The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

January 2, 2014

2013 Stories of the Year: Economy, fire, murder trial make up year's top headlines



4 Schools approve Guardian Plans — Following the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting on Dec. 14, 2012 which claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six school staff members, several schools across the nation began looking into “Guardian Plans” to protect students and staff from similar incidents.

In February,  Westwood Independent School District became the first of two Anderson County schools to approve a “Guardian Plan” for Policy CKC (Local) Emergency Operations. This plan allows board-designated and trained employees with concealed handgun licenses to carry handguns on school property.  

The school board first approached the safety plan at its Jan. 14 meeting, and approved the first reading of the plan. A public hearing was held Jan. 28.

The second and final reading of the plan was approved at the Feb. 11 meeting.

On Feb. 25, Cayuga ISD approved a similar policy following a public hearing. Cayuga ISD board of trustees originally discussed the agenda item at its Feb. 7 meeting.

5 Murder of 81-year-old man still unsolved — The homicide case involving an 81-year-old man found deceased at his Palestine residence on Oct. 28 remains unsolved by the Palestine Police Department,

Officers from the PPD were dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of Longhorn Drive concerning the welfare of a resident there, police reports state. Upon arrival, officers found the back door to the residence unsecured.

Officers entered the residence to check on the welfare of the elderly resident and found a subject, later identified as Jerome Ferles, deceased inside the residence.

Reports indicate that police spoke with the victim’s neighbors and learned the subject had not been seen in several days. It also was learned the victim’s car was missing from the residence.

The vehicle belonging to the victim has since been recovered and is being stored at a wrecker facility in East Texas.

Autopsy results from the victim were expected in December 2013, the police reported.

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