Archive for May, 2014

Collingsworth County District Court Sentences Five To TDCJ

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Wellington – On Friday, May 30, 2014, five pleas took place in Collingsworth County, Texas which resulted in five convictions and sentences to the penitentiary.

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.

1. Gustavo Davila, a 20-year-old resident of Wellington, pleaded true to allegations listed in the State’s Motion to Revoke and sentenced to ten years in the Institutional Division of TDCJ for the second degree felony offense of burglary of a habitation.

On Aug. 31, 2010, Davila originally pleaded guilty to offense that occurred on July 8, 2010, in Collingsworth County.

The State filed the motion on May 12, 2014, alleging six violations of community supervision.

Davila pleaded true to the violations contained in the State’s motion and was sentenced to the maximum allowable by law of ten years. Davila is also required to pay $376 in court costs to Collingsworth County, a $500 fine, and $75 in restitution.

2. Johnny Herrera, a 29-year-old resident of Wellington, pleaded true to allegations listed in the State’s Motion to Adjudicate and sentenced to four years in the Institutional Division of TDCJ for the third degree felony offense of possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility.

On Aug. 30, 2013, Herrera originally pleaded guilty to offense that occurred on July 29, 2013, in Collingsworth County by the current Sheriff, Kent Riley.

The State filed the motion on April 4, 2014, alleging four violations of community supervision.
Herrera pleaded true to the violations contained in the State’s motion and was sentenced to four years. Herrera is also required to pay $376 in court costs to Collingsworth County, a $3,000 fine, and $140 in restitution.

3. Felisha Nicole Atkins, a 29-year-old resident of Hollis, Okla., pleaded true to allegations listed in the State’s Motion to Revoke and sentenced to four years in the Institutional Division of TDCJ for the third degree felony offense of fraud by altering a prescription.

On Feb. 22, 2011, Atkins originally pleaded guilty to offense that occurred on Nov. 15, 2010, in Collingsworth County.

The State filed the motion on Feb. 4, 2014, alleging four violations of community supervision.

Atkins pleaded true to the violations contained in the State’s motion and was sentenced to four years. Atkins is also required to pay $376 in court costs to Collingsworth County and a $1,500 fine.

4. Francisco Ramirez III, a 39-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 the State Jail Division of TDCJ for the felony offense of burglary of a building.

On Aug. 27, 2013, Ramirez originally pleaded guilty to offense that occurred on June 14, 2013, in Collingsworth County.

The State filed the motion on April 10, 2014, 2014, alleging six violations of community supervision.

Ramirez pleaded true to the violations contained in the State’s motion and was sentenced to 18 months. Ramirez is also required to pay $376 in court costs to Collingsworth County, a $1,500 fine, and $140 in restitution.

5. Armando Sanchez, Jr, a 27-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 the State Jail Division of TDCJ for the felony offense of possession of a controlled substance.

On May 13, 2013, Sanchez originally pleaded guilty to offense that occurred on April 16, 2013, in Collingsworth County.

The State filed the motion on April 3, 2014, 2014, alleging one violation of community supervision.

Sanchez pleaded true to the violations contained in the State’s motion and was sentenced to 18 months. Sanchez is also required to pay $376 in court costs to Collingsworth County, a $2,000 fine, and $140 in restitution.

Donley County District Court Convicts Leger Of DWI

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Clarendon – On Thursday, May 29, 2014, two pleas were heard in Donley County, Texas which resulted in one conviction and sentence to the penitentiary and another individual on 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.

1. Richard Harrison Leger was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in the Institutional Division of Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the third degree felony offense of driving while intoxicated third or more.

Leger, 32-year-old resident of Pampa, was arrested after the State filed its Motion to Revoke on April 9, 2014. The State alleged six allegations, which Leger pleaded not true.

A contested hearing was held where the State called Mark White, a community supervision officer with the 100th Judicial Community Supervisions and Corrections Department. The State called another witness, Officer Kequan Joshua with the Watonga, Okla. Police Department, which testified he arrested Leger for DWI on Feb. 4, 2014.

White categorized Leger’s compliance with community supervision as “poor” in 2013 after he had successfully complied with all requirements of probation up until that point.

Leger was originally indicted by a Donley County Grand Jury on October 5, 2010 for the offense that occurred on May 29, 2010. Leger pleaded guilty to the offense on June 6, 2011.

Joshua testified that Leger said he had drank 48 ounces of bud light before being arrested on the early morning of Feb. 4 for another DWI offense.

After the contested hearing, Leger was sentenced to the maximum allowable by law of ten years to do on the underlying third degree felony offense.
Leger is also required to pay $558 in court costs, $140 and a $3,000.00 fine.

2. Faith Marie Heckathorn was placed on probation for a period of three years for the third degree felony offense of credit card abuse. Heckathorn pleaded guilty and was placed on deferred adjudication for the offense.

Heckathorn, 19-year-old resident of Childress, was arrested in Hall County for the offense that took place March 13, 2013 by Memphis Police Officer Deanna Jolly. Heckathorn was indicted by a Hall County Grand Jury on Aug. 6, 2013.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, Heckathorn is required to pay a $500 fine to Hall County, $381 in court costs, and $235.64 restitution. If Heckathorn violates probation, she could face up to 10 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Carson County District Court Sentences Four

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Panhandle – On Thursday, May 29, 2014, five pleas were heard in Carson County, Texas, all of which resulted in convictions.

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.

1. Robert Ethan Seatts, Sr. was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in the Institutional Division of Texas Department of Criminal Justice, but the sentence was probated for a period of 10 years for the second degree felony offense of possession of marijuana.

Seatts, 49-year-old resident of Medford, N.Y., was arrested after the State filed its Motion to Adjudicate Guilt of the Defendant on March 17, 2014. The State alleged four allegations, which Seatts pleaded true to.

Seatts is required to pay $5,000 to Carson County, $296 in court costs and $1,891.61 in restitution.

2. Jon Clifford Herron, a 28-year-old resident of Amarillo, pleaded true to allegations listed in the State’s Motion to Adjudicate and sentenced to five years in the Institutional Division of TDCJ for the third degree felony offense of possession of anhydrous ammonia.

On June 8, 2010, Herron originally pleaded guilty to offense that occurred on June 6, 2010, in Carson County. Carson County Deputy J.C. Blackburn was the arresting officer on the original charge.

The State filed the motion on Aug. 27, 2012, alleging five violations of community supervision.

Herron pleaded true to the violations contained in the State’s motion and was sentenced five years. Herron is also required to pay $321 in court costs to Carson County and $1,480.73 in restitution.

3. Christina Angelica Frias, a 25-year-old resident of National City, Calif., pleaded true to allegations listed in the State’s Motion to Adjudicate and sentenced to ten years in the Institutional Division of TDCJ for the first degree felony offense of possession of a controlled substance.

On June 22, 2010, Frias originally pleaded guilty to offense that occurred on March 23, 2010, in Carson County.

The State filed the motion on June 4, 2012, alleging five violations of community supervision.
Frias pleaded true to the violations contained in the State’s motion and was sentenced to ten years. Frias is also required to pay $321 in court costs to Carson County, a $5,000 fine, and $1,254.75 in restitution.

4. Jesus Manuel Medina was convicted for the first degree felony offense of possession of a controlled substance and the third degree felony offense of possession of marihuana and was sentenced to 10 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Medina, 23-year-old of Jalisco, Mexico, was arrested by DPS Trooper Danny Nunez on Jan. 23, 2014. Medina pleaded to an information filed by the State on March 25, 2014.

Pursuant to the plea, the sentence was probated for a period of five years, and Medina is required to pay a $5,000 fine, $740 in court costs and $360 in restitution.

Medina’s plea of guilty also subjects him to deportation to his country of origin, which is Mexico.

Amos Signs With Southwest Baptist University

Thursday, May 29th, 2014
State Shot Put Bronze Medalist Luke Amos signed with Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. and will be a member of its Track & Field Team next week.  Amos will be throwing the shot put, hammer and discus for the SBU Bearcats.  To read more about the Southwest Baptist Bearcats go to www.sbubearcats.com.

State Shot Put Bronze Medalist Luke Amos signed with Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. and will be a member of its Track & Field Team next week.
Amos will be throwing the shot put, hammer and discus for the SBU Bearcats.
To read more about the Southwest Baptist Bearcats go to www.sbubearcats.com.

Bigg(s) Weather Report

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

By Dolly Cowan

After the recent, devastating fire in Fritch, we’re all breathing a little more easily now that our drought-stricken land has had some much-needed relief. Here’s a “Bigg(s)” THANK YOU for the rain!

Right around the Herald Office in the 300 block of Main Street we received 2.95 inches from Wednesday, May 21 to Sunday, May 25. Wasn’t it nice! It was the good, soaking kind of rain. Everything is looking so green and happy!

Unfortunately, this is the time of year we have to watch out for tornadoes. Both squall lines and supercells are responsible for tornado-producing conditions.

According to Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University, a squall line is an organized line of thunderstorms, while a supercell is usually just one isolated storm. Squall lines form where the air is unstable, often occurring before a cold front approaches. They can be from 10 to 30 miles wide and 500 miles or more long, producing large hail, lightning, heavy rain, strong winds and tornadoes. Supercells are the largest and most severe class of thunderstorms, producing damaging winds, very large hail and violent tornadoes. They are the least common, though.
New technology has improved advance tornado warning times dramatically. The National Weather Service says that in recent years, the amount of pre-warning time before a tornado hits has almost doubled from five to six minutes to 11 to 15 minutes. The Emergency Alert System used by many radio and TV stations advises listeners and viewers of an approaching tornado.

McRoberts says that every advance minute could possibly save someone’s life. In an average year, there are about 1,200 tornadoes in the United States and about 55 people are killed each year with almost $500 million worth of damage. So the more time people have when a tornado nears is time that can surely save some lives.

Pay attention to the sky. If it looks ominous, turn on your radio or television. Be safe.

But, hey…it’s okay to keep praying for some more of those “Bigg(s)” rainclouds!

55+ Club News

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

By Clara Jayne Kelly

In the month of May the 55+ Club met each Wednesday in the War Memorial Building. Attendance has been good for lunch, games and finishing puzzles; a new one has just been laid out and everyone agrees the 550 piece puzzle is best, and less complicated to get finished. If anyone is 55 years or over, and enjoys playing games or just visiting for a while, you are welcome to join the club; dues are only $5 per year, with a $1 Scholarship fee each month,or it can be paid yearly, along with membership dues; members are reminded that club dues are being now being taken.

Bob Allison, Chairman of the Board, called a meeting this month and the nominations of three new Board members were made. Later, the Club members approved the nominations, and elected Bobbie Smith, JD Kelly, and Phyllis Prendergast to join present Board members: Joyce Little, Waylon Scheller, Don Gandy, Billie Poteet, Murillo Gilley and Mike Morgan.

A highlight for the month was a tour of the new Child Day Care facility; the old Garretson’s Retirement Center is being recycled into a very convenient place for child care services. The project is moving along, and hopefully will be in service in the coming months. It was good to have Linsey Presson come for our monthly fitness checks; she also brings cake and ice cream for our celebration of birthdays and anniversaries.

Ann Metcalf reported on the recent Health Fair and ask members for ideas that would benefit those presenting this service to the community. The month of May seems to be a busy time for additional community projects. But 55+ Club members seem to think the fair would be beneficial; better advertising might be a key issue; also knowing a head of time what services would be available might help attendance.

Since 55+ Club is made up of many grandparents and great-grandparents, there has been lots of talk about graduation, trips made and pictures shown. We certainly wish all the new graduates, both high school and college, the very best in life.

And the Club members are prayerfully remembering the neighbors in Fritch and trying to assist where and when needed; those friends and family members have lost so much.

There were smiles all around as the weather predictions mentioned ‘good’ possibilities of rain. “Activities’ seem to add to those predictions coming true as graduation ceremonies arrive, and always, on a Memorial Day weekend, when camp outs and picnics are on the agenda! But most everyone echoed, ‘let it rain!’

AgriLife Extension To Honor County Governments During Cooperative Extension Centennial

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Building a Better TexasCOLLEGE STATION—This May, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service joins other Cooperative Extension services around the United States in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the federal Smith-Lever Act on May 8, 1914. This act provides for cooperative agricultural extension work at the nation’s land-grant colleges – and county governments are vital partners in that work. As part of the celebration, AgriLife Extension representatives will present Extension’s Building a Better Texas Award to every County Commissioners Court in Texas for decades of cooperation and support. County Extension offices are located in 250 of Texas’s 254 counties, and Extension serves every county.

Carson County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, Jody Bradford said, “We want our county government to know how much we appreciate the partnership we have developed over the years. Without their support, we would not have been able to serve the people of Carson County as well as we have, and many Texans would have missed opportunities to benefit from the practical, university-based information that Extension offers.”

AgriLife Extension provides dozens of popular programs, including Texas 4-H and Youth Development, Texas Master Gardeners and Junior Master Gardeners, Texas Superstar plants, Walk Across Texas, Do Well Be Well with Diabetes, Better Living for Texans, Texas Master Naturalists, the Passenger Safety Project and many more. It also works one on one with local farmers, ranchers and landowners; provides wildlife services; diagnoses plant diseases; tests soil, water and forage; trains food handlers and pesticide applicators; and even trains county officials in the basics of serving their communities.

Headquartered at Texas A&M University in College Station, AgriLife Extension is a member of The Texas A&M University System. It is linked in a unique partnership with the nationwide Cooperative Extension System through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and through Texas county governments. County governments help provide locations and funding for county Extension office facilities, oversee budgets and appropriations, and help AgriLife Extension staff identify program goals.

“As many Texans know, you can call on your county Extension agents for help with a wide variety of subjects,” said Dr. Darrell Dromgoole, AgriLife Extension’s associate director for county programs. “Extension strives to meet the needs of Texans by asking them what educational programs and services would help in their daily life. Our strong support from county governments allows us to develop those programs and deliver them directly to the people.”

Dr. Douglas Steele, director of AgriLife Extension, said, “By building coalitions with county governments and collaborating with other public and private groups and organizations – and with the help of our more than 100,000 volunteers – AgriLife Extension conducts educational programs that address the diverse range of contemporary and emerging issues affecting the residents of our state. By presenting this award, we hope to show just how much the spirit of cooperation within each county means to us, and to all Texans, as we celebrate a century of success in Extension education and look forward to extending knowledge and providing solutions in the future.”

Larry Hilburn Art Exhibit Planned At Square House Musuem

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The Carson County Square House Museum in Panhandle is excited to showcase the paintings of renowned artist, Larry Hilburn of Hollis, Okla. during the months of June, July and August.

Mr. Hilburn’s art background is wide and varied. His works in oils, watercolors, drawings, and graphic media vary in style and mood – ranging from realism to semi-abstraction. Imagination and creativity are apparent in every work. He has a Bachelor of Art degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and a Master’s Degree from West Texas State University in Canyon. He received a Fulbright Art Scholarship and studied at the Beaux Arts at the University of Paris, the Ecole DuLouvre, the Museum D’Art Moderne and the Jue Du Paume in Paris, France. He has held exhibitions in more than nine states and Paris.

The Amarillo Globe-News says of his work: “Hilburn’s art works express clearly his belief that an artist must not limit his field expression or imagination by aligning himself with only one school of thought or theory but rather keep a clear, open mind to all creative ideas.” The Taos News states: “Larry Hilburn’s paintings show endless imagination. Most outstanding is his Esquisse Sculptee, a unique sculptured drawing, developed by the artist, involving a series of chemical layers which results in the excitement of two senses – touch and sight.”

Mr. Hilburn’s artwork is available for purchase with two-thirds of the proceeds to go to the Square House Museum and the Panhandle Inn.

A reception and question/answer session will be held in the Hazlewood Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, June 8, 2014 from 2:30 to 4 o’clock.

Please plan to attend and meet this prestigious and gifted artist and view his many exceptional works. “We are very excited to host his many paintings and sculptures,” said Janie Plumlee, Square House Museum Administrative Assistant.

Eighth Grade Acheivement Night Sorrowful But Joyful

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The 2014 Eighth Grade Achievement Night was held last Friday, May 23 in the Panhandle High School auditorium. Both, Valedictorian Grace Kuehler and Salutatorian Stella Oliver gave inspirational and entertaining speeches. To the extraordinary class, of which 35 of 46 are honor students, several academic awards were handed out, along with some tearful farewells.

Jill Pohlmeier presented the Math award to Riley Albracht, the Most Improved Math Student award to Berkley Hicks and Jeremy Denning’s Algebra award to Brennan Freeman.

Paige Adams presented the English award to Alexis Gustafson and the Language Arts award to Mary Cowan.

Mary Fulce presented the Social Studies award to Kaylee Brassfield.

Kevin Meyer presented the Science awards to the members of the Science Bowl Team: Bradley Brandvik, Samuel Koone, Arianna Hann, Noah Ford and Grace Kuehler.

Several PJHS teachers spoke of what an exceptional class this is, noting that the class really sticks together and holds each other up.

We’d like to wish Mr. Meyer the best in his retirement from PISD. He’s going out with a bang, as his Science Bowl Team made it to Nationals in Washington, D.C., and they, along with the Electric
Race Car Team brought $1,750 to the school this year. He’s leaving big shoes to fill! You’ll be missed Mr. Meyer.

Beef Checkoff Referendum Voting June 2-6

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Texas beef producers can soon vote in the upcoming Texas Beef Checkoff Referendum June 2-6.

Voting will occur at all Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices during regular business hours, said Dr. Susan Ballabina, AgriLife Extension associate director for program development at College Station. Ballabina said the statewide election is being conducted by the Texas Department of Agriculture in accordance with provisions of the Texas Agriculture Code.

Local voting will take place at the Carson County AgriLife Extension Service Office inside the Carson County Courthouse.

“If passed, the producer managed program would be financed through a refundable $1 per head assessment at each point of sale,” Ballabina said.

“The money would be used for promotion, marketing, research and educational efforts of beef and beef products in Texas, the U.S. and/or internationally. Funding decisions would be made by the Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas whose members would be appointed by the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture from nominees submitted by the Texas Beef Council.”

Ballabina said eligible producers can vote at any AgriLife Extension office regardless of where they live or where their cattle are located. Producers may vote as individuals or as a legal business entity. Youth younger than 16 years old must have a parent or guardian co-sign their ballot. Persons unable to access an AgriLife Extension office during the voting period can request a mail-in ballot from the Texas Department of Agriculture between May 19 and June 2.

If passed, Ballabina made the following points concerning the checkoff:
– Assessment collection would begin Oct. 1.
– A producer who has paid an assessment to the Texas Beef Checkoff may obtain a refund of the amount paid by filing an application for refund with the Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas within 60 days after the date of payment.
– The Texas Beef Checkoff program differs from the current U.S. Beef Checkoff in two ways, though the Texas program may complement and extend the U.S. Beef Checkoff efforts. First, the U.S. program requires half the revenue be paid to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, but all the Texas Beef Checkoff assessment would be managed by the Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas. The second difference is the Texas Beef Checkoff assessment is refundable.
– Individuals are considered “non-producers” and are exempt from the proposed assessment if they own cattle for less than 10 days or serve as a dealer or order buyer in the sales transaction. Non-producers are also ineligible to vote in the referendum.

For additional information on the Texas Beef Checkoff and the referendum, contact Lance Williams, Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, Texas, 78711 or call 512-463-3285 or visit http://texasagriculture.gov/

Carson County AgriLife Extension Service Office is located in the basement of the Carson County Courthouse at 501 Main, Panhandle, Texas. Business hours are M-F 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed 12 – 1 o’clock for lunch For more information, call 806-537-3882.