■ Feb 23 — 92nd Annual STAR Gala
■ Feb. 28 – City Council regular meeting, followed by a workshop; Kilgore City Hall, 5:30 p.m.
■ March 4 – Legacy Ball
■ March 14 – Regular City Council meeting; Kilgore City Hall, 5:30 p.m.
PUBLIC WORKS AND PROJECTS
Another main break on the 12-inch in Dudley Drive at the trail head occurred last week. The diligence of our employees averted a major loss of water through quick action. However, a second break on this line in as many weeks has indicated that we need to do an emergency repair of the line to replace approximately 400 feet that is failing at the creek.
Concrete demolition and pavement preparation has begun on Main Street by city crews while our contractor continues to make great progress on the new curb, gutter, driveways and sidewalks.
The Fire Department participated in two fire prevention events. First, we attended the “Community Helper Week” at the Meadowbrook Preschool and the “Job Shadow” tour put on by Officer Burch. It is always a valuable time to educate our youth on fire safety.
The Police Department hosted lunches at Kilgore Middle School and Kilgore High School for Kilgore Bulldogs Against Drugs (KBAD). Since this is an incentive-based drug prevention program, we provide different incentives throughout the year. Officers, detectives, SROs, administrators and the Rescue Chief served Chick-fil-A during all lunch periods to the KBAD membership. Our membership continues to grow, which can only have a positive impact on our students.
KPD hosted a 911 educational event at Meadowbrook Preschool. These young students received instruction on how to properly use 911. They also got to interact with our staff and K-9s.
KPD Dispatch began a program called “Superstars” in which we recognize children for their heroism when having to call 911 in a crisis. Our first recipient, Keeley, pictured, remained calm during a 911 call regarding a family member’s emergency.
Our newest K-9 has completed training and was recently certified. You may recall, Ruger had to be retired due to medical issues, so we purchased Dodo to replace the school-based K-9. We used seized funds for the initial purchase and training. Dodo is trained to detect gunpowder, tobacco products (including vapes), alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc. Dodo is also trained in tracking, and he is very efficient at it.
In 2000, a hunter found a female body in northern Kilgore. Detectives were unable to identify her at the time, and the case went cold. We have been working all cold cases, and this one is no exception. For years we’ve worked to identify her. Recently, we had DNA extracted from Jane Doe’s bones to conduct phenotyping, which was used to create a composite reconstruction of her face for identification. Our goal is to identify this mother so we can learn why she may have been in Kilgore.
We continue to see an increase in methamphetamine possession cases.
Our newest cadet, Garrett Hulen, started his career with KPD on Feb. 12. He began the East Texas Police Academy on Friday. Garrett is a recent graduate of Kilgore College and comes from a family of law enforcement.
The Planning and Zoning Board met on Feb. 15. The Oath of Office was given to new member Randy Renshaw and three returning members, Tommy Merritt, Dana Pearce and Craig Adams.
The Kilgore Community Development Corporation will meet on Feb. 23. Topics of discussion are the sale of a lot and Remington Phase IV.
The Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval to the City Council two zone change requests. The first request is at 3219 Stone Road for developing a single duplex. The second request is at the corner of Stone Road and Willow Springs to develop approximately 18 townhomes.
Staff has been putting together a site development ordinance that will be discussed with the City Council at the workshop on Feb. 28.
In the past few months, the health department performed four new restaurant inspections, issued permits and has one mobile inspection scheduled.
The building permit for the new Kilgore High School has been approved.
In the month of January, a total of 42 permits were issued.
QUALITY OF LIFE/TOURISM
The Main Street Board will have its monthly meeting on Feb. 21. One topic of discussion will be the Strategic Plan 2023.
Tourism Manager Ryan Polk recently attended the TACVB Winter Education Conference in Plano. Along with over 250 destination marketing professionals from around the state, Ryan learned the latest updates and best used practices in marketing trends and applications.
Since 2023 has begun, Visit Kilgore has received over 60 leads of interest from individuals who have viewed digital and print advertising placed by Visit Kilgore through Texas Highways, Texas Event Calendar, Travel Texas and Tour Texas.
Kilgore is featured in a book titled, Upper East Side of Texas, Small Towns and Cultural Districts by P.A. Geddie. The book showcases select communities in northeast Texas, along with their cultural assets. Book copies will hopefully be available to purchase soon.
■ Feb. 22 – Family Game Hour – 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
■ Feb. 28 – T(w)een Crafting – Make Your Own Journal 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
■ March 3 – Mending Day 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.