Category: Top Headlines

City of Fairfield: Gateway to Natural Beauty, Rich History

It started with Love – David H. Love, to be exact, who donated 100 acres in 1851 to establish the town of Fairfield to become the county seat of Freestone County, Texas. One hundred and sixty-five years later, this small town is a bustling, mini-metropolis with a vibrant downtown and a connected, caring community. For visitors coming off the Interstate (between Dallas and Houston) Fairfield is the gateway to a picturesque courthouse square, a treasure trove of local history, and one of the best fishing lakes in the State of Texas. Perhaps the most well-known stops would include Sam’s Original Restaurant, home to three generations of barbecue, mile-high meringue pies and the best onion rings known to man; and Cooper Farms Country Store that stocks freshly-grown peaches, peach ice cream, fresh produce, canned goods and wines. Recreation Just five miles northeast of this small town, Fairfield Lake State Park features a 2,400 acre lake (the state record holder for inland red drum was taken here), extensive hiking trails (many of which are open to horseback riding), and bird watching (bald eagles nest here from November to February). The State Park plays host to several annual events throughout the year, including The Righty Run (set for next month on February 25th) that raises awareness for Pediatric Stroke, Kid Fish Derby in May, and Christmas in the Park in December (featuring...

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FCSO Joins Three-County Standoff on I-45

FCSO Chief Deputy Mowrey and Sheriff Shipley (far left) joined two counties in responding to an active shooter situation last week.  (Submitted Photo)   The official swearing-in ceremony of Freestone County’s new sheriff was hastened last week with “business as usual” as Sheriff Jeremy Shipley was called out to an active shooter situation. “I apologize, but we have to swear in Jeremy so he can get going,” explains Judge Deborah Oakes Evans at the induction ceremony of Freestone County’s newest elected officials held Tuesday morning, January 3, 2017. Sheriff Shipley and Chief Deputy Devin Mowrey traveled to Wortham to assist the City’s police department before joining Limestone and Navarro County law enforcement in a standoff on Interstate 45 later that morning. According to Wortham PD Chief, Kelly Butler, it all began the evening before when Clint Michael Hobbs (picture at right), a 28-year-old white male, convicted felon residing in Bryan, was refused a chance to speak to his child by his estranged wife, who lives in Oklahoma with the child. After the phone call, Hobbs began a drinking binge and tri-county crime spree that subsequently ended with a standoff in a construction zone on Interstate 45 near Angus. Chief Butler says that Hobbs, while still on his drinking binge, took off Tuesday morning from Bryan in a friend’s vehicle, a vehicle he did not have permission to use. According...

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Jan. 28th Review and Book Signing of Depression-Era Musician Washington Phillips

Jack-leg preacher and gospel blues singer, the late Washington Phillips of Simsboro, is the subject of a new book by music critic Michael Corcoran.  A review and book signing is being held in Teague later this month.  (Photo courtesy of Doris Nealy)   His origins, and the ethereal instrument he played, have been argued by both researchers and fans. Folks in the Teague area knew him as a jack-leg preacher who sold homemade ribbon can syrup from his mule cart. Washington Phillips of Simsboro, just north of Teague, Texas recorded 18 songs with Columbia records between 1927 and 1929. His life and music are the subject of a new book, “Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams” by Michael Corcoran. The public is invited to attend a review and book signing on Saturday, January 28th beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Teague Community Center. Over 8,000 copies were sold of Washington’s first 78rpm record, which included “Take Your Burden to the Lord” and “Life Him Up That’s All.” More songs were recorded the next two years, and then the artist seemed to disappear into obscurity. That is, until author Michael Corcoran began his research, with the assistance of folks from Freestone County, including Doris Nealy and the late Wilbur Titus. This is the second book published by Corcoran, a former music critic for the Dallas Morning News and the Austin...

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Precinct 3 Facing Major Challenges

“We have a serious problem in Precinct 3,” says newly elected Commissioner Mike Daniels, during his second Commissioners Court meeting held Wednesday, January 4, 2017. “I’m walking into the job with zero dollars to work with and there are bills needing to be paid,” he says. Daniels lays the blame on outgoing Commissioner, Bodie Emmons, saying that he left no money in the Pct. 3 budget when Emmons completed his elected term in December. “If there is a major storm or disaster, we have no tax payer money to fix any damages.” “Also, none of the equipment (tractors, vehicles, and the like) is working,” continues Daniels. “Only one truck is working and it desperately needs new tires. We can’t even afford to buy tires!” According to County Auditor Donna Williams, Precinct 3’s budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year is at a deficit because tax revenue that was expected has not yet arrived and it is not known when the County might receive said money. There are currently several outstanding bills with no cash flow to cover the costs. Outgoing Commissioner – Pct. 3, Bodie Emmons was within his 25% allowable usage of the set budget (based on receiving tax revenue) however, the money was not available for use at the time it was spent, according to the Auditor. Commissioners and Auditor Donna Williams discussed possibly amending the resolution to...

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Freestone County Courthouse News

  Marriages The following couples filed for Marriage Licenses during December 2016.–Preston / Poley–Estrada / Enasco–Wilson / Bailey–Hicks / Seybeet-Johnson–Davis / Dycus–Woodall / Beldin–Tucker / Chrisley–Harper / Sandlin–Peter / Liu–Fox / Veretto–Wicker / Cooksey-Johnson–Preston / Cantley Civil Cases There are 11 ‘In the Interest of’ cases for the Month of December 2016–Midland Funding, LLC vs. Juana Esparza–21st Mortgage Corporation vs. Quincy L. Jackson & Cherie Jackson–Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC vs. Dorothy Martin–Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC vs. Steven J. Hargrove–Bobby Edward Oxford vs. University of Texas, et al–Evan Jose Niswanger vs. Brandi Lynn Niswanger–Santos Estrada vs. Stephanie Ann Pedraza–James Andrew Jones vs. Lauren Dianna Jones–Department of Family and Protective Services vs. T.W. & W.N., Sr.–Fairfield Land Management, LLC, d/b/a Freestone Chrysler Jeep Dodge vs. Oscar Estrada–Darlene Childs vs. John N. Carman–Portfolio Recovery Association, LLC vs. Kevin Miller–Scott Beard and wife Wanda Beard vs. Kenneth Schroeder & Donnie Fincher–Randy Hamblin vs. Iva Nell Batey–Wells Fargo Bank NA vs. Trustee for Manufactured Housing Contract Senior/Subordinate vs. Gene E. Nix–H. Gene Reynolds vs. Susan Elizabeth Loper Phipps, et al–Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC vs. Ryan O Tackett–Wayne Sanchez vs. Joyce Elaine Sanchez–Vincent Mims, Jr. vs. Kasey Kennedy–Jay Don Jeffress vs. Erin E. Drago–State of Texas vs. Chase Walters (x2)–Wells Fargo Bank, NA vs. Kelly Rose–American Express Bank, FSB vs. Charles Dunn–Capital One, N.A. vs. Susan York–Discover Bank vs. Jerry G. Hagen, Jr.–Discover Bank vs....

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