State Rep. Shelby Slawson backs The Todd-Hogland Act, strengthening punishment for violent offenders. It comes after an incident in 2010 in Stephenville when a young mother, Brandi Todd, became the victim of a random stabbing at City Park. Her attacker was later sentenced to just 20 years in prison for the attack that left Todd permanently paralyzed. THen, just 7 years later, Jamie Hogland… a student at Tarleton State University student, was shot inside her apartment in a case of mistaken identity… leaving Hogland a quadriplegic. Now, in what she calls one of the most meaningful acts she has participated in since being elected to the Texas House, State Representative Shelby Slawson of Stephenville, is backing a bill that increases the punishment for these types of violent offenders. The Todd-Hogland Act calls for increasing the potential punishment range to a first-degree felony in situations when victims suffer traumatic brain or spinal injuries, leaving them permanently paralyzed or in a vegetative state. It passed earlier this week unanimously out of committee.
Tarleton State University’s stock horse team competed last weekend at the National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance Collegiate Championship show in Amarillo. The team ended the weekend bringing home third place in Division 2 and one of its limited non-pro riders, Clay Kinnison, ended up fifth in the all around.
11 Texas Health Resources hospitals received four or five stars on Hospital Compare, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ website. Five stars is the highest rating possible. The overall hospital rating shows how well each hospital performed on average compared to other hospitals all across the U.S. These ratings are then placed on Hospital Care, a consumer-oriented website that provides information on how well hospitals provide recommended care to their patients. Texas Health hospitals that received five stars include Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville. Hospital Compare collects data on more than 4,000 hospitals across the nation and uses quality and patient experience metrics to determine the overall star rating. A full list of ratings is available at www.medicare.gov
Next month, a very popular four-day event returns to Stephenville. Moo-La Fest will be held from Thursday, June 3, through Sunday, June 6, at Stephenville City Park. In case you didn’t make the connection, the event… thru the name Moo-La Fest… pays tribute to Erath County’s dairy industry. There will be lots of live music, a “grub zone,” carnival, fun-run, and what is promised to be a very impressive display of hot air balloons. There will be a big hot air balloon glow from 8-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The hot air balloon fly-in will take place from 6-7 a.m. on Saturday. This year will actually mark the second time that Stephenville has hosted Moo-La Fest. The first took place in 2019, but it was sidelined in 2020 due to concerns over Covid. This year it’s back, with four full days of fun. For the full schedule of events, you can simply visit www.beneaththesurfacenews.com, which is an official sponsor of the Moo-La Fest.
The local Rotary Club held a “ceremonial” check presentation to the Stephenville City Council earlier this week… on Tuesday, signifying the group’s commitment to improving the Bosque River Trail. Council was presented with a $3,000 donation from Rotary, that will be used to purchase a water bottle filling station at the Collins Street Trailhead on the Bosque River Trail. It is the latest move of committment from the Rotary Club, which over just the past few years has donated a generous total of $9,000 to the trail.
Tarleton State University presented its annual Staff Awards recently during a dinner to celebrate the 2020 and 2021 recipients. Honorees from last year were noted at the 2021 event since the banquet was canceled last year due to the pandemic. The recipients include… for the 2020 Horizon Award — Callie Fender. The 2021 Horizon Award — Darrell Brown. The 2020 University Quality Service Award — Lauren Gillespie. The 2021 University Quality Service Award — Jenna Camp. The 2020 University Impact Award — Jo Anna Ince. The 2021 University Impact Award — Jo Ann Kern. The 2020 University Enhancing the Student Experience Award — Julie Phillips. The 2021 University Enhancing the Student Experience Award — Andrea Smith.
White Horse Christian Academy is getting popular. In fact, it has grown a lot, and now its founder and executive director, Vanessa Halford, tells Beneath The Surface News www.beneaththesurfacenews.com that she is considering opening a satellite campus near Dublin or De Leon. Halford says they already have seven kids from there now and she has heard through the grapevine that more are interested in coming, so they are trying to meet the needs of the kids in that area. White Horse works closely with public schools, but prides itself on its ability to offer smaller settings. The average class size is eight to 10 per grade level. They also offer additional one-on-one time for kids who need it. The school opened its main campus in Stephenville in 2016 and already there are 170 students enrolled. While some are ‘distant learners,’ they do have about 90 kids on campus and several on a waiting list. An informational meeting about the possibility of a satellite campus will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 17, at 101 N. Patrick Street in Dublin. If you want more information about the school, just call 254-459-1230.
The Stephenville Economic Development Authority now says Ross Dress for Less will be one of the new tenants in the Washington Commons shopping center that is currently under construction and slated for an opening in Spring 2022. The center reportedly is more than 90% leased as of this point in time. Ross joins Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Ulta, Old Navy and Five Below in the 156,375-square-foot shopping center. They say other tenants that have signed leases for Washington Commons space, but officials are not yet at liberty to announce just who is on that list. Ross Dress for Less will occupy 18,000 square feet of the total 156,375 square foot complex that is going up on about sixteen and a half acres.
It’s that time of year again, and Tarleton’s summer swim lessons are back. If you want to get in on it, you better sign up now before it’s too late. Signups for Tarleton State University’s annual summer swim lessons are already underway, and they say spots fill up quickly. This year’s schedule will include three two-week sessions that will meet eight times for 45 minutes at Tarleton’s heated indoor swimming pool inside Wisdom Gym. Each session is $65 and kids will receive a T-shirt. The kids will learn the basic skills… how to swim. Session 1 will be held June 1-10. The first week will be Tuesday-Friday and the second week Monday-Thursday. Session 2 will be held June 14-24 and Session 3 will be held June 28–July 8; both sessions will take place Monday-Thursday. Lessons will be offered on five skill levels. For more information, call 254-968-9316
Stephenville ISD recently announced its teachers of the year. Shelley Thomas was named SISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. Thomas teaches fourth grade at Hook Elementary School. Amanda Stanfield was named SISD Secondary Teacher of the Year. Stanfield teaches 6th grade social studies and is a Student Council sponsor at Gilbert Intermediate School.