Archives for July 2016

Authorities warn of deadly amoeba

While summertime in Stephenville can mean fun in the water, authorities are advising local swimmers, wake boarders and water skiers to be wary of a deadly amoeba that can cause a fatal brain infection.
Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis, or PAM, is described as a “brain-eating parasite” that is caused by water-born amoeba. It is commonly found in bodies of fresh water such as rivers and lakes.
The infection has caused eight deaths in Texas since 2005.
In 2010, the PAM brain infection caused the death of 7-year-old Kyle Lewis, who had been swimming at Dinosaur Valley State Park.
His parents established the Kyle Lewis Amoeba Awareness Foundation, educating families about the potential danger of this silent killer.

Tarleton students compete in BassMasters

Three two-person teams of student anglers representing Tarleton State University’s Bass Club take on Green River Lake in Campbellsville, Ky., in the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.
The competition continues through Saturday.
First- through fourth-place winners will go head-to-head, bracket style, Aug. 4-6 on Kentucky Lake, with the last competitor standing earning a coveted spot in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic sponsored by GoPro on Texas’ Lake Conroe.
A total of 89 teams from 62 U.S. colleges competed Thursday through today with only the top 12 fishing Saturday.
You can watch the weigh-ins live at
In addition to Tarleton, other colleges representing the Lone Star State are Texas A&M, Lamar, Dallas Baptist, Texas Tech and Texas State.

Thursday AM News

An Erath County jury took less than an hour of deliberating to find a martial arts instructor guilty of sexually assaulting a then-14-year-old student.
Jurors were still assessing punishment Wednesday afternoon for 25-year-old Samuel Lewis, the former owner of BQuick Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
He was arrested in January 2014 and charged with sexual assault of a child, a second degree felony. The victim, now 17, told jurors Wednesday that she began training with Lewis in the summer of 2013. She said Lewis told her he was unhappy in his marriage.
She said the relationship turned sexual on Christmas Eve 2013. The victim testified that Lewis knew she was a high school freshman at the time.
Testimony concluded with Lewis’ ex-wife, who became suspicious of the relationship between Lewis and the victim after the amount of time they started spending together.

You might be seeing more of Stephenville on Ride TV after the “Southern Fried Skinnyfied” cooking show came to Littlejohn’s Produce this week.
The show puts a healthy spin on southern cooking. Southern Fried Skinnyfied is RIDE TV’s first cooking show and the only one if its kind, where host Paige Duke transforms hearty meals fit for a cowboy, into healthy delights.
Obviously, Littlejohn’s Produce, with its healthy, largely locally-grown produce is a perfect fit.
Duke says she was working at Texas Motor Speedway as a pit reporter when she was hired for the show.

Wednesday AM News

The deaths of four more children in hot cars in recent days has brought the number across the U.S. this year to at least 23, nearly matching the total for all of last year and prompting experts to plead for vigilance and warn parents that it can happen to anyone.
In Dallas, 2-year-old Boi Lei Sang died after being left in a hot car in a parking lot Sunday while his family was in church.
The numbers of heatstroke deaths of kids in cars has fluctuated, averaging 37 such deaths a year since 1998.
Not surprisingly, states with warm climates and large populations had the most hot car deaths since 1990. There have been 111 hot car deaths in Texas, followed by Florida with 80 and California at 54.

The Stephenville ISD board of trustees discussed several topics, including drug testing at the high school.
They discuss whether or not to move forward with drug testing at Stephenville High School, but ultimately did not take action at Monday’s meeting, saying they would need to further discuss policy, pricing and the scope of the testing.
Matt Underwood, SISD superintendent, said they would want to start testing only with high school students.
Dr. and board member Ed Dittfurth didn’t want to move too quickly and possibly lose them as students.
Underwood said the first time a student tests positive for drugs would result in a conference with the parents.
The board also approved changes to the 2016-2017 student handbook.

MOWEC funded by Erath County Commissioners

A grant of $18,000 to Meals on Wheels of Erath County was renewed unanimously by the Erath County Commissioners Court at their regular meeting on Monday morning.
The annual grant funds a longstanding cooperation between Erath County and Meals on Wheels that serves to assist homebound senior citizens in receiving home-delivered hot meals each day.
Recently, assistance to veterans was added to Meals on Wheels services via the efforts of a group called Honor Veterans Now, or HVN.
For non-veterans, general eligibility guidelines require that clients be at least 60 years of age or older and unable to perform transportation on their own. An in-home assessment is required for all clients before services can begin and each year thereafter to determine eligibility.

Vehicle rollover fatality

A vehicle rollover on Highway 377 southbound Monday afternoon resulted in the death of a woman from Goldthwaite.
She’s been identified as 29-year-old Jensey Nicole Priddy.
She was pronounced dead at the scene by Dublin Justice of the Peace Judge Bart Greenway. She was ejected from the pick up.
The woman’s two sons were in the truck, ages seven and eight. They were transported by Air Evac to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth with non-incapacitating injuries.
The truck lost control, crossed over into the outside southbound lane and over corrected, according to the Texas Highway Patrol. It rolled and came to rest upside down in the middle of the northbound lanes of travel.
The family has been notified and the scene was investigated by Trooper Justin Becker, THP Stephenville.

SISD board meeting today

Today, the Stephenville ISD board of trustees will hear a report by Superintendent Matt Underwood and recognize Mary Laigle – Gilbert Intermediate principal.
Laigle recently attended a leadership program at Harvard called The Principals’ Center, which offers a variety of professional development programs designed to strengthen your leadership skills for greater impact.
The SISD board will also consider notice of a public hearing to discuss the proposed budget and tax rate for 2016. That public hearing is set for Aug. 15.
Underwood will report on drug testing policy and prices, iChampion, 21st Century grant notification, 2015-16 STAAR test results and more.
Underwood had expressed concern in May about answers to a drug-related question on a student survey. He will touch on this subject again at today’s meeting.

TSU instructor named NAMI president

Congratulations to Dr. Tancy Clarissa Horn-Johnson, program manager and instructor for Tarleton State University-Waco’s social work program. She’s been elected president of the board of the Waco chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
NAMI Waco is dedicated to improving quality of life for persons with a mental health diagnosis, their families and friends, and the providers who treat them. Trained volunteers use a research-based curriculum called Family-to-Family to provide free education and support.
Horn-Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker who joined Tarleton-Waco in 2012 as an instructor and advisor. She is also responsible for recruitment, social media and outreach events. She is a member of several groups including the Prosper Waco Health Steering Committee and the Mental Health Committee.

TSU road construction starts Monday

Portions of Ollie and Vanderbilt streets near the Tarleton State campus in Stephenville will be closed to traffic for several weeks as part of the ongoing utility and infrastructure improvements project.
Contractors for Tarleton will place signs as part of a traffic control plan at the Ollie-Vanderbilt intersection, which will be closed for the duration of the project.
Work is expected to begin Monday. The Ollie-Vanderbilt intersection is expected to re-open ahead of Stephenville ISD’s first day of school on Aug. 23.
Contractors will close a one block portion of North McIlhaney Street to Vanderbilt Street near St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Work is scheduled to be completed prior to returning student move-in days at Tarleton, beginning August 27.

Fatal accdent on Hwy. 67

The Empire Tribune reports that a young woman from Burleson died Thursday afternoon in a single-car accident on US Highway. 67.
The 21-year-old victim has not been identified, pending family notification. According to the DPS accident report, the car involved was a 2002 Silver Honda traveling west on US 67 towards Stephenville.
The report states that, for some unknown reason, the vehicle drove off the right side of the road and up onto a guardrail. The vehicle rolled multiple times, ejecting the driver.
She was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Shawnee Bass.
The accident is under investigation by DPS Trooper Doug Acker of Glen Rose. Any eyewitness to the incident should contact the Department of Public Safety.