Kerens Fire Claims Life of Two; One Transported to Parkland

In the early morning hours on Sunday, emergency personnel were dispatched to a residence in the Kerens/Goodlow area in response to a reported house fire.
The structure fire resulted in two fatalities and one female was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
According to the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office, an investigation has begun in the incident and more information will be released as it becomes available.
The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office responded with a team of 3 investigators and a K-9 team. Names of decedents will likely be released later in the week after family is notified.
The NavCo Chronicle reached out to the Kerens Police Department, who expect to issue a press release at a later time.

CISD Police Arrest 4 Students After Locating Weapon at CHS Parking Lot

Four students at Corsicana High School were arrested Monday after they were found to be in possession of a firearm located in a vehicle in the parking lot. The weapon was never removed from the vehicle.
After taking the students into custody, CISD officers determined there was no imminent threat to other students or CHS staff.
Another student was detained and is being questioned.
An administrator doing a routine parking lot check noticed the individuals sitting in the parking lot around noon. After questioning, Corsicana ISD police were requested and the weapon was discovered in the back seat.
CHS also has weapons detectors at each entrance. Once the school day begins, the only way to enter CHS is through a security check in the front office.

No names have been released at this time.

Rep. Harris Issues Joint Statement On House Bill 1075

Uniting in the critical effort to protect Texas’ farm and ranch land from being overtaken by hostile foreign nations, State Representatives Cody Harris, Jacey Jetton, and Angie Chen Button issued a joint statement on Monday in support of House Bill 1075.
The recently-filed legislation would prohibit foreign governments or any entity owned or controlled by a foreign government from purchasing agricultural land in Texas.
The concern of This legislation sprouts from a growing concern over land grabs by foreign nations — particularly those which have proven to be actively and repeatedly hostile toward America’s economy, security and intellectual property. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2021 Report, over 40 million acres of agriculture land is owned by foreign nations and investors – with the pace of ownership accelerating to an average of 2.2 million acres purchased a year.
“This legislation sends a strong message to those foreign governments who constantly threaten the economic and security interests of America: we will no longer tolerate your attempts to undermine democracy – not abroad and not on our own soil,” said State Representative Cody Harris of Palestine, the author of HB 1075. “No one wants to look up one day and see that our farmland is mostly owned or controlled by foreign governments. We are proud to protect our Texas-owned agricultural community so our farmers and ranchers can continue to earn a living, feed America, and maintain control over our food security.”

Under HB 1075, all individuals and American-owned businesses will maintain their right to purchase ag property in the State of Texas. As filed, the legislation applies to all foreign governments or government-controlled entities equally.

“I know firsthand the dangers of a hostile foreign nation – it was because of the dangers experienced living in communist China that my family made the decision to flee to Taiwan, where the seven of us lived in a space made of bamboo and mud,” State Representative Angie Chen Button of Richardson said. “Like so many other Texans who immigrated here for a better life, I came to America because it afforded me new opportunities – opportunities including the right to own property and freely purchase a safe and stable home in which to raise my family. This legislation better equips us to protect those precious rights and keep Texas land in the hands of those who have helped build and maintain it – not those who seek to destroy it.”

Various forms of prohibitions on foreign ownership of agriculture land are currently in place within 17 other states.

State Representative Jacey Jetton of Fort Bend said, “No matter your race, color or creed, Texas remains open for business to all freedom-loving people. We welcome all United States citizens and lawful permanent residents with full hearts and open arms. We are also putting those who willfully align themselves with these enemy states on notice. We will fully protect the American Dream here in Texas.”
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What is A Constable?

By Kris Smith

The office of Constable is the longest formed law enforcement body, stemming all the way back to the Roman Empire.  

During the Norman Conquest of England, William the Conqueror appointed constables to supervise individual boroughs, similar to modern day sheriffs. 

On March 5, 1823, the first Texas Constable, Thomas Alley, assumed his role in Stephen F. Austin’s original colony.  Alley was sworn into his office by newly elected alcalde of the Colorado District, John Tomlinson.  Constable Alley became the first law enforcement officer in the State of Texas. 

If you remember your Texas History, you will recall the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in 1836 called for a county election for a sheriff and a ‘sufficient number of constables.’  During the decade long republic, 38 constables were elected in a dozen counties – the first in Nacogdoches County and 13 in Harris County.  According to records, violent crime was rare, except for the occasional horse or cattle thief traveling from Arkansas or Louisiana.  Most indictments were for non-lethal crimes such as illegal gambling or fighting. 

After Texas became a part of the United States, legislature stated ‘the Constable should be the conservator for peace throughout the county.’  Duties included the suppression of all riots, fights, routs, affrays and unlawful assemblies and the constable’s duty ‘shall be to keep the peace, cause all offenders to be arrested, and taken before a justice of the peace.’

When Texas left the union in 1861, many county offices remained empty or were held by less competent men than previously held the office.  During the Civil War, The Union Military appointed over two hundred men to state and county offices, leaving 1/3 of elected offices vacant.  Many counties had no constables from 1865 to 1869.  Austin, DeWitt, Fayette, McLennan, and our own Navarro County had only one serving as constable – appointed by General Edward RS Canby.

The Constitution of 1876, designed to distribute control of Texas government, reduced the power of many state officials, and mandated that constables would be elected by precinct.  In 1954, an amendment extended their office terms from two to four years.  

State law defines that Constables are associate members of the Texas Department of Public Safety under Texas Government Code 411.009, which is defined and given the same authority as their brothers, The Texas Rangers.  However, they are more commonly recognized as the officers of the justice of the peace court. Each constable have the power to appoint deputies to work under his authority. Each deputy is given the same authority as the constable. A constable has been called the “Peoples Police” because of their Constitutional origin and local elected representation of the people.

The Sheriff of each Texas county is responsible for enforcing the law and the management of the county jail.  Additionally, each Texas county is divided into at least four precincts, but some have more. Tarrant County has eight.  Each precinct must elect a law enforcement representative, Constable, and a local judicial representative, a justice of the peace. The Constable’s duty is to uphold the law and order for the precinct to which they are elected to protect.

Also, a Texas Constable is given Constitutional authority to enforce both civil and criminal laws.

Texas DPS Troopers, Texas Rangers, and local municipal police officers are given the authority to only enforce criminal laws.

The elected Constables of Navarro County are Precinct 1 Constable Mike Davis, Precinct Two Constable Dan Williams, Precinct 3 Constable Bobby Rachel, and Precinct 4 Kipp Thomas.

 In Freestone County, Constable Buck Bonner has led Precinct 1 for nearly forty years, only being challenged a handful of times.  The remaining three precinct Constables are Precinct 2 Constable Daniel Ramsey, Precinct 3 Richard McGowan, and serving the Wortham, Kirvin, and Streetman area is Precinct 4 Constable Ken Sessions. 

There are approximately 770 elected constables in the State of Texas. To this day, Texas Constables, and Texas State Troopers all work very close together and both use the justice of the peace as their primary judge/court.

Constables have the authority to enforce almost every law in the State of Texas. Some Constable offices may have traffic divisions or criminal investigation divisions as well as patrol and special response teams.

Constables have statewide jurisdiction and like the sheriff, they report only to the Governor and citizens that elect them to serve.

 The Texas Constable office is not without danger. It is estimated more than 90 Texas Constables have lost their lives in the line of duty, including 67 in the 20th century. 

The NavCo Chronicle would like to thank Freestone County Constable Buck Bonner and Navarro County Constable Mike Davis for their help to honor our Constables for National Law Enforcement Month.

Hometown Medical Associates Moves Into New Office

Charles Dunnahoe and his staff at Hometown Medical Associates have relocated to 106 S Beaton Street in downtown Corsicana. An open house was held at the new office on Thursday afternoon. More photos to come!

WLAC Invites Parents and Their Children to Get Involved In Youth Theatre Programs

The Warehouse Living Arts Center (WLAC) has been a cornerstone in youth productions and theatre education in Navarro County since they founded the Corsicana Children’s Company in 1981. Now known as the Warehouse Theatre Youth Company, the WLAC invites everyone who cares for anyone in grades first through twelfth who have ever been involved in or shown any interest in the theatre to come find out about everything they have going on this year.

“Our youth programs provide so much more than just learning about theatre and performing in shows. Lessons and life experience taken from our programs extend out well past the stage. Studies show that not only does it improve their sense of community but improved overall school performance. We help develop their creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Our goal is to provide our youth with a fun, engaging environment that enhances their growth as thespians and as people.” John Kaiser III, WLAC Executive Director stated.

“Their confidences are built up, they have an increase in self-discipline, their interpersonal skills increase allowing them to talk to new people easier, they are better at multi-tasking, and they gain more respect and positive outlook for themselves,” Kaiser continued.

From classes and camps to youth productions and workshops, the Warehouse Theatre Youth Co. has a lot planned for 2023 and would love for you to join them on January 19, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm to learn more. Refreshments will be provided.

The Warehouse Living Arts Center Theatre and Gallery is located at 119 W. 6th Ave. Corsicana, TX, just catty-cornered from the Post Office in historic downtown. You can find out more about the WLAC online at www.theWLAC.com. Gallery and Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 12:00pm to 5:00pm.

‘We Are The Dream’ March Held on Monday in Corsicana

We are the dream unity march – the purpose of the walk was to unify. Martin luther king, jr. had a dream and we are the dream. Community event organizers Ricky and Twania Christmas, of The Spot Church stated, “We started at the Historical Downtown Corsicana sign, marched up 7th Avenue and made stops at the Corsicana Chamber of Commerce, Corsicana Police Department, and Navarro County Courthouse to pray and worship. (Courtesy Photo)

Grand Opening Held For Hubbard’s Vendor Market on Saturday

On Saturday, January 14, the Hubbard’s Vendors Market held their Grand Opening Party.


The event was celebrated by the Greater Hubbard Chamber of Commerce, who welcomed the new business to the community.


Owner and operator, Debbie Grisham, was happy to showcase new vendors who have on display many new antiques and unique finds. The market was busy and filled with shoppers, who were treated to free hot dogs, chips, and drinks offered through the day.


Grisham stated, “This has been a wonderful event, and we are seeing so much growth!” Grisham offers booths ready to rent, and also has options for single-shelf rental.


Hubbard’s Vendors Market is located at 401 NE 4th Street. Current hours are Thursday from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. For more information or to inquire about booth rental, contact Grisham at 512-550-8701.

Hubbard Home Front

HIGHWAY CLEAN UP DAY
The Hubbard Cowboy Church will be hosting an Adopt-a-Highway clean-up day for their 2-mile stretch of State Hwy 171 on Saturday, January 21 at 10:00 AM.
Volunteers are needed and will begin at the church, located at 877 State Hwy 171. A light, continental breakfast will be provided before the work starts.
After breakfast, supplies will be distributed, and volunteers organized into groups. The project will be completed faster the more volunteers show up. All helpers are asked to wear suitable clothing and sturdy shoes, preferably jeans and boots or high-topped shoes.
In the event of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, February 4. For more information, contact Shelley Watts at 903-879-0759.
LIONS CLUB SWEETHEART BANQUET
The Hubbard Lions Club is sponsoring a Community-wide Sweetheart Banquet. The event will be held on Saturday, February 11 at the Haralson Family Life Center, located at 208 NW 2nd Street, beginning at 6:00 PM.
The banquet costs $20 per person to attend. Activities will feature live music provided by the Donna Beckham Band, along with a meal catered by Katharine & Marvin Matthys. Guests may participate in a raffle for a night’s stay as well as a wine tour and dinner, at Messina Hof Winery at College Station.
Tickets can be purchased at Texas Brand Insurance, at 107 NE 3rd Street. Proceeds for this banquet benefit Hubbard Lions Club’s ability to provide eye-exams and glasses for area children, award scholarships to Hubbard ISD students, send children to Lions Summer Camp, and other life-quality programs for youth and seniors in the community.
For more information or to make reservations to attend, contact Eugene Fulton at 254-580-5644.
NEW LOCATION FOR BBQ TRUCK
Texas Southern Outlaw BBQ will be serving from a new location and are now set-up on the corner of the red-light intersection at the corner across from Sonic.
Owner, Mac Stewart, has prepared a mouth-watering menu which includes brisket plates, sausage and hotlinks, Texas Twinkies (a popular menu item, containing a pepper stuffed with brisket and cream cheese and wrapped in bacon), Texas trash and nachos made with Stewart’s very own smoked brisket queso, as well as his signature Outlaw sandwich.
Current hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 AM until sold out. For more information, follow their business Facebook page.

2023 COMMUNITY EVENT CALENDAR

Calling all businesses and organizations in town, if you plan to host a community activity or event in 2023 and would like to have it added to our community event calendar, please contact Cheri Lane at 254-476-3575, or email cheri@thenavcochronicle.com for submission.

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE – State Rep. Cody Harris (TX-08)

‘Keep Rural Texas Rural’

Raised in Palestine, State Representative Cody Harris was recently sworn into his third term of office at the State Capitol.


With his wife, Taylor, and four children – Cooper, Grayson, Turner, and Chloe – by his side, Rep. Harris has been a dedicated friend to the rural community with his plea to ‘Keep Rural Texas Rural’. Harris has championed the prevention of the Texas Bullet Train project.


Harris’s agricultural constituents are personal for him. To overcome the tremendous loss during the 1980’s banking and oil collapse, the Harris family leased a 100-acre tract of land outside Palestine and planted a crop of watermelon, corn, cucumbers, and cantaloupe. They sold the produce on the side of the road to make ends meet and eventually recovered.


Harris stated in a post on his personal facebook page, “As for many Texans, the past year has been tough on feed store owners, farmers, and ranchers who have struggled with high prices. We need a positive shift for the Ag community, which is why I have filed House Bill 623 to exempt animal feed as taxable personal property and, in turn, help soften up pricing. It’s time to get government out of the way and empower Texans who are trying to make an honest living. This bill is one way I’ll be working this session to do just that.”


In an interview with NavCo in 2021, Harris stated, “The proposed electric high-speed rail is designed to make travel between Dallas and Houston smoother and faster. The rail will require additional funding and potentially appears to be more costly than originally planned. Requiring state and federal funding, the costs are skyrocketing.”


As State Representative, Cody’s priorities include securing the border, strengthening public schools, protecting farmers and ranchers and private property owner rights, lowering property taxes, shrinking the size of government and fighting for pro-life and pro-family values. Harris was also instrumental in the passing of several bills since entering his office, including issues such as Pro-Life, Constitutional Carry, and the Border Wall.


His conservative values were taught since birth with his deep Texas House District 8 roots. After the era of the Civil War, his family settled in Freestone County.


Since graduation from Texas A&M University, Harris has operated Liberty Land & Ranch in Palestine, a statewide real estate brokerage firm.


He is an active member of the Texas Association of Realtors, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Program (TALL), and lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.


Representative Cody Harris has recently joined in the COVID vaccine debate on a state level, supporting HB1313, with Rep. Dustin Burrows. Harris stated, “The public’s confidence in the FDA has been severely eroded due to the Biden administration’s ill-informed and inconsistent response to the pandemic. We are well beyond the initial unknowns of Covid-19, and it is far time that Texans are given reliable information and guidance that they can trust. Texas has proven that it is much better equipped to protect the safety of its citizens. This is why I strongly support HB 1313 by Rep. Dustin Burrows for Texas to empower the State of Texas, under our Department of State Health Services, to conduct its own study of the adverse reactions and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.”


Last Thursday, Harris voted for a House rule to stop “walkouts” aimed at breaking quorum and impeding the work of the Texas House of Representatives. He stated, “The new rule will impose a $500 daily fine, and possibly result in censure or expulsion from office, and cannot be paid from state office budgets or campaign funds. This will ensure the elected official is personally penalized for failing to uphold his or her duties in the House, while protecting taxpayers.”
Harris and his team have an office in Palestine and in Austin and encourage all citizens of House District 8 to stop in and visit.