Kettle Coin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Friday, 26 December 2014 12:30

Sulphur Springs native Rick Cowan has been helping the Hopkins County community for almost 20 years with the Salvation Army. Dressed as Santa Claus with a bright white bell in hand, he and his fellow volunteers have paved the way for more than 300 local families to have Christmas this year. 

Cowan’s story with the Salvation Army began in 1995 while he was working at Taco Bell. He decided he wanted to do something for others and happened to read an advertisement for the Red Kettle campaign by Salvation Army. 

“During a work break, I walked down and talked to Jo Marie Neal at the Salvation Army,” said Cowan.

Cowan and Neal talked about what it meant to ring the bell and how many people are effected in Hopkins County. The day after Thanksgiving, he starting ringing the bell outside Walmart. 

“I would ring the bell all morning until 2 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays,” remarked Cowan.

In between donating all his free time at Salvation Army, Cowan eventually started working at Morningstar, which is now Saputo. 

Working the 4 p.m. to midnight shift at Morningstar, Cowan would then get up early to ring the bell as long as he could before returning to work.

“Neal would drop me off at VF Mall so that I could work at my shift at Morningstar,” said Cowan.

Every year, Cowan continued to volunteer long hours to work for Salvation Army during the holiday season. Hopkins County Salvation Army Treasurer Tammy Flemming said that every chance Cowan was free, he was ringing the bell in whatever weather Mother Nature had in store for him.

  After 16 years, he took a year off in 2011 when a health problem left him unable to stand out in the cold during the month of December. 

“I have so many great memories,” said Cowan with a big smile on his face. “One year, a grandmother who recognized me from previous years asked me to look after her 3-year-old granddaughter while she tried to find her car in the parking lot at Walmart. The girl had a tricycle and rode in a circle around my stand.”  

In 2012, Cowan was over his health issue and immediately wanted to continue helping raise money to benefit community members.

“I hope to continue doing this next year and the rest of my life,” said Cowan. “I hope that we get more help in the future.” 

Cowan says that he likes working the long hours, but volunteers are always welcome. He spent 42 hours in front of Walmart this season and is ready to help the campaign in the future.

“Sometimes we start early in the morning and continue ringing the bell until 7 or 8 p.m,” said Cowan. “People will tell me that they don’t have much money but they give what they can. Every penny adds up.”

For 2014, in the spirit of Christmas, Cowan grew out his beard and dressed up like Santa Claus. 

“Seeing the kids smile when they donate a hand full of change into the bucket gets me tickled. They drop in each coin one at a time,” said Cowan. “Seeing people happy is the reason I ring the bell every year.”  

The Salvation Army’s motto is “doing the most good” and Cowan says this is a mission that he takes to heart. The Salvation Army operates 7,546 centers that provide food distribution, disaster relief, rehabilitation centers, anti-human trafficking efforts and a wealth of children's programs. For more information or to volunteer, contact Tammy Flemming at 903-348-9543.  

MILLER GROVE NEWS Dec. 26, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by By BRANDON DARROW,   
Friday, 26 December 2014 15:46

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Mine was leisurely and quite but it was nice. My dad’s side of the family celebrated on Saturday (Dec. 20). We had a good time eating and visiting at

Santa Surprise PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jonathan Lance   
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 12:23

Local children were surprised with gifts from Santa at 7 Star convenience store Tuesday evening. Children up to age 10 who were registered received presents, celebrating the Christmas season.

Mount Vernon concert rescheduled PDF Print E-mail
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Written by From Staff Reports   
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 13:41

Mount Vernon Music will kick off 2015 with “Encores and Concert Favorites” from violinist Mark Miller, viola player Ute Miller and pianist Ron Clinton on Jan. 3.

Commissioners authorize memorial plaque for Mike Tribble PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kerry Craig   
Monday, 22 December 2014 14:03

Hopkins County Commissioners Court gave unanimous approval Monday morning to a request from Civic Center Manager Adam Teer and the Civic Center Board of Directors for the placement of a plaque memorializing Mike Tribble at the entrance of the center's Equine Pavilion. Teer said the Civic Center board has been working on the memorial for the past few months. “We have the opportunity to memorialize somebody who has been an instrumental part not only of our community, but part of something that makes the Civic Center so important and that is the rodeos that come into town,” Teer said. “That's Mike Tribble, who is not with us any more, but his family is still with us and they have been so instrumental in bringing that environment to our community that's brought so much economic growth to us. It would be appropriate to put up a memorial plaque in about the same place where his rodeo arena was, where our current Equine Pavilion is.” Tribble's daughter, Cathy Williams, and granddaughter, Meredith Caddell, were on hand for the presentation. Caddell read the wording that will be inscribed on the memorial plaque. “Mike Tribble, rodeo producer and director, trick rider and fancy trick roper, local goodwill ambassador from 1911 to 1972. On this site in 1938, Mike Tribble constructed a rodeo arena that hosted an annual Fourth of July Rodeo for 43 years with over 20,000 fans attending annually. in 1954, Mr. Tribble upgraded his facility to be Texas' largest and finest all-steel, 6,000-seat arena. “Mike Tribble performed trick and fancy roping nationwide for four decades. This included standing on his head while roping eight galloping horses, performing a Texas skit for 200 yards up and down the arena, vaulting stunts off the back and side of his horse, suicide drags and many different standing tricks. He was recruited by Will Rogers for Western movies. “The Fourth of July rodeo provided entertainment for Hopkins County residents and visitors nationwide for several generations.” Teer said that a photo of Tribble roping would also be a part of the plaque, which will be mounted inside the public entrance to the Equine Pavilion. In other business, the court recognized Tax Assessor-Collector Debbie Jenkins for completing 15 hours of educational training and becoming a Professional County Collector. Commissioners approved the purchase of voting equipment from Heart Intercivic and to a buyback by Hart of eScans from the county. Approval was given to a request for support of an application by Cornersville Water Supply Corporation for a grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture to extend water services. An agreement between the county and Luminant Mining Company was approved. The agreement involves a lease on a county road in the Thermo Mine and access to materials by the county. Dan Froneberger was named by the county to serve as one of two representatives from Sulphur Springs Independent School District on Hopkins County Regional Civic Center Board for a three-year term.

TIRA NEWS Dec. 26, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JAN VAUGHN,   
Friday, 26 December 2014 15:44

Sheila Boyd shares, “We enjoyed the grandkids this last weekend. I think they had a great time. This year we were saddened after loosing Debbie Layton this week, but as was said in the

Saltillo junior high takes gold, elementary comes in third at UIL PDF Print E-mail
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Written by From Staff Reports   
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 13:42

Saltillo Independent School District’s second through eighth grade students swept the two-day district UIL meet held at Sulphur Bluff school. Sulphur Bluff was a close second and Yantis finished third, according to Saltillo Principal Tim Lane.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Trent Price receives award for water rescue PDF Print E-mail
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Written by From Staff Reports   
Monday, 22 December 2014 14:15

A former Sulphur Springs state trooper was among a select group of Department of Public Safety employees to receive awards of recogntion for outstanding service and significant contributions from the Texas Public Safety Commission and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw.

Honorees announced for 24th MLK awards ceremony PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kerry Craig   
Monday, 22 December 2014 14:02

East Caney Missionary Baptist Church and Hopkins County African American Leadership Conference will host the 24th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Ceremony at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Dr. Dan Jones, president of Texas A&M-Commerce, will serve as master of ceremonies for the annual event. Other speakers will be Tom Sellers, Mick Trusty, State Rep. Dan Flynn, Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom, W.C. Pryor and Pastor H.B. Nash. The 2015 MLK award recipients are: n Spiritual Award, Francis Dial; Freedom Award, the Rev. Jason Lindley; Medical Award, Chachandra Henley and Yvonne Thornton; Humanitarian Award, Wyvonne Ford and Dimitri Moon-Petty; Spirit of Dependability, Nick Harris; Social Change Award, Minister Joyce Moore; Mother of the Year, Christene Askew; Father of the Year, J.D. Franklin; Spirit of Service, Kim Chisom; and Spirit of Fellowship, Lonnita Robinson Finnie. n Achievement awards will be presented to Tommy Clayton, Lisa Reed, Debra Davis, Roslyn Lee and Quan Johnson. n Other awards to be presented include: Political, Mike Odell; Encouragement, Tony Reed; Faithfulness, Eric King, Business, Epic Barber and Beauty Institute; MLK Media Award, Don Wallace; Employer of the Year, Sulphur Springs Health and Rehab; Employees of the Year, Janice Henley, Nan Sims-Harris, Dwayne Berry and Kandi Thomas; Law Enforcement, Sheriff Butch Adams; Spirit of Dedication, Karon Weatherman and Amye Smith; MLK Educators of the Year, Vanessa Abron, Ashante Alexancer and Hillary Young; Pastor of the Year, Pastor Troy Young; Spirit of Commitment, Jason Cunningham; Woman of the Year, Yvonne King. n MLK Students of the Year: Nysia Reed, Landon Watkins, Tori Moore, Chrissalynd Person and Jason Reed from Sulphur Springs Independent School District; and, from Texas A&M Commerce, Wayne Atha, Tyrik Rollison and Erin Echols. The public is invited to attend the free event at Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 208 Fuller St. Alliance Bank and Walmart will provide refreshments after the program.

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