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The Hamilton Herald-News 138th Year Volume Eleven

Storm takes David’s roof

Hamilton, Texas 76531 Thursday, March 14, 2013

75 Cents

Grocery store expects to reopen in 4-6 weeks Workers continued to work on the David’s Supermarket building this week after a severe thunderstorm with straight-line winds peeled the roof off the town’s only grocery store just before closing time Saturday evening. “The clock is still stopped at the time it hit,” said assistant manager Donna Hines. “It’s pretty eerie. “We knew a severe storm was coming, and we had all moved our vehicles to the corner, but we weren’t expecting anything like this. It was closing time and everyone was pretty much out except for two cashiers and two sackers. I was in the office area.” Only two customers remained in the store’s aisles. “One of the sackers was at the door, and he said, ‘It’s here,’” Hines said. “About that time, the wind took the doors out and a draft went through. The ceiling started rolling in waves and coming down. “Then everything went black, and it was dead silence.” “We were sitting on the couch,” said Lane Mills, who lives behind the grocery store. “It had been a beautiful day and it was raining, but it was nice. We were all in the living room, listening to the

Dear Kenneth, I am writing this Sunday after the “Wind” at David’s. This is a THANK YOU to David’s employees led by Donna. Young as the majority of the crew were they conducted themselves as adults. I know because I was in David’s when the WIND, rain and hail HIT!! I was standing at the end of the first check-out counter. A young man, a sacker, was at the end check-out counter when the WIND hit, he tried to hold the entrance doors closed AN IMPOSSIBILITY! WHOOSH!! Ceiling tiles, insulation and etc. started falling. He had his cell phone out and called 911 immediately. Donna Continued to Page 10A rain,” added his wife, Kate. “All of a sudden we heard a noise like I’ve never heard before,” said Lane, a fireman who works in Georgetown. “The house started shaking. I looked out the window and thought – tornado. Then the lights went out. Everything was black.” Lane and Kate quickly gathered up daughters Finley, 2, and Josee, 5 months, and rushed down the hall to a bathroom where they took shelter under a mattress with

only a candle lighting the room. “We didn’t know what had happened until a neighbor said that David’s roof was in her back yard,” Lane said. “I looked out, and it was sticking straight up in the air. Thank goodness it wasn’t a tornado.” “I had a flashlight by my feet,” said Hines. “I knew if the power went out, I had to throw the breaker within five minutes or the freezers would fry.

TUESDAY HOUSE FIRE- A fire at 801 Nancy Ann about noon Tuesday sent the homeowner to the hospital, and at least two firemen were also transported to the hospital. The name of the female resident had not been released at press time Tuesday and the extent of the injuries was also unknown. The fire was extinguished quickly. Information on the radio scanner when the initial alarm was issued indicated the resident was trapped in the kitchen area and that the fire was in the kitchen. Staff Photo

Circle T to add arena, gets tax abatement During a called meeting last Wednesday afternoon, county commissioners voted unanimously to sign a resolution approving an application for tax abatement of a new arena at the Circle T Ranch. Commissioners Johnny Wagner, Lloyd Huggins and Dickie Clary were present at the meeting that was presided over by County Judge Randy Mills. Commissioner Mark Tafel arrived after the meeting had already begun. In discussing the abatement, Mills said, “Hamilton County has seen the fruits of tax abatements.” Huggins asked what portion of Circle T would be covered by the abatement. Mills said it would be the improved portion, which is estimated to cost $700,000.

The county tax rate on that abatement will be based on the county rate of .5579 per $100 valuation. The abatement is calculated to amount to about $3,905.30 per year. “No doubt it will generate more economic activities in the community,” Huggins said. County Attorney Mark Henkes said that, in order to grant a tax abatement, the property must be in a reinvestment zone. When Circle T got an initial tax abatement in 2004, the property was declared a reinvestment zone, but that is good for only five years, so it is necessary for the Commissioner’s Court to go through the process of declaring it a reinvestment zone again. The Circle T Reinvestment Zone approved Continued to Page 7A

“But I went down to the ground. Everything was coming down. It was like boulders from the sky, like a bomb attack. I really thought it was a tornado that dropped right there, like there was an X on top of our building. “And calling (store manager) Kevin (Timmons),” she said, then paused. “What do you say? “I didn’t know how to tell him. He thought there were maybe some cracks in the roof, but then he got there-”

“We’re gonna get this thing opened again,” Timmons said Tuesday morning. “We’re hoping in six weeks or less, four to six weeks if the weather cooperates. “We thank everyone for their prayers, and we love you all,” he said. “We are thankful for all the offers for help. “How lucky are we to have everyone in our town – the EMS, the city workers, the fire department and citizens – everyone offering to help.”

Timmons said there were four employees and two customers in the store at the time of the storm, and only one was taken to the hospital. “We are so thankful,” he said. The next few weeks will be busy ones as what’s left of the roof is removed and a new one installed, then a new ceiling and lights. “Then we’ll go from there,” Timmons said. “We’re just Continued to Page 10A

What the Old Man Said

Play opens Saturday Hamilton Civic Theatre’s next production, “What the Old Man Said,” is an original play by Debbie Roberts and Maria Weaver. Set in Hamilton, the play has a cast of 23, not a small feat for our small town. HCT veteran Larry Coble plays Pawky, who is spending the afternoon with his grandchildren, Buster and Lily (Caleb Lengefeld, Taylor Collett). He entertains them by telling stories about growing up in old-time Hamilton. The play also features Billy and Ruby (Matthew Stephens, Devyn Gilmore), Continued to Page 2A

TELLING TALES- Above, Taylor Collett, Larry Coble and Caleb Lengefeld, and top photo, Candace Thompson, Alyce Poteet and Grant Lengefeld rehearse scenes for Hamilton Civic Theatre’s “What the Old Man Said,” which opens Saturday at the Ross Street Theater. Staff Photos

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