Let’s take a look back and review events that took place in the news from July through December of 2017.
Troup ISD called a Tax Ratification Election to ask voters to approve a 13 cent tax increase per $100 valuation. The election was set for Aug. 26.
Whitehouse ISD board discussed onacgoing construction. Completion for the WISD Athletic Complex was slated for month’s end and construction for the junior high was set to begin.
Joshua Adam Scales was convicted of the murder of Jordan LaDue which took place in July 2016 at a home in Troup. Scales was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
After 11 years at Tri County Leader, serving first as a reporter and then as editor, Suzanne Loudamy retired from the newspaper.
Smith County released its first draft of a six-year road and bridge plan in a 52-page document. The plan listed potential road projects for more than 1,182 miles of roadway.
Patricia Dillon joined the Tri County Leader taking over as editor following the retirement of Suzanne Loudamy.
The Troup ISD tax ratification vote passed, being narrowly approved by 138 to 121 votes, raising the tax rate to $1.22.
Schools received state accountability ratings with all schools in Arp, Troup and Whitehouse receiving a Met Standard rating. Every school in Arp and Troup earned at least one of six distinctions. Almost all schools in Whitehouse received distinctions as well, with Cain Elementary and Stanton-Smith Elementary achieving a full 6 of 6 distinctions.
The city of Whitehouse approved a $9.9 million budget for the fiscal Year 2017-2018, up by $1 million from FY 2016-2017.The water rate was set to increase by 1.72 per cent, while the sewer base rate will be a $2 increase. The city council also adopted the proposed tax rate of $0.675207 per $100 valuation.
After only a brief stay, Patricia Dillon departed the Tri County Leader for a position in The Woodlands. Her mother, Michelle Dillon, joined the newspaper staff as reporter.
Sgt. Kyle Stowers and Lt. Shawn Murry of the Troup Police Department volunteered their time assisting in Orange County following the devastation and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Brad Hawkins, with a few others, travelled to Port Neches during the Labor Day weekend and served hot meals to approximately 2,000 people affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Troup’s canine officer Luke was officially retired from the Troup Police Department. The city relinquished ownership of Luke to his partner Sgt. Kyle Stowers.
The City of Arp was replacing four miles of outdated water lines after receiving notification that the city water contained an amount of asbestos that exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level.
The City of Whitehouse was highlighted at Smith County Commissioners Court as part of the “Connecting Communities” initiative.
The Whitehouse Chamber of Commerce announced its annual awards. Recipients were Meals on Wheels-Whitehouse, Organization of the Year, Moss Concrete Construction Company, Business of the Year, Maria Davenport, Citizen of the Year and the Legacy Award went to Sarah Davis.
Whitehouse Fire Chief Madison Johnson announced efforts to form a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Whitehouse.
The City of Troup voted in favor of a resolution supporting the Smith county road and bridge bond which was to appear on the November ballot.
The students from the Whitehouse elementary schools enjoyed a day of old-fashioned fun and games when Higgins Elementary hosted the fourth-grade roundup.
The marching bands from both Arp and Troup high schools advanced in Class-3A competition from Region 21 to compete in Area contest.
Josh Drean, a nationally acclaimed youth speaker, addressed the students at Whitehouse Junior High. Drean engaged the students with his beatboxing and through interactive role playing.
Residents from Oak Brook Health Care Center in Whitehouse once again competed in the Senior Olympic Games and repeated their winning ways, bringing home the first place trophy.
Voters approved all state and most local propositions. Arp approved the two local propositions to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages and to increase the sales tax rate by 0.5 per cent. Whitehouse elected James Wansley to Place 1 on the city council and approved seven of nine charter amendments. Smith County voters elected to grant a $39.5 million road and bridge bond proposed by the county.
Troup and Arp police departments competed in a No Shave November event benefitting St. Jude Children’s Hospital. A total of $20,966 was raised during the campaign.
The Whitehouse ISD Education Foundation President Jim Nipp announced the foundation would be donating grants totaling over $68,000.
Troup ISD Superintendent Stuart Bird announced his retirement from the district to become effective June 30, 2018.
Whitehouse ISD board of trustees voted to approve new attendance zone boundaries effective for the 2018-2019 school year.
The City of Whitehouse approved the issuance of certificates of obligation (CO) not to exceed $6 million. The projects funded by the Cos are a drainage project which includes a storm water survey and a street project consisting mostly of asphalt overlay.
Arp ISD Superintendent Dwight Thomas and Agricultural teacher Ernie Haire retired from AISD. The then high school principal, Shannon Arrington, was set to step into the role of district superintendent Jan. 1.