Year in Review: August 2013

A little more than four months ago, a baseball player from Australia was senselessly gunned down in Duncan while jogging, drawing national, even international attention to the city. It was also a month we said goodbye to a legendary MSU basketball coach, and saw a big project get underway that would help Wichita Falls conserve more of its dwindling water supply.

At a home in Mineral Wells, the body of 38-year-old Shannon Huddleston was found inside a freezer in the garage on August 8th. Her 19-year-old son made the gruesome discovery. A report in October from the Dallas County Medical Examiner stated Huddleston had meth in her system and that she died from hypothermia. Her death was ruled an accident.

Legendary MSU coach Gerald Stockton passed away early in the morning of August 13th at the age of 81. Years ago, he was a player at Oklahoma A&M and was a starter on the Aggie 1951 final four team. In his senior year he received all-conference recognition. He'll be remembered moslty for racking up 493 of his wins at MSU before retiring in 1994, including an unbelievable record of 70 straight home wins.

Those who coached and played for Gerald Stockton understood fully and were quick to say he was a man of character, and a man of true loyalty to his players and his university, a university that now plays its home games on Gerald Stockton court.

On the afternoon of Friday, August 16th, Duncan Police say boredom was the only motive they could find for the murder of an Australian college baseball player. They believe when three teens drove by 23-year-old Christopher Lane while he was jogging, he became their random "thrill kill" when he was shot in the back.

Court documents show police found 22-caliber ammunition in the car they say the teens were in, along with a spent shell casing that matches the type of bullet used to kill lane.

Fifteen-year-old James Edwards and 16-year-old Chancey Luna are charged with first degree murder. Seventeen-year-old Michael Jones was originally charged with use of a vehicle in discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact.

But in November, Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks charged Jones with first degree murder. Hicks said they changed the charges because they believe Jones was involved with two other shootings, one just before Lane's murder, and another the night before.

Now all three teens are charged with first degree murder and all three are being held in the Stephens County Jail without bond. Their preliminary hearing is scheduled for February 4th.

On August 19th, flames ripped through The Woodland's Apartments on Midwestern Parkway. Katrina Farmer with The American Red Cross said eleven families were displaced. Fire investigators said around 10 that Monday morning, flames sparked when maintenance crews nicked an electrical wire. Damages were estimated at more than $500,000.

Construction on the Emergency Water Reuse Project began on August 26th so Wichita Falls can recycle water that goes down our drains and toilets. The pipe goes from the River Road Waste Water Treatment Plant to the Cypress Water Treatment Plant and it was completed this month. Testing on the whole system is expected to begin the first week of January.

The recycled water should become part of our drinking water in the spring.

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