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The Comanche Chief is a weekly newspaper serving Comanche county, Texas. First established in 1873, it is the oldest business still operating in the west central Texas town of Comanche. Owned and operated now for three generations by the Wilkerson family it is a main stay of the community.

The newspaper brings you news of local events, people and places, as well as sports and school information.


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Top Stories This Week - May 19, 2016

Comanche High School 2016 Graduation

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 8:00 pm
Comanche Indian Stadium

McGinnis, Stark top CHS graduates

Comanche High School senior, Rylie Brook McGinnis, daughter of Kevin McGinnis and Traci Pettit, has been named Valedictorian for the Class of 2016 with a grade point average of 5.36388.
After high school, McGinnis plans on studying Biology at Texas Tech in Lubbock.
Comanche High School senior, Ian Scott Stark, son of Troy Stark, has been named Salutatorian for the Class of 2016 with a grade point average of 5.26250.
Stark plans to attend Angelo State University and major in Communications.

Rylie McGinnisRylie Brook McGinnis






Ian StarkIan Scott Stark

2016 Scholarship WinnersCHS seniors awarded record $1.4 million in scholarships

One hundred eighty-five scholarships were awarded to fifty-eight 2016 Comanche High School graduates at an awards program held at the high school on Monday, May 16. There were 118 local scholarships awarded totaling $115,807 and 67 additional scholarships, bringing the grand total awarded to over $1.4 million. This total surpassed last year’s scholarship total of $1,310,440.
Prior to the presentation of scholarships, recipients, their parents and the scholarship presenters were served a dinner hosted by Comanche High School. A slide show was presented honoring and remembering those for which the scholarships are named.
A complete list of scholarships and the recipients will be in next week’s Comanche Chief.

2016 CHS SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS: Pictured are Comanche High School graduating seniors who received scholarships at the annual awards program on Monday night. They are, front, from left, Jacey Biggs, Kaitlyn Hickman, Claire Ballard, Sarah Luce, Vanessa Balderas, Caroline Wilkerson, Rylie McGinnis, Madison Davis, Margret Moerman, Sackary Burney; second row, from left, Chauncie Walker, Rebecca Crosson, Madison Gore, Kandace Donald, Rachel Lilley, Kimberly Licea, Raquel Esquivel, Barbara Suarez and Neyda Elizondo; third row, from left, John Whiteside, Bryson Wright, Payton Nance, Jayton Fizer, Ryan Senger, Aaron Spells, Clint Tucker, Ian Stark; back row, from left, Martin Herrera, Robert Brooks, Hayden Taylor, Weston Conine, Blaine Spruill, Bryan Shelton and Joel Ortiz. (Several students are not pictured.)

Comanche Sonic robbed Sunday

The Sonic Drive-In on East Central in Comanche was the scene of an armed robbery on Sunday, May 15. It occurred around 11:30 p.m. after closing.
Two Sonic employees, one male and one female, were walking to their vehicles behind the restaurant after closing. One of the employees walked back to the building to make sure the doors were secure and all the equipment was turned off.
While he was checking on the doors and equipment, the female employee who had the money bag was accosted by a male suspect wearing black clothes and black ski mask. There was a struggle, but the suspect put a handgun to her head and demanded the money and her cell phone. Another suspect was about 20 feet away and was described as a thin man. It was reported the two ran to a vacant mobile home in the 1000 block of East Oak Street. The two were last seen fleeing in a vehicle on Mill Street behind Shopko.
The cell phone was recovered not far from the attack.
Comanche Chief of Police Bruce Bradshaw said his department currently has no leads in the case.

Early Voting now underway

Early Voting got underway on Monday for the Democratic and Republican parties’ runoff elections. Early Voting clerk Ruby Lesley, as of noon Tuesday, reported 30 Republicans had cast early votes and O Democrats.
You may Early Vote between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the Comanche County Courthouse Basement-Room B102. Early Voting concludes on Friday, May 20.
Appearing on the Republican ballot are four runoff positions.
Railroad Commissioner has Republican candidates Wayne Christian and Gary Gates. Other Republican candidates are Mary Lou Keel and Ray Wheless for judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2; Scott Walker and Brent Webster for judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5; and Dawn Buckingham and Susan King for State Senator, District 24.
The Democratic ballot has only one runoff election. Candidates Cody Garrett and Grady Yarbrough for Railroad Commissioner.

Memorial dedication, Saturday

Six fallen Comanche County law enforcement officers who lost their lives while serving Comanche County will be honored at a memorial dedication, Saturday, May 21 on the south side lawn of the courthouse. The ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m.
Names appearing on the monument include Maston Reynolds “Boss” Greene, U.S. Marshal, End of Watch (EOW) May 12, 1877; Deputy Sheriff Joe N. Martin, CCSO, EOW June 25, 1885;
Deputy Sheriff William Warfield Roberts, CCSO, EOU November 1, 1948; Chief Deputy Sheriff David W. Jones, CCSO, EOW November 9, 1988; Lieutenant Robert Duane “Bob” Haley, CCSO, EOW October 28, 2004; and Sergeant William Karl Keesee, TX DPS, EOW October 29, 2015.

Gustine Homecoming, Rodeo Parade

By Sue Carson, Parade Chairman
We are planning a Big Parade in the small town of Gustine. The Gustine Parade is a big hit each year, rain or shine. The theme this year is “Those Were the Days.” That will give the participants a lot of room for their imagination to go wild fixing their floats and entries.
A horse parade will start the Memorial weekend festivities off on Thursday, May 26 at 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 28, the Big Parade will feature floats, horses, antique cars, antique tractors and many other entries.

Mystery surrounds historic Fleming Oak trimming

By Bradley Wilkerson
Around noon on Friday, May 13, I received a call here at The Chief office of a huge piece of machinery moving down Central Avenue/ Highway 377/67 heading west. It was causing backups all the way to the Holland’s Country Store. So being close to the intersection of Houston and Central Avenues I rushed down there and took a picture of the massive piece of machinery. The massive industrial equipment was so big the power lines had to be raised by a boom truck. This equipment traveled from Houston and was on its way to Canada. We have had reports that the equipment could be a generator, rig pump or storage tank for oil or gas industries.
Later that weekend I began to see Facebook posts of what was occurring on the main street before the heavy equipment made its way through town. Pictures of a company trimming branches off of the historic Fleming Oak soon spread over some media outlets. Of course, this outraged most local citizens here in Comanche and the surrounding area. Early questions arose of who authorized this and if the tree has been severely damaged.
After the cutting of the branches, the remaining scars were not treated thus exposing the historic Fleming Oak to the dreaded Oak Wilt disease. I asked our Comanche County Ag Extension agent, Michael Berry if anything could be done now to help the oak tree. He stated that the scars needed to have been treated right away and that now there is nothing else to be done.

Trimming of Fleming OakHistoric Fleming Oak had branches removed to make way for the passing equipment.









Wide Load EquipmentTraffic stopper: This huge piece of equipment heading for Canada backed up traffic for many, many blocks last Friday.


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