Dec

27

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : December 27, 2013

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By Russell Slaton
The News correspondent

MALAKOFF–Christmas was in the air at Malakoff High School Dec. 20 as children from Malakoff Elementary’s Head Start program received gifts provided by students.
The mood was festive, with almost every room full of food, and students gathering around youngsters tearing into their gifts. Each third-period class adopted a child, with the elementary school counselor sending home a flyer asking Head Start parents to give details about their child’s shoe, pant shirt or dress size. The school also asked the parents to put an item on the list their child would like to receive. Those gifts included such items as bicycles and motor-powered mini-cars, upon which Head Start students tore up and down the halls, beaming with glee.
“Our students were very excited about this, along with our teachers,” said Malakoff High School principal Martin Brumit. “I believe this was a great way for MHS students to directly influence our community positivly.”

Dec

27

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : December 27, 2013

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff
EUSTACE–This year was the biggest year yet in distributing toys for the Chapman House in the three years it has been doing it.
More than 400 children received gifts, sweets and treats at the men’s residential treatment center in Eustace Dec. 14 with the help of community volunteers and toy donations.
“This has been a good fit for the residents of the Chapman House because it gives the men a chance to give back to the community in a tangible way at a time of year when many of them are not able to be with their families,” founder Kevin Chapman told The News. “The activities bless the residents in very real, deep ways.”
The official local Toys For Tots organization was still filling requests for children’s Christmas wishes right up until Dec. 21.
Some female applicants (fearing reprisals) specifically asked that their mates not find out they were getting toys for free, house director Donna Bega said.
One 12-year-old girl said this was her first time ever meeting Santa, she added.
The U.S. Marines Toys for Tots, with the red train logo, has its East Texas headquarters in Tyler, and coordinator Larry Atkins was on hand to help with the distribution.
Tool Police Department Sergeant Steven Lampert also helped and as a result the department received a few comfort toys for officers to give away when dealing with families.

Dec

16

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : December 16, 2013

San Luis customersWEB

By Tracy Martin
The News
Corespondent
ATHENS-Just before noon on Monday, the lunch crowd started pouring into El San Luis. The chips and familiar salsa were served, and owner Antonio Bolanos walked from table to table thanking his regulars for coming back.
On Nov 21, a fire swept through the restaurant’s Pinkerton St. location destroying everything in the building.
The fire started in the kitchen but quickly spread throughout the structure, leaving nothing to be salvaged.
Undaunted, Bolanos located a building, which had previously housed a restaurant and got to work. In two weeks, he was able to re-open, saying he just knew people would come to the new location. “See they’re here and I’m so thankful,” Bolanos told The News.
The new location on Murchison Street is situated right across the street from the county jail. Though the new location already had some of the restaurant supplies in place, Boanos notes it was still a challenge to open for business so quickly. “Oh yes, it was morning til night, and we all worked very hard,” he said.
Customer Norma Liliana Meeks was a regular at the old location and was happy to hear the restaurant was already re-opened. “We just love the food, it’s authentic, the menu is the same and it’s great that Antonio could come back so fast from the fire,” she said.

Dec

16

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : December 16, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF—Malakoff City Council gave the green light to honor with a plaque a longtime computer advocate at the Red Waller Community Library during its monthly meeting Monday, Dec. 9.
Dr. Ann Fowler White was “very dedicated in supporting the library of the city of Malakoff” and foresaw the need for computers, said Edward DeLoach, who made the request on behalf of the Friends of the Library, of which he is secretary. DeLoach said White was instrumental in obtaining computers and software for the library, and maintained grants that ensured upkeep. White, who died in July, was a math teacher who, upon retirement, was head of the Department of Math and Engineering at Southwest College in Stafford, which is part of the Houston Community College System.
The Friends of the Library originally requested naming the library’s computer resource center after White, and also placing a small brass plaque on each computer desk in White’s memory. Council members including Jerrilyn Tarver believed one larger plaque would suffice so as to leave room for other library contributors from the past. Librarian Charlotte Regester also recommended a single plaque, Tarver added. Other people honored at the library include namesake Red Waller with a mounted picture, according to City Administrator Ann Barker, and the original library board is noted with a plaque outside the library entrance, DeLoach added.
“I don’t think this particular service would be there without the contributions of Ann White,” DeLoach said. Even though DeLoach believed there wasn’t a single spot available to place the plaque, he said he would share the results of the council vote with the Friends of the Library, and will work with the librarian to find a suitable location.
In other action, the council awarded a bid for two trucks for the utility and street departments to Tri-County Ford in Mabank for $47,616. Teague Chevrolet-Buick of Mabank also submitted a bid for $50,552.54.
Also during the meeting, Chief Billy Mitchell released the police department’s November activity report, including:
- Service Calls: 71
- Offense Reports: 42
- Arrests: 20
- Agency Assists: 16
- Citizen Assists: 8
- Accidents: 0
- Citations: 146
- Warnings: 41
- Alarms: 9
- Cases filed in the District Attorney’s Office: 8
- Cases filed in the County Attorney’s Office: 3
- Total Fuel: 617 gallons
- Total Miles: 6,022

Dec

09

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : December 9, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
LONGVIEW–The Malakoff Tigers’ unprecedented run through the high-school football playoffs ended Friday, Nov. 29 in the regional semifinals in Longview with a 34-27 loss to New Boston.
Malakoff finishes the season at 11-2, which includes a district, bi-district and area championship. The 11 wins tie the 1940 Malakoff football team for most-ever victories in a season, and bested 1947’s 10-win season. The 1940 team went 11-0, won its district, and beat Tatum 19-7 to claim a class B bi-district championship. That was as far as Malakoff could advance at that time, as the University Interscholastic League held a single state championship game between larger schools until 1948, when state championships expanded to all school-sizes.
“Do not let this (loss) dictate your season. It was the best season in Malakoff history,” coach Jamie Driskell told his team following the game.
After falling behind 20-7, the Tigers tied the game on a three-yard quarterback keeper by Deric Greenhaw with 4:26 left in the fourth quarter. New Boston pulled away with two quick scores, including a 76-yard touchdown to Jeff Gladney, then linebacker Wes Teague returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown on Malakoff’s next possession to give New Boston a 34-20 lead with 3:27 left in the game. Malakoff responded with a 19-yard Damontes Dowell touchdown run to pull within seven with 52 seconds left, but the ensuing onside kick was recovered by New Boston, which ran out the clock.
New Boston scored on the first Tiger play on offense when Quinn Dedmon picked up a Malakoff fumble and ran 56 yards for a touchdown. Dariuhn Jackson returned a punt 41 yards for a Malakoff touchdown to knot the score at 7 with 53 seconds left in the first quarter. New Boston then struck with a 15-yard slant pass to Gladney to take a 14-7 halftime lead. Gladney finished the game with four catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns, and included a key third-and-long conversion.
New Boston tacked on a third-quarter touchdown on a five-yard pass to Juwaun Johnson, missed the extra point, but extended its lead to 20-7. Malakoff responded with two three-yard touchdown runs, one by Damontes Dowell, the other by Greenhaw which tied the game for the final time.
The Tigers racked up 256 yards rushing, led by Damontes Dowell’s 121 yards on 16 carries, with 88 more from Marcus Dowell. Malakoff held New Boston to only 114 yards on the ground, but gave up 180 yards and three touchdowns through the air.

Dec

09

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : December 9, 2013

Library Polar Express2

By Tracy Martin
The News Correspondent
ATHENS-From a field of six applicants, Rachel Cox was selected as the new head librarian at the Clint W. Murchison Library in Athens. Henderson County Library Advisory Board members chose Cox and county commissioners approved their choice during their regular Dec.3 meeting.
Cox graduated with honors from Eustace High School in 2002, University of Texas-Tyler and received her masters in library information science from the University of North Texas.
Board chairman Terry Warren says it was her breadth of experience at other libraries and sterling recommendations that put Cox at the top of the list. “Rachel worked in California and New Jersey, both libraries told us about the great work she did implementing new programs as an assistant librarian.” Warren said. “Both [libraries] said they’d love to hire her back.”
After the resignation of Lorie Travi six weeks ago, the board started the search for a replacement, assistant librarian Erin Holyfield has been in charge during the interim.
Cox says she’s very excited and plans to bring some of the programs she started at other libraries to Athens, “I want to make the library a cultural center for the county and bring as many people through the doors as possible.”
Some of her plans include providing computer classes to teach basic skills, help with resume’ writing, a teen outreach program to bring more young people into the library and extending the operating hours.
Cox and the board are optimistic that getting the word out that the library is moving in a new user-friendly direction will increase traffic.
Work has been in progress to improve and update the look of the library, including outdoor tables, expanding the children’s section and the addition of eBooks.
The doors in the rear of the building are slated for replacement with handicapped accessible doors and more fundraisers are in the works.
Holyfield is organizing the Saturday free movie showing of “The Polar Express” in the children’s section and plans to stay on as assistant librarian.
Cox only recently moved back to Henderson County from New Jersey and plans to start her new role in the next few weeks.

Nov

15

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : November 15, 2013

Veterans Memorial 11 11 046 WEB

An estimated 1,000 people attend the dedication of the Henderson County Veterans Memorial Nov. 11 at the East Texas Arboretum in Athens.

Nov

15

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : November 15, 2013

KAB sat WEB

By Tracy Martin
The News Correspondent

ATHENS–Old computers, broken televisions, mattresses, yard waste and junk were some of the items Athens residents got to freely dispose of Nov. 9.

Keep Athens Beautiful sponsors the event twice a year to assist residents with disposing their e-Waste and to promote recycling. Most of the broken equipment and electronics will be hauled off and recycled.

KAB director Carol Morton says it’s great to see the community participate.

“It’s an exciting day for us to see Athens come out and get rid of so much stuff. It keeps the city beautiful and keeps it (electronics) out of our local landfills,” she said.

The local fall clean-up day is part of the Texas Recycling Day and Keep America Beautiful initiative. Both events fall in mid-November and have been going on for more than 10 years.

The collections were accepted from 8 a.m. to noon, and hot dogs, snacks and drinks were free to all those making a drop. A second clean-up day will be held in the spring.

Nov

15

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : November 15, 2013

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF—The Malakoff City Council approved nearly $71,000 for emergency roof repairs for the city’s municipal building during its monthly meeting Monday, Nov. 11.
The roof of the 1978 building has needed repair for a while, City Administrator Ann Barker said, and recent rains caused interior flooding in several areas. The Red Waller Community Library housed in the building closed for three days, and Barker estimated about 20 buckets there, catching drips. Library books were damaged, and officials feared computer and electrical damage, but that was not the case, Barker said. Employees arriving in the morning first noticed the problem, she added, and the city administrator’s office also was affected.
King Roofing of Gun Barrel City was the low bid at $70,860. Seventy percent of that comes from the utilities fund, while 30 percent comes from the general fund, the city administrator said.
Also during the meeting, which fell on Veterans Day, the city recognized those who served. Noted were employees police Lt. Floyd Thomas and Clyde Bowman Jr., council member Jerry Savage, municipal Judge Bill Burton, Mayor Pro Tem Tim Trimble, and Buster Carter. Two vets also were in the audience: former Green Beret Clyde Bowman Sr., and Johnny Davis. The city employees were presented with a banner and a $20 gift card from Ole West Steakhouse in Athens.
Additionally, the council agreed to pay insurance on a new tanker truck recently acquired by the Malakoff Volunteer Fire Dept., which was requested by Chief Kirk Kebodeaux and Assistant Chief Bubba Matthews. The VFD bought the $240,000 vehicle with help from a $200,000 grant. The insurance premiums will cost the city $1,300 per year, Barker said.
The council also set a citywide cleanup for Saturday, Nov. 23. It will take place at the city warehouse, which is at 206 N. Terry Street, north of the traffic signal. Approved, too, was paying off 1977 sinking-fund series bonds with money remaining from 1976 bonds of the same type. The city had budgeted to pay off those 1977 bonds, but by making early payments, $79,000 of that now can be used for other purposes.
In other action, Homer Ray Trimble received the city’s votes to serve on the Henderson County Appraisal District board of directors. Mayor Pro Tem Trimble, who is Trimble’s son, abstained from the vote.

Aug

29

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : August 29, 2013

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By Erik Walsh
The News Staff

ATHENS–Athens Hornets Head Coach Paul Essary is working hard to establish a culture of winning.
Now in his fifth year at the helm, Essary brought the Hornets to the playoffs three out of his four seasons.

When he was brought on board as the Athletic Director and Head Coach in 2009, the team made the playoffs two consecutive seasons. It was the first time in 51 years that a Hornet team made the playoffs back-to-back.

“I tell the boys that they are part of starting a tradition of winning at Athens High School,” Essary said. “One or two good years doesn’t start a tradition. It takes longer.”

If this year’s Hornets can make the playoffs, as they except to, a whole new class would achieve success after Essary’s arrival. It’s an important step in his vision.

“The most important part of winning is to get the kids to buy in and believe in themselves,” Essary said. “When it’s really become all about winning, losing is no longer an option. When this gets into a kids head, real results start to show. Winning is bigger than the individual. When the kids realize its important for the team, the family and the community, they finally start to believe in what they can do.”

Coaching well takes a high level of tenacity. Essary explains the difference between successful coaching and mediocre coaching.
“It’s hard to be a good coach. It’s easy to let the students slide on little things and not give their full effort. But how does that profit them? How does that profit the team? How would that reflect on me? It’s easy to not constantly demand they give their best effort and constantly reinforce it. The same with a coaching staff. It’s easy not to demand their best. But when you do, it forms a culture of winning.”

According to Essary, a culture of winning will field well-prepared teams that come ready to play at their highest level each week. They may not always win the game, but it won’t ever be because they didn’t give 110 percent.
“I tell kids when they give all they have they are getting close to what it takes to win. Once they give everything, they need to give just a little bit more to get there.”

That little bit more can be the difference between a win and a loss. Essary says that when the whole team gives all they have, plus more you will no longer beat yourself. This forces a good team to play its best to win.

“We do not accept losing here,” Essary said. “Losing means we caused the loss. Getting beat, however is a different story. If we are well prepared, played our best, but the other team is just better, we can accept this kind of loss.”
“We want to be a team that does not lose, that forces other teams to beat us.”

Essary knows that some days students, and even coaches, don’t want to work hard. But it’s those days when it is more important to push through to success.

“I tell them there will be days when they have a family and they may not feel like getting up to go to work. Who’s going to feed their family then? They will need to get up and do it anyway. I teach the boys that lesson here and now.”