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Deadline to enter stew contest, sponsorships is approaching

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    Cookers who are wanting to take part in the annual World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest have two weeks to get their registration in.

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Dean’s Kitchen Bartender at local club held in sex assault case

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A 31-year-old Sulphur Springs man, Oscar David Ramirez, is being held in lieu of $50,000 bond on a charge of aggravated sexual assault involving an 18-year-old woman.
    Sulphur Springs Police Lt. Rusty Stillwagoner said the assault reportedly occurred on July 13 and an investigation was ongoing until an arrest warrant for Ramirez was issued Wednesday.
    “The victim, a young lady, had been at Dean's Kitchen at the bar and had been served drinks by the bartender, Oscar Ramirez,” Stillwagoner said. “The victim, a white female, was at the bar for a time talking to the bartender whom she knew — that's kind of the last thing she remembered. Then she woke up at Ramirez' house with him on top of her having sex with her.”
    The young woman told police she told the man to stop and get off of her and, after a while he did and went to another room.    
    “She wrapped herself in a blanket and ran out the door, down to a neighbor's house for help,” the investigator said. “Friends were called and subsequently, the police arrived.”
    Stillwagoner said that it is possible some type of “date rape” drug may have been used in the assault.
    “The girl felt like she had been drugged,” he said. “There is no evidence of that whatsoever, but she felt that because she had no recollection whatsoever of what occurred to her, she has no recall, she doesn't know how she left the bar, doesn't know how she got to his house, how she got undressed or any of that. She just knows that when she came to, he was on top of her having intercourse with her.”
    Ramirez turned himself in to officers at Hopkins County Sheriff's Office just after 6 a.m. Thursday.
     Lt. Stillwagoner said information turned up during the investigation that indicates there may be other victims of sexual assaults that have not reported the assaults for whatever reason, whether they did not feel safe or just wanted to put the incident behind them.
    “We would hope that if there are other victims that they would contact me at the police department so an investigation can be opened on those as well,” Stillwagoner said. “That is just information that we have received during this investigation.”
    The police investigator said the department has been notified of other incidents occurring at the same business on East Industrial Drive, but not sexual assault.

Jury acquits Green on evidence fabrication charge

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An Eighth District Court jury took less than a half-hour to find 40-year-old Darrell Don Green not guilty of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence Wednesday afternoon.
    Green had been accused of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in a note written on a gas station credit card application in early April of 2013 and leaving it at a convenience store on East Shannon Road at Helm Lane that indicated two Hopkins County jail escapees were headed for Mount Pleasant and suggested he was being held hostage by saying “Help me please.”
    In his opening statement, Assistant District Attorney Peter Morgan told the six man, six woman jury about the escape of Brian Allen Tucker, who was awaiting trial for capital murder, and John Marlin King, who was being held for violating parole on a 40-year prison sentence.
    The escape, Morgan said, occurred just after the slaying of the district attorney in Kaufmann and his wife and that law enforcement resources were pulled from that investigation to assist in the search for the jail escapees.
    Defense attorney Deric Walpole told jurors the trial was not about whether or not Green wrote the note, but said his intent was not to hamper the search for the escapees.
    “What he did was incredibly, incredibly stupid,” Walpole said. “It was an attempt at a really bad joke, he was not thinking. He had no intent.”
    The defense attorney said he and Green were pleased with the not guilty verdict and also understood the reason the charges were filed.
     “I think the right outcome was reached,” Walpole said. “I certainly understand why the conduct was such a concern for law enforcement at the time it occurred. These guys are out and on the loose and one of them is looking at a death sentence and [law enforcement] thought it may have had something to do with the Kaufmann DA getting killed and, then, my client writes a note.
    “He didn't do what they charged him with, which was intending to help these guys escape,” the defense attorney said. “It was a mistake and the jury agreed with our position in that regard.”
    In his opening comments to the jury, Walpole said what Green did was  “incredibly, incredibly stupid” and the intent was not to hamper the investigation into the escape or search for the escapees.
    “It wasn't the smartest thing to do for sure ,” Walpole said. “And for that, he was definitely consequenced and for that a third-degree felony I don't think would be the right result.”

Kelly Wiser named new county DARE officer

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Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office this week officially announced a change in educational leadership. Deputy Kelly Wiser has recently received training to replace Brad Cummings as HCSO D.A.R.E. and public information officer.

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Dwight Corley Day in Sulphur Springs

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Dwight Corley (left) accepts a proclamation from Mayor Freddie Taylor declaring Tuesday, Sept. 2, as Dwight Corley Day in Sulphur Springs. Corley was recognized for 11 years of service to the Sulphur Springs Symphony League, serving as president from 2008-2013. Staff Photo by Jon Lance

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