Today Cedar Hill (Duncanville, Tex.), Vol. 39, No. 45, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 24, 2005 Page: 4 of 20
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Page 4 • Cedar Hill Today • Thursday, February 24, 2005
At his bleakest moment, a friend rescued him
sible not to notice.
It's no big
stretch to say
the world can be
a pretty inhos-
cide, natural dis-
the globe —
these things and
more are impos-
But for at least one Cedar Hill
man, the world still is a very beautiful
place, even as he goes through the
toughest struggle of his life.
Bill Yates is recovering from a sud-
den stroke that felled him not long
ago. Tasks that were once routine for
him are now nearly impossible. So-
metimes, forming words into sen-
tences is daunting. His voice over the
phone quivers with emotion.
Every year, about 700,000 people
suffer strokes — some mild, some
massive, according to the American
Heart Association. About 500,000 of
these are first-time strokes. Women
are more likely than men to suffer
Strokes usually are caused by a
sudden loss of oxygen to the brain,
but there are other warning signs, as
well, high blood pressure among
Stereotypical ly, we tend to think of
the average stroke victim as elderly,
but Bill Yates is just 49 years old.
Strokes are devastating for anyone,
but to be in the prime of your life and
to suddenly feel your body stop work-
ing — most of us can't imagine that.
Bill Yates didn’t know what he was
going to do, either. He had bills to
pay and work to do.
But then a beautiful thing hap-
pened. Another Cedar Hill resident,
Bill Hawkins, helped Yates get his
financial affairs in order and pay his
bills. He did some work on his house
replacing its floors. He brought him
breakfast. He repeatedly took him to
the hospital and was there when Yates
and his wife Glenda needed him.
Bill Hawkins never asked for
money and refused it when offered.
He just wanted to help his neighbor.
Bill Yates called me in the middle
of a very busy day one afternoon and -
told me his story. “I want to say thank
you to him,” he said. “Front page, real
This isn't the front page, but it’s
just my little effort at getting the word
out. 1 was swamped the day Bill Yates
called. I asked for his number so I
could call back when I had a moment
to talk more. He said he had some
good days and some bad, and he
never knew when his health would
allow him to talk at length.
I thanked him and told him I
would do my best.
“I just want to say that there are
good people in this world,” Bill Yates
said. “I never asked him to do any-
thing, and he never asked for anything
in return. He is just there, everyday,
“I want you to say thank you to
him from me.”
Yes, the world can be dangerous
and threatening, but it's also full of
great people doing great things.
Thanks, Bill. Both of you.
E-mail Loyd Brumfield at
Chipping in to save Texas sea turtles
Special To Today
From the high,
wide skies of the
Panhandle in the
north to the south-
ern tropical brush
country of the Rio
Texas’ rural land-
scape is unique
by other states.
But it isn’t just
people who enjoy
our great outdoors.
Our state is home
to nearly 90
endangered species and some of the
nation’s most extensive preservation pro-
I am proud of the progress our environ-
mentalists and biologists have made in
preserving our state not only as a home
for Texans but for every living creature.
One program I have supported is the
Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Restoration
Project. Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles
(Lepidochelys kempi) are the most criti-
cally endangered sea turtle in the world.
They are the smallest sea turtle, along
with their cousin the olive Ridley, at about
99 pounds or less and 25 inches around in
shell size, and they live in shallow coastal
areas, bays and lagoons.
A half century ago, at least 40,000
females nested in a single day. Today,
fewer than 2,000 nest each year. Nesting
on both the coast of Rancho Nuevo,
Mexico and South PadreTsland, Texas our
two nations have worked vigorously
together in an effort to save these rare tur-
The biggest enemies to the kempi are
no longer the coyotes or egg hunters that
brought about the original decline -
today’s threats are human encroachment
and incidental catching by shrimp
The Texas coast is the most deadly for
these small creatures, especially since
most that wash up on shore are pregnant
females coming to nest.
By making parts of the Texas coast a
marine reserve, scientists believe the num-
ber of turtles will start to increase.
Recently, the project secured a ban of
shrimping in the shallow waters of the
coast, but believes more protection is
needed throughout these waters, specifi-
cally during nesting season.
Currently, there are 12 national marine
sanctuaries, representing less than one per-
cent of all ocean territory under U S. juris-
diction. In comparison, about four percent
of our land area is protected in national
Other legislation the Restoration
Project has supported is making Turtle
Excluder Devices (TEDs) mandatory on
all shrimp nets.
It is estimated that up to 5,000 turtles
were killed each year by these nets prior to
the implementation of TEDs, which are
simple, yet effective devices that keep
objects larger than shrimp out of the net.
However, advocacy and legislation are
not the only tactics used in saving the
Kemp’s Ridley turtles.
Scientists have carefully collected data
and observed these animals over recent
decades by tagging the turtles.
When nests are found along the Texas
coast, the eggs go through a phase called
Head Starting. Here the eggs are incubated
and released to their natural habitat after
This procedure was proven successful
just this past April as two turtles that were
Head Started back in the late 1980’s were
located in Galveston laying egg$.
Scientists and Environmentalists were
delighted over these findings, as it proves
their hard work and determination are
leading to the increase in kempi popula-
Since it takes approximately 15 years
for a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle to mature
and lay eggs, scientists are hopeful that
they will see similar discoveries in the
At present, nestling aggregations num-
ber in the hundreds, not the thousands
necessary for the species to survive with-
out man’s intervention.
With the project’s gradual success, it is
clear that our marine biologists need the
necessary and most up to date technology
See TURTLES, Page 12
big reality check
the cast of
World”: Take someone gay,
someone obnoxious, a virgih
and a player and stick them in
a loft together. Cause a riot,
, $ut events like the suicide
(orooxer Najai Turpin, a con-
testant on the NBC boxing
reality show “The Contender,”
are forcing genre producers to
figure out what happens when
the harsh reality of something
like death interferes with their
We may never know how
much Turpin’s run on the show
had to do with his untimely
death, if anything at all. But
producers of this and other
reality shows have a responsi-
bility to ask themselves some
questions about the type of
shows they're creating.
Many reality shows already
have psychiatrists trained to
help contestants deal with the
fall from grace that 99.9 per-
cent of them will invariably
have to take but it's really hard
to predict a catastrophic deci-
sion like suicide.
Turpin’s sister said he
sounded upbeat and excited
about appearing on the show,
and the publicity and prospects
it would bring him even
though he apparently did not
NBC officials haven't given
away the show’s outcome per
se, but have confirmed that
there won’t need to be any sig-
nificant changes made to their
footage because of Turpin’s
They have also confirmed
that the footage will air unal-
tered because it is the ultimate
reality, after all. The sad truth
is that morbid curiosity from
viewers may do more for the
show than any advertising
campaign could have hoped to
Spike TV has a reality show
featuring now deceased rap
star Ol’ Dirty Bastard and
plans to go ahead with airing
it. I’d like to think there was a
lengthy discussion about that
in someone’s office but I seri-
ously doubt many executives
argued very long against it, as
the rapper’s death will likely
bring this show a few extra
They’ll call it a homage or
a tribute to ODB, although you
can count the reality shows
See REALITY. Page 12
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of our staff who fields questions from
members of the community ranging
from politics to social etiquette and
from sports to better grooming habits.
If you have a question you can’t
answer, just ask.
If we don’t know the answer, we’ll
research it and print it once we have
gotten to the bottom of your problem.
Need to know the best way to
make Bermuda grass grow? Just ask.
Ever wonder why the city manager
doesn’t vote or why the mayor does?
Are you just dying to know what
ever happened to (fill in the blank)?
Whether your question is specific
to your community or on a general
topic that can benefit anyone any-
where, all you have to do is ask and
our staff will print your question with
Call 972-298-4598, ext. 220 and
leave a message or e-mail
So get those questions coming in.
After all, the old adage still holds
true: The only stupid question is the
one not asked. And if you don’t ask,
Go ahead. Just ask.
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Gooch, Robin. Today Cedar Hill (Duncanville, Tex.), Vol. 39, No. 45, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 24, 2005, newspaper, February 24, 2005; Duncanville, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth623932/m1/4/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Zula B. Wylie Memorial Library.