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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company

Burn ban continues
Houston County Courier -  August 2009

Houston County will continue under a burn ban, as recent rains have not been enough to significantly reduce the fire danger. 
During a regular meeting Tuesday, July 28 members of the Houston County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to extend the ban on outdoor burning which has been in effect since June 23.
Houston County Fire Marshall David Lamb told commissioners that both his office and the Texas Forest Service recommended keeping the burn ban in place. 
He said recent rains have not been enough to make it safe to burn at this time. 
Lamb said the KBI drought index was currently at 696, making Houston County one of the driest locations in the nation. 
The highest the KBI index can go is 800.  At its peak about two weeks ago, the KBI index in Houston County reached 740.
The fire danger and the status of the burn ban will be reviewed again at the next commissioners court meeting on Aug. 11.
The commissioners discussed and approved a joint application between the county and the city of Crockett for a regional solid waste grant through the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG). 
For the past several years, the county and city have cooperated in the grant program to provide a joint refuse control officer.  DETCOG is expected to award six of these grants in the amount of $21,000 for the upcoming year.
Jesse Stephens, CPA, presented the annual outside audit report for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2008.  Stephens reported that the county finances were in excellent condition, and said he had no recommendations for any changes in accounting practices.  He complimented Houston County Auditor Melissa Mosley for her recordkeeping.
Commissioners approved the appointment of election judges and alternate judges for county and state elections for the next two years. 
By law, the county must appoint the election judges based on recommendations from the Republican and Democratic parties. 
In each voting precinct, the party whose nominee for governor received the most votes in the 2006 general election gets to name the presiding judge, and the other party gets to name the alternate presiding judge.
The Republican party carried 18 of the 21 voting precincts in 2006.  Since no Republican names were submitted by the party for two of the voting boxes, the final list of presiding judges includes 17 Republicans and four Democrats.
The following is a list of the election judges and alternates which were appointed to serve for the next two years.  Presiding judges are listed first, and the party that recommended each person is noted in parenthesis.
Box 1:  Vance Drum (R) and Lucy Benton (D)
Box 2:  Janet Walker (R) and Sandra Wilson (D)
Box 3:  Elouise Wooten (D) and Linda Schaffer (R)
Box 4:  Wayne Langham (R) and Jim T. Ainsworth (D)
Box 5:  Barbara Clark (R) and Bobby Platt (D)
Box 6:  Mike Rhone (R) and Sally Adkison (D)
Box 7:  Shirley Michka (R) and Shirley Chandler (D)
Box 8:  Jo Ann Walker (R) and Floene Moore (D)
Box 9:  David Coon (R) and Charles L. Barrier (D)
Box 10:  Jerry Christian (R) and Patty Biggs (D)
Box 11:  Bonnie Scurlock (D) and Georgia Scurlock (D)
Box 12:  Billy Ray Duren (D) (alternate to be named)
Box 14:  Kenneth Clark (R) and Mary Neel (D)
Box 15:  Matthew Bryne (R) and Daisy Murphy (D)
Box 16:  Judy Morgan (R) and Polly Morris (D)
Box 17:  Yvonne Otis (R) and Michelle Harris (D)
Box 18:  Don Huse (D) and Scott Matthews (R)
Box 19:  Sandra Deckard (R) and Carla Hass (D)
Box 20:  Tim Bynum (R) and Virginia Womack (D)
Box 21:  Joe House (R) and Carl Watts (D)
Box 22:  Tammy Cook (R) and Bernice Harris (D)



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