Today`s Local News2019-08-20
Tuesday, August 20, 2019


(CAMERON) An embattled Rockdale man is back in jail over the condition of his properties. 

Milam County Judge Steve Young said 43-year-old Ira Richard Thrasher was found guilty by a jury on Monday on 62 counts of Having an Unscreened Junkyard within 1000 feet of a Highway. For each conviction, Judge Young fined Thrasher $1000 for a total of $62,000. In addition, Thrasher was ordered to pay court costs, summons, and jury fees, bringing the total in fines and court costs to nearly $75,000. Upon completion of the trial, Thrasher was remanded to custody and placed into Milam County Jail. 

Just last month, Judge Young issued a permanent injunction against Thrasher from removing any items from his properties in the 1300 block of East Cameron in Rockdale. Thrasher was also ordered to pay $9000 in attorney fees and $1000 in investigative costs. Two weeks earlier, the Judge temporarily enjoined Thrasher from removing items from the property and found him in contempt of court for failing to appear despite notice to do so. In his court appearance last month, Thrasher was notified that the Health Department had been at his property and found multiple health code violations and so had 10 days to fix those issues. 

In June, the Milam County Sheriff`s Office and Rockdale Police arrested Thrasher on 13 counts of bond surrender and 1 count of bond forfeiture. He was previously arrested in May after being indicted by a Milam County Grand Jury on a state jail felony charge of Illegal Dumping. He was also previously found guilty of 6 misdemeanors in then-Milam County Judge Dave Barkemeyer`s court and fined. All of these fines, charges, and arrests stem from the Thrasher properties at All Service Propane on the east end of Rockdale. Court records show that the properties were kept as though they were a junkyard and the necessary steps to screen the property from view off the highway were not undertaken. Although Thrasher had fencing along much of the property, officials said the piles behind the fences reached heights above that. At a meeting in late April, Milam County Commissioners approved sending a certified letter to Thrasher regarding his Rockdale properties that would allow him 30 days to take corrective actions and clean up the properties. With that 30 days now expired, Commissioners then moved to go out for bids in an effort to clean it up themselves. Commissioners could also place a lien on the properties and even foreclose on it. 


(CAMERON) A Rockdale man was killed in a Sunday night crash in Milam County. 

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, Milam County Sheriff`s deputies, EMS, and Rockdale Volunteer Fire Department responded about 9:15PM Sunday to a major 2-vehicle crash on US77 near Yegua Creek outside of Rockdale. DPS Sgt. Dave Roberts said 38-year-old Jason Kelley was killed in the crash. Investigators determined a northbound 2009 Dodge pickup driven by Kelley drifted to the right, struck a guardrail, and became disabled in the northbound lanes. A northbound 2002 Ford driven by 25-year-old Reshale Dilda of Dallas came upon the Dodge and struck it. Kelley was pronounced dead at the scene. Dilda was not hurt. No charges have been filed. It marks the 7th fatal crash in Milam County this year, resulting in 9 total deaths. 


(ROCKDALE) Rockdale City Council will meet Monday to discuss budgets and tax rates.

The Council is scheduled to meet August 26th. On the agenda will be to hold a public hearing regarding the proposed 2019-2020 budget for the City of Rockdale and the proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year for the City of Rockdale. The meeting will begin at 5:30PM in the City Council Chambers.


(CAMERON) An area ribbon cutting ceremony has been scheduled for this month.

On Friday, Barbara Dominguez will be on the square in Downtown Cameron selling her food, Chuck Wheeler with Rockdale Coffee Roasters will be on the square with his coffee cart selling hot and cold brews, and Bob Lane from E3 Energy will be onsite passing out informational brochures and discussing the challenges, as well as solutions, faced by energy-producers today. There will also be live music from Casey Stanislaw. Ribbon Cutting festivities begin at 5:30PM.


(MILAM COUNTY) Milam County authorities are seeking help in locating a man involved in a huge theft ring. 

Milam County Crime Stoppers said they are looking for information into the whereabouts of 42-year-old Chad Lee Bankston. At this time, he is known to be on the run and is considered to be violent. Tips have even placed Bankston as far away as Uvalde. Anyone with information is asked to contact Milam County Crime Stoppers or the authorities. Tips are anonymous and if they lead to an arrest or conviction could return a reward.  

Bankston escaped capture during the raid of property on Cowan Street this month. An Elgin woman involved in the theft ring, 34-year-old Jennifer Adele Blye has already been arrested and indicted for her role. Authorities had received an anonymous tip about a stolen truck 2 weeks ago at the Thorndale CEFCO station. Thorndale Police located that truck and took the driver, Blye, into custody. She was also found in possession of a firearm and was suspected in a home burglary on CR458 in Thorndale in which coins, antique guns, and the truck were all taken. Blye was officially charged with 2 counts of Burglary of a Building and 2 counts of Theft of Property $2,500-30,000.

As the investigation unfolded, deputies linked enough evidence to search the property on Cowan Street. Deputies executed the search warrant and recovered trailers, a travel trailer, and multiple other items. A number of other items still remain missing. Bankston eluded capture that day after fleeing the scene prior to the execution of that search warrant. Again, anyone with information should contact Milam County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-697-8477.


(CENTRAL TX) Two additional area counties are now under a burn ban here in Texas. 

Bell and Falls Counties have enacted Burn Bans this week. They now join nearly every Central Texas county in having a ban on burning. Also currently under a Burn Ban are Milam, Burleson, Williamson, Lee, and Robertson Counties. A total of 127 counties in Texas are currently under a burn ban as of today.


(TAYLOR) An overturned tanker truck left a rural roadway blocked on Monday afternoon. 

The Williamson County Sheriff`s Office said an 18-wheeler rolled over about 1PM Monday in the 3100 block of FM112 southeast of Taylor. Fire crews from Taylor, Coupland, Thrall, Weir, and Round Rock all responded. Also sent to the scene were Williamson County EMS, Fire Command, Williamson County Fire Marshals, and Williamson County HAZMAT crews. The tanker, which was loaded with diesel fuel, blocked all lanes of the roadway but did not spill any of the load. There were no injuries. The roadway was blocked for about 4 hours while crews worked the scene. 


(BELTON) Bell County authorities are investigating after finding a dead man at an area lake. 

Belton Police were called Sunday for reports of a man with a gunshot wound south of Miller Springs Nature Center at Lake Belton. Officers arrived to find the 26-year-old man from Florida dead of what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. No other information was available. 


(ROBERTSON COUNTY) One man is dead after a workplace accident in Robertson County. 

The Robertson County Sheriff`s Office responded to Abco Auto Parts in the 5700 block of TX6 south of Hearne in reference to a deadly accident. Authorities said a raised vehicle fell onto a man working underneath it. The name of the victim has not been released. No other information was available. 


(BELTON) Belton school officials will turn to a familiar name to run their school district. 

Belton ISD Board of Trustees on Monday voted to approve former Temple ISD Superintendent Dr. Robin Battershell as interim superintendent of schools. She will take over for Dr. Susan Kincannon, who was named the lone finalist to become Waco ISD Superintendent. Battershell had retired from Temple ISD after the 2018 school year. As for Kincannon, she is set to replace former Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcus Nelson, who resigned earlier this year after his arrest on misdemeanor drug charges. 


(CENTRAL TEXAS) Here`s a look at some area events headed to Central Texas this week:

August 18-20
Gary Don Miller will be having prayer seminars in the Bethany Baptist Church in Hearne today at 1PM and 7PM.  

August 20
Blessings From God Food Pantry will not have food distribution today and no food delivered for distribution. Next distribution will be September 10th. 

August 24
Cameron VFW presents Backroads Band on Saturday from 8PM-Midnight. Doors open at 6:30PM. Tickets are $10 per person. The kitchen will be available. For info or reservations, call 254-295-6222.

August 25
The 69th annual Church Bazaar at St. Mary Catholic Church in Ellinger will be Sunday at the Community Center on Highway 71. Mass kicks off at 8AM at the Church. There will also be a raffle, silent auction, country store, auction, ice cold refreshments, cake and plant wheel, arts and crafts, and kids games. Plates of fried chicken and sausage will be served at 11AM. Plates are $11 for adults and $5 for kids under 12. Live music will run from 10:30AM-12:30PM featuring the Holub Polka Band.

August 26
The Rosebud Volunteer Fire Department annual Hamburger Supper, in conjunction with The Rosebud Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture     Pre-Labor Day Celebration, will be 5PM August 26th. Hamburger, Chips, and a Drink will be served until it is gone at the Rosebud Fire Station at North 3rd and Ave D.  


(CAMERON) A major name is set to headline the upcoming Steak, Stein, and Wine Festival. 

The Cameron Chamber of Commerce announced that American country music artist Rick Trevino will be the headliner of the 1st annual Steak, Stein, and Wine Festival on October 12th. Trevino has placed 14 singles on the Billboard Country Music charts during his career. Opening for him will be Gordon Collier Band. All performances will be at the Milam County Youth Expo Building in downtown Cameron. More details will be coming soon. 


(CENTRAL TEXAS) Students in the area will soon be heading back to class. 

Cameron, Thorndale, Lexington, Rockdale, Gause, Bartlett, Rosebud-Lott, and Taylor are all back in class already. Milano, Thrall, Rogers, and Franklin all begin Wednesday. Granger starts the 26th. 


(CAMERON) Youth wishing to play soccer in Cameron can register now. 

Cameron Youth Soccer registration is underway. Youth ages 4-13 are eligible to play and the cost is $50 per player with a discount for households with multiple players. You can pick up registration forms at the Classic Bank, Buckholts State Bank, Rockdale Signs & Photography, or the Elementary and Jr. High offices. There will be a registration day from 9AM-Noon Saturday at the Cameron Fire Department. For info, call 254-482-0326 or 254-366-6287.


(CAMERON) Fall football practices are underway this week and scrimmages are also nearing. 

Cameron held their 1st scrimmage on Friday in Lorena. During the controlled portion, Cameron held a 3-1 advantage. The scrimmage ended with a live quarter portion, which saw Cameron shut out the Leopards 6-0. There were no apparent injuries. Their 2nd and final scrimmage will be Thursday at home against Madisonville. 

The Yoemen will open the season against Mexia at home on Friday, August 30th. In addition, KMIL will bring back all your regular football programming this year. In addition to the play-by-play of Fighting Yoe Football, we will kick off Friday mornings with the Cameron Autoplex Coach Tommy Brashear Show, broadcast live from the dealership here in Cameron. After the evening news on Fridays, we will jump start your football experience with the Countdown to Kickoff, where Brett Eberhart and the Bleacher Bums will break down the week`s games and prepare you for the game. After football, stay tuned for Friday Night Finals with Alan Wood, where he will bring you all the scores from around the area. 

New this year, KMIL presents multiple coach`s shows. Following the Cameron Autoplex Coach Tommy Brashear show on Friday mornings will be 3 others shows all back-to-back. After the Cameron show will be the Rosebud-Lott Cougar Rundown, followed by the Little River-Academy Coach`s Show, and the Rogers Coach`s Show. 


(HEARNE) Hearne ISD finalized their coaching staff this week. 

Hearne ISD athletic director Ricky Sargent on Monday tabbed Dennis Stewart as head boys basketball coach. He takes over for Andrew Daily, who was recently named head basketball coach at his alma mater, A&M Consolidated. Named head volleyball coach was Alma Carr; Daniel Johns will head up the boys and girls soccer teams; taking control of the golf teams is Terrence Toliver; and Ken Dunn will coach girls track. 


(CAMERON) Cameron PD reported 3 EMS calls and no other activity.

(ROCKDALE) Rockdale PD reported 2 EMS calls and 2 arrests:
--18-year-old Rockdale man for Public Intoxication
--20-year-old Rockdale man on 2 warrants and probation violation
There was also 2 fire calls: 
--6:56PM, AMR, Gause VFD and Milam Co SO to 1-vehicle crash on FM485 at CR262. 
--2:44AM today, a transformer blew on a power pole at Meadow and Childress, taking out power to part of town. 

(CAMERON) The Milam County Sheriff`s Office reported 11 new bookings:
--Ira Richard Thrasher, 43 of Rockdale, for Bond Forfeiture
--Jasper Canady England, Jr., 19 of Cameron, for Sexual Assault of a Child
--Jacob Green, 19 of Cameron, for Sexual Assault
--Jennifer Adele Blye, 34 of Elgin, for 2 counts of Burglary of a Building and 2 counts of Theft of Property $2500-30k
--7 in from Coryell County

There were 2 accidents reported in rural Milam County:
--2-vehicle crash on FM485 at CR265. Trooper Sims.
--1-vehicle crash on FM485 at CR262. Trooper Hendricks.

There are currently 155 inmates in the county jail, including 66 housed for Coryell County.