Judge declares county in state of disaster due to weather PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kerry Craig   
Tuesday, 02 June 2015 13:20

In the aftermath of the high winds that raked parts of Hopkins County and Sulphur Springs last Monday and abnormally high rainfall amounts this spring, County Judge Robert Newsom declared Monday that the county is in a state of disaster.

“The reason we needed to file the disaster declaration is it just was not last Monday, but if we wanted to look at it, the whole spring we have had this year with an over abundance of rain, ice, snow, tornadoes and high winds which came in last week,” Newsom said. “We've had quite a bit of destruction, some to private property, but a whole lot to public property this year — which is somewhat unusual.”

The scope of the disaster declaration not only covers Hopkins County but also Sulphur Springs, Como and Cumby and opens the door for aid from both the state and federal governments.

“That's the reason we filed,” he said. “The declaration is first. The next thing I will do this week is file a request for assistance that will go through the Texas program and we will be able to apply for both state and federal funds.”

The application, Newsom said, would not only be for assistance to the county and municipal governments but would be open to private applications as well.

“We’re doing this because of the devastation we've had, not only to our roads  — we've lost one bridge I know of,” the judge said. “If you've driven by the city park, there are tremendous expenses in cleaning up the park, airport and hospital. We have roads that were under water, as the citizens can tell you. In the city and county our roads are in the worst condition I ever remember them being in. It's not through the fault of the commissioners or the city — it's the fault of the rains, the snows and sleet that we've experienced this year.”

Newsom said there may be some loan programs that would be open to individuals.

“I've looked at that and right now, we don't qualify,” he said. “We don't have a high enough threshold to get some private [assistance] in here.”

“Now, as to the public, a lot of [damage] was not covered by insurance,” Newsom continued. “Our threshold is a little over $125,000 for the entire county. I've already talked to one commissioner who said 'In my precinct alone, I'm going to have more than that,' so, we are going to reach the threshold. I'm working with[Sulphur Springs City Manager] Marc Maxwell and the city as well as with the other two cities, Como and Cumby, and all of our precincts, so we're going to cover the entire county.

”We believe we will easily exceed the threshold,” he said. “We hope we will be able to get some assistance in here because our residents have been overwhelmed by the weather and we have just so many resources to draw from.”

Newsom said the declaration activates the county's Emergency Management Plan and will remain in effect for seven days unless continued by the commissioners court.

The declaration, along with damage assessments, will be forwarded to the state's emergency division this week.

Sydnee Hawkins wins gold medal at state choir; 5 others earn silver PDF Print E-mail
Written by From Staff Reports   
Monday, 01 June 2015 17:12

Sulphur Springs High School Choir students earned six medals last weekend at state competition.

Cumby teacher jailed for child porn PDF Print E-mail
Written by From Staff Reports   
Monday, 01 June 2015 17:08

A Sulphur Springs man was arrested Saturday after child pornography was found on electronics during a search of his Sulphur Springs residence.

Lizbeth Mares, Yasmin Diosdado named top CPHS seniors PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jonathan Lance   
Saturday, 30 May 2015 13:57

Lizbeth Mares was named valedictorian and Yasmin Diosdado as salutatorian of Como-Pickton High School Senior Class of 2015 based on their cumulative grade point average from all four years of high school. The announcement was made during the Senior Night program held at the school earlier this week.

Red Stone Music Festival comes to town PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Saturday, 30 May 2015 13:37

It’s time to kick off summer with the Red Stone Music Festival on June 6. The boot stomping event will feature an all-star line up of Texas country singers, venders and activities on Sulphur Springs Celebration Plaza.

“This is the first time we are going to be putting on this music festival in connection with the city of Sulphur Springs. The city has been wonderful in helping us out and making sure this event happens,” said Kadi Hanes, East Texas Radio’s Texas Music Hour host. “The event will include four Texas music artists, and I think they are all A-listers and are doing great on the music scene right now.”

JB and the Moonshine Band, Curtis Grimes, Rich O’Toole and Sam Riggs will all be playing  throughout the evening. 

“Our first act will begin at 4 p.m. with Sam Riggs followed by Rich O’Toole.  Finishing off the evening, we will have two East Texas-born and-raised acts with Curtis Grimes and JB and the Moonshine Band,” said Hanes. “All of the artists have had a number one on the Texas music charts so they are all going to put on a great show.”

East Texas Radio is hosting the event, which includes stations Star Country 95.9, KPLT Classic Country 1490 AM and KOYN 93.9 FM. 

“All of our country stations are helping put this together,” said Hanes. “We have tickets on sale at any of our radio stations or at Advance tickets are $12 or, if purchased online, there is an additional $2.50 transaction fee. If you show up at the gate, they will be $17. One of the great things about this concert this year is we will be able to take credit cards at the gate.”

The festival will end around 10 p.m., although the venue is scheduled through midnight. 

“There will be venders at the event and I believe that Budweiser will be providing the alcohol,” said Hanes.

For more information, visit easttexas; to purchase tickets visit

5 SSHS seniors to receive diplomas after change in state law PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JON LANCE, News-Telegram, media design editor,   
Monday, 01 June 2015 17:09

Five Sulphur Springs High School seniors will be graduating this week because of legislation signed recently by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Como-Pickton seniors awarded more than $106K in scholarships PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Saturday, 30 May 2015 14:20

Como-Pickton High School seniors Tuesday night were awarded more than $106,750 in scholarships during the annual senior night program. The top 10 seniors based on this year’s averages as well as the top 10 cumulative averages, Red Cord honors, honor graduates and academic awards were also announced for seniors.

IndyCars are coming to Texas Motor Speedway in June PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Saturday, 30 May 2015 13:51

Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to start your engines because the 19th Annual Verizon IndyCar Series: Firestone 600 is coming to Fort Worth on June 6. 

“Everyone who competed in the Indianpolis 500 will be coming again at Texas Motor Speedway. We are going to be running it at night and these cars are going to be traveling at 215 to 220 miles per hour on the track,” said Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway. “The great thing about it, the race looks so much faster at night. It is going to be an amazing thing to see. It will give you chills.” 

Johnny Rutherford, a retried race car driver and winner of three Indianapolis 500s, stressed that driving at night is much harder than during the day. He said the reason the event is so exciting is due to the cars moving so fast, action will be happening all over the course at the same time.   

“There is going to be so much to see at this race. The thing I like about Texas Motor Speedway is how the track is set up. There really is not a bad seat in the house and this race is going to be something special,” said Rutherford.?? 

One of the features of Texas Motor Speedway is Big Hoss. Big Hoss is the worlds largest high-definition video board that was unveiled in March 2014. 

"There's nothing like attending live sporting events. This means you don't miss a thing. We will  have replays of all the action," said Gossage in a previous interview. "To me, it's an ultimate fan amenity, and also to have the biggest one in the world." 

  The massive monitor is 218-feet wide and 95-feet high. 

“To be able to see a replay on that screen is truly spectacular,” said Gossage. “There are a ton of racing fans in East Texas and we want them to come out to Texas Motor Speedway to watch the Indy cars.”

For more information visit or call 817-215-8500. Ticket can be purchased over the phone or online at  

Two from SSHS named state academic UIL champions PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jonathan Lance   
Saturday, 30 May 2015 13:34

The Sulphur Springs High School UIL Academic Team ranked fifth out of 58 teams competing in the 5A State Meet Tuesday, May 28, at The University of Texas in Austin.

“Our trip to the state meet was very successful! We came home with two state championships — one for first place individual and the other for first place team in literary criticism! The spellers also brought home medals,” noted Gina Wilder, SSHS UIL coordinator. “Way to go Wildcats!”

In literary criticism, McKenzie Hohenberger placed first, Laura Graham placed second, and Patricia Parks placed seventh. MiKayla Jones completed the first place team.

“McKenzie and Laura tied for first place individually, so the tiebreaker essays for each were read. The literary criticism contest rules state that ties must be broken, but we really had two first place winners!” explained Wilder.

In spelling and vocabulary, Lydia Burleson tied for fourth place individually. She, Carson McIllwain, Jenna Ash and Jessye Castro won second place team. The group was the fourth seed team entering state competition. Gail Herman coaches both of these teams.

“Beth Grafton and Gail Herman sponsor the teams that competed at state. Gail sponsors ready writing, literary criticism, and spelling and vocabulary. Beth sponsors social studies and current events. These two amazing women know how to motivate their students and prepare them for competition. They spend countless hours working with their competitors as well as planning for their study sessions. These two ladies repeatedly carry students to the state meet. I cannot express how much I appreciate their dedication to both UIL and their students,” Wilder said.

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