Around East Texas 05/12/07

Election Day

It's election day for Texans. Many East Texas communities are voting on various city and school board elections, as well as a proposed constitutional amendment and some controversial wet/dry elections. Polls opened at 7 this morning and will close at 7 p.m.

Sheriff Sued

A ten million dollar lawsuit has been filed in Federal court against Upshur County by an East Texas man claiming official misconduct. Named in the indictment are a number of elected officials, including Upshur County Sheriff Anthony Betterton. The complaintant, Barry Cooper, claims the Sheriff should be held responsible for injuries his child sustained during a home raid. Cooper is known for making the controversial video "Never Get Busted Again," which deals with how to avoid getting busted by a police officer if you have an illegal substance on you. Cooper also names the Precinct 1 Constable's office in the lawsuit. He claims a number of deputies forcefully entered his home to get his two children. This, because his ex-wife claimed Cooper was keeping them from her and they were not going to school.

First Grader gets picked up Walking Home Alone

A Tyler first grader tries to walk home from school and the child's parents say the school let him. Seven year old Alston Jeffus' babysitter always picks him up after school, but Monday his babysitter was running late. Alston's babysitter says she called Ramey Elementary School saying she would not be there on time, but the message never got to Alston's teacher. The next thing she and his mother knew Alston had been picked up by a sheriff's deputy on East Gentry Parkway after he had tried to walk home.

ISO Training Workshop

If you own property in a volunteer fire district, as many East Texans do, you'll want your volunteer firefighters to attend an upcoming workshop. Departments will learn how to lower proerty insurance rates by lowering their I-S-O rating. An I-S-O rating is an independent evaluation of fire departments. Inspectors review equipment, water availability and response time. On may 19th, an I-S-O rating expert will show departments how to easily improve their status. Planners would like to know if you're coming. Call the Pineywoods Resource Conservation and development Council to register. The workshop is Saturday, May 18th, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Nacogdoches Recreation Center. The training is fress. Lunch is five dollars.

Major Construction Project

Another major highway construction project is about to get started in Lufkin. This one is planned for the Highway 59 north area heading towards Nacogdoches. The improvements won't mean a quicker route out of town for driversm but after construction is finished, motorisits will have a safer and more convenient route because of less merging onto 59. However, owners of business standing in the line of fire say they aren't happy about the North Near-Term project. The old Fifth Wheel truck stop and Lone Star Charlie's restaurant are just two of the businesses that will be affected.