Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 19, 2009

I doubt I can get another column out of the goat poop issue. The last two were stretching it a bit. But I do have to report that some of you finally came through and bugged my daughter Tina until she broke down and brought me buckets of goat manure for my garden. It is now waiting to be tilled in. That is Carl’s job. I wonder if I should push my luck and ask some of you to ask him if he has run the tiller yet. Maybe not. But if you just happened to see him and felt like it



Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 19, 2009



Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 19, 2009

By Michael V. Hannigan

The Malakoff ISD Board of Trustees approved about $4 million for renovations to the middle school Monday night.
The cost includes a $3.716 million Guaranteed Maximum Price for construction by the contractor, and about $336,000 in other costs, including architect fees and technology cabling, along with miscellaneous items such as a soil test.

Superintendent Dr. John Spies said $3 million of the cost would be paid from the $7 million bond which was passed by voters last year. The final up to $1 million will come out of the district’s fund balance. {{more}}

The project will include:

- Replacing outdated air conditioning units with energy efficient models;

- constructing a new library to meet current size standards;

- constructing a new band hall;

- constructing new office for added security;

- adding additional rest rooms;

- renovating science labs to meet existing standards;

- renovating computer labs to meet existing standards;

- general restoration such as new doors, carpet, cabinets, ceiling tiles and technology cabling in each classroom;

- renovation in the kitchen, including opening the kitchen for additional space;

- a new roof.

The cost for the work is about $1 million over projections made during the bond election last May. Spies said that was mainly because of the roof.

“The roof wasn’t included in the first projection,” Spies said.

Spies said a roof consultant recommended the work be done after the bond had passed.

“The roof was not inspected closely enough (before the election),” he said.

He also said the district has recouped $120,000 in insurance money for the roof based on damage from a hail storm in 2005.

Other increases include the work in the kitchen and abatement of a small amount of asbestos found after the bond election.

Spies said the $4 million price also includes $300,000 for contingencies.

“We shouldn’t be spending the whole $1 million out of the fund balance,” he said.

The project is expected to be completed by Aug. 1.



Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 19, 2009

By Pearl Cantrell

ATHENS – Henderson County commissioners will be appointing a new County Treasurer Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Tuesday, County Treasurer Karin Smith, serving the county six years, submitted her resignation to commissioners.
Smith plans to take up her previous county job as first assistant auditor.

The person holding that post also resigned last week, according to reports. {{more}}

Interested candidates may submit a r



Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 19, 2009

By Michael V. Hannigan

Spaz, Maverick and Tall-T all spoke to the Malakoff Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon.

The three students – better known as Courtnee Forrester and Allen Cochran of Cross Roads, and Travis Perez of Malakoff – all went to leadership camp last weekend thanks to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Tuesday they were reporting back to the local club about the camp.

Each year, the Malakoff Rotary Club sends several area students to leadership camp as part of RYLA. {{more}}

RYLA is Rotary’s leadership training program for students, and according to the Rotary website:

- emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth;

- demonstrates Rotary’s respect and concern for youth;

- provides an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders;

- encourages leadership of youth by youth;

- recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities.

According to the local club’s district website, “RYLA began in Australia in the 1960s as a program to identify and develop those young people with leadership skills. These young people become very positive influences and role models once they return to their schools. Our district held its first camp in 1996 and has influenced the lives of approximately 800 young people in our district in that time.”

Tuesday each of the three students was given a chance to speak to Rotarians, and among the many stories of camp hijinks was the evidence of growing leadership qualities.
Speaking from a prepared statement, Perez said, “I learned that RYLA isn’t just an award, it is a chance to allow the leader to shine in me, as well as the thousands of people around me in my daily life. I would love to return to the RYLA camp next year and influence the upcoming juniors and help them get the ultimate experience to be leaders. Your time and generosity is greatly appreciated, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn new things and become who I am today.”

Cochran said, “I want to keep my journey (at camp) in my memory as I head off to college; that I can be a leader and I can be an impact in my community wherever I go, and to use the skills they taught me there in my ever day life.”

Forrester, talking about overcoming a ropes obstacle high in the air, said, “I felt like I had done something I never would have done in my life. My whole team pushing me helped me get through it.”

“At the end I didn’t want to go home, I wanted to stay there,” she said.

Online: check out www.ryla580.org



Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 19, 2009

From Staff and Wire Reports

The battle may be over, but the war continues on.
Just four months after getting a negotiated water rate settlement from Monarch Utilities Inc., the Henderson County-based Texans Against Monarch’s Excessive Rates (TAMER) is keeping a close eye on the Texas Legislature. And there’s plenty to keep an eye on.

State Sen. Robert Nichols, who represents Henderson County in Austin, recently filed four water-related bills which a Nichols’ press release said “would provide increased protection for consumers and landowners, particularly those using investor-owned utilities.” {{more}}

“Because Texans only have one choice when it comes to a water provider, we must be careful to protect the rights of consumers,” said Nichols. “These bills offer some common sense and fair solutions in what is otherwise a state-issued monopoly.”

Bevel said TAMER has worked with Nichols and supports the proposed legislation.

“I do believe that we have the best shot we’ve had in years of getting some of this legislation through this time,” Bevel said. “Particularly if the people that are involved will write letters and make phone calls and go to their Representatives and Senator’s offices and let them know they are unhappy.”

The bills filed by Nichols include:

- SB 717, which prohibits utilities from charging the same rates among individual systems unless those systems are similar. Currently, a utility may be granted the ability to charge a universal rate even when some systems are of significantly less quality.

“This change will help guarantee a user pays for the level of service they actually receive, not the service received by someone in a different system,” said Nichols.

- SB 718, which redefines how a utility may become the exclusive provider for an area. Currently, a landowner of 25 or more acres must actively decline to join a utility’s monopoly within 30 days or become part of the area by default. All of those who own less than 25 acres would automatically be included in the proposed area. Nichols’ bill would instead require the utility to get permission from those who own 10 or more acres to join the service area.

- SB 719, which allows the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to set an interim water rate while a proposed rate is challenged. Under current law, a utility can charge its proposed rate before receiving a final ruling from TCEQ.

“Water users shouldn’t get stuck paying a higher proposed rate for years while TCEQ works to resolve the matter,” said Nichols. “This bill gives the agency the power to set a reasonable rate that is fair to both the utility and the consumer.”

- SB 720, which prohibits a water utility from charging users for legal fees incurred when a utility loses a rate challenge.

Bevel said he expects members of TAMER to be on hand in Austin to testify before the Natural Resources Committee when the time comes.

“If given notice, we intend to be there lobbying,” he said.



Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 19, 2009

The Malakoff News editor Michael V. Hannigan spoke to Headstart children at the Malakoff Elementary School this morning. Here they are saying hello.



Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 19, 2009

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that it is looking into an apparent murder in Trinidad this morning (Thursday, 2-19-09).

No details are available at this time, but we will update when information becomes available.



Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 13, 2009

By Britt Thompson and Amanda Miles Thompson

From The Malakoff News
Friday, February 14, 1964

Sheriff J. W. Brownlow, in seeking another term in the office of Sheriff of Henderson County, states that he is relying on his own record in that office. Henderson County, he said, is in good shape, law enforcement-wise, and he intends, he said, to keep it that way.

Sheriff Brownlow said.



Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 12, 2009

Services for Albert Lawson Hendrix, 80, Tool, were held Feb. 7, 2009, at the Eubank Memorial Chapel with Jerry Rains officiating. Burial was in Tool Cemetery under the direction of Eubank Cedar Creek Funeral Home in Mabank.
Hendrix was born Aug. 26, 1928, in Tool and died Feb. 3, 2009, in Athens.
He was preceded in death by his parents Christen and Otto Hendrix and a brother Fred Hendrix.
He was employed in communications and was retired from the U.S. Army. He was a lifetime resident of Tool and a member of the Styx Church of Christ.
Survivors include his wife June Hendrix, Tool; sister Peggy Killen and husband Vernon, Tool; nephew Mark Hunter, Tool; nieces Vickie Wells, Mabank; Lisa Stinnett, Mabank; and Christy Scherer of Illinois.