Hunt County, Rains County – Drought conditions have some counties in the area considering bans on certain fireworks this New Year. Hunt County Fire Marshall Dorsey Driggers said aerial fireworks are a good way to start a grass fire that could result in tragedy. Driggers is considering an outright ban on such aerial fireworks such as bottle rockets and roman candles in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Hunt County – The mother of Arthur Lee Allen Jr. testified in the third day of sentencing yesterday, urging the jury not to give her son the death penalty. Dorothy Allen said had tried repeatedly to abort her son with various methods, but realized God wanted her to have the baby when the pregnancy went full term, and she couldn't bear for her son to be executed.
Wills Point – 64 year old Shirley Ann Oldacre has been arrested for the theft of over $225,000 from the Wills Point Independent School District. The long-time Wills Point resident was arrested late last week in connection with thefts from the district believed to have begun in 2000. Oldacre had been employed with the district since 1989 and resigned when discrepancies were found in the book and Wills Point and Texas Ranger investigators began questioning employees at the administration office.
Commerce – Construction on Aldridge Street in Commerce should be complete sometime after Christmas. Even though the project has been slightly behind schedule, the project has not cost the city any extra money. Signs currently are up preventing most through traffic and cautioning motorists. Construction on the project should be complete, and the road opened fully to traffic, sometime after Christmas or the New Year.
Commerce – A reminder that mild drought conditions have been declared for the City of Commerce, and the public is being asked to voluntarily curb their water usage. The request for voluntary cuts in water usage is part of the first phase of drought contingency plans for Commerce. A public information campaign is also in the works, and water customers can expect information included in their bills as well as information available through the Commerce City Hall.
Greenville – Rubbermaid will be asking for a tax abatement from the Greenville City Council tonight on a planned $29 million expansion for the Greenville plant. The expansion would add new equipment and about 20 jobs to the 575 person workforce currently employed by Rubbermaid. The equipment comes from a recently closed plant in Phoenix.
Rubbermaid seeks a five-year graduated tax abatement on the relocated equipment. The first year would see a 100% abatement, 90% the second year, and so on.
Hunt County – A Hunt County jury is set to decide today the fate of Arthur Lee Allen Jr., who was convicted of capital murder last week. The Quinlan-area man now faces life in prison or death by lethal injection.
Paris, Texas – A disabled Paris man that went missing for nearly a week was found in a wooded area near a lake Friday. 34 year old Brandon Scott Echols was found some distance away from the motorized wheelchair he uses for mobility. He was still wearing the same clothes he was in when he went missing last Monday. Police were unsure of how long Echols had been out in the woods, and if he had been exposed to the freezing temperatures of last week.
Greenville – A search firm handling the finding of a new superintendent for Greenville Schools is looking for public input. Arrow Educational Services, Inc. has scheduled a public meeting for tomorrow at 7pm in the Wesley Martin Operations Center on Moulton Street. The meeting is aimed at gathering public input into the main characteristics for the new superintendent. A similar meeting is scheduled with GISD staff members earlier Tuesday.
Hunt County – A Quinlan area man has been found guilty of capital murder after three hours of jury deliberation yesterday. Arthur Lee Allen Jr. was found guilty of the murder of Hazel Shores, his wife's aunt, in May of last year. She died of stab wounds around the throat and neck. Allen kept his head bowed and showed no emotion as the verdict was reached.
The decision on whether to sentence Allen to life in prison or death by lethal injection will be made when the sentencing phase of the trial begins Monday morning.