Priest's trial delayed until spring, 2010 date

The sexual offense trial of Father Stephen Valenta in 20th District Court is now scheduled for March 22, 2010 in 20th District Court, according to Prosecutor Kerry Spears expects.

The trial was originally for Nov. 16, was delayed to Nov. 30, which is next Monday, and has now been delayed again.

Father Valenta, 85, a resident of Staten Island, New York, is free on $35,000 bond after being indicted on charges of sexual assault and prohibited sexual conduct.

Rockdale police have said the charges stem from allegations involving a female family member, at the St. Joseph's Catholic Church rectory on East Davilla Street in May, 2008.

Spears said by law there are several pending cases which must be tried before the case involving Fr. Valenta.

Van Gogh exhibit will visit RISD campuses

A traveling exhibit featuring one of the world's most famous artists will be on display next month at Rockdale ISD campuses.

Reproductions of artwork by Vincent Van Gogh will be on display at the elementary from Monday through Dec. 5, the day of the Parent-Teacher Organization's annual Winter Festival.

"The next week, Dec. 8-11, it moves to the intermediate campus and will be on display for the UIL academic events being hosted by our campus," Penny Curry, assistant superintendent for instruction, said.

She said the display features a giant reproduction of "Starry Night," Van Gogh's masterpiece.

"Thanks to the P-TO for helping sponsor this event," she said.

Commissioners okay acquisition of building

CAMERON—Milam County commissioners, in a regular session Monday in the courthouse, okayed acquisition of the Dusek Building in downtown Cameron for future use by the county.

Also during the meeting, commissioners:

• Approved Kerbow & Associates to prepare documents for the county's application for an Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant.

• Okayed a recycled asphalt pavement agreement which will result in the county receiving 2,590 cubic yards of the paving material.

• Approved installation of a new county government phone system over the Christmas holidays.

Trail Association will gather in Rockdale

CAMERON—The newly- appointed director of the El Camino de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association has announced the association's 2010 annual meeting will be Oct. 21-22 in Rockdale.

Steven Gonzales made that announcement last Wednesday at a press conference on the steps of the county courthouse. He said the meeting is expected to be widely attended.

Gonzales has studied missions and presidios of colonial Spain in Central Texas and has worked with members of national and historic trails across the nation.

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