The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

December 29, 2012

Year in Review (Part 2): New school, festival return highlight last months of 2012



1 — Brian Maurice Fuller, 56, who had been secretly living in the Frankston area for approximately two years under an alias, was taken into custody by authorities in connection with multiple robberies in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Fuller was featured on “America’s Most Wanted.”

2 — The Texas State Railroad Authority assumed financial responsibility for the remediation and reimbursement efforts concerning a large diesel spill at the Rusk depot of the Texas State Railroad.

2 — U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, held an informal round table discussion with top administrators and physicians at Palestine Regional Medical Center, gathering their input about the recently-upheld Affordable Care Act.

4 — Annual fireworks show sponsored by City of Palestine draws large crowd.

9 — The Anderson County Commissioners’ Court sells the old Anderson County Jail on Avenue A to Tyler private investigator and real estate investor Michael Collins.

9 — Mazzio’s Pizza benefit for injured Anderson County Sheriff’s Office deputy Hunter Lawrence brings in $2,735.

9 — Palestine City Council votes to pass a resolution supporting the introduction of state legislation authorizing the city to hold a local option election for the purpose of levying an additional 1/4 cent local sales tax increase next spring.

9 — Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Dana House resigns following a felony arrest, DWI with a child passenger charge, on July 6.

11 — A $350 million-plus Bethel Energy Center could be operational as soon as mid-2016 and will bring clean energy, jobs and revenue to Anderson County, according to a top official with Houston-based Apex. Jack L. Farley, president of Apex, said his company plans to construct a compressed air energy storage plant in an area off of FM 2706 in northern Anderson County at a cost of between $350 and $400 million.

11 — The Westwood Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved a “reorganization plan” during Monday’s regular monthly meeting, essentially moving a handful of district employees into new roles and adding a hat to the responsibilities of a campus principal.

12 — Chester Alan Staples, 49, of Palestine, who allegedly shot and killed another local man, Tracey Matthew Polley, 35, of Palestine, in a dispute over a lawnmower  was indicted for murder by an Anderson County grand jury. Staples was also indicted on the felony charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

16 — PISD Chief Financial Officer David Atkeisson tells PISD Board of Trustees “sacrifices” had been made and belts tightened to reach a point where he believes the school budget will be balanced.

17 — One person is held on robbery and two others are sought for severely beating two men around CR 130. The other two suspects were apprehended the following day.

19 — City officials, Palestine Junior Service League members and other supporters attend the groundbreaking for the Reagan Park splashpark.

23 — The Palestine City Council unanimously approved a 1.5 percent pay raise for Palestine City Manager Mike Ohrt during a meeting, while also extending the manager’s contract by one year.

26 — Local law enforcement authorities say they are currently investigating a case involving the alleged embezzlement of funds by a member of the Southside Volunteer Fire Department.

27 — A change of venue motion filed by the attorney of a former Anderson County employee accused of embezzling county funds was denied by a local state district judge. Bridgette Franklin, 24, of Elkhart was indicted in the summer of 2011 on a total of 918 counts of the felony charges of theft by a public servant and misapplication of fiduciary funds.

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