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Last updateThu, 03 Sep 2015 6pm

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Texas flags ordered to half-staff Friday

Governor Greg Abbott today ordered Texas flags across the state to be lowered to half-staff on Friday, September 4th, the day of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth’s funeral. Today’s order follows Governor Abbott’s call for law enforcement officers across the state to honor Deputy Goforth and all those who wear the uniform by activating their red and blue lights for one minute at 11 AM Friday, the moment Deputy Goforth’s memorial service in Houston is set to begin.
“Texans across the state are uniting in support of Deputy Goforth and every law enforcement officer who puts their life on the line each day in order to keep Texas safe and strong,” Governor Abbott said. “We must come together to honor Deputy Goforth and the essential role law enforcement plays in serving and protecting our state’s families and communities. Therefore I ask all Texas flags to be lowered to half-staff on Friday, September 4th, to honor the bravery, the dedication and the everlasting memory of Deputy Darren Goforth.”

Stand with Law Enforcement

Governor Greg Abbott that Texas flags across the state be lowered to half-staff on Friday, Sept. 4th, the day of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth’s funeral.

Governor Abbott has also called for law enforcement officers across the state to activate their red and blue lights for one minute at 11 a.m. on Friday, the time when Deputy Goforth’s memorial service in Houston is set to begin.

Franklin County officers plan a to gather at that time around the flag pole in front of the Law Enforcement Center at 208 S. Hwy. 37 in Mount Vernon.

A prayer movement has also begun asking citizens to pray asking for God's protection of police officers and military personnel. This movement is also requesting that all churches that have bells to ring them at 11 a.m. on Friday.

Ban on Outdoor Burning in Effect

UPDATE (8-24-15) : An altered burn ban was adopted by the Franklin County Commissioners Court in their meeting Monday, Aug. 24, which will remain in effect until Nov. 22, 2015 or until action is taken to lift the ban.

The altered burning ban provides for exemptions for welding and cookers when prescribed precautions are taken in addition to agriculture and health and safety fires prescribed by state law. Check with the sheriff's dispatch center before conducting these activities for precautions, or pick up a August 27 issue of the Optic-Herald, which has a copy of the requirements.

ORIGINAL POST (8-14-15):  An emergency ban on outdoor burning was issued by Franklin County Judge Scott Lee at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14.

Franklin County's four fire departments, a long with Perryville, Winnsboro and the Texas Forestry Service were called to a wildfire off CR 4297 at 1:18 p.m. which was continuing at 4 p.m.  In addition to a large amount of acreage, the fire is reported to have consumed at least one structure.

The emergency ban can remain in affect for up to 30 days. However, a 90 day ban is expected to be adopted at a special called meeting Monday, Aug. 17 for the Franklin County Commissioners Court.  See the Aug. 20 edition of the Mount Vernon Optic-Herald for more information.

Police Impersonator Suspect Arrested

James Charles WilliamsA suspect has been arrested in the multiple incident reports of a police impersonator along the I-30 corridor last weekend.  James Charles Williams, age 46 of Little Rock, Ark., was arrested early Thursday morning on Sulphur Springs warrants for  impersonating a peace officer and credit card abuse. Mount Vernon/Franklin County warrants for his arrest on the same two charges are awaiting a judges signature, according to Franklin County Sheriff Ricky Jones. 

Local investigators Robert Zinn with the FCSO, and Josh Daily with the MVPD traveled to Little Rock, Ark. early Thursday morning after receiving a positive identification of the suspect in a photo line up.  If the suspect waves extradition from the State of Arkansas, it is possible they will return with him this afternoon. However, without waving of extradition, the process could take up to a month to return the suspect to local jurisdictions, Sheriff Jones said.