Coffee, conversations with the Mayor

Utility Director Jerald Brunson, City Manager Rhett Parker (standing at left) and Mayor Connie Anderle, (seated) visited with residents at the first ‘coffee and conversation with the mayor’ session Monday evening at Bea’s Kitchen.

Mayor Connie Anderle held the first of three ‘coffee and conversation sessions’ Monday evening at Bea’s Kitchen, welcoming a group of residents who wanted to hear about plans for improving the city’s water system.
Anderle, City Manager Rhett Parker and Utility Director Jerald Brunson answered questions about the system’s needs and some of the avenues the council and city staff are considering.
A second session is planned today at 9 a.m. in the Cameron Housing Authority Community Room located at 704 W. 6th Street and on Dec. 15, 9 a.m., in the Chamber of Commerce Community Room located downtown at 102 E. 1st Street.
In addition to water and waste water system capital improvement projects, residents may visit with the mayor about other concerns as well.


Historical Commission accepting preservation grant applications

The Milam County Historical Commission is accepting applications for 2016 preservation grants, Geri Burnett, chair of the Milam County Historical Commission Preservation Grant Committee, announced.
Applications for funding are available in Cameron at the office of County Judge David Barkemeyer, in Rockdale at Rainbow Courts, and on the website of the Milam County Historical Commission. Completed applications must be turned in by Jan. 3, 2016, according to Burnett.
This is the eighth year of funding for the Preservation Trust fund. Total preservation work accomplished with these funds is $199,000.
“We believe that this is a real preservation accomplishment for Milam County,” Burnett said.


City plans informational meetings about water system plan

Connie Anderle will host “Coffee and Conversation with the Mayor” sessions at three locations where citizens may casually address concerns and ask questions pertaining to the City of Cameron water and waste water capital improvement projects and other citywide topics.
The Mayor will meet citizens at the following locations and dates.
Nov. 30, 6 p.m., Bea’s Kitchen located downtown at 101 E Main Street.
Dec. 3, 9 a.m., Cameron Housing Authority Community Room located at 704 W. 6th Street
Dec. 9, 9 a.m., The Chamber of Commerce Community Room located downtown at 102 E. 1st Street.
The city is planning to finance needed improvements to both the water and wastewater systems.


In honor and tribute

Audience members at the Veterans Day program at Winnie L. Nursing home hold flags.

Some wearing uniforms from their service, veterans participated in the annual Veterans Day program at Winnie L. Nursing home.

American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars members participate in the program each year. For more highlights of local Veterans Day activities, see this week's print or digital edition.


Candidate filing opens Saturday for March primaries

The 2016 election cycle is gearing up as Texas prepares for the March 1 party primary elections.
The 30-day candidate filing period opens this Saturday and runs through Dec. 14. In the March 1 primaries, Texas voters will select their party’s nominees for the Nov. 8, 2016 general elections.
Milam County Republican and Democratic Party chairmen say they are ready.
Democratic Party Chairman Tommy Grimes said his office at 1707 W. Cameron Ave, Suite A, in Rockdale will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on opening day. The rest of the filing period, including the deadline day, Monday, Dec. 14, candidates may file between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information, candidates may contact Grimes at 512-446-4131.


Police investigate armed robbery

Cameron Police are investigating an armed robbery at Sunny’s Food Mart Monday night.
The incident occurred at about 11:21 p.m. Monday when a masked man armed with a small revolver forced an employee to open the cash register at the store, located in the 900 block of North Travis, according to a statement released by Police Chief Randy Dixon.
The employee was outside on the store property cleaning the parking lot when the armed robber grabbed him and forced him into the store.
“The suspect and the male store employee struggled for a time inside the store, with the employee using good judgment and refrained further fighting with the suspect,” Dixon said, adding that “the suspect took a quantity of cash and fled behind the store towards the Little River-Cameron Hospital.”
The employee told officers the robber wore a Halloween mask “resembling a dead person/zombie,” a black hoodie, black sweat pants and red underwear, similar to a Batman costume.


Little River crests

According to the National Weather Service, the Little River at Cameron crested early this morning at just under 34 feet. Flood stage is 30 feet.

The Little River crested this morning following days of heavy rains.

According to the National Weather Service, in Milam County the river crested at just under 34 feet. Flood stage is 30 feet. Forecasters said minor to moderate flooding will lessen as the river recedes. It is expected to reach below flood stage Monday evening.

Many county roads were closed in the Thorndale, Rockdale and Buckholts areas late Saturday. Many Thorndale residents had trouble traveling to Cameron Saturday evening for this week's rain-delayed Thorndale High School football game. The Bulldogs met the Holland Hornets on Yoe Field at 6 p.m.

According to the Milam County Sheriff's Office and the Thorndale Police Department, the following roads were still closed at noon today:


MCSO investigating shooting death

The shooting death of a Rockdale man is under investigation by the Milam County Sheriff’s Department.
Just after midnight Wednesday morning, (Oct. 28) the Milam County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a subject who had shot himself in the 700 Block of FM 1712, according to a statement released by MCSO Chief Deputy Chris White.
George “Cody” Tovar of Rockdale was rushed to Richards Memorial Hospital and then transferred to Scott and White ICU in Temple for a gunshot wound to the head.
Tovar’s death at 8:39 a.m. was reported to Sheriff David Greene by Bell County Justice of the Peace G.W. Ivey, who ordered an autopsy. The body was transferred to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“Sheriff’s Investigators are examining all aspects of the incident and with the autopsy results, hope to have some clear indication as to whether the incident was accidental, suicide, or criminal,” White said.


Budget crisis takes different turn

Just when it seemed the county budget crisis had been calmed by commissioners court approval of the 2016 budget, at least one of the budget cuts creates a new crisis.

According to County Clerk Barbara Vansa, eliminating a position in her office will create problems in conducting elections.

Commissioners and party chairmen joined Vansa and Tax Assessor-Collector Kolette Morgan in a workshop session this week to discuss the possibility of establishing an elections administrator office.

See this week's edition of The Cameron Herald for the full story.


Third person indicted in child's drowning death

Another family member has been indicted in connection with the July drowning death of a child.
According to District Attorney Bill Torrey, John Ethan Furnace, 21, was indicted for second-degree manslaughter by the Milam County grand jury last week.
The younger Furnace and  his father, John Earl Furnace, Jr., 48, were caring for three children of Victoria Furnace, when 11 month-old Benjamin Castro drowned in a bathtub at their Rockdale home on July 19.
The older Furnace, grandfather of the children, was indicted Sept. 17 on charges of second-degree manslaughter and state jail felony abandon/endanger a child. The mother, Victoria Katelyn Furnace, 24, was indicted on state jail felony abandon/endanger a child.
Investigators said the grandfather was left in charge of the children when Victoria Furnace and her husband Raul Castro, both residents of Galveston, left them with him at a residence on CR 322 after a visit.


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