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Lizbeth Mares, Yasmin Diosdado named top CPHS seniors

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Lizbeth Mares was named valedictorian and Yasmin Diosdado as salutatorian of Como-Pickton High School Senior Class of 2015 based on their cumulative grade point average from all four years of high school. The announcement was made during the Senior Night program held at the school earlier this week.


IndyCars are coming to Texas Motor Speedway in June

Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to start your engines because the 19th Annual Verizon IndyCar Series: Firestone 600 is coming to Fort Worth on June 6. 

“Everyone who competed in the Indianpolis 500 will be coming again at Texas Motor Speedway. We are going to be running it at night and these cars are going to be traveling at 215 to 220 miles per hour on the track,” said Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway. “The great thing about it, the race looks so much faster at night. It is going to be an amazing thing to see. It will give you chills.” 

Johnny Rutherford, a retried race car driver and winner of three Indianapolis 500s, stressed that driving at night is much harder than during the day. He said the reason the event is so exciting is due to the cars moving so fast, action will be happening all over the course at the same time.   

“There is going to be so much to see at this race. The thing I like about Texas Motor Speedway is how the track is set up. There really is not a bad seat in the house and this race is going to be something special,” said Rutherford.?? 

One of the features of Texas Motor Speedway is Big Hoss. Big Hoss is the worlds largest high-definition video board that was unveiled in March 2014. 

"There's nothing like attending live sporting events. This means you don't miss a thing. We will  have replays of all the action," said Gossage in a previous interview. "To me, it's an ultimate fan amenity, and also to have the biggest one in the world." 

  The massive monitor is 218-feet wide and 95-feet high. 

“To be able to see a replay on that screen is truly spectacular,” said Gossage. “There are a ton of racing fans in East Texas and we want them to come out to Texas Motor Speedway to watch the Indy cars.”

For more information visit texasmotorspeedway.com/ or call 817-215-8500. Ticket can be purchased over the phone or online at ticketmaster.com.  

Red Stone Music Festival comes to town

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It’s time to kick off summer with the Red Stone Music Festival on June 6. The boot stomping event will feature an all-star line up of Texas country singers, venders and activities on Sulphur Springs Celebration Plaza.

“This is the first time we are going to be putting on this music festival in connection with the city of Sulphur Springs. The city has been wonderful in helping us out and making sure this event happens,” said Kadi Hanes, East Texas Radio’s Texas Music Hour host. “The event will include four Texas music artists, and I think they are all A-listers and are doing great on the music scene right now.”

JB and the Moonshine Band, Curtis Grimes, Rich O’Toole and Sam Riggs will all be playing  throughout the evening. 

“Our first act will begin at 4 p.m. with Sam Riggs followed by Rich O’Toole.  Finishing off the evening, we will have two East Texas-born and-raised acts with Curtis Grimes and JB and the Moonshine Band,” said Hanes. “All of the artists have had a number one on the Texas music charts so they are all going to put on a great show.”

East Texas Radio is hosting the event, which includes stations Star Country 95.9, KPLT Classic Country 1490 AM and KOYN 93.9 FM. 

“All of our country stations are helping put this together,” said Hanes. “We have tickets on sale at any of our radio stations or at outhousetickets.com. Advance tickets are $12 or, if purchased online, there is an additional $2.50 transaction fee. If you show up at the gate, they will be $17. One of the great things about this concert this year is we will be able to take credit cards at the gate.”

The festival will end around 10 p.m., although the venue is scheduled through midnight. 

“There will be venders at the event and I believe that Budweiser will be providing the alcohol,” said Hanes.

For more information, visit easttexas radio.com; to purchase tickets visit outhousetickets.com/Event/Event6611/.


Two from SSHS named state academic UIL champions

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The Sulphur Springs High School UIL Academic Team ranked fifth out of 58 teams competing in the 5A State Meet Tuesday, May 28, at The University of Texas in Austin.

“Our trip to the state meet was very successful! We came home with two state championships — one for first place individual and the other for first place team in literary criticism! The spellers also brought home medals,” noted Gina Wilder, SSHS UIL coordinator. “Way to go Wildcats!”

In literary criticism, McKenzie Hohenberger placed first, Laura Graham placed second, and Patricia Parks placed seventh. MiKayla Jones completed the first place team.

“McKenzie and Laura tied for first place individually, so the tiebreaker essays for each were read. The literary criticism contest rules state that ties must be broken, but we really had two first place winners!” explained Wilder.

In spelling and vocabulary, Lydia Burleson tied for fourth place individually. She, Carson McIllwain, Jenna Ash and Jessye Castro won second place team. The group was the fourth seed team entering state competition. Gail Herman coaches both of these teams.

“Beth Grafton and Gail Herman sponsor the teams that competed at state. Gail sponsors ready writing, literary criticism, and spelling and vocabulary. Beth sponsors social studies and current events. These two amazing women know how to motivate their students and prepare them for competition. They spend countless hours working with their competitors as well as planning for their study sessions. These two ladies repeatedly carry students to the state meet. I cannot express how much I appreciate their dedication to both UIL and their students,” Wilder said.


$1.3M bond set on child sex assault charges

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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.

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