Local News

Changes made to Whitney trash pickup, new carts to be delivered
The City of Whitney announced last week that citizens will be receiving new trash carts from Republic Services, and new guidelines have been set for trash pickup in the city.
Between Wednesday, January 31, and Thursday, February 1, one 95-gallon trash cart will be delivered to each residential and curbside commercial customer. Garbage collection will continue to be once per week on Wednesdays.
According to Republic Services, all waste must be bagged and contained inside the cart for pickup. Any waste outside of the cart will no longer be picked up.
Carts must be placed for collection no later than 7 a.m. on pickup days and must be placed at least three feet away from other objects, including other carts, parked cars, meters, fire hydrants, utility poles, trees, fences and mailboxes.
The company also requested that the carts not be placed out for collection earlier than 6 p.m. Tuesdays and be removed from the curb no later than 10 p.m. on Wednesdays after pickup.
Carts should be placed so that cart handles are facing your house, so that when the cart is lifted, the lid opens towards the street.
Additional carts are available for a fee of $5 each per month. To order an additional cart, call city hall at 254-694-2261.
Broken or damaged carts will be replaced or repaired by the company, and stolen carts will be replaced after the resident makes a report to the police.
Republic Services maintains ownership of the carts and says they must remain at the address at all times.
Disabled residents who cannot transport the cart to the curb are asked to call City Hall to set up assistance.
On-call bulk and brush pickup will be offered on the last Wednesday of each month, but residents must call Republic Services at 254-221-4416 to schedule service at least one day prior to the service day. Collection will include up to four cubic yards (12′ long, 3′ width, 3′ height)of bulk and brush.
Examples of bulk items include stoves, water heaters, washing machines, dryers, furnitures, bundled moving boxes and refrigerators (with CFCs removed by a licensed technician).
Bulk collection does not include construction debris, hazardous waste or items with weights too great to safely be loaded into the collection truck.
Brush must be bagged or bundled, and bags or bundles should not exceed 35 pounds each. Brush should not exceed four feet in length, and limbs should not be more than four inches in diameter.
Bundles should be securely tied. Leaves should be dry and securely bagged.
Free disposal at the Itasca Landfill for Whitney residents is offered on the first Saturdays of January, April, July and October.
To drop off up to four cubic yards at the landfill during one of the quarterly opportunities, residents must present a current Whitney water bill and picture identification matching the address.
A hard hat and safety vest are required to exit your vehicle at the landfill. These are available for purchase at the landfill. All loads must be tarped.
Items not accepted at the landfill include appliances containing freon, batteries, free liquids, hazardous materials and tires.
Waste in excess of four cubic yards taken to the landfill will be $7.50 per additional yard plus applicable taxes and fees.
For questions about the new carts or guidelines, call Republic Services at 254-221-4416.

Candidate filing begins for city, school positions
Citizens throughout the area will have a chance to file for multiple open city and school board positions as the candidate filing period for the Saturday, May 5, election opens this week.
Candidates may begin filing for various positions beginning Wednesday, January 17, and the last day to file for a spot on a ballot is Friday, February 16.
The City of Whitney will have three positions available on its City Council.
The two-year terms currently held by Robert Ross and Richard “Chip” Hundley will be on the ballot, along with one position that is currently unfilled.
Candidates may file at Whitney City Hall, located at 115 West Jefferson Street in Whitney.
Whitney ISD has three three-year terms available this May and one unexpired term.
The seats are currently held by Jill Hall, Karen Lochridge, Annette Ayers and Lyle Eubank.
To file, visit the Whitney ISD Superintendent’s Office at 305 San Jacinto Street in Whitney.
Blum ISD has three two-year terms available on its school board. They are currently held by board members Steve Stone and Elsa Scott, with one spot vacant.
The City of Covington will have the mayor position and two council seats available.
The two-year terms of council members Dean Jones and Edwina Milam will be up, along with Mayor George Burnett’s term.
Filing will be conducted at Covington City Hall, located at 402 Gaithings Avenue in Covington.
Covington ISD has three three-year positions up in May, along with one one-year unexpired term.
The positions are currently held by board members Andy Lopez, Shane Johnson, Paula Ratliff and Jean Martin (unexpired term).
Filing will be conducted at the superintendent’s office, located at 501 North Main Street in Covington.
The City of Aquilla announced that it will have multiple city positions available to be filled, and interested residents may call Mayor James Hamner, Sr. at 254-379-0954.
Aquilla ISD has two two-year terms available on its school board. They are currently held by David Snipes and Mike McKibben.
To file for a spot on the ballot, visit Aquilla ISD at 404 North Richards in Aquilla.

Anniversary of courthouse fire marked in Hillsboro
Former District Judge F.B. (Bob) McGregor, Jr. gave a presentation commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Hill County Courthouse fire Monday evening, January 8.
The event was hosted by the Hillsboro Monday Review Club.
McGregor spoke about the courthouse fire and the subsequent rebuilding project that inspired many other Texas courthouse renovations.
The judge recalled seeing the orange glow from his home in Chatt as the courthouse went up in flames on January 1, 1993.
“I knew immediately that the courthouse was burning,” he said.
McGregor said that he had never witnessed people responding to the destruction of a building as they did the night of the fire, particularly as the bell tower collapsed in flames.
The judge said that it was amazing what did survive the fire on the lower floors, but he recalled that the district courtroom was heavily damaged and the bell crashed through the second floor and was visible from the first floor the next morning.
McGregor praised the response from both firefighters and the community, which began rallying immediately to raise funds for the reconstruction of the courthouse.
The fire, which started as an electrical fire in the attic above the district attorney’s office, resulted in a massive fund-raising effort by multiple groups and individuals inside and outside the county.
It cost $12 million to complete the reconstruction, the judge said, and only $3 million was covered by insurance.
Donations, grants and two benefit concerts by Hill County native Willie Nelson helped fund the remainder of the reconstruction after the Texas Historical Commission determined that it was restorable.
County Auditor Susan Swilling, who was present for the program, said that the courthouse is now fully insured.
McGregor praised the current courthouse staff for the maintenance and upkeep of the building, which was dedicated April 24, 1999, with Texas Governor George W. Bush as the keynote speaker.
“It was a unique building then, and it is a unique building today,” the judge said.
“Today it’s better than ever,” he added.

Commissioners set deadline for outside audit proposals
The Hill County Commissioners’ Court met in a regular session Tuesday morning, January 9, and set a date for proposals to be returned from prospective outside auditors.
County Judge Justin Lewis said that while the county has no issues with the company that currently performs its required annual outside audit, it is good business practice to seek proposals from other companies every few years.
The court set a deadline of 5 p.m. Thursday, March 22, for proposals to be received in the county judge’s office.
Commissioners also voted to declare scrap metal in Precinct 2 as salvage property and allow Commissioner Larry Crumpton to sell it.
Several routine budget amendments were approved by the court, including the transfer of $40,000 to the election administration budget as a partial payment for the new voter check-in machines and software being purchased by the county.
Justice of the Peace Shane Brassell encouraged those present and the public to attend local human trafficking awareness programs Saturday, January 20, from 1 to 4 p.m.
The event includes training on recognizing human trafficking, preparation for outreach, outreach teams and location assignments.
“If you don’t think it’s here, you’re wrong,” Brassell said of the human trafficking epidemic.
Lewis agreed, saying that much like the opioid crisis, human trafficking is a local problem that becomes evident when you know what to look for.
The “Not In My City” events will be held in Hillsboro at the Hill College Performing Arts Center, located at 112 Lamar Drive, and in Whitney at The Forum, located at 101 South Brazos Street.
More information is also available at HOTHTC.org/notinmycity.
Hill County Emergency Services Coordinator Tom Hemrick told the court that more cold weather and possible precipitation was in the forecast.
Lewis encouraged the public to stay off of roadways in icy conditions this winter and stated that there were 18 wrecks during the recent winter weather event on New Year’s Eve.
Commissioners reported that illegal dumping continues to be an issue throughout the county and encouraged the public to properly dispose of trash and unwanted items.

Man arrested after Bosque Co. shooting
A shooting in the Lakeside Village area resulted in the arrest of a man Tuesday, January 9, by the Bosque County Sheriff’s Office.
According to reports, deputies responded to a residence after receiving a 9-1-1 call around 9 p.m. The caller told dispatchers that he had shot his 25-year-old nephew in the stomach with a handgun during an altercation.
Deputies arrived on scene and took the caller, identified as 53-year-old Adam Scott, into custody, according to a press release issued by the sheriff’s office.
The victim was airlifted to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center in Waco, where he was listed in stable condition.
“The Bosque County Sheriff’s Office believes drugs and alcohol may have been a factor in the incident,” the release stated.
Scott was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.