Jan

11

Posted by : admin | On : January 11, 2018

Moonshiners
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Athens police are investigating a robbery that was reported Saturday night at Moonshiners on Corsicana Street in Athens.
The attendant on duty reported that two men, dressed in black entered the store approximately 11:20 p.m. and approached the counter with a gun, demanding money. According to a report by KLTV, the clerk was holding her baby at the time, since the baby’s father had dropped the child off 30 minutes earlier.
The clerk gave the robbers the money and they left the store. No injuries were reported. Detective Adam Parkins is investigating the incident. Security camera footage from the robbery is available on KLTV’s website.

Jan

11

Posted by : admin | On : January 11, 2018

IMG_6542 MAL GBB #21 CMYK
By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Lady Tigers varsity basketball squad picked up a district win over the Frankston Lady Indians at home Tuesday.
Sophomore Alliyah Coleman got the scoring kickstarted for the Lady Tigers with the first two points of the contest.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 6-0 lead before the Lady Indians called a timeout with 5:40 remaining in the first quarter.
The Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Indians 6-2 following the timeout to take a 12-2 lead into the second quarter.
Once again, the Lady Tigers got on the board first to start the second quarter, courtesy of a layup from KeiKei Walker.
Both teams struggled late from the free throw line, with the Lady Tigers going 0/2, and the Lady Indians going 1/4 from the line.
The Lady Tigers would hold the lead, 16-7 at halftime.
The Lady Indians began the second half from the line, going 1/2 to cut the lead to 16-8.
The Lady Tigers answered on a shot from Ta’liha Dora that was rebounded by Sha’kera Thompson to make it 20-8.
With the Lady Tigers in possession of the ball late, senior Charlsey Stearman was able to finish an inbound pass from Nakeya Kelley to push the lead to 22-8.
The Lady Tigers would get the last score of the third quarter with Coleman putting in the final shot with four seconds remaining to take a 24-10 lead into the final quarter of play.
The Lady Indians were in familiar territory to start the fourth quarter, taking shots from the line after early foul trouble by the Lady Indians.
It paid off for the Lady Tigers as Frankston missed 3/4 free throws, leaving the lead at 26-11.
Senior Jalie Dawson added two more points for the Lady Tigers to bump their lead up to 28-11.
The Lady Tigers would only allow four more points total the rest of the fourth quarter.
The game ended with three straight successful layups from Dawson, including the final one at the buzzer to lead the Lady Tigers to a 38-15 victory.
The Lady Tigers head back to the road Friday, Jan. 12 to take on the Teague Lady Lions in another district matchup, beginning at 5 p.m.

Jan

11

Posted by : admin | On : January 11, 2018

Athens Mayor Monte Montgomery (right) presents a plaque of appreciation to Councilman Joe Whatley in appreciation for his service to the city council. Whatley resigned at the last council meeting in December. Aaron "Bubba" Smith took his place as Interim Councilman.

Athens Mayor Monte Montgomery (right) presents a plaque of appreciation to Councilman Joe Whatley in appreciation for his service to the city council. Whatley resigned at the last council meeting in December. Aaron “Bubba” Smith took his place as Interim Councilman.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–After Managing Director of Public Services Ryan Adams presented curbside bulk trash pick-up alternatives to the council once again at the Jan. 8 meeting, council members voted unanimously to close the Collection Station. Adams had made the presentation to the council at the Nov. 27 meeting, but gave a shortened version to bring new council members up to speed before the vote. At issue is the underuse and possible misuse of the Collection Station, which opens the city up to liability for costs in the event of a hazardous spill. Also, the fees charged have made up only a small portion of the costs to keep the center open. Residents will be able to use the Henderson County Collection Sites to dispose of bulk items. No date was given for the close.
After another public hearing on the Cain Center Project, the council seems committed to continue with the current plan, but intends to bring it in at a budget the city can afford. Several citizens spoke, the majority being in favor of continuing with the project including the indoor pool. Former Cain Center Director Tere Lawyer pleaded with council, “Please save it.” Bob Morton spoke about the health and welfare of the community as being a prime consideration and said, “Think about that child who drowns because they didn’t have a place for swim lessons.” Many citizens mentioned that a renovated Cain Center could bring in more programs to help offset its cost, with Lawyer making the comment, “With a renovated facility, income would rise and repairs decrease.”
Managing Director of Community Services Thanasis Kombos, along with acting City Manager Gary Whittle presented alternatives for paying for the project from the existing certificates of obligation which also fund the Texan Theater project and the utility projects. Since the agenda item was a discussion item, council took no action but more is expected at the next meeting.
Council approved a Texan Theater package including audio/visual package with a stage, furnishings and equipment up to the $240,000 asked for, but gave direction to Kombos to save where he could. Council also approved the appropriation of $136,598 in the HOT Occupancy Tax fund for reconstruction of the south wall of the Texan Theater.
Council took action, approving a Professional Services Agreement for engineering and design of an Interim High-Pressure Plane Booster Pump Station with Garver, USA not to exceed $69,499 to address the low water pressure area on the northeast side of town, which resulted in a boil-water notice for seven residences on or near Sand Springs Road They also declared a public health exception from state purchasing laws to authorize staff to select a construction service provider to expedite the solution. The pump is an interim solution, expected to last approximately two years. Costs are expected to near $500,000.
In other business, council members:
• heard from citizens regarding a request from Ampler Development, LLC for site plan approval for a new Burger King Restaurant with drive-through at 1004 E. Tyler St.
• heard request from the Boyce family to replat Lot 1 of the Boyce Subdivision at 1200 Kaufman Rd. to allow a future manufactured home.
• appointed Kathy Means to the Cultural Resources Commission.
• appointed Armando Rincon to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
• reappointed Larry Babb, and John Cain to the Airport Advisory Board.
• reappointed Chris Tinsley, Andrea Copeland, Bob Morton and Justin Boswell to the Parks Advisory Board.
• reappointed Paul Ingram and Brady Autry to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
• reappointed Jack Bateman and Mamie Stafford to the Zoning Board of Adjustments.
• reappointed Billy Murphree, Garrett Hope and Cody Craig to the Substandard Building Commission.

Jan

04

Posted by : admin | On : January 4, 2018

IMG_5052 Malakoff FB #23 CMYK

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Tigers football squad had a terrific 2017 regular season.
The Tigers came into the season focused and ready to build off a State semifinal appearance in 2016.
Head Coach Jamie Driskell had plenty of depth coming into September, and had a lot of players to choose from to set his lineup.
“We have enough kids that they’re going to have to compete for their spot and they’re going to have to bring it every day, and if they have a bad day or a bad week there’s going to be somebody right there on their heels to take their position,” Driskell said.
The Tigers rattled off eight straight wins to begin their regular season, including a 5-0 start in district play.
Then the Tigers faced a tough Teague team, and eventually fell 35-14 for their first loss of the season.
The Tigers didn’t let that affect them in their final regular season tune-up before the postseason.
The Tigers drubbed the Elkhart Elks, setting a school record with a 75-0 victory at home.
The Tigers would head into the 3A UIL Football playoffs as one of the contenders to compete for a State championship, coming just two wins shy the year prior.
They faced a hot Rockdale team in their first game at Crockett High School.
The Tigers were trailing late into the fourth quarter, and started their comeback when they cut the lead to 38-33 with a touchdown.
A late score by Rockdale would seal the Tigers’ fate though as they fell 46-33, ending their season with a 9-2 overall record.
But on a semi-positive note, nobody beat Rockdale in the playoffs in 2017.
Rockdale picked up victories over Woodville, West and Teague before facing the Brock Eagles in the State championship game.
Brock knocked off Kemp in the State semifinals, but were unable to overcome a huge comeback by Rockdale as they won the 3A State championship title.
The Tigers put their best foot forward in 2017, but unfortunately were unable to advance.
The Tigers have had great success under Driskell, and look to build off their experience this year, and carry it into 2018.

Jan

04

Posted by : admin | On : January 4, 2018

Special to The News
ATHENS–District Attorney Mark Hall reports that the Henderson County Grand Jury for the July-December term 2017 returned the following indictments. In addition, 13 cases are indicted under seal.
• Robert Dwayne Marin, 40, Athens, Injury to a Child.
• Coy Rain Mize, 26, Snyder, Burglary of Habitation.
• Justin James Williams, 28, Athens, Evading Arrest or Detention.
• Jimmy Dewith Wrigley, 17, Athens, Injury to a Child.
• Nathan Craig Lambert, 45, Kemp, Aggravated Assault.
• James Wheeler Shelton, III, 47, Athens, Possession of Controlled Substance (PCS) and Tampering with Evidence.
• Debra Renee Slay, 31, Murchison, PCS.
• Jennie Lea Hydrick, 58, Mabank, PCS.
• Phillip Corey Stewart, 39, Chandler, Manufacture or Delivery of Controlled Substance and Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon.
• Jonathan Daniel McSween, 33, Malakoff, Evading Arrest or Detention.
• Brandy Lea Collum, 31, Malakoff, PCS.
• Darrell Wayne Cranfill, Jr,, 42, Eustace, Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle.
• Keaton Alan Carner, 26, Chandler, PCS.
• David Lee James, 36, Chandler, PCS.
• Brett Allen Anderson, 20, Kaufman, Aggravated Sexual Assault.
• Lorenzo Demarkas Patton, 35, Athens, Bail Jumping and Failure to Appear and Manufacture or Delivery of Controlled Substance.
• Beatrice Kay Anderson, 52, Malakoff, Assault on Public Servant.
• Rodney Ricardo Greer, 41, Athens, PCS.
• Hunter Glenn Wilcox, 20, PCS.
• Steven Ray Stewart, 46, Eustace, Obstruction or Retaliation.
• Jeffrey Allen Nowlan, 27, Plano, PCS.
• Douglas Wayne Starkey, 53, Athens, Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements.
• Garret Sloan McDaniel, 23, Malakoff, Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements.
• Clifton Denean Dora, 58, Chandler, Burglary.
• James Michael McCraw, 36, Athens, Burglary.
• Jeremy Shaynee Meeks, 34, Gun Barrel City, Aggravated Assault and Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle.
• Amy Elizabeth Correll, 41, Tyler, PCS.
• Jonathan Daniel McSween, 33, Malakoff, Assault.
• Christopher Michael Radford, 25, Jefferson, Cruelty to Animals.
• David Rolland Figueroa, 27, Athens, PCS.
• Justin Michael Markee, 33, Mabank, Arson.
• Jarodrick Sharrod Young, 19, Athens, Tampering with Evidence.
• Ransom Roc Simmons, 24, Kaufman, Evading Arrest or Detention.
• Reginal Mark Morgan, 30, Murchison, Abandoning/Endangering a Child.
• Anna Marie Dalton, 25, Log Cabin, Abandoning/Endangering a Child.
• Ryan Liam Buford, 19, Gun Barrel City, Illegal Dumping.
• Matthew Dale Gage, 17, Mabank,Illegal Dumping.
• Jamie Lamon Nelson, 26, Frankston, Evading Arrest or Detention and Continuous Violence Against the Family.
• Tierney Dawn Robison, 35, Forney, Burglary, 2 counts.
• Tonya Michelle Yates, 47, Tool, Illegal Dumping.
• Dylan Andrew Baker, 20, Chandler, Aggravated Assault, 2 counts.
• Arlie Dewight England, 50, Gun Barrel City, PCS.
• Anthony Dandar Williams, 45, Athens, Tampering with Evidence and Evading Arrest or Detention.
• Nathan Arron Villa, 25, Mexia, Evading Arrest or Detention.
• Joseph Lee Marshall Autrey, 49, Seven Points, Manufacture or Delivery of Controlled Substance and Unlawful Possession of Firearm.

Jan

04

Posted by : admin | On : January 4, 2018

Special to The News
ATHENS–Henderson County Republican Chair, Betty Holland, announced two forum dates for the 2018 Republican Primary candidates. These are official forums hosted by the Republican Party in Henderson County.
“We have scheduled two forums that allow Henderson County voters the opportunity to hear from the candidates,” Holland said. “Our focus will be on providing unbiased questions from unbiased moderators, and I’m encouraging all candidates seeking office next spring to participate. We want everyone to walk away from these events feeling good about how the forums served our voters.”
Detailed schedules for the upcoming forums will be released shortly, and Chair Holland hopes the community will come out and support all of the candidates who will be working hard over the coming months. “I appreciate the strong voter support across our county over the years, and will continue to provide Republicans with a well-run primary throughout the county. I look forward to welcoming everyone to the forums this year.”
The first forum will be held in Athens at Living for the Brand Cowboy Church at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, located at 902 NE Loop 7 in Athens. The second forum will be held in Brownsboro at Rockhill Baptist Church at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, located on State Highway 31 East in Brownsboro.
Bob Miars will be the Moderator at both forums.
Running for county judge are attorney Jeff Weinstein and Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney. County Judge Richard Sanders is not seeking re-election, ending his term in office at the close of 2018.
Three candidates have lined up for McKinney’s commissioner seat: David Conner, Joshua Bardwell and Scott Tuley. Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin has filed for re-election as has Kelly Harris. JP 5 is being contested by incumbent Belinda Brownlow, Patrick Gresham and Rick Simmons.
Precinct 2 JP will be contested by sitting justice Kevin Pollock and former officeholder Dale Blaylock.
State House of Representatives for District 4 has drawn fourRepublicans, including Dr. Stuart Spitzer, who has filed for his former seat – also Ashley McKee, Keith Bell and Earl Brunner. Democrat Eston Williams has also filed for the seat.
John Wray is running unopposed for House Seat District 10, which covers those living on the west side of Cedar Creek Lake.
The District 5 Congressional seat being vacated by Jeb Hensarling has attracted nine contenders including: Dist. 4 Texas House Rep. Lance Gooden, Jason Wright, Sam Deen, Bunni Pounds, Danny Campbell, David Williams, Charles Lingerfelt and Kenneth Sheets, as well as Dan Wood, the Democrat candidate.
District 5 serves an area of a southeast portion of Dallas County plus Mesquite and a number of smaller counties south and east of Dallas including Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson and Kaufman counties. As of the 2000 census, District 5 represents 651,620 people.

Dec

28

Posted by : admin | On : December 28, 2017

Aaron Smith is named to replace Joe Whatley on the Athens City Council. Whatley handed his resignation letter to Mayor Montgomery before the special meeting began Dec. 20.

Aaron Smith is named to replace Joe Whatley on the Athens City Council. Whatley handed his resignation letter to Mayor Montgomery before the special meeting began Dec. 20.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Athens Mayor Monte Montgomery began a special meeting of the council Dec. 20 by reading a letter signed by Cain Foundation Executive Director Lynn Fowler committing $2.5 million in funds to be used in the rebuilding of the swimming pool as part of the Cain Center Renovation Project if they begin construction by June 30, 2018. “The city has been given an incredible gift,” Montgomery said.
At the last council meeting Dec.11, the council was given a $9.6 million all-in amount on the project. After discussion on lowering the price, the architects asked for direction which the Dec. 20 workshop meeting was to provide. But the members of the council remained split as to how to proceed after much discussion.
Mayor Montgomery said he felt that $1.5 million could still be cut from the final figure discussed Dec. 11 which was $8.5 million.
Councilman Ed McCain was concerned not only with the initial price tag but with the costs of maintenance and upkeep down the road. “This business (the Cain Center) failed. This community could not support this business. I think we have to look at the reason communities our size don’t have facilities like this. We can’t afford it.”
Councilman Robert Gross brought up the dwindling membership numbers of the last year the Cain Center was in operation. Council members seemed in agreement that the funding should have been handled with a bond election when it was first proposed. Gross said, “I’m in favor of the project if the citizens want to pay for it.”
City Director of Community Services Thanasis Kombos said, “This facility is an incredible asset,” and urged council members to remember all the citizens that came to the public meetings held about the Cain Center.
McCain reminded council members that the Cain Center Pool and facilities have been closed for a year saying, “Private industry has solved the issue of not having a pool. We are taking on something that we are not prepared to handle. Are we in that business?”
Councilwoman Toni Clay said, “Overwhelmingly, the will of the citizens was for the Cain Center. There is an intangible value now that we are being gifted $2.5 million. We need to deliver on the promise that was made to resurrect the Cain Center.”
Mayor Montgomery told the council the meeting should result in a clear direction for the architect. That didn’t happen.
The council also discussed an audio/visual and furnishings package for the Texan Theater Project at a cost of $310,000 which the mayor expressed should have been part of the original package, which had a ceiling of $1,498,000. The council discussed options which ranged from leaving it empty to organizing a fund-raising event to provide the funds. Since this was a workshop meeting, no action was taken on the proposed solutions.
The council entered into a short executive session and appointed Aaron Smith to fill vacant place created by the resignation of Joe Whatley. Smith is expected to be on board at the next council meeting when the Cain Center Project comes up again.

Dec

28

Posted by : admin | On : December 28, 2017

Forth Worth Stock Yards CMYK

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
FORT WORTH–The 122nd Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo kicks off in 2018 Friday, Jan. 12 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 3.
The first event is the AQHA Versatility Ranch horse show at Justin Arena starting at 8 a.m.
That is followed up by the Junior Agricultural Mechanics class, “Tractors on Parade,” at 3 p.m.
The first day wraps up with the Best of the West Invitational Ranch Rodeo at the Coliseum at 7:30 p.m.
On the first Saturday, Jan. 13, you won’t want to miss the All Western Parade, which begins at 11 a.m.
Tickets are $15 and $25 depending on seating preference, and must be purchased in advance.
The Stock Show Parade is held each year on the first Saturday of the Show. More than 100,000 spectators line the streets of downtown Cowtown to watch this spectacular annual event.
The premium list of stock shows included at the event are endless.
There are open beef cattle shows, a commercial heifer show and sale, dairy cattle shows, dairy goat shows, llama shows, breeding sheep shows, swine shows, Boer goat shows and sheep dog trials.
Also, there are junior shows for children at the event.
There are also shows for donkeys and mules, miniature horses, paint horse, Palomino horse, Pony of the Americas and a quarter horse show.
There are six rodeos for this year’s event, beginning with the Best of the West Ranch Rodeo on the first day, Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21 is Family Day, so enjoy activities for the kids at Kids Gone Wild and enjoy competitions for young ranchers. Also included is the Best of Mexico Celebration Rodeo.
The Cowboys of Color Rodeo will be held Jan. 15 at 2 p.m., highlighting the rich diversity and culture of rodeo and the western way of life.
The Bulls’ Night Out Rodeo follows that Jan. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m.
The Fort Worth Super Shootout will be Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m., followed by the PRCA Rodeo with dates running from Jan. 19 through Jan. 27.
All tickets for the rodeos may be purchased through TicketMaster.
Gates open daily at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Exhibit hall hours run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays.
The FFA Children’s Barnyard runs from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.
Midway hours range, and can be found at fwssr.com.
Kids and families alike can take in history and culture at the Nation Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History runs the same hours, and gives families something to look forward to outside the rodeos and stock shows.
The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is located at the Will Rogers Memorial Center at 3400 Burnett Tandy Dr. in Fort Worth.
Buck the trend and go have some fun with the family, enjoying all that the event has to offer.

Dec

28

Posted by : admin | On : December 28, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–It was no surprise commissioners named the current director of the animal shelter in Athens to continue in that post following the county picking up overall management of the shelter which takes in 80 percent of Henderson County’s stray animals.
Amy Lambert, who has headed the Henderson County Humane Society animal shelter for the past seven years and been on board for the past 10, has agreed to stay on and Commissioners’ Court was all too happy for the continuity of management she offers during the change from a volunteer board of directors to the county’s management.
“Amy has been the current director of the animal shelter for the past seven years,” County Judge Richard Sanders said Tuesday. “She has all of the qualifications it takes to be an animal shelter director, plus all of the work experience.”
After 30 years of successful management, the animal shelter board announced in March it would disband at the end of 2017. Despite all of Sanders’ searching for another organization to take on the task, no other group was found, so the task has fallen to the county. “Our main goal in this is to take the animals and try to get them off the streets to protect our citizens,” Sanders said.
The effort to continue supplying the county with animal shelter services is being taken up jointly by the county and the city. In addition to the county’s annual contribution of $62,000, it set aside $200,000 in the new budget to cover operational costs (i.e. salary and wages). Lambert is responsible for hiring four kennel attendants and part-time employees to continue operations. The City of Athens will continue providing the physical plant, utilities and maintenance, along with its annual contribution of $65,000. Another $30,000 is expected to be collected through services rendered, bringing the total yearly budget to $366,500. Tuesday, commissioners approved the annual budget for the shelter, along with the fee schedule.
On Jan. 1, the fee schedule that’s been in place will continue. To bring in an animal the public will need to post $20; to reclaim one will cost $25. The cost to adopt a dog is $100 and $70 for a cat. To quarantine an animal is a one-time charge of $100.
The county will also receive funds from other municipalities that use the shelter. Interlocal agreements have been sent to Gun Barrel City, Malakoff, Chandler and Brownsboro for use of the animal shelter.
In 2016, the Henderson County Humane Society took in over 3,800 animals and in 2016 euthanized more than 1,875.
In other business, commissioners:
• appointed Rodney Hamilton and Kyle Summerfield to the Emergency Services District No. 4 board, located in Precinct 1
• appointed Brad Skiles to the ESD No. 11 board, located in precincts 1 and 4.
• appointed Bill Casey and Mark Wade to the ESD No. 3 board, located in Precinct 4.
• set a public hearing to consider setting a speed limit of 35 miles per hour for CR 3810.
• set a public hearing for 9:15 a.m. on Jan. 9 for closure of 740 feet of Shady Lane in Trinidad.
• authorized payment of $10,587 to the Enchanted Oaks Fire Department.
• paid $178,153 for 2017 bills; and $7,836 for 2018 bills.

Dec

21

Posted by : admin | On : December 21, 2017

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse (right) teams up with Santa and Chief Deputy Kevin Halbert to bring Christmas gifts to area seniors.

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse (right) teams up with Santa and Chief Deputy Kevin Halbert to bring Christmas gifts to area seniors.


Special to The News
ATHENS–Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse partnered with generous local businesses this year to deliver comfort gifts of blankets, gloves, caps, socks and more to those in nursing home facilities Monday.
The Sheriff’s Office made deliveries to South Place Nursing Center and Green Oaks Rehab and Nursingin Athens.
“Were it not for the kindness of key local businesses, we could not have done what we did,” Hillhouse said. “Their generosity made this year special for these terrific people.”
Kindred Home Health, Walmart of Athens and Gun Barrel City, Brookshire’s, CW Benton, Spencer’s Hardware, Family Dollar in Gun Barrel City and others kicked in to bring smiles and laughter to the residents.
“The phrase ‘better to give than to receive’ is too often a cliché,” the Sheriff said. “But it is true, and it is amazing to see it come to life like we did.”
Hillhouse began the annual gift-giving campaign last year – his first in office.
“This time of year brings out the best in all of us,” Hillhouse said. “The generous hearts of businesses and law enforcement officers really shined through.
“We will continue this tradition for years to come because it brings such joy to those getting the gifts and to those lucky enough to be see the smiling faces as the presents are handed out,” he said.