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Saturday, July 23, 2016

District Court with Judge Evans

Leon District Court was held Friday, July 15th, in Centerville. The Honorable District Judge Deborah Oakes Evans presided. Representing the state were Leon District Attorney Hope Knight and Assistant District Attorney Caleb Henson.

Larry Ray Rhone was in court for a hearing on a motion to compel and a motion for continuance. Attorney for Rhone, Leslie Wallrath had filed the motions asking the court to obtain some of the information she has requested from the district attorney’s office and has not received.

District Attorney Hope Knight explained to the judge that Wallrath was requesting the alleged victim’s criminal history. “The Department of Public Safety does not allow a prosecutor to furnish that information,” said Knight.

Knight also said that in emails from Wallrath to the district attorney’s office, Wallrath allowed that her client had been in contact with the alleged victim. Judge Evans reprimanded Rhone strongly. “There is an order for you to stay away from her.”

On the motion to compel, the judge said, “I can’t compel the district attorney’s office to turn over what they can’t turn over.” The case was reset for October. Rhone is charged with Burglary of a Habitation with the Intent to Commit an Assault and charged with Assault / Family Violence / Impeding Breath.

Justin Andrew Ybarra, who is currently being held in the Leon County Jail, was arraigned on three charges: Possession of a Controlled Substance, Tampering with or Fabricating Evidence, and Burglary of a Habitation. Attorney for Ybarra, Kelly Weeks, entered a not guilty plea for all three charges.

Weeks also asked the judge to reduce the bond in Ybarra’s case. Ybarra, who is 34 years old, is a resident of Palestine. In Palestine he said he works for a restaurant. Ybarra, who had been free on bond, was arrested after he failed to make his last court appearance. Judge Evans asked Ybarra why he had failed to meet his court date. Ybarra said he had forgotten he had a court date.

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Family Tradition Continues For Woodley Long Family

FAMILY TRADITION -- Linda & Woodley Long along with their grandchildren Mollie & Ben Dittmar show off their watermelons.

The family tradition of growing watermelons continues for the Woodley Long family. The tradition started 70 years ago in 1946.

Albert and Effie Long had three children - Harold, Velmarie, and Woodley. Woodley graduated from Buffalo High School in 1948.

While still in high school in 1946, Woodley along with his family started the watermelon business. Watermelons sold for 3 for $1 and sometimes 5 for $1 Woodley recalled.

In the early 1960’s, the Longs purchased 104.5 acres. That year, they planted a majority of the land, which has been their largest field ever. They sold enough watermelons that year to pay off the land, tractor, and equipment they had purchased. They even sold the watermelon patch to two men from the valley who sold the watermelons for a profit as well.

Woodley can sit and tell numerous interesting stories from over the years.

“I can remember loading three trucks in a day with 30,000-40,000 pounds of watermelons on each truck,” Woodley said. “Trucks would take our watermelons to Denver, Colorado, Des Moines, Iowa, and Oklahoma.”

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Animal Control Officer

Kenneth Oliver

ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER -- Kenneth Oliver received his Animal Control Officer Training from the Texas Academy of Animal Control Officers in Giddings, TX and passed the state test on June 23rd. He will be working with current Animal Control Officer, Ed Chatterly. Oliver began working for the City of Buffalo Maintenance department on November 23, 2009. He has two daughters, Clarice & Kimberly.

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Commissioners Court Meets

HARD WORK -- April Ehler was recognized for the work she does at the Leon County Sheriff’s Department.

Leon County Commissioners met for their first regular called meeting for the month of July, Monday July 11th. Leon County Judge Byron Ryder presided. Commissioner Dean Stanford was absent.

The court recognized April Ehler for her dedicated work with Communications at the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Ehler recently prepared the office for a Department of Public Safety Audit. “This takes place every 3 years,” said Ehler. “This year it went really well, but I don’t take all the credit. There are a lot of good people in the Department that do excellent of the work.”

Ehler thanked the court for the recent upgrades on the phones and cameras at the Sheriff’s Office, and also the new generator. “All those things make it much easier for my dispatchers to do their work. And they are some of the best dispatchers ever!”

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