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Waco Tribune-Herald
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Sept. 4, 2011


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Labor Day holiday business closings

All branches of the WacoMcLennan County Library will be closed today and Monday in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Additional Monday closings will include: n All federal, state and city of Waco offices. n Waco Transit will not run its regular routes. n United States post offices. n Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College. n City of Waco Solid Waste Services will not run collection routes Monday. Mondays routes will be picked up Wednesday. The Cobbs Drive Convenience Center and Landfill also will be closed. The following will be open: nCameron Park Zoo, Waco Water Park, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and the Waco Mammoth Site.

Financial reporting may expand

Commissioner will push to require that more officials file disclosure forms
By Michael W. Shapiro
Tribune-Herald staff writer

McLennan County Commissioner Kelly Snell said Friday he will push to expand the number of county officials who have to file financial disclosure forms. Snell, who appears to have the

support of at least two other members of the five-member commissioners court, said the reform is inspired by recent revelations that McLennan County Tax AssessorCollector Buddy Skeen bought and sold a number of properties that were not publicly disclosed until last month. When you have a bad apple like weve had in the newspaper lately, then everybody needs to look at this kind of stuff, Snell said. Commissioners, county judges and

attorneys, and justices of the peace in the states larger counties already must file personal disclosure forms, which list in broad ranges the value of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and real estate holdings, among other financial interests. But under state law, commissioners courts in counties with 125,000 or more people, like McLennan County, can extend the disclosure requirement to a number of other officeholders and employees. I support the idea that if one does

it, all should do it, Snell said. Snell said he plans to put an item broadening the countys reporting requirements on the Sept. 13 commissioners court agenda. Two of his fellow commissioners said they supported some form of expansion of the countys financial reporting standards. I think itd be a good idea for all elected officials, said Commissioner Joe Mashek, though he added he See COUNTY, Page 3B

A lift for Lillian

Lemonade stand benefit

A benefit lemonade stand to raise funds for 9-year-old Feryn Schulte will operate from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday at 2201 Arroyo Road. Feryn recently was diagnosed with a rare cancer and is undergoing treatment at Cook Childrens Medical Center in Fort Worth. The sale will include baked goods, homemade trinkets and raffle tickets for a chance to win a football signed by Baylor University football coach Art Briles. All proceeds will benefit Feryn and her family.

Helping out with mental illness

Group aims to teach churches, pastors how to deal with disorders
By Cindy V. Culp
Tribune-Herald staff writer

Free Mayborn admission

Baylor Universitys Mayborn Museum, 1300 S. University Parks Drive, will have free admission from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. today. This is the final weekend for the museums summer exhibit, Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science. For more information, call 710-1104.

Staff photo Rod Aydelotte

Lillian Dudik, of Penelope, is carried to the front of the annual Westfest parade by her father, Martin Dudik, on Saturday in West. Both were

part of a float in the parade. Westfest, held each Labor Day weekend, will be open today from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday.

Obama watch party

The McLennan County Democratic Party will have a Democratic Watch Party for President Barack Obamas speech about jobs and the economy from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Beatnix, 1700 Colcord Ave. For more information, call Kelly McDonald at 366-3256.
Submit items for Briefly in printed or typed form to Briefly, P.O. Box 2588, Waco 76702-2588; fax to 757-0302; or email to at least one week before an event.


Fires burn in Bosque, Hill counties

By Don Bolding
Tribune-Herald staff writer

Several fire departments were battling grass and brush fires that broke out along Farm Road 2114 in Bosque and Hill counties beginning about 6 p.m. Saturday. A spokesperson in the Bosque

County sheriffs office described one blaze there as large but did not know how many acres had burned. A dispatcher in the Hill County sheriffs office said four or five were burning about 7:30 p.m. and several homes had been evacuated as a precaution.

Lake Waco blaze

Waco firefighters spent eight hours extinguishing a two-acre brush fire Saturday at the Lake Waco spillway at 6161 Airport Drive. The fire was in the vicinity of two blazes that took out about 75 acres See POLICE, Page 4B

When Joe Padillas wife started to have serious problems because of bipolar disorder a few years ago, the missionary and minister found out the hard way that churches often dont know how to help families in psychiatric crisis. The church where Padilla worked, Wacos Antioch Community Church, was supportive. Staff members and the congregation tried to help. But they didnt have the necessary knowledge, he said. The same was true with the secular help Padilla sought out, he said. While the family got good information from physicians and other mental health professionals, something was missing, he said. Thankfully, Padilla said, he eventually met people who helped him put the two realms together. Chief among those was fellow Antioch member and Baylor University psychology and neuroscience professor Matt Stanford, who has researched how the Christian church responds to mental illness. With the help of Stanford and others, Padillas family embarked on a treatment plan for his wife that incorporated the best of both See GROUP, Page 4B

Football season brings prognostication, tales of conflict

.G.I.F.S. Thank Goodness Its Football Season. If youre so psyched about the new season that you catch yourself singing Are You Ready For Some Football? in the privacy of your pickup, you are not alone. The AT&T Cotton Bowl announced last week that the Jan. 6, 2012, game between the Big 12 and SEC champions is already a sellout. Four months before kickoff and three months before well have a clue about which teams will play, all 71,815 seats in Cowboys Sta-

dium are spoken for. If you buy a Cotton Bowl ticket before your team suits up for its first game, Bubba, you might DONNIS be an optimist. There are lots BAGGETT of reasons we get Tribune-Herald so excited about publisher-editor the start of football season. One reason is that a new season brings fresh material for our other

favorite fall pastimes prognostication and pontification. We all like to think we have an eye for talent and a gift for forecasting football matchups. Thats why we devour gridiron information leading up to the season. For many of us here in Central Texas, the August arrivals of the Tribs football section and Dave Campbells Texas Football Magazine are akin to the simultaneous publication of Whos Who and the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. They offer reams of stats, analyses and player profiles to argue

about as we feverishly tick off the days till the season opener. Another reason we love football so much is that it makes reality TV look tame. A sportscast during football season has more tales of conflict than The Jerry Springer Show. When it comes to the dramatic adventures of dysfunctional roommates, Big Brother cant hold a candle to the Big 12. Donald Trump should apprentice himself to a University of Miami booster to learn about incentivizing high-priced talent. And the Bachelorette could learn

a thing or two from the way a blue-chip running back handles his suitors during recruiting season. Music is another big draw for football especially at the high school and college levels. The buh-RAHs of the bass horns and the thuh-da-dumps of the snare drums are as seductive to the football fan as an aria to an opera aficionado. The fact that Janie Sues piccolo is out of tune and the entire woodwind section is marching out of step is hardly noticed, if at all. See BAGGETT, Page 3B

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WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD may have between their private money and their public responsibility. It also serves as a deterrent for conflicts of interest, he said. Absent the requirement, he said, officials may be tempted to get as close to the line as they can. Theres conflicts of interest that are illegal and conflicts of interest that are legal but would stink if the public knew about them. Aleshire said other forms of disclosure can be good, but the financial disclosure form gives a pretty good general look (at officials interests) without a serious betrayal of privacy. Skeen who is the target of a Texas Rangers investigation has bought and sold at least eight properties in the county in the past decade. Rangers took two boxes that contained real estate records from his office during a July search, according to court documents. According to county real estate records, Skeen bought three Woodway properties two homes and a lot since the start of 2010. He sold one of the homes this year to a high-ranking tax office employee, Dorothy Ramos. Skeen indicated in a July 27 interview that he didnt know he was required to disclose the transactions under a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation rule that took effect at the start of 2010. Woodway architect Mark Woodward filed a complaint July 29 against Skeen with TDLR noting he hadnt complied with the state reporting requirement. On Aug. 5, Skeen gave the county a spreadsheet that listed his financial interest in the three Woodway properties. The document does not specify the values of any of the properties or in what range of dollar amounts they fall.


From Page 1B
didnt think the requirement should extend to county department heads. He said the added transparency, would bring comfort to the taxpayers. I had just assumed it applied to all the county officials, Commissioner Lester Gibson said. I would not be opposed to that sort of transparency. Skeen said he doesnt think the commissioners are contemplating their disclosure policy because of him, but he added that whatever was needed, I wouldnt have a problem doing it.

From Page 1B
What makes us stand and applaud is not the artistic excellence of the Bitin Chiggers Marching Band but the youthful exuberance thats transplanted into our weary beings. The change of seasons is another attraction. Because football season is synonymous with fall, theres sweet serendipity to the arrival of Texas favorite sport and the departure of our annual meteorological misery summer. Yes, were still at least a month away from our first real cool snap. Yes, the temperature at the Baylor-TCU kickoff Friday night was 100 degrees. And yes, Texans will wear short sleeves more often than sweaters during the course of the season. Despite all that, footballs arrival assures us theres relief over the horizon. The team schedule tucked securely into our wallet assures us that its fall, by golly, whether it feels like it or not. Its irrefutable evidence that even the worst summer in recorded Texas

Relative listed
The spreadsheet, obtained Friday by the Tribune-Herald, also lists the names of one of Skeens relatives and family members of five of his employees. The memo said the relatives may relate to the various tax office employees assignment(s). Of the 20 relatives listed on the spreadsheet, theres no explanation what connection, if any, that 17 of them have with tax office business. Woodward noted that TDLR oversees a slew of professions and has scarce resources to enforce proper disclosure. While county-level financial reporting might not curb all bad behavior by public officials, he said it would give residents a tool to better understand various officials actions. Whatever we can do to make it easier for the public, Id support, he said.
Tribune-Herald staff writer Tommy Witherspoon contributed to this story. 757-5707

Minimal impact
County Judge Jim Lewis said he doesnt think extending financial disclosure reporting will have much impact. If somebodys going to do something wrong, I dont think a reports going to eliminate that, Lewis said. Though it may be easier to track it once it comes to light. Commissioner Ben Perry could not be reached Friday. An open government advocate and former Travis County tax assessor-collector and county judge said beefing up the countys financial disclosure policy would discourage unethical and illegal behavior. Id say its about public confidence and integrity of government, said Bill Aleshire, the former county official who now works as an attorney. The public actually gets to understand what connections a public official

history wont last forever. These are all things to love about football season, to be sure. But its main attraction is that it resonates so deeply with that quality of the human psyche that led to an early run on Cotton Bowl tickets optimism. The beautiful thing about the season opener is that for one precious moment, no matter what the experts may say about our prospects, our team is tied for the lead. For that fleeting instant every fan of every team Bears and Horned Frogs, Longhorns and Aggies, Sooners and Red Raiders, the Plantersville Warts and the Farmerton Fightin Fire Ants is rooting for a contender. In that moment before the thump of kickoff, there is hope in the air on both sides of every stadium in every

town that tees up a football. Hope fuels devotion, and devotion feeds faith the faith to buy bowl tickets four months early. Or simply to pull out the pom-poms for yet another year. How could you not look forward to that?
Donnis Baggett is publisher and editor of the Waco TribuneHerald. His email address is His mailing address is P.O. Box 2588, Waco, Texas, 76702-2588.

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Lives Lived
Shirley Irwin
July 17, 1936 September 2, 2011

November 7, 1919 September 2, 2011

Wilma Schneider

Shirley Irwin, 75, of Waco, passed away Friday, Sept. 2, 2011. Graveside services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Rosemound Cemetery. The family will receive visitors Monday 6 to 8 p.m. at Pecan Grove Funeral Home 3124 Robinson Dr. Shirley was born July 17, 1936, in Temple to William and Lillie Mae Whyburn. She married James M. Irwin in 1954 and together they raised five sons. She loved to play bingo and listen to country music. Her favorite country singer was always George Strait. During baseball season you could always find her watching the Texas Rangers. Shirley was a great Mom and loved her boys dearly. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Lillie Whyburn; husband, James M. Irwin; brothers, Calvin, Sherman, and Glenn Whyburn; and sisters, Nora Blackburn and Doris Curlee. She is survived by her sons, Andrew, Daniel, James and wife, Debbie, Damon and Phillip; brother, Jack Whyburn; 11 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Sign the Guest Book at

A thousand golden memories tied up in a bow Locked inside this shell you see not lost as you must know Love is not responding when body fails the mind But love is with you every day in a joy that you must nd I will be leaving shortly as you have probably guessed These years weve had together we truly have been blessed Ill be your soul companion both now and evermore another thousand memories most surely are in store

Wilma Courtade Schneider, 91, of Waco, passed away Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, in Waco. Graveside services will be 9 a.m. Monday at Bold Springs Cemetery near West. Memorials may be made to Caritas of Waco. A full obituary and memorial guestbook can be found at Sign the Guest Book at

Alfred C. Vavra
November 1, 1922 September 2, 2011

In Memoriam

Alfred C. Vavra, 88, of Ross, passed away Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, in West. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday at Aderhold Funeral Home Chapel, with Minister Sam Armstrong officiating. Burial will follow at White Rock Cemetery near Ross. The family will receive visitors 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Elm Mott Church of Christ or the charity of your choice. A full obituary and memorial guest book found at Sign the Guest Book at

Mary Jo Barnett Euell Dee Johnson

February 9, 1923 September 2, 2011 November 5, 1919 September 2, 2011

Euell Dee Johnson passed away Friday, Sept. 2, 2011. Graveside services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5, in the Garden Room at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey. Burr was born Feb. 9, 1923, to John Euell and Alta Dee Conger Johnson, in Hillcrest Hospital. He was a WW II Naval Tail Gunner and a farmer. He married Mildred Elizabeth Buice in 1943, and they had one son, Randee Buice, in 1943. Burr ran a dairy in Bosqueville and became owner of Service Feed Mill in 1957. He sold the feed mill in 1981 and retired. In 1980, he met and married Dorothy Stafford Phillips with whom he enjoyed 31 happy years. His hobbies were softball; fishing, especially for big, yellow catfish; and skeet shooting. He is a former member of the Waco Gun Club and Bosqueville Methodist Church. He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Mildred Elizabeth Buice; and step-son, Michael Phillips. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; son, Randee Buice Johnson, and wife, Sue, of China Spring; step-daughter, Leshia Nell Johnson of Jupiter, Fla.; and niece, Lynn Ferguson-Cash of Waco. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to your favorite charity. The family invites you to leave a message or a memory in our "Memorial Guestbook" at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey. Sign the Guest Book at

Mary Jo Barnett, 91, of Valley Mills, passed away Sept. 2, 2011, in Goodall-Witcher Nursing Facility. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 5, at the Valley Mills First United Methodist Church. Interment will be in the Valley Mills Cemetery under the direction of Foss Funeral Home. Visitation will be 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Mrs. Barnett was born Nov. 5, 1919, in Sherman, Texas. She was the daughter of E.C. and Maude Esta (Ross) Linton. She was a graduate of Sherman High School and Providence School of Nursing in Waco where she graduated as a registered nurse. She was an R.N. at Goodall-Witcher Hospital for over 45 years. Mrs. Barnett was a long time member of Valley Mills First United Methodist Church and was a member of Los Amigos Sunday school class. She was a member of the U.M.W. formerly known as W.S.C.S. Mary Jo married Robert Hall Barnett Sr. Sept. 25, 1943. They lived in Dallas before moving to Valley Mills. She loved sewing, gardening, cooking and watching humming birds. Most of all she loved being with family. She was preceded in death by her husband; a son, Robert Hall Bob Barnett Jr.; a daughter, Rosemary; a grandson, Jeremiah Barnett; a brother, Frank Linton; and sisters, Louise Linton and Ruth Ellen Chumbley. Survivors include her children, Joe and Marilyn Barnett of Coppell, Dan and Linda Barnett, and Sara and Dwight McMillan, daughter-in-law, Elaine Barnett, all of Valley Mills, and Jane Trainor of Georgetown; brothers and sisters-in-law, W.A. Chumbley, Prentice and Ann Barnett and Duane Skiles; 16 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and friends. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church of Valley Mills. Sign the Guest Book at

Wade F. Nelson
February 14, 1934 - September 4, 2008

Karlene Marie Pina

September 4, 1954 September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom We love you and miss you. Paul, Jason, Andrea, Jeremy, Gloria, P.J., Noemi, and Grandkids

Death leaves a heartache no one can erase! Wherever I am, Whatever Im doing, you are always in my heart! You are always on my mind! Sept. 4, 2008, God took the very best! ISAFLOY, Your Loving Wife Forever

Samantha Jo Buis
March 18, 1991 September 7, 2008

Thinking of You with Love We thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new. We thought about you yesterday and days before that too. We think of you in silence, we often speak your name. All we have are memories, and your picture in a frame. Your memory is our keepsake, with which we will never part. God has you in His keeping; we have you in our hearts. A million times weve wanted you. A million times we cried. If love could only have saved you, you never would have died. It broke our hearts to lose you. But you didnt go alone. For a part of us went with you...the day God called you Home. Love, Momma, Ty & Darrell