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2013: Permian problems, deadly roads - Odessa American: 75th Anniversary

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2013: Permian problems, deadly roads

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Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2015 7:00 am

Certainly 2013 was a year that wasn’t kind to ECISD or to those simply driving down the road.

Accidents surged that year as did interest in reports of alleged teacher-student relationships, trustees being shown the door and a superintendent drama all played out in 2013.

In April 2013, Permian High School swim coach Kathryn Maples and Permian athletic trainer April Collins resigned and were eventually indicted on charges of an improper relationship between educator and a student.

Maples is scheduled to go to trial in December, DA Bobby Bland said this week, and court documents stated Laura Carpenter had withdrawn as Maples’ attorney. David Rogers, documents stated, is now representing Maples.

Collins’ case is still on appeal in 11th Court of Appeals and, according to the website, waiting on a decision.

Deadly roads: Death loomed over the Basin’s drivers with more than 50 people killed on Ector County roads in 2013, according to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation.

TxDOT records showed a total of 54 people killed in Ector County and 42 killed in Midland County wrecks in 2013. In one year, the death toll from wrecks more than doubled in Odessa and Midland.

Board shake-up: All ECISD trustee incumbents lose their seats and new board members Teri Wheat Ervin, Doyle Woodall, Steve Brown and Nelson Minyard take the seats.

Name game: ECISD began the difficult task of sorting through many worthy suggestions for names for the three new elementary schools being built.

Superintendent Hector Mendez announced his retirement and a bit of a power struggle ensued with some wanting interim super H.T. Sanchez to take the spot permanently. Two days before the school board intended to vote to name Sanchez the lone finalist, Sanchez signed a contract with Tuscon Unified School District. Enter Thomas Crowe as the new interim. He would later be named be named the permanent superintendent.

Water tower tumbles: A 35-year-old West Odessa structure was taken down after it was never used for its original purpose.

The Ector County Utility District scheduled the demolition of the water tower on Moss Avenue in West Odessa and said the water tower was originally built in 1978 as part of the original water system in the area, but was never put into use.

Water woes. The drought continued as business and homeowners looked for workable solutions to keep trees and lawns alive.

No new courthouse: Ector County taxpayers did not want to use bond money to pay for a new courthouse, and they showed it in November 2013, voting down the $95 million proposed bond issue. Of more than 7,000 people who voted in the election, 4,918 voted (65.34 percent) against the courthouse bond and 2,609 (34.66 percent) voted in favor of it. “Our committee submitted our long-term recommendations for what we thought as good for the county,” head of the Courthouse Progress Committee Sondra Eoff said. “It was up to the voters and obviously they are not ready for a new courthouse.”

Up, up and away. Rent prices amid a booming economy and oil field continue to rise.

Headlines

  • ECISD Trustee Luis Galvan goes on the defensive after photos of him bagging what appeared to be marijuana surfaced. He steadfastly refused to resign.
  • UTPB celebrates the big 40.
  • Goodbye CAF. A fight over keeping the Commemorative Air Force at the Midland International Airport ends with the CAF making plans to pack up its headquarters and head to Dallas.
  • Grandfalls-Royalty wins the football six man state championship.
  • Coach Gary Gaines retires and Blake Feldt is hired as the Panthers’ new head football coach.
  • A man and woman charged with brutally beating a 5-year-old boy to death in 2011 pleaded guilty in 2013, sparing both the possibility of the death penalty.
  • Ralph Martinez Jr., 28, pleaded guilty Aug. 14 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Kimberly Ann Moore, 29, was sentenced to life in prison plus 15 years to be served consecutively.
  • Moore was the child’s mother. The couple was charged with beating Zachery Dominguez to death.
  • Cameron Anthony Dawson, 34, was indicted on the counts of attempted capital murder, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a public servant and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
  • The Oct. 2 slaying of Upton County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy “Bubba” Kennedy shocked his small community. Gary David Green, 50, was charged with capital murder. Police reports at the time described what officers believe happened.
  • Green went into the Stripes Convenience Store in McCamey and tried to pay for food with a credit card that was declined. Green then became agitated and told the cashier to give him some gas or someone was going to die.
  • The cashier gave Green his food for free but was unable to give him free gas. Green left the store and got inside of a red 2007 GMC pickup that was reported stolen out of Ector County.
  • Later, Kennedy and Deputy Thomas Stiles went up to the truck at about 11:02 p.m. and noticed Green sleeping in the cab of the truck. Stiles knocked on the window to wake him. The deputies ran a check on the license plate and learned the truck had been stolen. Kennedy approached the driver’s side of the truck and unsnapped his gun holster. While Kennedy approached, Green opened the door and began firing at him — Stiles and Kennedy both began firing at Green. After the firefight, Stiles saw Kennedy and Green on the ground. Deputy Dusty Kilgore made the scene and arrested Green, leaving him on the ground.
  • Max Alan Shatto, a 3-year-old Russian boy who was adopted by American parents who live in Gardendale, died Jan. 21 at Medical Center Hospital. His death was not made public until Russian officials and media began inquiring about the boy. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death was accidental, which was confirmed by three forensic pathologists at the medical examiner’s office and one pathologist from outside the office.
  • A bombing at the Boston Marathon kills three and inures about 264 others.
  • Miley Cyrus unfortunately introduces us to the “Wrecking Ball.”
  • Margaret Thatcher dies.
  • A Bangladeshi building collapses killing 1,129 and injuring 2,500.

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