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.

Aug

17

Posted by : admin | On : August 17, 2017

Hensarling Meeting
By Tom Chapman
The News Correspondent
ATHENS–Local citizens gathered Thursday for a town hall meeting with U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R).
After opening remarks and introduction by County Judge Sanders, Congressman Hensarling stated that he was honored to occupy the “citizen’s seat” and recognized that despite political or philosophical differences “our citizenship unites us.” He then talked about recent legislative actions in the U.S. House of Representatives. Hensarling informed constituents that the House had been busy, passing about 300 bills. He went on to say that “about 200 of them are sitting in the Senate awaiting action.”
After talking about challenges the country and Congressional District 5 are facing, including healthcare reform, actions on entitlements, fiduciary concerns he opened the floor for questions and comment.
Several citizens asked about healthcare reform, expressing frustrations that deductibles have risen along with costs. The congressman stated the house had been working on a reform bill which preserved choice in providers and made the healthcare exchanges more easily accessible.
Other citizens asked insightful questions about campaign finance, with the general consensus that the citizens thought there were potential conflicts of interest by Congress accepting monies from industries in which congressmen had regulatory oversight.
Congressman Hensarling has represented the 5th district since 2003 and currently chairs the House Financial Services Committee.

Aug

17

Posted by : admin | On : August 17, 2017

Clyde Jason Tennison

Special to The News
ATHENS–Three years from the date he brutally killed Deborah Denise Allen, and just days before he was set to begin his trial in front of a Henderson County jury, Clyde Jason Tennison entered a plea of “Guilty” to her murder before visiting Judge Joe Clayton Aug. 11.
In exchange for his plea, the 53-year-old Tennison, received a sentence of 45 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Institutional Division. He will be eligible for parole after completing half his sentence (22.5 years), with time served in the Henderson County Jail. He will be 73 before that time arrives, and “eligibility” for parole does not mean he will be released at that time.
On Aug. 2, 2014, Tennison claimed that he and the victim, who was his girlfriend, had been arguing in the days leading up to her death. He told investigators that on the that day, he had just informed her that he was leaving, and went to take a shower first. According to him, when he got out, he looked in her room and saw her body lying on the bed. He then left the house and traveled to the home of his parents, telling them that Deborah had committed suicide by cutting her own throat. He later told Sheriff’s Deputy Cayce Hampton that Allen had used his knife to cut herself.
Tennison and members of his family went back to the residence located in Gun Barrel City and determined that Ms. Allen was deceased before contacting law enforcement.
At some point, Tennison consumed and overdosed on Xanax resulting in him being admitted to ETMC the same morning after Allen’s death. He also tested positive for PCP.
As the investigation progressed, Tennison’s account of the events became less plausible. Investigators located the defendant’s wet clothes in the washing machine, yet they still tested positive for the presence of blood. According to lab results, he also had the victim’s blood under his fingernails, along with a distinct bite mark on the inside of his thigh.
The medical examiner who performed the autopsy believed that the wounds to the neck of Ms. Allen were unlikely to be self-inflicted. Physical evidence, and the position of the knife found in Allen’s hand were incompatible with the injuries and blood evidence.
Investigators believed that after bludgeoning and cutting his victim, Tennison attempted to stage the scene to appear as if it had been a suicide.
Several weeks after the murder, Tennison made an unsolicited comment to jailers that, “I never thought I would be capable of something like that. I slit her throat and watched her bleed out on the ground.”
During most of the plea, Tennison was quiet and reserved, however during the victim impact statement given by Ms. Allen’s daughter, he momentarily sobbed, and said that he was sorry.
Henderson County District Attorney Mark Hall, and First Assistant Nancy Rumar were set to prosecute the case beginning on Tuesday of this week. Hall said the plea agreement was one that ensured that Tennison would be in prison for a long time to come, and that the family of Ms. Allen was fully on board with the 45-year offer.
“This has been a long, hard road for the family of Deborah Allen, and I am glad that they can finally put this chapter behind them. Although the pain of her death will never go away, the fact that Clyde Tennison finally admitted his guilt in open court will help them deal with her horrible death,” Hall said.
“I want to thank the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Ranger Michael Adcock, D.A. investigators, and the other law enforcement agencies and personnel that worked this case and did such a thorough and professional job of sorting out truth from fiction.”

Aug

10

Posted by : admin | On : August 10, 2017

Mabank resident Scott Tuley announces his bid for Henderson County Precinct 2 Commissioner Saturday at Gun Barrel City Park Pavilion.

Mabank resident Scott Tuley announces his bid for Henderson County Precinct 2 Commissioner Saturday at Gun Barrel City Park Pavilion.

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–About two dozen family and friends gathered Saturday at the Gun Barrel City Park Pavilion to hear Scott Tuley announce his intention to run for Henderson County Precinct 2 Commissioner.
Current commissioner Wade McKinney announced last week in Commissioners Court that he would not seek re-election this November, pointing out that over his last six terms he’s gathered enough experiences to fill two life times with both memories and lessons.
During Tuley’s heartfelt speech, he said becoming commissioner would fulfill a goal of his to be of greater service to those living in the southern part of the county.
“I chose this location, the pavilion in Gun Barrel City (to make this announcement), because it is the heart of Precinct 2 and home to the many citizens who have always supported me in the past,” he said.
Tuley retired after 21 years with TXU Energy and has operated businesses, including Titled T Distributors, the last 12 years; and a mobile disco entertainment business for the last 10 years, along with his wife, Angie Harley Tuley.
He is best-known for his eight years of service on the Mabank ISD school board, where he participated in the planning of the high school on U.S. 175 and the remodel of all three elementary schools. He has also served on local youth sports organizations, including the Tri-County Football Association, MLLFA and the Mabank Baseball and Softball Association.
He is a member of Gun Barrel City Toys for Tots and the Cedar Creek Lake Parrot Head Club.
“We are a political powerhouse here in Precinct 2. We need someone with a voice to represent our lake area,” he said, asking for volunteers to help with his Republican campaign. “We already have several people who have volunteered to host events, but we need more.”

Aug

10

Posted by : admin | On : August 10, 2017

The News Staff Reports
HENDERSON COUNTY–This weekend’s tax-free back-to-school shopping frenzy focuses parents’ minds on the beginning of a brand-new school year. The first day of school comes earlier for some than others.
Athens High School (AHS) seniors will begin school Monday, Aug. 14 and will be the only students in attendance until the other classes arrive Aug. 16. Buses will run their normal routes beginning Aug. 14 and dress code applies.
AHS Fish Camp will be held from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11 at the high school.
Students will begin in the gym and attend sessions to learn all about AHS. Parents are welcome but not required and schedules will be given at the end of the camp. Online registration is required.
Athens Elementary schools will hold Meet the Teacher night Aug. 14 for all three campuses, South Athens Elementary, Central Athens Elementary and Bel Air Elementary. A come-and-go event from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. will allow flexibility for parents and students to meet teachers and visit the campus.
Athens Middle School students will have online access to their schedules on Aug. 12.
Malakoff ISD begins classes Aug. 28. Malakoff High School will hold Fish Camp from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24 for incoming freshmen who will receive their schedules at the end of the camp.
Malakoff High School seniors may pick up their schedule from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 21, juniors from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22 and sophomores from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug 23. Parents are requested to accompany their students when picking up schedules.
Meet the Teacher for Malakoff Elementary School is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24. Students may bring their school supplies. Tool Elementary School sets Meet the Teacher for Thursday, Aug. 24, at 5:30 p.m.
Other local school beginnings and important dates follow
Trinidad ISD
Meet the Teacher is set for Thursday, Aug. 17 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Students pre-k through fifth grade may bring their school supplies with them.
Grades sixth-12th may pick up their class schedules and complete enrollment forms. High school students who plan to drive to and from school should bring proof of insurance and copy of their driver’s license with them.
Athens Christian Preparatory Academy
Classes begin Aug 16. Junior High orientation scheduled for Aug. 15 at 5:30 p.m. Orientation for freshmen and sophomores is scheduled for Aug. 17 at 5:30 p.m., for Juniors Aug. 21 at 5:30 p.m. and for seniors Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m.
Cross Roads ISD
Classes begin Aug. 24 with Meet the Teacher scheduled for Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m. for Elementary and Junior High students.

Aug

03

Posted by : admin | On : August 3, 2017

Driver, TrinityThe News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse today said an early morning traffic violation led to a Deputy to arrest a man with methamphetamines and a pipe used to smoke the contraband.
Trinity Driver, 28, of Arp was stopped around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday traveling north on FM 315 south of Chandler.
Deputy William Thornton was patrolling the area when he noticed Driver commit a traffic violation. He stopped the suspect, removed him from the vehicle and checked him for weapons.
The Deputy then discovered a glass pipe commonly used to inhale illegal narcotics and a plastic baggie hidden in a cigarette pack containing a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine.
“This is another case where our team is always on the lookout for the unusual,” Hillhouse. “Driving around this County in the dark of night carrying illegal drugs is a sure way to find yourself waking up in our jail.”
Driver was charged with a state jail felony for possession under a gram.
He faces up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine. He is being held with a $8,500 bond.