Local benefit supports burn victims

food-vendorsDespite heavy rain storms on Saturday, the community came together for an all-day benefit that raised over $31,000 for the three victims of the Aug. 1 Church’s Fried Chicken accident. A variety of vendors (above) offered Mexican food during Saturday’s benefit, including traditional meat tacos to support Erica Acevedo, Montserrat Damian and Hugolina Guerrero. The three Livingston restaurant employees were severely burned when the kitchen floor collapsed causing hot grease to spill on them.

loteriaFUN AND GAMES -- Day activities at Saturday’s Livingston United benefit included lotería, a traditional Mexican game similar to bingo. The event was held to raise funds for the three burn victims injured Aug. 1 when the kitchen floor of the Livingston Church’s Fried Chicken collapsed.

crowd-at-benefitLIVINGSTON UNITED – Area residents braved rain showers Saturday for an an all-day benefit to raise over $31,000 for the three victims of the recent Church’s Fried Chicken incident. The event was hosted at the VFW 3916 building in Livingston. In addition to the Mexican food served, day activities included volleyball, a bounce house, raffles and games.

voleyballVOLLEYBALL IN THE RAIN – As part of the Livingston United benefit on Saturday, a number of young people turned out to play volleyball between the rain showers that swept through the area. The day-long event raised money for the three burn victims from the Aug. 1 Church’s Fried Chicken incident.

money-raised-CONTRIBUTEDACCOUNTING TIME – A group of local officials handled the accounting portion of Saturday’s Livingston United benefit for the victims of the Aug. 1 Church’s Fried Chicken incident. They included (L-R) Polk County Sheriff Kenneth Hammack, Asst. District Attorney Leonor Shukan, Dr. Michael Shukan and District Clerk Bobbye Bradford Richards. The $31,000 raised will help support victims Erica Acevedo, Montserrat Damian and Hugolina Guerrero.

Library hosts ‘Baby and Me’ programs


LIVINGSTON – Care-givers and infants are invited to “come have fun at the library” at 10:30 a.m. each Thursday for “Baby and Me” programs at the Livingston Municipal Library, 707 N. Tyler.

“Baby and Me” story time is for babies and caregivers and during which Nita Kuehn leads the group in songs, finger plays and reading books. The caregiver and baby interact with each other during these activities.

After Kuehn’s program, the caregivers are given the opportunity to read to the baby. A play and stay session is next while moms interact with each other. This has proven very beneficial to the caregiver and to the baby.

he library has other weekly activities including Story Time for children 5-8 years old is every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Different story tellers will present the program each week and some weeks may feature science and/or crafts.

On Tuesday mornings at 11 the library hosts Toddler Time for toddlers up to age 5. Kuehn also uses puppetry, finger plays and songs during these programs and counting and colors are featured each week.

Family members are welcome to come to any of these events.

For more information please contact Kuehn at 936-327-4252 or check the library’s web page at for additional events.

baby-and-meBABY AND ME — Caregivers and babies have fun with songs, finger plays and books during the weekly Baby and Me programs hosted at 10:30 a.m. each Thursday at the Livingston Municipal Library.

First day of school in Livingston

first-day-cedar-groveBEST FRIENDS – Two little girls hold hands and help each other through the hallway for the first day school at Cedar Grove Elementary. Livingston schools opened Tuesday but all Polk County schools were in session by Wednesday.

first-school-day-LHSFIRST DAY PARADE — Livingston High School students held their annual vehicle parade onto campus early Tuesday to help kick off the new school year.

SPCVFD receives grant for new tanker


ACE - Thanks to a grant from the Texas A&M Forest Service, the South Polk County Volunteer Fire Department reached a milestone as it was able to purchase a new tanker truck that will provide more water to fire scenes in the area.

The new 2017 Kenworth T-370 Tanker, built by Fouts Brothers, has a capacity of 3,000 gallons and is the first machine of its kind at the small fire department in Ace.

According to Fire Chief Christopher Moehlmann, the truck was a much-needed upgrade from the department’s older trucks.

“It has doubled our capacity and now we can get more water to these rural areas that don’t have pressure water sources,” he said. “We will also better assist the other local departments.”

Representatives from the Texas A&M Forest Service visited Ace on Tuesday to formally present the $200,000 grant check to Moehlmann, Asst. Chief Richard Tullos and Asst. Chief Randy Touchet. Local officials were also present, including Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy, State Rep. James White and representatives from U.S. Representative Brian Babin’s office.

The grant was issued under the Texas Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, which provides funding to rural departments for the acquisition of vehicles, equipment and training. The amount granted for the tanker was a 90 percent matching fund, provided by the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The South County VFD was able to provide the remaining $22,225, most of which came from community fundraising efforts in the past year.

“Without the community’s help, this would not be possible.” said Moehlmann. “We are very thankful for their support.”

The department’s next Annual Fall Fundraiser event will take place Oct. 1 from 11 a.m – 2 p.m. and includes all-you-can-eat soup, chili and sandwiches for $10 a plate.
Community members are welcome to visit the fire station on Mondays for training at 6:30 p.m. to check out the new tanker. For more information, visit the South Polk County VFD Facebook page at

South-Polk-VFDFIRE TRUCK GRANT – The ceremonial presentation of a $200,000 grant to purchase a new tanker was made Tuesday at the South Polk County Volunteer Fire Department. Pictured during the presentation are (L-R) Asst. Chief Richard Tullos, State Rep. James White, Asst. Chief Randy Touchet, Congressman Brian Babin’s representatives Andrew Harmon and Rachel Iglesias, Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy, Chief Christopher Moehlmann, Texas A&M Forest Service District Forester Brian Backhaus and Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Fire Coordinator Ricky Holbrook.



Doggie playground open for SPCA members

doggie-playground-CONTRIBURosco, left, enters the playground tunnel while Carlota, right, explores the watering station area at the SPCA of Polk County’s new doggie playground. Available exclusively to SPCA members, the facility features two separate play areas for large and small dogs. Each double-gated area has two watering stations with park benches, which are available for local sponsorships. The park is open to members only from sunrise to 10 a.m and 3 p.m. to sunset. For more information, contact Director Carl Feren at (936) 933-6888 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ribbon-Cutting-Dog-Park-COThe SPCA of Polk County officially opened its new doggie playground on Saturday. Pictured are (L-R) SPCA director Jim Johnson (with Happy the dog), SPCA Executive Director Carl Feren and Livingston Mayor Clarke Evans during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Learning all about the bees

The-Buzz-About-BeesStudents sample a variety of natural honeys, including mesquite, orange blossom and yaupon during The Buzz About Bees program Tuesday at Livingston Municipal Library. The educational program, led by instructor Kim Lehman (not pictured,) presented a look into a daily life of bees and the many natural products made from their honey.