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Commissioner challenges district attorney on what is going on in her office

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By BARBARA GREEN
County budget hearings often get heated, but Monday the debate got heated as questioning became a bit personal as one commissioner challenged the district attorney what is being done in her office.
This was the second budget workshop for Montague County Commissioners as they begin hearing from elected officials and department heads on their 2018-19 budget requests. Discussions included an expensive proposal to begin digitizing county clerk and district clerk records, pay increases in the DA and county clerk’s offices and retaining an attorney to update county subdivision rules.
District Attorney Casey Polhemus opened by telling the court there were no “big” changes in her budget, but she would like to supplement the staff salaries with funds that were budgeted for the assistant DA two position, which was not filled last October when Ron Poole retired.
She proposed reassessing that funding to supplement the staff for the additional workload taking $10,000 of that $17,000 allotted for the ADA2 into AD Clay Riddle, then $3,650 to the DA investigator and then $2,000 each to the two administrative staff members. She also discussed how the forfeiture funds were being used.

Commissioner Roy Darden asked Polhemus how many cases she had tried since taking office. She said two last year and two this year. Darden then proceeded to challenge the DA telling her people are “looking at your office and what to know when you are going to try cases,” and why you are giving things away.
The DA appeared surprised at the questioning and exclaimed she is “not giving anything away,” and had been working very hard.

Read the full story in the mid-week News.

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Fantasy of Lights Festival welcomes the arrival of the Christmas season

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Downtown Bowie shined brightly this weekend as the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Festival heralded the start of the holiday season.
“Winter Lights” Sip and Stroll With Me opened the festival Friday night with a total of 31 vendors participating in the popular festival Friday night. Moderate fall-like temperatures made it a great evening for strolling and the downtown parking was filled throughout the evening as guests went from store to store to enjoy refreshments, learn about what they had to offer and even do a bit of shopping. Local student performers also sang holiday music.
Cindy Roller, executive director for Bowie Community Development, said Sip and Stroll continues to grow and grow with each outing and those attending really seem to enjoy it no matter the time of year.

Saturday morning’s Pancakes with Santa served up some 300 meals of free pancakes at the city fire hall, followed by holiday crafts at Elf ‘N’ Magic at the library. That evening after the community Christmas tree was lit, the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade rolled through downtown heralding the holiday season. The Bowie High School cheerleaders won the sweepstakes prize with its sparking snowflakes float.

Read about all the winners and see their photos in the mid-week Bowie News.

The dancing snowflake float from the Bowie High School cheerleaders won the sweepstakes prizes for best overall parade entry. (photo by Jordan Neal)
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Bowie Chamber seeking nominations for its top community awards

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Nominations are now being accepted for the business and volunteer awards presented by the Bowie Chamber of Commerce with a deadline of Jan. 9, 2023.
These awards will be presented at the Jan. 23 chamber banquet, which has a theme of “Denim & Diamonds.” Chamber members also are invited to decorate a table for the banquet where the best decorated will win a prize.
Public nominations are sought for the three major awards presented by the chamber: The Frances Brite Award for volunteerism; 2022 Business of the Year and 2022 Community Support Award. The board also will select a member for the membership award.
Nomination forms for the three main awards are located on the chamber webpage at bowietxchamber.org, and they can be dropped off to the office at 101 E. Pecan. Call the chamber at 872-1173 with any questions.

Read the full story in the mid-week Bowie News.

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MSU readies Dec. 10 graduation ceremony

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More than 600 students are expected to walk the stage during Midwestern State University’s commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Dec. 10 at Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls.
Students graduating with the highest grade point averages from each of the six academic colleges will be honored with the President’s Medal for Excellence. Recipients will receive their medals from MSU Texas President JuliAnn Mazachek.
Graduates will hear words of encouragement from MSU Texas leaders and alumni. The December ceremony includes students who graduated in August.
The Faculty Award recipient also will be announced. This honor is given by MSU Texas faculty to a full-time faculty member for teaching excellence and service to the university. The first recipient of the Faculty Award was Arthur F. Beyer in 1977.The winner is selected by the faculty at large and kept secret until commencement.

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