News

Fri
19
Jul
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Aspermont man indicated for shooting dog

The Stonewall County Grand Jury met last Wednesday, July 13, where they indicted Cody Hicks on the charge of Cruelty to Non-livestock Animals — a third-degree felony—regarding the shooting death of a dog in the parking lot of Stonewall Memorial Hospital.

A subsequent warrant was issued, and the Stonewall County Sheriff’s Department arrested Hicks at his residence on Thursday, July 11. Hicks commended the deputies and law enforcement staff on the professional manner they carried out the procedure.

Bail was set at $5,000, which was covered by legal representation upon his arrest, and Hicks was released. Hicks is a member of US & Texas LawShield, a multi-faceted organization based out of Houston that specializes in legal defense for self-defense.

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Fri
12
Jul
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Stonewall officials learn reasons for millions lost in appraised values

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Stonewall Commissioners listen as Prichard and Abbott reps try to explain the million dollar drop in values for Stonewall County.

Doug Sahli with Prichard & Abbot Inc. — a property valuation firm out of Amarillo that works with the county appraisal district — explained to Stonewall County officials the almost $21 million drop in property values from the initial preliminary figures to those anticipated to be later this month.

Stonewall County Judge Ronnie Moorhead explained how the court has been in a quandary lately regarding the county budget, especially after the bottom seemed to have dropped out of the anticipated property values in the county. He explained that while the county typically anticipates some decrease, as last year the county saw about a $1.6 million drop in values compared to the $20.8 million drop in values expected this year.

Moorhead said the county started preparing the budget, anticipating a revenue increase from taxes based on preliminary values, “and then all of a sudden, we are looking at a $21 million reduction from what [county officials] were assuming.”

Fri
12
Jul
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Get ready for the 75th Annual Fisher County Fair & Rodeo

The 75th annual Fisher County Fair and Rodeo is right around the corner! Many people have never entered anything in the fair, been to look at the fair, or even know there is a fair. It is in conjunction with the rodeo, and will be held at the courthouse August 8-10. All ages are encouraged to enter items in the following categories: Baked Goods, Preserved Foods, Textiles (clothing and quilts), Horticulture and Crops, Hobbies and Crafts, Art, and Photography. If you made it, they will find a category for it.

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Fri
12
Jul
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Fisher County to seek new financial advisors and investment opportunities

Vice President with Financial Northeastern Company, Sam Vaughn spoke to the Fisher County Commissioners during Monday’s meeting, discussing the possibility of diversifying future investments to recoup better interest rates. The commissioners agreed to review FNC’s investment proposals for those CDs reaching maturity in upcoming months. The court also approved putting third-party auditing services, as well as legal services for tax collections, up for bid. It was Fisher County Treasurer Jeanna Parks who asked Vaughn to present some information to the court, explaining how currently, all county funds invested in a single bank, having “all of its financial eggs in one basket.” As several of the county’s certificates of deposits (CDs) are reaching maturity soon, Parks thought hearing investment opportunities might be of interest. In her report, Parks referenced interest rates on the current CDs. The county has a total of five $154,000 CDs with an interest rate of 1.5%.

Wed
03
Jul
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Local Military legacy is sworn into Navy

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2019 Rotan graduate, Levi Garland, was sworn into the Navy in Amarillo, Texas on June 25. Levi, is the son of Jamey & Amy Garland and brother to Bode.

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Wed
03
Jul
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Finances tight at Stonewall Memorial BY JEFF HURT

With solid assets, SMH remains financially stable, but with foul weather causing significant construction delays, hospital CFO Lou Robbins explained to the board last week that finances are currently tight.

Robbins reported an operating loss of $157,000 and explained that while the loss was little worse than forecasted, it remained in the general ballpark. He added that the balance sheet showed hospital had around $174,000 in cash.

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Wed
03
Jul
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Aspermont ISD prepares for improvements

While things have been fairly quiet around the AISD campuses, administrators have been sharing ideas on new programs, increasing the districts state ratings, and improving attendance ratings to grow state funding. They discussed some of those areas during last week’s board meeting.

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Wed
03
Jul
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Fisher County goes in the red to build a better budget

During the commissioners meeting last week, Fisher County Treasurer Jeanna Parks addressed several areas where departments were over budget, and after some discussion, the court agreed that allowing those individual deficits to grow might be a good way to create a more efficient budget as the county movies toward the next fiscal year.

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Thu
27
Jun
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Stonewall Memorial responds to dog shooting

Stonewall Memorial Hospital CEO Billie Carter informed the board of trustees earlier this week that she had completed her investigation into the incident occurring last month, where an employees dog was shot and killed on the hospital grounds.

Carter said she has spent the past couple of weeks reviewing the footage, witness accounts, and employee statements regarding the incident as well as making observations elsewhere in the facility. She said there is a great deal that has been learned.

Carter said there are several drills for emergency situations such as fire, tornado, and a few others the hospital is required to conduct each year. The hospital recently concluded a multi-agency disaster drill at the end of last week where the focus was responding to an active shooter situation.

Thu
27
Jun
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Noah

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Noah Constancio (Courtesy Photo)

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Noah Constancio (Courtesy Photo)

His short life has been a series of complications and miracles, and the Constancio family got one more miracle over the weekend when the team at Children’s Medical Center Dallas performed a life-saving heart transplant for young Noah. Reports are that Noah is resting and improving after his surgery on Saturday, and Constancio’s ask to please keep the donor family in your prayers.

Noah was born in January 2018. Shortly after birth, he was abandoned at the Cook’s Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. Diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) — a congenital heart defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart — hospital staff cared closely for Noah as he lived the first five months of his life in the hospital.

The CDC explains that babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the left side of the heart cannot pump oxygen-rich blood to the body properly. The right side of the heart pumps blood to both the lungs and the rest of the body.

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