Today`s Local News2017-10-19
Thursday, October 19, 2017


(MILAM CO) One person is dead in the aftermath of a grinding 2-vehicle crash in Milano last night. 

According to Rockdale Police, Milam County deputies, AMR, Rockdale Fire Department, and Milano Fire Department all responded about 6:15PM Wednesday for a major crash involving an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle at the intersection of US79 and TX36 in front of the Star Motel in Milano. Authorities said 1 person was killed in the collision and 1 person had to be airlifted from the scene in critical condition. No other details were available at this time. 

It has been a busy couple of days for area authorities, with a dozen accidents in the past 2 days. On Wednesday, Rockdale PD responded to a hit-and-run wreck at 9AM on East Cameron. A 2nd driver remains unknown in that investigation, but the other driver, Gerald Ainsworth of Franklin, was not hurt. Then just before 1PM, Rockdale PD went to a 2-vehicle crash in town. Drivers were identified as Herbert Lee Wilson of Cameron and Onee Gormon of Smithville. There were no injuries. Milam County deputies also worked 3 other wrecks in the county. At 5:36AM, a vehicle hit a deer on US79 by the auction barn. Another vehicle hit a deer just before midnight on FM431 at FM2268. There were no injuries in either incident. There was also a 1-vehicle crash just after 11PM last night on FM485, just a mile off US77. No injuries were reported. That all comes on the heels of 6 other accidents the day prior. Starting at 8AM, deputies responded to a wreck on US77 at FM486 for a non-injury accident. Just after 10AM, deputies went to a crash on US79 at Western Hills Road. Again, there were no injuries. There were 3 other wrecks that involved unknown injuries on Tuesday: a wreck between Buckholts near the railroad underpass at 1PM, a wreck on US79 near Gause that resulted in a vehicle fire just after 4PM, and a wreck between Thorndale and Rockdale on US79 about 5PM. Rockdale Police also investigated a 3-vehicle crash at Cameron and Wilcox that afternoon. Involved: 2001 Dodge truck driven by Maria Alonzo, 56 of Buckholts, 2005 Hyundai sedan driven by Don Deary, 47 of Austin, and 2013 Jeep driven by Dorothy Slaughter, 63 of Rockdale. No injuries.


(MILAM CO) The investigation of multiple Milam County burglaries uncovered a multi-county theft ring. 

According to Milam County Chief Deputy Chris White, deputies have been investigating a series of 3 burglaries in the Sharp and Davilla area over the past week in which buildings and vehicles had been broken into. The suspects had made off with tools, a trailer, and a 4-wheeler in those burglaries. White said deputies were working the 3rd of those investigations over the weekend when deputies caught a break. A caller tipped deputies to a broken down vehicle along FM1915 that matched the description of a vehicle seen in the area of the burglaries. Deputies arrived at the vehicle and discovered multiple items taken that day during a burglary and then arrested the 2 occupants, 25-year-old Trevor Lee Smith of Lexington and 25-year-old Hannah Christine Lyon of Belton. The 2 remain jailed in Milam County. Lyon is charged with Burglary of a Building, 4 counts of Burglary of a Vehicle, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Smith is charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, 4 counts of Burglary of a Building, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. 

During the investigation, Milam County authorities learned the pair and several others were all linked to multiple burglary cases in Milam, Lee, and Bell counties. On Tuesday, Bartlett Police arrested 35-year-old Christopher Bradley Young, thought to be 1 of the accomplices in the theft ring. Bartlett PD had been investigating the theft of 2 city vehicles when they located Young through a tip. He was arrested in 1 of the city trucks and was found in possession of multiple stolen items. Young, who had been wanted on Milam County warrants, is currently held in Bell County Jail. Meanwhile, Chief White said another man, 24-year-old Coe Douglas Janner of Lexington is also in custody in connection to the theft ring and remains held in Lee County Jail. 

(FLORIDA) A Bell County attorney and his 2 accomplices found guilty last year on federal charges has been sentenced this week in Florida. 

The US Department of Justice this week said Perry Don Cortese of Little River-Academy has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, 36 months of supervised release, and must pay nearly $4 million in restitution. Just a year ago, Cortese, Bell County woman Priscilla Ann Ellis, and Kansas man Kenietta Rayshawn Johnson were each found guilty in a Florida federal court on federal mail and wire fraud and money laundering charges. Cortese and Ellis were both indicted and arrested 2 years ago by US Marshals on the federal charges. The indictment indicates they conspired with multiple other people to commit wire fraud through wire communications across state lines and thus obtained funds under false and fraudulent pretense. The duo also allegedly used shell companies and fake names to open bank accounts at various federal financial institutions. 

Both Johnson and Ellis were also sentenced this week. Johnson was handed 40 months in prison, 36 months supervised release, and must pay restitution. Ellis was given 40 years in prison, 36 months supervised release, and must pay nearly $4 million in restitution. While Ellis has been sentenced on the wire fraud and money laundering charges, she still faces additional legal issues. She is under indictment for conspiracy, retaliation against a witness, and use of interstate facilities in commission of murder for hire. Those indictments stem from her time in jail in which she attempted to bribe a cellmate to kill at least 2 witnesses against her. That cellmate instead told prison officials, leading to the new charges. 


(FALLS CO) A Killeen man and prison guard is under arrest after leading officers on a high-speed chase through Falls County. 

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers say they attempted a routine traffic stop of a 2004 BMW traveling east on TX7 toward Marlin when the driver sped off and refused to stop. The ensuing chase reached speeds in excess of 130MPH. Lott Police and Falls County Sheriff`s deputies also joined the chase, which ended when the driver tried to cut through a CEFCO parking lot at TX7 and TX320 and instead hit a curb and blew out a tire. Authorities quickly converged on the broken down car and arrested 28-year-old Daine Anthony Watson, a prison guard at the Ferguson Unit. Watson told officers he was speeding because he was late to work. Now he is jailed on multiple charges. 


(TEMPLE) The driver of a houseboat that left a father and daughter dead will get to keep his driver license. 

On Wednesday, attorneys for 43-year-old Jason Bernal of Temple said their client will get to keep his driver license after it was determined that he was not intoxicated earlier this summer when he drove his housebout and ran over and killed 4-year-old Kaitlyn Oliver and severed the legs of her father, 37-year-old Patrick Oliver. The elder Oliver died in the hospital a week after the accident. Bernal is currently facing 2 charges of Criminal Negligent Homicide in connection to their deaths.  


(BELL CO) Flashing warning lights will go up soon on a deadly area road. 

Texas Department of Transportation officials said contractors have installed foundations for overhead flashing lights at the intersection of Old TX95 and FM93. The deadly intersection earlier this year saw Bell County Commissioners approved a lowered speed limit there. The changes have all been spurred by multiple fatality accidents that have occurred along that stretch of highway, the most recent occurring last October when a woman died in a head-on collision. The $55,000 project should be complete and operating by November 14th.  


(BELTON) A Bartlett man accused of threatening to kill a woman with a knife has now been indicted. 

A Bell County Grand Jury on Wednesday handed 41-year-old Ralph Stanley Smith, Jr. an indictment for the 2nd degree felony, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. He remains held in lieu of bond. Bartlett Police responded to a disturbance last month involving Smith and a woman. The woman told the officer that Smith had a knife and had threatened to kill her because he thought she was seeing someone else. The officer noted the victim had several scratches and cuts on her body and then took Smith into custody. He was found in possession of a knife at the time. 


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

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. Today`s meeting is scheduled for 6PM in the City Council Chambers.


(CENTRAL TX) Fans of a popular chicken eatery can get an extra spice in their food now. 

Chick-fil-A manager of menu development Missy Perry announced that several Central Texas locations are now test sites for their new line of Spicy Chick-n-Strips. Both Temple locations are among those test sites. Restaurants in the Bell and McLennan County areas and others in Pennsylvania and South Texas have also been selected. Officials say it will be a 2-month trial with customers getting a chance to give feed back on the new item. The strips will be available in 3 and 4 count entrees. 


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

The Health Department will hold 1 more clinic this month, 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. 


(CAMERON) The Cameron Planning & Zoning Ordinance and Review Committee will meet next Monday. 

During their meeting, the Committee will hold a workshop to discuss residential districts and receive visitor comments. The group could also take action to alter, add, delete, or craft sections of proposed ordinances. Their meeting begins at 3PM October 23rd in City Hall .


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

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 20-21
Hutto Olde Tyme Days will be held Friday and Saturday in Hutto. The 2-day festival will have arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, kids games, pony rides, a petting zoo, pie eating contest, 5k race, car show, and live music. 

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 21
Holy Ground Baptist Church Youth Night will be 6:30PM Saturday at the church. Evangelist Benjamin Pina will bring the message. 

October 22
Join Iglesia Bautista Tiera Santa/Holy Ground Baptist Church in Cameron to celebrate the 14th Pastoral and Church Anniversary of Pastor Basilio and Sister Lisa Montez at 3PM Sunday. Guest speaker is evangelist Benjamin Pina. 

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 Yoe Marching Band has a major performance coming soon. The Band will march in Groesbeck at 11:30AM Saturday for the Regional Marching Contest. On Tuesday, the Band appeared in the Belton competition and earned Straight 1`s for Division ratings.

Battle of the Bell tickets are now on sale through Friday at noon. Prices are $3 for students and $5 for adults. Get your tickets at Yoe High kiosk. 

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. 

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 Yoe football team will look to win back the Bell in their annual rivalry game this week. 

Cameron plays host to their cross-river rivals, the Rockdale Tigers, this Friday at Yoe Field in the 63rd annual Battle of the Bell. The Yoemen hold the all-time advantage, 42-20, though Rockdale currently has the Bell after an 80-54 win a year ago in Rockdale. That 80 points scored by the Tigers was a series and school record against Cameron. Over the last decade, the 2 schools have split the series. 

KMIL will have the call for Friday`s game, with kickoff at 7:30PM. Get the latest on the rivalry on the Cameron Autoplex Coach Tommy Brashear Show, broadcast live at 9:05AM Friday morning from the dealership here in Cameron. After the evening news, stay tuned for the Coufal Prater Countdown to Kickoff to get a live rundown of all the area games and to get caught up on Central Texas football. Then after the Battle of the Bell, catch Friday Night Finals to get updated scores from around the area. 


(CAMERON) Cameron PD reported 3 EMS calls and 1 fire call: 11:17PM, Cameron FD toned to 1-vehicle crash on FM485. 

(ROCKDALE) Rockdale PD reported 2 EMS calls and 3 accidents:
--9:05AM Hit-and-run at East Cameron Avenue in Rockdale. Driver 1 was Gerald Ainsworth of Franklin. Driver 2 unknown. No injuries reported.
--12:45PM at 212 East Avenue 2-vehicle wreck. Driver 1 was Herbert Lee Wilson of Cameron. Driver 2 was Onee Gormon of Smithville. No injuries.
--6:15PM, fatality wreck between an 18-wheeler and passenger vehicle on US79 at TX36 in Milano by Star Motel. 1 person dead and 1 critical injury. Rockdale and Milano FDs, AMR, and helicopter. 
There was also 1 arrest: 
--17-year-old Rockdale man for Assault Causing Bodily Injury

(CAMERON) The Milam County Sheriff`s Office reported 6 new bookings:
--Bradley Dante Brown, 30 of Rockdale, for DWLI w/ Priors and Possession of Marijuana Under 2 Oz.
--Ruben Gabriel Briones, 43 of Thorndale, for Motion to Proceed
--Matthew Thomas Pape, 25 of San Marcos, for Motion to Proceed
--3 in from Coryell Co

There were 4 accidents reported in rural Milam County:
--5:36AM, vehicle hit a deer on US79 by the auction barn. No injuries.
--6:13PM, 2-vehicle fatal wreck on US79 at TX36 in Milano. 
--11:11PM, 1-vehicle wreck on FM485, 1 mile off US77. No injuries.
--11:41PM, vehicle hit a deer on FM431 at FM2268. No injuries.

There are currently 114 inmates in the county jail, including 49 housed for Coryell County.