The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–Seven Malakoff Tigers received postseason praise on the 2016 Padilla Poll Class 3A, Division I Coaches All-State football team.
The seven players will receive a certificate for making All State.
Representing the first team was senior wide receiver Q.T. Barker. Second team selections went to senior Larry Coker on offense, senior Payton Lowrie on offense, junior Judd Miller on offense and senior Tyler Russell on offense. Seniors Danyal Littleton and Jack Patton were named to the second team defense.
The Offensive Player of the Year went to Muleshoe senior Beto Diaz, while the Defensive Player of the Year went to Brock senior Zane Young. Mineola coach Joe Drennon was named Coach of the Year.
On the 2016 All-East Texas Football Team released by the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Coker was named as a second-team offensive lineman and honorable mention defensive lineman. Barker was named second-team wide receiver and honorable mention defensive back, Littleton was named second-team defensive lineman and Russell was named second-team defensive back.
Lowrie was named honorable mention offensive lineman, Miller was named honorable mention quarterback and senior CJ Overton was named honorable mention defensive lineman.
Posted by : February 9, 2017| On :
The News Staff Reports
Posted by : January 26, 2017| On :
The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–Malakoff High School senior and member of the “Pride of Malakoff High School Band” Julia Walden, has been chosen for the 2017 Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB) All-State Band.
More than 9,000 high school band students across Texas auditioned in 22 regions for a place in their respective all-region bands. The top chairs in each region advanced to one of five area auditions in the state. Of those 2,222 students, only 295 were selected for all-state honors.
Walden plays the flute under the direction of Band Director Chad Bentley and is also a private student of Sue Bugg. This is her first time to perform as a member of the ATSSB All-State Band.
Walden is the daughter of Curtis and Tawna Walden of Malakoff and enjoys playing in the East Texas Youth Orchestra as well as performing as a part of the Malakoff Theater Troupe. Her other interests include Journalism.
Bentley, who in his high school days was one of only five others who made All-State Band from Malakoff, said, “We are extremely proud of Julia and all she has accomplished. She has worked very hard for many years and deserves this honor.”
The ATSSB All-State Bands will meet in rehearsals in San Antonio from Feb. 8-11 and present a concert on Saturday, Feb. 11 in the Lila Cockrell Theatre of the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. Joseph Missal of Oklahoma State University will be the clinician-conductor. The symphonic band will premiere a piece by Johnnie Vinson, commissioned by ATSSB for the event.
Posted by : January 19, 2017| On :
By Delanda S. Johnson
Special to The News
MALAKOFF–This Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday was filled with gospel music and a strong message about Dr. King and the comparison with Jesus Christ.
On Saturday Jan. 14, Johnson Chapel A. M. E. Church’s “Annual Gospel Explosion” honored Rev. Dr. King with local choirs, solos and a powerful mime by Malakoff High School Senior Xavier McCullar.
On Monday, Jan. 16, the Henderson County Black History Committee held its “Annual Candlelight Vigil” to give the congregation time to reflect and honor an American hero.
Associate Pastor Larue Rockhill Baptist Church Rev. Rickey Johnson, used a theme “Love Your Enemies,” from Luke 6:27-31.
Rev. Johnson said that Rev. Dr. King was a man who was always out to help someone else and noted that Rev. Dr. King would turn a negative into a positive. Rev. Dr. King stood up for what he believed in and he paid a high price for his convictions, death.
“Just like Jesus, a man who stood up for what He believed in. A man who would always turn the other cheek. Jesus, a man who taught us to love our enemies; also to know that we must treat others as we would like to be treated. Jesus paid a high price for his convictions, death. He died for all of our sins and if we want to see Jesus, we must love our enemies,” said Rev. Johnson.
“Rev. Dr. King died for civil rights and equality for African Americans. Jesus died for all of mankind. However, both men had the same message, ‘Love thy neighbor as thy love thyself,’ added Rev. Johnson.
Posted by : January 19, 2017| On :
The News Staff Reports
The Malakoff Lady Tigers dropped a district contest to Teague, 50-42, Friday in Malakoff.
The Lady Tigers were led by Kamry Hurd with 13 points. Jalie Dawson had 12, Taliha Dora had seven, Nakeya Kelley had four and Charlsey Stearman and KeiKei Walker had two each.
The boys team also fell to the Lions, that game by the score of 73-61.
The Tigers were led by Tyler Russell with 21 points. Katoriuhn Dewberry had 12, Danyal Littleton and Breashawn Williams had seven, JaQuaylon Hart had six, QT Barker, Jake Lee, Kadderious Thomas and AJ Cook had two.
Posted by : January 12, 2017| On :
The News Staff Reports
ELKHART–The Malakoff Lady Tigers started quickly and never let up in their 60-17 dominating victory Jan. 6 over Elkhart at Elkhart High School gym.
The Lady Tigers improve to 13-7 overall and 3-1 in district play.
Malakoff started hot, racing out to a 17-2 lead after one quarter of play. The Lady Tigers, led by senior forward Jalie Dawson’s 18 points, kept up the defensive pressure in the second quarter.
The pressure createdturnovers by the Elkhart offens, which in turn led to easy fast break points, helping the Lady Tigers take a 37-9 lead into halftime. Malakoff led 46-12 after three quarters of play.
In the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers wrapped up the dominating performance by outscoring Elkhart 14-5 in the frame, taking the 43-point win.
Malakoff senior Kamry Hurd had 14 points and five steals in the victory and junior Nakeya Kelley had 13 points, six rebounds and six steals in the game.
Dawson also had seven rebounds and five steals for the Lady Tigers.
The Lady Tigers will be in action at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13 when they host Teague in a district battle.
Posted by : January 12, 2017| On :
The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF—Malakoff ISD had a big year and all of Malakoff is proud. The turnout for the rally held Jan. 7 at the Malakoff Community Center proved to all just how proud the community is.
What started out as a celebration for the Malakoff Tigers and their record-breaking year going all the way to the semi-finals, turned into a celebration for Malakoff ISD, its accomplishments and ultimately for all of Malakoff. There were many reasons for hometown pride.
MISD’s achievements include:
• Tool Elementary named a Blue Ribbon School, joining Malakoff Elementary in the honor.
• UIL – Malakoff Elementary won district, High School won second in Prose and sixth in Spelling at the State UIL meet.
• Band – First Division at Regional UIL, First Division at UIL marching contest, qualified for area placing 7 out of 22 bands.
• Theatre – won district and went to regionals in one-act play and performed another musical.
• Athletics – Cross-country went to regionals.
• Volleyball went to bi-district for the first time in seven years.
• Boys Basketball went to area, girls’ to regional semi-finals.
• Softball went to regional finals.
• Track won state I high jump.
• Golf went to bi-district.
• Tennis went to bi-district.
• Football – 13-0 year, first regional championship in Henderson County in eleven man football history.
During the three-hour event, Malakoff Mayor Delois Pagitt presented a proclamation to Malakoff Athletic Director Jamie Driskell.
The proclamation read “Presented by the City of Malakoff Governing Body honoring the Malakoff Independent School District, the 2016 Malakoff state semi-finalist football team and the 2016 National Blue Ribbon Tool Elementary School. Whereas the governing body of the City of Malakoff would like to recognize and commend the Malakoff Independent School District for its academic and athletic performance for 2016; the City of Malakoff is in strong support of the Malakoff School System and its history.
“Whereas; the dedication of hard work, sportsmanship, talent and exceptional efforts of all those persons contributing to the Malakoff Independent School Districts success to be commended; and whereas; Congratulations to the 2016 Malakoff football team ‘The Tigers,” for making history, and becoming the 2016 state semi-finalist; and coach Jamie Driskell and his staff, school administrators, teachers and parents and all supporting citizens of the City of Malakoff; and now therefore be it proclaimed by the Governing Body of the City of Malakoff that the Malakoff Independent School District, the 2016 state semi-finalist football team, and all the academic teams be honored for their successful year.
“Be it further proclaimed that the Governing Body of the City of Malakoff calls on all of our community to join the family and friends in the celebration and honoring of the accomplishments of the Malakoff Independent School District.
“Be it resolved, I have here set my hand, and caused the seal of the City of Malakoff to be affixed this seventh day of January, A.D. 2016.”
Posted by : January 5, 2017| On :
Posted by : December 29, 2016| On :
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.
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.
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.
Posted by : December 22, 2016| On :
By Rachel Williams
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF – The Malakoff City Council hailed the Tigers football team for its astounding season and is planning a community-wide celebration in early 2017.
The mighty Tigers of the Malakoff High School made history this year with an overall 14-1 record. The Tigers rank 71 in the state and 688th in the nation! To celebrate this achievement, the Malakoff City Council, Chamber of Commerce and several local organizations are determined to honor its team members with a parade and other activities soon after the first of the year.
“The hard work and dedication of this football team has really brought the community together,” City Councilman Vincent Bailey, Jr. said. “It’s a great thing to support this great team.”
The Malakoff City Council also authorized the submission of an application to the Texas Department of Agriculture Texas Community Development Block Grant program for sewage system improvements. If successful, this matching grant will help Malakoff repair the main trunk line that washed out due to flooding.
In other business, the city council:
• consulted with the city attorney regarding pending litigation matters and the wholesale wastewater services agreement between the City of Malakoff and the City of Star Harbor
• discussed a lease agreement with East Texas Medical Center.
• discussed reforming a volunteer fire department.
Posted by : December 15, 2016| On :
By Rollin Hadsell
News Staff Writer
AUSTIN–The Malakoff Tigers’ perfect season came to a shocking end in a 28-24 loss to Yoakum in the Class 3A Division 1 state semifinal at Austin’s Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium Dec. 9.
The Tigers, 14-0 coming into the game, lost the lead with three minutes left in the fourth quarter on a four-yard touchdown pass from Joshua Moore to Ethan Owens to make it 28-24.
The Tigers had one last chance to take the lead, but an interception ended the comeback as Yoakum ran out the clock.
The game started well for the Tigers, as they got a safety when the Yoakum punter could not handle a low snap from the center.
Malakoff added to the lead when running back Breashawn Williams scored on a nine-yard run, extending the lead to 9-0 after an Everardo Garcia extra point.
Yoakum finally got on the scoreboard with just over two minutes to go in the first quarter on a nine-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bryson Hagan to Jordan Moore.
After a stalled drive by the Tigers, Yoakum took a 14-9 lead on a Henry Enoch touchdown run from three yards away.
Malakoff regained the lead at 17-14 with just over six minutes left in the half when Williams scored his second touchdown of the game on a 27-yard run around the left side.
The Tigers took the three-point lead into the halftime locker room.
Neither team could get anything going in the third quarter, as both defenses stepped up and made big stops to force punts. The Tigers took the same three-point lead into the final quarter.
Yoakum again took the lead just four seconds into the fourth quarter on a Montreal James 11-yard scamper, giving the Bulldogs as 21-17 lead.
On third and long from the Bulldog 43-yard line, the Tigers scored when quarterback Judd Miller connected with senior Q.T. Barker for a score and a 24-21 lead with about seven and a half minutes remaining in the game.
Malakoff had a couple more chances to score, but could not find the end zone again, ending their dream season.
Miller finished 7-21 passing for 112 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers set a record for the most wins by a Henderson County area team with 14, advancing the furthest of any team ever in the area.