Sep

28

Posted by : admin | On : September 28, 2017

By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
TRINIDAD–A proposed children’s home to be housed at the former First Baptist Church of Trinidad faced pushback from speakers during the Trinidad City Council meeting on Sept. 26.
Hugh Roberts, along with his wife, Charlotte, and Matt Zimmer spoke to council members on behalf of “In His Hands Ministry,” then held an hour-long discussion. The children’s home issue first came up for council discussion in March 2015.
The ministry intends to obtain licensing from the state Child Protective Services (CPS) to house youth age 10 and under at the former church property on Lawrence Street, which Hugh Roberts said would need to be resurveyed and have required notices posted before opening.
The children’s home intends to send its kids to a local school district, preferably Trinidad, according to ministry speakers. But Charlotte Roberts said if community opposition dictated it, the children’s home would send its kids to Malakoff schools instead. Those at the children’s home would move through the state-certified Level 1 facility at 90-day intervals.
The 10,000-square foot former church facility already is zoned for such purposes and would need no approval from the city to move forward, ministry speakers said. Those proposing the children’s home do want to have community support, they added.
Mayor Pro Tem Kay Hernandez said the City of Trinidad has consulted with its attorney, who informed them that current zoning allows the children’s home on the property. “We (the council) can’t say yes or no, but the community can,” Hernandez said.
One community opinion came from Kenneth Carter, a former law enforcement officer. “We are not against the kids, they are just in the wrong town,” Carter said. Other concerns included strains on the Trinidad Police Department, other city services such as water, and the Trinidad school district.
The First Baptist Church property was sold by its former directors to Caney Creek Baptist Church, which in turn sold it to the ministry, Hugh Roberts said. Charlotte Roberts said the former First Baptist Church board of directors wanted the facility to house the children’s home.
Trinidad City Council took no action on the matter but urged further meetings with the community, including Trinidad ISD trustees.
In other action, Trinidad City Council approved Mick Coffman to the Trinidad Economic Development Corporation (EDC) board of directors and approved an audit of fiscal year ending (FYE) 2016, which Trinidad City Administrator Terri Newhouse said reflected city finances as “holding our own.”
The Trinidad council also approved the municipal tax rate and budget during an Aug. 29 special meeting. The tax rate for the 2017-2018 fiscal year is 49.8045 cents per $100 property valuation. The budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2017 and ending Sept. 30, 2018 totals about $1.2 million.
Council members also cancelled the municipal election that had been set for Nov. 7 because no one signed up to face council incumbents Chris Quinn and Beth Parker. The position of Trinidad mayor also was to be decided on Nov. 7, but that election was cancelled, too, for lack of suitors.
Mayor Pro Tem Kay Hernandez, who is up for election in 2018, has served as mayor since its former occupant, Larry Estes, resigned in Oct. 2016.

Sep

28

Posted by : admin | On : September 28, 2017

By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Athens City Council heard from concerned citizens on several topics at their Sept. 25 regular meeting.
The first issue to bring citizens to the podium was the request for site plan approval and specific use permit from Triton Athens I, LLC for retail, restaurant and office development at 1006, 1010 and 1012 E. Tyler Streets. After the public hearing held by the Planning and Zoning Board, the developer agreed to an 8-ft. tall masonry wall dividing the development from the neighbors backyards.
Several citizens with property bordering the development spoke in favor of continuing the wall, extended to cover a curved portion of green space designed for runoff. After some discussion regarding the feasibility of a masonry wall in an area that would be wet much of the time, several hybrid construction options were discussed including masonry and wood combinations or wrought iron and wood combinations with vegetation.
Marcy Warren spoke in favor of the wall being in place before construction begins so, “We don’t lose the use of our backyards through this whole process. I would also urge that the wall be aesthetically pleasing with vegetation to preserve the peaceful nature of the area.” Jim Kerlin spoke in favor of an attractive wall as well and one that would reduce light and noise. Citizens reiterated that the importance of the wall being extended is to prevent patrons from parking on Crestway and walking to the development. Council listened to the first reading of the ordinance after public comments were closed.
Other ordinances read included Planned Development District Standards change to reduce minimum size from three acres to one acre, a specific use permit for Regency Mobile Home Park to allow for RVs at the park, no more than 20 at a time and a change to the Code of Ordinances to provide time limits for trash receptacles to be at the curb, no sooner than the day before and no later than the day after. All items were in the first reading stage.
In a surprising turn of events, the disannexation of the 31.374 acres belonging to Tom Potthoff was pulled from the consent agenda for discussion and failed to pass. Councilman Tres Winn cited the inconsistency and basic unfairness of the decision to proceed with the disannexation of Potthoff’s 31.374 acres and the decision to not allow .26 acres of the Ray property to be disannexed. “Are we gonna pick and choose or are we going to be fair? To me, this is apples and apples and the only difference is the size of the apple.” Winn proposed a blanket decision for all the properties affected. Mayor Montgomery agreed saying, “If this thing comes back, I think we can look at it across the board.”
In other business, council members:
• heard the Uncle Fletch Davis Hamburger Festival was a huge success. Jeff Weinstein told the group that they sold out on spaces for vendors and would expand next year’s event which is already in the planning stage.
• heard the updates have been completed in Kiwanis Park, a joint venture between the Athens Kiwanis Club and the city and that the new equipment is “top notch.”
• remained deadlocked on authorizing the interim city manager to enter into an agreement with Gallagher Construction Company for Construction Management Services related to the Cain Center Project. At issue is the flat fee of 6.7 percent ($482,000).

Sep

28

Posted by : admin | On : September 28, 2017

DSC_0006 Malakoff FB #8 CMYK

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
TYLER–The Malakoff Tigers escaped Tyler with a victory over the Tyler Grace Community Cougars Sept. 22 to remain undefeated in 2017.
After going down 7-0 early in the first quarter, the Tigers struck back quickly.
After the touchdown by the Cougars, Tigers’ senior wide receiver Adonia Dixon-Thomas returned the kickoff about 100 yards for a touchdown.
The Cougars would tack on another touchdown and head into the second quarter with a 13-6 lead.
After falling behind 20-6 early in the second quarter, the Tigers responded back on a great pass by senior quarterback Judd Miller. Senior running back Zee Bailey made the 33-yard reception for a touchdown and cut the Cougars’ lead to 20-13 at halftime.
Both teams traded blows in the second half, with the Tigers and Cougars scoring more in the third quarter than they did in the first half combined.
The Cougars put up 14 points in the third quarter, while the Tigers added another 20 points to their total.
This quarter included an impressive 70-yard rushing touchdown by the Tigers’ Miller on a third down and three. Sophomore wide receiver Andreas Garrett also had a 29-yd receiving touchdown in the third quarter for the Tigers.
The Cougars had 27 points in the second half. Meanwhile, the Tigers exploded for 36 points to take the 49-47 victory on the road.
Bailey led the way for the Tigers with 13 carries for 142 yards, including one receiving touchdown.
Miller also did well with 11 carries for 92 yards, 70 of which came on his rushing touchdown in the third quarter.
The win pushes the Tigers to 3-0 in the pre-district part of their schedule. The Cougars dropped to 1-3 on the season.
The Tigers head to Whitney Sept. 29 to face the undefeated Wildcats (3-0) at 7:30 p.m. This will be both teams’ first district matchup of the season.

Sep

28

Posted by : admin | On : September 28, 2017

IMG_2222 Athens FB #37 CYMK

Special to The News
ROBINSON–The Athens Hornets head into the District 8-4A, Division 1 opener on a three-game losing streak.
Robinson walked out of its homecoming game with a 34-20 victory Sept. 22 at Rocket Field.
Athens (1-3) had four turnovers in the contest, which head coach Paul Essary said was the defining moment of the game.
“The four turnovers killed us on offense tonight,” Essary said. “Those were effort turnovers with running with the football and running hard. Waco Robinson was stripping the football, and they did a good job of stripping the football. I don’t think they ever stopped us as much as we stopped ourselves.”
Robinson (1-3) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first 14 minutes of the game. The first touchdown came with 7:08 remaining in the first quarter.
Rockets running back Isaiah Houston had a six-yard run as Adrian Ceballos booted the PAT good for the 7-0 lead.
The second touchdown came with 3:17 remaining in the opening quarter. Quarterback Mason Cooper found Houston on a 54-yard pitch and catch for the 14-0 lead.
The final touchdown came with 10:12 remaining in the second quarter. Cooper found Noah Richard for the 19-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
“We spot them 21-0, which is starting to look like a habit,” Essary said. “We are giving up some big plays, and things that we just have to concentrate on. We have to continue to work.”
Athens added its first touchdown with 2:25 remaining in the half as freshman Nathan Sims had a 35-yard run for the score. Dakota Anderson picked up the extra point to cut the deficit to 21-7 at halftime.
Sims finished the night with 165 yards rushing and one touchdown.
“The inside run game was good tonight,” Essary said. “We could tell early that they were going to try and take away our outside run. They wanted to control Xavius Fulton, which opened up some inside run. Down the stretch, we started catching the football, but it was a little late. We started moving the football, and we will get better.”
In the third quarter, Cooper once again found Richard on a 23-yard touchdown with 4:24 remaining to give Robinson a 28-7 lead.
Richard then scored his third touchdown of the night on a 45-yard touchdown for the 34-7 lead with 10:50 remaining in the game.
Athens scored the final 13 points of the game. Rhejhi Sherfield had a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown with 4:28 remaining for the 34-14 deficit.
Fulton then scored the final touchdown with 47 seconds remaining on a one-yard run.
Athens returns to action Friday as they host the Mabank Panthers for homecoming at Bruce Field. Mabank was a 35-14 winner over Ferris at home.
“We are playing Mabank, but the real thing is I am worried about the Athens Hornets,” Essary said. “I am wanting to get our kids focused and ready to play on our homecoming. Everybody wants to win that first district game. Next week starts district, which is a brand-new season. Whether you are 0-4, 4-0 or 1-3, it is a new season. Everything starts over next week for District 8-4A.”

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow (back row,sixth from right) stands with representatives from Dr. E. R. Richter Elementary School and members of the National Guard who helped unload the trailer full of needed supplies Sept. 6.

Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow (back row,sixth from right) stands with representatives from Dr. E. R. Richter Elementary School and members of the National Guard who helped unload the trailer full of needed supplies Sept. 6.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow drove the band trailer filled with cleaning supplies and needed items nearly 200 miles to Dr. E. R. Richter Elementary School in Dayton. He explained this as part of his principal’s report at the school board meeting Monday.
In an effort to provide immediate relief to fellow Texans suffering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, Snow set out to help the school whose families were hard hit by the storm’s flooding. The community had more than 50 inches of rain during the event and although the school itself was not flooded, many area families lost everything to the flood waters.
Snow found all this out on a Google Doc circulated by Assistant Superintendent Sybil Norris. Snow adopted Richter on the “Principals Helping Principals” document and turned to his school community for help in meeting the needs. Snow told trustees, “We put the call out on Thursday and people dropped things off on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday after school, we loaded up and headed southeast.” The Parent Teacher Organization helped with 200 brand new shirts in needed sizes, purple which is the school color at Richter.
The trailer, filled with basic cleaning supplies, clothes with the tags still on them – sized and boxed, shoes, water, Gatorade, non-perishable food, backpacks with school supplies in them and much more, was unloaded at the site with help from the National Guard. Snow said he was proud of his community and proud to be a Texan.
But that is not all. Superintendent Randy Perry announced during his report that the school district adopted Dickinson ISD, a larger district than Malakoff, but still a one high school town, Perry said. Dickinson is located on the coast between Kemah and Texas City. Perry told the group, “They have enough clothes and stuff. What they really need is money and gift cards so people can get what they need.” The middle school has already held a dance which raised $1,000 for the effort.
In other business, trustees:
• heard that Mickey Smith has earned the designation of Certified Texas School Business Official
• reviewed ACT scores which are significantly improved, over 20 percent better than state average. Principal Brumit said his goal is to have 50 percent of his seniors pass the ACT.
• heard the high school plans to hold a FAFSA night Oct. 16 for parents of seniors to assist them in applying for financial aid for their students
• agreed to continue to retain Walsh Gallegos Legal Services for the district
• heard quarterly and annual financial investment reports
• nominated Phil Tucker to Place 4 for the Resolution Henderson County Appraisal District Board of Directors
• heard enrollment is 1390 with 311 transfers, 89 of which are new transfers.

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

Clevern “Joe” Moser, of Trinidad passed away Sept. 15, 2017 at Cedar Lake Nursing Home in Malakoff.
Joe was born June 5, 1945 in Malakoff to Charlie Joseph Moser and Ethel Annie Young.
He is preceded in death by his parents Charlie Moser and Ethel Young, sister Lourla Ann Bell, brother Lawrence Moser and nephew Sammy Ray Batchler.
He is survived by his sister Charlene Neighbors and many nieces, nephews, and loved ones.
Joe had a passion for the Trinidad Trojans and for many years he was the manager of the football team. It was seldom to miss Joe at a game.
He was always the first fan to show up and was one of the last to leave as he cheered them on, win or lose, with that great big smile of his.
He loved riding his bike around town, and on Sunday mornings you would find him toting his Bible under his arm on his way to Calvary Baptist Church.
Funeral services were held Sept. 18, 2017 at Calvary Baptist Church in Trinidad with Bro. Jim Farmer officiating. Arrangements were handled by Huckabee-Tomlinson Funeral Home in Malakoff.

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

IMG_2208 Athens FB #8 Xavius Fulton CMYK

Special to The News
RED OAK–The Athens Hornets were looking to play a homecoming spoiler Friday in their first road test of the year against a Class 5A opponent.
In the end, Red Oak (2-1) beat Athens, 28-20, to improve to 2-1 with their second straight victory. Red Oak defeated Arlington Heights in overtime last week.
“I was real thrilled with the way we fought,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “Red Oak is a good Class 5A football team. They won one in overtime against Arlington Heights, which is picked to win their district. We almost took them to overtime, but it was just one play here and there. I am really excited about our future. I really believe our future is bright.”
The contest was Red Oak’s homecoming game at Billy Goodloe Stadium.
Athens returns to action Friday as they travel to Waco Robinson to face the Rockets. The contest is homecoming for the Rockets with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“I am excited because I know Robinson will have a big crowd,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “We like to play and coach in front of a big crowd. They better be ready because we are going to be better next week. I don’t know anything about them and have not seen them on film. I am just worried about the Athens Hornets right now.”
Essary said the coaches and players will watch the film early this week, and get ready for another homecoming showdown.
“You have to regroup and we will watch film, and see what we did good and exciting and things that we have to correct,” Essary said. “We got some things corrected last week that we did better on tonight. We will keep going and I am excited for the future.”
Last year, the Hawks doubled up the Hornets with a 42-21 victory at Bruce Field.
In the first half, Red Oak scored three touchdowns with the first coming at 6:13 in the first quarter. Carson Forbes found Hunter Smith with a 23-yard reception. Nicholas Alvarado tacked on the extra point afterward.
C.J. Palmer then scored his first of two rushing touchdowns with a five-yard run with 6:55 remaining in the second quarter.
Athens then countered with a 54-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Xavius Fulton with 3:50 remaining. Dakota Anderson picked up the PAT to reduce the deficit to 14-7.
Palmer then countered with a 23-yard touchdown run with 2:51 left in the half. Palmer had 133 yards rushing on 11 carries in the first half.
Palmer finished the night with 218 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns.
“I knew he would be a good tough runner inside,” the coach said. “We have one guy on the defensive side that weighs over 200 pounds, and he probably weighs 225 pounds. He is a strong kid and they were having to throw bodies in there. Hats off to him because he kept running hard tonight.”
In the second half, Athens led off the scoring with a 10-yard run by Fulton with 7:13 remaining in the third quarter to make the score 21-14.
Red Oak answered with Palmer’s third touchdown of the game on a three-yard run with 3:35 remaining to give them a 28-14 lead.
Fulton finished the night 8 of 23 passing for 173 yards. He rushed for 97 yards on 21 carries.
“We got the passing game going tonight,” Essary said. “We got to running the football inside. I am excited for what we are going to be when we hit district. We have one more game to get better to get ready for district. If we continue to make strides on each side of the ball, we will be in good shape. It will be a good fun fight in district.”
Rhejhi Sherfield had three reception for 84 yards, while freshman Nathan Sims had one receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown.
The Hornets look to get back on track as they hit the road against Waco Robinson (1-2) Sept. 22.
This is the last regular season game for the Hornets before district play begins on Sept. 29 against the Mabank Panthers on homecoming night at Bruce Field.

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

ETMC Hospital Athens

Special to The News
TYLER–East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System (ETMC) has selected Ardent Health Services (Ardent) and The University of Texas System (UT System), which includes The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Health Northeast), to form a new health system to benefit East Texas, officials announced Sept. 13. Ardent will assume majority ownership and day-to-day operations of the new system. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The partnership will invest $150 million for improvements over five years and provide other resources to support the operation of this newly created health system.
Governance will be shared through a newly formed board of directors, which will include local physicians. Proceeds from the transaction will be used to create a local foundation to further the health and wellness of East Texans. The transaction is expected to close following the completion of due diligence and required regulatory approvals.
Based in Tyler, ETMC includes 502-bed East Texas Medical Center Tyler and a network of nine hospitals and 39 clinics, including regional hospitals located in Athens, Carthage, Henderson, Jacksonville, Pittsburg and Quitman. Additionally, in Tyler, two other inpatient facilities, the ETMC Rehabilitation Hospital and the ETMC Specialty Hospital, are included in the new health system.
Other assets include the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, physician clinics, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, a behavioral health center and a comprehensive 7-trauma center care network, including a Level 1.
In February 2017, ETMC leadership began the search for a strategic partner to assist the organization in continuing its mission of improving the health and quality of life for East Texans.
“After a deliberate and thoughtful process, our Board of Directors is pleased to select Ardent Health Services and the University of Texas System as the right partners for ETMC to take up our mission of care,” said President and CEO of ETMC Elmer G. Ellis. “This acquisition will allow ETMC to grow and thrive in the East Texas region, with new partners who can best provide the necessary clinical expertise, operational proficiency, employee development and financial resources to deliver the best care possible for our patients.”
Once the board approves, the UT System will contribute its Tyler-based UT Health Northeast hospital and 12 physician clinic operations to the new 10-hospital system. The newly created health system will expand medical education, research and community health. It will be an affiliate of the world-renowned University of Texas System, one of the largest academic and health systems in the country.” This combination will bring unique synergies to the East Texas health-care landscape,” UT System Board of Regents member Kevin Eltife stated. “The great benefit of these three organizations coming together will be that East Texans will enjoy the best of all possible worlds. A great national healthcare system will be integrated with a regional powerhouse in healthcare delivery and a leader in health education and research.”
“We are delighted to partner with UT Health Northeast and the dedicated physicians, nurses and employees of ETMC,” President and CEO of Ardent Health Services David T. Vandewater said. “At Ardent, we strongly believe in the value of partnerships that bring out the best in each organization. We each share a focus on service and a commitment to providing quality care to the communities we serve. Together, we will continue the great legacy of ETMC.”

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
COOLIDGE–The Trinidad Trojans lost their first game of the season by a final score of 54-6 against the No. 12-ranked Coolidge Yellowjackets Sept. 15 on the road.
The game was called after the third quarter under the mercy rule, which Trinidad inflicted on Gustine in their first game this season.
Senior Trojans quarterback Colby Snider was 4/15 for 33 yards passing with three interceptions.
Talon Sims led the way offensively for the Trojans with 13 carries for 46 yards.
Meanwhile Johnny Ayala had four carries for 24 yards and the only touchdown for the Trojans. He also had two receptions for 20 yards.
The Trojans offense struggled against the Yellowjackets, putting up only 101 total yards of offense.
The Trojans are now 2-1 on the season as they face off against Fruitvale at home Sept. 22.

Sep

14

Posted by : admin | On : September 14, 2017

Jeff Weinstein (right) holds a proclamation making Sept. 23, 2017 "Unlce Fletch Festival Day" in the city of Athens. Mayor Monte Montgomery (left) read the proclamation and the council approved execution of an agreement with TxDOT for closure of State Right-of-Way for the festival.

Jeff Weinstein (right) holds a proclamation making Sept. 23, 2017 “Unlce Fletch Festival Day” in the city of Athens. Mayor Monte Montgomery (left) read the proclamation and the council approved execution of an agreement with TxDOT for closure of State Right-of-Way for the festival.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Disannexation of property around Lake Athens came before the city council once again at their Sept. 11 meeting. Landowner Tom Potthoff spoke briefly, thanking the council members and Fire Chief McQueary for consideration relating to the disannexation of his property, which the council voted in favor of initiating Aug. 14 in a 4-1 vote, with Councilwoman Toni Clay opposing the move. The first reading of the Ordinance took place at the meeting. The second reading is scheduled for September.
City Managing Director of Planning Barbara Holley presented a report to the council regarding the possible impact of disannexing property within the city limits, pointing out that the affected area could be as much as 106 acres total with some additional amount of the spillway acreage.
“Due to the changes in the legislation regarding annexation, it is less likely. Currently, our growth boundary is at 80 percent.” Holley also described a situation where a property owner on the outskirts of the city could possibly enjoy city services without paying city taxes.
“From a planning perspective, I don’t think disannexing is a good idea because we have a significantly contracted growth boundary at this point,” Holley said. She also informed the council that when disannexing property, there is a mandatory refund of all taxes paid on a property from the time it was annexed to the time it is disannexed. For the Potthoff property, the amount is around $400.
Mayor Monte Montgomery questioned the fiscal impact of not only the taxes, but the work it would take city staff to process requests if they begin coming in succession. Councilwoman Clay reiterated her opposition to disannexation, “For me it is not about tax revenue now. Our job is to have a vision for the future. I feel that 40, 50 or 100 years from now, we will have made the wrong decision by de-annexing this property, especially when it is so much more difficult to annex in the future.”
Mayor Montgomery said, “It will always be my stand that we should never go after tax money without providing services. If we annex property, water and sewer should be right behind it.”
The council then considered the request of James and Carolyn Ray to disannex 0.260 acres (F.M. Trimble, A-766). Stan Taylor spoke to the council in favor of granting the request as it will affect how the Ray’s build their new home. The proposed porch and firepit will be in the section of land currently within the city. The portion of the lot is 100 feet by 71 to 90 feet.
After discussion, the motion failed 3-2.
In other business, council members:
• Mayor Monte Montgomery read a proclamation making Sept. 23 “Uncle Fletch Festival Day.”
• Approved selection of Gallagher Construction Company, L for construction management services (Construction Manager as Advisor) for the Cain Center Project.