Jul

27

Posted by : admin | On : July 27, 2017

Log Cabin City Secretary Belynda Figueriedo (right) admiinisters oath of office to new City Councilperson Rodney Allen. Allen replaces Jennifer Williams who resigned.

Log Cabin City Secretary Belynda Figueriedo (right) admiinisters oath of office to new City Councilperson Rodney Allen. Allen replaces Jennifer Williams who resigned.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
LOG CABIN–Log Cabin City Council accepted the resignation of council member Jennifer Williams and appointed Rodney Allen to take her place at the regular meeting on July 20 at the Log Cabin City Municipal Building.
The council approved some important changes to the payment of water bills and court costs which take effect Sept. 1. Water bill payments will be accepted between the hours of 8 a.m. to noon Monday
through Thursday. The policy was also amended to no longer accept cash for payment of water or court bills. Payment may be made by check, money order or credit/debit card.
Councilperson Judy Bearden told the assembly “This will make it more efficient and save time for the office personnel.” When asked what would happen if someone brought in a payment after hours, she answered, “They can put it in the drop box and it will not affect the bill being late.” The group was told there would be no change in the service fee for using a credit card.
The change will be communicated to residents via signs on the Municipal Building, newsletter and a notice on the water bill.
The council also accepted a bid for repair of the water system in the amount of $19,890 from Cates Welding for repair of the 30,000-gallon ground storage tank with the stipulation that the bid expected next week is not lower. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) informed the city of the violation during a routine inspection and are allowing the city time to make the repair before charging for the violation. The council did not want to wait another month to take action since at this point, they were not being charged a penalty for non-compliance. The bid was the lower of two they had received.
In other business, council members:
• approved hiring Amberlea Commino as a part-time park attendant
• adopted the investment policy for small cities as their official investment policy. City Secretary Belynda Figueriedo informed the council that by state law, they must have an investment policy in place even if they don’t have money to invest.
• renewed the church lease for the current rate of $400 per month at a one-year term.

Jul

20

Posted by : admin | On : July 20, 2017

By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF—During the superintendent’s report portion of the Board of Trustees meeting, Malakoff ISD Superintendent Randy Perry voiced his disagreement with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s recent position on school funding.
According to an article in the Texas Tribune, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick laid out a proposal to give teachers bonuses and increase their retirement benefits, with plans to pay for both long-term using money from the Texas lottery.
Patrick’s plan, in part, would provide $600 to $1,000 bonuses to long-term and retired teachers, inject $200 million into the Teacher Retirement System, give $150 million to struggling small, rural districts, and provide $60 million for new facilities for fast-growth school districts and charter schools.
Currently, about $1.3 billion annually, or 27 percent of lottery funds, goes to public schools. Patrick is currently proposing taking the $700 million from that $1.3 billion to fund raises and bonuses, rather than reallocating additional lottery revenue.
The fact that no additional funds are being allocated by the state to provide increased salaries and bonuses for teachers is what Perry takes issue with. “It is disturbing to me that a politician will tell educators that they don’t have their priorities right. Our teachers and administrators have our children’s best interests at heart all the time.”
Patrick had called on school districts to reprioritize 5 percent of their funds over the next four years to increase teacher salaries. Districts, he said, “have to be better about how they spend the money. They have to put more focus on teachers.”
Perry said, addressing the board, “Patrick is telling you that you’re not doing a very good job supporting our teachers.”
Perry also told the board he met with Senator Robert Nichols and discussed with him the dire nature of insurance costs for teacher and retirees and that for many teachers, coverage is simply unaffordable.
In other business, board members:
• heard that Ideal Impact had high praise for the district’s efforts in saving energy and savings realized for March and April were $5,000,
• an audit of the school lunch program is expected this year,
• approved expenditure in the amount of $4,233 to solve the ongoing issue at the Rock building,
• discussed installing an awning at the back of Malakoff Elementary and tabled the decision until the facility committee could investigate options and advise and
• heard the results of the School Safety and Security Audit which is much improved over previous years.

Jul

13

Posted by : admin | On : July 13, 2017

The News Photo/Pearl Cantrell Mayor Warren Claxton (right) presents a plaque of appreciation to Duane Smith, for his service on the city council.

The News Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Mayor Warren Claxton (right) presents a plaque of appreciation to Duane Smith, for his service on the city council.


By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
STAR HARBOR—Star Harbor Mayor Warren Claxton told a full room of his fellow residents that the city’s filings before the Public Utility Commission had been dismissed. “A technicality in the form of the application caused the dismissal,” Claxton explained. Star Harbor has a different law firm handling its legal work now, he indicated after public comments. “Whoever was responsible for the application ought to have his feet held to the fire,” Rick Koziol said in closing public comments.
The city is in contention with the City of Malakoff over a sharp rise in the cost of wastewater treatment. Star Harbor produces its own drinking water and is moving forward on building its own wastewater treatment plant.
Former councilman O.R. Perdue presented the quarterly and semiannual report on water and wastewater expenditures. Since January, the city has paid its customary $3,400.41 monthly billing to the City of Malakoff and a much larger amount into an escrow account. The payments total $20,402.46 for wastewater treatment and $98,076.18 toward escrow, totaling $118,478.64 or a monthly payment of $19,746.44 for the community’s 420 residents as of the 2010 U.S. Census.
At the end of 2016, the City of Malakoff presented a new service contract to Star Harbor, representing a 600 percent-plus increase in service charges. The city has repeatedly asked for an explanation of the new charges, a meeting to discuss the new contract and has sent representatives to the City of Malakoff City Council meetings without gaining any response.
The City of Malakoff attorney Hank Skelton to date has not responded to The News queries on this matter, nor has any council member. Since January, Star Harbor has continued to pay the amount it was paying under the former service contract and deposited the balance in an escrow account. After listening to legal advice from a resident who has an active law practice, the council felt that paying according to the new contract would be tacit agreement with the new contract, so in lieu of that an escrow account was set up. It was hoped that the growing amount in escrow would induce the City of Malakoff to enter into a discussion with city officials.
In other business, the council:
• recognized the faithful service of Duane Smith, who most recently served as Mayor Pro-tem, filling in for Dr. Walter Bingham who had to step down due to health reasons. He has also served as a former mayor of the city and on the council for several terms. Smith was not returned to the council during the May 6 election. The council appointed Claxton mayor, since Bingham’s resignation came after the deadline for the May 6 ballot.
• amended Ordinance 165 to coincide with state law requiring slow-moving vehicles to exhibit a triangular caution placard on the rear. Golf carts being used primarily for transportation use will be required to carry the placard. Golf carts traveling strictly between home and the golf course for use on the course are exempt, along with carts kept strictly for use on the greens. Police Chief Todd Tanner explained the need for the amendment.
• discussed amending Ordinance 162 dealing with new construction in five areas, including landscaping, dumpster permit fee, signage, minimum square feet and short-term rentals. The council took a vote on each area separately after discussion and hearing extensive public comment and Building and Zoning Committee recommendations at the beginning of the meeting.
• tabled making changes to landscaping requirements, took no action to implement a dumpster permit, change the minimum building footage requirement of 1500 sq. ft. or change in signage rules, which now reads that only city signs may be posted on city property at the entrance of Star Harbor and other signs must be removed from private property within three days of the event and can’t go up more than three days before the event.
• on a 4-1 vote, approved short-term rental use of properties with the intent to set a workshop to regulate such use.
• heard four building permits were issued since the last meeting.
• recognized the work of resident Gay Morris in preparing the community newsletter which keeps residents apprised of local news and events.

Jul

13

Posted by : admin | On : July 13, 2017

MalakoffFB6CMYK

The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Tigers football team comes into the 2017 season as favorites to win District 9-3A, Division I.
The Tigers are ranked No. 5 in the state in the Class 3A, Division I Coaches and Top 20 poll.
Malakoff’s offense will be led by senior quarterback Judd Miller. Miller passed for 3,527 yards and 48 touchdowns in his junior season. Miller is also picked as the preseason Offensive MVP of the District.
Aiding Miller on the offensive side of the ball will be returning running back Breashawn Williams. Williams rushed for 1,233 yards and 14 touchdowns last season under coach Jamie Driskell. Offensive lineman Kobe Wilbanks will be providing the blocking protection for both Miller and Williams.
Helping out on defense will be linebacker Zee Bailey, who finished last season with an impressive 148 tackles and three forced fumbles.
Meanwhile in District 8-4A, Division I, the Athens Hornets are predicted to finish fifth.
The Hornets look to improve upon last year’s disappointing 2-8 finish. The Hornets had made the playoffs the previous four seasons under coach Paul Essary.
Leading the offense for the Hornets will be senior quarterback Xavius Fulton and tight end Rowdy Godwin. The main running backs returning will be JaQuaylon Bowman and Jerquindon Taylor.
In District 10-2A, Division I, the Cross Roads Bobcats are predicted to finish sixth.
The Bobcats will look to improve under new head coach Daniel Pierce, but will have to find a new quarterback after the graduation of Taylor McKenzie.
Senior linebacker Brandon Wilson will be returning for the Bobcats. Players to watch for the Bobcats based on the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine writers’ predictions are wide receiver Luc Hyles as well as linemen Karson Fletcher, Hunter Lawrence and Kaden Mattingly.
In District 15-A, Division II, the Trinidad Trojans are predicted to finish fourth, while only two teams make playoffs in Class A play.
Former Mount Calm coach Chad Satcher replaces James Massarrelli as the Trojans new head coach after Massarrelli left this offseason.
The Trojans will be led offensively by quarterback Colby Snider and running back Romal Womack.
Players to watch for the Trojans defensively this season are linebackers Johnny Ayala, Talon Sims, Billy Quinn, defensive backs Kaeleb Eastman, Antywon Shofner and Kaleb Mines. Also included are linemen Cameron Brookins, Tristan Fletcher, Eli Arnold and Zach Stanfield.

Jul

06

Posted by : admin | On : July 6, 2017

Sentator Nichols with Superintendents
Special to The News
AUSTIN–Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) met with school superintendents from around Senate District 3, June 28 to discuss items which will be addressed during the Special Legislative Session, beginning on July 18, 2017. In addition, they also discussed what occurred during the 85th Regular Legislative Session.
“As we head into the upcoming special session, many of the items which will be addressed are education related. I wanted to make sure I took the opportunity to discuss these important issues with the Superintendents from our local school districts,” said Senator Nichols.
Some of the items discussed included administrative flexibility, teacher pay increases, property tax reform, school vouchers and school finance reform.
“I do not believe the Legislature can successfully make good decisions, unless we are listening closely to those we represent,” said Nichols. “Education is and always will be one of the most important issues we face as a state.”
Senate District 3 represents 101 school districts throughout 19 counties including Henderson County.

Jun

22

Posted by : admin | On : June 22, 2017

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

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


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

Jun

15

Posted by : admin | On : June 15, 2017

worked up photos mugshots Clifford Miller

worked up photos
mugshots
Clifford Miller


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

Jun

08

Posted by : admin | On : June 8, 2017

Log Cabin Boat Ramp
The News Staff Reports
LOG CABIN—The City of Log Cabin marks its 30th anniversary with a celebration at 10 a.m. this Saturday. The city will hold a dedication ceremony of the “Gene Bearden Memorial Boat Ramp” in the city park with a celebratory meal to follow at the Red Barn.
In the 1980s the town began as a retirement development called Log Cabin Estates, located between the Caney Creek and Clear Creek arms of Cedar Creek Reservoir. The community incorporated in 1987, and in 1990 the population was 487. That figure increased to 733 in 2000. Current population is estimated to be 717 according to the city’s website.
Roger Eugene “Papa Gene” Bearden served the community of Log Cabin as a member of the City Council, Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem. And this was all after retiring from Southwestern Bell Telephone with 30 years of service.
From all accounts, Bearden was a “bigger than life” character, dedicated to his faith, his family and his community. He was instrumental in the implementation of the city’s new water treatment and sewer system, water tower, community park, fishing pier, boat ramp and dock. He and his wife Judy were married for 45 years before his passing in April 2014 at the age of 66.

Jun

01

Posted by : admin | On : June 1, 2017

EthanSnowPitchingCMYK

The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–Ethan Snow led a group of five Tiger baseball players who earned a spot on the District 18-3A All-District Baseball team in a vote of district coaches at their end of the season meeting. Coaches from the district nominate players and the coaches vote on each player nominated.
Snow was named the Tri-Utility Player of the Year along with Palestine Westwood senior Kolton Bentley and Teague senior Brad Smith.
Being selected for first-team honors were senior Tyler Russell and Tyler Crawford. Garnering second-team honors were sophomore Cully McCoy and junior Jake Lee.
Most Valuable Player of the district went to Teague’s Jaylon Davis, Defensive Player of the Year was Cooper Jones of Teague and Offensive Player of the Year went to Rhett Read of Leon.
Pitcher of the Year was Franklin’s T.J. Brumley, Newcomer of the Year was Jarrett Fishbeck of Buffalo with Coach of the Year going to Teague’s Jeff Callahan.
The Tigers went 9-10 overall on the sason and 5-7 in District 18-3A play this season and missed the playoffs.

May

18

Posted by : admin | On : May 18, 2017

TylerRussellCMYK

By Rollin Hadsell
The News Staff Writer
AUSTIN–Malakoff High School senior Tyler Russell went to the state meet determined to keep his state championship in the high jump, but came home with a bonus. Russell won two gold medals at the UIL State Track and Field Meet May 11-13 at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.
Eustace High School senior Chanda Westbrook came home with some hardware as well, winning a silver and bronze to close out her decorated career as a Eustace Lady Bulldog.
Russell defended his state high jump title, winning with a jump of six feet, 11 inches, a personal best. Poth’s Jake Lamberth won the silver with a jump of 6 feet, nine inches.
Russell added to his trophy case with a gold in the long jump, winning first with a distance of 23 feet, seven and a quarter inches. New Waverly’s Roman Pray finished second with a jump of 23 feet, three inches. In the past two track seasons, Russell has taken home three gold medals, two in the high jump and one in the long jump.
Westbrook started out the Friday morning session of the state meet by finishing second in the 3200-meter run with a time of 11:12.71 to take the silver medal. Blanco’s Johanna Villareal won the gold medal with a time of 11:08. 59. Westbrook came back on Saturday to take third place and the bronze medal in the 1600-meter run. Westbrook finished with a time of 5:10.60. Little River Academy’s Jenna Brazeal finished second with a time of 5:09.54 and Villareal took another gold with a time of 5:09.03.
Malakoff Tiger Q.T. Barker was fourth in the 100-meter run, missing a medal by just .09 seconds. Barker ran a 10.90, trailing Crockett’s Demarcus Richardson’s 10.81. Danny Gray of Dallas Madison won gold in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.70.
Larry Coker finished ninth in the discus with a throw of 137 feet, 10 inches. Schulenburg’s Josh Brown won gold with a throw of 176 feet, six inches.
Trinidad Lady Trojan Erica Airheart finished fifth in the Class A triple jump with a distance of 34 feet, seven and a half inches. Ella Anttila of Jonesboro won gold and set a state meet record with a distance of 39 feet, one and a half inches.