Story No. 1 – Another case of West Nile: The second case of West Nile Virus was reported in Henderson County, and a fatality from the disease was reported in nearby Cherokee County.
Why it is important: The danger from West Nile continues to be on the minds of area residents. Learn more:The Review.
Story No. 2 – Dry weather taking a toll: Commissioners’ Court extended the burn ban another two weeks and the City of Athens initiated Step 1 of its Drought Contingency Plan this week. Why it is important: The drought may not be as bad as it was last year, but it is still bad. Learn more: Details of the Athens Stage 1 Drought Contingency are listed on the front page of the city’s website.
Story No. 3 – Athens council to vote on tax rate: The Athens City Council are expected to approve a 3-cent ad valorem tax increase during its regular meeting Monday night. Why it is important: Taxes — and the services they provide — are always important. Learn more: The Athens/Malakoff News had a story a couple of weeks ago.
Story No. 4 – Family Peace Project wants to go viral: The Family Peace Project has been selected to be a part of the Chase Community Giving online contest. Why it is important: Because there is a share of $2.5 million on the line for charities. Learn more: Check out the Chase Community Giving Facebook page and vote!
Story No. 5 – Big game for TVCC: The No. 6 TVCC Cardinals will play host to the No. 7 Iowa Western Reivers (yes, that’s spelled correctly – best I can tell it is a sort of pirate) Saturday at Bruce Field. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. Why it is important: This game could tell us if the Cards really do have a shot at a national championship. Learn more: Jayson Larson at the Review has an advance.
Erik Bendl (The World Guy) and Nice the dog walk along Loop 7 in Athens Thursday afternoon.
Story No. 1 – Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness Month: April is Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Henderson County. Law enforcement and activists fighting the scourge gathered on the Courthouse lawn Tuesday to try and raise awareness of the problem. Why it is important: Because Henderson County has a severe problem in both areas. In 2011, the East Texas Crisis Center helped 222 children of mothers who were abused and worked with 96 sexual assault victims. Considering less than half of all sex assaults are reported, those numbers are pretty staggering. Learn more: The Review had a story from the event.
Story No. 2 – Livestock Show Time: It is time for the annual Henderson County Livestock Show. Kids from all over the county will be hitting the Fairpark Complex in Athens April 9-14 for the culmination of a year worth of work. Why it is important: This is the 52nd annual show … yeah, it’s pretty important in Henderson County. Learn more: The Livestock Show has its own website.
Story No. 3 – The World Guy comes to Athens: Erik Bendl is “The World Guy,” and he is walking across the state with his dog and a six-foot inflated globe to raise awareness about the dangers of diabetes. Thursday he walked through Athens.
Why it is important: Did I mention the guy is walking across the state with a six-foot globe? Plus, diabetes really is an insidious disease.
Learn more: The Malakoff News had a story and photo.
Story No. 4 – No Smoking Ordinance: The Athens City Council has been discussing a no smoking ordinance for the city since last November, but the process is coming to an end. Council members will hear the official “first reading” of the ordinance Monday night during their regular council meeting at 5:30 p.m. Final approval is expected to come during a meeting April 23. Why it is important: The ordinance will impact nearly all public areas in Athens. Learn more: Here’s the agenda, and here is the last story the Athens Review did on the subject.
Story No. 5 – TVCC Cheerleaders turn: The Lady Cardinal basketball team brought home a national title, and now it is the cheerleaders’ turn. The TVCC Cheerleaders are leaving for Florida Tuesday, April 10, and will be going for a 10th national title. Why it is important: Did I say 10 titles? When it comes to cheerleading, TVCC is the elite of elites. Learn more: You can see the squad’s competition routine 7 p.m. Monday at Cardinal Gym and the cheerleaders go through their final tuneup before leaving.
Story No. 1 – TVCC’s Rip Drumgoole dies: Trinity Valley Community College Vice President of Student Services Dr. W.P. “Rip” Drumgoole passed away Thursday morning after a long battle with cancer. Why it is important: Rip was truly one of the good guys. He was a part of the TVCC family since 1973 and was heavily involved in the Athens community. He was a member of the Athens Rotary Club, Cain Center Board of Directors, the Athens Economic Development Corporation, the East Texas Arboretum and the Henderson County Girls Softball Association. Learn more: Here is the story from TVCC.
Story No. 2 – BIG Friday of football: There are two huge football games Friday night. Both the Athens Hornets and the Malakoff Tigers will clinch playoff spots with wins Friday night. Both teams would be entering the postseason for the third consecutive year. In both cases, it would be for the first time in school history. Malakoff will be on the road in Elkhart. Athens will be home to host Rusk, with White-out scheduled.
Why it is important: Come on, this is Texas. Do I really have to answer that?
Learn more: Here is info on the Athens White-out.
Bonus: If you don’t get enough football on Friday night, then No. 9 TVCC will be taking on No. 6 Navarro at Bruce Field 3 p.m. Saturday. And if you STILL need more, the Cowboys will be in a divisional battle with the Eagles Sunday night at 7:30 p.m.
Story No. 3 – Burn Ban extended again: Tuesday morning, Henderson County Commissioners’ Court extended the burn ban on a 3-1 vote. Why it is important: How can this be a top story considering that the burn ban has been in effect continuously since April? Because it could be coming to an end, if only temporarily. This week marked the first time the vote wasn’t unanimous (Ronny Lawrence voted no), and the Keetch-Bynum Index is at its lowest in several weeks – and that was before rain fell Thursday. But if the ban is lifted you better be ready to take care of business because it probably won’t be off for long. Everybody and their uncle in the weather game is saying the Texas drought will extend into next year. Learn more: Here is the Athens Review story and The Malakoff News story.
Story No. 4 – Monarch Utilities water/sewer rate case: How would you like to pay more than $200 a month for your water and sewer? Neither do Monarch customers. Both State Rep. Lance Gooden and State Sen. Robert Nichols have written letters supporting the nearly 3,000 Henderson County customers in their rate case. Why it is important: Decisions made in this case could have a far reaching impact on legislation the next time lawmakers meet in Austin. Learn more: The Malakoff News has a story.
Story No. 5 – Former Eustace Principal Karen Mullin named Region 7 Principal of the Year: Karen Mullin was named the Region 7 Principal of the Year. I can’t say “Principal Karen Mullin” because the Eustace ISD school board removed her from her position after a 7-year-old photo of her mooning someone came to light. Oh, and EISD has to pay her twice as much to not be the principal. To add to the fun, the old photo was found by a former member of the Eustace City Council, who then shared it with the school. Lawsuits are pending all around. Why it is important: Someone is going to end up with egg on their face in this situation. It is an object lesson in how things can quickly go wrong. Learn more: The Athens Review has the story.
Bonus Story – The Texas Rangers: By Saturday morning, the Texas Rangers will either be World Series Champions or they will forever be the team that was twice just one strike away from their ultimate goal and failed. Let’s all hope next week we’ll be talking about the Rangers parade.