Newsom announces candidacy for Precinct 1 Commissioner PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jonathan Lance   
Saturday, 04 July 2015 12:18

Maci Newsom said Friday she would be a candidate for commissioner for Hopkins County Precinct 1.

In making the announcement, she said she was born and raised in Hopkins County. She is a graduate of Sulphur Springs High School and Columbus State University. 

Newsom is married to Jonathan Newsom, who was also born and raised in Hopkins County, and is the proud mother of their two children, Noah, who is eight years old, and Anna-Claire, who is six. Her family resides in Sulphur Springs. Newsom’s parents, Glenn and Leeta Mattison, and her husband's parents, Hopkins County Judge Robert and Robbie Newsom, also live in Sulphur Springs. 

Maci and Jonathan were an active duty military family for 11 years. After leaving the military, they returned to Hopkins County and immediately immersed themselves into the community. Newsom has held her Texas State Insurance License for 15 years.  

Maci and Jonathan own a general practice law firm on North Davis Street in Sulphur Springs where she works as office manager. She also serves as the vice-president of the Hopkins County Republican Women’s Club, and will serve as the club’s president during the upcoming electionyear. She is also the treasurer for Bright Star Baseball.

In announcing her candidacy,  Newsom adds, “If I have the privilege of being elected commissioner of Precinct 1, I will focus all of my energy into making Hopkins County an even greater place to live and raise our families. And, while I won’t guarantee that I will be able to fix every road, I can promise to represent the citizens of Hopkins County to the best of my ability. I will work hard, and be accessible and available to the residents of Precinct 1. Hopkins County is my home, and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to serve the community I love so dearly.”

Lewis Tatum to run for sheriff PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Saturday, 04 July 2015 12:17

Hopkins County Sheriff's Office Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum said Friday that he would be a candidate for the office of Hopkins County Sheriff in the March 1 primary elections.

Tatum said his decision to become a candidate was tied closely with current Sheriff Butch Adams’ decision to not seek another term in office.

“I do intend to run for sheriff now that Sheriff Adams has announced that he is retiring,” Tatum said. “We've been talking about it for quite some time and I have been learning about managing the budget, dealing with the commissioners court and all I will need to be able to do as sheriff.”

Tatum has been a deputy under Adams for the past 19 years.

“I've got some really big shoes to try to fill,” Tatum talking about his long time boss Butch Adams. “Butch has done such a good job for the past 20 years, and I have been with him all but one of those years and have learned a lot from him. I just hope I can carry it on.”

He has been thinking and planning to enter the race for Hopkins County Sheriff for quite a while.

“We want to keep this department going, we've worked hard. Butch has worked hard to put this together and we've all worked hard with him to keep going with what we've been able to accomplish,” he said. “We sure want to keep it going.”

Tatum has worked in every aspect of the sheriff's department over the past 19 years, from patrol deputy to shift commander, investigator and, for the past four years, chief investigator.

He said one of the biggest challenges facing the new county sheriff will be to make sure the new county jail is run properly and to continue to keep the county safe. 

“Continue what we are doing right now, chasing down these burglars,” Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum said. “Like everybody else in this world, we've got a methamphetamine problem; and we keep fighting that and keep the best deputies we can out on the street and make the citizens of this county happy.”  

In 2013, the Texas Sheriff's Association named Lewis Tatum Peace Officer of the Year.

Lewis and his wife, Michelle, have been married for 34 years. All of their children are grown and now have their own families; they comprise a very close-knit family.

“I guess we are very lucky to have all our kids that are healthy and all the grandkids are healthy,” he said. “It's, you know, it's a blessing.”

Lewis Jr., Tatum’s oldest son, is married to Lindsey and lives in Woodland, Calif.; they have a two-year-old daughter, Lila.

Riley and his wife, Hannah, live in Sulphur Springs; their daughter will be starting her first year at Lamar Primary School.

Alina went to Nashville in pursuit of a singing career, but became a housewife and mother. She married Michael Sanders; they live in Mount Juliet, Tenn., and have a little boy named Gibson, who turns two this month.

Tatum also served his country in the Navy and aboard the amphibious assault ship, the USS Peleliu, out of Long Beach, Calif., a Marine troop ship in the Gulf of Tonkin, Indian Ocean, the Philippines and Thailand.

Hawg riders helping out homeless animals PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jonathan Lance   
Friday, 03 July 2015 13:20

Summer is the best time to jump on a motorcycle and just ride, especially for a great cause. Muddy Jake’s Sports Grille and Pub will be sponsoring a motorcycle benefit ride, poker run and concert for the Hearts of Life Animal Rescue. The benefit is rightly called “Hawgz 4 Dawgz.“

“When people think of bikers, they think we are really gruff, but not all of us are like that. We love to give back to our community,” said Hawgz 4 Dawgz founder and event coordinator Lisa Ray.  

Three years ago, Ray and her husband regularly volunteered for different motorcycle benefits as a way to give back to Hopkins County. They eventually decided to set up their own benefit. 

“A friend of mine has a no-kill animal shelter on the north end of town. I found out he was low on funds to buy enough dog food for all the animals. I thought Hawgz 4 Dawgz would be a great way to raise money for his shelter,”  said Ray. “We have been doing it ever since.”

Hearts of Life Animal Rescue began with only a few pens more than six years ago. Currently, the non-profit organization is responsible for more than 400 adoptions and houses more than 50 animals at a time. 

Registration for Hawgz 4 Dawgz will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Muddy Jake’s. The ride will begin at 10:30 a.m. 

“Debra ‘Bo’ Bohannon will begin our event by playing the national anthem and holding a prayer. Then, the bikes will head out and make will head out and make five different stops and pick up poker chips for our poker run. We will be playing with dominoes this year,” said Ray. “There will prizes for the best high and low-hands. During the run, we will also be having three judges hold a best bike contest.”

At 5 p.m,. live music will kick off with Birthright Blues Project headlining the event, followed by Tyler Lenius. A silent auction will also be held. 

“We just want to help our community,” said Ray. “We are thankful for the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office and for Muddy Jakes’ for helping us with this event.”   

For more information about Hawgz 4 Dawgz, contact Hearts of Life Animal Rescue at 903-438-8000. 

Prayer vigil held on square promotes unity PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jonathan Lance   
Friday, 03 July 2015 12:58

More than 100 people turned out for an evening of spiritual contemplation and humility during a community wide devotion and vigil. The event focused on praying for America in light recent tragedies, like the shooting in Southern Carolina, and by publicly proclaiming the message of God.

Minister Valanderous Bell hosted the prayer evening which included Sulphur Springs Mayor Kayla Price, Sulphur Springs Independent School District Superintendent Mike Lamb, Eighth Judicial District Judge Eddie Northcutt and Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell. 

“I feel like the more our community has events like this, where we get to know one another and pray together, when hard times come, we will know we can count on each other,” said Price. “This is a real blessing for our community.”

Price’s speech focused on hope. She said that through education, teachers and parents should inspire children not to hate but accept each other. The power of religion was also discussed during the speech.

“Parents, no matter how old your children are, take them to church with you. Make sure your children are surrounded by other Christians,” said Price. “Our faith in God gives us the hope to persevere and overcome all of life’s challenges.”

Lamb followed Price to stage. His speech urged the Hopkins County community to humble themselves before God.

“I don’t know if there are any non-believers listening right now, but I would encourage you to find out what this Jesus is all about, ask questions,” said Lamb. “No matter how bad things are, there is hope in Him. He is the only way out of the troubles we are in as a nation.”

Lamb ended his speech by asking everyone to join hands in the audience. All the attendents in the square joined hands in large circle. Lamb asked everyone to bow their heads and pray. The prayer was followed by song.

“American society has taken God out of everything, but until we individually ask God to come into our hearts, nothing is going to change. There are some problems that we, as a people, will never be able to get rid without God,” said Bell

The evening ended as everyone, still joining hands, sang “Amazing Grace.” Lamb stated, no matter the race or background, everyone needed to join together and unite as a community. 

The main  Bible verse used throughout the evening was 2 Chronicles 7:14. Bell read the verse during the evening.

  “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land,” repeated Bell. “Honestly, as a community we are not praying enough and it is creating divides in our culture.”

“This devotional is not about race, or any other difference, it’s about people,” said Bell. “We need to see each individual as a creation of God, look into our own hearts.”

Arrests made in theft, burglary cases PDF Print E-mail
Written by From Staff Reports   
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 15:14

Sheriff’s officers Tuesday cleared three burglaries, took two into custody in relation to the cases, recovered two trucks

Sheriff not seeking another term PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Saturday, 04 July 2015 12:16

Long time Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams said Thursday that he would not be seeking another term in office.

“I will not be a candidate for sheriff,” Adams said. “I'll have 20 years in and I think that's probably enough. I am not for or against term limits, but 20 years was my goal when I started and that's what I am going to keep with.”

At the end of his current term, at the end of 2016, Adams will have been the longest serving sheriff the county has had. To add to that, he followed the county's youngest sheriff, Mark Bassham, and the county's first black sheriff, Bill Dirks.

In looking back at his years as Hopkins County sheriff, Adams was quick to say he enjoyed it and to give credit to his deputies.

“I can't say anything but good about the people I've had under me,” he said. “They are pretty much what kept me getting elected each time, and I have had the support of pretty much all the people in the county each year and I've enjoyed it. I've had fun with it. It's like anything else, you have good days and bad days but, overall, I thoroughly have enjoyed what I've done.”

Adams said the decision to not seek another term in office was not a hard one to make.

“I pretty much had that goal of 20 years when I started,” Adams said. “It's like anything else; to keep it going strong you kind of want to get somebody a little younger to come in.

“It's like I am not computer illiterate but I can't do a lot with a computer,” he said. “Get somebody with a little more [technological experience], it can fast-forward that a little more.”

Adams says his future does involve travel.

“Traveling to the grandkids and, basically, catching up what I've let go around the house, mowing on the side a little and whatever my lovely wife says,” he said. 

In looking ahead, Sheriff Butch Adams offered a recommendation for a successor.

“I've got Lewis Tatum who is going to be running from this office,” he said. “I think he will do a real good job, and that's pretty much what I would say — I would be behind him.”

No paper on Monday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Friday, 03 July 2015 13:03

There will not be a newspaper published on Monday, July 6, as the News-Telegram staff takes that day in observance of  Independence Day.

The Echo Publishing Co. office will also be closed on Monday.

Normal newspaper production will resume on Tuesday, July 7, and Echo offices will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Constitutional Right: Gay Marriage PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jonathan Lance   
Friday, 03 July 2015 12:42

As thousands proudly wave rainbow colored flags across America, one gay couple in Sulphur Springs has received their marriage license. After being a couple for 28 years and adopting 2 children, one Sulphur Springs family is happy they are finally going to tie the knot.

“We are just a normal everyday family,” said husband Donny Foster. “I was born and raised in Hopkins County. It has always been our home.”

Their story began decades ago in Hopkins County when Foster and Joe Autrey were in their 20s.

“We met 28 years ago at a party on July 4. Over time, our relationship progressed and we knew that we needed to be together,” said Foster. “Actually, when we first met, he said he didn’t even like me. I think he thought I was a bit of a jerk. I guess I grow on people. Now, we, purchased a house together.”

Their dream of being recognized by the United States as a legally married couple has now come true. Just wanting to be like everyone else, the Supreme Court decision has not only positively affected them spiritually but financially as well. 

Foster, 52, owns a no-kill shelter called Hearts of Life Animal Rescue while Autrey  works at a local pet store.

Tragedy struck the family when Foster had a pulmonary embolism last January. Severely weakened by the medical emergency, Foster has been adapting to receiving supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day and being unable to perform physical activity.

“That is one of the many reasons we are so happy to be married. I cannot work anymore and do not make enough money to pay for [health care],” said Foster. “We pay taxes like everyone else. It seems like we were being discriminated against because my job would allow partner benefits, but we couldn’t be married.”

He continued to say that if the worst happened, his loved ones would be in a financial crisis. Most importantly, Foster and Autrey  have to provide for the their two children. 

Eight years ago, they made the decision to became foster parents. After more than 40 children had gone through their home, they decided to adopt J.P. and Shannon. 

With that in mind, they are both relieved that Social Security benefits will transfer if something happens to either one of them.

Foster said that he and his family have been subject to discrimination in Hopkins County, but it has been on a limited basis. He said friends they have had for years are now offended that they have decided to be married.

“I am disappointed in how some people are posting really hateful messages on Facebook,” said Foster. “I try not to impose, but I have upset some people and lost some friends. I have been the same person all these years. If I am excited about something that affects my family, why am I supposed to be quiet and ashamed of it? It is truly beyond me.”

Refusing to be discouraged by discrimination, Foster and Autrey are focusing on their wedding day and making sure their kids learn to accept others for who they are.

“Our plan is to have a reception, after we pay for all the expenses,” said Foster. “We have already had a few people tell us they cannot attend because they do not believe in it.”

Although not all the RSVPs have been returned, Foster believes several hundred people will be showing up for their wedding reception.

“Joe and I are in this for the long hall and are committed. We are going be like my grandparents and be together forever,” said Foster. “We are raising our kids to be agreeable with people and not teach hate. It’s sad that some people look for all the bad things in people and can’t be happy for  others.”

Plaque unveiled to honor rodeo promoter, horseman and lasso specialist Mike Pribble PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 14:29

Rodeo extraordinaire Mike Pribble was posthumously honored at noon Wednesday with a plaque at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center’s Equine Pavilion. The community gathered as Pribble’s daughter and granddaughter, Cathey Williams and Meredith Caddell, spoke at the event alongside their extended family. 

“Our family is so elated. There are no words to describe how much everyone has done. I can’t believe it’s actually going to happen,” said Williams before the dedication. “I don’t think I have ever been a part of something so exciting and as moving as this process has been to memorialize daddy.” 

More than 50 people attended the Pribble plaque unveiling. Hopkins County Regional Civic Center Manager Adam Teer opened the event by inviting Williams and Caddell to the front of the pavilion to speak. 

Williams invited her family to the stage along with KSST radio host Enola Gay Mathews, Billy Wayne and Charles Helm.

“Enola Gay was the one who had the vision in 1990,” said Williams. “She knew that something had to be done and founded a chili cookout and worked so hard. She ended up going to the city, Civic Center and everyone she could trying to get something done for my daddy.”

Williams said Mathews talked to Helm, who is on the Civic Center board, and they began to work together to raise money and find a way to have the plaque displayed in the pavilion. 

“I remember when Charles Helm came to the Chamber of Commerce one day and said, ‘Something has to be done for your dad,’” Williams said. “He went before the county commissioners and got it approved.”

Williams’ speech ended by talking briefly about her father and how he brought the first rodeo to Sulphur Springs. She said that although he came originally from Fort Worth, his hometown became Sulphur Springs. 

She continued to say that Pribble began his career in Sulphur Springs at a young age. He purchased a horse at age nine and began practicing every day to become the best rider and roper he could be. 

“Back in the 1930s, everything in Sulphur Springs happened in city park. Daddy wanted to hold a rodeo and got permission from the city. He held the event in the football stadium for the first two years,” said Williams. 

One of Pribble’s signature tricks would be to stand on his head while roping eight galloping horses. He also would perform a Texas skip 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. Eventually, he was recruited by Will Rogers for Western movies.

In 1938, Pribble built a large arena in Buford Park. Pribble soon became a public figure by performing tricks and fancy roping displays during his rodeos. For more than four decades he held a huge rodeo on Independence Day weekend, attracting 20,000 fans annually.

Pribble became a rodeo producer and director and local goodwill ambassador from 1911 to 1972.  By 1954, Pribble upgraded his facility to be Texas' largest and finest all-steel, 6,000-seat arena.

The plaque unveiling ended with refreshments and dozens of photos temporarily displayed to commemorate Mike Pribble’s life.  

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