Nov

21

Posted by : admin | On : November 21, 2008

Nov

21

Posted by : admin | On : November 21, 2008

By Michael V. Hannigan

ATHENS – The results of the off-premises beer and wine sales election in Malakoff are official, but that doesn’t mean the debate on the issue is over or that there won’t be another election.

Votes were canvassed last week for the two Malakoff alcohol propositions on the ballot early this month. The propositions were:

– For/Against: “The legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only.”

– For/Against: “The legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders only.”
Allowing alcohol in restaurants passed easily, 384-248. Off-premise sales, however, was approved by a narrow margin, 332-316, a difference of 16 votes. The margin was originally 15 votes, but a provisional ballot was approved by officials after the election adding one more vote to the final tally. {{more}}

The close vote prompted opponents of the measure to ask for a meeting with Henderson County Election Administrator Denise Hernandez. The meeting was held at Hernandez’s office in Athens last Thursday with five opponents of liquor, including pastors Nathan Lorick of First Baptist Church of Malakoff and Tommy Hayes of Malakoff First Assembly of God Church, attending.

Randy Norwood, owner of Randy’s Exxon in Malakoff and treasurer of Malakoff Citizens for Economic Growth, the group which pushed for the alcohol sales election, also attended.

The main reason for the meeting was to determine if all voters at Malakoff City Hall on Election Day received the correct ballot.

The confusion for some came because the Malakoff City Hall polling place (1M) is actually composed in part of three different voting precincts: Those living inside the city limits; those living outside the city limits but in Malakoff ISD; and those living outside the city limits but in Cross Roads ISD.

Because CRISD was having a school board election, and because of the alcohol and sales tax elections in the city of Malakoff, there were actually three separate ballots available at City Hall on Election Day.

Opponents of liquor sales are concerned that some people who do not live in the city limits of Malakoff may have been mistakenly allowed to vote in the alcohol elections.
Election officials at City Hall on Election Day confirmed that questions about the ballots were being asked during the election, and told The Malakoff News that the proper ballots were going to each voter.

The voting controversy isn’t isolated to Malakoff. Athens ISD held a bond election on Election Day and the same questions are being raised there.

Last week, Hernandez assured the group that the numbers in Malakoff seemed to match up. She said that her office rechecked the registrations of those who voted on Election Day, and the number of people from the city limits of Malakoff who showed up actually exceeded the number of ballots cast in the liquor election. The number of votes cast in a particular election and the number of voters are rarely exact matches because not all people vote on all issues.

With no way to track individual ballots – no way to know who voted for what – the totals and the registrations were the only things to verify last week. Opponents found a handful of names to question, both on the voting list and on the original petition calling the election, but nowhere near the 16 they were hoping for.

Still, that doesn’t mean the issue is dead.

Opponents have 30 days from the time the election was canvassed to file with a District Judge to ask for a new election. Opponents had not eliminated that possibility following last Thursday’s meeting.

“We are still looking at all our options,” said Lorick.
Even if opponents do not contest this election, don’t expect the issue to go away. State law makes allowances for an election on the issue once every 12 months, which means Malakoff could see another alcohol election next November – this time with the question being whether or not to eliminate liquor in the city.

Norwood said he’d be fine with another election, saying that the city would be seeing the additional revenue from beer and wine sales at that point.

Nov

21

Posted by : admin | On : November 21, 2008

By Michael V. Hannigan

With the votes counted on four propositions impacting the city, Malakoff City Council members got to work on important details last Thursday.

The four propositions, which were all approved, included:

– Raising the sales tax rate three-eighths of a penny to fund a Crime Control and Prevention District.

– Raising the sales tax rate one-eighth of a penny to fund an Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

– Allowing the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only.

– Allowing the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders only.

After canvassing the votes last Thursday evening, council members heard from Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) Lt. Allan Cameron regarding the city’s responsibilities regarding the sale of alcohol. {{more}}

Cameron told council members the city has the right to regulate alcohol sales in the city on a number of issues such as when alcohol may be sold and how far businesses which sell alcohol must be from schools, day care centers and churches.

“But you have to enact ordinances to put those rules into effect,” he said.

Cameron told council members the city could also levy a fee up to half the state’s permit fee.

Cameron said the city will have to certify that businesses requesting a liquor license comply with all city ordinances before the application is sent to the state.

While no action on the issue was taken last Thursday, council members seemed inclined to wait until the city had spoken with its attorney and developed alcohol ordinances before considering alcohol permit applications.

Also Thursday, the council approved ordinances increasing the local sales tax in connection with the Crime Control and Prevention District and the EDC. It may be awhile, however, before residents see other related action.

The budget for how to spend the money expected to be collected for the crime district was approved before the election. Because that money will not be available until July 2009, don’t expect to see new officers just yet. That first year budget includes:

– $8,000 for one officer

– $7,500 for three radar units

– $1,200 for training

– $1,200 for youth education

– $2,162 in reserve

The money for the EDC will also not be available until later next year. There are several steps for the city to take first, however, including (according to information provided by the city of Malakoff):

– City Council determines the name of the corporation and the initial board of directors;

– City Council directs attorney to prepare articles of incorporation;

– City Council approves corporation’s articles of incorporation;

– Articles of incorporation are filed with Secretary of State, and state issues certificate of incorporation (corporate existence begins at this point);

– Development corporation board holds organizational meeting to adopt bylaws and elect officers;

– City Council approves bylaws of corporation;

– City Council decides method of transferring sales tax proceeds to corporation.

City officials Thursday night said they expect to focus on the alcohol sales ordinances before getting into the EDC process.

Nov

21

Posted by : admin | On : November 21, 2008

By Michael V. Hannigan

Linnea Rose didn’t win the war, but she did win one of the battles against East Texas Medical Center Athens (ETMCA).
In late October, Judge T. John Ward of the Eastern District Court, Marshall, granted Rose’s motion to reconsider requiring her to pay court costs in her whistleblower lawsuit against the hospital. Ward ordered that each side in the lawsuit pay its own costs.

The decision will save Rose more than $9,000 in court costs, according to the order.

Rose filed the lawsuit in 2005 alleging the hospital engaged in Medicaid fraud, saying ETMCA used money transfers to the Henderson County Hospital Authority Board to illegally take part in the Medicaid Upper Payment Limit (UPL) program. {{more}}

The case went ETMCA’s way in July of this year when Ward granted the hospital’s motion for summary judgment ending the lawsuit.

The most recent order, however, points out that Ward “declined to answer the question as to whether ETMCA was properly participating in the Medicaid UPL program.” Instead, the order goes on to say, the lawsuit was ended because there was not enough evidence to prove that ETMCA knowingly did anything wrong, an idea called “scienter.”

Rose’s attorney, Dean Gresham, said the most recent order puts the summary judgment into context.

“The court did not find, as claimed by ETMC, that ETMC was entitled to participate in the program or that ETMC funded it in the proper manner,” Gresham said in an email interview this week. “He only found that we did not have enough evidence at the time to prove that ETMC ‘knowingly’ defrauded the federal government.”

ETMCA attorney Dean Davis disagreed.

“The effect of that order was that we did not recoup our expenses, and that is all that is about,” he said.
Ward’s order also says the public derived a “substantial benefit” because of Rose’s lawsuit.

The order says: “The suit brought to light some of ETMCA’s practices that warranted further scrutiny by the state and its agencies. ETMCA’s participation in the program has been suspended. Regardless of whether the suspension ultimately saves taxpayers any money, as the parties debate in their briefing, there is still a benefit.

Nov

21

Posted by : admin | On : November 21, 2008

From Staff Reports

You’ve got the grades – but have you got the dough?
If you are looking to go to college, don’t miss the Malakoff High School PTO meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1.

MHS counselor Laurie Boze and Higher Education Coordinator Brenda Garrard will be leading a discussion on college financial aid, and a representative from Trinity Valley Community College will also be on hand to talk to parents and students. ##:[more]##

Subjects expected to be covered during the meeting include what financial aid is available, what local scholarships are available, and how to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“We’ve been working with the students to really get them thinking about college,” said MHS Principal Randy Perry, “and with the expense of college we want to let parents know what’s out there and what’s available.”

It is important for students and parents to start planning financial aid strategies now, because the FAFSA forms can be submitted after Jan. 1.

Nov

14

Posted by : admin | On : November 14, 2008


Nov

14

Posted by : admin | On : November 14, 2008

I was watching a TV drama the other day, “The Mentalist,” I think and at one point a mom and dad are being told that their daughter had been murdered.
The killer had inflicted indescribable pain on this couple.
But the killer has a mother and dad who will be hurt when he is executed.
Don Marquis, the author of “Archie and Mehitabel,” says that killing is evil because it deprives a person of all the experiences they would have had. (He says that torture is evil because it hurts.)
The audience cheers when John Wayne shoots the bad guy

Nov

14

Posted by : admin | On : November 14, 2008

While attending a marriage seminar dealing in communication, Tom and his wife Grace listened to the instructor, “It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.” He addressed the man, “Can you describe your wife’s favorite flower?” Tom leaned over, and touched his wife’s arm gently and whispered, “It’s Pillsbury, isn’t it?” – The rest of the story gets rather ugly, so I’ll stop right here.

A doctor was addressing a large audience in Tampa. “The material we put in our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here years ago. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks corrode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. High fat diets can be disastrous, and none of us realize the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. “But there is one thing that is most dangerous of all and we all have, or will, eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?” After several seconds, a quiet, 75-year-old man in the front row raised his hand and said, “Wedding cake.”

A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of the minister. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump. “Reverend,” said the young man, “I’m sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.” The minister chuckled, “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.”

One day a state trooper was pulling off the expressway near Chicago. When he turned onto the street at the end of the ramp, he noticed someone at a chicken place getting into a car. The driver placed the bucket of chicken on top of his car, got in and drove off with the bucket still on top of the car. So the trooper decided to perform a community service by giving the driver back his chicken. So he pulled him over, walked up to the car, pulled the bucket off the roof and offered it back to the driver. The driver looked at the trooper and said, “No thanks, I just bought some.”

After Sunday service, a young couple talked to the pastor about joining the church. He hadn’t met the husband before, so he asked him what church he was transferring from. The husband looked down at his feet and replied, “I’m transferring from the Municipal Golf Course.”

Nov

14

Posted by : admin | On : November 14, 2008


Services for Ludivina Octaviana Jaquez, 69, of Trinidad were held 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008, at Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church with Farther Garcia officiating. Interment followed at Mankin Cemetery under the direction of Tomlinson Funeral Home of Malakoff.
Mrs. Jaquez died Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, in Trinidad. She was born July 6, 1939, in Palau Coah to the late Jose Zamarron and the late Maria deLos Angeles.
She was married to Enrique Jaquez and was a member of Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church. She was a housewife.
She was preceded in death by son, Juan Valentin Rozales.
Survivors include husband, Enrique Jaquez; son, Enriquez Jaquez; daughters, Bertha Vasquez, Maria Ayala; brother, Enrique Zamarron; sister, Bertha Alisia Zamarron; 13 grandchildren; one great-grandchild.

Nov

14

Posted by : admin | On : November 14, 2008


Memorial services for Susan McClure, 50, of Caney City were held 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008, at Eubank Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Allen Hobgood officiating and under the direction of Eubank Cedar Creek Funeral Home.
Mrs. McClure died Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, in Tyler. She was born April 13, 1958, in Muskogee, Okla. Previously of Missouri, Mrs. McClure had resided in Caney City for the past 20 years and was of the Baptist faith.
She was a bus driver.
Survivors include husband, Connie McClure of Caney City; son, Aaron McClure of Springfield, Mo.; daughter, Jessica Arthur and husband Mark of Marshfield, Mo.; grandchildren, Jordan Williams, Easton Aurthur, Abbey Williams and Courtney McClure; brothers, John Creech, Allen Creech, Gregg Creech, Brad Creech; sisters, Lil Lake, Kathy Frerich; parents, Walter and Lois Creech of Niangua, Mo.; nieces, nephews, other family members and many friends.