Archive for May, 2013

USDA Authorizes Emergency Grazing of CRP Acres for Carson County

Friday, May 31st, 2013

(Panhandle, Texas) – May 30, 2013 - Carson County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Eddie Winegeart today announced that Carson County was authorized for emergency grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for fiscal year (FY) 2013.

Counties become eligible for CRP emergency grazing when they reach the D2 (severe drought) level on the U.S. Drought Monitor. As of May 30, 2013, 192 counties reached the D2 level and are eligible for CRP emergency grazing. It is possible that more counties will reach the D2 level eligibility requirement in coming weeks.

The CRP emergency grazing authorization for fiscal year 2013 begins June 2, 2013 for a 90 day period.

Based on a decision made by the Texas FSA State Committee, CRP emergency grazing approval will only be available for those CRP lands that were not utilized for haying or grazing during fiscal year 2011, 2012 or in the fall or winter of fiscal year 2013. FSA's fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.

"Eligible producers who are interested in emergency grazing of CRP must request approval before grazing eligible acreage and must obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service that includes grazing provisions," said Winegeart. "Current provisions allow grazing on 100 percent of a field, up to the 75 percent stocking rate," he said.

Additionally, there will be a 25 percent CRP payment reduction for CRP acres used for grazing under these emergency provisions.

To take advantage of the emergency grazing provisions, authorized producers can use the CRP acreage for their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage. The eligible CRP acreage is limited to acres located within the approved county.

"If a producer chooses to lease eligible CRP acreage, the producer cannot profit on the lease agreement," said Winegeart. "The amount charged for lease of CRP emergency grazing acres cannot exceed the value of the 25 percent payment reduction," he said.

Texas FSA will review the U.S. Drought Monitor on June 27, 2013 and counties at a D3 (extreme drought) level will be authorized for emergency haying of eligible CRP acres.

For more information and to request approval for emergency grazing use of CRP acres contact the Carson County FSA office at 806-537-3533.

Quanah Parker Arrow Marker Installed In Carson County

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Members of the Carson County Historical Commission share a moment of consideration to their dedication and long hours of research and commitment following the installation of the Quanah Parker Trail Arrow marker east of the Carson County Law Enforcement Center in Panhandle. Photo courtesy of Barbara Brannon/Texas Plains Trail Region

Members of the Carson County Historical Commission share a moment of consideration to their dedication and long hours of research and commitment following the installation of the Quanah Parker Trail Arrow marker east of the Carson County Law Enforcement Center in Panhandle. Photo courtesy of Barbara Brannon/Texas Plains Trail Region

Friday, May 17, brought a trio of Quanah Parker Trail giant arrow installations in the Texas Panhandle, at some of the richest sites of Comanche history in our region.

At 9:30 that morning, the first of the arrows from sculptor Charles Smith's trailer went into the ground in front of the Carson County Law Enforcement Center near the center of Panhandle. Local officials, friends of the Texas Plains Trail Region and the Panhandle Tourism Marketing Council, and Panhandle schoolchildren were on hand. A lovely prayer was spoken, to remind travelers of the blessings of the Great Spirit.

The arrow marker was designed and constructed by Sculptor Charles A. Smith. The Panhandle marker is just one of 50 arrows which will be installed throughout the Texas Panhandle to mark the Comanche history. Markers were also installed that day in Donley County on the grounds of Saints Roost Museum and in Armstrong County on the grounds of the Charles Goodnight Home in Goodnight, Texas.

“Congratulations to Carson County as they see the fruits of their research and labor!” said a spokesperson for the Texas Plains Trail Region.

Collingsworth County District Court Convicts Four

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Wellington – On Thursday, May 30, 2013, five pleas took place which resulted in four convictions and one deferred adjudication.

Luke Inman, the District Attorney for the 100th Judicial District, prosecuted the cases for the State of Texas with the Honorable Judge Stuart Messer presiding.

A total of $5,000 in fines was assessed as a result of the pleas that took place on May 30. In addition to the fines, the defendants were required to pay a total of $1,880 in court costs and $140 restitution.

1. Jesse Culpepper, a 19-year-old resident of Wellington, was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, for two separate offenses.

On May 9, 2011, Culpepper originally pleaded guilty to the second degree felony offense of burglary of a habitation that occurred on Dec. 2, 2010, in Collingsworth County.

The State filed the motion to adjudicate on Dec. 14, 2012, alleging one violation of community supervision.

The one violation consisted of an incident where Culpepper and Anthony Smith, acting together, shot at a shed-type building where a Wellington citizen, Tyler Cantu, routinely stayed, according to Inman.

Culpepper was indicted by a Collingsworth County Grand Jury on April 4, 2013 for this offense.

Smith pleaded guilty to the same offense and received deferred adjudication on May 1, 2013.

Smith also gave evidence to the State indicating his cousin, Culpepper, was not the shooter but gave him the gun and drove him to Cantu’s house, according to Inman.

“The defendant today could be and was actually sentenced for the same offense that Anthony Smith committed by the law of parties rule,” said Inman. “Someone who is willing to orchestrate a shooting like Culpepper did, with children sleeping in houses literally several feet away, is a danger to society.”

Culpepper was also convicted for this third degree felony offense of deadly conduct by discharging a firearm at a residence.

Culpepper pleaded guilty for the offense that took place on Dec. 11, 2012 and was sentenced to 10 years in the Institutional Division of TDCJ.

Culpepper also pleaded true to the violation contained in the State’s motion in an agreed plea and was sentenced to 10 years. The two sentences will run concurrently.

Messer made an affirmative deadly weapon finding in the deadly conduct plea, which will require Culpepper to do at least five years of his sentence before becoming parole eligible pursuant to 42.12 3(g), according to Inman.

Culpepper is also required to pay $376 in court costs to Collingsworth County and a $1,000 fine.
Pursuant to the plea agreement, Culpepper is required to pay $376 in court costs to Collingsworth County.

2. Tiffany Dawn Day, a 31-year-old resident of Wellington, pleaded true to allegations listed in the State’s Motion to Adjudicate and was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in the State Jail Division of the TDCJ.

On Feb. 21, 2013, Day originally pleaded guilty to the state jail felony offense of possession of a controlled substance that occurred on Jan. 22, 2013, in Collingsworth County.

The State filed the motion to adjudicate on May 29, 2013, alleging six violations of community supervision.

Day pleaded true to all of the violations contained in the State’s motion in an agreed plea and was sentenced to 18 months. Day is also required to pay $376 in court costs to Collingsworth County and a $500 fine.

3. Shelia Dawn Scroggins Brewer was convicted for the third degree felony offense of hindering apprehension or prosecution. Brewer pleaded guilty for the offense that took place on April 22, 2013 and was sentenced to five years in the Institutional Division of Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Brewer, 39-year-old resident of Memphis, was arrested by Memphis Police Officer Chris Jolly and pleaded guilty to a complaint filed by the State May 29, 2013.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, Brewer is required to pay $376 in court costs to Hall County, a $1,000 fine.

4. Timothy Shepherd was placed on probation for a period of three years for the state jail felony offense of possession of a controlled substance. Shepherd pleaded guilty and was placed on deferred adjudication for the offense.

Shepherd, 32-year-old resident of Texoma, was arrested by Memphis Police Officer Chris Jolly for the offense that took place May 9, 2013 and pleaded guilty to an information filed by the State on May 29, 2013.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, Shepherd is required to pay a $2,500 fine to Hall County, $376 in court costs, $140 restitution, and successfully complete 100 hours of community service. If Shepherd violates probation, he could face up to two years in the State Jail Division of the TDCJ.

Stalled Pick-up Halts Railroad

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

100_9359On Tuesday, May 28, in the early afternoon a company vehicle pulling a trailer, filled with industrial gas tanks and other equipment, stalled while crossing the railroad tracks. A train was headed west bound on the north track. The cross bars had not dropped at the time the pick-up started its crossing. The train attempted to stop, but was only able to slow to 25 mph. The driver and passenger of the vehicle attempted to push the truck and trailer back off the track, but were unsuccessful, so they moved out of the way.

The vehicle was a total loss, but the trailer was not hit by the train and there were no injuries.

After approximately two and a half hours the track was cleared and traffic was allowed to continue. For the rest of the evening trains were slowed to about five mph.

Marshal Luster investigated the traffic accident. Burlington Northern Santa Fe investigators were also on the scene to clear the train to continue. Marshal Luster advised that under normal conditions, BNSF police would be on seen to do their own investigation. They were unable to be at the scene due to another incident in Canyon. Marshal Luster coordinated by phone with the BNSF police in order to clear the site.

While there were no injuries, this incident is a reminder to never try to beat an oncoming train and to never cross the tracks once the arms have gone down. "This incident could have been much worse due to the type of chemical being transported and the potential for much more damage and loss of life," said Marshal Luster

Women On Mission

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Women on Mission met May 14, 2013, with Allene Stovall leading the Watchword and the opening prayer.

Glenda Thrasher read the names of missionaries who were having birthdays and led a prayer for them and their work.

Yvonne Thomas presented a program about a missionary couple who, at the beginning of their marriage, wanted to go where no one else wanted to go.

Tom and Cynthia Martin were appointed in 1989 to go to Bolivia with their children, Kyle, eight and Joel, three. They felt God urging them to pray for a baby girl. Nine months later a severely malnourished and near death little girl was abandoned at a Baptist Church. The Martins adopted Alicia and knew she was the little girl they had been praying for.

The Martins worked several years with the Guaray Indians, who live six hours from the city. They were without electricity and had only one telephone in the entire village. God helped the Martins witness to the Indians by telling chronological Bible stories.

Tom and Cynthia put together the evangelism story track for the Indians. Migual helped and became a professing believer when the story of the creation, the cross and the resurrection helped cement his faith.

In 2004, the Martins moved to Lima, Peru to share God’s love. While in Lima, the Martins trained pastors to share the evangelistic story.

In 2005, the Martins moved to Cartagena, Columbia to reach people who live along the rivers in the jungle.

Unforeseen medical issues changed their plans and forced their resignation after 17 years of service.

One day after their resignation, the Martins went to Las Vegas, Nev. Tom became a North American Mission Board church planter missionary. Cynthia volunteered to help refugees and is a missionary who directs the refugee ministry. Their roles appear to be separate, but their work intertwines when the people happen to be connected to both missionaries.

There were 11 meals delivered by Annie’s Meals on Wheels, as well as May baskets.

Allene Stovall, Glenda Thrasher, Sue Terry and Yvonne Thomas enjoyed cream pie for refreshments.

Nicklas Named To SWOSU Dean’s Honor Roll

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

EmilyNicklasA total of 1057 students have been named to honor rolls at Southwestern Oklahoma State University for academic work during the 2013 spring semester on the Weatherford campus.

There were 470 students who were named to the President’s Honor Roll. An undergraduate student who earns all A’s in 12 or more hours during a semester qualifies for the President’s Honor Roll.

There were 587 students on the Dean’s Honor Roll. An undergraduate student who completes 12 semester hours with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher with no grade lower than “C”, qualifies for the Dean’s Honor Roll.

Among the students named to the Dean’s Honor Roll was Emily Nicklas. Nicklas is a 2011 graduate of White Deer High School and was class valedictorian. She is the daughter of Jeff and Connie Nicklas.

Carson Commissioners Hear From DA Inman

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

The Carson County Commissioners met on May 28, 2013 with the following members present: Lewis Powers, Mike Britten, James Martin and Mike Jennings. Kevin Howell was absent. The meeting was called to order followed by the invocation and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas flag.

No one appeared for citizens comments. Sherry Kunka was in Court representing Sharyland Utilities and she presented the “Friends of the Library” with a $5,000 donation. No action was taken.

The Court reviewed the minutes of the May 13 meeting. Commissioner Britten made a motion to approve the minutes with two changes. Item #3 had a typographical error and item #11 should have the word utilities instead of the word bore in the last sentence. Commissioner Britten made a motion to approve the minutes with the changes and the motion carried.

The Court reviewed all the claims, invoices and commissary. Commissioner Martin made a motion to approve and the motion carried.

District Attorney for the 100th Judicial District Luke Inman presented his Chapter 59 budget for 2013-2014 to the Court. Chapter 59 Seizure funds are derived from vehicle and money seizures. Commissioner Britten made a motion to accept the budget and the motion carried.

Mr. Inman also asked the Court to approve continuing the Pre-trial Diversion Program. The funds are used to supplement Natasha Nixon’s salary along with funds provided by the five counties in the District. After a discussion, Commissioner Jennings made a motion to approve and the motion carried.

County Treasurer Denise Salzbrenner submitted the April Financial Report the Court. Commissioner Martin made a motion to approve and accept the report and the motion carried.

County Auditor Jackie West asked the Court to affirm the 207(k) Exemption that is in effect for the Sheriff’s Department. Under the 207(k) exemption, qualifying employees can work more hours over a longer period of time ― up to 28 days ― before they are entitled to overtime pay. For instance, a qualifying law enforcement employee can work up to 171 hours in 28 days before overtime begins to accrue. This was approved by the Commissioner Court on July 26, 1999. Commissioner Britten made a motion to reaffirm the exemption and the motion carried.

Mrs. Salzbrenner informed the Court that Sheriff Brand has hired Ronald Kim Wauer effective May 13, 2013 and asked that his salary be set at $34,797. He also hired Terry Dewayne Atchley effective June 1, 2013 and asked that his salary be set at the same amount. Commissioner Martin made a motion to approve the salaries as requested and the motion carried.

Commissioner Jennings made a motion to adjourn and the motion carried.

Three WDISD Board Members Take Oath Of Office

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Editor’s Note: The following minutes have not been approved by the WDISD Board of Trustees. The White Deer News is not responsible for typographical errors, but has only formatted the minutes to its space and style requirements.

A regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the White Deer Independent School District was held on May 20, 2013, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room at the White Deer Administration Building, 601 Omohundro, White Deer, Texas.

Members present were Kane Barrow, Joe Don Brown, Shane Grange, Brad Haiduk, Jim Bob Mitchell and Tim Packard. Also in attendance were Karl Vaughn, Denise Adams, Darla Forney, Billy Boone, Clint Watson, Rex Beck, Leslie Sandefer, Jeff Quisenberry, Johnny Freeman, Connie Reed, Donnie Reed and Debra Cook.

Board Member Terry Harrah was absent

After a quorum was established, the meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by President Tim Packard. The prayer was offered by Mr. Grange.

Mr. Barrow moved to approve the agenda of the May 20, 2013 regular board meeting. Second by Mr. Haiduk. Motion carried 6-0-0.

Mr. Grange moved to approve the minutes of the April 15, 2013 regular board meeting as presented. Second by Mr. Barrow. Motion carried 5-0-1. Mr. Mitchell abstained.

Mr. Mitchell moved to conduct Board of Trustees Election Proceedings as set forth by the Texas Secretary of State’s office. Second by Mr. Brown. Motion carried 6-0-0. Mrs. Adams administered the Oath of Office to newly elected Trustees Mr. Barrow, Mr. Brown and Mr. Mitchell.
Mr. Haiduk moved to elect Mr. Packard, president of the school board. Second by Mr. Mitchell. Motion carried 5-0-1 with Mr. Packard abstaining. Mr. Mitchell moved to elect Mr. Haiduk, vice president of the school board. Second by Mr. Brown. Motion carried 5-0-1 with Mr. Haiduk abstaining. Mr. Mitchell moved to elect Mr. Grange secretary of the school board. Second by Mr. Brown. Motion carried 5-0-1 with Mr. Grange abstaining.

Mr. Mitchell moved to approve Happy State Bank as the Depository Bank for the 2013-2015 Biennium based on the ranking system as presented. Second by Mr. Barrow. Motion carried 6-0-0.

After hearing discussion from Mrs. Reed, Mr. Beck, Coach Quisenberry, and Mrs. Forney, Mr. Haiduk moved to table the discussion indefinitely on adding volleyball, softball and baseball programs.

This is based on participation numbers, current financial constraints imposed by the state, and probable negative effects on other programs. Second by Mr. Mitchell. Motion carried 6-0-0.

Mr. Mitchell moved to approve the Food Allergy Management Plan as presented. Second by Mr. Barrow. Motion carried 6-0-0.

Mr. Mitchell moved to table indefinitely the determination of home side seating in Antler Gym pursuant to End-of-Season Survey. Second by Mr. Grange. Motion carried 6-0-0.

Administrator’s Reports

*High School

Ms. Forney reported that the TAKS testing is over with the majority of students passing all four tests.

District raised over $2,600 for the American Cancer Society “Coins Against Cancer” campaign.

The Science Olympiad attended State Contest and gained a valuable learning experience.
There was good turnout for the initial Shattered Dreams meeting.
There was an excellent performance by the band in the Spring All Band Concert.
FFA banquet was held and officers elected as well as the band banquet.
The Prom was held on May 18th, and was a big success.
*Elementary/Junior High
Mr. Boone reported that the fifth and eighth grade Reading and Math results were received in April with students meeting satisfactory and advanced levels.
Spring STAAR testing has concluded. Results for the normal STAAR test and SSI retakes will be available May 22 and June 3 respectively.
Proposal for staffing and room arrangements at the EJH for 2013-2014 were discussed.

*Athletic

The Bucks relay team advanced to the Regional competition in Levelland on April 26 and 27.

Casey Grange brought great honor to the District by placing fourth in the high jump event at the State Track meet in Austin on May 10.

The All-Sports banquet will be held on Thursday, May 23 to celebrate our Senior student-athletes and wish them well in all their future endeavors.

The Board reviewed the MasterCard statements.

Mr. Haiduk moved to approve the accounts payable as presented. Second by Mr. Mitchell. Motion carried 6-0-0.

Mrs. Adams, Business Manager, gave the monthly finance reports including the accounts payable, cash report, and the financial report (budget to actual).

The board entered closed session at 8:27 p.m. according to TEC Code: 551.087 and reconvened at 8:47 p.m. in open session.

The Board set June 4, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. for special board meeting to deliberate and take action on L.A.V.A. agreement with Pattern Energy.

Superintendent Reports included:

Maintenance report

Review of resignations and progress on vacancies

The board entered closed session at 8:55 p.m. according to TEC Code 551.074 and reconvened at 9:27 p.m. in open session.

TASB Board Convention to be held in Dallas Sept. 26 – 29.

Legislative Updates

There being no further business, meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

White Deer High School End Of Year Honor Rolls

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

On Monday, May 20, White Deer High School held their annual awards assembly in the auditorium.

Among the students receiving a variety of awards were the All A and AB Honor Rolls students.

All A Honor Roll
Freshmen - Beth Collier, Skylar Freeman and Allie Sandefur.
Sophomores - Meghan Collier and Cassidy Crutchfield.
Junior - Felicia Miller.
Seniors - Breeanna Annett, Brynn Brown, Elaine Craig and Katerina Fuxova.

AB Honor Roll
Freshmen - Victoria Barbour, Carter Estes, Jaden Freeman, Alyssa Kirby, Austin Odell, Mikayle Roberts and Ty Shelton.
Sophomores - Andrew Bichsel, Cheyenne Davis and Raven Edwards.
Juniors - Bobby Baker, Teak Forney, Vesper Gao, Angel McBee, Nathaniel Mitchell, Jaxon Rogers, Lacie Smith, Tisney Swanson, Jessie Taylor, Kimber Trolinger and Jacob Woods.
Seniors - Sonni Armstrong, Trenton Collins, Kye Gordy, Codie Harrah, Riley Mitchell, Ashley Parsley, Payton Tyler, Sierrah Villarreal and Graham Wilson.
Congratulations to all of these students for all of their effort and hard work to maintain excellence in the area of academics.

Letter To The Editor: Coins For Cancer

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

White Deer students and staff raised a whopping $2,173.56 for “Coins for Cancer”, which benefits the American Cancer Society.

Mrs. Petty’s and Mrs. Cone’s kindergarten classes won the contest between grades PreK-4. Winning the contest between grades 5-8 was the seventh graders. The junior class won the High School contest.

Everyone knows someone who has heard those three dreaded words “You have cancer”, and I think that’s why so many people are willing to donate.

Each year over 30 Carson County residents are diagnosed with cancer. Last year alone the ACS provided over 60 services to patients in Carson County, which included gas cards, free nights through the
Guestroom Program, information services and personal health managers. The ACS is the nation’s largest private funder of cancer research for all cancers. They are helping people stay well, get well, find cures and fight back against this horrible disease.

Thank you to the students and staff of White Deer for their part in helping “create a world with more birthdays”. The money raised goes to the Carson County Relay for Life, which is the American Society’s signature event. It will be held on Friday, June 14, at 7 p.m., in downtown Panhandle. I encourage everyone to come and bring their family.

Sincerely,
Debbie Brame, two-time cancer survivor