The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 155, No. 7, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 20, 2008 Page: 1 of 14
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THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2008
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Texas' Oldest Weekly Newspaper Since March 1, 1853 Semi-Weekly Since Sept. 5, 1977
Volume 155, Number 7
18 pages in two sections
The Bastrop Advertiser photo/Terry Hagerty
Brandon Gaulden, from Houston, readies his Boss Hoss motorcycle during last weekend's Thunder on the Colorado held
at Smithville's Riverbend Park. See page 12Afor more photos.
County eyes building needs
By Davis McAuley
Bastrop County commissioners met
Monday to discuss undefined "upcoming
projects." In fact they kicked off a process
to assess future building and office needs
over the next five to 10 years.
Despite construction of a three-level
Courthouse Annex some four years ago,
some county offices remain crowded and
others remain in rented space.
Pet. 1 Commissioner Peter Hicks said
one focus of attention is the county's
Development Services Department which
operates from a rented building on Water
Street across from the Courthouse.
Another growing segment of county
government are its courts and related
records offices, including the district court
clerk, county clerk, district courts and
county court at law.
There was also some discussion about
approaching the Bastrop Central Appraisal
See PROJECTS, Page 3A
Hospital program targets heart attacks, strokes
By Jacqueline Davis
A new program launched
March 10 could help local hos-
pitals like Bastrop's Lakeside
Hospital and Smithville
Regional Hospital to more
quickly assist and transport
heart attack and stroke victims
The program, called
"Cardiac/Stroke One Call,"
was created by Austin-based St.
David's HealthCare to reduce
the time it takes for emergen-
cy room workers in outlying
hospitals to connect with an
available doctor in Austin who
can treat critical heart attack or
stroke victims, said Loni Denn,
director of cardiac outreach
services for St. David's.
The program is free and
works by emergency room staff
calling a toll-free telephone
number, which is answered
24/7 by a nurse trained on the
latest protocols for cardiovas-
See PROGRAM, Page 2A
4not a luxury'
By Terry Hagerty
The 107-foot hydraulic
ladder mounted on the back
of the fire truck would be a
valuable tool in fighting fires,
or snatching potential victims
from the heights of burning
buildings or watery entrap-
Such a ladder would cer-
tainly give an advantage over
the Bastrop Fire Department's
highest ladder now — a 40-
foot metal ladder strapped to
the side of a fire truck, said
Fire Chief Hemy Perry.
"It's a good piece of equip-
ment for fire departments,"
Perry said of the extended lad-
der. "We have no truck with a
hydraulic ladder attached to
it, and there's not one in the
But the hydraulic ladders
come attached to a fire truck
specifically fitted to support
them. The ladders cannot be
retrofitted to other trucks,
And the ladder tnick
carries a hefty price tag —
On Sunday, Perry and
other firefighters climbed out
the length of the ladder, which
towered above Chestnut and
Water streets, next to the fire
Salesmen from Ferrara
Fire Apparatus Inc. of Holden,
La., were in town to generate
interest in a sale of the ladder
"Ferrara wants to sell a lad-
der truck to every fire depart-
ment, just like Rox Covert
want to sell a Chevrolet to
everybody," Perry said with a
laugh. "They (Ferrara) know
we're eventually looking for
something like this."
Perry said his depart-
ment also had a look at a
77-foot ladder truck, priced
"We (the city) can't afford
them now, but we can look,"
The ladder, which can sup-
port 500 pounds of weight,
also has a mounted water
hose that can pour water on a
blaze at the rate of 2,000 gal-
lons per minute.
When a reporter rephrased
the question to ask if the lad-
der trucks were "a luxury"
the city couldn't afford or
the fire department might not The Bastrop Advertiser photo/Terry Hagerty
The Bastrop Fire Department gets a look at a 107-foot hydraulic
See LADDER, Page 3A ladder being shown by a Louisiana fire equipment company.
By Davis McAuley
Three people were sentenced Monday for their
roles in an illegal gambling operation on Texas 71
west of Bastrop in 2005-06.
Johnny Ray Phillips, 54, pleaded guilty to money
laundering and was sentenced to five years in prison
by visiting District Judge Debbie Mantooth Stricklin
in Bastrop under an agreement with prosecutors
from the Texas Attorney General's office.
As part of the agreement, Phillips' wife, Melissa
Phillips, 52, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge
of gambling promotion. She was assessed neither a
fine nor jail time, according to court records.
The third defendant, Richard Ethridge, 64, plead-
ed no contest of a misdemeanor gambling promotion
charge and was fined $4,000.
Investigators with the Department of Public Safety
Criminal Intelligence Service said Phillips used his
business, The Warehouse, as a front for an illegal
gambling operation. Officers raided the operation in
October 2006. Ultimately they seized 80 eight-liner
machines, $24,000 from two Phillips bank accounts
See GAMBLING, Page 2A
Gas leak near
By Terry Hagerty
Sometimes you get the winds you need at an
Such was the case Monday around lunchtime
when Bastrop firefighters answered a call about a
gas leak in the 700 block of South Jefferson Street —
a few blocks from the Bastrop County Courthouse.
A worker using a small front-end loader to clear a
vacant lot at the comer of Jefferson and Austin Street
broke a CenterPoint Energy gas pipe, Assistant Fire
Chief Ron Stradling said.
The smell of gas a block away from the lot was
noticeably strong — despite a hardy wind.
"Gas is lighter than air so it goes upward readily .
. . and the winds were helping to dissipate the gas,"
See LEAK, Page 3A
Westlake smashes Bears.
Girls soccer squad to play Reagan,
■ Thursday's forecast:
■ Last week:
High Low Prec.
Saturday 79 57 none
Sunday 72 46 none
Monday 79 64 none
Tuesday NA NA NA
Classified ads 4B
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McAuley, Davis. The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 155, No. 7, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 20, 2008, newspaper, March 20, 2008; Bastrop, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth252462/m1/1/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Bastrop Public Library.