out of thousands of IRS computers, only five containing emails requested during the investigation crashed. His committee has forwarded recommendations to the Attorney General for the prosecution of Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS. The House has passed legislation asking for a special prosecutor.

"The White House has stonewalled us for over a year," Brady said. "The reason we are doing this is that it is not (a) Republican or Democrat (issue). The IRS has power to destroy families and lives.

"You can't give any president or government the power of the IRS to silence the voice of active Americans who simply want a say in their government.

"Our goal is to get the truth, hold people accountable and make sure this does not happen again."

Finally, Brady talked about the border crises and immigration issues which directly affect Texas.

"By the new year, almost 200,000 kids will have made a 1,000-mile journey without their family, with the false hope that once they get their feet on U.S. soil, a permit will be waiting for them. There is no permit waiting for them," Brady said.

He is convinced this crises started several years ago when President Barack Obama signed an executive order deferring the deportation of certain children.

According to Brady, drug cartels and coyotes are using this loop hole to smuggle kids into the U.S. at a cost to their families of $3,000 to $9,000 each.

Brady told his audience that the House Republicans sent a team to Central America to talk to parents and governments.

"We were told they wanted their kids back," he said.

The House Republicans have passed legislation that will close the loop hole that allows kids to come in, hold them at the border, hear cases within 14 days, and reunite them with their parents, according to Brady.

"My view is," Brady said, "You have to shut the back door of illegal immigration so we can keep the front door of legal immigration open."

Brady gave an opportunity for a few questions that covered a wide range of subjects such as the EPA and wetlands, NSA spying on American citizens, checks and balances in government and border fencing. He then headed to Centerville for his next town meeting hall meeting.
Brady tries to hold at least 50 town hall meetings per year in his Congressional District which includes all of Houston, Trinity, Madison, Walker, San Jacinto, Montgomery, Grimes and parts of Leon and Harris counties.

In opening comments, Brady said he likes to stay close to the people he represents.

Brady never moved to Washington and lives in Montgomery County with his wife, Cathy, and his two adopted sons, Will, who is 15, and Sean, who is 12.

He has logged over 2 million miles commuting to Washington each week.

"I am starting my fifth round trip to the moon," Brady said about flying so much.