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Worker honored for efforts to save Kerens man

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Kerens City Council also enacts no-through truck ordinance

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By Russell Slaton
Tribune Correspondent
KERENS–When City of Kerens employee Ray Sparks heard cries for help June 1 while working on a water leak at a city Housing Authority unit, he didn't hesitate to spring into action.
“I had to do what I could,” said Sparks, who has worked nearly five years on a maintenance crew for the City of Kerens. “Any time there’s a chance, I'm going to try to save somebody.”
Relying on medical training learned during eight years in the U.S. Army, Sparks attempted to resuscitate lifetime Kerens resident Tinker Ivey, who had suddenly taken ill. “I just did what came natural,” Sparks said.
Within 10 minutes, Kerens Volunteer Fire Department arrived to assist, but Ivey was pronounced deceased because of a medical issue.
During the Tuesday, Aug. 6 meeting of Kerens City Council, Sparks was recognized for his valiant efforts with the presentation of a City of Kerens Distinguished Service Award.
“We appreciate your dedication to the people who live in Kerens,” Mayor Jeffrey Saunders said upon giving Sparks a plaque commemorating the city’s gratitude.
Council member Greg Allen said Ivey was one of his best friends and told Sparks, “I appreciate it.”
Sparks credited Kerens residents with improving his outlook after a stretch of tough times. “I would do this for any man or woman in this town,” he said.
“Y’all have helped me out more than I could explain,” Sparks said, later adding, “I’m proud to be a member of the City of Kerens. They saved my life.”
Also during the Aug. 6 Kerens City Council meeting, members passed the second reading of an ordinance banning heavy truck traffic on certain city streets, which will be signed as such. The ordinance states the ban “will help to prolong the life of those streets so designated.”
The affected streets include Goodman Avenue from State Highway (SH) 31 to Fifth Street, Bonner Avenue from SH 31 to Bobcat Lane, Throckmorton Avenue from SH 31 to Seventh Street, Humphrey Avenue from SH 31 to Daniels Drive, Colket Avenue from SH 31 to Fourth Street, Donaldson Avenue from SH 31 to Fifth Street, and Southeast First Street from Colket Avenue to Senter Avenue (SH 309).
The ordinance excludes authorized emergency vehicles, school buses and light trucks with a carrying capacity of 10,000 pounds or less (such as pickup trucks, panel delivery trucks and carryall trucks).
An affirmative defense is codified for trucks “being driven to seek service or repairs at a facility that engages in the business or repairs of commercial motor vehicles or the truck was being driven to or from home or to fulfill a local commercial obligation to a buyer or seller at a given destination, evidenced by a bill of sale, invoice or other proof of route which shall be displayed immediately upon request; and the public street was the only route to such destination.”
The no-truck ordinance is now in effect and carries a fine of up to $500 per occurrence.


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