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.

Feb

25

Posted by : admin | On : February 25, 2016

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Stacie Parson’s defense attorneys are seeking to toss out the alleged statements she made after walking in to the Athens Police Department. According to court records, Parsons told three police officers she killed her 4-year-old daughter before being read the Miranda Rights by APD Detective Sgt. Don Yarbrough.
A hearing was held in the 173rd District Court Feb. 19 to hear evidence presented by the state and Parson’s attorney.
APD Lt. Jeremy Hugghins stated Parsons was not given a Miranda warning, because the crime had not been verified.
Yarbrough stated Parsons waived her rights, signing a waiver to such, and did not request to speak with an attorney.
Defense attorneys say Parsons, at the time she confessed, was not fully aware of the consequences of such admissions.
Parsons admitted to being mad at her husband regarding his drug use, threatening to kill their daughter, Victoria.
The child’s body was found in the trunk of a car located in Athens on Martin Luther King Street.
Parsons is being held on a $6 million bond for capital murder in the Henderson County Jail and is set to attend a pre-trail hearing Thursday, March 3.
Jury selection for Parsons’ trial may begin as early as April 14.

Feb

18

Posted by : admin | On : February 18, 2016

Alicia Dennis scurry

The News Photo/Ryan Moulds
Alicia Dennis (4) led the Kemp Lady ’Jackets in points and assists while playing as a 14-year old freshman on varsity. She is a key player that Kemp coach Megan Cullum will count on in the future to lead the team.

By Ryan Moulds
The News Staff Writer
EAST TEXAS–The Athens Hornets and Malakoff Lady Tigers were voted teams of the year in the inaugural The News East Texas Basketball Dream Team. The Hornets finished the season as district champions while the Lady Tigers went 27-3 and 14-0 in district to finish as undefeted district champs.
The boys coach of the year was Tracy Carter from Mabank. Carter’s Panthers got out to a rough start this season and were affected by a big lack of size.
They started off 0-2 in district play but rallied around star players Jordan Thomas, Corey Flores, Mark Driskell, and Cole Smith to win five in a row and secure a spot in the playoffs while finishing second in district play.
The girl’s coach of the year was second year Eustace coach Lloyd Mahaffey. His team went 3-11 in district play last season and had not made the playoffs in 46 years, which was one of the longest droughts in girl’s or boy’s basketball in the state.
The Lady Bulldogs broke the playoff drought season and finished with a 21-9 record as well as a 12-2 record in district play. Eustace was led by a trio of Sydnee Wynn, Gabi Corder and Zoie Bailey. They finished second in district and their only two district losses came to Malakoff.
2016 The News East Texas Basketball Dream Team
BOYS
First Team
• Athens sophomore Miles Koehler
• Mabank junior Jordan Thomas
• Malakoff junior QT Barker
• Kemp sophomore Kane Johnson
• Cross Roads senior Aaron Arden
Second Team
• Kemp senior Brandon Shipp
• Mabank senior Corey Flores
• Malakoff junior Tyler Russell
• Athens senior Travon Fuller
• Eustace senior Hayden Plunk
Honorable Mention
• Danyal Littleton,
Malakoff
• Mark Driskell,
Mabank
• Jay Ridgle, Athens
Christian Prep Academy
• Hunter Davis, Cross Roads
• Javonte Hornbuckle, Trinidad
• Josiah Brewington,
Kemp
• Kris Wrenn, Kemp
• Jayden Vance,
Eustace
• Gary Lyons, Athens
• Blayne Rowe,
Mabank
• AJ Cook, Malakoff
• Boomer Irvin, Kemp
• JC Cravey, Eustace
• Moises Alvarado,
Cross Roads
• Kaenen Nix, Athens Christian Prep
• Jake Woolverton,
Malakoff
• Elijah Gardiner,
Kemp
• Cole Smith, Mabank
• Antywon Shofner,
Trinidad
• Micah Santelli,
Athens Christian Prep
Academy
• Cody Duncan,
Eustace
GIRLS
First Team
• Eustace junior
Sydnee Wynn
• Malakoff sophomore
Jalie Dawson
• Kemp freshman
Alicia Dennis
• Malakoff senior
Kiana Reed
• Mabank junior
Carson Marsh
Second Team
• Malakoff junior
Kamry Hurd
• Eustace senior Gabi Corder
• Eustace sophomore
Zoie Bailey
• Athens sophomore Raveon Rodriguez
• Malakoff senior
Hazel Puempel
Honorable Mention
• KeiKei Walker,
Malakoff
• Madison Holbert,
Eustace
• Kelsey Contreras,
Eustace
• Sara Spivey, Cross Roads
• Erikah Hall, Athens
Christian Prep Academy
• Lucy Anderson,
Kemp
• Kara Smith, Athens
• Jill Odom, Mabank
• Marilyn Alvarado,
Cross Roads
• Stormy Luckey,
Eustace
• Leigh Cunningham,
Mabank
• Madison Fowler,
Athens Christian Prep Academy
• Gracie Miller, Athens
Christian Prep
• Haylee Scott, Kemp
• Grayson Cain, Cross Roads
• Harleigh Bardin,
Kemp
• Allie Hall, Mabank
• Savannah Chapman,
Mabank
• Caitlin Miller, Athens
Christian Prep Academy
• Jemiah Morgan, Athens
• Johnsynn Luckey, Eustace

Feb

18

Posted by : admin | On : February 18, 2016

Navarro College President Dr. Barbara Kavalier (left) and docent Jay Waterman flank Mary Love Sanders, who donated Malakoff Head No. 2 to the Pearce Museum on the college campus, for the re-dedication and unveiling Feb. 16 as part of the Cook Education Center.

Navarro College President Dr. Barbara Kavalier (left) and docent Jay Waterman flank Mary Love Sanders, who donated Malakoff Head No. 2 to the Pearce Museum on the college campus, for the re-dedication and unveiling Feb. 16 as part of the Cook Education Center.

THE NEWS PHOTO/PEARL CANTRELL
Navarro College President Dr. Barbara Kavalier (left) and docent Jay Waterman flank Mary Love Sanders, who donated Malakoff Head No. 2 to the Pearce Museum on the college campus Feb. 16, during a re-dedication and unveiling ceremony in the Cook Education Center. All three original Malakoff Heads are housed in its permanent collection. The exhibit centers on Hunters and Gatherers of the Late Pleistocene age and the heads may be attributable to the work of Paleoindians. See more from the unveiling in next week’s issue of The News.

Feb

18

Posted by : admin | On : February 18, 2016

DSCN0293

Courtesy Photo
Bro. Cameron Hornbuckle co-hosting the “We Love Our Youth” program and doing a great job.

By Delanda S. Johnson
Special to the News
MALAKOFF–Well, it’s that time of the year and the Henderson County Black History Committee started the month of February off with a bang!
On Feb. 7, the youth of Henderson County celebrated its Annual “We Love Our Youth” program at the First Baptist Church (Walker St.) in Malakoff.
The event was called to order by Master of Ceremonies Bro. Cameron Hornbuckle followed by the traditional song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Bro. Karter Walker delivered a moving prayer with Sis. Rayona Runnels expressing in her own way a musical welcome to the congregation.
First Baptist Church youth set the mood of the church with a heartfelt song.
Bro. Marcus Hornbuckle, Jr., read a paper on Alexander L. Twilight, the first African-American to get a college degree. Bro. Cornelius Hambrick rendered the touching speech “I Have A Dream” by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
After the Black History moments Co-Host Bro. Cameron Brookins introduced the youth from each of the area churches. This year was filled with praise dance teams, mim teams, choirs, etc., helping to celebrate Black History Month.
The National Theme “Hallowed Ground: Sites of African American Memory” with sub-theme “I’m Pressing On” Philippians 3:13-15 gave a special meaning.
Sis. Gabrielle Williams gave an heartfelt introduction of the guest speaker which happen to be her father, Rev. Rickey Barnes, the proud new Pastor of First Baptist Church.
Rev. Barnes first wanted to express to the congregation that the message he was giving was just for the youth. “I need the 19-year-olds and below to please stand. I’m here to let you know that you have greatness with you. Don’t let anyone say or do anything to you that will let you think you do not have greatness within you. So, “What is your purpose?” said Rev. Barnes. (Proverbs 7:6:21)
Rev. Barnes cautioned adults to watch what they do and say in front of their children. He noted that America today is designed to keep the youth’s mind simple; that this will stop you (the youth) from being great.
“If you are looking in today’s society, thugs and bad girls are paid to entertain you. We know that this is a fast-paced world, but don’t buy into all the glamour, music, etc., know that God has a gift that is just for you. God has set your life up for success, but know that Evil is looking at you, too. Parents don’t trust the world; be more involved with everything your child does. Don’t just say, ‘I don’t know anything about social media/computers; you better learn,’” Rev. Barnes said.
“Youth of Henderson County know that Evil is always there, but know that Jesus is there also. Thugs and Bad girls are always there to influence you; know that Jesus is there, also. All you need to do is just crack a door just a little and Jesus will be there to help you,” Rev. Barnes said.