Mar

30

Posted by : admin | On : March 30, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

TOOL — The Malakoff ISD school board officially moved forward this week to request a delay in the so-called STARR 15-percent rule.
The action came during Monday’s regular board meeting held at the Tool Elementary School.

“I have felt all along that the 15 percent rule was unfair to our ninth graders,” MISD Superintendent Randy Perry told school board members in February, when the issue was first addressed. “They are the guinea pigs in this new system.”

The rule requires the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course tests to count as 15 percent of a student’s final grade.

The STAAR is replacing the TAKS. According to the Texas Education Agency: “The STAAR program at grades 3–8 will assess the same subjects and grades that are currently assessed on TAKS. At high school, however, grade-specific assessments will be replaced with 12 end-of-course assessments: Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, biology, chemistry, physics, English I, English II, English III, world geography, world history, and U.S. history.”

As things were, Perry said, 15 percent of a freshman’s end-of-course grade would have been based on a test no educator has actually seen.
“(The student’s) GPA and class rank could be adversely affected for their entire high school career,” he said. “Some of these ninth graders may fail the new test and lose credit, even if they passed in the classroom for the year.”

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) gave school districts the option of delaying the rule one year in February.

In a statement following the announcement, Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott said the move came “after receiving input from parents, educators and State Board of Education members, as well as … clarification from state leaders.”

“I remain committed to rigorous public school accountability,” Scott said. “The new assessment system will be better for students and educators.”

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

16

Posted by : admin | On : March 16, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan

ATHENS – From the smallest voter box to the biggest Congressional district, lawyers and politicians and judges have been fiddling with and adjusting the boundaries of political subdivisions in Texas since the House Committee on Redistricting met on March 1, 2011. And despite the fact that May 29 primary elections are on the schedule, redistricting will continue to be a bone of contention for months to come.

Just consider Henderson County. Commissioners this week had to split off part of a Malakoff voter box in Precinct 1 and send it to Cross Roads.

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Mar

16

Posted by : Press release | On : March 16, 2012

From Staff Reports

Republican and Democratic parties in Henderson County have drawn positions for placement on the ballot for the Primary Election to be held May 29.

Candidate filing for county, state and national offices ended March 9.

The most widely contested race in Henderson County is Precinct 1 Commissioner,

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Mar

05

Posted by : Press release | On : March 5, 2012

PRESS RELEASE

February 28, 2012

R. Scott McKee, District Attorney, reports the January Term, 2012, Grand Jury met on
February 23, 2012 and February 24, 2012 and returned _ 109 _ True Bills, including the following:

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Mar

02

Posted by : admin | On : March 2, 2012

 

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

Henderson County Elections Administrator Denise Hernandez might finally have a date for primary elections.

Just don’t expect pulling it together to be easy.

After months of wrangling, a federal court in San Antonio released interim redistricting maps Tuesday, a move which increase the chances the state will see primary elections on May 29. Obstacles remain and the maps could still be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but officials are optimistic.

“While we believe the original maps drawn by the Texas Legislature were fair and legal,

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Mar

01

Posted by : admin | On : March 1, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

In what could be his final action in the Henderson County nativity scene controversy, San Antonio atheist Patrick Greene filed a complaint this week to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct against County Judge Richard Sanders.

Greene stepped into the county’s ongoing nativity scene debate in February when he wrote all members of Commissioners’ Court, threatening a lawsuit if the display is not moved to private property.

Greene, who has a long history of church-state lawsuits, told The Malakoff News he was becoming involved “to show that Christianity does not rule my state of Texas, the Constitution does. Christianity is only one of the many faiths represented in this state.”

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Mar

01

Posted by : admin | On : March 1, 2012

(UPDATE: Please see update at end of story.)

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

It appears that San Antonio atheist Patrick Greene may be leaving the Henderson County nativity scene controversy as quickly as he entered.

Greene revealed this weekend that he believes he has a detached retina, which he expects will leave him blind in the very near future.
In early February, Greene emailed several county officials promising to sue Henderson County if the traditional nativity scene is displayed on the courthouse lawn this Christmas. But because of his health, he has decided to back away from his threat to sue.

“There is no way for me to go up there if I’m blind,” he said.

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Feb

24

Posted by : admin | On : February 24, 2012

It might be time to pen all those hogs, sheep and goats in Henderson County.

Tuesday, Commissioners’ Court committed to an election to prohibit the free range of the animals in the county.

Currently, the county is an open range for those animals, which means if your neighbor’s goats come over and eat your garden, it’s your fault for not fencing them out.

Officials say the county closed the range — required livestock owners to keep their animals in rather than require property owners to keep them out — to cattle, horses and other animals in the mid 20th century, but did not include hogs, sheep and goats.

“Probably because there weren’t many of those animals in the county back then,” County Attorney Clint Davis told commissioners.

The election will only be open to county freeholders: residents who are registered voters and own real property.

A date for the election will be set at an upcoming Commissioners’ Court meeting.