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The spotlight was shone brightly on the Smith County District Attorney’s Office and the upcoming election for the top seat in the office, as an audit released in January found numerous policy infractions through an audit report, with a candidate for District Attorney listed as the top violator. more
Whitehouse Fire Chief Madison Johnson reported on the progress of the Community Emergency Response Team or CERT for which two informational meetings as well as a CPR and first aid training have been held. Though he previously believed the team would be the first of its kind in the county, Johnson has since been informed a CERT team already exists in Smith County. more
Two new houses now stand in Troup thanks to a grant from Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The owners of the newly erected three bedroom, one bathroom homes are Morris and Barbara Austin and Sam and Lutrecia Medford. “Both houses had significant foundation and roofing issues,” noted Christel Kiker, Administrative Assistant at Traylor and Associates, Inc., the grant consults for Troup. “There was damage to ceiling tiles and uneven flooring throughout both houses. Heating and cooling sources were not always sufficient during extreme weather. Plumbing and electrical were outdated and unsafe. They were replaced with energy efficient, safe, handicap accessible homes.” To be eligible for the grant, applicants were required to own their own home, be income eligible, owe no property taxes and have a home in disrepair. “I was happy; I was overjoyed,” Morris Austin said about how he felt when first discovering he had been approved as an applicant for the new home. “My wife was especially [happy],” Austin commented.” We’ve been in the old house since 1975 and she wanted something new.” Though the Austins originally applied for the grant in January of 2017, work on the building of the new home didn’t begin until September. They stayed with their son, who also lives in Troup, while construction was ongoing. “I’m proud of what the city has done for us and everybody else who helped us get the grant,” Austin stated. “We couldn’t afford a new one ourselves.” “Elated,” was Lutrecia Medford’s one word answer about her reaction to being notified she would be getting one of the new homes. Medford stated she’d been living in her old home 23 years and had previously applied for a grant. “I’m just grateful and thankful,” Medford said about seeing the completed house. “You never think it can happen to you and when it does, you can’t even explain how you feel.” “We have been blessed to have the opportunity to play a part in a unique program that came available for two of our Troup families,” Mayor Joe Carlyle stated. “Being a home builder, I’m always excited for families to move into their new homes. Now I get to experience this with our own families as mayor.” more
The Troup Community Development Corporation (TCDC) board met Monday, Jan. 22, to discuss possible projects to beautify and revitalize the city. Conversation revolved mainly around city parks and … more
Since January was School Board Recognition Month, the trustees, in recognition for their work, were given gift baskets at the Thursday, Jan. 25, meeting. Superintendent Dr. Chris Moran interviewed elementary students for a video presentation about the students’ thoughts on what a board member looks like, how old they are and what they do. more
Community Activities East Texas Iris Society meeting Smith County Master Gardener Andie Rathbone will speak on “Pollinators in the Garden” at the Iris Society meeting from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, in the Azalea room at the rose Garden Center. Admission is free and the meeting is open to the public. more
cFamily Dollar Stores, Inc., a leading small format and convenience retailer, has announced plans for a new store in Overton, Texas. “Family Dollar is pleased to invite customers to experience our great value and broad assortment of merchandise in the Overton community,” said Heather Briganti, Family Dollar spokesperson.  “Our customers can rely on Family Dollar for everyday low prices on household products, food, beauty and essentials, seasonal merchandise, apparel and much more.” more
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