Allison Noll and Leslye Gleason, both Texas A&M University staff members, teach excited third grade students from Houston County area schools about eggs and baby chicks at the annual Houston County Science of Agriculture Field Day event held in Porth Agricultural Arena in Crockett on Wednesday, May 18. Some 250 elementary school students attended the event. The activity was sponsored by the Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension Office in Crockett. (Photo by Alton Porter/HC Courier)
Pictured are Dispatch Supervisor Susie Hammond and Dispatcher Daniel Williams along with Chief of Operations for Houston County EMS Bradley Baucom, Lt. Eric Adams and Bart Mallett with gifts received in appreciation of the work Houston County dispatchers do.(Courtesy Photo)
Appreciation Shown To Dispatchers During Telecommunicators Appreciation Week
The Houston County Dispatchers were recognized in several different ways this past week during Telecommunicators Appreciation Week.
They were given shirts from DETCOG as well as flowers and gift baskets from Houston County EMS. They also received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from others, just showing their appreciation for the work our dispatchers do.
Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt stated that the dispatch division of his office is truly the hub for the Houston County Sheriff's Office. It takes someone with a special calling to be a dispatcher for law enforcement. Their job goes from low stress to high stress in just a matter of seconds. They never know when the phone rings what is waiting on the other end. They are the first ones that people talk to when calling for help, many times at the most tragic times of their lives.
Dispatch Supervisor Susie Hammond is pictured with Dispatcher Carly Jenkins during Telecommunicators Appreciation Week. Jenkins also is an officer with the Grapeland Police Department.The dispatchers have to be able to get the needed information and try to keep that person calm on the other end. Bobbitt stated that training is vital for dispatchers. They have to remain calm while they are performing their job to the best of their abilities and cannot take personally the outcome of any call.
Bobbitt states that Dispatch Supervisor Susie Hammond is a TCOLE certified instructor and she is up-to-date on all the newest training available for dispatchers. He states that Hammond makes certain that the dispatchers receive the best training to perform their duties.
Out of the nine dispatchers, six have their Master TCOLE certification, with the other three working toward that certification. Dispatchers include Sylvuan Duncan, Daniel Williams, Jennifer Brockway Baker, Carly Jenkins, Katy Stephens, Meagan Frizzell, Candi Reid, Carly Tullis, Shannon Foster-North.
Bobbitt is proud of all of his dispatchers and appreciates the work and dedication they have to their jobs.
Photo by Lynda Jones Antioch Baptist Church took first place and Best Overall Theme for its float in the 34th Annual Lovelady Lovefest Parade Saturday, Feb. 13. The float carried church member in poodle skirts, featured a soda fountain and a replica of a car from the 50s at the back. (Lynda Jones Photo)
The 34th Annual Lovelady Lovefest, in keeping with this year's theme, Rock Around the Clock, was a rockin' good time on Saturday, Feb. 13.
Grand Marshals Ron-Ann Easton and Carol Broxson led the parade of colorful floats, classic cars and more. The Lovelady ISD band kept the mood of the theme with music from the 1950s and 1960s.
Tammy Cousins, director of the parade, announced the following winners: First place float and Best Overall for theme honors went to the Antioch Baptist Church. The NAPA Auto Parts and Ace Bail Bonds float won second place in the float category, as well as Most Original and Best of Show in the theme category. The Gresham family won third place in the float category.
Other winners in the Theme category were Seventh Grade, first place; Lovelady Elementary UIL, second place; and First Baptist Church, third place.
Winners in the Antique Cars category were: Best of Show, Gary Bryant, 1957 Chevy BelAir; first place, Gary Nunley, 1966 Chevy truck; second place, Shelly Gear, 1971 Ford GT; and third place, J. T. Garriell, 1956 Cadillac.
Winners of the Bikes, ATVs and Four-Wheelers category were: Best of Show, Colby Taylor, Lane Crowson and Mikala Rivers; Most Decorated, Darcy Corcoran and Christian Corcoran; Most Reddest, Brady McCullough and Mikey Montemayor; and Most Loudest, Jarred Gambill and Eric Anderson.
Following the parade, folks headed to the Lovelady City Park for a sunny afternoon, smelling the aromas of the Barbecue Cook-Off, rides and games for the kids, shopping at all the vendor booths, and enjoying a variety of live entertainment that ranged from pretty little dancers to dogs performing tricks. The petting zoo also was a hit, in addition to the traditional funnel cakes, sausage on a stick, hamburgers, turkey legs, lemonade and other tasty favorites.
To top off the day of activities, many headed to the Lovelady Old Gym afterwards to dance the night away, making the Lovefest a true "Rock Around the Clock" celebration.
The 34th Annual Lovelady Lovefest kicked off Thursday night, Feb. 11, in the packed Lovelady High School Gym with the coronation of 2016 Lovefest Queen Hannah Gresham. She is pictured here with her escort, Cole Cimrhanzl. After 2015 Lovefest Queen Avery Brumley crowned Gresham, the Royal Court took its place to be entertained by Lovelady Elementary students. In keeping with this year's Lovefest theme, Rock Around the Clock", the children performed to songs from the 50s and 60s. The Lovelady High School Band also performed. Hannah Burleson and Alex McKnight served as emcees for the evening. Members of the Royal Court were Seventh Grade Princess Kyra Rogers and Escort Caleb Larkin; Eighth Grade Princess Hannah York and Escort Kent Thatcher; Freshman Princess Morgan LaRue and Escort Logan Lowery; Sophomore Princess Miranda Moore and Escort Ethan Tullos; Junior Princess Allison Hay and Escort Daniel Cook; Senior Princess and Lovefest Queen Hanna Gresham and Escort Cole Cimrhanzl. (Lynda Jones Photo)
Photo by Lynda Jones The 2016 Royal Lovefest Court made its debut at the historic Collins house in Lovelady on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Pictured are Eighth Grade Princess Hannah York and Escort Kent Thatcher, Freshman Princess Morgan LaRue and Escort Logan Lowery; Sophomore Princess Miranda Moore and Escort Ethan Tullos; Junior Princess Allison Hay and Escort Daniel Cook; Senior Princess Hannah Gresham and Escort Cole Cimrhanzl, and Seventh Grade Princess Kyra Rogers and Escort Caleb Larkin. Flower Girl is Ryan Corley and Crown Bearer is Jayden McCullough. The coronation ceremony will be Thursday, Feb. 11 in the Lovelady High School gym. (Lynda Jones Photo)
The Lovelady community is getting ready to "Rock Around the Clock" at the 34th annual Lovefest on Saturday, Feb. 13, and everyone is invited to participate.
The Lovefest court of princesses and their escorts, along with the flower girl and crown bearer, were introduced at a kick-off media event Wednesday, Jan. 27, at the historic Collins house in Lovelady.
The 2015 Lovefest Queen, Avery Brumley, will pass her crown to one of the lucky young ladies at the cornonation ceremony Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Lovelady High School gym. The event will start at 7 p.m. For more information about the coronation, call Lisa Allen or Carol Monk at 936-636-7636.
Area residents will start lining up along SH 19 in Lovelady bright and early Saturday morning, Saturday, Feb. 13 for the Lovefest "Rock Around the Clock" parade. Parade coordinator Tammy Cousins said it is very important that all entries be at the line-up site at 8:30 a.m.
"The parade is open to anyone who wants to enter," Cousins said, "but they must line-up at 8:30 a.m. The parade starts at 10 a.m."
For floats carrying small children, the children don't have to arrive until 9 a.m. – 9:15 a.m., but the floats and vehicles must be in the line-up at 8:30 a.m., she added.
There is no cost to enter the parade.
Bicycles, antique cars, ATVs, floats – all are welcome, Cousins said. For the antique cars, first, second and third place winners will receive ribbons, and a Best of Show will be awarded.
In the floats category, Best of Show, Most Unique and Best Theme will be selected.
Cousins also noted that for those entering horses, there will be a place for parking trailers and trucks.
For more information about the parade, contact Cousins at 936-545-1111 or 936-546-1331.
Another popular segment of the celebration is the Lovefest Baby Beauty Contest, sponsored by the Lovelady First United Methodist Women. Parents will be taking their little ones dressed in their Lovefest finest to the church fellowship hall beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13.
Judging will be in the following age groups: 0-6 months, 7-12 months, 1 year olds, 2 year olds, 3 year olds and 4 year olds. Boys and girls will be judged separately, and the award ceremony will be at 2 p.m. at the bandstand located in the City Park (next to the Lovelady Old Gym).
Trophies will be awarded for first place, second place and third place in each group. High point trophies will go to Little Miss Lovefest and Little Mr. Lovefest. Applications are available at the Houston County Courier office in Crockett. For additional information about the Lovefest Baby Beauty Contest, call Mary Allen, 936-636-7372; JoAnn Henry, 935-624-6407; or Dorothy Williamson, 936-636-7097.
As always, as soon as the parade is over, the crowd will migrate to the City Park and the Lovelady Old Gym to enjoy hundreds of arts & craft booths, food booths, live entertainment and the barbecue cook-off.
For information about securing an arts & crafts or food booth, contact Lawanna Monk at 936-546-4054.
Anyone interested in performing daytime entertainment should call Jessica Lambert at 979-824-3703.
For information about the barbecue cook off, call Mike Broxson at 936-7337 or Ronnie Driskell at 636-7839 or 936-662-6539.
The Lovefest Dance, which features The Firecrackers this year, will close out the day. The dance will be at the Lovelady Old Gym from 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. (midnight) on Saturday, Feb. 13. For information about the dance, call Lawanna Monk at 936-546-4054.
Festival goers will want to be properly attired in an official 34th Annual Lovefest 2016 "Rock Around the Clock" t-shirt or sweatshirt. The deadline for order forms and payment is Monday, Feb. 1. Forms can be dropped off at Broxson Hardware or the Lovelady Food Center, or children can give the form to Julie Hay at the school.
Forms also are available at the Houston County Courier office in Crockett. For more information about the shirts, call Beverly Moore at 936-546-3951.
Two decades after the demise of the first replica of a Caddo grass house at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, a Caddo grass house will rise again on the prairie along the Neches River bottom in 2016. Volunteers are pictured harvesting switch grass for the house in November 2015. The next harvest day is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23, and volunteers are needed. (Courtesy Photo)
Special to the HC Courier
NACOGDOCHES - It's time to roll up your sleeves and cut some switch grass! Caddo Mounds State Historic Site (CMSHS) harvested switch grass at the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest in Nacogdoches in November 2015 for the construction of a traditional Caddo grass house at the site. The next harvest will take place at the Experimental Forest on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 9:30 a.m. A rain out date is scheduled for Jan. 30.
In 2014, Friends of Caddo Mounds embarked on a mission to build a new grass house at the site. The first replica Caddo grass house at CMSHS was constructed in 1981. The house remained an integral part of the site until the mid 1990s, when it deteriorated beyond repair. Per Caddo custom, the house was burned.
Two decades later, through the efforts of Friends of Caddo Mounds, CMSHS staff and numerous supporters, the Caddo grass house will rise again on the prairie along the Neches River bottom in 2016.
"The grass house dwelling will be used for interpretation and public education about how Caddo houses were designed and constructed, the materials that were used to build them, and the activities that were conducted inside," said CMSHS Interpreter Rachel Galan. "But we also want the house constructed to honor the Caddo and their culture," said Galan.
Caddo elder Phil Cross has agreed to construct the grass house this summer at the site. Cross is the only living Caddo elder who knows the traditional grass house building techniques. After the first grass cutting last November, the grass was stored on site to dry.
In December, Caddo elder Phil Cross returned to CMSHS to mark pine polls and willow trees to be harvested later in the spring for construction of the grass house. Cross analyzed the switch grass harvest and it was determined that more switch grass was needed. According to Friends of Caddo Mounds President Jeff Williams, by utilizing Phil Cross, the group is incorporating the unique knowledge and invaluable experience of the ancient Caddo people and the thriving Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.
Locals are also excited about the grass house project, and anxious to see the prairie resemble their memories of the site.
"I spent a lot of time in the area as a child. No matter how many times I visited the site or drove by on TX SH 21, the ancient earthen mounds and grass house always enchanted me," said Friends of Caddo Mounds member Dana Goolsby. "I remember seeing the grass house at CMSHS in our Texas History books in elementary school, and realizing how important the site was even then. Today, the site still enchants me and is more important than ever. Joining the Friends of Caddo Mounds group has given me the opportunity to help preserve Caddo culture and East Texas history."
Anyone who is interested in volunteering at CMSHS and helping with grass house work days is encouraged to attend the next Friends of Caddo Mounds meeting on Thursday, January 21, at 6p.m. The Friends of Caddo Mounds is a 501 c3 non-profit organization under a Memorandum of Agreement with the Texas Historical Commission's Historic Sites Division. The group meets at the CMSHS Museum on the third Thursday of each month at 6p.m.
Switch grass cutting volunteers are encouraged to wear closed toed shoes, work clothes, and bring work gloves. Safety goggles are a plus. Any volunteers able to bring gas or battery run hedge cutters would be appreciated. Lunch and drinks will be provided at the work day.
Please call Anthony Souther or Rachel Galan for more information about the grass house project, how to donate, or how to get involved at (936) 858-3218. Like the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site on Facebook for updates about upcoming work days.