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Arrests made in theft, burglary cases

Sheriff’s officers Tuesday cleared three burglaries, took two into custody in relation to the cases, recovered two trucks

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Plaque unveiled to honor rodeo promoter, horseman and lasso specialist Mike Pribble

Rodeo extraordinaire Mike Pribble was posthumously honored at noon Wednesday with a plaque at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center’s Equine Pavilion. The community gathered as Pribble’s daughter and granddaughter, Cathey Williams and Meredith Caddell, spoke at the event alongside their extended family. 

“Our family is so elated. There are no words to describe how much everyone has done. I can’t believe it’s actually going to happen,” said Williams before the dedication. “I don’t think I have ever been a part of something so exciting and as moving as this process has been to memorialize daddy.” 

More than 50 people attended the Pribble plaque unveiling. Hopkins County Regional Civic Center Manager Adam Teer opened the event by inviting Williams and Caddell to the front of the pavilion to speak. 

Williams invited her family to the stage along with KSST radio host Enola Gay Mathews, Billy Wayne and Charles Helm.

“Enola Gay was the one who had the vision in 1990,” said Williams. “She knew that something had to be done and founded a chili cookout and worked so hard. She ended up going to the city, Civic Center and everyone she could trying to get something done for my daddy.”

Williams said Mathews talked to Helm, who is on the Civic Center board, and they began to work together to raise money and find a way to have the plaque displayed in the pavilion. 

“I remember when Charles Helm came to the Chamber of Commerce one day and said, ‘Something has to be done for your dad,’” Williams said. “He went before the county commissioners and got it approved.”

Williams’ speech ended by talking briefly about her father and how he brought the first rodeo to Sulphur Springs. She said that although he came originally from Fort Worth, his hometown became Sulphur Springs. 

She continued to say that Pribble began his career in Sulphur Springs at a young age. He purchased a horse at age nine and began practicing every day to become the best rider and roper he could be. 

“Back in the 1930s, everything in Sulphur Springs happened in city park. Daddy wanted to hold a rodeo and got permission from the city. He held the event in the football stadium for the first two years,” said Williams. 

One of Pribble’s signature tricks would be to stand on his head while roping eight galloping horses. He also would perform a Texas skip for 200 yards up and down the arena, vaulting stunts off the back and side of his horse, suicide drags and many different standing tricks. Eventually, he was recruited by Will Rogers for Western movies.

In 1938, Pribble built a large arena in Buford Park. Pribble soon became a public figure by performing tricks and fancy roping displays during his rodeos. For more than four decades he held a huge rodeo on Independence Day weekend, attracting 20,000 fans annually.

Pribble became a rodeo producer and director and local goodwill ambassador from 1911 to 1972.  By 1954, Pribble upgraded his facility to be Texas' largest and finest all-steel, 6,000-seat arena.

The plaque unveiling ended with refreshments and dozens of photos temporarily displayed to commemorate Mike Pribble’s life.  

2015 Outdoor Kids Camp at Cooper Lake Sp/South Sulphur Unit

Texas Parks and Wildlife has promoted the theme of “Life Is Better Outside!” And how true that theme is! Studies show that a person who spends time outside is usually healthier, does better in school, and it affects people cognitively and behaviorally.

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D.A.R.E. Music and Comedy Review tickets on sale for July 24 event

Deadline extended for chances for new vehicle

Hopkins County D.A.R.E. officer and friends are gearing up for the Third Annual Hopkins County Music and Comedy Review on July 24; the deadline to obtain raffle tickets for chances to win a 2015 Chrysler 200 has also been extended.

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County officials out of the marriage business

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After a historic decision last week from the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage, Hopkins County has begun dealing with repercussions of the decision and struggling with who will conduct a marriage ceremony after a licence has been issued.

In previous years, justices of the peace, county and city judges have conducted marriage ceremonies in Hopkins County. Currently, all county officials have declined to hold ceremonies going forward. In accordance with the Supreme Court decision, the Hopkins County Clerk’s Office will issue wedding licences for same-sex couples. 

“Right now, I do not know of any judges or clerks who are conducting marriage ceremonies,” said Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom. “I am not going to be doing any more due to religious reasons.”

Government judges have the priviledge to conduct wedding ceremonies, but they are not legally obligated. To keep from discriminating against same-sex couples, Hopkins County officials are declining to perform any marriage rites.

“We want the public to know that conducting wedding ceremonies was never a part of our judicial responsibility. It has always been a privilege for the public. There are some judges who have never performed a wedding in their lives,” said Justice of the Peace Brad Cummings.  

“I am exercising my right not to do any marriages, period.” said JP B.J. Teer. 

On Sunday, Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton agreed with Hopkins County officials after publishing an opinion on the very subject. Paxton said that personal religious freedom of local government officials is being affected by the Supreme Court decision.

“County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case,” said Paxton. “Justices of the peace and judges similarly retain religious freedoms.”

With local officials declining to hold any marriage ceremonies, Hopkins County residents will have to reach out to local ordained ministers to conduct wedding ceremonies. For same-sex marriages, that could be a substantial problem. So far, the News-Telegram has not found any clergymen in the county who will perform a same-sex wedding.

The Southern Baptist Convention released a letter standing against same-sex marriage. 

“What the Bible says about marriage is clear, definitive and unchanging. We affirm Biblical, traditional, natural marriage as the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The Scriptures’ teaching on marriage is not negotiable,” said Southern Baptist Convention President Pastor Ronnie Floyd. “Consequently, we will not accept, nor adhere to, any legal redefinition of marriage issued by any political or judicial body including the United States Supreme Court. We will not recognize same-sex ‘marriages,’ our churches will not host same-sex ceremonies, and we will not perform such ceremonies.”

The United Methodist Church released a similar letter to the Clergy of North Texas Conference. 

“Please remember that ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches,” said Resident Bishop Michael McKee. 

“I would have to think long and hard about that decision. In the Bible, a marriage has always been between a man and a woman,” said First Presbyterian Church Paster Charles Moore. 

On Tuesday morning, the News-Telegram tried to reach out to more than a dozen churches in the area, but so far no denomination has verified that they are willing to host a same-sex marriage ceremony. For any same-sex couples looking to be married in Hopkins County, it might be easier to find a willing minister somewhere else.   

There had not been a request for a same-sex marriage license by 10 a.m. Tuesday, Newsom said, but  the County Clerk’s Office had received several calls.

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