State Sen. Buckingham discusses school funding, Harvey relief

Speaking to a full house in the board room at the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, State Sen. Dr. Dawn Buckingham gave a summary of the 85th Legislature’s regular session and special session. Buckingham said while the media portrays the legislature as being a divided body, Texas Senators vote unanimously 85 percent of the time.

Such unity was a necessity in the 85th Legislature, as the governing body of Texas tackled school finance reform, CPS reform, immigration enforcement and ethics legislation.

Buckingham told attendees that the Special Session benefited Texas teachers, as the legislature was able to add funding to the TRS, and eliminated certain funding penalties to small school districts. She also mentioned that the state would fund relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey, explaining that the state would wait and see what the needs were after FEMA funds were applied.

In an exclusive interview with KXYL, Buckingham explained that the Legislative Budget Board has the authority to divert funds to hurricane relief from other projects, then can reimburse those other projects with rainy day funds during the next legislative session, thus averting a need for a special session.

During the interview with KXYL, Buckingham praised a recent federal appeals court ruling allowing Texas to enforce parts of SB 4, the so-called sanctuary cities law.

“We crafted that law specifically to do well in the courts,” Buckingham said, “taking into account similar laws in other states that were ruled constitutional.”

Buckingham held the town hall-style meeting during a stop in Brownwood. Following the meeting, she traveled to Buffalo Gap to open a district office.

District Court Judge to address Pecan Valley Republican Women

District Court Judge to address Pecan Valley Republican Women

Michelle Slaughter, the first Republican elected Judge of the 405th District Court will be the guest speaker at The Pecan Valley Republican Women’s monthly meeting on Thursday, September 28, 2017.

The Pecan Valley Republican Women’s Club, cordially extends an invitation to members of the community to attend their upcoming monthly meeting, featuring Judge Michelle Slaughter as guest speaker on Thursday September 28, at 6 p.m. at the Parish Hall of the Church of the Good Shepherd, 1800 Good Shepherd Dr. The Hall will open at 5:45, and light refreshments will be served. You do not need to be a member to attend. You may RSVP to Jessica at 325-200-5930.

Judge Michelle Slaughter is an experienced constitutional conservative trial judge with a proven track record.  Since being elected as the first Republican judge of the 405th District Court, she transformed the court from the least efficient and least effective into the most efficient and most effective district court in Galveston County, Texas. Judge Slaughter has disposed of thousands of felony criminal cases and has presided over hundreds of felony criminal jury trials.  These cases have ranged from state jail felonies to first-degree felonies and capital murder

Before being elected to serve as judge, Michelle was a highly-accomplished attorney.  She worked several years for large international law firms and started her own successful law practice

Her excellent work as an attorney earned her the distinction of Rising Star” in the Super Lawyers edition of Texas Monthly Magazine – an honor bestowed on only 2.5% of all Texas attorneys.

Judge Slaughter is a second-generation native Texan, born in Fort Worth, Texas.  She is happily married to her best friend and college sweetheart, Ed Walsh, a NASA engineer.  Together they have two beautiful daughters, Hazel (age 9) and Laila (age 7)

The family attends church at Clear Creek Community Church in League City, Texas where Judge Slaughter has spent several years volunteering as a greeter. You will find Judge Slaughter involved in the community and help in cooking delicious meals in events and fund raisers for the community.

Michelle is also a candidate for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 8

Make your plans to come and hear Judge Slaughter and time permitting, questions will be allowed.

HPU hosts Encounter Week fall revival

BROWNWOOD – September 27, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Encounter Week fall revival event was held last week with a concluding discussion on the importance of maintaining momentum in the pursuit of Christ-like living.

Zack Randles, founder and lead pastor of Waterfront Church in Washington, D.C., was the guest speaker for each of the five Encounter Week services. Leading worship was The Nick Gainey Band. Gainey, a 2008 HPU graduate, serves as worship leader at Crosspoint Community Church in Rockwall.

“The whole reason for revival services is to move forward in our faith,” Randles said.

He urged the audience to steer clear of things that can halt the Christian’s momentum, including gossip, negativity, slander, pride and fear.

Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands, serves as Chapel coordinator.

“Zack and the members of The Nick Gainey Band were a huge blessing to our campus community,” he said. “Several of our students professed faith in Christ for the first time during the week, while many others rededicated their lives to Him. There’s a great feeling of spiritual renewal on campus.”

The overall theme for HPU Chapel this semester is “Love God, Love Others.” To see the full slate of Chapel speakers, visit

State Sen. Dr. Dawn Buckingham to visit Brownwood

State Sen. Dr. Dawn Buckingham will hold a meet and greet from noon-1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce at 600 E. Depot Street. Residents are invited to meet the state senator and ask questions. Sen. Buckingham will also give a legislative update. Refreshments will be served.

Democratic candidate for Ag Commissioner to visit Brownwood

Democratic candidate for Ag Commissioner to visit Brownwood

A Democratic candidate for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture will visit the Adams Street Community Center from 5-8 pm Thursday, Sept. 28. Kim Olson is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and a master gardener from Mineral Wells, Texas. She will conduct this meet and greet in coordination with the Brown County Democratic Party.

HPU files Letter of Intent to Texas Board of Nursing for pre-licensure BSN degree

Howard Payne University continues to make strides in its efforts to offer a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The university is working closely with representatives from the Texas Board of Nursing to ensure necessary measures are taken with regard to nursing faculty and curriculum.

Dr. Nina Ouimette, HPU’s dean of nursing, recently filed a Letter of Intent with the Texas Board of Nursing (TBON) that outlined the university’s intentions of establishing a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. TBON reviewed Dr. Ouimette’s academic transcripts and verified that she holds the necessary qualifications to serve as HPU’s proposed Baccalaureate Degree Nursing Education program director.

Dr. Ouimette and Laci Sutton, HPU instructor of nursing, are registered to attend a TBON new program development information session on October 10 in Austin.

“We’re pleased with the progress Dr. Ouimette and Mrs. Sutton have made so far and we’re encouraged by the Board of Nursing’s affirmation of Dr. Ouimette’s qualifications,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, HPU provost and chief academic officer. “We look forward to keeping the public informed of our progress through the Board of Nursing’s approval process.”


Dr. Ouimette earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from George Mason University, a Master of Science degree in child development and family relations from East Carolina University, a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Hardin-Simmons University and a Doctor of Education degree from Texas Tech University. Her past experience includes serving as dean and professor of nursing with tenure at Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing from 2009 to 2016. Also with Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing, she served as Bachelor of Science in Nursing director and associate professor of nursing with tenure from 2008 to 2009 and as assistant professor from 2002 to 2008. Additionally, she served as an adjunct faculty member at Abilene Intercollegiate School of Nursing from 2000 to 2002 and as RN clinical nurse analyst and nurse educator at Hendrick Medical Center from 1997 to 2002. She was employed by HPU in June.

Sutton, who joined the HPU faculty in 2016, received her Bachelor of Science degree from HPU in 2009 and a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Lubbock Christian University in 2014. Her experience includes clinical examiner and adjunct faculty positions at Excelsior College in New York. She has also held positions at the Medical Intensive Care Unit of Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, including unit nurse tech, unit registered nurse and relief charge nurse. Concurrent with HPU’s development of a proposal for a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, Sutton is completing work toward a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Grand Canyon University.

HPU continues to recruit students to its RN-to-BSN degree program. This program allows for a registered nurse with an unencumbered license to continue his or her education toward a post-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

For more information about HPU’s RN-to-BSN degree program, visit

Beer, sausage and cheese at Walmart, what else is there?

The story about the lady riding the donkey was fake… but this story is true. Brownwood Police report they arrested a 67 year old man after Walmart employees complained that he was intoxicated, and eating sausage and cheese, and drinking beer, while driving a scooter through the store. The man was charged with criminal trespass and public intoxication.

Two major marching festivals to be held at Early Longhorn Stadium

Early ISD is host to two major regional marching events that will feature a roster of up to 21 bands each occasion.  Here’s the details on the first contest:

  • Saturday, October 14th will be the 9th Annual Heart of Texas Marching Festival. 

This is hosted by EISD, Early High School Band, and Early Band Boosters.  21 bands region-wide will converge on Early Longhorn Stadium for this Pre-UIL Marching invitational.  Come watch our own EHS Longhorn Band perform at 1:15pm and the Brownwood Lion band will perform at 4:30pm. The Howard Payne Yellow Jacket Band will perform in exhibition at 4:45pm.  Spectator and participant capacity is expected to total out between 2000 and 3000 people.  Admission prices for this event are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students and children over the age of 5.  All children under 5 are admitted free.  Please contact Ronny Luedke, EHS Band Director with questions about this exciting festival!

  • Saturday, October 21st , will be the UIL Region 7 South Zone Marching Contest.

This is hosted by EISD, Early High School Band, and Early Band Boosters.  22 bands region-wide will converge on Early Longhorn Stadium for this major marching event.  All 1A, 2A, and 3A bands at this contest have the chance to advance to the Area Marching Contest on October 28, 2017.  Early High School’s own Longhorn Band will be seeking their seventh consecutive First Division Trophy at UIL Marching Contest since 2011.  The Early Longhorn band will perform at 1:45pm, and the Brownwood Lion band will perform at 4:00pm. Spectator capacity is expected to total out between 2000 and 3000 people.  Admission for this contest is $5.00 for adults, and $3 for students and children over the age of 5.  Children under age 5 are admitted free.  Please contact Ronny Luedke, EHS Band Director with questions about this exciting event!

Opposition to Ranger College Tax Annexation organizes

Residents who oppose Ranger College’s proposal to annex Brown County into their taxing district have organized into a Specific Purpose Political Action Committee entitled “Brown County Citizens Against Ranger Tax Annexation.”

Two representatives from the group appeared on the KXYL Morning News last week to discuss their opposition to the proposal which would result in at least an 11-cent per $100 valuation tax rate being levied on the county. That tax rate would be an addition to the current property taxes Brown County residents already face.

Barry Carter and Larry Hart told KXYL that by approving annexation, residents would approve a “forever tax” that would be levied on the county without any option to undo the results of the election.

Currently, Brown County is in Ranger College’s service district, meaning that Ranger has the legal authority to operate a campus in Brown County. Ranger serves Brown County through its extension campus at the Heartland Mall, its cosmetology school on Fisk St., and its nursing school on Hwy 377 South.

Students at those campuses pay an out-of-district tuition rate, but many receive financial aid in the form of Pell Grants and subsidized student loans. If the tax annexation were to pass, those students would see lower tuition rates, but property tax payers would see hundreds of dollars added to their property tax bills.

Carter told the Brownwood Bulletin, “I just don’t think we can afford what they’re asking us to do.”

Two suspects identified in Lions Club theft

Members of the Lake Brownwood Lions Club identified two suspects to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office in the theft of more than $30,000 from the club, according to a report on The theft was reported back in July. KTXS-TV reports that the theft has hindered the club’s activities, citing a report from a parent who said the club was unable to provide a promised scholarship of $500 to her child.