Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow (back row,sixth from right) stands with representatives from Dr. E. R. Richter Elementary School and members of the National Guard who helped unload the trailer full of needed supplies Sept. 6.

Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow (back row,sixth from right) stands with representatives from Dr. E. R. Richter Elementary School and members of the National Guard who helped unload the trailer full of needed supplies Sept. 6.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow drove the band trailer filled with cleaning supplies and needed items nearly 200 miles to Dr. E. R. Richter Elementary School in Dayton. He explained this as part of his principal’s report at the school board meeting Monday.
In an effort to provide immediate relief to fellow Texans suffering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, Snow set out to help the school whose families were hard hit by the storm’s flooding. The community had more than 50 inches of rain during the event and although the school itself was not flooded, many area families lost everything to the flood waters.
Snow found all this out on a Google Doc circulated by Assistant Superintendent Sybil Norris. Snow adopted Richter on the “Principals Helping Principals” document and turned to his school community for help in meeting the needs. Snow told trustees, “We put the call out on Thursday and people dropped things off on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday after school, we loaded up and headed southeast.” The Parent Teacher Organization helped with 200 brand new shirts in needed sizes, purple which is the school color at Richter.
The trailer, filled with basic cleaning supplies, clothes with the tags still on them – sized and boxed, shoes, water, Gatorade, non-perishable food, backpacks with school supplies in them and much more, was unloaded at the site with help from the National Guard. Snow said he was proud of his community and proud to be a Texan.
But that is not all. Superintendent Randy Perry announced during his report that the school district adopted Dickinson ISD, a larger district than Malakoff, but still a one high school town, Perry said. Dickinson is located on the coast between Kemah and Texas City. Perry told the group, “They have enough clothes and stuff. What they really need is money and gift cards so people can get what they need.” The middle school has already held a dance which raised $1,000 for the effort.
In other business, trustees:
• heard that Mickey Smith has earned the designation of Certified Texas School Business Official
• reviewed ACT scores which are significantly improved, over 20 percent better than state average. Principal Brumit said his goal is to have 50 percent of his seniors pass the ACT.
• heard the high school plans to hold a FAFSA night Oct. 16 for parents of seniors to assist them in applying for financial aid for their students
• agreed to continue to retain Walsh Gallegos Legal Services for the district
• heard quarterly and annual financial investment reports
• nominated Phil Tucker to Place 4 for the Resolution Henderson County Appraisal District Board of Directors
• heard enrollment is 1390 with 311 transfers, 89 of which are new transfers.

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

IMG_2208 Athens FB #8 Xavius Fulton CMYK

Special to The News
RED OAK–The Athens Hornets were looking to play a homecoming spoiler Friday in their first road test of the year against a Class 5A opponent.
In the end, Red Oak (2-1) beat Athens, 28-20, to improve to 2-1 with their second straight victory. Red Oak defeated Arlington Heights in overtime last week.
“I was real thrilled with the way we fought,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “Red Oak is a good Class 5A football team. They won one in overtime against Arlington Heights, which is picked to win their district. We almost took them to overtime, but it was just one play here and there. I am really excited about our future. I really believe our future is bright.”
The contest was Red Oak’s homecoming game at Billy Goodloe Stadium.
Athens returns to action Friday as they travel to Waco Robinson to face the Rockets. The contest is homecoming for the Rockets with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“I am excited because I know Robinson will have a big crowd,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “We like to play and coach in front of a big crowd. They better be ready because we are going to be better next week. I don’t know anything about them and have not seen them on film. I am just worried about the Athens Hornets right now.”
Essary said the coaches and players will watch the film early this week, and get ready for another homecoming showdown.
“You have to regroup and we will watch film, and see what we did good and exciting and things that we have to correct,” Essary said. “We got some things corrected last week that we did better on tonight. We will keep going and I am excited for the future.”
Last year, the Hawks doubled up the Hornets with a 42-21 victory at Bruce Field.
In the first half, Red Oak scored three touchdowns with the first coming at 6:13 in the first quarter. Carson Forbes found Hunter Smith with a 23-yard reception. Nicholas Alvarado tacked on the extra point afterward.
C.J. Palmer then scored his first of two rushing touchdowns with a five-yard run with 6:55 remaining in the second quarter.
Athens then countered with a 54-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Xavius Fulton with 3:50 remaining. Dakota Anderson picked up the PAT to reduce the deficit to 14-7.
Palmer then countered with a 23-yard touchdown run with 2:51 left in the half. Palmer had 133 yards rushing on 11 carries in the first half.
Palmer finished the night with 218 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns.
“I knew he would be a good tough runner inside,” the coach said. “We have one guy on the defensive side that weighs over 200 pounds, and he probably weighs 225 pounds. He is a strong kid and they were having to throw bodies in there. Hats off to him because he kept running hard tonight.”
In the second half, Athens led off the scoring with a 10-yard run by Fulton with 7:13 remaining in the third quarter to make the score 21-14.
Red Oak answered with Palmer’s third touchdown of the game on a three-yard run with 3:35 remaining to give them a 28-14 lead.
Fulton finished the night 8 of 23 passing for 173 yards. He rushed for 97 yards on 21 carries.
“We got the passing game going tonight,” Essary said. “We got to running the football inside. I am excited for what we are going to be when we hit district. We have one more game to get better to get ready for district. If we continue to make strides on each side of the ball, we will be in good shape. It will be a good fun fight in district.”
Rhejhi Sherfield had three reception for 84 yards, while freshman Nathan Sims had one receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown.
The Hornets look to get back on track as they hit the road against Waco Robinson (1-2) Sept. 22.
This is the last regular season game for the Hornets before district play begins on Sept. 29 against the Mabank Panthers on homecoming night at Bruce Field.

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

ETMC Hospital Athens

Special to The News
TYLER–East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System (ETMC) has selected Ardent Health Services (Ardent) and The University of Texas System (UT System), which includes The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Health Northeast), to form a new health system to benefit East Texas, officials announced Sept. 13. Ardent will assume majority ownership and day-to-day operations of the new system. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The partnership will invest $150 million for improvements over five years and provide other resources to support the operation of this newly created health system.
Governance will be shared through a newly formed board of directors, which will include local physicians. Proceeds from the transaction will be used to create a local foundation to further the health and wellness of East Texans. The transaction is expected to close following the completion of due diligence and required regulatory approvals.
Based in Tyler, ETMC includes 502-bed East Texas Medical Center Tyler and a network of nine hospitals and 39 clinics, including regional hospitals located in Athens, Carthage, Henderson, Jacksonville, Pittsburg and Quitman. Additionally, in Tyler, two other inpatient facilities, the ETMC Rehabilitation Hospital and the ETMC Specialty Hospital, are included in the new health system.
Other assets include the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, physician clinics, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, a behavioral health center and a comprehensive 7-trauma center care network, including a Level 1.
In February 2017, ETMC leadership began the search for a strategic partner to assist the organization in continuing its mission of improving the health and quality of life for East Texans.
“After a deliberate and thoughtful process, our Board of Directors is pleased to select Ardent Health Services and the University of Texas System as the right partners for ETMC to take up our mission of care,” said President and CEO of ETMC Elmer G. Ellis. “This acquisition will allow ETMC to grow and thrive in the East Texas region, with new partners who can best provide the necessary clinical expertise, operational proficiency, employee development and financial resources to deliver the best care possible for our patients.”
Once the board approves, the UT System will contribute its Tyler-based UT Health Northeast hospital and 12 physician clinic operations to the new 10-hospital system. The newly created health system will expand medical education, research and community health. It will be an affiliate of the world-renowned University of Texas System, one of the largest academic and health systems in the country.” This combination will bring unique synergies to the East Texas health-care landscape,” UT System Board of Regents member Kevin Eltife stated. “The great benefit of these three organizations coming together will be that East Texans will enjoy the best of all possible worlds. A great national healthcare system will be integrated with a regional powerhouse in healthcare delivery and a leader in health education and research.”
“We are delighted to partner with UT Health Northeast and the dedicated physicians, nurses and employees of ETMC,” President and CEO of Ardent Health Services David T. Vandewater said. “At Ardent, we strongly believe in the value of partnerships that bring out the best in each organization. We each share a focus on service and a commitment to providing quality care to the communities we serve. Together, we will continue the great legacy of ETMC.”

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
COOLIDGE–The Trinidad Trojans lost their first game of the season by a final score of 54-6 against the No. 12-ranked Coolidge Yellowjackets Sept. 15 on the road.
The game was called after the third quarter under the mercy rule, which Trinidad inflicted on Gustine in their first game this season.
Senior Trojans quarterback Colby Snider was 4/15 for 33 yards passing with three interceptions.
Talon Sims led the way offensively for the Trojans with 13 carries for 46 yards.
Meanwhile Johnny Ayala had four carries for 24 yards and the only touchdown for the Trojans. He also had two receptions for 20 yards.
The Trojans offense struggled against the Yellowjackets, putting up only 101 total yards of offense.
The Trojans are now 2-1 on the season as they face off against Fruitvale at home Sept. 22.

Sep

14

Posted by : admin | On : September 14, 2017

Jeff Weinstein (right) holds a proclamation making Sept. 23, 2017 "Unlce Fletch Festival Day" in the city of Athens. Mayor Monte Montgomery (left) read the proclamation and the council approved execution of an agreement with TxDOT for closure of State Right-of-Way for the festival.

Jeff Weinstein (right) holds a proclamation making Sept. 23, 2017 “Unlce Fletch Festival Day” in the city of Athens. Mayor Monte Montgomery (left) read the proclamation and the council approved execution of an agreement with TxDOT for closure of State Right-of-Way for the festival.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Disannexation of property around Lake Athens came before the city council once again at their Sept. 11 meeting. Landowner Tom Potthoff spoke briefly, thanking the council members and Fire Chief McQueary for consideration relating to the disannexation of his property, which the council voted in favor of initiating Aug. 14 in a 4-1 vote, with Councilwoman Toni Clay opposing the move. The first reading of the Ordinance took place at the meeting. The second reading is scheduled for September.
City Managing Director of Planning Barbara Holley presented a report to the council regarding the possible impact of disannexing property within the city limits, pointing out that the affected area could be as much as 106 acres total with some additional amount of the spillway acreage.
“Due to the changes in the legislation regarding annexation, it is less likely. Currently, our growth boundary is at 80 percent.” Holley also described a situation where a property owner on the outskirts of the city could possibly enjoy city services without paying city taxes.
“From a planning perspective, I don’t think disannexing is a good idea because we have a significantly contracted growth boundary at this point,” Holley said. She also informed the council that when disannexing property, there is a mandatory refund of all taxes paid on a property from the time it was annexed to the time it is disannexed. For the Potthoff property, the amount is around $400.
Mayor Monte Montgomery questioned the fiscal impact of not only the taxes, but the work it would take city staff to process requests if they begin coming in succession. Councilwoman Clay reiterated her opposition to disannexation, “For me it is not about tax revenue now. Our job is to have a vision for the future. I feel that 40, 50 or 100 years from now, we will have made the wrong decision by de-annexing this property, especially when it is so much more difficult to annex in the future.”
Mayor Montgomery said, “It will always be my stand that we should never go after tax money without providing services. If we annex property, water and sewer should be right behind it.”
The council then considered the request of James and Carolyn Ray to disannex 0.260 acres (F.M. Trimble, A-766). Stan Taylor spoke to the council in favor of granting the request as it will affect how the Ray’s build their new home. The proposed porch and firepit will be in the section of land currently within the city. The portion of the lot is 100 feet by 71 to 90 feet.
After discussion, the motion failed 3-2.
In other business, council members:
• Mayor Monte Montgomery read a proclamation making Sept. 23 “Uncle Fletch Festival Day.”
• Approved selection of Gallagher Construction Company, L for construction management services (Construction Manager as Advisor) for the Cain Center Project.

Sep

07

Posted by : admin | On : September 7, 2017

By Denise York
The News Staff Reporter
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Board of Trustees met at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 with a public hearing on the proposed tax rate. With no public attendance at the hearing, when the board convened into its regular meeting, Trustees set the tax rate for the 2017-18 school year at $1.20 per $100 valuation. $1.04 of the rate is set for maintenance and operation with $0.16 for interest and sinking. Trustees also approved the budget with expenditures of $17,701,417 and revenues at $17,761,155.
Superintendent Randy Perry set forth his goals for the new school year, many of which were centered on improving STAAR results and challenging the students academically. The district will also move toward Google classrooms with all students and teacher beginning a new collaboration using Google Apps and Docs.
Perry also focused on attendance rate over 96 percent for the 2017-18 school year. The attendance rate fell at the end of the last school year to 95.9 percent. The district will also increase the number of students at Malakoff High School that would be identified college-ready by the TEA and work with local businesses to create more opportunities for internships to better prepare the students for the transition after high school.
Perry also stressed improving the mentor program for new teachers and promoting a safe and orderly environment where students can learn to their greatest potential.

Sep

07

Posted by : admin | On : September 7, 2017

Anglea Davis

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS – A Larue woman was arrested late Aug. 31 for possession with intent to deliver a substantial amount of methamphetamine. Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said her original charge was compounded when more drugs were discovered when she was being processed into the jail.
Angela Davis, 42, was arrested around 9 p.m. in a parking lot of a business on State Highway 155 in Berryville.
Narcotic Investigator Josh Rickman noticed Davis with a small, clear, plastic bag containing a crystal substance suspected to be methamphetamine. She was on foot, approaching a parked vehicle.
For having more than four grams of the methamphetamine, she was charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, a first-degree felony.
When she was booked into the Henderson County Jail, more methamphetamine was discovered on her person, and a second possession charge was added for having a prohibited substance in a correctional facility. She was released on bonds totaling $13,000 the following day.
“Our team is alert around the clock,” Hillhouse said. “That includes on the streets, at night and in the jail.”

Aug

31

Posted by : admin | On : August 31, 2017

Phillip Stewart

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Sheriff Botie Hillhouse reports the arrest of a suspect his office has been targeting for some time. Phillip Stewart, 38, of Chandler was arrested Aug. 24 and charged with felony possession of both meth and firearms.
“He was known to us and we wanted him off the streets,” Hillhouse stated in a press release.
The arrest was the result of action on a search warrant at his residence in Sun Dial subdivision south of Chandler. During the search, investigators discovered contraband, scales, small clear plastic bags, a semi-automatic pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun.
He is currently being held on bonds, totaling $28,500 on the second and third-degree felony charges. At least eight law enforcement officials were on hand for the execution of the search warrant and subsequent arrest.
“I want a complete force of deputies on the scene when we make these kinds of arrest,” Hillhouse stated. “Drug dealers can be dangerous and we take no chances we are bringing them in.”
Stewart’s jail record in the county goes back to 2002, with charges for mistreatment of family members and providing alcohol to minors. Drug arrests started in 2010 with a possession charge greater than 4 grams but less than 200 grams.
“No longer do these folks believe they can find a safe haven in this county,” Hillhouse said.

Aug

24

Posted by : admin | On : August 24, 2017

A view of the east end of new construction work at Athens High School, which will house new classrooms, kitchen and cafeteria. The cafeteria is expected to be open by Christmas, and the balance of work at AHS should be finished in the summer of 2018. Students were greeted at the beginning of the school year with six brand new science classrooms and two new labs.

A view of the east end of new construction work at Athens High School, which will house new classrooms, kitchen and cafeteria. The cafeteria is expected to be open by Christmas, and the balance of work at AHS should be finished in the summer of 2018. Students were greeted at the beginning of the school year with six brand new science classrooms and two new labs.


By Toni Garrard Clay
AISD Communicaitons Coordinator
ATHENS–Athens ISD Director of Operations Barry Choate summed it up succinctly when he called the amount of construction that took place across the district this summer as “intense.” Major work took place at four of the five campuses and continues at the high school.
Inside the main building at the high school, six new science classrooms and two new labs greeted students on the first day of school. While the rooms are located in the same space as the old science hall, they are entirely new. “That space was bulldozed,” said Choate. “We dug up the floor and put new plumbing in and used a new configuration for the rooms.”
On the north end of the high school annex, a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) building now stands. The building is divided into four sections. It houses a brand new Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning class (HVAC) made possible through a joint venture with Trinity Valley Community College and a $350,000 equipment grant. It’s also the site of the machining and woodshop classes, and a powder-coating booth and oven for painting projects. “These classes are light years ahead of where we were,” said Choate.
The construction across the front of the high school’s main building will be completed in stages. On the east end, the new kitchen and cafeteria should open by Christmas. The old kitchen will be turned into classroom space. The old cafeteria will become two new classrooms and a lecture hall that is more than double the space of the existing lecture hall.
The high school’s new office space and the gym, as well as the balance of any remaining work, are projected to be completed during the summer of 2018.
The most visible completed project is at Bruce Field, where a new football/soccer field house and restroom/concession facility sit at either side of newly-installed turf. While the turf was the result of fire damage last spring, the construction across the district is the fruit of community support through the passage of a bond in November 2015.
At Central Athens Elementary, a beautiful new library has been built, as well as new office space. Both were severely undersized previously. At Bel Air and South Athens elementaries, new activity centers have been built to replace the too-small ones previously used.
“We’re grateful to the community for making these improvements possible,” said Superintendent Blake Stiles. “It’s sending a message to our students that they’re valued.”

Aug

24

Posted by : admin | On : August 24, 2017

DSC_0037

The News Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The fun stopped abruptly for six passengers on a ski boat last Friday evening on Cedar Creek Lake when the boat hit what’s commonly called bird island, Seven Points Police Chief Administrator Raymond Wennerstrom told The News.
Henderson County Game Warden Gregg Johnson conducted the initial investigation and reported that of the six passengers on board, three were seriously injured and were transported to ETMC-Athens Hospital. However their condition was characterized as not life-threatening.
The crash happened between 9:27 p.m. and 10 p.m. and rescue operations were staged from Tom Finley Park with Seven Points Police and Fire Rescue responding. The scene was cleared at 4:53 a.m.
Passengers’ names have yet to be released by authorities, but one is reportedly a 28-year-old woman from Waxahachie, who was to undergo surgery on Tuesday.