Jan

14

Posted by : admin | On : January 14, 2016

Worked up photos Rogers Obit

Worked up photos
Rogers Obit

Services for Barbara Van Rogers, 78, of Malakoff, were held Jan. 12, 2016 at Hannigan Smith Funeral Home Chapel in Athens with Bro. Gene Hazell and Bro. Buddy Hazell officiating.
Burial followed at Malakoff City Cemetery in Malakoff under the direction of Hannigan Smith Funeral Home of Athens.
Surrounded by family and listening to her favorite gospel hymns, she died at home Jan. 9, 2016.
The lifelong resident of Malakoff, she was born Aug. 23, 1937, to Doc and Bertha Abbott.
Bobbie retired after 33 ½ years in the banking profession in Dec. of 2005. She also was employed at Texas Clay Industries in the late 1980s.
She enjoyed spending time on Facebook and shopping online. She also enjoyed reading and watching the Texas Rangers and Texas Lady Longhorns on TV, as well as attending Haltom High School girls basketball games.
Her favorite TV shows included “The Young and Restless” and “Joel Osteen.”
Bobbie was a longtime member of Parkview Baptist Church in Malakoff.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Roy Abbott and infant sister Bonnie Abbott.
Bobbie is survived by her husband of 59 ½ years, Leamon Rogers, of Malakoff; son Benny Rogers of Malakoff; daughter and son-in-law Lori and Drew Douglas of Athens; daughter Mandy Rogers of Keller, sister Joyce Baker and husband Nolan of Malakoff; brother Danny Abbott of Malakoff, sister-in-law Vera Abbott of Mildred, grandchildren Joseph Douglas and wife Thiana of Fulshear and Jessica Douglas Simmons of Keller; great-grandchildren Marcela and Juliana Douglas and Parker Simmons; numerous nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers were Michael Hunsaker, Glenn Roy Leopard, Lynn Rogers, Carl Ray Simmons, Russell Rogers and Bret Alsobrook.
Honorary pallbearers were Ron Day, John Dukes, Bill Mullins, David Douglas and Cooper Fine.
You may light a candle or write a condolence in Mrs. Roger’s memory at www.hannigansmith.com.

Jan

14

Posted by : admin | On : January 14, 2016

IMG_5431

THE NEWS PHOTO/RUSSELL SLATON
Malakoff ISD Superintendent Randy Perry (right) tells fellow Malakoff Rotarians Jan. 5 about construction projects at Malakoff High School, including the new fieldhouse building underway at the football field featuring bigger and better concessions and restrooms.

Former state Educator of Year joined MISD

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF – Malakoff Rotarians hosted Malakoff High School principal Martin Brumit during the club’s weekly luncheon held at the Flagg House Jan. 5.
Before Malakoff, Brumit served as assistant principal at Denton Ryan High School until he was hired by Malakoff ISD in the summer of 2013. Soon after, Brumit was awarded Educator of the Year by the Association of Texas Professional Educators for his work as an administrator and later accepted the award in Austin.
Brumit began by highlighting a “very successful fall” for Malakoff High School athletic teams, including the powerhouse Tiger football team under Coach Jamie Driskell getting within one point of taking down the three-time defending state champion in the playoffs.
The MHS volleyball team made the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Basketball is underway now, with the girls team ranked No. 12 in the state, including defeating a Class 6A team (Malakoff is 3A) by 20 points at the Kaufman tournament, which the Lady Tigers won.
One-act play is in full swing, with the students putting in much practice over winter break. One-act play did very well last spring, Brumit said, and has a chance this year to move to state competition. Brumit added that 20 Malakoff students went to University Interscholastic League (UIL) regional academic competition under the guidance of Jessica Bentley, MISD UIL director.
Spring sports, including golf, track, baseball and softball, begin at the end of January. The MHS softball team boasts two college-bound pitchers, senior Candace Denis (University of Massachusetts) and Hazel Puempel (Texas Woman’s University in Denton). Coach Matt Wittram’s softball team last season included six freshmen and the team advanced three rounds into the playoffs, Brumit added.
February 1 will see the next round of biannual UIL realignment, with Malakoff possibly being matched up with different teams in district as well as regional play. Malakoff is hoping to play schools that are closer, Brumit said.
The Future Farmers of America (FFA) agriculture program at MHS will compete at the Fort Worth Stock Show Jan. 21, then San Antonio, Houston and back to Henderson County in April. Brumit said the school’s ag barn is “very nice” and includes cameras for remote animal monitoring. Coach Driskell’s son had a best-in-show pig last spring, Brumit added.
A new ninth-grade English teacher and published author, Beth Fehlbaum, has charged her class with writing a novel of several thousand words, Brumit reported. Malakoff High School administers the SAT on campus (a change), and with unlimited dual courses, more students are able to graduate from Malakoff with both a high school and associate’s degree. Every college student who took Microsoft’s software certification test passed the exam, he reported.
Malakoff High School is expecting 90-95 graduates this spring, which is up from 70 last year. Brumit said he was ready for spring and to “spring into the New Year.”
Superintendent Randy Perry, a Rotary member and the club’s past president, also informed Malakoff Rotarians about the nesw of the school district. Student enrollment stands at 1,287 students, up about 60 over this time last year. Perry said the district’s greatest challenge is to get all the students to the highest academic strata, across all socioeconomic backgrounds. “Our middle school has been doing wonderful and it bodes well for the future,” Perry said.
He also told Rotarians that state law allows districts to measure the daily attendance rates of attendance by minutes, instead of days. So, instead of 180 days, students must attend for 75,660 minutes. “That gives us flexibility to go longer days to get instruction finished by Memorial Day,” Perry said, adding that he hoped to do so for the 2016-17 school year.
The Malakoff superintendent also briefed Rotarians about construction projects proceeding at Malakoff High School. All are funded by a May 2015 bond package, approved by voters. The football fieldhouse, concessions and restroom facility will be bricked to match the high school, Perry said. Restrooms will be on each end, with more allotted to the home side. The visiting team will enter the building through the back, with concrete all around the facility, especially in the front.
The baseball field’s lighting project has been delayed by the weather, but the concrete bases are in place. The brick backstop is almost finished, and the perimeter behind home plate will feature netting instead of chain-link fencing.
Contractors have completed wiring for high-definition video cameras at the high school, with its front entrance being more secure, requiring visitors to buzz in at the double doors. Video cameras will be installed in all campus buildings, including Tool Elementary School. Perry and the district maintenance director will have remote access, he said.

Jan

07

Posted by : admin | On : January 7, 2016

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Texas State Representative Stuart Spitzer’s staff will hold ‘mobile office’ hours to meet local constituents regarding issues and concerns with state agencies. Staff will be available at the following times and locations:
Monday, Jan. 11
• 8 a.m. to noon at Chandler Community Center.
• 1-5 p.m. Brownsboro City Hall.
Tuesday, Jan. 12
• 8 a.m. to noon at Gun Barrel City Hall.
• 1-5 p.m. Mabank City Hall.
Thursday, Jan. 14
• 8:30 a.m to noon at Coffee City Community Center.
• 1-4:30 p.m. at Eustace City Hall.
‘Mobile office’ hours are set throughout District 4 in January and February, and will be repeated every quarter or sooner as needed in the local communities.
Community leaders wishing to schedule meetings for constituents should call Robert Shulter at (972) 932-3678.

Jan

07

Posted by : admin | On : January 7, 2016

Melvin Swift worked up

By Ryan Moulds
News Staff Writer
ATHENS–The community of Athens and Trinity Valley Community College are mourning the death of basketball player Melvin Swift. Swift was shot and killed Dec. 29 in Houston. Police say Swift may have been part of a home invasion and the shooting appears to be self defense.
The shooting happened around 8 p.m. on Jornes Street in South Houston.
HPD Homicide Division Sergeant T. Ruland and J. Saldana reported: “The male resident of the address returned to his home with several family members. The resident’s young daughter went to her bedroom and was startled by an unknown black male suspect armed with a knife. As the suspect attempted to exit the house he began fighting with the resident and other family members. The resident, fearing for his family’s safety, then fired a gun at the suspect, striking him in the leg. The suspect was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
Back in Athens the TVCC basketball team was devastated about the news of their fellow player. Head Coach Kris Baumann said he spoke with his players about the shooting but declined to speak on camera.
Marlo Bitter, Director of Communications at TVCC released the following statement: “Today, we were saddened by the news that Melvin Swift has passed away. His warm smile and presence on campus will be sorely missed.”
Swift graduated from Yates High School in Houston and was home for the winter break. His family’s home was less than a block away from where the shooting took place.
Swift was a 6-8, 210 pound sophomore at TVCC who had NBA potential. He had several division one offers including Baylor, SMU, UConn, Oklahoma State, and UMass. He was planning on signing soon.
At the time of the shooting, Swift was not listed on the TVCC roster. Swift played in eight games for TVCC this season and started one.
He averaged seven points per game this season.
He had a season high 11 points in the last game he played this season against the Texas Riders.
Authorities have not yet confirmed the identity of the burglar and no charges have been brought against the homeowner who shot Swift.

Jan

07

Posted by : admin | On : January 7, 2016

cook

The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–In October of last year, the Malakoff Independent School District Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of then Malakoff Middle School football coach, Malakoff High School assistant varsity basketball coach and sixth-grade social studies teacher Paul Wayne Cook during a law enforcement investigation by the Malakoff ISD police department of his possible improper communications with a high school student.
Now, several months later, Cook explains, in an effort to clear up the situation, that he has been a teacher and coach for 15 years, and loves what he does and cares about the students.
He said he has not and would not ever, as a professional, maintain private communications with any student of any age.
Cook reportedly said he was not aware that the person he had communications with was a Malakoff school student. And he did not know her correct age at the time he began communicating with her.
From the female’s Facebook page, Cook thought she was 27 and from another town. He later found out she was 18 and a part-time Malakoff school student.
Cook also said he never had face-to-face meetings with the student or any physical contact.
He claims full responsibility for not being more diligent in doing research before starting an online communication.
Cook plans to continue teaching and shared that he was advised to resign by the superintendent.
He admits no guilt of any criminal offense in relation to the communication with the student.
He expresses appreciation of his friends, family and co-workers who believed in him and supported him during this time.
Cook said his is a private person and does not like attention. He says he decided to speak out after much prayer and to make things more clear since many news reports left out many details.
Cook has not hired a lawyer as he said he has done nothing wrong and feels he has been targeted by someone with a hidden agenda.

Jan

07

Posted by : admin | On : January 7, 2016

Special to The News
ATHENS–The Henderson County Lone Star Republican Women’s Club is hosting a forum for Republican primary candidates at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Henderson County Senior Citizens Building in Athens.
An open house will be from 5-6 p.m.
Henderson County Republican candidates and Texas House of Representatives District 4 candidates have been invited.
The event features:
• moderator questions & answers with all candidates.
• meet and greet the candidates session.
• a giveaway of a Texas flag flown over the capitol.
• refreshments.
The Henderson County Senior Citizens Center is located at 3344 SH 31 E. in Athens.

Jan

07

Posted by : admin | On : January 7, 2016

Special to The News
GUN BARREL CITY–Friends of the Animals Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic is holding a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9 at the clinic at the southeast corner of State Highway 198 and 334 in Gun Barrel City, east of the Huddle House. No appointment is necessary.
Dogs must be on a leash and cats must be in a carrier.
This clinic will also offer microchipping to cats or dogs. A tiny chip is inserted into the scruff of the pet, which can be read by a scanner available at shelters. Microchips allow lost pets to be reunited with their owners.
Also available at any time is Activyl, a flea prevention product from Merck. A liquid in a vial to be applied to the pet’s skin and is getting rave reviews. It is very reasonably priced and sold in singles or a six-month box.
Friends of the Animals Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic has been open since July 2002 and has neutered more than 33,000 animals in that time. Surgery is done only on Tuesdays by appointment only.
For more information, call (903) 887-7387.
Tax-deductible donations for this non-profit charity may be sent to P.O. Box 5455, Gun Barrel City, TX 75147 or may be made by credit/debit cards at www.friendsoftheanimals.org.

Dec

30

Posted by : admin | On : December 30, 2015

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–On Dec. 23 Henderson County Republicans found out their ballot positions for the March 1, 2016 Primary Election ballot.
Drawing names for the ballot position order was retired Tax Assessor Collector Milburn Chaney in Athens.
Appearing on the ballot first for the Henderson County Sheriff’s position is candidate Botie Hillhouse, then Billy Jack Valentine. Current Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt is retiring and not seeking re-election.
Also serving his final term is 392nd District Court Judge Carter Tarrance. On the ballot for his position are first Marianne T. Warren followed by current Henderson County District Attorney R. Scott McKee.
Precinct 3 Commissioner’s order is Kevin Head, Charles “Chuck” McHam, Mark Tillison and Sammy Scott. For Precinct 1 Commissioner, Keith Pryor will appear first, followed by Ken Hayes.
Constable Precinct 2 has Mitch Baker, followed by Danny C. Howard on the ballot. Candidates for Constable Precinct 4 are John Floyd first, then Wilford “Wick” Gabbard and Precinct 5 are Eric Adair followed by current Constable Brad Miers.
The County Attorney order is current County Attorney Clint Davis first, then challenger James Owen.
Current State Representative District 4 Stuart Spitzer will appear first followed by Lance Gooden.
The presidential race order is Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Elizabeth Gray, Marco Rubio, Donald J. Trump, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, John R. Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson.

Dec

30

Posted by : admin | On : December 30, 2015

70 mph tornado hits Eustace; on ground for three minutes

The News Staff Reports
HENDERSON COUNTY–Despite tornadoes and heavy rain over the weekend, Henderson County suffered only minor damage.
Two individuals were rescued from the top of their vehicle over the weekend after swift water on FM 773 engulfed their vehicle. Brownsboro Volunteer Fire Department and Murchison VFD executed the rescue, transferring the individuals to dry ground. Neither of the persons were injured however the road remained closed on Monday due to flood waters.
Several other roads were closed due to flooding and/or debris in the road including CR 2930, CR 2922, CR 2938 and CR 2919. Peach Tree Road was also closed.
In Eustace, an EF-0, 70 mile an hour wind tornado was reported around 2:44 p.m. The 40-yard wide tornado stayed on the ground for approximately three minutes.
Lawrence MacMillian, a resident on CR 2938 by Hilltop Tires reported a metal storage had blown up into a tree, and several light poles fell, knocking out power for several hours.
“My wife’s windmill was blown down and we were without power for more than 12 hours,” MacMillian said.
MacMillian and his wife have lived in the area for more than 31 years and say they have never seen anything like it.
Fortunately, no weather-related injuries were reported in the Henderson County area during the weekend’s heavy storm but by Monday, the county received 4.83 inches of rain at Athens Municipal Airport and between 8:55-11:55 a.m. Sunday, four more inches of rain fell in the Lake Athens area.
Other parts of Texas were not so lucky. The Fort Worth National Weather Service reported nine confirmed tornadoes in the North-Central Texas area including the EF-4 that ripped through the Rowlett/Garland area, killing 11 people and damaging more than 1,000 homes.
Payne Springs Volunteer Fire Department assisted in the Garland and Rowlett area Saturday after the tornadoe.
PSVFD sent a six-man crew along with a three-man squad and two-man Command. EVT and service also responded assisting with the primary and secondary searches.
Weather forecast for New Year’s Eve and Day should be mostly cloudly with a high of 48 degrees and a low of 33 degrees with a nine to 25 percent chance of parcipitation.

Dec

30

Posted by : admin | On : December 30, 2015

cookston

Courtesy Photo/Kenni Luffy photo
Brant Cookston, 7, of Malakoff, competed in the inaugural Mini Bareback World Championship Dec. 4-6, in Las Vegas, Nev. Cookston competed against the top 25 youth in the United States. He placed 10th in the Long Go to become the No. 3 in the world in the Mini Bareback World Championship.