Sep

04

Posted by : admin | On : September 4, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

ATHENS – The Chariot bus line is set to start carrying passengers Monday, Sept. 17, with trips from Athens to Tyler, and back, twice a day.

The buses will leave from Athens Central Transfer (Heritage Square) at 6 a.m. and 11 a.m., making stops in Murchison, Brownsboro, Chandler, and Tyler Pounds Field Airport (on request) along the way before hitting the Tyler Central Bus Transfer. The buses will also go through the hospital district, using Tyler Transit bus stops.

The process will reverse, with the buses taking the same route from Tyler to Athens at 1 p.m. and 5:40 p.m.

Cost is $5 per trip, although there are weekly and monthly rates available. Call 877-776-4335 for more details.

The best part of this business might be, well, that it isn’t really a business. It is a non-profit church outreach.

“The heart of it is as a ministry, not as a bus line,” said Helen Thornton, who is the vice chairman of the East Texas Transportation and Steering Committee (EasTexConnects) and one of the bus line’s founders.

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Aug

31

Posted by : admin | On : August 31, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

ATHENS — When Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders filed his proposed budget for 2013 last month, he cut nearly half a million dollars in spending.
Turns out, it wasn’t enough.

Increased costs and declining revenue have the county discarding the knife and picking up a chainsaw to cut the budget. Now positions are being eliminated and some people are losing their jobs.

“I want the public to know that this has not been a short session, we have had multiple, multiple workshops,” said County Judge Richard Sanders. “This is serious business. Any time you cut employees it is serious business.

Commissioners’ Court continued the budget process this week, meeting with department heads and combing through pages and pages worth of numbers. Commissioners will likely being doing that right up until Tuesday, Sept. 18.

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Aug

24

Posted by : admin | On : August 24, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

ATHENS — Don’t strike that match, there’s still a burn ban in Henderson County.

Henderson County Commissioners’ Court extended the current burn ban another 14 days Tuesday morning. The move came at the recommendation of Fire Marshal Darrell Furrh, who said the county’s Keetch-Byram Drought Index average score is 613, despite recent rains.

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Aug

17

Posted by : Staff Reports | On : August 17, 2012

From Staff Reports

EUSTACE — The City of Eustace reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services a single case of West Nile Virus this week. The case was initially reported on Monday. The person did not require medical treatment at the time of the report, according to a city press release.

According to state sources, the case marks the first to be reported in Henderson County in 2012.

“Eighty percent of people with West Nile virus show no symptoms. However, in a small percentage (less than 1 percent), symptoms can become severe. We are asking everyone to be diligent in containing the spread of this virus in the area,” said Mayor Elicia Sanders. 

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Apr

28

Posted by : admin | On : April 28, 2012

 

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

ATHENS — When the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed paperwork with the county last week to display an atheist banner on the Courthouse lawn in December, one of the questions percolating behind the scenes was: “Does it have to be this banner?”

The question wasn’t officially asked out loud; it wasn’t broached during the commissioners’ meeting, at least not yet. But the whispers were there.

The proposed banner reads: “At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth & superstition that hardens hearts & enslaves minds.”

The FFRF has many different banners, however, including one that simply reads: “Reasons Greetings.”

FFRF attorney Charles Caperton admitted after last week’s meeting to at least hearing the question, but said

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Apr

05

Posted by : admin | On : April 5, 2012

The World Guy (Erik Bendl) poses for a photo with Gun Barrel City business woman Lulu Groom Thursday afternoon on Loop 7 in Athens. Bendl is walking across the state to raise awareness about diabetes. (Michael V. Hannigan Photo)

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

ATHENS — Erik Bendl walks with The World, The Dog, and The Stick.

And he walks … and walks … and walks.

Better known as “The World Guy,” Bendl walks across the country with his Blackmouth Cur mix named Nice and an inflated 6-foot ball painted like a globe, which he steers with his walking stick.

In the past seven years he has been on six long walks that have taken him through 34 states and more than 4,500 miles. His current walk started in Seminole, Alabama and included Mississippi, Louisiana and now Texas. He made his way through Athens on Thursday, April 5, just two days after his 50th birthday.

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Mar

30

Posted by : admin | On : March 30, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

ATHENS — It took a couple of weeks longer then expected, but Henderson County commissioners approved a premises use policy this week to “clarify and memorialize” the way county property is used.

The policy covers rules for using county property for rallies or demonstrations, including when to apply for a permit and the need for insurance, and for establishing public displays, decorations or monuments.

The approval came without much discussion on Tuesday, but when the policy was

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Mar

29

Posted by : admin | On : March 29, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

The man who filed a complaint with the state against Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders in connection with the continuing nativity scene controversy has changed his mind.

San Antonio atheist Patrick Greene filed a complaint with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct earlier this month, saying, “By refusing to take a neutral position in a sectarian issue, and to fail to publicly chastise Commissioner Hall in his comments as a standing county commissioner, which stated that ‘This is a Christian nation,’ Judge Sanders violated the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.”

This week, however, Greene sent a letter to Commission Chairman Tom Cunningham, writing, “I hereby request that you drop my complaint against Henderson County District Judge Richard Sanders. After due deliberation

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Mar

23

Posted by : admin | On : March 23, 2012

From Staff Reports

Twisted Branch Aussie Ranch in Caney City has joined other animal welfare organizations in the area that list their homeless pets on Petfinder.com. The site currently has more than 359,000 homeless pets listed, and it is updated continuously.

Twisted Branch is run by Karen and Mark Bowden.

“We rescue dogs from high kill animal shelters, from neglectful

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Mar

22

Posted by : admin | On : March 22, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

The History Channel is bringing back what it calls the first extreme sport: jousting. And PRCA World Champion Steer Wrestler and form

er Henderson County resident Rope Myers is right in the middle of the action.

Myers is one of 16 competitors on The History Channel’s Full Metal Jousting, a television series currently airing Sunday nights at 9.
“But this is no Renaissance fair as the toughest riders in the nation face off in a bone-crushing competition for big money,” reads the description on the series website. “It’s as intense as it was 500 years ago, but with a twist: Traditional armor is replaced by modern suits of steel, while action is captured by high-speed cameras.”

The hits are big, delivered with wooden lances while wearing 80 pounds of armor and riding a horse 20 mph.

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