Dec

01

Posted by : admin | On : December 1, 2016

Special to The News
ATHENS–Henderson County D.A. R. Scott McKee reports the July Term, 2016, Grand Jury returned the following True Bills for the Nov. 9 meeting. In addition, three cases are indicted under seal.
•Raul Almaraz, JR, 20, Racing on a Highway,
• Michael Glenn Barnes, 35, Bail Jumping and Failure to Appear,
• James Edward Horton, 69, Cruelty to Animals,
• Phillip Wayne Brown, 62, Driving While Intoxicated,
• Gerald Don Williams, JR, 49, Possession of Controlled Substance (PCS),
• Tyler Jimmy Ray Brown, 21, Escape,
• Tommy Clyde Hurt, 40, Tampering with Evidence,
• Jose Antonio Carreon-Aguilera, 49, PCS,
• Blaine Anthony Christopher, 28, Unlawful Possession of Firearm ,
• John Tanner Forrester, 22, three countsof Burglary and Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse,
• Randall Clayton Boone, 27, Burglary
• Paula Kay Forester, 51, Hindering Apprhension or Prosecution,
• Travis Brax Davis, 19, Theft of Property
Benjamin Douglas Harmon, 22, Assault,
• Dvahje Marquel Hayward, 20, Theft of Firearm,
• Gary J Hampton, 61, Forgery,
• Christopher Doyle Savage, 29, Aggravated Assault,
• Scott Matthew Butler, 26, Driving While Intoxicated with Child Passenger,
• Terrance Joseph Samuel Benton, 25, PCS,
• Shandra Suzette Oliphant, 29, PCS,
• Dustin Ray Snyder, 28, Aggravated Assault
• Zanon James Sherman, 44, PCS,
• Lorenzo Demarkas Patton, 34, PCS,
• Michael Dwayne Lindley, 50, PCS,
•Danny Lee Mclemore, 61, Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle,
• William Lee Shaddox, 53, Burglary,
• Terry Paul Bevill, 54, Burglary,
• Robert Allen Shaddox, 49, Burglary,
• James David Walker, 27, PCS,
• Steven Michael Green, 45, PCS,
• Joshua Lynn Epperson, 35, PCS ,
• Johnny Craton Pope, 49, indicted for Aggravated Assault,
• Kristen Tennile Patterson, 40, PCS
• Jeffrey Mark Keith, 61, Evading Arrest,
• Kristy Anne Kidan, 37, Credit Card Abuse,
• Phillip Norman-Clinton James, 29, Assault Public Servant,
• Joshua Paul Rogers, Attempted Burglary of Habitation and Unlawful Use of Criminal Instrument,
• Robert Britt Gandy, 36, Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon,
• Christopher Lee Fischer, 27, Burglary,
Jeremy James Strawn, Burglary,
• Dean William Kjeldgaard, 54, Indecency with a Child.

Dec

01

Posted by : admin | On : December 1, 2016

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets used great defensive pressure and a big second half to take a 61-51 victory over Corsicana Nov. 29 at the Athens High School gymnasium.
The Hornets were tied with Corsicana at 25-25 heading into the second half of play, but outscored the visitors 36-25 over the final two quarters to take the win.
The win improves the Hornets’ record to 2-1 on the season. The Hornets will be in action on Dec 1-3 at the Van Dairy Queen Invitational.
Midway through the third quarter, the Hornets cut the Corsicana lead to three with a layup by Gary Lyons. On the next possession, the Hornets tied the score at 34-34 on a three pointer by junior Miles Koehler. The Hornets outscored the Tigers 13-12 in the third quarter.
The defensive pressure the Hornets applied in the fourth helped the Hornets pull away for the big win, as Athens outscored Corsicana 23-14 in the final frame to take the victory.
The Hornets were led by Koehler’s 17 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists. Javiry Bowman also added 17 points, two rebounds and a steal in the win, Jabrile Richardson had 10 points, eight rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot. Lyons added eight points and eight rebounds, while Xavious Fulton and Cam Ray each added three points for the Hornets.

Nov

23

Posted by : admin | On : November 23, 2016

malakofffb1cmyk

By Rollin Hadsell
News Staff Writer
NACOGDOCHES–The Malakoff Tigers took another step toward completing their mission- a state championship- with their 49-6 domination of Kirbyville at Dragon Stadium on Nov. 18.
The undefeated Tigers won its second area championship in school history and will play sixth-ranked Rockdale at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25 at Waco ISD Stadium.
Malakoff (12-0) set another record in this game, scoring the most points in a playoff game in school history, eclipsing last week’s 47-point performance against Troy.
The Tigers also have set a new school record for wins in a season.
The Tigers wasted no time getting on the board in this game.
After Kirbyville turned the ball over on downs after a strong stand by the Malakoff defense, Judd Miller connected with Q.T. Barker for a 39-yard touchdown. Everardo Garcia’s successful extra point made the score 7-0 with 8:46 to go in the first quarter.
Just two and a half minutes later, Miller threw a 24-yard touchdown strike to running back Breashawn Williams to extend the lead to 14-0. The Tigers added another touchdown in the first quarter on Miller’s third touchdown pass of the game, this time a 63-yard pass to Tyler Russell.
Kirbyville scored their only points of the game on defense. Donavon Norsworthy picked up a Tiger fumble and returned it 64-yards for a touchdown. The extra point was blocked, making it 21-6 at the end of the first quarter.
After a scoreless second quarter, the Tigers extended their lead to 28-6 with a drive that took only a minute and a half. Miller connected with Barker again for a 61-yard touchdown. The Tigers drive went 73 yards and took only four plays.
Miller threw touchdown pass number five when he again hit Barker with a 67-yard pass. Barker had four catches for 177 yards and three scores.
Deric Davis scored from 10 yards out and Caleb Adams recovered a fumble at the goal line for a touchdown, resulting in the 49-6 final.
Miller was 14-18 passing for 349 yards and five touchdowns. Tyler Russell had five catches for 115 yards, and Williams had 20 carries in the game, rushing for 172 yards.
The Tiger defense shut out the Kirbyville offense, with the Wildcats scoring their only points on the fumble return.
The Tigers stopped the Wildcats on a fourth and one early in the game and also had a fourth down stop at their own two-yard line in the third quarter.
The winner of the Malakoff-Rockdale regional semifinal game will advance to take on the winner of the game between Cameron-Yoe and Teague in the regional finals.

Nov

23

Posted by : admin | On : November 23, 2016

Some 221 students celebrate in song with the performance of "Dynamite."

Some 221 students celebrate in song with the performance of “Dynamite.”

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
TOOL–About 100 community members joined students and staff at Tool Elementary School Nov. 16 to celebrate its selection as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. As such it is one of 279 public schools nationwide selected for the recognition.
“We’ve proven all schools can achieve high performance,” Principal Christal Calhoun said. That was said with confidence, since last year, the Malakoff school district, of which the Tool school is a part, produced its first Blue Ribbon award winner in Malakoff Elementary School, under the direction of Principal Ronny Snow.
The U.S. Department of Education program began in 1982, targeting best practices in high-achieving schools with 40 percent or more students identified as economically disadvantaged. Calhoun said 80 percent of the student body at Tool falls into that category.
Calhoun and three of her teaching staff recently returned from Washington D.C., where they were recognized and received a beautiful plaque, depicting the department’s official seal, a Texas live oak. The official tree and seal symbolize the Department of Education’s mission to promote student achievement and foster educational excellence.
“Getting recognition on a national level is very awesome,” Calhoun said. “I have the most amazing staff in the world.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence. Now in its 34th year, the U. S. Department of Education has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools.
About 221 students entered the cafeteria in an orderly manner, climbing the risers, wearing very striking blue T-shirts with the Department of Education Seal and the slogan “We Dream Big” on the front. After leading the room in the pledges to the flags, students performed songs to celebrate their big win, including “Happy” and “Celebrate.”
In a phone call the next day, Calhoun attributed the school’s success to inventorying each student’s weaknesses and strengths, designing an individual plan for each one and then following through on that plan. “We just build on that all through the year,” she concluded.
During the celebration, the school received many words of congratulations from U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling, State Representatives John Wray and Lance Gooden and from State Sen. Robert Nichols.
“I don’t have to look too far to see that Texas has a bright future,” Nichols said. Tool Elementary School serves as a model of Best Practices for schools across the state.”
Calhoun recognized all the support her students receive from mentors, volunteers, coaches and local businesses, identifying members of the school board, which “play a large role in our success;” Shirley Leone of Dairy Queen, VFW Post 4376, Dave Bullard, president of the Malakoff Education Foundation; daily morning greeter Fran Sonka, Stanley Brown and Jennifer Rudolf and First State Bank, which provided refreshments for all attendees..

Nov

23

Posted by : admin | On : November 23, 2016

parsons-stacie

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Jurors returned a guilty verdict in the trial of Stacie Marie Parsons, 27, who is charged with murdering her 4-year-old daughter, Victoria Wyatt, on July 21, 2014.
The seven-man five-woman jury returned a verdict after roughly 90 minutes of deliberation Nov. 17.
Juror Barbara Meyer told The News that the defendant didn’t exhibit any reactions or emotions during the 10-day trial that she could tell. She described the members of the jury as open-minded and able to render an opinion based on what was presented.
Meyer said what was the most convincing came from the defendant during several interviews with investigators recorded on video. “She confessed to the crime and believed she’d spend the rest of her life in prison,” Meyer said. “She didn’t show any diminished capacity to know right from wrong.”
173rd District Judge Dan Moore rejected a motion by Parsons’ defense team, pleading diminished mental capacity as a defense. Moore ruled that Parsons’ could not avoid criminal culpability on that basis. “It is not a defense under the criminal law,” Moore said.
In that case, Parsons’ lawyers claimed that Moore was denying Parson her Sixth Amendment right to legal counsel and that they were rendered ineffective. Moore said the two attorneys have been very effective at representing their client.
The defense is sure to seek an appeal since its evidence of intellectual disability and diminished capacity was disallowed from being presented to the jury, but was recorded in a closed session — as well as evidence of Parsons’ mental state or awareness of criminal activity at the time of its commission.
This evidence included depositions from those who have known Parsons, as well as from witnesses who testified as to her childhood and the IQ test she was given shortly after her arrest. Dr. Joan Mayfield found Parsons IQ to be 70. A score of 100 is considered average.
District Attorney Scott McKee told the judge the people were not seeking the death penalty for Parsons because of her mental disability. “Under the law, she does not qualify for the death penalty,” McKee said.
Parsons’ defense team entered a guilty plea by reason of insanity. A guilty verdict carries a sentence of life in prison.
Shortly after 9 a.m. July 21, 2014, Parsons walked into the Athens Police Department and stated she had killed her daughter and informed that the body could be found in the trunk of her car parked at an apartment building on Martin Luther King Blvd.
Police found the little girl with trauma to her head and chest. Later Parsons lead police to the place where the crime was committed under a bridge on County Road 1500. The girl’s father, Gary Wyatt, told news outlets that the girl’s mother had never acted violently toward their daughter before and that the couple had been together for six years. When Parsons left that morning with the little girl it was presumed she was going to register the girl for pre-kindergarten. When she returned without the girl and started walking away, Wyatt approached the car to look for her, “I wouldn’t be in that car if I were you,” Parson is reported as having told Wyatt. When he and a family friend opened the trunk, they found a garbage bag with his daughter’s leg sticking out of it. The two men pulled the body out and started CPR. Water was expelled from her lungs, it was reported.
According to news reports, Wyatt said that the night before, he had threatened to leave Parsons. Looking back, Wyatt said, weeks ago she had threatened to kill the baby if he ever left her, but he had chalked that up to just “angry talk”
“I never thought for a second she’d actually do it,” he said.

Nov

17

Posted by : admin | On : November 17, 2016

third-graders
By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–“Today we set aside time to honor all our Veterans,” said David Deas as he opened the East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 11 under a sunny, cloudless sky in a beautiful setting.
Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders welcomed the crowd by reminding everyone that, “Freedom is not and never has been free. We are able to go about our daily business because these men and women are here and around the world, protecting our freedom. Many have paid the ultimate price and we owe them a debt of gratitude for making this the great nation it is today.”
David Deas told the story of, “Armistice Day,” which is what Veterans Day was called when it was created to honor Veterans of World War I and to remind nations to seek peaceful relationships between one another in hopes that we would never again be divided by war. After World War II and the Korean War, in 1954, at the urging of service organizations, the 83rd Congress decided to rename Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all Veterans. President Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954. The gathering then observed a moment of silence to honor all those who served.
U.S. Air Force Veteran Sam Alford played his trumpet to the colors while the flags were raised by members of Boy Scout Troop 343. State Representative-Elect Lance Gooden led the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Texas Flag. Gooden prayed for the Veterans, past and present, and prayed for peace.
South Athens Elementary fourth-grade teacher Barbara Railsback and her students sang, “The Star Spangled Banner” while Sam Alford played “Taps” and a wreath was placed at the monument to honor the Veterans. Alford shared one of the more popular verses for “Taps,” since it is not well known that “Taps” has lyrics
Henderson County District Attorney and incoming District Judge for the 392nd District Court Scott McKee was the featured speaker. McKee’s public service has spanned three decades beginning at the age of 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Paratrooper. Speaking about the Veterans, both present in body or spirit, McKee said he felt awed and inspired by the history and sacrifice of these men and women. He went on to talk about the recent election, reminding everyone that whether they are Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or Independent, the election process and the peaceful transition of power is crucial to the survival and strength of our great nation. And although neither Hillary Clinton, nor Donald Trump ever served in the military, although they never experienced the loneliness of a deployment, the screaming of a drill instructor or ever heard a gunshot fired in support of a cause greater than themselves. We as Veterans knew that one of them would be our Commander-in-Chief because that’s the way it works.
He spoke about the recent protests in Dallas after the election and thanked God that “we live in a country where we have the right to a peaceful protest because Veterans fought for that right. We fought for freedom of speech, the right to assemble, whether we agree with them or not, this right is vital to our nation, to open debate. Government does not give us our rights; our rights are given by God and it’s our Democracy that recognizes those rights and our Veterans that protect those rights.” McKee spoke of the ballot, the right to vote as the most powerful and dangerous weapon, one that everyone of legal age has and one that should never be holstered. It should always be, “locked and loaded.”
“It takes the courage and blood of brave men and women to keep and protect a free democracy. We as Veterans should not just ride off into the sunset like General MacArthur’s speech at West Point all those years ago. We have much to teach our children and our children’s children. Let our voices carry our history and our legacy.”
Deborah Tanner Deas shared a poem written in 1945 by her father World War II Veteran Douglas Tanner entitled, “The 740th Marches On.” Tanner was on the front row. The ceremony concluded with several more patriotic songs by the Central Athens Elementary fourth-grade students, but many stayed behind to view the monument and talk with the Veterans. The day was beautiful and there were many Veterans, from World War II to present day, to thank.

Nov

17

Posted by : admin | On : November 17, 2016

trinidadvbteam2cmyk

By Rollin Hadsell
News Staff Writer
TRINIDAD–The Trinidad Lady Trojans finished up a great season by winning District 21-1A and advancing to the regional finals. After an 0-27 record just two seasons ago, and last year winning their first district game, the team fought through adversity all year long, to win the district.
Lady Trojan Head Volleyball Coach Tina Sawtelle was proud of the way her team came together this year. “We had a lot of adversity this year with health and personal problems but the girls really came together and showed perseverance, mental toughness and drive,” said Sawtelle. “I am beyond proud of these ladies and the improvements we continue to make each year.” She also is encouraged by the way the future looks for the young team. “We are excited as a program for what the next year has in store for us,” Coach Sawtelle said. “We are only graduating one, so we will have almost our entire team back for the next season. It is a very exciting time for Lady Trojan volleyball.”
The Lady Trojans parlayed their regional finals appearance into post season honors. Eight players were selected to the all-district team.
Lady Trojan junior Erica Airheart was selected as the District 21-1A Most Valuable Player. Junior Hallie Airheart received district MVP server, sophomore Tori Moody district MVP blocker and sophomore Hayley Ned received district MVP defensive specialist.
Junior Brianna Cagle was selected 1st team all-district. Sophomore Jazmyn Burden-Engle and sophomore Jaylinn Womack received all-district second team honors. Freshman Cassie Patch was all-district honorable mention.
Coach Sawtell was also selected as the District 21-1A Coach of the Year by her coaching peers.
Coach Sawtell said she and the girls will stick to the plan she had coming into Trinidad. “Building a successful program is what we have been striving to do since I became the volleyball coach and we will continue to grow and build throughout the years,” Sawtelle said. “It has been exciting and rewarding to see the change in this program over the last 4 years, and I am excited for the future of Lady Trojan Volleyball.”

Nov

17

Posted by : admin | On : November 17, 2016

malakofffb3cmyk

By Rollin Hadsell
News Staff Writer
MIDLOTHIAN–The Malakoff Tigers just keep rolling.
After a perfect 10-0 season, the Tigers set yet another record in keeping their winning ways going in a 47-14 rout of Troy at MISD Stadium in Midlothian on Nov. 11.
The Tigers scored the most points they have ever scored in a playoff game, eclipsing the 45 points they scored in a win over Grandview in 1990.
With the win, the Tigers move on to face the Kirbyville Wildcats in the area round tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Dragon Stadium in Nacogdoches. Kirbyville defeated Hempstead 41-35 to advance.
It only took the Tigers three plays to score on their first possession. After a four-yard run by Breashawn Williams and a false start penalty, the Tigers went to the air. Quarterback Judd Miller connected with wide receiver Tyler Russell on a 92-yard touchdown pass. The extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the score at 6-0.
After a three-and-out by Troy, the Tigers took over on their own 28 yard line. On this possession, they did most of their damage on the ground. Q.T. Barker had a 20-yard run, Jaquaylon Hart ran for 10 yards, and then Williams finished off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run as well as the two point conversion to put the Tigers up 14-0 with 4:08 left in the first quarter.
The defense helped to do its part in the win on the next possession, as the defense forced and then recovered a fumble at the Trojan 35-yard line. Four plays later the Tigers had a 17-0 lead on an Everardo Garcia 22-yard field goal.
The Tigers added to their lead early in the second quarter when Williams scored on a five-yard run. A 46-yard pass from Miller to Russell set up the score.
Troy finally broke through on its next drive. The Trojans went on a 12-play 62-yard drive, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run from Riley Seiter. Anthony Avila added the extra point for a 24-7 score. After the Trojans forced the Tigers to punt on their next possession, Troy cut the margin to 10 on a 35-yard scamper from Tyler Welch on a reverse. The Avila extra point made the score 24-14 with 2:18 left in the half.
The Tigers would not let the Trojans get any closer, exploding for 16 points in the last two minutes of the half.
Malakoff started its next possession at its own 38-yard line. It only took one play and 16 seconds for the Tigers to put another score on the board. Miller hit Hart with a short pass, and the receiver dodged and weaved his way into the end zone from 62 yards out. Garcia’s extra point made it 31-14 with 2:02 remaining in the half.
The defense stepped up again when Chase Busch stepped in front of a Troy pass for an interception.
The Tigers would fumble on the next play however, giving the ball to the Trojans at their own one yard line.
The defense again was up to the task, tackling Seiter in the end zone for a safety and a 33-14 lead.
On the kickoff by the Trojans, Russell struck again, taking the kickoff back 59-yards for a touchdown and a 40-14 lead heading into halftime.
The final points of the game would be scored in the third quarter. Miller threw his third touchdown pass of the game, connecting with Hart again for a nine-yard score.
Russell would add an interception in the fourth quarter.
Miller was 14-23 passing for 323 yards and three scores. He also threw two interceptions. Russell had five catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. Hart caught five passes for 88 yards and two scores. Barker finished the night with four catches and 63 yards. Williams ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
The defense forced three turnovers- two interceptions and one fumble recovery- to aid in the win.
The Tigers move to 11-0 on the season and are looking for their second area championship in their game with Kirbyville.
The first win for the Tigers in the area round came in 2013 when the Tigers beat Van Alstyne 38-25.
The winner of tonight’s game will advance to the regional round of the playoffs.

Nov

17

Posted by : admin | On : November 17, 2016

On behalf of the city, Mayor Delois Pagitt (center right) presented veterans in attendance at the Nov. 14 city council meeting with trophies of gratitude and honor in recognition of their military service. Pictured are (from left) Kenneth Owens, Police Chief Lloyd Thomas, Mayor Pro-tem Tim Trimble, Pagitt, Johnny Davis and Municipal Judge Bill Burton.

On behalf of the city, Mayor Delois Pagitt (center right) presented veterans in attendance at the Nov. 14 city council meeting with trophies of gratitude and honor in recognition of their military service. Pictured are (from left) Kenneth Owens, Police Chief Lloyd Thomas, Mayor Pro-tem Tim Trimble, Pagitt, Johnny Davis and Municipal Judge Bill Burton.

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Writer
MALAKOFF—Malakoff City Council members granted two requests for special use permits to citizens during its Nov. 14 meeting. The Zoning Board recommended fulfilling Francis Caro’s request to place a manufactured home at 109 N. Cole St., having met all requirements. Councilwoman Jerrilyn Tarver said she was excited for Caro’s getting a new home.
Also, Helen Richardson was granted a special use permit to erect a portable building on South Lincoln Street to be used as a church building. The Zoning Board recommended the permit to the council.
Board members also discussed the need for some prohibitions for heavy truck traffic using North Smith Street to get materials to a construction site just north of town. The posting of “No thoroughfare” signs to installing speed bumps were discussed. Interim-police Chief Lloyd Thomas said he has spoken with the construction project managers and developer about directing trucks to circumvent the town on two other possible routes rather than traveling through a residential neighborhood, lacking sidewalks and inhabited by children and senior citizens. “Since then traffic has decreased through the area,” Thomas noted. “However a sign and an ordinance would empower law enforcement to issue citations,” he said.
“Rest assured, something will be done to ensure the safety of residents,” Pagitt said, following a unanimous vote to adopt an ordinance prohibiting truck traffic there.
In other business, council members:
Awarded contracts to Public Management and KSA Engineering pertaining to the application for a Texas Department of Agriculture Texas Community Development Block Grant. A representative of Public Management explained that the process now requires applicants to name their contractors before being given a grant, to help with the grant-writing process. Should the city not receive a grant, the contracts become void, he explained. The deadline for the grant request is Feb. 9, 1917. The city has several utility development projects that would qualify for the matching grant program up to $275,000.
Agreed to become a member of the 2017 Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) to receive member services benefits at a cost of $100 per year. One noted benefit would stabilize energy rates.
Approved the minutes of meeting held on Oct. 17 and Nov. 1.
Agreed to pay the city’s obligations for October.

Nov

09

Posted by : admin | On : November 9, 2016

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS—Hoping for a favorable interest rate, the Athens City Council decided to go ahead with its plan to issue certificates of obligation to fund the much-needed overhaul of the Cain Center and to rebuild the Texan Theater.
During the Oct. 24 meeting, the council approved moving forward with a $12.5 million loan, hoping to capture an interest rate of three percent or lower. The bond’s pricing date is anticipated for Dec. 12. The city is required to publish its intent at least 30 days before issuing the certificates.
During an August public meeting and workshop, city officials presented a slide presentation of the repairs needed at the beleaguered civic center, which it had recently taken over. The bottom line of the presentation was that the city had funding options that the privately owned and operated center did not. Repairs are estimated to cost $12.8 million, of which $10.5 million is being sought through certificates of obligation.
The engineering and then repair work is to begin January2017, according to City Manager Philip Rodriguez. The council members at the same August meeting decided to use some of the funding to rebuild the Texan Theater. On Oct. 24, $1.4 million of the loan was allocated for this purpose.
The Texan will deliver a venue for civic events near the courthouse square which would help invigorate downtown with greater economic growth, council members noted in August.
Plans call for the long building with two-level roofing to allow for a panel of high windows for lighting with rooftop a/c units and could be rebuilt and opened within a year’s time. The 6,700 square foot space prices out at around $166 per square foot and holds between 250 and 400 people, depending on the sitting and standing arrangements.
This could be the next jewel in Athens,” Community Development Director Thanansis Kombos said.
Councilman Ed McCain agreed, pointing out that several global companies are planning visits to the city. “A revitalized Texan could be the reason they say, ‘I want to come here.’” McCain said.
The remaining $600,000 is being split between neighborhood park rejuvenation and much needed upgrades to the city’s water and wastewater utilities office.
Though cities are not required to hold an election to issue certificates of obligation, residents may petition for an election on debt incurred through certificates of obligation. If five percent of qualified voters sign a petition before the pricing date, then an election must be held on whether the certificates should be issued.
The Henderson County Voter Registration Office totals 6,936 registered voters in Athens, of which five percent would be 347 voters.
During the Aug.29 public hearing, city officials reported the city’s financial position as strong with a 60-day reserve and one million dollars in an unencumbered fund.
Repayment on the loan wouldn’t start until 2018 and targets three cents of the tax rate over the next 20 years, which could be transferred from the Maintenance and Operations Fund, securities representative Boyd Landen said.