Freestone County courthouse


Harrup inspired scarecrow wins

Residents took to Facebook to vote in the annual Scarecrow Contest, hosted by the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, choosing Cub Scout Pack 668 as the first place winner in the Youth division after the group dedicated their scarecrow to Keith Harrup. Military veteran Harrup recently passed away in a motorcycle accident and his son is a new scout this year.

“Honestly, we wanted to do it for his kids,” said scout mom Tiffany Williams. “His son is a new scout this year and we wanted to show our love and support to him and his family through the brotherhood of scouting, much like the brotherhood of all our armed forces.”


DAR promotes Constitution Week

DAR members witnessing Judge Linda Grant's proclamation signing are (from left) Carol Anne Biggar, DAR member; Kathleen McKee, DAR recording secretary; Dianne Pullin, DAR treasurer; Judge Linda Grant (seated); Patti Gauntt, DAR member; Nancy McSwane, DAR chapter regent; and Billie Bournias, DAR registrar.
Photo by April Walker

There are two documents of paramount importance to American history: the Declaration of Independence, which forged our national identity, and the U.S Constitution, which set forth the framework for the federal government that is still in use today.

Freestone County Judge Linda Grant recently signed a proclamation promoting Constitution Week, an annual commemoration of the living document that upholds and protects the freedoms central to our American way of life. The annual celebration began Monday, Sept. 17, across the United States.


County ups tax rate, adopts budget

The proposed 7 percent increase on the property tax rate was unanimously approved by commissioners last week. The tax rate is now .35947 – 2 cents higher than last year – and will bring in approximately $560,634 more in revenue.

County employees – several of whom have requested raises – were given only a 2 percent cost-of-living raise. Justice of the Peace Pct. 3 Cinnamon Archibald has asked for her clerk’s pay to be raised every year during budget talks, as has County Clerk Linda Jarvis.


Lemonade Extravagana a success

Raeanne Rossiaky (left) and Casey Couture (right) were awarded the Community Spirit Award Saturday.
Photo by April Walker

Fuzzy Friends Lemonade, owned by Raeanne Rossiaky and Casey Couture, took home the Community Spirit Award with their booth at Saturday's Lemonade Extravaganza. Twenty-two students from Fairfield Intermediate School set up on the square as part of the project. Each child was raising money for a certain organization, such as their church, animal shelters, American Red Cross, and nursing homes. Crazy Craft Girls, owned by Lydia Morgan and Jenna Haden, earned the Taste Test Award with their Honey Apple Lemonade, while the People's Choice Award was Briana Thurman, owner of Kountry Girl Lemonade. FIS teahcer Gina Martin said the school plans to be back next year with more stands and invites the public to support these wonderful youth business owners.

Photo by April Walker


Lemonade Extravaganza Saturday

Several young entrepreneurs are heading to the courthouse square to sell lemonade. The students are learning what it takes to earn a dollar with this pilot program. The Lemonade Extravaganza is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Booths will be set up around the square and at the following locations:

  • Kennedy's Korner
  • Something Different
  • Napa
  • Brookshire Bros.

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Black pleads not guilty to Trooper Allen murder

Capital murder suspect Dabrett Black is led out of the courtroom by Freestone County Deputy Preston Cordova after his March 1 arraignment in which he plead not guilty.
Photo by April Walker

Dabrett Black was arraigned in the court of Judge H.D. Black last Thursday and pled not guilty to allegedly killing DPS Trooper Damon Allen on Thanksgiving Day. The judge, who once presided over the 77th District Court, was visiting from another district in place of current 77th District Court Judge Patrick Simmons. Simmons will be back in time for the pre-trial hearing, which is slated for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7.

The suspect is being defended by Susan Anderson, an assistant public defender with the Regional Public Defenders Office (RPDO) in Terrell. The Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases office is the largest collaborative effort between counties and a state-funded program in the formative years in the United States.


Gift of Bibles thought to be bomb

A suspicious package was discovered at the Freestone County courthouse early Monday morning. McLennan County Bomb Squad was called in to investigate, while DPS and Freestone County deputies closed the entrances to Mount Street on the square.
Photo by April Walker

A gift box containing Bibles was thought to be a bomb by a DPS Trooper early Tuesday morning on the courthouse square resulting in the closing of surrounding offices and Mount Street entrances. 

A press release issued by Freestone County Sheriff Jeremy Shipley said a trooper discovered the box on a bench on the west side of the courthouse at around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9.

An investigation ensued with McLennan County Bomb Squad leading the way.

A card left inside the package explained the Bibles were for Fairfield police and the person referred to police as “Impoverished Smurfs.”

Shipley said in the press release:

“At approximately 2:30 a.m. a Freestone County DPS officer, while coming to the DPS office in the courthouse, observed a box that was sitting on a bench on the west side of the courthouse.

“At that time, an investigation ensued and as further information developed it was determined that the




Courthouse damaged, suspect apprehended

A district courtroom was damaged and a local man is now undergoing a psych evaluation at an area hospital after breaking into the Freestone County Courthouse. The suspect, whose name cannnot be released at this time, is alleged to have broken in through a side door on Sunday night. Freestone County deputies, DPS officers, and other local law enforcement

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Various courthouse uses over the years

Written May 2006
Courthouse Uses
A recent inquiry from Molly Fryer at the Freestone County Museum on past uses of the courthouse and if there ever a concession stand in the courthouse hall? When advised her yes, she asked me to write on this and it’s other uses.
During the hard years of the Depression before all the government welfare programs that are available today, the Commissioner’s Court approved letting a disabled person operate a small stand. The cold drinks sold for 5 cents and candy bars for a nickel and some penny candy. Located on the first floor in the hallway near the stairs, the drinks were cooled in an old type drink box with block ice that was delivered by the iceman.


Square Affair set for Saturday

The Summer Square Affair kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 21, with approximately 25 vendors signed up and ready to sell. The event is on the courthouse square and ends at 3 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to stop by the Chamber of Commerce tent and register to win a $100 gift. Winners will be announced at 2 p.m. and do not need to be present to win.
Vendors include:

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