HPU to host Community Thanksgiving Feast

The 34th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University for area residents and visitors is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at HPU’s Mabee University Center.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal will consist of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings.

Those interested in volunteering their time can assist with serving food and beverages, boxing meals to go, delivering meals to homes and clean up. There are plenty of ways for everyone to serve the community at this event.

“Volunteers simply need to show up at the Mabee Center at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and we will put them to work,” said Bill Fishback, associate vice president for business and human resources. “Many of the volunteers have helped for years, making serving others part of their annual Thanksgiving tradition.”

The Mabee University Center is located at 1219 Fisk Street, on the HPU campus. Anyone unable to join friends and neighbors at the Mabee Center can have meals delivered to his or her home in Brownwood or Early by calling the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at 325-646-9535 by noon on Monday, November 20.

To help support the Thanksgiving meal, please make checks payable to the “Community Thanksgiving Feast,” and send them to Bill Fishback at Howard Payne University, 1000 Fisk Street, Suite 210, Brownwood, Texas 76801.

Community reacts to arrest in Blankenship murder investigation

After a strenuous 18-month investigation, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office arrested a local man for the murder of Chantay Blankenship. 21 year old Ryan Riggs is charged with Capital Murder following his confession before fellow congregants at the North Lake Community Church. Blankenship’s remains were found near Lake Brownwood in May 2016.

Sheriff Vance Hill told the Brownwood Bulletin that the arrest lifted a burden off of his department, which had faced criticism after it was announced that they had few leads. Last week, the sheriff’s office released a DNA profile and composite drawing based on DNA collected at the scene where Blankenship’s remains were found.

At that time, Sheriff Hill stated that he hoped the profile would provide the break they needed in the case. That DNA profile led to Riggs confessing and surrendering to authorities, according to local media reports.

Wednesday night, Riggs met with his pastor, Ron Keener of North Lake Community Church prior to confessing to the church congregation. Keener told the Bulletin that he gave Riggs permission to confess to the church, then contacted Sheriff Hill. Following his confession to the church, Riggs was taken to the law enforcement center, where he met Sheriff Hill and was taken into custody.

KTXS television uncovered social media posts in which Riggs posted about Blankenship’s disappearance, murder, as well as support for Cody Flores, the Shamrock Shores teen convicted of murdering his parents. The murders happened in September of last year, some five months after Blankenship was found.

Brian Wade Memorial Toys for Kids Toy Drive set for Dec. 13

The Brian Wade Memorial Toys for Kids toy drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the former Bank of America parking lot on Main St. in downtown Brownwood. The toy drive is named in honor of Wade, who started the toy drive as “Two Steppin’ for Toys.” Wade was the morning host on News/Talk 102.3 KXYL. He passed away suddenly on Nov. 26, 2016 at the age of 42.

Businesses and organizations are encouraged to partner with the toy drive by holding their own toy drives, then to bringing those toys to the Toys for Kids Toy Drive on Dec. 13. Volunteers from the toy drive partners are also needed to collect toys at the toy drive on Dec. 13. To find out more about partnering with the Brian Wade Memorial Toys for Kids toy drive, call Wendlee Broadcasting at (325) 646-3535.

Three arrested on drug charges following suspicious activity call

A Brown County deputy sheriff arrested three on drug-related charges after investigating suspicious activity at a convenience store on US 377 South in Brownwood. The deputy was dispatched to the location in reference to three men smoking something inside a vehicle.  The three suspects were arrested on separate charges. Rene Cerda was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of Marijuana. Thomas Cerda was arrested for theft and Michael Cerda was arrested for Possession of Marijana.

HPU Homecoming Oct. 20-21

Howard Payne University alumni, friends, students, personnel and guests from the community are destined for a memory-filled weekend as The Yellow Jacket Express – Homecoming 2017 arrives on campus. The train-themed weekend, October 20-21, features more than 30 events, many of which will appeal to the entire community.

Alumni and visitors may register for Homecoming events online. Some events require purchased tickets while many are free of charge. For complete details and the latest schedule information, visit www.hputx.edu/homecoming or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 325-649-8044 or via e-mail at alumni@hputx.edu.

Laura Benoit, HPU’s director of alumni relations, said she is looking forward to the many events scheduled on campus and around town.

“Of particular interest this year is our bonfire and fireworks display, which many from the community enjoyed last year,” she said. “We’re excited to bring it back, and this year the event will take place at the Bert V. Massey II Sports Complex.”

The bonfire and fireworks display begin at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 20. The sports complex is located at 2301 Dickman Drive in Brownwood, near the Camp Bowie Aquatic Center.

Additional events are highlighted below.

Performances of “The Pirates of Penzance” will be held in Mims Auditorium on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased through the Homecoming website or at the door on the evenings of the performances. Those who purchase tickets online for Thursday’s performance should contact the Office of Alumni Relations prior to the event at 325-649-8044.

HPU’s Walker Memorial Library will open its Archival Display and Treasure Room to the public Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 8:15 a.m. to noon.

“Self-Curated 2 Exhibition,” the artwork of the Brownwood Art Association, will be exhibited in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery located inside HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center. Gallery hours during Homecoming weekend are Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Golden Graduate Luncheon honoring the Class of 1967, sponsored by Wendlee Broadcasting, will be held Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of the university’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

The Booksaw Off the Rails Escape Room, hosted by the Walker Memorial Library, is scheduled Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Homecoming Court will be presented during Homecoming Convocation at 2 p.m. on Friday in Mims Auditorium.

The Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Beadel Dining Hall of the Mabee University Center. During the banquet, the Homecoming 2017 honorees will be recognized. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.

Following the banquet on Friday will be Cobbler on the Campus sponsored by Underwood’s Cafeteria. This event begins at 7:30 p.m. at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall.

Friday evening will conclude with a bonfire and fireworks display (time and location listed above).

The Alumni Association Remembrance and Reflection, a time designated to gather in memory of alumni who have passed away, will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall by the statue.

Saturday morning’s Decades Breakfast begins at 8 a.m. During this time, alumni are invited to reunite with friends from their class decades in the Beadel Dining Hall of the Mabee University Center. Also at 8 a.m. on Saturday will be the Class of 1972 45th Reunion Breakfast in the dining hall, the Hispanic Fellowship Breakfast in Bullion Suite A of the Mabee University Center and the Letterman’s Breakfast in Bullion Suite C.

The Homecoming Parade, sponsored by Bruner Auto Group, begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. The parade will begin at the Brownwood Coliseum, travel down Center Ave. and end at the university’s Doakie Day Art Center. The best areas to view the parade are downtown and on campus along Center Avenue.

Little Jackets’ Nest, sponsored by Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, featuring games and other free activities for children, will be held from 10:45 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Muse Plaza and Mall.

Family Picnic Lunch, sponsored by Visit Early Texas, will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Muse Plaza and Mall and Beadel Dining Hall.

HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts will present a Choir Concert at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

A variety of departmental and student-organization receptions will be held Saturday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

pep rally will be held prior to the football game, beginning at 3 p.m., at Festival Park at Gordon Wood Stadium. Additionally, all HPU classes are invited to participate in a tailgate event featuring snacks and beverages. A reception for the African-American Alumni Chapter will also be held as a tailgate event at this time.

The HPU Yellow Jacket football team will play Sul Ross State University at 4:00 p.m. Saturday at Gordon Wood Stadium.

A variety of reunions, athletic events and other events will be held throughout the weekend. A complete schedule of events and ticket prices are available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

In addition to the sponsors mentioned above, HPU thanks the following business for their support: Willie’s T’s (Homecoming t-shirt sponsor), Marsh & McLennan Agency, Mills County State Bank, Dr Pepper Bottling, United Supermarkets, Citizens National Bank, Down Home Digital, Early Blooms & Things, Painter & Johnson Financial, PF&E Oil Company, Porter Insurance Agency, TexasBank, John Woolsey Ice House, and Smith & Sharpe Insurance Agencies.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The ARK Domestic Violence Shelter (The ARK) is inviting the public to take part in this year’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Each year October is set aside to honor the victims that have lost their lives to domestic violence, celebrate the progress survivors and advocates have made, and connect with the community to help end domestic violence.

Throughout October, The ARK will be exhibiting the Empty Shoes Display at local schools, courthouses, medical facilities and public places in the tri-county area. The display honors local victims in Brown, Coleman and Comanche Counties that have lost their lives to domestic violence. The display is a sobering reminder that domestic violence is happening here in our local area. It is a tragedy that each name and pair of shoes represents a mother, sister, friend, and child that were taken by violence at the hands of someone they cared about.

From October 2nd through October6th, the display can be found at Brownwood, Coleman, Early, and Bangs High Schools. The following week the display will be at BRMC, Coleman County Medical Center, Comanche County Medical Center, Brownwood Public Library, and Premier High School. From October 16th through October 20th, the display will be at the Brown, Coleman, and Comanche County Courthouses, Family Services, and May High School.  During the fourth week of October, the display will be at the HPU-Girling Center, TSTC, Ranger College, and DeLeon and Panther Creek High Schools.

On the 26th of October, The ARK will have their annual Candlelight Vigil in the HPU Girling Center at 6:00 pm. The Candlelight Vigil will feature a reading of all the Texas victims’ names that lost their lives in 2016 as well as remembering the twelve victims from the tri-county area of Brown, Coleman, and Comanche.  Guest speakers will talk about Domestic Violence in our community and how The ARK and law enforcement is responding to it. The Candlelight Vigil will end with the lighting of candles and a moment of silence to remember the victims.

Each year, over 100 victims in Texas alone are murdered by an intimate partner. October is the month to observe these issues and pledge to end domestic violence in our communities. This month is set aside to remind each of us what we can personally do to help stop the violence.

The ARK, along with local police, court officials, and community agencies, work together to make our communities safer and to end the violence that is happening in too many homes. They are reaching out to the community and asking for help to end this epidemic of violence. For more information about the services that The ARK provides or about National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, please contact The ARK at 325-643-2699.  You can also go online to www.arkshelter.org.

Businesses encouraged to sign up for booths for Trick or Treat Trail

The 6th Annual Trick or Treat Trail presented by Wendlee Broadcasting will be held at the Depot Plaza in Brownwood on Tuesday, October 31st from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Area businesses and organizations will offer candy, goodies, games and other fun activities free of charge to area residents.

Also included during the event will be a Halloween Costume Contest sponsored by Matthew Williams State Farm.   The contest will offer prizes in the categories of most creative costume, best couple costume , best family costume, best group costume, cutest baby costume and best children’s costume.   Entry forms for the costume contest are available at the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce – 600 E. Depot Street or online at BrownwoodChamber.org.

During the Trick or Treat Trail, a family-friendly movie will be shown in the Depot pavilion lawn sponsored by Little Dude Ranch.

Area businesses are encouraged to set up an activity booth during the Trick or Treat Trail to offer free games and candy to those in attendance.

For more information about the 6th Annual Trick or Treat Trail or to register for a booth space, call the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at 325-646-9535.

Corks and Caps set for Saturday

The 2017 Corks and Caps event set for this Saturday, October 7th from 6 PM – 11 PM in the Depot Plaza in Brownwood.

Corks and Caps will feature tastings of beer and wine from breweries and wineries from across the country.  Several food trucks will also be featured at the event offering a variety of food and desserts . A cigar area will be a featured component during this event hosted by The Leaf from Abilene, and live music will be offered by the Matt Wilson Band from Austin.

Advanced tickets for the event cost $25 each which will include 10 samples of the beer and wine. Non-sample tickets for the concert only will be $10 each.  Attendees must be 21 or older to purchase tasting tickets.   The first 600 attendees will get their choice of a Corks and Caps commemorative glass.

Tickets can be purchased at the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce or online at BrownwoodChamber.org under the Corks and Caps link.   The 2017 Corks & Caps is presented by Ryan Construction.

For more information, call the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at 325-646-9535.

BHS Choir Members Compete in 1st Round TMEA Region 7 All-State Choir Audition

On Saturday, September 23, fifty-two (52) members of the Brownwood High School Choir traveled to Graham to compete in the TMEA Region 7 1st Round All-State Choir Audition.

Competing choir members learned to pronounce words in both French and Latin, in order to perform their auditions on the pieces chosen by the state:

  • Toutes les nuits – by Janequin
  • Missa Brevis Joannis de Deo – by Haydn Choir

Members were informed upon arrival at Graham High School (GHS) which sections of the songs would be auditioned individually. The repertoire portion of the audition counted as 80% of their final score. As a part of their audition, choir members were required to sight-read an eight-measure portion of music, without accompaniment, that would be revealed to them once they were in the audition room. The sight-reading portion of the audition counted as 20% of their final score.

Thirty-six (36) students from Region 7 were chosen to be part of the Treble Choir. BHS Choir members earned fourteen (14) of those spots, comprising 38% of the 2017 All-Region Treble Choir. Additionally, twelve alternate students were chosen. These alternates will join the Treble Choir should a member become ill and/or ineligible. BHS Choir members also filled four (4) of the available alternate spots.

A total of forty-eight (48) students from Region 7 were chosen to be part of the Mixed Choir. BHS Choir members earned sixteen (16) of those spots, comprising 33% of the 2017 All-Region Mixed Choir. Additionally, sixteen alternate students were chosen. These alternates will join the Mixed Choir should a member become ill and/or ineligible. BHS Choir members also filled four (4) of the available alternate spots for this choir.

Brownwood High School Choir is led by Mrs. Cindy Franklin.

TMEA Region 7 High School All-Region Mixed Choir

Soprano 1: Carlee Richardson, Lillian Sharp*

Soprano 2: Daisy Green, Jordan Roberts
Alto 1: Jessica Phariss
Alto 2: Daja Holbert, Emma Grace Quillin
Tenor 1: Tim Crawford, John Monson, James Williams, Asher Choate**
Tenor 2: Adan Villarreal, Parish White
Bass 1: Jadyn Simental, Zackary Chisum, Adrian Villarreal**
Bass 2: Jesse Bennett*, Logan Dick, Cooper Green**, Aaron Menchaca**

TMEA Region 7 High School All-Region Treble Choir
Soprano 1: Acasia Baker, Jillian Lambert, Caitlin Tucker, Halie King**
Soprano 2: Amanda Montalvo, Emily Mumeh, Jentree Simental, Shelby Tervooren
Alto 1: Hannah Bessent, Jasmine Cumby, Bekah Greenhaw, Alyssa Salazar, Aaliyah Uvalle, Alette Moya**
Alto 2: Sarah Church, Kamille Jacobs, Sierra Cade**, Trina Wheeless**

* 1st Chair    ** Alternate

Local DAR chapter celebrates Constitution Week at HPU

Brownwood’s Mary Garland Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held its recent meeting in Howard Payne University’s Independence Hall with HPU students and faculty among the guest speakers.

David Clemons, HPU instructor of history, spoke to the organization about two modern schools of thought on the American Revolution. Following his presentation, HPU seniors Carrie Condra of Hurst and Skyler Schoolfield of Aledo addressed the audience. Condra and Schoolfield, both students in HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, are the recipients of the Lottie Plummer Wooley Texas Society Daughters of the American Revolution (TXDAR) Scholarship and the Nan Massengill TXDAR Scholarship, respectively.

HPU’s Independence Hall, located in the Douglas MacArthur Academy Building, was an apt setting for the meeting, held in observance of Constitution Week. The room is an almost-exact replica of the room in which the nation’s Founding Fathers signed the two key documents of American freedom: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Doris Goacher, digital archives assistant at HPU, serves as regent of the Mary Garland Chapter. She described how the chapter’s history intertwines with that of HPU.

“A charter member of the chapter was Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Peacock Walker, whose home, the Walker House, is now the home of Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, and his wife, Dr. Diana Ellis,” she said. “HPU’s Walker Memorial Library is named after Mrs. Walker’s husband, James Allen Walker.”

Additionally, Lottie Plummer Wooley and Nan Massengill, for whom the two HPU DAR scholarships are named, both have HPU connections as well.

“Mrs. Wooley, a Texas State Regent from 1967-1970, selected as her State Regent’s Project a contribution to the completion of Constitution Hall at the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom at HPU,” said Goacher.

Constitution Hall, a lecture hall on the third floor of the Academy building, was named in honor of the DAR’s Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

“The Texas Daughters were able to raise more money than was needed for the project, so the State Conference of 1970 established a scholarship at HPU, in Mrs. Wooley’s honor, with the remaining funds,” Goacher said.

According to Goacher, Cornelia “Nan” Massengill was State Treasurer during Wooley’s administration.

“She visited HPU several times with Mrs. Wooley and liked what the university stood for,” Goacher said. “She requested in her will that a DAR scholarship be established at this university.”

For more information about the Daughters of the American Revolution organization, visit www.dar.org.