Aug

10

Posted by : admin | On : August 10, 2017

Head Football coach and Athletic Director Paul Essary
By Tom Chapman
The News Correspondent
ATHENS–Citizens, bond backers and boosters gathered Aug. 2 to celebrate the opening of the newly constructed field house at Athens High School. This journey began in 2015 when voters approved a 59.9 million bond for new construction at Athens high school. At the time Athens superintendent Blake Stiles called the historic bond passage a “great day for the students and the children of Athens.” “This is a vote of confidence for the leadership of the district.”
Head Football coach and Athletic Director Paul Essary led the tour which included new stadium, weight room, coaches’ offices and other additions amounting to 30,000 square feet of new space.
Coach Essary stated, “It’s always about the kids. We view this new facility as another tool to bring young people into becoming involved in athletics and the community at large. We are excited to be part of the team which includes the school board, principals, administrators and instructors that help point these kids into success and being solid citizens in the community.”
Coach Essary went on to say that he’s already seen differences. “We haven’t started formal practices at this point, but I’ve got kids coming in wanting to work out and use the facilities. When the kids have something nice it instills pride and motivation. We know that Kids becoming involved in athletics can change lives, get kids off the street and into a positive peer group.”
Coach Essary is the second longest tenured head in Hornets history having been with the program for nine years, leading the hornets to four district titles during that time. “Winning games is important but learning life lessons are important too. When we model and practice our core principles: Pride, character, class, commitment and team- success comes.”
Athens Hornet football begins with an away scrimmage against Royce City on Aug. 18 at 7pm.

Aug

10

Posted by : admin | On : August 10, 2017

The News Staff Reports
HENDERSON COUNTY–This weekend’s tax-free back-to-school shopping frenzy focuses parents’ minds on the beginning of a brand-new school year. The first day of school comes earlier for some than others.
Athens High School (AHS) seniors will begin school Monday, Aug. 14 and will be the only students in attendance until the other classes arrive Aug. 16. Buses will run their normal routes beginning Aug. 14 and dress code applies.
AHS Fish Camp will be held from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11 at the high school.
Students will begin in the gym and attend sessions to learn all about AHS. Parents are welcome but not required and schedules will be given at the end of the camp. Online registration is required.
Athens Elementary schools will hold Meet the Teacher night Aug. 14 for all three campuses, South Athens Elementary, Central Athens Elementary and Bel Air Elementary. A come-and-go event from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. will allow flexibility for parents and students to meet teachers and visit the campus.
Athens Middle School students will have online access to their schedules on Aug. 12.
Malakoff ISD begins classes Aug. 28. Malakoff High School will hold Fish Camp from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24 for incoming freshmen who will receive their schedules at the end of the camp.
Malakoff High School seniors may pick up their schedule from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 21, juniors from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22 and sophomores from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug 23. Parents are requested to accompany their students when picking up schedules.
Meet the Teacher for Malakoff Elementary School is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24. Students may bring their school supplies. Tool Elementary School sets Meet the Teacher for Thursday, Aug. 24, at 5:30 p.m.
Other local school beginnings and important dates follow
Trinidad ISD
Meet the Teacher is set for Thursday, Aug. 17 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Students pre-k through fifth grade may bring their school supplies with them.
Grades sixth-12th may pick up their class schedules and complete enrollment forms. High school students who plan to drive to and from school should bring proof of insurance and copy of their driver’s license with them.
Athens Christian Preparatory Academy
Classes begin Aug 16. Junior High orientation scheduled for Aug. 15 at 5:30 p.m. Orientation for freshmen and sophomores is scheduled for Aug. 17 at 5:30 p.m., for Juniors Aug. 21 at 5:30 p.m. and for seniors Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m.
Cross Roads ISD
Classes begin Aug. 24 with Meet the Teacher scheduled for Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m. for Elementary and Junior High students.

Aug

03

Posted by : admin | On : August 3, 2017

Driver, TrinityThe News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse today said an early morning traffic violation led to a Deputy to arrest a man with methamphetamines and a pipe used to smoke the contraband.
Trinity Driver, 28, of Arp was stopped around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday traveling north on FM 315 south of Chandler.
Deputy William Thornton was patrolling the area when he noticed Driver commit a traffic violation. He stopped the suspect, removed him from the vehicle and checked him for weapons.
The Deputy then discovered a glass pipe commonly used to inhale illegal narcotics and a plastic baggie hidden in a cigarette pack containing a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine.
“This is another case where our team is always on the lookout for the unusual,” Hillhouse. “Driving around this County in the dark of night carrying illegal drugs is a sure way to find yourself waking up in our jail.”
Driver was charged with a state jail felony for possession under a gram.
He faces up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine. He is being held with a $8,500 bond.

Aug

03

Posted by : admin | On : August 3, 2017

The News Staff Reports
CROSSROADS–Cross Roads has announced practices for cross country, volleyball and football.
The cross-country teams started workouts Aug. 1 at the baseball field. The first cross country meet will be Sept. 2 at Malakoff.
The volleyball team started workouts Aug. 1 and ended on Aug. 3.
The football team will start Monday, Aug. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the field house.
All incoming seventh, ninth and 11th graders need a new physical on file before beginning practice.
Athletes need to be prepared and ready to work, the 2017 fall sports season is right around the corner.

Aug

03

Posted by : admin | On : August 3, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Coming off a fourth straight conference championship, Trinity Valley coach Brad Smiley knows a target is on the backs of his Cardinals.
Trinity Valley is the preseason favorite to win the Southwest Junior College Football Conference by the coaches and media members at Friday’s conference media day.
In the media poll, the Cardinals received nine of 12 first-place votes, plus three more votes no less than fourth place.
The media poll has Tyler in second, followed by Kilgore, Navarro, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Blinn, New Mexico Military and Cisco.
In the coaches’ poll, TVCC had six of the eight first-place votes.
The Cardinals were followed by Kilgore, Navarro, Tyler, NEO, Blinn, New Mexico Military and Cisco.
“There are no weak links in our league,” Smiley said. “The teams in this conference are extremely competitive and powerful.”
If the Cardinals are to win the conference title for a fifth straight season, it would be the first time in school and league history.
During the coach’s comments, the recurring theme among all teams was how young their teams would be when camp opens Aug. 5.
Even with 25 lettermen returning from last year’s 11-1 team, Smiley has only four offensive and five defensive starters returning.
“At this level, we have to reload every year — always a fun challenge,” Smiley said in the media guide.
If one position is strong for the Cardinals, Smiley said the linebacking core, which is coached by former Cardinal Cortney Finney is that position.
They are led by leading tackler Blake Stephenson, who recorded 107 tackles, nine sacks, two forced fumbles and three pass breakups last year.
Other players to watch are Brandon Floyd, Jaquay Pough, Mike Carrillo, Sean Milligan, Trey Baldwin and Jack Lechman.
“Easily the most experienced, deepest position on the team,” Smiley said. “We expect a lot out of this group.”
At quarterback, the battle heading into camp is between returner Shelton Eppler and UT-San Antonio transfer Jaylen Henderson.
“Though Shelton was not a starter, he played in all 12 games last year and was very productive,” Smiley said. “We also added an exciting transfer from UTSA and signed two very talented freshmen. We are excited to see this group compete.”
Smiley said Eppler looked good during spring drills.

Aug

03

Posted by : admin | On : August 3, 2017

By D.A. Mark Hall
Special to The News ATHENS–Beginning Aug. 9, a three-day hearing in the 392nd District Court has been scheduled in the Randall Mays case to determine his competency to be executed. Mays has resided on Death Row since 2008 for killing Henderson County Sheriff ’s deputies Tony Ogburn and Paul Ha-belt at Mays Henderson County home. Mays has exhausted all of his State and Federal appeals, with his last execution date previously set in 2015. Days prior to imposition of his sentence, his new attorneys from the Texas Office of Capital and Forensic Writs,filed a motion suggesting that he was legally incompetent to be executed under Texas law. After an initial determination by then judge Carter Tarrance that Mays was competent, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the decision and ordered that experts be appointed to evaluate Mays for competency to be executed which requires that the defendant understand why he is being executed, and that it is imminent. Tarrance appointed three separate experts to evaluate him, which took place over the last year and a half.
The August hearing will provide visiting judge Joe Clayton with the information needed to make a ruling upon the issue of competency, and ultimately deter-mine if the death sentence received by Mays will be carried out.
“This has been a long running battle to fulfill the sentence imposed by a jury in 2008 that has spanned the administration of three different District Attorneys,” Hall said. “I sincerely hope that we can bring this painful chapter to a close, and allow the families of the slain officers the opportunity to know that justice has been carried out.”
The week following the Mays hearing, Hall and Rumar will be back in court selecting a jury in the case of Clyde Jason Tennison, who is alleged by indictment to have killed his girlfriend Deborah Allen, in July 2014 in rural Henderson County near Payne Springs. The case is expected to last at least a week in the 3rd Dis-trict Court before Judge Mark Calhoon.

Jul

27

Posted by : admin | On : July 27, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of Trinity Valley will be hosting their first ever Hearts on Horseback charity trail ride at Trace Trails in Athens on Saturday, Oct. 7.
The event will have a morning of exciting and challenging trail rides. A barbecue lunch will also be provided for the riders and their families including a silent auction, music and much more.
The charity trail ride will support a very serious cause by providing volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in foster care.
CASA volunteers have been and continue to be the only consistent presence a child experiences while in the foster care system. Many things change over time, but CASA volunteers stand by the children until their cases are closed. Volunteer advocates get to know the children, learn about their situations and regarding the children’s best interests, make recommendations to the courts.
Volunteers can come out and help abused and neglected children in Henderson, Anderson and Cherokee counties.
They can also review the sponsorship opportunities that they can offer and help the CASA. To ensure maximum exposure, the CASA is asking that the Hearts on Horseback partners send their logos and media information by Tuesday, Aug. 15.
For more information, you can visit their website at www.casaoftv.org or call them at (903) 675-7070.

Jul

27

Posted by : admin | On : July 27, 2017

Special to The News
ATHENS–Athens Independent School District athletic director Paul Essary has announced the head coaching changes for the 2017-18 school year.
The Hornets and Lady Hornets will welcome in new head coaches in volleyball, girls’ basketball, boys’ soccer, softball and golf.
Those coaches are Joanna Johnson in volleyball, Jeff Teague in girls’ basketball, Brent Achorn in softball, Brendan Rich in boys’ soccer and Ricky Brooks in golf.
Brooks takes over the golf program from Alec Wofford, who was the coach last year.
In the football program, Essary also announced changes with the assistant coaches.
“On the high school football staff, we have had a little bit of a turnover this year,” Essary said. “We have promoted Jarrett Buchholtz up to the varsity. We have moved up Desmond Bowie to varsity football, Devon Bowie to varsity and Allan Carroll to varsity football. We have a guy named Franklin Scott, who is coming in from Garland ISD, that will be freshman and varsity football. Coach (Cody) Hines will still run the middle school program and be the middle school coordinator.”
Johnson takes over the volleyball program from Kayla Benton, who is now an assistant coach with basketball and softball.
She comes to Athens from Holland High School, where she has ties to the Henderson County area.
“She is an Athens alumnus and she came to us from Holland ISD and she has also coached at Mabank ISD,” Essary said. “She has great credentials and I am excited to have her in the coaching family. She is a go-getter and will be an excellent addition to our staff.”
Johnson will make her Athens head coaching debut Aug. 8 in a dual match against Eustace and Mildred at E.L. Kirk Gymnasium in Eustace.
Teague makes the move to Athens from West Rusk after replacing Emily Martinez, who is now the girls’ basketball and volleyball coach at Cross Roads ISD.
“He grew up at least part of his youth in Athens,” Essary said. “I am excited about having him and the things he will bring to our girls’ basketball program.”
Achorn takes over the softball program following the departure of Michelle Forsman, who is now the head softball coach at Scurry-Rosser High School.
“He will have the girls in softball ready to go and we are excited to have coach Achorn over here,” Essary said.
Achorn was the softball coach at Mabank High School last year.
“He has been a head softball coach at Class 5A Keller Fossil Ridge,” Essary said. “He has also coached at Abilene High, which is a Class 6A school. I talked with a gentleman that I knew back when he was at Abilene High that I respect. He bragged on coach Achorn and said he did a great job.”
The boys’ soccer program is getting a first-year head coach in Rich, following the departure of Jonathan Ryal during the spring.
“He is coming from a very successful soccer program in high school,” Essary said. “He played for one of the best soccer coaches from Nacogdoches who just retired. He (Rich) went to Stephen F. Austin University and just graduated. He loves the game and is a very intelligent young man. He has a lot of fire in him and when I was checking references, they said he can do the job.”

Jul

27

Posted by : admin | On : July 27, 2017

Rodriguez

Athens Police Chief Buddy Hill (from left) presents Life Saving Awards to Patrolman Jonathan Hutchison and Corporal Roger Keith for their bravery and outstanding sevice for rescuing a trapped resident from a multi-story structure fire June 28.

Athens Police Chief Buddy Hill (from left) presents Life Saving Awards to Patrolman Jonathan Hutchison and Corporal Roger Keith for their bravery and outstanding sevice for rescuing a trapped resident from a multi-story structure fire June 28.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–The Athens City Council accepted the resignation of City Manager Philip Rodriguez at the July 25 meeting.
Rodriguez, who has been city manager for about two years, leaves to take a city manager position in Brighton, Colo., his home state. During his tenure in Athens nearly $13 million of capital improvements have begun, including the Cain Center revamp and major work to the water system.
In his resignation letter, Rodriguez detailed accomplishments made and said, “We did all of this and more while establishing a truly impressive city staff that is one of the most capable group of professionals and public servants I have ever worked with.”
Although his resignation is effective Sept. 10, it was announced at the city council meeting that his responsibility for the City of Athens would end on Aug. 8. Rodriguez thanked council members and the city for the opportunity and said a special thanks in his letter to former mayor Jerry Don Vaught for his “consistent support and mentorship.”
Athens Chamber of Commerce President had high praise for Rodriguez. “In the time that I’ve been a part of the Athens community, first with Cain Center and now the chamber, Philip has been very supportive. He is someone I’ve enjoyed working with and I’m very thankful for his service to the Athens community and his part in helping to move things to a place where good things are happening all around.”
Councilman Ed McCain said, “Philip and his family are going home to Colorado. I am very happy for him and he has done a really great job. But I am positive and forward looking. This is a great opportunity for Athens to get even better.”
McCain told The News that Athens has a great city staff and the city is primed for a great next 10 years with projects that are well underway and will be completed in a fiscally responsible manner. He also stated the city has a great possibility for an interim city manager.
Two Athens police officers were presented Life Saving Awards for rescuing a trapped resident during an early-morning structure fire in a multi-story building June 28. Patrolman Jonathan Hutchison and Corporal Roger Keith were the first to arrive on the scene and once they ascertained that there was indeed a trapped resident, they went into action to rescue her. Chief Buddy Hill said, “Without regard to their own personal safety, they pushed past the flames, entered the burning structure, located the resident and removed her.” Both officers and the resident were treated for smoke inhalation but no lasting damage.
Athens Fire Chief John McQueary praised the officers for their extreme bravery in rescuing the woman. “Those flames put out 1,200 degrees of heat and without protective gear or specialized training, they went in. All they saw was a life that needed to be saved.”
When a citizen’s request for de-annexation of his property came before the council, much discussion ensued. This was not the first time this had been brought before the council and was denied in November, 2016. The issue concerns a 31-acre tract of land (Tract 4A Abstract 135 D Cherry Sur) which the property owner was not aware was within city limits as a Lake Athens property when he purchased it.
Property owner Tom Potthoff wishes to develop the land for four homes. The city provides no services to the acreage, some 40 miles outside the city. After presentations by Potthoff and Planning and Development, council members voiced differing opinions and the item was tabled.
In other business, council members:
• heard a resolution presented by Councilwoman Toni Clay honoring Richard “Dick” Dwelle for 63 years of outstanding service to the people of Athens. Dwelle was instrumental in founding the Henderson County United Way, Keep Athens Beautiful, the Athens Industrial Foundation, the Public Library Fund and the Civic Center and Park Fund, serving on several of their boards. Dwelle passed away in June.
• agreed to allow heavy vehicles in commercial property by special-use permit so a business selling new and used trucks may operate on US 175.

Jul

27

Posted by : admin | On : July 27, 2017

Log Cabin City Secretary Belynda Figueriedo (right) admiinisters oath of office to new City Councilperson Rodney Allen. Allen replaces Jennifer Williams who resigned.

Log Cabin City Secretary Belynda Figueriedo (right) admiinisters oath of office to new City Councilperson Rodney Allen. Allen replaces Jennifer Williams who resigned.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
LOG CABIN–Log Cabin City Council accepted the resignation of council member Jennifer Williams and appointed Rodney Allen to take her place at the regular meeting on July 20 at the Log Cabin City Municipal Building.
The council approved some important changes to the payment of water bills and court costs which take effect Sept. 1. Water bill payments will be accepted between the hours of 8 a.m. to noon Monday
through Thursday. The policy was also amended to no longer accept cash for payment of water or court bills. Payment may be made by check, money order or credit/debit card.
Councilperson Judy Bearden told the assembly “This will make it more efficient and save time for the office personnel.” When asked what would happen if someone brought in a payment after hours, she answered, “They can put it in the drop box and it will not affect the bill being late.” The group was told there would be no change in the service fee for using a credit card.
The change will be communicated to residents via signs on the Municipal Building, newsletter and a notice on the water bill.
The council also accepted a bid for repair of the water system in the amount of $19,890 from Cates Welding for repair of the 30,000-gallon ground storage tank with the stipulation that the bid expected next week is not lower. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) informed the city of the violation during a routine inspection and are allowing the city time to make the repair before charging for the violation. The council did not want to wait another month to take action since at this point, they were not being charged a penalty for non-compliance. The bid was the lower of two they had received.
In other business, council members:
• approved hiring Amberlea Commino as a part-time park attendant
• adopted the investment policy for small cities as their official investment policy. City Secretary Belynda Figueriedo informed the council that by state law, they must have an investment policy in place even if they don’t have money to invest.
• renewed the church lease for the current rate of $400 per month at a one-year term.