Week of November 21, 2011

Carol Morton of Keep Athens Beautiful is caught moving into her new office at the new Athens EDC building this week.

Story No. 1 – Moving into Athens EDC building: After more than two years, the first tenants have moved into the building purchased by the Athens EDC (the old Eckerd Drug building on W. Corsicana Street). So far AEDC, Keep Athens Beautiful, and the TVCC Small Business Development Center have taken up residence. The Athens Tourism Department and the Athens Chamber of Commerce will also be moving in.
Why it is important: Because having all those entities under one roof could act like an incubator for ideas and business for Athens … and also because it is your tax dollars that paid for the building.
Extra Info: The building has not been named yet, but several suggestions will likely be on the next AEDC agenda. Our favorite so far is the Athens Partnership Center.
Learn more: This Athens Review story from August marks the start of renovations to the building.

Story No. 2 – TVCC tree lighting: Monday (Nov. 28), Trinity Valley Community College will kick off the holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting at 7 p.m. There will be music and fun and a big elf in a red suit.
Why it is important: All around the county folks are getting ready for Christmas and the New Year. By the time Monday rolls around, decorations will be up on the square. The following weekend is the Athens parade and GBC parade, the weekend after that is the Malakoff parade. With everything going on it is nice to have an official start.
Learn more: Here are some more details from TVCC.

Story No. 3 – Education funding lawsuits: The Malakoff ISD school board this week decided to join a lawsuit against the State of Texas regarding school funding.
Why it is important: School funding doesn’t just touch everyone in the county, the issue goes directly back to the past Legislative Session and the way lawmakers cut the budget. Malakoff is not the only district involved – no, far from it. There are four different groups filing lawsuits, and the biggest one (which includes Eustace ISD but not Malakoff) represents more than 300 districts.
Learn more: The Malakoff story is here.

Story No. 4 – Seven Points settlement: Three separate lawsuit settlements involving the Seven Points Police Department will cost taxpayers $21,500.
Why it is important: First, because hopefully we are seeing the gradual winding down of the problems that have rocked Seven Points over the last couple of years. Second, because the problems that have rocked Seven Points over the last couple of years better be a cautionary tale for other small municipalities around the county.
Learn more: Art Lawler at the Review has been all over this story from the very start.

Story No. 5 – Holiday shopping season opens: The Christmas tree will be going up this weekend for many folks – which means thoughts will be turning not to sugar plums, but to filling up the space under the tree with gifts.
Why it is important: It isn’t just the season to be merry, it is the season to be scammed. The holidays already cost an arm and a leg, make sure it doesn’t cost your identity as well.
Learn more: The Athens PD has some great tips on how to be safe while shopping.

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