May

26

Posted by : admin | On : May 26, 2016

News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Henderson County Precinct 3 Commissioner’s race is won by Charles “Chuck” McHam in the Republican Runoff Election Tuesday. He will face Democrat candidate Aleciah Sims in November’s General Election. The winner will be sworn into office Jan. 1, 2017. Current office Ronny Lawrence has indicated he will retire at the end of his term, having served on the Commissioners’ Court for more than a decade.
McHam gained 822 votes to Kevin Head’s 635 to secure his ballot spot.
The longtime Brownsboro ISD ag teacher said he is very excited with the win and plans to help make the county a place that people will want to relocate to under his watch. “I want to make the people of Henderson County proud,” he said.
As expected much fewer voters participated in the runoff election than those who cast votes in the March Party Primary. In that race McHam garnered 1,520 votes. Head reaped 913 votes in the Primary.
“There’s one more race to go,” McHam said. “We’ll get geared up and be ready when it comes.”
Statewide races included a runoff for Railroad Commissioner and two seats on the Court of Criminal Appeals. Henderson County voters agreed with totals statewide and selected Wayne Christian over Gary Gates by a margin of 167 votes for Railroad Commissioner. Christian will face Democrat Grady Yarbrough in November, which agrees with county totals for Yarbrough among Democrat voters.
County election results shows Place 2 Justice candidate Ray Wheless with higher totals than his opponent; however, statewide totals favored Mary Lou Keel for the post with 51 percent of the vote. Place 5 Justice candidate Scott Walker won statewide with nearly 58 percent of the vote, which lines up nicely with County totals of 75 percent. Neither Justice has an opponent for the general election.
The runoff also decided the winner of the State Board of Education District 9 seat. Only two Republicans have been in contention for the seat with Keven M. Ellis winning 59.2 percent of the vote and Mary Lou Bruner picking up the remaining 40 percent. County voters also named Ellis as their choice at the ballot box.

May

19

Posted by : admin | On : May 19, 2016

Mike costa1The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Chamber of Commerce is without a president again after Mike Coston resigned from the post May 17.
Coston made his final public appearance earlier that day at the Farm and Ranch Tour luncheon at the Cain Center. He has served as chamber president since July 2014.
The executive board accepted his resignation. Coston plans to pursue other career opportunities.
Coston has established several programs throughout the community such as Ladies Night out, Lake, Clays and Fairways event, the 12 at 12 meetings and the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.
Before coming to Athens, Coston left the Kilgore chamber in early 2013 to become president and CEO of the Fort Worth- based Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America. He replaced Mark Rathe at the Athens chamber. Rathe was president from June 2013 to March 2014.

May

19

Posted by : admin | On : May 19, 2016

rifles
The News Photo/Sariah Kendall
Texas Game Wardens stand ready for a 21-gun salute during a memorial service held at the the Texas Game Warden Memorial at the Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, May 13.

By Sariah Kendall
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Texas Game wardens gathered Friday for an annual memorial ceremony held at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens to honor 18 wardens who died in the line of duty.
Family members of the fallen, guests, and the 60th game warden training class listened as Texas Parks and Wildlife Executive Director Carter Smith reviewed the courage and dedication of these fallen wardens.
“In your valor, there is great hope. May we never forget the valor and hope bestowed upon us by the 18 departed wardens,” Smith said.
Game wardens have served the citizens of Texas since 1895. They have expanded their duties from solely protecting fisheries and wildlife to water safety and search and rescue. For years they have also worked with border patrol and disaster relief, “which is increasing danger and risk,” Smith said. Daily, 500 wardens are on duty throughout the state of Texas.
Since 2016, the U.S. has lost 35 game wardens, three from Texas. “You must remember the sacrifices for the blue badge,” Colonel Craig Hunter reminded the game warden training class.
This is likely the last ceremony to be conducted in Athens before the memorial is moved to Austin. Athens has held the ceremony at the Memorial Plaza since it was installed.

wardens with flags
The News photo/ sariah Kendall
From left to right: Oscar Jaimez of Laredo, Brad Meloni of Kingsville, Carlos Maldonado of Hebbronville, Colt Gaulden of Gatesville and Kevin Frazier of Hamilton stand united at the Texas Game Warden Memorial Ceremony held at the Freshwater Fisheries Center.

May

12

Posted by : admin | On : May 12, 2016

Nutt, Ray mug copy

By Pearl Cantrell
News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners accepted the resignation of Sheriff Ray Nutt Tuesday. His last day will by May 31. In his resignation letter, Nutt states that the goals he came into office with Jan. 1, 2009 have been met.
“I would like to thank the Court for their support during my time as Sheriff. I also appreciate the support of the citizens from all across the County. Although my term runs through Dec. 31, 1 feel it is in the best interest of the Sheriffs Office and the County, for me to step aside,” he wrote.
Commissioners agreed to name Sheriff-elect Botie Hillhouse to begin serving in Nutt’s place beginning on June 1, as Nutt recommended. “The new sheriff-elect is ready to continue our goals and to implement his own,” Nutt stated.
“After more than 47 years in law enforcement, I am looking forward to being able to spend more time with my wife. Lee and my children and grandchildren.”

Apr

28

Posted by : admin | On : April 28, 2016

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Trinity Valley Community College confirms college President Glendon Forgey was suspended with pay Monday, April 25.
Board President Ray Raymond said the board has been presented with confilicting governmental documents by Forgey without acceptable explanation.
The school board is elected by the citizens of the college district to oversee the college and its administrators and act in the best interest of TVCC students and staff.
Raymond said the board takes their responsibilities very seriously and has determined the concerns regarding the president’s conduct should be fully investigated in order to properly fulfill its duties to the public.
An investigation into his contract is pending.

forgey

Apr

28

Posted by : admin | On : April 28, 2016

Rick Hirsch-extension agent

Rick Hirsch, 1965-2016, Texas A&M Extension Agent

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
HENDERSON COUNTY–A beautiful spring day for Henderson County, Sunday was the day County Extension Agent Rick Hirsch died at his residence. All who heard of the longtime extension agent’s death expressed shock and grief. Hircsh, 51, is well-known in East Texas and elsewhere as he dispensed advice and information via a newspaper column, radio show and agricultural clinics, tours and seminars in his 28-year career.
A funeral service is to be held at 10 a.m. Thursday (today) at the First Baptist Church in Athens. located at 1055 S. Carroll Street.
Most recently, he organized a pasture tour, including a location on the shores of Cedar Creek Lake in late March. He served Henderson County from 1992 as its Extension Office Agent on behalf of AgriLife of Texas A & M University.
He is well-known for his support of youth agricultural projects (FFA & 4-H) and its students. The Athens FFA has opened a gofundme page to raise funds for his family. In its first seven hours, nearly $2,000 had been raised. The goal is to raise $25,000.
Terrie Echols writes: “So sorry for your loss. Rick was a great teacher, I learned a lot from taking his class. May God bless and comfort his family and friends.”
The Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home in Athens is overseeing the funeral arrangements. Members of the community are invited to share their stories, photos and remembrances of Rick to comfort the family on its website.
Rick Hirsch is survived by his wife, Bronte, a teacher in the Athens ISD, and three children.
Lorri and Harold Hawkins of Brownsboro state of Hirsch: “He was always there to help the community and especially the young people of Henderson County. Rick will be greatly missed.”
The Henderson County Master Gardeners extend their condolences, adding: “Rick was a respected and wise leader. We will miss his guidance and counsel.”
Chad Coburn, who judged many bovine exhibits with Rick writes: “I’ve had the privilege to judge cattle shows with Rick and serve with him on the Animal Industries Committee. I was shocked to hear the news.”
Gregg County Extension Agent Randy Reeves describes Hirsch as a great mentor. “We will all miss Rick. He was a great mentor to all of us and will be sorrowfully missed. Extension will never be the same with a great friend and co-worker called home.”
Co-worker Jo Petty Smith writes: “From the time I was a kid on the end of a show halter, to the time I was able to call him a co-worker, mentor and more importantly, a friend, I will cherish those memories and the laughs that he was surrounded by. I felt it a great honor to work with him and know him. Extension lost one of its finest agents.”
Among the many accolades and recognitions Hirsch garnered through his successful career, is the County Agent of the Year award bestowed by the Texas & Southwestern Cattlemen’s Association in 2012.
Athens ISD agricultural teacher Jeff Jones summed up best what many recognize on this sad occasion: “Mr. Rick Hirsch was a great friend and an outstanding person. Rick was an iconic figure in Henderson County, a truly good man and someone who helped thousands and thousands of people in our community and across the state of Texas.”

Apr

28

Posted by : admin | On : April 28, 2016

1st brady williams age 6 and under

Courtesy Photo/Mendy Davis
Brady Williams (right), who won first place in the six and under division poses with his catch after recieving his award during the Kid Fishing event at Purtis Creek State Park, April 23.

By Ryan Moulds
The News Sports Writer
PURTIS CREEK–More than 60 fish were caught and just under 400 kids were angler education certified and received their very own rod and reel provided by the Friends of Purtis Creek at the annual “Kid Fish” event, held April 23 at Purtis Creek State Park in Eustace.
Three different age groups competed in the event and the top three from each age group recieved medals.
In the six and under category, the first place winner was Brady Williams. Cate Coker won second place and Colt Pope won third.
In the seven through 12 division, the first place winner was Wyatt Standridge. Jasmine Grover won second place and Gracie Standridge was third.
In the 13 through 16 division Mark Walters took home first place. Seth Johnson won second and Hunter Mercer was third.
Robert Mercer Jr. set a lake record for the Junior Angler Channel Catfish. His catch was 15.25” long and .096 pounds.
“Our event was a huge success,” Purtis Creek State Park Superintendent Mendy Davis said. “I would like to thank board members Carei and Bobby Bobbitt for volunteering and supporting the event. I would also like to thank our other sponsors and partners for helping to make this possible.”
Sponsors for the event included Friends of Purtis Creek, Cabela’s, Kiddie Kampus of Eustace, Brookshire’s, Nestle Waters, Trinity Valley Electric Coop, Dr. Pepper, Texas Forrest Service, Communication Division Hunter Education, Communication Division Angler Education, TPWD Game Wardens, TPWD State Park Police Officers, Regional Natural and Cultural Resource Specialists and Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center Director and Volunteers.

Mar

31

Posted by : admin | On : March 31, 2016

Worked up photos Mugshots Philip Hestily

Worked up photos
Mugshots
Philip Hestily

worked up photos mugshots John Dickens

worked up photos
mugshots
John Dickens

April is Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–On the eve of Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office reports a number of recent arrests of persons charged with victimizing children.
A 32-year-old woman is being held in the Henderson County Law Enforcement Center on an $100,000 bond for Sexual Assault of a Child.
During the course of an investigation that began on Good Friday (March 25), it was determined that the woman (to remain unnamed at the victim’s family’s request) has been having an ongoing sexual relationship with a teenage boy, below the age of consent. The age of consent in the state of Texas is 17.
Subsequently, a press release stated, she was charged with the second degree felony and booked into the jail on March 26. Justice of the Peace Milton Adams set the bond amount.
Deputy Ray Yockey took the initial call and investigators Wick Gabbard and Cayce Hampton were called in to assist.
No other information was released in the interest of protecting the victim.
Ten days prior to this arrest (March 15), Deputy Meagan Hogan was dispatched in a complaint involving a child younger than 10 years old. The case was assigned to Hampton for investigation. Evidence developed supported probable cause for the arrest of 64-year-old Phillip Hestily (See photo, page 2A), a resident in the Seven Points area.
He was charged with Indecency with Child Sexual Contact, a second degree felony. He is being held on a bond totaling $100,000.
The Henderson County Child Advocacy Center, which specializes in interviewing children, assisted in the investigation.
Toward the end of February, the Smith County Sheriff referred a similar case to the Henderson County Sheriff. Statements from two victims of past continuous sexual abuse came to light against Jonathan Ray Dickens, now 34 years old (see page 2A for photo).
On March 22, Dickens was located and arrested on two counts of Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children.
He is being held on bonds totaling $300,000. The first degree felony is punishable by a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 99 years, upon conviction.
The East Texas Crisis Center, The HELP Center of Athens, Family Peace Project and Henderson County Child Advocacy Center are holding an event in conjunction with law enforcement and the Commissioners Court to declare April as Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness month.
The declaration is set for noon Tuesday, April 2 on the courthouse steps in Athens. The wearing of clothing and or ribbons that are royal blue for Child Abuse Prevention and teal for Sexual Assault Awareness is expected to be on display throughout the month.
The District Attorney’s Office has been going into the schools encouraging fourth, fifth and sixth grade students to help their friends who confide in them of abuse by reporting it to teachers and administrators; so their friends can get the help and protection they need.
The ETCC offers support groups for women trying to break the cycle of sexual violence and it along with the Family Peace Project offers emergency shelter to those fleeing domestic violence. Legal advocacy is also available.
“We’re here for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with counseling and a listening ear,” Family Peace Project Executive Director Marlena Taylor said.
Organization like these can always use financial support from the public they serve, along with donations of personal care items. These may be reached through calling the HELP Center at (903) 675-4357.

Mar

03

Posted by : admin | On : March 3, 2016

worked up photos meandgale

worked up photos
meandgale

Courtesy Photo
Head to Tail Equine Massage owner Robyn Wheeler gives a massage to Gale, an ex-racehorse, at the Doris Day Equine Center in Murchison.

Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Head to Tail Equine Massage in Mabank, is now accepting new clients from the Cedar Creek Lake and surrounding areas.
Equine massage has many benefits including increased range of motion and muscle tone, increased circulation and rapid healing of injuries, and decreased swelling and fibrosis. Massage also enhances your equine athlete’s performance and overall disposition.
Head to Tail Equine Massage also offers massage to mules, donkeys, zebras, other livestock and large dog breeds. Individual owners may contact Head to Tail and referrals from veterinarians, breeders, trainers and groomers are also accepted.
Owner Robyn Wheeler is certified in equine sports massage therapy by Equissage Texas and has years of experience handling horses, livestock and domestic animals. She is the former owner of The Creature Teacher wildlife education service and is a volunteer at the Doris Day Equine Rescue and Adoption Center.
Massage therapy does not replace veterinary treatment but serves as a compliment to the current care animals are receiving for muscular- and skeletal-related issues.
To learn more about the many benefits of massage to your animal athletes, call (972) 345-8544, go to www.headtotailequinemassage.com or e-mail robyn@robynwheeler.com.

Feb

25

Posted by : admin | On : February 25, 2016

The News Staff Reports
HENDERSON COUNTY—To get results from the March 1 Primary on races in Henderson County, readers may go online to Henderson-county.com/vote.
This site will be updated as election returns are tabulated precinct by precinct throughout the evening.
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To track statewide elections and how the state voted in the presidential primary races, go to the Secretary of State site at http://sos.state.tx.us/elections/Index.shtml.
On the right side of the screen, find March 1, 2016 Primary Election. There you will be able to track voting results by county.