Story No. 1 – EDC Lures Business to Athens: The Athens Economic Development Corporation put together a $730,000 incentive package to bring Thrillworks, Inc. — a sports recreation equipment manufacturer — to the city.
Why it is important: The business will bring 33 jobs and has growth potential for much more.
Learn more: The Review has a story, but it was a little light on the proposal details. So here’s a little more:
First, the AEDC will purchase property on Flat Creek Road for $480,000 and then sell it back to Thrillworks (also known as Extreme Engineering). The move will allow the company to immediately occupy a suitable building. Thrillworks will pay back the loan in 10 years at 3 percent interest, but could save some of that money with incentives built in based on job creation and wages.
The AEDC will also provide a no-interest loan of $250,000 to the company for equipment and for moving expenses. That loan is to be paid back in five years.
Finally, there will be a $50,000 employee training grant for local workers.
The overall package does not quite add up to $730,000 because the AEDC is going to keep a portion of the property purchased with the building.
Story No. 2 – School Finance Trial Date Set: A state district judge scheduled the start of a trial over how Texas funds public education for Oct. 22. Four lawsuits have been filed on behalf of school districts on the issue.
Why it is important: With a new legislative session scheduled for 2013, the trial could have a big impact on budgeting for the next biennium.
Learn more: The Review ran a press release about the issue.
Story No. 3 – Athens Christian Preparatory Academy Ready to Grow: ACP will launch a capital campaign this Saturday, April 21, with an eye toward building a campus.
Why it is important: ACP is the only local alternative to Athens High School.
Learn more: The Athens Review ran a press release.
Story No. 4 – Freedom From Religion Foundation Coming Back to Town: Officials from the FFRF say they will ask Henderson County Commissioners’ Court on Tuesday for permission to display its banner on the Courthouse lawn in December.
Why it is important: Because the nativity scene controversy never seems to die down.
Learn more: The Malakoff News has a story (Page 16A). The News has begun to post the entire paper online, so you will have to go to the page to read the story.
Story No. 5 – Assistant Fire Chief Tres Winn to Retire: Tres Winn is saying goodbye to the AFD after 27 years. He is taking a new job in the gas industry, but will still be living in Athens.
Why it is important: Winn is one of those guys who seems to know everybody. A lifetime Athens resident, he can be found involved in many community projects.
Learn more: The story came out in The Athens News, a new free weekly newspaper covering the city. The paper does not have a website, however.