Dec

16

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : December 16, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF—Malakoff City Council gave the green light to honor with a plaque a longtime computer advocate at the Red Waller Community Library during its monthly meeting Monday, Dec. 9.
Dr. Ann Fowler White was “very dedicated in supporting the library of the city of Malakoff” and foresaw the need for computers, said Edward DeLoach, who made the request on behalf of the Friends of the Library, of which he is secretary. DeLoach said White was instrumental in obtaining computers and software for the library, and maintained grants that ensured upkeep. White, who died in July, was a math teacher who, upon retirement, was head of the Department of Math and Engineering at Southwest College in Stafford, which is part of the Houston Community College System.
The Friends of the Library originally requested naming the library’s computer resource center after White, and also placing a small brass plaque on each computer desk in White’s memory. Council members including Jerrilyn Tarver believed one larger plaque would suffice so as to leave room for other library contributors from the past. Librarian Charlotte Regester also recommended a single plaque, Tarver added. Other people honored at the library include namesake Red Waller with a mounted picture, according to City Administrator Ann Barker, and the original library board is noted with a plaque outside the library entrance, DeLoach added.
“I don’t think this particular service would be there without the contributions of Ann White,” DeLoach said. Even though DeLoach believed there wasn’t a single spot available to place the plaque, he said he would share the results of the council vote with the Friends of the Library, and will work with the librarian to find a suitable location.
In other action, the council awarded a bid for two trucks for the utility and street departments to Tri-County Ford in Mabank for $47,616. Teague Chevrolet-Buick of Mabank also submitted a bid for $50,552.54.
Also during the meeting, Chief Billy Mitchell released the police department’s November activity report, including:
- Service Calls: 71
- Offense Reports: 42
- Arrests: 20
- Agency Assists: 16
- Citizen Assists: 8
- Accidents: 0
- Citations: 146
- Warnings: 41
- Alarms: 9
- Cases filed in the District Attorney’s Office: 8
- Cases filed in the County Attorney’s Office: 3
- Total Fuel: 617 gallons
- Total Miles: 6,022

Dec

09

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : December 9, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
LONGVIEW–The Malakoff Tigers’ unprecedented run through the high-school football playoffs ended Friday, Nov. 29 in the regional semifinals in Longview with a 34-27 loss to New Boston.
Malakoff finishes the season at 11-2, which includes a district, bi-district and area championship. The 11 wins tie the 1940 Malakoff football team for most-ever victories in a season, and bested 1947’s 10-win season. The 1940 team went 11-0, won its district, and beat Tatum 19-7 to claim a class B bi-district championship. That was as far as Malakoff could advance at that time, as the University Interscholastic League held a single state championship game between larger schools until 1948, when state championships expanded to all school-sizes.
“Do not let this (loss) dictate your season. It was the best season in Malakoff history,” coach Jamie Driskell told his team following the game.
After falling behind 20-7, the Tigers tied the game on a three-yard quarterback keeper by Deric Greenhaw with 4:26 left in the fourth quarter. New Boston pulled away with two quick scores, including a 76-yard touchdown to Jeff Gladney, then linebacker Wes Teague returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown on Malakoff’s next possession to give New Boston a 34-20 lead with 3:27 left in the game. Malakoff responded with a 19-yard Damontes Dowell touchdown run to pull within seven with 52 seconds left, but the ensuing onside kick was recovered by New Boston, which ran out the clock.
New Boston scored on the first Tiger play on offense when Quinn Dedmon picked up a Malakoff fumble and ran 56 yards for a touchdown. Dariuhn Jackson returned a punt 41 yards for a Malakoff touchdown to knot the score at 7 with 53 seconds left in the first quarter. New Boston then struck with a 15-yard slant pass to Gladney to take a 14-7 halftime lead. Gladney finished the game with four catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns, and included a key third-and-long conversion.
New Boston tacked on a third-quarter touchdown on a five-yard pass to Juwaun Johnson, missed the extra point, but extended its lead to 20-7. Malakoff responded with two three-yard touchdown runs, one by Damontes Dowell, the other by Greenhaw which tied the game for the final time.
The Tigers racked up 256 yards rushing, led by Damontes Dowell’s 121 yards on 16 carries, with 88 more from Marcus Dowell. Malakoff held New Boston to only 114 yards on the ground, but gave up 180 yards and three touchdowns through the air.

Dec

09

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : December 9, 2013

Library Polar Express2

By Tracy Martin
The News Correspondent
ATHENS-From a field of six applicants, Rachel Cox was selected as the new head librarian at the Clint W. Murchison Library in Athens. Henderson County Library Advisory Board members chose Cox and county commissioners approved their choice during their regular Dec.3 meeting.
Cox graduated with honors from Eustace High School in 2002, University of Texas-Tyler and received her masters in library information science from the University of North Texas.
Board chairman Terry Warren says it was her breadth of experience at other libraries and sterling recommendations that put Cox at the top of the list. “Rachel worked in California and New Jersey, both libraries told us about the great work she did implementing new programs as an assistant librarian.” Warren said. “Both [libraries] said they’d love to hire her back.”
After the resignation of Lorie Travi six weeks ago, the board started the search for a replacement, assistant librarian Erin Holyfield has been in charge during the interim.
Cox says she’s very excited and plans to bring some of the programs she started at other libraries to Athens, “I want to make the library a cultural center for the county and bring as many people through the doors as possible.”
Some of her plans include providing computer classes to teach basic skills, help with resume’ writing, a teen outreach program to bring more young people into the library and extending the operating hours.
Cox and the board are optimistic that getting the word out that the library is moving in a new user-friendly direction will increase traffic.
Work has been in progress to improve and update the look of the library, including outdoor tables, expanding the children’s section and the addition of eBooks.
The doors in the rear of the building are slated for replacement with handicapped accessible doors and more fundraisers are in the works.
Holyfield is organizing the Saturday free movie showing of “The Polar Express” in the children’s section and plans to stay on as assistant librarian.
Cox only recently moved back to Henderson County from New Jersey and plans to start her new role in the next few weeks.

Nov

15

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : November 15, 2013

Veterans Memorial 11 11 046 WEB

An estimated 1,000 people attend the dedication of the Henderson County Veterans Memorial Nov. 11 at the East Texas Arboretum in Athens.

Nov

15

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : November 15, 2013

KAB sat WEB

By Tracy Martin
The News Correspondent

ATHENS–Old computers, broken televisions, mattresses, yard waste and junk were some of the items Athens residents got to freely dispose of Nov. 9.

Keep Athens Beautiful sponsors the event twice a year to assist residents with disposing their e-Waste and to promote recycling. Most of the broken equipment and electronics will be hauled off and recycled.

KAB director Carol Morton says it’s great to see the community participate.

“It’s an exciting day for us to see Athens come out and get rid of so much stuff. It keeps the city beautiful and keeps it (electronics) out of our local landfills,” she said.

The local fall clean-up day is part of the Texas Recycling Day and Keep America Beautiful initiative. Both events fall in mid-November and have been going on for more than 10 years.

The collections were accepted from 8 a.m. to noon, and hot dogs, snacks and drinks were free to all those making a drop. A second clean-up day will be held in the spring.

Nov

15

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : November 15, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF—The Malakoff City Council approved nearly $71,000 for emergency roof repairs for the city’s municipal building during its monthly meeting Monday, Nov. 11.
The roof of the 1978 building has needed repair for a while, City Administrator Ann Barker said, and recent rains caused interior flooding in several areas. The Red Waller Community Library housed in the building closed for three days, and Barker estimated about 20 buckets there, catching drips. Library books were damaged, and officials feared computer and electrical damage, but that was not the case, Barker said. Employees arriving in the morning first noticed the problem, she added, and the city administrator’s office also was affected.
King Roofing of Gun Barrel City was the low bid at $70,860. Seventy percent of that comes from the utilities fund, while 30 percent comes from the general fund, the city administrator said.
Also during the meeting, which fell on Veterans Day, the city recognized those who served. Noted were employees police Lt. Floyd Thomas and Clyde Bowman Jr., council member Jerry Savage, municipal Judge Bill Burton, Mayor Pro Tem Tim Trimble, and Buster Carter. Two vets also were in the audience: former Green Beret Clyde Bowman Sr., and Johnny Davis. The city employees were presented with a banner and a $20 gift card from Ole West Steakhouse in Athens.
Additionally, the council agreed to pay insurance on a new tanker truck recently acquired by the Malakoff Volunteer Fire Dept., which was requested by Chief Kirk Kebodeaux and Assistant Chief Bubba Matthews. The VFD bought the $240,000 vehicle with help from a $200,000 grant. The insurance premiums will cost the city $1,300 per year, Barker said.
The council also set a citywide cleanup for Saturday, Nov. 23. It will take place at the city warehouse, which is at 206 N. Terry Street, north of the traffic signal. Approved, too, was paying off 1977 sinking-fund series bonds with money remaining from 1976 bonds of the same type. The city had budgeted to pay off those 1977 bonds, but by making early payments, $79,000 of that now can be used for other purposes.
In other action, Homer Ray Trimble received the city’s votes to serve on the Henderson County Appraisal District board of directors. Mayor Pro Tem Trimble, who is Trimble’s son, abstained from the vote.

Aug

29

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : August 29, 2013

IMG_4469

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff

ATHENS–Athens Hornets Head Coach Paul Essary is working hard to establish a culture of winning.
Now in his fifth year at the helm, Essary brought the Hornets to the playoffs three out of his four seasons.

When he was brought on board as the Athletic Director and Head Coach in 2009, the team made the playoffs two consecutive seasons. It was the first time in 51 years that a Hornet team made the playoffs back-to-back.

“I tell the boys that they are part of starting a tradition of winning at Athens High School,” Essary said. “One or two good years doesn’t start a tradition. It takes longer.”

If this year’s Hornets can make the playoffs, as they except to, a whole new class would achieve success after Essary’s arrival. It’s an important step in his vision.

“The most important part of winning is to get the kids to buy in and believe in themselves,” Essary said. “When it’s really become all about winning, losing is no longer an option. When this gets into a kids head, real results start to show. Winning is bigger than the individual. When the kids realize its important for the team, the family and the community, they finally start to believe in what they can do.”

Coaching well takes a high level of tenacity. Essary explains the difference between successful coaching and mediocre coaching.
“It’s hard to be a good coach. It’s easy to let the students slide on little things and not give their full effort. But how does that profit them? How does that profit the team? How would that reflect on me? It’s easy to not constantly demand they give their best effort and constantly reinforce it. The same with a coaching staff. It’s easy not to demand their best. But when you do, it forms a culture of winning.”

According to Essary, a culture of winning will field well-prepared teams that come ready to play at their highest level each week. They may not always win the game, but it won’t ever be because they didn’t give 110 percent.
“I tell kids when they give all they have they are getting close to what it takes to win. Once they give everything, they need to give just a little bit more to get there.”

That little bit more can be the difference between a win and a loss. Essary says that when the whole team gives all they have, plus more you will no longer beat yourself. This forces a good team to play its best to win.

“We do not accept losing here,” Essary said. “Losing means we caused the loss. Getting beat, however is a different story. If we are well prepared, played our best, but the other team is just better, we can accept this kind of loss.”
“We want to be a team that does not lose, that forces other teams to beat us.”

Essary knows that some days students, and even coaches, don’t want to work hard. But it’s those days when it is more important to push through to success.

“I tell them there will be days when they have a family and they may not feel like getting up to go to work. Who’s going to feed their family then? They will need to get up and do it anyway. I teach the boys that lesson here and now.”

Aug

29

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : August 29, 2013

By Tracy Martin
The News Correspondent

ATHENS-Henderson County fire marshal Shane Renberg asked commissioners Aug. 27 to consider taking the burn ban a step further, banning both fire works and outdoor welding. “People are following the burn ban, we’ve had fewer grass fires and issued fewer citations, but fires are starting from people setting off fireworks, and one grass fire started from just a few welding sparks,” he reported. “We’re getting complaints all over the county about fireworks, but can’t do anything more than ask them to stop.”
Halting the use of fireworks can happen if an emergency declaration is issued. The current burn ban continues through Tuesday, Sept. 3, but commissioners do not meet until the following week, which could allow the ban to expire.
County Judge Richard Sanders plans to stay in contact with updates from Renberg and has the authority to either extend the ban or declare an emergency to further limit what can and cannot be burned.

Fireworks are not included in the parameters of the current burn ban and can only be banned under an emergency declaration.
According to the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, a model measuring moisture in the ground and plants and used to predict the likelihood of wildfire, Henderson County’s western portion rates a 724 out of 800, signifying a complete absence of moisture. The eastern portion scales at 624.

On Sept. 4, 2011, over the Labor day weekend under similar conditions, a fire started in Bastrop County which burned 35,000 acres, destroying 1,645 homes and killing two people. With drought conditions close to the extreme, officials are urging caution.
In other business, commissioners:

• acknowledged the appointment of Carolyn Tyler as the new 4-H County Extension Agent. Tyler holds a B.S. from Texas A&M and will develop and implement education programs.
• agreed to contract revisions and renewals with United Healthcare for group healthcare and choice silver benefit plan.
• approved the hiring of a part-time medical technician, to fulfill insurance requirements preparing medications for inmates, now required because the inmate population exceeds 350. Current inmate population is 373, of which 104 are from Smith County, housed while a new jail construction project is underway.
• revised the county personnel policy manual.
• renewed a contract with U.N.T. to allow historic data to be collected, scanned and made available to the public. Some records date back to the 1800s.
• accepted the price of $5,000 for a lot in Willowwood in Gun Barrel City, Precinct 2, as a resale deed.
• set a public hearing for 9:30 a.m. Sept. 17, to consider a speed limit of 35mph on a section of CR 4530 in Precinct 3, as requested by local residents.

Aug

03

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : August 3, 2013

kimpix mystery squirrel

By Loretta Humble
Special to The News

We’ve had a lot of wildlife action down here at the farm lately. Let’s start with the rodents.
The mystery squirrel has returned. I saw him once, from a distance, snapped a really grainy picture before he disappeared. He is a little larger than the average squirrel, with a regular squirrel-colored belly, but the top of his head, his back, and part of his sides, look like they’ve been dredged in flour. Or maybe like he just got a frosting job. I couldn’t find anything like him on the Internet, and nobody I asked had ever seen anything like him. This time I got good pictures so I can prove I’m not nuts. I don’t know if they would show up in the paper, but I’ve posted it on www.facebook.com/aroundthetown.

Then there is rat situation. Some of you may remember I had a big battle going on with some huge good looking rats two years ago.
Finally trapped them and carried them off to a pasture near Post Oak cemetery, and haven’t seen another one since. Till now. And this one is a doosie. The last ones just ate my wiring, and shoved insulation out from under my steam shower unit. This one started there, then – you know those folding cloth boxes you sit on shelves to hide your messy stuff – he came out and demolished two of them. One of them had nothing left but its wire frame to guard all the stuff it was supposed to hide, and since it was black, black shreds all over the floor. We are setting the live trap again. So far we’ve only caught and transported a small one, but the big one is still getting away.

Moving on from rodent to ruminant, we have a deer with mossy antlers and an orange collar hanging out with us. The dogs bark at him a lot but he kind of ignores them. He is very friendly, and licks our hands when we pet him. We all tried to find something to feed him. When Shelly heard deer eat corn, she opened a can and offered to him. We tried pears and dog food. He did take a bite of the canned corn, maybe just to be polite, but totally ignored the other offerings. His name is Giselle. He is the ward of Susan Kjeldgaard, who now owns the land and red barn house we used to visit when the kids were young and Ben and Patsy Johnson owned it. Susan adopted him as an orphan and raised him to young manhood.

Now he has wandered off to seek his fortune, which he seems to think lies around here. Susan has come and picked him up a couple of times, but he keeps coming back. We asked Susan what he eats, but she said she would prefer we didn’t feed him, as she fears he never will come home if the pickings keep getting better over here.

And then I’ve been watching the birds. I’ve always fed them, but this is the first year I’ve really paid attention to them. I know what kinds are feeding at my feeders, and I know what they want to eat: Sunflower seed. Period. The ones that are here now do not care for the cheaper grains, or the fancy stuff that adds fruits and nuts to the sunflower seed. They want pure unadulterated sunflower seed. The ones here now are cardinals, tufted titmice (yes, titmice, I looked it up), chickadees, a couple of doves, and purple finches. If purple finches have been around, I have never noticed them before. And they aren’t purple. They are brownish with a raspberry colored head and breast. They particularly love to eat my sunflower seed. Oh, and two hummingbirds. At least two at a time is all I ever see, and they are usually fighting. And they ignore my pretty feeders in favor of the cheapest plastic one you ever see. I finally put the pretty ones away because they were just wasting hummingbird food.

Then I saw the other birds trying to perch on the little plastic feeder, so I figured they were thirsty. So I got them a big hanging waterer. I thought I’d see them bathing and drinking and having a big time. Every now and then I see one sneaking to take a drink, but very little. They are still perching on the hummingbird’s cheesy little feeder. Now I’ve set up a regular bird bath. Nothing. Not one bird bathing or drinking. So then I read about a water wiggler, a little battery-operated thing that sits in bath and wiggles the water to attract birds and repell mosquitoes. Still no luck. I did see one chickadee on the edge of it one day. But I think he was just looking.

Aug

01

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : August 1, 2013

By Tracy Martin
The News Correspondent

ATHENS–Voters will decide whether alcohol will be sold in Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, which includes Brownsboro and Chandler to the Smith County Line. Residents gathered more than 1,600 signatures to get it on the ballot, surpassing the requirement of 1,389. The Henderson County Commissioners received approved the petition for a local option liquor election on November 5.
If the approximately 8,000 registered voters in JP3 decide to allow alcohol sales, area convenience and grocery stores will be able to sell beer and wine for off-premise consumption.

Commissioners also set a public hearing for 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20. to close a portion of County Road 3718 in Precinct 3. The request from adjoining landowners who ask it be turned into private property and blocked off claim the road is used for dumping and is littered with tires, trash and construction debris. The landowners have agreed to clean the road at their expense, if allowed to block it off.

In other action, commissioners:
•approved an interlocal agreement for the county to provide voting equipment and conduct elections for Coffee City, Gun Barrel City, Tool, Trinidad , Payne Springs and Malakoff ISD.
•approved the hiring of a part-time administrative assistant for the District Attorney’s Office, to be funded from law enforcement budget line.
•accepted tax re-sale deeds of three properties in Precinct 1, bids were accepted for two properties in Cedar Knoll for $1,250 and one property in Woods West, near Seven Points for $300. Precinct 1 Commissioner Scotty Thomas inspected the land and reported the distressed condition and recommended the bids be accepted.
•approved county assistance for road repairs in and around the Poynor Cemetery in Precinct 4.
•agreed to allow Virginia Hill Water Supply Corp to lay 500 feet of water line on CR 4336 in Precinct 4, after a homeowner’s well dried.
•discussed the appointment of five board members to the new Emergency Service District 6. The board positions are open to residents in portions of precincts 3 and 4, those interested can apply to Commission Court Judge Richard Sanders. Applications will be accepted through the end of August.