Posted by : admin | On : January 31, 2013

By Pearl Cantrell and Erik Walsh
The News Staff Writers

KAUFMAN–A Kaufman County criminal prosecutor died of gunfire targeting him just before 9 a.m. Thursday morning, as he was arriving to work.

Mark Hasse, 57, an assistant district attorney under D.A. Mike McLelland, was gunned down by what police are reporting were two unknown assailants, dressed all in black, wearing masks and one seen wearing a tactical vest.

An all-points bulletin was issued for two males, dressed in black and believed to be driving a silver or brown-colored older-model Ford Taurus with no license plates.

Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh said he confirmed that Hasse was shot outside his vehicle and the attack was totally unexpected. “We are piecing together stories from witnesses to form one accurate picture,” he said.

Law enforcement agencies centered their investigations in the parking lot behind the courthouse annex on North Washington Street across from the courthouse square.

In response to the shooting, area schools were put on lockdown, including campuses in Kaufman, Kemp, Scurry-Rosser and Forney.

Campuses in Mabank initiated a part of the district’s safety and security plan, superintendent Dr. Russell Marshall told Van Zandt News. By noon, most lockdowns and security measures had been lifted.

The Kaufman County Courthouse and Annex business offices were closed the rest of the day.

Hasse was transported to the Kaufman Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

During a 10 a.m. press conference Kaufman Sheriff David Byrnes said the victim was on his way to present misdemeanor cases in court that morning when he was assaulted and gunned down.

Investigators are combing through his case load (340-390 cases a year), looking for suspects.

McLelland said he is confident the criminals will be caught and brought to justice.

“When you deal with bad people on a regular basis, then they may do bad things to you. Mark knew the dangers of his job,” he said.

One news report said past investigations included the Aryan Brotherhood activities, two of whom pleaded guilty in federal court the same day Hasse was killed.

Lawyer James Lee Bright, who arrived at the courthouse just as law enforcement descended on the scene, is reported to have told the Dallas Morning News that the veteran prosecutor had worked on numerous cases over his career and that any one of those could be connected.

Hasse was hired with the Kaufman County D.A.’s Office as a chief prosecutor in July 2010. He also worked as a prosecutor in Dallas County from 1983 to 1990, according to another news report. He was unmarried.
County Judge Bruce Wood said he viewed the event as an attack on justice, itself.

Of Hasse he said, “He was a good man and a good prosecutor.

“When something like this happens – like the murder of the very people we trust to do justice – it’s a horrible crime,” Wood said.

A business owner on the courthouse square was shocked and disturbed at the shooting.

Maple’s Hall operator Bryant Martin told Van Zandt News, “We are a small community. It took us all by surprise. These things happen in other counties, not in ours. It’s very disturbing.”

Sheriff David Byrnes said in his 43 years in law enforcement he has never seen anything like this before. “By all appearances it was an assassination,” Byrnes said.

Kaufman County Crimestoppers has issued a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of individuals involved in the capital murder of a Kaufman County prosecutor Jan. 31. Tipsters remain anonymous by calling 877-TIPSKCC (847-7522) or text to 274637.

Additionally, a Kaufman company, ABOX is offering another $10,000 to informers in this case leading to an arrest and conviction.

Former County Judge Wayne Gent described courthouse security as always tight, but not in the parking lot. He categorized the shooting as an “ambush.”

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins sent out an email shortly after the shooting, with details unfolding in Kaufman County and warned staff to “be aware of your surroundings when leaving the building for your safety.”

Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Pat Laney said all area law enforcement are taking part in the investigation and searching for the suspects, including the Texas Rangers, Department of Public Safety helicopters, Kaufman Police Department, the lead investigator, the Sheriff’s Office and the federal agency of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

No arrests had been made in the case by Thursday afternoon, though Dallas D.A. Watkins had erroneously reported an arrest in an earlier press conference Thursday.

He offered to prosecute the case on behalf of Kaufman County.

“We will provide whatever resources or help they need since Hasse was a former Dallas County prosecutor,” Watkins said.



Posted by : admin | On : January 17, 2013

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff

SEAGOVILLE–A Malakoff High School student was killed Sunday in a wreck on U.S. Highway 175 just outside Seagoville.

Jamiya Givens Williams, 16, was a sophomore. Also perishing in the crash was Williams’ 11-month-old daughter.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred when a Ford F-150 truck struck the Chevrolet Cavalier occupied by Williams and her daughter from behind.

Prior to the collision, the eastbound Cavalier, driven by Williams’ mother, Sheryk Givens, 40, blew out a tire and slowed to about 10-15 mph in preparation to exit. That’s when the F-150 struck the economy compact vehicle, last produced in 2005.

Givens’ 18-year-old son Jabari was also in the Cavalier, however no other injuries were reported.
Funeral services will be handled by the Tomlinson Funeral Home. The date of the services are still pending as of Jan. 15.

A fund has been set up to assist the family with funeral expenses for Jamiya Williams and her daughter, Alahna, through the First Baptist Church of Malakoff, P.O. Box 408, Malakoff, TX 75148,designate checks “Jamiya Williams.”



Posted by : admin | On : December 3, 2012

From Staff Reports

The annual Malakoff Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. This year’s theme is “A Winter Wonderland in Malakoff.”

The parade will line up on the First Baptist Church parking lot on Mitcham Street beginning at 9 a.m.

There is no cost to enter and participants are urged to throw candy and have fun.



Posted by : admin | On : December 3, 2012

Missing the stories and columns from The Malakoff News and The Athens News? Click here to read the paper online.



Posted by : admin | On : November 24, 2012

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

ROYSE CITY — The 2012 season came to an end for the Malakoff Tigers Friday night, with the Tigers falling to the Pottsboro Cardinals, 41-0, in Region II area action.

Malakoff finished the season at 8-4, while Pottsboro advanced with an 11-0 record.

Pottsboro proved to be too strong up front for Malakoff Friday. The Cardinals were led by senior quarterback Tanner Frye, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for another.

The Cardinals led 21-0 at the half.

Although Malakoff was disappointed with the way the season finished, the Tigers still tacked on the fourth-straight successful season of the Coach Jamie Driskell era.

This year’s Tigers earned the school’s fourth-straight winning record and fourth-straight playoff appearance. They also won a playoff game for the second-straight year, beating Redwater, 28-22, last week to become bi-district champions.

The Tigers have also rewrote the school’s record books, entering the school’s Top 5 scoring games of all-time list twice: tied for fifth with a 64-36 win over Italy in the inaugural Dale Hansen Classic, and tied for second with a 70-8 win over Kemp. The last time the Tigers put up 60 points or more twice in a season was 1947.



Posted by : admin | On : November 22, 2012

Randy Daniel

By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff

ATHENS — Randy Daniel is trading in his titles. He is going from Mayor to Judge.

Henderson County Commissioners’ Court this week selected Daniel to fill the Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 seat which was left open when JP Henry Ashford died of a heart attack last month. The unexpired term is for about two years.

“I am very grateful to Judge (Richard) Sanders and the commissioners for having confidence in me to do this job,” Daniel said. “I will also be retiring from my job at Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative where I have been employed for the last 35 years to devote my full time to the JP position.”

To take the job, however, he had to leave office as mayor. According to Daniel, the Athens City Charter does not allow holding dual offices.

That announcement came Thanksgiving morning on The News Facebook page during an online conversation.

“I automatically vacated the office of mayor upon accepting the new position,” he wrote. “The council has my letter of resignation and will act on it at the next regular council meeting. I want to say thank you to the citizens of Athens for allowing me to serve them as mayor for the last seven-and-a-half years and look forward to serving them in this new capacity.”



Posted by : admin | On : November 7, 2012

For the second time in four years, the alcohol option was narrowly approved in Malakoff.

Tuesday, voters OK’d the sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption only by a 285-263 margin.
In practical terms, the measure will allow liquor stores (not just beer and wine) in the city.

In Trinidad, voters approved the sale of beer and wine for off-premises consumption by a larger margin. There voters voted yes 203-107.



Posted by : admin | On : November 7, 2012

Cross Roads ISD election results

For: 408
Against: 503

School board (top 4)
Giles – 383
Robertson – 382
McCurley – 332
Himes – 295

Harmon – 176
Cole – 257
Norwood – 264
Weaver – 154



Posted by : admin | On : November 6, 2012

Malakoff School Board Election .. Final Results (top 3)

Rick Vieregge – 1,204
Billy Sparks – 1,097
Michael Monroe – 213
David Hennessee – 75
Stacey Killough – 9



Posted by : admin | On : November 6, 2012

Boxes Reporting: Final … 27 of 27 reporting

Ray Nutt (R) 20,941
Bill Burton (D) 6,126

Tax Assessor
Milburn Chaney (R) 21,799
Bryan Barker (D) 5,340

Pct. 1 Commissioner
Scotty Thomas (R) 4,795
David McGlaun (D) 1,539

Constable Pct. 5
Brad Miers (R) 4,035
Rick Simmons (D) 1,301

Closing the Range
For 14,242
Against 7,920