Today`s Local News2017-10-16
Monday, October 16, 2017


(TEXAS) Luminant made the announcement Friday morning that it will shut down its Milam and Freestone County power plants, blaming sustained low wholesale power prices, oversupply, low natural gas prices, and other economic factors.  

In a press release Friday, Luminant said the Sandow Power Plant and the Big Brown Power Plant will represent approximately 2300 MegaWatts of nameplate power taken offline by 2018. Both plants are coal-fired and the company stressed that while no such announcement is easy, a year-long analysis of the viability of the plants made keeping them open nearly impossible. 

As a result of the closing of the Milam County operations, approximately 450 employees will be laid-off at the Sandow Plant and it`s associated Three Oaks mine. Luminant Energy parent company Vistra Energy said their company and aluminum giant Alcoa entered into a contract termination agreement for an early settlement of a long-standing power and mining agreement. Due to the early termination, Alcoa made a 1-time payment to Luminant following the decrease in wholesale power prices in ERCOT and the curtailment of Alcoa`s smelter operations. In addition to the plant closing is the closing of Three Oaks Mine, which supported the plant. All employees impacted will be offered severance benefits and outplacement assistance. Vistra Energy President and CEO Curt Morgan said Luminant has already filed their 90-day notice of suspension of operations with ERCOT, triggering a reliability review. Operations are expected to cease by January 11th of next year. Luminant is also expected to take the needed steps to decommission their facility and continue ongoing reclamation work at Three Oaks Mine. The closures essentially end a nearly 70-year relationship with Milam County, which had been the County`s largest taxpaying entity. 

Over in Freestone County, the shuttering of Big Brown and it`s associated Turlington Mine continues to wind down by the end of the year. Some 200 employees are expected to be impacted there. As part of this announcement, Vistra said they expect to record 1-time charges of between $70 and $90 million in the 4th quarter related to retirements and other employee-related severance costs and write-offs. 


(CAMERON) Anyone who received a White jury summons for service in Judge Dave Barkemeyer`s County Court for today, you need not appear. 


(ROCKDALE) A regular meeting for the board of trustees for Rockdale ISD will be held today. 

Subjects to be discussed include approval of previous meeting minutes, the application for missed school day waiver, and approval of paying employees during emergency closure on August 28th. Also on the agenda will be to have discussion and possibly take action on appointing a board member to the district educational council, a superintendent evaluation, and acceptance of financial reports for the month of September. The board will then move into closed session for discussion regarding personnel matters. Today`s meeting is scheduled for 5:30PM in the Central Administration Office Board Room.


(FALLS CO) One woman is dead and another hurt in a single-vehicle crash in Falls County on Sunday. 

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers said 58-year-old Ann Mangione of Rockport was killed in the 1-vehicle wreck just south of Lott on Sunday afternoon. Mangione was a passenger in a 2012 Kia that went off the road and struck a culvert. The driver, an 84-year-old woman, had to be airlifted to the hospital and was last listed in stable condition. Both women were wearing seatbelts. Troopers continue to investigate. 


(WILLIAMSON CO) A Williamson County deputy involved in a multi-county, high-speed chase and shootout has been identified. 

The Williamson County Sheriff`s Office said this weekend that Deputy Jack Danford opened fire on the suspect on the heels of the chase through Williamson and Bell counties. A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper also opened fire on the suspect, though his name has not been released. The incident unfolded when Williamson County deputies attempted a welfare check on 39-year-old Alva Gwinn of Fort Hood on Thursday afternoon. Gwinn was reported to be suicidal and when deputies located him in his vehicle, a chase ensued that ended along TX195 just south of Killeen and just across the Bell County line. The chase reached speeds in excess of 110MPH and resulted in shots fired at the suspect vehicle after it came to a stop. Gwinn ended up being killed, though DPS said late Friday that he appears to have taken his own life, suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. No one else was hurt and Texas Rangers are now investigating. While it is unclear why Gwinn attempted to evade officers, deputies say he was involved in a domestic disturbance call the night before. 


(BELTON) Belton Police are investigating an early morning home invasion. 

Police responded about 5AM Sunday to a home in the 1000 block of Muelhause for reports of an armed robbery. A homeowner told investigators that he woke up to find a black man in dark clothing and carrying a backpack in his living room. The suspect opened fire on the homeowner and fled the scene. No one was hurt. The investigation is ongoing. 


(ROCKDALE) There will be a park board meeting for Rockdale on Thursday.

Subjects to be discussed include reviewing previous meeting minutes and receive an update from the Rockdale Masonic Lodge project for a sidewalk/ramp connecting the two skate features at the Rockdale Skate Park. Also on the agenda will be to discuss and take any necessary action on City Park Projects. Thursday`s meeting is scheduled for 6PM in the City Council Chambers.


(CAMERON) The Milam County Health Department announced their Flu Clinic Schedule for October.

The Health Department will hold 2 more clinics this month, Wednesday at Bea`s Kitchen in Cameron from 9AM-noon, and Friday at the Thorndale Senior Citizens Center from 9AM-11AM. 

The vaccine will be given at no cost to those with Medicare, but you must present your card. All others will be charged $30 Cash or Check.


(CAMERON) One of the top meat producers in the state will host a grand opening and ribbon cutting this weekend. 

Cameron`s own 44 Farms will host their ceremonies and celebration at 11AM Saturday at their new business and retail store at 1509 TX36. Festivities include games, a pumpkin patch, and live music. Various city and county officials will also be on hand for the ribbon cutting. 44 Farms has been open here in Milam County since 1909 and have sold their Angus beef commercially, though this new retail store will make their highly sought after steaks available to the general public. In addition to prime cuts of meat, the store will also offer a variety of 44 Farms apparel and other home goods. A new coffee line is also being offered. 


(CENTRAL TX) Here`s a look at some events coming to Central Texas this week:

October 16
Cameron ISD is hosting Cameron Connection meetings to get community and parent input regarding how best to reach Cameron youth. Staff from all Cameron ISD campuses will be on hand. They will meet 6PM today at the Cameron Elementary/Junior High Library.

October 20
Veterans who need legal advice or legal assistance can visit a free legal clinic scheduled in Temple on Friday from 1-4PM at the Olin E. Teague VA Medical Center in Temple. No appointment is necessary. Any veteran, or spouse of a deceased veteran, can receive guidance and consultation at the clinic from a volunteer attorney. Financial guidelines apply for additional free legal representation. Legal issues may include family, wills and probate, consumer, real estate and tax law, as well as disability and veterans benefits. For more information call 713-759-1133.

October 20
Milam County Genealogical Society is teaming up with the Lucy Patterson Library in Rockdale to present a FREE genealogy lock-in through a live-feed with the Waco-McLennan County Library Genealogy Center from 11AM-5PM Friday. Subjects will include researching Orphan Train riders, beginners guides to documenting family history, discovering local history, Texans during the Republic, and connecting DNA matches. Light refreshments will be provided. For info, call 512-760-5790.

October 21
The Rice Cemetery Association annual meeting will be Saturday at 11AM. You`re invited to bring a covered dish for lunch and chairs for seating. For info or to make a contribution, call 697-1095 or 697-5269.

October 28
The 19th annual Milam County Crimestoppers First Street Warehouse of Horrors in Cameron will be October 28th from 8PM until. Entry is $10 per person, or grab a $100 speed pass for 6 people and go straight to the front of the line. 


(MILAM CO) Applications are now being accepted for Hurricane Harvey farm disaster relief loans.

Last month, President Trump designated 26 counties here in Texas as natural disaster areas due to losses incurred from Hurricane Harvey, and Milam County was among those designated. The Farm Service Agency is now taking applications for Emergency Farm Loans and District Director Terri Trevino is urging farmers and producers to apply now in order to prevent delays in the process. While the deadline to apply is not until next May, delays in applying could lead to a backlog. Farmers who have lost 30% of their production are eligible. Apply at the FSA office on TX6 in Marlin from 8AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday or go online at 


(CAMERON) Here`s a look at some news and notes from Cameron ISD. 

The district is still seeking a bus driver at this time. You are invited to apply at, call Transportation Director Kenneth Driska at 254-697-6737, or stop by the Transportation Office at 404 W. 3rd in Cameron. 

FAFSA Night at Yoe High will be held Tuesday. College representatives will be present to help.  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students to determine their eligibility for financial aid. 

Yoe High School will be offering TSI testing on campus for Yoe High students on November 15th. Please contact the counseling department to sign up your student. The TSI Assessment (TSIA) is part of the Texas Success Initiative program designed to help your college or university determine if you are ready for college-level course work in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. If you are an incoming college student in Texas, you are required to take the TSI Assessment unless you are already exempt.


(CAMERON) The Cameron Yoemen were back in full force in Jarrell on Friday night.

The Yoemen played in Jarrell for their third district game.  Quarterback Zack Andress was in fine form, connecting with 4 different receivers for 5 touchdowns. The Yoemen would add 2 more scores on the ground.  A strong Yoe defense held the Cougars scoreless, ending the game with a score of 55-0 and bringing Cameron to 1-2 in district and 2-5 on the season.

This week the Yoemen face their across the river rivals in the annual Battle of the Bell against the Rockdale Tigers at Yoe Field. KMIL will have the call, plus our other football programming. After the evening news, stay tuned for the Coufal Prater Countdown to Kickoff, live from Yoe Field. Then after the game, get all the scores on Friday Night Finals.


(CAMERON) The Lady Yoe Volleyball team will be hosting the 8th Annual Dig Pink Fundraiser this month. All proceeds from the event are donated to Breast Cancer research.

On Tuesday, join the Lady Yoe as they host the Dig Pink game at Yoe Gym. During the game, there will be a silent auction, a raffle, pink treats, and more. Those that attend are also asked to wear pink. In the past 7 years, the Ladies have raised over $59,000 for Breast Cancer Research. 


(CAMERON) Cameron PD reported 4 EMS calls and 1 wreck: 12:15PM, 2-vehicle wreck, no injuries, at 5th and Travis. AMR toned. 

(ROCKDALE) Rockdale PD reported 1 EMS calls and 1 arrest: Darrel Shropshire, 43 of Rockdale, on Milam Co warrant
There were 2 other calls:
--7:21PM, Gause FD to grass fire on CR358. 
--5:40PM, 2-vehicle crash at Bell and Main. Drivers: Caleb Truitt and Ricardo Olgene. Significant damage reported. No injuries.

(CAMERON) The Milam County Sheriff`s Office reported 1 new bookings:
--Darrel Dewayne Shropshire, 43 of Rockdale, for Motion to Revoke

There were no accidents reported in rural Milam County:

There are currently 118 inmates in the county jail, including 48 housed for Coryell County.