PALESTINE, Texas - As of 10:53 a.m. Friday, May 27, 2016, the boil order placed for water customers in the city of Palestine has been lifted.
The following is the official notice, per state guidelines.
Boil Water Rescind Notice
On May 26, 2016, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) required our public water system for the City of Palestine, PWS ID 0010001 to issue a Boil Water Notice (BWN) to inform our customers that due to the presence of contaminants or an interruption in service, water from our system must be boiled prior to consumption.
Our system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore adequate pressure, disinfectant levels, and/or bacteriological quality and has provided TCEQ with testing results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling as of May 27, 2016.
If you have questions, contact Tim Perry at 903-731-8455 or Victoria Minton at 903-731-8423.
If a customer wishes to reach TCEQ, they may call 512-239-4691.
PALESTINE, Texas (May 25, 2016) – Recently, naturalists met with the City of Palestine to discuss help to an overlooked segment of the city’s population – bats.
Naturalists with the East Texas Chapter of Master Naturalists, along with representatives of Bat World, a nonprofit bat advisory group, met and toured Palestine’s downtown with members of the Historic Landmarks Commission, Main Street Advisory Board and city staff. The purpose of the tour was to determine ways to move Palestine’s bat population to a safe environment away from downtown buildings.
“We want to continue our mission of preserving Palestine’s unique and rich history,” Historic Preservation Officer Jacob Morris said. “We also want to be environmentally responsible stewards to our native bat population.”
During the meeting on Saturday, May 21, Kate Rugroden, Director of Special Projects with Bat World, gave a presentation on the benefits of bats. Bats, especially the Mexican free-tailed bat common to Texas, help in the development of agriculture and pest and disease control.
The bats’ main diet is insects, and the bats especially like to dine on mosquitos. According to Rugroden, a bat will eat thousands of mosquitos during its 30-year lifespan. Bats are also habitual, and will return to the place of its birth. Throughout the years and continuing presently, several buildings in downtown Palestine house bat colonies.
Rugroden also dispelled many of the myths about bats, including the myth they are rodents (they aren’t), they are blind (they can see), and they’re not vampires (there are three species of vampire bats in Latin America). Also, bats are as prone to rabies the same as other mammals, dispelling the myth that all bats carry rabies. Still, one should not pick up a grounded bat with bare hands.
The Palestine Economic Development Corporation is offering owners and developers grants up to $25,000, to help move the bats. Moving the bats will eliminate a very common bat-related problem, the buildup of bat dung, more commonly known as guano. According to Rugroden, guano itself produces little odor, but the odor emanates from years of guano deposits near moist masonry.
During a tour of Main Street, bat lovers and naturalists explored areas of the city that can be used to attract bats in the future. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has also expressed interest in the city’s efforts to help the bat population.
Like the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, engineering has a way of creating a habitat that will keep bats in one place. The Congress Avenue Bridge is the largest urban bat colony in North America, according to Bat Conservation International.
According to Morris, both boards are discussing small steps for the bat population, including building a small bat house later this year. The bat house will be present before the bats migrate further south in the fall and winter.
For more information about bats and bat preservation, visit Bat World at www.batworld.org, or Bat Conservation International at www.batcon.org. For more information on historic preservation in Palestine, visit www.cityofpalestinetx.com. The Palestine Economic Development Corporation, www.palestinetexas.net, is accepting applications for the bat exclusion grants. Also, PEDC is offering $50,000 in grants for asbestos removal.
PALESTINE, Texas (May 24, 2016) – The City of Palestine has announced the Memorial Day holiday schedule for city facilities.
The following city offices and facilities will close Monday, May 30 and will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, May 31:
- City Hall, which includes Customer Service, Municipal Court, Finance, Development Services, Public Works, Utilities, City Manager’s Office, Police Administration, City Secretary, Human Resources, Streets, Emergency Management Office and Warehouse Services.
- Palestine Economic Development and Main Street Offices Palestine Parks and Recreation Offices Palestine Civic Center Offices
- Palestine Visitor Center will be closed
- Palestine Public Library will close Saturday, May 28 and Monday, May 30. All library materials (books, CDs, and DVDs) can be returned 24/7 in the book drop located on the curb outside of the Mall’s main entrance.
The following city offices and facilities will remain open:
- The Palestine Mall Concourse and Mall shops will remain open on Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The following is scheduled from Public Works:
City garbage/recycling services will run as scheduled
- To report after-hours and holiday water/sewer/road issues that require immediate attention, please contact City Hall at 903-729-2254.
Residents are asked to dial 911 for emergency issues.
PALESTINE, Texas (May 18, 2016) – The Palestine Police Department has received more than 50 calls from residents reporting a telephone scam involving someone who claims to be the Internal Revenue Service.
The caller said if the resident does not pay the IRS now, the resident will be arrested. Some residents fell for the scam and gave the caller personal credit card information.
The IRS will not arrest anyone or solicit funds over the phone, nor will any local or state authorities on warrant service. The IRS notifies everyone by mail and warrants are served in person.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be the IRS, hang up the phone and call the Palestine Police Department at 903-729-2254.
PALESTINE, Texas (May 11, 2016) – The Palestine Public Library, in partnership with the United Way of East-Central Texas, is hosting a free literacy and art festival, the Dogwood Children’s Literacy and Art Festival. The festival will take place in historic downtown Palestine on Saturday, May 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The festival will feature New York Times best-selling author and illustrator David Catrow. At four locations downtown, Lee Loveless Studio, Texas Theatre, Bright Minds, and the Redlands Historic Inn, children will hear four dramatic readings of Catrow’s wildly popular books. After the readings, children will receive a character button and have the opportunity to make a craft.
“Mr. Catrow is wildly popular in the children’s book illustrator world,” Jamie King, Youth Services Librarian at the Palestine Public Library said. “Every reading area, booth, activity, and craft will be based on one of Dave Catrow’s books or books he has illustrated.”
The United Way will also be hosting booths with crafts and activities for children. After children have heard all four stories, they will receive a free book from the United Way.
The Library and the United Way are also partnering with Main Street’s Art Tracks program for two sculpture walks throughout downtown on Saturday. There was a “Recycled Sculpture Contest,” for all ages. Cash prizes were awarded.
The library held a storybook writing contest for children in grades 2-12. Winners from the contest will be sent to Catrow, who will choose a story to illustrate. Catrow will reveal the winner at the library’s “Dinner with Dave” event on Friday, May 20 at the Palestine Public Library. The dinner, set for 7 p.m., will include kid-friendly foods and each child will receive one of Catrow’s books for signing as well as other take-home goodies.
“Our dinner committee made up of local retired teachers and librarians have spent more time and money than you can imagine making this dinner into something short of spectacular,” King said. “The décor is breathtaking, and will be remembered by children for years to come.”
Tickets for the dinner are $10 and are available at the Palestine Public Library and the Visitor’s Center, 825 W. Spring St. There will be no tickets sold at the door. King added it is through the support from the United Way and the community that make this festival a special event every year.
“Thanks to many generous grants awarded to the United Way and Palestine Public Library we can bring Mr. Catrow, to Palestine, plus giveaway loads of his wild and zany books,” King said. “It truly does take a generous, open-minded, selfless community to pull together a festival of this caliber.”
For more information, visit the Dogwood Children’s Literacy and Art Festival’s website is at dogwoodchildrensfestival.com. For more information on David Catrow, log on to catrow.com.
PALESTINE, Texas (May 16, 2016) – The Results Companies announced Monday its expansion in Texas with the opening of a contact center in Palestine. The opening of the center, located in the Willow Creek Business Park, will bring over 500 jobs to Palestine. City of Palestine leaders welcomed The Results Companies to the city on Monday following the announcement.
“We certainly welcome 500 jobs to the Palestine economy,” Mayor Bob Herrington said. “We look forward to learning more about The Results Companies and its partnership with Palestine.”
Palestine Interim City Manager Mike Alexander thanked the city’s Economic Development team for its work bringing the jobs to the city.
“We are a growing and thriving small town,” Alexander said. “We look forward to working with The Results Companies as they put 500 people in our community to work.”
Palestine City Council members also echoed their appreciation to The Results Companies and the Palestine Economic Development Corporation.
“It's a great day when Palestine can bring 500 jobs with benefits to the city into an existing building. We want to thank our economic development director, Tom Manskey, and his board for their work in getting those jobs for us. Our local job growth continues to make Palestine one of the few bright spots of growth in East Texas,” City Council member Steve Presley said.
“Palestine is a small town with a huge heart,” Council member Doug Smith said. “We proudly welcome you as part of the family!”
The Results Companies will kick off in Palestine with a series of hiring events. The events will be held at Results’ recruiting office at 100 Willow Creek Parkway, Suite B, in Palestine.
From Thursday, June 2 to Saturday, June 4, Results will be hiring open positions in Customer Service, Site Operations Management, Recruitment, HR, and Training. Times for the events will be announced.
Hiring will continue six days a week at the office on 100 Willow Creek Parkway from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Positions are also available online at theresultscompanies.com/jobs.
The Results Companies is planning a ribbon-cutting event when the center opens. For more information on the City of Palestine, visit cityofpalestinetx.com. For more information on economic development opportunities in Palestine, visit palestinetexas.net.
Jazmine Peterson was rescued from the flood waters on Timber Drive on April 30. On Thursday, May 13, Jazmine and her classmates at Northside Elementary School thanked the Palestine Firefighters who saved her life.
Here is the most recent information on flooding relief and cleanup:
- Donations will be accepted at Hope Station, 919 S. Magnolia St. Hope Station will post items needed on its Facebook page.
- The city’s compost site is open for flooding debris. Trucks and dumpsters are available for hauling in the affected areas for city residents only. Proof of residency is required.
- Volunteers can check in at Westwood Baptist Church, 1809 Bassett Road, at 8 a.m. daily for assignments.
- Any homeowner needing a permit for rebuilding after the flooding can come to city hall, 504 N. Queen St., to apply for one. Permit fees have been waived for flood rebuilding.
- If you or a loved one is struggling emotionally after the recent flooding in Palestine, contact Anderson Cherokee County Enrichment Services (ACCESS) by text @crisisst to 81010, or 903-224-9593 on mobile phones.
- Monetary donations may be made to the United Way of East Texas relief fund at Citizen’s National Bank, 207 W. Spring St.
2016 Palestine City Council Election Results (Unofficial)
District 3 City Council
Name Early Voting District 3 Total
Vickey L. Chivers 29 16 43
Janice Hall 22 9 31
District 5 City Council
Name Early Voting District 5 Total
Doug Smith 58 51 109
Therrell Thomas 41 21 62
PALESTINE, Texas (May 4, 2015) – Flooding victims in Palestine and Anderson County will have a one-stop shop for assistance information from agencies and volunteers. The City of Palestine and volunteer agencies are hosting a Hope Fair at the Palestine Mall this Saturday.
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., flood victims will have the opportunity to receive information about assistance from agencies like the United Way of East Texas, City of Palestine services, Red Cross, and State of Texas services, among others.
Volunteer agencies have already signed up to participate at the Hope Fair. Victims needing assistance or a ride to the Hope Fair can call the Flooding Hotline at 903-723-7844 and arrange a ride. Agencies and volunteers wanting to take part at the fair can also the Flooding Hotline to reserve space.
Feria de Esperanza para víctimas de inundación, este sábado.
Palestine, Texas (4 de mayo del 2016) -
Víctimas de la inundación en Palestine y el Condado de Anderson tendrán la oportunidad de pedir ayuda en una tienda integral donde podrán pedir información sobre ayuda disponible en agencias y de voluntarios.
El Municipio de Palestine y agencias voluntarias serán los anfitriones de una Feria de Esperanza este sábado, 7 de mayo, en el centro comercial Palestine Mall. De 9 a.m. a 1 p.m. víctimas de la inundación tendrán la oportunidad de recibir información sobre la ayuda disponible en las agencias United Way del Este de Texas, servicios del Municipio de Palestine, La Cruz Roja Americana, y servicios del Estado de Texas y otras agencias.
Varias agencias voluntaristas han confirmado su participación en la Feria de Esperanza.Si usted es víctima de la inundación y necesita transporte para asistir a la feria llame a la Línea de Ayuda de Inundación (Flooding Hotline) al 903-723-7844.
Agencias y voluntarios que deseen participar también llamen a la Línea de Ayuda de Inundación (Flooding Hotline) para reservar su lugar.
PALESTINE, Texas (May 2, 2016) –The City of Palestine is supporting local volunteers and agencies in relief efforts following dangerous flash flooding on April 30.
Currently, the city of Palestine is assessing the damage caused by the massive flash flooding throughout the city. According to the National Weather Service, the city received 7.78 inches of rain in a 45-minute time span. The deluge of water overwhelmed the city’s stormwater sewer system and caused massive flash flooding in the city.
Residents are asked to contact the City of Palestine at 903-723-7844 to report storm damage including their homes and businesses. Scott Parkhurst, Emergency Management Coordinator, said the reporting of damage is for the city to potentially receive state and/or federal disaster funding.
Volunteers are helping residents clean up their belongings after the flash flooding, especially on Timber Drive, where the worst of the flooding occurred. Progressive Waste Disposal is providing dumpsters for use, and the City of Palestine will open the city’s compost site, on Highway 19/287, for the flooding debris. That debris will then be taken to a qualified landfill for disposal.
The flooding caused the deaths of six residents. Five residents were killed in rushing floodwaters on Timber Drive around12:15 a.m. Autopsies were concluded on Lenda Asberry and her four great-grandchildren in Tyler, Texas on Monday. Autopsy results are not available due to standard blood tests. The bodies of the residents were taken to a Dallas-area funeral home. Several individuals have raised funds towards funeral expenses.
The investigation into the death of Giovanni Oliva, 30, Palestine, is being handled by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. Donors are also raising funds for the family.
According to the Red Cross, 22 homes sustained major flood damage, and 18 homes took minor damage. Approximately 50 residents are displaced and are staying at local hotels funded by the Untied Way of East Texas through Thursday.
Hope Station in Palestine is gathering donations of supplies, including food, clothing, cleaning supplies, linens, personal toiletries and other items at its location, 919 S. Magnolia St.
People and agencies wishing to make donations can donate at Hope Station, or at a drop-off point manned by City of Palestine employees and volunteers at the intersection of North Variah and West Reagan streets, across the street from Cartmel Home for the Aged. The drop-off point will be manned from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until further notice.
The United Way of East Texas has opened donation accounts at Citizens National Bank for flooding relief. Monetary donations may be made at the Palestine Citizens National Bank branch at 207 W. Spring St.
Areas of Reagan Park are also closed due to the flooding. The park’s playground and bridge areas were damaged in the flood, and will be closed for at least a week. Parks and Recreation Director Roy Crouch said the ground near the playground has to be firm enough for delivery semis.