The second half of 2012 marked the opening of the Reagan Park Splashpark and the new Palestine High School campus and the return of the Hot Pepper Festival.
Other news during the second six months of 2012 included:
1 — Area students graduate during commencement ceremonies.
2 — Anderson County sheriff’s deputy Hunter Lawrence, 24, was critically injured in a three-vehicle wreck on U.S. 287 South, suffering a skull fracture, cracked pelvis and other injuries
5 — Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor says the synthetic drug called “bath salts” are on his agency’s radar.
7 — Palestine Police Department seizes more than 1,600 packets of suspected K-2 and synthetic drug “bath salts” in the execution of two search warrants to local convenience stores Brianna’s and Mini Mart on Palestine Avenue.
8 — Orlando Lee Castillo, 29, of Palestine was sentenced to serve five years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice by an Anderson County jury for multiple offenses related to an August 2010 incident where at least four shots were fired from a SKS assault rifle.
9 — The sixth annual Adrian Peterson Day was held at Davey Dogwood Park.
10 — UM Army youth members arrive at First United Methodist Church in Palestine to perform mission work for the week — providing free home repairs for low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners while giving camp participants an opportunity to mature in their faith walk and life skills through Christian service.
11 — Anderson County commissioners authorized County Auditor Karin Smith to go out for bids on the sale of the old county jail.
12 — Seven horses were seized from property in the Cayuga area after law enforcement received a report that the animals were not receiving adequate care.
15 — Willis Demond Carwell, 31, of Palestine was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child after authorities say he impregnated a 14-year-old girl.
19 — Ryan’s restaurant, formerly located at 2800 Loop 256 in Palestine, closed its doors without notice.
19 — Parolee Roland Newby, 44, of Grapeland was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl who had been living at his residence.
20 — Thomas Clarence Simmons, 52, of Grapeland, whom authorities say has 10 DWI convictions, was sentenced to 38 years in prison by an Anderson County jury.
22 — Willie Lee Gill, 33, of Palestine was sentenced to serve two years in a state jail facility by Visiting Judge Jerry Calhoon during his punishment trial after pleading guilty to the charge of evading arrest/detention with a motor vehicle in May.
26 — Approximately 100 persons attended a community forum hosted by the Palestine Police Department at Southside Baptist Church after a series of burglaries occurred over a period of several weeks in an area from Lamar Street to Inwood Drive.
28 — For the second consecutive year, Bishop’s Brisket House won Best Restaurant at the Taste of Palestine event at the Palestine Mall, with Granny Muffin Wines winning the Best Winery and Bon Appetit Coffee Shop & Bakery winning the Best Bakery/Deli, also for the second year.
28 — Denny’s restaurant and travel center opens at 2350 W. Oak St. in Palestine.