Sammy is a 75-pound Sulcotta turtle. He traveled 335 miles from Rockport to Glen Rose to ride out Hurricane Ike. Greg and Jan Burkhart and their two children, 2-year-old Annie and 4-year-old Jackson came with Sammy and Greg’s parents, Bill and Janet Burkhart.

Greg is a teacher and coach in Rockport. The school closed down until the hurricane passed. Greg and Jan boarded up their home, packed up the children and Sammy, and headed to Glen Rose.

The Burkharts have raised Sammy since he weighed less than one pound.

Sammy is quite a character who has made newspaper headlines before.

When Greg and Jan lived in Amarillo, Sammy escaped their yard and a travelogue of his daylong adventure ended up on the front page of the local newspaper. The Burkharts realized the photograph was of Sammy and rushed to the animal shelter to rescue him. Some explanation was in order, but Sammy made it home safely.

Annie and Jackson love Sammy and say he is an important part of their family. The children say they don’t need a pony - they have Sammy and he’s much closer to the ground.

On Sept. 11, Cherokee Rose Manor Nursing Home and Rehab Center opened its doors to 38 residents who were evacuated from the path of Hurricane Ike.

Residents from Sea Breeze Nursing Home in Texas City were transported to Glen Rose along with several employees.

A call went out for help to unload the tour bus that arrived with the residents on board.

The Glen Rose-Somervell County Fire Department responded along with the Somervell County Sheriff’s Department to help get the displaced residents off the bus and into their temporary home.

Solaris Hospice has provided extra nursing care around the clock. Cherokee Rose Administrator Rick Villa commended his staff and the medical community for their dedication to helping the evacuees feel welcome and comforted. Villa said his employees worked until after 1 a.m. to get the temporary residents settled in, then returned for their regular shifts at 6 a.m.

Resident doctor Paul Schmidt was on hand Friday to help out with the extra medical attention needed. Many other entities have volunteered and donated in order to make the displaced residents comfortable while they are staying in Glen Rose.

Cherokee Rose houses 60 residents on a regular basis. Sea Breeze is a sister property of the parent company, Daybreak Ventures.