By Sonya Campbell

Harker Heights Herald

BELTON - Mayor Jim Covington announced plans to proclaim May 7 1st Lt. Lewis Larkin O'Hern Day.

The announcement was made during the regular council meeting Tuesday night.

O'Hern, an Army Ranger and West Point graduate, was severely wounded Dec. 30 in Afghanistan. He lost both legs and a hand, and suffered internal injuries after a roadside bomb exploded before it could be disarmed.

O'Hern's right leg was amputated below the knee, his left leg around thigh level and his right hand at the wrist. He also suffered multiple fractures to his left hand and a dislocated arm.

The proclamation will be presented during a special ceremony at 10 a.m. May 7 at The Gin pavilion in Belton.

"This is an opportunity to honor one of Belton's own," the mayor said.

The public is invited to attend the event.

In other business, the council:

Took no action after considering closing an "at-grade" rail crossing on College Street near the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. The item may be considered in some point in the future once city officials have determined how to ease traffic congestion on Main Street.

Recognized Belton Police Department Detective David "Bulldog" Jessup as the Officer of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2011. He was selected based on his work on two recent cases he initiated. One case was a marijuana-smuggling operation while the other pertained to child pornography. His work earned the praise of Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza, Police Chief Gene Ellis said.

Confirmed the appointment of Bruce Pritchard as interim fire chief.

Heard a report from Harry Sweet, chairman of the 1874 Church Building Committee, who provided an update on the church's stabilization plan and fundraising efforts.

Authorized the city manager to execute an agreement for the commercial redevelopment and retail recruitment strategy with the Belton Economic Development Corporation and approve a budget amendment. The city will pay $26,767, which is half of the cost of the effort.

Approved an ordinance amending the zoning of Lot 1 and west half of Lot 2, Block 1, in the Village Hill Subdivision (3576 Auction Barn Road) from Agricultural to Neighborhood Service District.

Contact Sonya Campbell at or (254) 501-7557.

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