Week of February 6, 2012

Story No. 1 – Filing for municipal elections begin:
Filing has opened for the May 12 municipal and school board elections. Because of changes to state law, just five governmental bodies are holding elections at this time: Athens, Athens ISD, Malakoff, Log Cabin, Chandler and Gun Barrel City.
Why it is important: Because elected officials at this level control millions of tax dollars and vote on lifestyle issues that effect us all (see Story 2).
Learn more: Since no one has posted whose seats are open yet, here you go.
Athens: Council members Carol Barton, Aubrey Jones, and Elaine Jenkins.
Athens ISD: Rob Risko and Ginger Kirk.
Chandler: Council members Don Daniell, Janeice Lunsford, and Gene Giger.
Log Cabin: Council members Gene Bearden, Richard Harrah, and Kathy Boykin.
Malakoff: Council members Jerrilyn Tarver, Pat Isaacson, and Vincent Bailey.
Gun Barrel City: Mayor Dennis Wood, council members Melvyn Hayes and Dennis Baade.

Story No. 2 – No smoking ordinance moves forward: The second public hearing for the proposed no smoking ordinance in Athens will be held during the regular City Council meeting Monday night, Feb. 13.
Why it is important: Although it is not a done deal, the ordinance sure looks on track to soon become law.
Learn more: Local blogger Michael Hannigan has an update.

Story No. 3 – Anti-nativity rally scheduled?: Is February too early to start gearing up over the inevitable nativity scene controversy? Apparently not. A San Antonio atheist wrote a letter to the editor to local newspapers calling for an anti-rally on Dec. 21.
Why it is important: The nativity controversy made Athens a household topic across the country last December … and it looks like it is going to happen again.
Learn more: The Malakoff News posted Patrick Greene’s letter.

Story No. 4 – Plane goes down in Lake Palestine: Police located the wreckage of a single-engine plane in Lake Palestine Thursday. Officials are still searching for the pilot.
Why it is important: This is one of those “talker” stories, where someone will invariably ask you: “Did you hear about …?”
Learn more: The Athens Review had a story about Henderson County’s contribution to the search.

Story No. 5 – Big church event at Cain Center: Speaking of the nativity controversy, one of the good things to come out of all that is a more active outreach to the poor among area churches and ministries. Saturday, Feb. 11, that will continue with a big event at the Cain Center.
Why it is important: Because it is time for the growing poor and hurting population in Henderson County to stop being invisible.
Learn more: The Review has an advance on the event.

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