Monthly Archives: August 2008

Are you smarter than Rockwall 5th-grader Bryce, who’s on the TV game show?

“Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader” is one of Fox TV’s most popular shows. Now word has it that one of this year’s “class” of fifth-graders on the game show is Bryce, a 10-year-old math whiz from Rockwall, who wants to be a lawyer or accountant when he grows up. No other details are available, but we’ll try to find out more and post a feature story about him.

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Rockwall squeaks by Midland Lee 15-14 at Midland

To provide Rockwall Yellowjacket fans with more details about yesterday’s exciting, season-opening  15-14 victory over Midland Lee yesterday in Midland, we found a detailed story on the Internet written by Midland Reporter-Telegram sports reporter Ryan Ferguson.

Here it is:

Rebels Fall To Rockwall, 15-14

A defensive struggle turned into a big-play explosion in the third quarter of Lee’s season opener against Rockwall.

While Lee used the two biggest plays of the game to take a 14-3 lead, the Yellow Jackets scored the game’s final 12 points to claim a 15-14 season-opening victory over the Rebels at Grande Communications Stadium on Saturday.

For the rest of the story, click here.

Rockwall Yellowjackets squeak by Midland Lee High School 15-14

After taking an early 3-0 lead, the Rockwall High School Yellow Jackets football team rallied from a 14-3  deficit to squeak by Midland Lee High School at Midland today, 15-14.

I listened to the game broadcast on FM 92.1 and it just ended.

No other details are available now, but how’s this for fast reporting?

Three County football players listed among most exciting by Dallas Morning News

Three high school football players from Rockwall County were listed among the most exciting in the Dallas area yesterday by Dallas Morning News sportswriter Keith Whitmire.

They are “Speed Back” Kendial Lawrence, running back at Rockwall-Heath; “Big Hitter” Austin Moss, Rockwall Heath linebacker; and “Athlete” Richard Morrison, quarterback at Royse City.

To see the entire list click here.

Wife of Rockwall Congressman Ralph Hall passes away

Mary Ellen Murphy Hall

(Click on photo to enlarge)

The wife of 14-term U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall (R-Rockwall), Mary Ellen Murphy Hall, passed away today at their Rockwall home. She was 83.

She had been in the hospital for two weeks but returned home Monday, according to Hall’s congressional office. She had long been battling a degenerative disease.

Rep. Hall had spent all his time with his wife since Congress was in recess and was with her when she died, according to Hall spokesman Tom Hughes.

“Mary Ellen was the love of my life and my best friend,” said Hall in a prepared statement. “She was a wonderful woman of great strength and character, a great mother and grandmother, and a wonderful companion and traveler.”

The Halls would have celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in November. They married Nov. 14, 1944, while Hall was serving in the Navy in Pensacola FL, the same day Hall received his pilot’s wings.

Mary Ellen Hall was active in her church, First United Methodist in Rockwall. She graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a degree in speech and drama. She served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Rockwall ISD from 1973 to 1978, twice serving as the board’s vice president, according to Rep. Hall’s office.

Hall said he has received many condolence calls.

“I know it is because of the many people she met who admired her and loved her.”

In addition to her husband, Mary Ellen Hall is survived by three sons and five grandchildren.

Funeral services are to be held at 4 p.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church, 1200 Yellow Jacket Ln. in Rockwall. A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Rest Haven Funeral Home in Rockwall.

New high school Bible class raises concerns in Texas

School’s in again and, in some high schools across the state, Bible classes are being taught. Here’s a TV news report from last night on WFAA Channel 8 TV revealing that the class is raising concerns:

See the video

I’ll be contacting the Rockwall and Royse City ISDs today to learn whether Bible classes are being taught locally.

Royse City’s cash shortfall now up to $1.9 million; Mayor fears layoffs

Royse City City Council members revealed in their Aug. 21 meeting that the City’s cash shortfall is actually $1.9 million – rather than the $1.3 million previously stated – plus that amount must be cut from its $8.5 million budget for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

They also explained that the City has only enough money to pay employees for the next two pay periods.

Royse City Mayor Jim Mellody said he fears the City will have no choice but to begin laying off City employees, although no specific cuts were announced.

Most of the 50 people who attended the meeting were City employees who are worried about whether they still will have jobs and were seeking clues.

“We’re trying to figure out if we still have jobs,” said Travis Kimber, who works for the city’s water department.

The cash shortfall news was first reported at the City Council meeting Aug. , when City Manager Karen Philippi was suspended.

City officials said no money is missing, and that Philippi is not suspected of committing any crimes.

According to Jim Carbonies, a financial advisor for the City, she made revenue forecasts that fell short of expenses, based upon a lot of assumptions that Royse City would continue rapid growth, but she didn’t inform the City Council of the growing gap.

Royse City’s population more than tripled between 2000 and 2007.

“They predicted another 500-plus homes being built, but growth almost shut down.”

The shut down has resulted in significant drops in construction fees, fewer homes than expected on the tax rolls, plus a loss of water service fees because demand has decreased.

Mayor Mellody said new interim management now must complete the new City budget in one week, rather than the typical period of three months.

A budget presented to the council Thursday required issuing $1.2 million in tax notes – essentially a bank loan that the city must pay off within a year.

The modified budget also requires raising Royse City’s property tax rate from 49.45 to 65.86 cents per $100 valuation, the first increase since 1993.