March and April had Texomans on their toes. One business went bankrupt, but several new ones found a home in Wichita Falls. We lost a local hero and several others found themselves behind bars.
(MARCH 5, 2012)
In Wilbarger County a big question lay on the minds of many in March-would Tangarie Alternative Energy Plant close for good or would a deal with another company be made to rehire employee?
On March 4th the plant's doors were chained shut by Wilbarger County Judge Greg Tyra because of problems stemming from a 10 year loan and incentive agreement given by Vernon Business Development Corporation in 2010.
The goal was to bring about 100 jobs to the city by 2013. The agreement offered almost 900 thousand dollars in incentive money from the 4-A sales tax fund. But according to Mayor Jeff Bearden, Tangarie only hired 12 to 15 people after receiving the loan. Recently the company filed for bankruptcy, putting an automatic hold on liquidating tangarie's assets.
(MARCH 12, 2012)
Then it was dental records which helped to positively identify the victim of a homicide whose body was discovered February 8th, off FM 2332 southeast of Petrolia.
Clay County Sherrif Kenny Lemons said, "Twenty two years of doing this, this is the first time I've ever been involved in an investigation that was this bizarre. It certainly is one that's out there. It doesn't come across very often and especially the fact that you have such an old homicide that's solved so quickly. It moved really fast and I had some real good guys on it, and we just worked together with the Ranger service. Without the Rangers, I don't think we could have made near the progress."
Jose Ramirez, who served in the Army and had been stationed at Fort Sill, was dumped in a shallow grave near a trash pit and remained there until authorities received a tip about the case 5 years later. 30-year-old Justin Green was charged with the murder. Witness statements said Green shot Ramirez with a rifle then called his mother Terri Green to help clean up the scene and hide the body. Green and his mother were both arrested in Phoenix, Arizona.
(MARCH 15, 2012)
Fiber glass horse from the Mane Event project goes missing from a Wichita Falls salon. On March 14th, "Miss Silver Buckle" which sat in front of Tangles Salon in Parker Square went missing. After a Crime Stoppers tip, the horse was recovered in an apartment at Hunter's Crossing, but in several pieces. Robin Cook, owner of Tangles said, "They cut the head off, the tail off, and the legs." One month later, James Gunter May and Calvin Wayne Rickman were indicted for the theft. Alyssan Nicole Wilkson and Kristine Woeller were also charged with possession of stolen merchandise.
(MARCH 31, 2012)
And after 21 years of service as a Wichita Falls Fire Fighter, a long time Wichita Falls hero was laid to rest. Kelly Crush died on March 25th after Lou Gehrig"s Disease forced him to retire from the force. People gathered together at the Kay Yeagar Coliseum to remember and honor the fallen hero. Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham said, "To do that in the manner that he did and always be upbeat and be so inspirational to other people and the countless people he helped during his fight is just phenomenal. We're going to miss him."
(APRIL 6, 2012)
Also in April, WFISD Superintendent Dr. George Kazanas became the lone finalist for the superintendent position at Midway ISD. This sparked the search for a new superintendent which resulted in Dr. John frossard being hired in late July.
And to give Texomans a new taste, two new restaurants opened. Smash Burger on Call Field and Dickey's Barbecue on Lawrence Road opened to add more variety to the list of Wichita Fall's eateries.
Then another ribbon cutting opens the doors to new hope and opportunity for homeless women and children in Texoma. Faith Refuge on Hatton Road is now fulfilling its mission to "rescue, rehabilitate, and reintegrate" families into the community.