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40 years later, Candyman case still haunts first responders

Written by Randi Null. Posted in News

CandyManHeadlineForty years have gone by since Deer Park resident Ronald O'Bryan killed his son with tainted Halloween candy. Despite the case closed with O'Bryan's 1984 execution, the images of Halloween night of 1974 still haunt first responders who came to Timothy O'Bryan's aid. Archive courtesy photo.

Jesse Zesiger was hired by the Deer Park Police Department in June of 1974. On Halloween night of that year, he received a call about a sick child at the Parktown Town Houses.

That sick child was eight-year-old Timothy O'Bryan. Within days his father Ronald Clark O'Bryan stood accused of murdering his son as a part of a life insurance scheme.

"Even though it's 40 years ago, a lot of it's still vivid in my memory," said Zesiger, who is now retired and living in Colorado . "It's the kind of stuff you don't forget."

Halloween Night
Earlier that evening O'Bryan had taken his two children, Timothy and his sister Elizabeth, trick-or-treating in Pasadena with a friend and his two kids. After having visited a home where the residents had failed to answer the door the children quickly moved on, but O'Bryan stayed behind and later returned to the group triumphantly brandishing five 21 inch long Pixy Stix.

It is said he exclaimed that the elder O'Bryan's friend had rich neighbors, explaining that someone opened the door a crack to hand over the Stix, before passing the treats out amongst the four children. Later O'Bryan gave the fifth Pixy Stix to a trick-or-treater he recognized from church.

After returning home Timothy chose the Pixy Stix when O'Bryan said he could have one piece of candy before bedtime.

"He took the end of it off for his son and it wouldn't come out," said Zesiger. "O'Bryan said he took the Pixy Stix in his hand and rolled it and broke up the clumps to help pour it down his throat."

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DPHS students to roll out Xanadu

Written by InsideDP.com staff. Posted in Community

XanaduPhoto provided by Neil Gage/DPHS Theater.

The Deer Park High School Curtain Call Theatre presents the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical hit Xanadu. See what audiences "All Over the World" having been raving about as you blast back into a version of the 1980s bursting with "Strange Magic." Then "Suddenly" immerse yourself in a world full of disco and roller skates as the "Fool" Sonny Malone finds himself in love with the immortal muse Kyra as he tries to open a roller disco with no money (or brains). You'll find yourself "Dancin'" to music from Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton-John. Expect cameos from all of your favorite Greek gods and goddesses, as well as backup singing from the Sirens. "Don't Walk Away" without a smile on your face.

Xanadu is the official DPHS musical of "The Fall" and opens on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. with repeat performances Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. All performances will be at Deer Park High School South Campus in the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

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DP Rotarians performing 'miracles' across the border

Written by Randi Null. Posted in Community

HargerGuerrero2014Deer Park Rotarian Dr. Merlyn Harger (right) is part of a contingent from the Crystal Foundation that treats indigent residents from a mountainous region in Mexico. The Guerrero Clinic is part of the Rotary Club's international outreach programs. Photo courtesy of the Guerrero Clinic.

Volunteers from the Deer Park Rotary Club recently visited the city of Guerrero in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico to provide underprivileged individuals with eye care treatments.

As a part of the Rotary Club's international projects, Dr. Merlyn Harger and a contingent of healthcare professionals and auxiliary volunteers travel to Mexico multiple times each year through the Crystal Foundation.

"We run about four or five clinics [in Guerrero] a year, and the one that I go on is for vision care and dentistry," said Harger, a long-time Deer Park optometrist. "We take optometrists and ophthalmologists down there and sometimes they'll bring in dentists from Chihuahua."

The clinic was built through Rotary and is supported by three Texas clubs: Deer Park, Brazosport and an El Paso based club. The clinic is also used by plastic surgeons at other times during the year to perform cleft palette surgeries, treat burn victims and perform other life-changing procedures.

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Military News: Tristen P. Forgey

Written by InsideDP.com staff. Posted in Military

flageditedAir Force Airman Tristen P. Forgey graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Forgey is the son of Jason and Melissa Forgey of Pasadena and is a 2013 graduate of Deer Park High School.

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DOL awards SJC $9M grant to train umemployed

Written by InsideDP.com staff. Posted in News

SJC-ReadyToWorkThe $9,294,620 Ready to Work Partnership grant awarded to San Jacinto College by the U.S. Department of Labor will provide tuition money to students pursuing associate degrees, college certificates, and industry-recognized certifications for high-demand industries like petrochemical. Recently, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez visited San Jacinto College to tour facilities and talk with students like Maurissia Carter, who is training for a high-demand career in the petrochemical industry. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $9,294,620 Ready to Work Partnership grant to San Jacinto College to train approximately 1,200 people for work in middle skills occupations across the Texas Gulf Coast region.

This grant is part of a $170 million federal grant to expedite the employment of Americans struggling with long-term unemployment. The Ready to Work grant at San Jacinto College will provide tuition money to students pursuing associate degrees, college certificates, and industry-recognized certifications for high-demand careers in industries like petrochemical. The grant also will allow the College to work with industry partners to offer students paid internships.

"This is about getting money into households as soon as possible," said Roberta Wright, San Jacinto College grant writer. "Many people do not have the funds to pay for training, particularly for noncredit training for certifications, which is not always covered by traditional financial aid. We really felt like we needed to make it possible for people to go to school and get the training they need so that they can get out quickly and start working."

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Jingle in the City home tour returns Dec. 6

Written by Randi Null. Posted in Community

JITCHomeTourOn Dec. 6, five Deer Park homes will be decorated top to bottom in Christmas wares and open for tours. Jingle in the City returns this Christmas season to help Deer Park ISD students who need an extra hand. InsideDP file photo.It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas as volunteers start preparing for the return of the Jingle in the City home tour Dec. 6.

This year five home owners and Murphy's Retreat will be decking the halls and opening their doors to area residents to help raise money to assist Deer Park High School youth who are struggling to get by this holiday season.

The self-guided tour will go from 3-9pm. Refreshments will be available at Murphy's Retreat and there will be raffles at each stop. This year there will also be a grand prize raffle for individuals who visit all six locations on the tour.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Ed's Flower Cottage, Norma's Country Dreams and Murphy's Retreat starting Nov. 3. There are only 500 tickets being made available.

All proceed from the tour and raffles will go towards gift cards for teens who have found themselves in difficult situations through no fault of their own as a way to help provide them will food, resources and hopefully the means to gain some normalcy in their lives. Many of the students who benefit do not even have a permanent residence and are attempting to support themselves, and sometimes other family members, so that they can stay in school.

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