Archives for May 2018

Trump in Texas Thursday

President Donald Trump was in Texas Thursday, meeting privately with families of some of the eight children and two teachers killed in the Santa Fe High School shooting massacre outside Houston on Friday, May 18th. Fourteen others were injured, including the perpetrator, a student who will not be named in this report. That 17-year-old student faces capital murder charges, and a lawsuit has been filed against his parents by a victim’s family, claiming they didn’t properly secure his weapons. Under Texas law guns, cannot be made accessible to minors unless hunting or under parental supervision.

TSU Hosts FFA Conference

Tarleton State University will host the 2018 Texas State Future Farmers of America Leadership Conference, beginning tomorrow through Tuesday, June 5th on the Stephenville campus. It’s the first time the annual FFA conference has been hosted by Tarleton, which was selected for its strong background in agricultural education and its central location. The conference is expected to draw approximately 150 statewide FFA officers, who will spend the week learning about agricultural advocacy, education and leadership, participating in workshops and attending keynote lectures. Instructor and contest coordinator Michelle Damerau of Tarleton’s College of Agricultural and Consumer Sciences, said the conference will boost Tarleton’s reputation.

Abbott Proposes School Safety Measures

The Associated Press reports Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has recommended dozens of strategies to make schools safer in the wake of the Houston area’s deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School, including the increased presence of law enforcement personnel at schools. The gun-rights-supporting Republican governor released a 43-page report that includes the suggestion of more mental health screenings for students. A handful of recommendations involve gun safety. Some funding would, ostensibly, be aided by federal grants, while others require state lawmakers to weigh in. Texas has more than 1.2 million people licensed to carry handguns.

CanSat Returns to TSU June 8

The 14th annual American Astronautical Society– or AAS CanSat Competition– returns to Tarleton State University from June 8th through 10th, with more than 40 college and university teams from around the world vying for top honors. Teams from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, India, Iran, Turkey, Poland and the United Kingdom will compete in attempting to launch a probe into the sky. Each probe will carry a large egg, which must survive the flight. Probes will be launched in rockets, intended to fly 670 to 725 meters. Sensors will monitor the probe’s altitude using air pressure, external temperature, battery voltage and GPS positioning technology.

SPD Apprehends Car Thief

The Empire-Tribune reports that shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, Stephenville police arrested a man who fled the scene after the vehicle he was driving was reported stolen out of Georgia. 31-year-old Christopher Ray Pruitt eventually surrendered to police when he realized that Stephenville PD’s K9 officer Buky was alongside police in their efforts to apprehend him. Chief Jason King said officer Gary Roberts checked on the license plate which showed the vehicle was stolen. Pruitt jumped out of the car and ran, but realized Buky was chasing him and he gave up. Pruitt was arrested and booked into the Erath County Jail.

TSU’s Gordon Center a Blue Star Museum

For the third straight summer, Tarleton State University’s Gordon Center for the Industrial History of Texas is participating in the Blue Star Museum program, offering free admission to active and retired military service members and their families. It began the first day of the Memorial Day weekend, and runs through Labor Day. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration of more than 2,000 museums. The Gordon Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to; or the museum’s Facebook page.

Farmer’s Market Growing

The Empire-Tribune reports that warm weather is bringing out vendors with homegrown and homemade goods, and Stephenville’s Farmer’s Market will feature at least 15 on-site vendors next Saturday. The market will be open from 9 a.m.-noon in the downtown plaza. KayLee Pemberton, president of the Stephenville Downtown Merchants Association said [quote] “We have had a great response and the community has been really supportive… We have been very blessed with the turnout and we want it to continue to grow.” [end quote] Vendors will include plants, fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies, homemade bath products and more.

Leese Appointed Tarleton VP

Dr. Mike Leese has been appointed vice president of Tarleton State University’s Division of Student Affairs, effective June 18 until the end of his 49-year career in highter education. Currently associate vice president for the division, he will serve as head of the division until his retirement at year’s end. Leese started his Tarleton career in 1969 in a variety of capacities, including nine years as vice president for student affairs, before heading to Texas A&M University, then as associate vice president and dean of students at Southwestern University in Georgetown. He returned to Tarleton in 2012 as executive director of student affairs development.

SHS Commencement Friday

The Empire-Tribune reports Friday was a big night for 216 Stephenville High School graduating seniors at Tarleton State University’s Memorial Stadium SHS commencement ceremony. Valedictorian Mariana Rios read a powerful poem to her fellow students, and added a bit of comedy by turning on a bubble machine during her speech, saying [quote] “Whether we earned medals to boast or beheld our dashed hopes, we gave it our effort, utmost,” [end quote] The SHS salutatorian thanked the teachers who inspired her including the late Dr. Rick Sherrod, who recently passed away after a short battle with cancer.

TSU Dean Named National Fellow

The Dean of Tarleton State University’s College of Education Jordan Barklay has been named an Impact Academy fellow, joining other national leaders committed to strengthening teacher preparation. The yearlong fellowship, which is a venture of the national non-profit Deans for Impact, aims to improve learning by changing the way the country prepares educators. To improve educator preparation, they need leaders who can motivate faculty and support individual and organizational learning. Barkley is one of 13 administrators selected for the fellowship following a rigorous nomination and application process. This is the third cohort of fellows selected since the program launched in summer 2016.