The proposed FFRF banner.
Story No. 1 – FFRF Back in Town: The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) was back in Athens this week, asking Commissioners’ Court to approve an atheist banner for display on the Courthouse lawn in December.
Why it is important: This is the nativity scene controversy … which continues to draw media and interest from all over the state and country.
Learn more: Both the Athens Review and The Malakoff News had the story.
Story No. 2 – AISD Lifts Voice Against Testing: Athens ISD school board members approved a resolution last week, saying “… The over reliance on standardized, high-stakes testing as the only assessment of learning that really matters in the state and federal accountability systems is strangling our public schools and undermining any chance that educators have to transform a traditional system of schooling into a broad range of learning experiences that better prepares our students to live successfully and be competitive on a global stage …”
Why it is important: The tide against standardized testing in Texas seems to be rising.
Learn more: The story was in the new paper, The Athens News, which doesn’t have a web site. You can catch up with the paper on Facebook, however.
Story No. 3 – Fugitive Caught: After nearly 10 years on the run, accused child molester Travis Wayne Jones was caught in Arkansas this week, mostly thanks to the work from Henderson County law enforcement.
Why it is important: Jones had been on the county’s Most Wanted list and was even featured in the television show “America’s Most Wanted.”
Learn more: The Review has a story.
Story No. 4 – PRCA Rodeo this weekend: It is rodeo time in Henderson County. The annual PRCA Rodeo will begin tonight (Friday, April 27) in the Fairpark Complex.
Why it is important: These are the top cowboys in the country and event planners have added some fun things this year like a Kids Zone with multiple bounce houses.
Learn more: Art Lawler at the Review has a story.
Story No. 5 – Sculpture Tour this weekend: If rodeo isn’t your idea of culture, there is a three-county sculpture tour this Saturday. The event includes a pair of special gardens in Malakoff, including one by the stepmother of famous artist James Surls.
Why it is important: These really are famous artists; you can’t pick up these type of pieces in the Tyler mall.
Learn more: This story has been plenty of places, including the Dallas Morning News and Texas Monthly, but why leave home when you can read it in the Review.
BONUS STORY: No Smoking Ordinance Finalized: The Athens City Council gave its final blessing to the no smoking ordinance in Athens this week.
Why it is important: Smoking is now prohibited in most public places in the city.