Filing opens Wednesday for city, hospital elections PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kerry Craig   
Monday, 26 January 2015 14:32

The 2015 political season officially opens Wednesday with the start of filing for places on Sulphur Springs City Council and for the Board of Directors for Hopkins County Memorial Hospital District. The filing period will continue through Friday, Feb. 27. In the city election, three city council seats — Place 1 held by Craig Johnson, Place 2 held by Clay Walker and Place 3 held by Oscar Aguilar — will be on the ballot. Two at-large seats on the hospital board will be on that ballot. Those seats are currently held by Suzanne Thomas Bankston, who has indicated she will file for reelection, and by Dr. David Black. Prospective candidates for the city election may file their intentions with City Secretary Gale Roberts at Sulphur Springs City Hall, 201 North Davis St. Prospective candidates for one of the two at-large seats on the hospital board may sign up at the administration offices at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital. The filing period for the May 9 elections begins Wednesday and will continue through Friday, Feb. 27. School Board Filing for candidacy in upcoming school trustees elections will get underway at three local school districts, also going from Jan. 28 until Feb. 27. Elections will be held on Saturday, May 9, if required. To file for one of the two seats up for election in Sulphur Springs Independent School District, candidate packets are available at and can be returned to the SSISD Tax Office, located on the first floor of SSISD Administration Building, 631 Connally St., during regular business hours. The two spots are for full three-year terms on the school board. Don Sapaugh and Jason Dietze currently serve in those positions Filing for the three spots on Yantis ISD’s Board of Trustees begins Wednesday in the administration office. Filing continues weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Feb. 27. See Kristi Beech for more information. Currently serving in those seats are Tonya Norris, Corey Ogle and Dr. Boyd McCreight. Candidate filing for four seats on Como-Pickton CISD Board of Trustees also begins Jan. 28 in the administration office. Each position is for a full, four-year term on the board. Currently serving in those CPCISD board seats are Shawn Carpenter, J.J. Cummings, Mark Humphrey and Gerald Walters.

Drug offenses result in life sentence PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kerry Craig   
Monday, 26 January 2015 14:31

A plea of guilty to charges of possession of methamphetamine, more than four grams but less than 200 grams, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and tampering with physical evidence resulted in a sentence of life in prison this morning in Hopkins County's 8th Judicial District Court. Roger Dale Gammons, 53, of Edgewood had entered the guilty pleas before District Judge Eddie Northcutt on Dec. 22. According to District Attorney Will Ramsay, there was no plea bargain offered and Gammons had elected to have sentencing set by the court. Based on the plea of guilty, there was the possibility of a sentence with deferred adjudication instead of a prison sentence. Ramsay said Gammons had previously served two prison sentences, which elevated the punishment range to a sentence of between 25 years and life in prison. During the sentencing hearing Monday morning, Gammons testified he had a “bad drug problem.” Under cross-examination it was revealed that Gammons had been a member of a prison gang. The questioning also provided evidence that he was not just a drug user, but a dealer of methamphetamine, according to the district attorney. Before pronouncing the sentence, Northcutt pointed out that Gammons was arrested for delivery of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence in Van Zandt County seven days after pleading guilty in Hopkins County. The judge drew the distinction between being a drug user and a dealer. Gammons was arrested last February on the charges. At the time of his arrest, Ramsay said Gammons resisted deputies and attempted to empty a bag of methamphetamine onto the ground before officers could deploy a Taser. After taking the man into custody, deputies found more than 14 grams of methamphetamine concealed behind the glove compartment in his car and also found a quantity of hydrocodone and Alprazolam pills. Ramsay said deputies also found pictures of drug activity on Gammon's cell phone. The district attorney credited Hopkins County Sheriff's Sgt. Corley Weatherford and Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum for their efforts in discovering the hidden drugs. "Most of us were asleep in our beds on Feb. 6, when Sgt. Weatherford was all by himself approaching this man's vehicle. He placed his life on the line,” Ramsay said. “Chief Investigator Tatum did a great job securing the remainder hidden narcotics, which could have been easily missed.” Methamphetamine, Ramsay said, is the common denominator in most of the felony cases handled in Hopkins County. “The more hardened dealers we can put behind bars, the safer we will be. I am quite certain that Mr. Gammons wishes he had never driven to Hopkins County that night,” he said. ”Because we have guys like Weatherford and Tatum who don't take kindly to dope dealers, we hope others continue to take notice."

North Hopkins Homecoming PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Submitted Photo   
Saturday, 24 January 2015 15:40

North Hopkins celebrates homecoming with a full week of dress-up, cheer and banner contests. Friday the basketball teams play the Como-Pickton Eagles, present the  homecoming court and crown the queen. Pictured are senior queen nominees Sarah Weatheread, Miriam Castro and Ashley Garcia; Junior princess Aysha Day; freshman princess Mattie Hall; sophomore princess Melissa Wischerman; and senior queen nominee Maddison Thompson.

Satillo ISD gets ready for homecoming PDF Print E-mail
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Written by From Staff Reports   
Saturday, 24 January 2015 15:34

Saltillo ISD is gearing up for homecoming with a week’s worth of activities, which culminate Jan. 30 at the game with class recognition and SISD Homecoming Court honors presentation.

SSISD administrators address Travis parents’ concerns PDF Print E-mail
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Written by By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Staff   
Friday, 23 January 2015 15:05

Administrators Thursday night answered parents’ concerns over administrative, disciplinary and safety issues raised recently at Travis Primary School.

Man alleged to have gun at Walmart apprehended early Saturday on stolen car charge PDF Print E-mail
Written by By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Staff   
Saturday, 24 January 2015 15:27

A man who caused an evacuation of Sulphur Springs Walmart by allegedly carrying a gun into the store Friday night has been apprehended.

Candidate filing for school board elections starts Jan. 28 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Staff   
Saturday, 24 January 2015 15:37

Filing for candidacy in upcoming school trustees elections will get under way at three local school districts starting next week.

What if Texas was an open carry state? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jonathan Lance   
Saturday, 24 January 2015 14:55

 From Staff Reports


There are only six states that do not currently allow open carrying of handguns in the United States. A bill was introduced this week to the Texas House of Representatives for open carry of handguns to be allowed in Texas. If the bill is passed, people could wear a firearm in a holster on their belt in public places. Sulphur Springs New-Telegram staff asked people around the community what they thought about open carry in Hopkins County.  

If the state of Texas passes a new open carry law, what are your thoughts about the change in policy?


Dylan Patterson

“I would love to be able to carry a gun on my side. I think it would be better to have open carry in Texas, so that everyone would know that you would have the firearm. I would rather know that someone has a gun than surprise me with it.”  


Heather Peterson 

“I don’t really have a problem with it because, whether or not it’s open carry or the weapon is concealed, they’re there regardless, so I think I would be fine with it. I almost think it would be better actually, now that I’m thinking about it because then you know who might have one, if you’re concerned with it. And you know, who has a gun and who doesn’t. If it’s concealed, you know know. I really don’t have a problem with it. It would almost make me feel more safe sometimes. Well, I’ve never been a part of anything like that happening, but you know people. The things that happened in the movie theater before, you know, in other states. I mean if more people were able to carry their guns, maybe it would be a little safer. I’m sure not just anybody can carry the guns,  I’m sure they have to go through courses or something.”


Robert Vaughn 

“I would want to see a firearm rather than it being concealed. I mean, it worked back in the western days. I think open carry would especially be helpful for law enforcement, so they would be able to see who is carrying a firearm, it really would be a wise decision for Texas.” 


David Robinson

“I still believe people generally need to be educated in carrying a gun and how to handle gun safety features on a gun. Generally, people in general don’t know how to handle a gun properly and safely, especially when you’re getting out in the public with a loaded pistol; it can be very dangerous. I’m not against people carrying guns, but I still think they ought to go through courses to educate them how to carry a gun safely in the public because it just takes one mistake and then somebody loses their life. I’m not against carrying guns, but I still think people ought to be educated how to carry a gun safely.”


Elder Mack Barrett Sr. 

“Well, I have my opinions about handguns. I can understand people want protection, but people don’t need to to carry it around with them everywhere. Unless they live in a very violent area, where it’s necessary.  Just to have the gun out in the open could warn off some criminals, but it could also get them killed. 

I just don’t think anybody, especially if they’re in an area where there isn’t that much violence, should always carry a gun. Some people will carry just because they can but they can also be bully-like. 

It all depends on the person that’s going to be carrying that thing. 

I also think people need to take a handgun course and there should be an investigation on why they would want to take the course.  I think someone can carry a gun if their life has been threatened once before or they’re in a violent area where there’s a possibility they could be hurt. Other than that, it’s unnecessary to carry handguns.”

11 SSHS performers in All Region Clinic PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Thursday, 22 January 2015 14:47

Eleven Sulphur Springs High School band students will have the honor of playing in concert at the All Region Clinic at 3 p.m. Saturday in Mount Pleasant High School’s auditorium. The event is free to the public.

“Out of the last 17 years, we have had the most students ever to qualify for the All Region Clinic this year,” said SSHS Fine Arts Director Charles McCauley. “They were in competition against students from ninth through 12th grades, from different school districts from the entire northeastern part of our state.”  

On Dec. 12, the road to All Region began. Students from more than 30 school districts tried out to be one of 50 members in the Wind Ensemble or one of 80 spots in the Symphonic Band. 

In order to select the top students, a panel of five judges were chosen and hidden behind a screen. Students were asked to come up one at a time and perform three separate pieces that were pre-chosen by the state. Students were divided by instrument into different rooms and had to perform in front of their peers.  

“One of the toughest parts of trying out for All Region is playing in front of fellow students. The judges are hidden, but all the students are watching the performer to see what they can do better. It can be very stressful for those students in front of a large audience,” said McCauley.

The guest conductor for the Wind Ensemble is Dr. W. Dale Warren. He is a senior wind band conductor of the wind symphony and professor of music at the University of Arkansas. Warren has conducted the Razorback Marching Band for years and performed numerous times for former President Bill Clinton, including the 1992 presidential inaugural parade in Washington, D.C.

“The Wind Ensemble is a smaller group composed only of the elite players. Every student will get to perform their own part in the concert,” said McCauley. “For the concert, the students will be performing music they have never seen before. We will start rehearsal tomorrow and Saturday morning, then perform at 3 p.m.  Our students will learn so much about how to prepare for a performance.” 

Carrissa Carter, Zach Herron and Timothy Ramos will be performing with Wind Ensemble and perform Trittico, Intermezzo from Act 3 from Manon Lescaut, Olav Trygvason, Op. 50, Danzon No. 2 and Rolling Thunder.

Symphonic Band will be conducted by Vandegrift High School Music Director Jeremy Spicer. Spicer’s band was named the 2013 UIL 4A State Marching Band Champion. His band has also been named class champion and finalist in Bands of America regional competition with his Wind Ensemble placing third at the 2013 Texas Music Educators Association Honor Band competition. 

“These students have really worked their tales off to be in this concert,” said McCauley. “It will be amazing to hear what they can do in such a short amount of time.”

Sarah Anderson, Hannah Deaton, Emily Moran, Jose Lopez, Christian Corona, Giovanni Villegas, Aaron Randolph and Carlos Ramirez were selected for the Symphonic Band. They will be performing Melodious Thunk, Play!, Hallie’s Light and Garage Band.  

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