Oct

02

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : October 2, 2008

By Michael V. Hannigan

Monday, Oct. 5, begins National Fire Prevention Week and members of the Malakoff Volunteer Fire Department will be out spreading the fire prevention message, just like they do every year.

“While the number of home fires is daunting, the good news is that many are easily preventable when residents take simple steps to increase their safety from fire,” said MVFD Chief Kirk Kebodeaux. “Whether it’s smoking outside the home, keeping space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn, or staying in the kitchen when you are using the stovetop, there are easy things you can do to keep your home and family safe from fire.”

But every year there are still fires that have to be fought and medical emergencies to respond to, and that’s where the MVFD comes in. {{more}}

“Last year we responded to more than 250 calls for assistance,” said Kebodeaux. “We are considered ‘first responders,’ which means we get called to medical calls and accidents.”

Currently, the MVFD has just 19 active members.

“We could use some more able-bodied people,” Kebodeaux said.
To become a member of the MVFD, applicants need to be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, and take in-house and outside training. Kebodeaux said now is a great time to join because the Henderson County Fire Chief’s Association is offering a beginners course Saturday, Oct. 25.

“Volunteer firemen are involved with the community, and it is personally very rewarding,” said Kebodeaux.

Anyone wishing to become a member of the MVFD is invited to visit one of their meetings, which are held the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the fire station at the corner of Highway 198 and Star Harbor Road.

In the meantime, MVFD members will continue with their prevention efforts. Department members will visit KidsFirst Day Care on Oct. 8 and the Malakoff Elementary School Oct. 9, with Fire Marshal Garris Strange taking the lead.
Fire officials remind readers of the following safety tips:

- Cooking: Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period time, turn off the stove.

- Heating: Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.

- Electrical: Replace cracked and damaged electrical cords; use extension cords for temporary wiring only. Consider having additional circuits or receptacles added by a qualified electrician.

- Smoking: If you smoke, smoke outside; wherever you smoke, use deep, sturdy ashtrays.

Oct

02

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : October 2, 2008

By Pearl Cantrell

ATHENS – Henderson County Commissioners hesitated to close the book on a 30-day effort to finalize next year’s $36 million budget.

But when all 33 amendments had been crafted and accepted, there wasn’t anything left to do but sign-off on it.
That they did Monday morning, 4-1, with Precinct 2 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence opposed.

He consistently opposed the way pay raises were allocated, leaving out clerks and equipment operators/laborers and sometimes giving hefty increases to those making the most, such as judges and lawyers (these mandated by the legislature). {{more}}

“Everyone who got a raise also has a county vehicle,” Lawrence pointed out. “I’d like to see us come up with a policy that would take this into consideration,” he said.
“I think overall it’s a good budget. No one’s going to get everything they wanted, but it’s progressive and attacks long-term problems,” County Judge David Holstein said.
“We’ve cut the tax rate, provided to pay the bills. It includes planning for the future. Overall it’s something we can be proud of,” he said.

The county looks forward to constructing a new Records Management Building, pending the outcome of the facilities management study being graciously paid for by the Ginger Murchison Foundation. Toward that effort, the budget reflects $2.7 million, which also includes roof repairs and renovations.

Most outstanding in this year’s budget was setting a position pay scale and determining pay raises in order to retain and attract the best and brightest to county service.
The salaries of elected officials are also broken out within the salary category, so anyone reading the budget can easily see how much office holders are compensated for their services.

One of the last five amendments was very important to the commissioners.

“I was happy with it, of course that was before I noticed my salary wasn’t included in it,” Lawrence chuckled.
That change didn’t increase the Road and Bridge budgets of each precinct, it just lessened the amount of road building material funds by $60,000 for a net change of zero.

“I could have built a lot of roads with it,” Lawrence said.
Holstein said the amended budget would be ready for public viewing at the County website hendersonco.tx.us.gov.

In addition to setting pay scales and positions, commissioners approved the budget by its seven categories.
Assistant auditor Debra Flowers explained that if the commissioners approved the budget by its categories: salaries, benefits, supplies public support, debt service, and operations and other services, the number of budget amendments coming before them weekly would greatly decrease.
“When we present amendments, you’ll get just the ones that matter. And it allows department heads to manage their areas more effectively,” Flowers recommended.

Now, amendments will be presented when funds are requested to be transferred from one category to another, she explained.

Each precinct commissioner has about $1.2 million to pay salaries (including their own, $60,000 annually) and pay for road building material, fuel, capital outlay (vehicle purchases) fuel and office supplies. This comes directly from the percentage of the tax rate allotted to them – the smallest of all other percentages, Precinct 1 Joe Hall pointed out.

Commissioners adopted the maximum tax rate as the set tax rate – 47.6016 cents per $100 worth of property value.
Even though voters approved a three-cent increase in the tax rate in order to expand the jail to nearly double its capacity, the need to increase the tax rate never materialized. In fact, this year’s rate represents a 3/8ths of a penny reduction.

Within the budget, the district attorney received funding for two full-time investigators and vehicles, a $200,000 bump in his budget over last year.

The full-time warrant officer in the County Attorney’s office was renamed investigator with a corresponding payscale increase. Court enforcement clerks’ (three positions) pay was bumped up $1,320 to be equal to other collection clerks in the Hot Check division.

Justice of the Peace (JP) precincts 2 and 3 both lost one part-time position with the cut portion amounting to $9,962 being slushed into juvenile operations to help pay for court appointed attorneys requested by Child Protective Services.

A minor adjustment in the JP4 postage line item was made to account for a previous mistake in ordering too much postage last year. “I feel she has more than enough left in her budget to cover this year’s postage,” Flowers said.

Sep

30

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : September 30, 2008

After class one day a student told me that he had been working and working on a problem and couldn’t get it. No matter what he tried, he couldn’t get the answer in the back of the book and could I help him with it.
“Well”, I thought, “A problem only deserves so much time. You have to know when to fish and when to cut bait.”
So I said, “Come on to my office and we’ll look at it.”
On the way to my office I asked him how much time he had spent on the problem.
Actually the time a person spends on a problem is kind of interesting and there are many forms that this time takes.
There is a pure ‘work on problem’ time. During this time you are totally into the problem and think of nothing else. You start thinking about the problem and when you look up, you are amazed at how much time has passed.
Working on a mathematics problem is not the only place where time seems to vanish. Musicians experience it. I know a welder who experiences it.
Anyway, when I was serious about a problem, I could lose three to five hour chunks of time fairly regularly. Working a month or two on a problem in three hour chunks was not rare. Some problems I have been working on for years.
They say that Newton could concentrate totally on a problem for two weeks without a break; hence his absent minded professor reputation.
So there is that kind of working on a problem.
There is the kind of working on a problem where the worker tries the same formulas and techniques over and over, hoping against hope that this time one of them will produce the answer in the book. I call this the “look for your lost wallet in the same drawer over and over” syndrome.
I’ve heard it said that a person trying the same failing technique over and over and each time expecting it to work is a sign of insanity

Sep

30

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : September 30, 2008

TENNESSEE – The owner of a golf course was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help. He called her into the office and said, “You graduated from the University of Tennessee and I need some help. If I were to give you $20,000, minus 14 percent, how much would you take off?” The secretary thought for a moment and then replied, “Everything but my earrings.”
ALABAMA – A group of Alabama friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day. That night, one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under the weight of an 8-point buck. “Where’s Henry?” the others asked. – “Henry had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the trail,” the successful hunter replied. – “You left Henry laying out there and carried the deer back?” they inquired. – “A tough call,” nodded the hunter. “But I figured no one is going to steal Henry.”
TEXAS – The sheriff pulled up next to the guy unloading garbage out of his pick-up into the ditch. The sheriff asked, “Why are you dumping garbage in the ditch? Don’t you see that sign right over your head?” – “Yep,” the man replied. “That’s why I am dumping it here, cause it says: Fine for Dumping Garbage!”
MISSISSIPPI – The young man from Mississippi came running into the store and said to his buddy, “Bubba, somebody just stole your pick-up truck from the parking lot!” – Bubba replied, “Did you see who it was?” – The young man answered, “I couldn’t tell but I got his license number.”
GEORGIA – A Georgia State Trooper pulled over a pick-up on I-75. The trooper asked “Got any I.D.?” – The driver replied, “‘Bout whut?”
NORTH CAROLINA – A man in North Carolina had a flat tire, pulled off on the side of the road, and proceeded to put a bouquet of flowers in the front of the car and one behind it. Then he got back in his car to wait. A passerby studied the scene as he drove by and was so curious he turned around and went back. He asked the fellow what the problem was. The man replied, “I have a flat tire.” – The passerby asked, “But what’s with the flowers?” – The man responded, “When you break down they tell you to put flares in front and flares in the back. Hey, it don’t make no sense to me, neither.”
And this from SOUTH CAROLINA – “You can say what you want about the South, but I ain’t never heard of anyone wanting to retire to the North!
It’s hard to tell which state has the most intelligent people!

Marriage is a three-ring circus: Engagement ring, wedding ring, suffering.

The woman applying for the job in a Florida lemon grove seemed way too qualified for the job. “Look Miss,” said the foreman, “have you had any actual experience in picking lemons?” – “Well, as a matter of fact, yes,” she said. “I’ve been divorced three times.”



Sep

30

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : September 30, 2008


Services for Dr. Zane Mason, 89, of Enchanted Oaks, were held 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, at First Baptist Church of Mabank with the Rev. Brent Tucker officiating.
Interment followed at Trinidad City Cemetery under the direction of Eubank Cedar Creek Funeral Home.
Dr. Mason died Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008, in Tyler. He was born Aug. 8, 1919, in Brandenburg, Ken.
He was a college professor and a veteran of the U.S. military. Previously of Abilene has resided in Enchanted Oaks for 20 years.
Survivors include his friends Don and Vicky Chapin of Enchanted Oaks, Steve and Pam Foster of Enchanted Oaks, Don and Darlene Warner of Enchanted Oaks, Rick and Janet De Foore of Anson; many other friends and adopted family members.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church of Mabank, 113 E. Mt. Vernon, Mabank, TX 75147.

Sep

30

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : September 30, 2008


Services for Jerry Bridges, 56, of Eustace were held 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008, at Eubank Memorial Chapel with the Rev. James Martin officiating. Interment followed at DFW National Cemetery in Dallas under the direction of Eubank Cedar Creek Funeral Home.
Mr. Bridges died Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, in Gun Barrel City. He was born March 29, 1952, in Columbus, Kansas.
Previously of Arlington, Mr. Bridges had resided in Eustace for the past 17 years.
He was a pressman and a veteran of the U.S. Army serving in Vietnam.
He was preceded in death by son, Brian Keith Bridges; brother, Rodney Bridges; sister, Margaret Ann Bridges.
Survivors include wife, Dennise Bridges of Eustace; parents, Fred and Alma Lou Bridges of Irving.

Sep

30

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : September 30, 2008

From Staff Reports

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department had a very difficult week, seeing the arrest of one officer and the death of another.

Tuesday night, Kyle Walter Zitko, 19, was killed in a one vehicle wreck 12 miles south of Athens.

Zitko was hired in May of this year as a detention officer with the Sheriff’s Department. {{more}}

The accident occurred on State Highway 19. Zitko was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Pct. 6 Milton Adams, who ordered an autopsy. Department of Public Safety Trooper Josh Jenkins is investigating the accident.
Details were limited as The Malakoff News went to press on Wednesday.

Last week, a Henderson County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested and charged with official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor.
Ronald J. Henry, 62, was arrested for allegedly inappropriately touching a woman in the Judicial Complex Annex in Athens. Henry was fired from the department.

HCSD received a complaint last Tuesday from a 28-year-old woman who said she had taken a friend to the adult probation office. While she was waiting in the lobby area, a uniformed male deputy approached her. The woman told authorities she went into the public restroom and when she exited, she was inappropriately touched by the deputy.

The sheriff’s department turned the case over to Texas Ranger Trace McDonald for an investigation. McDonald quickly came back with his findings, and Henry was arrested at the courthouse.

Henry was hired by the sheriff’s department in 2003. In 2006, he became a transport officer. Transports are made to the various courts, various doctor’s and dentist’s offices, hospitals, other jails and prisons and other locations. The county had four transport deputies prior to Henry’s dismissal.

Sep

30

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : September 30, 2008


Services for Betty Jean Bowden, 78, of Mabank were held 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, at Eubank Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Brent Tucker officiating. Interment followed at Payne Springs Cemetery under the direction of Eubank Cedar Creek Funeral Home.
Mrs. Bowden died Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008, in Mabank. She was born July 27, 1930, in Eustace.
Mrs. Bowden was a lifetime resident of Mabank and a member of the Central Baptist Church in Mabank. She had managed Laundry Mate for many years.
She was a dietician.
She was preceded in death by husband Eddie Harold Anthony; husband Robert L. Bowden; sons, Jerry Anthony and Jimmy Anthony.
Survivors include sons, Robert Anthony of Mabank, Wayne Anthony and wife, Mary Ann of Mabank, Danny Anthony of Mabank, Mark Bowden and wife, Karen, of Malakoff; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Sep

30

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : September 30, 2008

I’ve had a rather dull week, and couldn’t think of anything to write about. I have been doing my last-minute turn in my tax information to the accountants. I know, some of you get your taxes done right after the first of the year, and probably didn’t even know you could put it off till October 15. Well, now that you know, don’t even consider putting yours off that long next year. It doesn’t make anything better. It actually gets harder, because you forget what you did with your documents – I really did that this year, and ordered new ones from every body who had sent me something, before I finally discovered the safe place I had put them. Then you start going through your check book and wondering who in the world are all these folks were you wrote these checks to. Then you get depressed because you have to face all the ways you blew all your money. Ok, maybe it wouldn’t be like that for you. But that is how I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks.
So I didn’t have anything to write out until I got a call from the mother of my step-dog Sambo. Cheryl Adams read my column about the place where I went to get those inserts which seem to have helped my feet a lot. She tried to find Normal Feet by Googling it. Nothing appeared. Well, I told her, that’s what it is. But, I said, I’ll go look in my paperwork and see if there is something different about it. Come to find out, there is something real different about it. Its name. The name is Ideal Feet, not Normal Feet. Oops. I hope if anybody else was interested in checking them out, they’ll see this. It just might make it a little easier for them to find the place.
I do want to repeat, these things are so simple they seem like a rip off, and like they cost too much, but right after I started wearing them my feet and even my back, got lots better. If you Google Ideal Feet you will find several people complaining about them, but you’ll find more people saying they worked for them. And the other thing I want to repeat is I believe if you told them that is just too much money to pay, they would give you a bigger discount than I got. At least it won’t hurt to try.
Ok that is enough about normal and/or Ideal feet. I thought I could stretch it out longer than that.
The only other thing I can think of to tell you is that I finally planted a few things for a fall/winter garden. My friend Carol Yager loaned me her tiller, and Carl used it. It worked great. I planted cabbage, broccoli, and onions. Last time I tried a new technique of planting in blocks instead of rows, and it worked fine. This time I thought I’d try rows, and after all year of gardening, I suddenly discover my garden slants. When I water, it all runs to the back. I’ve got to figure out something about that. Maybe when I mulch it that will fix it.
In case Michael has a little space left for me, I’ll fill it with a picture of the puppies. Maybe I’ll do something exciting next week, but I doubt it.

Sep

30

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : September 30, 2008

Special to The News

The home is supposed to be a refuge, a place to escape the dangers of the world. But what happens when living at home becomes just as frightening as going outside?

Helen Jones knows what that’s like. The 79-year-old suffers from macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in the elderly.

“My mother had been having a lot of falls (in her home),” said Kathy Stallings, a nurse for Cedar Lake Nursing Service (CLNS) of Malakoff. “She’s been blind for a while.”
After one particularly bad fall, CLNS moved in to help with nurses and physical therapists. They also sent in occupational therapist Lore Gano. {{more}}

“(Gano) was just absolutely unbelievable the things that she did when she came in there,” said Stallings. “Here I am a nurse, and I’ve tried to safety proof my mother’s home the best I can; but things I never even dreamed up she went in there and fixed for her to where she could function on her own.”

Rehabilitation is a medical specialty which helps restore people affected by potentially disabling disease or traumatic injury to good health and functional, productive lives. The annual National Rehabilitation Awareness Celebration is being held Sept. 21-Sept. 27, focusing on the professionals who help people with disabilities get on with their lives.

Gano, for instance, put stops on Jones’ washing machine so that she could feel the settings; she made labels for things large enough for Jones to see; she fixed up the bathroom and taught Jones how to get into the shower; taught Jones how to move dishes around in the kitchen so she could go back to cooking, and even more.

“She basically got my mother back to living again,” Stallings said. “It is absolutely amazing what this woman had done.”

Gano is a humble woman when talking about herself, but a vocal proponent of rehabilitation.

“Home health is my passion,” she said. “I’ve worked in hospitals but home health is my passion because I can tailor it so much to the patient’s environment.”

She said occupational therapy covers a wide variety of skills, such as learning how to get the food from the refrigerator so you can cook again.

“It’s about how to do the job of living as safely and independently as possible,” she said.

“We work more on functional skills and self-care skills,” said Gano. “We work on home safety, functional abilities, strengthening, and coordination to help people stay in their homes as long and as safely as possible.”

Gano’s type of work reaches a large number of people.

According to the National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation, more than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of disability, and most Americans will require at least one rehabilitation service at some point in their lives.

“If you’re creative and want to help people and want to make a big difference in their independence, then this is the field,” Gano said.



For more information about rehabilitation, call Cedar Lake Nursing Service at 903-489-2043.