Polk County Enterprise (Livingston, Tex.), Vol. 124, No. 5, Ed. 1 Sunday, January 15, 2006 Page: 1 of 60
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2975 00-00-00 104P 79S
SOUTHWEST MICROPUBLISHING INC **0041
2627 E YANDELL DR
EL FASO TX 79903-3724
Volume 124 Number 5
The Dominant News and Advertising Source in Polk County
UPS 437-340 Price: 50 cents
Letter shows the strength
of push to close casino
cciuucauuu pruceuures ai ivimuiews rant. inc crew nas 10 want inree miles in unuer min-
utes, carrying 45 pounds. The crew has worked on cleanup for Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and
helps fight wildfires in Texas and other states when needed, working with other agencies such
as the forest service.
By EMILY BANKS
LIVINGSTON - Backed by
three other Texas congressmen,
U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay demanded
that then-U.S. Attorney General
John Ashcroft close down the
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of
Texas’ entertainment center in a
letter dated Dec. 11,2001.
“We feel that the Department of
Justice needs to step in and
investigate the inappropriate and
illegal actions by the tribe, its
financial backers, if any, and the
casino equipment vendors. Until
this matter is resolved by the
Department of Justice or a federal
or state court, we request that
federal authorities take action to
immediately close down this
operation,” said the letter, which
was also signed by Texas
Republican Reps. Pete Sessions,
John Culberson and Kevin Brady.
The letter was also sent to
Free fish, dancers among festival draws
LIVINGSTON - Make plans
now to attend the sixth annual Mul-
ticultural Festival honoring Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. at 5 p.m.
Jan. 16 at the Livingston High
There is no charge for admission
and one of the highlights of the
event is a free fish fry with all the
trimmings for the public.
Overflow parking will be avail-
able at Sam Houston Electric Co-
operative Inc. and there will be a
shuttle service to transport people
to the event.
There will be entertainment by
representatives of all cultures in the
area and featured entertainment
will include the Livingston High
School Band, Walter Plant and
performances by the Alabama-
Coushatta Tribe of Texas, South
African Dancers and the Polynesian
Dancers from the Cook Islands.
Health care professionals will be
on hand to conduct complete chem-
See JOB pg. 3A
OISD superintendent search work continues
ONALASKA - The Board of
Trustees of the Onalaska Independ-
ent School District will discuss and
possibly approve a superintendent
search brochure during its regular
meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The board is expected to call the
trustee election for May 13 and
consider approval of the election
The first reading of Localized
Policy Manual Update No. 77 will
be considered for approval.
An offer to purchase numerous
county tax foreclosure properties in
Impala Woods Subdivision will be
A report on the possible revision
of the district employee wage and
salary plan will be presented and
The board will also discuss and
consider approval to set a date and
time for a public hearing to present
the 2004-2005 Academic Excel-
lence Indicator System report.
* CATE course offerings for the
2006-2007 school year will be dis-
cussed and possibly approved.
The board will also consider ac-
tion on an overnight student trip
The board is slated to enter into
an executive session to deliberate
Interim Superintendent Jim Wise
will report on past enrollment; pre-
sent the food service report; report
on the Polk Central Appraisal Dis-
trict Board of Directors election
results; present the 2003-2004 an-
nual financial report; apprise the
board of the Jan. 19 financial aid
workshop; and review the updated
board of trustees information sheets
Principals Charles Hebert and
Keith Smith will report on enroll-
ment, attendance and school hap-
penings on their respective cam-
A plaque will be presented to
former trustee Ronnie Vincent,
recognizing his service on the
Other items on the agenda in-
clude approval of the tax report,
quarterly investment report, budget
amendments, statement of accounts
and payment of monthly bills and
minutes of the Dec. 12 and Jan. 9
Burke Center offering
LIVINGSTON - A new crisis
counseling program is available
through the Burke Center to vic-
tims of Hurricanes Katrina and
Due to the devastation of the re-
cent hurricanes, many families
have been displaced from their
homes in the Gulf Coast region.
Many of these evacuees have de-
cided to make East Texas their per-
The Burke Center has created the
new crisis counseling program to
develop sustained relationships
with these survivors in hopes of
connecting them to the„ overall
community in which they are mak-
ing their new home.
Based on individuals’ and fami-
lies’ needs, we will be referring
various agencies that may provide
applicable services and assistance.
For additional information, con-
tact Wally Parker, the Burke Cen-
ter’s crisis counseling program
director, at (936)676-1225 or Out-
reach Workers Jasonya Griffin at
(936)676-6196 or Julie Flores at
Interior Secretary Gale Norton, the
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern
District of Texas, the chairman of
the National Indian Gaming
Commission and Texas Governor
Ashcroft never took action on the
request, which was allegedly made
at the behest of lobbyist Jack
Abramoff, who was reaping
millions of dollars in payoffs from
a rival tribe.
In 2002, federal courts sided with
U.S. Senator John Comyn (R-
Texas) - who was the attorney
general of Texas at the time - in
shutting down the Tigua’s
Speaking Rock Casino in El Paso
on grounds that the casino violated
the state’s anti-gambling laws.
Also shut down in 2002 was the
owtied and operated entertainment
cenier which opened in November
U.S. District Judge John Hannah
ruled it was illegal under Texas law
and the Native American
Restoration Act of 1987. An
emergency motion filed with the
U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
requesting a stay to keep the
entertainment center open
throughout the appeals process was
During the nine months it was
open, the entertainment center
employed nearly 300 people and
produced revenues of around $1
million a month.
Approached by the Tiguas in
2002, the Alabama-Coushattas
wrote a 550,000 check to the
Capital Athletic Foundation,
unaware at the time that the charity
belonged to Abramoff.
In October 2004, the Polk County
Enterprise reported on an ongoing
investigation into findings of a high
dollar-infused grassroots campaign
that helped lead to the closure of
the tribe’s entertainment center in
Around that same time, the
Alabama-Coushattas learned that
they were one of several tribes who
were victims of a rival tribe that
paid hundreds of thousands of
dollars for the surveillance of the
tribe’s efforts to reopen its
“I was appalled by what was
going on,” Alabama-Coushatta
Tribal Council Chairman Ronnie
Thomas told the Enterprise at the
The recent revelation of the letter
came as a surprise to the Alabama-
“We didn’t know the full gist of
it until the hearings,” Cheryl
Downing, vice chairman of the
Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Council,
“We’re not making potshots at
any of the representatives linked
with it. I think they had their
reasons,” Downing said.
“They weren’t real
knowledgeable about the location,
for starters,” she added. The letter
said the reservation was located
near Livingstone, Texas in Polk
County. It also said the tribe had
opened the entertainment center
against the wishes of the citizens of
“We don’t fault Brady. He has
his opinions on gaming. And we’re
still pursuing a legislative fix and
hope to garner his support,”
Brady is the U.S. representative
for the 8th District, which includes
Polk County and the reservation.
However, he did not represent this
district at the time the letter was
“We’re going to continue to
pursue this with all the lawmakers,”
Downing said, adding, “We do
have a good relationship with our
“Part of the reason we ended up
in this situation is currently, our
issue of gaming is not recognized
under the Indian Gaming
Regulatory Act (IGRA),” Downing
said. “There is a bill to revise
IGRA and we hope to get them to
recognize, or include, us in IGRA.
Under IGRA, virtually every tribe
doing any gaming falls under this
“We want gaming. We want
gaming so we can be self-
sufficient,” Downing said. We
provided jobs for our people, as
well as people throughout the
community and other counties
(during the nine months the
entertainment center was in
operation.) We used our monies to
See TRIBE pg. 2A
Banks, post offices and fed-
eral, state, county and city gov-
ernment offices will be closed
Monday in observance of Martin
Luther King Jr. Day.
Curbside trash collection for
city of Livingston residents will
continue on regular schedule.
All Polk County public schools
will also be closed on Monday.
Contract among BSISD topics
DALLARDSVILLE - The Board
of Trustees of the Big Sandy Inde-
pendent School District is expected
to consider action on Superinten-
dent Kenneth Graham’s contract
during its regular meeting at 6:30
The board will consider action on
an optional flexible year program
A resolution regarding the Na-
tional Incident Management Sys-
tem will be considered for action.
The board is expected to call the
May 13 school trustee election.
In policy matters, the board will
consider approval of Policy FFA
(Local), a wellness policy, as well
as Policy Update No. 77.
The 2006 senior trip will also be
considered for approval.
An executive session is on the
agenda at which time the board is
slated to consult with its attorney
and deliberate personnel.
Superintendent Kenneth Graham
will report on tax collections,
transportation, facilities and the
Lone Star Investment Pool.
Principals Kevin Foster and
Diane Holbrook will report on their
As January is School Board Ap-
preciation Month throughout the
State of Texas, the Big Sandy ISD
trustees will be recognized.
Additionally, the board is ex-
pected to recognize the UIL par-
ticipants and the cross country par-
Other items on the agenda in-
clude approval of the minutes of
the previous meetings and the ex-
penditures for January.
Survey input sought
LIVINGSTON - What additional
businesses does Polk County need?
Where do most people shop in
town? What kinds of recreation are
needed in the community? What
types of goods and services do
people seek elsewhere?
These are questions being asked
in the Polk County Enterprise’s
online business survey, which can
be found at the Enterprise’s web
site at www.easttexasnews.com.
Click on the link for the Polk
County Enterprise’s home page and
then click on: “Online Business
The survey is quick and easy,
and can be completed in a few
minutes. After answering four basic
questions, participants can also give
their comments on ways the local
business community can be
For authentication purposes,
survey participants must include
their name, address, phone number
and e-mail address. Some of the
comments from the survey may be
chosen for publication.
Results from the survey will be
published in the upcoming 2006
Business Review, which will be ori
newsstands Jan. 29.
ENTERPRISE PHOTO IV CORDON URARRON
SUSPECT FLEES - The driver of this vehicle, which was reported stolen from Lufkin, ran
from police Friday afternoon, wrecking the vehicle at the end of Champs Street near the bypi
and fleeing on foot. Livingston Police Department officers were assisted at the scene by sn
iffs deputies, canine units and the T^xas Highway Patrol. According to Livingston Police E
tective Matt Parrish, the suspect, ic .ntified as Michael King,
eated he crossed Long King Creek, but then lost the scent,
over two hours after it began. The suspect is described as a black male, 30 years of age, 6 feet,
2 inches tall and weighing approximately 215 pounds. Anyone with information concerning
the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Livingston Police Department.
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White, Barbara. Polk County Enterprise (Livingston, Tex.), Vol. 124, No. 5, Ed. 1 Sunday, January 15, 2006, newspaper, January 15, 2006; Livingston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth788146/m1/1/: accessed November 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Livingston Municipal Library.