2017: Year in Review - As Highlighted in The Buffalo Express

January 2017

Well, here we are, about to start another New Year in the best business imaginable. We get to meet so many great ??folks??, great meaning we may be a small-hometown-business, but we are so blessed to ?come into? your home every week. What?s been happening? Crossroads of Texas Real Estate has ?spread their wings? and launched into ?Innovative National Marketing? and we wish them well.

Leon County had some high winds, at least one tornado that ?stopped the clock? at Buffalo Schools. Our Kiddoes, being the first concern, began immediately to be ushered onto the buses/cars to get them home or day care. And making history, Bobo?s Nursery just reached their 50th year Anniversary. I, personally, remember Cheryl sitting on a stool and running our peas thru the sheller; that was probably back in the 70?s

More ?front-page-news: The two people from out of Hopkins County, Jamie Shobert and Jeffery Horton were arrested for the theft of at least 13 saddles from various counties, ours being one of them. And in another case: William Mitchell Hudson. Hudson is accused of the murders of six persons on property near Tennessee Colony in November 2015. A change of venue for the trial has been addressed; more news as we receive it.

?And In This Corner?: The Buffalo Primary Girls brought home the gold from the Anderson-Shiro Tournament held on Tues:26-0; North Zulch on Thurs. 26-4, Anderson B on Friday 26-14; Anderson A on Saturday 19-9, and Anderson A again in the Championship 22-12! Congratulations, Young Ladies!!!

We said good-bye to Gondal Mullenax this month, a man known to most of us, and he went on ?Home?, as did Mrs. Eula Slatter. She, too, will be missed. I can?t remember when I ?didn?t? know?Miss Eula? and she always had a bighug for me.

February 2017

Front page news: Mrs. Parthena Moore and Mr. Ray Newsome were blessed to make it to the Presidential Inauguration. They were happy to be able to attend and Parthena remarked ?It was the best trip that I have ever been on! We both just really enjoyed it, and President Trump did a wonderful job with everything.

Kristopher Barnett of Buffalo was sentenced to 5 years in Texas Department of Corrections for firing a shotgun or rifle at a four-wheeler that three children were riding. (Ages of the children: 14, 8, and 4.) Scary, huh?

Congratulations to Craig Thompson and Reyzurbetonthiscat, (raise-your-bet-on-this-cat) owned by Barnwell Ramsey, for winning The pair collected the Champions check for $22,000 for winning The Ike Derby Classic Open 4YO Finals scoring an impressive 223. The pair collected the Champions check for $22,000 and this was their second win in a row after just coming off the Augusta Futurity Open 4YO Championship last week.

Oakwood Elementary was recently notified by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that the school has been selected as one of the 2017 schools earning an outstanding performance and qualifying as a Blue Ribbon award winner. This is an award that a school seeks, but is instead selected by TEA. The award winners will be honored and receive their awards later this year in Washington, D.C.

Valentine Couple of the Year: Bob and Lee Gayle Boettcher! ?Lee Gayle helped me start The Express and I could not have done it without her? says publisher Mary Ann Vaughn. This couple, married for 56 years, has such a positive outlook, and are ready at any time to help others. Together they are unbeatable, and never run from a challenge.

Applause, please! The Buffalo Lion?s Club celebrated their 100th Anniversary this year. They partnered with The Buffalo High School FFA and FCCLA departments and planted a red oak tree for their centennial anniversary.

Now hear this! The Lady Bison celebrated their 68-67 Area Championship victory over Marlin. Next on their list is Little River Academy in the Regional Quarterfinals! Can we say YEA!!! Oh, and get this: Region FCCLA . On to Crockett. .OFFICER, Chelsea Harter was re-elected to serve as Region IV Officer next year. She is the new Region IV VP of Competitive Events.?What is that applause all about? Oh, wow! You say the Lady Bison are headed to STATE?? Well, I tried to tell you they were un-beatable, didn?t I???

?Gone on-Home? is Clarence Voisin, age 87 and a long-time Leon County man, known by many. He is probably sitting at a table, contentedly playing dominoes.I?m thinking that Leon County has some of the nicest folks and some really smart young people living here. Can I get an Amen? I wouldn?t want to be anywhere else, and that is a fact!

March 2017

Way to go, Lady Bison! You did a great job; you came home with the 2017 3A banner that proudly declared you as State Runner-Up! We are all so darn proud of you; you fought like the Champions we already knew you were! So, let us hear it for our gifted, hard-fighting young ladies! Ya done gooood!

And we proudly salute Andrea Garcia, Buffalo sophomore, who is a delegate to Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Lowell, MA. We have some very promising young folks in our fair city, and we are so proud to be in your ?corner?. Community Bank and Trust, loyal supporters of our kids, presented a sponsor-ship check, in the amount of $2,500.00 to the Leon county Youth Livestock Show Board of Directors. We love our dedicated young people who always makes us proud.Now-Hear-This: Seniors Evan Grisham and Tate Slaughter made history for Buffalo High School. These two young men brought home the state semi-finalist medals after competing at the State CX Debate Meet in Austin! Yep: we are proud!

In a neighboring county, the Humane Society paid a surprise visit to a location and declared the scene to be ?beyond belief?. Counts brought against the people for animal cruelty numbered almost 180. Among the animals on the property were cases of a broken leg, infections, and numerous other inhumane conditions: a broken jaw, broken leg, upper respiratory infections and dozens of pregnant/nursing dogs. The dogs mostly lived in cages, will now know what ?normal? living conditions will feel like.

Another neighboring County Police Chief was placed on leave after he evaded being arrested for several hours. Thinking it was a domestic situation that went far wrong. The Texas Rangers were brought in to handle this case.

Our local Sheriff, Deputies, Police Chiefs, etc. are constantly waging war on those who try to ?run drugs? in Leon County. Pray for them constantly because their lives are always in danger; the battle they fight is for us. Pray for them and their families, as their families find it hard to sleep/rest when they are on call. Here at ?The Express?, we consider them our families, too!

April 2017

Heads-up; it?s time for The Leon County Livestock Show, and our kids/young people take it very seriously. They have labored long and hard, dedicated to ?showing? the best of animals. The competition is tough, but our kids will bend over backwards to help a ?Buddy?, even though that buddy is competing against him/her. One gorgeous young lady that I love is Bradlie Crowley; she won Champion Commercial Heifer Herdsman. That, my friend, takes a world of class; our kids have that!

The Leon County Livestock Show is top-of-the-line-news. Our young people always make us proud. Wish I had room to name every young person that ?worked their fingers to the bone?, but that?s not possible here. So, will just say that I was raised in Waco and I don?t remember our young people getting much recognition. ?Go to school, get home as soon as possible because you have chores to do, etc.

I?ve been hearing that a new City Hall is in the planning stageIt is long-past time to do so as our folks at City Hall are bumping into each other. Good thing they are all best friends are we might have a ?disturbance-situation? at City hall. Love these gals!(Guess who lives about 3 blocksfrom the new location???) A ?step-up? at the weigh station on I 45 is good news for our officers. The officers had no bathroom or running water previously, and the place was in serious dis-repair, due to water leaks, mold, etc. They must feel like they?ve moved-on-up; conditions have changed and it was way-past-time!.

?I heard it thru the grape vine!? Remember when that got folks attention? Well, we alerted folks in ?The Express? about four former Leon County Officers being arraigned on charges of Misuse of Official Information. Serious business!

May 2017

Front Page News: Community National Bank officers paid a visit to the Buffalo City Council to present the city with a donation of real property in the amount of $113,000. The property is located next to the bank and will be the site of a new Buffalo City Hall/Civic Center. Time for all of us to Praise God for the wonderful folks at Community National Bank.

Carter Enterprises donated a new scoreboard to the Buffalo ISD Upper Junior High for the gymnasium. Junior High Principal Mr. Greg Kennedy were Tim Ezell, Billy Moore, Bryce Walker, Victor Rodriquez, Derek Rantala, and BISD Superintendent Lacy Freeman. Our young people were cheering like mad!

The First United Methodist Church of Centerville had a fish-fry to raise money and donated $3,000 to the Centerville Volunteer Fire Department. Leon County has the most ?giving? and dedicated people anywhere. All some folks need is a hint of a need and they are ?off and runnin?!

Time-to-pay-the-piper! Reid Gathings, age 35, was convicted of Theft of Livestock out of Falls County. Why is getting a job and WORKING for a living such a Bad Word? We taught our five sons that the world does NOT owe you a living; there is a price to pay for stupidity/laziness.

And Pablo Gonzales, Jr. of Buffalo was sentenced to 50 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He was found guilty to the charge of Injury to a Child Causing Serious Mental Deficiency. (The injuries sustained by twenty-three month-old Bryson resulted in the child?s death.)

June 2017

The Leon County Military Families 4th Annual Fundraiser was a roaring success! Have you noticed that when dedicated Leon County folks make up their minds to do something, they ?just do it?? The fund-raiser was held at Bobo?s Nursery and no one really knows whether the tears of joy and thanksgiving outnumbered the humbled/blessed ones or not. What was very evident were the smiles, hugs, and joy spreading like wildfire. The food wasn?t bad either; in fact, it was quick to disappear from grill to plate!

Rachel Taylor, long-time citizen of Buffalo, was indicted in the federal Court in Waco last month on the charge of Theft according to Special Agent Jim Sangsvang, Jr. of the HUD Office of Investigations. Taylor faces charges of misappropriated funds.

And the State Champion Pole Bender is...(drum roll please)? Katy Webb, daughter of Matt and Lisa Webb of Dew and incoming freshman at Buffalo High 2017-2018 school year. She is the Texas Junior High Rodeo Association State Champion Pole Bender!

Texas Junior High School Rodeo Association participants qualified for TJHRA State Finals. Our very own Alex Rodell made us proud, along with her friends Katy Webb, Montanna Brown and Laramee Champion.

Many Leon County folks were saddened by news that Mr. Tommy (Thomas) Middlebrook, Jr. had passed away. He left his mark in the lives of many. May God bring His peace to his family.

July 2017

A retirement party for the Honorable District Judge Bascom W. Bentley, III in the Dist. Court room. One of the ?treasures? he was gifted with was a quilt with his picture on it, which was stunning. He also served other counties which kept him very busy.

What can I say about our kids! More teams (from Buffalo) than I can name are State Bound! T-Ball, Machine Pitch and goodness knows how many of our kids love participating in sports.The Leon County 42nd Annual July 4thFuntier Days Parade in Centerville was awesome, but then?Leon County folks never has done anything half-way!

Many were saddened when we learned that Mariana Rivera, age 18,was killed on July 16th when her 2002 Silver Honda struck two trees while southbound on Hwy. 79. Our prayers go out to her family.

Harold Morrison got careless and got caught. This person pled ?guilty? to three charges: Evading Arrest with a Vehicle, Aggravated Assault Against a Public Servant with a Deadly Weapon and Burglary of a Habitation. He was sentenced to 40 years in TDC for the Evading Arrest charge, and he was sentenced to two 50 year terms for each of the charges.

The 8U Bison took 1st place in the County Tournament; the12U took 2nd place in the County; the 14U defeated Normangee to take 1st Place; the 12U Lady Bison took 2nd place in the County Tournament and are competing in district.

August 2017

There is still controversy concerning the airport that wants to push itself on property owners, some of which will fight ?tooth and nail? to keep what they have. And in my opinion, that is their right. I stand with them and pray for them. We only lose when we refuse to stand up for what is right, and in my case, stand in prayer for those that stand to lose land that?s been ?in the family? for many years.

Just in case you missed this addition of ?The Express?, our own Little Miss Charli R. Vaughn graces our front page. Charli was born on June 5th, ?weighing in? at 7 lbs. Grandparents? You guessed it; Dennis & Mary Ann Vaughn!

A local man, Ricky Amos, age 44, lost his life and the investigation is ongoing. The offender was still on location when officers arrived. (Rick?s sweet Mom, Linda Amos, is a dear friend of mine.) We go way back as friends and confidants. She ?held my hand? thru the deaths of my sweet in-laws, Lillie and Montie Morris. Linda, you are on my prayer list and I am praying for that comfort than only comes from our God! Love you, Girl!

Many are still complaining about our water. It is definitely a problem. I cannot keep the black ?scum? that forms in the toilet bowl away. I have to scrub it often so that makes me leery of the purity??? question concerning ?drinking? water. So, we continually pray for water that is as safe as we can make it. I remember my sons going hinting and never carried a water bottle along. ?Mom, people have been drinking out of creeks since before you were ever born. Don?t worry; like you told us, ?If it wiggles, don?t drink?. We listen and we don?t forget; we?re lookin? after each other!?Speaking of ?drinking water? reminds me to pray for all of those displaced by Hurricane Harvey. I lived thru the tornado that flattened Waco in 1953 and I, personally, know how frightening that can be. It shows no mercy, and the memories of the losses suffered never leave you. Stocking grocery shelves keeps store employees busy, but they do as well as they can to meet the needs of, not only our local folks, but all of those headed to a safer place. Prayers, always!

It?s that time of year: here we go with ball games; what follows a ball game? Dirty uniforms that seem to suck up the dirt, mud, and every other thing that isn?t ?nailed? to the ground. But we love our young people and they love sports. So? dirty uniforms, muddy faces and hands, plus a ?few? bumps and bruises, which is all part of the game. We back our ?Guys and gals? because they play to win and we love ?em!

September 2017

Community State Bank & Trust donated a new trailer to the Bison Athletic program, which was a major blessing. From Citizens State Bank, a remote-control blocking dummy named Vault was gifted to Buffalo High School. Our young people know how to ?put up a fight? and they do that arm-in-arm. Look at that ?win? against Rice! 42-6! Way to go, Bison!!! 38th Annual Buffalo Stampede was a roaring success; Winner of the Second Annual Buffalo Stampede BBQ Cook Off was Oley Willis of Jacksonville. Citizens State bank made a $2,000 donation to the Bison Belle Booster Club! The money is to be used to purchase items needed for the growing team. And all of our readers said?Praise The Lord! Oh, yeah; the Bison beat Normangee 42-20!!!!! Way to go, Guys!

Stanley B. Roberson of Oklahoma City, who was arrested in Leon County and found guilty of Possession of a Controlled Substance, was sentenced to 60 years in TDC. Leon Co. DA, stated that the case was a simple one. Do the crime, do the time was the feeling we all got. Leon County Law Officials are doing their very best to make Leon County safe for all residents, so when you see one of these awesome folks, tell ?em that you appreciate them. Chad Hill, Nana thinks you are one awesome young man and am so proud of you!

And in THIS corner? Oakwood resident, Nyanza Price was elected as President-Elect of the Texas Extension Education Association at the 91st Conference! Congratulations; all of your hard work, sacrificial time so freely given, and your always-caring-attitude. In the language of Leon County ?folks?, ?Ya DUN Good!?

October 2017

Small towns love and help each other; and we all saw that when the Mark/Dusty Payne family lost their home in a horrid fire. I may not know every human personally that calls Leon County ?home?, but I can truly say I know the feeling of being homeless. The tornado that destroyed much of Waco back in ?53 almost took my Mom and oldest brother, and my five sisters and me were almost sucked out of our house when the roof ?lifted-off?. But God!

2017 BHS Homecoming Queen Candidatesare, L-R, Chelsea Harter, Shalyn Cotton, Kassidy Bell, Nadia Garcia, and Lilah Molina. Way to go, young ladies!

We have a beautiful picture of some precious ladies, Bison Belles, celebrating Bison Belles Reunion!

Oakwood Elem. School was named a Blue Ribbon School after much hard work, true dedication and years of true diligence/plain ol? grit! As I understand this, they were unacceptable in 2005 and 2006, so a lot of work had to be invested to make this major step. And? ?We did it?!!! was heard all around town! Congratulations, Folks!

Our Leon County Veterans Honor Guard Members shown here are Don Lively, Patrick Elmendorf, Al Hooper and Jim Hime. This pic was taken at the Leon County Expo Center. When you are blessed to meet up with one of these gentlemen, remember to thank them for the fight for YOUR freedom. Gentlemen, we applaud you!

Commissioner Dean Stanford was awarded a certificate from the County Judges and Commissioners Associationfor his advanced studies in county and county governments. It took him five dedicated, nose-to-the-grindstone years, but he made it! Congratulations Commissioner Stanford!

And in this corner!!! Buffalo beats New Waverly 49-13; Buffalo JV wins 29-0 over New Waverly! 7th grade wins 20-6 over new Waverly! 8th grade wins 22-12 against the Bulldogs! WOW!

Last but certainly not least, our City Hall has moved closer still towards their new building. We can see/watch this great event taking place, and things are looking good at the new location.Yeah!

November 2017

It is now OFFICIALLY HAPPENING! Community National Bank & Trust of Texas donated the land to build a new City Hall, Visitor & Convention Center! My dear friend, Tommy Neyland and Jerry Don Sanders officially handed over the Deed to the City of Buffalo and we are still cheering!

Oakwood Elementary School was honored as a ?Blue Ribbon? School in Washington, D.C. Way to go, Folks! Proud for our neighbors, for sure. Diligence is always good, but loving those students makes a good job a great job! And you have done your jobs well! A pat-on-the-back to each of you!

Our own Logan Freeman has signed on to play Baseball with Baylor! Way to go, Logan! Your ?cheering section? awaits our turn to ?root for ya?!!!

Sad to say, but a Beloved DPS Trooper, Trooper Damon Allen, was fatally shot during a traffic stop on I-45 during a traffic stop. We never expect this kind of heartbreak because as citizens, we respect our officials. Our prayers go out to his family and fellow officers. May God give them all peace.

News: Rachel Taylor, formally of Buffalo, was sentenced to 6 months confinement in the Federal Bureau of Prisons followed by 6 months of home confinement.

Timothy Ray Yow, a junior at Centerville High School, lost his life in a wreck on Hwy. 7. Our prayers and condolences go out to his family and friends.

December 2017

The Bethlehem Experience, coordinated, presented and sponsored by The First Baptist Church, was once again a monumental success. If you didn?t experience, you really missed a blessing. Congratulations to every single person for whatever part you played. As the Bible says, ?Well done My Good and faithful ones!?Ya dun good!

Our Bison, Ladies and Gents, continue to make us proud and we keep praying for them to ?keep on keepin? on!? They took down Normangee and Franklin and our Ladies defeated Crockett. Folks, it is up to us to pray for them as they Play for us!

Santa Letters!!! Did we ever have Santa Letters! We had so many to type up that Mary Ann and I had no time to write ours, so you sweet kiddoes pray that Mrs. Mary Ann and Mrs. Honey Bee get some presents, too. By the way, kids, we, here at The Buffalo Express, love you, one and all and laughed, cried and shared your letters with each other.

Well-known and much-loved District Judge Bascom Bentley passed away, headed to his new home in Heaven. He had been ?takin? care of business? for more years than I can remember. Met him many times when I was a member of the Domestic Violence Advocates. Once his mind was made up, he didn?t back up. He will be missed.

And ?waving good-bye? to us??? Mike & Cindy Port are officially closing ?Framing For friends? after ONLY 18 ? years! Cindy, what are you thinking? Just kidding; we know it?s time for you to wear out a rocking chair or two, but? will bet that the rocking chair will have to wait a while; can?t imagine you ?sittin? still for long. Hugs from ?The Express Crew?!

Mark your calendars! January 30, 2018 is the date set for the Chamber Banquet! You don?t want to miss it.

?Going ?Home? after a lengthy illness was Keith Alan Gantt. I remember his family well, and my heart is sad for Cheryl (Bo), long-time friend of mine and hundreds more. Praying for you, Bo, and sending my love.

So, from all of us here at ?The Express?, Dennis, Mary Ann, Mitchell, Susan, Yvonne, Honey Bee, and everyone who helps make our newspaper the best, Merry Christmas and much love. To all those (Lee Gayle, Cindy Early, etc. that I rarely see, you are such a great part of ?The Express?. I rarely see you, but you are on my prayer list for God?s best in your life. Now?onward and upward to 2018!!! And? as my precious father-in-law-, Montie Morris, used to say, ?Sugar Foot, time don?t wait on no man!? So, as we say, ?A Very Merry Christmas!? to you, we are also saying ?May God also watch over ?you and yours, and may the coming year be your ?best-ever!?