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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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Happy to be ‘blue’

December 20, 2016
Happy to be ‘blue’

Celebrating Cross Timbers Elementary’s national recognition were (clockwise from top) hundreds of current and former students who arrived through a tunnel of cheerleaders and members of the Marching Green Pride. Above: Dr. Ray Lea (center) watches as School Board President Bill Lane and CTE Principal examine the plaque.

Pep rally celebrates Cross Timbers’ Blue Ribbon status

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
The pep rally at Azle High School Wednesday morning, Dec. 14, had all the usual participants – the band, the cheerleaders, the Rowdies.
But the guests of honor at this pep rally were smaller than the Hornet football team.
They were the students, faculty, and staff at Cross Timbers Elementary.… Read the rest

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Azle high senior spreads Christmas joy to special kids

December 20, 2016
Azle high senior spreads Christmas joy to special kids

With help from Santa Alyssa Daws made a lot of people happy this Christmas. Photos by Carla Noah Stutsman

Every time a gift was opened – and it happened 32 times – cheers were heard from students who received presents thanks to the efforts of AHS senior Alyssa Daws. Photo by Carla Noah Stutsman

Daws – and Santa – delivered gifts to 32 students

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
Alyssa Daws was sitting in her second period class at Azle High School several weeks back when she says “Jesus Christ just hit my heart and said I had to do something.”
And boy, did she.… Read the rest

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Deaths spur grassroots action in Hill Country

December 14, 2016

Expanding Facebook group aims to slow traffic on U.S. 290

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
As the Azle community continues to grieve the loss of Don Corley and Keith Hoover in a violent three-vehicle crash on Dec. 3, the Fredericksburg community – where the accident occurred – also mourns teen siblings claimed in the same accident.
Sandra Corley and Carol Hoover, wives of the slain men, and Alan and Sharon Thomas, all of Azle, are still recovering from serious injuries, as is a Johnson City man.
But something else is going on down in the Hill Country, where citizens are stepping up to call attention to the dangerous stretch of U.S.… Read the rest

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We’ve Got Annie!

December 14, 2016
We’ve Got Annie!

Numerous groups at Azle High School – theater, band, choir, and dance – combined to bring the musical Annie to life Dec. 9-11 at the AHS auditorium. The orphans sang about their “hard-knock life.”The struggling townsfolk of “Hooverville” tell their Depression tale.
Photos by Christina Derr… Read the rest

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Area sees uptick in sales tax revenue over 2015

December 14, 2016

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
The final sales tax revenue numbers are in for 2016, and while there have been a few “dings” throughout the year, all area cities, special purpose districts, and Parker County ended up ahead of 2015 – with the exception of Pelican Bay.
While the Bay saw a dip in sales tax revenue in 2016 as compared with 2015, it’s a tiny one – less than half of one percent.
The city of Azle and both its special purpose districts saw decreases in sales tax revenue for the month of December as compared with December 2015, but all surpassed 2015 revenues for the year.… Read the rest

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