By BRAD KELLAR
Granted, there was an assortment of depressing news stories during the past year. Crime, politics and the economy tended to paint a gloomy picture during much of 2012.
On the other hand, there were more than a few stories which told of positive local achievements. There were tales of not exactly brilliant criminal masterminds. And, every now and then, there was a story which left us scratching our head.
Here then are some of the weird, the wild and the wonderful moments which made up 2012:
A Garland man’s mother turned him in to federal authorities for robbing three North Texas banks. Anthony Blue eventually pleaded guilty to the robberies, including a bank in Quinlan. On July 8, 2011, Blue entered the American Nation Bank located at 8908 Highway 34 South, Quinlan, Texas. Blue approached a teller and presented a note that read, “Empty Drawer 20’s, 50’s, 100’s, 5 seconds.” The teller emptied the cash drawer and handed Blue the money. After receiving the cash, Blue left the bank. Shortly thereafter, Blue’s mother called the Federal Bureau of Investigation, after visiting the website bandittracker.com, and told agents that she believed her son had robbed the State Bank of Texas in Garland and the Community Bank in Rockwall. FBI agents visited Blue’s mother and her husband and presented bank surveillance photos from those robberies, along with a photo of the individual who robbed the American National Bank in Quinlan. Both the defendant’s mother and her husband identified Blue as the bank robber from all three banks.
Greenville recognizes its latest Worthy Citizen
Al Swanson is named as the Worthy Citizen of Greenville during the Greenville Chamber of Commerce/ Board of Development Annual Banquet.
NO, SON, THAT IS DEFINITELY NOT THE EASTER BUNNY
A Hunt County man is allegedly caught transporting narcotics in Easter eggs.
Richard Martin Lenz, 46, of Lone Oak, was stopped for a traffic violation and gave deputies consent to search his vehicle. Baggies containing what appeared to be methamphetamine were discovered inside plastic eggs, along with a few pills inside one of the plastic eggs. Lenz is eventually sentenced to prison on a weapons charge.
Oh great, another round of “Turkey In The Straw”
The Greenville City Council gave the drivers of ice cream trucks a break, by exempting them from the regulations under the city’s noise ordinance. The amendment permits amplified jingles or music used on vehicles to attract patrons that are operated by ice cream vendors, as long as the jimgles or music are not found to be “offensive to the ordinary sensibilities of a reasonable and prudent person.” The amplified jingles or music must also be turned off while a sale is in progress.
RECOGNIZING A DISTINCTIVE INDIVIDUAL
The Herald-Banner paid tribute to the winners of our Unsung Hero Awards, and named Michelle Youtz as our second annual Person of Distinction during a reception at the Landmark on Lee Street. The Unsung Hero Awards seek to highlight local people who are making a difference in the community, a difference which may otherwise go unheralded. The Person of Distinction is the one individual who has made a major impact on Greenville and Hunt County.
CLUMSY CRIMINALS CAUGHT BY CANDID CAMERA
Shaun Michael Funderburk and David Wayne Monk appeared on a surveillance camera breaking into a residence on County Road 1069 on the evening of April 4. The owner of the residence sent still shots and a video of the burglary, taken by a security camera, to the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators were able to identify the suspects and prepare warrants charging the pair with the burglary.
Chuckles for a good cause
The Ninth Annual Special Olympics Comedy Talent Showcase, sponsored by the Hunt County Special Olympics Booster Club, is another smash hit.
Praying for those in need
A crowd gathered in the shade of the trees in front of the Hunt County Courthouse, to share their faith and join in prayer. “One Nation Under God” was the theme for the observance of the National Day of Prayer.
These boots, and sneakers, and flats and ... were made for walking.
The Drug Free Greenville Walkathon and the Hunt-Rains County Chapter American Cancer Society Relay for Life had hundreds of people stepping out in support.
This year’s Fair was on the Money
Dozens of relatives of the late Mickey Money comprised many of the dignitaries on hand for the ribbon cutting to start the Hunt County Fair, and did the honors for the event. The Fair is dedicated to Money, a former Hunt County commissioner, auditor and justice of the peace who was an avid Fair supporter.
Next time, he might want to just stick with the midway
Mickey Trent Reed of Lone Oak is arrested while attending the Hunt County Fair, by officers who were inside of the Law Enforcement Building, where Reed’s photo was posted as a “Hunt County Top Ten Most Wanted” fugitive.
A treemendous idea
Bowie Elementary School raises funds to recycle an old, dead tree into a sculpture to preserve the history of the tree for Bowie alumni.
A lot more red, white and blue in Greenville
The stretch of Park Street between Stonewall Street and Moulton Avenue traditionally is decked out in more flags, banners, bunting and ribbons on Independence Day than anywhere else in town, as it hosts the larger of two annual local parades on the nation’s birthday. But one Park Street resident felt there could be more. Tim Kruse decided to add 100 more flags to the route in time for the July 4 festivities.
Greenville becomes the home of even more advanced technology
A group of local high tech wizards have designed what some might consider to be the ultimate invention, an all terrain beer serving robot vehicle beverage cooler. It also has bright lights. Innovation Thirst of Greenville/Rockwall was one of a dozen teams participating in the Red Bull Creation, a 72-hour themed innovation competition. Innovation Thirst created the “Cool Master”, which is described as “an intense, high-speed drink delivery system.” The “Cool Master” not only brings the beer to an individual, it removes the cap from the bottle and raises it above the cooler to the perfect serving height.
Somebody in the Horticulture Department had some explaining to do
An officer with the University Police Department at Texas A&M University-Commerce had to do some unscheduled gardening, as he removed a three-foot marijuana plant from one of the ceramic planters which line the sidewalks at the campus. Officials said the plant may have been the result of a practical joke, or may have sprung from seeds left over from a discarded bag of marijuana.
Obviously, it was a bit crowded in there
Animal welfare officials joined Hunt County law enforcement officers in seizing dozens of animals from inside of a residence near Caddo Mills. The SPCA of Texas, Hunt County Constable Precinct 1 Terry Jones and deputies with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office removed 48 animals; including 25 dogs, 14 rabbits, six cats and three pigs, from the home on Brookview Circle. According to the SPCA of Texas announcement, all of the animals were all living inside the house.
There is no need to be concerned, unless you are the horse, of course of course.
There apparently is a mountain lion on the prowl through rural Hunt County. A horse in a pasture south of Greenville apparently came in contact with a mountain lion during October, according to Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Gary Miller.
“It was either a young male cougar that is still learning how to hunt, or it is a really, really old cougar that is really desperate in finding food,” Miller said, noting that the animal won’t be making the same mistake, of taking a swipe at a horse’s hindquarters, twice.
“He got kicked pretty good and he backed off,” Miller said. “He probably learned his lesson that a horse is not one to deal with.”
Santa ditches the sleigh for the romance of train travel
For the first time, Greenville is one of the destinations on the 12th Annual Kansas City Southern (KCS) Holiday Express. The train stopped in Greenville on the Saturday after Thanksgiving at the parking lot for the Hunt County Criminal Justice Center.
Christmas lights and Christmas weather
Greenville celebrates Christmas with parades, lots of bright lights and more. The weather in late December also plays a role in the holiday, as powerful winds blow over the City of Greenville Christmas Tree and four inches of snow fall on December 25, giving the city a true White Christmas.