July 2022 ALT Magazine

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ALT magazine

covering the ark-la-tex

BACK THE BLUE LOCAL WEDDINGS JULY 2022 | ALT-MAG.COM


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J u l y 2 0 2 2 / Vo l u m e 1 6 / I s s u e 7

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LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS - GISELA ALTAMIRANO - KYLE CAUDLE - KYLE HOLCOMB - JACOB MEADOWS - KAREY PARKER - JASON WOOLDRIDGE

covering the ark-la-tex COO / PUBLISHER Debbie Brower EDITOR Alyssa Bertrand

SALES & MARKETING Debbie Brower 903.334.9605

HIGHLIGHTS BY: ANNE GRANADO

Fo r adve r t isin g in fo r m a t io n , c al l 903.334.9605

GRAPHIC DESIGN Alyssa Bertrand PHOTOGRAPHY Debbie Brower FEATURED WRITER Anne Granado

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FISH TALES CALENDAR OF EVENTS LOCAL RESCUES

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Debbie Brower, Mike Brower, Dustin Stringer, Suzie Tyler If you have an event you would like to include in our Upcoming Events section, please e-mail us at: alyssa@alt-mag.com.

A LT - M AG . c o m (903) 334-9605 | info@alt-mag.com 101 Slaton Dr. Nash, TX 75569 ALT Magazine is published the 1st business day of every month. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission of ALT Magazine is strictly prohibited. ALT Magazine is distributed free of charge. Direct mail subscriptions are available for $60.00 per year. Contributions from our readers are welcome. We reserve the right to edit or reject any material.

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From the Publisher.. Backing the Blue… I have supported law enforcement all of my life. Other than a few years in my early twenties (when I decided to be a “wild child,”) I have obeyed the law and tried my best to help others. (We won’t talk about those years here, though. LOL) It is no surprise, then, that each year I dedicate one magazine to highlighting those in our area who help us every day, ensuring we are safe. Knowing that we have someone to call when we are scared, when we are hurt, or when we are in need is always comforting. I love watching the Andy Griffith Show. It was a hit show when I was a child, and I still believe that is true today. There is just something about smalltown life, with a sheriff and one deputy, that is idyllic. Of course, Barney, the deputy sheriff, could use a little bit more training, but whenever Barney’s around, comedy ensues. Wouldn’t it be nice to have prisoners who lock themselves into the jail cell and go to sleep? What would it be like to go back to that time in our lives? Today’s officers don’t have many comedy routines in their jobs. There is so much that happens that they stay busy all the time, whether they work for local, state, or federal agencies. And I’m going to guess that most prisoners don’t lock themselves in their cells! So why do these men and women of law enforcement do what they do? What makes someone decide to put their life on the line every

day? The short answer is that they are called to help. Those responding to that call are there because they feel it is their duty. Aren’t we glad that there are people like that in our presence? They want to help others in time of need. Being a firearms instructor, I have listened to many 911 phone calls where someone has needed a police officer’s assistance. Hearing the scared voices is disturbing. In some of the recordings, it may take 15 minutes or more for an officer to arrive on the scene. Knowing that those voices change once a police officer is in their presence makes all the difference. The relief is evident. They feel safe again. That’s what our law enforcement officers (LEOs) are here for: to help us and calm our fears in a time of need. This month, we show our thanks to our officers for all they do. If you see an LEO out and about, make sure they know how much you appreciate them. With so much bad going on in the world, let’s show them they are the ones we care about, appreciate, and love. Do something special for just one LEO. They don’t have to know it was you; it can be anonymous – which is what my husband and I love to do. Not only will it make their day so much better, but it will also make your day. Show them they are appreciated. They need that affirmation at times. One little gesture is all it takes to make them smile. God will definitely bless you and yours for the good you do in the world. Go do it.


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SGT. GISELA LORENA ALTAMIRANO TEXARKANA INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICE DEPARTMENT

Gisela Altamirano started her law enforcement career with the Texarkana Texas Police Department in August 2002 as one of the first Hispanic female officers. She was assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division early in her career, working on crimes against children, sexual assaults, and domestic violence. She was also a member of the hostage negotiations team and a certified bike patrol officer. In October 2010, she was given an opportunity to work at Texarkana College Department of Safety as a police officer, where she stayed for 11 years. During that time, she was assigned to patrol, became a R.A.D. instructor, and continued to be a hostage negotiator. In September 2021, she was given the opportunity to work for the Texarkana Independent School District Police Department, where she was assigned as a Sergeant. “The most rewarding part of my job is interacting with and building relationships with the many students I meet daily. In the eight months that I have worked for the TISD Police Department, I have had the privilege of working at Texas Middle School primarily. I look forward to being greeted by students in the hallways as they call out ‘Hey Mrs. G!’ Many students invite me to their games, or talk to me when they are having a bad day,” Sgt. Altamirano says. “I have a chance to interact with students on a more personal level and to build their trust in me as an officer and law enforcement in general.” Sgt. Altamirano says that just knowing that she is making a small difference in a child’s life helps motivate her on the most difficult days of her job. However, one of the most challenging aspects of her job is not being able to help every child/student see their potential. She wishes she could help them see how their choices affect them long-term. “The most important day-to-day responsibility as an officer for the school district is to help keep them safe and make a positive impact in a child’s life,” Sgt. Altamirano says. Sgt. Altamirano knows first-hand what it can be like for many of our TISD students. Growing up in California, she used to hang out with the “wrong crowd,” trying to fit in. Many of her friends were members of gangs or had close ties to them, but Sgt. Altamirano feels that God placed the right people at the right time in her life while growing up. “I was introduced to basketball while attending Lincoln Middle School, which kept me off the streets until moving to Texarkana, Texas. Once I was in Texarkana, it was difficult adjusting to school when no one looked like you or could relate to you, but there was one teacher I will never forget: Mr. Mac. 012

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He made it a point to make me feel like I belonged,” Sgt. Altamirano says. “Also my freshman English teacher, Mrs. Murray was genuinely there for her students and made them think of their future beyond high school. I was the first in my family to graduate high school and attend college, but I had no clue where to even start to get there.” Then, a group of people from “Talent Search” entered Sgt. Altamirano’s life and helped her realize that she had the potential and an opportunity to attend college. Mr. Moser, Mrs. Sonia Jewell, and Toney Favors helped Sgt. Altamirano reach her goals by helping her fill out college applications and attend college tours. “It is because of people like them who took the time to really care that helped change the life of a young Mexican-American girl who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to attend college,” Sgt. Altamirano says. “I feel my role as a police officer in the school district gives me the opportunity to give back and perhaps help change the life of a child like the many adults who helped me when I needed it the most.” At home, Sgt. Altamirano always had the support of her mother, Guadalupe, and her sisters, Melissa and Esmerelda. Sgt. Altamirano says that her mother, Guadalupe, always showed her daughters the value of hard work, perseverance, and determination. Guadalupe came to this country at the age of sixteen as an immigrant, and even though she did not speak the language, she never gave up. She worked long hours, and she often went without so that Sgt. Altamirano and her sisters could have the best opportunities. Guadalupe could only complete the sixth grade in Mexico because, as the oldest daughter, she had to stay home and help her parents. “Because of this, my mother always stressed the importance of education and told us not to take it for granted because without it, life would be so much harder. She encouraged my sisters and me to always make good grades and to continue our education as far as we were able to. She always said that giving us the opportunity to get an education was the biggest gift she could give us besides us being an American citizen,” Sgt. Altamirano says. “I am grateful for everything my mother has sacrificed, not only for me, but also for my children and sisters.” Sgt. Altamirano has two children, Natalie and Braden. Her daughter Natalie is married to Nicholas Pope, and they have four children of their own: Levii, Rowan, August, and Ian. “Natalie was only 6-years-old when I became a police officer. She has been my biggest supporter,” Sgt. Altamirano says. “A few years later my son, Braden, came along and made life that much better. He is a loving, smart, good-hearted young man that makes me proud every day. My daughter, Natalie, became the best big sister to her brother when he was diagnosed with Autism, and she helped out so much when I was at work. They have both been so understanding and supportive of my career even though I’ve missed a lot of milestones in their lives. They are the reason I am who I am.” In college, Sgt. Altamirano was inspired to pursue law enforcement as a career after taking several sociology, psychology, and criminal justice courses. “Dr. Bunting was my sociology instructor at Texarkana College, and she made A LT M a g a z i n e | J u l y 2 0 2 2

it so interesting,” Sgt. Altamirano says. “I became fascinated with human behavior and why people and society behave and react the way we do. I felt that by becoming a police officer I could possibly make a positive change in my community.” When she started her field training, Sgt. Altamirano had several obstacles to overcome, including her size. Standing at only five feet, Sgt. Altamirano felt like she had to work twice as hard to prove to both male officers and the citizens that she would encounter that she could handle herself in physical or difficult situations. “Early on in my training, I was assigned to Officer Brent Caudle, who probably had one of the biggest impacts on my career in law enforcement. He said, ‘G, you can’t physically do everything a male officer can in every situation, so you’re going to have to learn and master your verbal communication skills.’ Then, he demonstrated these skills every time we were dispatched to a call. I began to notice that he rarely had to raise his voice and never got angry or flustered, yet he could get people to comply. He spoke to people with respect, and he knew exactly how to communicate with the variety of personalities we had to deal with on a daily basis,” Sgt. Altamirano says. “I have spent most of my career trying to master the skills of communications that he so effortlessly demonstrated and taught me. The ability to learn how to read people and situations and effectively communicate has helped tremendously.” Office Caudle is just one in a long line of officers that have influenced and supported Sgt. Altamirano. “I have been blessed. God has really placed so many wonderful people in my life and career like Chief Gass, Officer Chuck Green, Officer Vic Thornburg, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they Sgt. Looney, will be called the children of God.” Sgt. Biggar, Sgt. - Matthew 5:9 Daddato, Officer Palmore, Officer Hakk, Chief Warren and Chief Irvin,” Sgt. Altamirano says. “To all of them, I am truly grateful for the experiences, lessons, guidance, encouragement, and opportunities they have given me in my 20 years in law enforcement.”

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SGT. KYLE CAUDLE

TEXARKANA ARKANSAS POLICE DEPARTMENT Sgt. Kyle Caudle has worked in the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department’s narcotics division for nine years. He originally decided to go into law enforcement to help and protect others. “I wanted a career that provided an opportunity to make a positive difference in the community. The most rewarding part of my job is helping others, both citizens and my coworkers. The most challenging part of my job is answering calls that have adverse outcomes involving children,” Sgt. Caudle says. “The only thing that helps overcome the negative aspect of these calls is the opportunity to be a positive role model and develop relationships with children in our community. What motivates me on tough days is knowing that I can still make a difference.” Sgt. Caudle attended Maud ISD, where he was involved in playing football, basketball, and baseball. “Playing sports helped to teach me how to deal with adversity, put the team’s goals ahead of my own, and be a leader,” Sgt. Caudle says. “When I’m not at work, I help pastor a local church, and I assist in coaching my daughter’s sports teams.” Being a part of a team is something that has always appealed to Sgt. Caudle, and it was what he enjoyed most about playing sports. “There is nothing like a group of people who are willing to put the team’s success ahead of their own to achieve an objective,” Sgt. Caudle says. “Law enforcement is one of the few jobs where it is truly about teamwork and being successful together.” One example of this occurred a few years ago when Sgt. Caudle was serving in the Special Operations division. Sgt. Caudle was assisting one of the narcotics investigators, who had just purchased an automatic rifle and an explosive device from a suspect. When Sgt. Caudle and the investigator attempted a traffic stop on the suspect, he immediately fled. “From the information we had, we knew it was highly likely the suspect was in possession of numerous firearms and illegal narcotics. The pursuit lasted a few miles and ended 016

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after the suspect lost control of his vehicle and flipped several times,” Sgt. Caudle says. “Thankfully for all parties involved, no one was seriously injured. Drugs and weapons were recovered at the scene of the crash.” When Sgt. Caudle faces dangerous situations, he thinks about his family at home. Sgt. Caudle has been married to his wife, Melissa, for nine years, and they have two children: Caroline, six years old, and Cohen, almost two. “My family means the world to me, and I’m not sure where I would be without them. My wife has supported me in everything throughout my career. She has sacrificed more than anyone so that I could be successful. From the random callouts, night shifts, crazy schedule changes, and out-of-town/state training, she has always stepped up and looked after our family while also being successful in her own career as a kindergarten teacher,” Sgt. Caudle says. “Having children changed my life more than anything because I didn’t think it was possible to love someone so much. It makes you want to be better for them, to be an example for them to follow.” As a father and a person invested in the Texarkana community, Sgt. Caudle works hard to build positive relationships with Texarkana citizens. One way he does this is by working with programs like P.R.I.D.E., where officers develop relationships with the children and mentor them throughout their school years. According to Sgt. Caudle, another important aspect of building positive relationships is being transparent and honest and making information available and accessible to the public. Finally, he says that TAPD tries to educate the community through the citizen’s police academy. “We provide a comprehensive breakdown of our entire department during the academy. We go over the different functions of each division (patrol, special operations, CID, narcotics, and SWAT) and how each division works in conjunction with the others to ensure success as a department,” Sgt. Caudle says. “Once the academy is complete, our citizens have a greater understanding of what is taking place within our department on a day-to-day basis.” Even on the more challenging days, Sgt. Caudle says that he cannot imagine having any other career. “There are many challenging things that we encounter while working in this profession, but it’s also one of the most rewarding jobs in the world,” Sgt. Caudle says. “I have been able to do and experience things that would be hard for most people to believe.” A LT M a g a z i n e | J u l y 2 0 2 2

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KYLE HOLCOMB

BOWIE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION When Officer Kyle Holcomb was 21 and living in Ohio, studying and school were the last things on his mind, so his father strongly suggested that Kyle find a job. Kyle was encouraged to apply for a Corrections Officer opening since one of Kyle’s dad’s friends was the Ross County Sheriff. “I went through the process and was hired. I got to know the road deputies, and they kept telling me that I needed to ride with them. I remember riding the first time, and I was hooked!” Officer Kyle Holcomb says. “I rode so much they had to limit the amount of time I could ride out, so I went to the police academy and that’s where I started my career.” After moving back to Texas from Ohio, Officer Holcomb worked for the local natural gas company and the Liberty Eylau Fire Department as a Fire Investigator. “When 9/11 happened, I thought I could do more, and I challenged the Texas police exam and started working for Queen City shortly thereafter,” Officer Holcomb says. “I went on to work as the Assistant Chief of Mount Pleasant Police Department, and I went to work with the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Investigations Division, in February of 2021.” Though Officer Holcomb has lived in other places, Texarkana has always felt like home. His father worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and he transferred to Texarkana when Officer Holcomb was just starting school. “I attended Beverley and Wake Village Elementary Schools. I was part of the last ninth-grade class at Westlawn Junior High before moving to Ohio,” Officer Holcomb says. “I came back as often as I could and eventually moved back in the early 90s. I just consider Texarkana home, and it always calls me back if I leave.” For Officer Holcomb, the most rewarding part of the job happens when he can bring a victim or their loved ones comfort by bringing those responsible for harming them to justice. “In a recent case that sticks out, a lady said that when I arrested her ex-husband, she was finally able to get some rest for the first time in months from the constant harassment. Another rewarding part of my job is working with a great team of investigators and deputies at the sheriff’s office. We have a lot of fun and help each other through the hard times,” Officer Holcomb says. “The most challenging part of my job is investigating cases where children are involved. It never ceases to horrify me what a human can do to another, especially the children.”

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However, it is the ability to help others that keeps Officer Holcomb coming back day after day to the job, no matter what that day may bring. “It isn’t hard to get motivated on the tough days because you see that person hurting or their family struggling with what has happened to their loved one, and you just want to bring them peace,” Officer Holcomb says. “It is the slow days that some of the thoughts can haunt you, and I just ask Jesus for a little bit of his time and hug my wife a little tighter.” Officer Holcomb is married to Kimberly Holcomb, a mortgage originator with Farmers Bank. They are celebrating twenty years of marriage this year. “She is my best friend and my biggest fan,” Officer Holcomb says. “I have a stepson, Clayton, an aircraft mechanic, and my hunting buddy. I have two daughters, Destanie, who is a schoolteacher, and Lindsay, who is a nurse in the military.” Whenever he is not working, Officer Holcomb loves to hunt and considers hunting season a chance to recharge. “Hearing the woods come to life each morning is a blessing. It does not matter to me if I get anything; it’s about observing the awesome world God created for us,” Officer Holcomb says. “My favorite thing to hunt is ducks. There is nothing better than seeing a group of mallards with their wings cupped coming down out of the sky straight towards your spread of decoys.”

to attend the January 2012 class, and during his physical training preparing for the academy, he started having back issues. These back pains got worse, and he scheduled a CT exam. Officer Holcomb got a call from the doctor a couple of days before Christmas saying that he needed to see a specialist because there appeared to be masses on both hips. “I thought I had lost my chance to attend the FBI Academy. I had to tell them I could not walk by New Year, let alone run six miles as required. I finally got a diagnosis in March of NonHodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage IV. After receiving chemotherapy and building my body back, I was asked to attend the Spring 2013 FBI National Academy,” Officer Holcomb says. “I made my training goal to complete the FBI’s Yellow Brick Road Course. The Yellow Brick Road is a 6.1-mile run through the hills of Virginia and parts of the Marine Corps obstacle course. I did not tell anyone there that my goal was to complete this until I was done.”

Officer Holcomb says that many people have supported and guided him throughout his career, including his parents, both in the law enforcement field, his co-workers, and his mentors. “However, the one person that mentored me the most would be Chief Wayne Isbell. Wayne pushed me to go beyond what I thought I could do and gave me the tools to achieve the goals I set,” Officer Holcomb says. “I received my bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State at 50 because of him. Wayne has the ability to lead people and address them with humility while still achieving a law enforcement objective.” Besides receiving his degree, Officer Holcomb is also very proud to complete the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, a 10-week professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers that provides coursework in intelligence theory, terrorism, law, behavioral science, and forensic science. Officer Holcomb was scheduled

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OFFICER JACOB MEADOWS NASH POLICE DEPARTMENT

Officer Jacob Meadows felt called to join law enforcement as a career. He considered other professions but had peace about policing, so he pursued it. He says that the most rewarding part of the job is being able to come home after a shift, knowing he made a positive impact in the community. “Not every shift is that way, but the few and far between are worth it,” Office Meadows says. “The most challenging part of the job is accepting the fact there are things you cannot change. Many times you see horrible choices the same people make over and over again and how their choices negatively affect them and others in their life. The fact that you cannot facilitate positive change in people’s lives to the point you wish you could, can be bothersome. But that’s where personal responsibility comes in for every person.” Officer Meadows grew up and went to school at the west end of the county in Simms, Texas. He participated in FFA and multiple sports growing up, and because Simms is a very small town, he had essentially the same group of friends from elementary school up to college. “Many people tend to look down on going to a small school, but when I look back, I am proud of it. Simms is a very rural, close-knit community where everyone is familiar with each other. I believe in many ways that can be a huge positive regarding a person’s upbringing,” Office Meadows says. “As a young kid, I was always outdoors, running around in the woods and out and around the creeks trying to catch any animal I could. Summers involved riding four-wheelers and bikes up and down gravel roads. In the wintertime, my friends and I would usually go camping on one of our family’s properties, then wake up the next morning dragging to a sporting event or practice. As far as childhood memories, those probably carry the most weight.” Now, Texarkana is also special to Officer Meadows. “Texarkana is where I met my wife, started our family, finished college, started following Jesus, and we haven’t left yet,” Officer Meadows says. Texarkana is also where Officer Meadows has founded his training company, West End Combatives. Officer Meadows is a martial artist who 024

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enjoys training mixed martial arts, primarily grappling. “I have been doing this for approximately six years and counting,” Officer Meadows says. “ It is a way of life for me at this point, and honestly, without it, I do not know how I could function.” Through West End Combatives, Officer Meadows offers civilian gun owner courses and LEO courses that are TCOLE accredited and approved. The main course he currently instructs is called Extreme Close Quarter Handgun. It is a course that teaches students how to efficiently and practically respond to a violent encounter in a weapon-based entanglement with an attacker in extremely close quarters. “The course covers the evolution of a gunfight at arm’s length and closer, which statistically is where 68% of shootings occur,” Officer Meadows says. “I also assist in running a Police Jiu-Jitsu Program at Texarkana Combat Sports with head coach Craig Campbell. We do a free class bi-weekly specifically for LEOs, which, both directly and indirectly, helps them with arrest and control tactics, self-defense, and general fitness. In addition, I periodically coach grappling at a local mixed martial arts school. Martial arts is a passion of mine, and I am grateful that it helps me be a better asset to others within my profession.” Officer Meadows feels very passionate about integrating ongoing and mandatory defensive tactic training for police departments. He would like departments in the Texarkana area to become some of the most progressive in the state regarding mandatory training. “I believe the current culture in policing in regards to defensive tactics/arrest and control tactics is irresponsible, lacking, and negligent even. In totality, the culture is moving in the right direction in many other places, but, in this area, it is still extremely behind,” Officer Meadows says. “Within policing in general, nationwide, there is a serious deficit in relevant defensive tactics training compared to how many incidents officers are involved in where physical force is used.”

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According to Officer Meadows, officers have to use physical force every single time a person is placed in handcuffs, and physical force is used on resisting or combative subjects more than any other tool available on officer’s tool belts. “Yet, most departments have zero to four hours yearly, mandatory defensive tactics or arrest and control training,” Office Meadows says. “Ongoing defensive tactic training is something I am encouraging to happen in this area and will continue to do so. The benefits officers and communities receive are tremendous.” In Officer Meadow’s opinion, officers who train carry a more respectable presence on scenes, are more confident and competent, and have a greater ability to solve problems under stress than officers who do not. “Also, individuals the officers interact with on calls are safer because of the training they receive,” Officer Meadows says. All of this contributed to why I started West End Combatives and why I try to encourage local officers to attend the free LEO classes Texarkana Combat Sports hosts.”

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For your service. For your courage. For your sacrifice.

Thank you.

WE THank you!

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to all men and women of Law Enforcement! 903-838-4377 7478 Hampton Road, Texarkana, Texas

Thank you to all the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday. We support you.

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HEROES are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place.

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OFFICER KAREY PARKER

TEXARKANA TEXAS POLICE DEPARTMENT Officer Karey Parker has worked for the Texarkana Texas Police Department since March 2010. Before that, he was a police officer in New Orleans for almost five years. “I wanted to become a police officer to help restore the relationship between the police and the community. While some in the community seem to think that it’s a ‘us against them’ mentality, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Officer Parker says. “We are all working together to make our community the best that it can be. There is only ‘us.’” Because Officer Parker serves as a Neighborhood Area Coordinator, he’s not typically dedicated to working a patrol beat like most other officers. That added time and flexibility allows him to engage the community on a deeper level and think outside the box on ways that law enforcement can better serve their citizens. “I work directly with other city departments and community organizations (such as code enforcement, city manager’s office, Texarkana Homeless Coalition, and several neighborhood associations) to find more long-term solutions to citizens’ problems. I also do presentations for school-age kids that cover a wide range of safety topics and introduce them to the police as helpers in the community,” Officer Parker says. “Unfortunately, kids get a distorted view of police officers based upon what they see on television and in movies. I just want to be sure that they know that police officers are their friends and they can come to us when they have a problem. In addition to all of that, I also conduct background investigations for police and dispatcher applicants.” The most rewarding part of the job for Officer Parker is earning the community’s trust and respect. “I feel good when people specifically call and want to speak 030

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to me because they know that I care and will do my best to help them solve whatever problems they’re facing at that moment,” Officer Parker says. “As far as the most challenging part of the job for me, it would have to be arresting the same people for committing the same crime over and over. I try to talk and motivate them to do better, and in some instances, they listen and many thank me later.”

opportunity,” Officer Parker says. “Also, we hope to be grandparents and have the chance to spend time with them. I’m looking forward to taking them fishing with me when they get a little bit older, like my father did me and my six siblings. I still smile when I think about us all loading up together in the station wagon with my parents and going fishing, even if we didn’t like fishing or didn’t want to go.”

When Officer Parker thinks about the mentors and officers who have taught him the most about law enforcement, he can’t limit it to just one person. He says it has been a group effort on the part of many people here in Texarkana and New Orleans. “I’ve learned from my instructors at the academies and my co-workers. I also credit the citizens that I meet on a daily basis with having taught me a lot about how to do my job better. I’ve learned how to better talk to people in different situations, whether it be a crisis or just a casual conversation,” Officer Parker says. “I believe that I am a better innovator, motivator, and creator today than before entering law enforcement because of these unique relationships that I’ve developed over the years. My job as a police officer has taught me to be a patient listener who gets all the facts before jumping to conclusions. I pride myself in being able to get my point across in stressful situations without being disrespectful or angry.”

Regarding the future, Officer Parker would like to see some positive changes in Texarkana. While it’s been a great place to raise his family, Officer Parker would like to see Texarkana invest in more activities for the youth, especially in the summer months. “We typically see an increase in crime during this time, and I think that organized activities for the young people would do a lot to help slow some of that down. I’d love to see us develop some pocket parks on some of the city owned vacant properties in neighborhoods around town. This would give kids a safe place to go have some fun and provide places for older kids to play basketball or other activities that will help keep them out of trouble,” Officer Parker says. “I also think that summer internships or apprenticeships for young people at local businesses would be a great way to teach them valuable skills that they can use later in life. We also need to continue to work toward attracting businesses to our community to boost the economy.”

Officer Parker’s motivation every day is to be able to go home to his family at the end of the shift. He has been married for 27 years to his wife, Yolanda. They met while working at Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital in New Orleans. “I saw her walking in the hallway one day and surprised myself when I suddenly just asked her out. She said, “Yes,” and we’re still together 30 years later. She’s a very lucky lady!” Officer Parker says. “We’ve got two grown sons: Karey Jr. lives in Arlington, Texas, and works for American Airlines. Keenan just graduated from Louisiana Tech and has now started his new job as an architect in Dallas. We’re very proud of their personal and professional accomplishments. My family has supported me through all the highs and lows of my career. They’ve been the rock in my life, and I can’t imagine where I’d be today without them.” In ten years, Officer Parker hopes to retire and have the chance to continue to travel the world with Yolanda. The couple really enjoys experiencing new places, cultures, and people, and their favorite vacation spot is Hawaii. “Yolanda and I have even talked about moving there at some point if we get the

“Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall be called the children of God.” -Matthew 5:9

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WE STAND WITH THIS LINE BECAUSE THEY ARE WORTH IT.

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Kelli Ashbrook

TO ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

Thank You,

TO ALL OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR ALL THEY DO DAILY TO KEEP US SAFE.

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OFFICER JASON WOOLDRIDGE

LIBERTY-EYLAU INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT Officer Jason Wooldridge graduated high school in Athens, Illinois, in 1988. Most of his family are farmers, so it was an understood expectation that every member of the family would help with chores around the farm. “When I was young, it felt good knowing that I helped my family and friends. It was a lot of fun learning to operate different equipment, work around livestock, and learn why it’s all necessary. Growing up as I did made law enforcement an obvious career choice,” Officer Wooldridge says. “As an officer, you get calls for a multitude of reasons and those people depend on your help. My coworkers also depend on my help, as I do theirs. At the end of the day or shift, you regroup and get ready to do it all over again the next day. There are many similarities between my upbringing and profession.” In his youth, Officer Wooldridge enjoyed hunting, hiking, fishing, and playing sports, but when it came time to choose a career, he relied on his continuing desire to help and protect others. “My parents raised me to try and see the good in everyone and to do my part to help all people. Then, I spent eight years in the Army as a military policeman. My time in the Army taught me discipline, the need for rules/ procedures, and the ability to protect people,” Officer Wooldridge says. “Those qualities guided me into law enforcement.” Officer Wooldridge worked for the Texarkana Texas Police Department for 22 years before retiring. Now, he works at Liberty-Eylau Independent School District, where he has been for the last three and a half years, and throughout his career, Officer Wooldridge has learned that creating good relationships with the community comes from honesty, consistency, and respect. “I try to let the citizens I come into contact with know the rules and why they need to be adhered to,” Officer Wooldridge says. “Sometimes taking the extra moment to explain things will help people understand where you are coming from.” Strong communication skills have become even more important as Officer Wooldridge has transitioned into the School Resource Officer (SRO) position. “I will be the first to admit that I’m still 034

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learning and adapting to the ISD environment. But, I truly believe that most, not all, of the same principles apply,” Officer Wooldridge says. “Basically, it boils down to showing them that you really do care and want them to succeed.” When people call for the police, it is usually because they are dealing with something tragic or completely unexpected, and for Officer Wooldridge, the most rewarding part of the job is to help citizens through these situations and try to provide them with a sense of relief. On the other hand, Officer Wooldridge says that the most challenging part for any law enforcement officer is to be able to separate their emotions from the job at hand. “There are times when a situation may remind us of something personal, so it’s vital to take our own experiences and emotions and not let them control the outcome. But, that’s not always easy to do, so I think of my own family,” Officer Wooldridge says. “How would I want someone to treat them if they needed help? We can’t get too involved in handling a call and jeopardize our career. My entire family depends on me and I don’t want to let them down. I don’t just mean my wife and children but also my brothers and sisters in Blue. We have to depend on each other on a daily basis, and sometimes our lives are at stake. I want to make sure we all go home safe and sound at the end of the day.”

home when they are there or why I can’t attend every one of their activities. They have always supported me.” In the future, Officer Wooldridge would love to see Texarkana return to being the town that attracts visitors, a town that its citizens can be proud of. “I love Texarkana, but some things have changed. Texarkana needs more officers on its police force and more constructive activities for our youth. It is hard for Texarkana and Bowie and Miller County departments to ‘serve and protect’ if they are shorthanded. That also makes it difficult to interact with citizens if they are call-hopping or only meeting people on whatever calls they are sent to,” Officer Wooldridge says. “For our youth, there doesn’t seem to be many things for them to do away from school, and what we do have already in place needs more exposure and support. As for myself, I need to be more vocal on what has to be done to help our youth and our community. I have to educate myself on how to set the wheels in motion. In my opinion, it is going to take everyone to make Texarkana a place to be proud of.”

Family is extremely important to Officer Wooldridge. He is married to Sheena Wooldridge, and together, they have nine kids and four grandchildren, with one on the way. Their children’s names are Ryan Wooldridge, Mike Wooldridge, Tequila Rivera, Shakeala Perez, McKenzie Wooldridge, Kyesha Nelson, Sheyenne Porter, Peyton Porter, and Cyghan Porter. “My family means the world to me. I will do whatever it takes to make sure they are safe, healthy, happy, and have their own paths to success. They have always been supportive of my career and seem to enjoy knowing their father is a police officer. As with all kids, they need ‘encouragement’ from time to time, but, for the most part, they take care of business at school and at home. That helps me tremendously when I’m away,” Officer Wooldridge says. “They are not always happy about it, but they understand why I can’t always be at A LT M a g a z i n e | J u l y 2 0 2 2

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Thank You! TODAY AND EVERYDAY, WE THANK THOSE THAT SERVE, THOSE THAT HAVE SERVED, AND THOSE WHO WILL SERVE FOR MAKING THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE TO KEEP US SAFE!

WE THANK YOU!

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COURAGE

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT THAT KEEPS OUR COMMUNITY SAFE!

is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

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financial focus

STRINGER WEALTH MANAGEMENT RAYMOND JAMES FINANCIAL STRINGERWEALTHMANAGEMENT.NET

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4 priceless money lessons for kids FAMILY AND LIFESTYLE

Financial literacy is a gift that lasts a lifetime.

Financial tradeoffs, interest rates and the importance of having an emergency fund: Our current economic circumstances are full of teachable moments we can and should share with our children. After all, they’re probably not learning these topics in school. Only 1 in 6 students will be required to take a personal finance course before earning a high school diploma, according to nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance. That’s why we’re equipping you with money tips and topics to discuss with the children in your life, plus independent study materials (ahem, videos and games) that will hold kids’ attention while teaching them money management. Keep reading to get to the head of the class.

Being in charge of the budget Are your children constantly asking you for money? One Florida father found a way to nip that in the bud: He had his teen and preteen sign a contract stating what expenses he would pay for, then gave them a set amount of money to spend each month for clothing, cellphone bill and extras. “My son’s hard lesson came when

his friend pushed him into a pool along with his cellphone. He learned why it’s important to build a reserve for unexpected expenses,” the father said. Giving your kids a paycheck allows them the chance to make financial decisions – and experience the consequences firsthand.

The economics of higher ed We’ve all asked a kid, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Instead ask what their interests are, and help them explore how they might be applied in a future career. This teaches them adaptability, something of value in a changing economic landscape. As they get closer to making a decision about whether to attend college or trade school, help them think through the costs and benefits. Junior Achievement’s Access Your Future app can help them crunch the numbers. And if you have a child already attending college, know that timing is everything. Yale researchers have found that graduating from college in a bad economy has a lasting negative impact on wages – and many students are considering gap years and grad school because of this.

The roots of retirement Raise your hand if you want to raise a child who will hit the ground running when it comes to saving for retirement. Personal A LT M a g a z i n e | J u l y 2 0 2 2


finance experts say we should let our children know that retirement is the biggest expense they’ll ever save for, and it’s important to start early. To help them understand the value of compounding, help them open a savings account (or guardian-type brokerage account) where they can experience the power of this phenomenon for themselves.

Extra credit knowledge

Tasty Donuts Donut • Croissant • Kolache • Fruit Sticks • Burrito Biscuit • Muffin • Coffee

When you’re young and don’t have much money, it’s easy to rely too much on credit and jeopardize your financial future. Help your child understand the importance of a good credit score, and explain how you keep yours up. Share stories about how you financed your first car or house, and explain in concrete terms how the interest rate affected the overall purchase price. Finally, consider adding your teen as an authorized user on your credit card and teaching them how to read a statement and pay the balance in full each month.

Homeschool resources For teens: • Search ngpf.org/arcade for web-based games like “Money Magic,” “Payback,” “Stax” and “Credit Clash” For younger kids: • Schoolhouse Rock! vintage videos like “Budget” and “Dollars and Sense” • Cha-chingusa.org offers Money Smart Kids videos like “Do it Passionately” and “Saving for Success” In giving your child the gift of financial literacy, you’re helping set them up for a brighter future. Through a purposeful approach, we can all do our part to raise the next generation of resourceful citizens.

Next steps • • •

Have family or friends share stories of how they thrived during a recession or found creative ways to stretch a budget. Consider helping your child get started with investing, keeping in mind their investments will change calculations for college aid. Introduce your family members – even the younger ones – to your advisor, who can act as a teacher’s aide for financial literacy.

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Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax advice. You should discuss any tax matters with the appropriate professional. © 2022 Raymond James Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange / SIPC, and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA / SIPC, are subsidiaries of Raymond James Financial, Inc. Raymond James® and Raymond James Financial® are registered trademarks of Raymond James Financial, Inc. A LT M a g a z i n e | J u l y 2 0 2 2

AMAZING LOCATIONS FOR EVERYONE!

(903) 796-5438 | 108 N Loop 59 | Atlanta, TX 75551 (870) 772-4328 | 2229 Trinity Blvd. | Texarkana, AR 71854 (870) 898-5700 | 1420 Constitution Ave. | Ashdown, AR 71822 (903) 832-5438 | 600 North Kings Hwy | Wake Village, TX 75501 (903) 628-0035 | 980 James Bowie Drive | New Boston, TX 75570

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Suzie TK Snippets By: Suzie Tyler

O Brother, Wherefore Art Thou? Last month I wrote about sisters. Now I’m giving the brothers equal time, but I must add a little disclaimer! This blog is my version and may be slanted to make me look good! Brothers are special too, and I was blessed with five, three older and two younger. There were almost ten years between my older sister and me. My mom was determined to make me a girly girl and wouldn’t let me learn certain things, like wringing a chicken’s head off and milking a cow. Those skills, I didn’t learn. With so many females in the kitchen; there was no room for me, and I never learned the true art of cooking. I loved to play outside with my younger brothers. When I started first grade, I had a rude awakening: the world did not revolve around me. However, when I lost my pretty brown barrette on the school ground, the principal discovered how determined I was when I would not get on the bus without my barrette. He bribed me by giving me a box of lost and found ones. My brothers loved having a little sister they could dote on and aggravate but gave in to anything I wanted. After being away in the Army, my dad did the same. Between the three of them and Santa, I got a tricycle, a blue pedal car, and a doll buggy with a doll on my fourth birthday and Christmas. My brother Orace came home from his Western Union Telegram job and saw my best friend Gayle playing on my pedal car! Behaving like a teenage brother and loving to get me riled up, he said, “Sue, Gayle is on your pedal car, make her get off.” According to the story related to me, I flew into her like a cyclone and made her get off, and she went home crying. They nicknamed me the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid! I’m sure the narrative was exaggerated! In researching my autobiography, I found two letters written to mom by my brothers who had joined the military. One said, “I’m sending you an allotment check. Buy Sue a bicycle for her birthday.” The other brother wrote, “I’m sending you an allotment check. Buy Sue what she wants for Christmas.” When Odis and I reconnected, I wrote him that my friend JoAnn and I didn’t smoke, drink or curse, but we were a little mean sometimes! He probably should have taken note, but he loved me. Now you know why I’m so spoiled and have so many pairs of shoes. My dad started it, the brothers added to it, and Odis brought it full circle! Some clips are from Growing Up In The Fifties, available on Amazon.

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ONE NATION

UNDER GOD. WORSHIP WITH US.

Love God. Serve Others. Teach Truth. Sunday Services, 10 am | PASTOR MICAH HARP CHRISTIAN WARRIORS CHURCH, 2101 E 50th St, Texarkana, AR 71854 042

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Drug Take Back Initiative Operation Medicine Cabinet The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department is proud to partner with Texarkana Emergency Center in an effort to remove unused and out of date prescription medicines from your homes. •It is important to know that law enforcement is only interested in the removal of unused and/or outdated medications from the homes of our citizens. •It matters not whose name is on the prescription, by whom it was prescribed, where it was prescribed, or where you reside. •We stress that it makes no difference if you live in Texas or Arkansas. •We take back all medications, no questions asked. You can remove the label if you desire but it’s not necessary. •We ask that you do not deposit needles (sharps), inhalers, medication from businesses or clinics, ointments, lotions, liquids, aerosol cans, hydrogen peroxide, or thermometers. One box has been placed behind the Bi State Justice Building at 100 N. State Line Ave., Texarkana, Arkansas and another outside the Texarkana Emergency Center, 4646 Cowhorn Creek Rd., Texarkana, Texas. These boxes are regularly checked and the contents are immediately packaged for destruction. If you would like to personally drop your medications off to law enforcement, you can at the Miller County Sheriff’s Office on East Street and Bi State Justice Building in Texarkana.

You can learn more about this program by visiting www.artakeback.org or on Facebook by searching Arkansas Take Back or Arkansas Drug take Back.

FIND

TexarkanaEmergencyCenter.com US ON 4646 Cowhorn Creek | Texarkana, TX 75503 | 903.838.80000 4 3

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Fish Tales with Mike Brower

Legendary Firearms INDOOR SHOOTING RANGE

VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS ON ALL OUR CLASSES!

WWW.LEGENDARYSHOOTINGSPORTS.COM

SIGN UP TODAY!

TEXAS LTC

RENTAL GUNS AVAILABLE TCOLE AND NRA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

Saturday, July 16th at 8:00am Not Happy Well, at this writing, I’m watching all the flooding in Yellowstone Park and downriver to Livingston, Montana. Essentially I am watching my fishing vacation go down the tubes.

Saturday, August 13th at 8:00am

Between Livingston and the entrance to Yellowstone, Highway 89 parallels the Yellowstone River. The river is only 50 to 100 feet from the highway in many places. In the areas the river is really close, the highway is now gone, taken out by the high water. Also, at this time, one of the two bridges leading to Hubbard’s Lodge from Highway 89 is gone, and the second might be. I just don’t know it yet. This SUCKS, big time. Two years ago, Debbie and I got knocked out of going fishing in Argentina by COVID-19. Now it’s flooding in, of all places, Montana. I had four days of guided trout fishing set up through Orvis and was really looking forward to it. Maybe we will get to go, maybe not…………… Grrrrrrrrrrr.

DON’T HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR SHOOTING SKILLS OR DON’T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE A FIREARM? CALL US TO SIGN UP FOR A

BASIC PISTOL PRIVATE LESSON

903.336.6139

101 SLATON DRIVE, NASH, TX LEGENDARYSHOOTINGSPORTS.COM

OPEN TUES-SAT: 11:00-6:00 | SUN - MON: CLOSED 044

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July Events 4

NEW BOSTON FREEDOM FEST

Freedom Fest/4th of July Celebration and Fireworks in downtown New Boston on Monday, July 4th! Come and bring your lawn chairs and enjoy music at the pavilion. Boy Scouts are grilling hamburgers and fireworks at 9pm.

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Come join the fun and learn the basics of line dancing. We will review some popular basic line dance steps and you will learn several fun dances, so you can join in at your next outing or party.

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TEXARKANA GOLF OPEN

July 13-16th, FREE ADMISSION FOR SPECTATORS! All are welcome to come support our future stars on their path to the PGA TOUR. Estimated Total Purse: $164,500 / $20,000 Guaranteed First Prize.

ARTWALL CAMP @ REGIONAL ARTS CENTER

Create public art with award winning artists! 1st-4th grade 10am-12pm with Lauren Lollies, AND 5th-8th grade 1:30pm-4pm with Darlene Taylor. $65/student and scholarships are available. Register by calling 903-792-8681.

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LINE DANCING @ TEXARKANA COLLEGE

SENIOR SUMMER BALL AT THE MALL

Who is ready for some fun this summer?? Ross & Shoalmire has teamed up with Southern Caregivers and Central Mall to host the first Senior Summer Ball at the Mall! This will be a BALL for the Senior Citizens in our communities to come together for FUN and information! We will have vendors present with activities and BINGO games every hour! Admission is FREE!

ALT Magazine wishes your family a safe and fun summer. Thank you to all of our loyal customers and partners, our law enforcement officers on both sides of the stateline, and you, for making each day possible! A LT M a g a z i n e | J u l y 2 0 2 2

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cub scout magic & mystery family camp

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boss sprint cars @ 67 speedway

Join us for a two night family camp based around the theme of magic & mystery! Come learn some magic and enter and uncover the mysteries of Camp Preston Hunt on! July 15th-17th!

Founded in 2015, the Bandits Outlaw Sprint Series (or BOSS) is an open comp winged sprint car series, thrilling fans from across the South Central United States. Featuring unrestricted engines, producing up to 900 hp, and light weight, purpose built race cars. Come see these unique cars at the 67 Speedway on Friday, July 29th, and Saturday, July 30th, at 6pm.

July 9th through August Yoga Brunch Crawl

Thrive Yoga is incorporating yoga classes in local downtown businesses on Saturdays. There will be a brief historical account of the space and it will be open to all levels. Already have booked Verona, The 1894 Gallery, The Ahearn Home, and Zapata’s. 045


Local Rescues

FOSTERS NEEDED!

CONTACT LOCAL RESCUES TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION! BOXER RESCUE OF TEXARKANA Facebook.com/ BoxerRescueOfTexarkana

BUCKY

PEBBLES

Passion For Pooches

Passion For Pooches

MUTTLEY CREW GERMAN SHEPHERD RESCUE Facebook.com/MuttleyCrewRescue PASSION FOR POOCHES (mostly small dogs) Facebook.com/passionforpooches TEXARKANA ANIMAL LEAGUE Facebook.com/ TexarkanaAnimalLeague TEXARKANA HUMANE SOCIETY TexarkanaHumaneSociety.org Facebook.com/ TexarkanaHumaneSocietyInc

BRANSON

SAWYER

Muttley Crew

GUNNER

Muttley Crew

Boxer Rescue of Texarkana

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BUDDY

Texarkana Animal League

CLOVER

Texarkana Animal League

ADOPT. DON'T SHOP.

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Bill Spradlin Realtor 903-748-3186

118 JAY LANE TEXARKANA, AR

Tracy Spradlin Broker 903-748-2477

Jan Williams Realtor 903-277-5771

Pam Hollingsworth Realtor 903-277-1222

John Trubia Realtor 817-701-8402 Now Servicing the Dallas Fort Worth Area!

Ronnie Olson Realtor 903-280-6831

Move-In Ready! This lovely three bedroom, two baths, two car garage home offers open spacious floor plan with gas log fireplace in the family room, the formal dining area, kitchen and breakfast area all together. Stainless appliances, white cabinetry and granite countertop through out the home. Color pallet is light pale grey and white, split bedrooms, master suite and bath offers tub, shower and separate sinks and closets. Two Bedrooms and a hall bath, Backyard has a covered patio, wood fence and small storage building. This is a beautiful home!

Kasi Copeland Realtor 817-771-3635

Amber McCormack Administrative Assistant 903-223-0710

Brenda Elrod Property Manager 903-559-1511

Candace Henry Assistant Property Manager 903-276-0971

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1356 N. Kings Hwy. | Nash, TX 75569 | 903.223.0710 billsprad@aol.com | spradlintd@aol.com www.ImpactRealtyOnline.com 0 47


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