Michael and Kenya Landers won the national championship last weekend and then landed jobs with the University of Mississippi women’s basketball program days later.
Story No. 1 – National Champions: The Trinity Valley Lady Cardinals notched the program’s sixth national title last weekend, beating Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College, 69-55.
Why it is important: Did I mention it was No. 6? Plus, the win came on the day the court in Salina, Kansas was named for the late TVCC legend, Kurt Budke.
Learn more: Jayson Larson from the Review was there and has the story on the championship and the court being renamed.
Bonus Info: The public is invited to join Trinity Valley Community College for “No. 6: A Celebration” on Thursday, April 5 at 7 p.m. at Cardinal Gym when the college will celebrate the undefeated season and sixth national championship of the Lady Cardinals.
Story No. 2 – TVCC loses women’s basketball coaches: Less than a week after winning the national title, Lady Cardinal co-coaches Michael and Kenya Landers accepted offers with the University of Mississippi.
Why it is important: Now the best coaching position in JUCO women’s basketball is open.
Learn more: Here’s the story from the college.
Story No. 3 – County OKs premises use policy: Commissioners’ Court this week approved a policy listing the rules for using county property.
Why it is important: This particular policy figures to come into play when the Freedom From Religion Foundation (remember them?) comes back asking to put one of its banners on the Courthouse lawn at Christmas.
Learn more: Both the Review and The Malakoff News have stories.
Story No. 4 – KAB wins again: Keep Athens Beautiful has won the Governor’s Community Achievement Award for the eighth straight time.
Why it is important: Because the award comes with money (about $160,000), which KAB uses for projects around the city.
Learn more: The Review has a story.
Story No. 5 – Atheist drops complaint against judge: The nativity scene controversy is the issue that never stops giving stories (see Story No. 3). Now, San Antonio atheist Patrick Greene has asked the state Commission on Judicial Conduct to drop his complaint against County Judge Richard Sanders.
Why it is important: While nothing was ever expected to come from the complaint to begin with, the change in Greene has become a story in itself. Consider, Sand Springs Baptist Church Pastor Erick Graham was on the Fox News Channel this week talking about the story.
Learn more: The Malakoff News seems to have a pipeline to Greene.
Story No. 1 – Questions over AHS principal contract: Several community members turned out to support AHS Principal S.D. Loyless Thursday night after the school board decided against renewing his contract last month.
Why it is important: Mainly because the biggest question about the Loyless issue hasn’t been answered: Why not renew? Communication with the community seems to be at an all time low for Athens ISD. And new superintendent Dr. Robert Steeber doesn’t seem to be going out of his way to fix the problem.
Learn more: Art Lawler from the Review was at Thursday’s meeting.
Story No. 2 – Lady Cards reach Final Four: The TVCC Lady Cardinals reached the Final Four of the NJCAA National Tournament by beating an Alabama squad Thursday night.
Why it is important: With a win Friday night, the Lady Cards will be in the national title game on Saturday for a second straight year.
Learn more: Jayson Larson is in Kansas following the action.
Story No. 3 – Rope Myers is jousting: Jousting? Yep, the former Athens resident and PRCA World Champion Steer Wrestler is one of the contestants on The History Channel’s Full Metal Jousting.
Why it is important: Because one of our own is starring (and no doubt he’s a star) in a reality series … plus, it’s jousting!
Learn more: The Malakoff News has a story.
Story No. 4 – What drought: There were some flooded roads in Henderson County early this week following torrential downpours, but you didn’t hear too many complaints.
Why it is important: After one of the longest droughts in Texas history, the rains were welcome.
Learn more: The Athens Review had a photo of all six gates on the Cedar Creek Lake dam open; can’t remember the last time that happened.
Story No. 5 – Regional Citizen of the Year: Dwayne Garner, 77, of Brownsboro was named the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) Regional Citizen of the Year.
Why it is important: ETCOG covers a 14-county area, so being the top citizen is no small feat.
Learn more: The Review story is here.
BONUS STORY – Henderson County goes national … again: The story about San Antonio atheist Patrick Greene getting help from county Christians has been picked up by national outlets.
Why it is important: How many times can a small, East Texas county end up in the national news? Apparently, a lot.
Learn more: Here’s a story from MSNBC.
TVCC Lady Cardinals celebrate winning the Regional Tournament last weekend in Tyler.
Story No. 1 – TVCC Lady Cardinals in National Tournament: After taking care of business in the Regional Tournament held in Tyler last week, the TVCC Lady Cardinals are taking their No. 1 ranking to the National Tournament in Salina, Kansas.
Why it is important: The Lady Cardinals are looking to take care of unfinished business; TVCC was the national runner-up last year.
Learn more: Jayson Larson was at media day Thursday.
Story No. 2 – Primary filing wrapped up: After waiting and waiting … and waiting, the ballots for the Republican and Democratic primaries are set. Voters will go to the polls May 29.
Why it is important: They say you can’t tell the players without a scorecard … well, the ballot is your scorecard.
Learn more: Both the Athens and the Malakoff papers have updates.
Story No. 3 – Voting box problems: There may be an election scheduled, but that doesn’t mean that redistricting isn’t still a pain in the neck. County commissioners this week had to split one voting box, and there is still controversy over another.
Why it is important: You gotta know where to vote in order to exercise your right.
Learn more: Again the two papers, Athens and Malakoff have stories.
Story No. 4 – Patrick Greene saga continues: San Antonio atheist Patrick Greene just won’t go away … but really, who expected he’d still be around like this?
Why it is important: Greene dropped his interest in the Henderson County nativity controversy because he’s going blind, but area Christians are stepping in to help. Not all Christians think that’s the right approach, however.
Learn more: Michael V. Hannigan at The Malakoff News has been tracking this story, and the comments section on the paper’s website has become the playing field for debate among Christians … including occasional appearances by Patrick Greene.
Story No. 5 – Danny Glover in Tyler: You loved him as “the other guy” in the Lethal Weapon movie franchise and wondered how he beat the alien in Predator 2, but did you know that actor Danny Glover was in Tyler last week. Yep, he was the master of ceremonies at the Texas College Legacy Dinner last week at Harvey Convention Center.
Why it is important: How often does someone like Danny Glover come to the area?
Learn more: The Tyler Paper has a story, but it is mostly about the Legacy Dinner. The photo of Glover is pretty good, though.
TVCC Lady Cardinal coaches Kenya (left) and Michael Landers keep an eye on the action during a recent game.
Story No. 1 – TVCC basketball teams in Regional Tournament:The Cardinals and Lady Cardinals are playing in the NJCAA Regional Tournament in Tyler this weekend with a berth in the National Tournament on the line.
Why it is important: Both the men and women are red hot and playing well. The women are the No. 1 team in the nation and finished the regular season unbeaten for the fifth time in school history. They are a team with legit National Championship aspirations.
Learn more: Here’s Jayson Larson’s preview on the women and the men.
Story No. 2 – County looks at premises use policy: Henderson County Commissioners’ Court tabled a policy detailing the rules for outside use of county property Tuesday, but the policy is expected to come before commissioners again next week.
Why it is important: Remember the nativity scene fiasco (like you could forget)? Well the Freedom From Religion Foundation is expected to be back next month, and when it asks to place a banner on the courthouse lawn it will run square into the county premises use policy.
Learn more: Here’s a little bit from the Athens Review, but expect to hear more about this next week.
Story No. 3 – What elections?: Filing for municipal and school board elections in Henderson County closed on Monday. Most of the elections were cancelled because of a lack of candidates.
Why it is important: In Athens, only incumbents filed for the City Council and School Board. Malakoff, Log Cabin, Star Harbor all also cancelled elections because there were the same number of candidates as seats. This is either proof of deep satisfaction with our local government officials, or a sign of apathy. I’ll leave it to you to decide.
Learn more: Elections that are not.
Story No. 4 – Christians showing love to atheist: In the strangest twist to the nativity scene saga, a San Antonio atheist who is going blind is finding support from among Henderson County Christians.
Why it is important: Opposite sides loving each other? Dropping differences to focus on a real problem? Is Congress watching and learning anything?
Learn more: There’s not really a story on this yet; instead it is all playing out in the comments section of The Malakoff News.
Story No. 5 – Clownzo hurt in accident: The man who says he invented Ronald McDonald and who hung out with Buddy Holly the night of his death was critically injured when hit by a tow truck while riding his bicycle in Tyler.
Why it is important: This is one of those strange, strange stories you are going to love telling your friends.
Learn more: The Tyler Paper has an interesting read on Clownzo.
Story No. 1 – Hornets flying high: The Athens High School boys will be taking on the No. 5-ranked Silsbee Tigers tonight in regional semifinal basketball action in Huntsville.
Why it is important: The Hornets are just two wins away from the Final Four in Austin.
Learn more: Jayson Larson is on top of things at the Review.
Story No. 2 – Finally, a primary date: Looks like there will be primary elections after a San Antonio federal court issued interim redistricting maps this week.
Why it is important: The move makes it likely the primaries will be held May 29.
Learn more: The Malakoff News has a story looking at what’s next for the county elections office.
Story No. 3 – Atheist going blind, files complaint: San Antonio atheist Patrick Greene has backed off his promise to sue the county over a nativity scene, but that didn’t stop him from filing a complaint against County Judge Richard Sanders.
Why it is important: In all likelihood the complaint against Sanders will come to nothing; Greene was even using the wrong part of the law, according to county officials. But the threat of a lawsuit was very real, and was probably going to cost the county real money.
Learn more: Again, The Malakoff News has the story.
Story No. 4 – Filing of muncipal/school elections closes Monday: Time is running out if you want to serve on the city council in Athens, Malakoff, Chandler, Log Cabin, Star Harbor or Gun Barrel City … or the Athens ISD school board.
Why it is important: Because democracy doesn’t work without participation.
Learn more: The Review breaks down the Athens races.
Story No. 5 – Saying goodbye: Athens Review journalist Art Lawler wrote a column about the passing of his first wife last weekend.
Why it is important: Because the column stands alone as the best piece of writing produced locally in a long, long, long time.
Learn more: Read it here, but bring tissues.