Jan

19

Posted by : admin | On : January 19, 2017

John Wray Swearing in
Special to The News
AUSTIN – State Representative John Wray took the oath of office Jan. 10 inside the Texas State Capitol, marking the beginning of his second term in the Texas House.
“I’m honored to represent House District 10 again in the Texas legislature, and will continue to fight tirelessly for the people and values of Ellis and Henderson Counties,” said Wray. “I am proud of the accomplishments we achieved last session, and although we face new challenges, I believe the House will continue to approach issues in the same conservative, pragmatic, and fiscally responsible manner that has helped our state prosper.”
In his first term as State Representative, Wray was appointed to the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. As a member of those committees, Wray helped pass open carry legislation, increased security at the Texas-Mexico border, and provided nearly $4 billion in tax relief to Texans.
Wray also passed the most bills of any freshmen representative, and filed bills to repeal taxes, honor Texan and American hero Chris Kyle, establish a higher education campus in the district, and protect private property rights and taxpayers funds from the planned High Speed Rail project.
The Texas Constitution dictates that the legislature meet in a regular session every two years, convening on the second Tuesday in January of every odd-numbered year. These sessions are limited to 140 days. The governor can also call additional special sessions as necessary, which cannot exceed 30 days. The 85th Legislative Session is Jan. 10 through May 29, 2017.
John Wray is a principled conservative, serving his second term as Texas State Representative of House District 10, the area encompassing Ellis County and part of Henderson County.
Wray currently resides in Waxahachie with his wife, Michele, and their two children, Morgan and Patrick.

Jan

05

Posted by : admin | On : January 5, 2017

Judge Dan Moore administers the oath of office to Scott McKee as the 392nd District Court Judge in Henderson County, Jan. 2.

Judge Dan Moore administers the oath of office to Scott McKee as the 392nd District Court Judge in Henderson County, Jan. 2.

Mark Hall is sworn in as Henderson County District Attorney.

Mark Hall is sworn in as Henderson County District Attorney.

Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders administers the oath of office to Precinct 1 Commissioner Ken Hayes Jan. 2. at the courthouse in Athens. He replaces Scotty Thomas, who retired from office serviing Malakoff, Cross Roads, Trinidad, and Tool.

Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders administers the oath of office to Precinct 1 Commissioner Ken Hayes Jan. 2. at the courthouse in Athens. He replaces Scotty Thomas, who retired from office serviing Malakoff, Cross Roads, Trinidad, and Tool.

Chuck McHam (left) takes the oath as Precinct 3 Commissioner from his friend and Brownsboro High School classmate Court-at-law Judge Scott Williams.

Chuck McHam (left) takes the oath as Precinct 3 Commissioner from his friend and Brownsboro High School classmate Court-at-law Judge Scott Williams.

Mitch Baker takes the oath of office as Preinct 2 Constable, serving with an office in Seven Points, on Jan. 2 in a ceremony held at the Henderson County Courthouse.

Mitch Baker takes the oath of office as Preinct 2 Constable, serving with an office in Seven Points, on Jan. 2 in a ceremony held at the Henderson County Courthouse.

Dec

29

Posted by : admin | On : December 29, 2016

HENDERSON COUNTY–2016 may well go down in history for its tumultuous and many would say dysfunctional election season which began with contentious primaries. The outcome of the U.S. Presidential Election, drew about 1.4 million more Americans in this year’s election than in 2012, but the numbers of those eligible to vote also rose during the interval. Approximately 57 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the presidential election, according to the latest estimates from Michael McDonald, associate professor at the University of Florida, who gathers data at the U.S. Elections Project, down from 58.6 percent in 2012 and 61.6 percent in 2008, which was the highest mark in 40 years. Turnout remained well above levels for most presidential election years from 1972 to 2000.
The outcome seated capitalist businessman and non-politician Republican candidate Donald Trump as this country’s 45th top executive. The upset was one of just five elections in our nation’s history where the Electoral majority votes outweighed the popular vote, which went to Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton. Trump won 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232. Clinton won 48.3 percent of the popular vote to Trump’s 46.2 percent. The electoral college system was put in place by the nation’s founders to ensure cooperation across all segments of American society as explained by Prager University.
Locally, the elections while less contentious, resulted in one recount in the Republican primary for the Henderson County Sheriff race which was between long-term Henderson County Law Enforcement employees Chief Deputy Botie Hillhouse and Criminal Investigator Billy Jack Valentine. Ultimately, Hillhouse was declared the winner by a margin of 61 votes, proving to many that every vote counts. Hillhouse took office on June 1 upon Sheriff Ray Nutt’s retirement on May 31.
Storms hit the area
A 70-mph tornado which hit Eustace late in December, 2015 was major news the first part of January as damage was surveyed. The twister, estimated to be 40 yards wide had stayed on the ground for approximately three minutes. Other parts of Texas, especially the Rowlett/Garland area were much worse and Payne Springs VFD assisted there.
March 8 brought more severe storms with straight line winds and reported tornadoes damaging areas of Malakoff, including the Flagg House which was built by Harry Flagg in 1921 and now serves as the Malakoff Historical Society and museum, along with the local Chamber of Commerce.
Schools make the grade
Many area schools proudly displayed banners touting their achievements as Texas Education Agency announced ratings but one school stood out. Malakoff ISD achieved back-to-back annual national recognitions as Blue Ribbon Schools. In 2016, Tool Elementary School joined Malakoff Elementary School (2015 recipient) in gaining the honor this year, under the direction of all the teachers and Principal Christal Calhoun. Tool Elementary was one of 26 Texas schools nominated to receive the award.
Every year, the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, which demonstrate that all students can achieve to high levels. More than 7,500 of schools across the country have been presented with this coveted award. The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely-recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. Calhoun, along with teachers Kristi Dalrymple, Tasha French and Kristina Page attended a two-day ceremony in Washington, D.C. Nov. 7-8 to celebrate their achievement. After returning, Tool Elementary School celebrated the honors Nov. 16 with all of the students and about 100 community members.
In addition, the Malakoff Tigers Football Team broke a school record making it into the final round of statewide competition on the gridiron. A parade and celebration are being planned to honor the high achievement of the student athletes at Malakoff ISD.
Trinity Valley Community College made plans for future expansion with the purchase of the former National Guard Armory and adjacent Central Park Nov. 28. In similar fashion, TVCC purchased the former hospital site on State Highway 34 in Terrell to establish a Health Science Center.
Law Enforcement in the News
Another record-breaker was seen in the ending of the longest standoff with law enforcement this country has never heard about. The 15-year standoff with the law, came to an end Jan. 6, as a result of a news reporter informing the Henderson County authorities that the Anderson County DA’s Office had dropped charges against John Joe Gray. News of the dropped charge came to light in the aftermath of another armed standoff on public lands in Oregon. Gray, now 66, was arrested in 1999 for assaulting a state trooper during a traffic stop in Anderson County. Gray said it was his God-given right to carry the pistol he had that day, without a concealed handgun license. When the trooper tried to arrest him, Gray admits getting into a scuffle and biting him.
Gray was eventually charged with assaulting a public servant. But after being freed on bail, he refused to return to court, and instead, armed himself at home.
“If they come out after us, bring extra body bags. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword,” Gray told ABC News in a 2000 interview.
Since the felony charge in 1999, Gray reportedly hadn’t left his 47 acres along the banks of the Trinity River between Tool and Trinidad. The impasse may well be the longest armed standoff in American history, which few knew anything about.
2016 came in allowing those licensed to own a gun to carry it in a holster without needing to conceal it. A bunch more rules were erected around the practice, regarding places of instruction and education and its prohibition if a sign is posted at private or public buildings restricting it.
Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse hit the ground running when he took office on June 1 and has been a frequent contributor to major news stories as he and his deputies crack down on drugs in Henderson County. In the last six months, Hillhouse’s campaign against illegal drugs has resulted in more than 1,000 arrests, most for drugs and drug related crime.
On the Tigers’ charge to the football finals, Malakoff ISD Police Chief Stacy Hillhouse distinguished herself with fast action at an away game when Malakoff played the Teague team in Palestine. Hillhouse effectively disarmed a volatile shooting altercation between two Teague fans in the parking lot prior to the gridiron action. She held the perpetrator until local police officers could arrive on the scene. She was recognized by the Malakoff School Board for her heroism and quick response to the situation.
Economic
Development
The City of Athens saw the long time battle of what to do with the abandoned hospital resolved when it all came tumbling down as the hospital was demolished in January.
The city took over the Cain Center and began major renovations which include relocation of municipal offices and improvement of the pool and recreational facilities. To get all the work done, the Cain Center will remain closed for all of 2017.
Malakoff saw the move of McDonalds to a new location and the grand opening of the new Whataburger as well as some work on downtown buildings.
The Henderson County Commissioners Court announced in April its final payment on the 2005 county jail expansion, making the county debt free for the first time in recent history.
Unprecedented
generosity
The Athens branch of Trinity Valley Community College was on the receiving end of the largest single endowment in its history when Athens attorney Nancy Perkins pledged a multi-million-dollar gift in honor of her mother, naming the Trinity Valley Community College Foundation as the beneficiary of her entire estate, Pauline Perkins was the first secretary to college founder and President Orval Pirtle, and ultimately became the longest-living member of the original faculty. Pauline passed away May 22, 2016 at the age of 90. Nancy presented a 1946-47 signed yearbook belonging to her mother to the TVCC Foundation as a token of the gift. While at the college, Pauline studied to obtain her teaching degree and fulfilled a 27-year career in education. Her first position was as a sixth grade teacher for the Mabank school district, Nancy said, though most of her mother’s teaching was at the middle and high schools in Athens. She retired from teaching in 1989 but continued to live a life of service, assisting her daughter in her law practice. “TVCC is where my mother began her professional career and where she was happiest,” Nancy told representatives of the college. “Her gift is her legacy, which we believe will help future generations and will forever commemorate her beauty and generosity.” Nancy Perkins is a practicing attorney throughout the state of Texas and a Mabank High School 1973 Valedictorian. “It is because of her encouragement that I have what I have,” she told The News.
Those we lost
Losses of local citizens who impacted many of us by their leadership and service include Henderson County Extension Agent Rick Hirsch. Hirsch was honored as Agriculturist of the Year and in October a stone memorial was laid in the DREAM garden of the East Texas Arboretum by the Henderson County Master Gardeners.
Randy Thornhill, an acclaimed author who lived in Malakoff in his younger days died on May 6. He had written two novels In the Southern Gothic style that made the top 20 list in 2015 of the best Southern America novels ever written as compiled by Oxford American, the Southern literary magazine.
Malakoff Heads gain a home
Three large enigmatic stones, referred to as the Malakoff Heads, found a permanent home in the Cook Education Center of the Pearce Museum of the Navarro College Campus in Corsicana.
Two of the heads (No. 1 and No. 3 – found in 1939 in the same general location between Mala-koff and Trinidad , in the Trinity River Valley overlooking Cedar Creek) have been stored with the University of Texas.
Experts have studied and argued about the Great Depression,-era finds. Some saying they are the oldest human artifacts uncovered in North America (10,000+ years ago). Others place them at a more recent Archaic Period (6,000 or less years ago).
People in The News
2016 brought many distinctions and awards as well as new jobs for many. This is by no means an exhaustive list as we are sure to miss some.
Athens High School graduate and businessman Drew Douglas was named 2015 Athens Citizen of the Year by the Athens Chamber of Commerce Jan. 22.
Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) Vice President of Instruction Dr. Jerry King was named President Pro Tem of the college May 2.
Three cities named new Police chiefs; Rickey Smith in Trinidad; Darrell Dean in Kemp and Raymond Wennerstrom as police administrator in Seven Points
Region 7 Education Service Center announced that Palestine ISD Superintendent of Schools Jason Marshall had been selected as the 2016 Region 7 Superin-tendent of the Year. Region 7 serves many districts in East Texas, including Athens, Cross Roads, Malakoff and Trinidad.
Court Appointed Spe-cial Advocates (CASA) of Trinity Valley announced that resource development officer Emily Heglund would replace Lee Ann Millender as the organization’s executive director.
Athens High School class of 1940 graduate Vivian Anderson Castleberry 1977 AHS graduate Drew Douglas and the late historic Athens educator R. C. Fisher were inducted to the Hornet Hall of Fame.
Athens native John Torrez was named national Postal Customer Council member for 2016
Other worthies recognized for their achievements include Joe Walenta, local musician and band leader, who was inducted into the Western Swing Music Hall of Fame this year; Outstanding Principal of the Year for Region 7 Eustace Middle School administrator Truman Oakley; and Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow nominated one of nine Texas National Distinguished Principal finalists.
Four Athens volunteers were applauded during the mayor ’s third annual Outstanding Leadership Luncheon Oct. 26. Athens Mayor Jerry Don Vaught recognized Steve Grant, Ginger Morton, Mary Lynn Smith and John Glover for the strong leadership they exhibited making life better for everyone living in the city. Ginger Morton and John Glover were the Grand Marshals at the Athens Christmas Parade.
There were festivals and parades, beautiful ceremonies honoring Veterans, celebrations and many good works by citizens and groups. It was a newsworthy year in every sense of the word and we at The News look forward to 2017.

Dec

29

Posted by : admin | On : December 29, 2016

brunzwick-jones

worked up photos mugshots Laquntia Jones

worked up photos
mugshots
Laquntia Jones

worked up photo mugshots Brunzwick Jones

worked up photo
mugshots
Brunzwick Jones


The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Two Athens men were arrested following a traffic stop on drug charges Tuesday. A press release from Sheriff Botie Hillhouse stated a large quantity of suspected methamphetamine, along with other drugs were found in the vehicle with them.
Brunzwick Jones, 45, and Laquntia Jones, 23, were traveling on Gaunt Street when narcotics investigator Josh Rickman and Deputy Kyle Pochobradsky observed a traffic violation. A search of the vehicle located “a large amount of crystal like substance we believe to be methamphetamine,” Hillhouse stated. Authorities also found pills of unknown substance and marijuana.
The men were charged with manufacture/delivery of controlled substances greater than 4 grams and less than 200 grams. The elder Jones was also charged with driving without a valid license. Both men are being held on bonds totaling $12,500 each.
Brunzwick has an arrest record dating back to 1988 with several sentences to jail time. This is Laquntia’s first drug offense, two previous offenses related to driving without license and financial responsibility.
If found guilty of the first-degree felony, the men could be jailed from five to 99 years and be fined up to $10,000 each. Hillhouse said the arrests are part of his continuing mission to eradicate drugs from the county, along with those who sell them and those who use them.
“As long as they don’t stop,” Hillhouse stated, “we don’t stop.” He added the message is also making its way to those who would bring drugs into the county.

Dec

01

Posted by : admin | On : December 1, 2016

Special to The News
ATHENS–Henderson County D.A. R. Scott McKee reports the July Term, 2016, Grand Jury returned the following True Bills for the Nov. 9 meeting. In addition, three cases are indicted under seal.
•Raul Almaraz, JR, 20, Racing on a Highway,
• Michael Glenn Barnes, 35, Bail Jumping and Failure to Appear,
• James Edward Horton, 69, Cruelty to Animals,
• Phillip Wayne Brown, 62, Driving While Intoxicated,
• Gerald Don Williams, JR, 49, Possession of Controlled Substance (PCS),
• Tyler Jimmy Ray Brown, 21, Escape,
• Tommy Clyde Hurt, 40, Tampering with Evidence,
• Jose Antonio Carreon-Aguilera, 49, PCS,
• Blaine Anthony Christopher, 28, Unlawful Possession of Firearm ,
• John Tanner Forrester, 22, three countsof Burglary and Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse,
• Randall Clayton Boone, 27, Burglary
• Paula Kay Forester, 51, Hindering Apprhension or Prosecution,
• Travis Brax Davis, 19, Theft of Property
Benjamin Douglas Harmon, 22, Assault,
• Dvahje Marquel Hayward, 20, Theft of Firearm,
• Gary J Hampton, 61, Forgery,
• Christopher Doyle Savage, 29, Aggravated Assault,
• Scott Matthew Butler, 26, Driving While Intoxicated with Child Passenger,
• Terrance Joseph Samuel Benton, 25, PCS,
• Shandra Suzette Oliphant, 29, PCS,
• Dustin Ray Snyder, 28, Aggravated Assault
• Zanon James Sherman, 44, PCS,
• Lorenzo Demarkas Patton, 34, PCS,
• Michael Dwayne Lindley, 50, PCS,
•Danny Lee Mclemore, 61, Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle,
• William Lee Shaddox, 53, Burglary,
• Terry Paul Bevill, 54, Burglary,
• Robert Allen Shaddox, 49, Burglary,
• James David Walker, 27, PCS,
• Steven Michael Green, 45, PCS,
• Joshua Lynn Epperson, 35, PCS ,
• Johnny Craton Pope, 49, indicted for Aggravated Assault,
• Kristen Tennile Patterson, 40, PCS
• Jeffrey Mark Keith, 61, Evading Arrest,
• Kristy Anne Kidan, 37, Credit Card Abuse,
• Phillip Norman-Clinton James, 29, Assault Public Servant,
• Joshua Paul Rogers, Attempted Burglary of Habitation and Unlawful Use of Criminal Instrument,
• Robert Britt Gandy, 36, Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon,
• Christopher Lee Fischer, 27, Burglary,
Jeremy James Strawn, Burglary,
• Dean William Kjeldgaard, 54, Indecency with a Child.

Nov

23

Posted by : admin | On : November 23, 2016

parsons-stacie

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Jurors returned a guilty verdict in the trial of Stacie Marie Parsons, 27, who is charged with murdering her 4-year-old daughter, Victoria Wyatt, on July 21, 2014.
The seven-man five-woman jury returned a verdict after roughly 90 minutes of deliberation Nov. 17.
Juror Barbara Meyer told The News that the defendant didn’t exhibit any reactions or emotions during the 10-day trial that she could tell. She described the members of the jury as open-minded and able to render an opinion based on what was presented.
Meyer said what was the most convincing came from the defendant during several interviews with investigators recorded on video. “She confessed to the crime and believed she’d spend the rest of her life in prison,” Meyer said. “She didn’t show any diminished capacity to know right from wrong.”
173rd District Judge Dan Moore rejected a motion by Parsons’ defense team, pleading diminished mental capacity as a defense. Moore ruled that Parsons’ could not avoid criminal culpability on that basis. “It is not a defense under the criminal law,” Moore said.
In that case, Parsons’ lawyers claimed that Moore was denying Parson her Sixth Amendment right to legal counsel and that they were rendered ineffective. Moore said the two attorneys have been very effective at representing their client.
The defense is sure to seek an appeal since its evidence of intellectual disability and diminished capacity was disallowed from being presented to the jury, but was recorded in a closed session — as well as evidence of Parsons’ mental state or awareness of criminal activity at the time of its commission.
This evidence included depositions from those who have known Parsons, as well as from witnesses who testified as to her childhood and the IQ test she was given shortly after her arrest. Dr. Joan Mayfield found Parsons IQ to be 70. A score of 100 is considered average.
District Attorney Scott McKee told the judge the people were not seeking the death penalty for Parsons because of her mental disability. “Under the law, she does not qualify for the death penalty,” McKee said.
Parsons’ defense team entered a guilty plea by reason of insanity. A guilty verdict carries a sentence of life in prison.
Shortly after 9 a.m. July 21, 2014, Parsons walked into the Athens Police Department and stated she had killed her daughter and informed that the body could be found in the trunk of her car parked at an apartment building on Martin Luther King Blvd.
Police found the little girl with trauma to her head and chest. Later Parsons lead police to the place where the crime was committed under a bridge on County Road 1500. The girl’s father, Gary Wyatt, told news outlets that the girl’s mother had never acted violently toward their daughter before and that the couple had been together for six years. When Parsons left that morning with the little girl it was presumed she was going to register the girl for pre-kindergarten. When she returned without the girl and started walking away, Wyatt approached the car to look for her, “I wouldn’t be in that car if I were you,” Parson is reported as having told Wyatt. When he and a family friend opened the trunk, they found a garbage bag with his daughter’s leg sticking out of it. The two men pulled the body out and started CPR. Water was expelled from her lungs, it was reported.
According to news reports, Wyatt said that the night before, he had threatened to leave Parsons. Looking back, Wyatt said, weeks ago she had threatened to kill the baby if he ever left her, but he had chalked that up to just “angry talk”
“I never thought for a second she’d actually do it,” he said.

Nov

17

Posted by : admin | On : November 17, 2016

third-graders
By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–“Today we set aside time to honor all our Veterans,” said David Deas as he opened the East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 11 under a sunny, cloudless sky in a beautiful setting.
Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders welcomed the crowd by reminding everyone that, “Freedom is not and never has been free. We are able to go about our daily business because these men and women are here and around the world, protecting our freedom. Many have paid the ultimate price and we owe them a debt of gratitude for making this the great nation it is today.”
David Deas told the story of, “Armistice Day,” which is what Veterans Day was called when it was created to honor Veterans of World War I and to remind nations to seek peaceful relationships between one another in hopes that we would never again be divided by war. After World War II and the Korean War, in 1954, at the urging of service organizations, the 83rd Congress decided to rename Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all Veterans. President Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954. The gathering then observed a moment of silence to honor all those who served.
U.S. Air Force Veteran Sam Alford played his trumpet to the colors while the flags were raised by members of Boy Scout Troop 343. State Representative-Elect Lance Gooden led the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Texas Flag. Gooden prayed for the Veterans, past and present, and prayed for peace.
South Athens Elementary fourth-grade teacher Barbara Railsback and her students sang, “The Star Spangled Banner” while Sam Alford played “Taps” and a wreath was placed at the monument to honor the Veterans. Alford shared one of the more popular verses for “Taps,” since it is not well known that “Taps” has lyrics
Henderson County District Attorney and incoming District Judge for the 392nd District Court Scott McKee was the featured speaker. McKee’s public service has spanned three decades beginning at the age of 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Paratrooper. Speaking about the Veterans, both present in body or spirit, McKee said he felt awed and inspired by the history and sacrifice of these men and women. He went on to talk about the recent election, reminding everyone that whether they are Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or Independent, the election process and the peaceful transition of power is crucial to the survival and strength of our great nation. And although neither Hillary Clinton, nor Donald Trump ever served in the military, although they never experienced the loneliness of a deployment, the screaming of a drill instructor or ever heard a gunshot fired in support of a cause greater than themselves. We as Veterans knew that one of them would be our Commander-in-Chief because that’s the way it works.
He spoke about the recent protests in Dallas after the election and thanked God that “we live in a country where we have the right to a peaceful protest because Veterans fought for that right. We fought for freedom of speech, the right to assemble, whether we agree with them or not, this right is vital to our nation, to open debate. Government does not give us our rights; our rights are given by God and it’s our Democracy that recognizes those rights and our Veterans that protect those rights.” McKee spoke of the ballot, the right to vote as the most powerful and dangerous weapon, one that everyone of legal age has and one that should never be holstered. It should always be, “locked and loaded.”
“It takes the courage and blood of brave men and women to keep and protect a free democracy. We as Veterans should not just ride off into the sunset like General MacArthur’s speech at West Point all those years ago. We have much to teach our children and our children’s children. Let our voices carry our history and our legacy.”
Deborah Tanner Deas shared a poem written in 1945 by her father World War II Veteran Douglas Tanner entitled, “The 740th Marches On.” Tanner was on the front row. The ceremony concluded with several more patriotic songs by the Central Athens Elementary fourth-grade students, but many stayed behind to view the monument and talk with the Veterans. The day was beautiful and there were many Veterans, from World War II to present day, to thank.

Nov

17

Posted by : admin | On : November 17, 2016

On behalf of the city, Mayor Delois Pagitt (center right) presented veterans in attendance at the Nov. 14 city council meeting with trophies of gratitude and honor in recognition of their military service. Pictured are (from left) Kenneth Owens, Police Chief Lloyd Thomas, Mayor Pro-tem Tim Trimble, Pagitt, Johnny Davis and Municipal Judge Bill Burton.

On behalf of the city, Mayor Delois Pagitt (center right) presented veterans in attendance at the Nov. 14 city council meeting with trophies of gratitude and honor in recognition of their military service. Pictured are (from left) Kenneth Owens, Police Chief Lloyd Thomas, Mayor Pro-tem Tim Trimble, Pagitt, Johnny Davis and Municipal Judge Bill Burton.

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Writer
MALAKOFF—Malakoff City Council members granted two requests for special use permits to citizens during its Nov. 14 meeting. The Zoning Board recommended fulfilling Francis Caro’s request to place a manufactured home at 109 N. Cole St., having met all requirements. Councilwoman Jerrilyn Tarver said she was excited for Caro’s getting a new home.
Also, Helen Richardson was granted a special use permit to erect a portable building on South Lincoln Street to be used as a church building. The Zoning Board recommended the permit to the council.
Board members also discussed the need for some prohibitions for heavy truck traffic using North Smith Street to get materials to a construction site just north of town. The posting of “No thoroughfare” signs to installing speed bumps were discussed. Interim-police Chief Lloyd Thomas said he has spoken with the construction project managers and developer about directing trucks to circumvent the town on two other possible routes rather than traveling through a residential neighborhood, lacking sidewalks and inhabited by children and senior citizens. “Since then traffic has decreased through the area,” Thomas noted. “However a sign and an ordinance would empower law enforcement to issue citations,” he said.
“Rest assured, something will be done to ensure the safety of residents,” Pagitt said, following a unanimous vote to adopt an ordinance prohibiting truck traffic there.
In other business, council members:
Awarded contracts to Public Management and KSA Engineering pertaining to the application for a Texas Department of Agriculture Texas Community Development Block Grant. A representative of Public Management explained that the process now requires applicants to name their contractors before being given a grant, to help with the grant-writing process. Should the city not receive a grant, the contracts become void, he explained. The deadline for the grant request is Feb. 9, 1917. The city has several utility development projects that would qualify for the matching grant program up to $275,000.
Agreed to become a member of the 2017 Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) to receive member services benefits at a cost of $100 per year. One noted benefit would stabilize energy rates.
Approved the minutes of meeting held on Oct. 17 and Nov. 1.
Agreed to pay the city’s obligations for October.

Oct

20

Posted by : admin | On : October 20, 2016

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.

Oct

13

Posted by : admin | On : October 13, 2016

hirsch-reshoot-1-hr

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–A stone monument with bronze plaque was unveiled Saturday to pay tribute to longtime Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent Rick Hirsch.
He served Henderson and McLennan counties for 28 years, teaching the Henderson County Master Gardener class from 2000 to 2015. “We remember Rick as a man of wit and humor,” the plaque placed at the entrance to The Master Gardeners’ Dream Garden at the East Texas Arboretum states.
Master Gardener Vice President Evan Sparks called him, “the rock of our organization. We would have thought we were Rick’s favorite project in Henderson County. But every group he worked with felt that way.”
Rick died April 24, 2016 at the age of 51.
“We continue to mourn the loss of a great leader in Ag Extension,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin said Oct. 8. “He was the first to address any issue related to agriculture. It was just normal to call Rick.” From issues dealing with bees dying to 4-H; the Hunters Rendezvous to the elected officials’ luncheon; he was the county’s go-to resource, Geeslin said.
“His radio programs were always very interesting and he always ended with the Henderson County Ag Extension motto: If you eat, wear clothes, or live in a house, you have a definite state in agriculture.”
4-H Texas A&M AgriLife Coordinator Kate Pittack described Rick as “a fixture at the Henderson County Junior Livestock Show. He helped youth reach their potential. He was a friend, mentor and role model,” she said.
Catholic Father Nolan Lowry of St. Edward Church blessed the monument and spoke of Hirsch’s abiding faith in God, of his superb role as father and husband to his widow, Bronte and said his life was an example of service working through love.
Texas District 4 Representative Stuart Spitzer recognized the impact Hirsch had in the area of agriculture contributed to the entire state of Texas.
He presented two flags to Bronte on behalf of himself and Sen. Robert Nichols. The Lone Star flag was the same one flown over the capitol in Austin just a few days after Rick’s death on Aggie Muster Day. “He was a true Aggie and a good man,” Spitzer said. He also presented Bronte with Old Glory, which had been flown over the Capitol in Washington D.C. and read a proclamation honoring Hirsch.
The proceedings were a highlight of the park’s annual fall festival in Athens.
Master Gardener Cecilia Boles, who attended Rick’s first Master Gardener Class, summed up Rick’s contribution to the lives of all he touched with a garden simile. “He was able to step into any situation with aplomb and grace. He was like well-composted manure in a spring garden.” Henderson County memorialized