Jan

03

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : January 3, 2013

Scotty Thomas taking an oath to serve as a Henderson County Commissioner.

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff

Scotty Thomas accepted his role as Pct. 1 County Commissioner Jan. 1, when he took a nervous, solemn oath at the Henderson County Annex New Years Day.

Thomas admits the big moment was more intimidating than expected, surrounded by friends, family and other elected officials.

“I’ve spoke many times, in front of bigger crowds, but one is different,” he said after taking the oath.

Joining Thomas by taking their own oaths of office were Pct. 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence, Fire Marshal Darrell Furrh, and Pct. 3 Constable David Grubbs.

Grubbs’ public oath nearly didn’t happen, as a communication error resulted in him arriving just as Judge Richard Sanders wrapped up the ceremony.

This however, didn’t stop Grubbs. After a few minutes he settled into the front of the room with Sanders and was sworn in properly.

Nov

06

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : November 6, 2012

Here again are the Henderson County polling places. I posted the 1M sample ballot yesterday, but you can find the sample ballot for your polling place here.

Polling Places:
1A – Seven Points City Hall
1CR – Willow Springs Baptist Church
1CR-CRISD – Willow Springs Baptist Church
1CR-MISD – Willow Springs Baptist Church
1M – Malakoff City Hall
1M-MISD – Malakoff City Hall
1M-Malakoff – Malakoff City Hall
1M-CRISD – Malakoff City Hall
1MN – Caney City–City Hall
1MN-MISD – Caney City-City Hall
1T – Trinidad Community Center
1T-MISD – Trinidad Community Center
1T-LOP – Trinidad Community Center
1T-MISD-LOP – Trinidad Community Center
1TC – Oran White Civic Center
1TC-MISD – Oran White Civic Center
1TC- TOOL – Oran White Civic Center
1TC-MISD/City – Oran White Civic Center
2 – United Pentecostal Church
2E – Eustace School
2E-ESD – Eustace School
2GBN – Gun Barrel City Hall
2GBS – St Peters Lutheran Church
2PSN – Payne Springs Community Center
2PSS – Pinnacle Club Fire Station
2PSS-MISD – Pinnacle Club Fire Station
3 – Henderson County Election
3B – Brownsboro Community Center
3B-BISD – Brownsboro Community Center
3C – Chandler Community Center
3C-BISD – Chandler Community Center
3M – Murchison School
3M-MISD – Murchison School
3M-BISD – Murchison School
3M-BISD/City – Murchison School
3M-Murchison – Murchison School
3N – Bethel Christian Church
3N-BISD – Bethel Christian Church
3N-MISD – Bethel Christian Church
3WS-BISD – Westside Volunteer Fire Dept.
4 – Athens First Baptist ROC
4A – Athens First Baptist ROC
4BV – Berryville Community Center
4CC – Coffee City-City Hall
4CC-City – Coffee City-City Hall
4CC-BISD – Coffee City-City Hall
4CC-BISD/City – Coffee City-City Hall
4MS – Moore Station Community Center
4MS-BISD – Moore Station Community Center
4NYL – New York Community Center
4NYL-BISD – New York Community Center
4PF – Poynor Community Center
4SE – Faith Fellowship Church
4SE-BISD – Faith Fellowship Church
4W – Shady Oaks Baptist Church
4W-CRISD – Shady Oaks Church

Oct

25

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : October 25, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan, The News Staff

ATHENS — A decision has been made.

Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders told the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) on Wednesday that its request to place a banner on the Courthouse Square has been denied.

The decision came as The News was going to press, so details were limited.

“Henderson County’s decision to deny our permit is appalling,” FFRF Co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor told The News Wednesday. “County officials have continually given FFRF the run-around in an attempt to stonewall our application which they had no intention of approving. Using government power to promote religion and hinder criticism of religion is tyrannical, and is precisely what our secular Constitution prohibits.”

The FFRF is the Wisconsin-based organization that demanded the county remove a nativity scene from the Christmas decorations on the courthouse lawn last December. Later, the foundation shifted its focus from removing the nativity to allowing one of its banners.

READ THE REST OF THE STORY IN OUR ONLINE EDITION.

Oct

15

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : October 15, 2012

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff

The Malakoff City Council agreed to amend a city ordinance Monday, Oct. 8, effectively increasing how much residents will pay for their water and sewer bill.

The move increases minimums $1.25 per month for residential water and $2.58 per month for sewer, making the total for these utilities $27 for water and $17 for sewer.

The additional charges per $1,000 gallons will not be changing.

The city was told it was not charging enough for water and sewer back in April, following a rate study by a non-profit group.

Harold Hunter of Community Resource Group, Inc. told the council that at the current rates, the water and sewer fund would be running at a loss in the coming year.

“You are not going to generate enough revenue to cover your costs,” Hunter said at that time.

READ THE REST OF THE STORY IN OUR ONLINE EDITION.

Oct

12

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : October 12, 2012

Family Peace Project Executive Director Marlena Taylor stands by the Clothesline Project just before the start of the Domestic Abuse Awareness Month proclamation signing Tuesday, Oct. 9. The Clothesline Project is a collection of T-shirts designed and created by victims of violence and the loved ones of victims. The shirts help give a voice to those affected most by abuse and assault.

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

ATHENS – Donna Johnson started out the 2013 Domestic Violence Awareness proclamation signing ceremony Tuesday afternoon with a simple request: “I want everyone here, if they themselves or a family member have been affected by family violence, to please raise your hands and keep your hands raised.”

The East Texas Crisis Center Director of Outreach then asked for anyone who had a friend, or associate at work affected by domestic violence to do the same thing. Then she asked for anyone who knew someone who had been affected by domestic violence to do the same thing.

By that time, it looked like every one of the nearly 100 gathered on the courthouse lawn had a hand raised.

“Domestic violence in Henderson County is so prevalent,” she said.

October is about becoming aware of the dangers of domestic violence and the resources available in the community for victims.

TO READ MORE OF THE STORY, SEE OUR ONLINE EDITION.

Oct

11

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : October 11, 2012

State Sen. Robert Nichols met yesterday with school superintendents from Cherokee, Anderson and Henderson counties to talk about education issues and the upcoming Legislative Session. I’m working on a story for next week, but two quick things I noticed: It looks like the meeting took place in Athens, and in the above photo distributed by the senator’s office, that’s Cross Roads ISD Superintendent Clay Tompkins (left) sitting next to Nichols.

– Michael V. Hannigan

Sep

21

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : September 21, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

ATHENS — Henderson County Commissioners’ Court approved the 2013 budget and tax rate Tuesday morning.
The tax rate remains the same at .472658 per $100 valuation.

The budget was set at about $33.7 million, which County Judge Richard Sanders said was around $1 million less than last year. These numbers do not include grants the county has received in the past, or expects to receive again in 2013.

“We did come up with a budget that did not increase taxes. I think that is very important in this day and time, with all the people who are hurting trying to make ends meet,” Sanders said.

READ MORE IN OUR ONLINE EDITION.

Sep

11

Posted by : Press release | On : September 11, 2012

Congressman Jeb Hensarling issued the following statement today in recognition of the 11th anniversary of the al Qaeda terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.

“It’s hard to believe 11 years have already passed since our country was attacked and our world was changed forever on that grave September morning. On 9/11, an unthinkable act of evil struck our nerve but it never came close to breaking our spirit. Instead of letting terror bring us to our knees, our nation stood tall and responded and rebounded in a way that has reminded the world that no adversary is too strong or severe to be overcome and defeated by the United States of America.

“No matter how much time passes or how many years go by, we will never forget the lives we lost or the families who still mourn them and miss them dearly. We must also remember the timeless axiom that all which is necessary for evil to prevail is for the good to do nothing. After all, it was 11 years ago today that the war against terrorism was begun in the sky above Pennsylvania by brave patriots who chose to fight back. When our military was called to action to defend our liberty, the men and women in uniform followed in the footsteps of those passengers and generations of warriors before them as they fought – and continue to fight – to defend freedom, bring evil to justice, and protect the land we call home.

“On this solemn anniversary, I join the American people in prayer as we pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 Americans taken from us in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, as well as those who have given their lives since 9/11 in defense of our homeland and our cherished freedom. Their sacrifices continue to inspire a grateful nation every day as we continue the fight for a safer and freer world for our children and grandchildren.”

Aug

31

Posted by : Erik Walsh | 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.

READ MORE IN OUR ONLINE EDITION

Aug

24

Posted by : Erik Walsh | 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.

READ THE REST OF THE STORY IN THE ONLINE EDITION.