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Celebration District signs approved for South Broadway

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In a special noon meeting, Sulphur Springs City Council gave approval to the expenditure of some $6,000 for the purchase and installation of lighted signs on South Broadway Street at the Interstate 30 overpass, pointing the way toward the downtown “Celebration District.” “A while back we changed the name of Broadway over the bridge to Celebration District, so we could hang these signs up,” City Manager Marc Maxwell told councilmembers. “The agreement has been approved by Texas Department of Transportation. They call it an advanced funding agreement, although we are not actually sending any money to them — they are just allowing us, by this agreement to hang the signs up.” Councilmember Oscar Aguilar asked if the city could also get the Celebration District name under the bridge over the interstate. Maxwell said although that is in the plans, he has just not gotten to it yet. “I've been just so focused on [signs],” Maxwell said. “We probably can, but I think the next thing I want to focus on is getting the exit signs marked 'Broadway-Gilmer Celebration District.’” The signs will be mounted directly under the signal lights on Industrial Drive and Shannon Road. The signs’ faces will be green with white lettering with a light source inside and will read “Celebration District” with an arrow pointing toward the downtown area. The city manager told the council the city already has a contractor lined up to install the signs at a cost of about $6,000. Maxwell said there would be some indirect costs to cover TxDoT’s time to make sure the signs are installed properly. The cost of electricity for lighting the signs, estimated to be about $10 a year, will be covered by the state.

Reader asks about RR crossings; here’s the answer

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The News-Telegram wants to help its readers answer those types of questions that you’re not sure where to turn for help. Readers can email questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and the News-Telegram staff will answer them in the Tuesday edition as soon as we can get answers. Railroad Crossings Question: How much longer will we have to endure the two roughest railroad crossings in the state, namely Houston and College streets? Answer: The answer to this question was quickly provided by C. Doniele Carlson, AVP Corporate Communications and Community Affairs, Kansas City Southern. “KCS has plans to make improvements at the Houston Street crossing within a couple of weeks,” Carlson said in an email Monday morning. “Materials are ordered and plans are underway to address the College Street crossing within a couple of months.” In pursuit of an answer to the question, we also talked with Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell; Wayne Defebaugh, president and general manager of Blacklands Railroad; and Brad Johnson, general manager of Northeast Texas Farmers Co-op, through whose property the tracks run. On Houston Street, there is new concrete pavement on both sides of the railroad crossing and there is a gap of about 50 feet that is filled with pot holes and rails of a Kansas City Railroad spur that extends to the North East Texas Farmers Co-op plant and connects with Blacklands Railroad. “It's very clear where the railroad right-of-way is, where the spur crosses Houston Street,” Maxwell said. “We work right up to the edge of where we can and then we stop. “What's interesting about that example is that at the moment, KCS is claiming that that's not their spur to maintain — that it would be the responsibility of North East Texas Rural Rail District, which is extremely interesting to me because KCS required the city to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for plan review, engineering, flagmen, etc., to run our water lines underneath the spur,” Maxwell said. “Now they are claiming it is not theirs.” The city manager said that he is going to recommend to the city council that a lawsuit be filed against KCS to recover the money the city had to spend to meet the railroad’s requirements. “Everybody else wants them to fix the crossing,” Maxwell said. “We are not going to sue for that — we just want our money back.” At the crossing on College Street, the height of the rail is considerably lower than the pavement on the street and is extremely rough and, that too, is an issue with Kansas City Railroad. Defebaugh said Monday that, although the Houston Street crossing is very near Blacklands rails, the tracks and right-of-way belong to Kansas City Southern; he is interested in seeing the crossing properly repaired. The job, however, is up to KCS. The rail spur runs through North East Texas Farmers Co-op feed mill and connects with the Blackland rail. Brad Johnson at the Co-op said the crossing on Houston Street has become so rough that he has had to reroute feed trucks away from the crossing to prevent further damage to his trucks. Johnson also suggested there could be safety concerns at the Houston Street crossing for school buses. Although the College Street crossing has much more auto traffic, Houston Street is in much worse condition and, according to the railroad company spokesperson, will be addressed “within a couple of weeks.” Now that the question has been answered, we are going to hang around to see if Kansas City Sothern's plans stay on track or get derailed.

Woman shoots son during argument

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A Sulphur Springs man was reportedly assaulted by a 20-year-old and shot in the leg by his mother Sunday night at his home in the Bonanza community. The violence reportedly started over an argument about animals.


Burglar faces additional charges

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Alejandro Mejia-Luna, the 30-year-old Sulphur Springs man arrested Friday for burglary after a deputy caught him leaving a Church Street residence with property he reportedly had just stolen from the house, had formally been charged Monday with additional felonies, according to sheriff’s reports.


Home burglar caught in SS

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An alert deputy on his way home from work Friday night is credited with catching a burglar leaving a home he’d just taken items from, sheriff’s officers said Saturday. 

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