Year in Review: February 2013

From a new stage of water restrictions for Wichita County residents to a 10 percent hike in gas prices, the month of February saw its fair share of local and national news.

The first week of a new month brought with it additional rules for Wichita Falls residents using the city water supply. With a combined lake level sitting at 40 percent, stage three water restrictions began. Fourteen citations would be issued in the month to residents not complying with the tough new restrictions.

Young County Sheriff's Deputies made two arrests in the case of a 20-year-old Graham woman who went missing in December of 2011. Twenty-four year old Jeremy Paul Thornburg of Sweetwater was arrested in Abilene for the disappearance and murder of Candace Shields.

Two weeks later, authorities also arrested 22-year-old Lajuana Shunta Long of Graham in connection with the murder.

Wichita Falls Police were able to arrest two suspects wanted in an aggravated robbery case that happened December 18th in the 4700 block of Tammy. Eighteen-year-old Jonathan Booker and eighteen-year-old Davontay Johnson were both considered armed and dangerous at the time of their arrest. Officers say both men stormed inside of a home where one of the men beat the homeowner with a gun. Police would also arrest 17-year-old Kayla Ward and 18-year-old Aaliyah Stevenson in connection with the crime.

With the tragedy in Newtown still fresh on America's mind, Harrold ISD Superindentend David Thweatt traveled to Austin to testify before a joint senate committee on how to best protect students and staff.

With Harrold ISD being the first school district in America to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in the classroom, Thweatt said his goal at the capitol was to push for statewide standardized guidelines for teachers aiming to carry on campus. Following Thweatt's testimony, both Childress and Quanah school boards would pass similar measures allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Changes would also come to folks driving in, or through, Texoma. The speed limit on 287 from Hardemen County to Loop 11 in Wichita Falls went up to 75 miles per hour. Later, the speed limit of U.S. 70 from south of the Vernon city limits to the Foard County Line would also be increased to 75 miles an hour.

The month of February also saw a sharp increase in gas prices. Prices at the pump went up a whopping 10 percent, rising to a national average of $3.78 per gallon.

The city of Wichita Falls scored big with the arrival of its new professional minor league football team, The Nighthawks. Their first season in Wichita Falls would prove to be highly successful. The Hawks would go on to achieve a perfect 12 and 0 record and win both a PAFL championship and a national championship.

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