Year in Review: April 2013

April was a big month for critical decisions on conserving our water supply as the drought kept its firm grip over Texoma.

After many years of work and delays and legal problems, construction on the Cypress Water Treatment Plant finally wrapped up. In 2009, an Archer City contractor was awarded the bid to construct a new 10 million gallon per day lime softening conventional treatment plant, and make several other site improvements. The total cost of the projects at the cypress water treatment plant was $45.4 million.

The Wichita Falls Water Resources Commission made the recommendations for the stage 4 water restrictions after a special citizens drought task force looked into the best ways to deal with the shortage. Those restrictions remain in effect now and ban outside watering with city water.

Later in the month, the city council received a progress report on the long term water reuse feasibility study. That study would lead to construction of a 12 mile pipeline that will recycle the water from sinks and toilets that used to go down the river.

America was struck with tragedy in April as two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring over 200. Several families from Texoma were at the race cheering on their loved ones. Greg Leonard was among them and says the deadly blasts happened just 20 minutes after he congratulated his daughter on her finish.

In Lawton a 14 year mystery comes to an end after a Lawton man was put back behind bars. Forty-three-year-old David Lee Kemp, who was in custody for the murder of his ex-wife and her boyfriend in 1998, escaped from Texoma authorities in 1999. Kemp would later plead guilty to the murders, then try to withdraw the pleas, and then withdraw that request and be sent to prison.

And good news came at the end of the month as dozens of homeless people at Faith Mission were given a pair of shoes. More than 140 pairs of shoes were donated by runners who took part in Texoma's Hellacious Obstacle Run or "THOR". Event coordinators say after the run, many handed their shoes over to help those who are less fortunate.

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