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Accused murderer moved from Azle

January 20, 2016
Accused murderer moved from Azle
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Mark Phelps Andrews

Details of violent incident emerge

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
Mark Phelps Andrews was transferred from the Azle jail and booked into the Tarrant County jail Saturday, Jan. 16 and remains there in lieu of $500,000 bond.
Andrews is accused in the Jan. 8 murder of his wife, Doris Jean Andrews, at the home they rented in the 600 block of Dunaway Lane in Azle.
He is expected to appear before a Tarrant County judge Feb. 2.
Court documents obtained by the Azle News allege Mark Andrews killed his wife with a hammer.
An arrest warrant affidavit says police discovered the weapon – with blood and hair on it – on the floor next to the bed where the body of Doris Jean Andrews, 43, lay.… Read the rest

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Reno censures councilman again

January 20, 2016
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BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
Two months after Reno council member John Basham twice attempted to read a request during a Nov. 16 Reno council meeting, he was censured by that council for his actions.
The council voted to censure Basham at the October council meeting, as well.
The Reno city council canceled its December meeting, so the meeting Monday, Jan. 18 was its first since Nov. 16.
Basham’s attempts at the November meeting to read his request – because he believed city officials misread or misinterpreted it – resulted in raised voices and with Mayor Lynda Stokes calling on Reno Police Chief Hank Pope to “take care of this.”
Monday evening, Basham was the subject of two separate agenda items: one to discuss and/or take action on censuring him and another to discuss and/or take action “regarding response to letters by Basham regarding improper and illegal actions.”
Mayor Pro Tem Bonnie Black, reading from a prepared statement, cited “extreme provocation” by Basham, and moved to ask that Stokes take such action as removal in the future should such circumstances occur, and to censure Basham a second time for what she termed “his failure to follow normal procedures and his complete disregard of the legal role of mayor as presiding officer of all council meetings.”
Council member Eric Hunter seconded the motion.… Read the rest

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Council delays proposed dog park

January 13, 2016
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Discussed: Cross Timbers, charter election, splash pad

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
The Jan. 5 Azle city council meeting was chock full of discussion about several items of importance to citizens.
Repaving the parking lot and other paved areas at Cross Timbers Golf Course, details of an upcoming charter election, and whether or not the citizens could benefit from a dog park topped the list.
Following some discussion, the council voted to spend no more than $140,000 – to be funded from bonus money the city received when it originally leased land at the golf course for gas exploration as well as money remaining from gas royalties – to repave the parking lot and certain other areas at Cross Timbers Golf Course.… Read the rest

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Bomb scares posed no threat

January 13, 2016

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
A perceived threat to blow up a school bus and possibly a school turned out not to be a threat, after all.
Azle police were called to Cross Timbers Elementary about 3:30 p.m. Jan. 7 after receiving a report that a minor child on that bus had threatened to blow it up.
In an abundance of caution, the bus was evacuated.
Police identified potential witnesses, including the bus driver and several students on the bus.
Finding nothing illegal or dangerous on the bus, it was allowed to proceed on its route, according to a press release issued by Azle Police Department the same day.… Read the rest

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Woman murdered, husband charged

January 13, 2016
Woman murdered, husband charged

Crime scene tape and a large police presence marked the location where a rare murder investigation took place Friday, Jan. 8 – only the fourth in 19 years in Azle. Photo by Carla Noah Stutsman

Police: Victim beaten to death

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
Azle, for the most part, slept peacefully in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 8.
But at 4:37 a.m., a 911 call shattered the stillness, rousing first responders and summoning police to the scene of a rare occurrence here – a murder.
Azle police arrived in moments and discovered the body of Doris Jean Andrews, 43, inside a residence in the 600 block of Dunaway Lane.… Read the rest

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Reno, Parker County Sheriff’s Office remain at odds over police department’s responses

January 13, 2016
Reno, Parker County Sheriff’s Office remain at odds over police department’s responses

Reno Mayor Lynda Stokes

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
It’s been said there are two sides to every story, and when it comes to the city of Reno and the Parker County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), the old adage is certainly true.
At a Nov. 16, 2015 Reno city council meeting, Mayor Lynda Stokes said she was in talks with the Sansom Park Police Department to take over dispatch and jail efforts for the Reno Police Department.
One reason for the proposed switch, Stokes said, is because PCSO raised its annual contract price from $10,000 to $52,000 “with no notice.”
But the Azle News has obtained copies of emails sent from Parker County Judge Mark Riley to Reno Public Safety Director Joe Polino dated May 13 and May 14.… Read the rest

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Heads Up!

January 13, 2016
Heads Up!

Lady Hornet Lauren Harvick (21) heads a ball in the opening match of the Azle soccer tournament against Cleburne. Azle finished second overall. Photo by Mark K. Campbell

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Debt free at last!

January 6, 2016

Cross Timbers Golf Course paid off early

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
Almost 10 years early, the city of Azle has paid off the oft-controversial Cross Timbers Golf Course
According to Assistant City Manager Lawrence Bryant, the final payment of $365,000 was actually wired a day earlier than planned – on Dec. 21.
The final payment was comprised of $285,000 due in August 2016 and another $80,000 due in August 2017; the early payment of the total amount saved taxpayers about $9,487 in interest.
The City began the early retirement of outstanding debt related to Cross Timbers Golf Course in June 2009.… Read the rest

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In the books: 2015 Year in Review

January 6, 2016
In the books: 2015 Year in Review

BY MARK K. CAMPBELL
Another year, another series of crazy, unexpected events in our small Texas town.

Eagle Mountain Lake was 10 feet down in mid-March. By the middle of May water was being released. The lake was closed several times in 2015 because of varying water levels.       Photos by Carla Noah Stutsman

January
Icy conditions greeted 2015.
The finalists for the police chief job were whittled to three: Rick Pippins, Bill Russell, and Carrie West. Pippins, from Odessa, was selected by month’s end.
Townsfolk pitched in to help the Mowrey family who lost their home in a fire.… Read the rest

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Lemin Lauded As He Leaves

January 6, 2016
Lemin Lauded As He Leaves

Lemin retires after 20 years with city of Azle

Longtime City Manager Craig Lemin accepts a certificate proclaiming Jan. 4 “Craig Lemin Day” from Mayor Alan Brundrett. City council member Paul Crabtree presents Lemin – who began his career with the city of Azle as a police lieutenant – a framed print depicting police uniforms in America.
Photos by Carla Noah Stutsman… Read the rest

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