Jul

13

Posted by : admin | On : July 13, 2017

The News Photo/Pearl Cantrell Mayor Warren Claxton (right) presents a plaque of appreciation to Duane Smith, for his service on the city council.

The News Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Mayor Warren Claxton (right) presents a plaque of appreciation to Duane Smith, for his service on the city council.


By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
STAR HARBOR—Star Harbor Mayor Warren Claxton told a full room of his fellow residents that the city’s filings before the Public Utility Commission had been dismissed. “A technicality in the form of the application caused the dismissal,” Claxton explained. Star Harbor has a different law firm handling its legal work now, he indicated after public comments. “Whoever was responsible for the application ought to have his feet held to the fire,” Rick Koziol said in closing public comments.
The city is in contention with the City of Malakoff over a sharp rise in the cost of wastewater treatment. Star Harbor produces its own drinking water and is moving forward on building its own wastewater treatment plant.
Former councilman O.R. Perdue presented the quarterly and semiannual report on water and wastewater expenditures. Since January, the city has paid its customary $3,400.41 monthly billing to the City of Malakoff and a much larger amount into an escrow account. The payments total $20,402.46 for wastewater treatment and $98,076.18 toward escrow, totaling $118,478.64 or a monthly payment of $19,746.44 for the community’s 420 residents as of the 2010 U.S. Census.
At the end of 2016, the City of Malakoff presented a new service contract to Star Harbor, representing a 600 percent-plus increase in service charges. The city has repeatedly asked for an explanation of the new charges, a meeting to discuss the new contract and has sent representatives to the City of Malakoff City Council meetings without gaining any response.
The City of Malakoff attorney Hank Skelton to date has not responded to The News queries on this matter, nor has any council member. Since January, Star Harbor has continued to pay the amount it was paying under the former service contract and deposited the balance in an escrow account. After listening to legal advice from a resident who has an active law practice, the council felt that paying according to the new contract would be tacit agreement with the new contract, so in lieu of that an escrow account was set up. It was hoped that the growing amount in escrow would induce the City of Malakoff to enter into a discussion with city officials.
In other business, the council:
• recognized the faithful service of Duane Smith, who most recently served as Mayor Pro-tem, filling in for Dr. Walter Bingham who had to step down due to health reasons. He has also served as a former mayor of the city and on the council for several terms. Smith was not returned to the council during the May 6 election. The council appointed Claxton mayor, since Bingham’s resignation came after the deadline for the May 6 ballot.
• amended Ordinance 165 to coincide with state law requiring slow-moving vehicles to exhibit a triangular caution placard on the rear. Golf carts being used primarily for transportation use will be required to carry the placard. Golf carts traveling strictly between home and the golf course for use on the course are exempt, along with carts kept strictly for use on the greens. Police Chief Todd Tanner explained the need for the amendment.
• discussed amending Ordinance 162 dealing with new construction in five areas, including landscaping, dumpster permit fee, signage, minimum square feet and short-term rentals. The council took a vote on each area separately after discussion and hearing extensive public comment and Building and Zoning Committee recommendations at the beginning of the meeting.
• tabled making changes to landscaping requirements, took no action to implement a dumpster permit, change the minimum building footage requirement of 1500 sq. ft. or change in signage rules, which now reads that only city signs may be posted on city property at the entrance of Star Harbor and other signs must be removed from private property within three days of the event and can’t go up more than three days before the event.
• on a 4-1 vote, approved short-term rental use of properties with the intent to set a workshop to regulate such use.
• heard four building permits were issued since the last meeting.
• recognized the work of resident Gay Morris in preparing the community newsletter which keeps residents apprised of local news and events.

Jul

13

Posted by : admin | On : July 13, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–A toddler walked into traffic on U.S. 175 just a quarter mile west of Athens Sunday night. Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Randy Daniel pronounced the death.
According to Department of Public Safety information officer Jean Dark, the 22-month-old is Santiago Sanchez of Athens.
North-19 Fire Rescue Chief Bob Morris, who responded to the call, said he learned from family members that the child followed his father out of the house as he left for the store around 9 p.m. without the father’s knowledge. The father and the mother were both at the residence, located on the south side of U.S. 175.
“It happened really quickly,” Morris said.
A 2000 Honda Civic, driven by Vu Pham, 30 of Garland, was traveling east in the outside lane when the vehicle struck the child. “The driver was unable to avoid the child and struck the child with the front of the vehicle,” Dark said.
The body was transported to Hannigan-Smith Funeral Home.
Athens police and sheriff’s deputies assisted by redirecting traffic, as the roadway was closed while first responders worked the scene.

Jul

13

Posted by : admin | On : July 13, 2017

JohnsonCMYK

Special to The News
SHAWNEE, Okla.Tyler Johnson of Athens is competing in the 25th annual International Finals Youth Rodeo held July 9-14 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Okla.
Johnson is participating in the world’s richest youth rodeo, hoping to win his share of more than $250,000 in prize money and championship saddles and buckles.
Johnson will join more than 800 of the top high school rodeo athletes from around the world for the 2017 IFYR. He is vying for prizes in bareback riding.
Contestants will compete in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas throughout the week. Events include barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding.
The IFYR consists of two long go-rounds and a short go. All contestants compete once in each of the long go-rounds. The top 15 averages in each event will compete Friday night in the championship round short go for fame and prizes.
“The International Finals Youth Rodeo was developed to provide high school athletes with a professional level rodeo,” said Chris Dunlap, assistant director of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “Twenty-five years later, the IFYR is where any hopeful rodeo champion wants to be and be seen.”
The IFYR is not only home to the top high school athletes in the nation, but it is also an opportunity that allows for contestants and their families to travel, rodeo along the way and meet peers from across the country.
The International Finals Youth Rodeo, held annually since 1993, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that presents top high school athletes with a professional rodeo. The internationally-recognized IFYR is held annually at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Okla.
The action-packed event includes hundreds of contestants vying to win more than $250,000 in prize money, competing in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas over six days.
In 2016, more than 920 contestants and their families traveled from 34 states and Australia to participate in the IFYR. For more information, visit IFYR.com or call 405-275-7020.

Jul

13

Posted by : admin | On : July 13, 2017

MalakoffFB6CMYK

The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Tigers football team comes into the 2017 season as favorites to win District 9-3A, Division I.
The Tigers are ranked No. 5 in the state in the Class 3A, Division I Coaches and Top 20 poll.
Malakoff’s offense will be led by senior quarterback Judd Miller. Miller passed for 3,527 yards and 48 touchdowns in his junior season. Miller is also picked as the preseason Offensive MVP of the District.
Aiding Miller on the offensive side of the ball will be returning running back Breashawn Williams. Williams rushed for 1,233 yards and 14 touchdowns last season under coach Jamie Driskell. Offensive lineman Kobe Wilbanks will be providing the blocking protection for both Miller and Williams.
Helping out on defense will be linebacker Zee Bailey, who finished last season with an impressive 148 tackles and three forced fumbles.
Meanwhile in District 8-4A, Division I, the Athens Hornets are predicted to finish fifth.
The Hornets look to improve upon last year’s disappointing 2-8 finish. The Hornets had made the playoffs the previous four seasons under coach Paul Essary.
Leading the offense for the Hornets will be senior quarterback Xavius Fulton and tight end Rowdy Godwin. The main running backs returning will be JaQuaylon Bowman and Jerquindon Taylor.
In District 10-2A, Division I, the Cross Roads Bobcats are predicted to finish sixth.
The Bobcats will look to improve under new head coach Daniel Pierce, but will have to find a new quarterback after the graduation of Taylor McKenzie.
Senior linebacker Brandon Wilson will be returning for the Bobcats. Players to watch for the Bobcats based on the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine writers’ predictions are wide receiver Luc Hyles as well as linemen Karson Fletcher, Hunter Lawrence and Kaden Mattingly.
In District 15-A, Division II, the Trinidad Trojans are predicted to finish fourth, while only two teams make playoffs in Class A play.
Former Mount Calm coach Chad Satcher replaces James Massarrelli as the Trojans new head coach after Massarrelli left this offseason.
The Trojans will be led offensively by quarterback Colby Snider and running back Romal Womack.
Players to watch for the Trojans defensively this season are linebackers Johnny Ayala, Talon Sims, Billy Quinn, defensive backs Kaeleb Eastman, Antywon Shofner and Kaleb Mines. Also included are linemen Cameron Brookins, Tristan Fletcher, Eli Arnold and Zach Stanfield.

Jul

06

Posted by : admin | On : July 6, 2017

Sentator Nichols with Superintendents
Special to The News
AUSTIN–Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) met with school superintendents from around Senate District 3, June 28 to discuss items which will be addressed during the Special Legislative Session, beginning on July 18, 2017. In addition, they also discussed what occurred during the 85th Regular Legislative Session.
“As we head into the upcoming special session, many of the items which will be addressed are education related. I wanted to make sure I took the opportunity to discuss these important issues with the Superintendents from our local school districts,” said Senator Nichols.
Some of the items discussed included administrative flexibility, teacher pay increases, property tax reform, school vouchers and school finance reform.
“I do not believe the Legislature can successfully make good decisions, unless we are listening closely to those we represent,” said Nichols. “Education is and always will be one of the most important issues we face as a state.”
Senate District 3 represents 101 school districts throughout 19 counties including Henderson County.

Jul

06

Posted by : admin | On : July 6, 2017

Special to The News
WACO–There isn’t much Quincy Jenkins can’t tackle.The former Baylor University football player graduated in December 2016 with a Master of Business Administration degree he earned online. Two months later, he landed a strategist job with Google and was set to become a first-time father.
“My family was really very supportive,” Jenkins said. “They all thought I was going to go back to school much sooner. Most of my friends, however, thought I was nuts to go back to school and work a full-time job — especially considering my wife was pregnant and due any day.”
Still, Jenkins persevered. He attended school online while working full-time in commercial sales with Sherwin-Williams in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Jenkins was originally planning to become a cardiologist. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Baylor in 2009.
“When I finished my undergrad, my initial plan was to go to grad school and kind of figure out where I wanted to go to work from there,” he said. “That was around the time the economy was tanking. I was lucky to take a job with Sherwin-Williams.” With his future goals in mind, Jenkins eventually knew he wanted to build a strong foundation for responsible leadership by equipping himself with all the tools of a business background.
Jenkins played high school football at Trinidad, about 90 miles northeast of Waco. He earned a scholarship to play defensive tackle for the Baylor Bears after walking onto the program as a freshman.
“I’m still the only six-man player to get a scholarship to a Division I university and play all four years,” Jenkins said. “I’m pretty proud of that.”
However, trying to balance the demands of school and football proved to be a difficult assignment.
“Being a biology pre-med major and being on a football scholarship was quite the juggling act,” he said. “Making lab time work 20 minutes after practice ended, getting to the lab for two hours and making film sessions and things of that nature was a very trying, constrained period of my life.”
While Jenkins was finishing the bachelor’s degree program, he had an internship with Baylor Media and served as athletics coordinator for the City of Waco. He landed a job as a store manager for Sherwin-Williams in December 2009.
“When I first started, I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll take a year to work here,” he said. “Then, I’ll go into some sort of science field and see if I catch on with my pre-med pursuits, but the educational path was pretty long and I never really saw myself working in a lab. I’m a people person. I didn’t really know that about myself.”
“Working in a lab environment or a technical environment or something like that, I figured I could make it work. But when you find out you have a hidden talent to do things, you kind of want to explore it more. That’s what Sherwin-Williams brought out of me.”
Six years after graduating from Baylor University, Jenkins returned to find a significantly different experience as an online student.
“It was rough at times because 20-30 hours a week wasn’t easy,” he said. “Having the flexibility to make those 20-30 hours a week available at any free moment you have definitely helped.”
Jenkins said the degree program provided him with valuable insight into different areas of the business world.
Jenkins said he also got a healthy dose of perspective from the curriculum.
“I really took a lot from the Ethical Leadership course,” he said. “Having such a strong sports background, I was of the school of thought that you work through issues and overcome mountains by climbing harder.
“It really helped to temper my leadership style and be a little more empathetic to those who may not work at the same pace as me or come from the same background. I really think it made me a better leader and a better husband. Not everybody is going to respond favorably to those my-way-or-the-highway tactics of leadership.”
Another course Jenkins especially enjoyed was Economics.
“I like the global nature of the course,” he said. “I liked how the course is tailored to help you understand how the world economy and a lot of the current events all play together in the business world. I really enjoyed that aspect of the course, whether it was the articles or some of the case studies, I felt like the relevance with the global economy and dealing with my current job in sales, I felt like it really made a hazy picture clearer on how markets are often manipulated.”
Jenkins said he hadn’t planned on attending his second Baylor graduation ceremony, but he was happy he changed his mind.
“I’m 32 years old, and it just didn’t feel like it was something someone my age would do,” he explained. “I was told by my old football trainer Mike Simms that students don’t walk the stage for themselves — they walk the stage for their parents. I decided I would do that for my loved ones, no matter how uncomfortable I may have thought it would feel. Once I was there, it felt good to be around people. I was probably on the younger side of the online students.”
Jenkins also credits the online MBA program with helping him land his new job at Google.
“Going into this, I really didn’t plan on looking for outside opportunities,” he said. “I really wanted to make myself more marketable internally, but for some reason, through the program, I was motivated to go to a job conference in New Orleans in October.” Jenkins said all of the things the Hankamer School of Business has to offer set Baylor’s MBA apart.
“I would say understanding that all things that are valuable in your life or are worthwhile are generally difficult,” he said. “Take advantage of the resources the program has for you. The professors, whether it was negotiating salary for job opportunities or just general work advice, they’ve all been open throughout the program and since the program.
“Most of all, be brave and don’t be afraid to dive into the program and learn and stretch yourself. At the end of it, the more you put in, most definitely, the more you’ll get out.”

Jul

06

Posted by : admin | On : July 6, 2017

murder CMYK

The News Staff Reports
EAST TEXAS–A Henderson County man who was serving time for the fatal shooting of a Trinidad resident in 2009, was killed in a prison unit in Bowie County last week.
According to news reports, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is investigating the death of 29-year-old Pete Armando Ayala, of Trinidad, who was serving a 40-year sentence for murder with a deadly weapon for the death of 21-year-old Johnny Lee Brown, also of Trinidad.
TDCJ Public Information Officer Robert Hurst said in a statement to the Bowie County Citizens Tribune, prison officials discovered Ayala unresponsive in his cell on Sunday. They restrained Ayala’s cellmate, Justin Williams, 22, and removed him from the cell. Ayala was transported to a Texarkana hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Wednesday.
The TDCJ is investigating the case as a homicide.
Ayala had been in the Telford Unit since December of 2009, and was not eligible for parole until 2029. His sentence was to run until 2049.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Department reports said dispatch received a 9-1-1 call on Feb. 18, 2009, telling of a gunshot victim at a residence on Leagueline Road. HCSO investigators responded to the scene to assist the Trinidad Police Department with the case. Brown’s body was found in the master bedroom of the residence.
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department obtained an arrest warrant in connection with the fatal shooting. Ayala was arrested in Garland after he was seen at a McDonald’s restaurant.
Williams joined the unit in November, 2016 to serve a 50-year sentence for murder with a deadly weapon.

Jul

06

Posted by : admin | On : July 6, 2017

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Many people take advantage of nice weather by exercising in the great outdoors. Some might skip the treadmill at the gym in favor of running at the park, while others join recreational sports leagues for some exercise and fun in the sun.
But exercising outdoors carries its share of risk. Unlike gyms where machinery clearly advises members about proper form and warns against lifting excessive weight, Mother Nature comes with no such warning labels. As a result, it’s up to men and women to make injury prevention a priority when taking their exercise routine outside. The following are a handful of preventative measures that can help exercise enthusiasts avoid injury as they attempt to get or stay fit in the great outdoors.
Study the terrain. Part of the danger of exercising outdoors is that, unlike a gym fitted with machines designed for the sole purpose of exercise, nature’s terrain is unpredictable. Safety features you take for granted at the gym, such as padded floors, are nonexistent outdoors. In addition, certain areas in nature might not be suitable to all athletes. For example, mountain biking is a popular sport, but not all mountain biking trails are the same. Some trails are ideal for beginners, while others are best ridden by more seasoned riders. When your outdoor exercise regimen will be taking you off the beaten path, be sure you know the terrain before you start your workout. Speak with fellow outdoor enthusiasts about which trails or courses are best for someone of your skill level and adhere to their recommendations. When exercising on a trail for the first time, bring a friend along so someone can go get help should an accident happen.
Stay hydrated. Dehydration is another cause of injury when athletes exercise in the great outdoors. Gyms have water fountains that allow members to take a drink of water when they’re thirsty. That water can help prevent dehydration, which can be painful and greatly increase your risk of injury. When exercising outdoors, be sure to bring along enough water so you can stay hydrated regardless of how far away from civilization you may find yourself.
Honestly assess your abilities. When exercising outdoors, it’s easy to overdo it. Warm air and sunshine have a way of encouraging athletes to prolong their workout routines or push themselves a little harder. But pushing yourself past your limits can considerably increase your risk of injury. While it’s easy to stay within your limits when exercising indoors, where the environment may encourage you to cut a workout short rather than extend it, it’s easy to overextend yourself outdoors when the weather is nice. So, it’s important for men and women to make an honest assessment of their abilities before beginning an outdoor exercise regimen. Once you know what your body can and can’t handle, you can tailor your outdoor workout to one that makes the most of nice weather without putting your health at risk.
Don’t challenge Mother Nature. One of the biggest risks about exercising outdoors is the tendency some athletes have to ignore the elements. Avoid working out in especially cold or hot weather, as such conditions are not conducive to exercise. Extreme weather also reduces the number of people outside, which means there won’t be as many people around to help you if you suffer an injury, lose your way or need help with your gear. Exercising outdoors is a great way to enjoy nice weather, but limit such workouts to those times of year when temperatures are most conducive to outdoor activity.

Jun

28

Posted by : admin | On : June 28, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–A Flint woman is in custody after trying to hide a substantial amount of methamphetamine Sunday night, according to Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse.
Rachel Rush, 33, was arrested after 10 p.m. at the intersection of Farm-to-Market 315 and County Road 4201 after deputies discovered a small number of illegal drugs, pills and needles in her vehicle.
After Deputy William Thornton and his partner placed her under arrest, she was seen on the squad car’s video surveillance removing a concealed item from her clothing and placing it in between the rear seat and the backrest.
A small, clear, plastic bag containing approximately 9 grams of suspected methamphetamine was logged in as evidence in the case, along with the other contraband and paraphernalia.
“This is another example of our continuing campaign against illegal drugs in Henderson County,” Hillhouse said.
“Drug users and dealers may think they are safe traveling country back roads, safe traveling in the dark of night. They are wrong.”
Rush faces charges of possession of a controlled substance greater than 4 grams and less than 200 grams, as well as possession of a dangerous drug. She is being held on bail totaling $16,500.

Jun

28

Posted by : admin | On : June 28, 2017

Special to The News
ATHENS–Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse brought in search dogs and a mounted patrol team to apprehend an escaped Hopkins County Inmate Tuesday, as his Deputies arrested two for drug offenses south of Chandler.
Barney Dwayne Ebey, 53, was located in a pasture near Eustace Tuesday afternoon after a Texas Department of Criminal Justice canine unit, with Officers on horse-back, found him in a multi-jurisdictional search lead by Hillhouse.
“This was a team effort,” Hillhouse said. “After we learned an escaped inmate could be in our area, a comprehensive local, state, and federal law-enforcement team worked together to put him back behind bars.”
In addition to the dogs and horses Hillhouse was assisted by, Texas Rangers, the U.S. Marshall Service, Texas Department of Public Safety, East Texas Auto Theft Task Force, the Henderson County Attorney’s Office, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Marshall’s Office, Constables Mitch Baker and Brad Miers, and the Hopkins County Sheriff Lewis Tatum and his Deputies were involved in the search and arrest.
Ebey was a trustee in Hopkins County when an accomplice – who was arrested Tuesday in Emory – helped him escape from a work detail.
The investigation lead to a residence off of FM 2709 and Ebey was arrested near HWY 175 just south of the residence in Eustace early yesterday evening after escaping that morning.
Henderson County Justice of the Peace Randy Daniel arraigned Ebey and he was returned to Hopkins County by Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office.
Meanwhile, Zackary Ryan Clemons, 39, and Haley Danielle Middleton, 23, were arrested on Westwood Beach Drive south of Chandler after throwing a substantial amount of methamphetamine out of the vehicle as they were stopped for a traffic violation.
Deputy Meagan Hogan stopped Clemons, who was wanted on a warrant from Smith County and had no driver’s license or insurance.
She and Deputy Cynthia Clements determined that a bag containing the suspected methamphetamine had been thrown out of the vehicle during the traffic stop. A glass pipe belonging to Middleton and commonly used to smoke contraband was also discovered in the vehicle.
Both were arrested and taken to the Henderson County Jail.
“Henderson County is no place for fugitives or drug dealers to hide or do their illegal business,” Hillhouse said.