Tires Causing Stinging Problem

Jeri Morrow knows all about mosquitos at their worse. "It's like this." She then proceeds to slap herself furiously up and down her arms and legs. "You're steadily slapping and moving around." Jeri and her neighbors are certain the stinging insects are breeding in hundreds of tires dumped on property behind their homes. Huge piles of tires can be seen in a brushy area over the property line fence.

The tires belong to Johnson Tire. Owner Eddie Beale explained he moved the tires from his Pearl Street business to his rural property because of violations he faced with the city of Nacogdoches back in 2004. He paid his fines, but could be facing state fines. The residents say their complaints taken to the county went nowhere, so the state was called. That call was placed last summer. Neighbor Carl Atkinson said, "It's ridiculous that we can't get somebody to do something about it."

Environmental health inspectors did send letters last June to Beale accusing him of illegally transporting tires and storing more than 500 of them at an unregistered site. Tires can be moved by a registered transporter and disposed of at a registered facility. Beale said he does not have the manpower or money to do that for all the tires, but he'll try to remove them as soon as he can. His neighbors remain doubtful.

Beale was also cited for failure to control mosquitos. Beale said he sprayed twice last year and intends to spray again this year. But according to the state he's not doing it near enough. Their recommendation is that he spray every two weeks.

The state offered a specialist to help solve the problems, but nothing more was done until after a call from the East Texas News. The state came back a second time. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigator, Floyd Riley said, "I feel he was given ample time to inform the agency on what he was going to do to correct the problem. He hasn't."

That was two weeks ago and the tires are still there. So are the mosquitos. "We got a garden over here going. You can hardly be out there because they're eating you up. It's almost unbearable," said Jewell Ritter while swatting mosquitos.