Wild stuff and a beloved doctor
Photos of a fox family living in Temple prove wild animals are adapting to life in suburban areas. Plus, Jesse Ibarra was key to eradicating polio in Bell County. And, Sales Tax Holiday starts Friday.
MONDAY AFTERNOON, AUGUST 2, 2021
FOX FAMILY MOVES INTO SOUTH TEMPLE
Gray foxes living in urban setting
Last week, Our Town Temple featured a story on urban coyotes. Now, it’s the gray foxes turn to shine in the spotlight
A family of three — a mom, dad and juvenile — have decided south Temple is the place to be. They have been seen in a neighborhood park and in several yards in the area for the past three weeks.
The gray fox is the most common fox in Texas, found statewide. They have gray hair on their back and a black tip on their tail, and they also have reddish hair on their chest, legs and ears.
Gray foxes are found throughout Texas but are commonly found in places with trees like a forest. The reason they need to live somewhere with trees is because they are arboreal, according to Texas Parks & Wildlife. This means that they can climb and live in trees. Gray foxes are one of only two members of the canine or dog family that can climb trees.
There are three types of foxes in Texas: the gray fox, the red fox in eastern and central Texas, and the swift fox in the northwest reaches of the state.
In addition to the fox family of south Temple, Our Town reader Ginger Di Paola Kleypas sent in a video of a fox foraging around Baylor Scott & White Medical Center on South 31st Street.
The location of the fox family is not being revealed in an effort to protect the animals. Residents in the neighborhood told Our Town Temple that the animals have not caused any property damage or displayed any signs of aggression.
One of the neighbors apparently thought the foxes were exotic cats at first but then got a closer look.
According to Michael Bodenchuk, state director of the Texas Wildlife Service, wildlife are settling in suburban and even urban areas of the state because of the availability of food and the lack of predators.
Collum Simpson, a Texas Parks & Wildlife biologist based in Salado, agreed that conflicts between wildlife and humans likely will continue.
Simpson said eating from pet bowls and raiding residential and commercial garbage containers is far easier than hunting prey.
TEMPLE DOCTOR LEADS 1962 VACCINATION EFFORT
Ibarra, Society take shot at polio
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Parents were terrified. A deadly virus was striking their children, and there was no vaccine, no cure.
But the worries didn’t stem from concerns about COVID-19. In the first half of the 20th century, Texas — and the nation — feared polio.
The polio epidemic made 1943 to 1954 a frightening decade across America, especially in Texas.
The Lone Star state was hit hardest in the nation, and Harris County's crisis was unmatched in the state. A polio epidemic swept through the Houston area every other year during those years, and spread fear from Orange to El Paso, according to "The Polio Years in Texas: Battling a Terrifying Unknown," a 2009 book written by Houston-area historian Heather Green Wooten.
Although polio cases in Bell County were far from proportions seen in Houston and in an outbreak in the San Angelo area, there was grave concern that numbers could rise.
This concern prompted action by the Bell County Medical Society, a group of physicians primarily from the Temple, Belton and Killeen areas.
Dr. Jesse. D Ibarra Jr. — a Scott & White physician commonly known as Dr. Jesse — was president of the Society, and he orchestrated a plan to eradicate polio locally.
The Society’s plan called for the vaccination of 120,000 Bell County residents in 1962. Polio had been on the decline, but numbers were beginning to surge, prompting Ibarra and his colleagues to take action.
Using the Sabin Oral vaccine — it was administered on sugar cubes — the Society planned three SOS (Sabin Oral Sunday) drives in the fall of 1962. According to Ibarra’s records, 80 percent of the county’s population received all three necessary doses of the vaccine. Each dose was spaced two to three months apart.
The Society and its affiliate members, ham radio operators and Fort Hood helicopters helped spread the word and transport patients.
Polio was virtually eliminated in Bell County because of the efforts.
According to Ibarra’s records, the Society took on the burden of paying for the vaccines. Donation buckets were set up at vaccination locations, and grateful parents and community members weren’t shy about contributing. At the conclusion of the campaign, the Society paid its immunization bill and still had $16,000-plus-change left over.
These funds were placed in a scholarship fund for Bell County students interested in pursuing careers in medicine or related fields. That fund continues today.
Ibarra joined the Scott & White staff as an intern in 1945 and stayed at the Temple hospital until he retired in 1988. He was a member of the hospital’s board of directors from 1973 to 1984 and served as the board’s vice president for five years.
Other than the drive to eradicate polio in Bell County, Ibarra’s most lasting accomplishment was the establishment of the original Scott & White health maintenance organization in the late 1970s. In 1982 it became known as the Scott & White Health Plan.
Texas sales tax holiday starts Friday
Chamber urges Temple residents to shop at home
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Texas shoppers can save money on clothes and school supplies during the state’s sales tax holiday this coming weekend, according to Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar.
State law exempts sales tax on qualified items such as clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks as long as the item is priced below $100, Hegar said.
“Shoppers can save about $8 on every $100 they spend,” he said. “Texas’ sales tax holiday is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 6-8.”
The date of the holiday and the list of tax-exempt items are set by the Texas Legislature.
“For many families with children, the sales tax holiday is the perfect opportunity to save money on school supplies and other tax-free items,” Hegar said. “As a father with three school-aged children myself, I know how these expenses can add up.”
Apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax-free are listed on the Comptroller’s website at TexasTaxHoliday.org.
During the annual sales tax holiday, items can be purchased tax free online or by telephone, mail, custom order or in-store, but Temple and Belton merchants need and want your business.
“Local businesses are continually backed up against the wall when competing with online sales venues,” said Rod Henry, president of the Temple Chamber of Commerce. “Online stores sometimes offer more selections and sometimes the price is less, but it’s important to support those who support our schools, sports teams and the community.”
“Local businesses hire our friends, family and neighbors,” Henry said. “There really is no reason to roam — the best shopping is here at home.”
Briar Cliff closure begins Aug. 9
Construction also coming to Midway Drive
As part of the ongoing Bird Creek Interceptor Sanitary Sewer project, the city of Temple will close Briar Cliff Road at Pecan Valley Drive to through traffic beginning Monday, Aug. 9.
Detours will be in place to direct traffic around this closure. The road closure is expected to last five days and will be in place 24-hours a day, ending on Friday, Aug. 13.
The city also will have overnight lane closures on Midway Drive Aug. 4-5 between Bonham Avenue and Oakridge Drive. Midway Drive will be reduced to one lane in each direction both nights during overnight hours only. Eastbound traffic needing to access Bonham Avenue or Pecan Valley Drive will be detoured to Oakridge Drive.
Drivers should use caution in the area and pay attention to all traffic control devices.
As construction progresses, access will be maintained for all residents. Residents with inquiries about the project should reach out to the city of Temple Engineering Department at (254) 298-5660.
Coffee with a Cop is Aug. 20
The Temple Police Department is inviting residents to engage in quality conversation with officers during Coffee with a Cop on Aug. 20 at Bella Blue Cafe, 1323 S. 57th Street.
“We want to offer our citizens the opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, and meet our officers,” Deputy Chief Allen Teston said.
Coffee with a Cop is an opportunity for members of our community to meet one-on-one with the men and women who protect and serve Temple residents.
Police officers will be at Bella Blue from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Our Town Classifieds
FOR SALE: 2006 Nissan Murano 118K miles, White in color, new tires, AC works great. Asking 6,000. Email @ firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
LIFE SPAN TREADMILL DESK: Great condition. Desk and treadmill come as set. $500. Call/Text 254-654-0548 if interested. Can send pictures.
HEY, REAL ESTATE AGENTS — Here’s a perfect place for your newest listing!
BODY SOLID HOME GYM EXM-1500x: Great condition. $500. Call/Text 254-654-0548 if interested. Can send pictures. Comes with floor pads.
LARGE DESK WITH CHAIR: Great condition. $250. Dark brown in color. Approx 55 inches long, 35.5 inches wide, 35 inches tall. Sides of desk act as bookshelves. Call/Text 254-654-0548 if interested. Can send pictures.
SELLING YOUR CAR? Post it right here!
RAGE FITNESS — 40-pound soft-sided medicine ball. Great for Atlas drills. Like new. $40. (254) 624-4010
VITAMIX — Great condition. Comes with two pitchers. Great for salsas and smoothies. $200. (254) 624-4010
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING? HAVE SOMETHING TO SELL? List it here!
PLYO BOX: Soft-sided, 20x24x30 plyometric box. Great condition. $40. (254) 624-4010
Subscribers get FREE classifieds up to 25 words. Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com
Our Town Deals
FREE COFFEE WITH PURCHASE OF ANY BREAKFAST ITEM — Easy As Pie, 1217 S 1st St A, Temple.
To list your business in Our Town Deals, call (254) 624-4010
What’s Happening, Temple?
August 6, Friday - Lilly Milford of Lilly & The Implements joins Bryon White of The Damn Quails for a special performance. O’Briens Irish Pub. 9 p.m.
August 6, Friday - Family Night at Summer Fun Water Park, Belton, 7 p.m.
August 6, Friday - Branded Heart, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 8 p.m.
August 7, Saturday - Dave Jorgenson, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 9 p.m.
August 7, Saturday - Bell County Comic Con is a family friendly event for those interested in comics, pop culture, wrestling, gaming, movies and fantasy. Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
August 7, Saturday - Dig It! Family Day. Will include a sand pit for unearthing treasures. Learn what it’s like to be an archeologist or a paleontologist and the difference between the two fields of science. Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. 10 a.m.
August 7, Saturday - American Bucking Bull, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 8, Sunday - Bell County Comic Con is a family friendly event for those interested in comics, pop culture, wrestling, gaming, movies and fantasy. Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 13, Friday - Hyway Traveler, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 8 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Bell County Cutting Horse Show, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 14, Saturday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 14, Saturday - Texas Senior Pro Rodeo, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 15, Sunday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 15, Sunday - Texas Senior Pro Rodeo, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
Have an event you would like to promote? Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.