Whitney High School Drill Team earns multiple accolades at camp

Pictured (l to r) are: front row – First Lieutenant Roselyn Villarreal, Captain Eliza Banner, Second Lieutenant Annette Prado; second row – Hannah Jaynes, Social Officer Nayeli Estrada, Sandra Contreras, Jaden Henderson, Katie Davis, Jaden Cashio; back row – Evelyn Figueroa, Raylee Thornton, Elyse Minniear, Jaycee Green, Skylie Jones, Marilyn Hatfield and Andrea Figueroa.

Reporter: Ellie Mahan

July 28, 2021

This summer, the Whitney High School Royelles Drill Team, under the direction of Stephanie Robison and Angel Durham, attended a three-day camp with Danceline at Austin’s Lakeway Resort in preparation for the upcoming season and returned with multiple accolades.


They were honored with Blue Superior Performance ribbons each night for their evaluations on routines learned that day, the Team Perseverance Award, Best Dressed for themed days during camp, and Super Sweepstakes overall on their final evaluation.


Seven Royelles also received special recognition.


Senior Skylie Jones and Freshman Katie Davis were recognized for their positivity and friendly attitude.

Members of the Danceline All-American Elite Team are: Social Officer Nayeli Estrada, First Lieutenant Roselyn Villarreal, Captain Eliza Banner, Second Lieutenant Annette Prado.


Sophomore Jaycee Green, who is the first lieutenant, senior Roselyn Villarreal, and sophomore Nayeli Estrada all received Star Performer ribbons. Second Lieutenant sophomore Annette Prado received the AJC Award.


Senior Captain Eliza Banner, senior First Lieutenant Roselyn Villarreal, sophomore Second Lieutenant Annette Prado and sophomore Social Officer Nayeli Estrada were named to the Danceline All-American Elite Team.


Directors reported that it was a very rewarding week at camp and the Royelles cannot wait to wow the crowds on Friday nights during football season and competition season.

LW Senior Center offers fun & fellowship

The list of activities offered at Lake Whitney Senior Center continues to grow as more seniors join in the weekly fun. Whitney area residents gather each Tuesday for games, food, crafts, exercise, dancing, Bible study and other special programs. Pictured are attendees enjoying a recent game of dominoes at the center, which is located at 503 North Colorado in Whitney and is open each Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For transportation or to reserve lunch, call Lynda Bomar at 254-332-0041. A complete list of August activities is printed on page 7 of this edition to clip and save.

Whitney resident races at Bristol Motor Speedway

Reporter: Ellie Mahan

July 21, 2021

People who have lived in the country for a long time may have friends who made a hobby out of racing on dirt roads, cruising on back roads every chance they get. For Joe Sheddan, owner of Joe Sheddan excavation and a 21-year Whitney resident, it’s not just a hobby anymore. It’s now his way of life. Sheddan races with DFW local late models, and he also won the Last Chance Qualifier in the 604 Late Model race at Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.


Sheddan said, “The main thing I really love about racing is, after all the hard work, when you get in that car and you’re going down the back stretch waiting for the green flag, as soon as that green flag drops, you’re not worried about truck payments, house notes, relationships, nothing. Everything goes quiet in my world, and it’s just fast. Everything just slows down. I do my best thinking at 150 miles an hour.”


Because Sheddan’s grandfather was a racer, Sheddan became fascinated with the sport at a young age and began racing when he was about 17 years old. During his first full season in 2003, he won rookie of the year in the Dwarf Car class. In 2013, he competed in 28 races and won 24 of them. In 2014, he competed in 26 races and won 22 of them. Sponsorships with Yount Motorsports and All Plumbing in Dallas gave him the opportunity to compete against some of the best racers in the business by moving up to the late model category.


“They gave us an opportunity, and we’ve done pretty well. We haven’t been in it long, and we’ve already won a few,” Sheddan said. “They said it could be years before we win, and we’ve already won two [late model races], so we’re kind of excited about it.”

When Sheddan was at Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track, he enjoyed hearing the location of his local sponsors announced over the loudspeaker because it brought the small towns in Hill County recognition. Both of his grandparents have lived in Hill County for his entire life, and he has an appreciation for the small community he has spent most of his life in.


“When we raced for Bristol at the national level and beat a bunch of those guys that race every day and are paid millions of dollars to race, it was neat because we’re from Whitney, Texas. When you look at our little camp, and you look at some of those guys, you think ‘how in the world am I even competing with those guys?’” Sheddan said.


Sheddan’s two teenage daughters, who go to school and play sports at Aquilla, both support their father by going to his local races.


“My daughters love it [his racing career] until there’s a wreck. We’ve been pretty fortunate though,” Sheddan said. “By the time it’s all said and done, with the car and the motor, the car is going to be about $70,000, so you try not to wreck it, but when you put 30 cars together, side by side at that speed, it’s almost guaranteed at some point.”


Sheddan said to become a late model racer, you have to have a passion for the sport because it is very time consuming.


“You can’t just like racing. You have to love it because it’s 24-7,” Sheddan said. “Most of the time we’re in the shop or we’re in the garage. A lot of guys have time to go to bars or go fishing with their buddies. We’re in the shop 24/7. We’re working on something, trying to get better. That’s the tough part, but I never miss my kids’ games.”


According to Sheddan, one of the most difficult parts of preparing for a race is finding a track to practice on and finding a time when not many people are at that track. Otherwise, opponents could attend the track to attempt to scope out the competition and learn the driver’s tactics. The day after Sheddan competes, he starts preparing for his next race.


“It’s a scramble. You finish that Saturday night; Sunday is wash day. You strip the car down, wash it, service it, check the fluids in it, check your safety equipment. You start reloading the trailer back up. Monday night is getting the car back going. Tuesday is tire prep. Wednesday is going through your safety gear. Thursday it’s ready to load up,” Sheddan said.


One part of the racing world that Sheddan enjoys is interacting with his fans. Fans have worn his merchandise, asked for autographs, posed for photos with his car and shouted at him to toss his helmet into the crowd.


“It’s pretty neat. We were at Bristol, and I looked up, and there was a kid. He’s probably eight years old, and he’s got my hat on. Sixty thousand people are there, and this little kid has got my hat on,” Sheddan said.


Sheddan enjoys the fans but always remembers where he came from and feels grateful for the opportunities he has been given.


In an interview with KHBR radio station in Hillsboro, Sheddan said, “I get excitement out of seeing the kids and giving out hats, and just giving back because I came from nothing. We didn’t have anything. We got very fortunate to catch a ride with a team like Louie, or we wouldn’t be here having this conversation. That goes to show what I’ve always said, I think some of your best talent in the world, dirt track drivers, they’re racing at your local dirt track every single weekend, and they’re never going to get that opportunity to showcase what they can do because there’s just not many of those kind of rides out there.”


Sheddan’s advice for young racers is to try not to let the ridicule from fans of the opposition get them down. When racers hit another car on the track, the opposing fans will boo and name call both during the race and immediately after the race. The criticism also continues long after leaving the track, due to social media. Sheddan said young racers have to keep in mind that upset fans’ negative comments such as “You’re the worst racer out there,” aren’t based in fact, just anger.


Sheddan also advised, “It’s going to be the most humbling sport you’ve ever been a part of because you could be on top one day, and the next day, you’re struggling to get in the feature. It can bring a grown man to tears in a matter of minutes. You may lose friends in it that get in bad wrecks and end their career.”


Sheddan plans to race his newest car, a 2021 Rocket Chassis XR1, in a $50,000 to win competition at Chattam Speedway in Rustin, Louisiana.


Sheddan thanks his sponsors for their support. Some of those sponsors include Yount Motorsports, All Plumbing, NAPA of Hillsboro, White Rock Ranch, Dirt Defender, 517 Designs and P&W Sales Oil Field Manufacturer.

Hill County Grand Jury returns July’s list of indictments

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

July 21, 2021

A Hill County Grand Jury that convened Friday, July 9, returned the following indictments:


Fred Damontrell Adams, 25, of Mesquite, possession of methamphetamine under one gram


Shawneece Nicole Adkins, 24, of Blum, possession of methamphetamine between one and four grams


Tommy Anderson, 30, of Lockhart, bail jump and failure to appear (x 3)


Amanda Rene Ann Ast, 25, of Hillsboro, two counts of forgery of a financial instrument – elderly


Gloria Jean Bartley, 53, of Hillsboro, theft of property less than $2,500 with two or more previous convictions (x 2)


Michael Paydan Beard, 31, of Whitney, possession of methamphetamine between one and four grams


Christopher Charles Blair, 44, of Riesel, theft of property between $2,500 and $30,000


Stephen Mathes Bodony, 37, of Kyle, possession of THC oil between four and 400 grams


Krystal Bottoms, 39, of Cleburne, bail jump and failure to appear (x 2)


Corey Adam Brown, 37, of Hillsboro, possession of methamphetamine under one gram


Kelly Claridy, 41, of Waco, bail jump and failure to appear


Jason Ladon Conn, 33, of Waco, bail jump and failure to appear (x 2)


Andrew Charles Crow, 21, of Cypress, possession of THC oil between one and four grams, possession of LSD under 20 AU


Rafael Jarral Eastland, 36, of Carrollton, possession of methamphetamine under one gram


Eric Elemen, 46, of Converse, bail jump and failure to appear


Heidi Louise Glatz, 53, of Killeen, bail jump and failure to appear


Cale Grady, 35, of Robinson, bail jump and failure to appear


Albert Clifford Gulliver III, 36, of Mustang, Oklahoma, possession of methamphetamine between four and 200 grams with intent to deliver


Rusty Wayne Holcomb, 32, of Whitney, criminal mischief impair or interrupt public service of less than $30,000


Dustin Matthew Holmes, 39, of Whitney, possession of methamphetamine between four and 200 grams


Steven Lamar Howard, 54, of Itasca, bail jump and failure to appear


Travis Immel, 37, of Millsap, possession of methamphetamine between one and four grams


Adam Keith James, 34, of Hillsboro, possession of methamphetamine between four and 200 grams with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of firearm by felon


Kelsey Ray James, 30, of Whitney, evading arrest detention with a vehicle


Justin Wayne Jordan, 33, of Hillsboro, possession of methamphetamine under one gram


Tafara Gilmore Lyons Jr., 22, of Tyler, evading arrest detention with a vehicle


Vicente Macias, 27, of Waxahachie, bail jump and failure to appear


Dalton Farris Morris, 36, of Elm Mott, possession of methamphetamine between four and 200 grams


Shakeal Montrey Mozon, 27, of Aquilla, sexual assault of a child


Hector Murillo, 19, aggravated assault against a public servant


Collin Bradley Olsen, 20, of Whitney, possession of THC wax between one and four grams


Mitchaell Dale Phillips, 65, of Milford, possession of methamphetamine under one gram


Louis Becker Orozco-Ramirez, 27, of Hillsboro, indecency with a child with sexual contact, aggravated sexual assault of child


Dylan Dewayne Ratliff, 25, of Clifton, possession of methamphetamine between four and 200 grams


Kelsey Breanne Robbins, 26, of Maxie, Virginia, prohibited substance in a correctional facility


Leo Cabriales Rocha, 38, of Hillsboro, assault of a family or household member with previous conviction


Liliana Cristal Rodriguez, 35, of Hillsboro, possession of MDMA under one gram


Emily Marissa Rose, 24, of Hillsboro, possession of methamphetamine under one gram


Zachary Logan Rosser, 27, of Rhome, assault of a family or household member with previous conviction


Mia Jalynn Schwalm, 49, of Fort Worth, prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility


Tamara Michelle Sherrin, 24, of Milford, possession of methamphetamine under one gram


Paul Deldrick Simmons, 42, of Hillsboro, assault family violence – impede breath or circulation


Cheyenne Stephens, 24, of Joshua, possession of methamphetamine between one and four grams


Benjamin Michael Teer, 38, of Waco, possession of amphetamine between one and four grams


Donnie Russell Thompson, 36, of Fort Worth, bail jump and failure to appear


Ronnie Thompson, 32, of Whitney, possession of fentanyl under one gram


Tony Williams, 22, of Hillsboro, bail jump and failure to appear


District Attorney Mark Pratt presented the cases to the grand jury, and District Judge Lee Harris presides over the 66th Judicial District Court.

Taxes must be collected on vacation rentals

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

July 21, 2021

Hill County officials are reminding those who rent rooms or homes to guests that they are required to collect state hotel occupancy taxes.


Hotel owners, operators or managers must collect state hotel occupancy tax from their guests who rent a room or space in a hotel costing $15 or more each day.


The tax applies not only to hotels and motels, but also to bed and breakfasts, condominiums, apartments and houses.
Local hotel taxes apply to sleeping rooms costing $2 or more each day. The local county occupancy tax is three percent for Hill County and is due quarterly.


The Hill County percentage applies to all authorized entities outside of the city jurisdictions.


With the numerous sporting, lake and entertainment events around the county, many homeowners rent their homes or rooms in their homes to people attending these events.


Those leasing their houses must collect hotel occupancy tax from their customers in the same way a hotel or motel collects the tax from its guests.


Property management companies, online travel companies and other third-party rental companies can be directed to collect the tax for you to ensure compliance.


Those owners collecting state hotel/motel tax must also assess their responsibility for collecting Hill County local tax.


For more information, visit http://www.co.hill.tx.us/page/hill.County.Information, https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TX/htm/TX.352.htm, and https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/hotel/.

WISD campuses preparing for registration next week

Registration dates for Whitney elementary school, intermediate school, middle school and high school are set for Tuesday, July 27, through Thursday, July 29, at each campus. The first day of school for Whitney students is Wednesday, August 18

Whitney elementary school


Elementary school registration will be Tuesday, July 27, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, July 28, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursday, July 29, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. To register elementary school students, parents and children can pick up or print their packets, fill out their packets in their car or at home, and then return with filled out packets and required documents.


Required documents for returning students include proof of residency, such as a utility bill or a rent or lease agreement, and a parent driver license.


Elementary school students who are new to the district are required to bring a Social Security card, birth certificate, shot records, proof of residency and a parent driver license. Parents who are registering their children for pre-k must also bring a proof of income or SNAP/TANF.

Whitney intermediate school


Intermediate school registration will be Tuesday, July 27, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, July 28, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursday, July 29, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Returning intermediate school students must bring current proof of residency with physical address listed, such as a utility bill or a lease agreement, driver license of parent or guardian registering the student and any documents that may be missing from previous years.


New intermediate school students must bring current proof of residency with physical address listed, such as a utility bill or a lease agreement, student’s birth certificate, student’s Social Security card, report card or withdrawal record from previous school (if available), shot records and a driver license of parent or guardian registering the student.

Whitney middle school


Whitney Middle School registration will be Tuesday, July 27, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday, July 29, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Registration packets for the middle school will be available Monday, July 19. Packets can also be accessed and printed from the Whitney Middle School website.


Returning middle school students need to bring current proof of residency with physical address listed, such as a utility bill or a lease agreement, driver license of parent or guardian registering the student and any documents that may be missing from previous years.


Middle school students who are new to the district need to bring current proof of residency with physical address listed, such as a utility bill or a lease agreement, driver license of the parent or guardian registering the student, student birth certificate, student Social Security card, last report card, or withdrawal paperwork from previous school (if available) and student shot record.


Procedures on the high school registration had not been released as of press time and will be published in the next issue of The Lakelander. The information will also be posted on the school’s website.


To access a returning student registration form or a new student registration form for elementary, intermediate or middle school students, visit https://www.whitney.k12.tx.us.

Whitney high school

High school registration will have in-person registration Tuesday, July 27 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 28 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursday, July 29 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

High school students who are new to the district must register on campus during the dates and times listed above. New students need to bring the following to registration: proof of residency showing physical address such as a utility bill or a lease agreement, social security card, birth certificate, shot records, valid driver’s license or state issued ID of the enrolling parent/guardian and report card or transcript from previous school, if available.

High school students who are returning to the district, including incoming freshman, will register online. Devices will be available on campus for those who do not have access to a computer or the Internet.

Returning high school students can access registration forms in the parent portal after Thursday, July 22. This link is available under the parents’ tab on the website. A parent or guardian will need to login with the email used to create the account. The system will not allow the email to be changed for an active account. If a parent/guardian does not have a parent portal account, one can be created. After logging in, student will complete the online paperwork, upload a photo of valid driver’s license or state ID, and upload the proof of residency showing physical address such as a utility bill or a lease agreement.

After returning high school students complete registration Online, they may come to campus during the days and times listed above to pay fees, register for parking, and see counselors for scheduling. Students must pay all fees and dues prior to receiving a class schedule. The following fees are required: an activity fee of $20, an ID fee of $5 and a parking permit for $5.

The activity fee is collected in lieu of holding campus fundraisers. This fee will carry over each year with and will be used for prom, graduation, and activity expenses.

To purchase the $5 parking permit, students must have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance. Students will be able to choose a parking space after the fee is collected.

High school students will need pens, pencils, notebook paper or spirals, and a folder for each class. All other supplies will be announced by individual teachers at the beginning of the year.

Lockers are available for each student to use at the high school, but the student will need to supply a lock.

Contact the high school office at 254-694-3457 with any questions.

Sentences handed down in 66th Judicial District Court

The office of District Attorney Mark Pratt prosecuted felony criminal cases in the 66th Judicial District Court of Hill County, presided over by District Judge Lee Harris, in June.


The following Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) sentences were handed down:


Ignacio Rafael Cazares, online solicitation of a minor, eight years prison


Mercedes Dawn Clemons, possession of methamphetamine under one gram, 15 months state jail; bail jumping and failure to appear, three years prison


Tina Moody Harris, theft of property between $2,500 and $30,000, 18 months state jail; credit card or debit card abuse, 18 months state jail


Joanna Barrientos, harassment of public servant, five years prison


Randle Lee Morriss, driving while intoxicated, third offense or more, 28 years prison


Michael Dwayne Byars, unlawful possession of firearm by a felon, three years prison


Derrick Shawn Holmes, possession of methamphetamine under one gram, 12 months state jail


Scott Jody Cooper, possession of methamphetamine under one gram, 16 months state jail


Oscar Padilla, aggravated robbery, 15 years prison


Keith Martin Sandlin, possession of gamma hydroxybutyrate between 200 and 400 grams with intent to deliver, 20 years prison; possession of THC oil less than one gram, 15 months state jail


Dustin Lee Adkins, possession of methamphetamine between four and 200 grams with intent to deliver, 15 years prison; possession of LSD less than 20 AU, 18 months state jail


Ashton Laron Haynes, evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, four years prison; assault of peace officer or judge, eight years prison; possession of cocaine under one gram, 12 months state jail; tampering or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, four years prison; possession of methylenedioxymethamphetamine between one and four grams, four years prison


Angi Marie Fowler, possession of heroin under one gram, 16 months state jail


Julie Ann Miller, attempt to tamper or fabricate physical evidence with intent to impair, 12 months state jail; prohibited substance or item in a correctional facility, two years prison

Juan Antonio Lopez, bail jump and failure to appear on felony charges, three years prison; possession of THC oil less than one gram, 15 months state jail


Christopher Brian Goss, possession of methamphetamine under one gram, 14 months state jail


Charles Robert Helms, criminal mischief between $2,500 and $30,000, 21 months state jail


Sonya Marie White Cortez, theft of less than $2,500 with two or more previous convictions, eight years prison


Jeana Margaret Harkins, child endangerment and criminal negligence, 15 months state jail; possession of cocaine under one gram, 15 months state jail; possession of methamphetamine between four and 200 grams, four years prison


Richard Glenn Ray, possession of methamphetamine less than one gram, 13 months state jail
Trevion Tyron Riggs, manslaughter, 12 years prison


Carolyn Yvonne Hilton, possession of methamphetamine under one gram, 13 months state jail

Summer Activities Continue At The Library

The Lake Whitney Public Library has worked to keep the area’s young people occupied and learning throughout the summer with a number of virtual activities, including Zoom classes. The next opportunity will be a Zoom class on computer programming set for Friday, July 23, and Friday, August 20, at 3 p.m. In this class, instructor John (pictured above) will provide resources on computer coding apps and demonstrations on their use. Registration is required. Stop by the library at 602 East Jefferson Avenue or call 254-694-4639 to register. Future classes will cover science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities and cooking lessons. A complete list of all upcoming activities for children and adults is available at www.whitneylibrary.org.

Local resident wins Dr Pepper prize

In honor of The Dr Pepper Museum’s 30th birthday, the museum picked two winners of a year’s supply of Dr Pepper, and one of the winners was Pat Boswell, a Whitney resident. Boswell said she started drinking Dr Pepper in 1991 and has been a fan of the drink ever since. Her prize was 365 cans of Dr Pepper, which were dropped off at her home in Whitney courtesy of Keurig Dr Pepper Waco. Susan Corbin, Boswell’s daughter and a fellow Dr Pepper fan, was present to see her mom receive the prize.

Marcia Ball coming to Bosque Arts

Austin rhythm and blues legend Marcia Ball will perform with her band at the Bosque Arts Center in Clifton Saturday, July 10. Visit http://www.BosqueArtsCenter.org or call 254-675-3724 for details.

The Bosque Arts Center in Clifton will welcome legendary rhythm and blues pianist Marcia Ball and her band Saturday, July 10, at 7 p.m. Often compared to Fats Domino and Memphis Slim, Ball plans to “rock the Bosque” when she comes to Clifton.


“I have a feeling the Bosque Arts Center is not among the smallest places I have played,” says Ball, when asked her opinion of playing in small settings. “The intimacy of a show in a smaller venue allows us to slow down a bit, talk about our songs and what inspired them—really feel a connection to the audience.


“That doesn’t mean we won rock the Bosque,” she added. “Our music is rhythm and blues with the emphasis on the rhythm.”


The concert, originally scheduled for March 14 and postponed due to COVID-19, still has tickets available. General admission seats are $25, while reserved seats at tables are $50; they may be purchased online at http://www.BosqueArtsCenter.org or by calling 254-675-3724. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with food and beverages for sale.


Born in Texas, Ball and her family moved to Louisiana when she was a child. The piano player has incorporated in her music a popular blend of the New Orleans/Texas influences. She wound up in Austin in the ‘70s, where she put down roots and remained.


“My first husband and I were heading from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to San Francisco with flowers in our hair in the spring of 1970 when we stopped in Austin to visit some friends,” she said. “Our Austin-Healey Sprite needed some attention, so while we were attending to that we were toured around the area.”


On the third night of their stay, they attended a house party near UT “where there were more hippies than we had ever seen in one place,” Ball says. “On the front porch, a handsome older (than us) gentleman was playing guitar and singing. It was Bill Neely, and I was blown away. I thought, if I can live in a town where I can hear music like this, I don’t need to go anywhere else.”


In Austin, Ball has made her mark in various genres, contributing to the Outlaw Country movement of the early ‘70s and continuing to log milestones in music. She was inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame in 2018.


“My friends Irma Thomas, Tracy Nelson, Shelley King and Carolyn Wonderland joined me in performance that night. Very memorable,” she says.


Other memorable performances for her include playing at the White House and Knott’s Berry Farm with the Original Texas Playboys.


“My first time at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1978 was the largest crowd I had ever performed for at that time,” she said, citing another notable concert. “I have played every year but one since then.”


One of the things she loves about playing live, Ball says, is the connection to the crowd. “For me, the interaction between the audience and the band is the most energizing thing about being a musician. It’s the essential element of being an entertainer. I like to see the effect our music has on the listeners and, hopefully, the dancers.”