Grayson County Judge Bill Magers announces re-election bid

Sherman, Texas – Surrounded by his fellow commissioners, Bill Magers formally announced his re-election bid for Grayson County Judge.

“I am honored to be joined by my fellow commissioners court members in announcing for re-election. This is the most fitting manner in which to announce because our success at the county is due to great team work,” said Judge Magers. “We work hard to put personal politics aside in order to serve the taxpayers and the results speak for themselves.”

The former mayor of Sherman was elected Grayon County Judge in 2014.

“By continuing to make smart infrastructure investments and living within our means, Grayson County citizens are benefiting from our growth and enjoying a great quality of life,” said Judge Magers.

Judge Magers is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), is active in numerous civic organizations and serves as a volunteer coach for youth sports. He and his wife, Angela, have also served as delegates to Republican Conventions and supported numerous conservative candidates and causes at the local, state and national level.

Judge Magers and Angela own the Montessori Academy of North Texas, where Angela oversees all the day-to-day operations. Bill is also an investor in commercial real estate.  They reside in Sherman with their 4 sons and are active members of First United Methodist Church.

Reggie Smith throws hat in the ring for Texas State Representative

Reggie Smith has officially entered the State Representative race with three others for the soon-to-be vacated seat held by Republican Larry Phillips since 2003.   Others that have announced their candidacy are Kevin Couch, a former Sherman City Councilman and Brent Lawson, an electrical engineer from Van Alstyne.

Reginald “Reggie” B. Smith, Jr. formally announced his candidacy for the position of Texas State Representative, District 62 on the steps of the Grayson County Courthouse.

Smith is no stranger to District 62 or to the conservative battlefield of fighting for less government, lower taxes, Texas jobs, and secure borders.  He descends from a sixth generation Grayson County pioneer family.

“My family came to Grayson County long ago in search of a better life and economic future and together, with friends and neighbors, helped build what we have today.   These are transformational times and I want to do my part to ensure we keep the blessings that have been handed down to us,” Smith said.

Smith is also the founder and owner of Reginald B. Smith, Jr. PLLC, a general practice law firm which he established in 2003. He is a two term chairman of the Grayson County Republican Party and currently the Northern Regional Director of the Texas Republican County Chairman’s Association.  He has also served on the ballot security team for the Texoma Patriots providing election law advice to the local tea party organization in local elections.

In 1991, Smith received his B.S. in Political Science from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and was a member of the Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society.  In 1994 he earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas.  Upon graduation, he returned home to practice law.  Smith is licensed to practice in Texas and admitted to practice in federal court including the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He has been recognized, locally, as the “Best in Texoma” in the field of Family Law for the last three years.

Smith’s involvement in conservative political causes spans more than two decades.  From his involvement at Austin College as an officer in the college Republican Club, to his service as a delegate to Republican County and State Party Conventions, he played an important role in the transformation of Grayson County from a Democrat to Republican county.  Smith is also a member of the National Rifle Association.

Smith has been active in various local charitable and service organizations. He has served on the board of directors of Big Brother Big Sisters, Friends of Scouting with the Texoma Valley Boy Scouts and The Rehab Center among others.  He has coached little league teams and devoted much of his personal time with wife, Stephany, to raising their three children.

“I think it is important to have widespread local support across all of District 62, Smith said.  “I am pleased to have the support of the mayors of Sherman and Denison, the Sheriff of Delta County, Sheriff and District Attorney of Fannin County and legendary Sheriff and Retired U.S. Marshal Keith Gary to name just a few,” he said.  “I am also pleased that Representative Larry Phillips is a supporter,” Smith said.  “Representative Phillips is a good man who has served District 62 very well.”

Smith and his wife currently reside in Van Alstyne, Texas with their three children and are active members of the First Baptist Church of Van Alstyne.

District 62 is comprised of Grayson, Fannin and Delta Counties.

35 years ago this week, “Silkwood” was filmed in Howe

It was 35 years ago tomorrow that celebrities and movie cameras were in Downtown Howe.  The movie “Silkwood” debut in 1983 where the film and cast members racked up numerous awards.  ” Silkwood” was nominated for five Oscars and actress Cher won “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a motion picture.”  Meryl Streep was nominated for “Best Actress in a Leading Role” at the Academy Awards while Cher was nominated for “Best Actress in a Supporting Role.”

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

The following is from The Howe Enterprise, Sept. 9, 1982

For a few hours, Tuesday, Sept. 7, the city of Howe, Texas became the city of Crescent City, Oklahoma for the movie “Silkwood,” which is being filmed partly in Howe.

Tuesday’s filming involved a television interview of Karen Silkwood’s boyfriend as played by actor Kurt Russell.  The filming was done inside the “Crescent Cafe” in a building that once housed a bank in Howe.  (Editor’s note:  This building is now Don’s Smokehouse).  Several people drove cars, walked or rode bicycles through the downtown area while the crew filmed inside the cafe.

Dave Gunn, former garbage truck driver for the city of Howe, got to drive a pickup through town.  He said he enjoyed the change from “garbage truck driver to movie star.”  Other Howe people appearing in the outside scenes were Tommy Wall, Paul Stephens, and Jimmy Brewer.

During the lunch break, Russell signed a few autographs and posed for pictures with local residents.  After lunch, most of the filming was inside the cafe.

More filming in the downtown area is set for early October.  In the meantime, filming on the movie will also take place at a farmhouse near Hwy. 902 four miles east of Howe.

J.E. Poindexter, owner of the farmhouse which will serve as the Silkwood home in the film, said it was built about 50 years ago.  A front porch has been remodeled and a back room has been converted into a screen porch.  Another home has been moved in and a fake house is being constructed at the site so the residence will not appear so isolated in the film.

Filming in the Howe area will take up to five weeks.  Other shooting sites will include Houston, Washington, D.C., and Dallas.   The film will cost about $10 million to produce and ABC Motion Pictures, producer of the film, said it will be released by 20th Century Fox, probably in the fall of 1983.

Other members of the cast include Meryl Streep as Karen Silkwood, Cher as her best friend, Mary Kay Place as a friend, and Craig T. Nelson as a colleague of Ms. Silkwood.

Place is best known for her role on the television series “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”  Nelson recently appeared as the father in the movie “Poltergeist.”

Karen Silkwood died mysteriously in a 1974 car accident in Oklahoma.  She was reportedly en route to meet with a New York Times reporter and union officials with evidence of unsafe radioactive materials in plutonium fuel rods at Kerr-McGee Nuclear Materials Plant in Crescent City, Oklahoma where she was employed.

The film is being directed by Mike Nichols who won an Academy Award for “The Graduate.”

Above is the town hall scene filmed in Downtown Howe inside what is now Don’s Smokehouse.

The above scene was filmed outside of what is now Don’s Smokehouse in Downtown Howe. Moments later, a tow-truck will drive through downtown showing the current fire station that had been painted to say, “Crescent Fire Dept.”


Local fuel distributor says gas shortages caused by panic, not outage

Douglass Distributing and Lone Star Food Stores sent a press release to the Sherman Chamber of Commerce to educate the public on the current fuel shortage in the area.  They say the shortage is a result of a southern refinery shutting down temporarily during the storms of Hurricane Harvey.  In a written statement, Brad Douglass, CEO of Douglass Distributing said that he wanted everyone to know that they still have access to plenty of fuel .  The lines that our delivery trucks are waiting in are just much longer because of the refinery shut down.

“We want everyone to know that we still have access to plenty of fuel – the lines that our delivery trucks are waiting in are just much longer because of the refinery shut down,” said Brad Douglass in a release to the Sherman Chamber of Commerce.

Douglass says that there is not an outage.  There is fuel, but each delivery is just taking longer at the moment.

“We want to assure everyone that we have all of our delivery trucks out running 24 hours resupplying our local communities in Northeast Texas and South Eastern Oklahoma,” said Douglass.  “We ask all of our neighbors make fuel purchases as you normally would – the worst thing we can do as a community is all of us showing up at one time to get fuel.  This is creating an additional challenge for each delivery.   If the community reacts that way, we may cause the outage at an individual location.  We do not expect the shortage to last any longer than one week.”

Hurricane Harvey making impact on Grayson County Jail

On Wednesday morning, Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt announced in a press conference that the Sheriff’s Office had been notified by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) that they are currently closed to inmate transfers from county jail facilities due to Hurricane Harvey’s impact.  Weekly Grayson County sends eight to 10 inmates per week to the TDCJ facilities.  This closure means that any inmates that were ordered to State Jail or TDCJ will remain that the county jail facilities until the TDCJ units reopen for transfers.

Captain Brian Ford, Grayson County Sheriff’s Dept. addresses the media.

“As you can imagine here in Grayson County, if they (TDCJ) won’t accept them, we have to hold them,” said Sheriff Watt.  “This morning at 6:58 am, our numbers were 410 inmates.  We have a capacity of 440.”

Sheriff Watt has asked local law enforcement agencies throughout the county to try to refrain from bringing offenders to the county facility if other alternatives are available.  Captain Brian Ford, the jail administrator, explained a couple of the different options that the county is currently working on to maintain or reduce the number of inmates in the downtown detention facility.  Some of those plans currently include to house more inmates at the Low Risk Detention Center at the North Texas Regional Airport.  Another option if this is a long-term situation is to ask judges to offer Personal Recognizance bonds to nonviolent offenders, work with probation/parole to schedule hearings in a more timely fashion or adjustments to credit for time served.  A last resort was to house inmates in other facilities, which would cost the county $50 a day per inmate housed in another facility. 

“We manage our population as well as it can be done,” said Sheriff Watt.  “This is going to be a, I hope, a short-term impact on our county and all of our counties that are affected.  I just want all of our law enforcement to understand that if you don’t have to take somebody to our jail, I would prefer that you not. ”

Captain Brian Ford said that the facility currently has 15 to 20 individuals on parole waiting for hearings.  That could be expedited to try and get the individuals reinstated to the public.

“My commitment to this community is that we will not release any violent offenders.  That is not going to happen,” said Watt.  “What we’re looking for is someone who is not violent, but just has trouble making good decisions and someone who is less harm to our community.  Those are the kind of people that would be candidates for release.”

The sheriff also stated that sending inmates to other county facilities is not a good option due to the $50 per inmate the county would have to pay to another facility.  Also, the other jails in nearby counties are facing the same overcrowding situations due to the same notice from TDJC.

Sheriff Tom Watt speaks about the upcoming jail situation caused by Hurrican Harvey.



Hurricane Harvey relief information

Several individuals and companies have contacted the Howe Enterprise to give information on how they are spearheading a relief effort so that people can help fellow Texans in the Greater Houston Area.

Freedom Charters will be setting up buses on the parking lot between Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A in Sherman on Saturday starting at 10 am.  For those that want to bring water, towels, or any other items of need, the buses will accept those items through Sunday and deliver them on Monday.

Also, John Suggs of Howe is organizing a local group to make the trip to Houston to help with labor.  His number is 254-540-9431 and he is in search of those willing to take their boats to the flooded areas.