Oct

19

Posted by : admin | On : October 19, 2017

Timothy Morrison
The News Staff Reports
NEW ORLEANS–The search for a missing Athens man has been called off following the oil and gas platform explosion on Lake Pontchartrain Sunday night. A memorial service for Timothy Morrison, 44, is set to follow a visitation at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 405 E. Corsicana St. in Athens Sunday, Oct. 22. His mother, Janie Cole, of Cole Air Conditioning and Appliance Co. said her son, last living in Katy, was working as a subcontractor on the structure when it caught fire and exploded.
The Coast Guard reported the fire aboard the platform was out by midday. Cmdr. Zac Ford stated that making the decision to suspend the search “is never an easy one.”
In all, five of the injured were hospitalized with serious injuries, including burns and two people were reported in critical condition.
The platform, owned by Clovelly Oil exploded while maintenance work was being performed, according to a press release. A fireball lit up the night sky and shook lakeside properties.
The platform sustained heavy structural damage and is a storage and accumulation point for oil and gas from a number of wells. Four wells that feed into the platform were drilled in the 1970s and are all in the lake. Three of which were shut down at the time of the explosion and the fourth was successfully shut down shortly after the explosion, Clovelly Oil reported.
A brackish tidal basin, the 630-square mile lake also is fed by fresh water rivers and streams in 16 Louisiana parishes and four Mississippi counties.
The U.S. Geological Survey describes it as one of America‘s largest estuaries, home to oysters, crabs and saltwater fish. The lake is not a source of drinking water.

Oct

19

Posted by : admin | On : October 19, 2017

IMG_5301 Trinidad FB #31 CMYK
By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
TRINIDAD–The Trinidad Trojans defeated the Exel HomeSchool Lions Oct. 14 in their annual homecoming game.
Senior Trojans running back Talon Sims kicked off the offense for the Trojans with a rushing touchdown just over one minute into the first quarter to give the Trojans an 8-0 lead.
Twelve seconds later, on a carry by a Lions player, defensive back Marcello Shofner ripped the ball from the carrier’s hands to give the Trojans possession.
Caleb Bannister finished off the drive with a five-yard touchdown just 42 seconds later to give the Trojans a 16-0 lead.
Linebacker Eli Arnold recovered another fumble for the Trojans defense as they took over with 5:16 remaining in the first quarter.
Sims tacked on another touchdown 19 seconds later to push the Trojans lead to 22-0.
Sophomore wide receiver Hunter Robinson added a touchdown of his own to give the Trojans a 30-0 lead with 3:39 remaining in the first quarter.
Robinson picked up an interception with 1:48 remaining to give the Trojans possession.
Johnny Ayala ran 60 yards for his first touchdown of the night, pushing the lead to 38-0 with 1:16 remaining in the first quarter.
Josh Stamper and Kaelab Eastman both added touchdowns for the Trojans 20 second apart in the last minute of the first quarter to take a commanding 50-0 lead into the second quarter.
The Lions finally got on the board on a rush touchdown with 4:53 remaining in the second quarter to make the deficit 50-6.
The Trojans would score their final touchdown of the night on a kickoff return by Robinson to finish off a mercy-rule 56-6 victory after just two quarters of play.
Senior quarterback Colby Snider finished 1/3 for 38 yards passing and one touchdown.
Stamper led the way with seven carries for 153 yards rushing for the Trojans, including one touchdown.
Ayala had one rush for 64 yards and one touchdown.
Trojans senior Sims finished with three carries for 32 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions.
The Trojans finished the contest with 327 total yards of offense in just 20 minutes of play.
The Trojans go into their bye week at 5-2 overall this season. They begin their district schedule when they return against the Milford Bulldogs (6-0) Oct. 27 at home.
The Trojans finish the season against Mt. Calm Nov. 3 at home and on the road at Oakwood Nov. 10.

Oct

19

Posted by : admin | On : October 19, 2017

Lone Star Republican Women President Carol Morton (left) stands with Texas District 3 Senator Robert Nichols at the Sept. 12 meeting. Nichols was the guest speaker.

Lone Star Republican Women President Carol Morton (left) stands with Texas District 3 Senator Robert Nichols at the Sept. 12 meeting. Nichols was the guest speaker.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Lone Star Republican Women’s Club of Henderson County hosted Texas District 3 Senator Robert Nichols at their Oct. 12 general meeting. Senator Nichols has represented District 3 and its 19 counties since 2007. Nichols serves as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and serves on the Finance Administration and Business and Commerce Committees. He is a member of the Legislative Audit Committee and is serving his second term on the Sunset Advisory Commission.
Nichols congratulated the club on its work and influence saying, “Wherever there is a Republican Women’s Club, most of the elected officials are Republicans. You must never underestimate your effect on politics. You provide a valuable forum for our message.”
Nichols told the group that this was a tight budget year and that revenues had dropped due to the drop in the price of oil and gas. “The next session will be tight also with all the recovery from the hurricanes.”
Nichols said 11 of the 19 counties he represents were declared disaster areas during the recent hurricanes with seven having been underwater. “In Orange County alone, 26,000 of 40,000 homes were flooded. We toured the area and the debris field is expansive. It is everywhere. It is very hard on those residents.”
Nichols praised Governor Abbott as being proactive with the recovery. “He didn’t wait until he was called. He went down there and not for pictures, he went to work with the mayors to get things done.”
Nichols pointed to several accomplishments during this past legislative session. One was the appropriation of $300 million to fix the state mental hospital situation and build modern facilities. Many people in jails are there because the state mental hospitals are full, Nichols said.
Another win he pointed to was legislation aimed to help Child Protective Services, giving them their own board, taking them out from under Health and Human Services and enabling them to contract with non-profit agencies to help the children.
Economic development in the state has allowed our nation to begin exporting natural gas and also exporting the by-product which is plastics, Nichols told the group. Transportation funding is being directed to rural roads where safety is paramount. “In automobile deaths, statistics show two-thirds of them are on rural roads.”
Nichols met with every school superintendent in his area before the session to see what could be fixed. The result was a change in the funding formula that was created in the 1970s to force small rural school districts to consolidate. During the special session, some of that was reversed, phased in over the next five years which is expected to return up to several million dollars to county schools over the next five years.
Other achievements Nichols pointed out were the reduction of the license to carry fees dropped from $140 to $40, providing bullet-proof vests for law enforcement and prohibiting partial birth abortions.

Oct

19

Posted by : admin | On : October 19, 2017

IMG_5052 Malakoff FB #23 CMYK

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
EUSTACE–The Malakoff Tigers defeated the Eustace Bulldogs on the road Friday, Oct. 13.
The Bulldogs defense started off well with an interception just 1:52 into the first quarter by Ethan Austin.
Just seven seconds later though, the Tigers recovered a fumble by the Bulldogs offense to set them up inside the red zone.
The Tigers cashed in on a three-yard rushing touchdown by running back Zee Bailey on the next play to take a quick 8-0 lead after the two-point conversion.
The Bulldogs once again had trouble controlling the ball as they fumbled, allowing the Tigers an 18-yard touchdown return by junior Caleb Adams to push their lead to 16-0.
After a long drive down the field, the Bulldogs got on the board with a 28-yard field goal with 4:28 remaining to cut the deficit to 16-3.
The Tigers struck again with a nine-yard rushing touchdown by Bailey with just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter to take a commanding 24-3 lead.
The Tigers began the second half just the same with another rushing touchdown by Bailey, his third of the game, just under four minutes in to take a 30-3 lead.
The Bulldogs struck back with an 11-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Alejandro Sanchez, who took the brunt of a lot of hits from the Tigers’ defense.
The Tigers came right back a minute later, tacking on another touchdown, this time courtesy of quarterback Judd Miller, to push their lead to 37-11 with 3:35 remaining in the second quarter.
Wide receiver Andreas Garrett added one more touchdown for the Tigers before the end of the first half to take a 45-11 lead into halftime.
After a blocked punt by Adams, the Tigers pushed across seven more points on a three-yard receiving touchdown by Garrett to bump their lead up to 52-11.
The Tigers added another touchdown on a 17-yard run by R.J. Carr before Sanchez picked up another touchdown for the Bulldogs with :10 left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 59-18.
After a kickoff was bobbled by the Tigers, the Bulldogs regained possession in Malakoff territory.
Sanchez would pick up his third touchdown after a huge 39-yard run to cut the lead to 59-25 with 10:04 left.
The Tigers pushed across their final score with 2:29 remaining to take a 66-25 win over the Bulldogs and remain undefeated in 2017.
The win pushes the Tigers to 6-0 on the season, while the Bulldogs drop to 3-3 after starting the season 3-0.
The Tigers sit in a tie for first place in 3A-1 Region III District 9 with West with both teams holding perfect 3-0 district records.
The Tigers have scored 154 points this season while only allowing 45 in six contests.
The Tigers will put that perfect 6-0 record on the line when they face off against Westwood (1-5) Oct. 20. With a loss by West, the Tigers could take over sole possession of first place.

Oct

16

Posted by : admin | On : October 16, 2017

Pettit Obit

Melinda Lou Pettit, 45, of Log Cabin City passed away Oct. 8, 2017 in Athens.
Melinda was born Feb. 22, 1972 in Dallas to Harold Milton Scott and Linda Lou Shackleford Scott.
Melinda was preceded in death by her father Harold Milton Scott, grandparents Fern Arnold, John Ed Shackleford, Lester and Ruth Scott, step-father Cody David Keener and uncle Johnny Shackleford.
She is survived by her husband Billy Evans, mother Linda Keener and Doug Hass, children Jessica Ann Torres and John Wichner, Christopher Michael Levandoski and Daniel Joseph Levandoski, brother Harold Dwayne Scott, nephews Anthony Dwayne Scott, Cody Hall, uncle Chan Wijekoon, aunt Marie, uncles Stanley Sutterfield, Eddie Shackleford, aunt Ellen Shackleford, grandson Logan Bryce Wichner and nieces Allie and Nevaeh.
A memorial service was held Oct. 14, 2017 at New Hope Church at Log Cabin with Pastor Alan Hobgood officiating.

Oct

12

Posted by : admin | On : October 12, 2017

Tres Winn
By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Athens City Councilman Tres Winn announced his resignation from the city council at the regular meeting Monday night. Winn, whose term is up in May 2018, told the council he is building a home outside the city limits and expects it to be finished Dec. 1.
Winn said that with so many important decisions facing the council, the new member should be on board sooner rather than later. He is expected to resign at the beginning of the next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 23. Council will have to name a replacement and elect a new mayor pro tem.
Councilwoman Toni Clay said on her Facebook page, “Not only is Tres Winn a boldly honest council member, he’s a lot of fun to sit next to at meetings. We both have the spiritual gifts of sarcasm, and he’s made me laugh at sessions that lasted longer than it took to have my first child. That’s a gift beyond counting. I’ll miss you up there, friend.”
The site plan approval for Triton Athens I, LLC was pulled from the consent agenda with Mayor Monte Montgomery declaring a conflict of interest and abstaining from the discussion and vote. The wall expected to be constructed between the development and the adjacent backyards was again discussed with several citizens weighing in.
Marci Warren spoke to the council, once again asking that the wall be in place before any construction begins so as not to lose the use of her backyard. Members of the council entered into a discussion about materials used, whether a masonry wall would hold up in the area reserved for water runoff. After comments by the developer, the council agreed to go with the recommendation of Athens Managing Director of Planning Barbara Holley, which was a masonry wall and not a hybrid. The Ordinance passed after clarifying that the wall would precede construction and that the developer would be responsible for upkeep.
In other business, council members:
• agreed to the appointment of Shannon Traxson to the Zoning Board of Adjustments
• granted a closure of the City Parking Lot and alley behind the Texan theater for the Oct. 27-28 wedding of Katie Love
• approved an Economic Feasibility Study for the Athens Municipal Airport
• granted a utility easement at 1317 S. Palestine St. for a new Dollar General Store
• re-allocated $85,000 in funds to the O.D. Baggett Park Project.

Oct

12

Posted by : admin | On : October 12, 2017

The News Staff Reports
VAN–For one half of football Friday, the Athens Hornets gave state-ranked Van a scare.
In the second half, the Vandals responded as they left Van Memorial Stadium with a 56-38 victory over the Athens Hornets.
“I am very proud of our kids. If you were at the game, you saw a group of Hornets that played their hearts out,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “We improved in some areas, and got some areas we have to improve. They exposed some weaknesses that we have got to get corrected before next week. Overall, I am pleased with the effort and intensity, class and character that we showed.”
Van is the No. 9-ranked team in Class 3A in the Associated Press football poll. The Vandals are 6-0 and 2-0 in District 8-4A, Division I play.
The Athens Hornets are 2-4 overall. They are 1-0 in district play following a 35-7 victory over the Mabank Panthers last week.
Athens returns to action Oct. 13 hosting the Kaufman Lions for Pink Out Night. The Vandals return to action next week at Brownsboro.
In the loss to Brownsboro, Athens scored the opening touchdown of the game as Xavius Fulton capped off a nine-minute drive with a five-yard run. The Hornets went for two as Jordan Mayhall scored for the 8-0 lead.
Van responded back as Garrett Moseley scored on a one-yard run. Calen McKinney booted the PAT good with 11:56 remaining in the first half.
Athens put together another strong drive as Fulton scored his second touchdown of the game on a one-yard run. Dakota Anderson booted the PAT good for the 15-7 lead.
Van showed off its explosive passing game as Gus Brewer hauled in a 27-yard pass from Moseley to cut the deficit to 15-14 with 8:41 remaining.
But once again, Athens responded right back as Fulton found tight end Rowdy Godwin wide open for a 29-yard touchdown. The score gave Athens a 22-14 lead with 7:59 remaining.
Van then scored the final 14 points of the first half on two long pass plays. Brewer hauled in a 41-yard reception with 5:40 remaining. Elijah Rankine then wrapped up the scoring with a 60-yard reception for the 28-22 halftime lead.
Van had the first four touchdowns of the second half on a 71-yard reception from Moseley to Bray Doring, an 8-yard reception from Moseley to Doring, a 14-yard run by Moseley and a 67-yard reception from Liam Nelson to Brewer for the 56-22 lead.
Athens capped off the scoring with a 53-yard touchdown run by Andrew McBride and a two-yard run by Mayhall.
The Hornets had two-point conversions on a pass play from McBride to Gary Lyons, and a McBride run.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times in getting some penalties. Defensively, we gave up some big pass plays, and we can’t do that,” Essary said. “We can’t give those plays up, and the quarterback is good and made the right decision at times. The receivers ran great routes, and they are the No. 6-ranked team in the Harris Poll for a reason. But I think this showed we are a good ball club as well.
“With the overall team effort, we executed pretty good tonight. We have to get better before next week.”

Oct

12

Posted by : admin | On : October 12, 2017

DSC_0016 CMYK
By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Tigers kept their winning streak going Oct. 6 as they defeated the Groesbeck Goats on homecoming night.
The Tigers came into the game on a four-game winning streak, including winning their first district contest against Whitney Sept. 29.
The Tigers dominated the first two quarters, taking a 21-0 lead into halftime.
They tacked on that same amount in just 12 minutes in the third quarter, bringing a 42-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Tigers were outscored 14-7 by the Goats in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers won their homecoming game by a resounding score of 49-14.
They held the Goats to 290 total yards of offense while tying for most points in a game this season. The only other time the team has scored 49 points was in a win over Tyler Grace Sept. 22.
The loss drops the Goats to 3-2 overall with a 1-1 district record.
The Tigers remain perfect this season at 5-0, including a 2-0 record in district play.
They sit tied atop the 3A-1 Region III District 9 standings with West as the only teams to start district 2-0. The Tigers are the only team with an overall perfect record, with West and Whitney sitting at 4-1.
The Tigers head off on the road as they face the Eustace Bulldogs (3-2, 0-2 district) Friday, Oct. 13.

Oct

12

Posted by : admin | On : October 12, 2017

Bryce Cook (left) and Tyler Spillman

Bryce Cook (left) and Tyler Spillman

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–The Trinity Valley Community College football team is mourning the deaths of two Cardinal players who were killed in a head-on crash Monday morning.
Freshmen Tyler Spillman and Bruce Cook were heading back to Athens early Monday morning when they collided head-on with an 18-wheeler.
According to the Department of Public Safety, the wreck happened on FM 488 around 3:45 a.m. north of the Fairfield area. They had been in the Houston area and left around midnight. They both had a team meeting at 9 a.m. Monday morning, followed by practice at 10:45 a.m., according to their coach, Brad Smiley. Players were allowed to go home that weekend since they had an open date on the schedule, he added.
Spillman and Cook were traveling northbound on FM 488 in Freestone County, approximately one-and-a-half miles north of FM 416, when their vehicle crossed the center median and into the path of a southbound 18-wheeler tanker truck which burst into flames upon being struck head-on, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The driver of the 18-wheeler was taken to Navarro County Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Spillman and Cook were pronounced dead at the scene.
For the year, Spillman had five tackles and 1.5 sacks as a defensive lineman. Cook had five tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass broken up.
Both young men were from Spring. Spillman graduated from Klein Collins High School and Cook graduated from Westfield High School.
TVCC released a statement on their Facebook page remembering both players and what they meant to the team as well as the campus.
“We are saddened by the news that Cardinal football players Bryce Cook and Tyler Spillman have passed away. Their leadership on our football team and overall presence on our campus will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryce’s and Tyler’s families, friends and teammates during this difficult time.”

Oct

05

Posted by : admin | On : October 5, 2017

IMG_4666 Athens FB #20 CMYK

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets made the most of their homecoming night with a big victory over the visiting Mabank Panthers.
In each team’s first district game of the season, the Hornets defense shut down the Panthers, and the offense didn’t take a break either.
The Hornets’ defense prevented the Panthers from getting a first down on their first two possessions of the first quarter.
After a punt by the Panthers, the Hornets took over on their own 35-yard line.
The Hornets finished off the 65-yard drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Xavius Fulton with 6:53 remaining to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead.
One main area that the Panthers struggled with was punt and kickoff returns, which the Hornets took advantage of late in the first quarter.
With the Hornets punting, the Panthers returner fumbled the ball, allowing junior Quintavian Gardner to make the recovery, giving the Hornets good field position late.
Once again, Fulton made the Panthers pay with a three-yard rushing touchdown with :08 left to give the Hornets a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Panthers’ defense took advantage of one of the few mistakes Fulton made with an interception by Marcos Gallegos to give the Panthers possession on their own 34-yard line.
The Panthers tried to put together a late offensive drive, but were unable to progress as the Hornets’ defense stopped them on fourth down and took over on their own 42-yard line.
After a Panthers timeout, Athens wide receiver Jordan Mayhall put together a big 35-yard run to get the Hornets within scoring distance late in the first half.
The Hornets took their timeout late with :13 remaining in the second quarter to discuss strategy on the upcoming play.
The drive was once again finished off by Fulton on a 12-yard rush to give the Hornets a 21-0 lead with :04 left, a lead they would take into halftime.
The Hornets struck just 2:57 into the second half on an eight-yard rushing touchdown by running back Nathan Sims to push the Hornets’ lead to 28-0 over the Panthers.
The Hornets added on late with 3:28 left on a big 42-yard touchdown by Fulton to make it 35-0 Hornets in the third quarter.
The Panthers finally broke through the Hornets’ defense :39 into the fourth quarter on a three-yard rushing touchdown by wide receiver Chaseon Parks. That would be the only points the Hornets would allow as they finished off homecoming night with a 35-7 victory.
Afterwards, Hornets Head Coach Paul Essary discussed how important that first district win was for his team.
“It’s big to get a win at all more than anything,” Essary said. “The first step to the state playoffs is to win that first district game. This is a tough district and it’s an exciting district.”
Essary also said the play of quarterback Xavius Fulton, as well as other members, has been important for this Hornets team, not just against the Panthers, but all year.
“He’s the leader, he’s got to go in there and perform,” said Essary of Fulton. “I thought the offensive line played well and I thought the running backs played well and the receivers blocked exceptionally.”
The defense shut down the Panthers all night, and allowed only seven points while making key plays throughout.
“I thought they played lights out the first half, and even in the second half,” stated Essary. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re up 28 or down 28, you got to come out ready to play. It doesn’t matter what the score is, you have to come out and play ever play as hard as you can.”
Essary said he and the team will celebrate the win, but then it’s right back to work to prepare for their next district contest against Van.
“I’ll let the team enjoy it, and we’ll go over the film and fix some mistakes,” Essary said. “By the time the kids see the film, the coaches and I will have already seen it twice, and we’ll get prepared for our next opponent.”
The loss drops the Panthers to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in district play. The Hornets move to 2-3 overall, but they now are 1-0 to start their district schedule.
The Hornets face the red-hot Van Vandals (5-0) on the road, who come in undefeated with a district win already under their belt.