Trashing East Texas: County Road 26 and 217 - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/14/05-East Texas

Trashing East Texas: County Road 26 and 217

Reports are still rolling in daily of people trashing East Texas. The latest report comes from County Road 26, and 217 on the eastern edge of Smith County, that's just outside of Overton.

Like so many others, Dan Browder looks at litter and dumping every day. A quiet man by nature, Dan says something he saw on one of our reports made him come forward.

"I have really kind of let this thing roll off of me, until I saw Judge Dempsy, who I've supported, stand up on television and say, 'the county roads that I have been on, have not really been all that bad.' My challenge to her would be, come out, go for a ride with us over the same roads we've been down today, and then tell me that," says Mr. Browder.

He's referring to a comment Judge Dempsy made a few weeks ago when asked about trash in Smith County:

"When I drive on county roads, I don't see litter and trash and dumps everywhere I drive. So while it may be a big issue to those that are out there, that are seeing it on a daily basis, I don't think that it's such a huge issue countywide," a statement last week from Judge Dempsy.

When asked about Smith County litter today, we got this response:

"Well, I don't recall having said, I didn't see litter, or litter abatement as a problem. I think if anyone got that from what I said, they took it out of context. I think it's probably a misunderstanding. Clearly we have a big trash problem in the county," says Judge Dempsy in an interview today.

A different tune than Dan first heard, but one he says he agrees with.

"If I drive around here long enough and talk to you about it anymore, I'll probably get sick to my stomach. It's just an absolute disaster," says Dan.

Judge Dempsy admits, with only one man investigating, keeping Smith County clean isn't easy.

Dan says he's called several times to Sheriff J.B. Smith's office, offering to provide surveillance cameras to the county. He says he has not heard back from them. Sheriff Smith was not available for comment.

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