– Four tornadoes touched down in Texas Monday morning, two of which were right in our backyard.
The National Weather Service office in Fort Worth said Monday that a category EF1 tornado hit the community of Cash, near Greenville. The twister, which produced between 86-110 mph, stayed on the ground for seven miles.
That, coupled that with storms packing severe straight-line winds, affected more than 50 South Hunt County homes and completely destroying four, according to Emergency Management Coordinator Richard Hill.
– Northeast Texas residents were abruptly awakened Monday morning by heavy rains, lightning, 70-plus mph winds and even hail, as severe storms pushed through the region.
At around 2:30 a.m., tornado warnings were issued for parts of the area including Hunt, Rockwall and Kaufman counties. At one point, a developing tornado was spotted just southwest of Quinlan. Those storms would eventually target counties to the east.
– The deadline to register to vote for the May 14 elections is this Thursday, with early voting beginning in two weeks.
Locally, contested races have emerged for two Commerce City Council positions. Voters in Greenville will choose two City Council representatives and one school board member, plus decide whether to allow charitable bingo games within city limits.
A number of other council and school board seats are up for grabs in May, including five candidates vying for two positions on the Sulphur Springs ISD Board.
McKinney – At last report, former Sulphur Springs police chief Donnie Lewis remained in the Collin County jail under $250,000 bond.
He faces multiple charges of child sexual abuse on a girl less than 14 years old reportedly between 2001 and 2004. Lewis retired from the Sulphur Springs Police Department in 2001 after serving the City for more than 25 years.
Records did not indicate whether Lewis has retained an attorney.
Commerce – We could learn Monday evening just how many positions will be cut at Commerce ISD, as administrators try to deal with the effects of the state's budget situation.
Superintendent Blake Cooper has recommended the termination/nonrenewal of probationary contract employees at the end of their current contract period. Trustees will discuss the matter first behind closed doors before taking action on the item in open session.
Sulphur Springs – A possible sexual predator is alleged to have exposed himself to a teenage girl over the weekend in the parking lot of Atwoods in Sulphur Springs.
Authorities are describing the suspect as an older man with a white beard and mustache, who was wearing a light colored cowboy hat and black shirt at the time of the offense. He was reported to be driving a late model black or dark grey extended cab Chevrolet pickup with pink, white and purple pillows and blankets in the back.
Commerce – Student Health Services at Texas A&M University-Commerce will be providing screenings to some students after a classmate was diagnosed with tuberculosis.
University officials say the individual is no longer on campus and does not pose a continuing threat to the community. Some students, however, may be more at risk if they've been in contact with the infected individual for a prolonged time or in a confined space.
Commerce – A trying budget process at the Commerce ISD has ended with the elimination of seven teaching positions and five clerical and aide posts. The CISD Board formerly approved the reduction in force during a special meeting Monday.
According to CISD Superintendent Blake Cooper, budget reductions totaled $930,000, with over half of the cuts coming from non-personnel reductions.