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Front Page January 2, 2018  RSS feed

Year in Review


Tornadoes rake Flo, Corinth, Smith’s Crossing area

By Mac Shadix

A series of small, destructive storms that appeared to be tornadoes touched down in the Flo, Corinth, and Smiths Crossing communities of Leon County and did property damage around dawn Monday morning. In Flo, the freight train sound often associated with tornadoes could be heard and there were trees downed, limbs and debris strewn about and tin from Yvonne Woodard’s small barn blown into the tree tops and across FM 831 into Jason Kiser’s yard. The front porch was ripped from Marilyn Pate’s house while she was sleeping in an adjoining room. Large trees were toppled in her front yard.

Crossroads of Texas Real Estate partners with United Country Real Estate in Buffalo

Marilyn Pate stands behind an arched gate built by her father. The full porch across the front of the house was blown away while Pate slept in a room adjoining the porch. Photo by Mac Shadix Marilyn Pate stands behind an arched gate built by her father. The full porch across the front of the house was blown away while Pate slept in a room adjoining the porch. Photo by Mac Shadix December 29, 2016 (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – Bob and Teresa Nix, owner/ brokers of Crossroads of Texas Real Estate, recently joined forces with United Country Real Estate to expand their office offerings in Leon, Limestone and Freestone Counites.

Their office, now called United Country Real Estate | Crossroads of Texas, will specialize in homes, homes with acreage, farms, ranches, commercial and recreational properties in Leon County and the surrounding areas. Bob and Teresa Nix offer nearly 2 decades of combined real estate experience.


Parker Cemetery President resigns

Bob Nix and Angela Kennedy with United Country Crossroads of Texas receive Certification Awards from United Country President, Mike Duffy at the UnitedPower! Training Seminar held in Kansas City, MO in Dec. 2016. Contributed photo Bob Nix and Angela Kennedy with United Country Crossroads of Texas receive Certification Awards from United Country President, Mike Duffy at the UnitedPower! Training Seminar held in Kansas City, MO in Dec. 2016. Contributed photo By Mac Shadix

After a special called meeting at Parker Cemetery to accept bids to repair recent storm damage was turned by some of those present to other purposes not previously announced to the public with a vote to use association funds to buy an acre of land to establish a Parker 2 cemetery at another location, Parker Cemetery Association President Marilyn Pate has issued a letter of resignation. She forwarded this note to the Buffalo Press.

“Feb. 6, 2017, Please accept this as my letter of resignation as president of Parker cemetery. Thank you, Leon Moore and family, for the help and hospitality you showed me. Marilyn Pate.”

Lady Bison coach Jozette Jenkins sheds tears as she is overcome with emotion after the thrilling 48- 46 win in the Regional finals. Sherry’s Shots Lady Bison coach Jozette Jenkins sheds tears as she is overcome with emotion after the thrilling 48- 46 win in the Regional finals. Sherry’s Shots Pate was recently in the news when the small tornado that swept through Flo and caused considerable damage at Parker Cemetery ripped the porch off her house as she was sleeping in an adjoining room.


Ashby appointed to key committees for East Texas

AUSTIN - For the third consecutive session, State Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) has been selected to serve on both the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Natural Resources Committee. In addition, Ashby was appointed to the House Calendars Committee. “More than anything, I’m honored to have a seat at the table on three committees that are important to East Texas,” said Ashby about his assignments.

Face Painter Kelly Weiss pretends to be painting Bill Copeland’ s face, while a previous customer, Leah Hancock looks on. While Mr. Copeland agreed to have his photo taken he did not agree to have the actual painting done. Photo by Mac Shadix Face Painter Kelly Weiss pretends to be painting Bill Copeland’ s face, while a previous customer, Leah Hancock looks on. While Mr. Copeland agreed to have his photo taken he did not agree to have the actual painting done. Photo by Mac Shadix 2-21-17

Appraisal results out of compliance with State numbers

By Sherry Matney

The BISD Board of Trustees were handed some disappointing news at Monday’s meeting when Superintendent Lacy Freeman reported that the Leon County Appraisal numbers were out of compliance. The District lost significant funding from the State when the appraisal numbers were out of compliance for three years in a row. According to Superintendent Freeman, last year’s appraisals were in compliance but they must remain in compliance for two years running. Board President Jennifer Humphries said, “There are 1,150 school districts in the state of Texas and 50 of them were not in compliance. Of those 50, five were in Leon County.”

Thomas L. Nolen Sr. Leon County Veterans Services Officer Thomas L. Nolen Sr. Leon County Veterans Services Officer The Appraisal District does not tax properties but school and county taxes are based on property values. Each year the appraisal districts’ values are audited by the State of Texas as per the annual Property Value Study. During the study, a State Field Appraiser does a random analysis of numerous properties from each school district, and then compares their results with those of the work of the appraisal district. When compared the local values must be within a certain percentage of those values estimated by the Property Tax Division of the State Comptrollers office. This will be four out of five years that BISD properties have been out of compliance.

Ft. Boggy president Wayne Phillips recognized Park Ranger Wesley Hamilton who was named the winner of the 2017 Outstanding Ranger Award. Hamilton will be honored by the TPWD Commission at a meeting in Austin on May 25th. Paul’s Photo Ft. Boggy president Wayne Phillips recognized Park Ranger Wesley Hamilton who was named the winner of the 2017 Outstanding Ranger Award. Hamilton will be honored by the TPWD Commission at a meeting in Austin on May 25th. Paul’s Photo 2-28-17

Lady Bison advance to the Semi-Finals Defeat three top ten opponents

by Paul K. Matney

The Lady Bison had a great week as they defeated Little River Academy 59-46 in the Regional Quarter Finals, defeated Hitchcock 57-55 in the Regional Semi-Finals and defeated Teague 48- 46 in the Regional Finals. Each of their opponents were ranked in the top 10 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) poll. Little River Academy was ranked #3, Hitchcock was ranked #4 and Teague was ranked #10. The Lady Bison were not ranked in the top 10. This proves that polls are not good for anything but catching fish.

Brittney Burleson Brittney Burleson City elections canceled due to lack of interest

By Mac Shadix

We are a strange country. If someone told us we could not have elections most of us would be outraged. However, the fact is that both the city, school board and commissioners court in Leon County have members who were originally appointed because no one would run for the positions. The Buffalo City Council cancelled the upcoming council elections because there was no opposition. Travis Crowder is not seeking reelection and former councilperson Jerry Salazar has agreed to take the position. Mayor Dawkins and Councilperson Dianne Ryder face no opposition. Make no mistake. This is not the fault of the council. The city advertised the upcoming election. The citizenry is just not interested in the plodding reality of democracy. We eventually get the government that we deserve.

Cullen Pate Cullen Pate There is one hero in this story. Mick Glick has over the years attended more City Council meetings than anyone, keeping an eye out and offering what help he could. At last nights meeting Glick challenged the news media, and the governments involved to do more to create an interest in government and to attempt to increase the turnout in elections. However, the lack of participation is a modern reality reflected in the fact that few citizens attend local governmental meetings. Most of us, it seems, would prefer to stay at home and watch ‘The Walking Dead.’ Politically we are the walking dead and are allowing our democracy to wither at the local level. Most of us will not even read the stories that the local media labor to prepare for us. We eventually get the government that we deserve.

Jack and Karen Helmcamp display a plaque presented them by the BHS Theatre Group. Making the presentation is junior Taylor Lack and behind, on stage, are members of the group. Jack and Karen Helmcamp display a plaque presented them by the BHS Theatre Group. Making the presentation is junior Taylor Lack and behind, on stage, are members of the group. 3-7-17

Lady Bison work to State Final only to lose heartbreaking

cliffhanger by 2 points.

By Sherry Matney

The thrill of victory.

Sherry’s Shots

Charles Dickens begins his 1859 novel “Tale of Two Cities” with the sentence, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” And Lady Bison basketball fans can certainly relate to that passage. Most of the district games were easily won, with the exception of Teague, who won with a last-second shot, but when the playoffs began, the scores were tighter.

Little River, who beat out the Lady Bison last year in Regionals, lost to the Bison by seven, but the scores belie the extremely close and hard-fought game. Little River was forced to foul in the closing minutes in an attempt to get the ball back. Hitchcock, another ranked team, lost by two and Mt. Vernon was in a situation similar to Little River, so the game was much closer than the 7 point difference reflects. All nail-biters that gave us “The best of times.”

The loss to Canadian was as close as could be but the final score left us feeling “The worst of times.” The thrill of victory turned into the agony of defeat in the matter of a couple of seconds. So hard to accept but certainly those who followed the Lady Bison were bursting with pride in both the team and the coaches.

Hats fly at the end of the BHS commencement ceremony. Photo by Mac Shadix Hats fly at the end of the BHS commencement ceremony. Photo by Mac Shadix A Teague ISD school bus bound for a Centerville track meet overturned as it exited IH-45 when it left the pavement and plunged into a very wet but shallow bar ditch. Nine students of the thirty-five students on board were transported with what were reported to be non-life-threatening injuries. One of those was an apparent neck injury and the student was flown to Bryan. The incident occurred just before three pm on Thursday, March 2. Traffic on the interstate was slowed as passing vehicles slowed down, but the traffic was not stopped. Leon County DPS responded in force as well as the Sheriff’s office. Numerous first responders also came to the scene to offer their assistance.


Ira Dell Bell

Funeral services for Mrs. Ira Dell Bell, age 97, of Centerville and formerly of the Flo Community of Leon County, were held at 10 AM, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at the Walters Funeral Home in Centerville. Rev. Phil Smith, grandson, officiated and burial was in the Parker Cemetery. A visitation was held on Tuesday evening from 6 PM until 8 PM at the funeral home.


Three Leon County sheriff’s deputies indicted, terminated

By Mac Shadix

Three Leon County Sheriff’s deputies have been terminated after being indicted for misuse of official information. Deputies Christian Negron, Dustin Bresko and Brandon Monk were indicted on Friday afternoon. The news was first reported on the KBTX web site. The information did not appear on the Sheriff’s Department Facebook page as of Monday morning. This newspaper did not receive a press release about the incident.

7-4-17 A new handicapped parking space and access ramp at the Buffalo Post Office has changed the look of the Post Office. The new infrastructure affects parking on the side of the building but parking on the front is unchanged. Photo by Mac Shadix 7-4-17 A new handicapped parking space and access ramp at the Buffalo Post Office has changed the look of the Post Office. The new infrastructure affects parking on the side of the building but parking on the front is unchanged. Photo by Mac Shadix The deputies are accused of sending sensitive information to Normangee Police Officer Matthew Cowan who is reported to be under investigation by the sheriff’s office for assault.

Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis was quoted by KBTX as saying that he called in the Texas Rangers as quick as he heard that his deputies may have been involved.


Fire destroys Flo home

Mariana Rivera Mariana Rivera By Sherry Matney

Total devastation is what the Flo Volunteer Fire Department found at the Savage residence on FM 1511.

According to Flo Volunteer Fire Chief Troy Pate, on March 14, 2017, members of the FVFD and Centerville VFD responded to a call on FM 1511, near the Russell community. By the time the fire departments arrived the mobile home residence of David and Nancy Savage was burned to the ground.

Evan Grisham and Tate Slaughter State Finalists in Cross Examination Debate

By Sherry Matney

Last week, on March 14, 2017 Buffalo High School students Evan Grisham and Tate Slaughter were State Semi-Finalists in the Cross Examination Debate State Championship.

The Bison team was one of 64 from across the state, in Conference 3A, to compete. Each round eliminated half the teams, so it went from 64 to 32 to 16 to 8 to 4 and finally 2 to 1. Our team fought all the way to the Final Four and came home with Third Place honors, the farthest any Buffalo team has achieved. The team who beat Grisham and Slaughter were Paige Jennings and Rowan MacLeod from Mildred, who won First Place in the State.

What must be the largest Flo sign in history now graces the front of the Flo Volunteer Fire Departments station. An itinerant sign painter was found to come in and complete the large sign in a couple of days. Now anyone driving down F.M. 831 or F.M. 1511 will know where they are when they reach the crossroads. Photo by Mac Shadix What must be the largest Flo sign in history now graces the front of the Flo Volunteer Fire Departments station. An itinerant sign painter was found to come in and complete the large sign in a couple of days. Now anyone driving down F.M. 831 or F.M. 1511 will know where they are when they reach the crossroads. Photo by Mac Shadix 3-28-17

Buffalo gets good audit report

By Mac Shadix

Auditor Dianne Sollock, with Davis, Geinemann & Co, P.C. announced to the Buffalo City Council during their regular meeting at the Senior Center on Monday evening March 27, that the budget audit had earned an “unmodified opinion.” That is auditor speak for an A+. Buffalo has gone from being in difficult circumstances a few years ago to having approximately 1.4 million dollars in the General Fund and just over 1 million dollars in the Hotel-Motel tax fund. A large increase in business activity along the Interstate has helped a lot. The city has been able to limit or defer any tax increases during this period while the school board and the county government have seen fit to raise taxes.

A ceremony was held in the Leon County District Courtroom honoring retiring Judge Bascom W. Bentley, III, on Thursday July 13th. Left to Right Judge Bentley, Court Reporter Nancy Adams, and Court Coordinator Linda Shannon. Photo by Mac Shadix A ceremony was held in the Leon County District Courtroom honoring retiring Judge Bascom W. Bentley, III, on Thursday July 13th. Left to Right Judge Bentley, Court Reporter Nancy Adams, and Court Coordinator Linda Shannon. Photo by Mac Shadix 4-4-17

Trooper Damon Allen Trooper Damon Allen Water Fair for Buffalo third graders

By Sherry Matney

On Friday, March 31, 2017, Leon County Extension Agents Richard Parrish and Laura Petty held a Water Fair at the Lower Junior High School in Buffalo. The couple, along with the help of various Master Gardeners, taught Buffalo 3rd graders the importance of our water supply. The students were taken of a journey to discover how rain is made, where a raindrop may go, the importance of water, what is an aquifer, and how to take care of our water.


New weigh station facility open on I-45

By Sherry Matney

Leon County Judge Byron Ryder was back on the job for the April 10 Commissioners Court and moved the County business along with lightening speed. The Regular meeting began with a whole posse of Highway Patrolmen, led by Sergeant Eric Gray, who came to Court to thank the County for providing a means of constructing a new weigh station on I-45, and to present a plaque of appreciation. TDPS paid for the building from fines collected and set aside. The county paid for having the water line run to the building. The previous facility was a pre-owned building that lacked basic necessities, leaked and was beyond repair. The new building is 10x50, has water, restrooms and shower. The troopers invited everyone in Court to attend an open house to 1:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon.

Incumbents win Flo Water Board election

By Mac Shadix

With about 13% of Flo Water members returning their ballots incumbents Doris Pittman and Joe Graves held on to their seats as Flo Water directors. Pittman garnered 154 votes, while Graves got 133. Former director Mac Shadix received 95 votes and Ogle received 51.

About 66 members attended the meeting along with directors and some of their family members. Four of the five field employees attended and both office employees were present. Office employee Caroline Salinas who is the first point of contact for most members was awarded the “Customer Service Award.” Anyone who has ever spoken with Salinas knows how well she interacts with customers and the friendly effort she makes to resolve any problems.


Livestock Show nets $424,625

Submitted by Lauren Powers, Show Secretary

The Leon County Expo Center was filled with anxious buyers who were generous as they purchased the exhibitor’s show projects. The 2017 premium sale netted a total of $424,625. $397,550 from the premium sale and $27,075 in verbal add-ons.

The volume buyers for 2017 were the Pate Brothers. A big thank you to Steve, Kevin, and Richie Pate, and their continued generous support of the Leon County Youth Livestock Show. 245 exhibitors from across the county came together at the Leon County Expo Center to showcase their livestock projects at the 2017 Leon County Youth Livestock Show. They were rewarded for their hard work at the Premium Auction Sale on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.


Community National donates land for Buffalo City hall, civic center

By Mac Shadix

The Buffalo City Council accepted the gift land valued at $113,000 from Community National Bank for the purpose of locating a long-anticipated new city hall and civic center. The land is adjacent to the offices of Community Bank in Buffalo on Highway 75.

Community National has locations in Buffalo, Corsicana, Frost, Fairfield, Richland Chambers Lake, Mineral Wells, Weatherford, Possum Kingdom, Burleson, Lake Worth, White Settlement and Red Oak. The bank is owned by Community Bank Holdings of Texas, based in Corsicana and has assets of approximately $663 million with 182 employees. Its trust and investment department manages over $254 million for local individuals, businesses and charitable foundations, and it makes charitable grants totaling over $635,000 annually to local nonprofit organizations.

Ft. Boggy Park Ranger Wesley Hamilton honored

by Paul K. Matney

The Friends of Ft. Boggy had their quarterly meeting on April 24th at Saint Leo’s Catholic Church in Centerville with president Wayne Phillips presiding.

After the opening prayer secretary/ treasurer Betty Heffler gave the membership report and the minutes from the January 16th meeting were read and approved. Heffler presented the financial report and it was approved.

Heffler recognized Ft. Boggy Park Ranger Wesley Hamilton. Hamilton received the honor as the 2017 Outstanding Ranger award. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will recognize Hamilton as it’s outstanding Park Ranger in a meeting in Austin on May 25th at 9:00 am.


Citizens Bank Spring Bash draws crowd

By Mac Shadix

Citizens Bank Buffalo picked an almost perfect afternoon to host its Mardi Gras themed Spring Bash. “The Citizens State Bank Spring Bash was a huge success. We had approximately 400 attendees that enjoyed a nice evening of good food and entertainment.” Citizens Bank President Brent Jones said.

Free New Orleans style beads were in abundant supply and people seemed very happy listening to songs from the band, “One Less Monkey.” The music was just loud enough but not uncomfortable. There was a bounce house for children and face painting for the young at heart. There were snow cones and pens and bags and beads and cheerful people.

Generous portions of whole crawfish, delicious sausage, well seasoned boiled shrimp boiled potatoes and corn were as delicious as an old crawfish boil warrior could remember them ever being. Citizens Bank Vice President Chase Glick said that the bank planned to build on the success of the event and improve in places where they could. It was an event that everyone who attended will look forward to a rerun with anticipation.


Thomas Nolen Sr., named as Veterans Services Officer

By Sherry Matney

Thomas L. Nolen Sr. was on hand at the Leon County Commissioners Court on Monday, May 8, to begin his tenure as the Leon County Veterans Services Officer. Nolen said he has already retired four times and he looks forward to his fifth career. Veteran Service Office hours will be Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 to 5:00 in Annex I.


Highlighted suspects surrender after publicity

By Mac Shadix

Brittney Burleson and Cullen Pate, fugitives who were highlighted in local newspapers on April 18 and April 25 respectively, and on Facebook have both turned themselves into authorities following their brief spate of publicity arranged by Leon County Crime Stoppers.

Burleson is reported to have turned herself in to the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and Pate surrendered to police in Austin Texas.

Burleson, 29 was wanted on a weapons offense and was believed to be armed during the period that she was at large.

Pate was sought for aggravated robbery in Oakwood.


Buffalo Council approves Target Cities program

By Mac Shadix

After a discussion that stressed the need for unity on the issue, the Buffalo City Council approved participation in the Target Cities program from Texas A&M. This decision will provide impetus for comprehensive city planning and some possible zoning where needed. BEDC Director Ken Jones was present and congratulated the council for a courageous decision that will help Buffalo in many ways.

BHS UIL & Fine Arts honor Jack and Karen Helmcamp

By Sherry Matney

The Buffalo High School UIL & Fine Arts held an awards banquet on May 9, 2017, at the high school cafeteria and auditorium. Among other highlights the group presented longtime supporters Jack and Karen Helmcamp with a plaque of appreciation.

Melonie Menefee and Jill Henson orchestrated a program that was both informative and entertaining. Before each segment participants in that particular category gave a filmed explanation of what was taking place and what the students did to achieve the honor/honors.

Groups of students were recognized in UIL Academics, Journalism, and Speech & Debate. The Theater recognized the One Act Play (OAP) participates and handed out awards to the high achievers in theatre.

Under Special Awards, NSDA All- Americans named were Evan Grisham and Lilah Adams. Quill and Scroll Inductees: Andrea Garcia, Josalyn Taylor, Ashley Thunderhawk, Megan Wedhorn, Kayleigh Rhodes, Sheri Donaldson and Tana Cleveland.

Letters About Literature finalists were Sheri Donaldson and Nadia Garcia. Letter About Literature 2nd place in Texas was Colby Menefee.

Obituary - Ruth “Oneta” Hill

Funeral services for Oneta Hill, age 82, of Centerville, were held at 2:00 P.M., Thursday, May 18, 2017, at the Walters Funeral Home in Centerville. Pastor Tuffy Loftin, of the Cowboy Church of Leon County, officiated the service. Interment followed in the Brushy Cemetery, northeast of Centerville in rural Leon County.

Serving as pallbearers were Jeff Hill, Lynn Hill, Michael Hill, Stephen Brent, Bob Sherman, Jayden Hill, Starlyn Hill, Kenny Grimes, Logan Brent & Bobby Sherman.

Ruth “Oneta” Hill was born on October 3, 1934, in Flynn, Texas to Levi Lloyd & Lillie Miranda (Collier) Grimes. She was raised in and around the Flynn area. She attended school in Flynn and Concord and graduated from Centerville High School. Oneta worked in various jobs, including George Seale’s Law Office, Starkey’s Grocery, and Elmer Stafford’s Grocery. She also worked in a garment factory in Madisonville for a while, as well as, cooking in the kitchen at the Centerville Nursing Home. Oneta was a good cowgirl and worked on the ranch with her husband quite a bit. Oneta later became a caregiver to her mother and father-in-law. When her own parents went to live in the nursing home, she would help feed their meals to them every day.

One particular skill that Oneta was known for was her excellent sewing ability. She made everything from cheerleading suits and twirling costumes for her grandchildren to beautiful quilts. If anyone needed a tear repaired, Oneta was the person they called. She also had a knack for always having each person’s favorite food fixed when her family gathered for dinner. It was a special time for her, and Oneta always loved cooking for her family. In earlier years, when Oneta was physically able, she enjoyed working at her church’s Vacation Bible School. This was her favorite church activity and Oneta always looked forward to working at it each year.

Oneta had lived most of her life in Leon County and was a member of the Cowboy Church of Leon County. Oneta passed away on May 13, 2017, in Centerville. She was preceded in death by both of her parents; brothers, Lloyd, Johnny, Douglas, Tommie & Mahlon Grimes and sisters, Anna Mae Goldsmith and Lillie Pearl Southern.

Surviving family members include husband, James O. Hill of Centerville; children, Jim Hill & wife, Wanda, of Centerville and Katy Watson & husband, Larry, of Leona; brothers, Levi “Doc” Grimes of San Antonio and sisters, Lou Ann Black of Rockdale, Lea Ellis of Houston and Jerrie Beery of Wichita, KS. Oneta is also survived by ten grandchildren and twenty-six great-grandchildren.


Letters to the Editor

The Buffalo Press encourages its readers to submit letters. We must reserve the right to edit for length or to not publish. However, every effort will be made to maintain the intent of the writer. We will publish almost all of letters to the editor.

Letters to the editor reflect the opinion of the writer and not the editorial stance of The Buffalo Press.

Small Town Sports

What is it about small-town sports? I’m so glad you asked. Having spent my early and high school years at a 4A school on the gulf coast, I have experience, knowledge and the vision in my mind of those years and those teams. During my high school years, ‘64-’66 the baseball team won the state championship in ’64 and ’66 in 4A. As I reflect back, those teams were good but not great but they played every game of those seasons with heart and as a team. We had a football team in ’65 that averaged 270 lbs. on the O-line and D-line. (Bigger than all NFL teams that year) but could not advance in the playoffs because there was not a heart for winning. Then in ’74, I followed my little brothers whose football team won a 4A state championship and every team they played that year was better than them on paper but not nearly as much heart. On every snap of the ball, the “team” gave 110%, for the coaches, fans but mainly for themselves. For 20 years I played professional softball on my weekends and I reflect back now that we beat teams we shouldn’t have because they were much better teams but we played with so much heart.

I moved to Leon County in ’92 and took my youngest brother to a 2A football game. After just a few minutes of watching he turned to me and said “I wish I could bring our whole 5A team to watch these kids play with so much heart.

Now back to the question I started this article with, “What is it about small-town sports?”

It's kids with big hearts that make small-town sports happen and they may not win championships that often but they can be counted on to play like champions.

I would like to finish this article by speaking as “Pop”, which is what the kids who are close to Justin Foley call me. As “Pop”, what I love about small-town sports is how the kids, coaches, fans and rival teams have wrapped their arms around Justin Foley as one of their own as a special needs kid. If he were at a big school, he would just be a number among others.

While at Buffalo Justin was manager/waterboy for 6 years and got to score a TD. He got a base hit for the baseball team, he made a 3-pointer in basketball and he ran the 800 meter in track for two years then finally he played on the golf team for 4 years and finished 3rd in district and 15th in the regional out of 95 boys his senior year.

Wow, I know the answer to the question of “What is it about small-town sports?”

To all of the people who have been a part of Justin’s life, we love what you made him into.

Jeff Jones


Three arrested in county vandalism case

Johnathan A. Golemon, Kaleb N. Lucius, and Saabir B. Summerville are in custody regarding the May 6 incidents concerning several vandalized mailboxes along the Flo area.

G.B. Bennett Alumni Association Parade and Banquet set for June 17

The bi-annual reunion of the G.B. Bennett Alumni Association will begin on Saturday, 17 June with a parade. The parade will begin at 10:00 am from the Buffalo Upper Junior High School, 145 Bison Trail. From the school, the parade will proceed down Cedar Creek Road to Hwy 75, turn right at Hwy 75 and proceed to US Hwy 79, turning left and continuing past the Sale Barn to Center Street, right at Center Street and then left onto Railroad Street to Harriman Park. Individuals participating in the parade should assemble at the school no later than 9:15 am in order to be aligned for a prompt start at 10:00 am. All citizens are encouraged to join us along the parade route to support the participants. After the parade burgers, chips, and drinks will be served while everyone enjoy dominoes, cards and socializing.

The Alumni banquet will be held at 6:00 pm at the Buffalo Civic Center. This year’s reunion will highlight the contributions made to the school by 4 former teachers and a teacher’s aide.


Flo water to keep Russell Plant operational

By Mac Shadix

After a presentation by Field Manager Mark Collins, Flo Water directors decided to keep the Russell Plant operational with a new ground storage tank to be funded from the existing line of credit. The Board took this action after a discussion about closing the plant an replacing it with the planned FM 1618 well. Although the Russell Well is a lower producing well, Collins told the Board that it was necessary to keep it functioning despite the cost. The Directors voted to pay for the project from the Community National Bank Line of Credit.

The rest of the June 15th meeting was devoted to the Field Managers Report and the Administrative Report. Collins reported three major leaks for the month and Business Manager Lela Patterson reported on the progress of a handicapped ramp for the office.

Chief Pavelka highlights phone and internet scams

By Mac Shadix

At the conclusion of the Buffalo City Council meeting, Police Chief Lance Pavelka repeated his past warnings about telephone and internet scams that are targeting local residents. Despite many warnings, isolated individuals who do not keep up with what is going on are falling prey to frauds such as a caller that says that they are from the IRS. The IRS will not call you demanding payment. Calls claiming to be from them are fraudulent.

Another reoccurring fraud is the telephone or internet message that your child or grandchild is in trouble and desperately needs funds. Double and triple check before sending money. If you have doubts talk to Chief Pavelka first.


Leon County goes all out to celebrate the 4th of July

Nowhere is the patriotic fervor felt by most Texans stronger than it is in Leon County. Never is it expressed stronger than in the annual 4th of July Parade and fireworks show held each year in Centerville. The celebration draws people from all around and results in the largest parade held in Leon County. Early morning rains this year tempered the heat and increased the enjoyment of the participants

Buffalo Police Chief Pavelka warns of funny money

By Mac Shadix

At the Special Called Meeting of the Buffalo City Council on July 10, Buffalo Police Chief Lance Pavelka warned of counterfeit ten dollar bills in the area. He shared that he knew that because one had been used in payment at City Hall. Pavelka also cautioned that automobiles should be locked and keys should never be left in the ignition.


Candlelight memorial held for Mariana Rivera

A group estimated at over 225 people attended a candlelight memorial for Mariana Rivera, 18, a graduate of Buffalo High School. She was killed when the car she was driving south on U.S. 79 between Buffalo and Oakwood went off the road on the right and then swerved across the road to the left and struck trees.

Buffalo Trustees to consider tax swap

By Mac Shadix

Buffalo ISD Superintendent Lacy Freeman led the Board of Trustees through the mechanics of what he said is called a “swap” where I&S taxes are moved to M&O taxes which Freeman says will result in a $137,000 increase in revenue from the state. The move would require a vote of the citizens of the district and would result in no net tax increase according to Freeman. The discussion of the proposal during the Regular Called Meeting on Monday, July 17 at the high school library saw Board President Jennifer Humphries tell Trustee Pat Bell not to tell constituents that this would prevent a tax raise, which Humphries said might be necessary in any case.


Buffalo hosts State Baseball Championship Tournaments

If you have noticed an increase in traffic, ball field lights on at night, and encountered larger crowds in local restaurants then you may be aware that Buffalo is hosting 34 baseball teams for two Texas Teenage Baseball State Championship


July 21-23 was the TTAB High School Eligible with 18 teams entered and July 24-28, the most sought-after tournament in TTA, the TTAB 8U Boys Machine Pitch division with 16 teams from all across the state. These two events not only put heads in the beds of our local hotels, they will also pack our local restaurants and stores.

Buffalo has two 8U teams competing along with 1 high school eligible team. If you like watching baseball, swing by Buffalo ISD Baseball Complex or Harriman Park to support our local teams.


Airport protesters give commissioners a message: Give us a vote before you OK an airport

By Mac Shadix

After agenda items calling for a discussion and possible action on the proposed Leon County Airport and on approving an additional $1,000 for the project development cost of the proposed airport the County Commissioners clearly expected a crowd at their Regular Called Meeting on July 26 in the Annex I courtroom.

The sheriff was present, seats were reserved for the press but only about 20 concerned citizens showed up. The seats in the courtroom were filled, people were standing in the doorways and a few were in the adjoining lobby. After the normal amenities, the meeting opened with County Judge Byron Ryder skipping over the order of the agenda to address the airport items first.

Ryder stated that Leon County was one of two counties in Texas without a public airport. He repeated previous statements that the airport could be built with only a 10% match from the county. He said that Nucor and other industries had inquired about a county airport and that there had been an airport committee for years. The $1000 was necessary because the county had paid $6500 as their share of the $65,000 development project and that the actual cost had risen to $75,000 and this was Leon County’s 10% share of the additional $10,000.

Only four people had signed up to speak during the public comments and the first to speak was Buffalo’s Mike Glick. Glick very calmly asked that if the proposal indicates that an airport can be built that the commissioners call a public referendum on the item before proceeding. Randy Shelton and Doris Pittman also were signed up to speak and they both seconded Glick’s request. Sage heads were nodded, “It's a good idea.” was mouthed by someone but no promises were made.

The fourth speaker was Harlan Brown. Brown cautioned about the amount of federal control that would surround an airport facility. He also said that he had moved to Leon County because it was a small and rural county. He did not appear to be in support of a county airport. The county judge called for a show of hands of those who were opposed to the development and only eight to ten hands were raised. A call for those in favor produced a considerably smaller number. Most of the county officials and employees present did not vote.

Cascading water problems roil City Council meetings

By Mac Shadix

With only council members Martin Housler and Dianne Ryder at the table for the 5 p.m. meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee there was not a quorum present and they could not discuss issues or take action. Housler and Ryder chatted pleasantly with the Texas A&M Target Communities Program group until the special called council meeting began at 6 p.m.

The real fireworks began when the public comment section of the special called meeting began. Ex-City Attorney Gayle Raye lit into the mayor about the terrible water at her house on Gene Street. You cannot bathe in it, wash clothes, or cook with it, she said. Raye lambasted Mayor Royce Dawkins about the water, about her relations with him on social media, and on her not being added to the agenda as she had requested. Raye approached the council table with photos of unbelievable bad water in bathtubs. After Raye’s three minutes were up Karen Jackson Capio echoed Raye’s complaints in a calmer but more emotional manner. Buffalo Press Publisher Mac Shadix also spoke, saying that he had received numerous complaints about red and yellow water and strong chlorine smells in the water. Others present reported that while they had red water and occasional yellow water, they had not experienced strong chlorine smells.

Moving onto the hot seat when the discussion turned to the replacement of “old cast iron pipes.” Buffalo Director of Public Works, Tommy Reese told the council that they were in consultation with engineers, were testing the water and the water sources. Reese told the council that the city was set for a TCEQ inspection on August 18. Reese assured the council that the water was safe to drink, if unappealing. The council postponed action until the test results were received. It was stated that the water issues would be on the next agenda.

After the meeting, City Secretary Debbie Waters said that despite the bad water there had been no complaints to city. People who are experiencing bad water should call the city and talk to their council representatives. Without communication, no one knows what you are experiencing.


Tax rate to be “Exactly the same.” Judge Ryder says County elected officials salaries to stay the same

By Mac Shadix

The Annex 1 courtroom was packed to standing room only again during the Regular Called Meeting on August 14. at nine a.m. This time however no one was protesting taxes or airports. Instead, Laura Petty gave the commissioners a report on 4-H activities over the course of the year and some of the 4-H’ers were presented to the commissioners court.

Several others present were members of the Flo Volunteer Fire Department present to support Fire Chief Troy Pate as he encouraged Commissioner David Ferguson to build a road from FM 1511, a short distance to the radio tower on the hill above the fire department. The Commissioners court had approved the road two years ago, Pate told those assembled.

“I will get right on it.” Commissioner Ferguson told Pate. “I got stuck last time I tried to go up there.” He added. After receiving Ferguson’s assurance the members of Flo Fire left the courtroom.

The commissioners agreed to publish the Effective, Proposed and Rollback tax rates for the next year. Those rates which will be in newspaper ads next week were: Effective-.452099, Proposed. 45917 (Exactly the same as last year, Judge Ryder said.) and the Rollback rate would be-.583198. The commissioners also voted that there would be no salary increases for county elected officials this year.


Flo Water asked to take over part of Rodell Water System

By Mac Shadix

Steve Torno

Steve Torno appeared before the Flo Water board during their regular called meeting on August 17 to ask them to issue a letter of intent to take over that portion of the Rodell Water Supply System that the City of Buffalo is not expected to accept. That is basically 35 to 50 meters of the system that lies South of the railroad tracks. Torno told the Flo Water Board that he would pay for all costs associated with the takeover of that part of the system.

The board was told by Operations Manager Mark Collins that the Weedon Plant upgrade would be ready by the middle of September and that Flo Water should be able to provide for that addition to the system.

BISD sets tax rate at $1.29657

“Tax swap” plan in works

By Mac Shadix

Once again the Buffalo Independent School District held a public hearing on taxes and no one cared enough about school taxes to participate. One citizen observer was present, but did not wish to speak. About five minutes after the hearing was opened it was adjourned.


Leon County ready to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

By Sherry Matney

Since late last week residents of Leon County, as well as others all over the country, has stayed glued to the Weather Channel or other media outlets to keep up with Hurricane Harvey. We have watched winds rip buildings apart and rains plummet our friends in the Houston area. We have seen videos of senior citizens in water up to wheelchair arms and babies crying as their mothers tried to sooth them. And although we are only a couple hours away there isn’t much we can do but wait.

According to Leon County Emergency Management Jimmy Carrigan, “Leon County has had minimal effects from the hurricane. The County Emergency Management office has been monitoring the storm from the beginning stages of planning and will continue to monitor until the threat has ended. The County does not expect to house any evacuees at this time or in the near future. “

The First United Methodist Church in Centerville has been designated the official local donation drop off point for toiletries and infant needs. Any donation will be taken to the Red Cross in Bryan for distribution. The church is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pastor Joy Richards said monetary gifts will also be accepted and forwarded to the Red Cross Office. She feels there may be a need for blankets as well.

If evacuees begin making their way up I-45, area churches and city governments will be available to help when needed.

Although Harvey effects have been minimal they are felt. The Buffalo ISD delayed the beginning of the school day to 10:00 a.m. on Monday due to the rainfall that has pelted the district. According to Leon County Clerk Christie Wakefield, who lives in Centerville, she and several of her neighbors lost power this weekend. As of Monday afternoon the rainfall across Leon County ranges from 5 to 7 inches with more to come. Fortunately for us the rain has been steady and slow. No flooding or road closures.

Buffalo takes strong action to correct water quality problems

By Mac Shadix

The City of Buffalo and it’s residents got a bad report from the down-hole camera inspection of their newest well. The visual inspection found cracks in the casing at about 236 feet. Holly Water Well Service which did the casing inspection for a cost of $5,750 offered to sleeve top the first 300 feet of the well with 7-inch pipe and pressure cement it in place for an additional $41,700.00. They also offered an option of Sonar jet cleaning of the total length of 6” screen (100 ft.) and airlift well to clean up. Mayor Royce Dawkins told the council that they needed to proceed with this repair while the well was still open from the inspection. Dawkins told the council that the $49,200 job would not have to be put out for bids because it was less than $50,000. After a discussion where Council persons Dianne Ryder and Glenn Hightower urged Mayor Dawkins to check the references of Holly Drilling before proceeding the council approved the project. Going farther, to attempt to solve the Buffalo water quality problem, the council approved the replacement of approximately 3500 feet of ancient and rusty cast iron pipe in the city. The cost of the replacement was given as $225,969. The funding for the waterline project and for the well repair is to come from the Water Works CD and the Ridley Block fund, monies currently in the bank. The total cost for the well repairs and the pipeline replacement and the Railroad St. sewer line replacement is estimated to be $381,277. These projects directly affect the health and well being of the residents of Buffalo and the need for action has reached a critical point.

If that wasn’t enough action for the Regular Called Meeting on Monday, August 28, 2017, at the Senior Citizens Center, the council went further to collect the money to refill the Water Works coffers and to provide a resource for action when needed in the future. The council voted unanimously to raise the base water and sewer rates by $2.50 each for a total of five dollars a month. A modern and safe water and sewer system doesn’t come cheap these days and a delay to attempt to fund the projects from grants that might or might not come would just cause too long a wait for the citizens of Buffalo to get clean, clear, safe water.

A project to pave Humphries Street and Medical Drive were tabled after a discussion of conflicts with upcoming construction on the anticipated nursing home and pipeline repairs.


Leon County continues to help with Coastal disaster situation

By Sherry Matney

Pastor Tuffy Loftin prayed to open the Leon County Commissioners Court on August 30, 2017. Following the pledges the Judge Byron Ryder made several announcements concerning the flooding and devastation in and around Houston. First Methodist Church Centerville is the Red Cross donation drop off and needs tarps, cots, air mattresses and personal items. Jewett Chamber of Commerce is feeding evacuees who are staying in hotels and motels and are accepting food donations. The 4-H Club is working with Buffalo hotels to help feed their guests who had to leave their homes. The Cowboy Church is taking donations of feed and hay for livestock that have been displaced.

Representative Ashby contacts State Health Department about volunteers feeding evacuees

By Mac Shadix

With a mind-blowing act of situational unawareness a Texas Dept. of State Health Services TDSHS inspector shut down a community effort to feed refugees from hurricane Harvey on Thursday night at the Hampton Inn in Buffalo Tx. The volunteers led by Trey Daniel of Marquez, Texas had fed the refugees for free in the Hampton Inn’s great room on Tuesday and Wednesday. This group started when Daniel and Wife, Dana began to ask for donations to make toiletry bags to send to the Rockport area after this area was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. While calling hotels in Leon County, they were informed the Hampton Inn and Suites was 100% occupied with approximately 97% of those being evacuees. They decided to offer help in any way possible. The motel was cooperating with the effort and opening the facilities to displaced persons in the area no matter where they were staying. As word spread of the humanitarian efforts more people in the community became involved.

The volunteers fed about 175 people on Tuesday and another 100 on Wednesday and were on track to feed about that many more on Wednesday until the TDSHS inspector showed up to shut them down. Evacuees have filled the Buffalo motels but the cost of lodging and eating out is straining many of them financially.

No information has been received by the Buffalo Press at this time of any efforts by the state or FEMA to feed these evacuees in Leon County. One wonders if the next step for the state will be to ticket the Cajun Navy for not having Texas boat registration.

A spokesman for State Representative Trent Ashby stated that they became aware of the situation Thursday night. First thing Friday morning, they placed a call over to TDSHS to express their extreme outrage and displeasure with the way that a number of their constituents felt the situation was handled. They questioned what happened and why TDSHS would impede people from helping fellow Texans in need. They received a quick response from the agency, who immediately ran this up to the executive level. The folks at TDSHS seem to agree that the state shouldn’t stand in the way of the great service that folks are trying to provide.

Representative Ashby spoke with Dr. John Hellerstedt (Commissioner at Texas DSHS) today who apologized for the mishandled situation and any rudeness that his employees conveyed at the hotel. Dr. Hellerstedt has put Associate Commissioner Jon Huss in charge of this specific complaint and he will communicate with the employee. Dr. Hellerstedt basically said that the situation, and the circumstances caused by Harvey are a gray area when it comes to the rules and regulations of DSHS, and that he plans to propose an exception for volunteers preparing food at events like this in the future. Specifically, when food is prepared off-site at an unlicensed/ unpermitted facility, the volunteers would need to make folks aware with a sign saying just that - could be as simple as a piece of copy paper and a ball point pen. Though the concern with food-borne illness is extremely high at the agency, Dr. Hellerstedt made clear that he and TDSHS have no interest in discouraging one citizen from helping another, or being overly bureaucratic to the point that people would just not participate in relief efforts. Ashby’s office believes an exception like this provides a reasonable answer that is not overly burdensome The spokesman concluded.

Leon County Judge Byron Ryder issued the following statement on the incident. “I believe that the people that came to the Hampton Inn were only trying to help the displaced people from Hurricane Harvey by delivering a meal and the Texas Health Department intervened and would not let them feed the meal saying that it was illegal to do so. This may be true in normal times, but these are not normal times for these people, All that was going on was to help these displaced people any way possible. During times like these, we must have some compassion for the situation and the people involved. The Texas Health Department showed none in this case.”

Buffalo Police Chief Lance Pavelak responded to a question about the situation by saying that if he had been called he would have arrested the Health Services Officer for trespassing.

Responding to an inquiry from the Buffalo Press, Chris Zan Deusen, a representative of the TDSHS in Austin returned the call. He stated that the department did not stop the feeding of the evacuees. The feeding was not an illegality, Zan Deusen said, and the intervention merely an attempt to communicate and to teach. The TDSHS agent was not an investigator but a sanitationist. He responded to a question about how often commercial restaurants are checked in Leon Couty and although he said that he did not have the exact times that it was about once every six months to two years. Despite those assertions, when this reporter arrived on the scene at the Hampton Inn Buffalo there were very unhappy volunteers loading their vehicles with food and saying that they were not being allowed to feed the evacuees. The YDSHS teaching sanitationist who was sent to communicate and teach would not speak to the press.


Commissioners approve adding bleachers to Yellow Rose Arena at Expo

By Mac Shadix

County Commissioner Dean Stanford requested approval from the Court to request bids for bleacher seating at the Yellow Rose Arena at the Expo Center. County Judge Bryon Ryder commented. “We will be able to rent it out for events then.” The request to seek bids for the seating and for the concrete pads to support the structure were approved.


Nyanza Price elected to TEEA State Position

By Sherry Matney

Anyone who knows the very busy Nyanza Price, of Oakwood, will not be surprised to learn that she was recently elected to President-Elect of the Texas Extension Education Association (TEEA). The election took place at the Horseshoe Bay Resort in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. Price joined the TEEA in 2005 and is the first African American to lead the organization and will take the position in 2018. The first year she will receive training from the current president.

Price has held several positions at the county, district and state levels. Her last position was Second Vice President for Programs for the state. She is a member of the recently reorganized Oakwood Chapter of TEEA and says she has the full support of all the chapters in the county.

Price is an active member of the Leon County Community and believes in lending a helping hand.

Winners of Stampede drawing announced

Phillip Bounds, President, Buffalo Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of this years 38th annual Buffalo Stampede Raffle drawing. The drawing was held at the Stampede Saturday night dance which brought this years Stampede to an end, The winners were: the winner of the 42-inch Xmark zero turn lawnmower and trailer was Mr. Harold Summer all who purchased his winning ticket at Pruitts Cleaners in Buffalo The winner of the Savage model 11 pkg. Rifle w/Nikon 3-9x40 scope was Mr. Robert Pickens. Pickens wife purchased his winning ticket at the Stampede and entered her husband's name in the drawing. The 36 inch Black stone Griddle w/ 5 gallon propane tank was won by Mr. Ernie Ferguson who purchased his winning ticket at Citizens State Bank in Buffalo ,and the $300.00 Brookshire Brothers Gift card was won by Mr. Ron Murphey who purchased his winning ticket at the Tri County Horseshoe Pitching Arena in Buffalo. The Buffalo Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate this years winners and thank everyone who purchased a ticket and came out to the Stampede and participated in the parade, the auction, the dance and all who supported the local vendors , we are looking forward to next years Stampede and hope to see everyone out there.


County Health Fair at Expo provides fun and services

By Sherry Matney

For the third straight year the Leon County Expo hosted the Leon County Health Fair. This year more than 70 vendors displayed their products and programs and 150 locals received their flu shots. The traveling mammogram “The Rose” provided over thirty mammograms.

At least 250 sixth graders and 120 freshmen attended the event. Donna Danford explained that they had expanded to high school ninth graders to promote the dangers of drinking and driving.

Students from 4-H Clubs helped guests maneuver as they donned goggles that simulated being intoxicated. After putting on the goggles guests were asked to “walk the line”. It was surprising the outcome.

The Health Fair has been going on for eleven years. The first groups went from school to school sharing the word about better nutrition and exercise.

Restless Heart performs in fifth annual concert event

By Sherry Matney

Leon County country music fans were treated to a special treat at the Leon County Expo Center on Saturday night, October 7, when Country Music group Restless Heart took center stage. To celebrate five years of performances Claude Gray, Lisa Layne and Bobby Flores returned to the Expo and opened for Restless Heart.

Great turnout at Parker Cemetery Memorial

By Sherry Matney

The tradition of holding an annual “memorial” day at rural cemeteries remains alive in Leon County and with dozens of them across the county, there are memorials almost every weekend during the spring and fall months. Parker Cemetery held its annual meeting on Sunday, October 8, with approximately 100 members in attendance.

Turnout was larger than usual because the pavilion had been badly damaged last spring when a tornado or straight-line winds push huge oak trees onto its roof. There had also been discussion, earlier in the year, about using Parker funds to begin another cemetery. Family members wanted to be a part of the important decisions to be made.

The meeting began when “acting” president Margo Pate Carmichael welcomed guests and asked Sherry Barnett Matney, Trudy Barnett Huffman and Glenna Parrish Ellenburg to sing “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”. Following the song the group led all guests in Amazing Grace.

Rather than a devotional or sermon Carmichael chose to go directly into the business meeting, due to the expected length. Carmichael had been “acting” president since last February when, then president, Marilyn Pate Wood resigned. Following reading of the minutes and financial reports, a new Board of Directors was elected. Rita Moore Aghaei - president; Nova Thompson - vice president; Jaimie Smith - secretary/treasurer; Patrick Bell - at large; Norma Moore - returning at large.

Carmichael explained to attendees that the reason the pavilion had not been repaired earlier, funds would need to come from the “permanent” fund and those monies could not be reached without consent granted at the annual meeting. She then opened bids to repair the pavilion and C&C Construction was granted the work. The prospect of another cemetery was never broached. Following the business meeting the traditional “dinner on the grounds” made for a very pleasant ending.

Deer forecast for Leon County

by Paul K. Matney

This has been a good year for wildlife in Leon County, due to very mild temperatures this past winter, spring, summer and plenty of rain, the woods have remain green with stuff for them to eat. While conducting night time deer counts in Leon County, Texas Parks and Wildlife reported seeing a very strong fawn crop and bigger and healthier deer than last year. We also have a good population of squirrels, and I don’t think we are at risk of running out of hogs to hunt anytime soon.


BHS inducts 36 new members into the National Honor Society

On October 24, 2017 Buffalo High School held a National Honor Society Induction welcoming 36 students to the prestigious organization. NHS secretary Lilah Molina opened the meeting with an invocation, followed by vice president James Rodell leading pledges to the American and Texas flags. President Nadia Garcia directed the traditional induction ceremony.

The thirty-six new inductees bring the total National Honor Society students in BHS to 69 or approximately 35% of the total students in grades 10, 11, and 12.

The NHS is a national organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than an honor roll, NHS serves to recognize students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership and character. Character was described in the ceremony as “What you do when no one is looking.’


Brookshires closes for afternoon due to sign worries

At about two thirty Monday afternoon Buffalo Police and fire units from as far as Jewett were called to close off The Brookshires parking lot until the large sign on the West side of the lot could be inspected. There were worries that it was about to fall and precautions were taken to protect everyone. Photo by Mac Shadix


“Man Alive” was music to the ears of rescuers in Grapeland

By Sherry Matney

“Man Alive!” It’s not just an expression! But on Sunday, it was reality! Leon County East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue team successfully found and released Frank Roth and his dog Sunshine from the vines in which Roth was tangled. Although the vines did not catch Sunshine, he never left his master’s side.

On Friday, November 10, at about 5:00 p.m. Roth and Sunshine took their customary walk and were not seen until Sunday morning when the ETMSR come to the rescue. The two often walked around the beautiful lake at the Grapeland

Country Club and so the first searches began in that area. Expecting the worst the Houston County Sheriff’s department focused on the lake with divers. Helicopters were brought in, but to no avail, even drones were used.

One of the ETMSR members lives close to the area of the search and, after Saturday’s search was unsuccessful, asked if their group might be needed. The offer was gladly accepted and at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 12, the group began its search. Every member had a job. Bobbie Coddington and Novaleen Thurston worked the radios and two teams of five riders began to look for Frank Roth and Sunshine.

ETMSR concentrated their search in a different area. Ronda Allman found the first clue, a sweatshirt. She told reporters that she picked up the shirt and began yelling Roth’s name. She thought she heard a dog and continued to call his name. Finally he answered and Elisabeth Goodwin had the honor of finding the lost man, who was entangled in some vines. He was dehydrated but conscious and in fair condition.

Family members reported Roth and Sunshine missing after he failed to return home on Friday evening. They attempted to get him “qualified” for a Silver Alert but were unsuccessful. Roth suffers from Parkinson’s but did not meet the criteria to make the alert. He had been missing for two nights when found.


The Bethlehem experience to return to Buffalo

By Sherry Matney

Camels, angels, beggars and the Christ child are all part of the amazing Christmas story that you may witness on the first two weekends of December in Buffalo, Texas. Last year more than 1,100 individuals experienced a replication of Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born and this year you will be given the same opportunity.

Come to Bethlehem and see the shops and Roman soldiers and beggars. Come to Bethlehem and hear the sounds of the merchants and chickens and goats. Come to Bethlehem and touch the camels and sheep as they parade through the city. Come to Bethlehem and experience the thrill of watching angels and shepherds in the fields outside town. Come to Bethlehem and observe Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus as you listen to the Christmas Story read directly from the Bible and imagine how it must have been to be alive on that miraculous night!!

First Baptist Church Buffalo has long been a spiritual leader in the Buffalo community and last year Pastor Alan Grisham challenged his congregation to build Bethlehem and open it up to anyone who is interested in experiencing our idea of the real Christmas story.


In Memoriam Damon Allen

Funeral services for Damon Allen, age 41, will be held on Friday, December 1, 2017, at the Mexia High School Football Stadium in Mexia. Pastor Bryan Hallmark will officiate. Interment will follow the services at Salem Cemetery near Freestone.

Visitation will be held on Thursday with the family present from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Bowers Funeral Home in Teague. Trooper Damon Allen passed away in the line of duty on Thursday, November 23, 2017, near Fairfield.

He was born in Morgantown, Kentucky on October 4, 1976, and moved to Mexia in 1984. Damon graduated from Mexia High School with the class of 1995. In high school, he was a member of the Mexia Black Cat football team. He married Kasey Pickett on November 27, 1993. After graduation, he worked briefly for the Mexia State School, then for five years at the Michael Unit for TDCJ, before becoming a D.P.S. State Trooper, where he remained for the past fifteen years. Damon enjoyed hunting and fishing, and jeep riding on the dunes at the beach. He attended church at the Cowboy Church in Freestone as well as First Assembly of God in Mexia. He is survived by his wife, Kasey Pickett Allen of Teague; three daughters, Chelsea Quinn & fiancé Colton & their baby, Quest, Kaitlyn Allen, and Madison Allen; one son, Cameron Allen; his parents, Jimmy & Sue Allen of Mexia; three brothers, Ricky Allen & wife Lisa of Tennessee Colony, Ernie Allen & wife Tena of Thornton, and Doug Allen & wife Kristen of Mexia; one sister, Amy Gilmore & husband Jon of Mexia; his mother-in-law, Kathy Pickett; brother-in-law, Charlie Pickett & wife Leslie; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.


Leon County incumbents face primary challengers

By Mac Shadix

As of Monday evening Nov. 28th three Leon County office holders: County Judge Byron Ryder, District Clerk Beverly Wilson and Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Lori Reid all face a challenger for their positions. Also, Sandy Lumley has filed for commissioner of Precinct 2. Incumbent Precinct 2 Commissioner David Ferguson has not yet filed.

Gary Danford is running for county judge, Former secretary at the County Attorney’s office and currently secretary to the county judge, Cassandra Noey is seeking the position of district clerk and Mark Taylor has filed for justice of the peace Precinct 1.


Judge Bascom Bentley dies from heart attack

By Sherry Matney

District Judge Bascom Bentley died Monday as a result of a heart attack suffered on Saturday afternoon. Judge Bentley was rushed to a hospital in Tyler, after a one-car accident at about 2:30 p.m. at Davis and Royall Streets. Reports are that Bentley suffered heart attack and the minor accident did not cause injury. He was 66 years old.

Five contested races loom in Republican Primary

By Mac Shadix

The filing deadline has passed for the March 06, 2018 Republican Primary. This March looks to be an interesting primary for Leon County Republicans with five contested races. Topping the list is the race for County Judge between incumbent Byron Walker and challenger Gary Danford.


Food drive provides tons of food for Buffalo and Jewett pantries

The local food drive led by student-athletes, coaches, food pantry volunteers, businesses and individual donors to benefit the Buffalo and Jewett food pantries held on Dec. 9th was very successful. Each pantry received approximately 1 ½ tons of food (80-100 cases of food).

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