State Farm joins with MADD in high school training PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Friday, 31 October 2014 16:58

 In response to the number one cause of death in Texas being auto accidents, State Farm Insurance joined forces with Mothers Against Driving to create a week long workshop on drunk driving for students in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week. The program has been taught in more than 300 high schools this week with 3,000 students being taught by MADD and State Farm representatives.

The program is entitled State Farm’s Celebrate My Drive teen driver safety initiative. In Sulphur Springs, MADD East Texas Program Specialist and Development Officer Kelli Martinez and Manager of Victim Services Carol King helped teach the workshop to more than a 1,000 students at Sulphur Springs High School this week. From 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., MADD staff taught a 47-minute course to each class that featured a video of two drunk driving accidents, followed by drunk driving statistics and educational information.

“After the video, we talked about the aftermath of the wreck,” said King. “I really hope they understand the importance of the educational information we are providing the student so that I do not have to help their parents or loved ones if something does happen. I deal with survivors — the parents who have lost their child in a wreck.”

King went on to explain the difficulty parents face while they are in the courtroom. The parents and other survivors will have to relive the experience by seeing the crash photos and personally seeing the offender if he survives the wreck. King emphasized that in a situation where the vehicle might have caught fire, the emotions the survivors go through are indescribable.

“I tell the students that this scenario is something no one wants to put their parents or your little sisters or brothers. Please pay attention to what we are trying to tell you,” she said.

Last year 1,213 deaths in Texas were attributed to drunk driving accidents, and an additional 16,882 alcohol-related crashes with injuries. King and Martinez are not only talking to students about these effects, but are also available with services for victims of driving drunk.

“We provide free services, such as emotional support, funeral arrangements if needed, counselors, impact panels and many other services to help victims of impaired driving accidents. Many people don’t realized that wrecks can be caused not only by alcholol and illegal drugs but prescription medication,” said King. “Many times people do not pay attention to the warning on the back of medication bottles, which can affect their driving ability.”

MADD of East Texas, headquartered in Tyler, is currently trying to branch out further into Hopkins County by implementing Victim Impact Panels to change the perception of repeat offenders. In the program, offenders are faced with people who might have lost everything in an alcohol-related crash.

“A real victim of a impaired driving accident will come and speak to known drunk driving offenders. They have a powerpoint presentation that shows the offenders what their life was like before the accident and how the event changed their lives,” said King.

King went on to say that when a victim talks about who they lost in the accident, the effect on the offenders are typically powerful. “After seeing that what they do affect others, studies have shown that offenders are 33 percent less likely to drive under the influence after attending the study,” said King. MADD East Texas is also asking for volunteers or individuals wanting to start the victim impact pannel can call 903-534-6000 or email King at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . King also said that anyone who is a victim of a drunk driving accident can come to their office at 215 Winchester Drive, Suite 100, inTyler or call 903-534-6000.

CANHelp holds clothing drive PDF Print E-mail
Written by By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor   
Friday, 31 October 2014 14:12

With cooler temperatures on the way, people are beginning to pull out jackets and cooler weather attire. While many are blessed to have such items, there are others in the community who are less fortunate and in need of warm apparel.

SSISD trustees OK country club contract PDF Print E-mail
Written by From Staff Reports   
Friday, 31 October 2014 14:09

Tuesday night’s called school board meeting resulted in trustees’ approval of five personnel decisions and a contract with Sulphur Springs Country Club.

United Way volunteers cheer for big numbers PDF Print E-mail
Written by By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor   
Friday, 31 October 2014 07:27

Hopkins County United Way officers and campaign workers cheered Tuesday morning’s reports for what has been the biggest rally so far for the 2014-15 campaign, with more than $33,700 turned in at the weekly report meeting.

High school play to benefit United Way PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jonathan Lance   
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:01

 Local residents can learn the basics of getting through a zombie attack Thursday night, eat a tasty dessert and do something good for United Way, all at one time. SSHS’ theater department is performing “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse” at Sulphur Springs Middle School Thursday evening with all the additional proceeds being donated to Hopkins County United Way.

A&M-Commerce a finalist for Star Award for Hispanic outreach programs PDF Print E-mail
Written by TAMUC report   
Friday, 31 October 2014 14:10

COMMERCE —The Texas A&M University-Commerce Office of Hispanic Outreach and Student Programs was recently chosen as a finalist for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Star Award.

Woman struck by vehicle Tuesday night PDF Print E-mail
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Written by By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor   
Friday, 31 October 2014 07:29

A 25-year-old woman was flown to a Dallas area hospital after being struck by a vehicle Tuesday night just off Interstate 30, west of Sulphur Springs.

Court Jury awards record damages PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kerry Craig   
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:16

By KERRY CRAIG News-Telegram Staff Writer This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it A 62nd Judicial District Court jury on Tuesday awarded more than $4 million to a woman whose vehicle was involved in a wreck with a truck on Interstate 30 in 2010. Gilmer attorneys Brent Goudarz, Marty Young and associate Jeff Hoover represented Krista Dillon in the case with Sulphur Springs attorney John Ginn as local counsel who said Dillon had significant back surgeries as a result of a collision that occurred and he thought the jury wanted to compensate her. Brian Reese and Jennifer Lee of the Fee Smith Law Firm of Dallas represented the trucking company, Joe Tex Express of Mount Pleasant, and truck driver Dennis Rayner. Ginn said the verdict was broken down into two parts. First, the actual damages in the case, the compensatory damages for Miss Dillon, were $1,110,629. That was based on her past medical expenses of about $395,000 and a doctor's testimony on what her future medical requirements were going to be as well as some of the pain and mental anguish that she experienced as a result of the collision. The jury found that the driver and the trucking company were grossly negligent, largely because of some of the testimony about the fraudulent logs and the changes that were made to the driving logs. The awarded $3 million against the trucking company to send a message to insure that trucking companies in East Texas are required to follow the federal law - those laws are there to protect the public and I think the jury wanted to insure they do that in the future. The jury also awarded $2,000 in punitive damages against the truck driver. “I think the jury, more than anything, wanted to send a message to trucking companies,” Ginn said. “There has been a lot of evidence in the case throughout that logs were falsified, some violations that were presented to the jury demonstrated that the log books had not been maintained properly over an extended period of time and, I think, the jury was persuaded by that. “We did have conversations with the jury after the case and they really felt like they were sending a message that those driver logs are important and they don't want fatigued drivers on the roadway.”

Photo Walk announces winners PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jonathan Lance   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 15:33

 This year’s top photo in the Sulphur Springs Worldwide Photo Walk exemplifies how being a good photographer is not just about having the most expensive equipment, but the eye for the art of photography. Winning first place in the fifth annual event sponsored by the Sulphur Springs Downtown Business Alliance was fifth-year participant Malorie Padron of Sulphur Springs with her entry highlighting the Hopkins County Veterans Memorial and American flag flown over Celebration Plaza. Padron said she usually uses her Canon EOS 35mm camera but this year used her cell phone camera.

“This year, I did something different. I felt a little out-of-place but I used my Samsung Galaxy S4 camera phone,” she said. “It takes amazing photos.”

Her entry also garnered the People’s Choice Award, with “likes” on Facebook. Padron receives a $50 framing gift certificate donated by Texas Art & Frame. Second place went to Mike Watson of Sulphur Springs with his black and white image of an old door hidden in the alley off Main Street. His camera of choice was a Canon 7D. He wins a monopod with phone holder donated by The Appliance Hospital.

Third place went to a repeat winner Andy Pendleton of Dike with his carefully aligned photo of the arched window shadow on a vintage clock in the courtroom of the newly renovated City Hall. Pendleton used a digital Canon EOS for his entry. Pendleton was presented a $25 gift certificate to Muddy Jake’s Sports Grill and Pub.

Receiving honorable mention was Jonathan Kennedy with his photo of a colorized iron door, Dr. Shelley Patterson’s photo of the water feature on the City Hall veranda, and Karyn Smith’s close-up of the glass leaves on the office door at City Hall tinted gold. The entire collection of photos can be found on the Sulphur Springs Worldwide Photo Walk Facebook page.

This year’s co-leaders were Sulphur Springs News-Telegram Photographer Jon Lance and Cooper Review Editor Cindy Roller. More than 40 participants were treated to a tour by Community Development Director Shane Shepard of the 100 year old building newly renovated as Sulphur Springs City Hall. “We enjoyed exploring City Hall from top to bottom and all of its history. It was fun connecting with so many photographers,” said Shepard Participants also attended the Fall Festival Battle of the Bands at Muddy Jake’s Backyard as paparazzi for the musical artists that evening. For more information on the event, contact the event leaders at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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