Feb

09

Posted by : admin | On : February 9, 2017

Athens Chamber of Commerce President Tara Rigby (right), and Chamber Office Manager Kristina Jacobson make a dynamic team as they plan to lead the chamber into the future.

Athens Chamber of Commerce President Tara Rigby (right), and Chamber Office Manager Kristina Jacobson make a dynamic team as they plan to lead the chamber into the future.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Athens Chamber of Commerce President Tara Rigby has a passion for connecting people and building community.
“We were created to live in community and I want people to know that I am here for them to build on our strenghths and partner together as different entities, young and old, to mend fences, build bridges and improve our commmunity,” said Rigby. And that is reflected in the mission statement “Serving to build a better community.”
Rigby was born and raised along the central coast of California, graduated from Santa Cruz High School, received her A.S. degree in Accountancy in Aptos and her B.S. degree in Business Administration from California State University in Fresno. During that time, she also studied abroad in London.
She moved to the Nashville, Tenn. area as part of a church planting team where she met and married her husband Lance, an accomplished musician and artist who specializes in wood carving. When their eldest daughter was nine months old, the couple relocated to Lacey, Wash. where they lived for 2 years and from there to Shelton, Wash. on the Olympic Peninsula side of the Puget Sound where they lived for 10 years.
Lance had family in Eustace and Tara in other areas of Texas and the couple visited the East Texas area frequently before moving in June, 2015. Rigby said “We had intentions of moving for some time, but things never seemed to line up right. In 2015, things came together.”
While in Shelton, one of Rigby’s major accomplishments was to found the Pioneer Community Food Bank. She was able to bring together resources and like-minded people to establish the food bank, which still exists to this day.
Her most recent position was as Operations Manager for the Cain Center until it was taken over by the city and closed for major renovations. In that position, she worked with a great staff of varied talents, she said, and they did great things as many community events were held there.
As President of the Chamber, Rigby sees herself as a member of a solid organization with a board of directors, 20 Ambassadors and many dedicated members. Kristina Jacobson serves as the Office Manager for the Chamber and together they make a dynamic team.
Rigby is impressed by the history and culture of the East Texas area and she said, “Athens has such a rich history and such great people. I love to get out there and meet our chamber members and learn about them and their businesses. There are so many citizens dedicated to improving the community and helping others. It’s really a special place and people are so welcoming and friendly.”
Membership in the chamber is up over 315 and she hopes to get to know them all, a few at a time as she visits businesses. She sees the Chamber as a resource, to partner with the city, county, college, schools, EDC and local business to strengthen the community and put on events that benefit the community. Some of the popular events include the “Taste of Athens’ which will be held Feb. 25, the “Go Texan” Rodeo held at the fairground, the farm and ranch tour and the Ladies Night Out in November.
She has some new ideas such as yard signs that can be put out to honor the monthly large and small business of the month and recognition for local teachers.
There is a lot to do but with her talent for bringing people together and her genuine love for people, the road ahead looks bright. As she says, her door is always open to the members of the community and she hopes to serve.

Feb

02

Posted by : admin | On : February 2, 2017

Keri Wilmeth is the newest member of the Athens Planning and Zoning Commission.

Keri Wilmeth is the newest member of the Athens Planning and Zoning Commission.


By Rachel Williams
The News Correspondent
ATHENS–The Athens City Council named an architectural/engineering firm to renovate the Cain Civic Aquatic Center Jan. 23. PGAL Architects, headquartered in Houston with offices in Dallas and Austin and founded in Texas in 1946, delivers international expertise with 11 regional offices and a staff of more than 200 architects, engineers, planners, and designers. The firm was named to the project after a qualifications-based assessment. The council members unanimously agreed PGAL Architects will provide the full complement of specialists and consultants to bring these facilities up-to-date. City Manager Philip Rodriguez is also authorized to execute an agreement, pending city attorney review.
The council also ordered an election for May 6 for Place 1, now held by Monte Montgomery and Mayor, held by Jerry Don Vaught. The city will share the costs of the election with Athens ISD by mutual agreement with Henderson County providing election services, and conducting Election Day voting.
Council members also held a public hearing on amendments proposed for mobile food vendors, subject to development standards and applicable zoning regulations, followed by a first reading of an ordinance pertaining to mobile food vendors. The city’s development services staff reviewed ordinances being used in other cities, including rules about restrooms, trash receptacles, proximity to brick-and-mortar restaurants and other items. Concerns about the disposal of grease and water was voiced. The item is expected to be listed for a second reading at a future council meeting. The next one is set for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13.
The council also considered a first reading of an ordinance which would provide entry level police officers a hiring incentive. The ordinance proposes offering new officers a $1,500 signing bonus on the first day of work and a second $1,500 payment before the end of the first year of service.
In other business, council members:
• appointed Keri Wilmeth to the Planning and Zoning Board.
• adopted a resolution outlining a legislative agenda. In general, the collection of statements support policies that protect “home rule” and local control, encourage the state to support its mandates with resources and promotes effective local governmental processes, city staffer Ryan Adams explained. The resolution also directs the city manager or his designee to act or represent the agenda when corresponding with elected officials in Austin.
The Texas 2017 regular legislative session began on Jan. 10 and will continue through May 29. About 6,000 bills are expected to be proposed during the 140 days the state representatives meet every two years. The legislative agenda will help lawmakers understand the Athens perspective and enable them to act on their constituents’ behalf. Representatives include Lance Gooden in the House and Robert Nichols in the Senate.
• Approved the purchase by the Athens Fire Department of a new lightweight model brush truck running slightly over budget at $96,489. Fire Chief John McQueary said the vehicle meets all design specifications.
• Approved a request from the Athens Economic Development Corporation for a letter of support for the City of Athens to be included within the Foreign Trade Zone.
• Authorized a lease agreement with Steven Eddy for T-Hanger No. 1 at Athens Municipal Airport.
• Authorized the city manager to execute a contract with Stantec for street improvements in support of FutureMatrix, Inc, using 2016 Texas Capital Fund.

Feb

02

Posted by : admin | On : February 2, 2017

Special to The News
ATHENS–Trinity Valley Community College announced Friday it will forfeit its upcoming women’s basketball games against Blinn College and Jacksonville College.
The forfeits are a result of all Lady Cardinal players having been ejected in a game Wednesday night at Kilgore College.
Leading 43-28 with 6:25 left in the third quarter, an altercation occurred near midcourt, resulting in players from both teams leaving the bench area and entering the court.
Following the ejection of all players from both teams, officials suspended the game.
The NJCAA has declared the game a no contest.
NJCAA rules state in the event of an ejection for a violent action, which leaving the bench during an on-court incident is considered, a player is suspended for two games.
“The events at the game disappoint us,” said TVCC president Dr. Jerry King. “We do not tolerate such behavior at Trinity Valley Community College and we take incidents like this very seriously.
“Our student-athletes must understand this, and that there are consequences for their actions. We have to make this a teachable moment with the understanding this is unacceptable.”
The Lady Cardinals went into the Kilgore game ranked No. 9 nationally with a 17-2 season record and perfect 9-0 conference mark.
The Lady Cardinals were scheduled to play Blinn at home Saturday at 2 p.m. Due to the game’s forfeiture, they will end their Cardinal Gym win streak, which began on Jan. 13, 2010, at 88 games.
Following an open date next Wednesday (Feb. 1), the Lady Cardinals were scheduled to take on Jacksonville on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. in the annual Play 4 Kay game.
That event has now been moved to Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. against Paris.
The Lady Cardinals’ next scheduled game is Wednesday, Feb. 8, at San Jacinto.
Game time is 5:30 p.m. They will carry a 17-4 season record and 9-2 conference record into the game.
A similar ruling will likely affect the Kilgore College Lady Ranger basketball team.
The TVCC Cardinal men’s basketball team will take on Tyler at home on Saturday, Feb. 4 in a 4 p.m. tipoff.

Feb

02

Posted by : admin | On : February 2, 2017

Mikael Johnson
Special to The News
TYLER–A 35-year-old Trinidad, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston Jan. 25 in a press release.
Mikael Johnson pleaded guilty on Oct. 11, 2016, to distributing child pornography and was sentenced to 140 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark on Jan. 24, 2017.
According to information presented in court, on Dec. 14, 2015, Johnson knowingly sent another person child pornography by using the Internet, digital services that he owned and a social media application. Following an investigation, federal agents obtained and executed a search warrant at Johnson’s residence on Jan. 7, 2016. More than 600 images and videos containing child pornography were located and seized during the search. Johnson was arrested on that day and a federal grand jury returned an indictment on Jan. 20, 2016 charging him with federal child exploitation violations.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. [external link]
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller and U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division Trial Attorney Amy Larson.

Feb

02

Posted by : admin | On : February 2, 2017

MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Lady Tigers had 21 points from Jalie Dawson in a 61-28 victory over the Palestine Westwood Lady Panthers Friday.
KeiKei Walker, Charlsey Stearman and Alliyah Coleman had eight points. ShaKera Thompson had six and Taliha Dora had four points.
In the Tigers game, Malakoff won by a score of 60-58. Tyler Russell finished with 24 points to lead the Tigers.
Kadderious Thomas had eight, JaQuaylon Hart had seven, Katoriuhn Dewberry had six, QT Barker had five, Danyal Littleton had four, Jake Lee had three and Breashawn Williams had two.

Jan

26

Posted by : admin | On : January 26, 2017

Malakoff HIgh School Senior Julia Walden is one of 295 students out of 2,222 chosen to participate in the 2017 Asssociation of Texas Small School Bands All-State Band.

Malakoff HIgh School Senior Julia Walden is one of 295 students out of 2,222 chosen to participate in the 2017 Asssociation of Texas Small School Bands All-State Band.


The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–Malakoff High School senior and member of the “Pride of Malakoff High School Band” Julia Walden, has been chosen for the 2017 Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB) All-State Band.
More than 9,000 high school band students across Texas auditioned in 22 regions for a place in their respective all-region bands. The top chairs in each region advanced to one of five area auditions in the state. Of those 2,222 students, only 295 were selected for all-state honors.
Walden plays the flute under the direction of Band Director Chad Bentley and is also a private student of Sue Bugg. This is her first time to perform as a member of the ATSSB All-State Band.
Walden is the daughter of Curtis and Tawna Walden of Malakoff and enjoys playing in the East Texas Youth Orchestra as well as performing as a part of the Malakoff Theater Troupe. Her other interests include Journalism.
Bentley, who in his high school days was one of only five others who made All-State Band from Malakoff, said, “We are extremely proud of Julia and all she has accomplished. She has worked very hard for many years and deserves this honor.”
The ATSSB All-State Bands will meet in rehearsals in San Antonio from Feb. 8-11 and present a concert on Saturday, Feb. 11 in the Lila Cockrell Theatre of the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. Joseph Missal of Oklahoma State University will be the clinician-conductor. The symphonic band will premiere a piece by Johnnie Vinson, commissioned by ATSSB for the event.

Jan

26

Posted by : admin | On : January 26, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The No. 9-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals took care of business Saturday against the No. 21-ranked Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies.
The Lady Cardinals won, 84-56, to improve to 17-2 overall and 9-0 in Region XIV conference play.
The victory extended the Lady Cardinals home win streak to 88 games.
The Lady Cardinals were led by Naomi Davenport with 14 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Leah Mathis had 11 points, 15 rebounds, three blocks, one assist and one steal, Monique Mills had 10 rebounds, and one assist and Shakeela Fowler had 10 points, eight assists, one rebound and one steal.
Christalah Lyons had eight points, Malaysia McHenry, Jordan Alexander and Rainey Kuykendall had six, while Dominique Mills and Dajah Daniel had four.
Trinity Valley returns to action Wednesday at Kilgore. The tip is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals improved to 16-4 overall and 7-2 in Region XIV conference play with a 94-77 victory at Paris Junior College Saturday.
The Cardinals trailed by 12 early in the second half against Paris before outscoring the Dragons 47-18 the rest of the way.
Hyron Edwards led the way with 25 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Jaime Echenique had 21 points, eight rebounds, one assist and two blocks and Amaad Wainright had 16 points, five rebounds, eight assists and one steal.
Josh Stamps had 10 points, four rebounds and three assists and Andres Ibarguen had seven points, eight rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block.
Brandon Holley and Ryan Preston had five points and Lorenzo Phillips had two points.
TVCC returns to action Wednesday at Cardinal Gym against Panola. The tip is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and is webcast by the Cardinal Sports Network.
On Saturday, the Cardinals travel to Corsicana to face Navarro at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast by KCKL 95.9 FM and online at www.kcklfm.com.

Jan

26

Posted by : admin | On : January 26, 2017

Athens girls BB #20

The News Staff Reports
MEXIA–The Athens Lady Hornets lost on the road to its district rival Mexia Lady Cats Jan. 24, 66-34.
The loss drops the Lady Hornets overall record to 5-10 on the season and 0-5 in District 18-4A play. Mexia won the first meeting by a similar score, 62-30.
At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Cats held an 18-6 lead and extended the lead to 36-14 at the half.
The Lady Hornets were at their best in the third quarter, outscoring Mexia, 18-14 to cut the deficit to within 50-32. The fourth quarter wasn’t as good for them and Athens was outscored 16-2 for the 66-34 finale.
The Lady Hornets were led in scoring by Raveon Rodriguez with 10 points. Tamaya Hubbard had eight, Hallie Williams had six, Kelcee Johnson and Asha Chilton had four and Aaliyah Minifee had two.
AHS returns to action Friday as they host Fairfield at 6:15 p.m. at AHS Gymnasium.
Athens is scheduled to wrap up the season Jan. 31 at Palestine and Feb. 3 against Madisonville for Senior Night at AHS gymnasium.

Jan

26

Posted by : admin | On : January 26, 2017

worked up photos mugshots Jason Donnell

worked up photos
mugshots
Jason Donnell


worked up photos mugshots Elisha Jones

worked up photos
mugshots
Elisha Jones


worked up photos mugshots Stephen Roberts

worked up photos
mugshots
Stephen Roberts

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse reports the arrest of three people in a drug ring in Athens Jan. 20.
Investigators have been eyeing the operation for about three months, Hillhouse told The News, before moving in with a search warrant last Friday afternoon.
Stephen Duane Roberts, 44; Elisha Marie Jones, 31; and Jason Denard Donnell, 41; were charged with first degree drug felonies upon finding at their Williams Street residence a large amount of methamphetamine, along with crack cocaine and controlled substances, Xanax and Ecstasy.
“This was a major drug-dealing operation,” Hillhouse said. “Our team got the information and with help of other law enforcement officers were able to shut them down.”
Investigators counted 36 grams of meth, two grams of crack cocaine, 28 grams of Xanax and 15 grams of Ecstasy, Hillhouse reported.
Narcotics investigators Josh Rickman and Brad Beddingfield were the lead in this investigation and swore out affidavits before Henderson County Court at Law Judge Scott Williams to obtain the search warrant for the residence.
Officers helping in the execution of the warrant included Chief Deputy Kevin Halbert, Captain David Jones, investigators Cayce Bosher, Brad Gray, Jeremy Rose, Robert Powers, Jessica Halbert and Jerry Corder, along with Precinct 1 Constable Kay Langford and detectives from the Athens Police Department.
Bail for the trio totaled $650,000 with a history of prior drug arrests. “Getting them in jail and keeping them there until they can be brought to trial sends the right message to other dealers and users in this community,” Hillhouse said.
Roberts and Jones were charged with three counts each of manufacturing and delivery of controlled substances in various amounts, with bonds totaling $275,000 each. Donnell was charged with possession of a controlled substance not less than a gram or more than four grams with bond set at $100,000.
“Henderson County is no place to be making, selling or using illegal drugs.,” Hillhouse stated. “I am committed to clean up this county and so are my fellow officers and judiciary.”
If convicted, Roberts and Jones face up to 99 years in prison but no less than five. Donnell faces felony possession sentence up to 10 years and no less than two, if convicted.
“These folks were selling poison that destroys lives,” Hillhouse said. “With them off the streets, hopefully one child, one mother, one father, one family will not fall into a life of addiction and pain.”

Jan

19

Posted by : admin | On : January 19, 2017

Youth of tomorrow with their candles flames burning in honor of Rev. Dr. King; a man they can other hear aboutand learn about the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement.

Youth of tomorrow with their candles flames burning in honor of Rev. Dr. King; a
man they can other hear aboutand learn about the struggles of the Civil Rights
Movement.


By Delanda S. Johnson
Special to The News
MALAKOFF–This Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday was filled with gospel music and a strong message about Dr. King and the comparison with Jesus Christ.
On Saturday Jan. 14, Johnson Chapel A. M. E. Church’s “Annual Gospel Explosion” honored Rev. Dr. King with local choirs, solos and a powerful mime by Malakoff High School Senior Xavier McCullar.
On Monday, Jan. 16, the Henderson County Black History Committee held its “Annual Candlelight Vigil” to give the congregation time to reflect and honor an American hero.
Associate Pastor Larue Rockhill Baptist Church Rev. Rickey Johnson, used a theme “Love Your Enemies,” from Luke 6:27-31.
Rev. Johnson said that Rev. Dr. King was a man who was always out to help someone else and noted that Rev. Dr. King would turn a negative into a positive. Rev. Dr. King stood up for what he believed in and he paid a high price for his convictions, death.
“Just like Jesus, a man who stood up for what He believed in. A man who would always turn the other cheek. Jesus, a man who taught us to love our enemies; also to know that we must treat others as we would like to be treated. Jesus paid a high price for his convictions, death. He died for all of our sins and if we want to see Jesus, we must love our enemies,” said Rev. Johnson.
“Rev. Dr. King died for civil rights and equality for African Americans. Jesus died for all of mankind. However, both men had the same message, ‘Love thy neighbor as thy love thyself,’ added Rev. Johnson.