Feb

04

Posted by : admin | On : February 4, 2016

12 Athens

the news photo/
russell slaton
ABOVE: Athens Hornet basketball player Miles Koehler (12) avoids a Kaufman defender during the Hornets’ 68-55 victory on Jan. 29. Koehler scored 14 points during the games.

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
ATHENS – The Athens Hornets boys’ basketball team beat Kaufman Friday, Jan. 29 to remain unbeaten in District 13-4A play. The Hornets topped Kaufman by the score of 68-55.
The win puts Athens’ district record at 4-0, with the Hornets 13-11 on the season. Travon Fuller led Athens with 19 points, followed by Miles Koehler with 14 points. Katarius Arroyo and Javiry Bowman each had 11 points.
Athens led by as many as seven points in the first half, following a Koehler basket with 3:20 before halftime.
The Hornet halftime lead stood at six points, 33-27. Athens pushed the lead to nine points to open the third period, before Kaufman battled back to get within two points, 40-38, halfway through the third period. That third period ended with Athens ahead, 47-42.
The Hornets pulled away in the fourth and final period, gaining a 13-point lead (57-44), at which Kaufman chipped away, getting with seven points of the Hornets with three minutes left in the game.
Three consecutive Fuller baskets padded Athens’ lead, which eventually ended in the 13-point margin of victory.
The Athens varsity boys’ basketball team goes on the road Tuesday, Feb. 2, facing Ferris. The Hornets return home Feb. 5 to host Crandall.
The team closes out its regular season with games at Mabank (Feb. 9) and Kaufman (Feb. 16).

Feb

04

Posted by : admin | On : February 4, 2016

The News Staff Reports
AUSTIN–University Interscholaic League realigned and reclassified football districts Feb. 1. The new Districts are as follows:
District 8-4A
Athens
Brownsboro
Crandall
Kaufman
Mabank
Terrell
Van
District 9-3A
Elkhart
Eustace
Groesbeck
Malakoff
Palestine Westwood
Teague
West
Whitney
District 10-2A
Big Sandy
Cayuga
Cross Raods
Gladewater Union Grove
Hawkins
Kerens
District 15 (Six Man)
Apple Springs
Milford
Mount Calm
Oakwood
Trinidad
New District begins in Fall.

Feb

04

Posted by : admin | On : February 4, 2016

drew-644x859

Special to The News
ATHENS–Athens High School graduate and businessman Drew Douglas was named 2015 Athens Citizen of the Year by the Athens Chamber of Commerce Jan. 22.
Douglas has worked as a real estate agent for Steve Grant Real Estate for many years and opened the Athens Thrift Store in 2010, which has given more than $100,000 to local community organizations.
He is active in the First Baptist Church, participating in outreach ministries to various countries including Mexico and Nicaragua.
He obtained and donated the use of the building for the Furniture Ministry of the First Baptist Church and was instrumental in obtaining the building for the Disciples Clinic of Athens.
Douglas is involved in the Prison Entrepreneurial Program, which encourages those who qualify and nearing release from prison, to learn about business, form a business plan and be successful.
He is also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) board member.

Feb

04

Posted by : admin | On : February 4, 2016

IMG_5729

Courtesy Photo
Jacob Cole has been named the 2016 Beekeeper Ambassador for the East Texas Beekeepers Association.

Special to The News
MALAKOFF–The East Texas Beekeepers Association (ETBA) recently named Malakoff High School freshman Jacob Cole as the 2016 Beekeeper Ambassador.
Cole will travel throughout East Texas speaking at fairs, schools and other venues about the importance of honey bees and keep the media and the public up-to-date on the ETBA Ambassador Program Facebook page.
“The perfection of the honey bee cells always amazes me,” Cole said.
“It is fascinating how each cell is built for a specific need, and the size varies depending on whether the cell is for a queen, worker or dron bee to grow in. Being able to watch the bees fly in and out of the hive loaded with pollen and nectar is one of my favorite things to do.”
Cole began beekeeping in 2013 through the ETBA Youth Scholarship Program. He has spoken at various Henderson County Master Gardener events and loves passing along his knowledge of beekeeping and inspiring others to get involved too.
Cole earned his Master Beekeeper certification in 2014, and will advance to the next level this year.
Coles also loves to hunt, read and participate in 4-H activities. He is a food pantry volunteer and teaches children in the garden at South Athens Elementary School. He hopes to become a Texas Game Warden.
To book Cole for a speaking event, contact Lani Lanchester at lanilanchester@hotmail.com.

Jan

29

Posted by : admin | On : January 29, 2016

Wrong form filed to blame
By Doug Gibbs
Monitor Correspondent
TOOL–The transfer of Kemp’s water utility certificate and operations to West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District was denied, utility directors learned Monday.
After months of negotiations and assistance from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) denied the application because it was submitted on the wrong form. Ciardo noted that the State had sent a contractor to assist in filling out the 60-plus page application.
The news came as a disappointment to the board overseeing the progress of the transfer, which included laying water pipe along 10 miles and building and opening a local office in Kemp.
Ciardo expressed frustration about the disapproval, having relied on the state’s representative for guidance. Ciardo said that PUC will be sending a representative to help in filing out the proper forms, but that he had turned the issue over to the District’s attorney to handle due to its complexity, the extensive time required and the importance of getting it done correctly.
Ciardo further informed the board that the City of Kemp would also be sending letters to PUC and TCEQ saying they will transfer all their assets and service area to WCCMUD.
In other business, board members:
• called an election for board members for May 7 and Ciardo as Election Administrator and Kesha Paterson as Early Voting Clerk.
• heard an update on tank replacement at 148 pump station from Engineer Tyler Hendrickson of Velvin & Weeks Engineering.

Jan

29

Posted by : admin | On : January 29, 2016

Thompson

Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–173rd District Court Judge Dan Moore sentenced Joshua Demelles Thompson, 34, to 25 years in prison by after pleading guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance last week.
Thompson was indicted by a Henderson County Grand Jury last year as a result of a narcotics investigation into its trafficking was initiated by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department.
On Dec. 11, 2014, Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Beddingfield learned that Thompson was in possession of methamphetamine. Thompson was staying at 117 Oxbow in the Thunderbird Shores edition of Cedar Creek Lake. Based on that information and other intelligence, Deputy Beddingfield obtained a search warrant for the residence.
The HCSO command staff was assisted by the narcotics task force and the Gun Barrel City Police Department in the execution of the warrant. Thompson was found just outside the residence standing halfway inside his white Ford pick-up truck. A search of Thompson’s jacket found a red plastic container with 18 small plastic bags, containing what appeared to be methamphetamine residue. Inside Thompson’s truck, deputies found a black bag with a digital scale, drug paraphernalia, and two more small bags of methamphetamine. Additionally, a metal spoon with methamphetamine on it was also found inside the truck. Metal spoons are commonly used to facilitate the ingestion of meth. Testing by a DPS lab revealed that Thompson was in possession of 4.66 grams of methamphetamine.
Inside the home, officers found Bruck Kantak in the master bedroom sitting on the bed with a glass pipe used for ingesting meth. A woman, Rhonda Nichols, was found in the bathroom of the residence sitting on the commode. When Nichols was asked to stand up, a small plastic bag of meth was found in the commode covered by paper. Both Nichols and Kantak were arrested for Possession of Controlled Substance. Thompson was arrested for the Manufacture and Delivery of a Controlled Substance.
Deputies had executed a search warrant on the same house only months before, targeting Barbra Trexler, who was the primary resident. Trexler was charged with Possession of a Controlled substance and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison on May 20, 2015.
An investigation into cash and a receipt discovered during the execution of the warrant revealed that Thompson, already a felon, had been in possession of a firearm. Records at a local pawn shop, confirmed that in December of 2014, Thompson sold a Whitney .22 semi-automatic pistol for $425.
Assistant District Attorney Justin Weiner prosecuted the case on behalf of Scott McKee’s District Attorney’s Office.
After the sentencing, Weiner stated: “There is no question that Thompson played a role not only in the use of methamphetamines but also the distribution and trafficking of methamphetamines. He was at a residence known for the distribution of narcotics with scales, a slew of baggies, and other paraphernalia. I am proud to have worked with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office to ensure that Thompson will be out of business for a long time.”
Thompson, a Tool resident, had been previously sentenced to prison two other times.
District Attorney Scott McKee thanked Sheriff Ray Nutt and Gun Barrel City Chief Damon Boswell for their contributions to the case. “For every gram of methamphetamine we remove from the streets, our children and our communities are a little safer,” McKee said.
Since 2009, under Sherriff Ray Nutt, McKee noted that the county’s focus on putting drug offenders in jail has dramatically reduced the violent crime rate in Henderson County.

Jan

29

Posted by : admin | On : January 29, 2016

Stormy under basket

Courtesy Photo/Art Locke
Stormy Luckey handles the ball for Eustace in their Jan. 22 victory over Arp.

By Ryan Moulds
Monitor Staff Writer
EUSTACE–The Eustace Lady Bulldogs continued to dominate district play after a 48-31 thumping of Arp Jan. 22.
The Lady Bulldogs went with their bread and butter to begin the game and got the ball to Sydnee Wynn in the post. She delivered with eight points in the opening quarter while an outstanding Eustace defense held Arp to only two points.
Eustace continued to play well on defense in the second half and outscored Arp 8-5. The two teams went to halftime with the Lady Bulldogs up 18-7.
Eustace senior Gabi Corder came alive in the second half. After being held scoreless in the first two quarters she scored 17 in the last two to help Eustace outscore Arp 30-24 in the second half for the victory.
Eustace was led in scoring by Wynn with 19 points. Also scoring for the Lady Bulldogs were Corder with 17, Zoie Bailey with four and Lily Sorrells, Kelsey Contreras, Madison Holbert, and Johnsynn Luckey with two each.
Eustace moves to 8-1 in district play with the win and is one win away from securing a spot in the state playoffs.

Jan

29

Posted by : admin | On : January 29, 2016

By Ryan Moulds
Monitor Staff Writer
VAN–The Eustace Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs competed in their first powerlifting meet of the season Jan. 16 in Van. The girl’s team placed first while the boy’s team placed third.
Girls team members include: Sunni Goodell, Marshalla Padgett, Ashley Purselley, Raini Goodell, Jace Ballow, Anna Gaddis and Kelsi Richmond. Padgett was awarded Best Lifter on light platforms while Goodell was Best Lifter on heavy platforms.
Boys team members include: Juan Garcia, Keenan Hargest, Clay Hinkle, Marcus Staggs and Justin Griffin.

Jan

29

Posted by : admin | On : January 29, 2016

Ms. Opal Toney (left) dropped by The Monitor office recently and visits with the staff, including Managing Editor Pearl Cantrell.

Ms. Opal Toney (left) dropped by The Monitor office recently and visits with the staff, including Managing Editor Pearl Cantrell.

Mabank worthy, Opal Toney, (left) last visited The Monitor newspaper office near the July 4 holiday in 2014. “She showed me around shortly after I joined The Monitor staff in 2006,” Managing editor Pearl Cantrell (right) said. “She wanted to impart a feel for the history and people who lived in the area. She also assisted us in writing a century of the newspaper’s history in the Mabank area in 2008.” She wrote many years for the Mabank Banner and was recognized by her many hats. Look for news of her final arrangements on The Monitor Facebook page.

Jan

28

Posted by : admin | On : January 28, 2016

Troi TVCC

The News Photo/Ryan Moulds
Sophomore Troi Swain said she picked TVCC because of the “family atmosphere.” She has started 15 games and averages nine points and five assists per game.

By Ryan Moulds
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) girls’s basketball coach Gerald Ewing knows a little something about winning. He won two National Championships as an assistant coach with the Cardinals under former coach Elena Lovato. Now, as the head coach of the most successful junior college basketball team in NJCAA history, he has the chance to bring home a record ninth National Championship to Athens.
“We have recruited players who work in our system and help us play basketball the way we want to play it,” Ewing said. “Our administration and fan base gives us great support and helps us be our best.”
The Lady Cardinals are currently sitting at 18-1 and 10-0 in conference play. They are ranked number one in the country. “We are long, athletic and shoot the ball well,” Ewing said. One Lady Cardinal who shoots the ball well is sophomore Troi Swain.
“I love how family oriented TVCC is,” Troi said. “My last two choices were between here and Tyler Junior College, and I came here because of the great history behind the program and because I believe that we can win a National Championship.”
Swain transferred from University of Texas-Pan American (now called University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) and has started 15 games at guard for the Lady Cards, averaging nine points and five assists per game. “We all have a really great bond and that helps us on the court because we play unselfish basketball,” Swain said. “We always work together as a team and do our best to get that extra pass off. We stay accountable for each other and for ourselves.”
Guard Christalah Lyons is averaging 13 points a game and leading the team in scoring as a freshman. She has started 18 games and Ewing calls her the sleeper of the team. “A lot of people told me about how great TVCC was and they would get me to the next level,” Lyons said. “I wanted to be a part of what they were doing here. We have to keep getting better every game and everyone needs to be on the same page. We want to make history and get that ninth title.”
“We work hard every day,” sophomore Maya Singleton added. “Our goal is to get a National Championship.” Singleton averages 12 points a game for the Lady Cards and says her goal is to get a double-double in every game. The Lady Cards are averaging 76 points per game and holding their opponents to only 32 percent shooting.
“We are going to take things one game at a time,” Ewing said. “It all starts with winning our conference again then the regional championship. We want to go into the national tournament as a number one seed and I think this team is good enough to eventually win it all.”
The Lady Cardinals aren’t the only team looking to win a title. TVCC men’s coach Kris “Bucket” Baumann has his team also ranked number one in the latest NJCAA poll and with an outstanding 21-1 record including 11-0 in conference play.
“We got a good group of guys who are talented and handle their business on and off the court,” Baumann said. “We have a good mix of skill, shooting, and rebounding that has helped us get to this point.”
TVCC has six players who average at least nine points per game. They are led by freshman Hyron Edwards with 13 per game. Coach Baumann said he has been surprised by how quickly Edwards has matured on the court. “We play nine or ten guys a game and that helps balance things out,” Baumann said “It make us harder to defend because you can’t just single out one guy.”
Baumann calls himself a “player’s coach.” “I think the guys enjoy playing for me but there are some expectations that everyone needs to live up to,” Baumann said. “This group has done a great job of handling their business on and off the court.”
The Cardinals have been dealing with adversity on and off the court. They still have heavy hearts after the death of teammate Melvin Swift, who was shot and killed in his hometown of Houston over the winter break. “We take things more serious now,” sophomore Leon Gilmore said “We know that we aren’t just playing for ourselves anymore.”
“When we lost Melvin (Swift) we dedicated the rest of our season to him,” sophomore Josh Robinson added. “He is the reason why we play hard every game.”
Gilmore has started 21 games for the Cardinals and averages 12 points per game. He came to TVCC this season after spending a year at Creighton playing for coach Greg McDermott. Gilmore averaged five minutes a game at Creighton along with one point and one rebound a game. He was forced to miss the last six weeks of the season after having knee surgery. “Me and JC (Washington) took a visit here (TVCC) together and we knew from the jump that we would be great if we played together here. Melvin was here at the time and we both joined to make the team even better.”
“We share the ball and trust each other,” Gilmore said. “Everyone on this team can score 20 points a game but we know that if we share the ball we have a better chance of winning and keeping things balanced. We play unselfish basketball. If we keep playing like that, we can win the National Championship.”
Robinson, who is nicknamed Frog by his teammates, says he picked TVCC because he knew they gave him the best chance to be successful. He averages 11 points per game and is the only Cardinal to have started all 22 games this season. “Our coaching staff put us in the situation to be successful. We have a lot of guys who can score and we use that to our advantage,” Robinson said. “We all respect each other on this team and we play as brothers. The team and the coaching staff has a special bond with each other.”
Sophomore JC Washington is in his first season at TVCC after playing at Houston last year. He has started 20 games at the forward position and averages 10 points per game. Coach Baumann calls him “a whole different matchup.” “We have stuck together though all the adversity and played hard,” said Washington. “We work hard in practice and every day we strive to work harder.”
The hard work is what has gotten TVCC where they are at this point in the season. The Cardinals average an astonishing 84 points per game while only allowing 65. That means they have an average margin of victory of 19 points. Their only loss of the season came when they faced McLennan Community College in the Lewis Orr Classic. Since then, they have won 16 in a row and most of them haven’t been close.
Both TVCC basketball teams are having record years. This is the first time in NJCAA history where a college has had both basketball teams ranked number one. Both teams have a mission to make the national tournament. Don’t be surprised to see them holding up a National Championship trophy in March.