Archive for June, 2014

Chester Joseph Webber

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Chester Joseph Webber 1926 - 2014

Chester Joseph Webber
1926 - 2014

Chester Joseph Webber, 87, passed away Thursday, June 26, 2014.

Funeral service will be held privately at a later date.

Chester was born Oct. 13, 1926 in Stoneham, Mass. to Chester and Mary Webber. He proudly served in the United States Navy from 1944-1946 and in the Air Force from 1946-1966 from which he retired. Chester liked to garden, cook and work jigsaw puzzles. However, nothing beat the love he had for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, JoNell Webber; son, Ronald Webber; and sister, Estelle Kimball.

Survivors include his sons, Donald Webber of Denver, Colo., Kurt Webber and wife, Diane of Peoria, Ariz.; daughters, Kathy Pepper and husband, Roy of Amarillo, Ellen Neusch and husband, Gary of Panhandle, Patti McKnight and husband, Jeff of Amarillo; twenty grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; and special friend, Ethel Gott.

Hall County Grand Jury

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Hall County Grand Jury met on June 25, 2014 and indicted two.

Indictments were:
1. Antonio Dejesus Cantu for Assault of a Public Servant, 3rd degree on Jan. 25, 2014;
2. Marsha Renee Rodriguez for Driving While Intoxicated with Child Passenger, State Jail Felony, April 26, 2014.

Collingsworth County Grand Jury Indicts

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Collingsworth County Grand Jury met on June 24, 2014, and indicted four on seven different charges.

Indicted were:
1. Dustin Cole Castillo for Intoxication Assault, 3rd degree on May 18, 2014;
2. Robbie Leahe Gonzales for Assualt Against a Family Member, 3rd degree on May 26, 2014;
3. Ray Garcia for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, 3rd degree on May 8, 2014, and Retaliation Against a Public Servant, 3rd degree, Tampering with Evidence, 3rd degree and Fraudulent Use of Identifying Info, State Jail Felony (SJF), all on May 30, 2014;
4. Anselmo Garcia Silva, Jr. for Theft, SJF, on May 31, 2014.

Needham Convicted In Donley County

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Clarendon – On Monday, June 23, 2014, one plea took place in Donley County, Texas, which resulted of a conviction of a Wellington resident.

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

1. Lonnie Hugh Needham III was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in the Institutional Division of Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the second degree felony offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Needham, 39-year-old resident of Wellington, was arrested after the State filed its Motion to Adjudicate on June 12, 2014. The State alleged three allegations, which Needham pleaded true to all three.

Needham is also required to pay $2,000 to Collingsworth County and $376 in court costs.

Due to the nature of the offense, Needham will be required to serve at least five years before becoming parole eligible.

Wanda Fern Coffey Simmons

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Wanda Fern Coffey Simmons 1939 - 2014

Wanda Fern Coffey Simmons
1939 - 2014

Wanda Fern Coffey Simmons, 75, of Panhandle died Thursday, June 19, in Amarillo.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. on Monday, June 23, at First Baptist Church in Panhandle with Rev. Josh Light, pastor officiating. Burial will be in the Panhandle Cemetery under the direction of Minton Chatwell Funeral Directors of Panhandle.

Wanda was born June 2, 1939 in Sayre, Okla. to Amos " Choc " and Vera Mitchell Coffey. She was raised and went to school in Sweetwater, Okla. She married Darrell Simmons on Sept. 17, 1955 in Wheeler, Texas. She was a member of First Baptist Church and collected cookbooks.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her daughter, Brenda Lynette Ross; and a brother, Coy Coffey.

Wanda is survived by her husband; three grandchildren, Nivea McCowan, Lydia Ross and Curtis Ross, all of the Dallas area; a neice Belva Croslen; and a nephew, Lanny Coffee; and many cousins.

Sinclair Pleads Guilty To Felony Theft By Check

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Dyanne Sinclair

Dyanne Sinclair

Panhandle – On Tuesday, June 17, 2014, two pleas took place in Carson County, Texas.

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. Dyanne Sinclair was placed on probation for a period of three years for the state jail felony offense of theft by check. Sinclair pleaded guilty and was placed on deferred adjudication for the offense.

Sinclair, 46-year-old resident of Panhandle, was arrested in Carson County for the offense that took place March 26, 2013. Sinclair was later indicted by a Carson County Grand Jury on Jan. 6, 2014.

“Our goal on theft cases it to try and make the victim as whole as possible,” said Inman. “This defendant victimized unsuspecting people in this community and that’s why she is being placed on felony probation in this District.”

Pursuant to the plea agreement, Sinclair was required to pay upfront court costs of $281 and restitution of $4,187.32. She must also successfully complete 100 hours of community service. If Sinclair violates probation, she could face up to two years in the State Jail Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

2. Chris Montelongo was placed on probation for a period of eight years for the third degree felony offense of assault against public servant. Montelongo pleaded guilty and was placed on deferred adjudication for the offense.

Montelongo, 42-year-old resident of Wellington, was arrested in Collingsworth County for the offense that took place May 22, 2014 by Collingsworth County Deputy Mike Warren and pleaded to an information filed by the State on June 16, 2014.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, Montelongo is required to pay $376 in court costs, a $1,000 fine to Collingsworth County, and successfully complete 200 hours of community service. If Montelongo violates probation, she could face up to 10 years in the Institutional Division of the TDCJ.

Strict Standards Practiced At Panhandle Animal Shelter

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Pictured are newly-hired Shelter Assistant Dayna Wells, Bowser and Animal Control Officer Renee Sosebee pose for the camera on Bowser’s last day in Panhandle. Bowser was confiscated by the local law enforcement and placed in the care of Panhandle Animal Control Shelter. Sosebee and Wells were able to place Bowser in a Pitbull Rescue Center where he is well taken care of and loved.

Pictured are newly-hired Shelter Assistant Dayna Wells, Bowser and Animal Control Officer Renee Sosebee pose for the camera on Bowser’s last day in Panhandle. Bowser was confiscated by the local law enforcement and placed in the care of Panhandle Animal Control Shelter. Sosebee and Wells were able to place Bowser in a Pitbull Rescue Center where he is well taken care of and loved.

In light of all the recent publicity given to the allegations of mismanagement by the Amarillo Animal Control, we thought it would be a good time to look at how the Panhandle Animal Control handles its animal control issues.

According to Renee Sosebee, Panhandle Animal Control Officer, most of the animals the local shelter deals with are those at-large (have identification) animals, those whose owners have relinquished them to the shelter, and/or strays.

She said that all animals are photographed at intake and are given a visual and physical exam, which includes looking for signs of illness by examining the eyes, nose, mouth and ears, weighing them and feeling for overall physical condition and bone structure. If an animal is in danger of death, a veterinary exam is given. Sosebee said that all animals are checked for fleas and/or ticks and that it is the Panhandle shelter’s policy to treat all animals with the approved tick and flea powder, “Ovitrol”.

If the animal passes the physical exam, it is held for 72 hours and submitted to the “Safer Test.” The “Safer Test,” developed by the American Humane Association, is a five-step test which identifies the animal’s aggression and temperament and determines whether the animal presents a danger to the person(s) handling it. Once an animal is found fit, it can then be placed for adoption or rescue.

Animal Control Officers must be certified by the State of Texas Department of State Health Services through training. Each officer is required by the state to earn 30 hours of Certified Education Units (CEUs) every three years. If an officer fails to complete their required CEUs, they are then required to recertify. Officers who euthanize animals must also be certified to do so.

The Department of State Health Services does annual inspections of animal shelters and also “surprise” inspections regularly.

Euthanasia is considered a last resort in Panhandle. Once an animal is deemed “fit”, Sosebee works diligently to place the animals for adoption and is in constant contact with rescue shelters nation-wide to enlist their help in finding homes for the worthy pets. She uses a multitude of social media outlets and local media to assist in the search of homes for the animals that are in her custody.

Since Jan. 1, 2014, a total of 44 animals have come through the local shelter. Sixteen of those animals have been saved, 25 were reclaimed and only five were euthanized because of injury, illness or overt aggression.

“Our Panhandle shelter operates by strict standards,” said Sosebee. “It is also a taxpayer shelter. Our local residents are always welcome to visit and see how our local shelter is kept and how the animals are treated here. We have an open door policy…the shelter belongs to Panhandle.”

If you have questions about the shelter, local or state enforcement and/or animal welfare, submit your questions to the Herald and Mrs. Sosebeee will address those questions for you and our readers. Questions may be submitted to the Herald via email at shaun@panhandleherald.com, mail at PO Box 429, Panhandle TX 79068, or by facebook at www.facebook.com/panhandleherald.

County Commissioners Lift Burn Ban

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Disclaimer: These minutes have not yet been approved by the Commissioners’ Court so content or clerical errors may be corrected after review by the Court in the next General Session.

The Carson County Commissioners’ Court conducted a Regular Meeting on June 9, 2014 at 10 a.m. Those present were County Judge Lewis Powers, County Commissioners Mike Britten – Precinct No.1, James Martin – Precinct No. 2, Mike Jennings – Precinct No. 3 and Kevin Howell – Precinct No. 4.

The minutes of the May 19 and 27, 2014 meetings were reviewed. Commissioner Martin motioned for both sets of minutes to be approved with a correction to item #11 of the May 27 set, which was a misspelled name. Commissioner Britten seconded and motion carried.

All claims, invoices and commissary were reviewed by the Court. Commissioner Jennings motioned to approve all as presented. Commissioner Martin seconded the motion and it carried.

Tax Assessor/Collector Jackie Moore reported that currently the taxes collected thru May of 2014 were 98.17%. No action was taken.
Judge Powers recommended that the burn ban be lifted. Commissioner Britten made a motion to lift the ban. Commissioner Martin seconded and it carried.

The Court discussed regulating fireworks. Commissioner Martin motioned not to adopt any regulations on fireworks. Commissioner Jennings seconded and the motion was carried.

Auditor Jackie West asked the Commissioners to inform her of projects that will be started so they can be included in the new budget process to fund the 2014-2015 TxDOT Road Grant. West said she would make a new line item for the grant and show income and distribution of grant funds. No action was taken.

Judge Powers asked the Court to consider allowing an amendment to the Road Crossing Permit between Windstream and Carson County. The amended crossing will be at the intersection of Highway 207 and County Road 16. It will proceed in the South right of way along County Road 16 for four miles. Commissioner Jennings motioned to approve the amendment. Commissioner Britten seconded and it carried.

Judge Powers informed the Court that the current Courthouse Evacuation Plan, which was prepared several years ago, directs employees to meet at the First Christian Church. He suggested that the Court adopt a revised plan to meet at the War Memorial Building in case of evacuation. Commissioner Britten made a motion to approve the change. Commissioner Jennings seconded and it carried.

Judge Powers asked the Court to consider participating in a program that will help the County pay for cleanup of trash dumped in unauthorized areas. There is $1,900.00 available for use. Commissioner Martin made a motion to participate in the program with the Four Winds RC&D. Commissioner Jennings seconded the motion and it carried.

There being no further business, Commissioner Jennings made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Britten seconded and motion carried to dismiss.

J.O.Y. Finalizing Fourth Of July Plans

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Plans are well underway for the 2014 Annual J.O.Y. Fourth of July Celebration.
Action will get started with the David Phillips Memorial Road Race and the Boy Scouts’ Pancake Breakfast.

The Panhandle Chamber of Commerce will also be conducting a house and/or lawn decorating contest, with the winner receiving a $50 gift certificate to Panhandle Thriftway. The theme for this year’s contest is “Made In America.” All city residents are invited to participate and should contact Shelly Fish-Oliver at (806) 382-5294 so your home will be included the judging.

The Parade will begin at 10 a.m. with the opening ceremonies to begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. This will include the Welcome, Presentation of the Colors, National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and Innovation.

Parade awards will be presented immediately following Opening Ceremonies.

The Little Prince and Princess Contest will begin following the parade awards at approximately 11 p.m. Entry forms are available at the Herald office or by contacting Debbie Jones at (806) 279-0446.

A free shot contest will begin at J.O.Y. Park at 11:30. Age divisions are 6-9 years, 9-12 years, 13-17 years and 18 years and older (adults). There will be both boys and girls divisions.

A Sandlot Volleyball Tournament will be held this year. Teams must register by July 1. To register a team contact Matt Cordova at (806) 236-8546.

The ever-popular Sand Dig will start at 12:15 p.m. in the parking lot north of the Courthouse. Age divisions are 2 years and under, 3-4 years, 5-6 years, 7-8 years, 9-10 years, and 11-12 years old.

The Frog Race will be on the west side of the Courthouse and will begin at 12:45 p.m.

A new activity is an Obstacle Course Race. This will also take place on the west law of the Courthouse.

Entertainment will begin at 12:30 p.m. Food, drinks and other booths will begin opening shortly after the parade.

Everyone is asked to help keep the Courthouse lawn and surrounding areas picked up. There will be trash bins available.

Sheriff’s Report

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

By Loren Brand

Since June 1, 2014 we’ve had 128 calls for service. Those include three traffic accidents, two assaults, three burglaries, four domestic violence, three fires, two harassment, 15 EMS calls, three suspicious person, three welfare concerns, four shots fired calls and three animal cruelty cases. We have 21 persons incarcerated and have had 32 bookings since the first of the month. Our officers assisted Armstrong County and other law enforcement agencies at an armed stand-off on U.S. Highway 287.

We are investigating several complaints of animal cruelty/neglect. If you’re going to be away from home, make arrangements to have someone care for your pets or leave them food and water. It’s not just a matter of integrity. Animal cruelty and neglect is a criminal offense.

With the Fourth of July approaching, we’d like to encourage residents to use caution and courtesy when igniting fireworks. There are certainly many legal issues about where and when you can use fireworks, but the consideration for others should be the biggest concern. Farming and ranching are a major industry in Carson County. The Texas Panhandle is known for the extremes in weather. It’s mostly too dry or too wet (seldom). What you light on the ground goes up and comes down with fire potential. Not to mention the litter it leaves behind. If you have no conscience about careless and inconsiderate use of fireworks, I assure you that we have no concern about issuing citations for violations. Enjoy your celebration, but not at the expense of others.