Wanda Fay Gates

October 12, 1934 ~ January 26, 2023

In loving memory of our mother, Wanda Fay Gates, 88, of Lytle, who passed away on January 26, 2023. She was the devoted wife of Joel Coy Gates, Sr. and loving mother to Joel Coy Gates, Jr., Janet Lynn Yarbrough and Jill Fay Gates. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
Our mother was a kind, caring and giving person who always put the needs of her family before her own. She was a strong woman who faced every challenge in her life with courage and dignity. She was a source of inspiration to us all and we will carry her spirit and memory in our hearts for the rest of our lives.
Wanda was always there for her family helping us navigate through life. You would always find her in the stands cheering on her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; cooking Sunday dinner, working in her beautiful garden or taking the kids for a day of swimming at the lake. Her faithfulness and loyalty to her family never wavered. She was a true role model who we will always look up to.
Born in Stonewall, Texas on October 12, 1934, she was preceded in death by her parents, Jesse Albert Holden and Effie Mae Andrews Holden; husband, Joel Coy Gates, Sr.; and siblings, Charles Ober Holden, John Lee Holden, Velva Mae Holden Naegelin, Jesse “Pete” Ancel Holden and Melvin James Holden.
She is survived by her sister, Effie Holden Hearn; children, Joel Coy Gates, Jr., Janet Lynn Yarbrough (Steven), Jill Fay Gates; grandchildren, Leigh Anne Watkins (Shawn), Jolinda Arroyo (Chris), Kristin Morris (Robert), Brooke Higgins (Ryan), Joe Allen Carter and Rebecca Tumlinson; as well as 7 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday February 4, 2023, at Primrose Funeral Services, 14822 Main Street, Lytle, Texas 78052.
Family visitation will start at 9 am and public visitation will start at 10 am, with the funeral service to follow beginning at 11am. The burial service will follow, immediately after, at the Lytle Masonic Cemetery.
Mom, you will always be in our hearts, and we will never forget you. We love you so very much. Rest in peace.
Anyone wishing to sign the online guestbook, share memories or issue condolences to the family, may do so at www.primrosefuneralservices.com 
Arrangements under the direction of Primrose Funeral Services, 14822 Main Street, Lytle, Texas, 78052


Magdalena P. Garcia, age 75, of Devine, Texas, passed away on January 23, 2023, in Minot, North Dakota. Magdalena was born in Devine, Texas on April 14, 1947, to Simona and Simon Garcia.
Magdalena is preceded in death by her parents: Simon and Simona Garcia; sisters: Amelia Gutierrez, Maria Ellena Gutierrez, Anita Torrez, and Gloria Valdez; and brothers: Perfecto Garcia, and Carlos Garcia.
Magdalena is survived by her husband: Fortino Velasquez; sons: Damion Garcia (Elizabeth), Marcus Garcia (Danielle), and Simon Garcia (Terry); daughter: Erlinda Garcia; sisters: Maria Alvarez, and Ofelia Church; 15 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held on Monday, January 30, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., followed by recitation of the rosary at 7:00 p.m. at Hondo Funeral Home. Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, followed by interment at St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
Services are under the direction of Hondo Funeral Home.

Latest News

Here is the latest news from Lytle PD for the week ending January 29th, 2023. Lytle PD officers managed 54 calls for service and conducted 106 traffic stops. 
Those traffic stops resulted in 89 citations and 17 warnings.           
     There was only one arrest last week and it was a cite and release. A traffic stop for an expired registration resulted in the driver being cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.
    Officers took 4 reports for property crimes: #1 – A resident on Cottage St. reported that his push lawn mower was stolen from his driveway, he valued it at $125. I knew it, we get a little rain and now every crook wants a lawn mower. #2 – Criminal Mischief: A window was broken on a vehicle at the Best Western Plus, the damage was estimated at $400. #3 – A suspect attempted to get away with $207 worth of merchandise at H.E.B. Plus. The property was recovered by H.E.B. The suspect left before the arrival of the officers. #4 – A 2010 Ford Econoline Van was stolen from the 19300 Blk. of McDonald St. It was recovered, abandoned up the road in Bexar Co.
     The 2010 Ford 1-ton Econoline van just wasn’t any van, it belonged to my mom! Yep, mom called Saturday morning yelling that somebody stole her van. It was located later that night in Bexar Co. The lock was busted, the steering column was busted, etc. They drove it for a little bit and realized the gas mileage is terrible, parked it, and walked away.  
     Our officers assisted with two “bailouts” involving human smuggling. One was north of the city, where we assisted the Atascosa Co. Sheriff’s Dept. The other was south of the city, and we assisted the Texas Highway Patrol with that one.   
     Last week I was in Huntsville for my week of required police chief training, I am required to attend a 40-hour block once during every two-year training cycle. There were about 50 chiefs in attendance for this session. Lots of municipal chiefs, followed by many ISD police departments, and there were 4 university/community college chiefs as well. I rubbed elbows and chatted with a bunch of big city chiefs….like Eddie Garcia (Dallas PD), Neil Noakes (Fort Worth PD), Claudio Trevino Jr. (Laredo PD), and David Gonzales (Leon Valley PD). One would think you had to be pretty smart to achieve such a high position….. those guys had all week to ask me for advice and never did! So, I guess that is proof that they are pretty smart.

  • Richey 

Things and Stuff

Lost another local icon last week.  Bubba Hanson took off and left us without an electrician.  He did all the County work during the last 12 years.  Granted, it was on his schedule..had to always remember that there is Central Standard Time and there is Bubba Hanson time.  Believe it or not, he will be missed.  
Seems its Rodeo weather time and it has seemed to set in already.  Cold, wet and borderline miserable.  We did get a good start to 2023 last Tuesday when we got 7 tenths of an inch of rain.  Probly cause I washed my truck.  Nickie and Jason got 5 inches in Magnolia…traffic in front of their house was causing waves of water to wash into folks garages when they passed by.
Retirement is pretty good so far.  Forgot what day it was once…a week or so ago.  When I retired from SAPD in 2006, I said that I wasn’t gonna do nothing for a month…that lasted bout a week.  Took to trimming trees and stayed busy.  This time, I stuck to it…ain’t done nothing much beside trim a tree, build a picture frame and fix a cabinet door for Sandy.  Gonna get active in February.
Still getting calls from our new Commissioner but, they are few and far between now.  Think he’s got this under control.  Lotta good things happening out there.
Got a few ideas for your President…we can fix the Border by enforcing the laws ALREADY on the books.  Quit sending our Strategic Oil Reserve to Russia and elsewhere overseas.  Stop financing other countries with our tax dollars.  Keep our money here and there probly would not be a debt ceiling that needed raising.  If stopping pipelines sending oil to Russia will cripple their economy, why did he stop the ones in our country?  Quit blaming high gas and grocery prices on outside factors..take responsibility once in a while.  Watta maroon..please run in 2024…cheese and rice dude.  There are more but, KK ain’t gonna give me that much space.  
Please be sure and put the author of this column at the top cause I don’t wanna listen to Sammy Smith complain about not knowing who wrote it.  Keep praying for rain least until Medina Lake is full.  Didn’t see anything on the Medina County Agenda to comment on but, did not look at Devine City Council Agenda.  City folks need to get involved. 


The 2022-2023 White Tail Deer Season brought about some changes for me that had not occurred in a long time. A tract of land that I leased for decades sold in early 2022 and I had to vacate. While bittersweet in some regards, it gave me the motivation to set up a new hunting location on our Home Place as well as begin to “learn” a new leased property. Both those experiences have proven beneficial.
Opening day found me in that new spot and one of the animals I observed was much larger, body wise, than our usual spike bucks. His antlers were simply two spikes but longer than generally found on that age class. Because my goal for the day was much more about gathering some “intel” than on harvesting, no shots were fired.
As more deer sightings began to accumulate, it became clear that we had an ample supply of the younger class bucks in our area. In consultation with some game stewards that I respect the decision was made to not gamble this young fellow. Maybe he was a SUPER SPIKE but more likely an older deer that did not develop even one branched main beam or brow tine.
The dilemma became that we no longer saw that fellow over the course of numerous hunts by guests and family. On the Friday afternoon before the spike and doe season was over, I put one of our favorite young friends out in that same location. He had harvested a nice doe already, but his young family could benefit from some additional venison. I reviewed the deer to watch for and those that were “off limits”. The final statement was to look for The Tall Spike as that deer had come to be labeled.
Just about sundown he texted me that Long Spike and a couple of eligible does were at the feeder. I asked that he try for the buck but if an ethical shot did not present itself, take a doe. After some milling around the spike moved away and a well placed single shot created an immediate death.
In reviewing the deer while field dressing him, we confirmed he was older than 1 ½. But further investigation showed an old wound of some kind on his back. All healed up it was difficult to determine if a bullet that was too high, a fence cut, or something else had caused the injury. But we agreed that he was going to be a fine addition to the table fare of his growing family.
And the experience was another one to add the young man’s list of hunting memories. He reminded me his first doe, first mature buck, and now, his first spike had all come while hunting as my guest. With that perspective in mind, I am glad he was the one to harvest The Tall Spike. That made for a wonderful ending to yet another hunting season out in La Brasada.

The Moon and Back

Tucker woke up with a colorful thought this morning.
“Mom, if you can get me and my cousins to the moon, we are gonna kick the alien’s butts!”
I don’t know if he was having one heck of a dream or what, but this is one guy who doesn’t “come in peace” I guess. Life is always exciting with Tucker and he sure enjoys his “cousins.” Everywhere we go, he tells all the other kids he’s playing with about his cousins.
He hit some big milestones this week. Best of all, he spontaneously decided to clean his room by his own free will, while I was cleaning the kitchen. I was so impressed! Number two, he volunteered to give me a foot massage yesterday. I don’t even know how to say how much I love that!
He’s obviously not a big fan of aliens, but he sure does love his mommy.
I love that kid–to the moon and back!

Birdie treats

Last week was busy, but not just too bad! On Tuesday we had over four inches of rain which was badly needed. I worked in the gift shop as usual and as you can imagine, with a downpour going on, there weren’t many customers for me. Of course, the Dr.s offices were open and everyone who came in was pretty wet.
On Wednesday, there was a “meet and greet” occasion for our incoming CEO, it was very nice, and I found out, that like one of my grandsons and his wife, she is a Star Wars fan! After the party, I headed out to Devine for my usual bunco, and the visiting that I do each month, beginning with the time I now get to spend with my youngest grandson and his family. Those little ones are so cute and I have so much fun with them. The trip was not bad and there wasn’t much traffic for me to contend with, and I am always happy about that. That area did not have the amount of rain that we did and the only place you saw anything other than sere and brown in the countryside was where someone was irrigating, usually winter rye or something like that.
Bunco, that evening, was fun as it usually is and all of them said they had been in good health, and I got to catch up on everything that had been happening in the past month, and even won first prize! That always makes the evening more fun!
As always, Thursday was my fun day, no traveling for hours, just visiting, either on the phone in person with a couple of friends, and of course lunching with my son! And then, getting to see my great-granddaughters in Castroville.
Since it had dawned on me, during the night on Tuesday, I had a busy weekend coming up, I realized that I had to travel back home on Friday, rather than on Saturday and I met with my daughter and the little girls and had a delicious early lunch, before I went back to Devine for a hair appointment, so it was later than usual when I left, however, it was closer to dark than I like when I got home. No problems until I got to Floresville and hit some typical 5:00 p.m. traffic. Thank goodness it isn’t football season, then you really have traffic!
Saturday and Sunday were both busy with a fundraiser for one of the organizations at church, my sister and I are in charge of the cole slaw and Saturday we made six gallons of the dressing that we use and helped cut up potatoes that are part of the meal and Sunday, we made over 200 hundred pounds of cabbage into slaw. We work well together, and the guys did all the lifting for us. We both came home tired, had lunch together around 2:00 p.m. (the plates were “to-go” only), and then went our separate ways for the afternoon, with naps on the horizon for both of us. She is doing well but is still unable to drive due to neck surgery that was done on November 1. She is hoping the brace will be removed this coming week but is still unsure.
A couple of weeks ago, I gave you a recipe so you could make treats for the dogs in your life. Today, I’m going to include one to make for the precious feathered friends you may have at your feeders. Food for our winged friends is scarce at this time of the year, and my son-in-law gave me several similar recipes he found online for a treat for them. As he took it out of the freezer, I wondered what kind of treat he was planning to share with me, only to find out it was a birdie treat! He has a wonderful feeder set up that can be observed from their kitchen window and sometimes they have a large variety of birds there eating the grain he provides. Right now, however, all he has is an occasional ring-neck dove and lots of sparrows.
Version 1
1 part peanut butter (crunchy or regular)
1 part shortening
1 part flour
3 parts cornmeal
1 part cracked corn (chicken scratch grain is what he used)
1 cup black oil sunflower seeds
Mix all together and chill until firm.
Version 2
Homemade Peanut Butter Suet
1 cup shortening
16 to 20-oz crunchy peanut butter
Heat and stir together until melted.
Add the following:
1 cup raisins
1 cup black oil sunflower seeds
6 cups cornmeal
4 cups flour
Mix together with the shortening/peanut butter mixture and spoon into a 9×13-inch pan and chill until firm. Cut into chunks for suet feeders or do as he does and just cut the chunks and place on the feeder itself.
Now, here is a recipe for you to make for the family, it is simple enough that the children can help you. I made this and took it to the group working in the kitchen at our fund raiser and it was a big hit, everyone loved it, and I hope you do also.
Cinnamon Roll Delight
1 can Caramel Apple Pie filling
2 cans, (8-count each) cinnamon rolls (I use HEB brand)
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Open the pie filling and pour into a bowl, cut the apples into smaller pieces.
Open the cinnamon rolls (set the frosting aside, you’ll use it later), cut each cinnamon roll into four pieces, when you’re finished, mix the cinnamon rolls into the pie filling. Place the mixture into a sprayed 9X13 baking pan or dish and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the cinnamon rolls are done, it should be lightly browned on top. Cool for about 10 to 15 minutes and then use the reserved frosting pouring it as evenly as possible over the cinnamon rolls and apples. Serve warm or cool.

Several Devine FCCLA students

ABOVE….Devine FCCLA students competed this past weekend in Corpus Christi. Several will advance to State (see article). Pictured in top row: Felix Mendoza, Collier Paige, Lalo Hernandez. Middle row: Hailey Eads, Brianna Chavez, Sirley Chavez, Hilary Barnett, Katelyn Dinwiddie, Maddie Dubose, Ashley Mattke. Bottom row: Cassandra Elias, Makayla Breiten, Kourtni Geyer, Barbara Merlo, Cynthia Maldonado, and Mariah Carrillo. See article for regional placements and list of teams advancing to State.

Devine FCCLA students had a great outcome at the Region V Conference this past weekend held in the American Banking Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Competitors included:
Spotlight on Projects
Arabelle Davalos – Career Connections
Priscilla Fuentes and Miracle Tovar – Stand Up
STAR Events
Ashley Mattke and Cynthia Maldonado – National Programs in Action Level 3
Hilary Barnett and Katelyn Dinwiddie – Focus on Children Level 3
Those placing and advancing to state include:
Mariah Carrillo and Maddie Dubose – National Programs in Action Level 2 – 1st place
Sirley Chavez and Cassandra Elias – Interpersonal Communications Level 3 – 1st place
Brianna Chavez and Hailey Eads – Interpersonal Communications Level 2 – 2nd place
Kourtni Geyer and Makayla Breiten – Chapter Service Project Display – Level 3 – 2nd place
Felix Mendoza – Job Interview Level 2 – 3rd place
Collier Paige – Nutrition and Wellness Level 1 – 1st place – Devine FCCLA’s first middle school competitor
Barbara Merlo served as Region V’s VP of Achievement for this year and led the House of Delegates meeting and the 2nd General Session meeting. She also organized a successful Leadership Track for members to attend on Distracted Driving. She contacted Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services to have a representative come present to FCCLA members.
Lalo Hernandez served as Region V’s VP of Competitive Events and helped to organize and lead all competitive events for the conference.
Our chapter won the Texas FCCLA News Across Texas Award for Region V, as well.
Overall, Devine FCCLA will have 10 members advance to state in Dallas March 30 – April 2.  Our two Region officers will also be completing their obligations for 2023 at the State Conference.

Water Board: review of Devine’s
$9.9 million loan and some “potentially ineligible” costs

Shortly before press time, Chief Communications Officer for the Texas Water Development Board, Lauren Munguia, gave the following update on The City of Devine’s $9.9 million dollar loan that is currently under review:

Continue reading “Water Board: review of Devine’s
$9.9 million loan and some “potentially ineligible” costs”