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$1.3M bond set on child sex assault charges

After being informed of an outcry by a child who had been sexually assaulted and abused earlier this week, Hopkins County Sheriff’s investigators arrested Hunter Wayne Dixon, 20, on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum said the assaults occurred started last December and the outcry led to the arrest.

“One of the victims made an outcry and, when they did, the sheriff’s office was contacted and we started an investigation,” Tatum said. “It was brought to our attention last Tuesday and he was arrested Thursday.”

Investigators said there were two victims, both under 10 years of age.

Investigator Dennis Findley said Dixon initially denied the accusations but, after being interviewed, gave officers a confession.

Dixon was arraigned Friday morning before Justice of the Peace Brad Cummings who set bond at $400,000 on the charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child and a bond of $900,000 on the charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

The 20-year-old Dixon is being held in Hopkins County jail in lieu of bond on the charges.

Who is Christus Health?

Headquartered in Dallas, Christus Health System has health care facilities in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana and New Mexico as well as a number of facilities in Texas, eight in Mexico and two facilities in Chile.

A majority of Christus Health hospitals are in Northeast Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas with facilities in Texarkana and Atlanta.

Christus Health is an international Catholic, faith-based, not-for-profit health system comprised of almost 350 services and facilities, including more than 60 hospitals and long-term care facilities, 175 clinics and outpatient centers, as well as a number of other health services and ventures.

Jointly sponsored by the two religious congregations of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston and San Antonio, the mission of Christus Health is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.

To support the Christus health care ministry, Christus employs approximately 30,000 people and has more than 9,000 physicians on medical staffs throughout our system. 

The dimension, strength and depth of service place Christus among the top 10 Catholic health systems in the United States.

Christus CEO Ernie Sadau said the Christus vision is to be a leader, a partner in the creation of innovative health and wellness solutions that improve to improve the lives of individuals and communities so that all may experience God's healing presence and love.

“Above all, we are committed to providing our customers and their family members with a truly unique healing experience, one that embodies our values and respects the dignity and worth of each person. Creating a health care system that is truly excellent in all areas is an ongoing effort.”

To learn more about Christus Health System, visit, online, christushealth.org;  twitter.com/christushealth; facebook.com/christushealth and youtube.com/christushealth


More than a Band-Aid Christus Health intends to take majority interest in HCMH

After almost a year and a half of searching, Hopkins County Memorial Hospital Board of Directors announced Friday a letter of intent in which Christus Health will become a partner in the ongoing management and operation of the hospital.

The letter of intent is the first step toward finalizing a partnership with Christus, which will take over a majority interest in the local hospital and clinic.

In a called meeting of the hospital board at noon Friday, board members unanimously agreed to move forward with a partnership agreement with Christus Health.

When finalized, possibly within the next 90 days, Christus Health will acquire the majority share [51 percent] of and will manage the hospital, clinic and related entities. The Hopkins County Hospital District will retain a minority [49 percent] ownership of the hospital.

Patients will see no change in procedures as the two entities work on the binding agreement. 

Tim Kelty, HCMH Board of Directors president, said the board has worked diligently to identify the best partner to continue and enhance the mission and vision of Memorial Hospital and Clinic.

“When we began the process of exploring potential partners, we established essential criteria including the partner's ability to strengthen the quality of care we provide, improve our financial viability and provide access to capital, collaborate with medical staff and employees, and preserve the local voice in our health care system. Christus meets and exceeds these criteria,” Kelty said. “The community will benefit in many ways from MH&C's partnership with Christus, and we are excited to learning more about the exciting opportunities and commitments that our partnership will bring to Sulphur Springs.”

Michael McAndrew, CEO of the Hopkins County Hospital District, said the pairing is a good fit for the community and the hospital.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Christus Health,” McAndrew said. “After a substantial process to find the right partner that shares our commitment to our patients and community, we are confident Christus Health will enable us to continue and improve upon this commitment and further enhance our mission. Christus Health has a strong foundation and shared values which will strengthen the delivery of care locally while providing an established system that will prepare Hopkins County Memorial Hospital for future health care delivery models.”

Ernie Sadau, CEO of Christus Health, said the partnership will bring together two health systems focused on serving their communities.

“We believe that it will also ensure that Hopkins County Memorial Hospital District continues its mission of healing the people of Hopkins County,” Sadau said. “We are excited about welcoming the hospital and the community into the Christus family and expanding the reach of high quality, compassionate health care already provided here.” 

For the past several years HCMH has worked to recruit and bring new physicians to the community and both McAndrew and Sadau say the partnership with Christus will have the potential to bring more doctors to Sulphur Springs.

“We definitely will be committed to that,” Sadau said. “Because of the size of our organization and the stability together in this partnership and the stability we can bring to the hospital and the community from a heath care standpoint, as physicians come into the community, they want to be clear what that vision is for the organization,” he said. “I think that together we can do that. We obviously have a lot of our hospitals that have residency programs in them to where we are training physicians and they are looking for opportunities once they get out of residency. We are always trying to keep them somewhere in our network of hospitals, so I think there is an opportunity for that to improve.”

SH 154 designated for fallen hero Sgt. Tanner Higgins

While most were at home or observing Memorial Day with friends Monday, state officials were in session. One thing that the Texas Senate passed Monday on final reading was a bill designating the Sgt. Tanner Stone Higgins Memorial Highway.


SSHS to guide parents through online registration, Parent Access portal May 28

Sulphur Springs Independent School District will be using online registration for the 2015-16 school year.

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