Week of November 7, 2011

Story No. 1 – SFC Benny Don Rogers comes home: SFC Rogers was 20 when he went missing from a battlefield in Unsan, North Korea in November 1950. He has been MIA for more than 60 years, but his remains were identified recently and he has come home. He will be buried with all military honors 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at Willow Springs Baptist Church in Athens.
Why it is important: Friday is Veterans Day. Can anything be more poignant than bringing him home over Veterans Day?
Learn more: There were stories by the Athens Review, The Malakoff News, The Tyler Paper, KLTV and probably many more.

Story No. 2 – Burn ban over: For seven months Henderson County has been under a burn ban, but no longer. County commissioners allowed the ordinance to lapse this week, effectively lifting the ban and allowing outdoor burning under the normal rules.
Why it is important: There is a lot of trash in the county that has built up over the past seven months. Now is the time to get it all taken care of because the drought will continue, frost will kill vegetation making the fire danger higher, and the county will reset the burn ban… maybe as early as this Tuesday.
Learn more: The Athens Review and The Malakoff News both have stories. You can also find what constitutes the “normal” rules on the county website.

Story No. 3 – Athens continues with No Smoking ordinance: Wednesday, the Athens City Council and staff discussed some of the specifics of a No Smoking ordinance. It will take a few weeks, but it looks like the ordinance is headed for a public hearing and then a vote.
Why it is important: It sounds like the ordinance will cover the interior of all public buildings – restaurants, stores, offices, etc. – and will even cover structures like pavilions and concession stands at the parks.
Learn more: The only one who covered this issue is The Local Cheat Sheet, so read it here.

Story No. 4 – No doesn’t always mean no for alcohol: In both Murchison and Gun Barrel City, voters said no Tuesday in local option alcohol elections. But don’t think the two towns were on the same side of the booze issue. Murchison voted down selling beer and wine for off-premises consumption. Gun Barrel City voted down shortening the hours alcohol can be sold.
Why it is important: Always good to know who is wet and who is dry. It is also interesting to note that the Murchison vote breaks a string of victories for the proponents of alcohol sales (Mabank, Malakoff, Athens).
Learn more: The Athens Review had the story plus the results from the constitutional amendment election that nearly no one voted in.

Story No. 5 – Malakoff, Eustace, Cross Roads; it’s the playoffs: The post season is here in football and volleyball. The Cross Roads Lady ‘Cats have advanced all the way to the Regional Tournament, and will play Friday night in Weatherford. Malakoff and Eustace will enter the bi-district round of the football playoffs, also on Friday.
Why it is important: Everybody loves the playoffs. Besides, these are three compelling stories and not just teams that got in because nearly everybody gets in nowadays. The Lady ‘Cats are just two matches away from a trip to Austin; in a sport that has become pass happy, Eustace wins with three 1,000-yard rushers; and Malakoff is in the midst of its best, sustained run of football since 1947.
Learn more: The Athens Review sports page really is pretty good and has a lot of information on all three teams. The Malakoff News has a story on the Tigers making history.
Bonus Info: Cross Roads senior Anna Cross signed a letter of intent this week to play softball for Division 1 Louisiana Tech University. Cross is also a big cog in the Lady ‘Cat volleyball machine.

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