Polk County Enterprise (Livingston, Tex.), Vol. 99, No. 45, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 4, 1981 Page: 1 of 32
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June 4, 1981
The dominant new§ and advertising source in Folk County, since 1882
4 SECTIONS 32 PAGES
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No wars here!
LIVINGSTON - The next “world war” has been cancelled by order of Polk
County Sheriff Ted Everitt.
The order came following reports Tuesday afternoon from residents near
Onalaska complaining of machine gun fire. Polk County Game Warden Don
Robertson, Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Tom Selman and Onalaska Police
Chief Putt Black arrived at the scene to find four members of a re-enactment
group from Webster practicing with automatic weapons which included 50 and
30 caliber machine guna, according to Everitt.
A spokesman for the reenactment company told officers they had plans to br-
ing approximately 75 members of their group to Polk County later this month to
re-enact a World War II battle, complete with uniforms and weaponry. It was
those plans which prompted Everitt to declare, “There will be no mock war in
The sheriff said the four persons had federal permits for the weapons and the
property on which they were firing belonged to one of the re-enactment group
members, so there were no charges filed. “About all I could have charged them
with was disorderly conduct,” he said, adding he did not feel any charges were
necessary as long as they understood they would have to hold their “mock war”
GISD race not over yet
Runoff to bring suit
GOODRICH - A lawsuit contesting
the results of the Goodrich School
Board’s first runoff election probably
will be filed in Polk County district
court this week, according to the at-
torney of one of the candidates.
David Lopez of Houston, the attorney
for Mrs, J.E. (Betty) Cooper of
Goodrich, said Wednesday notices are
being served on Wayne Coker Jr. and
Otis “Poochie”Long that their election
to the school board will be contested.
Cooper, who won more votes than her
three opponents in the April 4 election,
lost her bid to win the Position 4 board
seat to Coker during a May 2 runoff
election. She contends that the
Goodrich School Board improperly call-
- * -IJLL'a. ^
ed the second election.
Long was the runner-up behind L.C.
Randolph for the Position ) seat in the
four-candidate race April 4 but won the
post in the runoff election.
Lopez said this week that as soon as
both Coker and Long are notified of the
election challenge, the lawsuit would be
filed in Judge John Martin's Second
Ninth District Court.
“There will be an election contest,”
Lopez said Wednesday. “This was a
blatant attempt to steal the election and
a blatant violation of the (federal)
Voting Rights Act.”
The attorney contends that when the
Goodrich school board called the runoff
election after the April 4 election, they
had not followed the procedures set
forth in the Texas Election Code. That
code requires that at least 60 days
before the first election, school boards
must adopt a policy stating that should
no candidate receive a majority vote,
the two who receive the most votes
would be placed in a runoff election.
Board members contend that such a
policy was adopted last fall upon the
recommendation of suspended
Goodrich Superintendent Jerry Easley.
"Even if they (the school board) at-
tempted to properly adopt such a
policy, had been open about it and said,
‘Hey, we are going to have a runoff, ’
they still would have had to get Justice
Department approval for the change,"
The attorney contends that the
change from the plurality to majority
election system had "the intent and af-
fect” of taking power way from the
Black community. v
He explained that under the federal.
Voting Rights Act, when a government S
entity changes the manner an election
is held, it must obtain the approval of
the Justice Department “when the
change would affect the voting status of
any protected minority.”
However, Lopez said the lawsuit that
would be filed this week would not be
based on a possible Voting Rights Act
violation but instead would be centered
upon the alleged violation of the Texas
“I have been in contact with the
Justice Department on the matter to
see what action they might want to take
but as yet, I have not received aa
“I'm not an expert on the Voting
Rights Act by any means, but as I
understand it, the people In Goodrich
who feel that they were harmed by the
change could file a suit in federal court
before a three-judge panel,” he said.
Mike Willstt, the Goodrich School
Board’s attorney, said Wednesday he la
not surprised by Lopes’s allegation
concerning a possible Voting Rights Act
violation but reserved further com-
ment. “I’ll just have to wait and see
what is filed,” he said.
The only school board member
elected in Goodrich’s recent round of
election who will not be challenged la
Q.R. “Cooter” Duff. Duff, a candidate
for Position 2 on the board, finished
first in both the April 4 and May S
Board wants Easley off payroll
The sign at right, warning persons who start fires at dump
sites of possible fines, prompted some residents to make a sign
of their own warning the county that fires will be set whenever
the dumpsters are full. Solid Waste Supervisor Jerry Chain
says the bins are being emptied an average of four times a
At dump site
week and warned that the fires are causing the taxpayers
money. Chain is asking citizens to report the car license
number of any person seen starting a fire or dumping
restricted items in or around the bins.
Trash fires persist
LIVINGSTON - A sign warning of a
possible 1200 fine for persons setting
fires atthe Old Woodville Road garbage
site prompted posting of another sign
by citizens warning the county, in ef-
fect, that the dumpaten would be set on
fire whenever they are found full. Fires
continue to be a problem at the site,
Hm«r fKprp mr
Just about everybody ha
own story, but as a> sflictei
located just north of U.S. 190, and they
are costing the taxpayers money, ac-
cording to Solid Waste Supeivisor Jerry
Chain explained the fire department
has been called to the site several times
during the past few weeks and that
there have been other times the fires
have been allowed to burn themselves
out. “If the garbage if burning you can’t
haul it off, because the wind will fan the
flames,” Chain said. He added, if
smouldering trash does make it to the
landfill, it has to be dumped in a special
area, as the state health department re-
quires the trash to be buried each after-
noon and they cannot bury bunting
Another problem which arises from
the fires is deterioration of the trash
containers, according to the solid waste
supervisor. “The fires bufn the paint
off the containers and cause them to
deteriorate faster,” he said.
Chain said he is sure that “only a
few” of the residents who use the dump
site are responsible for setting the fires.
Nevertheless, if the fires do nut cease
“we can move the containers from that
location,” Chain said, “but I don’t want
to do that.”
Despite the fact that one of the coun-
ty's three garbage trucks is out of ser-
vice at this time, Chain said his records
show county employees are removing
an average of four loads of trash a week
from the Old Woodville Road location.
t the third truck
problem of persons dumping brush,
tree limbs and even pails of remodeled
houses into the dumpsters, he added.
Such items should be hauled directly to
the county landfill on FM 942 three
miles west of I^ggett, Chain said. The
county opened a new 70.8 acre landfill
across the highway from the old site in
late April. Gates leading into the dump
are open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Mon-
day through Friday. The new site "is a
big thing for the county,” according to
Chain, and should serve the county’s
needs for the next 15-18 years “if it is
The rodId waste supervisor asked
citizens to rapart the car license
number er description of anyone seen
setting fires or dumping restricted
items at the dump sites to the Solid
Waste Department at 327-5929.
HOUSTON - Faced with the possibili-
ty of waiting almost a year for a Texas
Education Agency (TEA) ruling, at-
torneys representing the Goodrich
School Boajrd are attempting to remove
suspended Superintendent Jerry
Easley from the Bchool payroll.
According to papers filed in Houston
federal court, the Goodrich School
Board is seeking to dissolve an agreed
order reached March 12 which placed
Easley back on the school payroll.
The March 12 order came in response
tq a request from Easley after the
school board voted to fire him on Feb.
21‘ Although the superintendent had
sought a full reinstatement from Judge
Ross Sterling, the order had the affect
of placing him back on suspended
status until he could receive a hearing
That hearing began May 13 and
recessed May 15. It will resume at 9
a.m. today in the TEA Building at 201
E. 11th St. in Austin.
According to the latest request filed
in federal court, school board attorneys
Mike Willatt and Barbara Radnofsky,
both of Austin, are asking judge to
allow the school district to discontinue
Easley’s salary and other benefits im-
Contending that a decision from TEA
could take as long as 11 months, the
school board is seeking to stop Easley’s
salary. Depending on the outcome of
the hearing, Easley would then have
the option of filing a court suit to
recover the salary.
“During the pendency of this hearing
the plaintiff (Easley) has no duties to
perform, but is on full pay,” the request
states. “He has taken advantage of this
circumstance to work with the lunatic
fringe of the community, and has suc-
ceeded in tearing the community apart.
The plaintiff works full time spreading
dissent, fan a slate of candidates for
three school board positions in a heated
election, instigated an election contest
and has otherwise diverted the atten-
tion of the community from running the
schools for the benefit of the children."
The request also contends that* the
school district has been unable to
recruit a new school superintendent
because Easley now occaptoa the
school-owned house reserved* (hr the
superintendent and is drawing the
money allotted to the superintendent.
“It is imperative that the dtetrietd*
able to get the plaintiff out of the
superintendent’s house, and off the
payroll, so that it can quickly proceed
to recruit a new school superintendent
to wh the affairs of the district during
the next 12 months,” it states.
“Any rights of the plaintiff may have
had have long since been transcended
by the needs of the children to have the
affairs of the district conducted in an
Orderly, normal manner,” the request
Besides seeking to have Easley's
salary discontinued, the request also
asks the judge to order the suspended
superintendent to decide if his “due
process hearing” on the merits of his
dismissal will be the TEA hearing now
in progress or separate hearing to be
conducted before the Goodrich School
The request filed in federal court
points out that the March 12 agreed
order gave the responsibility of the
hearing on the merits of the case to the
“appropriate state agency" or TEA.
However, the school board attorneys
contend that since that order was
issued, Easley’s lawyer, David Lopez of
log would only bs to
wis violated and tljinNt was not
purpose of deciding whether i
there were proper grounds for the
“If the agency adopted this view, the
hearing would be a waste of time," the
“The district does not want to fe
through a 12 month hearing before the
Texas Education Agency and that find
out that that hearing was merely to
determine whether or not the plaintiff
received due process, and that it now
has to proceed to the due process hear-
ing on the merits either before itself or
some other tribunal.”
The question of whether Easley’s
right to due process was violated
centers around the fact that the board
apparently voted to fire him on Feb. 21
before he was given a written Hstof fh*
allggations against him and befdfjl ftt
was given a hearing at which he could
answer those charges.
See NOTIFICATION yg. U
Program to begin in a year
LIVINGSTON - One burglary has
been cleared and two other Incidents
are currently under investigation, ac-
cording to county law enforcement of-
The burglary of the Ray Holcombe
residence, located approximately four
miles north of Corrigan, is believed to
have been cleared with the arrest of a
suspect Friday in Lufkin. Being held by
Lufkin police on burglary charges is
Joseph Anthony White, 43.
According to Polk County Sheriff’s
Department Investigator Chuck Stan-
ton, the Holcombe residence was
broken into May 26th. Items reported
missing included a .22 caliber rifle, a
color television set, a casette tape
recorder, a camera and other goods. All
items, with the exception of the gun and
Ji ' S;Sll£
the television set, have been recovered.
Sheriffs officers believe the television
has been located in a Houston pnwn
shop and they were scheduled to go to
Houston and recover the merchandise
Wednesday afternoon, r
Deputies are searching for one oftor
suspect believed to be linked to the
said this is the second tl
the business this month,
dent was reported
In other law
Livingston police are
vestigating vandalism of
Livingston Mobile Homos.
fcity to assurm subdivi
ONALASKA --Approval was given
Tuesday to • plan under which the City
of roads in
tired by next week,
. of keeping the
containers empty is the county-wide
the Oak Ridge
Under the plan, during I
tftyfe V '**§*'«*'***• -4N^r
Council members i
on the road
Newport and Darrol1
The Oak Ridge f '
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White, Barbara. Polk County Enterprise (Livingston, Tex.), Vol. 99, No. 45, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 4, 1981, newspaper, June 4, 1981; Livingston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth781613/m1/1/?q=trooper%20tom%20selman&rotate=270: accessed February 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Livingston Municipal Library.