Mar

23

Posted by : admin | On : March 23, 2017

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Athens City Manager Philip Rodriguez presented city council members a “strategic map” at the council meeting March 13, outlining the goals of the city over the next two years.
The key points of the strategic map included preserving Athens’ heritage, improving its quality of life, keeping the city rooted in community pride and growing its economy.
Rodriguez assured council members that getting the Cain Center back to full functionality was a matter of large importance for the city’s sense of heritage. He said the pool in its current condition is “unsalvageable,” but said it’s in the plans over the next two years to have a pool functioning in the Cain Center than is suitable for competitive and recreational swimming.
“We want the the Cain Center to be the premier event center in Henderson County,” Rodriguez said.
To make that a reality, he said that the phase-one goal is to get the upstairs up and running where it can host events and conferences like it has in the past. He expects phase one to be complete this year. Phase two, getting the aquatic center online, is the more expensive and time consuming part of getting the Cain Center back to its past glory. He expects phase two to be complete next year.
Quality of life improvements for the city include bringing Athens ISD campuses under the umbrella of the Athens Police Department for law enforcement purposes by the 2017-2018 school year; adding two police officers to the Athens Police Department; bringing Athens into full compliance with TCEQ for water and wastewater for the first time this decade and ensuring all Athens boundaries have Emergency Notification Systems facilities.
To increase community pride, Rodriguez said enhancing code enforcement and property standards will strengthen property values and increase public safety and support the beauty of the community. A new website is also in the works that lets the user interact based on if they are a resident, visitor or business.
The big topic in the economy portion was the airport. Rodriguez wants to finalize and implement the findings of the Airport Planning Advisory Committee to expand the airport and the aviation industry in Henderson County. Other economic improvements the city will be striving for include gathering public input on new housing programs for developers and develop housing incentives for first time home buyers.
Rodriguez said he wants Athens to “be the place” investors and businesses want to come to in East Texas.
In action items, the council approved an agreement for the construction of the Texan Theater project in downtown Athens with Watson Commercial Construction in Tyler. The work will not exceed $1,498,000
The council also approved:
• a resolution making sole source findings and authorizing staff to purchase hot mix asphalt material without going through the competitive bidding process;
• the purchase of a Caterpillar Mini Excavator in the amount of $49,868 from Holt Cat of Tyler for use in line maintenance;
• the purchase of a Bobcat Compact TrackLoader in the amount of $63,758.05 from Dallas-Cedar Hill for use in the Line Maintenance Department;
• an agreement with Ben Griffith for T-Hangar No. 6 at Athens Municipal Airport;
• supplemental requests for the 2017 budget; and
• closing several streets in the vicinity of the Henderson County Courthouse during the “Celebrating the Texan” event on April 1.

Mar

16

Posted by : admin | On : March 16, 2017

Athens PowerliftersCMYK

The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–The Athens Hornets will be sending two powerlifters to the state meet in Abilene after the pair finished in the top two at the regional meet March 9 in Malakoff.
The state powerlifting meet is March 25 at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene.
Athens senior Noah Bush finished second in the 220-pound division with a total weight of 1,455 pounds.
Bush lifted 565 in the squat, 375 on the bench and 515 pounds on deadlift.
Walt Mahmoud also advanced with a second-place finish in the 148-pound division. Mahmoud lifted a total of 1,125 pounds with a 440-pound squat, 260-pound bench and 425-pound deadlift.
Bush and Mahmoud are the only two Henderson County area lifters to advance to state in Class 4A.
Other lifters from the Hornet powerlifting team advanced to the regional meet and placed well in their respective divisions. Maalik Hall finished in seventh-place in the 198-pound division.
Antonio Miranda finished in 10th place in the 198-pound division. Athens athlete Shemar Willis finished seventh in the 220-pound division and Hornet powerlifter Anthony Lopez was eighth in the 165-pound division.
Other Henderson County lifters also participated in the regional meet. Malakoff’s Chandler Prnka placed fourth in the 123-pound division, while Cody Wilbanks placed 10th in the super heavyweight division. Tristan Castillo placed fifth in his 132-pound weight class, while fellow Bulldog Victor Quevedo finished 11th in the 198-pound class. Mikey Marshall placed fifth in the super heavyweight class.

Mar

16

Posted by : admin | On : March 16, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Lady Hornets, led by senior Sam Smith’s two home runs, rapped out 14 hits in their 11-4 home victory over Mexia March 14 at Peg Cain Field.
Smith went 3-4 with the two home runs, three runs scored and three runs batted in to pace the Lady Hornets, who are now 6-11 overall and 2-0 in District 18-4A play.
Bianca Garcia had four hits in four at-bats for the Lady Hornets, including a double. Garcia had three runs batted in and scored three runs on the night. Smith started the Lady Hornet scoring with her first home run of the night in the bottom of the first inning, giving the Lady Hornets a 2-0 first-inning lead.
Mexia answered in the top of the third inning, scoring three times on just one hit. The Black Cats scored on a fielder’s choice and a two-run single. The Lady Hornets tied the game on a run-scoring bunt single by Lindzey Roberts, making the score 3-3.
The Lady Hornets offense exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on a two run double by House, an Alicia Grogan single, a sacrifice by Jennifer Bradford and a single by Kelli Gartman that drove in the final two runs of the inning. The Lady Hornets led 9-4 after five innings of play.
Smith belted her second home run of the evening in the bottom of the sixth inning, extending the Lady Hornet lead to 10-4. The final run scored on an error by Mexia, allowing Grogan to score from second base for an 11-4 lead.
Bayleigh Collins went 1-4 with a run scored, Gartman was 1-2 with two walks, two runs batted in and a run scored, Tyler Greene had a hit and a run scored, Grogan had one hit in four at bats with two runs scored and an RBI. Roberts also added a hit and an RBI.
Kristin House pitched a complete game for the win, giving up five runs on four hits with 10 strikeouts, while walking three batters. Only three of the runs were earned.
In a game on Monday, March 13, the Lady Hornets outlasted Palestine 15-12. Gartman led the Lady Hornets with five hits in six at-bats, three runs scored and three runs batted in. Gartman had a triple and two doubles in the game, along with a steal.
The Lady Hornets will be back in action at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 when they travel to Madisonville.

Mar

09

Posted by : admin | On : March 9, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Three vehicles were reported stolen Monday morning in a three-hour period according to Athens Police Department reports.
Beginning at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, the calls started rolling in to Athens Police. Officer James Graham took the first report involving a missing 2004 Dodge truck from an apartment complex in the 2100 block of East Tyler St.
The second call, coming in a few minutes later, concerned a 2006 Ford F-250 missing from a residence in the 200 block of La Jolla St. The third theft, reported around 10 a.m. involved a 2014 Buick apparently taken during the night from the 900 block of East Corsicana St.
The F-250 is reported to have been recovered in Dallas.
All three thefts are currently under investigation by the Criminal Investigations Department and may be related. No arrests had been made as of press time.

Mar

09

Posted by : admin | On : March 9, 2017

worked up mugshots Ronnie Waters

worked up
mugshots
Ronnie Waters


The News Staff Reports
ATHENS—Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse reports the arrest of four suspects involving auto theft and drug warrant charges.
Ronnie Waters, 53, was arrested at an address on State Highway 274, where a backhoe and trailer that were reported stolen were discovered. He was also found to be in possession of methamphetamines. The state jail felonies are punishable up to two years in prison and a $10,000 find.
In similar action, narcotics investigator Brad Beddingfield and deputy Kyle Pochobradsky arrived at a residence on CR 1504 to serve an outstanding felony arrest warrant for Brunswick Jones, 45, wanted for manufacturing and delivering controlled substances. During the arrest, more narcotics was located in the home under search warrant. While officers were there, two men arrived. Both were in possession of illegal drugs and were taken in. They are Michael Barker, 35 and James Sockwell, 36. Sockwell was charged with possession of meth, and both men were also charged with possession of marijuana.
“It was a busy day for our team.” Hillhouse said. “Thanks to the alert, careful and persistent work of these deputies and the growing cooperation from the community, we are making a difference.”

Mar

09

Posted by : admin | On : March 9, 2017

ATHENS–The Athens Hornets boys basketball team had a good season, finishing with a 25-7 record and playing in the regional quarterfinal playoff match.
Lone senior Jabrile Richardson was named to the second team on the All District 18-4A squad, while juniors Miles Koehler and Gary Lyons were named to the first team. Junior Javiry Bowman was named to the second team. Junior Chris Taylor was named to the honorable mention team.
Academic all-district team members were senior Brandon Arroyo, junior Adrian Givens, Lyons, Taylor and junior Alec Scott.
The Most Valuable Player of the district went to Mexia senior Shemar High, and Offensive Player of the Year went to Fairfield senior E.J. Ransom.
Defensive Player of the Year went to Madisonville junior Tommy Holiday and Fairfield junior Kolby Adams was named Newcomer of the Year.
Complete District 18-4A awards were:
MVP: Shemar High, Sr., Mexia.
Offensive Player of the Year: E.J. Ransom, Sr., Fairfield.
Defensive Player of the Year: Tommy Holiday, Jr., Madisonville.
Newcomer of the Year: Kolby Adams, Jr., Fairfield.
All District First Team
Malcolm King, Sr., Mexia; Miles Koehler, Jr., Athens; Gary Lyons, Jr., Athens; Sam Bennett, Jr., Madisonville; Jailyn Tatum, Jr., Fairfield; Akeem Jackson, Sr., Fairfield; Eric Rhodes, Sr., Palestine.
All District Second Team
June Rischer, Sr., Fairfield; Kasey Williamson, Jr., Madisonville; Chris Mathews, So., Mexia; Javiry Bowman, Jr., Athens; Jabrile Richardson , Sr., Athens; Kadarius Spurlock, Sr., Palestine; Jaise Oliver, So., Fairfield.
Honorable Mention
Kolbe Branch, Jr., Fairfield; Nick Porter, Jr., Madisonville; Deontae McAdams, Sr., Madisonville; Kendall Moffett, Jr., Madisonville; Cornelius Merchant, Jr., Madisonville; Travion Carter, Jr., Mexia; Davion Carter, Jr., Mexia; Tykieston Gamble, So., Mexia; Chris Taylor, Jr., Athens.
Academic All-District
Athens: Brandon Arroyo, Sr; Adrian Givens, Jr.; Lyons, Jr.; Taylor, Jr.; Alec Scott, Jr.
Fairfield: Jaise Oliver, So.; James Reed, Jr.
Madisonville: Tyrese Brown, Fr.; Sam Bennett, Jr.; Kasey Williamson, Jr.
Mexia: Travion Carter, Jr.; Davion Carter, Jr.

Mar

02

Posted by : admin | On : March 2, 2017

: THE NEWS PHOTO/RUSSELL SLATON – Teri Caswell (right), executive director of Faith in Action Outreach (FIAO), tells fellow Malakoff Rotarian Julie Armstrong (left) about the FIAO Day Resource Center located in Athens, during the club’s Feb. 21 meeting.

: THE NEWS PHOTO/RUSSELL SLATON – Teri Caswell (right), executive director of Faith in Action Outreach (FIAO), tells fellow Malakoff Rotarian Julie Armstrong (left) about the FIAO Day Resource Center located in Athens, during the club’s Feb. 21 meeting.


By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
ATHENS–Malakoff Rotary members met Feb. 21 in Athens to hear Faith in Action Outreach’s executive director, fellow Rotarian Teri Caswell, give a report about the group’s Day Resource Center, which has been helping the homeless in Athens since it opened on Dec. 5, 2016.
Serving the homeless population – along with those who are on the brink of homelessness – needs extra help from the community, Caswell told Rotarians. “Since we opened our doors, the number of people we are serving continues to grow each day, so the cost of staying open is growing, too,” Caswell said.
“We need funds to keep our doors open so we can continue to serve the poor and needy in our area,” Caswell continued. “We know that God has called us to open this mission, and we know that He will provide the funds through His people – YOU! Please help us to help others.”
The fundraising drive is hosted on a GoFundMe web page, where online donations can be made. FIAO would like to reach its fundraising goal by March 15, Caswell said.
The FIAO Athens Day Resource Center, which is located at the corner of Maple and Pearl streets in northwest Athens, operates from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The center offers a safe place to use the Internet, take a shower, wash clothing, eat a warm meal, or get a coat or a blanket, along with toiletries and food items.
Several area businesses, organizations and individuals have already stepped up to the plate to help Faith in Action’s Athens Day Resource Center, Caswell said. Clothing is provided by Athens Thrift Store, while Baker Brothers and Randy Featherston donated plumbing services, including a hot water heater and finished-out shower and bathroom facilities. Acme Brick also has provided new industrial carpeting.
Malakoff Rotarians also brought donated items to Feb. 21’s meeting, including canned goods and Valentine’s Day candy. Further community service will come during Spring Break, when First Baptist Church of Athens’ will scrape, paint and perform other chores at the Athens Day Resource Center.

Mar

02

Posted by : admin | On : March 2, 2017

The News Staff Reports
CORSICANA–The Athens Hornets played their final game of the season in the Regional quarterfinals in a 88-70 loss to the Waco Connally Cadets at Corsicana High School Feb. 28.
The loss ends a solid run for the Hornets, who posted a 25-7 overall record and were second place in District 18-4A after defeating Madisonville and Mexia in a three-way playoff for the second seed in the district. The team could have finished as low as fourth place in district, but got hot at the right time and made it all the way to the third round of the state tournament.
The game wasn’t very close, as Connally led nearly the entire game besides a brief Athens lead in the opening minutes.
Athens ran into halftime with a 41-29 deficit, but cut it down to just eight points with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter when Gary Lyons hit a free throw bring the game within 53-45.
Gary Lyons finished with a team-high 25 points for the Hornets, while Miles Koehler had 17, Javiry Bowman had 15, Jabrille Richardson had 10, Chris Taylor had six and Xavius Fulton had two points.
This was the final game for seniors Richardson and Brandon Arroyo.
Snell finished the game with a game-high 33 points for the Cadets, followed by10 points each from Sidney Haddon and Korie Black. Je’Juan Forward had nine, Keith Black had five, Zailin Cleveland had four and Devin Miles had two.
Connally (26-12) will face Houston Yates in the regional tournament Friday at Sam Houston State University.

Mar

02

Posted by : admin | On : March 2, 2017

Henderson County Commissioners' Court proclaimed March 2 (today) to be remembered as Texas Independence Day throughout the county. The Sons of the Republic of Texas brought the proclamation to the court for recognition Feb. 28. on behalf of the James George Chapter headed by President Clayton Starr and local Athens member Charles Luna. Pictured (from left) are Ken Geeslin, Starr, McHam, County Judge Richard Sanders, Ken Hayes, Luna, and Wade McKinney.

Henderson County Commissioners’ Court proclaimed March 2 (today) to be remembered as Texas Independence Day throughout the county. The Sons of the Republic of Texas brought the proclamation to the court for recognition Feb. 28. on behalf of the James George Chapter headed by President Clayton Starr and local Athens member Charles Luna. Pictured (from left) are Ken Geeslin, Starr, McHam, County Judge Richard Sanders, Ken Hayes, Luna, and Wade McKinney.

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners’ Court tabled action to permit the Tarrant Regional Water District Integrated Pipeline to move forward until a road closure and crossing agreement can be spelled out to the satisfaction of Precinct 1 Commissioner Ken Hayes.
Representatives from Tarrant Regional are to meet with Hayes and the County Attorney Thursday (today) so Hayes can explain to residents of Key Ranch Estates, where the pipeline will be buried, what will occur. “You understand why I need information on this, I have constituents to answer to,” Hayes said. Plans call for the crossing of one road in Key Ranch Estates, which will close the road and provide a detour for local traffic.
The commissioners were asked to approve permits to construct the pipeline in a floodplain, which had nothing to do with roads or road closures. However, Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney pointed out that this permit was the only leverage the court had to have any say in what would transpire, especially as regards to road damage caused by the construction to take place in Precinct 1.
TRWD director Wesley Cleveland tried to assure the court that the district has worked well with other counties on the project and have left roads in as good or better condition than they found them and that money was built into the budget specifically for road repairs.
Engineer Matt Gaughan answered questions about the burial of the 108-inch (nine-foot) pipe. He told Hayes that where the pipe crossed under a road that it would be encased in quick-drying concrete and he expected to open detours for the two days that the road crossing would have to close any road.
Emergency Management Coordinator Joy Kimbrough presented commissioners with an emergency management plan for the work to take place in the floodplain, stating that the permit includes a clause absolving the county from any and all liability in connection with the construction, operation and maintenance of the pipeline. There is no fee attached to the permit, she said.
The item is expected to reappear on next week’s agenda.
In other business, commissioners:
• agreed to assist with four local elections for the cities of Eustace, Athens and Gun Barrel City as well as the Athens ISD for early voting April 24-May 2 and Election Day, May 6.
• renewed membership in the Sabine-Neches Resource Conservation and Development group and appointed Thomas Fraiser and Fire Marshal Shane Renberg as representatives.
• approved bonds for 2017 county elected officials
• accepted Racial Profiling Report from the Sheriff’s Office.
• agreed to a number of appointments and reappointments to Emergency Service Districts No. 1 and no. 2.
• approved inter-local cooperation agreements for labor and equipment use in the amount of $500 with the cities of Berryville, Coffee City and Poynor.
• paid bills in the amount of $425,844.52 and payments to fire departments in Caney City and Eustace in the amount of $21,174.

Mar

02

Posted by : admin | On : March 2, 2017

TVCC men CMYK

Special to The News
ATHENS–The season series between the Trinity Valley Cardinals and Navarro Bulldogs went in favor of the Cardinals with a 90-72 victory Wednesday at Cardinal Gym.
TVCC won the first meeting between the two teams, 82-67, on Jan. 28, in Corsicana.
The No. 18-ranked Cardinals (23-5 overall, 14-3 in Region XIV Conference play) return to action Wednesday, March 1 at Tyler Junior College.
The tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., following the Lady Cardinals contest.
The regular season finale is March 4 as they host Kilgore Junior College on sophomore day.
TJC hosted Panola Wednesday, travels to Navarro Saturday and wraps up the regular season March 1 against TVCC.
Trinity Valley opened the contest on a 7-0 run in the first 1:06 of the game.
After a timeout by Navarro coach Michael Landers, the Bulldogs went on a 13-6 run to tie the game on a layup by Saint Hilaire. Hilaire finished the night with 20 points.
TVCC then took control of the game the remainder of the way.
With just over five minutes remaining in the first half, Amaad Wainright found Jaime Echenique for the dunk to give TVCC a 31-19 lead.
Navarro cut the deficit to 10 at the half at, 42-32, as D’Angelo Hunter hit two free throws with one second remaining. Hunter scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half of play.
In the second half, Navarro got to within, 43-35, in the first 1:15 of the half as Eric McCollom had a rebound basket.
TVCC then went on a 7-0 run with baskets by Josh Stamps, Echenique and a three from Wainright for the 50-35 lead with 16:09 remaining in regulation.
That forced Landers to call a timeout but the Bulldogs could never get the game under single digits.

With 7:03 remaining in regulation, Navarro got to within 11 as Randall Broddie found Xavier Fogle for the bucket and a 71-60 deficit.
TVCC was led by Wainright with 16 points. Stamps had 12, Jaquan Lightfoot had 11 and Echenique had 10.