Dec

30

Posted by : admin | On : December 30, 2015

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Toni Garrard Clay/AISD
Bel Air Elementary third-graders entertained their schoolmates Thursday morning with the Christmas production “A Bugz Christmas.” Pictured are just a few of the performers, who are (front row, from left) the “very hungry” termites: Hunter Branch, Warren McCain, Jase Warren, Davin Perry, Emely Escobar and Isaac Pineda; and (back row, from left) queen bee Macy Shelton; ladybugs Kendall Svehlak and Camdyn Rodriguez; grasshoppers Alyson Martinez and Amy Moreno; and yellow jacket Justice Wells.

Dec

23

Posted by : admin | On : December 23, 2015

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–With the closing of the election filing period for the March 1, 2016 Party Primary, a few key races have taken shape in Henderson County. The most prominent is that Republican Lance Gooden of Terrell is challenging incumbent Dr. Stuart Spitzer of Kaufman in a bid to regain a seat in the Legislature as Representative of District 4.
Judge Carter Tarrance announced in September he was not seeking reelection to the bench of the 392nd District Court. Two have filed for the seat: longtime family law practitioner Marianne Warren of Athens with 23 years experience and two-term D.A. Scott McKee are both seeking the Republican nomination. No Democrats have filed for the office. Mark Hall is the sole candidate for District Attorney.
In addition, County Attorney Clint Davis faces a challenger in the Primary from former officeholder James H. Owen.
Both County Commissioners have said they will not seek re-election. Keith Pryor and Ken Hayes have filed for Precinct 1, now held by Scotty Thomas, who has held the office for one term.
Commissioner Ronny Lawrence is stepping down after four terms in office. Four contenders have filed to take his place. They are Mark Tillison, Sammy Scott and Kevin Head of Murchison and Charles “Chuck” McHam of Chandler.The winner will face Democrat challenger Aleciah Joyce Sims in the fall.
All five constable offices are on the ballot. In Precinct 1 Kay Langford, an Investigator with the Sheriff’s office, is unopposed in the Republican Primary but will challenge incumbent Daryl Graham in November 2016.
In Precinct 2, Interim officeholder Mitch Baker, with his office in Seven Points, will face Danny Howard.
Precinct 3 incumbent David Grubbs of Brownsboro is unopposed.
Precinct 4 incumbent Rick Stewart is not seeking re-election. Former Constable John Floyd has filed along with Wilford “Wick” Gabbard for the Republican ballot.
Precinct 5 Constable Brad Miers is challenged by Eric Adair.
Tax Assessor Collector Peggy Goodall is running for her first full term in office after filling an unexpired term of Milburn Chaney in January. She is unopposed.
Statewide offices appearing on the ballot include eight Republican contenders and three Democrats for their party nomination for Railroad Commissioner. Places 3, 5 and 9 have drawn two challengers each for the Supreme Court on the Republican ballot. The winner will each face a Democrat opponent in November. Republicans are also competing for places 2, 5 and 6 on the Court of Criminal Appeals. Each winner will then face a Democrat candidate in the fall
Voters in Henderson and Van Zandt counties will see two filers for the 12th Court of Appeal, both unopposed for Place 2 and 3, on the Republican ballot.
Locally, District 9 of the State Board of Education has put up four Republican contenders, the winner of which faces a Democrat in the fall.

Dec

23

Posted by : admin | On : December 23, 2015

Travon Fuller

Courtesy Photo
Athens senior and Texas A&M committ Travon Fuller was invited to the 10th annual Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Daytona Beach, Florida. Fuller will compete with some of the best high school football players in the country.

By Ryan Moulds
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Athens Hornets football player Travon Fuller was invited to play in the 10th annual Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Fuller is a Texas A&M committ and finished this season with 54 tackles, two interceptions, seven pass break ups and a forced fumble on defense.
On offense he added 953 rushing yards on 93 carries with eight touchdowns. He also had four catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Fuller helped the Hornets to a 8-4 record this season as well as a second round playoff apperence. He played on offense and defense while at Athens but will focus on defense while at Texas A&M.
The Offense-Defense All-American Bowl is a week long event that will run Dec. 28-Jan. 4.
Past college and current NFL stars who have played in the bowl include Cam Newton, Earl Thomas, Dez Bryant and Joe Haden.

Dec

23

Posted by : admin | On : December 23, 2015

Desmond Branch

Courtesy Photo/ TVCC Athletics
Defensive End Desmond Branch inks with the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets. Branch had 38 tackles and seven sacks this season for the Cardinals.

TJ Henson

Courtesy Photo/ TVCC Athletics
Offensive Lineman TJ Henson signs with the University of North Texas Mean Green. Henson was one of the top offensive lineman in junior college football this past season.

By Ryan Moulds
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Five Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) football players signed with Division-1 college football programs on Dec. 17. Players include Jerod Evans, Christian Beard, TJ Henson, Derrick Willies and Desmond Branch.
Evans signed with Virginia Tech, Beard signed with University of Central Florida (UCF), Willies signed with Texas Tech, Henson signed with University of North Texas (UNT) and Branch signed with Georgia Tech.
Evans made headlines for the Cardinals all season. He passed for 3,164 yards and 38 touchdowns while only throwing three picks. He also ran for 414 yards and four scores and was ranked as the number one junior college quarterback in America according to 247 Sports.
Evans enrolled in TVCC out of Mansfield High School. He picked Virginia Tech over offers from Auburn, Memphis, Georgia State, UAB, UCF, Cal, and Missouri.
Beard played on the offensive line for the Cardinals this season after redshirting a year at Arkansas State.
He attended Midway High School in Waco and picked UCF over offers from UNT, Stephen F. Austin, and Houston Baptist. 247 Sports rated him number 12 among junior college guards in America.
Branch came to TVCC after one season with New Mexico. 247 Sports had him rated as the ninth best weak-side defensive end in junior college football. He had 32 tackles this season with 10 being for a loss. He also had seven sacks.
Branch attended Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He picked Georgia Tech over offers from Fresno State, New Mexico, San Diego State, SMU, UAB, UTEP and Mississippi State.
Derrick Willies came to Athens after playing half a season for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He led TVCC in receiving this year with 49 catches for 1,155 yards along with 14 touchdowns.
Willies attended Rock Island High School in Illinois and was ranked as the third best junior college wide receiver by 247 Sports.
Willies also held offers from Vanderbilt, Washington State, Arizona State, BYU, Colorado, Fresno State, Georgia, Iowa State, UL Monroe, Nevada, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas State, UTSA, and TCU.
Henson was ranked as the number 37 junior college offensive tackle in the country by 247 Sports. He attended Plano East High School and picked North Texas over offers from Hawaii, Iowa State, East Carolina, UTSA, Georgia State, Nevada and Southern Mississippi.
TVCC has sent 169 players to Division-1 programs in the past ten years, nine of which have come under current Head Coach Brad Smiley.

Dec

23

Posted by : admin | On : December 23, 2015

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Bishop Joseph Strickland (center) conducts Mass at Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Malakoff prior to the groundbreaking ceremony Dec. 20.

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Monitor Photo/Ronald Wheeler
Tyler Diocese Bishop Joseph Strickland digs the first scoop of dirt at the Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Malakoff Dec. 20.

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By Robyn Wheeler
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church held a groundbreaking on a new church building Sunday, Dec. 20.
Parishioners from Athens and Gun Barrel City were invited to attend the ceremony presided over by Mary Queen of Heaven Pastor Fr. McLaughlin and Tyler Diocese Bishop Joseph Strickland.
Mary Queen of Heaven parishioners have been meeting in a module building since April 2013 when the church building was destroyed after a car crashed into the front of the church and caught fire.
Construction is scheduled to begin soon and church members hope to be in the new building by September 2016.
Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church is located at 2269 CR 1703 in Malakoff. They can be reached at (903) 489-2366 or www.mqhmalakoff.org.

Dec

22

Posted by : admin | On : December 22, 2015

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the news photo/pearl cantrell
Parents Anthony and Shakevia Chilton bring their son, Aumodric, 4, for photos with the decorations on the courthouse square in Athens, along with their little neice Kaleigh Pitt, 1.

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the news photo/pearl cantrell
Khopelyn Wallace visits Santa on her third birthday, Dec. 5, 2015. She is the daughter of Brianna and Chase Wallace of Larue.

Dec

22

Posted by : admin | On : December 22, 2015

By Ryan Moulds
The News Staff Writer
WILLS POINT–The Malakoff Lady Tigers competed in the Wills Point Tournament and finished in second place.
The Lady Tigers beat Anna, Wills Point, and Brownsboro before losing to eventual champion Life Oak Cliff.
In the first game against Anna Malakoff played well and eventually walked away with a 44-37 victory. Kamry Hurd had 16 points to lead the Lady Tigers.
The second game pitted Malakoff against the host of the tournament, Wills Point. The Lady Tigers didn’t let the road environment affect them and they won in dominating fashion, 49-23.
Kiana Reed led the Lady Tigers with 14 points. Hurd scored 10 in a balanced scoring attack from Malakoff.
The Lady Tigers took on the Lady Bears of Brownsboro in game three. It was an exciting matchup that went all the way down to the final buzzer.
When it was all said and done Malakoff won 48-45 and punched their ticket to the championship game. Reed scored 18 points for the Lady Tigers and Hurd had 15.
In the championship game Malakoff had a difficult time keeping up with Life Oak Cliff, who eventually won the game 60-40. Despite the loss Reed had a huge game for the Lady Tigers with 20 points.
For their efforts, both Reed and KeiKei Walker were named to the All Tournament Team.
After the tournament Malakoff’s record stood at 10-2. The Lady Tigers started district play on Dec. 15 when they took on Frankston.

Dec

22

Posted by : admin | On : December 22, 2015

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Jaxon Pagitt supports the Hornets as they prepare to take on Rusk at home Sept 14.

LittelestHornet

Dec

09

Posted by : admin | On : December 9, 2015

THE NEWS PHOTO/RUSSELL SLATON  Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee (pictured), along with Assistant DA Justin Weiner, briefed the Henderson County Bar Association Dec. 4 about federal and state law changes, including open carry, marijuana, police body cameras, “revenge porn” and “doxing,” as well as cellphone seizures.

THE NEWS PHOTO/RUSSELL SLATON
Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee (pictured), along with Assistant DA Justin Weiner, briefed the Henderson County Bar Association Dec. 4 about federal and state law changes, including open carry, marijuana, police body cameras, “revenge porn” and “doxing,” as well as cellphone seizures.

Rules for use of medicinal marijuana, body cameras, Internet publishing reviewed

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
ATHENS–Henderson County Bar Association members were briefed about federal and state law changes at Athens Country Club Dec. 4. Some changes are already in effect, with others, soon to follow.
The legislative and legal overview was presented by Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee along with Assistant District Attorney and felony prosecutor Justin Weiner.
The DA and his assistant also brought Henderson County peace officers up-to-date during a four-hour seminar late last summer at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens.
McKee said concealed carry permits for handguns automatically convert to allow open carry Jan. 1, 2016. The majority of American states already allow open carry, Weiner said.
But along with the law are rules that need to be followed: besides a permit, the handgun must be carried in a belt or shoulder holster in plain view. Openly carrying handguns will be allowed in all places where concealed carry is currently condoned. A handgun can be exposed in a vehicle as long as it’s holstered, Weiner added.
“It will be interesting to see how this all (open carry) fleshes out,” Weiner said.
Carrying weapons at dormitories, classrooms and campus buildings at public colleges is allowed by the State of Texas as of Sept. 1, 2016, Weiner said.
Colleges are in the process of establishing rules about where exactly open carry is allowed, as well as where guns can be stored. “A lot of universities are scrambling to see what they can do,” Weiner said.
Another legal issue is synthetic marijuana. The prohibition is now based on specific chemicals instead of the previous legal standard of proving “mimics the pharmacological effect of real marijuana.” Vaping now has the same rules as cigarette sales which includes banning e-cigarette use in public places.
Legally prescribed medicinal marijuana is now legal in Texas for the first time, Weiner said, and has been since June 1. It’s available only for epilepsy patients, he said, and the prescription must come from two licensed doctors and be filled at a state-approved pharmacy.
The medicinal marijuana derivative must contain low amounts of THC, which is the psychoactive element of marijuana.
Another issue addressed by state legislators is body cameras for police officers. A Senate bill provides law enforcement $10 million in grant money to obtain the equipment, with each law-enforcement agency matching 25 percent of the grant. The provision kicks in Jan. 1.
McKee said Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt has already applied for grant money from the governor’s office. District Attorney McKee advised law enforcement to adopt body camera policies before allowing use.
So-called “revenge porn” became a criminal offense and can include civil penalties as of Sept. 1 of this year. The offense deals with using explicit images or videos online without consent. That is now a Class A misdemeanor, one step below a felony.
“Doxing,” or the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information gleaned from private (as opposed to public) records without consent, also is a state no-no, as of Sept. 1.
McKee and Weiner also discussed a United States Supreme Court decision. Riley v. California, decided in summer 2014, ruled that cellphone searches were just as invasive as home searches and should be held to similar legal standards. Consent to search along with exigent circumstances, along with felony warrants, are exceptions to the rule. “Get a cellphone, get a warrant,” McKee said.

Dec

09

Posted by : admin | On : December 9, 2015

santa 2014

Mistletoe Market and museum tours also

Special to The News
MALAKOFF-The Malakoff Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Christmas Parade, Mistletoe Market and photos with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus on Saturday, Dec. 12. Parade line-up begins at 8:30 a.m. on the parking lot side of the First Baptist Church. Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. and goes down Mitcham Street to College, to Jackson, turns left on SH 198, right on SH 31 to Melton and then turns left to return to church parking lot.
Awards will be given for Most Beautiful (commercial and non-commercial), Excellence in use of Parade theme, Best Overall winner. Smaller prizes will be awarded for Best Decorated Bicycle, Best Decorated Vehicle (including four-wheelers) and Best Decorated Boat. Floats should not include Santa. Winners are asked to return to the church parking lot and go to the southeast corner, where trophies will be handed out and pictures taken.
The Mistletoe Market is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with more than 30 vendors displaying gifts, decorations and creative Christmas ideas at the Malakoff Community Center located at 504 N. Terry St.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their favorite elves will be available for photos from noon-2 p.m. at the Malakoff Historical Society located at 207 E. Main St. Bring your camera. Museum tours will be available from 1-3 p.m. Pat Isaacson has been busy decorating the museum in vintage Christmas décor.
For more information, give her a call at (903) 489-1346 or email patisaacson5@aol. com.