Author: Nicole Schaefer

Robbers Strike Again: Fairfield Police Seek Info on Knife-Wielding Suspect

It seems that Fairfield has a serial knife-wielding robber after two more businesses were robbed by a suspect matching that of the one who hit the Family Dollar a couple of weeks ago. On Friday evening, September 8th, at about 9:45 p.m., a black male wearing a black hoodie, black bandana as a mask, and black pants, entered the Exxon Gas Station next to Taco Bell/KFC and demanded money from the register while holding a knife. The following night, at 8:40 p.m., someone matching the same description hit the Fred’s Dollar Store, taking money from the register and the safe. Luckily, no one was injured in either of these incidents. Fairfield Chief of Police, Kenny Bulger, states that it seems as if all three cases were potentially perpetrated by the same thief based on visual descriptions given by employees of the three businesses. “At this point, we are unable to identify the guy; but are currently waiting for surveillance footage from each business to compare so we can determine if it is, in fact, the same person in each case,” says Chief Bulger. If you have any information on any of these cases, please contact the Fairfield Police Department at...

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Freestone County Volunteers to the Rescue

Local Citizens Answer the Call During Hurricane Harvey   “None of us did it for the recognition, but rather for our fellow man. It’s all about helping people,” says Freestone County resident, Richard McGowan, about his time spent in South Texas during rescue efforts following Hurricane Harvey. McGowan, together with his son Tristen McGowan, A.J. Sandlin, Michael Peterson, Chris Padget, and Paul Barker, took two personal boats to help with water rescues. According to McGowan, who is a Reserve Deputy with the Freestone County Sheriff’s Office, he and his comrades were able to assist in taking more than 100 persons and family pets to safety in the Cline, Spring, Cypress Creek, Katy, Beaumont, Vidor, and Orange areas. In McGowan’s boat, a Navy Medic and a Commissioner were on board at one point and paramedics at another time, as they were concentrating on evacuating persons with medical issues. “We had to navigate down flooded streets, watching out for vehicles and mailboxes under water,” he explains. “We also had to be careful of any power lines in the area.” McGowan says that they often had to get into the water to hold the boats in place while people were boarding and he actually carried a couple of elderly women from their homes. “The scariest thing that happened while we were there was having to do a swift water rescue when Paul’s...

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Conviction Upheld in Teague Capital Murder Case

The 10th Court of Appeals, in Waco, upheld the conviction of Amber Hope Halford of Teague, who was found guilty of capital murder in connection with her uncle’s death in 2015. Justices considered an appeal citing four issues filed by attorneys for Halford, 21, who was convicted on October 25, 2016 of orchestrating a burglary that resulted in the shooting death of her uncle, Douglas Carr Hurst, 45. The four issues argued by Halford were: –There was insufficient evidence presented at her trial to convict her: The appeals court stated that sufficient evidence was indeed presented to secure a conviction. –The trial court erred in failing to include all the elements of the crime in the jury charge: Justices said if found the appellant was not “egregiously harmed in the abstract portion of the jury charge.” –An improper jury charge expanded the likelihood of her conviction: The appeals court explained, “The trial court did not err in including the instruction of the law of parties in the jury charge.” –The trial court committed error in denying her a change of venue: Justices wrote, “We find that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the motion to transfer venue. We overrule this issue.” Halford will spend life in prison with no possibility of...

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Butler Grass Fire Battle

Fairfield Fire Department responded to two grass fires in the Butler area last week. On Thursday, September 14th, Fairfield, Dew, Teague, Oakwood, and Buffalo Fire Departments assisted Butler Fire Department in a large grass fire. This fire resulted in the total loss of several acres, one barn, one tractor, one stock trailer. Two large barns and one residence were saved. The fire departments would like to thank area citizens for bringing water and food during this time. The next day, September 15th, Fairfield VFD responded to assist Butler in a 1.5 acre grass fire and rubbish fire. Departments were...

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Hairstylist Turns Dispatcher: Offers Aid to Hurricane Harvey Victims and Their Rescuers

“I never dreamed I’d do something like this, but here I am; and I loved it,” explains Loretta Chambers, of the Freestone Community, about her five-day experience working as a dispatcher with the Cajun Navy during Hurricane Harvey rescue in South Texas. A hairstylist and salon owner, Mrs. Chambers got involved because she saw a post on Facebook from a family pleading for help. They were begging for hours and not able to get in touch with rescue personnel. One family member was on a respirator. Mrs. Chambers couldn’t stand the thought of them not getting help, so she...

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