Category: Top Headlines

Death Verdict Upheld by Texas Court of Appeals in Kaufman County Murders

One step in the legal saga of convicted killer, Eric Williams, concluded Wednesday, November 1, 2017, when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the State’s Highest Court for criminal cases, unanimously upheld the trial court’s guilty verdict and death sentence. Williams, former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace, was convicted in the death of Cynthia McLelland, the wife of former Kaufman County District Attorney, Mike McLelland, who was also killed in the couple’s Forney, Texas home on March 30, 2013. Williams was charged, but not tried, for the deaths of Mike McLelland and Mark Hasse, who was fatally shot approximately two months earlier near the Kaufman County courthouse. According to the Prosecution, the McLellands, originally from Wortham, and Hasse, were gunned down by Williams in retaliation for an earlier conviction for theft. Williams was charged with the theft of computers when he served as JP in Kaufman County in 2012. He received two years’ probation and loss of his law license in that case, in which McLelland and Hasse served as prosecutors. Court of Appeals Judge, Michael E. Keasler, issued a 110-page opinion, stating “After reviewing Williams’ 40-points of error, we find them to be without merit. Consequently, we affirm the trial court’s judgment and sentence of death.” Williams, in his appeal, states prosecutors did not prove either of its capital murder theories, murder in the course of committing...

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EMS Call to Trailer Park Leads to Sexual Assault Arrest

Teague man, Donald Ray Long, 19, has been arrested and charged with Sexual Assault Family Violence (a 2nd Degree Felony) following an investigation into an incident that occurred on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the Kilgore Trailer Park in Teague. Around 9:30 p.m. that evening, Teague Police Department and Teague EMS responded to a call where a female was reported to be having trouble breathing; and she eventually became unresponsive. She was transported to Freestone Medical Center in Fairfield by Teague EMS. A couple of hours later, the female became responsive and stated that she believed she had been sexually assaulted. During the subsequent investigation, led by Interim Chief of Police DeWayne Philpott, the female, who was the roommate of Long, positively identified him as the perpetrator. Long later admitted to the act during questioning. He was arrested and booked into the Freestone County Jail with a $30,000 bond. This case has been turned over to the County Attorney’s office for...

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Freestone County Small Businesses Benefit from DFW’s $1 Billion Record Lending

Herbert Austin, District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) District Office announced today that fiscal year 2017 lending in the district’s 72 counties reached over $1.187 billion to 2062 small businesses. “This is another major milestone for the DFW district” said Austin. “For the third year in a row our district has reached over the billion dollar mark in financing to small businesses. The value of loan guarantees outstripped last year’s figures by 4.5%.” A total of 154 lenders and 12 Certified Development Companies (CDCs) contributed to the above outcome, with 30% of them being newly-active lending institutions. “Wells Fargo again was the top lender in dollars ending the year with a record of $102 million. This volume has never been achieved by any other bank in the district” stated Austin. Greater Texas Capital held on to #1 in the 504 category with $55 million in lending. The top five 7A lenders in the DFW district are: –WELLS FARGO BANK NATL ASSOC: $102,174,200 with 254 loans –LIVE OAK BANKING COMPANY: $62,413,500 with 46 loans –COMPASS BANK: $53,415,800 with 350 loans –JPMORGAN CHASE BANK NATL ASSOC: $50,206,200 with 172 loans –VERITEX COMMUNITY BANK: $45,943,500 with 40 loans “The DFW district’s FY 17 loans help to create 9,759 jobs in industries such as retail, hotels and motels, restaurants, and construction. Additionally, these loans funded...

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Freestone County Celebrates Veterans Day

Veterans Day is this Saturday, November 11, 2017. This Week’s edition includes a special edition, honoring Freestone County Veterans. Click here to read it online. Below are a couple of celebrations taking place in Freestone County to honor our area Veterans. Dew ISD Dew ISD will have a Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, November 10th at 10:00 a.m. at the Junior High Gym. The public is invited to attend this special program. Wortham ISD Wortham ISD will honor Veterans Day on Friday, November 10th at 10:00 a.m. in the Gym. Everyone is invited to come celebrate our heroes with us. Teague First, get into the patriotic spirit at Bill May’s second annual Hootenanny, honoring all first responders and veterans.  The classic country concert will be on Saturday, November 11th from 1:00 to 4:00 p..m at the Teague City Park pavilion. The concert is free.  Donations will be accepted for the Teague Police Department. Then, beginning at 4:00 p.m., the Veterans Remembrance Park in Teague will host a program for Veterans Day. The program is as follows: –Prelude by the Teague High School Ensemble, directed by Carrie Martin –Welcome by Richard Gillet –Opening Prayer by Reverend Spain Trask –Posting of the Colors/Pledge of Allegiance – Boy Scouts of Mexia, Troop #70 –National Anthem sung by Linda Steen –Bag Pipe played by Greg McEwen, 33 Degree IGH, Waco Valley Scottish Rite...

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American Pickers to Film in Texas

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Texas! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region in WINTER 2018     AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them. As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike...

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