A recap of the headlines in the Archer County News is an attempt to review the year in a few brief paragraphs. There will certainly be events readers felt should be in the recap which are omitted. It was a year packed with news. Here are a few of the headline stories.
The year began with Archer County recovering from a widespread thunderstorm on December 26, 2018. Extensive damage to power lines had over 16, 960 Oncor customers out of service in the surrounding area. Two thousand of them were in Archer County. High water levels and downed poles made restoring service a challenge. The largest storm in years packed 60 mile per hour winds with gusts up to 80 miles per hour.
The weather created a muddy situation for the 51st Annual Junior Livestock Show, but it was a great event as usual. The Premium Auction Sale resulted in $95,950 being donated to youth participants by area businesses, individuals, and event sponsors.
Over 20 law enforcement vehicles were involved in a high speed chase resulting in the arrest of Stephanie Teruel. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance, evading arrest, fictitious motor vehicle registration, and endangerment of a 14 year old passenger in the car during the chase.
Archer City Wildcat Head Football Coach Shad Hanna and Windthorst Trojanette Head Volleyball Coach Allison Bussey were named as coaches for the Oil Bowl All Star Games to be played in June.
January ended on a sad note with the death of 28 year Agricultural Extension Agent Marvin Henry on January 12. On January 27 Mary Lee Crowley Hawkins also passed away. She was a teacher for 26 years.
On the first day of February Windthorst High School Principal Roy Longcrier took a cold plunge in the Snake Lake. Longcrier rode a bicycle into the pond wearing a shark suit to honor his challenge to students to raise money for the Children Advocacy Center and Patsy’s House.
The Holliday Eagle basketball team posted a 10-0 district record to win District 8-3A. The team advanced to the Quarterfinal round in Region 1 before bowing out. The Archer City Wildcats won District 9-2A also advancing to the Quarterfinal round in Region 2. The Windthorst Trojanettes also won a 9-2A district championship with a 9-2 record. The Trojanettes also advance to the Quarterfinal round in Region 2.
At the end of February Lake Kickapoo residents were advised of a 20.75% increase in lot leases by the City of Wichita Falls.
The Holliday Independent School District held a ribbon cutting for the Charles Finnell Child Development Center on March 28. The center served the Head Start program on the Holliday ISD campus.
Joshua Smart was named as the new Archer County Extension Agent.
The City of Archer City contracted with Texas Communities Group, LLC to handle code enforcement in the city limits.
The Windthorst Trojan and Archer City Wildcat baseball teams held a unique double header. The first game was played in Archer City. The second game was played in Windthorst with teams and fans traveling the 11 miles on Highway 25 for the nightcap. The Trojans won both games, but both teams made deep runs into the playoffs. The Wildcats advanced to the Region II semifinals and the Trojans advanced to the Regional Final. Both teams were eliminated by Valley Mills by a very narrow margin in dramatic finishes in both games. The Holliday Eagle baseball team won District 8-3A advancing to the Regional Quarterfinal. The Lady Eagle softball team ended in a 3 way tie for the District Title. They were defeated in Bi-District.
On May 3 the Moffett Library on the Midwestern State campus honored Congressman Graham Purcell’s 100th Birthday in a celebration of remembrance of his life and career.
On May 7 a Lake Wichita Texas Historical Marker was unveiled at a ceremony on the dam at Lake Wichita.
Archer City Junior Tessa Brooks won the first ever State UIL competition in Copy Editing to capture a gold medal. Holliday’s Konner Wood won a silver medal in the Class 3A discus and Hannah Spears won a bronze in the 3200 meter run. Delaini Hanna finished eighth in the 2A pole vaults.
The Windthorst Trojanette and Archer City Lady Cat softball teams squared off in a best of three series for a Region 1 Championship on May 23 and 24. The Trojanettes won games 1 and 3 to earn a trip to the State Tournament. The Trojanettes lost to Thorndale in the Class 2A State Semifinal.
James and Brad Pippin, Archer City High School alumni, took part in the 75th D-Day Commemoration on the beaches of Normandy. The Pippin brothers provided the Archer County News information first hand from the activities honoring the D-Day Allies effort in World War II.
Another family had an adventure in the Texas Water Safari race. Despite a host of trouble cousins, Matthew “Stubby” Schreiber and Pat Schreiber, completed a grueling 260 mile race from the San Marcos River to Seadrift on the Texas coastline.
On June 22 a crowd gathered at Walsh Park in Archer City to see the unveiling of “Branded”, the cast aluminum sculpture of a horse bearing local brands. Kathy Morrison painted the sculpture. Linda Rapp placed all the brands on a quilt which was auctioned off during the event.
Early July saw the completion of a kitchen renovation at the Archer Service Center. The kitchen update, white cabinets, and sparkling countertops were made possible by a monetary gift from the Gloria Klaras family.
On July 7 the body of Manuella Allen, a homicide victim, was discovered near Lake Cooper. Eighteen year old, Julius Mullins, an Olney High School student, was arrested in connection with the murder. Law enforcement investigations were ongoing.
Pilgrim Bank announced a plan to close the Archer City Branch in mid-October.
The annual Writers Workshop held at the Royal Theater and Spur Hotel brought numerous award winning authors to town. A public presentation at the Royal by Ben Montgomery highlighted the workshop. His presentation reviewed work on his book, “The Man Who Walked Backwards.”
Preseason practices in football and volleyball got started in early August.
Chef Juston Liles, and wife Rachel, with partners Mickey Mayo, and wife Amy, announced the opening of
Anarene Catering Company. Anarene Catering opened a park on N. Sycamore and began providing food truck and catering services.
On August 26 citizens in Archer County got the sad news that Former Precinct 1, Justice of the Peace, C.T. McDaniel, had passed away. McDaniel was 91 years old having serve as Justice of the Peace for 24 years.
A tragic tank truck fire near Joe’s Kwik Stop and Suzette’s on US Highway 281 in Windthorst on September 24 claimed the life of 31 year old Sandan Shae Foster of Wichita Falls. Windthorst and Scotland Volunteer Fire Departments were quickly on the scene containing the fire and preventing the situation from becoming more serious.
The Barber Shop Gang returned to the Royal Theater stage in early October with Jim Black’s play “The World According to Roy and Jesse.”
On October 14 at Holliday Elementary, Holliday ISD officials gathered for a ground breaking on the construction of additions to the Holliday Elementary School. The expansion was needed to handle increased enrollment in the lower grades in Holliday.
Riley and Cherith Barham became the proud parents of newborn baby Callen Lee. The birth was a little unconventional since Callen decided to make his appearance suddenly on the kitchen floor of his grandparents, Charlie and Denise Barham.
Archer City ISD held a career day to encourage students to “Dream Big and Plan Accordingly.” The career fair feature an opening speech from Angela Kinsey by video.
The Holliday Lady Eagle Cross Country team won the State Championship in Class 3-A on Saturday, November 9.
The Windthorst Trojanette and the Archer City Lady Cat volleyball teams advanced to the Region 2 Quarterfinal round after sharing the District 9-2A Championship.
The Windthorst Trojans won the District 6-2A Championship advancing to the Regional round in the UIL playoff bracket. The Archer City Wildcats finished third in the district and lost in the Bi-District round.
The Holliday Eagles dropped two district games, but made an impressive run in the playoffs to the Quarterfinal round. The Gunter Tigers once again bumped them from the playoffs on December 6.
The historic Spur Hotel changed owners in late November. The new owners are Johnny Bart Hudson and wife Dotty Wines Hudson.
First State Bank had a grand opening at the old Pilgrim Bank location. The ribbon cutting was on December 20 with a newly renovated building on display. Daddy Bob’s barbecue was served to people who dropped by for the opening.
Christmas on the Square was a great success with the Royal Theater full of vendors with Christmas fair and Santa at the Walsh Park Center.
Sheriff Staci Beesinger announced her plans not to run for reelection setting up a heated race for Sheriff in the next election cycle between Simon Dwyer and Jack Curd.
After 40 years of operation B&B Garage announced new ownership for the New Year. B&B will be known as Hoffman Automotive as Tyrel Hoffman will become the new owner.
The Archer County News has been owned and published by Barbara and Jerry Phillips since August, 1, 2011. At the end of December they announced the sale of the paper to Blake Gumprecht effective January 2, 2020.