Archives for January 2020

Homelessness in Rural Texas

The Texas Tribune reports homelessness is surging in rural Texas, including Stephenville. Rural counties don’t conduct homelessness counts as often as urban areas like Austin, Dallas or Houston, but the Texas Homeless Network estimates that in 2019, more than 8,000 people experienced homelessness in 215 Texas counties outside the state’s urban regions. That’s almost how many people experience homelessness in Dallas and Houston combined. Since 2016, homelessness in less populated counties has increased by 33%. Sherry Carroll of Grace Place Ministries in Stephenville, says the homeless in sparsely populate areas rely on faith-based organizations as one of their few lifelines. Read more online at;

TSU Prepares for Coronavirus

Tarleton State University is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new strain of the coronavirus, designated 2019-nCoV, which was first detected in China, and has since spread to several other countries, with five cases confirmed in the United States. Tarleton State is following protocols established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including monitoring proposed university travel to restricted areas and providing pertinent safety information to students, faculty and staff. Director of risk management and compliance Kent Styron said the public health situation is still developing, and Tarleton officials continue to monitor and prepare for a number of contingencies.

Stabbing Suspect Arrested

The Empire-Tribune reports investigators with the Erath Count Sheriff’s Office and the Stephenville Police Department received a call Wednesday afternoon from Texas Health Resources Harris Methodist Hospital about circumstances surrounding a stabbing victim. They responded at 3:26 p.m. and investigators determined an adult male was, in fact, seeking medical treatment for an apparent stabbing. Information subsequently released said investigators determined that Michael Hannon of Mineral Wells was the assailant of the as yet unidentified male victim. Sheriff Matt Coates Office reported that Hannon was booked into the Erath County Jail and is charged with aggravated assault. Get additional details at; as they are made available.

Women’s Suffrage Exhibit at TSU’s Gordon Center

Tarleton State’s Gordon Center in Thurber will present an exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, called “Citizens at Last: The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Texas.” Produced by Humanities Texas — the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities– it runs through Sunday, February 23rd. Passage of the 19th Amendment ended the battle for women’s right to vote and Texas was the first state in the South to ratify the amendment. Texas also ratified the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, while Virginia became the decisive 38th state to ratify the ERA just this Monday, January 27th, 2020.

Step Afrika! tonight at TSU

Renowned dance company Step Afrika! will perform tonight at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Wells Fine Arts Center. Admission is free and area schools are invited to bring groups to the performance. Step Afrika! was founded in 1994 and now ranks as one of the top ten African-American dance companies in the United States. Step Afrika! promotes an artistic and educational tool for young people, focusing on teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding. It reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year through a 50-city tour of college campuses and theaters as a cultural ambassador.

19thNews Coming to Austin This Summer

USA Today reports Texas’ state capitol will be the home base of a new national news organization aimed specifically at women. Emily Ramshaw and Amanda Zamora– both former staffers at the Texas Tribune– are behind the site called, referring to the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratifying a woman’s right to vote. It will launch this summer in Austin, just months ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Both women announced their departures from the Tribune last year, releasing new details of the project Monday. They’ve already made some key hires and are looking to fill more than a dozen additional spots before 19thNews officially debuts. Read more at;

Erath GOP Candidate Forum Monday

The Erath County Republican Party hosted a forum featuring candidates running for local offices on Monday night at the Stephenville Independent School District’s Bond Auditorium. Event coordinator Carla Trussell previously told the Empire-Tribune that all of the local candidates had agreed to participate, calling the forum an opportunity for voters to become informed about the candidates and their positions, experience and qualifications for the office they are seeking. Candidates participating last night included those in the race for sheriff, commissioner of precincts 1 and 3 and constable of precinct 2. For more information, go online to;

DECA Conference in Copperas Cove

Twenty-four Stephenville High School members of the Distributive Education Clubs of America– a 501-c-3-non-profit career and technical student organization, with more than 228,000 members–competed at the District 5 DECA Career Development Conference at Copperas Cove High School earlier this month. More than 20 schools are in District 5 and over 1,300 students competed at the conference. Approximately 500 students advanced to the next level of competition. Among the SHS DECA members advancing to state competition are: Jared Parsons and Angelica Rivas: Isabella Pena and Arianna Rosati; Aaron Atchley and Caitlin Thompson: Zoe Brigman and Mia Tucker and 16 more. See their names online at;

TSU Honors Negro League with Traveling Exhibit

The Empire-Tribune reports Tarleton State University’s February celebration of Black History Month includes a traveling exhibit on the fascinating history of the Negro Baseball League in America. It will be on display beginning January 28th in the Kinesiology Building’s Wisdom Gym lobby throughout the month of February. Created in 2012 in partnership with the Kansas City Royals for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, it highlights 20 players who began their baseball careers in the Negro Leagues, played in the Majors after integration and were chosen for the All-Star Game. Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and more are showcased as 7-foot-tall baseball cards. Read more at;

Beethoven Recital at TSU Jan. 27

Tarleton professor of Piano Dr. Leslie Spotz will perform an all-Beethoven recital honoring his 250 th birthday on Monday, January 27th at the Wells Fine Arts Center Theater, including two of Ludwig Von Beethoven’s most beloved piano Sonatas, the Opus 53 “Waldstein” and the Opus 57 “Appassionata.”  Professor Spotz recently performed a swimilar program in Brazil and will present this program again at the Dallas Public Library on
Sunday, February 2nd. Dr. Spotz is recipient of the 2017 Texas Music Teachers Association “Outstanding Collegiate Teaching Achievement” Award and the 2017 Tarleton College of Liberal and Fine Arts Faculty
Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Award.