ROSS DENIES ALLEGATIONS – Precinct 4 County Commissioner Terry Ross filed a response July 13 denying allegations made against him. This was in answer to a hearing being set for Aug. 14 regarding his temporary suspension after citizen Lane Akin filed a petition for Ross’ removal from office. Akin listed incompetency and official misconduct in the petition. Two months ago Ross was indicted by a grand jury for tampering with government records and abuse of official capacity. The indictment indicates Ross built a playhouse on public property, used county employees on county time to help build the structure, and used building components or electrical supplies purchased with county money to build the playhouse. The hearing for his temporary suspension will be heard by Judge Roger Towery, with the 97th District Court of Texas in Henrietta, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, in the 271st District Courtroom at the courthouse in Decatur. In the meantime, Ross continues to serve Precinct 4 as county officials work to finalize the budget for fiscal year 2013.
WARM UP – Triple digit temperatures are forecast for the next few days. High temps are expected to reach 102 today, 105 Saturday and 102 Sunday. To help provide relief, First Texas Home Health is collecting fans to distribute to the elderly. Donations of new or gently used fans can be dropped off at First Texas Home Health, 1821 S FM 51, in Decatur. For information, call Megan Adams at (940) 626-0586.
COUNTY VEHICLE PURCHASES – County commissioners have approved allocating just more than a half-million dollars from the capital expenditure fund to purchase 13 vehicles and one stock trailer. The money had to be spent by 2014 and was previously earmarked for the construction of a new Precinct 4 barn, a request that was struck down last fall. The types of vehicle, departments for which they will be purchased, and costs include a Featherlite trailer, Extension office, $27,700; Precinct 3 constable, truck or sport utility vehicle, $28,000; Precinct 4 constable, truck or SUV, $28,000; district attorney’s office, Tahoe, $32,000; Public Works, one-ton truck without a bed, $40,000; and Sheriff’s Office, nine SUVs, $378,300. Total cost is $534,000. County Judge Bill McElhaney explained that money from the capital expenditure fund must be used for tangible goods. Read more in the weekend Messenger.
SEASON TICKET CHANGE – The Decatur School Board last night approved a change in the way football season tickets are sold. In the past, personal seat licenses have been sold that hold seats for two years at a cost of $18. The license holder would then pay $25 for a five-game season. In the second year of the license, the holder would only pay for the tickets. The new structure calls for reserved season tickets to be sold on an annual basis at $7 each, or $35 a year without the need for the personal seat license. The purpose of the change is to keep revenue more consistent from year to year.
PARK LEASE – The Paradise City Council Thursday approved extending a 20-year lease of Leone Park to the Paradise Youth Recreation Association for $1 a year. This would grant PYRA board members a sense of ownership over a venue they are expected to maintain and for which they pay electricity. The contract will be renewed every two years to coincide with PYRA election terms.
CHEER CAMP – Cheer camp for Decatur youth is Thursday, July 26, and Friday, July 27, at Victory Christian Academy. Girls in kindergarten through third grade will attend 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and fourth through sixth graders 2 to 6 p.m. Cost is $40. For information, contact Alexia Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit universityofgymnastics.com.
READING AND CRAFTS – Boyd Public Library will hold a summer reading and crafts program for children ages 4 to 7 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 26, at the library. For information, call (940) 433-5580.
HABITAT ORIENTATION – Trinity Habitat for Humanity will have homeowner orientations at 10 a.m. Saturdays, July 21, Aug. 18 and Sept. 15, at First United Methodist Church in Bridgeport, 608 17th St. Those interested in building and owning a home through the organization are invited. For information, visit www.trinityhabitat.org or call (817) 926-9219, ext. 116.
FUNERALS – Service for Burrell Reynolds, 83, of Decatur is 10 a.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Decatur. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.
VISITATION for Gayla Keeling, 68, of Saint Jo is 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at Coker-Hawkins. Burial will be in Herrin, Ill.
GRAVESIDE service for Edith Baker, 91, of Kempner, formerly of Chico is 10 a.m. today at Chico Cemetery. Jones Family Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
MEMORIAL service for Paige Davila, 17, of Paradise is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Decatur Civic Center.