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“Our service delivery is all done through trained volunteers,” John Davis, the chapter’s executive director, said at a “Meet-N-Greet” open house Tuesday. “If we don’t have enough volunteers, we have to call people from the Red River County teams or the Hunt County teams.”
That was exactly what happened when the Red Cross set up an emergency shelter at Lamar Avenue Church of Christ during December’s ice storms and could not find enough local people to help staff the facility.
In another situation, a large apartment fire on Clarksville a few years ago left 50 units closed and residents with nowhere to go. The chapter helped with immediate assistance, shelter, feeding, communications, finding local partners to help and returning home. Such responses are part of the Red Cross mission.
“We’re going to respond, but we need to respond with Lamar County folks. It cuts down on time,” Davis said. “We’re heavily resourced to respond to these events. We just need the human resources.”
The chapter has about half a dozen disaster response volunteers and another half dozen or so who work with armed forces programs. Davis said he would like to see 10 times that.
The “Meet-N-Greet” potluck dinner was held in the Red Cross commissary at Camp Maxey. It was the first in a planned series of quarterly breakfast and dinner gatherings designed to bolster volunteer recruitment for the Lamar County Chapter of the American Red Cross. The organization needs volunteers for both armed forces services and disaster response, Davis said. They also need first aid and CPR instructors.
“They’ve been invaluable during a lot of the crises we’ve had in the last few years, going back all the way to the tornado,” said Stephen Gerrald, president of the United Way board of directors. “They make sure our community is cared for and our troops are cared for. That’s very important for us.”
The Red Cross has scheduled a class for two-year adult and pediatric first aid/CPR/AED certification March 22. The training costs $110, but full scholarships are available so that the training is free. To enroll, visit redcross.org/takeaclass or call 1-800-733-2767 and use the coupon code PREPAREPARIS1214.
For more information about volunteering with the American Red Cross, contact Volunteer Coordinator Sherry Maxwell at 903-249-9901.
Shawntel Golden defeated Susan Flanary-Turner for district clerk in Lamar County’s Republican Primary on Tuesday, and incumbent Keith Mitchell defeated longtime Lamar County Sheriff to retain his seat as county commissioner for Precinct 4.
Three other races won’t be decided until a May 27 runoff because none of the three candidates in those races garnered a clearn majority.
And with 61 of 90 voting boxes in, State Rep. George Lavendar was trailing Gary Van Deaver, who was riding a wave of teachers’ support in the four-county district of Bowie, Franklin, Red River and Lamar counties. All the votes were in from Lamar, Red River and Franklin, and that’s Lavendar’s home turf. He is from Texarkana.
Van Deaver outpolled Lavendar 2,977 to 1, 966 in Lamar County, 1,240 to 367 in Red River County and 742 to 619 in Franklin County. Lavendar was carrying his Bowie County 2,542 to 2,114. As of 12:45 a.m. today, Van Deaver had 7,073 votes to 5,494 for Lavendar.
No one got a clear majority in the races for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 2; Constable of Precinct 5; or County Commissioner, Precinct 2, so voters will go back to the polls in 12 weeks to decide between the two top vote-getters in each of those races.
No Democratic candidates in Lamar County had challengers.
Winners outright were Shawntel Golden over Susan Flanary-Turner for district clerk and Keith Mitchell, who won re-election over the challenge of longtime former Lamar County Sheriff B.J. McCoy.
Golden jumped to an early lead over Flanary-Turner and stayed there. She earned 78.06 percent of the 5,693 votes cast. Incumbent Marvin Ann Patterson did not seek reelection; she threw her support to Golden, a 17-year employee of hers who has been her chief assistant the past seven years. Patterson’s husband, Lynn Patterson, was Golden’s campaign treasurer.
In the race for Lamar County Precinct 2 commissioner, David Niblett was the leading vote-getter in a three-way race, but failed to get over half the votes, so he will face off against Larry W. Davis in two months for the Republican nomination. Niblett received 48.84 percent of the 649 votes cast, to 25.89 percent for Davis and 25.27 percent for James Dunn.
Davi, an activist in the Tea Party movement, announced during a Republican candidate forum several weeks ago that he was dropping his candidacy and throwing his support to Niblett, but his decision came too late to get his name off the ballot.
Lonnie Layton, the incumbent, ran in the Democratic Primary and will face the Niblett-Davis winner in November.
Mitchell got 52.6 percent of the 1,865 votes against McCoy.
Gene Hobbs and Curtis Garrett will meet in a May runoff for Justice of the Peace of Precinct 5, Place 2, had a wide lead over Garrett and Jesse James Freelen, but didn’t get the clear majority required to win without a runoff.
Hobbs, the incumbent after being named by county commissioners in September 2012 to succeed Ernie Sparks following his retirement, got 41.69 percent of the vote to 29.44 percent for Garrett and 28.86 percent for Freelen out of 2,775 votes cast.
In the Precinct 5 constable race, incumbent Jimmy Hodges also is facing a runoff. He got 47.81 percent of the vote to 30.38 percent Gerry Don Hines and 21.81 percent for Jimmy Don Clark. So it’s a runoff between Hodges and Hines.
A total of 6,522 of the 28,698 registered voters in Lamar County cast ballots, a voter turnout of 22.73 percent.
Several Republican races only had one candidate in the primary, including Mike Malone for county judge, Bill Harris for county court at law judge, Kathy Marlowe for county clerk, Melanie Clifford for treasurer, Don Denison for Precinct 1 justice of the peace, Crystal N. Duke for Precinct 2 JP, Tim Risinger for Precinct 3 JP, and Ken Ruthart for Precinct 4 JP.
None of the Democrat candidates had challengers with incumbent Shirley Fults running for treasurer, incumbent Chuck Superville for county judge and Precinct 2 Commissioner Lonnie Layton seeking to retain his seat.
The races for county judge and Precinct 2 commissioner will be decided during November’s general election.
Here are the Lamar County vote totals in the contested races in the Republican Primary:
DISTRICT CLERK — Shawntel Golden 4,444 (78.06%), Susan Flanary-Turner 1,249 (21.94%). (Golden wins election.)
COUNTY COMMISSIONER, PRECINCT 2: David Niblett 317 (48.84%), Larry W. Davis 168 (25.89%), James Dunn 164 (25.27%). (Niblett and Davis will meet in May 27 runoff)
COUNTY COMMISSIONER, PRECINCT 4: Keith Mitchell 981 (52.60%), Billy Joe (B.J.) McCoy 981 (47.40%). (Mitchell wins election.)
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PRECINCT 5, PLACE 2 — Gene C. Hobbs Jr. 1,157 (41.69%), Curtis Garrett 817 (29.44%), Jesse James Freelen 801 (28.86%). (Hobbs and Garrett will meet in May 27 runoff.)
CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 5 – Jimmy Hodges 1,177 (47.81%), Gerry Don Hines 748 (30.38%), Jimmy Don Clark 537 (21.81%). (Hodges and Hines will meet in May 27 runoff).
STATE REPRESENTATIVE – Gary Van Deaver 2,977 (60.22%), George Lavendar 1,966 (39.77%). Van Deaver also was leading in the four-county district, with 29 of 36 voting boxes in Lavendar’s home county of Bowie County still out. As of 12:45 a.m. today, Van Deaver led 7,073 (56.29%) to 5,494 (43.72%).
The funds help LCHRC deliver more than 500 meals a day through its Meals on Wheels program or 120,000 a year.
“This might be the only contact these people have during the day and the only meal,” said Lisa Spann, board treasurer.
Each meal costs about $6, she said. Government funding covers $4.95, leaving $160,000 a year to be raised locally.
“That does not include the individuals and senior citizens who are on a waiting list,” Spann said. “Keep your focus on the cause.”
A live auction raised more than $14,000, including the traditional “king cake” that sold for $1,400. The goal each year is to have it bring at least $1,200 — the amount it takes to feed a person for one year.
More funds were raised through a silent auction and donations for personalized photographs.
“The NAACP challenges laws of the land, taking the unjust to task,” he said. “Similarly, art is never comfortable with the status quo.”
Hancock, a Paris native, was the keynote speaker at the NAACP’s annual Freedom Banquet at Love Civic Center on Saturday.
Hancock started out talking about the “artful tendencies” of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The organization was founded to provide a place for the “full gamut” of races, creeds and ideas; was designed to help create “healthy minds” that can be creative and think for themselves; and offers a means to examine the differences and similarities of people.
The evening also included Robert High presenting this year’s Heritage Award to Norm and Patsy Davis. Norm’s handcrafted wooden bowls have been a traditional gift to the banquet’s speakers for years.
“I enjoy making the bowls,” said the 89-year-old Norm. “As long as the good Lord gives me strength, I’m going to continue.”
High, the organization’s first vice president, served as master of ceremonies. Rev. Richard Jones gave the invocation. Eagle Scout Michael Hamilton led the pledge of allegiance. Eva Williams led the national anthem, as well as the closing “Lift Every Voice.”
In delivering the welcome, Treasurer Joan Mathis said she thought about reasons why people would spend their Saturday night attending the banquet. The one that stood out more than any other, she said, was that the attendees care about the community and the people around them.
“Whatever the reason, I would like to say it is an image, and image is everything,” she said. “Your choice to come tonight presents an image of unity in our community.”
President Judy Battle sang “His Eye is on the Sparrow” as the evening’s song of inspiration.
“And the church said, ‘Amen,’” High said when the song was done, to which the audience responded: “Amen.”
Alma Rollerson Twitty introduced her grandson as the keynote speaker.
“My grandson is full of surprises,” she said. “I’m going to present my grandson, who is a dedicated man of art. If God gives you a talent, don’t bury it. Go and use it.”
Hancock asked for a round of applause for his grandmother.
“She’s a powerful force in my life,” he said.
In keeping with his artistic theme, Hancock ran through a quick slideshow of famous “people of color” – those whose names incorporated color, such as Redd Foxx, Red Skelton, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Jack Black, Lewis Black, Karyn White, Maurice White, Reggie White, “Mean Joe” Green, Seth Green and Al Green.
From there, he went on to discuss what he called a cultural exchange between a largely white art world and other cultures. Much of the discussion centered on artists influenced by the geometric nature of cubism.
He started with Pablo Picasso, well known pioneering the cubism movement. Picasso was influenced by African masks and started experimenting with some of the shapes and distortions found in the masks, Hancock said. Cubism influenced black artist Jacob Lawrence, who created a style known as “dynamic cubism.”
Hancock’s “exchange” also included Gary Cantor, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Annie Albers, Stanley Whitney and Alma Woodsey Thomas. He also discussed his family’s influences on him, such as his grandmother’s quilt making.
“I remember her having me help her husk peas and watching her make quilts,” he said. “Those were some of my first art lessons right there.”
He also credited an aunt, Fannie Mae Rollerson, who drew farm animals, and his mother’s work as an interior decorator. When she would go to the store, he would look through the wallpaper sample books, fascinated with prints that kept the same pattern but changed in colors.
As a child, he said, his favorite times of the year were Christmas and the annual art fair. In fact, he said he probably enjoyed the art fair more. He participated in the event from elementary school on up.
“It gave me an opportunity to show what I had been working on all year, and see what other people had been working on,” he said. “People were excited about image making and expressing themselves. This was a community I wanted to be part of.”
Hancock said other influences have included movies like Jaws and The Wiz and even toys like the Garbage Pail Kids, which he said taught him “a picture can do so much more than be itself.” He has a toy museum in Houston, and keeps others on a shelf in his art studio.
“I look at the toys, and I look at the painting,” he said. “If the toys are more interesting than the painting, I’m doing something wrong.”
Hancock’s art has included several storylines and characters, such as Torpedoboy – an alter-ego super hero first created when he was in the fourth grade – and animal-plant hybrids known as Mounds and their enemy Vegans. The art has been seen all over the world and even led to an Austin Ballet production known as Cult of Color: Call to Color. He has also had large murals installed in the new Cowboys stadium and the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.
Some of his art has recently taken a turn back to his roots with a series of paintings that incorporate the pattern of his grandmother’s linoleum floor.
“I wanted to make a body of work that was an homage not only to my family, but to where I came from,” he said.
One of those pieces, entitled “DNA Footprint,” was auctioned off during the banquet for $3,000 to Chip Harper. A pen made by Norm Davis went for $400 to Paris Ford.
Rev. Carlos Edwards closed the banquet with a benediction, and Battle issued a call for new members.
“Every day, we’re making milestones to becoming a better place and better people,” she said. “But we can only become a better organization if you and you and you become a part of it.”
Law enforcement veteran Jimmy Don Clark is seeking the Republican nomination for Lamar County constable in Precinct 5.
“I see this as an opportunity to further my law enforcement career,” Clark said. “I want to use my experience and knowledge to let the citizens of Precinct 5 know they have a constable and who the constable is. I can accomplish this by working closely with the other law enforcement agencies in Lamar County and lending my assistance on any major incidents, helping in traffic control or by serving arrest warrants in Precinct 5.”
He faces incumbent Jimmy Hodges and Gerry Don Hines in the March 4 primary.
Clark has more than 34 years of law enforcement experience, all but six years of which has been in Lamar County. He has served as patrol officer, field training officer, narcotics investigator, patrol supervisor and criminal investigator. Clark currently works as an investigator with the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, and has also worked for the Lewisville Police Department. He has received more than 1,400 training hours and holds a master certificate from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
“A constable is a licensed peace officer and as such, has the same responsibilities as any other peace officer in Texas,” Clark said. “This office has a deputy constable, and I have been and had training as a supervisor. I have both the experience and qualifications to be constable.”
Clark and wife Susan, a registered cardiac sonographer at Paris Regional Medical Center, have been married 33 years. They have three children and five grandchildren.