Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

March 14, 2013

Rodeo Association thanks Raissi and Angle for preserving grounds during Lon Morris proceedings

JACKSONVILLE — Two long-standing members of the Jacksonville Rodeo Association thanked City Manager Mo Raissi and City Attorney Joe Angle Tuesday for their successful efforts in keeping the city's rodeo grounds from being chopped, parceled and sold off to the highest bidder during the recent Lon Morris College bankruptcy proceedings.

Without the help of Raissi and Angle, the rodeo association – and history in general – would have been dealt a great blow, long-time Rodeo Association member Charles Dickerson emphasized during Tuesday's city council meeting.

“There are people other than the Rodeo Association who wanted that land,” Dickerson said. “They thought they deserved it. But they didn't put over 50 years of sweat and blood into it.”

Dickerson recalled the first rodeo in the early 1960s – when the city first allowed the rodeo association to use the old baseball field behind Lon Morris College. City officials drew up a contract and officially leased it to them.

The first Jacksonville rodeo on July 10, 1963, was a smash. It even attracted a major celebrity, Michael Landon, who at that point was famous for his role as Little Joe Cartwright in the 1959 to 1973 TV show “Bonanza” as well as the occasional appearance on U.S. game shows such as “Stump the Stars.”

The city, meanwhile, deeded the rodeo grounds to the college with specific considerations in April 2009. One requirement was that the college invest $250,000 in improvements to the grounds, including painting, roof patching, and regular maintenance. That work was never finished. As part of the arrangement, LMC was required to permit the arena's use by the rodeo association for the annual PRCA Tops in Texas Rodeo event.

After the Lon Morris College bankruptcy, keeping the land through the chaotic proceedings at times seemed like an uphill battle for Raissi and Angle. Despite being asked early and often not to, officials with auctioneer company Ameribid accidentally sold the rodeo grounds and related city property to a high bidder during a January auction, then passed the problem on to Federal Bankruptcy Judge Bill Parker rather than correct the mistake themselves.

(Angle's famous comment: "When he asks if we wanted the land to be sold we are not just going to tell him 'no,' we are going to tell him 'HECK no!")

Parker ultimately intervened and returned the property to the city.

Dickerson and Byron Underwood, president of the Jacksonville Rodeo, said they are ready to sign a new lease and get going with the next major rodeo.

“Thank you for what you did,” Underwood said. “Thank you for helping us keep the rodeo in Jacksonville.”

In other business Tuesday, city council members voted unanimously to declare incumbent District 1 Council-man Hubert Robinson unopposed during the upcoming May 11 election. This declaration makes use of a Texas law that allows municipalities to formally declare unopposed candidates as victors without having to go through the expense of an election.

In another matter, the council briefly considered an ordinance prohibiting parking of non-recreational vehicles, trailers or any combination of the two in exceeds of 25 feet of length on private property. However, District 3 Councilman Bill McDon-ald objected to a council vote, saying only one complaint on the matter had been received and he would like the matter looked in to further before it is put up for a vote. So it was tabled.

Additionally, the council voted to approve a budget amendment transferring funds from the general fund administrative contingency account to refurbish the city's rec center.

During the meeting, Mayor Kenneth Melvin observed that his two opponents in the upcoming mayoral election, Rob Gowin and William Ig-bokwe, were present during the meeting. The mayor observed how their presence there helped remind residents what a historic occasion a three-way Jacksonville mayoral race is.

“I thank you for being here tonight, gentlemen,” Melvin said.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • RuskProtestMain.tif Rusk protest highlights views concerning border issues

    Several Texans gathered Saturday in Rusk -- not only to protest the recent federally-sponsored flood of illegal immigrants into the U.S., but to demand state officials to do something about it.
    Nearly 20 concerned citizens gathered at the intersection of U.S. highways 69 and 84 Saturday afternoon, waving flags and hand-lettered signs asking for secure borders and better action on the matter.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014

  • National Night Out to return to Jacksonville

    National Night Out ( NNO) festivities will be returning  to Jacksonville this year.
    Jacksonville Police Crime Prevention Officer Detective Tonya Harris said all Jacksonville residents are encouraged to participate this year by sponsoring or attending a National Night Out party on Oct. 7.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tina_Baggett.tif Gallatin resident seeks help with expenses after diagnosis

    A Gallatin woman and longtime employee at Prosperity Bank is about to undergo the first stage of procedures for stem cell harvesting.
    Tina Baggett, 51, became unable to work in February due to complications from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bullard group rallies behind alcohol petition

    A petition calling for a city-wide city election this November that would make all areas of Bullard wet, including those which fall in Cherokee County, has proven successful, as more than the required 221 signatures have been collected.

    July 19, 2014

  • mom and kids_6776.tif Jacksonville woman celebrates 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends

    Ethel Terry, a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, celebrated her 100th birthday with an open house on July 15 at the Twin Oaks Care Facility in Jacksonville.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery grass.tif Extra rainfall produces more abundant lawns, extends hay season

    Steady periods of rain this summer have been a homeowner's dream, as lawns appear more lush than in previous years.
    But for city workers, that same growth has taken on nightmarish proportions.
    “It's a maintenance nightmare,” said Ben Briley, director of the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cherokee County arrests: July 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    July 19, 2014

  • Detective recovers nearly $7K in case

    When a Jacksonville woman became a victim of a scam, Jacksonville Police Detective Greg Compton stopped at nothing to solve the case.
    In early January, Compton said a neighbor of a 94-year-old woman reported that someone had “taken advantage of her.”

    July 17, 2014

  • Bullard ISD names interim leader

    During a meeting Monday night, the Bullard ISD Board of Trustees appointed Joe Dan Lee as Interim Superintendent.

    July 17, 2014