THE ELLIS COUNTY PRESS 2020 YEAR IN REVIEW
FEBRUARY 2, 2020
Ferris City Council approves $3.2-million bond package
The bond package will improve long neglected water infrastructure – without raising taxes.
MARCH 5, 2020
Coronavirus – and what local communities are doing to be aware
The lead paragraph states, “While there is something in the news daily about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), there are ways to make sure you are as safe as you can be here in the United States.”
MARCH 19, 2020
Ferris Mayor issues Disaster Declaration
Ferris Mayor Pro Tem Tommy Scott issues a Disaster Declaration Order in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, joining Ellis County, the State of Texas, and other local and regional neighbors.
APRIL 2, 2020
Ellis County’s first COVID-19 death reported
A 90-year-old Midlothian resident died of COVID-19. The resident had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 21, and was transferred to Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.
APRIL 16, 2020
Ferris doctor tested positive for COVID-19
On April 9, the City of Ferris was made aware that a Ferris Family Medicine healthcare provider, John Arkusinski, D.O., tested positive for COVID-19.
APRIL 23, 2020
Friday’s honk-in was exactly what a peaceful protest should be
On April 17 at noon throughout the State of Texas, residents in support of opening businesses back up gathered for a peaceful protest at their local county seats.
APRIL 30, 2020
RO orders: wear mask or else
The city of Red Oak’s Mayor, Mark Stanfill, decided everyone in that city – resident and visitor alike – must wear a mask.
MAY 21, 2020
Red Oak extends emergency declaration order into June
On May 11, Red Oak Mayor Mark Stanfill signed another order extending and amending that city’s state of emergency because of COVID-19.
JUNE 4, 2020
Protesting, rioting and what it means to be an American
The latest incident in Minneapolis with the murder of George Floyd left a void in many people’s hearts.
As protesters from around the country took to the streets to show their horror at what happened, rioters and looters took center stage and left parts of cities, including Dallas in shambles.
JUNE 11, 2020
ESD #5 under fire
On March 5, the City of Ferris requested a review of the Ellis County Emergency Service District #5’s financial records dating back to 2016 through open records. When the City had not received any of the requested documents, a complaint was then submitted to the Texas Attorney General.
On May 22, the AG’s office sent a letter to Dallas Dial, secretary of ESD #5, of the complaint filed by Ferris City Manager Brooks Williams.
ESD #5 was given 10 days to respond.
JULY 9, 2020
Ferris infrastructure makeover planned
Ferris City Manager Brooks Williams says with Ferris’ aging infrastructure, the focus right now is on stabilizing the water system and getting ahead of the failing sewer system.
“Almost every sewer line in the central part of Ferris – downtown and surrounding residential – is clay tile and needs to be replaced,” says Williams.
“We (the City) should never have allowed for our infrastructure to get to a place where it all needed to replaced at the same time.”
JULY 23, 2020
Norman wins sheriff run-off election
In the county’s lone runoff election, challenger Brad Norman defeats incumbent Sheriff Chuck Edge.
AUGUST 27, 2020
Ellis County Judge Todd Little says, “Open Texas”
A proclamation is signed by Little and other politicians in front of the Waxahachie courthouse declaring, “Open Texas.”
Little states, “I am proud to report our battle plan worked and the curve was flattened. The viral spread was mitigated, and untold number of lives were saved.”
SEPTEMBER 3, 2020
Ferris confirms new city hall
The city will be designing and renovating a building on the corner of South Central and 6th street for a new city hall, and when completed, the Ferris Police Department will occupy the old city hall.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2020
The CDC confesses to lying
The Center for Disease Control admits it has been reporting COVID-19 numbers... inaccurately.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2020
Ferris student tests positive for COVID-19
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
Ferris honors memory of beloved police officer
When the Ferris Police Department moves its headquarters to the now Ferris City Hall, the building will be renamed the “Marty Steinfeldt Police Headquarters,” in honor of Officer Harry Marvin “Marty” Steinfeldt III, who lost his life on October 6, 2012 responding to a shooting at a Ferris gas station.
DECEMBER 3, 2020
Get ready for 50% capacity again
Ellis County residents returning from Thanksgiving break faced strict new coronavirus measures around the county Monday as health officials brace for a disastrous worsening of the nationwide surge because of holiday gatherings over the long weekend.
DECEMBER 10, 2020
Dropped refrigerator held 15 lbs of pot
A Ferris police officer had pulled someone over along Interstate 45 when he heard a loud noise come from the other side of the highway. After he finished his traffic stop, he went to investigate – and found a refrigerator in the road containing about 15 pounds of marijuana.
DECEMBER 24, 2020
City of Ferris/ESD #5 reach agreement – with conditions
Told to release the requested financial documents by the Texas AG, ESD #5 still stonewalls the City of Ferris for four additional months.
The Ferris City Council decides if the ESD will not let them see the financial records they’re entitled to, then Ferris will not continue to ask its residents to pay taxes for fire service in the county. They vote to dissolve the contract on Sept. 21, and give the ESD 120 days – to create their own fire department.
The contract is reinstated after ESD #5 blinks and agrees to several conditions – the main one being that ESD undergoes a full external audit every year.