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Mr. Springtown

| September 22, 2016
Mr. Springtown

Mike Gilley holds posts outside of the school district; he is the secretary – and a founding member – of the Springtown Optimist Breakfast Club. Photo by Mark K. Campbell

A lifelong resident, Mike Gilley is retiring from the SISD

BY CHRISTINA DERR
In today’s society, when most people are constantly on the lookout for the next opportunity, very few can say they have spent their entire 45-year career working for one employer.
Even fewer can say they have spent that amount of time in public service – dedicated to the education and well-being of the students in their hometown.
Both, however, are true for Springtown Independent School District (SISD) Assistant Superintendent Mike Gilley.… Read the rest

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Yee-haw!

| September 22, 2016
Yee-haw!

Rain stays away but not crowd at Wild West Festival

BY CHRISTINA DERR
They prayed for clear skies, and those prayers were answered.
The 32nd annual Wild West Festival took place Saturday, Sept. 17, with almost no interference from the weather.
Springtown Chamber of Commerce director, Amy Walker, said, “Everybody in this city was praying for no rain. We prayed, prayed, and prayed for no rain. And we did not get any rain, but we said next year we need to be a little bit more specific with our prayers.”
After some forecasts called for as high as a 90 percent chance of rain Saturday morning, organizers were happy to have a dry, albeit warm, festival.… Read the rest

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Man shot dead south of town

| September 22, 2016

BY CHRISTINA DERR
The owner of Azle’s Frenki’s Capriccio restaurant has died after an alleged hunting accident.
Gentjan Behaj, of Fort Worth, was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound at 6:44 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at an Azle hospital, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.
The fatal injury was the result of an alleged accidental shooting, which occurred south of Springtown on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
The medical examiner has not yet concluded a manner of death.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said Parker County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene in the 400 block of Rider Lane in rural Parker County and found the victim lying on the ground at a hunting site.… Read the rest

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2016 Homecoming Queen Nominees

| September 22, 2016
2016 Homecoming Queen Nominees

Springtown High School 2016 Homecoming Queen nominees are: (front, l-r) Taylor Ervin, Sydney Farris, Bailey Willet, Kirsten Alexander, and Madison Beckwith, (back l-r) Chanae Pitts Richardson, Taylor Teague, and Meagan Crowson. Photo courtesy Gina Springfield

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Awash in water woes

| September 15, 2016

Raise rates or contract with another entity?

BY CHRISTINA DERR
Nearly three weeks after Dan Jackson, an expert contracted to evaluate the city’s water rate structure, recommended to the council that the city raise its water rates, the Springtown city council was again discussing water at its Sept. 8 meeting.
Councilman Dennie Harms said he disagrees with the plan to raise water rates over the next five years. “If you look at it year after year, it is going to get so high that you will be able to go to Brookshire’s and buy a bottle of water for less.”
Public Works Director Melvin Webb said he understands Harms’ concerns, but explained the reality of water costs from the city’s perspective.… Read the rest

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Read all about it!

| September 15, 2016

Library to reopen soon with water damage repaired

BY CHRISTINA DERR
The Springtown Public Library is preparing to reopen after a sewer line backed up and caused minor damage in early August.
The incident caused damage to some of the library’s interior walls and carpeting.
Library Director Katherine Crabtree said the library was fortunate and a very small number of books were affected.
“Books that had fallen behind shelves were the only ones damaged by water. We were lucky that only about three books in our collection were damaged,” Crabtree said.
In the meantime, library staff has been able to provide limited services to citizens from the Springtown Courthouse Annex Building.… Read the rest

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Church vandalized again with slurs, Satanic symbols

| September 15, 2016
Church vandalized again with slurs, Satanic symbols

Crimestoppers offering $1,000 reward for culprit(s) of daytime deed

Two different areas of Friendship Baptist Church were spray-painted with anti-religion phrases as well as Satanic notations and vulgarties. Photo by Mark K. Campbell

BY CHRISTINA DERR
For the second time in less than three months vandalism was discovered at Friendship Baptist Church, Monday, Sept. 12.
The incident was initially reported by a passerby to a deacon of the church who lives in a nearby neighborhood. The deacon contacted the Parker County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) around 3 p.m.
According to Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler, the suspect(s) used black spray paint to deface two exterior walls of the church with demonic symbols, profanity, and racial slurs.… Read the rest

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The Square is a busy place

| September 8, 2016

Tabernacle site of refurbishment with Wild West Festival looming

by Mark K. Campbell
With rain staying away for a while, movement on construction and general work at the Tabernacle on the Square is steady.
Daily there are workers buzzing about, sprucing up Springtown’s historic downtown venue.
A new fountain donated by the Miles family is making steady progress on the west side.
Installed new grass is growing now that the sidewalks and walkways are completed.
The goal is to get as much done as possible before the annual Wild West Festival arrives Saturday, Sept. 17.
While total completion is unlikely, the majority of the work will be done – including the fountain which is on schedule to be completed by the opening of the festival.… Read the rest

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SISD schools meet standards in TEA accountability ratings

| September 8, 2016
SISD schools meet standards in TEA accountability ratings

There was plenty of good news for SISD with the arrival of state accountability ratings. Photo by Mark K. Campbell

Students outpace state STAAR averages ‘about 2 to 1’

BY NATALIE GENTRY
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released the 2016 state accountability ratings revealing that more than 90 percent of school districts – including Springtown Independent School District’s (SISD) six campuses – achieved the rating of “met standard.”
Superintendent Mike Kelley praised the hard work of teachers and students, but noted the district’s scores might be confusing to some.
“Across all campuses, our overall passing rates improved in only about half of the tested areas.… Read the rest

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OK earthquake rattles area

| September 8, 2016

Regulators shut down 37 disposal wells in tremor’s wake

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
It’s been almost three years since a swarm of earthquakes shook the area around Springtown, Azle, and Reno at a rate of one every other day.
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advised the Texas Railroad Commission to pay careful attention in regulating wastewater injections from oil and gas operations out of concerns the injections can cause earthquakes.
Early Saturday morning, Sept. 3, the phrase “here we go again” entered the minds of many.
But the shaking felt across North Texas was from a 5.6 magnitude tremor centered nine miles northwest of Pawnee, Oklahoma – between Enid and Tulsa – at 7:02 a.m.… Read the rest

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