Illegal Dumping Continues To Plague Area

This is one of many loads of illegally dumped trash Houston County/City of Crockett Environmental Control Officer Ashlie Perry and community service workers picked up from Houston County and City of Crockett roads in July. (Courtesy Photo)This is one of many loads of illegally dumped trash Houston County/City of Crockett Environmental Control Officer Ashlie Perry and community service workers picked up from Houston County and City of Crockett roads in July. (Courtesy Photo)

By Lynda Jones, Editor-in-Chief

Houston County/City of Crockett Environmental Control Officer Ashlie Perry has a dirty job, but she takes it seriously and is enthusiastic about investigating the perpetrators of illegal dumping throughout Houston County.

In her monthly Criminal Environmental Law Enforcement Report to the Houston County Commissioners' Court and the Crockett City Council, Perry stated that, in the month of July, there were a total of 110 bags of refuse abated within the Crockett city limits and Houston County.
Ten tires were removed from city streets and county roads, as well as two sinks, a washing machine, two mattresses, a couch, carpet and wooden flooring, Perry reported.

"All illegal dumping was investigated for evidence, which could potentially lead to the dumper(s)'s prosecution; however, the dumpers are becoming more cautious in what they dump, and it is becoming more difficult to catch them. It is highly important we educate the public on investigation procedures to avoid mishandling evidence," Perry stated in her report.

Perry says she gets creative while investigating. For example, she does not mind digging through nasty garbage left on the side of the road in search of clues, such as names or addresses on discarded mail or discarded prescription bottles.

During July, Perry patrolled and/or removed refuse from the following Crockett streets/lots on: Pecan, First St., Dogwood, East and West Houston, East Goliad, Second St., Harold, Ninth St., Seventh St., Lincoln, Bell, Fifth St., Alice, Tenth St., Sowescor, Sunset, Plum, Sanders, San Jacinto, Pease, Seventh St., Terrell, Austin, Dunbar, Thomas, Elm, Maple, Ash, Spring, Sixth St., MLK, Bowie, Hall, Rhodes, El Camino, Easy and Cedar.

The following county roads were patrolled and refuse was removed from them: 4020, 4025, 4037, 4030, 2195, 2190, 2170, 2180, 2175, 4115, 4125, 4130, 4514, 1890, 4505, 3620, 3315, 2125, 2160, 2131, 2135, 2130, 1565, 1040, 3005, 3355, 2022, 1825, 4120, 4130, 4525, 4520, 4565, 4550, 4560 and 1890.

Under Perry's supervision, community service workers assisted or completed the following special projects:
• Weed eating, mowing, raking leaves, cleaning, cutting trees and bushes and hauling off debris at the Crockett Public Library (12 hours);
• Shredding, cleaning, weeding flowerbeds and decorating at Crockett City Hall (42 hours);
• Ripping leaf bags, sorting recyclables, picking up waste and cleaning at the Crockett Solid Waste and Recycling Center (8 hours);
• Cleaning and restoring the Public Works Building, mowing and weed eating Davy Crockett Memorial Park (60 hours);
• Cleaning, helping to set up and take down for events, painting and performing maintenance tasks at the Crockett Civic Center (56 hours);
• Cleaning and organizing the Piney Woods Fine Arts Association office (4 hours);
• Worked on clearing overgrowth in Spring Creek next to Brewer Springs Park between West Houston and Goliad Ave. (ongoing project).

Perry also reported 30 reinvestigations within the city/county and 20 compliant letters were mailed out. Additionally, 58 complaints were filed and investigated and three tickets were issued for illegal dumping.

If you have any questions regarding the Environmental Report or have complaints or concerns call 936-546-3427 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Perry also named the July Yard of the Month for City of Crockett Precinct #1 as that belonging to Charles D. Smith at 909 Monroe St. Perry selects one yard per month, rotating the precincts.

The July Commercial Property of the Month is Lawrence Realty, located at 720 E. Loop 304 and owned by Nancy Lawrence.

Tim Allen Declared ‘Hometown Hero’

Linda Richie, Northland business manager, presented $250 to Tim Allen of Crockett and $500 to CASA of the Pines in Allen’s honor.  (Photo Courtesy of Northland Communications)Linda Richie, Northland business manager, presented $250 to Tim Allen of Crockett and $500 to CASA of the Pines in Allen’s honor. (Photo Courtesy of Northland Communications)

In Northern Internet Contest

Tim Allen, pastor of First Christian Church in Crockett, was recognized this week by Northland Communications as the Crockett winner of its recent Hometown Hero contest.

Public voting via the Internet closed July 20.

Allen was recognized for going above and beyond to enrich the lives of his fellow neighbors.

In addition to being a minister, he is a CASA volunteer.

A CASA casework supervisor stated, "I can attest to his caring nature and ability to help others while not demeaning them in anyway.

"He has worked with CASA for the last two and half years. CASA work can be very rewarding and also very discouraging as you advocate for children in foster care.

"Tim has worked tirelessly on every case that he has been assigned. He never turns down a case, and is always available to help others with their cases."

Allen also is president of the Houston County Child Welfare Board.

The CASA caseworker supervisor who nominated him as a "Hometown Hero" explained, "In his (Allen's) work on the board, he advocates for children from his county that are placed in foster care by ensuring that the children have all of their needs met.
"CASA and the Child Welfare Board work hand in hand with Child Protective Services. Tim is a great Houston County leader as evidenced by his hard work and care for others."

On Wednesday, Aug. 6, Northland presented Allen with $250 for his positive impact in the community.
Northland also donated $500 to CASA of the Pines (based in Lufkin) in his honor.

Northland's business manager, Linda Richie, said, "It is an honor to give back to the community and to recognize those who make Crockett a great place to work and live. Congratulations to our winning Hometown Hero, Tim Allen and to CASA, and thank you for all that you do in Crockett."

Services Held For Kennard Teenager

By Lynda Jones, Editor-in-Chief

Sabrina Louise ParkerSabrina Louise ParkerThe Kennard community is grieving over the tragic loss of Sabrina Louise Parker, 16, of Kennard.

Parker lost her life Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 5 in a one-vehicle accident on FM 2781 in Houston County.

Funeral services for the vibrant teenager were held Friday, Aug. 8 at Kennard Baptist Church.

Parker was a popular Kennard High School student, very active in the Kennard FFA Chapter and Beta Club.
She also enjoyed playing on the school volleyball and softball teams.

Among her survivors are her father Randall Parker and wife Rebecca, both of Kennard; and her mother, Monica Overly and fiancée John Williams, both of Stephenville. (See official obituary on Page 4.)

The fatal crash is being investigated by Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers.

According to DPS officials, the preliminary crash investigation "indicates that a 1998 Honda Accord was traveling southbound on FM 2781 when the vehicle drove off of the right side of the roadway, over corrected to the left, entered a side skid and subsequently flipped and struck a tree."

Parker was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Clyde Black.

Hammonds Demonstrates, Explains New Communication System For Local VFDs

Crockett Fire Chief John Angerstein and Austonio Fire Chief Russell Jenkins are pictured with HCSO Dispatch Supervisor at the Houston County Emergency Management meeting on July 31. (Photo by Sherry Driskell)Crockett Fire Chief John Angerstein and Austonio Fire Chief Russell Jenkins are pictured with HCSO Dispatch Supervisor at the Houston County Emergency Management meeting on July 31. (Photo by Sherry Driskell)

By Sherry Driskell, Reporter

Susie Hammonds, Houston County Sheriff's Office dispatcher supervisor was recognized at the Houston County Emergency Management meeting Thursday, July 31.

Hammonds thanked Chief John Angerstein of the Crockett Fire Department and Chief Russell Jenkins of the Austonio Volunteer Fire Department for facilitating a grant from Texas Forest Service to go to Texas A&M of College Station for the Telecom I & II class.

The Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) was purchased by the Houston County Commisioners Court with a grant through the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG). The grant funds are a result of the fees from cell phones and home phones in the county.

A Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) grant paid for update to the system which makes it free for the fire departments, county and city.

Hammonds said, "After going to this class my passion is to train all of the dispatchers to become better at their job for the Houston County Firefighters."

The dispatchers are now able to use the CAD system to send text messages to all cell phones of the volunteers of a fire department whenever a 911 call comes in. The information on these text messages will have address, location, time and brief description of the call.

If the department has 20 cell numbers on call list the twenty will receive the text message immediately. They will still be receiving calls on pagers with updates during the call.

The CAD will allow the dispatchers to have codes for various types of calls that are common for fire departments in the county, such as fire alarm, fire grass, fire structure, fire vehicle and fire other. "Fire Other" will be for calls of power lines down, tree on road, traffic control anything that a fire department would normally have.

If a structure fire call comes in to dispatch, a text goes out to the fire department the system will automatically text out all fire departments whose boundaries touch that department.

If department needs mutual aide on a grass fire and issues an update of "fire running to house", the dispatcher hits call type, address and time and the departments whose area touches the department on the call will receive a text.

Texted messages were sent to various departments cell phones the past week for fire calls. This system will also let each fire department be able to get a run sheet of the years run calls.

Another aspect of helping dispatchers and fire departments is a list of each apparatus and what the capacity of gallons available, brush truck, jaws of life, first responders and special skills. The reason for this is if a call comes in for high angle rescue the dispatcher can type in the information and it will show which department has that type of equipment and can text them to the location.

If a medical call comes in and it coded medical CAD shows each department that has a first responder unit and can send a text/page to whoever is closest demographically. As the dispatchers and fire departments become more familiar and technology progresses the system will continue to become vital to the community.

Represented fire departments at the meeting were Austonio, Belott, Crockett, Grapeland, Latexo and Lovelady.

CPD Trains For Active Shooter Scenarios

CPD Trains

The entire Crockett Police Department staff went through "Active Shooter" training this past week in Lufkin. Lufkin Police Asst. Chief David Thomas was one of the main instructors. "We appreciate him (Thomas) including us in this training. We hope we never have an active shooter at a workplace or school in Crockett or Houston County, but if we do we will be trained to respond quickly and stop the threat," Crockett Police Chief David Cross said. This dynamic course of instruction is designed to prepare the first responder to isolate, distract and neutralize an active shooter. The course curriculum includes weapon manipulation, threshold evaluation, concepts and principles of team movement (including solo officer strategies) and various techniques. (Courtesy Photo)

Eat And SHARE Week For School Supplies

The Houston County SHARE School Supplies Drive continues to grow. This year, 461 students in all six school districts in Houston County will receive a jump start to school with the gift of school supplies. This gift is made possible by the generosity of businesses and individuals in Houston County who are joining the SHARE School Supplies Drive.

This coming week has been named "Eat and Share Week". Several restaurants in Crockett have generously offered to donate a part of each meal purchased for the S.H.A.R.E. School Supplies Drive.

On Saturday, Aug. 9, What-A-Burger will donate 10% of their sales; on Sunday, Aug. 10, Doc's Barbeque will donate 10% of their sales; on Monday, Aug. 11 both Texas Burger and Subway will donate $1 for each meal purchased if the purchaser mentions SHARE School Supplies Drive.

If you wish to make a donation to help purchase school supplies for children of Houston County, eat out this weekend at one of these establishments or send your contribution to Houston County S.H.A.R.E., P. O. Box 1121, Crockett, TX 75835.

Many families who have children who attend school in one of the six school districts in Houston County are challenged to be able to provide the needed school supplies.

Through the generosity of several individuals and businesses, last year SHARE was able to provide school supplies for 332 children who were recognized by school officials as eligible for this program.

In addition to the SHARE project, Community Care Center of Crockett, Whitehall, and Winfield will give away school supplies to the kids of Houston County on Aug. 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Winfield Rehab and Nursing.

If you would like to donate school supplies and help us support the kids of Houston County please bring the items to Winfield or call Megan Allison at 936-204-9228 for more information.