The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

December 28, 2012

2012 Year in Review (Part 1): Railroad woes, festival mark first part of year



1 — City of Palestine Public Works employees begin demolition of the Reagan Park spray pool in preparation for an upgraded sprayground.

3 — Palestine residents gather in prayer for the 61st annual National Day of Prayer at Reagan Park.

3 — The 12th Court of Appeals in Tyler affirms a life sentence assessed against a 32-year-old Palestine man who was convicted of raping and kidnapping a local woman in September 2009. Dustin Matthew Huffman, 32, of Palestine was sentenced to life in prison on March 30, 2011 at the conclusion of his trial. Huffman’s punishment sentence came one day after the same jury had found him guilty of the felony offenses of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping. Huffman was one of five Anderson County men charged with gang raping a 27-year-old local woman near Pat Morris Lake off of CR 2202 on Sept. 7, 2009.

3 – Robbin Lamb, 38, of Palestine, was killed as a result of injuries sustained in a one-vehicle wreck around 4:20 p.m. n CR 2107 off of FM 322. A passenger was taken to the hospital for injuries.

4 — Community leaders attend the Chick-fil-A Leadershipcast in Palestine, organized by the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce.

4 — Hundreds participate in the Anderson County Relay for Life event at Westwood High School’s Panther Stadium benefiting the American Cancer Society. The event honors cancer survivors and remembers those who have lost the battle with cancer.

5 — The annual Anderson County Crawfish Broil raises money for Anderson County students.

5 — The annual Neches Heritage Day festival is held.

8 — Jacob Martinez, 22, of Palestine wanted locally for murder in connection with a November 2010 shooting death was arrested by authorities in Midland. Martinez was indicted by an Anderson County grand jury in April on the charge of murder for the Nov. 1, 2010 shooting death of 20-year-old Cedric Bland of Palestine at a Douglas Street residence inside the Palestine city limits.

10 — The Texas State Railroad Authority approves the proposed acquisition of the Texas State Railroad from its current operator, American Heritage Railways, to Iowa Pacific, which owns six railroads in the United States, as well as two lines in Great Britain. The transition would change the business model of the railroad from a tourist-only operation to combination of tourist and freight rail services.

12 — City and school elections are held with Will Brule winning the  City Council spot.

14 — Palestine city council approves a 27-hole disc golf course for Greens Park.

17 — The community and family members gathered for a send-off celebration to say good-bye to members of Palestine’s National Guard Delta Unit 144, who were scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan that week.

24 — Reenactors bring military history to life during the 5th Annual Memorial Day Armed Forces Event at the Texas State Railroad’s Palestine Depot.

25 — Seventy-five members of the Elkhart High School Class of 2012 graduated during commencement at the Palestine Civic Center.

25 — Wesley Keith Lively, 50, of Palestine was sentenced to 10 years in prison for DWI by 87th State District Judge Deborah Oakes Evans following his punishment trial  the Anderson County Courthouse. His blood alcohol content was more than 3 1/2 times the legal limit when he caused a wreck almost two years ago.

28 — Alvin Eugene Hines, 49, of Palestine, was arrested for murder after finding Warren George Smith Jr., 51, of Palestine, face down in the driveway of the scene of a disturbance at 518 N. Sycamore St. The two were roommates in a garage apartment behind the main house.

28 — A piece of research equipment headed from the University of Minnesota to the NASA-run Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine goes missing.

29 — Primary elections are held. Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor earned 69 percent of the Republican Primary vote to defeat challenger Richard Welch. Ronnie Foster gained almost 60 percent of the vote to defeat Jeff Taylor for the Republican nomination for Anderson County precinct 1 constable. Kim Dickson nudged Ronnie Holcomb gained 53.5 percent of the votes to defeat Ronnie Holcomb for the Precinct 3 constable spot.

31 — A trailer that went missing while hauling a NASA-funded telescope from Minnesota arrived in Palestine at the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility after being reported missing a few days earlier.

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