may get city a patrol vehicle
Payne Springs presses seizure proceedings on Chevy Blazer in drug chase
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
PAYNE SPRINGSSeizure proceedings are underway to claim a 2002 Chevy Blazer following
a Payne Springs police pursuit May 7.
Officer Kenny Boyle attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle for failure to signal a right
turn off State Highway 198 at about 11:30 p.m., when the driver thought he could evade
capture, police chief Tim Meadows retold council members Tuesday.
He said the chase continued through Southwood Shores, included several sharp turns, and a
cut through a property in Golden Oaks.
As the Blazer made a sharp right-hand turn into Crawfish Road, an occupant tossed out a
rifle, Meadows said.
Boyle didnt see this occur due to the direction of the turn.
Later, the vehicle made a sharp left turn, and the occupant tossed out something else
this time seen by the officer which turned out to contain some drugs and
The pursuit came to a successful conclusion with the arrests of Christopher Sean Howell,
37, and Sharon Watkins Ororke, 38.
Howell was charged with evading arrest, possession of a controlled substance less than 1
gram and criminal mischief less than $500.
Ororke was charged with possession of a controlled substance.
A weapons charge is pending, Meadows added.
After questioning, police started searching for the discarded weapon without success
through the night.
When in the morning, it was still not found, fire chief Randy Harley offered to use his
thermal unit to find the cold metal.
He located it on a Golden Oaks property.
The rifle will be destroyed, along with the narcotics, Meadows told the
council. We should be able to keep the vehicle. If it is used as a patrol vehicle,
we wont owe anything. If it is sold, then 30 percent has to be given to the
county, he said.
In a related item, the council decided to pay city officers time and a half for overtime
hours and trust Meadows to manage their schedule to avoid as much OT as possible.
In other business, the council:
accepted the resignation of councilwoman Ethel Hagin and police officer Mark
appointed Ida Zimmerer to replace Hagin on the council. She was sworn in and took
hired Ricky Garza as a police officer per the recommendation of Meadows.
named Michael McDonald mayor pro-tem.
Booster seat law tickets start June 1
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKEThe booster seat law signed into law last June is now going to
result in citations for some parents who havent complied.
Any child younger than 8 and shorter than four feet, nine inches, or 57 inches tall, has
to travel in a booster seat.
Until June 1, officers have only issued warnings, but now the citations begin for
Thats the law and also the best practice from a safety standpoint, according to
Texas became the 47th state to institute a booster seat law.
Until June 1, police officers have only been issuing warnings. But after June 1, its
the real thing.
The first violation wins a $25 fine plus court costs. A second offence results in a $250
fine, plus court costs.
So, its cheaper to use the booster seat than to pay the fines,
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Beth Warren said.
If they are installed correctly and your little one is properly harnessed, your child is
much more likely to survive a collision, she said. And you avoid the ticket.
Texas is the 47th state, including the District of Columbia, to enact a booster seat law.
The law does not specify what type of car seat has to be used, but in general, most
children outgrow car seats with a harness system at 40 pounds, usually around 4 years of
Some car seats now have harnesses with higher weight limits. Once a child grows out of the
car seat, a booster seat should be used. Booster seats work with the vehicles lap
and shoulder belt.
There are two types of booster seats: high back (for use when the car does not have a
headrest in the childs seating position) and no-back (for use when the car does have
a headrest). Booster seats are widely available at area retailers and range in cost from
$15 to $45.
According to Dr. Todd Maxson, Trauma Medical Director, Dell Childrens Medical Center
of Central Texas, children need booster seats until the seat belt fits them
properly. Without the booster seat, the seat belt can cause serious, even deadly, injuries
during a car crash.
Maxson supports the new law because of his first-hand experience with improperly
restrained children who were injured while wearing an ill-fitting seat belt which
was allowable under the old standards.
Maxson says, the patients I treat, who are restrained by a seat belt alone, suffer
serious injuries to the spine and internal organs, known as seat belt syndrome. Parents
were devastated when they learned that the law didnt match the best practice. This
new law now endorses the best practice and provides the appropriate amount of protection
for children in crashes.
Music fest weekend
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENSNext weekend, a very special event for music lovers comes to Athens. Its
the 79th annual Old Fiddlers Reunion, Thursday - Friday, May 27-28, followed by the
inaugural Texas Swing Music Festival Saturday at the Cain Center.
Staged on the Courthouse Square every year, the Old Fiddlers Reunion attracts folks
from all around the county and the state.
They bring lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the sounds of Texas fiddling at its finest!
Some also bring card tables and dominoes or cards for a gaming repast with old friends,
along with fiddles and other string instruments for impromptu jam sessions on the
The main attraction is the Fiddlers Contest, likely the oldest such contest that has
run continuously year after year.
This is broken into five divisions - Ages 18 and Under; Ages 19 - 30; Ages 31 - 65; Ages
66 and above; and Ladies Division. Each division pays five places.
There will be a play-off between the first place winner of each of the five divisions. The
winner of this round will be our Grand Champion. In addition to vendors, there will also
be carnival rides for the younger set.
The festivities begin at 9 a.m. and continue until early evening. Following the
competition Friday, everyone will have the opportunity to do some energetic toe-tapping
during the famous Street Dance in front of the bandstand.
Attending this event is free of charge.
On Saturday, get ready for a rip-roaring goodtime with the firstTexas Swing Festival at
Cain Center, 915 S. Palestine Street in Athens.
The free outdoor music festival features live band performances on two stages all day and
into the night.
Vendors will also offer crafts, art works and refreshments. Other family activities are
You wont want to miss the afternoon when the Texas Swing Dance Competition with
Youth, Adult and Senior divisions will take place. Entry fee is $25.
Saturday evening performances include Dallas Shoot Low Sherriff and Austin-based
Marshall Ford Swing Band featuring State Champion Fiddler Dennis Ludiker.
For more information on this event, call (903) 677-2001.