Today`s Local News2023-09-29
Friday, September 29, 2023


(CAMERON) A final report is now out on a skull found in an abandoned home near Cameron. 

Milam County Sheriff Mike Clore said the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State this past week submitted their final report on the isotopic/chemical analyses on the human skull that had been sent off for bone and tooth sampling last year. Preliminary and available metric and chemical data brought officials to the idea the skull was consistent with anatomical or medical research. Clore said the final report has now confirmed that to be the case. Officials said the skull was consistent with similar specimens imported from China as that was the only country in the world that allowed for the legal export of human remains for anatomical reference between 1985 and 2008. The report goes on to say the skull is not of forensic significance and recommended it be donated to the Forensic Anthropology Center. 

Deputies had been called in January of last year to an abandoned home in the 1900 block of US77 south of Cameron in reference to a human skull that had been found. It is unknown how long the remains had been there. Officials said the skull showed no signs of trauma and appeared to be cleaner than normal or bleached, consistent with medical research. Clore indicated the remains were sent for autopsy and confirmed to be human. Search teams later returned to the location, but turned up no other remains. Clore thanked Cameron Detective Oscar Lopez for facilitating that search. 


(CAMERON) A Cameron street will soon be named for one of the oldest living residents in the county. 

There will be an unveiling of the new Doris Stidom Street at Noon Saturday at the corner of Henderson and South Nolan. The 103-year-old Stidom is 1 of the oldest living residents in the county and oldest in Cameron. Her family tree and autobiography is also expected to be placed in the local museum. Everyone is invited to the unveiling. 


(ROCKDALE) Rockdale ISD Board of Trustees have a special meeting Monday. 

During the meeting, the Board will discuss and take action on approving the design development for the Elementary and High Schools. Trustees could also move into executive session to discuss personnel matters. Any action would have to be in open session. Monday`s meeting begins at Noon in the Rockdale ISD Conference Center.


(MILAM COUNTY) With an election fast approaching that could determine the future of ambulance services in Milam County, several hearings have been set. 

Milam County Judge Bill Whitmire said dates, times, and locations for town halls regarding the possible creation of an Emergency Services District in Milam County have now been finalized. Meetings will be held at 6:30PM each night and will allow citizens to be informed about the ESD, what it will do, and have their questions and concerns answered. Meeting dates and locations are Milano Civic Center on October 4th; Thorndale Precinct 4 Annex on October 5th; Rockdale MDD on October 10th; Bea`s Kitchen in Cameron on October 12th; Buckholts Community Center on October 16th; Bea`s Kitchen on October 23rd; Thorndale Precinct 4 Annex on October 24th; Rockdale MDD on October 25th; Gause First Baptist Church on October 26th; and Buckholts Outreach Center on November 3rd. 

The creation of an ESD is likely to be the biggest issue on the ballot come November and is a countywide referendum. If approved, it would create a new taxing entity in the county to help pay for ambulance services here. It`s been quite the winding road to get to this point. The County held a vote last May on the matter and Milam County voters overall were in favor of creating the ESD 1223-774. However, the way ballots were built for the May election, voting was countywide. Rockdale, Thorndale, and Cameron all had city ballots and could thus be tracked to the correct municipality. Broken down by each city, the measure still passed in each. However, without municipal elections in Milano or Buckholts, results could not be determined as each municipality must also pass the creation of the ESD. If even 1 fails the creation of the ESD, it will not pass at all. Because of the mixup with the ballots in May, the County got a court order to set aside the partial results and send it back up for election. 


(MINERVA) Residents in Minerva must boil their water. 

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required Minerva Water Supply to issue a boil water notice due to a broken suction line for the chlorinator and because no chlorine was injected to the water for a period of time. To ensure destruction of harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for consumption should be boiled for 2 minutes and cooled prior to use. This notice applies to all customers of Minerva Water Supply. Anyone with questions should call 512-751-5813.


(MILAM COUNTY) Customers in several Milam and Bell County towns are under Stage 3 Emergency Water Restrictions. 

Bell-Milam-Falls Water Supply said they are entering Stage 3 Emergency Restrictions temporarily due to a water pump failure at a well in Bartlett. This notice impacts customers in Sharp, Davilla, Bartlett, Holland, Granger, and Vilas. Customers south of the Little River are asked to restrict water use. Parts for the repair to the pump are expected this week and these restrictions are expected to be in place no more than 10 days. Again, this is a temporary restriction. 


(CAMERON) Milam County Precinct 1 Commissioner Henry Hubnik said the CR147 bridge replacement at Elm Creek is ready to begin, with Knife River being granted the contract for $1 million through the TxDOT off system bridge replacement program. Construction is set to begin October 2nd with completion expected in March of next year. During this work, CR147 will be closed to through traffic and CR203 Loop will remain open but restricted at CR147. Hubnik urges residents to begin planning future routes now and follow all warning signs. 


(CENTRAL TEXAS) Here are other events happening this week in Central Texas:

September 29
Take the Tackle Hunger Challenge with Troy ISD today immediately after the Troy High School football game at Troy United Methodist Church. There will be autographs, photos, and Trojan football. What if everyone watching the game donated $1 or 1 can of food to help feed Troy families in need. Stop by the church after the game to help. 

September 30
The 5th Annual Project Maynard Stang Cruise In is set for Saturday from 5 to 7PM (or whenever) at the Cameron Municipal Airpark in Cameron. Once again the event will be accompanied by an airplane fly in, so come see some cool cars and beautiful planes. There will be cool tunes and great food from Thorndale Meat Market. The first 50 entrants to the show will get a goody bag. A silent auction is also scheduled. All proceeds go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Participation in the show requires at least a $10 donation. Spectating is free. 

September 30
The Rosebud-Lott Ag Department are having a live auction on Saturday in support of their youth. Viewing begins at 10:30AM and a taco bar will be available at 11AM for $10 per plate. The live auction kicks off at Noon. There will be BBQ pits, trailers, and more available to bid on. Pay and loadout will take place after the auction is complete. The event will take place at Rosebud-Lott High School. For questions, contact or see their Facebook page.

September 29-30
The Taylor SPJST Lodge 29 will host the 22nd annual BBQ Cook-Off this Saturday. Some 60-100 teams are expected to compete for $5,000 in prize money. Entrants check in on Friday with a free dance from 7:30-11:30PM featuring The Other Band. Hamburgers will be sold during the dance. A silent auction is also scheduled Saturday. For information, call 512-826-7371 or 512-365-1110.

October 1
The Annual Minerva Homecoming will be held for the first time in three years on Sunday. Please come visit old friends and meet your neighbors for a noon covered dish meal at the Minerva Community Center at 378 CR232 Loop. There will be a very brief Minerva-Midway Cemetery meeting followed by the meal. Bring photos and memories to share. For more information call 512-429-1440 or 512-429-1445. You can also email 

October 1
The annual Blessing of the Animals at All Saints Episcopal Church in Cameron will be Sunday from Noon-3PM. An outdoor Pet Mass begins at Noon. All denominations are welcome. A Fall Festival follows from 1-3PM to include train rides, petting zoo, food vendors, face painting, balloons, and blessing of pets. There will also be FREE rabies vaccinations provided. 

October 1
There will be a 2024 Senior Parent Organization meeting Sunday at 3PM at Cameron Country Club. Parents are encouraged to attend if their child will be participating in Senior Celebration in May. Topics to be discussed include Raffle Fundraiser and Senior Celebration plans. Any questions email


(CAMERON) Officers for Yoe High Student Council have been announced. 

Yoe High School said Tuesday that officers were announced for the 2023-24 Student Council. President was named as Seally Smith. Other posts will be Vice President Peyton Polson, Secretary Jasdan Llanas, Treasurer Jaycee Wimmer, Historian Brooklyn Wright, Parliamentarian Marbel Reducindo. 


(ACADEMY) The leader of a Central Texas school district is set to retire this year. 

Little River-Academy ISD Superintendent Billy Harlan announced he will retire from education after 28 years of service. He has spent the past 5 years leading Academy ISD and his retirement is effective December 31st. Harlan previously worked as chief administration officer for Corsicana ISD. 


(TEMPLE) Authorities are investigating the theft of an ATM machine from a Temple convenience store. 

Temple Police responded about 5:30PM Thursday in reference to a robbery in the 4100 block of South 31st. Police learned several suspects had stolen an ATM from the 7-Eleven at that location and they had then driven off in a red 2002 Chevy Silverado. Investigators determined the suspects rammed the truck into the store before taking off with the ATM. While investigating, officers were alerted to a suspicious vehicle in the 1900 block of Stagecoach Drive and arrived to find the suspect vehicle unoccupied and running. The ignition appeared to be punched, meaning the vehicle was likely stolen. Inside, officers found commercial-grade cabling, tools, and masks. Witnesses said they heard a loud bang and saw a group of suspects move an ATM from the truck to a Chevy Tahoe. The Tahoe also turned out to be stolen and was located Thursday night by Hewitt Police Department. The missing ATM was found nearby. Anyone with information should call Temple PD at 254-298-5500.


(TEMPLE) A Temple man will spend more than a decade behind bars for transporting illegal aliens. 

The Department of Justice said 22-year-old Saul Benitez-Gonzalez was sentenced this week to 136 months, or a little more than 11 years, in prison on a charge of Conspiracy to Transport Illegal Aliens Resulting in Death. Court records show Benitez-Gonzalez conspired with Raul Perez-Benitez, who was indicted separately, to smuggle non-citizens from Mexico into the United States between July 24th and July 26th of 2020. Officials claim Benitez-Gonzalez helped and prepared Perez-Benitez to illegally transport 9 Mexican citizens into the US. The Border Patrol encountered Perez-Benitez in a GMC pickup near Brackettville on July 26th and refused to pull over, leading to a high speed chase. Authorities eventually gave up after speeds reached more than 100MPH. Court records show Border Patrol learned the GMC was in an accident later that morning, having flipped and rolled after hitting a large boulder. Of the 9 Mexican citizens being transported, 2 died and 3 others sustained serious injuries. Four others suffered minor injuries and were taken to a Border Patrol station for processing. Perez-Benitez was previously sentenced to 63 months with credit for time served for his role in the incident. 


(TAYLOR) Police in Taylor now have a new tool to help fight crime. 

Taylor City Council this week voted to approve a resolution agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation that will allow the Taylor Police Department to utilize license plate readers on TxDOT roadways. Taylor PD Chief Henry Fluck said the license plate reading equipment has already been purchased and this new agreement will allow the technology to be installed. Taylor now joins some 80 other agencies across Texas that will be using the tech. Officials say they hope it acts as a deterrent and is strictly for vehicle and license plate information. The system will not gather information on people, will not have facial recognition, and will not be used for traffic enforcement. Taylor PD will be installing 8 cameras at different locations and it will cost about $2,500 per year, which does not include installation and other fees. 


(TEMPLE) A Temple Tejano music legend has been given the nation`s highest award for folk and traditional art. 

The National Endowment of the Arts named their 2023 National Heritage Fellows and 1 of the 9 are Little Joe Hernandez. The Fellow honor is presented annually in recognition of diverse cultural traditions of the nation and to individuals whose dedication and artistry contribute to that preservation and growth. That presentation will take place today in Washington, DC. According to the award, Hernandez helped pioneer Tejano music, becoming one of the most prominent figures in the tradition today. He has recorded over 70 albums and won 5 Grammy Awards. Since 1982, the NEA has awarded 477 Fellowships. 


(CAMERON) Here is a look at the Cameron Yoe athletics schedule this week. 

The Cameron Junior High football teams had an up and down result Thursday. The combined B team were shut out 24-0 with the 7th A team earning a 27-12 victory. The 8th A team dropped their contest 61-0. The Lady Yoe volleyball team heads to McGregor today. Games begin at 4:30PM. The Cameron Yoe varsity football team has a bye this week. The 3 coaches shows, Countdown to Kickoff, and Friday Night Finals will still run today. The Yoe High cross country teams take part in the Troy Trojan Invitational this Saturday.


(CAMERON) Battle of the Bell Shirts are now on sale.

The Junior and Senior classes are selling Battle of the Bell shirts for the annual Football Game between Cameron and Rockdale. All orders must be paid in advance and will be delivered the week of the game. Contact any High School Junior or Senior to place your order. Orders can also be made at the Yoe High Kiosk. All sales are CASH ONLY. All order forms and money are due to the Yoe High Kiosk by 3:30PM on Wednesday, October 4th. Prices vary from $15-19 depending on size. 


(CAMERON) Cameron PD reported 2 EMS calls and 2 arrests:
--Gracie Facundo, 42 of Buckholts, for Credit or Debit Card Abuse
--Antonio Moore, 30 of Cameron, on Robertson County warrant

(ROCKDALE) Rockdale PD reported 5 EMS calls and 2 arrests:
--Larry Darnell White, 48 of Rockdale for Failure to Appear warrant
--Kaden Hart Jeter, 18 of Rockdale, for DWI
There were 2 other calls:
--1:45PM, Rockdale VFD to CR429 for a grass fire
-There was also a minor crash at Walmart. Vehicle hit a parked vehicle. Driver: Blanca Rubio, 69 of Rockdale, hit unoccupied vehicle owned by Dale Curry. 

(CAMERON) Milam County Sheriff`s Office has 4 new bookings:  
--Allen Ray Prince, 64 of Milano, for 3 Bond Surrenders and Housed for State Hospital
--Gracie Marie Facundo, 42 of Buckholts, for Credit or Debit Card Abuse
--Antonio Lamar Moore, 30 of Cameron, for Out of County Terrorist Threat and Out of County Harassment
--Payden Utah Church, 30 of Rockdale, on a Bench Warrant

There were no accidents reported in rural Milam County:

There are currently 123 inmates in the county jail, including 1 held for Bell County.

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