With 2016 nearing its end here is a look back on some of Erath County's most memorable moments from January through June for part one of the E-T’s Year in Review.
Confessed rapist sentenced to 50 years
An Erath County jury sentenced William Wesley McKamie to 50 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault. McKamie was arrested in March 2015 after he was accused of raping a woman he met at a bar.
Dublin to vote on $10 million bond
Erath County commissioners authorize County Clerk Gwinda Jones to add a $10 million Dublin school bond proposal to the May 7 election ballot. The bond proposal was going toward the improvement of campus-wide safety, renovations to the elementary school and a multipurpose gym and performance hall, football stadium, eight-lane track, tennis courts, ag facility and renovate the locker rooms. However, the bond was rejected twice by voters in the May 7 election and again on Nov. 8.
After fire, The Pantry and More re-opens
The Pantry and More burned down the summer of 2015 leaving owner Tommy Shelton without a place to operate. Shelton and Arturo Briseno with A.B. Ranches and Dairy, purchased land on Hwy. 67 and rebuilt The Pantry and More.
EMT who fired at deputies pleads not guilty
Former EMT Cody Miller was arrested at his home in Morgan Mill on Sept. 4, 2015 after firing at a deputy and state trooper and pleaded not guilty during a pretrial hearing. If convicted of the first-degree felonies, Miller faces five to 99 years in the penitentiary.
Aftermath: A week of destruction and recovery
An EF-1 tornado, accompanied with straight line winds, tore through Stephenville causing extensive damage across the city. The Lillian 1 apartments, Erath County Courthouse, Foster’s Home for Children, Tarleton State University, Smith Springs Mobile Park and Barefoot Campus Outfitters were among the damaged and destroyed.
Plane crashes after running out of fuel
It was a close call for a father and son when the single-engine airplane they were traveling in crashed near Lewis Trailer Ranch after running out of fuel. Richard Abila was ejected and Aaron Abila was cut out of the wreckage by emergency crews. The pair was transported by air to John Peter Smith Hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
Deputy involved in crash has long road to recovery
Dustin Ray Paulsen, 40, an Erath County sheriff's deputy was involved in a head-on collision after a driver crossed over the center line on U.S. Hwy. 281. Paulsen has been on a long road to recovery since then.
Fund set up for deputy battling cancer
Sgt. Detective Cody Keith of the Erath County Sheriff’s Office was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma cancer. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a rare type of head and neck cancer that starts in the upper part of the throat behind the nose. In October, the cancer was declared in remission.
Woman in deadly hit-and-run headed to prison
Kayli Ann Bledsoe, 33, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and DWI with a child passenger. In exchange for her guilty plea, Bledsoe was sentenced to 12 years in a state penitentiary and 18 months in jail.
Marine surprises daughter with return home
Marine Staff Sgt. Danny Moss arrived back from deployment as an engineer in Germany and embraced his surprised and happy five-year-old daughter, Abbigail during an assembly at Central Elementary School.
SHS celebrates its graduates
The community celebrated 225 Stephenville High School seniors as they walked across the stage in Tarleton’s Wisdom Gym receiving their diplomas and stepping into the next chapter of their lives.
Flash flooding prompts evacuations, high-water rescues
Erath County was battered by a strong wave of storms that dumped up to seven inches of rain in parts of the county, forcing evacuations and high-water rescues in Morgan Mill and the Highland area.
Julie Carrillo talks about life with cancer and listening to your body
Six months before turning 40, Julie Carrillo was diagnosed with colon cancer. The doctors told Julie she likely had cancer for four to five years before it was discovered. The good news is that the treatments are working. And while she is keeping life “as normal as possible,” she has a word of advice for others. “If you think something is wrong, go see a doctor,” she said. “Listen to your body.”