Posted by : admin | On : June 9, 2016

By Sariah Kendall
The News Staff Reporter
MALAKOFF– Julia Armstrong presented two scholarships to Malakoff High School students Jonathan Hernandez and Madelaine Walker, who also is Malakoff’s 2016 valedictorian, on May 26.
Both Hernandez and Walker have distinct and ambitious career goals planned for their futures.
Walker will study Genetic Research and Treatment at Baylor University and Hernandez will attend Tarleton State to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice upon completing his advanced individual training at Ft. Lee, VA., for the Army National Guard.



Posted by : admin | On : May 26, 2016


By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF – Malakoff Rotarians met two critical care helicopter technicians from East Texas Medical Center’s (ETMC) Air Medical Services during Tuesday, May 24’s weekly luncheon meeting at the Flagg House.
Michael Lawyer is a chief flight nurse based out of Tyler, while air flight medic Brad Pace is based out of Athens. “They do a great service for the community,” said Mike Burns, Malakoff ISD Director of Curriculum and Classroom Technology, who served as May 24’s program chair.
Lawyer has been in Henderson County for about 23 years. First an emergency medical technician (EMT) then progressing to a paramedic, Lawyer in 2009 earned his nursing degree from Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC). Pace went to Tyler Junior College (TJC), is a former firefighter in Jacksonville and also has his peace officer’s license.
ETMC Air 1 has flown from Tyler since 1985, while the Athens base started in 2004, while the Mt. Pleasant base became operational in 2005. There’s a helipad next to the Malakoff Volunteer Fire Department building often utilized by ETMC helicopters.
ETMC Air 1 provides critical care comparable to an intensive care unit, including heart and stroke treatment, all available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Air 1 has bases in Athens, Tyler and Mt. Pleasant that serve a swath of East Texas, ranging from the Red River to Trinity County, north of Houston. ETMC Air 1 flew Hurricane Katrina medical patients from Louisiana to Beaumont in 2005.
ETMC’s Air 1 program has a perfect safety record over the past 30-plus years, with a stable of three helicopters equipped with twin engines as backup in case on engine goes down. Each helicopter includes a nurse, medic and pilot. The ETMC helicopters also provide search-and-rescue services, at no cost to the community, including searches for missing children, stranded boaters and wayward elderly. In addition, hospital transfers are part of the program’s mission.
Many pilots have military backgrounds because of the rigorous flight-hour requirements to be eligible for ETMC Air 1. ETMC partners with Metro Aviation of Shreveport for maintenance and air-traffic services. “They are amazing mechanics and pilots,” Lawyer said.



Posted by : admin | On : May 5, 2016

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF–The Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in the former Soviet empire took place 30 years ago, Malakoff Rotarians learned May 3, leaving an eerie aftermath.
Rotary program chair Jeanie Seely said the nuclear reactor fire and explosion happened April 26, 1986. It is considered the worst in world history, with radiation spreading across a great deal of Eurasia. The facility was shoddily built, Seely said, and that, along with human error, contributed to the disaster.
The aftermath included placing a 36-ton concrete cover over the destroyed reactor, but that, too, is falling apart. Efforts are underway to replace it, funded by more than 30 nations. Thyroid cancer has been the main radiation-related cause of death.
The Chernobyl area is still off-limits, even though about 150 people moved back to the city within two years of the explosion. Dead trees and leaves that fell have not decayed in the three decades since the nuclear disaster. Animal life, instead of extinction, has instead adapted, Seely said.
Also during the Malakoff Rotary meeting, member Teri Caswell announced an AmeriCorps-affiliated program called “Food on the Move,” which will provide free meals to children ages 1-18 at Caney Creek Baptist Church in Log Cabin and Trinidad Methodist Church. CitySquare, North Texas’ largest AmeriCorps program, administers “Food on the Move.” The summer food program lasts from June 6 to Aug. 12 and will be held Mondays through Fridays. Times will be determined later this month. Call (903) 489-3500 or (903) 489-7500 for more information.
Rotary member Julie Armstrong told fellow Rotarians about a $5,000 grant for the Malakoff Education Foundation, which benefits the Malakoff school district, courtesy of Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative (TVEC).



Posted by : admin | On : April 21, 2016

Cross Roads, Malakoff and Trinidad ISDs vote in November

Special to The News
TEXAS–Early voting begins Monday, April 25 and continues through May 3, for city councils, school board trustees and water boards.
City of Malakoff candidates for three positions include Kevin Killman, Robert C. Cole, incumbants Vincent Bailey, Jr. and Jerrily Tarver, Pat Isaacson, Rickey Baker, Bubba Matthews. Voting takes place at Malakoff City Hall located at 109 Melton St.
Athens Muncipal Water Authority (AMWA) candidates for three seats include incumbents Donald A.Foster, Stephen R. Sparkman and David Thomas, and Milburn Chaney and Frank Lunceford. Voters may cast their ballots for AMWA candidates at the Henderson County Elections Administration at 201 E. Larkin in Athens.
Cross Roads and Malakoff ISDs will hold elections in November.
The City of Trinidad and Trinidad ISD will conduct November elections also.
Election Day is Saturday, May 7.
Athens ISD’s election has been cancelled due to candidtates running unopposed.



Posted by : admin | On : April 21, 2016

malakoff 4-18-16

Malakoff ISD school board members learned April 18 about STEMscopes, a digital science curriculum used by Malakoff ISD K-5 students, during the district’s monthly meeting. Pictured following the presentation are (from left) fifth-grade science teacher Leighanne Austin, students Reid Snow, Rayona Runnels, Emma Blaser, Madison Brumit and Derek Johnson.

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF–Malakoff ISD trustees were warned April 18 about a looming budget shortfall of more than $600,000 that could lead to higher taxes and a magnifying glass turned on personnel expenses, which make up about 80 percent of the school’s budget.
That scenario was presented to trustees during the school board’s monthly meeting by MISD Superintendent Randy Perry, and hinges on loss of state funding called ASATR (Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction), which came about following Texas Legislature promises to ease property taxes through an increase in the homestead exemption.
However, ASATR funding expires in September 2017. In May 2015, the Texas Legislature voted 78-52 against a one-year ASATR extension, and legislators next meet in the months preceding the additional funding’s expiration. The school district fiscal year ends in the summer, so upcoming budget talks will focus on cushioning the blow, with “no sacred cows,” Perry said, who also pointed out that most expenses are on personnel. Malakoff ISD had to cut $900,000 from its budget in 2011, Perry added.
Christy Rome, executive director of the Texas School Coalition, a school-district advocacy group in Austin, gave board members a presentation on the subject, and said state lawmakers are already clamoring to provide more property-tax relief in that 2017 legislative session. She urged board members to take a “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” attitude about the possible funding reductions.
School districts and the State of Texas are currently embroiled in a lawsuit over school funding, which includes the model of taking money from “property rich” schools and transferring those funds to districts with inferior tax bases.
Known as “recapture,” Malakoff ISD will next year give back $1.5 million of its own tax collections to be redistributed by the state government, Perry said. In essence, Rome said, the State of Texas is taking away funding meant to lower property taxes, but is forcing some district to in fact, raise taxes.
Local schools, which are capped by state law on how high their tax rate can go without an election, believe that limit is a form of setting a property tax, and therefore violates the state constitution, which outlaws a property tax to fund state government.
Malakoff ISD, which Perry said had the lowest tax rate in the area, is five cents under the state limit for its maintenance and operations (M&O) tax rate, proposed rates above which require local blessing at the ballot box.
Malakoff ISD is not alone in the East Texas area among property-rich districts that face ASATR reductions. While Malakoff ISD got about $670,000 in ASATR funding for its 2015-16 budget, Groesbeck ISD received more than $4 million, Leon ISD got $3.7 million, and Fairfield ISD budgeted $1.2 million. Mildred ISD got nearly a half-million dollars in FY 2015-16, while LaPoynor ISD got about $325,000 and Cayuga ISD, another $200,000.
Also during the MISD monthly meeting, board members accepted the resignation of trustee Billy Sparks, who has taken an out-of-state job. Trustees also approved hiring Reilly Landscaping to handle the area around the new sports fieldhouse at the high school, which tentatively has its ribbon-cutting ceremony set for Monday, May 23 at 6 p.m.



Posted by : admin | On : April 14, 2016

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF–Henderson County Sheriff-elect Botie Hillhouse and his wife, Malakoff ISD Police Chief Stacy Hillhouse, updated Rotarians on Open Carry rules, traffic laws around school buses and truancy matters.
Sheriff-elect Hillhouse said the carrying of weapons, openly or concealed is not allowed at the courthouse, annex or judicial complex and signs are posted to that effect. Neither are they allowed on school district property, unless granted by the school board.
In addition, he said those who carry openly must still be licensed. Businesses and other private property where the proprietor wishes to ban concealed and open carry must address the two issues in both English and Spanish, for a total of four signs, known as 30.06 for concealed carry and 30.07 for open carry.
Malakoff ISD Police Chief Stacie Hillhouse reminded motorists to stop for school buses. Vehicles traveling in both directions must stop when a bus has halted on a roadway with no dividers, such as a grassy median or concrete barrier. Roadways with a grassy median or concrete barrier legally allow opposing traffic to flow freely with a stopped school bus on the other side.
A paved turn lane is considered part of the roadway, and in those areas, automobiles in both directions must stop, she said. Highway 31 through Malakoff, with the paved center turn lane, requires all automobiles to stop for a school bus with flashing red lights and stop sign deployed.
Prevention efforts are underway, not just in Malakoff but in Kaufman County as well, added Malakoff ISD Superintendent Randy Perry. Those efforts include cameras mounted on the buses to catch offenders. There is a substantial fine for improperly passing a school bus, with punishment ranging all the way to a state jail felony, Stacie Hillhouse said.
Another issue MISD Chief Hillhouse addressed was the truancy code. The state legislature decriminalized truancy for schoolchildren, shifting truancy to a civil matter.
In Henderson County, Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Tommy Barnett, based in Malakoff, hears truancy matters before his court. The Henderson County Attorney’s Office, led by Clint Davis, also is involved in civil truancy matters, Hillhouse added. The parental aspect of truancy is still a criminal misdemeanor.
The law enforcement duo were special guest speakers during Malakoff Rotary’s weekly luncheon at the Flagg House April 12.



Posted by : admin | On : April 7, 2016


Kevin Lilly (right), who owns and operates 18 McDonald’s restaurants in East Texas, told Malakoff Rotary members March 29 about his company’s new building which opened this month, nearly 10 years after the Malakoff location first opened across the street. Lilly was joined by local store marketing coordinator Berta Winn (left).

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF–Malakoff Rotarians learned details March 29 about the construction and first few days of the city’s McDonald’s restaurant, which opened its new location earlier this month after being located across Highway 198 for nearly 10 years.
Kevin Lilly, who along with his wife, Jeaneane, owns and operates 18 McDonald’s locations stretching from Buffalo to Kaufman, and from Ennis to Tyler.
He said the new Malakoff building opened March 10, with ribbon-cutting ceremonies April 1. The ribbon will be made of $5 bills in the amount of $250, which will be donated to the Malakoff High School band. A grand opening was April 2, featuring the McDonald’s character, the Hamburglar.
The new building is 3,500 square feet, Lilly said, as opposed to the 2,000 square feet of space formerly shared with the Exxon convenience store across the highway. McDonald’s of Malakoff opened in Nov. 2006 with a 10-year lease at the former location, Lilly said. It took nine days to move everything across the road, Lilly said. A 1948 license plate was found during demolition and excavation of the gas station which sat at the new McDonald’s site, he added.
One feature of the new building is its interior décor. It includes stone bar stools and a leather couch, which has become a “casual centerpiece,” Lilly said.
The upscale wood and stone interior décor is a prototype and will be featured at McDonald’s Corporations worldwide convention in April, he added. Expanded restrooms are another feature. Lilly reported that the new restaurant, which is managed by Anisa Nelms, has been a big hit.
Lilly said the No. 1 question he receives is about lack of an indoor or outdoor playground. Lilly explained that the 1.01-acre site is “real tight,” and in addition, the finances were not feasible. Another possible location was explored which abuts Brookshire’s grocery, Lilly also said, before settling on the site at the northeast corner of highways 198 and 31.
Lilly, who was accompanied at the Rotary luncheon by local store marketing coordinator Berta Winn, also praised the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on solving access and drainage issues, along with adjacent property owners.
Lilly said he also spoke to Malakoff Rotary Club around the time of the restaurant’s 2006 opening and is a current city resident. “We feel very, very bonded and feel good about Malakoff,” he said.



Posted by : admin | On : March 31, 2016


the news photo/russell slaton
ABOVE: The roof of the Flagg House in Malakoff was badly damaged by the tornado March 8.

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF–Malakoff Rotary Club members gathered March 22, with much of the discussion centering on March 8’s tornado, which blew through the area as members were meeting for their weekly luncheon two weeks before.
That tornado felled a tree in the back yard of the Flagg House, built in 1921 by Harry Flagg, a local businessman, and now owned by Ken and Mary Andrews. It’s also home of the Malakoff Historical Society and Museum along with the local Chamber of Commerce, and also hosts Malakoff Rotary meetings.
Damage was significant to the roof, said Pat Isaacson, who helps run all three of the organizations hosted at the Flagg House. A rear chimney on the southwest side crashed through the roof, breaking a rafter, which pushed through the ceiling above the museum’s train collection. There’s interior water damage and the train collection has been moved.
While the roof looks like tile, it’s actually made of metal. Because the metal roofing can no longer be purchased, contractors are considering transplanting part of the same metal roofing from the carriage house, which sits separately behind the Flagg House. The bricks displaced by the collision are planned to be cleaned and reused.
Also, an expansive window was broken on the stairwell landing leading to the second floor. That window is original to the 1921 construction. Some of the flooring, made of oak and heart of pine wood, will require refinishing, which will mark the first time the Flagg House flooring has been resurfaced. The upstairs of the museum is closed until repairs have been completed, Isaacson said.
Malakoff Rotarians voted March 22 to give $250 toward Flagg House repairs, which Rotarian Doug Humble of Cedar Lake Nursing said he would match. Julie Armstrong, a Rotarian and Malakoff Education Foundation leader, said Malakoff High School’s Class of 2007 has also contributed $250. Separately, there’s an online fundraiser set up by Donna Rinn to go toward Flagg House repairs.
Also during March 22’s Malakoff Rotary meeting, Carlos Padron, the club’s president-elect, told fellow Rotarians about his training session at DFW Airport, and shared his thoughts on what he believed made Rotary a worthwhile activity. The switchover from current Malakoff Rotary president Scotty Thomas will take place in June. In addition, Julie Armstrong announced an April 2 5K fun run at Long Cove, north of Malakoff, to raise funds for the Malakoff Education Foundation.



Posted by : admin | On : March 24, 2016



the news photo by pearl cantrell
A grant of $6,425 from the Malakoff Education Foundation will allow six Tool Elementary teachers to get a mobile Smart Table for their classroom, for collaborative computer projects.

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF—The Malakoff ISD School Board approved the 2016-17 School Calendar Tuesday to include 76,515 minutes. The state now measures school attendance in terms of minutes, Superintendent Randy Perry explained, with 75,600 minutes a minimum requirement. The 900 extra minutes are built in for bad weather time off, or early dismissal on days an athletic team is going to compete at state, he said.
The change calls for the first day of school for students to begin on Aug. 22 and the last day be May 25, 1917, before the Memorial Day Holiday, he noted. The school day will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m. and five minutes later at the high school, while buses are in transit to the campus.
Other important board decisions Tuesday included amending local policy to increase the superintendent’s discretionary spending from $10,000 to $25,000. The trusting relationship between the board and the superintendent was noted, along with a change in state ethics law that would delay by 30 days the district’s ability to respond promptly to unforeseen needs.
The board also granted permission for the superintendent to extend the district’s current contract for electrical services in order to lock in a low rate through 2025, in view of the likelihood of rates increasing with the projected reduction in coal-powered generation plants. “It’s a hedge against any spikes in prices way down the line,” Perry said. Currently, the district is paying 4 cents per kilowatt hour with two years left on its contract. The current extension offer is for a little less than 5 cents per kilowatt hour (.04599 -.0469/KWH), he said.
At the top of the meeting, Perry recognized Malakoff ISD Police Chief Stacy Hillhouse for her prompt action to halt a shooter in the parking lot at a basketball playoff game in Teague last month. “It had nothing to do with any Malakoff people,” Perry said, except that our police chief drove up on the action and stopped the suspect, and that two bullets hit a car belonging to a Malakoff resident attending the game. “We’re very proud of Stacy Hillhouse.”
The meeting was held at the Tool Elementary School, which was advantageous because the Malakoff Education Foundation presented a grant request to a group of teachers at the campus.
MEF President David Bullock presented a check for $6,425 for a smart table. The technology is used as a social, inclusive, and captivating collaboration tool that makes it easy to get young students excited about learning. It’s a great way to enhance the social and academic skills of active learners and ensure all students can achieve success. Third, fourth and fifth grade teachers Kristi Dalrymple, Stephanie Youngman, Tasha French, Amanda Jones, Jolinda Caar and Kristina Mast submitted a grant proposal to the foundation and were extremely pleased by the presentation. “They’ve been wanting to get that table for years, ever since they saw it demonstrated at a teachers’ conference,” Tool Elementary Principal Crystal Calhoun told The News.
The foundation also presented a check to install 15 new overhead projectors throughout the district. “Teachers indicated that the most used piece of equipment in the classroom was the overhead projector,” Bullock said. “So we thought some of these could probably stand to be replaced.” He presented a check for $13,845 for the project for a grand total of $20,270. To date, the foundation has distributed $123,000. “They (MEF) put in a lot of effort to taking care of Malakoff students,” Perry said.
In other business, the board members:
reviewed the Quarterly Investment Report, with a total of $13,961,893.75 as of Feb. 29 invested in three different accounts, garnering various amounts of interest between (.15 to .50 percent).
Certified that the superintendent may serve on the Region VII Education Service Center’s Advisory Committee; and that instructional materials in all subjects other than physical education meet or exceed TEKS requirements for 2016-17.
Viewed a summer plan for teachers’ professional development in the use of technology and best practices in the classroom.
Approved three properties to be sold at the Sheriff’s Tax Foreclosure Sale,
Approved a budget amendment to add funding received from an insurance settlement in connection with the overturning of a school bus last year. It was noted that the district paid a $1,000 deductible and came out even on the costs of repairs.



Posted by : admin | On : March 17, 2016

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–An Athens and Malakoff man were involved in a fatal traffic collison in Odessa the evening of March 12.
Athens resident Joseph Dredla, 21, was driving north on FM 866 when he ran a stop sign at the intersection of FM 866 and Highway 302.
Dredla hit another vehicle, killing Earl Waterbury, 56, of Odessa.
DPS Troopers say Dredla was arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon, intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.
Malakoff resident Coby Bostic, 21, a passenger in Dredla’s vehicle, was ejected from the vehicle during the crash.
Reports state Bostic was not wearing a seat belt.
He was taken to a hospital in critical condition with incapacitating injuries.