Planet Earth balloons

Students at Christian Heritage Academy covered punch-ball balloons with newspaper strips soaked in a glue solution while working on a paper mache project. The students later painted their creations blue and attached continents to create planet Earth.

Every week, the Herald-Press will publish stories from one and five years ago, reminding readers of the mistakes, triumphs, and lessons of the past.

Jan. 29, 2018 — Resident John Lee Meyers praised Sheriff Greg Taylor during the comments portion of the Anderson County Commissioners Court meeting and blasted the Herald-Press for its editorials criticizing the sheriff.

Jan. 30, 2018 — A Palestine High School teacher was placed on leave for having an inappropriate relationship with a student. The Herald-Press learned about the investigation upon receiving an email from a high school student. The school district confirmed that the teacher was put on leave, but stated they could reveal nothing more.

Jan. 31, 2018 — Elkhart Mayor Mike Gordon defended controversial actions taken by the Elkhart city council the week before, including contracts for the city’s secretary and public works director and guaranteed severance packages. Gordon was not able to explain why a council member’s resignation was not placed on a previous agenda.

Feb. 1, 2018 — City leaders proposed charging fees for baseball tournaments to increase revenues at the Palestine Athletic Complex. Officials said the funds raised from tournaments would bring revenue to pay for operations and maintenance costs.

Feb. 2, 2018 — A grand jury indicted Palestine High School student LeGeorge Gray for assault with serious bodily injury against Michael Stanczak four months prior. Anderson County District Attorney Allyson Mitchell said the indictment meant Gray would be required to appear in court and had not been proven guilty.

Feb. 2, 2018 — A Palestine police task force used warrants to search two residences during the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3, finding drugs and illegal weapons at both. Four citizens were arrested.

Jan. 27, 2014 — The Palestine Police Department warned residents to be wary of counterfeit activity, citing 10 or more active cases and two suspects arrested. The PPD also announced the U.S. Secret Service was on its way the following week to investigate.

Jan. 28, 2014 — Melvin Whitaker, a former Anderson County district attorney and judge, died after sudden heart failure as he prepared to teach a Sunday school lesson at Evangelistic Temple. Whitaker, 81, was a highly-respected trial lawyer in Palestine since 1965. He was survived by wife Emma Lee Whitaker and son Stuart Whitaker, of Palestine, daughter Karen Hardwick of Garland, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Jan. 28, 2014 — Anderson County Commissioners approved the construction of two new heliports in the northern part of the county, near Bradford. Brad Heppner of Bradford said his nephew’s death, three years before, could have been avoided if emergency responders had arrived sooner.

Jan. 28, 2014 — A news brief on the Palestine City Council’s meeting recounted the success of the 2013 Hot Pepper Festival, presented by then Community Services Director Roy Crouch, and a discussion regarding the annexation of property owned by City Manager Wendy Ellis into the city limits. The annexation was not adopted at that meeting.

Jan. 29, 2014 — Jesse Clayton Honeycutt II, 38, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault of a minor, a 16-year-old girl who told her mother she believed she might be pregnant from a sexual encounter with him. State District Judge Pam Foster Fletcher sentenced Honeycutt to 2-10 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Jan. 30, 2014 — The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office jailed Damien Rashard Purvis, 21, for sexual assault of a female minor, 15. The girl’s family learned she had contracted a sexually-transmitted disease and reported the incident, which led to the arrest.

Jan. 31, 2014 — An Anderson County Grand Jury indicted inmate Harry Whitaker, 59, of capital murder for the 2012 strangling of cellmate Cresencio Vasquez, inside the Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony. Whitaker was serving time for three murders in Houston in 1977; his punishment options, yet to be determined, would result in life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

Jan. 31, 2014 — The Palestine YMCA announced a community event called ‘Heart Healthy Super Saturday,’ to be held Feb. 1, 2014, to showcase the club’s facilities, classes, and programs. The $5 entrance fee included free chair massages and blood pressure checks.

Jan. 31, 2014 — The Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce announced a workshop in February that would teach businesses how to become ‘Texas Friendly,’ making Palestine a more tourist-friendly town. The workshop was presented by the Texas Forest Trail Region association, which included 35 East Texas counties.

Feb. 1, 2014 — The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office made four arrests in two separate cases. Christopher Lynn McKnight and Chelsie Michelle McKnight, a married couple from Palestine, used counterfeit bills at a Valero gas station and convenience store in Elkhart. In the second case, deputies arrested Michael Meyer and Amanda Marie McKinney of Palestine when they spotted them driving a stolen vehicle at U.S. 79 and Loop 256.