Week of January 2, 2012

Lupe's Tree Service in Athens takes down the last Christmas decoration on the square this week, the Santa hot air balloon.

Story No. 1 – It is a New Year: Holiday fatigue has set in, but the BCS Championship Game still hasn’t been played … yep, the calendar just turned.
Why it is important: Well, beyond the normal things like resolutions that will be broken and checks written with the wrong date, this January brings us face-to-face with the final demise of the planet … according to the Mayans.
Learn more: If you want to read about the “2012 phenomenon,” check out this Wikipedia article. If you’d rather do the usual and read about the Top Stories of 2011, check out this in the Review, or this in The Malakoff News.

Story No. 2 – First Baby of 2012: Aleigia Shamlin of Malakoff was the first baby of the year in Henderson County, born 8:41 a.m. on Jan. 1. Mom is Samantha Curry and dad is Terry Shamlin.
Why it is important: The first baby is tradition and tradition is important. Besides, she’s cute.
Learn more: Check out Aleigia’s photo debut.

Story No. 3 – Nativity scene gone but not forgotten: Well, 2012 did what the Freedom From Religion Foundation couldn’t – it made the nativity scene on the courthouse lawn disappear. Light Up Athens put away the decorations around the square this week.
Why it is important: Unfortunately, this will not be an “out of sight, out of mind” issue. The FFRF is expected to approach Henderson County sometime in March or April to request room on the square for one of its banners next Christmas.
Learn more: There is just sooooo much information out there about this issue that I suggest you just Google “Athens nativity” if you need a refresher.

Story No. 4 – Cross Roads cattle poisoned: Laboratory test results confirmed that 29 head of cattle found dead in Cross Roads last week were killed by eating hay with high levels of nitrates.
Why it is important: Nitrates can be found in forages grown during drought conditions. A high enough level of nitrate can kill a cow in an hour. Local Extension Service officials are encouraging local livestock owners to test their hay.
Learn more: The Malakoff News had the story as did the Athens Review.

Story No. 5 – Primary election pushed back: The new primary election date is April 3 for Texas Republicans and Democrats; and filing deadlines have been pushed back, but nobody is exactly sure when that will restart.
Why it is important: Wouldn’t it be nice to know when to vote?
Learn more: Check out the Review story.

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