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Texas passes out ISD grades

January 11, 2017
Texas passes out ISD grades

‘Work in progress’ method not popular

BY CHRISTINA DERR
For many years, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has issued school districts and individual campus one of two distinctions: “met standard” or “needs improvement.”
In 2015 the Texas Legislature voted to reconfigure the methods for the state’s accountability rating system for public schools.
Beginning in 2018, schools will receive an A-F letter grade. Though the program is not official until next year, the law required grades using a “work in progress” rubric to be issued for every public school and school district in Texas Friday, Jan. 6.
That decision did not come without pushback from administrators and school boards statewide.… Read the rest

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Seals shines in football all-star game

January 11, 2017
Seals shines in football all-star game

Azle High School freshman quarterback Ken Seals, wearing his Hornet helmet, looks downfield during the Freshman Arm All-American Bowl Jan. 7 at the Alamodome. Photo courtesy Azle Sports Photography

Hornet QB leads winning squad in San Antonio

BY MARK K. CAMPBELL
Ken Seals, a freshman quarterback who led the football Hornets during most of the 2016 season, directed another squad – of elite ninth graders – at an all-star game in San Antonio.
At the Freshman Army All-American Bowl Jan. 7, Seals started for the Blue team.
He switched out at QB with a top Division I prospect from Hawaii, Sol-Jay Maiava.… Read the rest

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Boat, grass fires keep FDs busy at holidays

January 4, 2017
Boat, grass fires keep FDs busy at holidays

 

Two men burned New Year’s Eve on Eagle Mountain Lake

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
Fires of all kinds kept area firefighters busy through the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
A boat fire – complete with explosion – sent one man to Parkland Hospital in Dallas via CareFlite air ambulance with burns to his arms and head on Dec. 31.
According to Chad Lorance, spokesperson for Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), the incident was reported shortly before 3 p.m. near Eagle Mountain Marina.

A boat fire near Eagle Mountain Marina destroyed a 1983 25-foot Chris Craft Cabin watercraft, injuring two men, on New Year’s Eve.

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Reno city council delays answering email request

January 4, 2017

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
In addition to censuring two members who were not present and giving the mayor her city credit card back at a Dec. 26 meeting, four members of the Reno city council also discussed what to do about a request for city-related emails from the mayor’s and city administrator’s personal accounts.
The request was made by council member John Basham – who, along with Mayor Pro Tem Eric Hunter, was censured by the other four – more than two months ago.
Mayor Lynda Stokes admitted the item should have been on the November agenda, but was missed.
“I have no problem whatsoever turning over my official emails, and neither does Mr.… Read the rest

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FM 730 South Crash

January 4, 2017
FM 730 South Crash

Azle Fire Department medics treated one man for a cut above his eye at the scene of this traffic accident on FM 730 North Dec. 28. The man declined to be transported to a medical facility for further treatment. Photo by Carla Noah Stutsman

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Year in review: Part II of what happened in 2016

January 4, 2017
Year in review: Part II of what happened in 2016

BY MARK K. CAMPBELL
Here’s what happened during the second half of 2016:

July
A private plane buzzed boaters and revelers on Eagle Mountain Lake on July Fourth. At least three times, the pilot dive-bombed a boat.
Scores of concerned citizens joined in support and prayer for local emergency personnel after five Dallas police officers were killed by a sniper July 7.
A sudden storm on July 9 brought 50 mph wind gusts upon boaters on Eagle Mountain Lake, damaging 10 boats; a case of near-drowning was also reported.
Randy Cobb took over as the principal of Azle High School. Gina Lee became Azle Elementary School’s principal.… Read the rest

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Reno mayor cleared; Basham, Hunter censured

December 28, 2016

Councilmen insist they won’t back down; actions taken while they were absent

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
The mayor of Reno is once again in the clear, while two council members – John Basham and Mayor Pro Tem Eric Hunter – were censured during the regular monthly meeting of the Reno city council Monday, Dec. 26.
Following a lengthy executive session – almost two hours – to discuss the results of an investigation into whether Mayor Lynda Stokes misused her city credit card, three items regarding council member John Basham, and the status of Police Chief Hank Pope, council reconvened in open session.… Read the rest

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Dec. 24 incidents keep officials busy

December 28, 2016
Dec. 24 incidents keep officials busy

Officials work the scene of a fatal accident at FM 730 North, Knob Hill Road, and Portwood Road. At about the same time, the Parker County Special Operations Group brought an incident south of town where a man threatened to harm himself to an injury-free conclusion. Both events tied up holiday traffic in the area. Photo by Carla Noah Stutsman

A fatal bike accident and a suicidal man on Christmas Eve 

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
A pair of incidents on Christmas Eve kept local and county emergency officials busy.
Michael Waldrop, 50, believed to be from the Azle area, was killed when the bicycle he was riding collided with a van.… Read the rest

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Looking back: Year in Review, Part I

December 28, 2016
Looking back: Year in Review, Part I

In January, Mark Phelps Andrews was charged with killing his wife Doris at their home on Dunaway Lane. His trial is set for this Jan. 30 in Fort Worth. Photo by Carla Noah Stutsman

BY MARK K. CAMPBELL
Worldwide, many have lamented that 2016 has not been the best of years.
Around here, we’ve had our sad times, too – but plenty of good happened in our burg, too.

January
Azle’s retiring longtime city manager was honored with Craig Lemin Day Jan. 4. He began his career in Azle as a police lieutenant.
A woman who had dumped a nursing dog’s body – and its 10 pups – in Parker County was given 60 days in the county jail.… Read the rest

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Speed limit lowered at site of deadly wreck

December 20, 2016
Speed limit lowered at site of deadly wreck

Where 2 from Azle were killed on a stretch of U.S. 290

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
It may seem like a small step, but the deaths of Keith Hoover and Don Corley of Azle, and two Fredericksburg-area teens are already making a difference around the town where a single, tragic accident claimed their lives Dec. 3.
Lisa Snapp, who heads the Highway 290 East Action Alliance in Fredericksburg, reported Monday that the Texas Department of Public Safety will lower the speed limit on U.S. 290 between that town and Stonewall from 70 mph to 60 mph.
The change must be formalized at the next monthly meeting of the Texas Transportation Commission, but is expected to take place near the end of January 2017.… Read the rest

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