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



8 Technology arrives in the classroom — Palestine, Westwood and Slocum independent school districts embraced one-on-one technology initiatives in 2013.

In the final phase of its four-year technology project, Slocum ISD purchased a personal netbook for each secondary student using Linux operating systems and a Nexus 7 tablet for each elementary student in grades 2-5 for use in 2013. Students also were able to bring their own device to school to use. With the use of technology, many of the classes have gone paperless, able to take tests and quizzes on their devices.

In January, Westwood ISD approved close to a $900 million technology bid from Dell to provide 700 tablets for students and 150 tablet-to-laptop hybrid devices for teachers to use in the 2013-14 school year.

The move to integrate more technology in the classroom is part of WISD’s One-to-One Technology Initiative.

Students in lower grades are now using the Netbooks previously used by the older students. In addition, Wifi was installed district-wide.

Meanwhile, Palestine High School students started off the 2013-14 school year with mini iPads as part of the district's one-to-one technology initiative. Students at the junior high campus received their mini iPads before the Christmas holidays.

9 Palestine Airport sees three emergency landings — It was a unique year for the Palestine Municipal Airport, which not only celebrated its 80th year in operation, but was witness to three emergency landings during 2013.

A small aircraft pilot safely made an emergency landing at the Palestine Municipal Airport shortly after 5 p.m. Feb. 14 as emergency personnel were on standby at the scene after the pilot reported problems with his landing gear.

Palestine pilot Jim Wells landed his Cessna 210 on a runway, skidding onto the grass just off the runway. He and passenger Donna Jordan did not have any injuries.

Wells said that when he came back in to land, the landing gear wouldn’t drop even after making several attempts.

After emergency personnel were alerted to the situation, Wells was advised to fly around in a circle around the airport to burn off some of the fuel in case of a crash landing.

Another area pilot was uninjured after his attempt at an emergency landing at the Airport on Aug. 26.

The pilot, Ryne Bergren of Jacksonville, made “a good landing,” according to Gaylon Addkison, owner of Palestine Jet Center, the airport’s refueling station.

Addkison said after departing from Jacksonville, the pilot — flying solo in a Piper Malibu single engine 6-passenger plane — reported experiencing a “rough-running engine,” and tried to make an emergency landing at the local airport around noon, but ended up touching down in the grassy area just shy of the runway’s end.

A man sustained non life-threatening injuries on Dec. 17 after his ultralight aircraft crashed on the runway at Palestine Municipal Airport.

The pilot, Ronald Quencer, 55, of Tyler, was care-flighted to Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler following the accident, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brent Taylor.

Taylor said an electrician working at the airport saw the accident and described it to officials.

When it got over the runway, about 50 feet up, just all of the sudden the nose came down first and hit the runway. The pilot was pinned in under the aircraft.

Taylor confirmed that while at least one foot was broken, the pilot was not critically injured.

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