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Thursday, July 24, 2008 De Leon Free Press — De Leon, Texas 76444 Volume 118, No. 4

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Front Page Headlines

Local Banks Considered Safe Despite Problems Elsewhere


With last week’s depositor run on IndyMac in California and its consequential closing, some have began to wonder how safe their bank might be.

The Texas Bankers Association issued a press release last week which was designed to address some of those concerns. It noted that the economic flu that has affected some banks has been most severe in states such as California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona. It adds that Texas banks have generally not been as strongly affected by the recent adverse real estate market.

The TBA noted that although IndyMac, the ninth largest mortgage lender in the nation, had made some very aggressive loans in California, it had adequate capital and was working through their difficulties with a good prognosis until a U.S. Senator made a statement which caused its depositors to panic.

The TBA statement pointed out that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insured depositors up to $100,000, and that even those with accounts in excess of that amount would eventually get most of their money back.

The IndyMac failure was described by the TBA as “a completely useless and unnecessary tragedy.” It also stated that banks are now generally far better prepared to withstand the ups and downs of the economic cycle than they were back in the 80’s and 90’s.

In checking with local bankers, Mark Nowlin of First National Bank responded that banks were not allowed to disclose more about their financial condition other than the information contained in their required quarterly statements.

Nowlin stated that there are independent bank analysis firms who have the expertise to analyze those same quarterly reports and rate the banks according to their strength and safety. He noted that was one such place.

For full article, subscribe to the DeLeon Free Press. E-mail edition is only $20/year.

Bundy Murder Investigation Continues Despite Recent Arrests

The Comanche County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement with an expression of hope that it will quell rumors circulating that the Bundy murder has been resolved.

“The Comanche County Sheriff’s Office has made two arrests in the last week that cleared multiple burglaries on the south end of the county.

“The two arrested are Rocky Dee Hidrogo, 24, and Edward Duane Ray, 21, both of Comanche. Both men are in the Comanche County Jail on charges of Burglary of a Habitation.

“The Texas Rangers and the Comanche County Sheriff’s Office are continuing to follow leads and locate persons in the Bundy Case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Comanche County Sheriff’s Office (325-356-7533) or Crime Stoppers (325-356-3737).”

DeLeon Police Participate in Meth Arrests

On Wednesday, July 16, 2008, Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers Clint Cole and Jim Willey responded to a report of a traffic accident on FM 2921 approximately 10 miles north of DeLeon. Soon after arriving, Trooper Cole contacted DeLeon Police Sgt. Dustin Paulsen and asked for his assistance with the identification of an unknown substance located inside one of the wrecked vehicles. Sgt. Paulsen arrived on scene and observed large amounts of what appeared to be an illegal narcotic scattered throughout the vehicle. Officer’s administered a presumptive narcotics test on the substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine.

Officer’s were able to gather a substantial amount of the suspected Methamphetamine and took it as evidence. Troopers Cole and Willey then went to the hospital in Eastland and arrested the two adults from the vehicle. Sgt. Paulsen followed the wrecker with the suspect vehicle to the Comanche County Jail. Upon arrival at the jail, Sgt. Paulsen, assisted by Comanche County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Jolley, was able to gather more of the suspected narcotic.

For full article, subscribe to the DeLeon Free Press. E-mail edition is only $20/year.

Trooper Clint Cole:

Fighting trooper who never gives up

By JACK LAWLER, Special to the Free Press

While in DPS Recruit Training in the Spring of 2003, Clint Cole began to lose weight and developed lumps in the lymph nodes in his neck. He assumed something was wrong physically but did not complain to instructors or counselors for fear he might be discharged from the training academy. Recruit friends noticed his condition and commented on it. He dismissed them and kept up with every training activity. Finally, he relented to his friends’ continuing concern and talked with his counselors.

They took him to Seton Hospital in Austin for extensive physical examinations and testing. Recruit Clint Cole was diagnosed as having Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer, Stage 4, an often-deadly type. (Stage 4 is the most advanced.) It was the toughest of news for Recruit Cole and his wife back home in Comanche. Doctors recommended that he start taking chemotherapy treatment immediately. This he did. He would go to the hospital for the injection three days a week, then return to the DPS Training Academy quickly, and get back in step with his recruit class. Though weakened by the “chemo”, he was determined to not drop out or quit.

It is a known fact that “chemo” treatments devastate some people physically in terms of reduced energy, strength, appetite, and other debilitating factors. Although Clint was a victim of these forces, his training instructors and counselors were amazed at how quickly he “bounced back” after each “chemo” treatment. In the early weeks that required great physical stamina, some recruits quit – dropped out because it was “too tough”. Clint, although in a weakened condition, refused to quit. He talked with some who were quitting.

“You have to be tough to be a trooper,” he told them. “One day you’ll see me driving by you in a black-and-white, and you’ll be sorry you quit.”

After all, he was a Marine. A ten-year Marine.

Clint faithfully went each week to the hospital for chemotherapy, then returned to class – weakened, but always mentally tough. He continued to lose weight, going from 175 to 150 pounds, and he lost his hair.

One evening in the dormitory after a tough day, he got a surprise visitor who rejuvenated him. It was Trooper Roy Tower, HP-Longview. Roy was a cancer survivor who had been stricken in recruit training also and was so sick he had to drop out. He endured the tough cancer treatments, was cured, returned to the DPS Training Academy months later, and started all over as a beginner recruit. He finished training and became a state trooper. He knew the battle that Clint was fighting.

“Hang in there, if at all possible,” he told Clint.

His visit encouraged Clint greatly.

Clint did hang in there. He only missed one physical training (PT) class following “chemo”, and that was because he had another doctor’s appointment. His hand-to-hand combat instructors were amazed at his fighting spirit and especially his fighting skills in “action counter measures” classes. Clint had been an amateur boxer in the Marine Corps.

His medical bills mounted rapidly. One of his PT instructors, Lt. Erwin Ballarta, offered to hold a fund-raising event for him. Clint thanked Ballarta, but refused the offer.

“I don’t want charity,” said Clint. Then he proceeded to pay off the medical bills with monthly payments.
Clint Cole completed the 180 days of grueling Recruit Academy training in September of 2003, along with 72 other recruits of Class A-03. Then he was assigned to the Highway Patrol in Comanche County. He is still there, living eight miles outside the town of Comanche with his wife Jennifer and their three children: his son, Cade, age 13; his daughter, Chloe, age 11, and his youngest daughter, Carissa, age 9.

For full article, subscribe to the DeLeon Free Press. E-mail edition is only $20/year.

Blood Drive

Blood donors will be eligible to enter a drawing for a $50 gas card at a blood drive that will take place on Thursday, July 24. The Meek Blood Center Bloodmobile will be parked at Lawrence Brothers from 1 p.m until 6 p.m. Donors will receive a free mini-physical, total cholesterol test and a patriotic t-shirt.

“Summertime is always a challenge for us,” said Frances Baker, donor recruiter. “We depend on high school and college blood drives to help maintain the inventory necessary to supply blood to 15 area hospitals. We don’t have those donors in the summer, and are asking community members to help. Blood must be available when it is needed. No patient should ever have to wait for a blood transfusion, because it could be a matter of life or death,” Baker continued.

Donors must be at least 17-years-old, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and in good health. All donors must present a photo ID.

Those who have questions may call 325-670-2798 or visit

FIRE ON 587. Units from DeLeon, Gorman, Sipe Springs and Promontory Park volunteer fire departments responded to a small pasture fire, of unknown origin, on FM 587, Saturday, July 19, near the home of Dr. Brandon and Amanda Gilmore. There was no structure damage, but two acres immediately adjacent to the house were burned.

MEET AND GREET. Allen Stone, left, and Toby Morris, right, were among those who participated in a reception for Jason Ferguson, the new DeLeon boy’s AD/head football coach, Monday evening at the DISD Support Center. More than 60 people turned out to greet Ferguson and welcome him to DeLeon.


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