With 2011 winding down, it’s time to look back on the year. Since The Pioneer Sentinel first came into existence in September of this year, It has reported a number of news events that have shaped Clay County.
Following is a list of the top 10 stories, as chosen by The Pioneer Sentinel. We tried to chose an array of subjects, which was not a difficult task considering all that has happened in the last three-and-a-half months.
Readers who feel another story covered by this news outlet was more important than any of those listed here, please let us know by voting in the poll found in the sidebar to the right. Pick the top 10 and on New Year’s day, The Pioneer Sentinel will publish a list of its readers’ favorites.
1. Daughter accused in death of Dean man
The daughter of a Dean-area man shot to death Sunday morning (Nov. 13) has been arrested for first-degree murder. Jenna Cherish Dickerson, 26, of Wichita Falls, is accused of killing John Derek Hamlin, 46, sometime late Saturday night or Early Sunday morning. Hamlin died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. (Continued)
2. Byers ISD to enter into consolidation discussions with Petrolia
With time running short for Byers Schools, and Petrolia again open to the idea of consolidation, BISD Superintendent Kim Childs sought the direction of his school board last week. During the Dec. 15 regular meeting of the board, Childs asked trustees to review a list on considerations to be presented to Petrolia ISD. (Continued)
3. September wildfires breakout in Vashti-Bellevue area
Two large wildfires broke out in southeastern Clay County Tuesday morning (Sept. 13), giving local volunteers all that they could handle. The first fire was reported midmorning on Manton Road near Cray Lane, southeast of Bellevue, and is believed to be a case of arson. The blaze began as two fires sparked in separate locations along Manton Road, and quickly joined together. (Continued)
4. June Griffin invited to decorate White House
While most folks in Clay County will spend a long Thanksgiving weekend searching the attic for boxes of Christmas ornaments, June Griffin will have a much larger task at hand, a warehouse full of holiday décor in Washington D.C. (Continued)
5. Steer Wrestler Mickey Gee earns third trip to NFR
After winning the PRCA world championship in 1999, and returning to compete in 2003, steer wrestler Mickey Gee will make his third trip to the National Finals Rodeo in December. That could mean a big payday for the Dean cowboy. Each of the 10 go-rounds pays $18,000 to the winner. The participant with the best overall average earns $46,000. (Continued)
6. Manufacturer investigates opportunities in Henrietta
A manufacturer of portable cabins and “system built” homes is looking at Henrietta as an option for a new plant. Friday (Dec. 9), Scott Clayton, president of the Henrietta Growth Corporation, signed a memorandum of understanding with Stone Creek Homes, a Nebraska company that specializes in workforce housing. (Continued)
7. Clay County shaken by Oklahoma earthquake
A magnitude 5.6 earthquake in central Oklahoma Saturday night (Nov. 5) was felt throughout Clay County. According to the United States Geological Survey, the epicenter of the quake was located 21 miles north northeast of Shawnee, Okla. (Continued)
8. Bluegrove, Joy VFDS brainstorm for new water source
With record drought and an unusually high number of wildfires, volunteer fire fighters in rural Clay County have encountered another problem this year, where to get enough water to feed their tankers. Now, after a bit of brainstorming, two departments –Bluegrove and Joy – have a reliable source big enough to fill one of the largest tankers in the county three times before recharging. (Continued)
9. Burger Shop back in the burrito business
Longtime residents of Henrietta fell into what can best be described as a state of mourning when The Burger Shop suddenly shuttered its doors in late spring. It seemed as though the Clay County icon, in its 43rd year, might be gone for good. (Continued)
10. Four hold kidnapping victim at Vashti-area home
A Montague County woman and three men have been charged with aggravated kidnapping after allegedly holding a Bowie man against his will at a Vashti-area residence early last week. (Continued)