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MADD Walk surpasses goal before event happens; Saturday’s walk has stations for everyone

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Hopkins County Walk Like MADD won’t begin until Saturday evening, but local teams and walkers have not only exceeded the set goal but did so in record time. As of Tuesday morning, the campaign had raised $11,895 for Mothers Against Drunk Driving of East Texas; the goal was set at $10,000, according to group’s page on walklikemadd.org.

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Sulphur Bluff Club News Sept. 23, 2014

Sulphur Bluff Independent School District Interim Superintendent Dustin Carr reports that the 2014-15 school year is off to a positive start, following a productive summer.

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Autumn Artists

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On the first day of fall, Aaliyah Cheatum colors an autumn-themed project Tuesday morning entitled the “Giving Tree,” based on a book by Shel Silverstein in teacher Shelia Rorie’s second grade classroom at Lamar Primary School. The “Giving Tree” is a book about a lifelong relationship between a boy and a tree.

Unexpected discoveries slow jail construction

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Three weeks into the dirt work preparing the site for the new $16 million Hopkins County jail, more unexpected discoveries are slowing dirt work. “We've discovered things which we think was from the old cotton gin, more than likely,” said Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom said. “There are some substances there that may be hazardous, so we are having to have lots of dirt tested right now.” Those test results have not come back. “It is not just in one area now, it's in at least three areas that they are having to test,” the judge said. “That has slowed down, somewhat, the work — even though they are still working moving dirt as well as some dirt that will have to be tested.” Any contaminated dirt found on the site will have to be disposed of in a special landfill. The county judge said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has not been brought in at this point to test for contamination. The county has contracted with a commercial firm to conduct the soil tests. As the contractor began excavating the site, an old railroad spur that extended to an old cotton gin was discovered. The soil contaminants are thought to have come from the gin as well. Newsom said the additional discoveries at the sight have come as a surprise to both the county and the contractor. “In fact, I asked the construction manager the other day if he had ever seen one just like this and he said, 'No, this is the most we've ever found in any of the construction projects I've done thus far,'” Newsom said. “It is challenging for them because they are uncovering these things and we have to stop, have them tested and, once we have them tested, we take certain procedures and then we move on.” The discovery of the rail spur and now the contaminated dirt are presenting some problems for the county. “It's costing more because we are having to pay for all this testing we are having to have done,” the judge said. “If it turns out the material has some kind of hazardous property to it, we have to dispose of it in a specific way and not like we would normally. “It has already caused a one-to-two week delay, but, we are going to get it done,” he added. “One thing that has come from this, we are going to have to have larger and stronger pillars underground to support the jail because of the digging we are having to do. It's not a bad thing necessarily, we're just going to have more concrete and wider piers than we had originally planned for.” Financially, the costs associated with these unexpected discoveries and delays are increasing due to the testing and disposal of hazardous materials as well as having to use more concrete than initially planned. The county judge said, however, funds were set aside for the unexpected. “Budget-wise, we're okay so far,” Newsom said.

Chase: Burglar caught in Cumby; another at large

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Police took one Dallas man into custody early Sunday morning on two felony charges stemming from a break-in at Tobacco Patch in Sulphur Springs that resulted in an interstate car chase to Cumby. A search was launched for a second man, who eluded officers on foot in Cumby. Investigators believe as many as three others seen in a white car may have been involved in the burglary and cigarette theft.

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