This past year saw our county still adjusting to everything the Eagle Ford Shale oil boom is bringing – hotel/motel occupancy funds, money to local restaurants, increased traffic and more wrecks and fatalities.
Our pages have been filled with coverage on these events through our Oil & Gas Editor Leon Zabava, photos taken by our staff covering the wrecks, city governments and independent school district news.
Let’s look back and reflect from the front pages of the 2012 Pleasanton Express.
• A voter initiative petition was formally filed with a total of 728 signatures to let the citizens decide if the partial closing of Main Street should be closed.
• The 58th Atascosa Junior Livestock Show broke all records with the total auction sales reaching $584,386. Justin Smith sold his Grand Champion Heavy Charolais steer for $8,000.
• Ashley Lewis exhibited the 2012 Grand Champion Steer, which sold at auction for $10,000 another record amount.
• Pleasanton welcomed new City Manager Bruce Pearson. Pearson knew that managing the rapid growth of Pleasanton was going to be his focus.
• Dr. Cynthia Clinesmith took the reigns at Pleasanton I.S.D. as superintendent. Her fresh and energized vision is welcomed.
• In the Feb. 1 issue, the 2012 McMullen County Jr. Livestock Show and Auction also was a record breaker. The grand total at the auction reached $275,600— beating last years sale by almost $83,000.
• The Lions Club host a sell-out for their Wild Game Dinner. Funds raised help to finance scholarships and allow donations to be given to area charities.
• The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce honored citizens at the annual banquet. They were: Jeff Chicoine- Man of the Year; Tom and Pat Wickersham – Couple of the Year; Kathy Coronado – Woman of the Year; Shelby Crossland – Teenager of the Year; Christopher Williams – Young Citizen of the Year; Norman Porter, Sr. – Senior Citizen of the Year, Callie Bast – Teacher of the Year; The Virginia Twins- Catie Heider Blaha and Kristen Heider DiCaro Business Persons of the Year.
• Amid a festive evening featuring the theme of “The Court of the Old West,” Leslee Ramon and Brandon Christopher Lopez were crowned Poteet Strawberry Festival Queen and King. Leslee’s twin sister, Lindsay Ramon, was selected as Princess and Ronald Sanchez was named Prince. Duchesses are Samantha Mikolajczyk, Lauren Zavala and Savanah Holloway and Dukes Adrian Contreras, Cameron Uribe and Carlos Alejandro Garcia.
This year’s Little Miss and Mister Poteet are Olivia (Libby) Briones and Giancarlo Pezzotti.
• Pleasanton adopted a new re-districting map.
• The Atascosa Historical Commission presented a reenactment of the Civil War Muster of Company E of the Texas Volunteer Cavalry, 32nd Regiment, Confederate States of America.
• Albert Reyes went home with the coveted Grand Champion title for his strawberries during the Poteet Strawberry Festival. His crate of strawberries sold for a grand total of $10,300.
• Atascosa County Deputy Jesse M. Martinez receives the Aerl Jernigan – Luis Garza Officer of the Year award at the Atascosa County Law Enforcement Officer Association’s annual banquet.
• The two initiatives on the City of Pleasanton ballot brought out 1,159 voters.
Over 61 percent (705) voted in favor of Initiative #1 (A resolution adopting the previously approved plans for the Community Center/Library), with 450 voting against.
Initiative #2 (an ordinance to close a small portion of Main Street directly in front of the Community Cen- ter/Library) received 628 votes (54.2 percent) for, 531 against.
•Little Brock Powell’s family and friends hold a prayer vigil outside his hospital building. He was born with a heart defect and after surgery, developed a bad infection.
•Emilio Villa was found murdered in Poteet’s Housing Authority. Arrested for the shooting was Jay Daniel Guerra.
• Ferocious winds -likely a microburst – made a swath through the Leming to Kyote countryside damaging buildings and trees along the way.
• A beloved priest, Father Michael Jordan, of Robstown, was killed on IH37 in just one of the many accidents that occurred throughout the year.
• The inaugural issue of “Cowboy Tales” featuring stories and photos of cowboys – those who have received the prestigious honor and for those who were nominated.
• Mike Shearrer was named Working Cowboy of the Year and Benny Zuniga was inducted into the South Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame at the Pleasanton Young Farmers event. Shorty Calvillo, Wendall Munson and Ysidro Regalado were inducted into the South Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
• Jourdanton Chamber of Commerce honors its citizens with the following awards: Joyce Bowen Steinle – Woman of the Year; David Soward – Man of the Year; Henry Netardus, Sara Darby and Jourdine Tymrak – Lifetime Achievement Awards; Cherie Stiefer – Teacher of the Year; Chase Harrison – Teenager of the Year; Mike Collins- Fireman of the Year; Meri Lem Moore – Young Citizen of the Year; Lanessa Harlan – Business Person of the Year; Rena Simmons – Senior Citizen of the Year and Mary Mahoney- Gardener of the Year.
• A large development, Oak Pointe Estates will become a reality. Siltek Group closed on land in Pleasanton.
A fatal crash claimed the life of Shannon Ruble, a recent Jourdanton High School graduate, late Tuesday, August 28. The driver of the Pontiac Firebird, Matthew Gurule, 21, and Ruble were traveling east on West Ditto Road.
•Pleasanton’s native son, Tommy Dean Shearrer was murdered on October 10. But no one will ever know why it happened, they all would agree that he will be sorely missed.
•The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce moved Cowboy Homecoming to October to have cooler weather. The move was a success! Crowned Cowboy Homecoming Queen was Kianne Rowinsky. Princesses are Jessica Herschap, Emalee Rice, Lexie Roane and Danielle Santos. Kyle Yapp is the Chamber Duchess.
• David Soward was elected Sheriff for Atascosa County.
• County Sales and Use Tax continues to increase. Percent change is over 100% since since last year’s payments. Thank you Eagle Ford Shale!• • The Pleasanton Eagles and Charlotte Trojans make the football playoffs..
• Yuri Casares is killed on Hwy. 97 between Charlotte and Jourdanton. One of many deaths in our county.
• Our online edition turns one! Revamped, fresh and fun is what we were hoping to provide. Facebook and Twitter are popular with the hip techies.
•ACCEPT celebrates 25 years of helping families in need.
• The Christmas Village Ministry saw 1,200 people go through the walking tour of “Bethlehem” at the Strawberry Festival Grounds.
• Ronald Sanchez was named the first Hispanic Chief of Police for the Pleasanton Police Department.
• HEB’s expansion was approved by the City Council. The store bought the property from TNT Truck Toys (who re-located south on US281).
•School safety was under scrutiny after the horrid attack in Newtown, Connecticut. Area schools were on top of it by addressing concerns.