Monday, September 15, 2008

Wild hogs pig-out on poison and propaganda

Cherokee County Texas:
Cherokee County bemoans the intrusive feral swine multiplying by the hundreds in East Texas and leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Or so FEMA and other government backed insurance agencies are being told. County Judges, local dairymen and government subsidize farmers throughout the county have written in to the local newspapers to tell of their own stories of how the filthy little beasts have ravaged their mother's flower beds. The State of Texas has agricultural extension services available to local farmers and ranchers coping with the influx of feral hog populations. However, in Cherokee County some well-intentioned dairymen and women have taken the matter in their own hands.
For example in 2004, Jacksonville Texas dairy owner Forrest Dyess and others were charged in federal court for illegally poisoning indigenous and benign wildlife, in order to rid a fellow rancher of feral pigs running across his property. Dyess, a licensed pesticide distributor, sold powerful TEMIK brand poison to Rusk Texas dairyman David Jones, who in turned applied the chemical agent on his buddy Glenn Smith's property. The pesticide was mixed with horse feed and spread along Smith’s property line and resulted in the killing of deer, buzzards and probably a bunch of squirrels (all out of season and/or illegal) and the Game Warden levying a hefty $21,000 in fines to the group.


The Forrest Dyess family dairy located in Jacksonville, TX has been the recipient of over $500,000 in federal disaster aid payments from 1995 to 2006. Cherokee County’s total farm disaster compensation in the time period was $8.7 million, whereas larger Smith County to the North and Nacogdoches County to the South were both only $3.8 million each. Dairies and farms in Nacogdoches and Smith Counties outnumber Cherokee County’s 10:1. Guess it helps having a cousin or three at the county seat declaring every rain event in town a “natural disaster.” And someone who can sympathize when pigs are eating their carnations before the Homecoming.

Jacksonville Texas: FEMA get rich schemes may not be reported in the local media; however a few defrauders found themselves in federal court this month. Lifelong Jacksonville, TX residents Jerry Bovard, age 20, and Joe Murray, age 45, were both charged by federal prosecutors for filing false wind damage claims with FEMA, both claiming to have resided in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. These two unrelated alleged swindlers have never left the county, nonetheless after all the other fraud occurring right down the road, who wouldn’t be tempted to follow suit?

Houston County Texas:
City of Crockett, TX Police Chief Jimmy Fisher resigned after credit card abuse indictments handed down in August 2008. Fisher had obtained credit cards in his son’s (a DPS officer) name, without the latter’s consent.

Anderson County Texas:
Anderson County Commissioner Pct. 3 Ronny Smith resigns after entering a guilty plea of three felony counts of misuse of government funds. Commissioner Smith took $2600 of county asphalt and topsoil to his own property; he was placed on 1 year probation and given a $1000 fine. Quite a common scene in neighboring Cherokee County, but with cousins as County and District Attorneys, the story of former County workers getting new driveways and private property maintenance goes quite literally “buried.” Especially for those related to sitting Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Justice and Cherokee County Bar Association member, Charles Holcomb. Freshly stocked catfish ponds and county bulldozers maintaining private property working on the taxpayer dime is the norm for those sitting at the top (bottom?) of the East Texas political hierarchy. Smith was also accused of taking a tractor hose fitting from county equipment and using it in his garden. Palestine Texas newspapers make a bigger deal out of Commissioner Ronny Smith "borrowing indefinitely" left over county dirt and tractor parts, than Cherokee County does its constables double-dipping as drug runners, a la Randall Thompson.

Cherokee County Texas:
Similarly, former Rusk city hall employee Doris Robinson is scheduled to have jury selection begin on October 14 for her embezzlement trial. Mrs. Robinson was indicted after 18 months of postponement for allegedly stealing over $150,000 from the Rusk Water Department. Mrs. Robinson maintains her innocence and prosecutors, along with defense, are beginning to surmise an “accounting glitch,” so everyone can be paid off equally and this horrid little story will go away.

Cooke County Texas:
Oak Ridge TX Police Chief Michael Todd Lacey pleaded guilty in Federal Court on September 10, 2008 to one count of extortion. Chief Lacey was apparently fond of pulling over Hispanic motorists on Highway 82 and demanding money in exchange for not issuing citations. Lacey was indicted in April 2008 and is now facing 18 months in federal prison for his extortion tactics. He wasn’t raping his traffic stops on the side of road as Jacksonville TX police officer Larry Pugh did recently, but nonetheless Lacey was violating the civil rights of travelers through his gracious jurisdiction.

Kaufman County Texas:
Sunnyvale ISD Jr. High teacher Chad Michael Hutchins was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography. Hutchins was arrested at his Forney, TX home in June 2007 on similar charges stemming from his correspondences with under age girls on My Space.