Local bicyclists plan ‘Ride of Silence’ on Wednesday, May 16



The 3rd Annual Paris Area Ride of Silence will be held

May 16 ~ 7 p.m. ~ Love Civic Center ~ Paris, Texas

In May 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride Of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed.  The ride was a solemn event, to remember Larry and all cyclists killed while riding their bikes.  It was supposed to be a one-time event only, but as word got out about the ride, many cyclists contacted Chris with the desire to participate.

Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.  The ride has several goals:

~To HONOR those who have been injured or killed
~To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here
~To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD


Join cyclists worldwide in a silent slow-paced ride

in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling.


Our Local Ride of Silence will be held on

WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, at 7 p.m.

to coincide with other Ride Of Silence events nationwide


More than 700 cyclists are killed each year while riding.  Most of them occur in our cities, and suburbs.  With this ride, we hope to educate motorists that cyclists have the legal right to the road and to watch out for us.

The Ride of Silence is similar to a funeral procession.  Therefore, the ride will be:

SLOW  (maximum 12 miles per hour).

SHORT (approximately eight miles)

SILENT   There will be no talking, only silence, to remember and honor those fallen.

Also, please…..no cell phones or I-Pods.

We will assemble near the flag pole at the front of the Civic Center beginning at 6:30 p.m., and the ride will leave from the Civic Center at 7 p.m., travel west on Jefferson Road, make a lap around the downtown Plaza, and return to the Civic Center.

*NO REGISTRATION FEE                                                                                                       *HELMETS REQUIRED.

For more information please contact:

 Brad Aldridge ~ 903 491-4702 ~ christcommunitychurch@suddenlinkmail.com


Wright reports spending $1,448 in District 3 city council race



John Wright

Paris City Council candidates John Wright filed his campaign finance report on Thursday for his Paris City Council race. He reported no contributions and $1,448.01 in expenses.

Wright, who is completing his first 2-year term on the council, is opposed by Marvin Wroten in District 3.

Wright reported spending $729.23 for advertisements with The Paris News, $389.70 for magnetic signs, and $329.08 for yard signs.

Candidates who spend more than $500 on their campaigns are required to file the report.

Earlier, Wroten and District 6 candidate Cleonne Holmes Drake filed the required reports documenting their campaign expenses and contributions to date.

Wroten reported contributions of $350 and expenditures of $283 — including $264 for 50 24-inch by 18-inch yard signs and $19 for printing.

Wroten received $250 from Dr. Gordon B. Strom, his campaign treasurer, and $100 from Elaine Ballard.

Drake is challenging Edwin Pickle, who is seeking his third 2-year term on the council from District 6. She reported no contributions and expenses of $936 — including $388 for 50 12-inch by 24-inch  yard signs, $116 for t-shirts, $217 for 1,000 five-inch by seven-inch door-hangers, $84 for advertising, $90 in postage for letters to potential constituents, $18 for laminated posters, and $23 for printing expense.

No campaign reports are on file from the six other 2012 city council candidates – Aaron Jenkins and Don Shelton in District 1; incumbent Robert Avila and Sue Lancaster in District 2; and Pickle.

All of them have run low-profile races. Pickle is using campaign material from past campaigns, including yard signs he used in his successful races in 2008 and/or 2010.

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62nd State District Judge candidates Erwin Cain and Will Biard lobby for GOP support



Paris attorney Will Biard and State Rep. Erwin Cain last week squared off before more than 200 people who attended the Association of Lamar County Republicans candidate forum in the second floor courtroom of the Lamar County Courthouse.

Biard, 35, is a Paris attorney who completed four years on the Paris City Council in 2011, the last three years as mayor. He and Ann Harper Biard have been married for seven years and have two daughters. They live at 436 Church St. in Paris.

Cain, 52,  defeated Biard’s brother-in-law, Holland Harper, two years ago for the GOP nomination for the State House of Representatives, then knocked off incumbent Rep. Mark Homer  in the General Election. Because of redistricting that merged his district with parts of two others, Cain chose to run for state district judge rather than for the legislature against another incumbent.

Cain lives at 2677 County Road 2324 in the Como community, 12 miles southeast of Sulphur Springs. He and Hope Hunter Cain, his wife of 23 years, have three daughters.

The retirement of current 62nd State District Judge Scott McDowell lured Biard and Cain into the race.

At the May 3 forum, Cain and Biard were given three minutes for an opening statement. They followed with two-minute responses to each of two questions.




Will Biard

Will Biard: I was born and raised here in Lamar County. My family actually moved here in 1846. I’m a former mayor and councilman for the city of Paris. I’m a former vice president and precinct chair for the Lamar County Republican Party. I’ve owned my own law practice and practiced in this district for over a decade. The 62nd judicial court is a court of what’s called general judicial, which means that we hear all types of cases – civil, family law, criminal, business matters. I have extensive experience in all these areas. I’ve practiced extensively in probate law, criminal law, commercial and real estate law. I’ve handled hundreds of civil and criminal cases throughout my career. We need judges with experience practicing in this district that understand legal issues facing our residents. We need judges to be fair, impartial, and reasonable. The courtroom is no place for favoritism. I’ve been the subject of favoritism too many times, and I’ve seen it go against me. And that disgusts me, because it’s unethical and it casts a shadow on the courtroom. There will be no tolerance for favoritism or good ol’ boy antics in my courtroom. A judge must be conservative. He must apply the law as it is written. He must strictly follow the Constitution. And the courtroom is no place for activist judges, or judges that want to advance their own political or personal agenda. I want y’all to know I’m not running because I need a job. I’m running because I care about this judicial system. I’ve practiced here for the last 10 years. I’ve tried my best to uphold the integrity of it, and I care about the people in this district. That’s why I’m asking for your support and your vote in the upcoming Republican primary.


Erwin Cain

Erwin Cain:  District court races don’t get a lot of attention. They tend to fly under the radar. But it can be a real concern for you when you’re suddenly in a lawsuit or domestic matter and charges are pending, and the person sitting in the black robe is about to make a decision that’s going to affect your family, your calendar, your business, your wallet, and maybe even your very life. And you begin to ask yourself the question, what kind of morals, what kind of principles, what kind of aptitude do you have to have in the person that has that kind of power. Your judges have to be fair, they have to be impartial, they have to be competent. When I say fair, I mean they have to do this: they have to first and foremost protect the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They need to expedite the cases so we can have due process. I’ll be that kind of a judge. I’ll be an impartial judge. An impartial judge is blind to creed, race, color, association. It makes no difference. If you’re a vagabond on the street or the most influential person in town, you’ll get the same equal treatment in my court. And I’ll call balls and strikes, I won’t move the strike zone. I will not be a judicial activist. Folks, that’s the reason we’re having a primary on May 29 instead of March 6. It doesn’t matter what kind of good laws that we make if the judge is not willing to apply them and enforce them.  In the Legislature, I used restraint to keep the government from intruding into our lives and our freedoms. I’ll use that same constitutional conservative attitude to use constraint on the court. The other issue is competency. I’ve been trying cases all over Texas courts for 24 years, mostly civil, which is what this court is. I’ve been fighting lawsuit abuse for that long. I’ve been in my own business now for over 20 years. I have the life experience, folks, and I understand something. I understand that there is a balance between justice and mercy. I understand that difference. If that’s the kind of judge you want, that’s the kind of judge I’ll be, and I ask for your vote.


Question 1: What legal experiences do you bring to the bench that will help the voters make a choice? and what have you already done that will demonstrate to the Republican primary voters you will be a conservative, constructionist judge?

Irwin Cain: First and foremost, I love the law. For 24 years, I’ve argued cases all over courtrooms in Texas. As your state representative, I made the law. As your judge, I will apply the law. One does not prevent you from doing the other. Because of this experience, I understand the difference between applying the law, arguing the law and making the law. That’s the reason that I am endorsed by Attorney General Greg Abbott, Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC, Texas Civil Justice League PAC, Texas Conservative Digest, and others. I’ve owned my own firm for 18 years, but I generally represent people who are being sued and fighting against lawsuit abuse. My concentration is complex litigation, contract indemnity, malpractice, government immunity, products – those kind of cases. Successfully navigating through these complex cases has given me the ability to understand the issues that are in those kind of cases, and they’re the kind of cases that will come up before the court – criminal matters, domestic matters, child support, child custody, issues like that. Now some want to argue that you have to handle every kind of case that comes before the court in order to be a good judge. Folks, that’s impossible, because this is the highest trial court in the state; almost any matter can come before this court. And even if someone conceivably could handle every case that could come before this court, that doesn’t mean they understood or advocated well. The issue is whether there is the aptitude and the experience to analyze the facts and apply the law correctly. I’m board-certified in my specialty; only about 10 percent of the attorneys are. I have the aptitude and experience. A good judge has the life and courtroom experience to have seen and understood fair and impartial application of the law. I have that experience.

Will Biard: My broad base of legal experience and my services to this community separate me from Mr. Cain. While Mr. Cain is an attorney who specializes in a very narrow area of the law in the Dallas area, I have over a decade of experience in dealing with the various criminal, civil, family and business matters that come before this district court. In addition, what you may not know, this district court has what’s called exclusive jurisdiction over matters involving titles to real estate. So this court is the only court that hears boundary disputes between you and your neighbor. I’ve  been a real estate title examiner with Stone Title Company here in Paris for my entire career. In addition, I’ve successfully litigated numerous real property title lawsuits. I’ve handled both hundreds of  civil and criminal cases. I’ve tried and litigated both misdemeanor and felony cases, everything from speeding tickets to attempted murder. I’ve worked with CASA and CPS as an attorney for abused children. I routinely provide free and reduced-rate legal services to those who cannot afford an attorney. I am the only candidate in this race with the necessary legal training, knowledge and experience to be an effective judge. While on the city council, I reduced the city tax rate from 59 cents a hundred to 52 cents a hundred. I was a past vice president and local precinct chair of the local Republican Party. I am pro-life, I support the Second Amendment. I’m a member of the NRA and I have my concealed hand gun license. Mr. Cain talked a little bit about his conservative voting record while he was in Austin as a legislator. That’s great if you’re running for the Legislature, it’s not good if you’re running for judge, because if any matter he voted on while he was in Austin comes up before his court, the attorneys for those parties can have him recused. And at that point you’re going to have a liberal judge from Dallas come into Lamar to decide your case, and none of us want a liberal judge hearing our cases. I pledge to you that I will always follow the law and I will strictly follow the Constitution.


Question 2: If you are elected, will this be a fulltime judgeship, or will you have other obligations requiring your time; for instance, teaching, mediation, or other professional responsibilities?

Erwin Cain: Well, being a judge is a serious undertaking. Since the district judge is the highest trial court in the state, almost any matter can come before a district court. And given the serious nature of most of those matters that come before the court, as a good judge I must and will give it my full attention and full priority. Now, in Texas, judges can’t practice law, so when I’m elected I will leave my law firm. My focus will be on the administration of justice. But I think judges have an additional responsibility. Judges are in a unique position to educate the public on our form of government and our legal system, and I think we would all agree that the community needs more education on these things. So I think it’s incumbent on a judge to do what he can to train our citizens, especially our children, on the judicial process. I would expect to speak at civic events. I would expect to speak occasionally at the high school or even the college. But being a judge, being the district judge of the 62nd District Court, will be my fulltime job. Thank you.

Will Biard: The short answer is absolutely yes, this will be a fulltime job. It would be disingenuous for me to get up here, run for this office, ask for your vote, and for you not to expect me to consider this a fulltime job. And it is a fulltime job. It’s got a heavy workload. Now, on the other hand, I do want to continue some of my volunteer boards. I’m on a couple of cemetery associations. I’m trying to get on one of my daughter’s school boards. One of the reasons that I’m running to begin with, one of the reasons I moved back to Paris was because I wanted to get involved. And in Paris you can get involved and make a difference. And after I’d been here about four years, I decided I was not going to stand on the sidelines any more and so I ran for city council. And it’s one of the reasons I’m running for judge. A lot of people my age, my generation, are apathetic. They don’t vote, they don’t get involved. And I’m trying to be a leader for those people. And I need your help to do that. So thank you for your support.

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City of Paris begins its annual search for volunteers to serve on boards and commissions



The City of Paris is beginning its annual search for volunteers to serve on its various boards and commissions. Board members serve three-year terms, so each year approximately one-third of the terms expire and new people come on board.

There are 13 standing boards and commissions. Following is a brief description of responsibilities and the number of vacancies:


Airport Advisory Board – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets the third Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m.

PURPOSE: Acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council in relation to the Municipal Airport, its operation and facilities; makes recommendations on changes and additions to the facilities at Cox Field, changes to lease terms for hangar rental, and use of the land at Cox Field.


Board of Adjustment – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets the first Tuesday of each month or as needed at noon.

PURPOSE: Hears zoning-related appeals by any person aggrieved or by an officer, department, or board of the municipality affected by the decision of the administrative officer (Zoning Ordinance 1710).


Building and Standards Commission – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets the third Monday of each month at 4 p.m.

PURPOSE: Hears and determines cases concerning alleged violations of ordinances concerning damaged or deteriorated structures or procedures; and enforces Ordinance No. 2002-032.


Civil Service Commission – NO MEMBERS NEEDED

Meets as needed, meeting time to be determined.

PURPOSE: Adopt rules and investigate matters related to enforcement of Civil Service regulations for firefighters and police officers, and hears appeals from disciplinary actions.  Members must have good moral character, resident of the city for more than three years, be over 25 years of age, and not have held any public office within the preceding three years.


Historic Preservation Commission – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets the second Wednesday at 12 p.m.; and the fourth Monday at 4 p.m.

PURPOSE: Adopt rules and procedures; adopt identification criteria and rules for delineation of historic district boundaries; conduct and administer historic resource survey; recommend designation of districts and landmarks; establish committees as needed; produce and distribute minutes of meeting; develop public outreach; education; awareness programs; approve/disapprove certificates of appropriateness; provide design and other reasonable forms of advice to owners and tenants of historic properties in the certificate of appropriateness review process; recommend acquisition of endangered historic resources to the city council; submit an annual report to city council; prepare and promote design guidelines for landmarks/districts.


Housing Authority Board of Commissioners – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets the third Monday of every month at 4 pm.

PURPOSE: Oversees the budget, maintenance, and policy of the Housing Authority which consists of several apartment communities as well as duplexes and houses in the city limits of Paris.


Main Street Advisory Board – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets the third Tuesday of every month at 4 p.m.

PURPOSE: Responsible for establishing program policy, determining the goals and objectives of the program, and providing guidance and advice to the City Council; recommends guidelines for the refurbishing of buildings in the downtown area; and, recommends programs to bring patrons into the downtown area and sponsors advertising for these events.


Municipal Band Commission – 1 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets as needed.

The Band Commission shall have full power and control over the organization, discipline, membership, and duties of the members of the Municipal Band and the Leaders or Instructors thereof, and may regulate same by such rules or bylaws as they may deem it necessary to pass; provided, that no rule or bylaw or amendment of same shall be in force or effect until the same has been submitted to and approved by the City Council.


Paris Economic Development Corporation – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets the second Tuesday each month at 3 p.m.

PURPOSE: Promote, assist, and enhance the economic development activities of the City of Paris and issue bonds to carry out these activities.


Paris/Lamar County Board of Health – 6 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets quarterly on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

PURPOSE: To advise the Director on health matters.


Planning and Zoning Commission – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets the first Monday of every month at 5:30 p.m.

PURPOSE: Reviews the requests by citizens and corporations for changes in zoning inside the city limits of Paris and makes recommendations to City Council for the approval or disapproval of those requests.


Public Library Advisory Board – 1 MEMBER NEEDED:

Meets the third Wednesday of each month.

PURPOSE: Acts in an advisory capacity to the City of Paris to study and make recommendations concerning library services, maintenance and improvement of facilities, and capital improvement projects.


Traffic Commission – 3 MEMBERS NEEDED:

Meets the first Tuesday of each month at 5:15 p.m.

PURPOSE: The Commission considers and proposes measures designed to minimize technical and difficult traffic problems resulting from increased vehicular traffic in Paris.  Traffic Safety Coordinator provides staff support and coordination for the Commission.


Each appointment is for three years; appointees are limited to a maximum of two consecutive full terms on the same committee.

Applications are available at the City Hall Annex located at 150 1st Street S.E., or online at www.paristexas.gov.  Questions should be directed to 903-784-9202 or 903-784-9231.

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Here are the polling locations for Saturday’s city, PJC and school elections

Here are the polling places for Saturday’s elections for (a) four seats on the Paris City Council, (b) two seats on the Paris Junior College Board of Regents, (c) one seat on the Paris Independent School District board of trustees, (d) two seats on the North Lamar Independent School District board of trustees, and two seats on the Chisum Independent School Board. (Voting will be from 7 a.m. until the last person in line at 7 p.m. has voted.)



        DISTRICT 1: RED RIVER VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Aaron Jenkins vs. Don Shelton)

        DISTRICT 2: RED RIVER VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Robert Avila vs. Sue Lancaster)


        DISTRICT 6: LAMAR COUNTY COURTHOUSE ANNEX (OLD POST OFFICE) (Edwin Pickle vs. Cleonne Holmes Drake)



        DISTRICT 1: RED RIVER VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)

        DISTRICT 2: FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)

        DISTRICT 3: OAK PARK METHODIST CHURCH (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)

        DISTRICT 4: CECIL EVERETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)

        DISTRICT 5: FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)

        DISTRICT 6: PJC BOBBY WALTERS WORKFORCE TRAINING CENTER (Barney Bray vs. Ginna Walker Bowman; Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)




        PLACE 6: PJC BOBBY WALTERS WORKFORCE TRAINING CENTER (Jenny Wilson vs. Trase Christian)



ALL VOTERS: CECIL EVERETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and POWDERLY VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT (at-large voting, with Dave Osborn, Amy Stephens and Jimmy Womack vying for two board positions. The seats will go to the two with the most votes.)


CHISUM ISD ADMINISTRATION OFFICES and the CONVENIENCE STORE AT TOCO (at-large voting, with Lori Collins, Wesley Jackson, Kelly Jeffery, Larry Rickman, Todd Tisdell and Kerry Washington vying for two board positions. The seats will go to the two with the most votes.)

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