Feb

16

Posted by : admin | On : February 16, 2017

Exterior Rendering
By Rachel Williams
The News Correspondent
ATHENS–Planners for the Texan Theater renovation met with interested contractors this week to present their concepts and bid information. It won’t be long before construction work begins to restore the historical location, which will attract business and activity to the downtown square. Five to six contractors have expressed interest in the bid documents, which are due back by March 3 for a closed bid process.
ArchiTexas Principal David Chase presented a slide show Monday of their vision for the renovation, detailing construction materials and finishes as well as the overall look and feel of the finished job. Funding sources for this project include a $1.4 million loan which has been allocated for this purpose.
A renovated Texan Theater will provide a venue for civic events on the courthouse square which would help invigorate downtown with greater economic growth, council members noted in August.
The 6,700 square foot space prices out at around $166 per square foot and holds between 250 and 400 people, depending on the seating and standing arrangements and could be rebuilt and opened within a year’s time. “This could be the next jewel in Athens,” Community Development Director Thanasis Kombos said.
Councilman Ed McCain agreed, pointing out that several global companies are planning visits to the city. “A revitalized Texan could be the reason they say, ‘I want to come here.’” McCain said.
To support the revitalization of the downtown area, the city council approved a façade improvement grant program, which will allow business owners in a nine-block area around the square to apply for funds from the city to historically restore and update the faces of their businesses. Using hotel occupancy tax funds, the city will support business owners in putting their best foot forward. The grant program passed with two council members recusing themselves due to conflicts of interest as building owners in the nine-block area.
“Our primary goals with this grant plan are the preservation of historical sites in our city as well as the encouragement of economic development,” Kombos said. “We don’t want to see any more of our downtown buildings disappear.”
Councilman Tres Winn asked, “If more funding were needed would we find the money for it?” Kombos answered, “The Hotel-Motel fund is at an all-time high right now, and so yes, we could increase the offering up to 50 percent of the funds.” Those who apply for the façade improvement plan will be encouraged to work together to use the same contractor for similar work in order to get better pricing and make their dollars go further. Applicants may also apply for funding from the Athens Economic Development Corp. to continue renovations beyond the façade, Kombos added.
Immediately afterwards, the council agreed to procedures for the Declaration of Conflict of Interest, by deciding that any council member must verbally announce the conflict of interest prior to a vote on any matter before the council. A written statement must be completed and notarized by the city secretary immediately following adjournment of the meeting in which the conflict of interest was discussed. The recusing Joe Whatley and Monte Montgomery followed that pattern exactly before the council considered the agenda item.
In other business, council members:
• tabled the final reading of an ordinance concerning amendments to provide for mobile food vendors subject to development standards and applicable zoning regulations until further discussion can be had.
• heard an update on Retail Recruitment from Lisa Denton, Athens Economic Development Center, discussing the work that R360, a retail consulting firm, has done to help Athens business growth. The report included cell phone usage mapping both during daytime and nighttime hours, comparisons to other similar locals and areas where gaps exist for potential retailers to fill. The marketing information is also displayed on a brochure for sending out to prospects, she presented. She added that retailers need the right sites at reasonable pricing to make Athens fa favorable location. “This is critical,” she said.
• heard and discussed the first reading of an ordinance concerning pro-rata permit fees for development. The new fee structure is incremental by dollars, bringing the price more directly relatable to the actual cost of the project.

Feb

16

Posted by : admin | On : February 16, 2017

The News Staff Reports
CORSICANA–Jalie Dawson was the hero the Malakoff needed after nailing shot in the closing seconds of the Lady Tigers 48-46 Bi-District playoff victory over Maypearl Feb. 13 at Navarro College.
The Lady Tigers fell behind in the contest early, as Maypearl jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the first quarter.
Maypearl kept adding to the lead early in the second quarter until two free throws from Dawson brought Malakoff to 24-16, with 4:21 remaining in the first half. The lead continued to crumble, then Dawson took Malakoff within one point, 24-23, with two more free throws with 2:05 remaining.
In the third quarter, the defensive pressure picked up for both teams as Maypearl outscored Malakoff, 7-5, for a 40-35 lead.
In the fourth quarter Maypearl led by as much as 42-37 before the Lady Tigers made their final comeback. Maypearl tied the game at 46 with under 30 seconds remaining, then Dawson nailed the game-winning shot.
Dawson led the way for Malakoff with a game-high 20 points.
Kamry Hurd had 12,  junior Charlsey Stearman had five, junior Nakeya Kelley had four and freshman Sha’Kera Thompson had two.
Maypearl had three points from Creech and Meredith Keasler and two from Alyssa Holder.
Malakoff (19-10 overall) will face the winner of the Little River Academy-Whitney contest later this week in the area round.

Feb

16

Posted by : admin | On : February 16, 2017

Lady Cardinals win 73-50
Special to The News
ATHENS–Once the 11th-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cards found another gear, they ran away and hit from Paris Junior College’s Lady Dragons for a 73-50 win Saturday afternoon at Cardinal Gym.
With a pink-clad Play 4Kay crowd looking on, the Lady Cards outscored Paris 30-10 in the final 14:30 to run their season record to 19-4. They are 11-2 in Region XIV Conference heading into a three-game road trip to Bossier Parish, Panola and Angelina.
The Lady Cards are scheduled to return home Saturday, Feb. 25 against Coastal Bend in a 2 p.m. tipoff.
Paris hung with the Lady Cards until near the midway point of the third quarter. The Lady Dragons pulled within three, 43-40, before the Lady Cards ran off and hid.
Jordan Alexander provided the spark for the Lady Cards with 16 points, all in the second half. Alexander drained four three-pointers.
Naomi Davenport tossed in 15 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Shakeela Fowler had 14.
The Lady Cards took a 39-31 lead into the halftime locker room when Christalah Lyons hit a running three-pointer at the buzzer.
Boys victorious 81-65
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The No. 18-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals won for a 37th-straight time at Cardinal Gym Saturday afternoon.
Using a fast start in the second half, the Cardinals rolled to an 81-65 win against the Paris Junior College Dragons in a Region XIV Conference contest.
In extending their home win streak, first-year head coach Guy Furr’s Cardinals maintain their lead in the North Zone. Now 21-4 on the season, the Cardinals are 12-2 in conference play.
The Cardinals are scheduled to be on the road this week, traveling Wednesday to play Bossier Parish and Saturday to take on Panola.
Andres Ibarguen led the Cardinals with 17 points. He also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Also scoring in double figures for the Cardinals were Brandon Holley with 15, all on three-pointers, Josh Stamps 13 and Hyron Edwards 11. Edwards also had seven assists.
The Cardinals were 9-of-13 from the free throw line. Paris was 24-of-36.
The Cardinals led 35-28 at the half, finishing the half on a 5-0 spurt.
By the 14:50 mark, they were in control of the scoreboard with a 51-35 advantage.
The win gave the Cardinals a sweep of Paris. They scored a 94-77 win at Paris in January.

Feb

16

Posted by : admin | On : February 16, 2017

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
STAR HARBOR–The Star Harbor City Council agreed to file for a grievance hearing with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) through its attorney over new sewer rates the City of Malakoff is charging under new contract terms.
Star Harbor has been adamant in its rejection of the new contract and is developing plans to construct its own wastewater treatment plant. A committee formed for this purpose gave its report to the council on Monday. The council named Wasteline Engineering Inc. out of Aledo to be its design firm.
The January bill to Star Harbor has gone from $3,400 a month to $15,485. In addition, the council has agreed to continue to pay the City of Malakoff the customary amount and bank the rest in an escrow account. Councilman Duane Smith opposed the move.
One of the residents, who is a lawyer, pointed out that if Star Harbor pays the increased amount it could be construed as acceptance of the new contract.
Council member Warren Claxton told the council that under Chapter 13 of the Texas Water Code (TWC), the city could appeal to the PUC on the grounds the new rate is unfair, unreasonable and discriminatory. Claxton pointed out that it discriminates because Star Harbor’s rate doesn’t consider the community provides its own maintenance of sewer lines, reducing (I & I) water inflow (from storm water) and infiltration (from ground water). Thus, it is not being treated equally with other customers outside the city limits. Star Harbor charges each of its taps an additional $15 a month to maintain the lines.
“It’s unfair, too,” Claxton said pointing out the increase from $10.43 per sewer tap for first 1,000 gallons to base rate of $47.50 represents a 355.4 percent increase. The next 1,000-gallon increment costs $14.04. Extrapolated out to three and four thousand gallons a month demonstrated a 624 percent increase from $10.43 to $75.58 for 3,000 gallons; and a 759 percent increase from $10.43 to $89.53 for 4,000 gallons of wastewater. “Surely, they haven’t been taking our $10.43 a month per tap fee for the last two years at a loss?” queried city treasurer Don Ellis.
“At those rates, just over two years we would have enough to build our own sewer plant,” Councilman O.R. Perdue said.
Star Harbor produces its own water for residents. It sends a quarterly report to the City of Malakoff reporting the amount of water delivered to residents in Star Harbor, some of which have septic tanks. From this data, the city formulates the charge, divided among 326 taps comes to $10.43 a month for the past two years, or $3,400 to the city, plus a 1 percent administrative service charge.
“It’s incumbent upon Malakoff to come back to justify this rate increase,” Claxton said. Council members repeatedly wanted to know what it costs Malakoff to process a thousand gallons of wastewater. They also agreed the city was entitled to make a reasonable profit. After a lengthy discussion, the council approved the sending of a letter to the City of Malakoff, demanding it justify the new rate and be willing to negotiate with the City of Star Harbor on a new contract.
However, Star Harbor residents say there is a 10-year history of attempts to negotiate a new wastewater treatment contract before the former 30-year contract ran out without success. “In fact, Malakoff did not even present us with their original ‘new contract’ proposal until several months after the old contract expired,” Mayor Dr. Walter Bingham wrote in a letter sent to all residents. “Most recently, we have had our attorney directly involved in the negotiating attempt but Malakoff has rebuffed any counter proposal we have made other than an out clause after a 10-year lock and has notified us that the new rate will be used as the calculation of our sewage bill beginning Jan. 1, contract or no contract.”
In related business, the council approved the hire of four laborers to complete smoke testing on sewer connections with 192 homes to locate areas of I&I, so these can be corrected. “Last month, we tallied nearly 21,000 gallons of rain water we sent to the wastewater plant,” utility/golf maintenance director Tommy Posey said.
Resident Selwyn Wilson pointed out that Star Harbor residents need to continue the relationship they have had with the businesses and people of Malakoff. “We use the same grocery stores, banks, insurance professionals; I’m sure the citizens of Malakoff don’t know this is going on. We want to continue a cooperative relationship. We’re just asking for information.”

Feb

16

Posted by : admin | On : February 16, 2017

Bradshaw obit
Funeral services for C.B. “Bill” Bradshaw will be 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 at Northwest Church of Christ, Lawton, Okla., with Monte Ginnings, former minister officiating.
Burial will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens under the direction of Becker-Rabon Funeral Home.
C.B. “Bill” Bradshaw, age 90, of Lawton, passed away peacefully Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017 in Lawton.
Bill was born Jan. 16, 1927 in Lindale to Barkley and Clemmie Bradshaw. He graduated from Lindale High School in December 1944 and immediately joined the U. S. Navy on Jan. 15, 1945. He served as a helmsman on the aircraft carrier, “The Langley”, during World War II. He was honorably discharged on July 9, 1946.
Bill attended business college in Tyler and later worked as a bookkeeper for the Ford Motor Company in Dallas.
He owned and operated a dairy and ranch in Malakoff prior to becoming a full-time life insurance agent in 1955.
During his 45 years as an agent he received many honors, including being the top salesman for various insuance companies for a number of years.
He married Margaret Jo Goodgame in Malakoff on Sept. 19, 1947. To this union were born two daughters, Rebecca and Amy. His wife of 34 years preceded him in death in 1981.
He married Betty Yingling Roundtree in 1982. They made their home in Malakoff for 21 years. Bill was a resident of Malakoff for 56 years prior to moving to Lawton in 2003. During his years in Lawton, Bill was a faithful member of Northwest Church of Christ. Bill was also a faithful supporter of Westview Boys’ Home in Hollis, Okla.
Bill is survived by his wife of the home, two daughters Rebecca Tingle of Arlington and Amy Bradshaw of Terrell, Betty’s sons Joe Roundtree and wife Carol of Lawton and Alan Roundtree and wife Jane of Lebanon Tenn., eight grandchildren Aubree Walton and husband Justin of Lawton, Justin Tingle and wife Magali of Fort Worth, Marsee Rupp and husband Evan of Frisco, Devin Tingle of Burleson, Megan Hunt and husband Bryan of N.J., Mark Roundtree of San Antonio, Josh McWaters and wife Rachel and Jordan Roundtree all of Lebanon, Tenn.
Bill was blessed to have had twelve great-grandchildren Hunter, Dylan, Harper, Tanner, Gracee, Ilyana, Mason, Cristen, Michael, Luke, Kylie and Chayton.
He is also survived by one brother, Gene Bradshaw of Mineola, three nieces Pam, Holly and Vicki, nephew Hurley Gene and two special friends Ellen Anderson of Edmond and Aimee Knight of Lawton.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and two grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Westview Boys’ Home, P.O. Box 553, Hollis, OK 73550.
An online guest book and sympathy cards are available at www.beckerfuneral.com.

Feb

09

Posted by : admin | On : February 9, 2017

The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–Seven Malakoff Tigers received postseason praise on the 2016 Padilla Poll Class 3A, Division I Coaches All-State football team.
The seven players will receive a certificate for making All State.
Representing the first team was senior wide receiver Q.T. Barker. Second team selections went to senior Larry Coker on offense, senior Payton Lowrie on offense, junior Judd Miller on offense and senior Tyler Russell on offense. Seniors Danyal Littleton and Jack Patton were named to the second team defense.
The Offensive Player of the Year went to Muleshoe senior Beto Diaz, while the Defensive Player of the Year went to Brock senior Zane Young. Mineola coach Joe Drennon was named Coach of the Year.
On the 2016 All-East Texas Football Team released by the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Coker was named as a second-team offensive lineman and honorable mention defensive lineman. Barker was named second-team wide receiver and honorable mention defensive back, Littleton was named second-team defensive lineman and Russell was named second-team defensive back.
Lowrie was named honorable mention offensive lineman, Miller was named honorable mention quarterback and senior CJ Overton was named honorable mention defensive lineman.

Feb

09

Posted by : admin | On : February 9, 2017

Farmer, Amber
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Precinct 5 Constable Brad Miers reports the arrest of a woman with around 13 grams of illegal drugs Tuesday.
Amber Farmer, 33, of Athens was charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance greater than 4 grams and less than 200 grams, a first-degree felony and misdemeanor possession of a dangerous drug.
Miers was assisting the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office on a suspicious activity call on County Road 1405 off State Highway 31 between Malakoff and Athens. Dispatch received a report of a man being assaulted at a residence on CR 1405. Miers was the first to arrive and encountered Farmer in a vehicle at the residence. While questioning Farmer, it was learned that possibly people fled the scene on the Constable’s arrival.
A search of the vehicle and Farmer’s possessions uncovered a large amount of a crystal-like substance believed to be meth, along with numerous pills in a bag. She was taken into custody for transport to the county jail. That’s when Farmer admitted she had another bag on her person. Deputy Meagan Hogan conducted a search of Farmer’s person and located a bag containing a glass pipe, digital scales and clear small bags with a crystal

Feb

09

Posted by : admin | On : February 9, 2017

Lady_Cards

Special to The News
ATHENS–The Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals stayed unbeaten at home on the young season Tuesday afternoon with 3-0 and 6-5 wins against Hill College at Drumgoole Field at Cain Park.
It was the Lady Cardinals’ second sweep in as many home doubleheaders.
The wins improved the Lady Cardinals to 5-1 on the season heading into a doubleheader at home today against McLennan Community College. Action begins at 1 p.m.
GAME 1
Shelby Craig went the distance in the circle in the first game for the Lady Cardinals, allowing just three hits.
The Lady Cardinals also had just three hits, but also drew four walks. Three straight walks set the table for Alexi Santos to drive in a pair of runs with a two-out single in the third inning.
Kimberly Abundis and Shannon Klaus had the other two hits for the Lady Cardinals. Klaus had a lead-off triple in the first inning.
GAME 2
The Lady Cardinals had 12 hits in the second game and got a strong relief pitching performance from Kimberly Hughes. Hughes relieved Abundis after three and-two-third innings.
Hill managed just four hits against Abundis/Hughes, but benefited from six Lady Cardinal errors.
Breana Florez and Savannah Martinez led the Lady Cardinals at the plate. Florez had three hits (a double and two singles) and drove in two runs and Martinez had a home run (solo) and single.
Alyssa De Los Santos, Abundis and Klaus also had multiple-hit plate appearances with two singles each.
In the fifth inning, after having left the bases loaded to end the fourth, the Lady Cardinals scored three runs to wipe out a 5-3 Hill lead. De Los Santos drove in two and Hughes, in her first at-bat, drove in the other.
Hill advanced a runner to third with one out in the top of the seventh. Hughes got out the jam with a strikeout and groundout.

Feb

09

Posted by : admin | On : February 9, 2017

Athens Chamber of Commerce President Tara Rigby (right), and Chamber Office Manager Kristina Jacobson make a dynamic team as they plan to lead the chamber into the future.

Athens Chamber of Commerce President Tara Rigby (right), and Chamber Office Manager Kristina Jacobson make a dynamic team as they plan to lead the chamber into the future.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Athens Chamber of Commerce President Tara Rigby has a passion for connecting people and building community.
“We were created to live in community and I want people to know that I am here for them to build on our strenghths and partner together as different entities, young and old, to mend fences, build bridges and improve our commmunity,” said Rigby. And that is reflected in the mission statement “Serving to build a better community.”
Rigby was born and raised along the central coast of California, graduated from Santa Cruz High School, received her A.S. degree in Accountancy in Aptos and her B.S. degree in Business Administration from California State University in Fresno. During that time, she also studied abroad in London.
She moved to the Nashville, Tenn. area as part of a church planting team where she met and married her husband Lance, an accomplished musician and artist who specializes in wood carving. When their eldest daughter was nine months old, the couple relocated to Lacey, Wash. where they lived for 2 years and from there to Shelton, Wash. on the Olympic Peninsula side of the Puget Sound where they lived for 10 years.
Lance had family in Eustace and Tara in other areas of Texas and the couple visited the East Texas area frequently before moving in June, 2015. Rigby said “We had intentions of moving for some time, but things never seemed to line up right. In 2015, things came together.”
While in Shelton, one of Rigby’s major accomplishments was to found the Pioneer Community Food Bank. She was able to bring together resources and like-minded people to establish the food bank, which still exists to this day.
Her most recent position was as Operations Manager for the Cain Center until it was taken over by the city and closed for major renovations. In that position, she worked with a great staff of varied talents, she said, and they did great things as many community events were held there.
As President of the Chamber, Rigby sees herself as a member of a solid organization with a board of directors, 20 Ambassadors and many dedicated members. Kristina Jacobson serves as the Office Manager for the Chamber and together they make a dynamic team.
Rigby is impressed by the history and culture of the East Texas area and she said, “Athens has such a rich history and such great people. I love to get out there and meet our chamber members and learn about them and their businesses. There are so many citizens dedicated to improving the community and helping others. It’s really a special place and people are so welcoming and friendly.”
Membership in the chamber is up over 315 and she hopes to get to know them all, a few at a time as she visits businesses. She sees the Chamber as a resource, to partner with the city, county, college, schools, EDC and local business to strengthen the community and put on events that benefit the community. Some of the popular events include the “Taste of Athens’ which will be held Feb. 25, the “Go Texan” Rodeo held at the fairground, the farm and ranch tour and the Ladies Night Out in November.
She has some new ideas such as yard signs that can be put out to honor the monthly large and small business of the month and recognition for local teachers.
There is a lot to do but with her talent for bringing people together and her genuine love for people, the road ahead looks bright. As she says, her door is always open to the members of the community and she hopes to serve.

Feb

02

Posted by : admin | On : February 2, 2017

Keri Wilmeth is the newest member of the Athens Planning and Zoning Commission.

Keri Wilmeth is the newest member of the Athens Planning and Zoning Commission.


By Rachel Williams
The News Correspondent
ATHENS–The Athens City Council named an architectural/engineering firm to renovate the Cain Civic Aquatic Center Jan. 23. PGAL Architects, headquartered in Houston with offices in Dallas and Austin and founded in Texas in 1946, delivers international expertise with 11 regional offices and a staff of more than 200 architects, engineers, planners, and designers. The firm was named to the project after a qualifications-based assessment. The council members unanimously agreed PGAL Architects will provide the full complement of specialists and consultants to bring these facilities up-to-date. City Manager Philip Rodriguez is also authorized to execute an agreement, pending city attorney review.
The council also ordered an election for May 6 for Place 1, now held by Monte Montgomery and Mayor, held by Jerry Don Vaught. The city will share the costs of the election with Athens ISD by mutual agreement with Henderson County providing election services, and conducting Election Day voting.
Council members also held a public hearing on amendments proposed for mobile food vendors, subject to development standards and applicable zoning regulations, followed by a first reading of an ordinance pertaining to mobile food vendors. The city’s development services staff reviewed ordinances being used in other cities, including rules about restrooms, trash receptacles, proximity to brick-and-mortar restaurants and other items. Concerns about the disposal of grease and water was voiced. The item is expected to be listed for a second reading at a future council meeting. The next one is set for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13.
The council also considered a first reading of an ordinance which would provide entry level police officers a hiring incentive. The ordinance proposes offering new officers a $1,500 signing bonus on the first day of work and a second $1,500 payment before the end of the first year of service.
In other business, council members:
• appointed Keri Wilmeth to the Planning and Zoning Board.
• adopted a resolution outlining a legislative agenda. In general, the collection of statements support policies that protect “home rule” and local control, encourage the state to support its mandates with resources and promotes effective local governmental processes, city staffer Ryan Adams explained. The resolution also directs the city manager or his designee to act or represent the agenda when corresponding with elected officials in Austin.
The Texas 2017 regular legislative session began on Jan. 10 and will continue through May 29. About 6,000 bills are expected to be proposed during the 140 days the state representatives meet every two years. The legislative agenda will help lawmakers understand the Athens perspective and enable them to act on their constituents’ behalf. Representatives include Lance Gooden in the House and Robert Nichols in the Senate.
• Approved the purchase by the Athens Fire Department of a new lightweight model brush truck running slightly over budget at $96,489. Fire Chief John McQueary said the vehicle meets all design specifications.
• Approved a request from the Athens Economic Development Corporation for a letter of support for the City of Athens to be included within the Foreign Trade Zone.
• Authorized a lease agreement with Steven Eddy for T-Hanger No. 1 at Athens Municipal Airport.
• Authorized the city manager to execute a contract with Stantec for street improvements in support of FutureMatrix, Inc, using 2016 Texas Capital Fund.