Jun

22

Posted by : admin | On : June 22, 2017

Andrew Page

Special to The News
ATHENS–A 36-year-old suspected drug dealer riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the road was arrested this weekend in a subdivision just south of Chandler.
Andrew Allen Page was stopped by Deputy Jacob Sumrall Saturday for traveling southbound on Sunrise Dive in the Sunrise Shores subdivision. He was found to be in possession of a substantial amount of suspected methamphetamine and several clear plastic bags commonly used is the distribution of the illegal drug.
“Our deputies are constantly on the look out for anything out of the ordinary,” Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said. “This suspect was going the wrong way, acting nervous and had trouble communicating with the deputy.”
Page was carrying more than 5 grams of the contraband.
“This is part of our concerted campaign against drugs in Henderson County,” Hillhouse said. “Hopefully, this arrest takes us to an even bigger supplier in the criminal drug chain that we are systematically breaking here.”
Page was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. He is currently being held on a $30,000 bail.

Jun

22

Posted by : admin | On : June 22, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets and Lady Hornets had nine total athletes named to the Class 4A Academic All-State team.
Lady Hornet softball players Jennifer Bradford, Alicia Grogan, Kelli Gartman and Sam Smith were selected to the Academic All-State softball team by the Texas High School Girls Coaches Association. Athens Hornet graduate Meagan Withers was named to the Academic All-State tennis team by the same association.
To be nominated to the team, athletes must be graduating seniors, have an overall grade point average of 94 or above for grades 9-11, must be a varsity participant or support staff member in good standing and be of good moral character.
The Athens Hornet baseball team had four players named to the Academic All-State baseball team by the Texas High School Coaches Association, with senior Cameron Woodard being selected to the Elite team.
Kolemann Dooley and Casey Pitchford were named to the first team as well, with Jacob Ickes being named to the second team.
To be nominated for academic All-State, a student must be an athlete, student trainer or manager in good standing with the team, of good moral character, a senior and have an overall grade point average of 92 or above.
To make the Elite team, a player must have near perfect scores in all categories.

Jun

15

Posted by : admin | On : June 15, 2017

AthensFB1CMYK

The News Staff Reports
LONGVIEW–Athens Hornet graduate Maalik Hall helped his Blue team to a 17-7 victory over the Red team at the Chic-fil-A FCA Heart of a Champion All-Star game Saturday, June 10 at Longview’s Lobo Stadium. The game was part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ All-Star Weekend, which also included All-Star baseball and softball games.
Hall, a running back and linebacker in his career at Athens, started at outside linebacker for the Blue team and finished the game with five tackles, as well as playing on the punt team and the kickoff return team. Hall was nominated for the honor by Athens High School Athletic Director/Head Football Coach Paul Essary.
Hall will be continuing his education and football career in the fall as he will be playing for Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Mabank’s Noel Rojo and Eustace’s Mikey Marshall were also selected as members of the Blue team. Marshall started on the offensive line while Rojo came off the bench to play on the offensive line as well.
Rojo will take his talents to the next level and will play for Bethany College in the fall. Marshall is headed to Missouri Valley.
The vision of the FCA is to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.

Jun

15

Posted by : admin | On : June 15, 2017

The News Staff Reports
TYLER–Athens Lady Hornet Sam Smith finished her standout high school career by playing in the Courtney Construction Fellowship of Christian Athletes Softball All-Star game Friday, June 9.
Smith helped lead her Red team to a 10-3 victory over the Blue team at Suddenlink Field on the campus of UT-Tyler. Smith had two hits- a single and an RBI double- and a walk to help the Red team to victory.

Jun

15

Posted by : admin | On : June 15, 2017

worked up photos mugshots Clifford Miller

worked up photos
mugshots
Clifford Miller


The News Staff Reports
ATHENS—Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse reports five men arrested for meth possession last week. Although unrelated, Hillhouse says the ambitious attack on the illegal drug trade is producing results.
“We are breaking the links of the drug chain here,” he said. “Often, we get the drug users, which leads us to the dealers and to the suppliers.”
Clifford Keith Miller, 55, was arrested at a residence outside Athens on U.S. 175 West with a substantial amount of meth, along with drug paraphernalia and marijuana.
His case began with the execution of a search warrant early June 7 that turned up the contraband at the scene during an unrelated investigation. Narcotics investigators were called in to assist. Miller faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
During that Wednesday, two men were taken in from a traffic stop at the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 1615 and County Road 4511. A search of the vehicle found that both men were in possession of suspected methamphetamines. The driver, Russell Allen Stogner, 27, was also without a valid driver’s license, and received an additional charge. His passenger was Lonnie Lee Fender, 32. The drug possession charge for both men carries a penalty of up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
A fugitive was located at a storage complex in Malakoff that same day. Phillip Maddox was wanted on an outstanding felony theft warrant and felony firearm possession charge. Deric Young was with Maddox at the time and he was found to have a small amount of a controlled substance and marijuana, along with outstanding arrest warrants out of Seven Points.
Early Thursday, June 8, a traffic stop on CR 4528 found Jeffrey Ryan Anding, 29, with suspected meth. He could be convicted of a state jail felony as well.
“A year ago when I took office, I made it clear we would not tolerate drugs in any amount by anyone in this county,” Hillhouse said. ‘From the commanders to the investigators to the deputies on patrol day and night, we are cracking down on both dealers and users of this poison,” he said. “Henderson County is becoming known as the place where drugs are very unwelcome.”

Jun

08

Posted by : admin | On : June 8, 2017

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Henderson County taxpayers are still paying for the 2007 crimes of Randall Mays after Commissioners approved payment of his capital murder case June 6.
Only Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin opposed the payment, which totaled $21,514.47. This time the expense will go toward a mental evaluation for Mays, who was convicted in May of 2008 for killing Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Paul Habelt and Tony Ogburn.
Geeslin said he is upset the country is still paying for Mays’ crimes and wonders why the county tried to convict him of a capital offense.
Mays was sentenced to death for his crimes and scheduled for execution in March 2015, but the court of appeals delayed the process claiming Mays might not be competent to receive the death penalty. Henderson County picks up the resulting bills for the defense because it is a capital case.
Commissioners also approved the Keep Athens Beautiful and Light Up Athens organizations to decorate the Henderson County Courthouse and lawn this winter.
Dressing up the courthouse with festive lights and decorations is a tradition in Athens, but Commissioners are compelled to go through with the vote each year anyway due to a premise use policy put in place five years ago. According the Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders, the property isn’t a public forum, but individuals or private groups can be contracted to place displays on the property.
In other business, Commissioners approved:
• a payment of $19,000 from Sportsman’s Paradise Property Owners Association for materials to repave 1,200 feet of Mallard Street in Precinct 3;
• a right-of-way permit for the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply Corporation;
• a request for a refund for overpayment of taxes from the Henderson County Tax Assessor/Collector in the amount of $8,586.45;
• payment of regular bills in the amount of $620,047.76.

Jun

01

Posted by : admin | On : June 1, 2017

ATHENS–District Attorney Mark Hall reports that the Henderson County Grand Jury for the January-June term 2017 returned 35 True Bills May 17. In addition, six cases are indicted under seal. They include:
• Kawliger Lee Connelly, 41, Kemp, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance (PCS).
• Cecil Ray Collum, 49, Malakoff, indicted for Bail Jumping and Failure to Appear.
• Walter Edward George, Jr, 49, Mabank, indicted for Assault.
• Jack Roy Thornton, 31, Kemp, indicted for Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements.
• Matthew Wayne Harris, 34, Athens, indicted for two counts of PCS.
• Matthew James Davis Moreland, 18, Athens, indicted for two counts of PCS.
• Ernest Raydell Smalley, 24, Athens, indicted for Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group One (PG1).
• Bruneswick Lakeith Jones, 45, Athens, indicted for PCS.
• James Randolph Sockwell, 36, Athens, indicted for PCS.
• Gary William McCord, 23, Trinidad, indicted for PCS.
• Donald Preston Walsh, JR, 33, Tyler, indicted for Assault.
• Joshua Michael Ochoa, 38, Malakoff, indicted for PCS.
• Jared Isaac Galindo, 31, Gun Barrel City, indicted for Aggravated Assault.
• Amy Lynn Smith, 37, Trinidad, indicted for PCS.
• Ivory Lewis Brown, 70, Athens, indicted for Theft.
• Becky Lynn Kemp, 38, Brownsboro, indicted for PCS.
• Casey Wayne Housewright, 36, Trinidad, indicted for PCS.
• Justin Tyler Beamon, 25, Mabank, indicted for Unlawful Possession of Firearm and Aggravated Assault.
• Joseph Anthony Ask, 34, Athens, indicted for PCS.
• Angelina Francesca McNabb Ferguson, 44, Tyler, indicted for PCS.
• Jesus Salidavar (a.k.a. Armando Zavala), 33, Athens, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention.
• David Wayne Sumrall, 46, Malakoff, indicted for Assault.
• Tray Daniel Walters, 24, Kemp, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention.
• Cynthia Ann Sonoff Hodges, 46, Corsicana, indicted for PCS.
• Maurice Cartez Miller, 38, Athens, indicted for PCS. Callie Lanae Chalk, 25, Kemp, indicted for PCS.
• James Robert Huffaker, 58, Kemp, indicted for PCS.
• Bobbie Renee Carroll, 42, Kemp, indicted for Prohibited Substances and Items in Correctional Facility.
• Travis Brax Davis, 19, Murchison, indicted for Burglary.
• Roger Allen Coleman, Jr, 46, Mabank, indicted for Forgery.
• Javier Castaneda, Jr, 18, Athens, indicted for Burglary.
• Scotty Lemond Barker, 34, Athens, indicted for Burglary of Vehicle.
• Brad Wesley McGuire, 26, Athens, indicted for PCS.
• Christopher Emil Mireles, 33, Tyler, indicted for Aggravated Robbery, Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle, Burglary, three counts and Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle.
• Billy Ray Clark, 48, Athens, indicted for PCS.
• Tray Daniel Walters, 24, Kemp, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention.

Jun

01

Posted by : admin | On : June 1, 2017

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
HENDERSON COUNTY–Just about 30 days after a tornado turned Teresa Melton’s world upside down, what she was able to salvage of her property was burglarized this past Memorial Day weekend – not once, but twice.
She first received news of the break-in while attending her son’s high school graduation. A friend, who has been helping her clear the property of debris sent her a text that the storage building and 40-foot container had been broken into. Sometime on Sunday, her property was hit again.
Melton told The News that she goes to the property on Farm-to-Market 2709, one of the hardest hit by the storms, every day to sort, clean and prep for rebuilding. She had been at the property until 11 a.m. on Friday, but hadn’t returned on Saturday before she got the text message. She and her son, Matthew, a member of the Eustace Boys Cross Country team had spent the morning preparing for his graduation set for 10 a.m. Saturday at the E.L Kirk Gymnasium on the Eustace High School campus.
Matthew’s cap and gown was one of the items that was retrieved unhurt following the April 29 tornado. “We had counted that as a good sign,” Melton said.
She reports a list of items taken, including two zero turn Cub Cadet mowers from Tractor Supply, two chainsaws, two saddles and assorted tack equipment, a 14-foot utility trailer made by FFA students from Montgomery ISD, where her newlywed husband was finishing out the year as the Ag teacher.
Also missing is a quantity of large cooking equipment, two four-wheelers – a Suzuki Quad 750 and a Honda 500, a front loading washer and dryer, unique artwork, including a photograph of a cowboy riding a bucking bronco, and a Canon printer. The computer was destroyed in the tornado.
These items and many others stolen were kept in a 40-foot trucking container, a storage shed and a box trailer all of which were locked.
She and her son have been living in a hotel in Mabank, as the property is uninhabitable, without water hookups and a residential shelter.
When she learned of the burglary, she said “her heart sank.”
“My heart was full of happiness for Matthew’s graduation and then it just went empty. How can people be so cruel as to kick you when you’re down,” she asks.
She did her best to keep her son from finding out on his graduation day, but when he did, he could hardly believe it. “He was more upset than angry,” his mother said. “It felt like another piece of his dad had been taken from him.”
Matthew lost his dad to cancer February 2016. His mother only recently was married again. In fact, on Tuesday, she and Matthew had traveled to the Houston area for her husband’s retirement celebration from Montgomery ISD. “We were planning to do the name changing after his retirement,” she said. Matthew is one of four Eustace graduating seniors who have signed up to serve in the U.S. Air Force.
Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said several investigators are working the case. If anyone has any knowledge of the break-ins or has seen some of the suspect items, they should call the sheriff at (903) 675-5128.

May

25

Posted by : admin | On : May 25, 2017

Toni Clay sworn in
Monte Montgomery
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The newly elected mayor and council member took their seats in Athens Monday night after winning their respective elections earlier this month.
Mayor Monte Montgomery and councilwoman Toni Clay began serving two-year terms after taking oaths of office. Montgomery was sworn in as mayor by County Judge Richard Sanders, and Clay was sworn in as a council member by City Secretary Bonnie Hambrick.
Outgoing Mayor Jerry Don Vaught received a standing ovation when Mayor Pro-tem Tres Winn presented him with a certificate commemorating Vaught’s 10 years on the council, including five as mayor.
Vaught had many kind words during a short speech, including praising the people of Athens for taking care of each other and being wonderful friends to him. “You can’t take that away from Athens,” he said.
Vaught also spoke highly of City Manager Philip Rodriguez, who took over the post in March 2015.
“You’ve turned this city around, and made it outstanding,” Vaught said. “It needed to be done for over 20 years. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know where we’d be.”
In other action:
• Fire Chief John McQueary presented Life Saving Awards to Sarah Barnes, Johnathan Toney and Jay Kinzer;
• Mayor Jerry Don Vaught read a proclamation declaring May as Historic Preservation Month;
• the council approved a re-plat of lots at 600 E. Tyler St. for the future ABC Auto;
• Aaron Smith was reappointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission; and
• the council approved a second reading of an amendment to an ordinance, thereby creating the Cultural Resources Commission.

May

25

Posted by : admin | On : May 25, 2017

By Kate Pittack
Extension 4-H Agent
HENDERSON COUNTY–AgriLife Extension urging Texans to Click It or Ticket.
This year’s Click It or Ticket Campaign will be May 22-June 4, which includes the Memorial Day weekend and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is urging Texas drivers to buckle up.
Once again, the agency is supporting efforts by the Texas Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas Department of Public Safety and police and sheriff’s departments across the state to save lives by promoting increased seat belt use.
Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying by 45 percent for people in the front seat of passenger cars.
“They also reduce the risk of dying by 60 percent for drivers of pickups, because pickups are twice as likely to roll over as passenger vehicles,” AgriLife Extension vehicle safety program manager, College Station, Bev Kellner said.
Texas achieved a nearly 92 percent statewide seat belt use rate in 2016 per Texas Department of Transportation data. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the “Click It or Ticket” initiative in Texas saved 5,068 lives and prevented 86,359 serious injuries since its inception 15 years ago. It also saved more than $19.3 billion in related economic costs from 2002 to 2016.
“This year, the campaign is focusing on wearing seat belts all the time, especially at night,” Kellner said “Fifty-seven percent of fatal crashes in Texas happen at night. And last year, of all crashes in Texas in which people died and weren’t wearing a seat belt, 62 percent happened at night.”
She said Texas law requires the driver and all passengers in a vehicle to be secured by a seat belt.
“Unbuckled adult drivers and passengers, even those in the back seat, can be fined and face court costs of up to $250,” she said. “Children younger than eight must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4–feet 9-inches.”
Kellner said because this year’s campaign time frame includes Memorial Day weekend — when many people take to the road to enjoy a long weekend — drivers can likely expect to encounter additional law enforcement activity, including seat belt and child restraint checks.
“These officers are not out there just to write tickets; they want to help prevent needless tragedies associated with vehicle crashes.”