PALESTINE, Texas (April 30, 2016) – Here are the latest developments following the flash flooding in Palestine on Friday evening. A total of 7 ½ inches of rain were reported at the city of Palestine’s water treatment plant in less than an hour.
Six people are deceased in the flood. Five people, a grandmother and four grandchildren, are deceased after heavy floodwaters at the 100 block of Timber Drive. According to a release, the Palestine Police Department received calls of heavy floodwaters at 12:15 a.m. at Timber Drive.
Members of the Palestine Police Department, along with the Palestine Fire Department and Palestine Public Works, arrived at the scene and started evacuating homes in the area. At 3:45 a.m., officers received calls of a missing family in that area. After a search, two of the children were found in the front yard near another residence. A female and two other children were found in an area behind the neighborhood.
The names of the deceased are:
Jamonicka Johnson, 6
Von Anthony Johnson Jr., 7
Devonte Asberry, 8
Venetia Asberry, 9
Lenda Asberry, 64
Palestine Police detectives took the bodies to Tyler, Texas for autopsies. Autopsies will be finished on Monday and the family has been notified. A Dallas-area funeral home will handle the arrangements.
The sixth fatality was a Palestine man, Giovanni Olivas, 30, who was swept under flood waters around Anderson County Road 370. Olivas’ body was found around 5:30 p.m., according to Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor. The family has been notified.
Residents were evacuated from Timber Drive area. Seven homes were evacuated. The City of Palestine has set up a temporary shelter at the Palestine Mall with food. According to the Red Cross, 22 homes suffered major damage and all families were put up in local hotels. The United Way of East Texas has donated funds for hotel rooms, so no shelter was set up.
The city is coordinating with the Red Cross for further relief efforts. Any person or group wishing to help with cleanup can go to the Palestine Mall and coordinate with the Red Cross. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, a non-profit agency, has volunteered to assist in the cleanup. Other local agencies, including the United Way, have also volunteered to help.
Roads affected by the flooding were:
Shamrock Road – Not passable
South Loop 256 at Lacy Street
Broyles and Dorrance streets
Salt Works Road
Brazos at Hood Street
Lynwood and Rambling streets
Martin Luther King
An unknown number of homes and businesses were damaged in the low-lying areas of the city. Three businesses in Old Town Palestine were damaged in the flash flooding. A railroad track at Sycamore and Gillespie streets have washed out. Union Pacific has been notified.
The following is a statement from Palestine Mayor Bob Herrington:
“The City of Palestine has suffered the worst flooding event in my 59 years of living here. I don't recall ever seeing this much water rise so fast and in such a short period of time. Our emergency management coordinator (EMC), Scott Parkhurst, has been briefing me throughout the early morning hours and throughout the day. Our first responders worked through the night and made numerous high water rescues. My sincere thanks to that group of dedicated and talented individuals for the job they do for our residents.
:Unfortunately, five lives have been lost as a result of the flooding. It is a sad day for our city and our condolences go out to the families of the victims. Despite the tragedy, I'm reminded of the wonderful community in which we live. The outpouring of concern and offers to volunteer or to help with donations is increasing by the minute. I'm extremely proud of the way our town rises up as one when faced with difficult challenges.
“A temporary shelter has been set up in the police training room at Palestine Mall and the Red Cross as well as our local United Way will be there to help. Our communications director, Nate Smith, will have contact information for displaced residents who may have questions about the availability of food and shelter and he'll be releasing periodic updates regarding the relief efforts.
“It is too early to know the full extent of the damage, we have homes and businesses that have suffered flood damage and many of our roads have suffered significant deterioration as well. Total damage estimates will be developed in the near future and will be available to interested parties.
As for today, clean up efforts are underway, the mourning period has begun for the lives lost. We'll have further statements and information as we work through this difficult process.”
PALESTINE, Texas (April 27, 2016) – Information about the City of Palestine’s Historic Preservation program is now online in an easier-to-read and follow format.
Residents and visitors can now click on the city’s website, www.cityofpalestinetx.com
, and find detailed information on how to restore and maintain one of the many historic homes in the city of Palestine. Palestine has the second-largest number of surveyed and identified historic resources in the state of Texas.
“Thanks to the website updates, it is easier for current as well as potential residents, property owners, tourists, and investors to find information about the City of Palestine’s Historic Preservation Program,” Historic Preservation Officer Jacob Morris said. “Especially with the new 25 percent state historic preservation tax credit for rehabilitations to historic income-producing properties, there is increased interest amongst potential investors in towns like Palestine because of the unusually high number of affordable historic buildings.”
While online, visitors can view a map of historical properties designated by the city’s Historical Landmarks Commission and the city’s four Historic Districts. Visitors can also learn about information and the regulations required for that home.
“Design guidelines were created to protect and preserve the integrity of historical properties,” Historic Landmarks Commission Chairperson Julie Abston said. “When a district is established, and these guidelines are in place, these properties are a good investment and the values of the properties increase. They also enable a home or business owner to be able to obtain assistance with restoration or repair of a property. Historical districts are a living interpretation of a past era which can be passed onto future generations.”
According to Morris, tourists also request information on historic homes and buildings in Palestine. The added information on the city’s website will make information easier to obtain.
“According to the most recent University of Texas and Rutgers joint economic impact study, 10 percent of all travel in Texas is heritage tourism, generating $2.26 billion per year in Texas,” Morris said. “It also benefits local property making it easier for local to find information that applies to their historic resource.”
The website also provides resources on materials and design elements of many historic properties in Palestine, including how to maintain and improve the property.
“My office is always happy to help property owners with their historic property, whether it be help finding incentives for rehabilitation, help them become familiar with best practices that result in long-lasting and affordable repairs, or how to identify and conserve the character-defining features that make their historic property unique,” Morris said.
Morris can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or via phone at 903-731-8419. The city’s Historic Landmarks Commission meets at 4 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at the Palestine City Hall, 504 N. Queen St.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 26, 2016) – The Evans United Carnival returns to the Palestine Mall parking lot for a five-day run, starting Wednesday, April 27, 2016. The carnival will feature many rides, games, food and fun for the community to enjoy.
Also, the carnival is for a good cause, according to Parks and Recreation Director, Roy Crouch.
“Please come out and enjoy the fun, food and crazy rides!” Crouch said. “Please remember that part of the proceeds from this event will help sponsor the upcoming Hot Pepper Festival scheduled for Saturday, October 22, in Historic Downtown Palestine!”
The times and carnival prices are as follows:
Wednesday, April 27
Thursday, April 28
- 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- $25 wristbands for unlimited rides
Friday, April 29
- 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- $25 wristbands for unlimited rides
Saturday, April 30
- 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- $20 wristbands for unlimited rides
Sunday, May 1
- 1 p.m. to Midnight, split into two time segments, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- $25 wristbands for each time slot
- After 10 p.m., only ride coupons will be sold
- 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- $20 wristbands for unlimited rides
- Individual coupon - $1.25
- 20 coupons for $20
- 50 coupons for $45
- (All rides Take 3-4 coupons)
The carnival lasts until Sunday, May 1. Parking is available at the mall parking lot. For more information, please contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 903-731-8435.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 25, 2016) – The Palestine City Council approved during the regular session on Monday, April 25, an engineering agreement with CTC, Inc. to create a quiet zone near downtown Palestine.
CTC will work with Union Pacific and the Federal Railroad Administration to create the zone on South Magnolia and South Sycamore streets that will limit the amount of train horns blowing through downtown Palestine. According to federal law, only local governments and public agencies may establish a quiet zone. The quiet zone will stop loud train horns passing through Palestine at the two crossings.
According to the FRA, train horns have to be at least 96 decibels and can be as loud as 110 decibels. By comparison, a Boeing 747 jet taking off is 100 decibels.
“The Public Works Department is excited to be able to move forward with the implementation of the Quiet Zone,” Public Works Director Tim Perry said. “We believe it will make an immediate impact on the current business owners and tenants in the downtown area. It will also provide a better atmosphere for the festivals, and parades that area held in the downtown area.”
In the quiet zone, residents could still hear train horns. Federal law dictates train engineers may sound the horn in emergency situations. Also, engineers must sound the horn when maintenance employees are working on the tracks. But the ground-shaking train horns going through downtown could be a distant memory.
Greg Laudadio, Main Street Manager and Assistant Director for the Palestine Economic Development Corporation, said the quiet zone will have a huge positive impact. “Often, the train horns interrupt business being conducted in their shops,” Laudadio said. “It should also be a huge relief to restaurant patrons and tourists staying the night in downtown lodging. The Palestine Economic Development Corporation thinks the quiet zone is a great investment in the future development of our downtown business and residential districts.”
Palestine’s quiet zone will be one of over 100 quiet zones in Texas, the most of any state in the country. According to two FRA studies, there is no correlation between quiet zones and rail accidents. Work on the zones will begin immediately, and the contract will cost $15,000. The council must approve any other expenses needed to complete the zones.
Railroad Quiet Zone Fact Sheet
- The minimum volume level for locomotive horns is 96 decibels, and the maximum volume level is 110 decibels. The decibel level of a Boeing 747 jet is approximately 100 decibels.
- Under the Federal regulation, locomotive engineers must sound train horns for a minimum of 15 seconds, and a maximum of 20 seconds, in advance of all public grade crossings.
- Only local governments or public agencies may establish a quiet zone.
Quiet Zone Procedures
- In a quiet zone engineers have no legal duty to sound the horn, but may exercise discretion during emergency situations (i.e. the presence of a vehicle or a person on the track).
- Under federal regulations, engineers must sound the horn to warn railroad maintenance employees or contractors working on the tracks.
- If a railroad or individual engineer fails to sound the locomotive horn as required or is unnecessarily sounding the horn in an established quiet zone, they are subject to enforcement action by FRA.
- 117 Quiet Zones in Texas, the most in the United States
- 2014 Federal Railroad Administration Study: No correlation between accidents in quiet zones versus accidents outside of quiet zones.
- 2011 Federal Railroad Administration Study: No correlation between accidents in quiet zones versus accidents outside of quiet zones.
- Rail accidents and incidents in Texas have steadily decreased in the past decade, according to national rail safety trends.
Sources: Federal Railroad Administration, Texas Department of Transportation
Early voting begins Monday for the City of Palestine elections, at 8 a.m. through May 3. Registered voters can vote at the City Council chambers inside the Palestine City Hall, 504 N. Queen St. Voting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On April 26 and May 3, voting hours are extended, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voters in City Council Districts 3 and 5 can vote in council elections. Election day will be May 7 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. District 3 voters will vote at Washington Early Childhood Center, 1020 Hamlett Street, and District 5 voters are voting at the Palestine ISD Administrative Offices, 1007 E. Park Ave.
For more information, visit the City of Palestine’s City Secretary page.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 22, 2016) – Palestine Public Library offers audiobooks and eBooks available to download from the library’s Digital Branch at www.palestine.lib.tx.us
. This service, powered by OverDrive, is free for patrons with their library card. Library card holders can check out and download digital media anytime, anywhere.
Patrons may browse the Digital Branch, check out with a valid library card, and download to PC, Mac, and many mobile devices. Patrons will need to install free software OverDrive Media Console for audiobooks and Adobe Digital Editions to read eBooks. Titles can be enjoyed immediately or transferred to a variety of devices, including iPod, Sony Reader, and many others.
Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period. There are no late fees! OverDrive is a leading full-service digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video. OverDrive delivers secure management, DRM protection, and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers and thousands of libraries, schools, and retailers serving millions of end users.
OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 as a company that matters most in the digital content industry. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, OH. More information is on the web at www.overdrive.com
PALESTINE, Texas (April 21, 2016) – Two departments working for the City of Palestine joined forces recently for improvements at the city’s Water Treatment Plant.
Crews at the Utility Maintenance team teamed up with the Water Treatment staff and installed new walls at one of the city’s two settlement basins. The project replaced rotted and decayed channel walls made of redwood in the basins with composite timbers and fiberglass sheathing.
Crews began construction on April 3, 2016, and finished a week later.
“This has been a real team effort,” Interim Utilities Director and Public Works Director Tim Perry said. “Everyone has been working together to make the needed repairs.”
The paddles and channels in the basin create the process known as flocculation. The treatment process begins with raw water from the Neches River. The water goes into a wet well, where the water is treated for organics such as algae. The water then heads to a flash mixer where alum is added before heading to the settlement basins.
The flocculation paddles slowly turn the water in the basin and the alum bonds to the debris and sediment. The sediment then sinks to the bottom of the basin, where it is vacuumed out.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 21, 2016) – The City of Palestine has initiated security measures at City Hall and the Palestine Police Department, 504 N. Queen St. Visitors will be required to sign in at both entrances, and the policy will begin immediately.
The reason for the sign-in sheet, Police Chief and Interim City Manager Mike Alexander said, is to ensure all city employees continue to feel secure while at work. “In today’s day and age, we have to be even more vigilant,” Alexander said. “We want to be proactive in protecting our employees.”
Alexander said there have not been any specific threats at city hall, but the log will serve as a best practice in the future. Visitors, including elected officials, will be required to sign in their name, agency or institution they represent, city official they are visiting, the purpose of the visit, and date and time of the visit.
According to an FBI study, “A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013,”
10 percent of the 160 active shooter situations occurred in government buildings such as city halls, contractors, and military bases. In the study, 1,043 people were killed by an active shooter.
“The City of Palestine has been, and continue to be, a great place to work,” Alexander said. “This sheet is another safeguard for everyone at City Hall.”
PALESTINE, Texas (April 19, 2016) – A parade honoring the state champion Palestine High School Boys Soccer team will be the highlight of a day of events scheduled on Monday, April 25.
The Palestine Independent School District and the City of Palestine will honor the state champions with “Wildcat Soccer Day” throughout the city.
The team and other school groups will meet at 4:30 p.m., at the Anderson County Courthouse Annex, 703 N. Mallard St. At 4:45 p.m., the parade will begin and follow through the following streets:
- South on North Elm Street, then
- West on East Crawford Street, past Old Town Palestine
- South on North Sycamore Street
- West on West Crawford Street
- North on North Queen Street and ending at the Palestine City Hall, 504 N. Queen St.
Following the parade, the team and coaching staff will be honored by Palestine Mayor Bob Herrington and the City Council before the Palestine City Council meeting at 5 p.m.
“The Palestine Wildcat soccer team is so deserving of all the attention they are getting,” Herrington said. “Championships don't just happen; it takes a lot of hard work, preparation and dedication. Those are the traits that have been exhibited by this team throughout their journey. They had an outstanding season, culminating in a 4-3 victory over Progreso in the State Championship game. Their success has created a wave of pride that has swept across our town and lifted the spirits of so many people. I, along with so many others, are just happy and proud to have been here to witness their achievements. Go Wildcats!”
The parade and proclamation are two of the many activities taking place on Monday as Palestine ISD has declared Monday, April 25 to be “Wildcat Soccer Day” throughout the district. Among the many events scheduled is a trip to every school in the Palestine ISD system.
“Our Boys' Soccer Team will spend the day going to each of our campuses where they will interact with all students,” PISD Superintendent Jason Marshall said. “Each campus principal will decide how their campus wants to recognize the players and then communicate with everyone on the campus' chosen activity.”
The campus schedule for Monday will be:
- Washington Early Childhood Center 8:15 a.m.
- Northside Elementary 9:15 a.m.
- Southside Elementary 10:30 a.m.
- Story Intermediate 11:45 a.m.
- Palestine Junior High 1:30 p.m.
- Palestine High School 2:30 p.m.
The Wildcats won the 2016 UIL Class 4A State Championship with a victory over Progreso High School on Friday, April 15. The Wildcats won on penalty kicks in the final and the semifinal contest against Kilgore.
The title is the first in school history for soccer and the first state championship for Palestine since 2006.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 19, 2016) – For the first time, the City of Palestine’s Community Citywide Yard Sale will be held at the Palestine Mall.
The traditional biannual sale starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 23, at Palestine Mall parking lot. The sale ends at 2 p.m., and it is rain or shine. The event is sponsored by the City of Palestine Parks and Recreation Department and the Hot Pepper Festival Planning Committee.
In previous years, the Palestine Civic Center hosted the yard sales. This year, the highly-visible Palestine Mall parking lot will be the sale’s new home.
“We are pleased with the number of participants signed up, and this looks to be our largest sales event ever!” Heather Hrebec, Events Coordinator with the City of Palestine Parks and Recreation Department, said. “There is still time to sign up for booth spaces; and for those that love a good bargain, this will be the place to be.” Booth spaces are $25 and will benefit this year’s Hot Pepper Festival, set for October 22. Sellers wishing to reserve booth space can contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 903-731-8435 or the Palestine Civic Center at 903-723-2026. This year’s fall sale is set for Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Palestine Mall parking lot.
Admission and parking are free, and concessions will be available.
Information on the 2016 City of Palestine elections, including sample ballots, candidate information, and applications, can be found here: Election Information
PALESTINE, Texas (April 15, 2016) – The City of Palestine will hold examinations for entry-level officers for the Palestine Police Department at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, at the Palestine Police Department Training Room inside the Palestine Mall, 2000 S. Loop 256, Suite 38.
The test will start at 9 a.m. and applicants will need a photo ID to sit for the exam. Applicants who are late to the exam will not be admitted. If an applicant passes the written exam, he or she will take the physical agility test immediately following the exam at Fire Station No. 4 on Highway 287. Applicants must also sign and notarize a waiver for the physical agility exam.
Please contact the Palestine Police Department to receive an application packet and return to the following address by Thursday, May 12, no later than 5 p.m. Sending in the application form and waivers, confirms an applicant is scheduled to take the exam and no further notices will be sent.
Send completed applications to:
Capt. James Muniz or Donna Thornell
City of Palestine Police Department
504 N. Queen St. Palestine, TX 75801
Please attach a copy of a TCLEOSE certificate if certified. If an applicant has served in the military, please attach a copy of the applicant’s DD214. The two waiver forms must be signed, notarized and returned with the completed application.
For further questions, contact Susie Streb at 903-731-8421 or Donna Thornell at 903-731-8436.
Due to continued forecasts for rain, mosquito spraying has been postponed until 9 p.m. on April 20. Vector Disease Control will spray in the previously scheduled area, plus the possible addition of the Palestine Athletic Complex.
The Palestine Visitor Center is hosting a seminar on how to apply for, and receive, funds from the Local Hotel Occupancy Tax program. The program will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Ben E. Keith Community Room, 2019 W. Oak St., on Tuesday, May 3. Brian Sullivan, Associate General Counsel for the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association, will be the featured speaker.
Items on the topic include:
- Who Collects the Local Hotel Occupancy Tax;
- Exemptions from the Tax;
- Use of the Local Hotel Occupancy Tax Revenues;
- Every Expenditure Must DIRECTLY Enhance and Promote Tourism AND the Hotel & Convention Industry;
- Every expenditure of the tax must clearly fit into one of nine statutorily provided Categories:
- Funding the Establishment, Improvement, or Maintenance of a Convention Center or Visitor Information Center;
- Paying the Administrative Costs for Facilitating Convention Registration;
- Advertising/Promotion of the City for Tourism; Minimum expenditure that must be spent on advertising and promotion;
- Historical Restoration/Preservation of Tourism Venues;
- Promotion of Arts Activities that Impact Tourism;
- Supporting Sporting Related Events that Substantially Increase Hotel Activity;
- Funding the Enhancement or Upgrading of Existing Sports Facilities for Certain Municipalities;
- Funding Transportation Systems for Tourists;
- Signage Directing Tourists to Sights and Attractions Frequented by Hotel Guests
Brian Sullivan serves as Associate General Counsel for the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association (THLA), the largest state hotel association in the country. In that role, he helps lead the expert legal department of THLA in its superior legal services, educational resources, and legislative representation to more than 3,400 members.
Sullivan earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Communication Studies and Sociology from Stephen F. Austin State University. He later graduated with both his Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees from Texas Tech University. With proven experience as a former civil litigation attorney and a revered public speaker, combined with past service to many sectors including corporate, government, and nonprofit, Brian's expertise and leadership allows THLA to better serve you as we continue to meet the needs of the growing lodging industry in Texas.
Due to impending rain, the City of Palestine has moved back Wednesday’s scheduled mosquito spraying to Thursday. Vector Disease Control will start spraying at 9 p.m. Thursday in the previously scheduled area.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 12, 2016) – Join the Palestine Public Library at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, as Michelle Turner and Catherine Dixon-Shelton present their transformational stories shared in the second volume of a compilation by Aprille Franks-Hunt, “Fabulous New Life.” The compilation includes Turner and Dixon-Shelton’s personal stories. This inspiring talk and book signing will be held at the Palestine Public Library, 2000 S. Loop 256, Suite 42.
Michelle Turner is CEO of Da Jewelz, President of WSN chapter, and advocate against domestic violence, wife, and mother. She writes about hardship and self-esteem issues and encourages women to work through the adversity in their lives. She advocates awareness on domestic violence, sparked by the violence her aunt suffered before her death. To honor the victims of domestic violence in Texas, Turner holds an annual balloon release and candlelight vigil, in collaboration with the Crisis Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties.
“I want to help those women who feel that they have no purpose, those women who have lost their identity. The women who want to give up. I know what it’s like. I am here for you. I want to help you represent yourself; I would like to help women who are intentionally about their growth,” Turner said.
Catherine Dixon-Shelton is an Oklahoma-born writer, speaker, and artist. She is also a wife, mother, sister, and daughter. Catherine recently introduced her talents throughout the Oklahoma City area and in social media. She has worked in a wide variety of professional capacities within the criminal justice and substance abuse field. She currently works in the public sector.
Catherine has learned to embrace her talents and utilize her ability to connect with others through writing and poetry. She plans on continuing her work, and utilizing her story to motivate others. She is a humble individual and utilizes her personal growth as a platform when working with others. Catherine’s favorite saying is, “I am perfectly imperfect.” She embraces the scars of life while at the same time, understanding she is where she needs to be. Her ultimate goal is to instill empowerment in those she comes in contact with.
The event is free, and the public is invited to attend. There will be light refreshments served. For more information call the Palestine Public Library at 903-729-4121. Visit us on FB and Twitter @palestinepublic.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 12, 2016) – The City of Palestine is looking for someone to serve on the city’s Parks Advisory Board. The person should be a resident of the City of Palestine, but up to two members can live outside the city if the Mayor and City Council determines it is in the city’s best interest. The Parks Advisory Boardmeets on the first Tuesday of every month at the Parks and Recreation Office inside the Palestine Mall. The board member will serve until Sept. 30, 2017.
Applications are available online at cityofpalestinetx.com
, or for more information, contact City Secretary Teresa Herrera at 903-731-8414.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 12, 2016) – This weekend, the Palestine Civic Center, 1819 W. Spring Street, just off Loop 256 and Highway 19, will host a gun and knife show. Event organizers hope to use close to 250 tables during the show weekend.
The biannual show is one of the largest shows held at the Palestine Civic Center, according to Heather Hrebec, Events Coordinator for the City of Palestine.
“We are expecting a good turnout by vendors,” Hrebec said. “If you have guns to trade, sale, or if you're in the market for a new gun this is the weekend you’ve been waiting for.”
The show is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 16 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 17 at the Civic Center. Admission is $7 (first responders enter free with proper ID), and parking is free. Concessions will be available and will benefit the Hot Pepper Festival. Those wishing to purchase a table for the show can contact the organizers at 918-658-4500.
Tables are available at $35 for a six-foot table and $50 for an eight-foot table.
There will be a 24-hour security presence on the show. All local, state and federal laws will be observed.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 11, 2016) – The City of Palestine will continue its mosquito spraying program on Wednesday, April 13.
Starting at 9 p.m., sprayers with Vector Disease Control will spray on the southeast side of the city limits, from Reagan Street to the north, East Lacy Street and South Loop 256 to the east, Crockett Road (Texas Highway 19) to the west and Crestline and Cypress drives to the south.
Wednesday’s spraying is the second area sprayed in the city this Spring. During the first spraying, 9.5 miles, or 346 acres, were treated within the city limits.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 11, 2016) – The Palestine Public Library will be holding free “let’s get together and learn” genealogy sessions this spring.
Some of the topics discussed in previous classes are: “brick wall” ancestors, genealogy field trips, guest speakers, types of research, and indexing projects.
If you are interested in these topics or would like to suggest your ideas, please come to the meetings in the library’s Special Collections room from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on April 16 and May 14.
Please call the Library for more information at 903-729-4121.
Genealogy Gatherings Spring 2016
• April 16, 2016
• May 14, 2016
PALESTINE, Texas (April 8, 2016) – The Palestine Police Department is accepting applications for the 2016 Citizen Police Academy through May 6.
The Academy, formerly known as Citizens on Patrol, will start on Tuesday, May 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Palestine City Hall. The academy is open for residents of Palestine and Anderson County aged 15 or older. Those between the ages of 15 to 18 must have a parent or guardian also attending the academy.
For 13 weeks, the Citizen Police Academy gives an inside look at a police department. Students will also learn the life of a police officer and the responsibilities that come with wearing a uniform and badge.
“You will gain knowledge that you will be able to take back to your community,” Bernadette Capron, Community Liaison Coordinator for the Palestine Police Department, said. “You can help build a better relationship between citizens and law enforcement, and help law enforcement by becoming an extra set of eyes for your community.”
Some of the topics covered include leadership, public information, patrol and traffic procedures, crime scene investigations, drugs, sexual assault, simulated firearms training and much more.
Students are required to attend 10 of the 13 Tuesday evening classes at the Palestine Police Department Training Room inside the Palestine Mall to qualify for graduation. Following graduation, students join the Citizens on Patrol alumni and become helpful eyes and ears for the Palestine Police Department.
“You can also start a neighborhood watch program in your community,” Capron said. “We are also in the process of developing other volunteer programs in our department.”
A background check is required for all applications. There is no physical activity requirement for applying. Students will not be allowed to carry firearms during the academy.
Applications can be picked up at the Palestine City Hall; 504 N. Queen St., Palestine Public Library, 2000 S. Loop 256, or the Palestine Police Department, 511 N. John St. Applications will also be available online at cityofpalestinetx.com
PALESTINE, Texas (April 8, 2016) – The Palestine Public Library will present the Dallas Brass for a special one-night-only performance at 7 p.m. on April 30 at the Palestine High School Auditorium.
The concert is free and is funded by the library’s Alexander White Gregg fund. The internationally-acclaimed ensemble will have some special guests that evening, local high school band students from Palestine, Westwood and Elkhart high schools.
“I had the unique opportunity to observe the Dallas Brass for most of a day, while they were working with band students and presenting its evening concert,” Rhonda Herrington, Palestine Public Library Board member, said. “All of us in attendance were absolutely enthralled and excited not only by the Dallas Brass, but by the students and their responses to the ensemble. I really believe it was something that changed the lives of many. I am looking forward to bringing this excitement to our area band students and our community, thanks to the Alexander White Gregg Fund.”
Before the concert, the ensemble will host a clinic and offer tips—both practical and theoretical—on becoming better musicians, including discussions and demonstrations on practicing, breathing, and other subjects that apply to all instrumentalists. It will also include the performance of several selections with direct student participation as part of the Dallas Brass ensemble.
Entitled American Musical Journey, the evening show will be fast-paced and entertaining, incorporating the full complement of brass and percussion for a musical travelogue through American history–from the time of George Washington to the present day. Music will be selected from bands such as the Tijuana Brass and Chicago; from the American masters–Copland, Bernstein, Gershwin, Berlin, John Williams, Sousa–and from styles like Dixieland, swing, Broadway, folk, patriotic, pop, and even hip-hop! There is something for everybody.
The Dallas Brass was founded in 1983 by Michael Levine, and quickly became one of America’s foremost musical ensembles. “A Dallas Brass concert is intended for the entire family. Our ideal audience has a range in ages from 5 to 95. Our goal is to entertain and enrich by playing great music, while showing our audience how much we enjoy what we do," Levine said.
And it is hard to determine just who is enjoying the performance more–the on-stage musicians or the audience.
In addition to solo engagements, the Dallas Brass appears with symphony orchestras nationwide. Symphonic credits include the Cincinnati Pops conducted by Erich Kunzel, New York Pops conducted by Skitch Henderson, and the Philly Pops conducted by Peter Nero. The Dallas Brass has performed at Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and has toured overseas to Europe and Asia.
They have shared the stage with the late Bob Hope, have performed for Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush, have appeared on the CBS “Early Show,” and their music has been used numerous times on the television show, “The Young & The Restless.”
Typical audience reactions include: “Incredible! Best I’ve Ever Heard! Fantastic! How can they do what they do! They bring music to life! Finest Musicians I’ve ever heard! Amazing! I learned so much!”
Band Directors from across the United States have said:
“The concert was phenomenal!! These guys are not only outstanding musicians, but they are also top notch professionals, educators, and great people. Thank you for a GREAT experience for our kids!!!”
“Having my bands perform on stage with the Dallas Brass was one of the coolest things I’ve ever gotten to do in more than twenty years of teaching. It was fun, exciting, and inspirational for the students—seeing their reactions was a great reminder of why I do this job.”
“As a teacher, I was thrilled to see the excitement and motivation the Dallas Brass awakened in my students. I highly recommend these musicians to any music program wanting to motivate and build their bands.”
“They do such a great job engaging the students and educating them on how music can be a part of their lives forever. I highly recommend this experience to any music educator who wants the best from his or her students”.
“This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear (or participate with, if you are a band student) a fantastic performance by some of the finest musicians in the world. You won’t want to miss it: Catch the Excitement!”
For more information, contact the library at 903-729-4141.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 6, 2016) – The Palestine Fire Department has started flushing fire hydrants throughout the city.
Firefighters at stations throughout the city will be flushing hydrants from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Flushing is not scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.
Fire hydrants are flushed for several reasons including, removing sediment from water lines, checking water pressure, and fire hydrant maintenance. It is also a state requirement.
Palestine Fire Chief Alan Wilcher said the flushings occur every three years for the over 1,000 hydrants with the Palestine city limits. The flushings will continue for at least the next three months, Wilcher said.
Residents should check for discolored water before doing laundry if they notice flushing in their area. Residents who experience issues with water discoloration can contact the city’s Utilities Department at 903-731-8423.
PALESTINE, Texas (April 4, 2016) – The City of Palestine will start mosquito spraying in the city on Wednesday, April 6.
Spraying will start at 9 p.m. in the approximate boundary areas of Kenny Drive to the north, Gardner Drive and Peachtree Drive east to the city limits, Palestine Avenue and North Loop 256 to the south, and Old Brushy Creek Road to the west. It will continue through the night.
Other areas throughout the city are planned for the coming days and weeks.
The City of Palestine contracts its mosquito spraying needs to Vector Disease Control International. Residents can make mosquito complaints to the City of Palestine Development Services Department, Health Division, at 903-731-8492.
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Story on mosquito spraying from KLTV.com