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

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.

Oct

05

Posted by : admin | On : October 5, 2017

Randall Wayne Mays-death row
Special to The News
ATHENS–On May 17, 2007, Randall Wayne Mays took the life Henderson County Sheriff’s deputy Tony Ogburn and Investigator Paul Habelt, and seriously injured another, Deputy Kevin Harris.
The following year, Mays was convicted of Capital Murder and sentenced to die by lethal injection. In addition to his direct appeal, he filed writs and petitions which were heard in both state and federal courts, including the U. S. Supreme Court, seeking to overturn his conviction. Those attempts were unsuccessful at every stage, and his execution was scheduled for March 18, 2015.
The month before he was to be executed, lawyers from the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs based in Austin, (a state funded, Public Defender agency that represents death penalty defendants in post-conviction litigation), filed a “Motion Re Competency to be Executed,” claiming that Mays was currently (mentally) incompetent to be executed.
The Court of Criminal Appeals stayed the execution and remanded the case back to the trial court for the appointment of experts to evaluate Mays pursuant to the standards for competency to be executed in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 46.05. Those standards require that a person condemned to death understand that he or she is to be executed and that the execution is imminent. Additionally, the person must also have a rational understanding as to the reason that they will be executed.
Judge Carter Tarrance, 392nd District Judge at the time, appointed three experts to evaluate Mays for competency. Dr. George Woods, Jr., Berkeley, Calif., Dr. Bhushan Agharkar, Atlanta, Ga., and Dr. Randall Price, Dallas, all evaluated Mays and prepared reports for the Court, the last of which was received in May of this year.
Both Dr. Woods and Agharkar believed that Mays was incompetent to be executed while Dr. Price determined that he was competent under the applicable standards.
A three and a half day hearing was held before visiting Judge Joe D. Clayton of Tyler from August 9-12 where he heard testimony from all three experts in addition to five other witnesses. He also reviewed a voluminous amount of records and transcripts from the original trial, mental health records and records from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division that documented Mays’s history while incarcerated including correspondence from Mays to family and friends, and communications between Mays and prison officials.
Woods and Agharkar testified that while Mays understood he was to be executed, he did not have a rational understanding as to why, believing that he was suffering from pervasive delusions centered around his “green energy” designs for wind and solar powered equipment. They reported to the Court that Mays believed he was going to be executed because his design would cost the state and the oil industry billions of dollars, and since this was not a “rational” belief, he was incompetent to be executed. Mays never mentioned this to Dr. Price during his evaluation, but did indicate that he knew he had been convicted of Capital Murder involving three officers, and felt that his conviction and punishment were unfair because the deputies came onto his property
Likewise, Mays never mentioned in his correspondence or numerous grievances while in prison that his energy ideas had anything to do with his pending execution, a fact noted by Judge Clayton in his signed order finding Mays competent to be executed, which was filed on Monday, Oct. 2.
District Attorney Mark Hall, who was joined by First Assistant Nancy Rumar in arguing the competency case in August, said that he believes the Judge made the correct call. “Judge Clayton listened intently to hour upon hour of expert testimony over the course of the hearing; and while giving due consideration to the oftentimes complicated, and in my view, occasionally convoluted mental health findings, he was able to cut through the jargon and apply a strong dose of common sense to the issue.”
“I don’t think there is any question that Randall Mays understands exactly what he did, and what a jury found him guilty of, or the reason for which he received the sentence of death. He has been given every opportunity to contest his conviction and sentence, which I think was appropriate under the circumstances,” said Hall.
The District Attorney intends to file a motion for the Court to set an execution date, but anticipates that before it is carried out, Mays will make a motion that the Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) review Judge Clayton’s order and enter a judgment of whether to adopt the order, findings and recommendations.
At that point, the CCA would determine whether any existing execution date should be withdrawn and a stay of execution issued while that court is conducting its review. Otherwise, the execution will be carried out as ordered.
“This has been a long, and sometimes frustrating road for the family and friends of these slain and injured officers, with each stage of the process renewing and reopening the feelings of sadness, anger and loss. But I have confidence in our criminal justice system, and that Randall Mays will soon face the sentence he received and deserved,” said Hall.

Sep

28

Posted by : admin | On : September 28, 2017

By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Athens City Council heard from concerned citizens on several topics at their Sept. 25 regular meeting.
The first issue to bring citizens to the podium was the request for site plan approval and specific use permit from Triton Athens I, LLC for retail, restaurant and office development at 1006, 1010 and 1012 E. Tyler Streets. After the public hearing held by the Planning and Zoning Board, the developer agreed to an 8-ft. tall masonry wall dividing the development from the neighbors backyards.
Several citizens with property bordering the development spoke in favor of continuing the wall, extended to cover a curved portion of green space designed for runoff. After some discussion regarding the feasibility of a masonry wall in an area that would be wet much of the time, several hybrid construction options were discussed including masonry and wood combinations or wrought iron and wood combinations with vegetation.
Marcy Warren spoke in favor of the wall being in place before construction begins so, “We don’t lose the use of our backyards through this whole process. I would also urge that the wall be aesthetically pleasing with vegetation to preserve the peaceful nature of the area.” Jim Kerlin spoke in favor of an attractive wall as well and one that would reduce light and noise. Citizens reiterated that the importance of the wall being extended is to prevent patrons from parking on Crestway and walking to the development. Council listened to the first reading of the ordinance after public comments were closed.
Other ordinances read included Planned Development District Standards change to reduce minimum size from three acres to one acre, a specific use permit for Regency Mobile Home Park to allow for RVs at the park, no more than 20 at a time and a change to the Code of Ordinances to provide time limits for trash receptacles to be at the curb, no sooner than the day before and no later than the day after. All items were in the first reading stage.
In a surprising turn of events, the disannexation of the 31.374 acres belonging to Tom Potthoff was pulled from the consent agenda for discussion and failed to pass. Councilman Tres Winn cited the inconsistency and basic unfairness of the decision to proceed with the disannexation of Potthoff’s 31.374 acres and the decision to not allow .26 acres of the Ray property to be disannexed. “Are we gonna pick and choose or are we going to be fair? To me, this is apples and apples and the only difference is the size of the apple.” Winn proposed a blanket decision for all the properties affected. Mayor Montgomery agreed saying, “If this thing comes back, I think we can look at it across the board.”
In other business, council members:
• heard the Uncle Fletch Davis Hamburger Festival was a huge success. Jeff Weinstein told the group that they sold out on spaces for vendors and would expand next year’s event which is already in the planning stage.
• heard the updates have been completed in Kiwanis Park, a joint venture between the Athens Kiwanis Club and the city and that the new equipment is “top notch.”
• remained deadlocked on authorizing the interim city manager to enter into an agreement with Gallagher Construction Company for Construction Management Services related to the Cain Center Project. At issue is the flat fee of 6.7 percent ($482,000).

Sep

28

Posted by : admin | On : September 28, 2017

IMG_2222 Athens FB #37 CYMK

Special to The News
ROBINSON–The Athens Hornets head into the District 8-4A, Division 1 opener on a three-game losing streak.
Robinson walked out of its homecoming game with a 34-20 victory Sept. 22 at Rocket Field.
Athens (1-3) had four turnovers in the contest, which head coach Paul Essary said was the defining moment of the game.
“The four turnovers killed us on offense tonight,” Essary said. “Those were effort turnovers with running with the football and running hard. Waco Robinson was stripping the football, and they did a good job of stripping the football. I don’t think they ever stopped us as much as we stopped ourselves.”
Robinson (1-3) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first 14 minutes of the game. The first touchdown came with 7:08 remaining in the first quarter.
Rockets running back Isaiah Houston had a six-yard run as Adrian Ceballos booted the PAT good for the 7-0 lead.
The second touchdown came with 3:17 remaining in the opening quarter. Quarterback Mason Cooper found Houston on a 54-yard pitch and catch for the 14-0 lead.
The final touchdown came with 10:12 remaining in the second quarter. Cooper found Noah Richard for the 19-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
“We spot them 21-0, which is starting to look like a habit,” Essary said. “We are giving up some big plays, and things that we just have to concentrate on. We have to continue to work.”
Athens added its first touchdown with 2:25 remaining in the half as freshman Nathan Sims had a 35-yard run for the score. Dakota Anderson picked up the extra point to cut the deficit to 21-7 at halftime.
Sims finished the night with 165 yards rushing and one touchdown.
“The inside run game was good tonight,” Essary said. “We could tell early that they were going to try and take away our outside run. They wanted to control Xavius Fulton, which opened up some inside run. Down the stretch, we started catching the football, but it was a little late. We started moving the football, and we will get better.”
In the third quarter, Cooper once again found Richard on a 23-yard touchdown with 4:24 remaining to give Robinson a 28-7 lead.
Richard then scored his third touchdown of the night on a 45-yard touchdown for the 34-7 lead with 10:50 remaining in the game.
Athens scored the final 13 points of the game. Rhejhi Sherfield had a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown with 4:28 remaining for the 34-14 deficit.
Fulton then scored the final touchdown with 47 seconds remaining on a one-yard run.
Athens returns to action Friday as they host the Mabank Panthers for homecoming at Bruce Field. Mabank was a 35-14 winner over Ferris at home.
“We are playing Mabank, but the real thing is I am worried about the Athens Hornets,” Essary said. “I am wanting to get our kids focused and ready to play on our homecoming. Everybody wants to win that first district game. Next week starts district, which is a brand-new season. Whether you are 0-4, 4-0 or 1-3, it is a new season. Everything starts over next week for District 8-4A.”

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

IMG_2208 Athens FB #8 Xavius Fulton CMYK

Special to The News
RED OAK–The Athens Hornets were looking to play a homecoming spoiler Friday in their first road test of the year against a Class 5A opponent.
In the end, Red Oak (2-1) beat Athens, 28-20, to improve to 2-1 with their second straight victory. Red Oak defeated Arlington Heights in overtime last week.
“I was real thrilled with the way we fought,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “Red Oak is a good Class 5A football team. They won one in overtime against Arlington Heights, which is picked to win their district. We almost took them to overtime, but it was just one play here and there. I am really excited about our future. I really believe our future is bright.”
The contest was Red Oak’s homecoming game at Billy Goodloe Stadium.
Athens returns to action Friday as they travel to Waco Robinson to face the Rockets. The contest is homecoming for the Rockets with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“I am excited because I know Robinson will have a big crowd,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “We like to play and coach in front of a big crowd. They better be ready because we are going to be better next week. I don’t know anything about them and have not seen them on film. I am just worried about the Athens Hornets right now.”
Essary said the coaches and players will watch the film early this week, and get ready for another homecoming showdown.
“You have to regroup and we will watch film, and see what we did good and exciting and things that we have to correct,” Essary said. “We got some things corrected last week that we did better on tonight. We will keep going and I am excited for the future.”
Last year, the Hawks doubled up the Hornets with a 42-21 victory at Bruce Field.
In the first half, Red Oak scored three touchdowns with the first coming at 6:13 in the first quarter. Carson Forbes found Hunter Smith with a 23-yard reception. Nicholas Alvarado tacked on the extra point afterward.
C.J. Palmer then scored his first of two rushing touchdowns with a five-yard run with 6:55 remaining in the second quarter.
Athens then countered with a 54-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Xavius Fulton with 3:50 remaining. Dakota Anderson picked up the PAT to reduce the deficit to 14-7.
Palmer then countered with a 23-yard touchdown run with 2:51 left in the half. Palmer had 133 yards rushing on 11 carries in the first half.
Palmer finished the night with 218 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns.
“I knew he would be a good tough runner inside,” the coach said. “We have one guy on the defensive side that weighs over 200 pounds, and he probably weighs 225 pounds. He is a strong kid and they were having to throw bodies in there. Hats off to him because he kept running hard tonight.”
In the second half, Athens led off the scoring with a 10-yard run by Fulton with 7:13 remaining in the third quarter to make the score 21-14.
Red Oak answered with Palmer’s third touchdown of the game on a three-yard run with 3:35 remaining to give them a 28-14 lead.
Fulton finished the night 8 of 23 passing for 173 yards. He rushed for 97 yards on 21 carries.
“We got the passing game going tonight,” Essary said. “We got to running the football inside. I am excited for what we are going to be when we hit district. We have one more game to get better to get ready for district. If we continue to make strides on each side of the ball, we will be in good shape. It will be a good fun fight in district.”
Rhejhi Sherfield had three reception for 84 yards, while freshman Nathan Sims had one receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown.
The Hornets look to get back on track as they hit the road against Waco Robinson (1-2) Sept. 22.
This is the last regular season game for the Hornets before district play begins on Sept. 29 against the Mabank Panthers on homecoming night at Bruce Field.

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

ETMC Hospital Athens

Special to The News
TYLER–East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System (ETMC) has selected Ardent Health Services (Ardent) and The University of Texas System (UT System), which includes The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Health Northeast), to form a new health system to benefit East Texas, officials announced Sept. 13. Ardent will assume majority ownership and day-to-day operations of the new system. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The partnership will invest $150 million for improvements over five years and provide other resources to support the operation of this newly created health system.
Governance will be shared through a newly formed board of directors, which will include local physicians. Proceeds from the transaction will be used to create a local foundation to further the health and wellness of East Texans. The transaction is expected to close following the completion of due diligence and required regulatory approvals.
Based in Tyler, ETMC includes 502-bed East Texas Medical Center Tyler and a network of nine hospitals and 39 clinics, including regional hospitals located in Athens, Carthage, Henderson, Jacksonville, Pittsburg and Quitman. Additionally, in Tyler, two other inpatient facilities, the ETMC Rehabilitation Hospital and the ETMC Specialty Hospital, are included in the new health system.
Other assets include the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, physician clinics, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, a behavioral health center and a comprehensive 7-trauma center care network, including a Level 1.
In February 2017, ETMC leadership began the search for a strategic partner to assist the organization in continuing its mission of improving the health and quality of life for East Texans.
“After a deliberate and thoughtful process, our Board of Directors is pleased to select Ardent Health Services and the University of Texas System as the right partners for ETMC to take up our mission of care,” said President and CEO of ETMC Elmer G. Ellis. “This acquisition will allow ETMC to grow and thrive in the East Texas region, with new partners who can best provide the necessary clinical expertise, operational proficiency, employee development and financial resources to deliver the best care possible for our patients.”
Once the board approves, the UT System will contribute its Tyler-based UT Health Northeast hospital and 12 physician clinic operations to the new 10-hospital system. The newly created health system will expand medical education, research and community health. It will be an affiliate of the world-renowned University of Texas System, one of the largest academic and health systems in the country.” This combination will bring unique synergies to the East Texas health-care landscape,” UT System Board of Regents member Kevin Eltife stated. “The great benefit of these three organizations coming together will be that East Texans will enjoy the best of all possible worlds. A great national healthcare system will be integrated with a regional powerhouse in healthcare delivery and a leader in health education and research.”
“We are delighted to partner with UT Health Northeast and the dedicated physicians, nurses and employees of ETMC,” President and CEO of Ardent Health Services David T. Vandewater said. “At Ardent, we strongly believe in the value of partnerships that bring out the best in each organization. We each share a focus on service and a commitment to providing quality care to the communities we serve. Together, we will continue the great legacy of ETMC.”

Sep

14

Posted by : admin | On : September 14, 2017

Jeff Weinstein (right) holds a proclamation making Sept. 23, 2017 "Unlce Fletch Festival Day" in the city of Athens. Mayor Monte Montgomery (left) read the proclamation and the council approved execution of an agreement with TxDOT for closure of State Right-of-Way for the festival.

Jeff Weinstein (right) holds a proclamation making Sept. 23, 2017 “Unlce Fletch Festival Day” in the city of Athens. Mayor Monte Montgomery (left) read the proclamation and the council approved execution of an agreement with TxDOT for closure of State Right-of-Way for the festival.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Disannexation of property around Lake Athens came before the city council once again at their Sept. 11 meeting. Landowner Tom Potthoff spoke briefly, thanking the council members and Fire Chief McQueary for consideration relating to the disannexation of his property, which the council voted in favor of initiating Aug. 14 in a 4-1 vote, with Councilwoman Toni Clay opposing the move. The first reading of the Ordinance took place at the meeting. The second reading is scheduled for September.
City Managing Director of Planning Barbara Holley presented a report to the council regarding the possible impact of disannexing property within the city limits, pointing out that the affected area could be as much as 106 acres total with some additional amount of the spillway acreage.
“Due to the changes in the legislation regarding annexation, it is less likely. Currently, our growth boundary is at 80 percent.” Holley also described a situation where a property owner on the outskirts of the city could possibly enjoy city services without paying city taxes.
“From a planning perspective, I don’t think disannexing is a good idea because we have a significantly contracted growth boundary at this point,” Holley said. She also informed the council that when disannexing property, there is a mandatory refund of all taxes paid on a property from the time it was annexed to the time it is disannexed. For the Potthoff property, the amount is around $400.
Mayor Monte Montgomery questioned the fiscal impact of not only the taxes, but the work it would take city staff to process requests if they begin coming in succession. Councilwoman Clay reiterated her opposition to disannexation, “For me it is not about tax revenue now. Our job is to have a vision for the future. I feel that 40, 50 or 100 years from now, we will have made the wrong decision by de-annexing this property, especially when it is so much more difficult to annex in the future.”
Mayor Montgomery said, “It will always be my stand that we should never go after tax money without providing services. If we annex property, water and sewer should be right behind it.”
The council then considered the request of James and Carolyn Ray to disannex 0.260 acres (F.M. Trimble, A-766). Stan Taylor spoke to the council in favor of granting the request as it will affect how the Ray’s build their new home. The proposed porch and firepit will be in the section of land currently within the city. The portion of the lot is 100 feet by 71 to 90 feet.
After discussion, the motion failed 3-2.
In other business, council members:
• Mayor Monte Montgomery read a proclamation making Sept. 23 “Uncle Fletch Festival Day.”
• Approved selection of Gallagher Construction Company, L for construction management services (Construction Manager as Advisor) for the Cain Center Project.