Freestone County Texas

Wed
10
Jan

2017 ends with normal rainfall, temperatures

Total rainfall for 2017 was slightly above normal at 45.60 inches. We did have a three-month drought period – September through November – for which we received only 5.24 inches of rain and only five days with measurable rainfall. Normal rainfall for that period is 12.23 inches. August was the wettest month of the year with 5.41 inches, while November was the driest with only 1.17 inches of rain. Rainfall for 2017 was 1.79 inches above normal. We did have some frozen precipitation with a trace of sleet on Dec. 6, as well as a trace of snow on Dec. 7 and Dec. 31. December closed out the year with 5.13 inches of rain and nine days with measurable rainfall. Normal rainfall for December is 3.97 inches. Temperature-wise, 2017 was our hottest year since 2011 with 25 triple-digit temperature days.

 

Wed
10
Jan

Pct. 1 voting box moved, court talks opioid litigation

Precinct 1 voters in the Oakwood area will now cast their ballots at Lone Star Baptist Church, 110 County Road 280 in Oakwood.
Photo by April Walker

The Liberty voting box – used for precinct 1 voters in the Oakwood area – will be moved to a local church after a September discussion showed just how bad the condition of the building had gotten. Pct. 1 Commissioner Andy Bonner discussed the move with Democrat chair Opal Oliver and commissioners agreed. Voters will now head over to Lone Star Baptist Church on County Road 280 to cast their ballot.

“It's a good place to move it,” said Bonner. “Opal's a member of that church.”

Voters will have electricity, restrooms, and parking areas at the church. The current building has no electricity, no restroom or air conditioning, and the floor is rotting.

Commissioners voted to enter the agreement with The Beckham Group regarding opioid litigation. County Attorney Brian Evans suggested commissioners go ahead with the proposed opioid litigation after reviewing the agreement, which was presented by Dallas-based attorney Patrick McShan at the court's Dec. 20 meeting.

Thu
28
Dec

Market Days future rocky

City Administrator Jeff Looney presented Market Days information he compiled himself over the last few years to City Council last week. Also pictured is (seated from left) Public Works Director Clyde Woods, Police Chief Kenny Bulger, and Accessories Etc. owner Mary Small.

Photo by April Walker

Fairfield City Council discussed the future of Market Days during last week's Tuesday night meeting. According to information compiled by City Administrator Jeff Looney, Market Days has been losing $20,000 per year for five years – a total of $100,000.

Market Days Director Darlene Jones says the problem isn't vendors and shoppers, it's the city cutting her funding and a lack of visible signs to draw shoppers to the market.

Councilman Place 5 Kenny Hughes, who is running for mayor in 2018, suggested – with the support of the council – a workshop to discuss the market, its needs, and more in January.

Looney alleges the city is losing roughly $900 per month in private rentals of the Green Barn and Civic Center, which is where many vendors set up their wares; however, City Secretary Misty Richardson said she only receives “three or four calls a year about renting the Green Barn.”

“So, what's causing the decline?” asked Councilman Place 2 Randy Johnson.

Thu
28
Dec

Store Front decor winner announced

Creations Flowers & Gifts, 305 E. Commerce in Fairfield, took first place in the annual Store Front Decorating Contest held by the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce. Second place went to Scott's Collision Center, 1380 U.S. 84 West in Fairfield, and Dapper Designs, 207 E. Commerce in Fairfield, took third. A total of nine businesses entered the contest. Pictured are Creations owner Gail Farish and Demar Hill.

Courtesy photo

Thu
28
Dec

Year in Review

The 1936 Ford fire truck -- hidden away in a garage at the Freestone County Historical Museum -- was renovated by Carroll Embry, Bill Green, and Steve White.

Archive photo

At the beginning of each new year, The Fairfield Recorder combs through out archives from January through October to bring you a recap of the biggest news headlines.

January 2017

January 5 – Change is coming to Freestone County – Nine candidates were pictured at the swearing-in ceremony at the courthouse. Five were newly elected, while four were re-elected.

January 5 – New beginnings for local hospital – Freestone Medical Center officially began the new year Jan. 1 after transitioning from ETMC.

January 12 – Breaking ground on new pantry – River of Life Family Worship Center broke ground on a new site for their food pantry.

January 19 – Library seeks to modernize space, services – After hiring Gary Wiggins as library director, board member Tammy Gawryszewski applied and was awarded a grant for remodeling the library.

Thu
28
Dec

Fiery crash leaves 1 dead, 1 critical

Classmates, family, and friends released blue and green balloons at a memorial service for Gebhard the Saturday following his death.
Photo by April Walker

Two Freestone County families are in mourning this holiday season after a two-car collision last week left one dead and one in critical condition. Landon Gebhard, 17, was killed Thursday, Dec. 21, when his 2002 BMW hit a vehicle driven by Lilly Taylor, 22, on FM 27.

Reports taken by DPS Trooper Matthew Poole show Gebhard was traveling east on FM 27 when he began to overtake another vehicle in a no-passing zone.

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Wed
29
Nov

Donie couple charged with smoking drugs with child

Crystal Rose Wilkins

Responding to a request for a welfare check last month on a child alleged to be smoking marijuana with his mother, Freestone County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested the mother and stepfather and turned the child over to other relatives. According to reports, deputies arrived at the residence in Donie and about five minutes later Crystal Wilkins, 37, and Thomas Wilkins, 35, drove up in a van from a wooded area behind the residency.

 

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Wed
29
Nov

'Local hero' loses life

Damon Allen

More than 200 people attended the Sunday night vigil for DPS Trooper Damon Allen, who was killed in the line of duty on Thanksgiving Day.

 

The funeral is set for 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and in expectation of the large crowd, will be held at the Mexia Black Cat football stadium. A viewing is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at Bowers Funeral Home in Teague.

 

Allen, who would have celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary Monday, was shot multiple times with a rifle by 31-year-old Dabrett Montreal Black during a traffic stop at Mile Marker 194 on Interstate 45.

 

Allen’s family, friends, and co-workers were emotional as they each took to the microphone Sunday night to remember the man who has been dubbed a local hero by so many who knew him.

 

Fri
24
Nov

Trooper Allen brought back to hometown

State Troopers and other law enforcement officers lined up outside Bowers Funeral Home about 4 p.m. Nov. 24, to carry the body of Damon Allen into the funeral home.
Photo by April Walker

The body of slain DPS Trooper Damon Allen was delivered to Bowers Funeral Home Nov. 24. Residents lined U.S. 84 in Teague to show their support for the fallen officer. Allen was shot and killed during a Thanksgiving Day traffic stop at mile marker 194 on I-45 outside of Dew.

After an hours-long manhunt, suspect Darbrett Black was found in Liendo, Waller County, and captured after officers released K9 Unit Odin on man as he hid in the tree line of a field.

Funeral services are planned for Allen at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at the Mexia High School football stadium in Mexia. Visitation is slated for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at Bowers Funeral Home in Teague.

Wed
08
Nov

Harris announces run for county treasurer

Tammy Harris

My name is Tammy Harris, and I am proud to announce my candidacy for Freestone County Treasurer. I am a lifelong resident of Freestone County, as were the seven generations of my family before me. I live in between Fairfield and Streetman on the same land upon which my great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents worked and lived. When I was 8-years-old I showed my grandfather exactly where I wanted to build my house when I grew up, and I consider myself blessed to have done exactly that. Freestone County is not just my home; it's a large part of who I am. My parents are Ollie and Sandra Young and Glynn Harris and Linda Grant, all of Freestone County. I have one sister, Tracie Ezell and husband, Darrell, who also live in Freestone County. My stepbrother and stepsister, James Grant and Jami Lowry, also grew up in Freestone County. James and his wife, Averie, still live and work here. I am the proud mother of three children.

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