The latest

Senior living village in the works for Buna

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By Barbara Davis

Beacon Editor

Local developers Donald Ball, with Nautical Affordable Housing, and Brown Claybar, who is also the former mayor of Orange, are in the beginning stages of potentially bringing a senior living community to Buna.

The potential develo-pment is located on 15 acres on County Road 835 in Buna, which connects Highway 96 (next to Central Baptist Church) and FM 1004.

“We have an option to purchase the property, but it cannot be purchased until the application is approved,” said Mr. Ball. The developer has submitted an application with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, which would allow for a 9% tax credit, should it be approved. “It would be affordable housing for seniors age 55 and older,” said Ball.

Ball tells the Beacon that the application is based on a point system, and awards are scheduled to be issued in late July 2020.

Ball spoke before Commissioners Court last week, advising that should the development move forward, it would be managed by ITEX Property Management. Ball’s firm has constructed similar communities in Hardin County and in Orange. Just outside of Lumberton, Ball is credited for developing the modern and beautiful La Belle Vie, a gated senior living community, which offers one and two bedroom apartments, which are handicapped accessible, include a beautiful swimming pool, workout facilities, and numerous amenities. 

“Our plan is to develop 80 units, and we will consider expanding by an additional twenty to forty units depending on the need. 

“Mr. Ball stated that citizens applying for residency would have to be 55 and older and have a background check conducted for eligibility,” said County Judge Mark Allen. The Court approved the resolution in support of the development, and voted to waive $250 of the floodplain inspection and permitting fee, which Mr. Ball advised would assist with the TDHCA scoring process.

“This would be great for the community of Buna, and we have had people approach us with this need,” said Mr. Ball. As the developers, Ball and Claybar will work the project from start to finish.

The Beacon will report application results once they become available this summer. 

EVFD names Faul Firefighter of the Year

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By Barbara Davis

Beacon Editor

The Evadale Volunteer Fire Department held their annual banquet Saturday, January 25, and much to the surprise of local firefighter Terry Faul, his fellow firemen and women selected him as Firefighter of the Year.

"He is a great guy, and is always up there even when he doesn't have to be," said EVFD Firefighter Carrie Fountain. 

Faul has been with the department just a couple of years, but has been busy since day one. Known around the department as a hard worker and dedicated servant, Faul was extremely grateful and honored to receive recognition. 

EVFD Secretary/Treasurer Jim Love says that Faul is the kind of firefighter every department wants. "His willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty is what earned him this honor," said Love. "He always goes up to the firehouse and takes care of what needs to be done without being asked."

Faul stood alongside Fire Chief Steve Conner and Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Thomas, humbly accepting his award Saturday evening. 

Congratulations, Mr. Faul, on this well deserved honor, and a special thanks to you, and the entire Evadale Volunteer Fire Department, for the hard work and dedication you display toward the community. 

Brookshire Brothers gives back to Buna

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Organizations that lay the foundation for stronger communities will have more resources to help them help others thanks to Brookshire Brothers. On Tuesday, January 21, the Brookshire Brothers Charitable Foun-dation awarded $123,000 in grants to 36 nonprofit organizations and 4 education foundations across its market area. The grants give organizations the resources they need to continue living out their mission of serving those in need. Trustees and company executives presented funds to the recipients at the Brookshire Brothers’ Distribution Center in Lufkin, Texas. 

In making the presentations, Brookshire Brothers President, CEO and Charitable Foundation Board Member John Alston said, “You make things happen in your communities. You change lives. We are grateful to have the opportunity to help you live out your mission. We thank you for what you do every day.” 

During the last decade, the Brookshire Brothers Charitable Foundation has given more than a million dollars to a variety of non-profits. 

For nearly twenty years, Brookshire Brothers has invited its vendors to play in two Charitable Foundation golf tournaments each year. Vendor partners appreciate the opportunity to network with their colleagues while raising money for non-profits – all which support children and families and align with Brookshire Brothers’ core value of being a community grocer. Each year, the funds are granted based on the organizations’ needs and application requests.

Buna’s The Helping Place was among dozens of 2020 recipients graciously accepting donations.

Buna burglar behind bars

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By Barbara Davis

Beacon Editor

Thirty five-year-old Buna resident Jonathan Randall Hanlon was arrested Saturday, January 25, 2020, and charged with Burglary of a Habitation: Intend Other Felony, a First Degree Felony. 

According to the Probable Cause Affidavit provided by Deputy Leonard Smith with Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, he was dispatched to County Road 812 in Buna, at approximately 5:23 AM, following reports from a neighbor believing the mobile home next to them had been burglarized. 

The female neighbor reported to Deputy Smith that when her husband was leaving for work, a white man she did not know came up their driveway, asking for a ride. She said that he husband gave him a ride to the Shell gas station in town. She also indicated to the officer that her husband called her back stating that the man told him he lived in the trailer next door to them, which she knew to be untrue, as the owner is working out of town in Puerto Rico. “She said that she noticed the back door of the trailer was opened, and received a call saying the man was at another residence on County Road 812,” said the Deputy in his report. “The female said her husband told her that the man said he needed to go back to the trailer home and get some guns.” 

Deputy Smith located the suspect sitting on the front steps to a nearby trailer home, and identified him as Johnathan Randall Hanlon. “He had some 9mm ammunition on the steps next to him, a gold color compass, a foreign coin, and gold face of Jesus,” said the Deputy. Hanlon allegedly told the officer he had just left a friends home down the street, but was unable to name the friend. He then told the officer he had just met the guy, and that his girlfriend had given him a ride.”

Deputy Smith spoke to his girlfriend, who indicated that they had been arguing all night, and she did not take him anywhere. “I detained Hanlon, and went to the trailer home to see if it had been broken into,” said Deputy Smith.

Upon arrival, the victim’s brother was on scene, and indicated to the officer that he had found several firearms hidden in several places outside the residence. All of the firearms were then photographed in the location they were found. Deputy Smith entered the house, where he found several other firearms, noticed that the dresser drawers were opened, an empty Kel-Tec firearm box, and located a pill bottle with Hanlon’s name on it. “Several of the pills were on the floor. I located a large sum of foreign currency in the living room, which appeared to have the same markings as the paper money in Hanlon’s wallet. I found a small change purse with foreign coins inside and more of Hanlon’s pill’s in the purse.” 

Deputy Smith advised Hanlon that he was under arrest for Burglary of a Habitation with the intent to commit another felony, theft of firearms. “Hanlon was intoxicated on his prescription medications, and was transported to Jasper Memorial Hospital for treatment,” stated Deputy Smith. 

Buna teen killed in accidental shooting

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The community of Buna is mourning the tragic loss of Buna High School Freshman James Johnson, following a Christmas evening tragedy that caused his untimely demise. Read more in this week's edition of the Buna Beacon, which includes a felony arrest and details from the probable cause affidavit.

Buna Little League registration is now open!

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Swing for the fences at Buna's Little League Park this spring! Registration is now available online! Visit the link below for more information!

Property Tax News!

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JCAD has sent out homestead exemption renewal requests, which are due 30 days from the date they were mailed! 

Special Christmas Section Available Now!

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 the year! Our annual Christmas in Buna edition is available on local news stands now! This special section features pages upon pages of pure joy, letters to Santa, and holiday photos, as well as greetings from local businesses.
The letters to Santa are printed exactly as written by the sweetest little students around, and are sure to entertain even Scrooge himself... "Is riendeers nose gitng vare Brite? I want a for Wheeler gaskcan and a cow boy hat and foot ball socks.
Love, Carson"
Pick up a copy of this week's edition today! 

Buna man charged with crimes against children

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By Barbara Davis

Beacon Editor

Buna resident Shawn Luckey arrested Monday, December 16, on 2 counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child: Luckey is a former Buna ISD employee, but according to Buna ISD Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee, he was immediately terminated upon the district's learning of the investigation. "The day he was arrested, sheriff's deputies brought this to my attention, and stated that they had been investigating the case for approximately a month."
Luckey was employed with the district for approximately 6 weeks, in the maintenance department, and had a clean background check upon initial employment.
His alleged victims were not Buna ISD students.
Luckey was issued bonds totalling $311,000, and is in custody at the Jasper County Jail. 

BVFD Announces Firefighters of the Year

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Congratulations to BVFD Firefighters of the year John Williamson and Geneva Wright! See this week's feature article! 

Lady Rebels win big at Zavala

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Congratulations to the Lady Rebels on winning the Zavala Tournament last weekend! See this week's edition for game coverage!

Burglar busted and held at Evadale shop

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Bruce's busts Kirbyville's Joshua Goodsell with stollen materials; detains him until police arrive. See this week's full article!