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)
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.
The Houston County Commissioners Court met on Tuesday, July 22, and during this meeting on the agenda was the HOT (Hotel Occupancy Tax) with three applicants requesting funds.
The process of applying for these funds are: The entity fills out a request form on which the name of the organization, person representing the organization, phone number, address, non-profit with tax identification number, website, email address, name and date of the event, what funds are being used to benefit the organization, approximately how many participants the event will project, and amount of money with reason for monies expenditures. hotel, bed and breakfast, and lodging facilities.
The members are East Texas Rentals, Economy Inn, Embers Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Knight's Inn, Salmon Lake Park, and Warfield House and each owner gets one vote per business.
A meeting is set with advisory board to look at each applicant to decide which applicant gets funds per state law. If there isn't enough members present for a quorum the commissioner makes the final decision on each applicant to be presented to the commissioners court.
By State law (Tax CODE 352), The County of Houston collects a Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) from hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other lodging facilities which may be used only to directly promote tourism and the hotel and convention industry including: • Promotions of the Arts that Directly Promote Tourism and the Hotel and Convention Industry: the encouragement, promotion, improvement and application of the arts that can be shown to have some direct impact on tourism and the hotel/convention industry. All forms of art include instrumental and vocal music, dance, drama, folk art, creative writing, architecture, design and allied fields, painting, sculpture, photography, graphic and craft arts, motion picture, radio, television, tape and sound recording, and other arts related to the presentation, performance execution and exhibition of these major art forms will be considered.
• Historical Restoration and Preservation Activities that Directly Promote Tourism and the hotel and Convention Industry: historical restoration and preservation projects or activities or advertising and conducting solicitation and promotional tourists and convention delegates to visit preserved historic or museums.
Under these guidelines of the state law, the Houston County Commissioners Court denied HOT funds to the Houston County Museum. Dorothy Harrison, president of the museum board, submitted an application to the commissioners court that showed the number of visitors for 2013 but could not verify the number of visitors that utilized any hotels, bed and breakfast and other lodging facilities.
HOT is to be utilized for the county to put the monies generated from visitors in and out of county or state back into the county.
"HOT tax money is for bringing tourism to the county,"said Erin Ford, Houston County judge. "The whole intent is not to create tension and hard feelings. It's to help the counties and help communities,"he said.
Monday, July 28, Grapeland School Board of Trustees met to discuss amendments to the 2014-2015 student handbook, resignation of employee, and purchase of property. All board members were present with the exception of Trustee Jim Thorpe.
President Eddie Childress opened meeting noting the approval of the student handbooks being approved from last board meeting, but had amendments for the Monday agenda.
Kim Strandaland, counselor for Grapeland High School, and Rick Frauenberger, high school principal, presented board with information for the amendment of eighth graders for year 2014-2015 to have Algebra 1, Introduction to Agriculture, and IPC. (Integrated Physics and Chemistry) or any elective to count toward the GPA of 4.0 for high school.
Last two years all students who took Algebra 1 passed the ESP (Extended School Program) test which was great for the students and for school rating, Standaland said.
The board went into executive session for discussion on personnel and purchasing property. Gregg Spivey, superintendent was given authority to purchase property near the school at a later date.
Resignation was approved for Barbara Beeler, who has been with Grapeland ISD her entire career of 38 years.
"We appreciate Mrs. Beeler for all the years of service with the Grapeland I.S.D." said Superintendent Gregg Spivey.
Sherry Driskell, a long-time resident of the Lovelady area, is returning to the Houston County Courier on Monday, July 21, announced Lynda Jones, editor-in-chief.
Driskell was the Courier's advertising manager for several years before taking a break for two years.
Now, she will be fulfilling the position of general assignment reporter, covering the Houston County Commissioners Court, area school board meetings and community events.
Operations Director Kelli Barnes said she is thrilled for Driskell to be back with the Courier. Driskell said she loves a challenge and she loves the Houston County Courier, so she is anxious to get started and report the news.
JACORIANCE “BEAR” JOHNSON (HCSO Photo)The Crockett Police Department released the following statement pertaining to the recent arrest of Jacoriance Johnson, 18, of Crockett:
On July 4, officers with the Crockett Police Department were dispatched to the 1100 block of Martin Luther King Blvd. in reference to a burglary of a habitation.
Upon arrival officers spoke with a complainant who advised that she was watching over her friend's apartment when she noticed that her back window was broken.
It was discovered that numerous items had been stolen from the residence and that everything had been rummaged through. Officers were able to collect DNA from blood left at the scene as well as finger prints left behind by the suspect.
Witnesses reported seeing two suspicious black males on the porch of the residence that had been burglarized the day before. Officers made contact with both suspects and questioned them about the burglary; both suspects denied having any involvement in the burglary.
While speaking with one of the suspects officers noticed him to have a fairly large cut on his finger. This led the officers to believe that he may have been involved in the burglary due to the blood left behind at the scene.
On July 11, officers with the Crockett Police Department executed a search warrant on a residence located in the 100 block of Oak St.
This search warrant was drafted after several days of investigation into the burglary mentioned earlier. Along with the search warrant officers obtained an arrest warrant for Jacoriance Johnson, AKA Bear, charging him with Burglary of a Habitation.
During execution of the search warrant, Johnson was observed coming out of another housing area. At that point officers commanded Johnson to stop and at that time he fled on foot. After a foot chase Johnson was taken into custody, at which time he was transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked and charged.