Week of December 3, 2012

Crestway Park Dental won the Grand Prize in last Saturday night’s Athens Christmas Parade for its Grinch/Whoville float (with real snow!). Here Crestway is receiving the $500 grand prize from city officials and the parade judges.

Story No. 1 – Christmas Parades: The Athens Christmas parade was a huge success last Saturday, and two more parades are on tap for this weekend. The Malakoff Christmas parade will be Saturday at 10 a.m., and the Eustace Christmas parade will be Saturday at 6 p.m.
Why it is important: Because it’s Christmas and we love parades.
Learn more: The Malakoff News has some info.

Story No. 2 – 15 percent rule: Texas Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams announced last Friday that the state will defer the so-called “15 percent grading requirement” for the current school year.
Why it is important: Under the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), which went into effect last year, a student’s score on the STAAR end-of-course exams count as 15 percent of the student’s final grade.
Learn more: The Malakoff/Athens News.

Story No. 3 – Nativity lawsuit … not: San Antonio atheist Patrick Greene filed a lawsuit against the City of Athens on Monday in connection with the annual nativity scene on the County Courthouse lawn — and then he dropped it three days later to go after the Texas Attorney General instead.
Why it is important: Because the nativity scene controversy has taken on a life of its own, regardless of how weary we’ve become.
Learn more: The Athens Review.

Story No. 4 – Citizen of the Year applications: Nominations are being accepted for the 2012 Athens Citizen of the Year. The award was established to acknowledge and show appreciation to citizens who have exhibited generous community spirit, and a commitment to improving the quality of life for the citizens of Athens.
Why it is important: The award highlights someone who usually works without recognition.
Learn more: Nominations should be sent as a letter of recommendation, in a sealed envelope marked “Citizen of the Year Nomination” to the Athens Chamber of Commerce, 201 W.Corsicana Suite #1, Athens, TX 75751 no later than Dec. 28. The award will be announced at the Jan. 18, 2013 Chamber banquet at the Athens Country Club. For more information contact Sarah Hueber at 903-675-5181 or email shueber@athenscc.org.

Story No. 5 – Charlotte’s Web: The Henderson County Performing Arts Center will be staging “Charlotte’s Web,” running Dec. 7, 8, 13, 14, 15.
Why it is important: Because the crew at HCPAC put on an outstanding production.
Learn more: Get more information, or purchase tickets, on the HCPAC website.

Week of October 1, 2012

Replacement ref Mike Peek.

Story No. 1 – Replacement ref talks, and he’s from Athens!: TVCC professor Mike Peek spoke last week about his experience as an NFL replacement referee.
Why it is important:
In addition to getting to call games at the highest level, Peek is the only replacement ref who has agreed to give interviews.
Learn more:
Everybody has been talking to Peek, from the Washington Post to Good Morning America. You can check out the local treatment at the Review and The Malakoff/Athens News.

Story No. 2 – Dr. Steeber may be leaving AISD: Athens ISD Superintendent Dr. Robert Steeber has tentatively accepted a job with Region XI.
Why it is important:
Steeber has only been with the district a year.
Learn more:
Again, there are stories in the Review and The Malakoff/Athens News.

Story No. 3 – Jackie Guthrie indicted: Frankston resident Jackie Guthrie was indicted last week for Capital Murder.
Why it is important:
Guthrie was the focus of a statewide manhunt in July after he allegedly shot and killed one woman and kidnapped another.
Learn more:
The Malakoff/Athens News and KLTV.

Story No. 4 – City sponsors Christmas parade: The City of Athens announced late last week that it would sponsor the annual Christmas parade on Dec. 1
Why it is important:
The decision came after social media came alive with rumors that the Chamber of Commerce decided to not sponsor the parade (true) and that the parade had been cancelled (not true).
Learn more:
The Review and The Malakoff/Athens News.

Story No. 5 – Carroll Mayberry dies: Longtime Athens City Councilman Carroll Mayberry passed away this week.
Why it is important:
Mayberry served on the council for 17.5 years, starting in 1992. He was 73.
Learn more:
The Athens Review.

Week of January 23, 2012

(Photo credit The Athens Chamber of Commerce)

Story No. 1 – Citizen of the Year: Judith McGilvray was named the Athens Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year during the chamber banquet last Friday. East Texas Medical Center was the Business of the Year. The Ambassador of the Year was Darlene Clark.
Why it is important: Because these are prestigious awards with a long history.
Learn more: The Athens Review has the story.

Story No. 2 – Limited time to save primary: Leaders from the Texas Democratic and Republican parties are scheduled to meet today to see if the April 3 primary date can be saved. All they have to do is agree on redistricting maps.
Why it is important: Get ready for more moving election dates.
Learn more: The Texas Tribune had a good story early in the week.

Story No. 3 – Brewery coming to town: First Athens went wet and now it is getting a brewery. The Cedar Creek Brewery will be opening on Highway 175 between Athens and Eustace.
Why it is important: New business is always good, plus the brewery is going to host tours on Saturdays.
Learn more: We first learned about this when The Malakoff News posted a link to this Pegasusnews.com story.

Story No. 4 – TVCC women still undefeated: The No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley Lady Cardinals are 20-0 after an easy win over San Jac Wednesday night.
Why it is important: We could be seeing a very special season unfolding in Athens. Remember, the coaches Landers (Michael and Kenya) took the Lady Cardinals to the national championship game last year but came up short. Could this year see a triumphant return?
Learn more: Jayson Larson has a story.

Story No. 5 – Power out at courthouse: There was some excitement at the Henderson County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon when a wire leading into a transformer in the basement shorted out and caught fire. Judge Richard Sanders said the fire was quickly extinguished with no other damage, although one employee did get stuck in the elevator when the power went out. She was rescued pretty quickly by maintenance, however, said Sanders.
Why it is important: Truthfully, it wasn’t THAT big a deal: the fire was put out, the employee got out of the elevator, and Oncor came and fixed the problem. But it is still the type of story that gets around.
Learn more: The Review had a short story.


Week of January 16, 2012

Story No. 1 – Gov. Rick Perry back to Texas: On Thursday, Gov. Perry officially announced an end to his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Why it is important: First, because we don’t have to hear about his gaffes any longer. Second, because his supporters are unlikely to back Mitt Romney and could start a shift in the race. And third, because Texas has its own problems that need solving.
Learn more: The Associated Press had a good story, and here it is in the Tyler Paper.

Story No. 2 – Lady Cards No. 1: The Trinity Valley Lady Cardinals are ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Why it is important: Because Henderson County also loves TVCC and everyone loves a winner. You can catch the TVCC women at home this Saturday at 2 p.m. The Cardinals, who are undefeated in conference play, will take the court after the ladies.
Learn more: Here are the current rankings. The Lady Cards will also hold a Play 4Kay event on Feb. 8.

Story No. 3 – Ride the GOBUS: Henderson County Commissioners’ Court heard a report on public transportation in the county … yep, there is public transportation through the East Texas Council of Governments and its called the GOBUS.
Why it is important: Because you never know when you might need a ride.
Learn more: The Review had a story.

Story No. 4 – Athens Partnership Center: That new Athens EDC-funded building that houses the Athens Chamber of Commerce and the EDC and the KAB and the TVCC Small Business Development Center and the Tourism Office (and maybe more) … it has a name now: The Athens Partnership Center.
Why it is important: As a one-stop shop for business types coming to the city, the Athens Partnership Center is another de facto government building in Athens.
Learn more: The Review had a photo of the ribbon cutting.

Story No. 5 – Supreme Court on Redistricting: Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court told a federal court in San Antonio to “take guidance” from the State Legislature in crafting redistricting maps.
Why it is important: Because at this pace the primary election might be pushed back to May or even June.
Learn more: Here’s a story in the New York Times.

Week of November 21, 2011

Carol Morton of Keep Athens Beautiful is caught moving into her new office at the new Athens EDC building this week.

Story No. 1 – Moving into Athens EDC building: After more than two years, the first tenants have moved into the building purchased by the Athens EDC (the old Eckerd Drug building on W. Corsicana Street). So far AEDC, Keep Athens Beautiful, and the TVCC Small Business Development Center have taken up residence. The Athens Tourism Department and the Athens Chamber of Commerce will also be moving in.
Why it is important: Because having all those entities under one roof could act like an incubator for ideas and business for Athens … and also because it is your tax dollars that paid for the building.
Extra Info: The building has not been named yet, but several suggestions will likely be on the next AEDC agenda. Our favorite so far is the Athens Partnership Center.
Learn more: This Athens Review story from August marks the start of renovations to the building.

Story No. 2 – TVCC tree lighting: Monday (Nov. 28), Trinity Valley Community College will kick off the holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting at 7 p.m. There will be music and fun and a big elf in a red suit.
Why it is important: All around the county folks are getting ready for Christmas and the New Year. By the time Monday rolls around, decorations will be up on the square. The following weekend is the Athens parade and GBC parade, the weekend after that is the Malakoff parade. With everything going on it is nice to have an official start.
Learn more: Here are some more details from TVCC.

Story No. 3 – Education funding lawsuits: The Malakoff ISD school board this week decided to join a lawsuit against the State of Texas regarding school funding.
Why it is important: School funding doesn’t just touch everyone in the county, the issue goes directly back to the past Legislative Session and the way lawmakers cut the budget. Malakoff is not the only district involved – no, far from it. There are four different groups filing lawsuits, and the biggest one (which includes Eustace ISD but not Malakoff) represents more than 300 districts.
Learn more: The Malakoff story is here.

Story No. 4 – Seven Points settlement: Three separate lawsuit settlements involving the Seven Points Police Department will cost taxpayers $21,500.
Why it is important: First, because hopefully we are seeing the gradual winding down of the problems that have rocked Seven Points over the last couple of years. Second, because the problems that have rocked Seven Points over the last couple of years better be a cautionary tale for other small municipalities around the county.
Learn more: Art Lawler at the Review has been all over this story from the very start.

Story No. 5 – Holiday shopping season opens: The Christmas tree will be going up this weekend for many folks – which means thoughts will be turning not to sugar plums, but to filling up the space under the tree with gifts.
Why it is important: It isn’t just the season to be merry, it is the season to be scammed. The holidays already cost an arm and a leg, make sure it doesn’t cost your identity as well.
Learn more: The Athens PD has some great tips on how to be safe while shopping.