It’s been a hectic couple of months for Bradley Hart. Hectic, but rewarding.
Last Nov-ember, the 1989 Athens High School graduate lost his bid to unseat a Democratic incumbent sitting on the 339th District Court bench. That loss — which left him slightly more than one percentage point behind when the final votes were tallied — ended two years of hard campaigning for the Republican who had worked as a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office since passing the bar exam in 1997.
After the loss, Hart — buoyed by a swell of encouragement — opted to throw his name in the ring for a number of judicial appointments being considered by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. On Monday, Perry’s office announced it had selected Hart to fill the unexpired term as judge of Harris County’s 230th Judicial District Court.
Funny how things work out.
“It’s been kind of hectic going from the DA’s office to the bench in two days,” said Hart, who lives in Humble. “It’s so humbling, and it’s an incredible honor.”
Though Hart has strong roots in East Texas (including a stint as an intern in the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office, where he also served as Teen Court administrator), he’s been very active in Harris County. He’s a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Houston Bar Association and the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. He’s also an administrative board member of First Methodist Houston Downtown and a volunteer for the Sam Houston Area Council Boy Scouts of America.
“He’s been outstanding all his life,” said Hart’s mother, Linda Ragland, who still lives in Athens. “Of course, this is his mom talking — but you can ask anybody.”
Hart graduated from Baylor University in 1993, and the next year, moved to Houston to begin law school at the South Texas College of Law. While there, he worked with the Houston Bar Association Juvenile Justice Mock Trial Program and was a volunteer with Child Advocates, Inc.
Hart has prosecuted thousands of cases at the Harris County DA’s Office and served in various capacities during his tenure. In April 2006, he was promoted to felony district court chief after securing a conviction for a man who shot a Houston police officer in the face.
In 2011, Hart was named Prosecutor of the Year by the Texas Narcotics Officers Association for his work related to major narcotics investigations.
After last fall’s election, Hart said he was ready to take a break until being approached by a large number of people who encouraged him to apply for an appointment to several judicial positions that were coming open.
“I thought about it and prayed about it and talked with my family and came to the conclusion that I’d kick myself if I didn’t at least try,” Hart said.
Upon being selected to interview before Perry’s appointment staff, that body informed him that it had received a flood of letters in his support. He interviewed for about an hour with Perry’s staff last month and learned of Perry’s appointment three weeks later.
“Campaigning for that long, I got to know a lot of the citizens of Harris County you typically don’t get to know,” Hart said. “Of course, I was disappointed with the (election) loss, but it paid off incredibly.”
Athens native sworn in as 230th district judge
It’s been a hectic couple of months for Bradley Hart. Hectic, but rewarding.
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Two arrested for drugs
The Henderson County Narcotics Officers have been busy with drug trafficking arrests in the county.
Henderson County Narcotic Officer Kay Langsford presented Judge Tommy Barnett with a probable cause affidavit for a warrant on Alton “Butch” Hawthorne, 59 of Seven Points on Monday, Nov. 25.
HCSO recovers stolen items
The Henderson County Sheriff's Office has reportedly been investigating numerous thefts and burglaries in the Athens area.
On Thursday at approximately 10 a.m. Henderson County Investigators Billy Jack Valentine and Michael Shelley conducted a follow-up investigation at a residence on County Road 3911.
A slap on the wrist?
Disorderly conduct, disruption of class, trespassing or being under the influence on school grounds are no longer offenses that can receive citations from Texas school districts.
Senate Bill 393 went into law Sept. 1 during the 83rd Texas Legislature changing the way school districts across the state with law enforcement officers on campus operate.
A Military Christmas
A mother’s love has far reaching effects.
Amy Hillhouse has sent her daughter Kaylee care packages on a routine basis to provide for her basic needs.
A 2009 Martin’s Mill graduate, Kaylee Hillhouse is currently stationed in Afghanistan at Camp Leatherneck as she serves in the U.S. Navy.
With Christmas approaching, Amy thought she would send a couple more packages to a couple of Kaylee’s closest friends on the base.
When Kaylee responded with a list of 21, Amy was floored, but like most mothers she stepped into action out of love for her daughter, and our nation.
Community Christmas Concert coming
More than 100 choir members from seven organizations in the Cedar Creek Lake area have been preparing for several weeks for the upcoming Community Christmas Concert to be held at the Mabank High School auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is a canned good item for donation to the Family Resource Centers.
Chandler Tour of Homes this Monday
The 25th annual Chandler Christmas Tour of Homes will be Monday, Dec. 9 from 6-9 p.m. The event is sponsored by Women’s Unity Fellowship.
The organization has traditionally funded local groups and charities that improve the quality of life for children and young adults in the area.
These projects include the summer reading program at the Chandler Public Library, the Chandler Historical Museum, God’s Open Hands, Chandler Volunteer Fire Department and the Brenda Epperson Memorial Scholarship for Future Teachers.
Palestine library hosts Angel Tree for veterans
Palestine Public Library is partnering with the local veterans groups to make sure area veterans are remembered this Christmas.
‘Mary Did You Know’
The members and guests at Payne Springs United Methodist Church Fellowship Night dinner were blessed by the Mabank High School Panther Edition on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The choir performed "Mary Did You Know," along with a medley of favorite TV theme songs. These students practice everyday, along with their regular school curriculum. “It does your heart good to see young students so dedicated and talented,” an attendee said. The Panther Edition Christmas program will be Dec. 17. Mark your calendar for an entertaining evening.
It’s a boom time for criminals
Christmas is a boom time for cybercriminals with spam e-mails, fake sites and fake products used to lure bargain hunters to their sites. Beware of the viruses that could possibly be lurking in these sites.
Henderson County police departments routinely check out possible scams and viruses that could effect the area. Recently, Infosecurity Magazine reported of a trojan virus that is set to target banking websites nationwide. Area police departments encourage citizens to be watchful while using the Internet, and keep a close eye on their transaction.
Enrollment deadline nears
With the impending deadline for open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance agents from around the county are scrambling to provide as much information as possible on the new law.
Lana Mock, with Skip Smith Insurance, spoke to the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce (CCLACC) Seven Points/Tool/Kemp Branch members about what they can expect from the ACA. Mock tried to answer as many questions as she could.
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