Mar

14

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : March 14, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Staff

MALAKOFF–Malakoff’s financial footing is firm, the city’s auditor told the city council at its monthly meeting Monday, March 11.

Reporting on the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2012, Frank Steele of Anderson, Marx & Bohl, an association of certified public accountants in Corsicana, told the council that it was a “year of progress from a liquidity standpoint.”

“You’re doing OK,” Steele said. “If you are putting back into the fund balance, then you are doing better than most.”

Malakoff’s general fund pretty much broke even, increasing by about $7,000, Steele said, raising the overall general fund balance (assets minus liabilities) to $1,303,000 from $1,296,000 the previous year. He noted that the general fund within the 2012 fiscal year had $450,000 in cash, with a fund balance of $400,000. The city’s water and sewer fund had $327,000 in cash and $3.8 million in the fund balance, Steele said, including an increase in operating income to $151,000, which was $100,000 more than last fiscal year.

That excess revenue from the water and sewer fund will be invested in a $100,000 certificate of deposit through First State Bank-Athens’ branch in Malakoff, an agenda item that later was affirmed at the meeting by the council. This certificate of deposit purchase was the city’s first in about a decade, Steele said.

Certificates of deposit through banks are backed by the federal government via the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Such purchases are standard procedure for government entities, according to City Administrator Ann Barker.
As for debt, the general fund carried $138,000 in notes that was paid down to $96,000, Steele said. The water and sewer fund took on $400,000 in debt last fiscal year for water storage facility improvements, he added, which increased overall water and sewer debt to $1,260,000.

One issue brought up by Steele during his fiscal report to the council was “bank reconciliation,” which is similar to the balancing of a checkbook. When asked by Mayor Pro-Tem Tim Trimble to explain, Steele said, “Last year, the final audit adjustments either didn’t get posted or it was lost being sent over.” That adjustment accounted for the final difference in the city’s balance, Steele said. Council member Jeanette King noted after Steele’s presentation that bank reconciliations are done by the city “every month.”

In other business, the council approved the low bid of $86,363 for Malakoff’s public works department to purchase a third backhoe for the utilities division. This backhoe will be used to help fix ongoing drainage issues and to tear down substandard structures within the city limits, Public Works Director Tim Whitley told the council.

The new backhoe will be a 2013 Case Model 580SN. The department currently owns two backhoes, a 1998 model Case and a 2002 Caterpillar. “The backhoe is something we use every day,” Whitley said, noting that recent creek improvements have put a strain on the department. To pay for the new backhoe, the department “could stay within its means (budget) without increasing costs,” he said.

Whitley told the council that more creek drainage work needs to be done near Pennsylvania Street and Washington Avenue, as well as near the water treatment plant on the city’s west side.

Within the past month, the city has cleared the same creek near Cole and Moss streets, and plans more creek drainage improvements northeasterly toward the city’s Community Center, park and fire department at the intersection of State Highway 198 and Farm-to-Market Road 3062 (Star Harbor Road).

When asked by Council member Vincent Bailey Jr. whether the purchase could cause any budget problems for the public works department, Whitley reiterated, “No, we can put our heads together and keep it in budget. We aren’t coming after (the council) for anything, we’re pretty well set.”

After the item was approved unanimously, Trimble told those present that “we have had flooding problems in our city. If we ever get heavy water like in past years, it will help keep the creeks clean. It’s nothing but a plus for us.”

The new backhoe will be ready for use within the next month, according to Whitley. Bids for the backhoe were sought through the city’s membership in the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) buy board, a regional council of governments co-op.

The H-GAC Board awards all contracts, which can then be made available to local governments nationwide through HGACBuy, according to the HGACBuy website. The greater bulk purchasing power of HGACBuy allows cities, like Malakoff, to get a better deal, Whitley said.

The city council also approved the minutes of February’s regular meeting, as well as the specially called meeting Feb. 15. In addition, the council authorized paying the city’s financial obligations for February. The council’s next scheduled monthly meeting is Monday, April 8.

Mar

08

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : March 8, 2013

By Erik Walsh
The News Editor

The Malakoff Rotary Club is preparing to “walk the talk” by committing to serve at the Faith in Action food pantry Tuesday March 12.

Rotarians discussed their roles serving with the Malakoff-based food and clothes ministry during their regular meeting March 5.

“We are going to be working in the back, boxing food,” Julie Armstrong, Malakoff Rotary president said.

The relationship between the ministry and Malakoff Rotary is going so well, Faith in Action Director Teri Caswel is in the preliminary stages of becoming a member. Rotarians unanimously accepted her application. Now she just needs to come to the next meeting and be officially inducted.

Rotarians will be splitting duties among morning and afternoon shifts at Faith in Action. They will not have a meeting March 12.

Armstrong said they may not have a Rotary shirt for new member Scotty Thomas while they serve at the ministry next week.

“What a great problem!” Armstrong said. “More members than shirts is a good problem to have.”

The Malakoff Rotary club’s next business meeting will be at noon March 19 at the Flagg House.

Feb

08

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 8, 2013

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff

County inmates will soon be serving the public by clearing fence rows at the Malakoff Historical Society and Museum.

Malakoff Historical Society Director Pat Issacson, is thrilled about getting the assistance.

“This is going to be so much help,” she said. “I am very excited.”

Issacson discussed the idea with The News just a few weeks ago while waiting for a “Friends of Malakoff” meeting at the Flag House to begin. Since then, Issacson made the calls and arrangements and put things into motion. Of course none of it would be possible without the help of county inmates and the approval of County Commissioners.

Issacson said no date has been assigned yet, and the workload is rather heavy, so it most likely will be taking several days to complete.

“There are a lot of fence rows to move,” she said “It’s hard to tell when it was last cleaned out. It’s been years. They are going to help move some big things in the house then do the work outside.”
The city of Malakoff also said it will assist in the effort.

“The city said if we get the fencing close to the road, they will haul it off for us,” Issacson said

After a day’s work is done, Issacson said there would be more opportunities to continue the clean up.
“If there is more that needs done (after the day is over), all I need to do is call them up and they will come out again,” she said.

Issacson expects it will take two or three days to complete all of the work.

Jan

25

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : January 25, 2013

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff
Martin Luther King Jr. Day festivities highlighted the Jan. 19-20 weekend around Malakoff and Athens and came to a close Monday night with a Candlelight vigil in Malakoff.

The annual event, hosted by the Henderson County Black History Committee, was held at New Hope Corinth CME Church and featured speaker Rev. Billy Wright.

During his speech, Wright reviewed the accomplishments of Dr. King.

“He was a great man and Baptist minister. Because of his efforts, today we have people of color in high public office all over the county.”

He also talked about Dr. King’s “I’ve been on the Mountaintop” speech, alluding to how, like Jesus, Dr. King had faith in the results of his work and persevered even though he suspected he may not live to benefit from it.
Dr. King said “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!

“We have overcome, just like Jesus did,” Wright said.

After the lighting of the candles and the singing of Christian hymns, Wright affectionately closed with the statement “I love you all, and there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it!”

Jan

17

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : January 17, 2013

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff

SEAGOVILLE–A Malakoff High School student was killed Sunday in a wreck on U.S. Highway 175 just outside Seagoville.

Jamiya Givens Williams, 16, was a sophomore. Also perishing in the crash was Williams’ 11-month-old daughter.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred when a Ford F-150 truck struck the Chevrolet Cavalier occupied by Williams and her daughter from behind.

Prior to the collision, the eastbound Cavalier, driven by Williams’ mother, Sheryk Givens, 40, blew out a tire and slowed to about 10-15 mph in preparation to exit. That’s when the F-150 struck the economy compact vehicle, last produced in 2005.

Givens’ 18-year-old son Jabari was also in the Cavalier, however no other injuries were reported.
Funeral services will be handled by the Tomlinson Funeral Home. The date of the services are still pending as of Jan. 15.

A fund has been set up to assist the family with funeral expenses for Jamiya Williams and her daughter, Alahna, through the First Baptist Church of Malakoff, P.O. Box 408, Malakoff, TX 75148,designate checks “Jamiya Williams.”

Dec

27

Posted by : Staff Reports | On : December 27, 2012

This is the final 2012 edition of The Malakoff News, the traditional time we release the Top 5 Stories of The Year.
The stories are selected based on three factors: the number of people impacted, the amount of media coverage, and the amount of discussion generated in the community.

1. The Friends of Malakoff form

It is always nice when good news provides the top story of the year, and The Friends of Malakoff made sure that is the case in the city in 2012.
The eclectic group of downtown merchants and Malakoff supporters came together in the summer, looking to add a little pep to the area. Before long, they began to organize and took the name “Friends of Malakoff.”
The first event the group organized was Christmas in July, which included holiday-themed sales across town, drawings, an art show, and an author’s reading.
Next up, the Friends of Malakoff challenged residents and businesses to dress up the city with scarecrows. The response was overwhelming. Scarecrows popped up in front of multiple businesses, and when organizers started posting photos on Facebook, the challenge exploded and the scarecrows seemed to be everywhere.
Eventually, all the scarecrows even caught the attention of the Tyler Paper, which did a story.
After that, the Friends were highly involved with the city’s Christmas celebration and worked on turning a vacant lot downtown into a pocket park.
There were also snowmen who replaced the scarecrows, and other events the Friends helped promote.
All in all, it was an impressive start for a new organization. We can’t wait to see what 2013 holds for the Friends.

2. Malakoff Housing Authority troubles

Read more in the 12-28 issue of the Malakoff News

Dec

13

Posted by : Staff Reports | On : December 13, 2012

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff

Malakoff City Council members appointed Bill Burton to fill the vacant position of Municipal Court Judge in a meeting Dec. 10 at the city hall.

Mayor Delois Pagitt told The News that Burton would be contacted and informed of the council’s decision. The date he will assume his duties was unclear, as Burton must inform the city which two days of the week he is available to serve. The transition isn’t expected to take long.

“He will probably he starting before Jan. 1,” Pagitt said.

Burton, a longtime Athens resident, is no stranger to the political sphere. He won the 2012 Democratic nomination for Henderson County Sheriff, eventually losing out to the Republican incumbent Ray Nutt.

Brown served as a police officer, United States Army combat engineer, Justice of the Peace, Administrative Hearing Officer, Real Estate course teacher, arbitrator of property tax disputes and Binding Arbitration hearings.

He grew up in Athens and attended Athens ISD, graduating from the University of Texas in Tyler with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Kinesiology.

He has also also served as preacher.

Nov

17

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : November 17, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

GLADEWATER — And then there was one.

Malakoff became the last football team standing in Henderson County for the 2012 season when the Tigers beat the Redwater Dragons, 28-22, in a physical bi-district playoff game Friday night.

“The kids fought, that’s all I can tell you,” Head Coach Jamie Driskell said. “The offense fought, the defense fought, they just fought.”

The win marks the first time in school history the Tigers (8-3) have won playoff games in consecutive years, and continues the most successful run of football ever for Malakoff.

“It is a huge step for this program and for these kids,” Driskell said.

Friday night, the Tigers were helped along by getting a huge game out of junior running back Demontes Dowell, and two fourth down stops late in the fourth quarter by the defense.

Dowell exploded for 202 yards and three touchdowns, including a 78-yard run down the left sideline on the Tigers first play from scrimmage. His biggest run, however, may have come with 19 seconds remaining in the third quarter, when he powered into the end zone from four yards out to make the score 26-20.

Cesar Garcia came out to kick the extra point, but a penalty on Redwater moved the ball from the 3 to the 1-and-a-half yard line. That prompted Driskell to send the offense back on the field, and quarterback Tate Taylor ran in the two-point conversion to give Malakoff a 28-20 lead.

The margin loomed large as Redwater took the ensuing kickoff and held the ball for more than 9:30 of game time, driving 56 yards on 17 plays. As the clock ticked under three minutes, the Dragons went for it on fourth-and-eight from the Malakoff 9, but came up short.

That was the first big stop by the Tiger defense.

“They just run a smash-mouth offense and we just bowed up and stopped them when we had to,” said Driskell.

But this is the playoffs and the Dragons weren’t about to go quietly. Malakoff lost four yards on three plays and eventually Redwater was able to catch Damontes Dowell in the end zone for a safety to make the score 28-22. Malakoff was forced to kick the ball back to Redwater, and the Dragons had one more chance with 2:14 left and the ball on their own 49.

A couple of quick runs gave Redwater a first down at the Malakoff 40, but with time running out the Dragons had to go to the air. That didn’t work so well, and the Tiger defense got its second big fourth down stop with just seconds remaining on the clock.

In addition to Demontes Dowell’s outburst, Malakoff saw a big contribution from quarterback Tate Taylor, who scored the tying touchdown midway through the third quarter on a five-yard run. That drive was set up by an Isreal Chavez fumble recovery.

Redwater was led by junior fullback Dalton White, who ran for 134 yards between the tackles, and scored on runs of 5 and 23 yards.

Next up for the Tigers is 10-0 Pottsboro 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, in Royse City.

Oct

20

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : October 20, 2012

Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace and Malakoff Municipal Judge Henry Ashford died today of an apparent heart attack, a county source confirmed.

There are no other details at this time.

Oct

19

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : October 19, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

MALAKOFF — The tone was set early in Malakoff’s 70-8 win over the Kemp Yellowjackets Friday night.

The Tigers kicked off to start the game and Kemp fumbled, with Marcus Dowell recovering for Malakoff. On their first play from scrimmage, the Tigers found the end zone on a 22-yard strike from Tate Taylor to Stephan Wolfe.

Fourteen seconds into the game, and the Tigers were up 7-0.

It was the closest the Yellowjackets would be all night.

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