Oct

20

Posted by : admin | On : October 20, 2016

worked up photos mugshots James Bedard

worked up photos
mugshots
James Bedard


worked up photos mugshots Jerry Thomas

worked up photos
mugshots
Jerry Thomas


Special to The News
ATHENS – With more than 700 arrests made in his first four months in office, Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse continues his campaign against illegal drugs with the arrest of two men Monday, one a felon with methamphetamines and a firearm.
“Lead Narcotics Investigator Kay Langford, and investigators Brad Beddingfield and Josh Rickman are leading the charge in this war on illegal drugs,” Hillhouse said. “With the rest of my fine team, hundreds of drug dealers and users have been pulled off the street, put in jail and are facing serious time for their crimes.”
James Bedard, 42, has been charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance believed to be methamphetamines between 4 and 200 grams, a first degree felony.
He was also charged for the unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, a third degree felony.
Bedard faces up to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of the first degree felony charge if convicted. He is being held on bonds totaling $14,000
Jerry Thomas Jr., 52, was arrested at an address on FM 2494 in Athens for possession of marijuana.
“It was during that initial arrest of Jerry Thomas for an outstanding warrant that the investigators saw the suspected methamphetamines,” Hillhouse said. “We obtained a search warrant from Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Milton Adams, and arrested Bedard.”
Thomas was released the following day with a $1,500 bond.
Hillhouse took office June 1, promising to lead a campaign against illegal drugs in Henderson County. His efforts have won the praise of civic and community groups.
“The people told me their biggest concern was illegal drugs – especially the devastating impact of methamphetamines on the community,” Hillhouse said. “So, I made it this Office’s mission to spend every hour fighting drugs on the streets, and in homes, hotels, motels and trailer parks.
“To the dealers and users who don’t believe me, rest assured I have plenty of beds in the jail and if you bring your poison to my county, I’ll find you,” Hillhouse said.

Oct

13

Posted by : admin | On : October 13, 2016

mcfarlin-michael

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–A dangerous felon was arrested after a late-night shooting; and two other men were charged with unrelated possession of illegal drug Oct. 6, Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse reported.
Michael McFarlin (aka Little Mike) 29, was arrested in Tyler last Thursday following a shooting incident south of Chandler.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance call and found two victims, a man and a woman, who had been beaten with a baseball bat. Emergency Medical Service was called and took the male victim to Tyler for treatment.
Deputies also found bullet holes in both the home and vehicles at the residence.
After a day-long investigation, Hillhouse’s team – Chief Kevin Halbert, Captain David Jones, investigators Ray Yockey, Wick Gabbard, Deputies Kyle Pochobradsky, Gabriel Shue, and Jacob Sumrall – arrested McFarlin at a medical clinic in Tyler.
Additional charges are likely, and McFarlin remains in the Henderson County Jail. He is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon, deadly conduct discharge of a firearm. His bonds total $75,000 and he is being held without bond on a parole violation.
Prior to going to prison in 2007 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and robbery, he was involved in the manufacture and delivery of controlled substances. Soon after his release from prison, in 2011 he was arrested again for assault, causing bodily injury. He was on his way back to prison when he racked up more charges for family violence, drug trafficking and possession of a firearm by a felon. Upon release from prison a second time a bench warrant was issued for another assault causing bodily injury charge in 2012 and he was returned to prison to serve more time.
“This is one we worked overtime to get off the streets,” Hillhouse said. “He is a danger to this community, and I am proud of my team of deputies for working through the night to get him,” he said.
Meanwhile, lead narcotic investigator Kay Langford and investigators Josh Rickman and Brad Beddingfield arrested Allen Ray Key, 60, at his home of FM 1615 in Athens.
County Court at Law Judge Nancy Perryman granted a search warrant after the Investigators gathered probable cause evidence and information.
Key was found to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine and charged with manufacturing or delivering of a controlled substance up to 200 grams. He was released on a $15,000 bond.
Also Thursday, Sheriff Deputy Sgt. Thomas Goodell arrested James Paul Wilson, 33, of Gun Barrel and charged him with felony possession of suspected methamphetamine.
The Deputy also confiscated $1,002.59 found with the suspected methamphetamine. Wilson and a woman had stopped their vehicle in the median on U.S. Highway 175 between Athens and Eustace and were arguing, which prompted the investigation.
He is being held on a $8,500 bond for possession of a controlled substance less than a gram.

Oct

13

Posted by : admin | On : October 13, 2016

hirsch-reshoot-1-hr

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–A stone monument with bronze plaque was unveiled Saturday to pay tribute to longtime Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent Rick Hirsch.
He served Henderson and McLennan counties for 28 years, teaching the Henderson County Master Gardener class from 2000 to 2015. “We remember Rick as a man of wit and humor,” the plaque placed at the entrance to The Master Gardeners’ Dream Garden at the East Texas Arboretum states.
Master Gardener Vice President Evan Sparks called him, “the rock of our organization. We would have thought we were Rick’s favorite project in Henderson County. But every group he worked with felt that way.”
Rick died April 24, 2016 at the age of 51.
“We continue to mourn the loss of a great leader in Ag Extension,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin said Oct. 8. “He was the first to address any issue related to agriculture. It was just normal to call Rick.” From issues dealing with bees dying to 4-H; the Hunters Rendezvous to the elected officials’ luncheon; he was the county’s go-to resource, Geeslin said.
“His radio programs were always very interesting and he always ended with the Henderson County Ag Extension motto: If you eat, wear clothes, or live in a house, you have a definite state in agriculture.”
4-H Texas A&M AgriLife Coordinator Kate Pittack described Rick as “a fixture at the Henderson County Junior Livestock Show. He helped youth reach their potential. He was a friend, mentor and role model,” she said.
Catholic Father Nolan Lowry of St. Edward Church blessed the monument and spoke of Hirsch’s abiding faith in God, of his superb role as father and husband to his widow, Bronte and said his life was an example of service working through love.
Texas District 4 Representative Stuart Spitzer recognized the impact Hirsch had in the area of agriculture contributed to the entire state of Texas.
He presented two flags to Bronte on behalf of himself and Sen. Robert Nichols. The Lone Star flag was the same one flown over the capitol in Austin just a few days after Rick’s death on Aggie Muster Day. “He was a true Aggie and a good man,” Spitzer said. He also presented Bronte with Old Glory, which had been flown over the Capitol in Washington D.C. and read a proclamation honoring Hirsch.
The proceedings were a highlight of the park’s annual fall festival in Athens.
Master Gardener Cecilia Boles, who attended Rick’s first Master Gardener Class, summed up Rick’s contribution to the lives of all he touched with a garden simile. “He was able to step into any situation with aplomb and grace. He was like well-composted manure in a spring garden.” Henderson County memorialized

Oct

13

Posted by : admin | On : October 13, 2016

tigers-file-photo-cmyk

The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–The Eustace Bulldogs lost 49-6 to the third-ranked Malakoff Tigers in Malakoff Sept. 7 at Tiger Stadium.
The Tiger’s offense was on a roll Friday night, dishing out 300 yards of total offense in the first half alone, while the Bulldogs were held to just 173 all game. The Tiger’s record raises to 6-0 and 3-0 in district 9-3A alone.
Malakoff quarterback Judd Miller was accurate all night, completing 15 of his 18 passes for 191 yards and four touchdowns. He added 57 yards rushing and one touchdown on the ground.
Tigers running back Breashawn Williams led the game in rushing with 130 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, including a 95-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Scoring got underway quickly, as Malakoff reached the endzone on the first drive of the game when Miller found QT Barker for an 8-yard pass. After the failed two-point conversion, Malakoff led 6-0.
The Bulldogs started to get an offensive drive going to fight back, but a pass was picked off by the Tigers to force the interception and turnover. The Tigers used that turnover to score again, this time on a 26-yard run by Miller. The two-point conversion was good and the Tigers led 14-0.
Eustace scored its lone touchdown of the night next, capped off by a 32-yard pass from Alejandro Sanchez to Clifton Johnson on a fourth down play to make the game 14-6 at the 10:50 mark in the second quarter.
The Tigers were not phased. Miller answered back with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Barker to take the 20-6 lead. The PAT was no good.
From this point on it was all Malakoff. Tiger touchdowns in the first half include a 20-yard Miller pass to Russell and a 6-yard Williams run.
Barker finished the game with six catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns, and Russell had five catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulldogs used three quarterbacks in Shanchez’s first game back returning from an injury.
Cameron Rogers was the leading runner for the Bulldogs with 23 carries for 89 yards.

Oct

06

Posted by : admin | On : October 6, 2016

The News Staff Reports
WASHINGTON–U.S Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., announced in a press release that Tool Elementary School has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School.
The teachers and staff have been working diligently since the school’s nomination in January to earn the Blue Ribbon designation. This makes back-to-back years that schools in Malakoff ISD have been named to the honor.
Tool Elementary School is one among 279 public schools and 50 private schools receiving this honor. The school was one of 26 schools in texas to be nominated for the recognition.
Schools are nominated for the award by the state department of education, and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices.
Tool Elementary School Principal Christal Calhoun, along with teachers Kristi Dalrymple, Tasha French and Kristina Page will be attending a two-day ceremony in Washington D. C. Nov. 7-8 to celebrate their achievements.
Founded in 1982, Blue Ribbon Schools is a U.S. Department of Education program that recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels.
Malakoff ISD Superintendent Randy Perry said he was very proud of the leadership of Principal Christal Calhoun (in photo) and the hard working teachers, staff and students of Tool Elementary.
“Great things are happening in Malakoff ISD!” he said.

Oct

06

Posted by : admin | On : October 6, 2016

Youngsters from 4-H wait their turn at the microphone to tell Henderson County Commissioners what each likes best about being in 4-H.

Youngsters from 4-H wait their turn at the microphone to tell Henderson County Commissioners what each likes best about being in 4-H.


By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS—The Henderson County Commissioners issued two proclamations when it met for its first meeting in October, the start of its new fiscal year.
This week marks the National 4-H week, Oct. 2-8, and nine young people accompanied by their AgriLife adult director each took a brief time at the microphone to introduce themselves and tell a little about 4-H and what they liked best about it. They ranged in ages from 8 to 19. While some spoke of their passion for the traditional 4-H areas such as horticulture and animal husbandry, several also showed excitement for the organization’s newest area: robotics.
Justin Jones, the club treasurer, said this is the second year for the robotics program and he has used his experience there to apply for a scholarship to NASA. Presiding officer Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney after hearing from two of the boys on robotics admitted that 4-H has changed a lot since he was young.
“I’m impressed by all of you,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Scotty Thomas said. “We’re all very proud of your accomplishments in the 4-H program.”
McKinney noted in the proclamation that 4-H has been active in Texas for 108 years and that 602,000 young people are participating over a diverse swath of the population.
A second proclamation was issued naming October 2016 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month for the county. Representatives from the East Texas Crisis Center were on hand to be recognized for their faithful service to the victims of this oft overlooked “silent” crime that devastates children and families in the county.
To top off a month of awareness activities, the Center is hosting its Hope Awards to recognize community members, especially in law enforcement and the court system for their help to stop domestic violence and offer hope to those trapped by it. This year’s nominees will be recognized at the annual Wine and Cheese fundraiser set for Oct. 28 in Murchison at the Overton Ranch. Tickets are available by calling the ETCC at (903) 675- 2137.
In other business, commissioners
• Agreed to operate election for Coffee City Nov. 8 for its General Election
• Approved a slate of fees updated for the 2017 year for the Sheriff’s Office and Constable precincts.
• Reset a speed limit on 5.4 miles of CR 4400, located in Precinct 4 south of Larue and Poynor to 35 mph.
Paid the bills totaling $150,420.41 and for the purchase of a steel wheel roller for Pct. 4, $17,500.

Oct

06

Posted by : admin | On : October 6, 2016

dsc_0018fix-cmyk
By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
TRINIDAD–A Trinidad Trojan second-half comeback came up short in a 51-50 Homecoming loss to the Fannindel Falcons, played Saturday, Oct. 1 at Trojan Field.
Trinidad fell behind 31-18, early in the third quarter, when the Trojan comeback commenced. With 6:30 left in the third quarter, Trinidad’s Colby Snider found Jerry Bannister for a 40-yard touchdown pass, but the extra-point conversion failed when the run was stopped short of the goal line. That got Trinidad closer, 31-24.
The first play for Fannindel after the Trinidad touchdown, a long pass to near the goal line, was intercepted by Trojan Jaden Garcia, who brought the ball all the way back to the Fannindel 20-yard line. From there, on the first play on offense, Trinidad’s Jerry Bannister scampered 20 yards for a Trojan touchdown. Ronald Marcus rumbled in for the one-point, point-after conversion, which gave Trinidad a 32-31 lead with 6:04 left in the third quarter.
Fannindel retook the lead at 38-32 with 4:29 left in the third quarter, but Trinidad responded with a score of its own, tying the game at 38 points apiece when Trojan fullback Nathan Williams plunged across the goal line from two yards out for six points with 31 seconds left in the third quarter (the extra-point play that followed failed).
Ronald Marcus of Trinidad recovered a Fannindel fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the ensuing drive ended with a Falcon score on an interception returned for a touchdown, moving Fannindel ahead, 44-38, with the point-after conversion run failing with 8:19 left in the game.
Fannindel went up further, 51-38, following a 10-yard touchdown run and successful PAT with 6:11 left in the game. Trinidad chipped away at the Falcon lead when Ronald Marcus ran 25 yards for a touchdown with 5:24 left in the game, which came after Trinidad receiver Romal Womack was interfered with on a long touchdown pass attempt.
Fannindel faced a fourth-down-and-five-yard play at the Trinidad 25-yard line, but the Falcons fumbled and Trojan Colby Snider scooped up the football and scooted down the sideline for a Trinidad touchdown, bringing Trinidad to within one point with 3:52 left in the game. However, Fannindel stopped the Trojan point-after conversion run, which if successful would have tied the game at 51.
Alas, Fannindel held the football and ran out the clock inside the Trinidad 10-yard line, clinching a 51-50 victory over Trinidad. Fannindel is now 3-2 on the 2016 season, while Trinidad’s record evens at 3-3. The Trinidad Trojans return to the gridiron on Oct. 21 with a football contest at Milford.

Sep

30

Posted by : admin | On : September 30, 2016

eimg_0003-cmyk

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff Writer
MABANK–The Athens Hornets picked up their first win of the 2016 season after defeating the winless Mabank Panthers 41-14 in the District 8-4A opener Sept. 23 at Panther Stadium.
Mabank (0-5) were bested by the Hornets (1-4) by the tune of 41-14 and hope to get in the win column this week when they travel to Brownsboro to face the Bears.
The Hornets got scoring underway with just 2:21 remaining in the first quarter when Noah Bush ran the ball in the end zone for a two-yard touchdown. After the missed PAT, Athens led 6-0.
A Panthers miscue handed the ball back to the Hornets, when Panthers return man Jacob Collinsworth fumbled the kickoff, with Athens recovering on the Mabank 35-yard line.
Fifteen yards later on fourth down, Junior quarterback Xavius Fulton ran the ball to the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown. Fulton also converted the two-point play to take a 14-0 Athens lead.
The Panthers threatened to cut the lead in half at the 7:14 mark, but Collinsworth fumbled again, giving the ball over to Athens at the 10-yard line.
The Hornets punished the Panthers on the resulting drive, as Bush powered his way into the end zone for the second touchdown of the night to make the score 21-0 after the PAT.
Athens wasn’t done. Before the halftime buzzer sounded, Fulton ran in 1-yard touchdown with just five second remaining, followed by a successful PAT, to give Athens a 28-0 lead at the break.
The Panthers got their only touchdown of the game in the third quarter when quarterback Clay Conway ran the ball into the endzone for a 1-yard touchdown. After the PAT, the score was 28-7.
The Hornets scored two touchdowns in the final quarter, a 7-yard run by Fulton and a 28-yard run by Kamion Tanner to bring the score to 14-7. Mabank’s final points came on a Ty Mathis touchdown run with 40 seconds remaining.
Panthers Head Coach Mikey Thompson was pleased with the boys effort, but says the Panthers have to cut out giving away turnovers if they are going to win.
“Our kids played extremely hard for all four quarters of the game,” Thompson said. “We have got to get over the hump of being a ‘young team’ and quit making mistakes.  Turnovers and penalties at key moments of the game have cost us all year.”
According to Thompson the Panthers are averaging a healthy 5.6 yards per rush, and are, on average, giving up less than 300 yards defensively per game.
“I am proud of our kid’s effort,” he said.  “We don’t give up!  Rebuilding this program is a process.”
Joey Schmidt led Mabank in rushing with 41 yards on four carries. Its defense was led by Hunter Caves with 12.5 tackles, including one for a loss.

Sep

29

Posted by : admin | On : September 29, 2016

pic-4-athens-rotary-9-22
By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
ATHENS–Athens Rotary members heard details about the move by the Henderson County HELP Center and Maggie’s House/Edith Books Child Advocacy Center to North Highway 19, during the club’s weekly luncheon Sept. 22.
The Henderson County HELP Center and Maggie’s House/Edith Books Child Advocacy Center support children who have suffered abuse and neglect with a family advocate to assist them through the court process, and provide counseling for the child victim and non-offending caregivers. Also offered are programs dealing with mental health and pregnancy in schools as well as the United Way Help Line, which can be reached by dialing 211 on telephones.
The child advocacy organizations have roots in that United Way Help Line established at the Henderson County Courthouse in 1987. The organization announced earlier this summer that it was moving from its current location at 309 Royall, just east of the courthouse square, which they has occupied for about a quarter-century. The new property purchased by the center consists of three buildings for a total of 10,000 square feet. The Athens Housing Authority will continue to occupy one of the buildings.
Leslie Saunders, executive director of the HELP Center, said the property would include a serenity garden, nestled between the two buildings being prepared for use, as a private place for those dealing with the complex issues addressed by the organization. Saunders said child abuse cases reviewed by her office have increased 82 percent since Sept. 2015.
The soon-to-be home for the HELP/Child Advocacy Center was financed from an anonymous real estate gift, which was then sold, the proceeds from which were used to buy the State Highway 19 property. The new complex address is 807 N. Palestine, and includes frontage on North Prairieville, which runs parallel to Highway 19.
The News Photo/Russell Slaton
Kathy Benton (left) of Athens Rotary Club is congratulated Sept. 22 for receiving Paul Harris Fellow Plus 1 status by Athens Rotary president Mike Matchael (right), a recognition based on contributions toward the international organization’s humanitarian efforts.

Sep

29

Posted by : admin | On : September 29, 2016

jamie-meador-bookin
Special to The News
HENDERSON COUNTY–On Sept. 23, Jamie Lawrence Meador, 31, of Brownsboro, was sentenced to 75 years in prison for a March 2015 shootout with Henderson County Deputies at a residence on CR 4305 near Coffee City. Meador was seriously injured in the shootout. Neither of the deputies was wounded.
Meador was sentenced to the 75 years for Aggravated Assault of a Peace Officer, and also sentenced to four other 20 year sentences for three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of evading arrest with a motor vehicle.
Meador pled guilty to the charges earlier this year and elected to allow Judge Dan Moore of the 173rd Judicial District Court to set sentencing after a hearing. Meador was facing a punishment range of 15-99 years or life for the Aggravated Assault and up to twenty years each for the unlawful possession cases and evading arrest case.
The case was personally handled by Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee. According to McKee, the case was extremely important to him and the law enforcement community.
According to testimony and District Attorney McKee’s opening statement, the events leading up to the shootout began in December of 2014 when Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Keon Mack saw Meador on the side of the road in a broken down pickup with its hazard lights flashing. Although Meador had been to prison before, Mack testified that he did not know who Meador was when he stopped to assist him on FM 315 near Chandler.
Before offering to assist Meador, Deputy Mack asked him for his driver’s license. According to Deputy Mack, he wasn’t looking to arrest or detain Meador at the time. Mack testified that due to safety reasons, it’s important to know who you are dealing with on the side of the road in the middle of the night.
While Meador was looking for identification, Mack observed a shiny box shaped case in Meador’s front pants pocket. Upon questioning, Meador told Mack that it contained his marijuana. During a subsequent search of the case the deputy also found methamphetamine in the box.
A pat-down search of Meador yielded two additional ounces of suspected methamphetamine and over $2,000 in cash.
After the pat-down search, Meador was placed in hand restraints and a search of the truck was conducted. During the search, Deputies discovered over five pounds of crystal meth inside a stove in the back of the pickup. According to Henderson County Sheriff’s Investigator Kay Langford, the street value of the meth in 2014 was around $250,000.
Meador was arrested for the meth and was able to make bail just a few days later. According to McKee’s opening statement, he believed the bail was set “recklessly low”.
After bailing himself out of jail on the drug charges, Meador was stopped again by Deputy Mack on March 29 for a faulty license plate light. During the traffic stop, Meador admitted to smoking marijuana in the car just before the stop. As Mack tried to detain him, Meador broke free of the deputy and made it back to his vehicle and drove off at a high rate of speed while the deputy was still hanging on to him. Deputies were unable to locate him that evening and procured a warrant for his arrest the next day.
Two days later, on March 31, 2015, Henderson County Deputies Brad Beddingfield and Kyle Pochobradsky along with Sheriff Investigators Kay Langford and Wick Gabbard acting on information about the whereabouts of Meador, arrived at a home on County Road 4305.
Deputy Beddingfield, who was the first to arrive at the residence, immediately spotted Meador sitting on a 4-wheeler as soon as he drove up. As Beddingfield exited his patrol vehicle, he ordered Meador off the 4-wheeler. Rather than comply, Meador reached into a rifle case that was strapped to the front of the 4-wheeler and retrieved an AR 15 assault rifle. Meador then immediately raised the rifle and fired a shot at Beddingfield at a distance of less than 30 feet.
The shot missed Beddingfield and he immediately began returning fire. As this engagement was beginning between Meador and Beddingfield, Deputy Kyle Pochobradsky, the second officer to arrive at the residence, had already exited his vehicle and could hear Beddingfield giving Meador commands.
During questioning by District Attorney McKee, Pochobradsky told the judge that although he could not see the defendant as he was exiting his vehicle, he could tell something was wrong in Beddingfield’ s voice. Pochobradsky and Beddingfield began their careers at about the same time, first in the Henderson County Jail and through the years working together in various positions within the department. “I knew something wasn’t right by the sound of his voice.” Said Pochobradsky,
Pochobradsky testified that after hearing Beddingfield, he rushed to the back of the house where Beddingfield and Meador were located. As he was rushing to the location, he could see and hear the gunfire. Pochobradsky was able to draw his weapon and engage Meador.
The entire event lasted only a few seconds and was captured by Beddingfield’ s in-car video.
Meador, testifying against his attorney James Mills’ advice, said he never intended to kill the officers and that he was trying to commit suicide by cop.
During his testimony, Meador told the court that his life got out of control when he started using methamphetamine.
Meador also testified about the wounds he received in the shootout and his medical conditions. Since the shootout, Meador told the court that he doesn’t have full use of his legs or his bowels.
During cross-examination, McKee pressed Meador to tell him where he got the over five pounds of meth as well as what he planned to do with it. Meador testified that he was transporting it for drug dealers when he ran out of gas.
Meador apologized to the officers for what could have happened.
“I apologize for putting ya’ll in that position. I was only thinking about me,” he said. “I know you’ll do a good job.”
Meador has been arrested several times in Henderson County. Among the charges are felony drug and illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. He was released from prison in 2012.
Meador’s drug charges are still pending in the U.S. Attorney’s office.