The News Staff Reports
HENDERSON COUNTY–Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 24 and runs through Friday, Nov. 4. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.
The Presidential election is of course, top of mind for most. Running on the Republican ticket is Donald J. Trump/Mike Pence and the Democratic ticket is Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine. Also running are Libertarians Gary Johnson/William Weld and Green Party candidates Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka.
United States Representative, Dist. 5 comes down to Republican Jeb Hensarling and Libertarian Ken Ashby.
Railroad Commissioner candidates are Republican Wayne Christian, Democrat Grady Yarbrough, Libertarian Mark Miller and Green Party candidate Martina Salinas.
There are several Justices of the Supreme Court elections. In the running for Place 3, is Republican Debra Lehrmann, Democrat Mike Westergren, Libertarian Kathie Glass, and Green Party candidate Rodolfo Rivera Munoz. Place 5 candidates are Republican Paul Green, Democrat Dori Contreras Garza, Libertarian Tom Oxford and Green Party candidate Charles Waterbury. For Place 9, the candidates are Republican Eva Guzman, Democrat Savannah Robinson, Libertarian Don Fulton and Green Party candidate Jim Chisholm.
Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, Place 2 candidates are Republican Mary Lou Keel, Democrat Lawrence “Larry” Meyers, Libertarian Mark Ash and Green Party candidate Adam King Blackwell Reposa. Place 5 candidates are Republican Scott Walker, Democrat Betsy Johnson, Libertarian William Bryan Strange III and Green Party candidate Judith Sanders-Castro. Place 6 candidates are Republican Michael E. Keasler, Democrat Robert Burns and Libertarian Mark W. Bennett.
State Board of Education, District 9 candidates are Republican Keven M. Ellis, Democrat Amanda M. Rudolph and Libertarian Anastasia Wilford.
Malakoff ISD Board of Trustees candidates are Peggy Dewberry, Stephen Burkhalter, Duana Busch, Michael Kent Monroe and Jerry Spiva. Voters may choose up to three of the candidates.
Crossroads ISD Board of Trustee candidates are Shelly Robertson, Darren Himes, William “Russell” Giles, Jr., Dustin Cook, Kevin Hazelip and Shane Stanfield. Voters may choose three candidates
The City of Caney City has a bond election for $191,000 tax bonds for structing and equipping a fire station.
Also on the ballot for some voters in Precincts 1 and 4 is The Henderson County Emergency Services District 11 special election proposition to confirm the creation of the Henderson County Emergency Services District 11 and the levy by the District of a tax not to exceed the rate allowed by the Section 48-e of the Texas Constitution.
See page 3A for polling locations.
Posted by : October 20, 2016| On :
The News Staff Reports
Posted by : September 15, 2016| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF—The Malakoff City Council adopted its 2017 budget and tax rate Monday. The $1,853,000 budget includes adding staff and pay raises, an $87,000 bond payment and increases in the fire and police departments. The council approved a penny increase in the tax rate from 48 cents to 49 cents per $100 property value. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Commenting on the budget, Mayor Pro Tem Tim Trimble said, “We’ve given our employees all the tools they need to get the job done.”
During the same meeting, council members unanimously approved a monetary gift for city employees of $250 each. No reason was given.
Two members of the Malakoff Economic Development Corp, Kasey Jamison and Vincent Bailey Jr. were reappointed for another two-year term. million budget.
During a public hearing on the budget and tax rate, David Hennessee pointed out that the ditch cleaning operations on Martin Street, where he lives has not been effective as now there is standing water where it has not been before, even washing back under the street and power pole. “The water is not flowing as it should,” he said.
City employee Tim Whitley answered that a water study is now underway by engineers to determine how best to correct the issue. Once done, the Texas Department of Transportation is to be brought in to help correct it.
Hennessee also noted that the administration line item went up quite a bit, to which City Administrator Ann Barker said that more personnel was being added.
Another resident asked that a street light be installed on North Lincoln, to which she was answered one is being ordered from TXU and that the paperwork had been sent in.
Also on the agenda were closed sessions with three employees, individually for evaluation; and a session with the city attorney regarding pending litigation touching on the fire department, and non-emergency calls being directed to the Malakoff Police Department.
Posted by : April 21, 2016| On :
Cross Roads, Malakoff and Trinidad ISDs vote in November
Special to The News
TEXAS–Early voting begins Monday, April 25 and continues through May 3, for city councils, school board trustees and water boards.
City of Malakoff candidates for three positions include Kevin Killman, Robert C. Cole, incumbants Vincent Bailey, Jr. and Jerrily Tarver, Pat Isaacson, Rickey Baker, Bubba Matthews. Voting takes place at Malakoff City Hall located at 109 Melton St.
Athens Muncipal Water Authority (AMWA) candidates for three seats include incumbents Donald A.Foster, Stephen R. Sparkman and David Thomas, and Milburn Chaney and Frank Lunceford. Voters may cast their ballots for AMWA candidates at the Henderson County Elections Administration at 201 E. Larkin in Athens.
Cross Roads and Malakoff ISDs will hold elections in November.
The City of Trinidad and Trinidad ISD will conduct November elections also.
Election Day is Saturday, May 7.
Athens ISD’s election has been cancelled due to candidtates running unopposed.
Posted by : March 17, 2016| On :
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 www.hensarling.house.gov.
Posted by : March 3, 2016| On :
Gooden beats Spitzer; McKee new judge, Hillhouse new sheriff
Special to The News
HENDERSON COUNTY–Super Tuesday turned out to be a day of celebration for many politicians running for office.
Former House District 4 State Representative Lance Gooden overtook his seat from incumbent Stuart Spitzer, who defeated Gooden in 2014.
In Henderson County, Gooden won 51.98 percent to Spitzer’s 48.02 percent.
In Kaufman County, Gooden captured 8,346 votes as of Wednesday morning with 30 of the 31 precincts reporting. Spitzer claimed 7,816 votes.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Botie Hillhouse reportedly took 6,817 votes.
Billy Jack Valentine took 49.8 percent with 6,762 votes. Hillhouse will take over when Sheriff Ray Nutt retires after two terms.
Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee won by a landslide with 9,361 votes, defeating his opponent Marianne Warren, who took 3,890 votes.
Henderson County Attorney Clint Davis defeating James Owen, 9,970 to 2,872.
The Precinct 3 County Commissioner had four candidates including Charles “Chuck” McHam, Kevin Head, Mark Tillison and Sammy Scott.
McHam lead with 1,520 votes while Head came in second with 913, Tillison, third with 802 votes, and Sammy Scott, fourth with 456 votes.
McHam and Tillison will face each other in the May 24 runoff election and the winner goes against Democrat Aleciah Joyce Sims in November.
Ken Hayes won the Precinct 1 Commissioner spot against Keith Pryor. Hayes finished with 1,571 votes to Pryor’s 1,344 votes.
Constable races went to Mitch Baker for Precinct 2, John Floyd for Precinct 4 and Brad Miers for Precinct 5. Miers won against Eric Adair1,692 to 985.
Floyd beat Wilford “Wick” Gabbard 1,709 to 1,416. Baker had 72.88 percent of the vote while his opponent Danny C. Howard received only 27.12 percent of the vote.
The November election will determine the winner of the Precinct 1 Constable race with Democrat incumbant Darryl Graham seeking a sixth term against Republican former Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigator and patrol deputy Kay Langford.
Posted by : March 1, 2016| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
HENDERSON COUNTY–Local May 7 elections closed its filing period for write-ins, resulting in a few races for cities and school boards.
Among them are: the Athens Municipal Water Authority in which five candidates have signed up to fill three seats on the board of directors now held by Donald A Foster, Stephen R. Sparkman and David Thomas. The challengers are former county tax assessor/collector Milburn Chaney and Frank Lunceford.
The City of Malakoff has five challengers: Kevin Killman, Ricky Baker, Bubba Matthews, Robert C. Cole and Pat Isaacson, versus incumbents Jerrilyn Tarver and Vincent Bailey, Jr. for three council seats. In Star Harbor a mayor’s race is set between former mayor Walter Bingham and Roy Scruggs. Current Mayor Bobby Howell is not seeking re-election.
The Athens City Council, Athens ISD, Caney City and Eustace will cancel their elections as the right number of candidates have filed for the available seats in each entity.
Serving in Caney City will be incumbents Gwen O’Dell and Travis Lamar Mathews, a third seat will like be filled by appointment.
In Athens, city council members Tress Winn and Joe Whatley are joined by newcomer Ed McCain, who applied to fill the vacated seat of Charles Elliott. Athens ISD trustees Eric Smith and Bob Spears are running unopposed and Renda Garner is to fill Place 6, with the officeholder David Freeman choosing to not seek re-election.
In Eustace, incumbents Chuck Powers, Marlin Chambers, and Adrian Parham will return to seats on the council.
In Log Cabin, incumbent Tom Garrett will be joined by new faces David Campos and Belynda Figueriedo. Also new city secretary Alisa Corn is taking Pat Hayes place, as she retired recently.
Star Harbor will see the uncontested return of David Morris on the council along with former councilman O.R. Perdue for two-year terms.
Other area cities, school districts and water boards conduct elections in November, including the City of Trinidad and Trinidad ISD, along with Malakoff ISD and Cross Roads ISD.
Early voting in local general elections begins April 25 and continues through May 3. The last day to register to vote in this election is April 7.
In a previous May 7 election story, it was reported that Cross Roads was holding an election and named the individuals running. That Cross Roads is a city located near Denton and not the one located near Malakoff.
The News regrets the error.
Posted by : January 29, 2016| On :
Wrong form filed to blame
By Doug Gibbs
TOOL–The transfer of Kemp’s water utility certificate and operations to West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District was denied, utility directors learned Monday.
After months of negotiations and assistance from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) denied the application because it was submitted on the wrong form. Ciardo noted that the State had sent a contractor to assist in filling out the 60-plus page application.
The news came as a disappointment to the board overseeing the progress of the transfer, which included laying water pipe along 10 miles and building and opening a local office in Kemp.
Ciardo expressed frustration about the disapproval, having relied on the state’s representative for guidance. Ciardo said that PUC will be sending a representative to help in filing out the proper forms, but that he had turned the issue over to the District’s attorney to handle due to its complexity, the extensive time required and the importance of getting it done correctly.
Ciardo further informed the board that the City of Kemp would also be sending letters to PUC and TCEQ saying they will transfer all their assets and service area to WCCMUD.
In other business, board members:
• called an election for board members for May 7 and Ciardo as Election Administrator and Kesha Paterson as Early Voting Clerk.
• heard an update on tank replacement at 148 pump station from Engineer Tyler Hendrickson of Velvin & Weeks Engineering.
Posted by : January 7, 2016| On :
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Texas State Representative Stuart Spitzer’s staff will hold ‘mobile office’ hours to meet local constituents regarding issues and concerns with state agencies. Staff will be available at the following times and locations:
Monday, Jan. 11
• 8 a.m. to noon at Chandler Community Center.
• 1-5 p.m. Brownsboro City Hall.
Tuesday, Jan. 12
• 8 a.m. to noon at Gun Barrel City Hall.
• 1-5 p.m. Mabank City Hall.
Thursday, Jan. 14
• 8:30 a.m to noon at Coffee City Community Center.
• 1-4:30 p.m. at Eustace City Hall.
‘Mobile office’ hours are set throughout District 4 in January and February, and will be repeated every quarter or sooner as needed in the local communities.
Community leaders wishing to schedule meetings for constituents should call Robert Shulter at (972) 932-3678.
Posted by : December 30, 2015| On :
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–On Dec. 23 Henderson County Republicans found out their ballot positions for the March 1, 2016 Primary Election ballot.
Drawing names for the ballot position order was retired Tax Assessor Collector Milburn Chaney in Athens.
Appearing on the ballot first for the Henderson County Sheriff’s position is candidate Botie Hillhouse, then Billy Jack Valentine. Current Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt is retiring and not seeking re-election.
Also serving his final term is 392nd District Court Judge Carter Tarrance. On the ballot for his position are first Marianne T. Warren followed by current Henderson County District Attorney R. Scott McKee.
Precinct 3 Commissioner’s order is Kevin Head, Charles “Chuck” McHam, Mark Tillison and Sammy Scott. For Precinct 1 Commissioner, Keith Pryor will appear first, followed by Ken Hayes.
Constable Precinct 2 has Mitch Baker, followed by Danny C. Howard on the ballot. Candidates for Constable Precinct 4 are John Floyd first, then Wilford “Wick” Gabbard and Precinct 5 are Eric Adair followed by current Constable Brad Miers.
The County Attorney order is current County Attorney Clint Davis first, then challenger James Owen.
Current State Representative District 4 Stuart Spitzer will appear first followed by Lance Gooden.
The presidential race order is Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Elizabeth Gray, Marco Rubio, Donald J. Trump, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, John R. Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson.
Posted by : November 25, 2015| On :
Payments due by January 1, 2016
Special to The News
ATHENS–Henderson County tax statements have been mailed out, according to Henderson County Tax Assessor Collector’s office Cindy Edwards.
More than 65,000 statements were posted with payments due by the end of January.
Although the bill comes from the county tax office, each statement may include a fee from more than two dozen entities from which the tax office collects. Some of them will be on all the statements, while others, such as school districts and emergency services districts, will only show up on a portion of the bill.
For a taxpayer living in the city of Athens, seven taxing entities are listed on the bill in alphabetical order. The Athens Independent School District appears first on the bill along with those accounts for the largest amount of the total tax owed. The AISD tax rate is $1.19647 per $100 property valuation.
Homeowners received an increase in their homestead tax exemption, following the Texas Constitution Amendment Election, Nov. 3. That exemption jumped from $15,000 to $25,000. The first $25,000 of property valuation is free and clear of property tax evaluation.
The City of Athens also assesses a property tax. The rate this year is 65.4140 cents per $100 valuation. That’s followed on the statement by the Athens Municipal Water Authority. AMWA’s tax rate of 11.9729 cents per $100 valuation.
The next few slots on the statement deal with taxes imposed by the county government.
Henderson County’s tax rate for 2015 is 47.79840 cents. This is to pay the county’s general fund expenses and debt service.
Also, on the statement is the county road and bridge tax of 41.490 cents, which generates funds for the precincts to use for services such as road repairs.
Trinity Valley Community College and emergency service districts also have their tax rates collected by the Henderson County Tax Office on their behalf.