Jun

22

Posted by : admin | On : June 22, 2017

Andrew Page

Special to The News
ATHENS–A 36-year-old suspected drug dealer riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the road was arrested this weekend in a subdivision just south of Chandler.
Andrew Allen Page was stopped by Deputy Jacob Sumrall Saturday for traveling southbound on Sunrise Dive in the Sunrise Shores subdivision. He was found to be in possession of a substantial amount of suspected methamphetamine and several clear plastic bags commonly used is the distribution of the illegal drug.
“Our deputies are constantly on the look out for anything out of the ordinary,” Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said. “This suspect was going the wrong way, acting nervous and had trouble communicating with the deputy.”
Page was carrying more than 5 grams of the contraband.
“This is part of our concerted campaign against drugs in Henderson County,” Hillhouse said. “Hopefully, this arrest takes us to an even bigger supplier in the criminal drug chain that we are systematically breaking here.”
Page was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. He is currently being held on a $30,000 bail.

Jun

22

Posted by : admin | On : June 22, 2017

City of Malakoff Mayor Delois Pagitt (right) takes the oath of office.

City of Malakoff Mayor Delois Pagitt (right) takes the oath of office.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff City Council met June 12 to deal with the results of the May 6 general election. The election left the City Council with no changes as Jeanette King and Tim Trimble were sworn in as council members and Mayor Delois Pagitt was once again sworn in as mayor. Tim Trimble was also re-elected as Mayor Pro-Tem by his fellow council members. The time and date of regular council meetings also remains unchanged.
Auditor Frank Steele of Anderson, Marx & Bohl and P.C. regarding the city’s audit report for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2016. The auditor stated the city has $1,060,000 in cash and certificates of deposit and commended the council for their fiscal responsibility as they had spent approximately $100,000 less than budgeted.
The council adopted a resolution authorizing the continued participation with the ATMOS Cities Steering Committee to fund regulatory and activities related to ATMOS Energy Corporation.
The council convened into executive session before item 6 on the agenda which was to hear reports and updates from City of Malakoff Fire Chief Eddie Muehlstein requesting a maintenance fund, permission to destroy inventory or removal of property, permission to hold an open house on June 24 and recommendation of appointments of Officers and personnel. Chief Muehlstein was invited into the executive session.
When the council reconvened back into the regular session, permision was granted to donate some items including a used television. No action was taken on the other items.

Jun

15

Posted by : admin | On : June 15, 2017

Caption for photo: Blas Caroprese, physicist; Davana Eaton, clinic manager; Dr. Bruce Ellerin, radiation oncologist; Brandi Jones, RN; Irene Sanchez, radiation therapist and Pushkar Desai, physicist, are ready to start treating patients with the new linear accelerator unveiled this week at the ETMC Cancer Institute in Athens.

Caption for photo:
Blas Caroprese, physicist; Davana Eaton, clinic manager; Dr. Bruce Ellerin, radiation oncologist; Brandi Jones, RN; Irene Sanchez, radiation therapist and Pushkar Desai, physicist, are ready to start treating patients with the new linear accelerator unveiled this week at the ETMC Cancer Institute in Athens.


Special to The News
ATHENS–The East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) Cancer Institute in Athens unveiled new state-of-the-art radiation technology, the Elekta Infinity linear accelerator, to treat cancer patients.
“One benefit of this new accelerator is shorter treatment times,” said Board-certified Radiation Oncologist Dr. Bruce Ellerin. “Shorter treatment times improve patient comfort, but also reduce inaccuracies resulting from patient movement during treatment delivery. A conventional intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) takes around 19 minutes, but with the Elekta treatment time ranges from two to five minutes.”
The Elekta Infinity also delivers precision dose conformance with ultra-low doses of radiation making it safer for the patient. In addition, the Elekta gives more flexibility to control the treatment parameters, while the beam is on and rotating, to optimize the dose around a tumor and better spare healthy issue.
“The new accelerator is better for patient positioning, which is important where high precision is necessary for certain procedures,” said Ellerin. “The machine is capable of producing three different high energy X-ray beams. This helps with planning and calculation for each patient’s procedure to correctly deliver the right amount of treatment.”
The Elekta Infinity accelerator is capable of advanced treatment, such as rotational IMRT and some stereotactic body radiation therapy, which previously were not available in Athens.
ETMC began offering cancer services in Tyler in 1982, and acquired what became the ETMC Cancer Institute in Athens in 2009. The 9,600-square-foot facility employs a full clinical staff.
Radiation therapy provides techniques for destroying abnormal cells. In many instances, radiation therapy is the single best method for the treatment and cure of cancer. Radiation therapy may also be combined with surgery and/or chemotherapy to cure or control the disease. In other cases, radiation therapy can be used as a supportive measure to reduce discomfort, bleeding or pain.
More than 21,000 cancer patients have been treated at the ETMC Cancer Institute by an expert team of health specialists, including physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, nurses and other support personnel. The team is led by the radiation oncologist, a physician who specializes in the treatment of cancer with radiation. This specialist decides what type of radiation therapy is best, plans the treatments and carefully monitors each patient.

Jun

15

Posted by : admin | On : June 15, 2017

worked up photos mugshots Clifford Miller

worked up photos
mugshots
Clifford Miller


The News Staff Reports
ATHENS—Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse reports five men arrested for meth possession last week. Although unrelated, Hillhouse says the ambitious attack on the illegal drug trade is producing results.
“We are breaking the links of the drug chain here,” he said. “Often, we get the drug users, which leads us to the dealers and to the suppliers.”
Clifford Keith Miller, 55, was arrested at a residence outside Athens on U.S. 175 West with a substantial amount of meth, along with drug paraphernalia and marijuana.
His case began with the execution of a search warrant early June 7 that turned up the contraband at the scene during an unrelated investigation. Narcotics investigators were called in to assist. Miller faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
During that Wednesday, two men were taken in from a traffic stop at the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 1615 and County Road 4511. A search of the vehicle found that both men were in possession of suspected methamphetamines. The driver, Russell Allen Stogner, 27, was also without a valid driver’s license, and received an additional charge. His passenger was Lonnie Lee Fender, 32. The drug possession charge for both men carries a penalty of up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
A fugitive was located at a storage complex in Malakoff that same day. Phillip Maddox was wanted on an outstanding felony theft warrant and felony firearm possession charge. Deric Young was with Maddox at the time and he was found to have a small amount of a controlled substance and marijuana, along with outstanding arrest warrants out of Seven Points.
Early Thursday, June 8, a traffic stop on CR 4528 found Jeffrey Ryan Anding, 29, with suspected meth. He could be convicted of a state jail felony as well.
“A year ago when I took office, I made it clear we would not tolerate drugs in any amount by anyone in this county,” Hillhouse said. ‘From the commanders to the investigators to the deputies on patrol day and night, we are cracking down on both dealers and users of this poison,” he said. “Henderson County is becoming known as the place where drugs are very unwelcome.”

Jun

08

Posted by : admin | On : June 8, 2017

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Henderson County taxpayers are still paying for the 2007 crimes of Randall Mays after Commissioners approved payment of his capital murder case June 6.
Only Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin opposed the payment, which totaled $21,514.47. This time the expense will go toward a mental evaluation for Mays, who was convicted in May of 2008 for killing Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Paul Habelt and Tony Ogburn.
Geeslin said he is upset the country is still paying for Mays’ crimes and wonders why the county tried to convict him of a capital offense.
Mays was sentenced to death for his crimes and scheduled for execution in March 2015, but the court of appeals delayed the process claiming Mays might not be competent to receive the death penalty. Henderson County picks up the resulting bills for the defense because it is a capital case.
Commissioners also approved the Keep Athens Beautiful and Light Up Athens organizations to decorate the Henderson County Courthouse and lawn this winter.
Dressing up the courthouse with festive lights and decorations is a tradition in Athens, but Commissioners are compelled to go through with the vote each year anyway due to a premise use policy put in place five years ago. According the Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders, the property isn’t a public forum, but individuals or private groups can be contracted to place displays on the property.
In other business, Commissioners approved:
• a payment of $19,000 from Sportsman’s Paradise Property Owners Association for materials to repave 1,200 feet of Mallard Street in Precinct 3;
• a right-of-way permit for the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply Corporation;
• a request for a refund for overpayment of taxes from the Henderson County Tax Assessor/Collector in the amount of $8,586.45;
• payment of regular bills in the amount of $620,047.76.

Jun

01

Posted by : admin | On : June 1, 2017

ATHENS–District Attorney Mark Hall reports that the Henderson County Grand Jury for the January-June term 2017 returned 35 True Bills May 17. In addition, six cases are indicted under seal. They include:
• Kawliger Lee Connelly, 41, Kemp, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance (PCS).
• Cecil Ray Collum, 49, Malakoff, indicted for Bail Jumping and Failure to Appear.
• Walter Edward George, Jr, 49, Mabank, indicted for Assault.
• Jack Roy Thornton, 31, Kemp, indicted for Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements.
• Matthew Wayne Harris, 34, Athens, indicted for two counts of PCS.
• Matthew James Davis Moreland, 18, Athens, indicted for two counts of PCS.
• Ernest Raydell Smalley, 24, Athens, indicted for Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group One (PG1).
• Bruneswick Lakeith Jones, 45, Athens, indicted for PCS.
• James Randolph Sockwell, 36, Athens, indicted for PCS.
• Gary William McCord, 23, Trinidad, indicted for PCS.
• Donald Preston Walsh, JR, 33, Tyler, indicted for Assault.
• Joshua Michael Ochoa, 38, Malakoff, indicted for PCS.
• Jared Isaac Galindo, 31, Gun Barrel City, indicted for Aggravated Assault.
• Amy Lynn Smith, 37, Trinidad, indicted for PCS.
• Ivory Lewis Brown, 70, Athens, indicted for Theft.
• Becky Lynn Kemp, 38, Brownsboro, indicted for PCS.
• Casey Wayne Housewright, 36, Trinidad, indicted for PCS.
• Justin Tyler Beamon, 25, Mabank, indicted for Unlawful Possession of Firearm and Aggravated Assault.
• Joseph Anthony Ask, 34, Athens, indicted for PCS.
• Angelina Francesca McNabb Ferguson, 44, Tyler, indicted for PCS.
• Jesus Salidavar (a.k.a. Armando Zavala), 33, Athens, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention.
• David Wayne Sumrall, 46, Malakoff, indicted for Assault.
• Tray Daniel Walters, 24, Kemp, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention.
• Cynthia Ann Sonoff Hodges, 46, Corsicana, indicted for PCS.
• Maurice Cartez Miller, 38, Athens, indicted for PCS. Callie Lanae Chalk, 25, Kemp, indicted for PCS.
• James Robert Huffaker, 58, Kemp, indicted for PCS.
• Bobbie Renee Carroll, 42, Kemp, indicted for Prohibited Substances and Items in Correctional Facility.
• Travis Brax Davis, 19, Murchison, indicted for Burglary.
• Roger Allen Coleman, Jr, 46, Mabank, indicted for Forgery.
• Javier Castaneda, Jr, 18, Athens, indicted for Burglary.
• Scotty Lemond Barker, 34, Athens, indicted for Burglary of Vehicle.
• Brad Wesley McGuire, 26, Athens, indicted for PCS.
• Christopher Emil Mireles, 33, Tyler, indicted for Aggravated Robbery, Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle, Burglary, three counts and Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle.
• Billy Ray Clark, 48, Athens, indicted for PCS.
• Tray Daniel Walters, 24, Kemp, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention.

Jun

01

Posted by : admin | On : June 1, 2017

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
HENDERSON COUNTY–Just about 30 days after a tornado turned Teresa Melton’s world upside down, what she was able to salvage of her property was burglarized this past Memorial Day weekend – not once, but twice.
She first received news of the break-in while attending her son’s high school graduation. A friend, who has been helping her clear the property of debris sent her a text that the storage building and 40-foot container had been broken into. Sometime on Sunday, her property was hit again.
Melton told The News that she goes to the property on Farm-to-Market 2709, one of the hardest hit by the storms, every day to sort, clean and prep for rebuilding. She had been at the property until 11 a.m. on Friday, but hadn’t returned on Saturday before she got the text message. She and her son, Matthew, a member of the Eustace Boys Cross Country team had spent the morning preparing for his graduation set for 10 a.m. Saturday at the E.L Kirk Gymnasium on the Eustace High School campus.
Matthew’s cap and gown was one of the items that was retrieved unhurt following the April 29 tornado. “We had counted that as a good sign,” Melton said.
She reports a list of items taken, including two zero turn Cub Cadet mowers from Tractor Supply, two chainsaws, two saddles and assorted tack equipment, a 14-foot utility trailer made by FFA students from Montgomery ISD, where her newlywed husband was finishing out the year as the Ag teacher.
Also missing is a quantity of large cooking equipment, two four-wheelers – a Suzuki Quad 750 and a Honda 500, a front loading washer and dryer, unique artwork, including a photograph of a cowboy riding a bucking bronco, and a Canon printer. The computer was destroyed in the tornado.
These items and many others stolen were kept in a 40-foot trucking container, a storage shed and a box trailer all of which were locked.
She and her son have been living in a hotel in Mabank, as the property is uninhabitable, without water hookups and a residential shelter.
When she learned of the burglary, she said “her heart sank.”
“My heart was full of happiness for Matthew’s graduation and then it just went empty. How can people be so cruel as to kick you when you’re down,” she asks.
She did her best to keep her son from finding out on his graduation day, but when he did, he could hardly believe it. “He was more upset than angry,” his mother said. “It felt like another piece of his dad had been taken from him.”
Matthew lost his dad to cancer February 2016. His mother only recently was married again. In fact, on Tuesday, she and Matthew had traveled to the Houston area for her husband’s retirement celebration from Montgomery ISD. “We were planning to do the name changing after his retirement,” she said. Matthew is one of four Eustace graduating seniors who have signed up to serve in the U.S. Air Force.
Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said several investigators are working the case. If anyone has any knowledge of the break-ins or has seen some of the suspect items, they should call the sheriff at (903) 675-5128.

May

25

Posted by : admin | On : May 25, 2017

By Kate Pittack
Extension 4-H Agent
HENDERSON COUNTY–AgriLife Extension urging Texans to Click It or Ticket.
This year’s Click It or Ticket Campaign will be May 22-June 4, which includes the Memorial Day weekend and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is urging Texas drivers to buckle up.
Once again, the agency is supporting efforts by the Texas Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas Department of Public Safety and police and sheriff’s departments across the state to save lives by promoting increased seat belt use.
Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying by 45 percent for people in the front seat of passenger cars.
“They also reduce the risk of dying by 60 percent for drivers of pickups, because pickups are twice as likely to roll over as passenger vehicles,” AgriLife Extension vehicle safety program manager, College Station, Bev Kellner said.
Texas achieved a nearly 92 percent statewide seat belt use rate in 2016 per Texas Department of Transportation data. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the “Click It or Ticket” initiative in Texas saved 5,068 lives and prevented 86,359 serious injuries since its inception 15 years ago. It also saved more than $19.3 billion in related economic costs from 2002 to 2016.
“This year, the campaign is focusing on wearing seat belts all the time, especially at night,” Kellner said “Fifty-seven percent of fatal crashes in Texas happen at night. And last year, of all crashes in Texas in which people died and weren’t wearing a seat belt, 62 percent happened at night.”
She said Texas law requires the driver and all passengers in a vehicle to be secured by a seat belt.
“Unbuckled adult drivers and passengers, even those in the back seat, can be fined and face court costs of up to $250,” she said. “Children younger than eight must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4–feet 9-inches.”
Kellner said because this year’s campaign time frame includes Memorial Day weekend — when many people take to the road to enjoy a long weekend — drivers can likely expect to encounter additional law enforcement activity, including seat belt and child restraint checks.
“These officers are not out there just to write tickets; they want to help prevent needless tragedies associated with vehicle crashes.”

May

18

Posted by : admin | On : May 18, 2017

worked up mugshots Christina Julian

worked up
mugshots
Christina Julian

worked up  mugshots Rebecca Brannon

worked up
mugshots
Rebecca Brannon

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Sheriff Botie Hillhouse reports a major drug arrest Tuesday.
During a routine traffic stop on Lake Arrowhead Drive near Payne Springs, sheriff’s deputy Sgt. Matthew Jistel discovered a stash underneath the passenger seat containing approximately 53 grams of suspect crystal meth.
Rebecca Brannon, 25 is charged with first-degree felony drug charge. Her backseat passenger, Christina Julian, 52, was also found to be in possession of suspected meth. She exited the car and appeared unstable according to a press release. Both women were taken to jail soon after the 2:45 a.m. traffic stop. Brannon is held on a $15,000 bond and Julian’s bond totals $8,500.
“These dealers can’t sneak around in the dark of night hoping to spread their poison,” Hillhouse stated. “Our deputies have been instructed to keep a keen eye out for anyone suspected of wrongdoing, no matter what time of day or night.”
The National Drug Intelligence Center states methamphetamine is a significant drug threat to Texas. High purity, low-cost methamphetamine is readily available, and the drug is widely abused, particularly in rural areas. Methamphetamine produced in Mexico is the predominant type available.
According to one online source, the price of meth in Texas is around $80 per gram, though smaller increments may cost more. At $80 to $100 per gram, the estimated value is between $4,240 and $5,300. The confiscated 53 grams equals a little less than two ounces, a sizeable amount in crystal meth.

May

11

Posted by : admin | On : May 11, 2017

The News Staff Reports
HENDERSON COUNTY–Athens has a new mayor. Monte Montgomery who gave up his council seat to run, unseats Jerry Don Vaught who has been mayor since 2012 when Randy Daniel resigned to become Justice of the Peace.
Former councilman Monte Montgomery garnered 736 votes to Vaught’s 490. Montgomery’s council seat had two contenders. Toni Clay won the seat over Chetan Patel, 632 to 529 ballots.
Athens ISD had three contenders for incumbent Steve McElhaney’s seat, who chose not to run for re-election. Of the three Eugene Buford was the top vote getter for Place 1 with 708 votes. Thomas Faulk garnered 423 votes and Bryan Barker got 288 votes. Alicea Elliott was unopposed for her Place 2 seat.
City of Star Harbor City Council canvassed the results of the election Monday. Voters agreed to join ESD No. 1 and council seats will be filled by incumbents Warren Claxton and Jackie Robinson; as well as challenger Ray Batten, who garnered more votes than incumbent Duane Smith. Smith had been acting as the mayor since Dr. Bingham resigned for health reasons two months ago. The council selected Warren Claxton as Mayor and is expected to appoint someone to fill his seat on the council next month.
In Eustace, Mayor Elisha Sanders lost her seat to Dustin Shelton, 94 to 52. There are 12 provisional votes still to be determined by the Henderson County Elections Office. The ballot board is set to convene May 15. Since Tim Howard opted not to run for re-election to the council, the top two vote getters incumbent Daniel Smith with 112 votes and new face Tim Meyer with 90 votes look to fill the council seats. Both Tim Meyer and Dustin Shelton also serve as volunteers on the Eustace Volunteer Fire Department. Meyer is one of the planners of the May 13 barbecue cookoff, raising funds for the fire station.