Week of December 12, 2011

Story No. 1 – No Banner This Year: A Freedom From Religion Foundation spokeswoman confirmed Friday that there will be no FFRF banner on the courthouse lawn this year.
Why it is important: Pushing the issue to next year should drain some of the emotion out of the situation and give attorneys a chance to work out the legal points.
Learn more: The Malakoff News broke the story here.

Story No. 2 – Rally Time: A big crowd is expected for the Henderson County Nativity Rally Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. on the courthouse square.
Why it is important: After being relegated to social media for nearly two weeks, county Christians will be able to personally turn out “ in love, to unite and show the world the true spirit of Christ and Christmas.”
Learn more: The Athens Review, the Tyler Paper, and The Malakoff News all have stories.

Story No. 3 – Primary mess: By court order, filing for a spot on the Republican and Democratic party primary ballots has been extended to Monday. And it will be opened up again at a later time because no one knows what’s going on with redistrict maps. A good sign is that officials from both parties agreed to move the election date back to April 3, but that also has to be approved by a panel of judges, so who knows.
Why it is important: Because candidates can’t file if they don’t know what district they are in.
Learn more: The Review had a basic story, and here is a story from the Texas Tribune .

Story No. 4 – Thunder Bridge closing: The bridge over the Union Pacific Railway on CR 1500 on the edge of Athens will be closed, according to railway officials.
Why it is important: The bridge is more than 100 years old and it will cost around $1.5 million to replace, officials said. There are also several families along CR 1500 who have been cut off from a direct route to Athens.
Learn more: The Review had the story here.

Story No. 5 – School finance lawsuit: The Texas Coalition – which includes Malakoff ISD – filed its school finance lawsuit against the state in Austin last week.
Why it is important: Although it seems far away, legislators will soon be battling over more budget cuts.
Learn more: The Malakoff News had a story.

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