Posted by : admin | On : January 9, 2014

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent

Ernest Fierro is the off-duty Malakoff police officer involved in the Dec. 11 incident near Corsicana in which William Livezey of Iowa died, the Navarro County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. It turns out that Fierro has a checkered history as a Dallas police officer.

Fierro became a Malakoff officer in August 2013 after serving with the Dallas police and as a Dallas County district attorney’s office investigator, and then as a police officer in Ferris.

The Dallas Morning News reported in 2008 that Fierro was involved in several driving incidents as a Dallas police officer. Also, the paper reported that Fierro was disciplined in 2000 for violating the Dallas Police Department’s off-duty employment policy and working another job the same day he called in sick.

In 2001, an investigation showed that Fierro fled a minor car accident in Northwest Dallas, and soon thereafter, hit a truck and wooden pole, Dallas police said. Automated tracking information showed that Fierro had been in that area, and was recorded as driving at speeds more than 100 mph. The driver of the car involved in that wreck also picked him out of a lineup, but did not pursue prosecution. He received a written reprimand from the second accident.

Fierro, citing injuries from that second accident, told investigators that he did not remember being in the area, and did not recall driving over 100 mph. Fierro eventually was fired from the Dallas Police Department in May 2001. He was later reinstated in October 2001.

In 2005, Fierro got a one-day suspension after a police investigation found that he again left the scene of an accident. He told investigators that he barely bumped the vehicle, that he was responding to the request of another officer for help, and that when he returned to find the vehicle, it wasn’t there.

Later that year, Fierro’s squad car was struck when he pulled his police vehicle into the path of a fleeing auto. Later still, he was accused of using another officer’s name badge number to generate a theft report in which he was listed as the victim.

Fierro resigned on November 7, 2005, while these investigators were taking place. Internal investigators subsequently concluded that he violated the department’s chase policy and filed a false report.

Resigning under investigation usually would have meant that Fierro would have lost his peace officer’s license, but he appealed and state officials allowed him to keep it.

Fierro’s name was released Thursday in response to an open records request filed by the Corsicana Daily Sun. A previous request made by The News was declined.

Not much is known on what happened to Livezey Dec. 11 besides accounts from two deputies
who found him on the side of the road in handcuffs, presumptively from Fierro. Livezey then fell ill, and deputies removed the handcuffs and began CPR on him while awaiting an ambulance. Livezey later died at Navarro Regional Hospital.

The death is still under investigation by the Texas Rangers, and details remain unclear to the public.



Posted by : admin | On : December 27, 2013


By Russell Slaton
The News correspondent

MALAKOFF–Christmas was in the air at Malakoff High School Dec. 20 as children from Malakoff Elementary’s Head Start program received gifts provided by students.
The mood was festive, with almost every room full of food, and students gathering around youngsters tearing into their gifts. Each third-period class adopted a child, with the elementary school counselor sending home a flyer asking Head Start parents to give details about their child’s shoe, pant shirt or dress size. The school also asked the parents to put an item on the list their child would like to receive. Those gifts included such items as bicycles and motor-powered mini-cars, upon which Head Start students tore up and down the halls, beaming with glee.
“Our students were very excited about this, along with our teachers,” said Malakoff High School principal Martin Brumit. “I believe this was a great way for MHS students to directly influence our community positivly.”



Posted by : admin | On : December 16, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF—Malakoff City Council gave the green light to honor with a plaque a longtime computer advocate at the Red Waller Community Library during its monthly meeting Monday, Dec. 9.
Dr. Ann Fowler White was “very dedicated in supporting the library of the city of Malakoff” and foresaw the need for computers, said Edward DeLoach, who made the request on behalf of the Friends of the Library, of which he is secretary. DeLoach said White was instrumental in obtaining computers and software for the library, and maintained grants that ensured upkeep. White, who died in July, was a math teacher who, upon retirement, was head of the Department of Math and Engineering at Southwest College in Stafford, which is part of the Houston Community College System.
The Friends of the Library originally requested naming the library’s computer resource center after White, and also placing a small brass plaque on each computer desk in White’s memory. Council members including Jerrilyn Tarver believed one larger plaque would suffice so as to leave room for other library contributors from the past. Librarian Charlotte Regester also recommended a single plaque, Tarver added. Other people honored at the library include namesake Red Waller with a mounted picture, according to City Administrator Ann Barker, and the original library board is noted with a plaque outside the library entrance, DeLoach added.
“I don’t think this particular service would be there without the contributions of Ann White,” DeLoach said. Even though DeLoach believed there wasn’t a single spot available to place the plaque, he said he would share the results of the council vote with the Friends of the Library, and will work with the librarian to find a suitable location.
In other action, the council awarded a bid for two trucks for the utility and street departments to Tri-County Ford in Mabank for $47,616. Teague Chevrolet-Buick of Mabank also submitted a bid for $50,552.54.
Also during the meeting, Chief Billy Mitchell released the police department’s November activity report, including:
– Service Calls: 71
– Offense Reports: 42
– Arrests: 20
– Agency Assists: 16
– Citizen Assists: 8
– Accidents: 0
– Citations: 146
– Warnings: 41
– Alarms: 9
– Cases filed in the District Attorney’s Office: 8
– Cases filed in the County Attorney’s Office: 3
– Total Fuel: 617 gallons
– Total Miles: 6,022



Posted by : admin | On : December 9, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
LONGVIEW–The Malakoff Tigers’ unprecedented run through the high-school football playoffs ended Friday, Nov. 29 in the regional semifinals in Longview with a 34-27 loss to New Boston.
Malakoff finishes the season at 11-2, which includes a district, bi-district and area championship. The 11 wins tie the 1940 Malakoff football team for most-ever victories in a season, and bested 1947’s 10-win season. The 1940 team went 11-0, won its district, and beat Tatum 19-7 to claim a class B bi-district championship. That was as far as Malakoff could advance at that time, as the University Interscholastic League held a single state championship game between larger schools until 1948, when state championships expanded to all school-sizes.
“Do not let this (loss) dictate your season. It was the best season in Malakoff history,” coach Jamie Driskell told his team following the game.
After falling behind 20-7, the Tigers tied the game on a three-yard quarterback keeper by Deric Greenhaw with 4:26 left in the fourth quarter. New Boston pulled away with two quick scores, including a 76-yard touchdown to Jeff Gladney, then linebacker Wes Teague returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown on Malakoff’s next possession to give New Boston a 34-20 lead with 3:27 left in the game. Malakoff responded with a 19-yard Damontes Dowell touchdown run to pull within seven with 52 seconds left, but the ensuing onside kick was recovered by New Boston, which ran out the clock.
New Boston scored on the first Tiger play on offense when Quinn Dedmon picked up a Malakoff fumble and ran 56 yards for a touchdown. Dariuhn Jackson returned a punt 41 yards for a Malakoff touchdown to knot the score at 7 with 53 seconds left in the first quarter. New Boston then struck with a 15-yard slant pass to Gladney to take a 14-7 halftime lead. Gladney finished the game with four catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns, and included a key third-and-long conversion.
New Boston tacked on a third-quarter touchdown on a five-yard pass to Juwaun Johnson, missed the extra point, but extended its lead to 20-7. Malakoff responded with two three-yard touchdown runs, one by Damontes Dowell, the other by Greenhaw which tied the game for the final time.
The Tigers racked up 256 yards rushing, led by Damontes Dowell’s 121 yards on 16 carries, with 88 more from Marcus Dowell. Malakoff held New Boston to only 114 yards on the ground, but gave up 180 yards and three touchdowns through the air.



Posted by : admin | On : November 15, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF—The Malakoff City Council approved nearly $71,000 for emergency roof repairs for the city’s municipal building during its monthly meeting Monday, Nov. 11.
The roof of the 1978 building has needed repair for a while, City Administrator Ann Barker said, and recent rains caused interior flooding in several areas. The Red Waller Community Library housed in the building closed for three days, and Barker estimated about 20 buckets there, catching drips. Library books were damaged, and officials feared computer and electrical damage, but that was not the case, Barker said. Employees arriving in the morning first noticed the problem, she added, and the city administrator’s office also was affected.
King Roofing of Gun Barrel City was the low bid at $70,860. Seventy percent of that comes from the utilities fund, while 30 percent comes from the general fund, the city administrator said.
Also during the meeting, which fell on Veterans Day, the city recognized those who served. Noted were employees police Lt. Floyd Thomas and Clyde Bowman Jr., council member Jerry Savage, municipal Judge Bill Burton, Mayor Pro Tem Tim Trimble, and Buster Carter. Two vets also were in the audience: former Green Beret Clyde Bowman Sr., and Johnny Davis. The city employees were presented with a banner and a $20 gift card from Ole West Steakhouse in Athens.
Additionally, the council agreed to pay insurance on a new tanker truck recently acquired by the Malakoff Volunteer Fire Dept., which was requested by Chief Kirk Kebodeaux and Assistant Chief Bubba Matthews. The VFD bought the $240,000 vehicle with help from a $200,000 grant. The insurance premiums will cost the city $1,300 per year, Barker said.
The council also set a citywide cleanup for Saturday, Nov. 23. It will take place at the city warehouse, which is at 206 N. Terry Street, north of the traffic signal. Approved, too, was paying off 1977 sinking-fund series bonds with money remaining from 1976 bonds of the same type. The city had budgeted to pay off those 1977 bonds, but by making early payments, $79,000 of that now can be used for other purposes.
In other action, Homer Ray Trimble received the city’s votes to serve on the Henderson County Appraisal District board of directors. Mayor Pro Tem Trimble, who is Trimble’s son, abstained from the vote.



Posted by : admin | On : July 13, 2013

By Loretta Humble
Special to The News

Christmas will be here before you know it. Really before you know it. Like in another week or so here in Malakoff, where downtown merchants are getting out their Christmas decorations for their second annual Christmas in July event. And this year they plan to have twelve days of it, like the song, having some special event every day, starting Friday, July 19 and going through Tuesday, July 30. There will be an art show, and a couple of teas, and a book sale, and cash drawings, and demonstrations, and I don’t know what all. There will be refreshments in many shops, and of course, extra special specials. My Cedar Lake companies are going to be participating by offering some checkups like blood pressure, glucometer and oximeter readings, and whatever else we can think of. Maybe we’ll even weigh you if you want us to. The list of events will be elsewhere in the paper, and in Henderson County Now and all over the Internet. I sure don’t have room to list them all here. Don’t miss the fun!

I got a late birthday present last week, when my daughter Liz and daughter Tina and her whole family took me blueberry picking at Echo Springs Blueberry Farm. That was fun. I’ve posted a lot of pictures of that on www.facebook.com/aroundthetown. They have great muffins and free coffee and all sorts of other delicious goodies. It is a nice place to go even when the blueberries aren’t ripe.
Another good thing that happened is that I got a garden fence. I got that because my grandsons Hunter Norwood and Jon Baker needed to get to Costa Rica. They are both studying Hospitality Management at North Texas University, and they’ve chosen to learn Green Hospitality in Costa Rica for their summer semester. We all chipped in to help them get the funds they needed, but they were still short. They asked me if I had a job for them, and I told them I needed a good garden fence. So they made me a great one, with a lot of help from their parents. I also have pictures of that adventure posted on aroundthetown.

Now I have a fantastic fence which encloses a really pitiful garden. I had a great crop of lambsquarters, which got old and tough and were just a hideout place for the millions of grasshoppers who ate every onion blade, every bean, every flower the zinnias tried to make, and nibbled on everything else. So we mowed down what had been my best crop, which was the lambsquarters. Luckily grasshoppers seem to not like tomatoes, which is the second best crop. They’ve done okay, but nothing in that garden is one-third as great looking as the Malakoff Housing Authority’s garden. Or one-fifth as great as Don Hughes’ garden right down the road from me. But mark my word. Next year my garden is going to be a beautiful thing to behold. I’m going to spend from now till next spring feeding that soil compost, and next year I’m going to have a garden worthy of that fence.

Meanwhile, we continue to spread Humbles throughout the health care industry in East Texas. Granddaughter Ariel, who recently graduated from TCU, is our latest success. She just landed a job with Navarro Regional Hospital as marketer for their Healthy Woman Program. Then, there is Ashley Humble, bride of grandson Beau Humble, who has recently been hired as vice president for development of Cornerstone Hospice. And of course I’ve already told you that Beau is administrator of the beautiful new Kemp Care Center. That means everybody in our family named Humble works in healthcare. And they all work for excellent companies. We are very proud of all of them.

I have another piece of good news, but I don’t have room to tell it like I want to, so I’m just going to tell you a little and tell you more later, because I think this might be valuable information for some of the rest of you. As many of you know, I have been doing everything I can to keep from having a knee replacement. And some of it helped, but lately I’ve been having a lot of pain. I went to the doctor and he set me up on a new program I’d never even heard about. He fitted me with a knee brace that promises not only to relieve pain from my arthritis, but also has been proven to actually improve the condition of the knee, eliminating the need for surgery in a lot of people. I’m pretty excited about it. You can learn about it at www.vqorthocare.com. And I will be keeping you updated on how it works for me.



Posted by : admin | On : June 27, 2013


By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent

MALAKOFF–Malakoff ISD trustees approved hiring Martin Brumit as the high school principal during its June 20 meeting.
Brumit will begin his duties on July 1. He was most recently an assistant principal at Denton Ryan High School, and had been with the district for the past five years. He replaces previous principal Daniel Barton, who moved to Tarkington ISD near Cleveland, Texas, in the same capacity following a two-year stint in Malakoff.

Excited about his move to Malakoff, Brumit said that while Denton Ryan is a large school (more than 2,000 students), it had a small town atmosphere, and that experience will serve him well in Malakoff.

The new principal was recently chosen as a finalist for the Association of Texas Professional Educators statewide Administrator of the Year award, which will be bestowed in July. Brumit graduated from West Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in history and kinesiology, and has a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas.

Trustees also heard a report from superintendent Randy Perry about preliminary state test results for the district, which includes the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) and the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).The STAAR has replaced the TAKS, but the TAKS is still administered to students who entered high school before the 2011-2012 school year.

“The STAAR scores were excellent, especially the elementary schools,” Perry said. Preliminary results included 100 percent of Tool and Malakoff elementary schools’ third-graders passing the reading and math portions. “That’s amazing. We’re thrilled,” Perry said.
Other STAAR highlights for the district included Tool Elementary’s fourth graders, who passed the writing portion at a 98 percent rate. Also, scores for eighth grade reading rose 21 percent in one year.

Perry said that the high school English I writing results marked the greatest need for improvement, with Malakoff students finishing behind the state average. Eighth grade social studies also came in slightly behind the state average, but Perry noted that Malakoff students still scored better compared to surrounding school districts.

Additionally, the superintendent told board members that the district’s TAKS science results for its African-American students showed a big increase from last year, with all students in that demographic passing that portion of the test. Overall, students who took the TAKS passed the English Language Arts test at a 91 percent clip, math at 92 percent, social studies at 97 percent and science at 97 percent.

Also during the superintendent’s report to trustees, Perry said that Malakoff Middle School’s first place entry in the Texas Schools Rock! video contest was recognized during the Texas Association of School Boards’ Summer Leadership Conference, which was held in Fort Worth in mid-June.

In other business, trustees approved buying two 2014 Thomas school buses at $90,765 each. Funding for the new buses comes from $463,000 in bond money returned to the district after contractors came in under budget following recent Tool Elementary School additions. Also, board members gave the go ahead to replace tile at the 17 year-old high school’s cafetorium with carpet in the school’s black and gold colors. This project will be handled by Gallagher Construction Services of Richardson for $31,100. Similar carpeting has already been installed in the high school’s hallways.

During the meeting, trustees heard from its tax collection attorney, Alison Wylie of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson’s Tyler office. Wylie said that the district will sell property located at 502 N. Martin in Malakoff which was previously removed from the district’s tax roll following the delinquency. The property will be up for bid at the sheriff’s sale Aug. 6 on the steps of the Henderson County Courthouse in Athens.

In addition to a new high school principal, the board approved Gary Lucius as assistant high school principal.
Lucius had served as director of the district’s Leo Orr Sr. Education Center. Other hires include: Chrissy Humphrey, high school math; Brenda Clark, high school English; Tawna Walden, elementary teacher; and Hagen Keele, high school math and coach.



Posted by : admin | On : June 17, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent

MALAKOFF–Risking his own life to save a fellow citizen, the commendation reads. But ask Officer Robert Siegmund of the Malakoff Police Department about the act, it was just another day on the job.

Siegmund was recognized by Police Chief Billy Mitchell and the Malakoff City Council during its regular meeting June 10 for pulling resident Robert Nokes to safety before fire engulfed Nokes’ vehicle and the Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church on April 25. Nokes, 38, experienced a medical episode while driving and accidentally crashed into the building.

“The chief was right there with me the whole time. It was a team effort,” said Siegmund, who has been with the department for nearly three years. The officer also noted the help of Father William Palmer of the church, who Siegmund said helped extract Nokes from the burning vehicle.

While Chief Mitchell battled flames with a fire extinguisher and with the front driver’s side door wedged shut, Siegmund entered the vehicle through the rear passenger door. At one point, Siegmund was overcome by smoke before the officer eventually tugged Nokes loose after the injured man’s seat belt was cut. Soon thereafter, “something blew up, maybe the engine or one of the tires,” according to the officer.

Nokes was present during the council meeting. He spent 22 days in a Tyler hospital, and is about to start physical therapy. Nokes uses a cane and has “a little nerve damage, but if that’s the worst that happens, I can live with that,” he said.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Nokes added. “Very few people get a second chance.”

The council also authorized the city to extend for two more years its participation in the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs HOME program, which provides grants to cities to build housing for senior and low-income citizens.

Four homes have been constructed so far, with one more expected to be completed in about two weeks, said City Administrator Ann Barker. Another two homes are early in the construction process, Barker added, and two more properties qualify for the program. The city hopes in the future to rehabilitate three or four more properties, Barker said. The council also awarded a bid to Angus Home Center of Corsicana to provide a manufactured home using grants from the program.

Also during the meeting, council members Jeanette King and Tim Trimble were sworn in along with Mayor Delois Pagitt following the trio’s re-election May 11. The council selected Trimble to continue as mayor pro tem.



Posted by : admin | On : March 21, 2013

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff

MALAKOFF–Students at Malakoff Middle School found out that a little hard work and good presentation can be well rewarded.

Students submitted a video about what makes Malakoff Middle School exceptional to the “Texas Public Schools Rock!” video contest. By early March, the video was floating around the Internet and social media sites, racking up the views.

On March 19, the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) announced that Malakoff Middle School won first place and a $5,000 reward to be given to the district to be used in the students’ classrooms and campus.
Only one first place prize was given for all Texas Middle Schools. The context was open to all Texas elementary and secondary public school students.

Malakoff Middle School Principal Quintin Watkins is extremely proud of the students.

“They did such an amazing job,” Watkins said. “Malakoff Middle School has the best students in the state of Texas. They play, learn and grow together so well. Teachers and parents make sure they get the best education they can every day.”

The school will be deciding what will be done with the prize money soon. According to Watkins the students that were a part of the video will meet with teacher Jerri Cheek (who organized the submission) and the campus improvement team to determine the best way to spend the money.

“Whatever we end up doing, we want to make sure to recognize all the students that participated in the video so that future students will know of their legacy,” Watkins said.

There were many videos from Texas public school that TASB sifted through to determine the winner.

“With so many excellent entries, the final choices were extremely difficult,” says said Viola Garcia, TASB president. “We are thrilled that students from all over the state showcased their creativity and enthusiasm for the great things going on in their districts. These winning entries help explain why local schools deserve the support of their communities and appropriate funding from the state. Our students’ voices underscore why all Texans should be proud of their public schools.”



Posted by : admin | 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.