Officials review local courthouse security
Houston County Courier
By Jenna Duncan
Houston County officials met Monday, April 8 to discuss local courthouse security after Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and wife Cynthia were killed in their home March 30. This was the second shooting of a Kaufman County official this year. Kaufman County Assis- Barn fire burns hopes of fair participant When the Houston County Fair and Youth Livestock Show opened Tuesday, April 8, Bailey Craddock, a Latexo 4-H student, had looked forward to checking in her market hog, Duke (both are pictured above, left). However, Duke was a fatality when a fire destroyed the barn where Duke was housed Saturday afternoon, April 6. Craddock's mom, Jamie Craddock, said they were not home when the fire broke out on their Porter Springs home, but credited firefighters for a quick response. Porter Springs VFD and Crockett VFD responded. She also said it was fortunate that Saturday's strong winds were blowing the flames away from their house, so only the barn and its contents were lost. The family also lost some young chickens that were penned next to Duke. Their free range chickens headed for the woods during the fire, but were back in the smoldering barn area Sunday, fussing that their home in the barn was gone. To help Bailey get started with a new pig for next year's fair, interested persons can contribute "add-ons" after the Sale of Champions (starts at 6 p.m. Friday at the Porth Ag Arena in Crockett), or to make a direct contribution, call Lynda at the Houston County Courier, 936-544-2238. A firefighter at the Craddock barn fire is shown comforting one of the family dogs. Grant issue spurs discussion among commissioners tant District Attorney Mark Hasse was shot to death outside the county courthouse in January. "The whole thing made me a little nervous because it just shows you how vulnerable you can be," Houston County District Attorney Donna Kaspar said. "When it first happens it makes you really, really nervous, and makes you think a little deeper about what you can do to make yourself a little safer." Kaspar said that since the incident, Precinct 1 Constable Morris Luker escorts her and County Attorney Daphne Session to their offices in the courthouse each morning. While there is little that can be done to secure the parking lot, she said local authorities are working to make sure the courthouse building is safe. "The big issue now is how to make the courthouse as secure as possible," she said. HCSO Chief Deputy G.P. Shearer would not discuss details of the security plans, but said they have ramped up security measures, especially for the prosecutor's office. "We did meet (Monday) and discussed security around the courthouse and other measures that staff of the prosecutors office can take," Shearer said. "I'm not going to go into what's going on though because you don't show your hand." Kaspar said she does not think a similar incident will happen in Houston County. "All we can do is make the courthouse as safe as possible," she said. "I don't think anything is going to happen here. I don't think anything going on there (Kaufman County) has any tie to here."