Posted by : admin | On : March 17, 2016

Special to The News
WASHINGTON – Staff from U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling’s office will meet constituents from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Malakoff City Hall Council Chambers to provide assistance with federal agencies.
“Dealing with federal agencies can be an intimidating experience. I want my constituents to know that my staff and I stand ready to help. I hope that you will let my office assist you in your dealings with federal agencies or bureaucracies,” Hensarling said.
Providing outstanding constituent service is a priority of Hensarling, and this meeting provides an additional opportunity for constituents with questions or concerns to bring those to his attention.
District offices located in Dallas and Athens are always open for constituents to visit, as well as mail, fax, email or call for assistance.
“This is an opportunity that allows 5th District constituents to have a face-to-face discussion with my staff and to make it more convenient for Henderson County residents to get help.” Hensarling added.
All constituents with questions or concerns regarding immigration, passports, IRS, Medicare, the military, Social Security, USDA, Veterans Affairs, or other federal issues are welcome to attend and will be assisted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For more information, call Hensarling’s office at (903) 675-8288 or go to



Posted by : admin | On : February 25, 2016

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Stacie Parson’s defense attorneys are seeking to toss out the alleged statements she made after walking in to the Athens Police Department. According to court records, Parsons told three police officers she killed her 4-year-old daughter before being read the Miranda Rights by APD Detective Sgt. Don Yarbrough.
A hearing was held in the 173rd District Court Feb. 19 to hear evidence presented by the state and Parson’s attorney.
APD Lt. Jeremy Hugghins stated Parsons was not given a Miranda warning, because the crime had not been verified.
Yarbrough stated Parsons waived her rights, signing a waiver to such, and did not request to speak with an attorney.
Defense attorneys say Parsons, at the time she confessed, was not fully aware of the consequences of such admissions.
Parsons admitted to being mad at her husband regarding his drug use, threatening to kill their daughter, Victoria.
The child’s body was found in the trunk of a car located in Athens on Martin Luther King Street.
Parsons is being held on a $6 million bond for capital murder in the Henderson County Jail and is set to attend a pre-trail hearing Thursday, March 3.
Jury selection for Parsons’ trial may begin as early as April 14.



Posted by : admin | On : February 25, 2016

Hornets win playoff

Courtesy photo
The Athens Hornets beat Wills Point 68-63 in bi-district basketball playoff game Feb. 23.

By Ryan Moulds
News Staff Writer
LINDALE–The Athens Hornets topped the Wills Point Tigers 68-63 in their Feb. 23 playoff game.
Athens started out fast and played tough agressive defense. They jumped out to a 11-2 lead and forced Wills Point into a timeout. The Tigers chipped away at the Athens lead and eventually took a 21-18 lead on a 3-pointer by Doug Sheldon.
Both teams went back and fourth in the second quarter with neither squad able to keep much of a run going. Athens had a 39-37 lead at halftime.
Things went back and fourth in the second half with Athens holding a slim lead the entire way. The Hornets began to stall their possessions down the court and burned as much time as possible.
Wills Point called a timeout with under three minutes left down 60-57. After the timeout Athens went on a 9-0 run to put the game away.
Miles Koehler led Athens in scoring with 19 points. Travon Fuller scored 18 points and Gary Lyons had 12.
The win improves Athens to 17-12. They move on to the second round of the playoffs where they will play Paris North Lamar-Gilmer contest Friday (today) in Corsicana.
Wills Point ends the season 10-21.



Posted by : admin | On : February 18, 2016

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The City of Athens is making the bricks from the old Henderson County Memorial Hospital available to the public free of charge from 8 a.m. to noon Friday (today) Feb. 19, and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday Feb. 20 at the City of Athens Community Collection Site located at 500 Aaron St.



Posted by : admin | On : February 4, 2016


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



Posted by : admin | On : January 21, 2016


The News Reports
ATHENS–Athens Police Department arrested Michael Keith Duke, 19, Jan. 15 for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a prohibited substance in a correctional facility and five Athens Municipal Court warrants.
APD says Corporal William Carlow conducted a traffic stop on a pick up truck for an expired license plate around 10:45 a.m. Jan. 15 in the 700 block of East Corsicana Street. During a routine check, it was discovered Duke was wanted on several local warrants.
Carlow arrested Duke and during a vehicle search, found two stolen rifles.
Duke was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and was transported to the Henderson County Justice Center.
During booking, Duke was found to be in possession of a clear baggie containing a substance suspected to be marijuana.
He remains in custody on bonds totaling $20,000.



Posted by : admin | On : July 14, 2015

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff

ATHENS–County Commissioners called an election Nov. 3 to create Emergency Services District No. 10 in the Eustace area. Seven ESDs currently serve Henderson County. Emergency Service District spots eight and nine are not available because they are designated to Murchison and Baxter after unsuccessful propositions.
Commissioners also accepted a payment from Oncor Electric Delivery for damage done during power line construction in Precinct 4.

The payment of $35,634.40 was issued after heavy equipment operated by Oncor destroyed portions of the roadway on County Road 4910. In April and May. Precinct. 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin said he applied for the funds and county negotiated with Oncor for the settlement.

“We had several discussions with Oncor because of heavy equipment on all of the roads, ” Geeslin said. “That portion was destroyed, as well as three culverts being crushed.”

The $35,634.40 will cover the cost of material and asphalt to resurface the road. The precinct will do patch work and culvert repair until the fall, when Oncor has completed its construction activities.
Commissioners Court also voted on Tuesday to pay bills in the amount of $168,185.90.



Posted by : admin | On : March 9, 2015

Athens Cemetery-Bob McDonald

The News Photo/Pearl Cantrell
U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (right) thanks Bob McDonald for his contributions to historical preservation and service to the people of Henderson County with a Congressional Resolution during the Memorial Day 2013 dedication of the Veterans Memorial at the Athens Cemetery. McDonald was the moving force behind the cemetery memorial, as well as the Memorial Wall at the East Texas Arboretum. McDonald died last week.

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff

ATHENS–Though relatively few know his name, Bob McDonald leaves a legacy which will impact visitors and Henderson County residents alike for many, many years to come.
The kiosk he designed to assist those looking for the gravesites of relatives and loved ones at the Athens Cemetery is invaluable.

His planning and direction of the Veterans Memorial, both at the cemetery and the East Texas Arboretum stands as a testament to sacrifice and service, of which McDonald himself participated in during the Korean War.
“The work of his hands and heart are seen everywhere you look,” East Texas Arboretum & Botanical Society executive director Teresa Glasgow said.

He also served on the board of Trinity Valley Community College, the Athens Historical Preservation, Inc., Keep Athens Beautiful and a handful of other civic committees.

A public celebration of his life is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 17 at the Athens Cemetery.
“We are going to miss him in a lot of ways,” co-volunteer and businessman Steve Grant said of his passing.
“It wasn’t just his wisdom and knowledge, he had a heart of gold,” Grant explained. “He wanted to make things better in everything he did. No job was too big or too small; he put a lot of thought into everything he did.”
McDonald succumbed to cancer at the age of 86. He was born Jan. 24, 1929 and died Feb. 27, 2015.

Glasgow pointed to the 20 hours a week he consistently invested at the East Texas Arboretum. He likely put in similar hours at the cemetery on its maintenance and seeing the many improvements over the past 15 years.
At the dedication of the Veterans Memorial Wall at the cemetery on Memorial Day, 2013, state and national elected officials presented resolutions passed by Congress and the State House, citing his service to better the Athens community through historical preservation.

One of the last projects he designed and directed was the construction of the cemetery’s columbarium.
His love for life, the outdoors and veterans grew from his own military service with the storied 2nd Armored Division as a 1st Lieutenant in the Army, during the Korean War.

His practical, logical thinking was groomed by Texas A&M University as a mechanical engineer, who went on to design and build oil, gas and chemical processing plants and offshore structures.
He retired in 1988, and he and wife Leta returned to their hometown of Athens to live on land belonging to the McDonalds for 150 years. The couple reared two sons: Glenn and Mark.

After a brief respite, his second career began, as he poured his energies, heart and mind into his interests as a volunteer.

A matching grant of up to $50,000 has been set aside to form an endowment in Bob McDonald’s name for the East Texas Arboretum & Botanical Society. To donate go to



Posted by : admin | On : March 9, 2015

The News Staff

ATHENS–There will be no elections in Athens this May due to a lack of opposition.
At Athens Independent School District, Board President Rob Risko drew no opposition for Place 3. In Place 4, incumbent Ginger Kirk will not run again. Former board member Jennifer Mahmoud filed for that seat without competition.

At the City of Athens, Mayor Jerry Don Vaught and incumbent councilman Monte Montgomery are both unopposed. Because they are the lone candidates filing for their respective seats for any of the seats, there wilelection.
Malakoff ISD asks voters to approve the issue of $3M in bonds to improve facilities at Tiger Stadium, replace air conditioning units, improve security and purchase new buses – all without raising the tax rate.

The deadline for candidates to sign up for the May 9 Local Election with their prospective cities or school districts was Feb. 27.

Those taxing entities which are cancelling their elections due to unopposed candidates include: Kemp, Log Cabin, and Seven Points, along with school districts in Eustace and Mabank.

The City of Payne Springs is holding a Special Election May 9 to ask voters to renew a quarter percent sales tax dedicated to road repair.

Voters approved the road dedication proposal four years ago and it’s time to reinstate that policy for another four years or let it expire.

City officials report the quarter percent tacked onto purchases made at businesses in the city yeilds about $1,000 in additional funding, monthly.

The city had asked the county to include this item on the November, 2014 ballot, when the city usually holds its city elections; however, the request had been overlooked.

“This is the last opportunity to have it on the ballot,” City Secretary Karen Juica explained. Last time, this proposition only passed by one vote, she added. “This is not a property tax, but a portion of the sales tax,” Juica clarified.

The early voting, along with Election Day polling will be held at the city hall, located at 19601 CR 2529.
In Log Cabin, Judy Bearden will be installed as mayor, taking Larry Nolan’s place, who signed up for a seat on the council. New office holder Jennifer Williams will fill the second open seat, while Jerry Bearden, the brother of James Bearden – who passed away – will fill the unexpired term on the council.

At Eustace ISD, four places came up for renewal. Those seats are being filled with Bobby Karl Ashton, Billy ‘Cotton’ Walker, Steven Bell and James Kirkhart, who was appointed to fill an unexpired term in January.
Entities holding elections in November include Enchanted Oaks, the City of Malakoff, City of Trinidad and Trinidad ISD; East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District and West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District.



Posted by : admin | On : February 5, 2015

Comm Court Comp

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff
ATHENS–After nearly 30 years in operation, the Henderson County Alcohol/Drug Abuse Education Awareness Association is no more.
County Commissioners agreed to disband the once-influential community group after Coordinator Linda Battles told the court a lack of public interest and funding contributed to its shut down Jan. 3.
The Association was originally named the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Task Force when it was created in the 1980s. The name was only changed recently when the sheriff’s office added a drug task force to its law enforcement.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney recalled the Association’s formation and positive impact it had on Henderson County.
“It was a pioneer program,” McKinney said. “When MADD started getting big in the 1980s, the Education Awareness Association took off and was a driving force behind efforts to educate teens and the public about drug and alcohol abuse. Funds started tapering off in the mid-90s when the federal government started funding other similar programs. They became duplicate programs and competitive.”
Battles said that it is in the Henderson County Alcohol/Drug abuse Education Awareness Association bylaws that the Association could only be disband by the Commissioners Court. She also returned a check for $355.69, all unused funding, to the county. Battles said the local Crimestoppers and Teen Court grew out of the efforts of the original task force.
“Originally it was funded by United Way, and Ginger Murchison gave us money,” Battles said. “We were gung ho for about five or six years.”
In other news, Commissioners approved:
• right-of-way permits for the Leagueville Water Supply Corporation to cross County Road 3600 and CR 3613 in Precinct 3;
• a refund of overpaid property taxes requested by the Henderson County Tax Assessor/Collector;
• payment of quarterly state fees in the amount of $132,619.70;
• payment of 2014 bills in the amount of $117,952.43.