Nov

08

Posted by : admin | On : November 8, 2017

Kenlie Alisabeth Pallett

Kaylee Dainelle Hall
The News Staff Reports
MABANK—The community of Cedar Creek Lake is in shock as the story of a mother who murdered her two daughters in the early morning hours of Nov. 2 continues to unfold.
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the arrest of 29-year-old Sarah Nicole Henderson, who is charged with capital murder in the deaths of her two daughters Kaylee Danielle Hall, 7, and Kenlie Alisabeth Pallett, 5, both students of Southside Elementary School in Mabank.
According to Hillhouse, EMS contacted his office at 11:29 p.m. Wednesday night Nov. 1, asking for assistance with a possible suicidal female at a residence outside Payne Springs. The caller called again and said he no longer needed assistance, so EMS cancelled the call seven minutes later. Deputies were already enroute and arrived at the residence, at 11:45 p.m.
Hillhouse said a male and female told deputies they were fine and no one was in danger or jeopardy.
Nearly three hours later at 2:24 a.m., the last call came from Jake Henderson, whose call to 9-1-1. was tearful, “My wife just shot her kids.” He said he went to bed after everyone else had, or so he thought. The next thing he knew his wife was standing over him saying, “Babe, I just shot the kids.” In tapes of the 9-1-1 calls, Henderson can be heard in the background saying, “Babe, what have I done?”
Hillhouse reported the children were dead at the scene. “The family was asleep other than the mother is what we’re getting in the investigation,” Hillhouse said.
The Texas Rangers, Child Protective Services and the DA’s Office are assisting with the investigation. 173rd District Judge Dan Moore issued a search warrant for the residence. Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Kevin Pollock conducted the inquest and the bodies were transported to American Forensics in Dallas for examination. A firearm was recovered from the home.
Neighbors were questioned by investigators searching for a motive. Speculation was that the couple was having some financial difficulties and that she failed to get a job after an interview. Neighbors reported that Henderson had often spoken harshly to the children. A candlelight vigil was held at their school Nov. 2 as teachers, parents and students struggled to cope with the loss. Tearful parents and children were interviewed by television news reporters.
According to obituaries, Kaylee and Kenlie were inseparable; the two were sisters and best friends. They enjoyed dancing, swimming and riding their bicycles. Kaylee and Kenlie loved cheerleading and having their pictures taken and showing their beautiful smiles. They loved playing and spending time with their best friends Nadia, Katie and Alyiah.
Mabank ISD Superintendent Dr. Russell Marshall transferred all school counselors to Southside Thursday to lend support to staff and students. Substitute teachers were brought in to relieve staff members most closely affected by the deaths. “All campuses are pulling together to help. It’s what our school family does,” he said.
Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said in an interview, “Everybody wants to know why. I’d love to know why, but sometimes you never find the real reason why.”
Henderson confessed to the killing of her two daughters and is being held on a $2 million bond.
A GoFundMe page was created Nov. 2 under “Funeral funds for KayLee and Kenlie.” Funeral services were held Nov. 6, 2017 at Eubank Cedar Creek Memorial Chapel with a graveside service following at Eubank Cedar Creek Memorial Park. A candlelight service will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12 at the Gun Barrel City Park Pavilion for the two sisters.

Nov

08

Posted by : admin | On : November 8, 2017

IMG_5555 Trojans FB #32 CMYK
By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
TRINIDAD–The Trinidad Trojans offense exploded Nov. 3 as they blew past the Mount Calm Panthers on senior night.
The Trojans got on the board just 1:45 into the contest on a 25-yard touchdown by Josh Stamper to give the Trojans an 8-0 lead.
The Panthers responded just 11 seconds later on a long rushing touchdown to put the score at 8-7 Trojans.
The Trojans pushed their way into the Panthers’ red zone quickly. The Trojans finished off the drive with a five-yard rushing touchdown by senior Johnny Ayala to give them a 14-7 lead with 7:32 remaining in the first quarter.
The Trojans tacked on another touchdown on a 29-yard rush by senior Talon Sims to bump the lead up 20-7.
Senior Trojans quarterback Colby Snider then threw one of his three receiving touchdowns to junior Billy Quinn, good for a nine-yard score to give the Trojans a 26-7 lead with 1:44 remaining.
The Panthers added one last touchdown before the end of the first quarter to cut the Trojans lead to 26-13.
Ayala added his second touchdown of the game on a 23-yard rush just 11 seconds into the second quarter to give the Trojans a 32-13 lead.
Sims responded with his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard rush with 7:01 remaining to push the Trojans lead to 40-13.
A long passing play, companied with a horse collar penalty at the end of the play, set up the Panthers at the Trojans’ one-yard line. The Panthers finished the drive another rushing touchdown to cut the lead once again to 40-20 with 6:43 to go in the second quarter.
Ayala once again responded with a 26-yard reception for his third touchdown of the night to give the Trojans a 48-20 lead.
A long rushing touchdown cut the lead once again to 48-26 on a rushing touchdown with 2:18 remaining.
Stamper added his second touchdown of the contest just nine seconds later with a 30-yard rushing touchdown to make the Trojans lead 54-26.
Stamper took a 17-yard reception all the way to the end zone with 28 seconds remaining in the first half to make it 60-26 Trojans.
Defensive lineman Hunter Robinson finished off the first half with an interception for the Trojans.
Robinson picked up where he left off at the start of the third quarter when he caused a fumble that was recovered by defensive back Kaelab Eastman at the Trojans’ one-yard line.
Sims added his third touchdown of the night on a 34-yard rush to give the Trojans a 40-point lead with 6:09 remaining in the third quarter.
The game ended with 4:02 left in that same third quarter after an interception by Robinson that he returned 48 yards for a touchdown to send the Trojans to a 72-26 victory over the Panthers.

Nov

02

Posted by : admin | On : November 2, 2017

IMG_2204 Athens FB #2 McBride CMYK

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets had a hard time containing Crandall Pirates running back Tyson Gatewood in a 49-21 loss Friday.
In the loss to Crandall (4-4, 2-2 in district), Gatewood finished the game with 23 carries for 224 yards and two touchdowns.
“He (Gatewood) has been good,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “We have been playing against him for three years. He has been good all three of these years. He is a good athlete and plays hard. He is fun to watch if you are not trying to stop him.”
Essary said even with the loss, he was proud of how the guys fought during the game.
“They played hard for the last senior night on Bruce Field,” Essary said. “I am proud of them and they played hard. It is always sad when you lose a senior class because you have put so much work together with them. You want them to go out on a win. We have been fortunate here, and it may be the first one that we have not been successful on. They played hard, and I am proud of their effort.”
The contest was senior night for the Hornets as 12 players were involved in their final game at Bruce Field.
Athens (2-7 overall, 1-4 in district play) is open Friday, and wraps up the regular season Nov. 10 on the road at Brownsboro. The Bears defeated Terrell, 42-20, Friday in Brownsboro.
“We will work and try to get better for that last ballgame at Brownsboro,” Essary said. “In open week, we focus on ourselves with fundamentals and trying to get healthy. It could be the last game, and I don’t know what the playoffs look like. Regardless of what it is, it is another game and we want to do our best. The guys will work hard, and the coaching staff will work hard.”
Gatewood scored the game’s opening touchdown on an eight-yard run with 4:17 remaining in the first quarter.
Athens took a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter on two touchdowns following fumbled kickoff returns by Kaufman.
The first score came on an 18-yard run by quarterback Xavius Fulton with 6:36 remaining in the first half.
The second came on a 33-yard pass from Andrew McBride to Gary Lyons with 4:58 left. Dakota Anderson booted both PAT’s good.
Crandall quarterback Josh Redding then added a five-yard TD run to tie the game at 14 with 1:57 remaining in the first half.
In the second half, McBride capped off a nice drive with a one-yard plunge to give Athens a 21-14 lead with 8:54 left in the third.
Crandall then scored the final 35 points to put the game out of reach. The Pirates had a 34-yard pass from Redding to Keionte Robertson and a one-yard run by Redding to end the third quarter at 28-21.
“We battled with them for almost three quarters,” Essary said. “We gave up some big plays, and penalties hurt us at crucial times. You get a couple of penalties and it got us off track. We need to be driving the football.”
In the fourth, Gatewood had a three-yard run, a 52-yard pass from Steven Dearman to Hayden Pruitt and a 15-yard run by Doneric Rivers for the 49-21 finale.
“We made a few mistakes and gave up a couple of big plays tonight,” the coach said. “They were able to capitalize, and Crandall is a good football team. They are close to winning about six-or-seven games right now. They are as close as can be right now.”
Athens was led by Jerquindon Taylor with six carries for 60 yards, while McBride had 17 carries for 49 yards. McBride was 1 of 2 passing for 19 yards, with the lone pass going to Taylor.

Nov

02

Posted by : admin | On : November 2, 2017

The News Staff Reports
HENDERSON COUNTY–On Thursday, Texas R-Congressman Jeb Hensarling announced he will not be seeking re-election.
“Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned,” Hensarling stated. “Throughout this time, my family has graciously sacrificed for my service. As the parents of two teenagers, Melissa and I know there are only a few years left before they leave and make their own way in life. I want to be there for those years. Since my term as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee comes to an end next year, the time seems right for my departure.”
He said that during the remaining 14 months of his term, he will continue the fight for individual liberty, free enterprise and limited constitutional government.
He expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the support he’s received and for “the trust you have placed in me to advance the principles we share.”
Also this week, in the state house Republican Speaker of the House Joe Straus announced he was not seeking re-election for the 2019 session, stopping one term short of setting a possible record as Speaker.
As late as last month (September), Straus was saying he would seek a record sixth term as speaker and that he wouldn’t be running for the House if that weren’t true.
In his statement, San Antonio Republican Straus acknowledged his decision was “unexpected.”
“It’s been decades since someone has left the Speaker’s office on his own terms,” Straus said. “But we have accomplished what I hoped the House would accomplish when I first entered this office, and I am increasingly eager to contribute to our state in new and different ways.”
“I believe that in a representative democracy, those who serve in public office should do so for a time, not for a lifetime. And so I want you to know that my family and I have decided that I will not run for re-election next year,” Straus said in a campaign email.
Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston, called Straus’ decision a “political earthquake” and said dynamics at the Legislature will definitely shift without Straus at the helm of the House. The speaker was a relatively quiet leader for his first four terms in the job. He found his voice in 2017, pushing against social conservatives whose agenda – led by what became known as the “bathroom bill” – threatened his own desire to push economic development, infrastructure and other more or less bipartisan ideas.
State house Speaker Straus’ announcement set into motion speculation about the future of Straus’ top lieutenants. One of his closest allies, Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, who is chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, said in a statement first reported by Quorum Report that he “will pursue other opportunities to serve our great state.”
Arch-conservative members who have opposed Straus face off against more centrist Republicans. Within hours of Straus’ announcement, one of his top lieutenants, Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, announced that he had filed to run for the speaker’s post. State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, had previously announced his candidacy, and others are expected to jump in.
Tea Party leaders and their allies have blamed Straus for killing controversial measures backed by the far right, most notably a bill that would have regulated which bathrooms transgender Texans could use.
Speaking with reporters after the announcement inside his office, Straus said he finally took the advice he always gives members: After any session, go home and talk to your constituents and family, and then make a decision about whether to run again.
“A confident leader knows it’s time to give it back,” Straus said.
No longer serving as speaker would allow a “greater opportunity to express my own views and priorities,” Straus said, adding that he would “continue to work for a Republican Party that tries to bring Texans together instead of pulling us apart.”
“Our party should be dynamic and forward-thinking, and it should appeal to our diverse population with an optimistic vision that embraces the future,” Straus said in the campaign email. “I plan to be a voice for Texans who want a more constructive and unifying approach to our challenges, from the White House on down.”

Nov

02

Posted by : admin | On : November 2, 2017

worked up photo Levi Lebleu

worked up photo
Levi Lebleu


Sara Peasner
Anthony LebleuDerek Payton
Special to The News
ATHENS–Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse reports the arrest of four people in Athens Monday afternoon, following a brief car chase. The driver, once stopped, tried to escape on foot.
Just after lunch Monday, Investigator Josh Rickman and Deputy David Robertson initiated a traffic stop on FM 59 after a vehicle was seen driving recklessly.
The driver, identified as Levi Lebleu, failed to immediately stop the vehicle which caused the narcotics investigator and deputy to initiate a pursuit south on the Farm-to-Market Road and Ruth Street.
After the vehicle finally stopped on Bunny Rabbit Road, Lebleu fled on foot. He was caught and passengers detained.
Lebleu was charged with evading arrest with a previous conviction, a third-degree felony; possession of methamphetamine, a state jail felony; and tampering with evidence, another third-degree felony.
Anthony Lebleu was charged with a felony for tampering or fabricating physical evidence, possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, a felony and misdemeanor respectively; and another misdemeanor for evading arrest.
Sara Peasner was charged with a class A misdemeanor for unlawful carrying of a weapon.
Derek Payton was also charged with possession of methamphetamine, a state jail felony, and tampering or fabricating physical evidence, a third-degree felony.

Nov

02

Posted by : admin | On : November 2, 2017

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Tigers continued their impressive winning streak, defeating the West Trojans at home Oct. 27.
The Tigers struck first just four minutes into the first quarter on a touchdown pass to take a quick 7-0 lead.
The Trojans answered just four minutes later with a three-yard rushing touchdown to tie the game 7-7.
Malakoff turned over possession on downs after a missed field goal with two minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
The Tigers would come back after a punt by the Trojans, adding a touchdown with less than a minute remaining to take a 15-7 lead into the second quarter after a successful two-point conversion.
The Trojans came right back with a 77-yard rushing touchdown with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter to cut the Tigers lead to 15-14.
An interception thrown by the Tigers gave the Trojans possession on their own 10-yard line.
They took over six minutes off the clock on their offensive drive, finishing it with a 15-yard rushing touchdown with around a minute to go in the first half to take a 21-15 lead.
The Tigers would not go quietly into halftime as they started on their own 25-yard line after the Trojans kickoff.
The Tigers drove the ball downfield 75 yards in less than a minute, finishing off the drive with a rushing touchdown to take a 22-21 lead into halftime.
The Tigers opened the third quarter with a field goal just under three minutes in to push their lead to 25-21.
The Tigers would hold the Trojans off the board in the third quarter as they headed towards the final 12 minutes of the contest.
The Tigers added another rushing touchdown under two minutes in to take a 32-21 lead over the Trojans.
The Trojans finally pushed their way into Tigers’ territory, culminating in a nine-yard rushing touchdown with just over three minutes to go, cutting the lead to 32-27 after a failed two-point conversion.
The Tigers recovered the onside kick from the Trojans and took possession at the 50-yard line.
The Tigers tacked on their last touchdown of the night, followed by a two-point conversion to take the 40-27 victory over the Trojans.
The win is the 20th straight regular season win for the Tigers, with Malakoff winning 38 of their last 40 regular season games overall. The victory pushes their perfect record to 8-0 overall this season and 5-0 in district play.
With the defeat of the Trojans, the Tigers sit all alone in first place in 3A-1 Region III District 9. West and Teague are now tied for second place with 4-1 records.
The Tigers will travel to Teague to take on the second-place Lions (6-2, 4-1 district) Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers then return home for parent night Nov. 10 and finish up the regular season against the Elkhart Elks before preparing for the playoffs.

Oct

26

Posted by : admin | On : October 26, 2017

By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
LOG CABIN–Citizens turned out in appreciable numbers to support their volunteer fire department at the Oct. 19 meeting of the Log Cabin City Council. The City of Log Cabin held an emergency meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 to address concerns about the fire department. At that meeting, the council agreed to use the Payne Springs Volunteer Fire Department to answer calls within the city instead of their own Log Cabin Volunteer Fire Department. The Log Cabin Fire Department was not present at that meeting because they were not informed of it. Citizens took to social media to air their concerns.
With the VFD on the agenda as item 10, the citizens turned out to be heard on the matter. According to Fire Chief Cory Abbe, as of that meeting the department had 14 volunteers and nine of them were present.
The crowd grew agitated as the council dealt with agenda items, one-by-one in order. When it came to item 10, the VFD, Abbe addressed the council, asking for a meeting to present his case to keep the Log Cabin VFD responding to the city. He assured the council and mayor he would answer their concerns, one of which was adequate staffing. Mayor Lawrence Nolan and the council agreed to meet with them. As of press time Wednesday, no meeting time had been announced.
Public comments were passionate, but respectful. Lynette Busby addressed the council, praising the Log Cabin first responders for being there for her when her husband collapsed. She said, “They were there within minutes and took over CPR until the ambulance arrived. Our police chief was there and they didn’t leave me until my family arrived. There is no telling how long I would have been alone if our first responders weren’t there. They are wonderful.”
That sentiment was echoed by the other citizens who spoke. Another citizen warned the council, “if you persist, know that we are losing something that is very valuable.”
In other business, council members
• approved sale of city owned property in section 14,
• agreed to purchase golf cart from the police department for $3,800 for use by the water department,
• resolved to file for a grant with the East Texas Council of Governments for a solid waste program grant to fund a part-time litter abatement officer and help fund city-wide cleanups and
• heard reports from various city departments.

Oct

26

Posted by : admin | On : October 26, 2017

Richard Brashear
Tonia Speer
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–An alleged methamphetamine dealer and customer were booked early Oct. 19 according to Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse. Both were charged with drug possession; the subject of the investigation was also caught in possession of a firearm she is barred from possessing.
Tonia Speer, 49, was found with a substantial amount of meth packaged and ready for distribution when a seven-member team from the Sheriff’s Office descended on her Ravenwood Road residence, in the Westwood Beach subdivision south of Chandler.
Having pleaded guilty to a felony drug possession charge in 2014, Speer lost her rights to possess a firearm, which investigators found at her residence.
She has been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance greater than 1 gram and less than 4 grams and for illegal possession of a firearm. She is being held at the Henderson County Jail on bonds totaling $18,500.
If found guilty of the second-degree felony drug charge, she will face up to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a fine of up to $10,000. For the third-degree illegal possession of a firearm charge, she will face up to 10 years in prison and another fine of up to $10,000.
Richard Brashear, 42, was also at the residence and was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance up to 1 gram, for which he can be sentenced to up to two years in prison and ordered to pay up to $10,000.
Investigator Ray Yockey obtained the search warrant from Henderson County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Tony Duncan, Hillhouse said. “People in Chandler have told us they want this crime and these folks out of their neighborhoods. That is exactly what we are doing.”
Narcotics Investigators Josh Rickman and Brad Beddingfield, David Faught and Megan Hogan assisted along with deputies Russell Wesson and Johnathan Daille.

Oct

19

Posted by : admin | On : October 19, 2017

Timothy Morrison
The News Staff Reports
NEW ORLEANS–The search for a missing Athens man has been called off following the oil and gas platform explosion on Lake Pontchartrain Sunday night. A memorial service for Timothy Morrison, 44, is set to follow a visitation at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 405 E. Corsicana St. in Athens Sunday, Oct. 22. His mother, Janie Cole, of Cole Air Conditioning and Appliance Co. said her son, last living in Katy, was working as a subcontractor on the structure when it caught fire and exploded.
The Coast Guard reported the fire aboard the platform was out by midday. Cmdr. Zac Ford stated that making the decision to suspend the search “is never an easy one.”
In all, five of the injured were hospitalized with serious injuries, including burns and two people were reported in critical condition.
The platform, owned by Clovelly Oil exploded while maintenance work was being performed, according to a press release. A fireball lit up the night sky and shook lakeside properties.
The platform sustained heavy structural damage and is a storage and accumulation point for oil and gas from a number of wells. Four wells that feed into the platform were drilled in the 1970s and are all in the lake. Three of which were shut down at the time of the explosion and the fourth was successfully shut down shortly after the explosion, Clovelly Oil reported.
A brackish tidal basin, the 630-square mile lake also is fed by fresh water rivers and streams in 16 Louisiana parishes and four Mississippi counties.
The U.S. Geological Survey describes it as one of America‘s largest estuaries, home to oysters, crabs and saltwater fish. The lake is not a source of drinking water.

Oct

19

Posted by : admin | On : October 19, 2017

IMG_5301 Trinidad FB #31 CMYK
By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
TRINIDAD–The Trinidad Trojans defeated the Exel HomeSchool Lions Oct. 14 in their annual homecoming game.
Senior Trojans running back Talon Sims kicked off the offense for the Trojans with a rushing touchdown just over one minute into the first quarter to give the Trojans an 8-0 lead.
Twelve seconds later, on a carry by a Lions player, defensive back Marcello Shofner ripped the ball from the carrier’s hands to give the Trojans possession.
Caleb Bannister finished off the drive with a five-yard touchdown just 42 seconds later to give the Trojans a 16-0 lead.
Linebacker Eli Arnold recovered another fumble for the Trojans defense as they took over with 5:16 remaining in the first quarter.
Sims tacked on another touchdown 19 seconds later to push the Trojans lead to 22-0.
Sophomore wide receiver Hunter Robinson added a touchdown of his own to give the Trojans a 30-0 lead with 3:39 remaining in the first quarter.
Robinson picked up an interception with 1:48 remaining to give the Trojans possession.
Johnny Ayala ran 60 yards for his first touchdown of the night, pushing the lead to 38-0 with 1:16 remaining in the first quarter.
Josh Stamper and Kaelab Eastman both added touchdowns for the Trojans 20 second apart in the last minute of the first quarter to take a commanding 50-0 lead into the second quarter.
The Lions finally got on the board on a rush touchdown with 4:53 remaining in the second quarter to make the deficit 50-6.
The Trojans would score their final touchdown of the night on a kickoff return by Robinson to finish off a mercy-rule 56-6 victory after just two quarters of play.
Senior quarterback Colby Snider finished 1/3 for 38 yards passing and one touchdown.
Stamper led the way with seven carries for 153 yards rushing for the Trojans, including one touchdown.
Ayala had one rush for 64 yards and one touchdown.
Trojans senior Sims finished with three carries for 32 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions.
The Trojans finished the contest with 327 total yards of offense in just 20 minutes of play.
The Trojans go into their bye week at 5-2 overall this season. They begin their district schedule when they return against the Milford Bulldogs (6-0) Oct. 27 at home.
The Trojans finish the season against Mt. Calm Nov. 3 at home and on the road at Oakwood Nov. 10.