Today`s Local News2020-02-17
Monday, February 17, 2020


(MILAM COUNTY) Three people are believed dead in an early morning house fire Sunday. 

Milam County Sheriff Chris White said deputies and fire departments from Thorndale and Rockdale responded about 1:45AM Sunday to a house fire in the 1800 block of FM486 north. Neighbors and nearby family alerted deputies that 3 people were possibly inside the burning home. Crews arrived to find that house fully engulfed. Rockdale and Thorndale battled the fire for over 3 hours. Once the fire was out, initial investigation confirmed that 3 people were killed. White said family members identified the trio as 50-year-old Marvin Cantwell, 82-year-old Myrtle Cantwell, and 59-year-old Bill Cantwell. The State Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate and assist in recovering the remains. At this time, investigators believe a space heater may be the cause of the fire. 


(CAMERON) No one was hurt in a major 2-vehicle crash outside of Cameron on Saturday afternoon. 

Cameron Police and Cameron Volunteer Fire Department responded about 12:15PM Saturday to a 2-vehicle crash on TX36 at FM2095. According to Cameron Fire Chief Henry Horelica, a flatbed pulling a hay trailer pulled into the path of a pickup truck hauling a trailer full of horses. The resulting collision knocked 5-6 round hay bales off the trailer and left all but a single lane open to traffic. Luckily, Horelica said there were no injuries, though a horse did sustain a minor cut. Crews were on scene about 2 hours cleaning up and directing traffic. 


(CAMERON) With a holiday this week, Cameron City Council will meet Wednesday in special session. 

The regular Cameron City Council meeting for today has been canceled because of President`s Day. A special meeting will be held Wednesday. During the special meeting, the Council will consider a contract to hire Freese and Nichols to perform an Oxbow Study and submit applications to the Texas Water Development Board. A 1st reading of an ordinance amending the budget will be heard. Several reports and other agenda items will also be considered. Wednesday`s meeting begins at 5:30PM in Council Chambers. 


(MILAM COUNTY) The Milam County Elections Office announced early voting times and locations. 

Milam County Clerk Jodi Morgan said early voting in the March Primary Election runs February 18th through 28th. Voters can cast an early ballot at the County Clerk`s Office on Monday through Friday from 8AM-5PM and Saturday, February 22nd, from 7AM-7PM. They will also open 1 hour early on Thursdays. Voters can also cast an early ballot at Buckholts Community Center, Thorndale VFW, and Hogan Hall in Rockdale Monday through Friday from 9AM-4PM. Thursdays at all 3 locations will open from 7AM-5PM. The last day to apply for ballot by mail is February 21st. For questions or sample ballots, visit the Milam County website and select the Election and Voter Registrar office. 

The Republican Primary will feature several interesting and hotly contested races. Voters will be selecting from a trio of candidates for Milam County Sheriff in incumbent Chris White and challengers Craig Wise and Herbie Vaughn. Another heated race is for the District Attorney post between incumbent Bill Torrey and Cameron Police Chief Lonnie Gosch. In Precinct 1, incumbent Commissioner Opey Watkins faces a challenge from Henry Hubnik and Ricky McCall. The constable race there is between Pat Guffey and James Pratt. In Precinct 3, the race to succeed retiring Commissioner John Fisher is between former county judge Frank Summers and challengers Art Neal and Charles Truitt. Unopposed in the GOP Primary are 20th District Court Judge John Youngblood, Tax Assessor Sherry Mueck, Precinct 2 Constable Charlie West, Precinct 3 Constable Jay Beathard, and Precinct 4 Constable Michael Moehling. The Democratic Primary will feature a single uncontested race for Precinct 4 Constable as Sam Pickett seeks that job. 

Statewide, the Republican ballot will be a crowded affair. In addition to voting on presidential candidates, voters will choose a District 20 State Representative, a United States Senator, and a District 17 United States Representative. Incumbent Terry Wilson is unopposed in the District 20 race. Seeking the Senator spot is incumbent John Cornyn against a host of challengers: Mark Yancey, Virgil Bierschwale, John Anthony Castro, and Dwayne Stovall. Seeking the District 17 spot being vacated by a retiring Bill Flores will be Renee Swann, Jeff Oppenheim, Kristen Alamo Rowin, David Saucedo, Scott Bland, Laurie Godfrey McReynolds, Trent Sutton, George Hindman, Elianor Vessali, Ahmad Adnan, Pete Sessions, and Todd Kent. On the Democratic side, seeking the US Senate seat and a chance to challenge the Republican candidate in the General Election are Annie Mama Garcia, Mary MJ Hegar, Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez, DR Hunter, Michael Cooper, Victor Hugo Harris, Adrian Ocegueda, Chris Bell, Amanda K Edwards, Jack Daniel Foster, Royce West, and Selma Hernandez. Seeking a chance to challenge a Republican candidate for the District 17 seat will be William Foster, David Anthony Jaramillo, and Ricky Kennedy. 


(CAMERON) The last day to file for the May city and school elections ended with a flurry Friday. 

Multiple newcomers filed on the final day to get in on the elections. In Cameron, City Secretary Amy Harris said railroad conductor William Pratt filed to run for Place 4 on the Council and Milam County Jail Lt. John Torres, Sr. filed to run for Place 2 on the Council. The new filings set up a pair of contested races. Incumbent Place 4 councilwoman LeKethia Sims had previously filed to run again and newcomer and Ideal Poultry hatchery manager Nathan Fuchs had filed to run for Place 2. Also filing earlier in the period was former councilman Bill Harris, who is seeking the Mayor post. Incumbent Mayor Connie Anderle and incumbent Place 2 councilman Robert Schiller did not seek re-election. 

Cameron ISD Secretary Tanya Hoelscher said that incumbent James Burks, incumbent Roy Martinez, and newcomer Annisha Williams have all filed in the race for 2 at large spots on the school board. 

In Rockdale, incumbent Denise Holmes Wallace filed to run for her East Ward seat. The West Ward is also up for election and saw 2 late filings on Friday. Realtor and USPS employee Monique Gebhart filed, as did Perry and Perry Builders General Manager Lin Collier Perry. On Rockdale school board, incumbent Julia Cardona filed for re-election and newcomers Michael Whitsel and Janice Keen filed for Place 6 on the board. Early voting begins April 20th. 


(CAMERON) The Cameron Chamber of Commerce has scheduled their annual Chamber Banquet.

The 86th Annual Chamber Banquet will take place Tuesday at the Williams Event Center in Cameron. This year`s theme is Turning No into Yes and guest speaker will be change agent Sara O`Brien. Social hour starts at 6PM, with Dinner and the program to be held at 6:30PM. Tickets are $35. To purchase tickets and reserve a table, call 254-697-4979 or contact any Chamber Board Member.


(ROCKDALE) Rockdale ISD School Board will meet Wednesday in regular session.

During the meeting, the Board will recognize the First Place UIL Winners. The board will also approve a date, time, and location of drawing for place on the ballot for the May school trustee election. The board will also discuss the 2018-2019 Rockdale ISD Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) and Annual Report. The board will close into executive session to discuss personnel matters. Action, if any, will be taken during open session. In addition to the meeting there will also be a Public Hearing. Wednesday`s meeting begins at 5:30 PM in the Central Administration Office Board room.


(CAMERON) The next Milam County economic summit is around the corner. 

Milam County Judge Steve Young said the 5th economic summit will be Friday from 9AM-1PM at the Kay Theater in Rockdale. The Workforce Solutions of Central Texas will be the main focus. This summit will deal exclusively with workforce growth and help to promote professional training for Milam County citizens. Keynote speaker is Commissioner Julian Alvarez. Anyone wishing to attend must RSVP. 


(GRANGER) The City of Granger will be shutting off water service today for repairs. 

According to the a notice from the City, crews will be shutting off water to the town today in order to make repairs to valves. Residents are urged to collect extra water for use while the water is off. Once service has been restored, a boil water notice will be enacted. To ensure destruction of harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for consumption should be boiled and cooled before use. This notice is citywide. Anyone with questions should call Granger City Hall at 512-859-2755.


(HEARNE) A Hearne teenager is recovering after being struck by a train this weekend. 

Hearne Police said an 18-year-old was hit by a train about 1:30AM Saturday in the area of Wheelock and South Market Streets. Police said the teen was walking with a friend when he was clipped by the train as it passed. The teen sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to the hospital. Investigators believe the teen may have been trying to get a shoe on the tracks when the incident happened. No other information was released. 


(FALLS COUNTY) Five Bremond students sustained various injuries in a Falls County ATV crash this weekend. 

The Falls County Sheriff`s Office said an ATV Polaris Ranger flipped over on CR275 in Falls County on Sunday. All 5 victims on board were Bremond students. Two were said to be in critical condition and 3 are in stable condition. Investigators say the 2-seater ATV flipped over, injuring the teens who were 10- to 18-years-old. Bremond Police, Falls County deputies, Bremond Volunteer Fire Department, Robertson County Sheriff`s Office, and EMS all responded. No other information was available. 


(MARLIN) Marlin ISD has once again lost accreditation status here in Texas. 

According to a letter to parents last week, Marlin ISD Superintendent Jean Bahney said the Texas Education Agency issued a Not Accredited-Revoked status for Marlin ISD for the 2019-20 school year. The move means that Marlin ISD is no longer recognized by the TEA as a public school. The District says that although their status is again revoked, nothing has changed since last year`s similar designation. All schools that receive a Not Accredited-Revoked status have an opportunity for a review by the TEA and a review at the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Marlin ISD has not met standards in a decade. 


(BELL COUNTY) A former Bell County Judge died last week. 

Funeral Mass for 76-year-old Harry John Barina, Jr. will be 11AM Wednesday at St. Luke Catholic Church in Temple, with burial and full military honors to take place at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. Visitation will be Tuesday from 6-8PM at Crawford Bowers Funeral Home in Temple. Barina, who died last Sunday, was a native of San Angelo and graduated from Baylor Law School. Upon graduation, he worked under District Attorney Arthur Coleman "Cappy" Eads, serving as assistant district attorney from 1981-86 and 1988-89. In private practice, he worked for Daniels, Secrest, and Barrett. He would go on to be selected as presiding judge of Bell County Court at Law #2 and hold that post for 18 years. After retiring from the bench, he served on the Bell County Lawyers Association and was honored as Bell County Lawyer of the Year in 2002. He was also a member of St. Luke Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. His children, siblings, and extended family and friends survive. 


(CENTRAL TEXAS) Here`s a look at some area events headed to Central Texas this week:

February 18
The Falls and Limestone Counties Local Working Group presents a Conservation Planning Meeting at 11AM Tuesday at the USDA Service Center in Groesbeck. Your input is needed to help determine natural resource priorities and criteria for USDA conservation activities and programs in your area. Contact your county office at 254-883-3150, extension 3. 

February 23
The Buckholts Volunteer Fire Department Washpot Stew Dinner will be Sunday from 11AM until sold out. The meal includes stew, cornbread, crackers, dessert, and drinks. Meal tickets are $10. Carry out will be available. Proceeds go toward the fire department. 


(CAMERON) Cameron Police are set to offer a FREE course for a license to carry firearms. 

Cameron Police and Chief Lonnie Gosch will offer a free LTC course to Cameron residents at 8AM Saturday at Cameron Police Department. Classroom work will run until 2PM, followed by a weapon proficiency test. Space is extremely limited. If you are interested in this course, you must stop by Cameron Police Department and sign up. Please bring a government issued ID. The first 40 to sign up will be accepted. An alternate list will also be kept in case anyone backs out or cannot attend. An informational sheet and requirements will be given to you upon signing up. 


(CAMERON) Tickets are on sale for the 8th annual "Mardi Gras" bash to raise funds for the Christine Holcombe Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The event will be held on Saturday at Simon George Hall in Cameron. The event starts at 6PM and will include a Cajun food dinner, gun raffle, auctions, and games for the kids. Adult tickets are $10 and children under 18 are $5. Tickets can be purchased at the Milam County Extension Office in Cameron, the Rockdale Reporter, and Rodenbeck Farm & Ranch in Thorndale.  

Donations for the auction can be dropped off at Ideal Poultry in Cameron. Over the past 7 years $90,500 in scholarships has been given to current college students from Milam County as a result of the Mardi Gras event. More information can be found on the Facebook page, Christine Holcombe Memorial Scholarship Fund. 


(CAMERON) The Lady Yoe softball season gets underway in earnest this week. 

The Ladies will open their year against Madisonville on Tuesday night. KMIL will be bringing you nearly every softball and Yoe baseball game this season. Our coverage begins Tuesday with softball and will continue this week with the Lady Yoe softball tourney on Friday. 


(CAMERON) The Yoemen basketball team surged past Rockdale on Friday night, 73-59. Calvin Stewart, Kobe Young, Pharell Hemphill, and Kevaughn Booze all put up double digits. The Yoemen will close out the season against Rogers this week. The Yoe JV teams split their games. The A team won 65-41 and the B team fell 53-44.


(ROGERS) The Rogers boys basketball team suffered a tough loss on Friday. 

The Eagles dropped their contest against Franklin 52-41 on Friday night. The regular season concludes this week. 


(CAMERON) Cameron PD reported 2 EMS calls and no other activity.

(ROCKDALE) Rockdale PD reported 1 EMS calls and no other activity.

(CAMERON) Milam County Sheriff`s Office has 2 new bookings:
--Nicholas Charles Rowan, 24 of Milano, for Out of County Insufficient Bond
--Bilal Abdul Shakur, 48 of Cameron, for DWLI w/ Priors

There were no accidents in rural Milam County:

There are currently 146 inmates in the county jail, including 35 housed for Coryell County.

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