The Parker County Republican Party reported Thursday evening that Ben Akers, the judge for Parker County Court-At-Law No. 2, has died after a long illness. He had served as judge the past nine years, according to the county website.
From the Parker County Sheriff's Office
Parker County Sheriff’s Animal Control officers are advising the public of a horse which tested positive for rabies in the area.
Sheriff’s Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler said the horse was recently at a team roping event at the Mineral Wells indoor arena and resided in the 1900 block of North Whitt Cut-Off Road.
Officials said any person who may have come in contact with the horse from March 27, through April 18, 2014, is urged to see a physician and contact the Sheriff’s Office at (817) 594-8845.
The horse was a contestant with its owner, Carson Pilgrim, of Whitt, at the roping event and was physically unable to perform due to neurological damage. The horse was diagnosed when the owner sought a veterinarian’s assistance. The horse is described as a bay, 8-year-old gelding.
Rabies symptoms include irritation, weakness, disorientation, neurological instability, loss of appetite and lack of thirst.
Officials believe the horse could have possibly come in contact with a skunk infected with rabies.
Sheriff’s Animal Control officers are advising the public to have all livestock and domestic animals vaccinated for rabies.
“The skunk population seems to have increased this year, which also increases the possibility of being infected,” Kessler said. “This includes all animals and humans. In order to protect your loved ones and pets, we cannot stress enough the importance of awareness and prevention.”
Parker County Republican Chair Zan Prince announced today (Sunday) that Dusty Renfro has withdrawn from the Precinct 4 Commissioner runoff. That leaves Steve Dugan as the Republican nominee for the November election. There are no additional candidates in November, meaning Dugan should take office in January, 2015.
Parker County's burn ban has been lifted. Residents are cautioned to exercise care when burning outdoors.
Parker County Commissioners extended the county burn ban this morning. The current outdoor burn ban will expire on Aug. 26.
From the Parker County Judge's Office
County Judge Mark Riley said he is excited about the positive feedback he has received regarding the upcoming guided courthouse tours slated for Saturday, April 27.
Held in conjunction with Weatherford Blooms, an outdoor home and garden festival put on by the City of Weatherford in the courthouse parking lots, the courthouse tours are expected to draw large crowds.
“We are anticipating a great event,” Riley said. “Working with Weatherford Blooms and our downtown businesses, we have created a great partnership that is really going to showcase our fabulous courthouse and downtown shopping district with the excitement of spring in the air.”
Riley said the tours have sparked interest from area groups as well. The Springtown Extension Education Association and area Boy Scout troops have scheduled separate group tours.
“The courthouse is such a rich part of the history of our county,” Riley said. “It is the people’s building and I love the opportunity to show it off to our residents and visitors. These tours along with Weatherford Blooms will allow people to take a step back in time and experience a part of Parker County culture that goes back to the early days of our community.”
On the day of the tours, the citizens committee appointed by Judge Riley will be on hand at the courthouse to sell courthouse prints, commissioned by Fist National Bank. Funds raised from selling the prints will go to purchase courthouse Christmas decorations.
From the Parker County Judge's Office
Parker County Commissioners Court met Monday to establish their procedures for filling the vacancy in the position of Parker County Treasurer.
Those interested in being considered must submit a resume by email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resumes must be emailed to the designated email address. Do not send resumes to individual members of Commissioners Court.
A person wanting to be considered must be a Parker County resident and must be eligible by state law to serve in an elected position. In addition the person appointed must be bondable at a bond amount determined by Commissioners Court as set by statute.
The deadline for submitting resumes is noon on Friday, April 12.
The county treasurer is the chief custodian of all county funds. The treasurer is also responsible for disbursing county funds as directed by Commissioners Court consistent with the law.
In this capacity, he or she maintains records of all deposits and withdrawals and reconciles all bank statements, thus assuring their accuracy and the safety of county funds. The county treasurer, who may be designated as the county’s investment officer, is required to submit regular reports to the Commissioners Court about the county finances.
Parker County treasurer Jim Thorp died Tuesday afternoon. Details will be available as more information is released.
From the Parker County District Attorney’s Office
A Parker County jury sentenced a 19-year-old Weatherford man to 50 years in prison for robbing a Weatherford smoke shop at gunpoint in a trial that concluded in district court in Weatherford Tuesday evening.
Jaggar Lee Bayliff pled guilty to aggravated robbery on Monday and elected to have a jury determine his punishment.
Jurors watched the July 1, 2012 robbery occur in real time on the store’s surveillance camera and had the chance to hear the victim’s emotional call to 911 following the robbery during the presentation of evidence on Tuesday.
“The victim testified that, during the robbery, all she could think about was that she had to get home to her daughter,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain, who prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Catania. “She said that she became even more fearful when she saw the gun shaking in Bayliff’s hand because she knew that he was nervous and thought he might shoot her even if he didn’t intend to.”
In the video, Bayliff was seen entering the store wearing a bandana covering his nose down to his neck. The victim still could identify Bayliff, though, because of a large tattoo he had which ran down the entire left side of his face, she said. She had also seen him outside the store minutes before the robbery and recalled seeing him there several times before, though she did not know his name.
From the Parker County Judge's Office
Those employed in emergency response know the job does not come with normal business hours; in fact night calls are just a regular part of the business.
Yet for Parker County Assistant Fire Marshal Frank Watson, the night of Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 ended up as anything but regular.
He and his wife had put their son to bed and were getting ready for bed themselves when Watson said his phone started ringing.
It was ESD 6, Station 44 Battalion Chief Doug Walters, telling Watson that they had a fire near his home and asking him if he was familiar with the homeowner.
“I received the call from Chief Walters at 10:29 p.m.,” Watson said. “I was told that the fire department had just been toned out and the caller reporting the fire said she was trapped in her bedroom.”
Watson said he had met the woman, Terri Wood, and knew her to be visually impaired.
“Knowing I lived very close I just grabbed my keys and ran to my truck,” he said. “I was able to get there at 10:31.”
He said upon arrival the first thing he noticed was heavy smoke escaping from the home and a woman sticking her head out the window yelling for help. He called in his arrival to dispatch.
“It was a manufactured house so it was a distance of at least six feet from the bottom of the window to the ground,” Watson said. “I could see that there were no flames in her bedroom, just very heavy smoke. I ran to the front door of the house and checked the door for heat. I made the determination that there was not fire at the door.”