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Lewis Tatum to run for sheriff

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Hopkins County Sheriff's Office Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum said Friday that he would be a candidate for the office of Hopkins County Sheriff in the March 1 primary elections.

Tatum said his decision to become a candidate was tied closely with current Sheriff Butch Adams’ decision to not seek another term in office.

“I do intend to run for sheriff now that Sheriff Adams has announced that he is retiring,” Tatum said. “We've been talking about it for quite some time and I have been learning about managing the budget, dealing with the commissioners court and all I will need to be able to do as sheriff.”

Tatum has been a deputy under Adams for the past 19 years.

“I've got some really big shoes to try to fill,” Tatum talking about his long time boss Butch Adams. “Butch has done such a good job for the past 20 years, and I have been with him all but one of those years and have learned a lot from him. I just hope I can carry it on.”

He has been thinking and planning to enter the race for Hopkins County Sheriff for quite a while.

“We want to keep this department going, we've worked hard. Butch has worked hard to put this together and we've all worked hard with him to keep going with what we've been able to accomplish,” he said. “We sure want to keep it going.”

Tatum has worked in every aspect of the sheriff's department over the past 19 years, from patrol deputy to shift commander, investigator and, for the past four years, chief investigator.

He said one of the biggest challenges facing the new county sheriff will be to make sure the new county jail is run properly and to continue to keep the county safe. 

“Continue what we are doing right now, chasing down these burglars,” Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum said. “Like everybody else in this world, we've got a methamphetamine problem; and we keep fighting that and keep the best deputies we can out on the street and make the citizens of this county happy.”  

In 2013, the Texas Sheriff's Association named Lewis Tatum Peace Officer of the Year.

Lewis and his wife, Michelle, have been married for 34 years. All of their children are grown and now have their own families; they comprise a very close-knit family.

“I guess we are very lucky to have all our kids that are healthy and all the grandkids are healthy,” he said. “It's, you know, it's a blessing.”

Lewis Jr., Tatum’s oldest son, is married to Lindsey and lives in Woodland, Calif.; they have a two-year-old daughter, Lila.

Riley and his wife, Hannah, live in Sulphur Springs; their daughter will be starting her first year at Lamar Primary School.

Alina went to Nashville in pursuit of a singing career, but became a housewife and mother. She married Michael Sanders; they live in Mount Juliet, Tenn., and have a little boy named Gibson, who turns two this month.

Tatum also served his country in the Navy and aboard the amphibious assault ship, the USS Peleliu, out of Long Beach, Calif., a Marine troop ship in the Gulf of Tonkin, Indian Ocean, the Philippines and Thailand.

 

Sheriff not seeking another term

Long time Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams said Thursday that he would not be seeking another term in office.

“I will not be a candidate for sheriff,” Adams said. “I'll have 20 years in and I think that's probably enough. I am not for or against term limits, but 20 years was my goal when I started and that's what I am going to keep with.”

At the end of his current term, at the end of 2016, Adams will have been the longest serving sheriff the county has had. To add to that, he followed the county's youngest sheriff, Mark Bassham, and the county's first black sheriff, Bill Dirks.

In looking back at his years as Hopkins County sheriff, Adams was quick to say he enjoyed it and to give credit to his deputies.

“I can't say anything but good about the people I've had under me,” he said. “They are pretty much what kept me getting elected each time, and I have had the support of pretty much all the people in the county each year and I've enjoyed it. I've had fun with it. It's like anything else, you have good days and bad days but, overall, I thoroughly have enjoyed what I've done.”

Adams said the decision to not seek another term in office was not a hard one to make.

“I pretty much had that goal of 20 years when I started,” Adams said. “It's like anything else; to keep it going strong you kind of want to get somebody a little younger to come in.

“It's like I am not computer illiterate but I can't do a lot with a computer,” he said. “Get somebody with a little more [technological experience], it can fast-forward that a little more.”

Adams says his future does involve travel.

“Traveling to the grandkids and, basically, catching up what I've let go around the house, mowing on the side a little and whatever my lovely wife says,” he said. 

In looking ahead, Sheriff Butch Adams offered a recommendation for a successor.

“I've got Lewis Tatum who is going to be running from this office,” he said. “I think he will do a real good job, and that's pretty much what I would say — I would be behind him.”

 

Hawg riders helping out homeless animals

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Summer is the best time to jump on a motorcycle and just ride, especially for a great cause. Muddy Jake’s Sports Grille and Pub will be sponsoring a motorcycle benefit ride, poker run and concert for the Hearts of Life Animal Rescue. The benefit is rightly called “Hawgz 4 Dawgz.“

“When people think of bikers, they think we are really gruff, but not all of us are like that. We love to give back to our community,” said Hawgz 4 Dawgz founder and event coordinator Lisa Ray.  

Three years ago, Ray and her husband regularly volunteered for different motorcycle benefits as a way to give back to Hopkins County. They eventually decided to set up their own benefit. 

“A friend of mine has a no-kill animal shelter on the north end of town. I found out he was low on funds to buy enough dog food for all the animals. I thought Hawgz 4 Dawgz would be a great way to raise money for his shelter,”  said Ray. “We have been doing it ever since.”

Hearts of Life Animal Rescue began with only a few pens more than six years ago. Currently, the non-profit organization is responsible for more than 400 adoptions and houses more than 50 animals at a time. 

Registration for Hawgz 4 Dawgz will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Muddy Jake’s. The ride will begin at 10:30 a.m. 

“Debra ‘Bo’ Bohannon will begin our event by playing the national anthem and holding a prayer. Then, the bikes will head out and make will head out and make five different stops and pick up poker chips for our poker run. We will be playing with dominoes this year,” said Ray. “There will prizes for the best high and low-hands. During the run, we will also be having three judges hold a best bike contest.”

At 5 p.m,. live music will kick off with Birthright Blues Project headlining the event, followed by Tyler Lenius. A silent auction will also be held. 

“We just want to help our community,” said Ray. “We are thankful for the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office and for Muddy Jakes’ for helping us with this event.”   

For more information about Hawgz 4 Dawgz, contact Hearts of Life Animal Rescue at 903-438-8000. 

Local man dies after being trapped under mower

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Funeral services are pending at Murray-Orwosky Funeral Home for 37-year-old Scotty Joe Thompson, who died in an accident involving a riding lawn mower Wednesday afternoon. Hopkins County Sheriff's deputies said a riding mower, being operated by Thompson on property on County Road 4778 near a pond, overturned into the water trapping the man under the mower and under water. Deputies and first responders pulled the man from the pool, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

No paper on Monday

There will not be a newspaper published on Monday, July 6, as the News-Telegram staff takes that day in observance of  Independence Day.

The Echo Publishing Co. office will also be closed on Monday.

Normal newspaper production will resume on Tuesday, July 7, and Echo offices will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

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