The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

December 28, 2013

2013 Year in Review Part 1: First half of year marked by murder trials, new business

By MARY RAINWATER & CHERIL VERNON
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE —

The first half of 2013 was marked by an array of news ranging from the adoption of the controversial “Guardian Policy” by two Anderson County school boards to six murder trials — one of them a capital murder trial and all with guilty verdicts, and the announcement by Sanderson Farms of their intent to construct two new facilities in the city/county.

Some of the other newsmakers during the first six months of 2012 included:

 

JANUARY

1 — Teague Family welcomes Anderson county's first baby of 2013. Baby Brandon Graef was born at 4:41 a.m. Jan. 1, weighing 8 lbs. 6 ounces and 20 inches long, to parents Melissa Lee and Erich Graef of Teague.

2 — Dogwood Square Dance Club celebrates 50th year; offers dance lessons.

5 — Armed robbery occurred at Family Dollar location on Spring Street. A suspect in the crime was still being sought on Jan. 8.

8 — Goodwill store announces relocation to former Harry's Building Materials location on West Oak St.

8 – The Texas State Railroad tested a new 2.8 miles section of track that was completed in November. The section connects the TSRR rail line to a Class 1 main line national railroad — the Union Pacific rail line in Palestine.

9 — An overturned 18-wheeler transporting natural gas turns over on U.S. 79 in Tucker, halting traffic for several hours.

10 — City of Elkhart was named a Keep Texas Beautiful affiliate, which helps organize volunteers and implement cleanup and educational programs that address litter prevention, beautification and waste reduction.

11 — City of Palestine begins a water system burnout, a process needed to kill bacterial growth in the distribution system that is causing taste, odor and color issues.

11 — Texas State Rep. Byron Cook toured the Capgemini Service Center in Palestine.

12 — Local physicians report an increase in flu cases, calling it “especially viral” and urging residents to get flu shots.

14 — Anderson County commissioners approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Palestine regarding the clearing of trees and brush at the Palestine Municipal Airport, allowing the utilization of county employees and equipment to do the work.

14 — The Westwood ISD school board approves a $900K technology package — providing 700 tablets for students and 150 tablet-to-laptop hybrid devices for teachers to use beginning in the 2013-14 school year.

14 — The second of two juveniles was arrested for the Jan. 5 burglary of a Montalba residence, during which more than $10,000 in electronics and jewelry were stolen.

16 — Five Anderson County school districts delay the start of classes due to “expected” icy weather conditions.

16 — A tanker truck carrying petroleum products overturned on FM 2574 in Neches, closing down portions of the road for most of the day and forcing the cancellation of classes in the Neches Independent School District.

16 — A 31-year-old local man was shot in the side while allegedly purchasing a gun in the 400 block of Cherokee Street.

18 — Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor reported that the County Jail passed a surprise inspection by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards that took place for two days prior.

21 — Several groups joined together to honor the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, with events including a parade followed by the annual program at the Ben E. Keith Community Room.

23 — The retrial of 58-year-old Robert Lynn Pridgen of Palestine, accused of murdering another Anderson County man almost four years prior, began at the Anderson County Courthouse. Pridgen was tried for the January 2009 shooting death of 40-year-old Paul Rohne in March 2011.

23 — Palestine Mayor Bob Herrington announced he would not be seeking a third term as mayor.

24 — Palestine ISD school board approves the extension of Superintendent Jason Marshall's contract.

26 — City of Palestine District 5 Council member Therell Thomas and community leader Timothy Triplett announce plans to run for mayor of Palestine.

28 — After about two hours of deliberations, a jury found Robert Lynn Pridgen guilty of murder for the 2009 shooting death of 40-year-old Paul Rohne, later sentencing him to serve 20 years in prison.

28 — The Westwood ISD school board members held a public hearing on its “Guardian Plan,” regarding the possession of firearms by school faculty, with about 45 people representing different sides of the issue attending.

29 — Strong winds ripped a portion of the roof off the Walmart Distribution Center No. 6005 in Palestine, dumping most of the debris on the Crockett Road Church of Christ parking lot, trees and power lines and scattering it across Crockett Road.

 

FEBRUARY

2 — The third annual Mardi Gras Parade themed “Hello America” was held in downtown Palestine.

5 — The Palestine YMCA launched its “Together, We Make a Difference Support Campaign” to financially support individuals and families in need, so that they can participate in YMCA programs and services.

5 — Anderson County superintendents expressed their satisfaction with the landmark decision in the Texas school finance lawsuit — as a judge ruled Feb. 4 that the system Texas uses to fund public schools violates the state’s constitution.

5 — Palestine Police Department officers were called to a home in the 100 block of West Kolstad St. concerning a possible burglary of a habitation during which a man was stabbed in the shoulder after entering a residence uninvited.

6 — Terry Jean Raybin, 51, of Palestine, a secretary for the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, was sentenced to six years probation — deferred adjudication, a $1,000 fine, 400 hours of community service and a payment of $1,500 to the Anderson County Crime Stoppers board for the charge of misuse of official information to obtain reward money from the Crime Stoppers board.

7 — An unidentified woman was injured during an auto-pedestrian accident on West Oak Street. The victim was treated at the scene, taken to Palestine Regional Medical Center by ambulance and then transported to a Tyler hospital by air.

11 — The Westwood ISD school board approved the second and final reading of the “Guardian Plan” — allowing board-designated and trained employees with concealed handgun licenses to carry handguns on school property.

11 — A woman was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries after a traffic accident that occurred in front of Palestine High School.

11 — The Palestine City Council unanimously approved a refinance measure on bonds used to purchase the Palestine Mall that would save the city over $600,000 in interest.

13 — Former Anderson County employee Bridgette Franklin of Elkhart, was sentenced to 10 years of straight probation, 180 days in county jail and 400 hours of community service for embezzling $32,261 in county funds during a three-year period from February 2008 through May 2011.

14 – Sanderson Farms notified the City of Palestine and Anderson County of its intent to build a poultry complex in the region, with plans to build three facilities in the area — two of which will be located in Anderson County and one in Freestone County. The company will invest approximately $92 million on the construction of a hatchery and processing plant in Anderson County, and an additional $32 million on a feed mill in Freestone County.

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

15 — A 65-year-old Palestine man was arrested at his residence on Anderson County Road 4251 for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

20 — Opening statements were held and the state began witness testimonies in the capital murder trial of Jennifer Jill Whitehead, 40, accused in the May 2010 death of her 16-month-old stepgranddaughter Emma Nicole Whitehead, who died at a Dallas hospital one day after being transported to Palestine Regional Medical Center with head and other injuries.

25 — Following a public hearing, Cayuga ISD trustees unanimously approved an emergency operations plan to allow the district to authorize board-approved employees with concealed handgun licenses to carry on school property. About 25 to 30 people attended the hearing.

25 — The Palestine City Council approved a resolution to allow the City of Palestine to hire patrol officers over the age of 35 for temporary employment due to a shortage of seven positions.

25 — Leslie Ann Deltoro, 34 of Palestine was sentenced to 30 years in prison by 349th State District Judge Pam Foster Fletcher after pleading guilty to delivery of a controlled substance penalty group 1 between 4 and 200 grams on Dec. 4, 2012.

 

MARCH

1 — After just over three hours of deliberations, a jury of five women and seven men found Jennifer Jill Whitehead guilty of capital murder and a second charge of injury to a child for the 2010 death of a 16-month-old girl. Whitehead received an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for the capital murder charge and accepted a plea bargain of 15 years for the injury to a child charge.

1 — Filings for school and city elections conclude, with three contested races in Palestine ISD, one contested race each in Westwood and Elkhart school districts and two candidates filing to run in the race for Palestine mayor.

2 —An Elkhart man was arrested at his home for stealing a vehicle from a church parking lot during a funeral.

4 — The Slocum Independent School District Board of Trustees named Cliff Lasiter superintendent effective July 1. The appointment filled a vacancy created by the retirement of Slocum ISD Superintendent Fred Fulton.

6 — The John H. Reagan Camp No. 2156 Sons of Confederate Veterans organization moves forward with plans to have an informational booth on the future site of its Confederate Veterans Memorial Plaza on March 16 after its request to rent a booth at the Dogwood Trails Celebration was denied by the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

11 — The Palestine City Council approved the issuance of $2.6 million in Certificates of Obligation that will fund improvements to the city’s lighting, water and sewer facilities, park expansion and more. The city chose the bond proposal from American National Bank of Texas, who offered an interest rate of 2.15 percent.

12 — After being denied a booth in the upcoming Dogwood Trails Festival, the John H. Reagan Camp No. 2156, Sons of Confederate Veterans made plans for their own event in downtown Palestine — hosting an informational and educational booth featuring a Civil War relics display at the location of the future Confederate Veterans Memorial Plaza.

12 — A 60-year-old Palestine woman was arrested for abandon/endanger of a child and drug charges as Anderson County Sheriff’s Office deputies worked on a lead about possible narcotics usage and prostitution at the residence.

16 — The 75th annual Dogwood Trails Celebration kicks off in downtown Palestine.

16 — Four Palestine men were killed in a three-vehicle wreck in Cherokee County after veering out of their lane on U.S. 79 into oncoming traffic. The wreck took place near Cherokee County Road 1409 between Jacksonville and New Summerfield, leaving a large portion of U.S. 79 closed for eight hours.

16 – A 50-year-old man died while in the custody of the Anderson County Sheriff's Office after his arrest for public intoxication at a local convenience store. The man was pronounced dead at Palestine Regional Medical Center after being transported to the hospital from the jail.

18 — The Westwood ISD Board of Trustees approved purchase a piece of property next to the Westwood Elementary School campus to be used to help increase traffic flow and reduce congestion at the elementary school, giving the campus a total of about two acres of parking.

19 — A frame home on the 600 block of County Road 2601 in Tennessee Colony was considered a “total loss” after being destroyed by fire. Anderson County Sheriff Deputy Herman “Ted” Lynam was dispatched to the structure fire at 11:19 p.m. Tuesday. The cause of the fire was believed to be a lightning strike that during a thunderstorm.

21 — BARC, The Humane Society announced they were seeking a home for Samson, an orange and white cat rescued from an HVAC unit in January.

22 — Rafael Marquez, a suspect sought for the Sept. 9, 2012 stabbing death of a local man, turned himself in to law enforcement earlier in the month and remained in the Anderson County Jail on bond.

22 — The annual Old Time Music & Dulcimer Festival kicks off at the Museum for East Texas Culture.

25 — The Palestine City Council approved changes to a zoning article that would allow buildings in the city’s Central Business District to be utilized as residences without having to obtain a special-use permit.

25 — Anderson County Commissioners approved an order from the district judges that renewed the appointment of County Auditor Karin Smith for two more years.

26 — A group of Palestine citizens concerned about a rash of automobile burglaries in the area met with Palestine Police Department leaders and officers for a town hall meeting, which included presentations from PPD Chief Robert Herbert, Sgt. James Muniz, Community Relations Officer Patsy Smith, Det. Cathy Weber and Officer Fernando Nino.

27 – A Palestine man was arrested during a traffic stop that led to the recovery of stolen property including two ATVs, one valued at $25,000 and another valued around $15,000. Kincade was driving a Dodge pickup with a trailer carrying a stolen side-by-side Polaris RZR®.

28 — Representatives from Union Pacific Foundation and Union Pacific Railroad presented a $5,000 grant check to Palestine Tomorrow Inc. Thursday to support the future railroad park.

28 — A two-vehicle wreck on West Oak Street left one man dead and two people critically injured. The wreck occurred around 9:24 p.m. in the 4200 block of W. Oak Street when a Chevy Blazer collided head on with a Ford F250 pickup that was pulling a trailer. The driver of the Blazer was killed.

 

 

APRIL

1 — Citizens National Bank, headquartered in Henderson, entered into a definitive agreement to purchase East Texas National Bank in Palestine.

2 — U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, toured Headwaters Construction Materials in Palestine to hear first-hand how burdensome federal regulations are affecting businesses in Texas and across the country.

3 — Wholesale chemical company Baze Chemical announced its plans to build an ethoxylation plant on the old Vernon Calhoun meat packing property on FM 323 to community and business leaders.

5 — Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe announced the beginning of a new program to aid victims and children who are scheduled to testify in court. Victims and children who are called upon to testify will be able to spend time with a registered therapy dog before entering the courtroom and possibly after, if needed.

6 — A local man remained in jail after his weekend arrest by Anderson County Sheriff’s Office deputies for the sexual assault of a disabled juvenile in late March.

8 — Palestine City Council members heard a report from the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce on the recent Dogwood Trails Celebration during its regular meeting. Chamber Director Megan Hill presented information on the recent festival to the council, reporting that from 10,000 to 12,000 people attended the three-weekend festival.

8 — A Trinity Valley Community College representative explained the financial benefits of Westwood Independent School District residents joining the TVCC taxing district during the WISD regular school board meeting Monday at Westwood Primary.

8 — Palestine Police Department officers arrested a suspect in a hit-and-run incident that injured a male subject in the 1100 block of West Palestine Avenue. During the initial stages of the investigation, police received an anonymous tip and with help from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, located suspect at his residence.

9 — Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, known as a business owner, motivational speaker, author and philanthropist, was the guest speaker for the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Business Luncheon.

11 — Candidates running for seats on the Palestine City Council and the Palestine Independent School District Board of Trustees participated in a political forum at the Ben E. Keith community room. The forum was sponsored by the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce.

11 — The Palestine Police Department officers seek suspects in the robbery of a fast-food restaurant during which the business’ safe was stolen from the property.

11 — After 30 minutes of deliberations, an Anderson County jury handed down a life sentence to a Coffield Unit inmate for his involvement in the October 2009 assault of a corrections officer.

11 — Palestine Main Street and Palestine Tomorrow Inc. hosted a reception for the award-winning artists of the current Palestine Art Tracks Sculpture exhibit. Winner of Best in Show was Dan Pogue of Marble Falls for a bronze piece called “Sitatunga.” Winner of the People’s Choice award was Terry Jones for a steel sculpture, “Last Dance.”

12 — Chester Alan Staples, 50, of Palestine, was sentenced to 55 years in prison by an Anderson County jury for fatally shooting Tracey Matthew Polley, 35, of Palestine almost three years ago in a dispute over a riding lawn mower. A jury convicted Staples on the murder count (55 years) and another 50 years on the possession of a firearm by a felon, after deliberating for approximately four hours.

13 — The John H. Reagan Camp No. 2156 of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans held a parade and dedication ceremony in conjunction with the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for its Confederate Veterans Memorial Plaza in the downtown Palestine area.

14 — Cornerstone Worship Center holds its first Sunday service in its new location at 1100 Salt Works Road.

15 — A suspect who eluded law enforcement agencies during a manhunt the night before surrendered to authorities following a five-hour standoff with officers and negotiators at a Palestine residence. Jorge Mendoza, a 30-year-old Hispanic male, hid himself in a clothes dryer that was located in the garage of a residence in the 700 block of Lamar Street. Mendoza surrendered after the arrival of a tactical team at about 10:45 p.m.

15 — Palestine Independent School District Board of Trustees got the opportunity to “test drive” iPad minis to see how students can use them in the classroom during a curriculum and technology demonstration at the PISD board meeting.

15 — The Anderson County Youth Livestock Show kicks off at the Anderson County Youth Livestock Expo Center.

17 — Palestine Regional Medical Center's AMBUS is sent to West following the massive fertilizer plant explosion that rocked central Texas. The blast killed 15 people and injured more than 300. Several buildings were destroyed including a nursing home, apartment complex, schools and private homes.

18 — Old Cayuga 4-H member Haley Barnett’s grand champion steer brought in $5,000 from All Star Ford during the 39th Annual Anderson County Youth Livestock Show’s 2013 premium sale.

22 —The Palestine City Council and Anderson County Commissioners Court took further steps in bringing Sanderson Farms Inc. to Anderson County, approving tax abatement contracts with the company and an interlocal agreement

23 — Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor issues a warning to residents after a rash of vehicle burglaries in the south end of the county and in an area just west of Palestine.

26 — Lamb County District Attorney Mark Yarbrough, author of “Suffer from Burnout? Give'em the F.I.N.G.E.R.!: A Guide for your Recovery,” speaks during the sixth annual Anderson County Crime Victim/Survivor Tribute Dinner.

26 — One person was killed and two injured in a three-vehicle wreck at the intersection of Loop 256 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

27 — More than $7,000 was raised during the annual “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes” event benefitting the Crisis Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties. Over 30 men embraced their feminine side to take a stand in the fight against domestic violence Saturday — taking a one-mile walk in woman’s high heels during the event.

28 — Palestine Police Department officers investigate a vehicle versus pedestrian accident that led to the death of a young man. Upon arrival, officers found that a young man was walking on Crockett Road at Oakland Street and was hit by a truck.

29 —Testimony starts in murder trial of a Palestine man accused in the death of a 27-year-old Anderson County man in the court of 349th State District Judge Pam Foster Fletcher. Larry Warren was charged with murder in the August 2010 shooting death of Jacob Kennedy outside a residence in the 100 block of CR 1121, just south of Elkhart.

29 — The newly-formed Palestine Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit’s investigations led to the arrest of six people in two separate incidents in an attempt to crack down on the drug problem in Palestine. The unit consists of four members of the police department, led by PPD Sgt. James Muniz.

 

MAY

2 — The 62nd annual observance of the National Day of Prayer is held in Palestine, including a prayer breakfast at First United Methodist Church and a prayer rally at Reagan Park.

3 — After almost 90-minutes of deliberations, a four-woman, eight-man jury found defendant Larry Warren guilty of murder for the 2010 shooting death of Jacob Kennedy at a residence in the 100 block of CR 1121, just south of Elkhart.

3 — Forty-one Relay for Life teams gathered as a community to fight back against cancer, while honoring cancer survivors and remembering those who have battled cancer during the 2013 Anderson County Relay for Life event .

3 — A community-wide Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring Mariachi bands, folk dancers and performances from local students is held at Palestine High School new cafeteria area.

4 — The 21st Annual Neches Heritage Day festival was held featuring a parade, arts and crafts, music and free games for kids.

4 — A young Palestine woman was killed in a two-vehicle wreck, about 2.5 miles south of Palestine.

5 — Palestine Police Department officers investigate a shooting that occurred at Club Tangeria in Palestine, leaving a Fort Worth man in critical condition at a Tyler hospital. According to reports, PPD officers responded to a disturbance at the club after receiving the report of a man being shot at the location. Upon arrival at the scene, officers and EMS found the victim on the ground in front of the club.

8 — State attorneys presented a full day of testimony on the opening day of the murder trial of a Montalba man accused in the 2011 beating death of his wife. Noble Lee Barrett Jr., 55, was accused of the murder of Beverly Carey Barrett, after he administered blunt force blows to his wife’s head at the couple’s residence in the 1500 block of FM 321 on Dec. 3, 2011, resulting in the woman’s death.

8 — The Texas Department of Criminal Justice L.C. Powledge Unit held its annual Fallen Officer Memorial Ceremony.

10 — Texas Farm Bureau Insurance agent Toni Rogers donated the $10,000 she won during the Palestine High School Project Graduation’s annual “Draw Down” dinner back to the Project Graduation program.

10 — It took just under a half-hour for a five-woman, eight-man jury to find Montalba resident Noble Lee Barrett Jr. guilty of murder for the beating death of his wife Beverly Carey Barrett on Dec. 3. 2011. It took less than 10 minutes for that same jury to sentence him to 99 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

11 — During city elections, Therrell Thomas was elected Palestine's new city mayor and

Palestine City Council District 6 incumbent Steve Presley was elected to a fourth full term. School board elections also were held.

11 — Tye Sheridan of Elkhart, who stars along with Matthew McConaughey in the movie “Mud,” signed autographs and talked with fans before watching the movie at Schulman Dogwood 6 movie theater in Palestine.

13 — Meghan Hill, who served as the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce’s executive director for the past three years, gave her resignation after accepting a job as marketing manager for the Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals & Clinics in Tyler.

15 — The annual Peace Officers Memorial Day event was held at City Hall, due to rain.

20 — Newly elected mayor Therrell Thomas took his new position on the Palestine City Council, being sworn in along with council members Steve Presley, Vernon Denmon and James Yelverton. In a related action, the council also appointed Mark Price to fill the District 5 seat vacated by Therrell’s election to mayor.

21 —Palestine police investigate the armed robbery of a local convenience store involving multiple suspects. According to reports, PPD officers responded to an armed robbery call at Brianna’s Store located in the 400 block of Palestine Ave., at about 11:20 p.m.

22 — Palestine residents welcomed back National Guard Delta Unit 144 troops at the National Guard Armory.

24 — Anderson County Sheriff’s Office investigators resolved the case of a female murder victim whose remains were found on a local county road in October 2012. Sheriff Greg Taylor reported that 53-year-old Bobby Franks of Flint was identified as the suspect in the death of the woman, later identified as 35-year-old Deborah LeAnn Diaz of Tyler. On Nov. 8, 2012, the ACSO received a call from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, who was investigating a suicide that took place in Flint — that of Bobby Franks, and reported that the man’s death might be related to the case.

24 — The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed the state’s first case of West Nile illness of the season — occurring in Anderson County. The patient was an adult male who was first confirmed locally on May 15.

24 — A young adult South Texas man drowned in Salmon Lake.

25 —The Texas State Railroad hosted its 15th annual Salute to the Armed Forces event at the Palestine Depot.

25 — The City of Palestine Parks and Recreation Department kicked off the first full season for the Reagan Park Spray Ground with an public opening event called “Splash Bash.”

28 — Palestine firefighters raised $6,500 during its “Fill the Boot” fund-raiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association to help find treatments and cures for neuromuscular disease.

29 — Outgoing Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Meghan Hill is honored during a farewell reception at Ben E. Keith Community Room.

30 — A Neches Independent School District track coach turned herself in to the Anderson County Jail for having an improper relationship with a student at the high school.

31 — An Anderson County woman was arrested for aggravated sexual assault of a child, after an investigation found that she was having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old boy that had been going on for more than a year.

 

JUNE

1 — Ninety Westwood High School seniors walked across the stage during commencement at Panther Stadium to receive their high school diplomas. Elkhart's Class of 2013 graduated 79 students at the Palestine Civic Center.

3 — East Texas native Breezy Lake-Wolfe is named the City of Palestine's new marketing manager.

6 — A Neches Independent School District board member was arrested for possession of child pornography by Anderson County investigators.

6 — Following a tip from local parents, an Elkhart man was arrested by Anderson County Sheriff’s Office deputies for online solicitation of a minor under 14.

6 — Citizens National Bank’s acquisition of East Texas National Bank is finalized. This transaction was previously approved by the boards of both CNB and ETNB and received regulatory approval.

6 — An Anderson County jury found Alvin Eugene Hines, 50, of Palestine guilty of murder for the May 2012 stabbing death of his partner Warren George Smith, also issuing a sentence of 60 years in prison just two hours after the verdict.

7 — Palestine High School's Class of 2013 graduates 199 students.

9 — First United Methodist Church of Palestine recently celebrated the retirement of a debt of $1.5 million from the sanctuary building renovation in 2007.

10 — The Palestine City Council approved a couple items that puts the Sanderson Farms Inc. processing plant project a couple steps closer to fruition. Council members, sans Steve Presley, approved expenditures by the Palestine Economic Development Corporation to purchase property for the plant.

10 — The Westwood Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved more than $1.4 million in summer improvements for its four campuses during the regular school board meeting.

11 — Palestine firefighters work the scene of a structure fire on the 100 block of South Jackson Street. The fire occurred at around 4:30 p.m. and, according to dispatch reports, was contained primarily in one of the bedrooms. Occupants of the residence escaped unharmed.

12 — A man was life-flighted to a Tyler hospital after the truck he was driving veered off U.S. 287/Texas 19 South and hit a tree. The crash occurred near the intersection of Renner and Crockett roads.

12 — Palestine City Manager Mike Ohrt resigns, accepting the city manager's position for the city of Wills Point.

13 — The Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Taste of Palestine event, attended by more than 300 people.

14 — The Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce showcased 56 local businesses and services during the annual Business Expo.

14 — An Arizona woman was killed in a two-vehicle wreck near Tennessee Colony.

14 — A county man was arrested for an ongoing sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female.

15 — The Negro Historical Preservation Society — Palestine Branch celebrated the conclusion of slavery in the United States during the 20th annual Juneteenth Celebration.

17 — Palestine City Council members appointed an interim city manager after holding a three-hour long closed meeting. Palestine Economic Development Director Wendy Ellis was set to serve as interim city manager once current City Manager Mike Ohrt leaves the position in July.

18 —The Palestine Police Department gained 30 new sets of eyes and ears on the street, graduating its first-ever Citizens Police Academy during a ceremony at Palestine City Hall.

22 — Minnesota Viking running back and Palestine High School alum Adrian Peterson made a special visit back to his hometown during the annual Adrian Peterson Day event which included a parade and other activities that followed at Davey Dogwood Park.

24 — Anderson County Commissioners unanimously approved a $20,000 emergency budget amendment to help keep the Anderson County animal shelter's (BARC, The Humane Society) doors open for the remainder of the year.

24 — Palestine City Council made Deputy City Secretary Teresa Herrera the official city secretary during the council meeting.

24 — The Palestine City Council approved revisions to the downtown parking scheme, upon the recommendation of Public Works Director Tim Perry, which promises to add at least 55 new parking spaces within the downtown area between Houston and Queen streets and Debard to Spring streets.

24 — City council members approved expenditures for a substantial community Christmas decoration during the regular city council meeting.

24 — City council members approved authorizing renovations to the city’s mall facility to support the Trinity Valley Community College's creation of a new welding program. The school operates its Palestine Workforce Education Center on the west side of the mall and recently received a grant through the State Comptroller’s office for the creation of the one-year certification program.

27 — Two young people, age 19 and 13, die from injuries sustained in a house fire in Elkhart on June 26. A prayer vigil was held that evening for the fire victims.

28 — Palestine Police Department officers investigate the burglaries of three local businesses.

30 — A Palestine man was killed after attempting to escape a car crash in Shreveport.