Both incumbents are seeking re-election to Sulphur Springs Independent School District Board of Trustees.
Trucks were lining up and a big crane was in place this week at the construction site for the new Hopkins County jail. For most of Monday, 18-wheelers were sitting in queue to have reinforced concrete roofing panels lifted off and set into place on the new jail and, at the same time, other construction workers were making preparation for the walls on the office portion of the facility. Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom said construction is still running a few days behind schedule, but it’s not of great concern a this time. “My understanding is we're still 19 days behind schedule,” Newsom said. “We have had a real rainy winter that we are grateful for, but a the same time, they are a little bit behind.” With warmer temperatures and no rain this week, Newsom and Sedalco Construction Superintendent Gary Johnson expect to see even more progress. “We are excited that they are starting to pour more concrete, especially with the weather warming up, and they are trying to complete that,” the judge continued. “They are working on the walls and now, they are working on the roof.” With the roof in place and workers in the dry, it is expected that work will move at a more rapid place. “Once they get the roof and walls complete, nothing will slow them down,” Newsom said. “Once they are out of the weather, they can really make some progress. We expect to get our days back, and we will be planning to move in this coming October.”
Sulphur Springs Police Investigator David Gilmore said additional charges have been filed in connection with a Friday night incident at the Walmart store. Hollis Blaine Sartin, 40, of Pickton was served with a third-degree felony warrant for terroristic threat Tuesday afternoon. “Since the incident, we have been looking at different charges and working with the district attorney's office trying to determine which charge would be most appropriate for what happened at Walmart that night, besides the obvious charge of the stolen vehicle,” Gilmore said. “The terroristic threat statute itself holds several different levels, misdemeanors and felonies,” Gilmore said. “This particular charge is a felony three, placing the public or substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury . I think we easily reached that threshold with what [Sartin's] actions were out there Friday night.” Sartin was being held in lieu of $75,000 bond on the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charge when the terroristic charge was filed. After being arraigned on the additional charges Wednesday morning, an additional bond of $35,000 was set for the man. Sartin was identified using store video as the man who parked a stolen pickup in front of the grocery side entrance at Walmart, then was seen holding what appeared to be a pistol as he entered the store about 10:15 p.m. Friday. The store was evacuated while police, deputies, troopers and the local special response team searched it to ensure the man did not remain inside. A review of additional cameras later Friday night showed the man made his way from the grocery side of the store walking, and at times lightly running, to the automotive exit, which was locked. He then went behind the counter into the parts storage area and out of the building. A warrant was obtained for Sartin's arrest as he was identified as the driver of the pickup, which came back as having been stolen from Arkansas Thursday. Sheriff's officials got a call about 6:15 a.m. Saturday that the man was seen in shorts, barefoot leaving Walmart in another vehicle headed toward State Highway 11 east, the direction of his residence. Deputies went to his address, where they saw him running toward his residence. He was taken to a State Highway 154 location, where he directed officers under a bridge where they found a firearm, which he said was the one from the Walmart incident Friday night. The weapon, according to police reports Saturday, was a BB gun or pellet-type air pistol. Jail records show numerous prior arrests on Sartin's record, which could result in the stolen vehicle charge being enhanced.
Sulphur Bluff and Sulphur Springs Elementary schools have announced two students each who are advancing to the regional science fair contest after earning top honors at the school contest; top winners from each level were also announced.