By Jacqueline Brown

Killeen Daily Herald

GATESVILLE A Coryell County volunteer is working with the city of Copperas Cove and the Central Texas Council of Govern-ments to mend the communications gap that existed when hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast.

The Coryell County Commis-sioners Court accepted County Fire Marshal Billy Vadens resignation as emergency management coordinator Monday at its regular meeting and appointed Phillip Yarbrough to the position.

Vaden accepted the position in September when former EMC Randy Yows decided he no longer had the time or resources to perform the duties as coordinator.

I told them when I started that I would only do it temporarily, Vaden said. I never did want the job, I did it out of courtesy for the judge.

Vaden said he thinks Yarbrough will do an excellent job for the county.

Yarbrough leads the Coryell County Community Emergency Response Team and said hes spent months preparing for the position.

He said his first priority is to bring the emergency management plan into compliance with the National Incident Management System and then he hopes to facilitate communication improvements between the various cities and the county.

He is also working with CTCOG to develop a regional response team.

Meanwhile, commissioners voted 3 to 2 to provide an additional $11,840 for the Gatesville City-County Airport improvements project.

Commissioners expressed their discontent with the Texas Department of Transportations management of the undertaking, but chose not to abandon the $74,250 they have invested in the projects eight-year duration.

Commissioners also:

n approved a settlement in litigation involving the Sheriffs Office for $3,000. Sheriff Johnny Burks said an employee mistake resulted in the displacement of an inmates property. He said the department has since retrained the jail staff to prevent future mistakes and the shift supervisor has resigned;

n approved a Dangerous Wild Animals Act that will allow Topsey Exotic Ranch to continue its business, but will not allow anyone else to house dangerous wild animals;

n and approved a Dangerous Dogs Act that will provide penalties for Coryell County residents who do not properly contain dogs deemed as vicious and dangerous animals.

Contact Jaqueline Brown at

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