I’m Don Julian, KSST News and Sports Director and here are my top stories for 2014 for our area.
#12 is the Sulphur Springs ISD negotiating a lease deal with Hopkins County concerning the Civic Center Auditorium. The school district will begin renovating the facility next summer.
#11, Sulphur Springs Police Chief resigned to take a position as Chief of the Sulphur Springs ISD PD. The city council named Patrol Captain Jay Sanders to replace Bayuk.
#10, Luminant Power announced they would be resuming surface mining in Hopkins County. Although mining is not expected to resume until early next year, some workers have been at the Thermo Mine site. An accident involving hot debris near an old storage silo sent five workers to Parkland in Dallas with burns.
#9, Hopkins County Memorial Hospital continues to seek a partner to better their future. The process continues, as do plans to make the hospital a teaching hospital utilizing UT Tyler.
#8, the annual Stew Contest in late October was the biggest ever in terms of stew sites and perhaps crowd. Stew was also reunited with Fall Festival.
#7, academic achievement, SSHS BPA student Magan Smith was first at national competition in her specialty, Administrative Support Research Project. The SSHS UIL Academic Team finished sixth in state. For an incredible third year in a row and fourth year out of six, the Spelling and Vocabulary Team won state. Speller Jacqueline Tovar-Yanez won state for a second straight year. FFA Ag student Taylor Swinson won a national FFA title in Ag Proficiency, an award one person called the Heisman for Ag.
#6, the new Hopkins County Jail continues to become a reality. The county hired architects and a construction-manager at risk, Sedalco of Fort Worth. They broke ground and walls are beginning to rise.
#5, lawmen in trouble including former Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigator Daniel Winn and Sheriff’s Public Affairs Officer Rex Morgan, both for thefts from the department’s evidence room. SSISD Police Officer William Nathan Gaddis arrested. He serves jail time after plea to reduced charge of reckless bodily injury to a child.
#4, new City Hall at old U.S. Post Office Site.
#3, collapse of a building in downtown Sulphur Springs. A wake up call according to City Manager Marc Maxwell. 11 suspect walls are evaluated by a structural engineer. Old Knights Head inn façade collapses during renovation. Old Houston School roof collapses over old cafeteria area.
#2, Tony Crayton murder trial. District Judge Eddie Northcutt finds him guilty of murdering his wife Jessica Tyler Townsend Crayton and sentences him to 50 years in prison.
#1, two men arrested for capital murder of Gary Maynard, found shot to death in his bed at home. DA Will Ramsey intends to seek the death penalty against suspects Patrick McMahan and Cody Shaw. Both men were indicted December 8. And that’s my list.