Posted by : admin | On : June 12, 2009



Posted by : admin | On : June 12, 2009

By Michael V. Hannigan

The effort to save the former Malakoff Elementary School – commonly called The Old Rock Building – may have gained new life last week.

According to Pat Isaacson, secretary of the Malakoff Historical Society, the society plans to go before the school board next week to take one more shot at getting the district to give them the building.

Just last month, the Historical Society signaled it had given up on the effort to turn the building into a museum when it appeared before the Malakoff City Council and announced plans to start construction at the corner of State Highway 198 and County Road 1400. {{more}}

At that time, Isaacson told council members the society intended on building a 5,000 square-foot museum at the location. The land was donated to the Historical Society in 2005. The Historical Society went before the council to ask the city to waive building and tap fees which would cost about $5,000.

Isaacson told council members building plans were in the early stages, but it appeared clear the Historical Society had moved past trying to save The Rock Building. The group had been trying to find a way to move the building and use it as a museum, but the cost for that scenario was prohibitive.

Last month, Isaacson told The Malakoff News the Historical Society intended to appear before the school board in June to formally release the building.

What changed?

Isaacson said the Historical Society has since been urged by two school board members to try again.

Citing how politically charged the issue has been, Isaacson declined to name the school board members, however, school board members Pat Smith and Jan Shelton both confirmed touring the building with Isaacson last week.

While Smith and Shelton both said in interviews this week that they would welcome seeing the issue brought before the school board once again, both said there was not a joint, deliberate effort to get the Historical Society to act.
Shelton said she did talk to Isaacson during a non-school function recently, telling her that since the Historical Society was going to come before the school board anyway that they should ask to be given the building on site again.
“It couldn’t hurt to ask,” Shelton said.

Shelton, who said she voted in December to have the Historical Society move the building because she thought it was the only choice, said, “I’d hate to see that building go away.”

She said she thought The Rock Building could be a part of the revitalization of Malakoff, fitting in with the emphases downtown on antique shops.

“I love The Rock Building,” she said. “I would hate to have it gone. It would break my heart.”

For his part, Smith said he took the tour of the building and spoke with the Historical Society to gather information. Smith, who was elected in May, is the newest trustee on the school board.

He did say this week that he believed at least some school board members voted to move the building in December because they believed the cost would be reasonable. Although not a member of the board at the time, Smith attended the December meeting.

“I don’t think anybody knew how much it would cost to move,” he said.

Smith also said he did not agree with some of the reasons given for moving or demolishing the building, including making room for expanding the currently elementary campus.
“I didn’t run (for school board) because of the building, but something has to be done about it,” he said.

The fate of the building has been a recurring controversy at the school district since trustees agreed in February 2007 to tear it down because they were told the estimated cost of renovation was too high.

Activists, including the Historical Commission, fought for a chance to save the building. In the nearly two-and-a-half years the issue has been debated, several different scenarios have been considered.

The latest was put into place in December 2008 when MISD trustees decided to give the building to the Historical Society as long as the group moved the structure off school property. Trustees gave the Historical Society nine months to move the building, and also agreed to donate what it would cost the district to demolish the building, about $60,000, to help with the move.

Unfortunately, according to Isaacson, the cost of moving the building was much too high. She said she was told estimates for the move would start at $500,000. She said the movers contacted by the Historical Society said each individual stone would have to be removed from the building, photographed, numbered, and the building cut into sections before it could be moved. Then the whole thing would have to be put back together at the new site.

Isaacson said the cost effectively eliminates moving the structure as an option. Consequently, when the Historical Society appears before the school board next week it will ask for the building as is.

“We’re going back to our original proposal,” she said.
That proposal was for the school district to give the Historical Society the building in place to be used as a museum and library.

In February 2008, trustees directed Superintendent Dr. John Spies to work out a contract with attorneys to, in effect, give the historical society the building and three years to raise the money for their project. At the end of that period, if the project was not on track the building would revert back to the school district for demolition.

A clause in the lease derailed that plan, however. In December, Spies told trustees the district’s attorneys required any lease to include a clause allowing the district to take the building back if it was needed. That clause, Historical Society officials said, would kill any chance of getting grants and funding.

Instead trustees voted unanimously for the plan to move the building.

Isaacson said this time the Historical Society would ask for a committee of school board members to work with the society to hammer out a proposal.



Posted by : admin | On : June 12, 2009

By Michael V. Hannigan

The Malakoff City Council Monday night decided not to waive fees on permits, planning fees, sewer and water for a proposed museum the Historical Society is planning to build at the corner of Highway 198 and CR 1400.

Councilwoman Eva Wright voted against the move, saying she believed that at least some of the fees and permits should be waived.

The debate became uncharacteristically contentious at times, particularly between council members Tim Trimble and Jerilynn Tarver, and Historical Society secretary and former Malakoff mayor Pat Isaacson. {{more}}

Isaacson was on hand to represent the Historical Society in their request.

Monday marked the second time in as many months that the City Council heard the Historical Society’s request to waive building and tap fees which would cost about $5,000.

The council tabled action on the fees last month, but did approve a zoning change which opened the way for the Historical Society to start building on the land, which was donated in 2005.

In May, council members said they were worried that waiving the fees could set an unwanted precedent.

Monday, Isaacson came prepared with an attorney’s opinion, saying, “The city, I would think, would want to stipulate that such a waiver was solely because of the nature of the work, and not to be construed as setting any precedent.”
“The city can waive the fees and not set a precedent,” she said.

Wright added that she had talked to city administrators with Athens and Corsicana, and said both those cities waive fees for non-profit organizations that “provide a benefit to the city.”

Both Tarver and Trimble were unfazed by the attorney’s opinion, or by the argument that waiving fees is practiced by other cities.

Trimble pointed out that the city has been working through tough financial problems, saying, “We are not really in that good a shape to turn down $5,000.”

He added, “I still don’t want to set a precedent.”
Tempers flared when Tarver told Isaacson she had a different view of waiving fees when she was mayor. Isaacson, however, later said no non-profit organization ever asked the council to waive fees while she was mayor.
Trimble and Isaacson also got into a heated exchange regarding the Malakoff Red Waller Community Library’s participation in the new museum project.

When the Historical Society was trying to save the old Malakoff elementary school – known as The Rock Building – the plan was to put the museum and library in the building. But those plans fell apart. (See related story, Page 1A.)
It became apparent Monday night that the new plans do not include the library. Trimble and Isaacson both insinuated the other was the blame.

Isaacson clarified on Tuesday that the building planned by the Historical Society is not big enough to include the library, while The Rock Building, which is almost three times bigger, would have had plenty of room for both.



Posted by : admin | On : June 12, 2009

By Michael V. Hannigan

Malakoff City Council members Monday night tabled a proposal from the Malakoff Chamber of Commerce to use part of the city’s hotel-motel tax to pay for brochures promoting the city.

It was the third time the council tabled action on the item.
The council hesitated this week because, as Councilwoman Jeanette King said, they were “not ready to make a decision.”

The council first heard from the chamber on the issue in November 2008. At that time, Chamber President Kathy Roland said the chamber wanted to put together a brochure promoting Malakoff for placement in the state visitor centers on Texas highways. {{more}}

“We are all out beating the bushes trying to get tourists into Malakoff,” she said. “(State Highway 31) is a main road and people come through here all the time and we’re trying to get them to stop and spend money.”

Roland said the chamber would like to use the city’s hotel-motel tax money because legally it must be used to promote tourism in the city. In November, City Administrator Ann Barker told council members that there was about $45,000 in the city’s hotel-motel account.

At that time, council members wanted to see an example of the brochure.

In May, Roland came before the council again, this time with a draft of the tri-fold brochure.

Council members at that time were concerned that businesses were not a part of the brochure, and wanted the chamber to get more than the one bid it had for printing the brochures. The lowest cost for the brochures was about $900 for an order of 10,000.

Monday, Roland reported that attempts to get bids for printing the brochure from two other local vendors were unsuccessful.

Council members suggested she might look outside of the area.

Newly seated Mayor John Shumate suggested that, in this day and age, the chamber might be able to get the brochures printed in New York City.

Council members also questioned the number of brochures needed. Roland suggested, at a minimum, the city get the 10,000 brochures and have those placed at the state visitor’s centers.

Some council members did not think that many brochures were needed, or that they needed to be placed in the visitor’s centers.

“Maybe we need to print only 1,000 brochures and keep them at home,” King said.

Chamber officials later questioned how much that tactic would help tourism.

Once again on Monday, council members said they’d like to see a business listing in the brochure.

Roland told council members that, if they wanted, a list of the businesses could be printed and placed inside the brochure. Roland said doing it that way would mean the city would not have to reprint the whole brochure anytime there was a business change in the city.

“But someone would have to (insert) the business list in to the brochure,” she said.

The council did not give any direction regarding the brochures when the issue was tabled Monday.

In other action:

– Newly elected mayor John Shumate was sworn in to office.

– Councilman Tim Trimble was returned to his position as mayor pro-tem.

– The council agreed to continue participating in the steering committee of cities served by Oncor Electric.

– Approved the details for a warrant round up.

– Voted to place a city of Malakoff decal on Police Chief Billy Mitchell’s vehicle.

– Agreed to enter into an agreement with American Municipal Services to collect outstanding water bills and library fines owed the city.

Police Chief Billy Mitchell released the police department’s Monthly Activity Report for April, including:
– Service calls: 116
– Offense reports: 32
– Arrests: 12
– Agency Assists: 33
– Citizen Assists: 65
– Accidents: 3
– Citations: 140
– Warnings: 43
– Alarms: 11
– Cases filed with the District Attorney’s Office: 1
– Cases filed with the County Attorney’s Office: 2
– Total Fuel: 695.4 gallons
– Total Miles: 8,586



Posted by : admin | On : June 12, 2009

By Michael V. Hannigan

The City of Malakoff is one of four Henderson County cities that will be receiving Community Development grants within the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG).

Malakoff will be receiving a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to information released by ETCOG.

Officials at Malakoff City Hall said the money would be used on the city’s water system. {{more}}

In September 2008, the City Council agreed to apply for the grant “to carry out water system improvements, engineering activities and project administration.”

The city will be required to put up a $47,650 match for the grant.

Other cities in the county chosen to receive the grants were Caney City ($250,000), Seven Points ($250,000), and Murchison ($141,722).

The money can be used for projects such as water system improvements, road and street improvements, and new housing.
The cities were chosen based on criteria developed and administered by ETCOG. The criteria include factors such as per capita income, poverty rate and unemployment.

According to the ETCOG documents, Malakoff has a poverty rate of 27.58 percent.

Caney City had the largest poverty rate by far of all cities which applied for the grants, 43.4 percent.



Posted by : admin | On : June 12, 2009

By Michael V. Hannigan

A Tyler man accused of robbing the Malakoff Brookshire’s gas kiosk twice within a month last year was indicted for Aggravated Robbery last week by the Henderson County Grand Jury.

Aaron Lamon Muse, 40, was the suspect in multiple armed robberies in towns including Malakoff, Athens, Murchison, Lindale and Mineola in a spree that lasted from November 2008 to January 2009. {{more}}

Muse was arrested in January by Tyler police. He was on parole for a 1988 armed robbery charge.

Muse is suspected of holding up the Malakoff Brookshire’s in late November using a silver gun in that robbery, a fact which links all the crimes together. Then late in December, the Brookshire’s gas kiosk in Athens was robbed, and two days later the suspect came back and hit the Malakoff Brookshire’s again.

Malakoff Police Sgt. Floyd Thomas was instrumental in linking the Henderson County robberies to similar cases in Smith and Wood counties.

On Jan. 2, two stores in Lindale and Mineola, a Family Dollar and Super Food Mart respectively, were robbed.
Thomas read about those crimes in the Tyler Paper and noticed similarities to the local robberies. When video from surveillance cameras in Mineola and Lindale were reviewed, it showed what appeared to be the suspect carrying the same gun, driving the same vehicle and wearing the same clothes as the suspect in the Henderson County robberies.

Muse was finally caught when a police officer in Mineola saw a truck sitting by the side of the road on Jan. 2 and called in the license plate number as a matter of routine. A short time later, the Super Food Mart robbery occurred.
Using the information obtained from the license plate check, police were able to get Muse’s name and track him to a residence in Tyler.



Posted by : admin | On : June 5, 2009

By Emily Lundy
Special to The News
Graduations are over, and I am completing a granddaughter’s scrapbook today. She is our fourth grandchild to graduate, from Mabank, a 10-year cheerleader, Most School Spirited, a volleyball and basketball player, a member of NHS, and a homecoming nominee. Yes, I am proud of her. She’s unique and quite pretty, much to our delight. She also is tall in a family of short people, but her dad is over 6’1″: Whitney Michelle Cathey, born in Sulphur Springs.

Trinidad had kindergarten graduation May 28 and high school graduation May 29. Good crowds attended both. The entire school has more students than the year before and improved dramatically on the TAKS.

Did I mention Dan Taylor now resides in an RV park in Tyler he says is simply beautiful?

Joel Mays was seen from Beach Wood Estates this week. He seems in better health than he did years ago.

Avon Lane from Key Ranch is seeing two specialists for retina problems, like double vision. We wish her well.

Pat Jackson stays on the slightly sick list.

Big News: The Trinidad Cafeteria will feed free breakfasts for children, also free lunches, through the month of June. Adults may eat, too, but have to pay something. So why not get up early for June, have a health breakfast for the rest of a good day?

The Trinidad Economic Development Corporation was quite upset with the pipeline going through the industrial park behind the business of Clear Mask as it makes its way through our community. Representatives for the gas line met with the committee Monday and everything is supposed to be worked out.

Mayor Larry Estes has the water and sewer lines at work on South McEntire. Almost every line in Trinidad will eventually have to be replaced.

I don’t know if the Ardoins are back from Louisiana or not. My neighbors are going to that state next week.

Watch for Bible School signs. These can be fun, learning times for about the fifth grade and under.

A new home is being built south of the TISD. To me, this is a good sign, but I can’t find much information about it.

We need rain but still look green. Gardens are suffering some. The fish, however, are biting, big time. Just ask Willie Lundy and Claude Jackson.

Churches in the area are forming summer softball teams. These will be fun to watch if I can find some shade.

I have four family birthdays this month: a son, his wife, their son, and a daughter of mine. Now I’ve learned June is not the best time to have a baby, especially boys who mature slower when school begins. Some parents hold a male child back one year if he is born in the summer. We did not and will never know if we should have or not.

Names of friends and family on our list of friends and family who need our prayers or sympathy or concern: Eloise Fisk, Evelyn Beavers, Raymond Tubbs, Lena Goodenough, Cecil and wife Russell Yates, Toni Steel, Joel Ardoin, Joe Mays, Eugene Berry, Loretta Fugate, Chester Bradley, Peggy Miller, Flora Robb, Harding Airheart, Joe Greenhaw, Thelma Smith, twins Dylan and Dayne Dietches (premies) in Kyle, Texas, Mary Lou Hines, Billie Davis Westmoreland, Pat Jackson, John Henry Johnson, Hilah Gibbs of Mabank. Those in assisted or full care living: Martha Perry, Fran Edgar, Sam (Mrs.) Stiff, Joe Moser, Lawrence Moser, Eleanor Massey, Lorene Jackson, Roberta Staples, Gertrude Stanfield, Geraldine Stanfield, Wretha Barfoot, Betty Killeen.
Too, pray for the safety of our soldiers. Wherever they are, we have not forgotten them and we thank them for all they do to keep us from having to.



Posted by : admin | On : June 5, 2009

Ruth Marie Williams, 87, of Trinidad, passed away peacefully on May 21, 2009. She was born in Normangee, Texas, on Dec. 21, 1921, daughter to Aubrey A. Cox and Mabel McGee Cox.
Mrs. Williams is predeceased by husband Gilbert Doyle Williams; daughter, Judith Davault; and sister, Sybil Cox Stevens.
She is survived by her sister-in-law, Dixie Little of Duncanville; daughter, Carol Rippa of San Antonio; son, Allen Williams of North Richland Hills; granddaughters, Jill Ammann of San Antonio, Wendy Brylak of San Antonio, Holly Weihl of Arvada, Colorado, Sarah Ohgushi of Portland, Ore., Karen Gandy of Jacksonville, Jennifer Davault of Jacksonville; grandsons, David Davault of Tyler, Todd Davault of Tyler, Danny Williams of Bryan, Nicholas Williams of North Richland Hills. She also has 15 great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Williams grew up in Mexia, Texas. She graduated from Mexia High School and attended Sam Houston State College. She met Gilbert Williams while attending Sam Houston and married him in 1942. He proudly served in the United States Army Air Corp in World War II. Mrs. Williams gave birth to Carol during this time. After the war, they settled in Dallas and had two more kids, Judy and Allen. Mrs. Williams was a homemaker. She proudly raised three kids. After two of the kids left home, she went to work for Parkland Hospital as a screening associate in admitting. In 1982, Gilbert and Ruth retired to their home on Cedar Creek Lake.
Mrs. Williams loved living on the lake. She was very active in the Methodist Church all while they were living in Dallas and at their retirement home on the lake. She and her daughter, Judy, sang in the choir for many years. She participated in the Methodist women societies.
Mrs. Williams loved her sports and was a true hometown fan. You could always see her in front of the TV cheering for the Cowboys, the Mavericks or the Stars. She was also an avid fan of golf.
During the last six months, Mrs. Williams relocated to San Antonio to assisted living at Morningside Manor. The staff at Morningside could see that they had a “live wire.” Within a month she was on the welcoming committee, server at many of the functions and cookie maker. She also enjoyed attending many family events with her daughter, two granddaughters and many grandkids.
The Lord truly blessed Ruth in all the work of His hands. As a result, those who were fortunate to be a part of her life have also been greatly blessed. The gift she gave was a gift of love to all who knew her. She will be dearly missed.
Mrs. Williams was laid to rest in Bluebonnet Hills in Colleyville on Tuesday, May 26, 2009.
The family requests that donations in Mrs. Williams’ memory be made to Morningside Manor, 602 Babcock Road, San Antonio, TX 78201.



Posted by : admin | On : June 5, 2009

Services for Fred “Fredman” Paris, 88, of Athens died Friday, May 22, 2009, at East Texas Medical Center of Athens.
Mr. Paris attended public school in Henderson County. He was a veteran of World War II, a member and deacon of Mt. Providence Baptist Church in Athens, and he worked as a roofer.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, May 30, 2009, at 1 p.m. at Mt. Providence Baptist Church in Athens with Pastor R. L. White officiating. Burial followed in Barker Cemetery.
Survivors include wife, Geneive Paris of Athens; daughter, Ruth Brown; brother, Jerome Paris of Athens; sisters, Lucille Henderson of Los Angeles, Calif., Louise McGinty of Athens, and Amanda L. Thomas of Malakoff.
Pallbearers were Billy E. Johnson, Micheal Paris, Darrell Paris, Curtis Thomas, Joseph W. Thomas, and Jonathan Williams.
Services were under the direction of Cain-Brown’s Memorial Funeral Home.



Posted by : admin | On : June 5, 2009

Today I listened to the Senate debate and pass an amendment to the Financial Fraud Bill. This amendment would form an independent commission to investigate the causes of the recent financial collapse.
I don’t need a commission to tell me what went wrong; it was greed out of control.
By greed I mean wanting more than enough and greed is not necessarily bad. Greed is an essential part of free market capitalism. I suppose Carnegie built US Steel to make a lot more money than he needed. So if we as a country are going to have free market capitalism, we are going to have to accept greed along with it.
The question is, “How much greed is too much?”
I think that when John D. Rockefeller put small independent oil companies out of business by unfair pricing practices, he was exhibiting too much greed. Generally, when a person takes money from someone else using “dirty tricks” their greed has gone beyond acceptable limits.
In ancient Greece, being excessive was a sin. Considering “The Iliad” as a morality play, Achilleus had to die because he was excessive in his killing of Trojans after the death of his long time friend Patroclus at the hand of the Trojan hero, Hector.
I might suggest that the financial problems we now face are because of excess.
We spend an excessive amount of money on professional athletics. Giving a professional ball player a contract for $26 million is excessive.
We spend an excessive amount of money on cars and motorcycles that go faster that we can drive them.
We spend an excessive amount of money on cosmetics, male and female, and on pets.
We spend an excessive amount of money on the stars of rock and roll and movies.
I might say that much of this excess is due to a failure of education which has not taught us how to amuse ourselves.
Thus Spake the Old Fogy, turning on the Lakers’ game.