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Former Douglas resident, now deputy, recovering after being shot on duty

A former Douglas resident, who is currently a deputy for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Houston, Texas, is recovering after being shot while on a disturbance call.

According to Thomas M Gilliland. Senior Deputy Media Relations / Public Information Officer for the HCSO, at approximately 11 p.m. on Friday, June 14 deputy Joel Bello Zazueta, responded to a disturbance at a residence in far west Harris County.

Upon arriving on scene Bello made contact with the female complainant who was waiting near the street outside of the home.

While speaking to her, the suspect, Brady Ray ,43, came out of the garage at the residence and discharged a firearm striking Bello in the lower torso.

Bello fired back at Ray who then ran back into the home barricading himself inside.

HCSO SWAT responded to the scene and after a lengthy search of the residence by a motorized robot, it was determined Ray had fled the home some time during the initial exchange of gunfire with Bello.

He was eventually tracked down by K-9 deputies less than a quarter mile away from the residence in a business park around 7 a.m. Saturday morning.

Bello was transported to Methodist West Hospital and from there was flown to Herman Hospital by Life flight. Family members told The Douglas Dispatch Bello was discharged from the hospital late last week and is at home with his wife and children recovering.

“He is expected to make a full recovery from his injury,” Gilliland said of Bello.

Ray has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, and burglary with intent to commit a felony. He is being held on a $2.1 million-dollar bond.

Bello is a 2011 graduate of Douglas High School. He played football and ran track for the Bulldogs all four years at DHS.

His 99-yard kickoff return against Amphi in Oct. 2010, which broke the old record of 95-yards set by the late Gib Dawson in 1947, still remains as the longest kickoff return for a touchdown. Bello would have two other touchdowns this game as the Bulldogs beat Amphi (at Amphi) for the first time in 40-years, 30-28. The former Douglas resident has been with the HCSO for two-years.


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5K race colors our world

Templo Bethel, a local church on Third Street in Douglas, held its second annual 5K Color Race Saturday at the 10th Street Park.

The 5K event was a way to encourage local residents to go out and enjoy the summer by running and being active. It was something different for the Douglas community that brought many local people together.

“As a church this was our way of showing love for our community,” said Templo Bethel Youth Pastor Ismael Cortez. “We wanted to be able to put smiles on the faces of all those that showed up here today and let them know that only do we love them but that Jesus loves them.”

Approximately 225 people came together to enjoy the race and the good weather while an estimated 140 of them either ran or walked in the 5K race.

The race started at 5 p.m. and ended at 6:30 p.m. with a color war and an after party.

Ricky Melendez was the overall winner of the race for the second straight year finishing with a time of 18-minutes, 27 seconds.

“Today was a lot of fun,” Melendez said after finishing. “There is something about this race that makes it fun to run in.”

Melendez currently serves in the Air Force National Guard. He added since physical conditioning is something they do on a regular basis it wasn’t that difficult getting ready for this race.

Zueyzen Pinedo was the overall top female finishing with a time of 21:32.

She added the first part of the race was challenging but then she caught her second wind and was able to push through to the finish.

Pinedo finished second last year but she was also pushing her daughter Zozyafernanda in a stroller. This year her husband, Fernando, had the stroller with her now almost 2-years-old daughter inside. Fernando still managed to finish third overall in the men’s division with a time of 27:54.

She added this was a fun event for the family and the fact their daughter got to be a part of it as well made it all the more special.

Marco Franco who had a time of 24:51, came in second place in the men’s division while Maria Terrazas, who turned in a time of 25:54, came in second place in the women’s division

Third place for the women went to Laura Franco who finished with a time of 25:55.

Cortez said putting the race together was not only a church effort, but also a community effort.

“We are a local church partnering up with people who believe in us and are willing to support what we do,” he said.

Event sponsors this year were: Bordados y Serigrafia, The UPS Store, Southwest Gas, the Mexican Consulate, Mankerotech, Koral Haircuts and the City of Douglas.


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City manager search discussed at special meeting

The Douglas City Council held an early morning special meeting on Thursday, June 20 where they met in executive session to discuss the city manager recruitment process as well as an employment matter (performance review and goal setting) for Luis Pedroza, Douglas’ city treasurer.

The entire meeting lasted just shy of 90 minutes.

Back in open session, City Attorney Juan Flores made the following statement, “The city manager recruitment process will continue. Staff may be scheduling interviews. The process will remain confidential.”

Jerene Watson who is currently serving as Douglas’ interim city manager, has a six-month contract with the city which expires July 28.

In regards to Pedroza, the mayor accepted a motion that “no action be taken due to the matter was fully taken care of in executive session.”

The council unanimously agreed with that motion at which time the meeting was adjourned.

Public hearings July 10

City officials announced last week that two public hearings are scheduled for Wednesday, July 10 at 4 and 5 p.m. in the City Hall council chambers.

The 4 p.m. hearing deals with the sales/use tax increase which is being proposed raising the sales/use tax from 2.8 percent to 3.8 percent and the bed tax from two to four percent and would go into effect Oct. 1, 2019 providing the second and third readings of this ordinance are approved by the mayor and council.

The 5 p.m. public hearing is to seek public comment regarding the final adoption of the annual budget for fiscal year 2019/2020. The proposed budget may be reviewed at City Hall or at the Douglas Public Library located at 560 10th Street. The complete copy of estimates of revenues and expenses may also be reviewed at the city of Douglas webpage: www.douglasaz.gov/211/budgets-financials.

The regular monthly city council meeting will follow at 6 p.m. that same evening.