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Sheriff attends conference in Fort Worth

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The Sheriffs’ Association of Texas’ 144th Annual Training Conference and Expo was held Saturday, July 23 -Tuesday, July 26 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth. Over 1,500 were in attendance. There were over 250 exhibits at the Expo where attendees could get familiar with the latest technology and products offered to the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Community.

Sheriffs of Texas began Annual Training Conferences in 1878. These Training Conferences are now the largest composite gathering of law enforcement officers in Texas. Held annually in various cities across the state, this event allows Sheriffs, Deputies, Federal, State and Municipal Law Enforcement Officers to network and discuss various issues that affect law enforcement across the state and nation. This year participants received training on a variety of topics including Commission on Jail Standards Updates, Commission on Law Enforcement updates, upcoming Legislative mandates, Active Shooters, Media Relations, Human Trafficking, U.S. Mexican Border and the Cartels, Mental Health and Jails, Social Media, Civil Process updates, Utilization of License Plate Readers to curtail Drug Trafficking, and many more.

Our family always makes a mini vacation each year going to the conference wherever in Texas it is held. While the Sheriff is attending his training sessions, the ladies and children have their own agenda. This year we took our daughter Brandi Waitz and her husband Dave as well as four of our grandchildren: Abby and Brooklyn Branch and Luke and Colton Waitz. Brandi and I attended the lady’s luncheons and the kids were chaperoned at the Ft. Worth Stockyards where they watched the cattle drive and also went to Billy Bob’s where they had line dancing lessons. On Tuesday they spent the day at Six Flags. Fun was had by all. The highlight of our trip was when Don received the prestigious Tom Tellepsen Award (see related story on page 1). Each July when we attend the Conference, Sheriff’s and their spouses are always coming up and telling me how much they love Don. Just about every Sheriff in our 254 counties admire and adore him. Lots of them call him from time to time to get his advice on situations they are facing. It makes me very proud of him. Whether you know it or not, Grimes County has a jewel as their Sheriff.

Former pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Kermit Bostelman, and his wife Mary came back to Anderson from Louisiana this past Saturday to preside over a Memorial service for Rocky Weller who died on April 30. Family and friends came out to remember our sweet and unique Rocky. Thanks to Terry Licce for spearheading a luncheon in Zion Parish Hall and to all others who worked hard to make this memorial happen.

Anderson Food Pantry, 367 Fanthorp Street, is open the first Thursday, Aug. 4 from 9 a.m. until noon. All residents of Grimes County in need of food can participate. For more information, contact Renee Fredwood, 936-873-5005.

First Friday at Fanthorp Inn is Aug. 5 from noon until 7 p.m. The Inn is located at 579 S. Main St. in Anderson. Special guided tours will be at noon, 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. On this particular Friday you are invited to meet the man who started it all, Henry Fanthorp. Gather around the corn crib and hear the tale of this Englishman’s journey to Texas and his plans for the future. If you love history, don’t miss this one!

Happy Birthday to those celebrating this week: Aug. 4 – Marshall Ashorn, Hershey Perry and Cami Mosier; Aug. 5 – Cody Schroeder, Pee Wee Maupin and Amzie Belle McRae; Aug. 6 – Morgan Higginbotham, Colton Kimich, Corey Ross and Bronx Owens; Aug. 7 – Stanley Sechelski, Barbara Prado, Reagan Hoffart and Tessa Zonneveld; Aug. 8 – Corey Fagan, Mandi Wrobleski, Kitty DeNina, Monna Schweitz and Darlene Wichman Aaron; Aug. 9 – Risha Fagan and Ray Smith; and Aug. 10 – Logan Kimich and Linda Schroeder.

Happy Anniversary to those celebrating this week: Aug. 4 – Michael and Lauren Pasket, 22 years; Aug. 6 – Austin and Caitlan Derrett, 1 year; Aug. 7 – Blake and Aleida Jarvis, 18 years; Aug. 7 – Dominic and Sarah Adamo, 11 years; Aug. 8 – Ray and Lovenieh Merola, 13 years; and Aug. 8 – George and Gay Wells, 52 years.

This past weekend sadness struck again with the loss of two more: Barry Aikin, former resident of Anderson who retired from Grimes County Appraisal District the past couple of years ago and our sweet and beloved Donna Kott Hejny of Kott’s Café, a staple of our town for many years. These two will be remembered by so many family and friends.

If you have special news about what goes on in your family or life, let me know by calling 936-870-6842 or email me at gailmsowell@yahoo.com.