2010 in Review
by Dolores Hamilton
Snow from the Christmas Eve blizzard was still on the ground well into the new year, along with below freezing temperatures.
At the Iowa Park Volunteer Fire Department’s annual banquet, Patrick Moulton was named Firefighter of the Year.
Iowa Park High School football players Justin Thacker, Dai Le, John Elliott and Caleb England each received the Hawk Award, the top honor given an IPHS player, during the annual football banquet.
An Iowa Park family lost their home and all of their belongings, but escaped with their lives, thanks to action taken by a Wichita County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Barnes. As he was coming through town shortly after 1 a.m., Barnes, a former Iowa Park police officer, smelled smoke and found the home where he could see the glow of the flames. He notified the Iowa Park Volunteer Fire Department and woke the family to get them and their dog out of the burning house.
Ouida Gartman was named Citizen of the Year during the annual Iowa Park Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. Other awards presented include: Brandi Swenson, Educator of the Year; Courtney Decker, Student of the Year, Catherine Stephenson, Senior Citizen of the Year; and Ruth James, with Gene James Heating and Air Conditioning, was recognized for her work in refurbishing historic buildings in downtown Iowa Park.
Iowa Park dodged the bullet during the first week in February when a threat to be hit hard with ice and other precipitation failed to reach here. But the City of Electra was not so fortunate, as they lost power leaving that community in the cold and dark. Members of the Iowa Park Volunteer Fire Department were concerned and contacted Ken’s Pizza and Pizza Hut who donated food to be taken to Electra. Fire Chief Randy Fulbright and fireman Patrick Moulton delivered the pizza and 30 cases of bottled water to the shelter in Electra.
Exhibitors from Iowa Park fared well at the Wichita County Junior Livestock Show, with members of the Iowa Park FFA and Valley View 4-H receiving the majority of grand champion and reserve champion honors in the nine divisions.
Iowa Park’s Lady Hawk basketball team defeated Gatesville in the 1-3A Area Championship game, but fell to Liberty Hill, 43-39, in the Regional Quarterfinals.
Six candidates filed to run for three positions to be open on the Iowa Park School Board.
The IPHS Hawk Band earned the Sweepstakes award for the 27th consecutive year.
IPHS senior Codi Bussey captured the bronze medal at the state powerlifting meet in Corpus Christi. She took third in the 220-plus class with a total of 920 pounds in three events.
Lee Clubb was named to the first team on the 5-3A All-District Basketball list.
Justin Thacker, a senior at IPHS captured his second state powerlifting title at the state meet in Abilene. He set a Division II Conference record in the 242-pound weight class after lifting 1,825 pounds in the three events.
Iowa Park was a busy place on the first Saturday in April, with people coming in to shop the citywide garage sale, IPHS plant sale, and take their pets by the Animal Shot Clinic. It was also the opening weekend of Little League baseball.
Iowa Park students competing in the District 5-3A Academics Spring Meet took first place team honors. They competed in Spelling and Vocabulary, Ready Writing, Headline Writing, Editorial Writing, Literary Criticism, Computer Science, Informative Speaking, Persuasive Speaking, Poetry Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, and Lincoln Douglas Debate.
The first positive case of rabies was confirmed in Iowa Park and residents were urged to make sure their animals are current on their rabies vaccination.
Members of the IPHS FFA Entomology Team took first place at the FFA State Career Developments Contest at Texas Tech University.
Over 300 volunteers for Great Days of Service worked on various projects such as repairing homes, mowing, edging, and general clean-up during the week.
After the votes were counted in the school and city elections, Merle Rodgers, Robert Johnson and Mark Kyle won seats on the school board, and Lori Shierry, Stephanie Wooten, and Mayor Joe Ward were elected to the city council.
After 121 years, it was announced that First Presbyterian Church would close its doors, and the last sermon was delivered on May 16.
Iowa Park’s Relay for Life, with 27 teams and over 400 relay team members participating, raised $53,000 for the American Cancer Society.
IPHS Principal Richard Young and Athletic Director Chris Ellis submitted their resignations. Young had accepted the position of Upper School Director at North Hills Prepatory, a charter school in Irving. Ellis moved to Bastrop where he would be employed at Bastrop High School.
One hundred and nine IPHS seniors received diplomas during graduation ceremonies at Hawk Stadium. Katelyn Perry was valedictorian and Jessica Baggs was salutatorian of the Class of 2010.
A retired Wichita Falls Police Officer and longtime resident of Iowa Park, Norman Walker, lost his life in a flash flood in Gruene on the Guadalupe River.
Scott Ponder was hired as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at IPHS. Tim Bartram, who served two years as assistant principal, was named principal at IPHS.
Andrea White, wife of Democratic candidate for governor, Bill White, made a stop in Iowa Park while crisscrossing the state campaigning for her husband.
After hours of work preparing for Explode A Rama at Lake Iowa Park, the event was cancelled due to the muddy roads. Over three inches of rain had fallen in some areas around Iowa Park.
Former Head Hawk Tommy Watkins, who coached Iowa Park to state championships in 1969 and 1970, was inducted into the 2010 Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor.
To complete staffing of schools in the district, Iowa Park CISD school trustees hired an assistant high school principal, 10 new teachers, and a classroom aid. Monte Thacker, former assistant principal at Rider High School in Wichita Falls was hired as assistant principal at IPHS.
The intersection of Clara and Jackson was changed to a four-way stop. The decision was made by the city council in response to the concerns of residents on N. Jackson of increased traffic problems on their street.
Iowa Park Police Department’s K-9 Officer Rika was laid to rest as several Iowa Park officers, friends and family gathered to say farewell to their friend and former co-worker. Rika was commissioned as a member of the Iowa Park Police Department by the city council on Feb. 8, 1999, and Sgt. Jimmy Eaton was named as her handler.
The school year for Iowa Park CISD started out on a positive note with 1,759 students showing up for class - an increase of 31 students over last year’s first day attendance.
For the second consecutive year Bradford Elementary was named an Exemplary Campus due to the test results of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).To earn the recognition students must earn a 90 or above on the TAKS.
The Iowa Park Hawks football team opened the 2010 season by defeating Pampa 31-14 in non-conference action.
Amanda Fuhrman was crowned Homecoming Queen, and Hazel Roby Ramsbotham and Larry C. Dodd were recognized as Outstanding Ex-Students during Iowa Park’s homecoming activities.
Whoop-T-Do, an annual event sponsored by the Iowa Park Chamber of Commerce, was deemed a success with the largest number of venders in years as well as a large crowd to visit them.
The Iowa Park Police Department hosted a two-day course of study on the Advanced Investigation of Animal Cruelty, instructed by the Texas Academy of Animal Control’s Law Enforcement Division
Local artist Jack Stevens was the featured artist for the sixth annual Mystery Art Exhibit at Kemp Center for the Arts in Wichita Falls.
The Iowa Park Police offered free Halloween costumes to anyone in the Iowa Park school district. A large assortment of new costumes, still in packages, was available in sizes from toddler to adult. The items were donated to the police association last year by the I-44 Wal-Mart.
Two new programs, Health Sciences and ROTC, were introduced at IPHS to promote career pathways for students upon graduating from high school.
Iowa Park voters in the General Election, went along with voters in the county and across the state, with candidates from the Republican Party coming out on top in every race.
Molly Dutton’s project to refurbish Foley Park was completed with the help of approximately 50 volunteers. Several Cryovac employees, instructors form the IPHS Ag Department, students, parents, and Molly’s friends started at 7:30 on a Saturday morning and worked until the project was completed.
The Lady Hawks volleyball team, 1-3A Bi-District Champs, were defeated by Decatur in the 1-3A Area match.
Linda Perry, Executive Director of Friendly Door Senior Citizens Center, announced her retirement and was honored by friends and co-workers with a retirement party at the center.
Iowa Park Boy Scouts Troop 14 and Cub Scouts Pack 7 collected 1,830 pounds of non-perishable food items for the local food pantry.
The Christmas season was kicked off in Iowa Park with a pancake feed at Friendly Door, followed by the Christmas Tour of Homes. Tom Burnett Memorial Library hosted its annual open house and lighting ceremony, with the Lighted Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Iowa Park Volunteer Fire Department, leaving from there and making its way to the downtown area. After visiting with Santa, citizens gathered at Lake Gordon for Hometown Christmas activities and the lighting ceremony for the Angel Garden.
Lady Hawks basketball team captured their second consecutive Fantasy of Lights Division II 3A championship. Senior Amanda Fuhrman was named Most Valuable Player for Division II girls.
Results of Iowa Park CISD’s facilities survey indicate the majority of those responding favor major improvements in the district.
The IPHS Student Council raised over $1,150 to be used to purchase toys and gave them to the Iowa Park Volunteer Fire Department for their Kidz Christmas program.