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Another mosquito tests positive for West Nile virus in Commerce PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Thursday, 27 August 2015 12:32

Another mosquito has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Commerce, according to a spokesman for the city of Commerce.

Both Commerce and Texas A&M University-Commerce have been testing mosquitos for various diseases and, last week, were notified that a positive test was received.

Emergency Management officials said the areas that tested positive now appear to be free from the virus; one additional test has returned positive results.

Workers in Commerce have begun spraying for mosquitoes in the areas where the infected insects were found and will continue spraying for three days. At the same time, city staff will continue to test for infected mosquitoes in all areas of Commerce.

It is recommended that everyone take extra precautionary measures in protecting themselves from mosquitoes.  When outside, wear light colored clothing, use an insect repellent containing DEET, wear long sleeves and pants.  To aid in eliminating mosquito-breeding sites, it is encouraged to do away with any standing water from flowerpots, buckets, barrels, and other containers.  Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out and always, empty children's wading/swimming pools and store on their side after use.

For additional information on West Nile visit www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/arboviral/westnile/information or www.westnile.info.

 
Horseshoe tourney and fish fry for cancer patient PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Thursday, 27 August 2015 12:31

Hopkins County local Ty Funderburk, a family man, is struggling with a debilitating cancer and needs some financial help. To solve the situation, his best friends since childhood are coming to the rescue by hosting a horseshoe tournament, auction and fish fry Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center Equine Pavilion. 

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County tax rate to increase to meet jail expense PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kerry Craig   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 12:31

Although Hopkins County commissioners are still deep in budget workshop sessions, County Judge Robert Newsom said that county residents will be seeing an increase in the county tax rate.

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Local businesses host SSHS Wildcat block party PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 12:32

Hear the roar! Businesses around the community are throwing a homecoming block party Sept. 5, for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats. The “Main Street Kicks off Homecoming” event will feature vendors, cash give-aways, entertainment and games throughout the evening. 

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SSISD budget approved, tax rate stays the same PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 12:42

Property owners within the Sulphur Springs Independent School District will be paying the same tax rate next year, following approval Monday night by the SSISD Board of Trustees.

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Sellers to be featured speaker at ET geneological seminar PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Thursday, 27 August 2015 12:29

Hopkins County historian John A. Sellers will be the featured speaker at East Texas Genealogical Society's Annual Fall Seminar scheduled Sept. 11-12, at First Assembly of God Church, 5309 Rhones Quarter Road in Tyler.

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SB Scholarship Foundation plans annual fundraiser PDF Print E-mail
Written by Faith Huffman   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 12:35

Sulphur Bluff Scholarship Foundation is gearing up for the group’s annual fundraiser next month. This year’s dinner will be a little bit different. Instead of the traditional dinner and auction, this year stew will be served. Bingo and other games will be played. There will also be a live and silent auction. Bingo play will be divided into three to four sections, according to SBSF President Emily Glass.

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Busted Mesquite man held for online solicitation PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kerry   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 12:43

A 45-year-old Mesquite man, expecting to meet a 15-year-old for a sexual encounter, got a lot more than he was anticipating Monday afternoon.

After exchanging a number of messages with a young “girl,” Jeffrey Thomas Miller arrived at a South League Street convenience store about 2 p.m. and was greeted by Internet Crimes Against Children officers Police Sgt. Amanda Weatherford and sheriff's deputy Sgt. Corley Weatherford along with other police officers and sheriff's deputies instead of a young girl.

“There was a Mr. Miller came down from Mesquite — he thought he was talking to a 15-year-old female,” Sgt. Amanda Weatherford said.  “He arranged a meeting for sexual conduct, shows up about 2 p.m. where he is met by law enforcement rather than the minor he thought he was going to meet.”

Miller was arrested, interviewed and confessed to the crime, Weatherford said.

Miller was arraigned Tuesday morning and bond was set at $50,000 for online solicitation of a minor. He is being held in Hopkins County jail.

Weatherford said additional charges against Miller may be pending.

“It's a good possibility,” she said. “We have to look into some other factors. We have some other offenses that might be coming down the line.”

Miller's arrest adds one more name to a growing list of men who have come to Hopkins County expecting to meet an underage child for a sexual encounter but ended up in jail.

Both police and sheriff's deputies say the number of arrests reflect an aggressive, coordinated effort by both the police and sheriff's departments.

 

 
All rural school districts ‘met standard’ on state ratings PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Lance   
Saturday, 22 August 2015 12:06

All rural school districts in Hopkins County “met standard” on 2015 accountability ratings released earlier this month by Texas Education Agency. In fact, the ratings reveal that 94 percent of all school districts and charters across Texas have achieved the rating of “met standard.”

Schools receive an accountability rating or “Met Standard” or “Improvement Required.” The accountability summary includes a performance report with a score given on four indexes, for which the target score and the school’s score is listed; notations if a school earns gold star distinction; a list of the percentage of state system safeguards met; and a performance index summary. Reports also include campus demographics. Additional acknowledgments for placing in the top quartile on certain indicators can also be found. Schools are compared to 40 other schools of similar demographics, then ranked for quartiles.

Only two rural Hopkins County school districts’ accountability ratings included information from two separate campuses, which were also rated. Both North Hopkins and Cumby Independent School Districts received an overall district rating based on elementary and high school campus ratings. Como-Pickton, Miller Grove, Saltillo and Sulphur Bluff school districts, on the other hand, were rated based on data for all grade levels through 12th grade on one campus. Nearby Yantis Independent School District also earned an overall rating based on both elementary and secondary campus ratings.

Only one campus among all campuses in the six rural school districts in Hopkins County received an “improvement required” rating, the TEA accountability summaries released Aug. 7 noted.

In order to meet standard, districts and campuses are required to score at or above a set “target” score on three of the four performance indexes. Schools must meet target Index 3 which measures “closing performance gaps” and Index 4 which scores “post secondary readiness. Schools then must also meet or exceed the target standard on either Index 1, which measures student achievement, or on Index 2, which measures student progress.

Three campuses and one district earned gold start designations by scoring in the top quartile on all listed indicators. All campuses except one were noted for meeting some top quartile distinction, even if not enough to earn a gold star designation.

 

North Hopkins ISD

NHISD as a whole “met standard” on accountability ratings as did NH Elementary, but improvement is required at NH High School, according to the accountability summary. That places NHHS among only 610 campuses in the state, 43 of them high school campuses, to receive an “Improvement Required” rating.

North Hopkins ISD scored above target on all four performance index reports. The district scored one point above the target of 60 for student achievement; 11 points above the target 20 for student progress; one point above target 28 for, closing performance gaps; and 18 points above the target of 57 for postsecondary readiness.

NHISD met 54 percent (13 of 24 indicators) of state system safeguards; the district met 100 percent of graduation rates, had an 86 percent (six of seven indicators) of participation rate and 38 percent (six of 16) of performance on state system safeguards.

While the district did not earn any gold star distinctions designations, NHISD was noted on the 2015 TEA data to have ranked in the top quartile for four-year graduation rates, and for career and technology education graduates on the postsecondary readiness distinction indicators.

  •  High School

NH High School, a campus serving students in grades seven through 12,  did not meet standard on Index 3, which scores “closing performance gaps.” NHHS scored a 28; the target score was 31. The campus scored more than twice the target score for student progress, however, 37 points when the target was 15. NHHS scored just at the target 60 for student achievement and on Index 4, where the target score for post secondary readiness was 57, the high school scored 75.

Generally, when a school receives an “improvement required” accountability rating, the district must work with regional and state officials to devise a plan to improve those areas and monitor for a year.

The high school campus, according to the summary, also only met 10 of the 20 indicators in state system safeguards. NHHS had a 100 percent graduate rate, 67 percent (five of 13 indicators met) participation rate and 38 percent (four of six indicators met) performance rate on state system safeguards, according to the TEA data.

While the campus did not earn any gold star distinction designations, it did score in the top quartile on some of the indicators used to determine distinction designations. NHHS scored in the top quartile for greater than expected student growth, advanced placement examination participation, and advanced/dual enrollment course completion rate, all in reading/English language arts; the top quartile in math advanced/dual enrollment course completion rates; and four-year graduation rates, and career/technology education graduates, both postsecondary readiness distinction indicators.

  •  Elementary

North Hopkins Elementary, unlike NHHS, did meet standard, even while scoring below target on one of the four performance indexes. NHE scored 28 for student progress, two points below target. However, because the campus scored above the target score for student achievement, and scored above target on Indexes 3 and 4, NHES still “met standard.” 

NHE, a camus that serves early child education through sixth grade students, had 100 percent participation rates but only 67 percent performance rates on state system safeguards because the campus met only four of six indicators of performance rates. That gave the campus an overall 80 percent rating (eight of 10 indicators met) on state system safeguards, according to the TEA data.

 

Cumby ISD

Cumby Independent School District, as well as both the Cumby Elementary and Cumby High School campuses each “met standard” on the accountability summary.

CISD exceeded the target on all four performance indexes. The district scored 74 on Index 1, 14 points above target; 33 on Index 2, 13 above target; 41 on Index 3, 13 above target; and 76 on Index 4, 19 above target.

The campus did not receive any gold star designations, but was recognized for placing in the top quartile for career and technology eduction-coherent sequent graduates, one of the postsecondary readiness distinction indicators.

CISD met 95 percent (18 of 19 indicators) on state system safeguards; the district had 100 percent graduation and participation rates, and 92 percent (12 of 13 indicators) performance rates.

  •  Elementary

Cumby Elementary scored 100 percent (all nine indicators) of state system safeguards.

The campus, which serves early childhood classes through fifth grade, exceeded target on all four performance indexes. CES scored 71 on Index 1, 11 points above target for student achievement; 39 on Index 2, nine points above target for student progress; 36 on Index 3, eight points above target for closing performance gaps; and 23 on Index 4, 11 points above target for postsecondary readiness.

The campus did not receive any gold star distinctions, but was noted for scoring in the top quartile in third grade reading.

  •  High School

Cumby High School, which serves students in grades seven through 12, in addition to meeting standard, also earned one gold star distinction for academic achievement in science. To earn the gold star distinction designation, CHS scored in the top quartile for eighth grade science performance and ACT science performance.

The high school did not earn gold star distinctions, but was noted for scoring scored in the top quartile for ACT ELA performance, and career and technology education graduates.

CHS scored 75 on Index 1, 15 points above target for student achievement; 31 on Index 2, 16 points above target for student progress; 41 on Index 3, 10 points above target for closing performance gaps; and 77 on Index 4, 20 points above target for postsecondary readiness. 

The school also scored 94 percent (meeting 16 of 17 indicators) on state system safeguards; the campus met 100 percent of graduation and participation rate safeguards, and 91 percent (10 of 11 indicators) of performance rates safeguards.

 

Yantis ISD

The only other rural area district rated both on the district and campus levels was Yantis ISD; the district and both campuses met standard on the TEA accountability rating. 

Overall, Yantis ISD exceeded target on all four performance indexes. The district scored 76 on Index 1, 16 above target; 37 on Index 2, 17 above target; 39 on Index 3, 11 above target; and 77 on Index 4, 20 above target.

YISD did not receive any gold star distinction designations, but did score in the top quartile for four-year RHSP/DAP rate, college-ready graduates and SAT/ACT participation.

The district also met 85 percent (17 of 20 indicators) of state system safeguards; YISD had 100 percent graduation and participation rates, and 11 of 14 performance rate indicators (79 percent) on the safeguards.

  •  Elementary

Yantis Elementary, which serves students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, met standard by exceeding target on all four performance indexes. The school scored 65 on index 1, 5 above target; 54 on Index 2, 24 above target; 31 on Index 3, three above target; and 20 on Index 4, eight above target.

The school earned one gold star distinction designation for scoring in the top 25 percent on student progress.

While Imogene Glenn Elementary in YISD did not receive star distinction designations, the campus also was noted to have also ranked in the top quartile for greater than expected student growth in ELA and grade five reading performance. 

On state system safeguards, the campus met 100 percent of participation rates, and met 4 of 6  (67 percent) performance rate indicators; that’s an overall 80 percent (eight of 10 indicators) on state system safeguards.

  •  Secondary School

Yantis School, a secondary campus that serves students in grades six to 12, met standard on the accountability rating, meeting target on all four performance indexes and earned two gold star distinction designations. One gold star was for being in the top 25 percent on closing performance gaps (scoring 53, 22 above target on Index 3) and another for postsecondary readiness (scoring 82 when the target was 57 on Index 4). The campus also scored 89 on Index 1, 29 above target, and 19 on Index 2, four above target.

Noted in the “closing performance gaps” gold star distinction was Yantis, ranking on the top 25 percent in closing performance gaps; between seventh rated Harmony Science Academy-Euless and 8th ranked Apermont High School. Contributing to the post secondary readiness gold star distinction was the campus’ rank in the top quartile on the following indicators: four-year graduation rate and four-year RHSP/DAP rate, and SAT/ACT participation.

Additional distinction indicators on which YHS score in the top quartile were attendance rates (96.6 percent) and SAT/ACT participation in R/ELA and math, science and social studies attendance rates. 

The campus also scored 100 percent on all state system safeguard (performance, participation and graduation rates).

 

Como-Pickton CISD

Como-Pickton Consolidated ISD, which serves students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, met standard on the accountability summary. On performance indexes, CP scored 74 on Index 1, 14 points above target on student achievement; 33 on Index 2, 18 points above target on student progress; 36 on Index 3, five points above target on closing performance gaps; and  74 on Index 4, 17 percent above target on post secondary readiness.

While the district did not earn any gold star distinction designations, CP was also noted to score in the top quartile on the following distinction indicators: third and fourth grade reading performance, fifth grade reading and science performance, seventh grade writing performance, and career and technology education graduates. 

CPCISD also met 89 percent (32 of 36 indicators) of state system safeguards. CP scored 100 percent on graduation and participation rates, and met 19 of 23 performance indicators (83 percent) on state system safeguards.

 

Miller Grove ISD

Miller Grove ISD, a district serving pre-kindergarten through 12th graders, met standard.

On performance indexes, MGISD scored 79 on Index 1, 19 points above the target score on student achievement; 37 on Index 2, 22 above target for student progress; 39 on Index 3, eight above target for closing performance gaps; and 80 on Index 4, 23 above target on postsecondary readiness.

The school district scored 100 percent (16 of 16 indicators) on state system safeguards.

While MGISD did not receive any gold star distinction designations, the school did place in the top quartile on the following distinction indicators: grade five reading and science performance, end of course English II performance, advanced/dual enrollment course completion rate in R/ELA and four-year graduation rate.

 

Saltillo ISD

Saltillo ISD, a district serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, not only met standard, but scored 100 percent on all state system safeguards and earned four gold star designations.

The district earned gold star distinction designations for academic achievement in science and social studies, top 25 percent student progress and closing performance gaps. Top quartile indicators leading to these designations included: science attendance rates, grade 8 science performance, social studies attendance rates, grade 8 social studies performance, and EOC U.S. history performance. SISD tied Cotton Center School for fifth place in the “top 25 percent student progress ratings,” and was rated behind number one school Sabine Pass and second rated Avalon School in top 25 percent closing performance gaps.

SISD was noted for placing in the top quartile but did not receive gold star designations on the following indictors: R/ELA and math attendance rates, greater than expected student growth in R/ELA, grade four writing performance, grade 8 reading performance, Index 4-percent at STAAR postsecondary readiness standard and four-year longitudinal graduation rate.

On performance indexes, Saltillo ISD scored 83 on Index 1, 23 above target; 41 on Index 2, 26 above target; 47 on Index 3, 16 above target; and 72 on index 4, 15 above target.

Sulphur Bluff ISD

Sulphur Bluff ISD, a district serving pre-k through 12th graders, met standard, scoring above target on all four indexes and scored 93 percent (14 of 15 indicators) on state system safeguards. The district scored 77 on Index 1, 17 points above target for student achievement; 36 on Index 2, 21 points above target for student progress; 37 on Index 3, six points above for closing performance gaps; and 75 on Index 4, 18 above target for postsecondary readiness.

The district met 93 percent (14 of 15 indicators) on state system safeguards. SBISD met 100 percent participation and graduation rates, and 90 percent (9 out of 10 indicators) performance rates.

While SBISD did not earn any gold star distinction designations, the district was noted to rank in the top quartile on five indicators: fifth grade, sixth, seventh and eighth grade reading performance; and college-ready graduates.

All campus and district accountability ratings can be found by clicking on the 2015 accountability data link in the middle of Texas Education Agency’s front page or directly at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2015/index.html

 
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