Local News

Alberts sentenced to prison after stealing from charities
A former charity volunteer was convicted of stealing from two Hill County organizations and received lengthy prison sentences Tuesday, February 5.
Pamela Alberts, 55, of Whitney was convicted of felony theft committed while she was acting as treasurer the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance (LWMA) and the Hill County Salvation Army.
LWMA suffered a loss in excess of $100,000, and the Salvation Army suffered a loss of over $6,000, according to Whitney Police Department offense reports.
While Alberts had not previously served prison time, she was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the LWMA theft and eight years in prison for the Salvation Army theft.
Hill County District Attorney Mark Pratt, who prosecuted the cases, said that the long sentences are due to the egregious nature of the crimes against the non-profit agencies designed to aid those in need.
Restitution of approximately $117,000 was also ordered by District Judge A. Lee Harris, who presided over the proceedings.


Bryce Hasty WHS student earns all-state band honors
The Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB) is pleased to announce that Bryce Hasty of Whitney has been selected as a member of the 2019 ATSSB All-State Band.
Hasty was chosen for this honor in competitive auditions held this year across the state at region and area levels.
More than 10,000 high school band students from across Texas auditioned in 22 different regions for a place in their respective all-region bands.
The top chairs in each region advanced to one of the five area auditions held recently across the state, and only 280 of the 2,288 students were selected for all-state honors.
Hasty is a student of Randy Hayes and plays the trumpet at school under the direction of Josh Nowlin, who is a member of the ATSSB, a 1,175-member group of band directors in Texas.
This is his second time to perform as a member of the ATSSB All-State Band. His other interests at school include guard, choir and FFA. He also enjoys hunting and spending time with his family and friends.
Hasty is the son of Randy and Lori Hasty of Whitney.


2604 VFD replaces truck with grant funds
The 2604 Volunteer Fire Department recently received a $75,675 grant through the Texas A&M Forest Service Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program. The grant was used to help purchase a large truck chassis that the department equipped with a 1,100-gallon water tank.
“We are happy to receive this grant, which helped our department replace a 1986 truck that continually needed repairs,” said 2604 VFD Fire Chief Robert Palasota.
“It will be used as a tanker and mini pumper. This truck is extremely important in helping to have water readily available when needed since our protection area doesn’t have fire hydrants and we depend on Lake Whitney as our water source,” he explained.
The department had an arrow traffic board added to the back of the truck so it can be used not only to carry a large amount of water, but for traffic control, creating a multi-use apparatus.
The volunteers participated in a day of special training to become familiar with the operations of the apparatus, which is now in service.
The 2604 VFD’s dedicated volunteers have been serving their community since 1977. Anyone wanting to volunteer, give back to the community and commit time to training and service may pick up an application at the department’s monthly meeting held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at 319 FM 2604, Whitney.
Texas A&M Forest Service is committed to protecting lives and property through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, a cost-share program funded by Texas State Legislature and administered by Texas A&M Forest Service. This program provides funding to rural Volunteer Fire Departments for the acquisition of firefighting vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, dry-hydrants, computer systems and firefighter training.
For more information on programs offered by Texas A&M Forest Service, visit http://texasfd.com.


WHS German students place at Winterfest
Whitney High School German students attended their annual German Regional Winterfest Competition at Jasper High School in Plano Saturday, February 2.
With a strong team of 40 students, Whitney competed against 21 other north Texas schools for the title of second overall Cultural Sweepstakes, and a total of 37 Whitney students have now qualified to move on to the state German competition at Texas State University in San Marcos Saturday, February 23. Winners included:
Derik Anderson – 8th, Cakes
Audrey Ashcraft – 1st, Chorus & Play
Ryann Ballinger 1st, Skit II
Justin Barbera – 9th, Digital Logo,
Jordan Comer – 1st, Chorus; 3rd, Skit IV
Valeria Contreras – 2nd, Club Album; 3rd, Upper Level Puppets
Adam Copeland – 1st, Chorus, Play, Duet Acting IV; 2nd, Folk Dance; 3rd, Upper Level Puppets & Skit IV
Norah Edge – 4th, Photo Essay
Kylie Freeze – 7th, Poetry Reading I
Samantha Garcia – 2nd, Club Album; 3rd, Upper Level Puppets
Lily Greene – 2nd, Folk Dance, 4th, Photo Essay
Cadence Gryphon – 9th, Needlepoint
Itzel Guille – 2nd, Folk Dance; 9th, Photography
Danna Guille – 2nd, Folk Dance
Ashleigh Hendricks – 1st, Original Model
Emmanuel Herrera – Competed in Poetry Reading I
Colby Hope – 2nd, Folk Dance
Ashtyn Howle – 1st, Original Model
Zac Hubbard – 1st, Skit II and Lower Level Puppets
Skylie Jones – 1st, Lower Level Puppets
Justin Lattin – 2nd, Tortes
Patrick Lewis – 1st, Duet IV; 2nd, Folk Dance
Bailey Mayhew – 1st, Play; 2nd, Folk Dance
Macy McKinney – 2nd, Original Craft
Jordyn Morrow – 1st, Lower Level Puppets; 8th, Place Poetry Reading I
Madi Neff – 2nd, Folk Dance & Einzeltanz
Mae Parker – Best Actress and 1st, Skit II
Reagan Pavelka – Best Actress; 1st, Play; 2nd, Folk Dance; 3rd, Poetry Reading IV; 7th, Cakes
Isiah Payne – 1st, Skit II
Alicia Pena – 1st, Lower Level Puppets; 2nd, Folk Dance; 3rd, Contemporary Music
Alexis Pena – 1st, Skit II
Braedon Richardson – Best Actor; 1st, Play; 1st, Chorus; 2nd, Folk Dance
Fritz Sauer – 2nd, Folk Dance
Anna Silas – 1st, T-shirt, Poster & Original Model
Jayden Solis – 2nd, Sight Reading II; 4th, Poetry Memory II
Mason Solorzano – 1st, Chorus; 3rd, Upper Level Puppets; Best Actor; 3rd, Skit IV
Trevor Strong – 1st, Lower Level Puppets
Spencer Tugman – 1st, Original Model
Garret Watson – 1st, Play & Chorus; 2nd, Folk Dance & Einzeltanz
Rebecca Whitfield – 1st, T-shirt, Poster & Original Model
Hannah Williams – 2nd, Culture Test
Amaya Woodyear – 5th, Prose Reading IV


Hill County Fair concludes with livestock, creative arts auctions
The 2019 Hill County Fair concluded with the premium sale Saturday, February 2.
The grand champion market steer, shown by Julia Pavelka of Abbott FFA, sold for $10,000 and was purchased by Abbott Ag Boosters, Russell Brothers Contracting, Citizens National Bank, Sykora Family Ford and Kyle and Crystal Miller.
The grand champion market lamb, shown by Rylie Edens of Covington FFA, brought $4,000 and was purchased by Citizens State Bank.
The grand champion market goat, shown by Allison Wolf of Abbott FFA, sold for $5,000 and was purchased by Abbott Ag Boosters, Hill County Farm Bureau, Cody Harris, Itasca Coop and Schronk Custom Ag.
The grand champion market swine, shown by Jax Miller of Abbott FFA, brought $5,000 and was bought by Farmers Gin and Grain, United Ag and Turf, Farm and Ranch Service, West Feed, Itasca Coop, Lone Star Ag Credit and Abbott Ag Boosters.
The grand champion broilers, shown by Gilberto Castaneda of Hillsboro FFA, was purchased by Hill Regional Hospital for $1,900.
The grand champion market pen rabbits, shown by Kennedy Cliett of Whitney FFA, brought $2,000 and were purchased by Hillsboro Ford.
The reserve champion market steer, shown by Preston Pustejovsky of Abbott FFA, brought $7,500 and was purchased by Ag Texas Farm Credit, Abbott Ag Boosters, Sykora Family Ford, Birome Gin, United Ag and Turf, Farm and Ranch Service, Farmers Gin and Grain and Cody Harris.
The reserve champion market lamb, shown by Larissa Boyd of Hillsboro FFA, sold for $3,000 and was purchased by First National Bank of Central Texas, Triple H Feed and Janek and Whitten.
The reserve champion market goat, shown by Brazos Blue of Aquilla 4-H, brought $2,500 and was bought by Hillsboro Ford, Citizens State Bank and Kynadi Feed.
The reserve champion market swine, shown by Cash Hooten of Whitney 4-H, sold for $1,750 and was purchased by Fun Town RV and New Vision Construction.
The reserve champion broilers, shown by Weston Helms of Itasca FFA, sold for $1,875 and were purchased by Bowman Environmental.
The reserve champion market pen rabbits, shown by Kolton Buzbee of Abbott 4-H, sold for $1,750 and were purchased by First National Bank of Central Texas and Kynadi Feeds.
Creative Arts Division
The Creative Arts Division (CAD) auction was held Friday night, February 1.
Grand champion winners and buyers in CAD auction categories included:
Kase Ripley of Whitney ISD, cupcakes, sold to Kynadi Feed for $325;
Gracelyn Whitney of Bynum ISD, ribbon/yarn craft, sold to Poor Boys Propane for $500;
Jami Lin Rodriguez of Hillsboro ISD, candy, sold to Hill County Foot Doctor for $400;
Cole Rogers of Hillsboro ISD, photography, sold to First National Bank of Central Texas for $400;
Cloe Creech of Hillsboro ISD, paper crafts, sold to Ag Texas for $150;
Shaylin Cook of Hillsboro ISD, watercolor, sold to Hill County Judge Justin Lewis for $150;
Hailey Myers of Aquilla ISD, pie – crust from scratch, sold to First National Bank of Central Texas for $250;
Cohen Cook of Hillsboro ISD, scene/landscapes/pencil/marker, sold to Dr. Jeremy Seely for $200;
Colt Rhea of Itasca ISD, recycled items, sold to Citizens State Bank for $250;
Lea Soule of Itasca ISD, clothing/fabric items (handmade/sewn), sold to Citizens State Bank for $300;
Monica Jimenez of Blum ISD, loaf bread, sold to 3-B Products for $200;
Haley Lutkenhaus of Abbott ISD, plant/flora photography, sold to Citizens National Bank for $425;
Autumn Lutkenhaus of Abbott ISD, quilts, sold to Carolyn Lutkenhaus for $450.
Reserve champion CAD entries sold in the following categories:
Hagen Pederson of Bynum ISD, muffins, sold for $850 to Schneider Farms;
Marcos Carbajal of Hillsboro ISD, pencil art, sold to Dr. Wes Marshall for $400;
Hero Labrenz, home schooled, wall hangings/wreaths, sold to Poor Boys Propane for $350;
Ziah McClary of Aquilla ISD, fudge, sold to Citizens National Bank for $175;
Lucy Bowman of Hillsboro ISD, black and white/sepia photography, sold to Hillsboro Ford for $175;
Evelyn Bowman of Hillsboro ISD, black and white/sepia photography, sold to Citizens National Bank for $200;
McKenley Roden of Aquilla ISD, birdhouses, sold to Kaddatz Girls for $300;
Millie Klaus of Abbott ISD, needlework, sold to Action Pro Glass for $200;
Makayla Burkett, home schooled, cake from scratch, sold to United Ag & Turf for $250;
Kaitlyn Divin of Abbott ISD, nature/scene/landscape photography, sold to Norman and Nancy Divin for $375;
Maddie Strickling of Whitney ISD, clothing/fabric items (handmade/sewn), sold to Poor Boys Propane for $375.