News

Wed
21
Jan

CHRISTUS, Community Healthcore cut ribbon to new crisis unit

The Regional Crisis Response Center (RCRC) in Atlanta offically opened this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event took place Tuesday in Atlanta. 

The seven-year process came to completion and was celebrated with an open house and tour of the facility. This will likely be the only time the public will have been invited to the RCRC unit. The crisis response center will address findings of a community needs assessment and ensure help to adult patients suffering with a mental health crisis. 

More on this story in the weekend edition of the Atlanta Citizens Journal. 

PHOTO: Representatives from CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital - Atlanta, Communtiy Healthcore and other local leaders celebrate the opening of the local region's only Regional Crisis Response center. 

Tue
13
Jan

Wilbanks heads up first Commissioners Court meeting

By Angela Guillory

aguillory@casscountynow.com

Cass County Commissioners held their first court session of the new year on Monday. It was a humorous moment just after the meeting began when Cass County Judge Becky Wilbanks’ cell phone went off. She apologized as she took the call from Judge Ralph Burgess. She then announced in a light hearted moment that all cell phones needed to be turned off.

Wilbanks noted that Precinct 1 Commissioner Brett Fitts was absent due to illiness.

Preceding with the meeting bonds of newly elected officials and employees of the county clerk’s office were approved.

Wilbanks announced Statements and Oaths of newly elected officials had been given to the County Clerk as a matter of record.

Tue
13
Jan

Juvenile pleads guilty to capital murders

 By Robin Aaron

raaron@casscountynow.com

A 13-year-old juvenile pled guilty to two counts of capital murder Friday, January 9, 2015 in the 5th District Court. The boy will serve at least half of the maximum 40-year sentence before he is eligible for parole.

According to Cass County District Attorney Randal Lee, the details of the plea bargain were decided on before he took office Jan. 1. Members of the juvenile's family were reportedly on board with the deal. The boy plead guilty Friday. Members of the family gave victim impact statements at the hearing.

The defendant will serve his sentence with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) until the age of 18. At that point judge will decide. According to plea bargain will transfer to adult penitentiary

Tue
13
Jan

‘Water Hogs’ come out ahead at TWDB hearing Thursday

 A hearing in Austin Thursday was not good news to the Cass County area. What some had seen as a possibility to finally put the 72,000-acre auxiliary reservoir to bed, turned out to be another handout to the Dallas (Region C) water planners.

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) voted to resolve the Interregional Conflict between the 2011 Region C and Region D Regional Water Plans. Representatives from both Region C and Region D were given 10 minutes to address the Board prior to the vote. The Board then asked additional questions of both regions before voting on the conflict. In a 3-0 vote, the Board voted in favor of the Marvin Nichols Reservoir Project remaining in the Region C Regional Water Plan. 

Mon
29
Dec

Don't Drive Drunk!

The Texas Department of Transportation reminds motorists that law enforcement will be out in force on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in an effort to reduce crashes and discourage drunk driving.
“The New Year’s Eve holiday has historically been a dangerous time on our roadways,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “Texans should plan ahead for a sober ride or risk suffering the consequences. Drunk driving will not be tolerated in Texas.”
TxDOT’s annual Holiday Impaired Driving Campaign began Dec. 1 and runs through New Year’s Day to promote the importance of planning for a sober ride. The campaign coincides with an increase in law enforcement patrols aimed at reducing the number of impaired driving crashes in Texas during the holiday season. Numerous law enforcement agencies throughout the state also will implement no-refusal initiatives.
Thu
11
Dec

Christmas Character comes to Atlanta

'Christmas Character' comes to Atlanta

By Bobby Horn Jr.

Special to the Journal

 “Christmas Character” will be the main focus Saturday night, Dec. 13, as the streets of Downtown Atlanta light up for the annual Christmas Parade.

Miranda Johnson, president of the Atlanta Area Chamber of Commerce said the parade will begin at 6 p.m. The parade route will start at the Texas Department of Transportation office, 701 E. Main St. The parade will travel west-bound on Main Street, then turn north on East Street. The parade will then turn north and travel to Hiram Street, where it will make a right turn and continue east and conclude at the transportation office.

Tue
25
Nov

Boy charged in accidental shooting

An Atlanta High School Sophomore died from gunshot wounds yesterday and a 13 year-old boy has been taken into custody as a result.

Atlanta Police Department continues to investigate the incident that occurred at 422 Thomas Street at approximately 1:56 p.m. Monday afternoon.

There were reportedly four juveniles at the residence at the time of the shooting. According to Police Chief Mike Dupree, the shooting is believed to have been accidental.

Atlanta EMS transported the victim to CHRISTUS St. Michaels where she was pronounced deceased at approx. 3:05 p.m.  Judge Bridgett Smith, Cass County Precinct 4, ordered an autopsy.  The male juvenile was taken into custody and charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide, a State Jail Felony.  He was transported to detention in Longview.

A detention hearing for the young man is scheduled for today, Nov.25. 

Thu
06
Nov

Fire downtown

A downtown landmark is a total loss this morning after flames tore through the property on Hiram Street. 

Woods Furniture, a family owned and operated business that has been a part of Atlanta's downtown for decades, caught fire Wednesday evening. The fire is believed to have been started by faulty electrical work either in the back of the building or in the property next door to Woods Furniture. That building was once the Western Auto location but has been vacant until recent renovations began. Both properties burned in the fire. Minor damage was sustained to several adjacent buildings on Hiram Street as well. The official cause of the fire is under investigation and is yet to be determined. 

More on this story in our weekend edition of the Atlanta Citizens Journal.

Photo by Robin Aaron

Wed
05
Nov

Election results

GOP Sweeps Cass County Races

By Bobby Horn Jr.

Special to the Journal

Mirroring the Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate, the Cass County GOP swept three contested county races Tuesday. Five other Republicans were uncontested in county races.

According to unofficial returns, Randal Lee will become the county’s next criminal district attorney after beating current Assistant D.A. Tina M. Richardson 4,590 to 2,363. Lee is a former Cass County DA.

Lee built up a commanding lead in early voting taking 1,623 votes to Richardson’s 896. On Election Day he more than doubled her with 2,967 votes to 1,467.

Jamie A. O’Rand (R) unseated Incumbent Jannis Mitchell 3,985 to 2,963 to become the next county clerk. Mitchell actually held a lead during the early voting period 1,276 to 1,257. However, on Election Day O’Rand outpaced Mitchell by more than 1,000 votes.

Wed
29
Oct

Is this the real life?

The Big Bad Band From Rabbitland proves they have what it takes to make dreams a reality as they march their way into the top four at the Area UIL competition held Saturday, Oct. 25, in Longview. The band will travel to San Antonio to compete in the State UIL competition next week. See more photos on page 8.

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