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Year in Review: July-August 2012
The month of July started with the Wichita Falls ISD naming its finalist to replace Superintendent Dr. George Kazanas. Dr. John Frossard signed his contract with the district saying his nearly 30 years of education experience has prepared him to head up Wichita Falls ISD.
"There's nothing new under the sun, I think most districts in Texas and across the county are facing a challenge of trying to do more with less and we're no different here, so we'll tackle it and make sure we protect instruction and safety," said Dr. Frossard.
On July 12th, a picnic area off Highway 82 in Clay County became a crime scene. Authorities say it happened when a van transporting a Grayson County inmate to the State Hospital in Wichita Falls pulled into the rest stop.
Officials say 32-year-old Nathan Gene Pierce tried to escape by assaulting a deputy. He managed to get a deputy's taser and officials say that's when the deputy took action.
"The deputy did fear for his life since he did have the taser. once the taser were deployed, if he were to hit the deputy, he would have full control of the deputy at that time. the deputy did fire one shot, striking him in the chest," said Wheeler. The Texas Rangers took over the investigation.
On July 26th, family and friends mourned the death of 32-year old Rocky Buckley following a disagreement Wichita Falls Police say he had with a resident at a home in the 47-hundred block of Karla Street. That resident says around 6:30 that night, Buckley charged him, so he shot him, then called 911. He was transported to United Regional where he later died.
After several months of construction, on July 27th, KFDX debuted its new set to mark its transition to high definition. It includes a new 13-foot long news desk, flooring, lighting, new HD cameras, and a new weather center.
And July ended with an arrest in the murder of 32-year-old Monica Partida three months after police found her body. Investigators say the Wichita Falls mother had been stabbed to death inside her house on Britian. And police say evidence from that brutal attack ultimately led to the arrest of 41-year-old Jerry Joe Garza. WFPD Interim Chief Manuel Borrego said, "She had a bite mark on her. We were able to get some of the suspect's DNA off the bite mark and send if for forensic analysis."
The month of August started with the investigation of a possible tuberculosis case out of Faith Mission in Wichita Falls involving a homeless man.
Director of Health Lou Kreidler said, "He's in isolation. So he's not of any further threat to the population at Faith Mission. We just want to make sure that there is no further disease in that population."
Health officials teamed with Faith Mission to find and test anyone who came in contact with the patient. After testing more than 100 people, health officials say bloodwork of more than a dozen people tested positive, meaning they may had been exposed to someone with tb.
Business employees and residents near Sheppard Air Force Base were steamed about a huge water main break that dried up their faucets. Although city officials say a code red alert warning went out to more than 29-hundred people around Missile Road, many affected did not receive the message or updates on when water would be back on.
On August 10th, Texas fire crews converged east of Possum Kingdom Lake after lightning sparks two massive wildfires. Fanned by strong winds and fueled by high temperatures and low humidity, the fires raged for several days before being extinguished. Officials say both fires burned a combined total of more than 33-hundred acres.
On August 12th, the trial of two former Christ Academy employees in Wichita Falls got underway. Robbie Kelly and former head master Keven Robertson filed a lawsuit against the school alleging they were victims of gender discrimination at Christ Academy. Five days later, the jury awarded Robertson 100-thousand dollars. As for Robbie Kelly, the jury found her claims untrue.
The start of the new school year brought a new change to the school lunch program. The USDA required schools provide students with a more nutritionally balanced meal.
WFISD Director of Food Service Kathy Bolton said, "We have to offer a protein, a milk a vegetable, fruit and grain. We have always done that in the past but this year, the kids, for them to come through and get a reimbursable meal, they will have to pick up a fruit or a vegetable."
It was hard to pick up the pace in downtown Wichita Falls the morning of August 26th. That's when a sea of cyclists spun their wheels in the annual Hotter 'n Hell Hundred bike ride. Coordinators worried a chance of rain would put a damper on the event, but showers stayed away allowing more than 11,900 people to pedal in the popular ride.