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Surprise jail inspection prompted by medical complaint

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Just as construction was getting started on a new Hopkins County jail to resolve a number of issues with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the commission made a surprise visit to current facility Thursday, according to County Judge Robert Newsom.
    The visit was prompted by a complaint the jail standards commission had received about the jail.
    “The complaint was based on some of the medical challenges that we are having down there at the jail,” the judge said. “We jumped right on it. We visited with medical personnel [Friday] and they are going to be sure our prisoners are taken care of.”
    Medical care and services at the jail are provided through a contract with Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, either in the hospital emergency room or at the jail, which Judge Newsom said was much less expensive.
    “We count on them to actually make sure that the inmates are taken care of,” he said. “It's just part of our responsibility.”
     The jail commission's annual visit is scheduled for next month and Newsom said he was told if the situation were remedied, the issue would be resolved.
    The jail standards commission has been a frequent visitor at the county jail for a number of years and has worked with the county in a variety of ways to try and resolve problems, specifically overcrowding, as well as issues related to a number of issues involving jail equipment and structural concerns.
    Although the current jail has the capacity to house as many as 100 prisoners, an increasing number of female offenders has exceeded the capacity to house women.
    At a rate of about $50 per day, the county is housing prisoners in neighboring counties to stay within population parameters.
    Construction on the $16 million jail that will house as many as 200 inmates started last week and completion and the transfer of prisoners to the new facility is expected in October of next year.

Local man arrested after leading chase to Brashear

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A Sulphur Springs man was jailed Sunday morning on two felony charges following a vehicle chase from Sulphur Springs along the interstate to Brashear.


Rails uncovered at site of new jail

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In preparing the construction site of the new Hopkins County jail, workers are removing about eight feet of dirt to drill holes for piers to support the facility.
    In that process, County Judge Robert Newsom said some interesting things have been discovered, including old water pipes and old bricks.
    “The most interesting thing, thus far, appears to be a railroad track. It looks at least like it was a railroad spur that must have come off of the railroad that is there today, but nobody knew about it,” Newsom said. “I've contacted [local historian] John Sellers, and he was not aware of it.”
    Newsom said the discovery for rails, ties and other necessary materials for a railroad that had been covered for so many years came as a complete surprise.
    Obviously, the rails will have to be removed, but what to do with the material?
    “Now, something like that is considered a possible environmental problem,” the judge said. “We are going to have an expert come in and test the materials to make sure there is not an environmental problem, but eventually,  we will take the railroad ties out and do something with them.
    “But then, the rails, I don't know why we can't at least scrap them,” Newsom continued. “Maybe we can make a little money for the county as scrap iron — we will try to make the best of our situation.”

Getting Ready to Run

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Lights of Life sets half-marathon Sept. 20


Start times changing in several school districts

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    While getting ready to head back to classes next week, students and parents need to be sure they know the correct start time for the student’s campus so that they arrive in ample time to make it to class and be in their seat on time with all of their supplies.

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