Sep

14

Posted by : admin | On : September 14, 2017

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF—Property owners in Malakoff will be paying a higher ad valorem tax in 2018. The Malakoff City Council adopted a tax rate of 55 cents per $100 property value. That’s an increase of 6 cents from the previous year. The council also adopted its 2017-18 fiscal budget with a proposed total revenue of $2,039,200, up from the 2016-17 budget of $1,709,700. The new budget estimates expenditures totaling $1,994,100, with a balance of $39,100 at year’s end.
The written ordinance given to The News states, “the taxes levied under this ordinance shall be due Oct. 1, 2017, and if not paid on or before Feb. 1, 2018 shall immediately become delinquent.”
Prominent in the new budget is $60,000 set aside for the fire department, which is being relaunched. Allocations for Police, Court and Street departments are about the same as last year’s budget, however there is a $63,000 increase in Administration. The increase is found in salaries and health insurance and in the Misc. line item that went up from $11,500 to $30,000.
The City of Malakoff plans to suspend wastewater service to the City of Star Harbor on Oct. 15, if the city does not pay the arrears in its billing. The Malakoff City Council approved a letter to be sent by its lawyer to Star Harbor during its Monday meeting, following an executive session.
Star Harbor has contended the new rates don’t apply because it did not enter into a service agreement with Malakoff and that its attempts to discuss a new service agreement with Malakoff have gone unheeded. In the meantime, Star Harbor opened an escrow account where the rate hike money has been accumulating and now totals $116,293.49.
The new rates went into effect, according to the City of Malakoff, on Jan. 1 and “it is now time to pay up, or else. Put that on the front page,” City Administrator Ann Barker told The News.
Council members also amended its building permit fee schedule to reflect more accurately the cost of mandated inspections on all new installations, which the city does through a third party. These include such things as swimming pools, fences, alarm systems, electrical/mechanical and red tag inspections. The minimums for such inspections is increasing from $25 to $100.
Though that may be bad news, the good news is starting mid-October those doing business with the city may pay online. The council agreed to contract with Heartland Payment Systems for three years for the service, which will appear on the city’s website by a red rectangle, which reads: Pay Your Bill Now. Those using the convenience will incur a 4 percent fee. City fees may also by paid by phone toll free, mailed or walked in.
In other business, council members:
• approved a monetary gift for the city’s 33 employees at the end of the year. No amount was specified.
• amended the Personnel Policy to add a furlough day for Tuesday, July 3, 1918.
• accepted a new contract with Tarrant Regional Water District for the purchase of raw water.

Sep

07

Posted by : admin | On : September 7, 2017

By Bodey Cooper
News Staff Writer
BULLARD–The Malakoff Tigers defeated the Bullard Panthers in a close matchup, 48-34 on the road.
The Tigers battled the Panthers in a non-conference game Sept. 1.
The Tigers came out hungry, taking a 33-7 lead with four minutes to go in the second quarter. The Panthers struck back with a touchdown of their own with under a minute to go in the half, leaving them trailing the Tigers 33-14 going into the third quarter.
With seven minutes remaining, the Tigers struck first in the third quarter, taking a commanding 40-14 lead.
The Panthers battled their way back to with a couple of touchdowns, and trailed just 40-27 with 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers scored against the Tigers defense once again with five minutes to go, and closed the gap to 40-34.
The Tigers maintained possession and put the game away with their final touchdown with one minute remaining in the game to win 48-34.
Despite outscoring the Tigers 20-15 in the second half, the Panthers were unable to close the big hole they fell into early on in the game.
The Panthers move to 1-0 on the season. They take on Rusk in their first home game on Sept. 8 before their bye week Sept. 15.

Sep

07

Posted by : admin | On : September 7, 2017

IMG_2216 Jerquindon Taylor CMYK

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets opened up the newly renovated Bruce Field era with a 6-0 victory over Mexia Friday in the season opener.
Athens (1-0) held Mexia out of the end zone with no time remaining as sophomore Rowdy Godwin tackled Mexia quarterback Travion Carter at the Hornets five-yard line.
“The defense made the tackle on that last play. Everybody had to do their job, and I think it was a great effort on all of their parts,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “They had no timeouts, and we knew that. I almost burned one, but I knew that would give them a chance. We believed in the game plan, and they came through.”
This was just the second time the Hornets have won the season opener in the nine-year coaching career of Paul Essary at Athens.
“I don’t remember the last time we had a shutout,” Essary said. “For some reason, we have been snake bit. The only other time we won the first game here was in 2013, and that group was a pretty good ball club. This is a major milestone, and I am proud of these guys.”
The Hornets lone touchdown of the game came with 2:44 remaining as sophomore Jerquindon Taylor scored from six-yards out. The Hornets went for two, but failed on the conversion.The drive capped off a 12-play, 69 yard drive
Taylor finished the night with 17 carries for 67 yards and one TD.
In the first half, the Hornets offense put up 149 yards, compared to 19 for the Blackcats.
Essary credited the defense with solid play throughout the contest.
“The defense was flying around and playing hard. Mexia has some great athletes over there,” Essary said. “They can run, and it scared me to death. I am proud of the players and coaches, who had a great game plan.”
Mexia’s best drive prior to the final drive had them at the Hornets 27 yard line. The Blackcats went for it on fourth down and nine, but freshman Nathan Sims sacked Carter to end the drive.
Essary said following a 2-8 season last year, this was a big win for the Hornets to open up the season.
“This is the first win coming out of the House of Champions,” Essary said. “Our field house in my mind, and the team’s mind is built because of championships that were won before them. We call it the house that champions built. They wanted to win it not only for themselves, but for the guys who came before them and won those championships.”
Senior quarterback Xavius Fulton finished the night 6 of 14, passing for 89 yards and one interception. He rushed for 43 yards on 15 carries.
Junior JaQuaylon Bowman had two receptions for 37 yards, while Jordan Mayhall had two catches for 25 yards.
Mexia was held to 198 yards of offense as Carter was 9 of 21 passing for 104 yards. His top target was senior Davion Carter with seven receptions for 98 yards. Jadarian Smith had 14 carries for 84 yards for the Blackcats.
“A win is a win. Our motto is ‘Together We Can,’ and it took everything we could do,” Essary said. “We had to do a good job on special teams and offense with keeping the clock running when we needed to. The defense did a great job of competing and making big plays and finishing it out. They wanted to win it for the community and the ones who got it built. This was also the first win on this field.”
Athens returns to action Sept. 8 at Bruce Field against the Fairfield Eagles.

Sep

07

Posted by : admin | On : September 7, 2017

By Denise York
The News Staff Reporter
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Board of Trustees met at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 with a public hearing on the proposed tax rate. With no public attendance at the hearing, when the board convened into its regular meeting, Trustees set the tax rate for the 2017-18 school year at $1.20 per $100 valuation. $1.04 of the rate is set for maintenance and operation with $0.16 for interest and sinking. Trustees also approved the budget with expenditures of $17,701,417 and revenues at $17,761,155.
Superintendent Randy Perry set forth his goals for the new school year, many of which were centered on improving STAAR results and challenging the students academically. The district will also move toward Google classrooms with all students and teacher beginning a new collaboration using Google Apps and Docs.
Perry also focused on attendance rate over 96 percent for the 2017-18 school year. The attendance rate fell at the end of the last school year to 95.9 percent. The district will also increase the number of students at Malakoff High School that would be identified college-ready by the TEA and work with local businesses to create more opportunities for internships to better prepare the students for the transition after high school.
Perry also stressed improving the mentor program for new teachers and promoting a safe and orderly environment where students can learn to their greatest potential.

Sep

07

Posted by : admin | On : September 7, 2017

Anglea Davis

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS – A Larue woman was arrested late Aug. 31 for possession with intent to deliver a substantial amount of methamphetamine. Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said her original charge was compounded when more drugs were discovered when she was being processed into the jail.
Angela Davis, 42, was arrested around 9 p.m. in a parking lot of a business on State Highway 155 in Berryville.
Narcotic Investigator Josh Rickman noticed Davis with a small, clear, plastic bag containing a crystal substance suspected to be methamphetamine. She was on foot, approaching a parked vehicle.
For having more than four grams of the methamphetamine, she was charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, a first-degree felony.
When she was booked into the Henderson County Jail, more methamphetamine was discovered on her person, and a second possession charge was added for having a prohibited substance in a correctional facility. She was released on bonds totaling $13,000 the following day.
“Our team is alert around the clock,” Hillhouse said. “That includes on the streets, at night and in the jail.”

Aug

31

Posted by : admin | On : August 31, 2017

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
TRINIDAD–Trinidad City Council members have voted to raise rates to rent the city-owned Community Center, then later amended the policy to exclude non-profits and schools from the fee.
Council members also have had multiple discussions about the 2017-18 fiscal year budget, which is being currently crafted for consideration.
The vote to raise the Community Center rental rate to $250 for Trinidad residents, and $400 for non-Trinidad residents, came during the special meeting Aug. 10. Both rates require no deposit, are good for a full day of use and were effective immediately.
Anyone on the calendar who has already been scheduled to rent will pay the previous price for rental, which was $75 per day with a $50 deposit, totaling $125. The deposit was refundable if the center was left clean, upon inspection by an authorized agent of the City of Trinidad.
Then during the Aug. 22 regular monthly meeting, members of the council decided to amend the rental policy to exclude non-profit organizations, including schools, from paying the required rental rate.
Free use of Trinidad Community Center depends on coordination with Trinidad City Administrator Terri Newhouse, according to the adopted motion. Examples of school use include school dances and senior dinners.
Also during that meeting, Trinidad council members approved renewing a Partnership Maintenance Agreement for SC200 controllers and sensors at the municipal water plant. In addition, Valerie Hamrick of the Trinidad Public Works Department told council members that the department has completed road patchwork on East Carpenter and East Lawrence streets, along with West Street.
The Public Works Department also has installed 20 miles per hour speed-limit signs, as well as “Keep Community Clean” signs, Hamrick added. Hamrick told council members that she believed the signs have had a positive impact on the amount of litter along roads.
Furthermore, Trinidad council members on Aug. 22 continued discussing the municipal budget, including purchases using water/sewer and general fund revenue. Members also reviewed parameters set for the Texas Municipal Retirement Program for the City of Trinidad, in relation to the budget.
How to pay for it all remains a question that could be answered during a special meeting tentatively set for Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 p.m. to adopt the city budget and associated tax rate. “With less coming in and more going around, it becomes a challenge,” said council member Roy Stanfield.

Aug

31

Posted by : admin | On : August 31, 2017

Phillip Stewart

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Sheriff Botie Hillhouse reports the arrest of a suspect his office has been targeting for some time. Phillip Stewart, 38, of Chandler was arrested Aug. 24 and charged with felony possession of both meth and firearms.
“He was known to us and we wanted him off the streets,” Hillhouse stated in a press release.
The arrest was the result of action on a search warrant at his residence in Sun Dial subdivision south of Chandler. During the search, investigators discovered contraband, scales, small clear plastic bags, a semi-automatic pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun.
He is currently being held on bonds, totaling $28,500 on the second and third-degree felony charges. At least eight law enforcement officials were on hand for the execution of the search warrant and subsequent arrest.
“I want a complete force of deputies on the scene when we make these kinds of arrest,” Hillhouse stated. “Drug dealers can be dangerous and we take no chances we are bringing them in.”
Stewart’s jail record in the county goes back to 2002, with charges for mistreatment of family members and providing alcohol to minors. Drug arrests started in 2010 with a possession charge greater than 4 grams but less than 200 grams.
“No longer do these folks believe they can find a safe haven in this county,” Hillhouse said.

Aug

31

Posted by : admin | On : August 31, 2017

DSC_0004 Malakof FB CMYK
By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff method of reloading the ranks continues for the 2017 Tigers football team, a state semifinalist last season.
Coach Jamie Driskell, entering his ninth season as Malakoff head coach tonight (Sept. 1), relies on a talent pipeline that in 2016 saw Malakoff’s seventh and eighth-grade, junior varsity and varsity teams go undefeated during the regular season.
The 2017 starting lineup was hardly settled when two-a-days started earlier this month, thanks to Malakoff’s depth. “We have enough kids that they’re going to have to compete for their spot and they’re going to have to bring it every day, and if they have a bad day or a bad week there’s going to be somebody right there on their heels to take their position,” Coach Driskell said.
Starters lost from last season include graduates Tyler Russell, QT Barker, Danyal Littleton, Payton Lowrie, Chase Busch, Larry Coker, C.J. Overton and Jack Patton. “We have some holes to fill but kids are stepping up and working hard,” Coach Driskell said.
Players expected to step into those major roles include Adonia Dixon-Thomas, Andreas Garrett, Jake Lee, Parker Busch, Ethan Snow, Lincoln Rogers, Kyler Dalrymple, Eric Littleton, Austin Prevost and Brendon McClintock, all of whom will fight for starting positions. “It’s going to be interesting to see how it all pans out,” said Coach Driskell.
The offense will be led again by senior quarterback Judd Miller, while middle-linebacker Parker Busch is expected to serve as the on-field defensive general as the starting middle linebacker. Malakoff has two new coaches this year: Trent Montgomery and Shannon Fink from Schulenberg ISD. Montgomery is eager to start his first year in coaching.

Aug

31

Posted by : admin | On : August 31, 2017

IMG_2246 Athens FB team pic CMYK

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets enter the 2017 as underdogs in 4A Region, District 8.
Dave Campell’s Texas Football magazine, perhaps the biggest authority in high school pre season football rankings picked Athens to just miss the state playoffs. According to their estimations, the Hornets should finish a hair behind Van, Kaufman, Terrell and Crandall.
All four of those teams advanced to the post season last year and won their opening round games. Division-winner Van advanced to the fourth round and is expected to be a top team in all of 4A once again this year. Kaufman was no slouch at all, getting ranked in the top 15 in Texas. Two teams are predicted to finish behind Athens: Brownsboro (sixth), and Mabank (seventh).
Hornets coach Paul Essary will have his work cut out for him with such tough firepower coming at them in district play.
“I am pleased with where we are at,” he said. “We are making improvements, and are running a new offense. It takes time. I think it is coming along well, and I am looking forward to the challenge of next week.”
Athens brings back 15 starters and 19 lettermen with six defensive starters from last year’s team.
Now that the scrimmage season is over. The Hornets can focus all their attention on the home opener this Friday against Mexia. Game time is 7:30 at Bruce Field.
District play gets underway for Athens Sept. 29 when the Hornets host Mabank on Homecoming.
The Hornets host Crandall for their final home game of the season and senior night Oct. 27. The Hornets have a bye week Nov. 3 and the regular season finale Nov. 11 in Brownsboro.

Aug

24

Posted by : admin | On : August 24, 2017

News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets opened their scrimmage season against the Royse City Bulldogs Friday, Aug. 18.
In the 90-play portion of the scrimmage, Royse City outscored Athens, 2-0. In the live quarter, Royse City scored the only touchdown early in the quarter.
The Bulldogs touchdown in the live quarter came with 11:47 remaining on a 70-yard run.
Even with that results, ninth-year Head Coach Paul Essary was pleased with the effort.
“I think we will see some bright spots when we watch the video,” Essary said. “Of course, we will see some spots that we need to improve on. Like I told the kids, if we were where we needed to be right now, we wouldn’t need the practice. We have a long way to go so we can continue to practice.”
The Hornets come in with a young squad following a big graduating class on offense and defense.
Essary said the players are adjusting to new roles on the team.
“We have a lot of young guys playing for the first time tonight,” Essary said. “We have some guys who are coming back, and it doesn’t matter if they are a sophomore, junior or senior, they are still young. We have seven or eight sophomores and juniors starting on offense. We have about seven guys on defense. It didn’t matter if we were all seniors, we want to keep improving.”
During the 90-play portion, the Athens second team defense had a fumble recovery.
With the touchdowns that Royse City scored, Essary said the defense is adjusting to the speed of the varsity level. He knows by the time the Greenville scrimmage happens at Bruce Field Friday, that unit will be ready.
“We had some guys who have moved into some key positions,” the coach said. “This is the first year for one of them to play varsity football as a freshman. The other three spots are their first time to be in that position. They have varsity experience, but two of the outside linebackers have moved to safety. The inside linebacker has moved to the outside.”
Senior Gary Lyons had a fumble recovery in the live quarter for the Hornets. Essary said he was impressed with the first scrimmage for Lyons.
“Gary is getting better every day,” Essary said. “He has not played football since he was in the eighth grade, and he is relearning the speed of the game. He will continue to get better.”
On offense, Essary was pleased with the way senior quarterback Xavius Fulton handled the offense.
“Xavius is a heck of a competitor. Sometimes, he was a little too much of a competitor tonight. I was wanting him to go down a little earlier,” Essary said. “He is throwing the ball well, and we will start catching the ball a little better. It all comes with practice. We saw some bright spots on the defensive line. Everybody is trying and getting better.”
The final scrimmage for the Hornets is set for Friday at Bruce Field. The freshman and JV begin at 5 p.m. with the varsity at 7 p.m.