Sep

08

Posted by : admin | On : September 8, 2016

STANTON PEARCE

STANTON PEARCE

LAURIE PERRY

LAURIE PERRY

JAMES LITTLEJOHN

JAMES LITTLEJOHN


Special to The News
HENDERSON COUNTY– In his continuing attack on the drug trade, Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse led a team of deputies on a house raid over the Labor Day weekend and arrested three people.
“Even on the holidays, we are on guard,” Hillhouse said. “Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is working hard to get these folks off our streets, just as I promised the people.”
The night of Sept. 3into the early hours of the next morning, Hillhouse and seven of his deputies executed a narcotics search warrant at a Chandler home.
Laurie Perry, 56 of Chandler was arrested for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, a first degree felony carrying a penalty of up to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.
Both Stanton Pearce, 54, of Tyler and James Littlejohn, 30, were arrested at a residence on Lovely Drive in the Forest Grove subdivision in Chandler.
Both Pearce and Littlejohn were charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
Investigator Brad Beddingflield presented Judge Dan Moore of the 173rd District Court with information that led the search warrant for the arrests.
Hillhouse called upon a team of investigators Beddingfield, Josh Rickman, Ray Yockey, Cayce Hampton, Jeromey Rose, Patrol Sargent Daniel Wright and Deputy Linus Multon to conduct the raid.
“These are the men and women who put their lives on the line every day,” Hillhouse said. “It is too easy to forget that real people, real law enforcement officers, risk everything to keep our community safe and drug free.
“We never know what is behind that door when we approach a home on a raid,” he said. “That is why these deputies deserve our thanks.”

Sep

08

Posted by : admin | On : September 8, 2016

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The visiting Fairfield Eagles came away with a 18-0 win over the Athens Hornets in the second week of high school football action Sept. 2 at Bruce Field.
The only score in the first half was a field goal kick by Fairfield’s Erik Rodriguez Reyes in the second quarter.
Both teams went into the locker room at half with Fairfield leading 3-0.
The third quarter remained scoreless for both teams.
Fairfield had success moving the ball in the fourth quarter and the Eagles’ quarterback Zach Barlow hit Erik Rodriguez Reyes with a pass for a touchdown. Although Fairfield thought about a extra point kick, they decided to go for a two-point conversion and had success with Reyes scoring the two points, bringing the score to 11-0 Fairfield.
The Eagles scored a rushing touchdown by Kameron Ransom to close out the game along with Reyes kicking the extra point, ending the game with Fairfield up 18-0.
This loss along with week one’s loss brings the Athens Hornets to 0-2 for the season. Athens hosts Red Oak Friday, Sept. 9 at home. Red Oak won Sept. 2 beating Arlington Heights of Fort Worth 17-14 Sept. 2 and they are 1-1 for the season.
Fairfield lost to La Vega in week one and are now 1-1 for the season. They travel to Palestine and play the Wildcats also Friday, Sept. 9, who beat Jacksonville 49-40 Sept. 2 and are 2-0 for the season.

Sep

08

Posted by : admin | On : September 8, 2016

church-ann-3

By Delanda S. Johnson
Special to the News
MALAKOFF–On Aug. 28, Johnson Chapel A. M. E. church celebrated its 119 years of existence.
Johnson Chapel A.M.E. Church was organized in 1897 in the Cedar Creek bottoms,under a brush arbor on Abe Johnson’s Farm.
Johnson Chapel has gone through many trials and tribulations, but with the courage and strength of its members, descendants of Bro. Abe Johnson, and the local community, Johnson Chapel A. M. E. church stands strong in the 21st century.
The program moved forward with Evangelist Alma Berry opening service along with Sis. Delanda S. Johnson interacting with the congregation with songs of praise and worship.
Bro. Gilbert Smith welcomed everyone to Johnson Chapel, “the friendly church where everybody is somebody and Christ is ALL.”
Rev. Rickey Barnes, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Malakoff and who is also a fourth generation descendant of Abe Johnson, spoke on behalf of the Johnson family. “We are honored to be here once again at this Annual Homecoming service to remember the past and to help keep the future of Johnson Chapel A. M. E. church alive and well.”
Rev. Linda Ross, Pastor of Johnson Chapel introduced the speaker; who was none other that the former Pastor of Johnson Chapel, Rev. I. B. Wells, Jr.
Rev. Wells is currently the Pastor of Stearne Chapel A. M. E. church in Bryan, Texas.
Rev. Wells graduated from Brownwood High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Tarleton State University. He is an educator certified to teach History and Physical Education. He has won Area, District and Regional championships and in 2014 he coached the Calvert Lady Trojans to play for the State title in basketball and became the State Championship runner-up. He was also selected as Brazos Valley Coach of the Year in 2013-2014.
Even though he loves coaching sports, he loves being a coach for God, winning souls on the battlefield of life. Spreading the gospel and leading people to Christ is what he is passionate about, praying for the sick, offering counseling to adults and students hoping to make a difference in the lives of God’s people.
Sis. Cydnei Wells performed a strong and spiritual praise dance before her father preached.
Rev. Wells acknowledged that he was happy to be back home (Johnson Chapel) and in the Malakoff community. “When I was Pastor here at Johnson Chapel, the Malakoff community supported me. Even when I was coaching at Calvert and we were playing for the State Championship, the Malakoff community supported me by watching the game on television. Also now that my Oakwood team comes to Trinidad and beats them, the Malakoff community supports me,” said Rev. Wells.
The service moved on with Rev. Wells giving his sermon, “Wake-up You Sleepy Head,” coming from Genesis 28:10-22.
Rev. Wells said that sometimes we feel that we are all alone, but as a child of God we must know that God is everywhere. He will never leave you nor forsake you; God will be with you know matter what.
“Ask yourself, how many times have you felt stressed out? How many times have you felt tired of running? How many times have you felt depressed? How many times have you just gone back and forth trying to find peace? You must know that God is there through all of your situations. He is the way out of no way. He is the Prince of Peace. All you need to do is turn everything over to the Lord,” said Rev. Wells.
Rev. Wells said that everything that God gives to you is holy and you must know that God will walk with you no matter what. “God will never turn His back on you. He shows grace and mercy on you each and everyday. So, “Wake-up You Sleepy Heads” and know that Jesus died to set us free from all sins. He is our salvation and He has all power in His hands,” said Rev. Wells.
After a soul stirring sermon, the Rev. G. B. Bailey, Sr. award was presented. This award was started by Rev. Bill Burton, former Pastor of Johnson Chapel in honor of the late Rev. G. B. Bailey, Sr., who was also a former Pastor of Johnson Chapel and Presiding Elder of the Northeast Texas Conference (known now as North Texas Conference).
This award represents the faithfulness and helpfulness that the person gives to the community and to Johnson Chapel.
This year’s winner was Bro. Clyde Bailey. He is a native of Malakoff and a graduate of Malakoff High School. He attended Henderson County Junior College (now known as Trinity Valley Community College).
Bro. Bailey works for Lumia Energy in Henderson and also does carpentry work, where he is a skilled brick layer and deals with concrete.
Bro. Bailey’s Christian walk started at Johnson Chapel A. M. E. Church. However he is now a member of Antioch Baptist Church where he serves as Chairman of the Trustee Board. Even though Bro. Bailey is no longer a member of Johnson Chapel, he gives his time and service whenever there is a need.
It is said that he is a man of the community, who gives a helping hand.

Sep

01

Posted by : admin | On : September 1, 2016

raheem Miller

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Raheem Mark Miller has been found guilty Tuesday of capital murder in the death of Cedric Alvin Collins, 23 of Malakoff on June 8, 2014. Jurors returned the guilty verdict after two hours of deliberations.
This conviction has a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
The State of Texas and the defense rested on Monday, Aug. 29 in a trial which began with jury selection only a week prior. The defense rested without calling any witnesses.
According to reports, Collins was found lying beside his vehicle in the 700 block of Robbins Road, near the intersection of Lantana and Robbins, with what appeared to be a gunshot wound. The victim was transported to East Texas Medical Center where he later died.
Witnesses had reported seeing two men fleeing the scene. Det. Adam Parkins was assigned the case and obtained information that pointed to Miller.
The jurors heard five days of testimony in which the Henderson County prosecutor tried to prove Miller had murdered Collins after robbing him, making this a capital murder offense. Evidence included videotaped interviews with the defendant.
The third videotape contained an interview conducted by Bobby Rachel, a reserve deputy from Navarro County who had been asked to interview Miller at the request of Texas Ranger Michael Adcock. During the interview, which jurors watched, Miller said he and another man made a plan to rob Collins after arranging a drug deal selling fake drugs.
Miller told Rachel he didn’t plan on using a gun. Miller said that Collins was killed after the other person pulled a gun on Collins and they fought over it. Investigators cleared the other person mentioned in Miller’s testimony of any wrongdoing in the murder case.
Miller had denied having a gun but eventually admitted to Rachel that he did have one. When Rachel asked if he shot Collins, Miller denied ever pulling the trigger. Miller has denied being the one who pulled the trigger since his arrest.
Miller had been held on a $2,000,000 bond in the Henderson County Justice Center since the 2014 murder. Defense attorneys John Youngblood and James Mills represented Miller. Assistant District Attorney Danny Cox assisted District Attorney Scott McKee with the prosecution.
In closing arguments, District Attorney Scott McKee reviewed the evidence as presented by the state. McKee stated that Miller killed Collins while committing the felony crime of robbery, making this a capital murder.
Judge Carter Tarrance had informed the jury they could find Miller guilty of captial murder, felony murder, aggravated robbery or robbery.
While the defendent showed little emotion when the verdict was read, the families of the victim and defendant were emotional.

Sep

01

Posted by : admin | On : September 1, 2016

DSC_0038cmyk

The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–The No. 7-ranked Malakoff Tigers came out on fire in the opening game of the season against the Bullard Panthers Aug. 26 at Tiger Stadium.
Malakoff thumped Bullard by a score of 46-7 to improve to 1-0 on the year. The Tigers return to action Friday on the road at Rusk.
In the victory over Bullard, the Tigers opened up the scoring with a 46-yard touchdown by Jaquaylon Hart for the 6-0 lead. Malakoff went for two but the pass to Tyler Russell was incomplete.
The Tigers held a 12-0 lead as senior Q.T. Barker picked off a Bullard pass and ran 102-yards for the touchdown. Malakoff went for two but missed the conversion.
In the second quarter, Malakoff quarterback Judd Miller connected on a pass to Barker for a 32-yard touchdown. The Tigers went for two but failed on the conversion for the 18-0 lead.
Malakoff scored again with a long run as Breashawn Williams scampered 32 yards for the touchdown. Everardo Garcia nailed the PAT for the 25-0 lead.
Running back A.J. Cook added a four-yard touchdown. Garcia nailed his second PAT for the 32-0 lead.
Following an interception by Zee Bailey, Miller capped off the first half scoring with a four-yard run for the 40-0 lead. Miller found Russell on the two-point conversion. It was a conversion of 34 yards after two penalties following the touchdown.
In the second half, the Panthers got on the score board as Cleet Bowman found Will McCowin on a three yard pass for the 40-7 deficit. McCowin booted the PAT good.
Malakoff ended the scoring with a 60-yard touchdown run by Williams for the 46-7 finale.
Miller finished the game 7-of-13 passing for 144 yards and one touchdown. Williams rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Cook finished with 53 rushing yards and a touchdown. Hart was the leading receiver with three catches for 74 yards.
“It was a typical early in the year game where a lot of mistakes were made,” Tigers Head Coach Jamie Driskell said. “We capitalized on some of their mistakes early, so it was a good first half. In the second half, we were tired, they were tired. We still have a mountain to climb. We gotta get better and better each week. We gotta get in shape, it was so hot and muggy tonight and we played a lot of guys both ways. I’m proud of them, though.”

Aug

18

Posted by : admin | On : August 18, 2016

IMG_2130By Erik Walsh
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF-The Malakoff Lady Tigers emerged victorious in three sets over cross-lake rivals Eustace Lady Bulldogs in a Aug. 16 matchup in Malakoff.
The clean sweep by Malakoff was the only meeting of the two teams this season. The Lady Tigers won by scores of 25-19, 25-22 and 25-23.
In sub-varsity action, the Eustace freshman defeated Malakoff in two sets, 25-18, 25-15; and the Malakoff JV won in three sets, 25-23, 22-25 and 15-10.
Eustace jumped out to a 4-1 lead in game one before extending it to 11-8. The Lady Tigers fought back to take the lead 20-18 before securing the victory 25-23.
Malakoff never trailed in game two, jumping out to a 4-1 to begin the set. Eustace eventually tied it up 7-7, but the Lady Tigers reclaimed the lead and never surrendered it. Malakoff went up 15-12 before advancing the lead to 18-15, then 22-19. They won game two 25-22.
After the hard fought game both teams set their sights on the Eustace tournament this weekend. The Lady Bulldogs’ first game is August 18 at 8 a.m. against Blooming Grove. The loss drops Eustace’s record to 4-4.
The Lady Tigers open play in the Eustace tournament at 3 p.m. against Quinlan Boles. The win over Eustace gave Malakoff its first win of the season.

Aug

18

Posted by : admin | On : August 18, 2016

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF—The Malakoff School board adopted a tax rate equal to the same one it adopted last year, totaling $1.20 per $100 worth of taxable property value. The new budget was also adopted Aug. 15 based on 1,308 students attending or about $13,015 per student totaling a budget of $17,024.101. Currently, 1,311 students are enrolled, with more expected in kindergarten.
A little more than two million dollars will service the district’s debt in 2016-17, as it did last year. That’s about $1,546 per student.
However, the majority of the funding per student will go toward instruction and instructional support, about $6,940 per student. District operations will absorb $2,037 per student. A total of seven other services and expenses totals $2,161 per student.
Trustees unanimously approved five items including the Student Code of Conduct, insurance for vehicle property and general liability, final budget amendments for 2015-16 school year, naming Smith, Lambright & Associates to audit the 2015-16 finances and a list of principals, assistant principals to appraise teachers’ effectiveness under the new rules.
Trustees also agreed for Henderson County to operate its November 8 school board election. The deadline to file candidacy at the administration building is Monday, Aug. 22.
Three board members are up for re-election. They are Gary Woolverton, Mike Monroe and Jerry Spiva, who has been filling a term vacated by Billy Sparks.
Superintendent Randy Perry presented nine goals for the year. Priority was given to seeing students improve their short answer writing abilities to meet the state’s rubric. He also sees the door of opportunity closing for the district to move toward becoming a District of Innovation. This category would give the district flexibility as do many charter schools. He means to begin the process in September and finish it by March. He also wants to see the district’s Special Education students experience greater success on the STAAR test. “We just have to do whatever we can to help these kids, who work so hard to achieve their maximum potential,” he said.
His goals also include incorporating more collaborations via Google Apps and Docs to host Google classrooms for greater creativity and more efficient and timely adjustments for forward momentum. Perry also wants to see more students considered college ready by the TEA upon graduation. Toward that end, he hopes to have more students taking the college entrance exams and increase parent participation in the college selection process.
Because half of being successful in learning requires being in class, Perry wants the attendance rate to continue at 96 percent or better for the year.
On a celebratory note, Perry said he’s looking forward to marking the second Blue Ribbon campus in the district in as many years, when the announcement becomes official that Tool Elementary School has made the cut.
And finally go on providing a safe and orderly environment for students and staff.
In other business, trustees:
• Set meeting dates for November, December and January to accommodate holidays in those months. The board will meet as follows: Monday, Nov. 14, Monday, Dec. 12 and Thursday, Jan. 19.
• Heard all campuses Met Standard and the Distinguished list was to be released Aug. 26.
• Reviewed Update 105.
• Accepted the SHAC Report.
• Heard Principal and staff reports and gratitude to the board for $50 checks each teacher received during this week’s convocation.
• Considered future agenda item to repair sidewalk by the athletic entrance.
• Noted rock was delivered by Precinct 1 County Commissioner Scotty Thomas and spread in the driveway to the Agricultural Barn.

Aug

11

Posted by : admin | On : August 11, 2016

Hensarling town hall 8-3
By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–More than 100 souls came out for a town hall meeting hosted by Congressman Jeb Hensarling Aug.3 at the Senior Center in Athens. Each audience member who wanted to comment or ask a question was given two minutes to present, after which the 5th District Congressman from Texas responded.
The meeting was prefaced with a prayer by local minister Mark Hall, who asked God’s forgiveness for America’s departure from its founding principles of truth, morality and justice and asked courage on behalf of local citizens to stand united against tyranny and injustice.
The first question taken asked why so many Republicans in national office talk down about Donald Trump. “Why is he regarded so poorly?”
“I have publicly endorsed him as the Republican nominee for president, even though he wasn’t my first choice,” Hensarling responded. “I don’t know how he would govern, but I do know how Hillary Clinton will, and I vehemently oppose all her major policies. We can’t allow another liberal to be named to the Supreme Court for a generation. Further, I know Mike Pence, well. He’s a true conservative leader of high moral character and integrity. It speaks volumes that Trump named him as his running mate. I have no problem endorsing Trump, but reserve the right to disagree with him from time to time.”
Most of the other questions and comments had similar responses, pointing out that a change in the White House will be able to solve a lot of the issues under discussion. Those included dissolving the Sanctuary City program, birth-right citizenship to children of illegals, entitlement programs that attract illegal immigrants, accepting immigration from enemy countries such as Syria and Iraq and requiring work from welfare recipients.
Commenting on the latest news, Hensarling said Congress would launch a full investigation into the $400 million payment from the administration to Iran and the subsequent return of three Americans being held in Iran. “The paying of ransom for hostages is against U.S. policy and hadn’t been approved by the House,” he said.
Someone asked why Congress and the president were not enforcing the McCarran–Walter Act of 1952, which was enacted over President Truman’s veto. Sponsor Sen. Pat McCarran (D-Nevada), in a speech on the Senate floor March 2,1953 defended the legislation with these words:
“I believe that this nation is the last hope of Western civilization and if this oasis of the world shall be overrun, perverted, contaminated or destroyed, then the last flickering light of humanity will be extinguished. I take no issue with those who would praise the contributions which have been made to our society by people of many races, of varied creeds and colors. … However, we have in the United States today hard-core, indigestible blocs which have not become integrated into the American way of life, but which, on the contrary are its deadly enemies. Today, as never before, untold millions are storming our gates for admission and those gates are cracking under the strain. The solution of the problems of Europe and Asia will not come through a transplanting of those problems en masse to the United States. … I do not intend to become prophetic, but if the enemies of this legislation succeed in riddling it to pieces, or in amending it beyond recognition, they will have contributed more to promote this nation’s downfall than any other group since we achieved our independence as a nation.”

Aug

11

Posted by : admin | On : August 11, 2016

Athens volleyball huddle in eustace
By Ryan Moulds
The News Sports Writer
EUSTACE–The Athens Lady Hornets started the season off right with a 3-0 victory over Mildred during the first game of a triple header at E.L. Kirk Gymnasium in Eustace Aug. 9.
The Lady Hornets won all three sets by scores of 25-9, 25-11 and 25-15.
In the first match of the night, the Lady Hornets looked sharp from the whistle, scoring the first seven points against the Lady Eagles.
Athens opened with a kill from Alicia Grogan off an assist from McKenzie Fowler. Fowler had back-to-back kills during the opening set to open things up for the Lady Hornets.
Following a kill by Mildred, Athens went on another mini run to extend the lead to 11-1.
The final point of the first set came on a kill from Jennifer Bradford for the 25-9 finale.
The second set started off tighter between the two teams until Athens scored the final seven points of the game to pull away late and take the 2-0 lead.
With the Lady Hornets up 22-11 on a kill by Nicole Hill, Sam Smith followed with an ace and the combination of Fowler and Hill put it away with a kill from Hill.
In the final set, Hill had three kills late while Smith had two aces for the final six points of the match.
“I thought we played well for it being our first game,” Athens coach Kayla Benton said. “We  still have some stuff that we need to work on but I think that we will have everything worked out by the time district play starts. We have a lot of senior leadership on this team and it really showed today.”
The victory made Athens 1-0 on the season.

Aug

04

Posted by : admin | On : August 4, 2016

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff
ATHENS–In view of the next two-week weather forecast with high temperatures in the triple digits and no rain in sight, Henderson County Commissioners agreed to post a burn ban as recommended by County Fire Marshal Shane Renberg. Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence opposed the action.
The ban went into effect immediately, Tuesday, Aug. 2 and lasts for the next 28 days unless the court rescinds it due to improved conditions. On Tuesday, Renberg said the average drought conditions in the county scored 624 on the Keetch-Bynum Drought Index, up from 608, last week. According to the long-range forecast, this number is expected to climb to 700 in the next two weeks, on a zero-800 scale. “The number of grassfires in the county are way up,” Renberg pointed out as ground moisture continues to disappear. Athens Fire Chief John McQueary said, the grass fires his unit has extinguished would not have been prevented by a burn ban he said. “However, any small spark can start one,” he said.
Renberg noted that the threshold for calling a burn ban is 575. And that a burn ban is always easier to rescind then to initiate.
Commissioners also agreed to a number of interlocal agreements to conduct the the Nov. 8 General Election on behalf of several taxing authorities in the county, including Caney City, Payne Springs, Tool, East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District, Enchanted Oaks and independent school districts in Brownsboro, Larue-Poynor and Murchison. They discussed some of the mechanics involved in a presidential election and the availability of voting equipment. Elections official Denise Hernandez didn’t make it to court that morning due to a collision in the courthouse square between a member of her staff and another vehicle, causing the staffer’s car to flip over three times, while having a 9-year-old daughter on board. No fatalities or serious injuries were reported, Hernandez said following the close of the meeting.
Commissioners agreed to consider an application for tax abatement submitted by Clayton Homes, along with the application fee of $1,000. A workshop is to be set to review various scenarios within the next 21 days, and public hearings to be held on the matter.
Athens Economic Development Executive Director Lisa Denton introduced Rick Groom of Indiana representing Clayton Homes to the court. His company has purchased a property formerly held by Champion Homes and plans to manufacture model homes. Groom, who will oversee operations, said the company plans to hire around 250 employees by the beginning of 2017. He added the base pay is targeted at $600 per week. The property was purchased last October and the production facility is 70 percent completed to begin manufacture operations in October.
Denton remarked that the City of Athens has already approved a tax abatement agreement. After the meeting, Commissioner Lawrence told The News that since its purchase by Clayton, the property has increased in value, more than doubling the tax assessments for the school district and Road and Bridge – at least two taxing entities that would be unaffected by the proposed five-year county tax abatement. “The county would get twice the tax money it is currently getting from the property, even with a tax abatement agreement,” Lawrence estimated.
Finally, commissioners approved a preliminary plat for a new residential subdivision along Lake Palestine called Windham Place. Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin described the project as being built in two phases with a total of 43 homes on 42 acres. The plat includes a variance request of the 80-foot frontage required by subdivision rules for eight homes located on cul-de-sacs. “This is the first new subdivision in my five and a half years on the court,” Geeslin said. It gave him opportunity to become well acquainted with the county’s subdivision rules. He said the court should expect revisions from him on how the process can be revamped and steam-lined.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney commented that variances on the rules was not unheard of, as the court granted variances in 2011, he said.
In other business, commissioners
• granted right-of-way permits to Oncor for a pole-ing station to serve Gun Barrel City. Right-of-ways were granted along Pecan Road (C.R. 2938) and part of Peachtree Road.
• approved payroll distributions.
• paid bills totaling $238,051.11.