Lampasas Police Department has released its crime statistics for 2017, with several categories trending the right direction: down. Felonies and adult arrests are both down, for example.

In 2017, 299 felonies were recorded by the police department, with 273 cleared. The previous year, 341 felony crimes were committed; of those, 305 cases were cleared.

Chief of Police Sammy Bailey said although the department investigated several high-profile crimes in 2017 -- including a murder-suicide and two aggravated robberies in the city -- the overall crime rate has trended downward.

Although sales tax figures for the first month of 2018 looked bright for many entities across Central Texas, those in Lampasas County all suffered declines in January.

Compared to the tax allocations of January 2017, those for this new year ranged from a drop of just 0.01 percent in the city of Lampasas to a decrease of 16 percent for the city of Kempner.

At press time Monday, forecasts called for snow accumulation across much of Central and North Texas.

Along and south of a line from Goldthwaite to Hillsboro to Sulphur Springs, the National Weather Service called for half an inch to two inches of snow to fall between midnight and 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Hazardous travel was likely, according to NWS, with icy bridges and roadways through Wednesday morning. predicted high temperatures in the 30s Tuesday and Wednesday for Lampasas, with a low Wednesday morning in the teens.

Lampasas High School junior Landon Irvin, second from right, exhibited the grand champion steer at the Lampasas County Youth Livestock Show on Saturday. He is pictured with cattle show judge Dr. Aaron Cooper, far left, and Irvin’s parents, Andrew and Tracy.

The Lampasas City Council voted Monday to pay a maximum of $84,000 for lights at the outdoor rodeo arena at the FM 580 West Sports Park. The decision comes as the Lampasas County Chamber of Commerce prepares to hold its Riata Roundup rodeo at the new arena April 27-28.

Former councilman Chris Harrison, a member of an arena committee that has been working on ways to develop the new venue, talked to three companies to get quotes for light installation at the arena. Kingsland-based Centerline Services submitted the lowest price -- $83,106.

With the help of Lampasas Independent School District agriscience teacher Ricky Prescott, left, Lampasas High School senior Jack Procter works Thursday to put the finishing touches on his project for the Ag Mechanics competition at this week’s Lampasas County Youth Livestock Show. Procter worked in the stock show barn parking lot to assemble his calling rack -- which sits in the bed of a pickup truck and is used for predator hunting.

The Lampasas City Council has selected the contractor for a $1.05 million water line loop intended to increase pressure and extend water service in the northwest section of town.

The council voted 6-0 on Monday, with Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Williamson absent from the meeting, to award the project to Nelson Lewis Inc. The Marble Falls company will construct a water loop that will extend from the area near the Nix Road water tower to Old Lometa Road to U.S. Highway 183/190 and then east-southeast to an area near the youth livestock show barn.

The city of Lampasas is actively pursuing better internet connectivity for residents, officials said after a conference call Tuesday afternoon with consulting firm Foresite Group Inc.

With feedback from both City Manager Finley deGraffenried and Lampasas Economic Development Director Mandy Walsh, the consulting firm was nearly ready to submit a preliminary cost of materials and outline of its plan.

This year’s flu season, which typically starts in the late fall and runs through the winter, has been one of the worst Family Medicine Clinic pediatrician Dr. Ashley Chamberland has seen since her residency in 2012 in Connecticut.

“I’ve had a few kids that have had pneumonia with it, and a few kids with ear infections which isn’t that common,” she said. “That was definitely one different thing.”

As a pediatrician, Chamberland has seen quite a few children with the flu – from infants to patients about 5 years old.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is conducting field trials in Texas and Alabama this year to study the effectiveness of sodium nitrite toxic bait for removing feral hogs.

A document published by Wildlife Services and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service provides information on sodium nitrite.

“Sodium nitrite (NaNO2) is a meat preservative commonly used to cure meats such as sausage and bacon,” the document states. “When eaten in high doses over a short period of time, it is toxic to feral swine.