Greenville – A jury has found a man guilty yesterday on all counts in connection with a Quinlan-area murder. Cory Joe Locke was found guilty of the murder of 43 year old Michael Patrick Bates, aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated kidnapping, and burglary of a habitation. He faces up to life in prison on each count except the burglary, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.
The jury deliberated for about three hours before reaching the unanimous decisions on each charge.
Sulphur Springs – Two suspects have been arrested in connection with recent break-ins and vandalism at two churches in Sulphur Springs. A tip to Crime Stoppers led police to 17 year old Cody John Blackwelder of Sulphur Springs and a juvenile from Cooper. They've been charged with burglary of the two churches. Three stolen guitars have been recovered by police.
Commerce – A Wal-Mart employee making a deposit for the store at Chase Bank in Downtown Commerce was assaulted and robbed yesterday afternoon. Around 2pm Wednesday, two unidentified black males assaulted the employee and made off with a duffel bag full of cash and checks. They left the scene moving westbound on Caddo Street then moved north on Maloney.
Northeast Texas – Fannin and Lamar Counties have this week instated outdoor burn bans in all unincorporated areas of each county. Hunt and Hopkins Counties have already had such burn bans in place, and other surrounding counties without current burn bans are likely to adopt such measures soon as dry conditions persist for the second year in Northeast Texas.
Conditions have been ripe for wildfires and area firefighters have been in an almost constant battle to keep such fires under control.
Lamar County – A high speed chase through six counties has landed a man in jail on several charges. 43 year old Gerald Lance Harris of Dekalb refused to stop for a state trooper along Highway 259 near Dekalb. He led officers on a chase with speeds up to 100mph through Morris, Titus, Franklin, and Red River Counties. During the chase, troopers attempted to spike the tires of the vehicle three times and also attempted to shoot the tires out. Harris had at least one collision with another vehicle, as well.
Greenville – The Greenville City Council voted last night to join opposition against a Wright Amendment settlement. The agreement between Dallas and Ft. Worth could mean no commercial passenger service for Majors Field Municipal Airport in Greenville. The settlement has provisions to punish Southwest or American Airlines if they initiate commercial service to any airport within 80 miles of Love Field for the next 19 years.
The City of McKinney has also voiced opposition to the agreement.
Paris, Texas – A recall petition to remove Paris City Councilman Tim Ray expires today. Jim Bell, who was defeated by Ray for the District 7 seat last year, began the petition in early June after Ray called for evaluation and possible termination of Paris City Manager Tony Williams. The recall petition claims Councilman Ray lacks the necessary skills to perform the job, including the exercise of sound fiscal management.
Rockwall – The city of Rockwall has dramatically increased fines for violating water restrictions, and some residents aren't happy about it. New fines put in place can top $2,000 for repeat offenders. The offender's water can also be shut off. Rockwall officials said that despite the tougher fines being passed by the city council, water usage has actually increased in the city.
Hunt County – Trial is scheduled for two men this week in connection with two armed robberies in south Hunt County. 47 year old Steven Lee Sherrod has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and one charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle. Sherrod's alleged accomplice, Ricky Payton Griffin of West Tawakoni has already been sentenced after pleading guilty and agreeing to testify in the case.
Commerce – Buck's BarBQ is now open in Commerce. Commerce natives Carl Buck Johnson, the grandson of the original Buck, and Len Stuart re-opened the doors Saturday to what had been a local favorite for years. Using the original family recipe, the re-opening of Bucks BarBQ culminates over a year of planning. While the original Buck's was also butcher block, the new location along Live Oak Street in Commerce will focus on serving food.
An official grand opening and celebration is planned for the Fall.