The Uvalde Leader-News received best-overall honors by winning first place in sweepstakes, and photographer Pete Luna was named photographer of the year last Friday when the South Texas Press Association gathered in Fredericksburg for its 90th-annual convention.
The Leader-News also won nine other awards – three first-, three second- and three third-place – for content published in 2015.
The Leader-News received 675 points to win the coveted sweepstakes award. Newspapers received 100 points for each first-place award, 75 for second, and 50 for third place.
The Fayette County Record had 650 points and El Campo Leader-News received 575 points for second and third place, respectively.
Luna received photographer of the year honors for six photographs that included two on-the-spot news photos, two feature photos and two sports photos.
by Kimberly Rubio, staff writer The Uvalde Police Department has promoted longtime school resource officer Ruben Ruiz to detective, filling the criminal investigations division of the department.
Ruiz will take over the position left vacant by the recent resignation of Shayne Gilland. Gilland is now employed as an investigator for the district attorney’s office.
“Officer Ruiz is a senior officer and well respected by his co-workers,” said chief of police Eric Herrera. “His experience in the juvenile justice system will prove valuable in his new role as a criminal investigator for our department. I consider him an asset to the department and to the community he serves.”
Ruiz, a native Uvaldean, graduated from Uvalde High School in 1997.
He studied criminal justice at Southwest Texas Junior College before enrolling in the academy for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Beeville.
Two San Antonio teens were caught red-handed after stealing a goat from the Utopia property of a Texas Department of Public Safety sergeant. Benito Benavidez III, of 110 Summertime Drive, and Christopher Ryan Ramon, of 8319 Chivalry St., both 18, were arrested by Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office on charges of theft of livestock valued at less than $30,000.
One man is dead and five people were hospitalized after a trio of vehicle accidents occurred over a four-day period. William Darrell Reagan, 58, of Knippa, was killed Friday night following a one-vehicle rollover on Farm-to-Market Road 1049, six miles north of Knippa. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Reagan, driving a 1998 Dodge Ram pickup truck, was traveling south on the roadway at an unsafe speed when he lost control and overcorrected..
Dozens of cancer survivors proved they have a lot of fight left as they walked the first lap of the 2016 Uvalde Relay for Life event to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.” The celebration of life took place Friday at the Uvalde County Fairplex from 6 p.m. until midnight.
Family members of the late Oscar Castaneda Jr. donated $25,000 to the city of Uvalde to be used at the sports complex. The check was presented Tuesday evening during a City Council meeting at City Hall. Family members present included Castaneda’s wife, Carmen Castaneda; daughter, Araceli Castaneda; and nephew, Tito Vasquez.
Arlene Williams, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, has resigned from her position, effective last Friday. Williams began working for UCISD in June of 2014, filling a vacancy left by Angela Gutsch in December 2013. The assistant superintendent job application window will remain open until a suitable replacement is found.
(Photo courtesy Karen Barnes: This 5-foot rattlesnake likely had better Mondays than the one this week, when its life ended at the home of Karen and John Barnes off U.S. Highway 83 South.)
by Kimberly Rubio, staff writer
The summer season is fast approaching and rattlesnakes, known to make appearances during the drier and warmer months, are on the move.
On April 7, a rattlesnake bit a 70-year-old Sabinal man outside the victim’s North Orange Street residence.
Juan Flores was in his backyard building a chicken coop when he moved to grab a piece of wood.
“I went into the tall grass and I felt a sharp, hot pain in my ankle,” Flores said. “I looked down and I saw a rattlesnake. I jumped back, but the snake stayed put so I called my wife and right away we got help.”
The incident occurred as the Sabinal Independent School District was hosting a health walk on North Center Street, so several roads were closed.
Longtime Uvaldean Ray Rhodes was publicly recognized on Tuesday evening for his support of the local police department. Rhodes was given a plaque during a 6 p.m. meeting of Uvalde City Council, held at city hall. As president of the Uvalde Gun Club, Rhodes coordinated with Uvalde Police Department Chief Eric Herrera toward a yearly donation to the department’s officer of the year program.