2013 news review continues
by MAC OVERTON
Jan 05, 2014 | 1294 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby<br>
GILMER HIGH SCHOOL’S Solar Car team, the Piney Woods Raycers, continued to make news as they upgraded and modified their vehicle and once again went to national cross-country competition.
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER HIGH SCHOOL’S Solar Car team, the Piney Woods Raycers, continued to make news as they upgraded and modified their vehicle and once again went to national cross-country competition.
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This is the third installment of The Mirror’s review of some of the top events of 2013. This covers July, August and September:

July—Gilmer ISD’s head coach and athletic director, Jeff Traylor, was one of nine Stephen F. Austin State University alumni honored by the SFA Alumni Association at its 35th Coaches Awards Luncheon.

Seven lovely candidates began vying for Queen Yam of 2013. Karlie White, candidate of the Twentieth Century Club, would be the winner following two weeks of brisk sales of tickets to Yamboree events.

A fly-over by Gilmer aviator Steve Dean and his wing man, Carl Best, added a special touch to the annual July 4 fireworks show at Buckeye Stadium.

Shawn Warden of Gilmer, who teaches at New Diana High School, completed Level 3 High Altitude Goddard-Level Training at NASA in Houston.

This qualifies her as an instructor for the construction of rockets designed to reach altitudes of 100,000 feet (about 19 miles).

Wayne Oney was installed as Worshipful Master of Bethesda Lodge No. 142 in Gilmer at the local Masonic Lodge’s annual installation of new officers. Besides Wayne Oney, new officers included Brent White, Senior Warden; Danny Robinson, Junior Warden; Richard Smith, Marshal; and John Denson, Tiler.

Under an interlocal agreement, Upshur County Commissioners Court approved providing two deputies as school resource officers to New Diana ISD at a cost of $90,000, including two vehicles.

Raina Howerton of Upshur County was appointed executive director of the Gregg County Historical Museum in Longview.

A Veterans Benefits Outreach Fair sponsored by the local American Legion Post drew a crowd of more than 300 to the Gilmer Civic Center.

Upshur County Sheriff Anthony Betterton was named to the board of directors of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas.

David Mooney, a longtime civic leader who first brought cable TV to Gilmer, died at the age of 74.

August—Brandy Lee, elected Upshur County Clerk in 2010, resigned to become County Auditor. She replaced Janice Tucker, who resigned.

The Commissioners Court would appoint Barbara Winchester to complete the rest of Mrs. Lee’s term, which ends in 2014.

Ronnica Ridgeway, the 33-year-old daughter of county GOP chairman Cynthia Ridgeway, announced she would seek the Republican nomination for County Judge.

Repeat offender Billy Lee Aultman, 34, of Gilmer received a 20-year sentence in 115th District Court after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon, repeat offender.

Glenn Hamilton, 49, received a 20-year sentence in 115th District Court after pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamine.

Judge Dean Fowler issued a burn ban for the county.

The 2013 version of the Buckeyes dominated Whitehouse in a scrimmage, setting the stage for an exciting season.

The Gilmer School Board called a Nov. 5 bond issue election for $36.2 million in proposed facilities improvements, including a new high school.

The issue was divided on the ballot into three separate propositions, and passage of all three would have raised the school’s tax rate by 26 cents per $100 valuation. That would have made the total tax rate $1.445 per $100 valuation.

The first proposition involved building a new Gilmer High School at the campus’s current site; converting the vocational school building there into a central administration building; and razing the current high school.

The second proposition was to add classroom space to Bruce Junior High School, and improve parking/traffic at the Elementary and Intermediate campuses. The Junior High changes would have included adding a science laboratory, housing for fine arts, and removing a structure reportedly erected in the early 1960s.

The third proposal, which would have been instituted only if it and the first proposition pass, is for a “multi-purpose facility” at the high school.

In November, all three proposals were overwhelmingly defeated.

September—The Upshur County Commissioners Court voted to keep employee health insurance the same, but changed the third-party administration of benefits to the R. Brown Co. of Gilmer.

Scoot Hudgins told the Gilmer Rotary Club about the CSS Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in combat.

Voters in Gilmer ISD approved a proposal that allowed the district to reallocate some debt, allowing it to get $204,000 more in state aid.

County Commissioners set the tax rate for 2014 at 52.23 cents per $100 valuation, before approving a $13.1 million budget. Unforeseen expenses were cited as the reason for the increase.

Joyce J. McDaniel, 53, of Bivins received a 20-year prison term in 115th District Court after pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

The Gilmer Buckeye Homecoming celebrated 100 years of football at the school.

Following rains, Upshur County and the City of Gilmer lifted burn ban.

Miranda Wilder of Diana won the International Shooting Sport Foundation Junior World Trophy in the shotgun event of international bunker trap.
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