By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
HENDERSON COUNTY–A beautiful spring day for Henderson County, Sunday was the day County Extension Agent Rick Hirsch died at his residence. All who heard of the longtime extension agent’s death expressed shock and grief. Hircsh, 51, is well-known in East Texas and elsewhere as he dispensed advice and information via a newspaper column, radio show and agricultural clinics, tours and seminars in his 28-year career.
A funeral service is to be held at 10 a.m. Thursday (today) at the First Baptist Church in Athens. located at 1055 S. Carroll Street.
Most recently, he organized a pasture tour, including a location on the shores of Cedar Creek Lake in late March. He served Henderson County from 1992 as its Extension Office Agent on behalf of AgriLife of Texas A & M University.
He is well-known for his support of youth agricultural projects (FFA & 4-H) and its students. The Athens FFA has opened a gofundme page to raise funds for his family. In its first seven hours, nearly $2,000 had been raised. The goal is to raise $25,000.
Terrie Echols writes: “So sorry for your loss. Rick was a great teacher, I learned a lot from taking his class. May God bless and comfort his family and friends.”
The Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home in Athens is overseeing the funeral arrangements. Members of the community are invited to share their stories, photos and remembrances of Rick to comfort the family on its website.
Rick Hirsch is survived by his wife, Bronte, a teacher in the Athens ISD, and three children.
Lorri and Harold Hawkins of Brownsboro state of Hirsch: “He was always there to help the community and especially the young people of Henderson County. Rick will be greatly missed.”
The Henderson County Master Gardeners extend their condolences, adding: “Rick was a respected and wise leader. We will miss his guidance and counsel.”
Chad Coburn, who judged many bovine exhibits with Rick writes: “I’ve had the privilege to judge cattle shows with Rick and serve with him on the Animal Industries Committee. I was shocked to hear the news.”
Gregg County Extension Agent Randy Reeves describes Hirsch as a great mentor. “We will all miss Rick. He was a great mentor to all of us and will be sorrowfully missed. Extension will never be the same with a great friend and co-worker called home.”
Co-worker Jo Petty Smith writes: “From the time I was a kid on the end of a show halter, to the time I was able to call him a co-worker, mentor and more importantly, a friend, I will cherish those memories and the laughs that he was surrounded by. I felt it a great honor to work with him and know him. Extension lost one of its finest agents.”
Among the many accolades and recognitions Hirsch garnered through his successful career, is the County Agent of the Year award bestowed by the Texas & Southwestern Cattlemen’s Association in 2012.
Athens ISD agricultural teacher Jeff Jones summed up best what many recognize on this sad occasion: “Mr. Rick Hirsch was a great friend and an outstanding person. Rick was an iconic figure in Henderson County, a truly good man and someone who helped thousands and thousands of people in our community and across the state of Texas.”
Posted by : April 27, 2016| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Posted by : April 27, 2016| On :
Monitor Photo/Sariah Kendall
Lester Davis of Gun Barrel City, shows off the work of artist and Cedar Creek Brewery cook Scott Davis at the inaugural Cedar Creek Lake Festival in Seven Points Saturday. See more photos on The Monitor’s Facebook Page and in the Sunday issue of The Monitor.
Posted by : April 20, 2016| On :
By Sariah Kendall
GUN BARREL CITY–Residents of Harbor Point are hosting a community garage sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, April 23 at the park pavilion to generate revenue to fix the drainage issues and erosion ruining the family park.
While visiting the scene, POA board members Tim Towne and Joann Bray point out a snake swimming in the largest eroded hole, which is not too far from the pavilion itself. Runoff water through the property is carrying away soil, opening up holes behind the park’s seawall. Yellow warning tape is stretched along these unsafe areas in an effort to keep children safe.
“We love to have this park for the people who don’t live on the water. They can bring their kids down here, but we need to have a safe environment or our liabilities are so high,” Towne said. The park may have to close, if repairs aren’t made.
Towne said the solution is to install a pipe or cement flume to redirect the rainwater into the lake, which is estimated to cost anywhere from $7,000 to $8,000.
“All this costs money, and that’s what it’s all coming down to, we don’t have enough money or enough memberships to support repairs down here,” Towne said.
Harbor Point consists of around 250 members who pay an annual fee, but is home to more than 800 residents. If the POA were to raise dues, it runs the risk of losing members. “It’s voluntary to be a member, not mandatory. It’s $50 a year at this point, that doesn’t add up to much,” Bray said. Not only do the fees go toward necessary repairs in the community, but lawn maintenance, lighting and electricity.
At the northern most point of the park, the seawall is deteriorating from the wave action, winter weather and drought, Towne explained. Private contributors funded the wall and the park, but there are no funds to make repairs. As the wall continues to breakdown, the grass will continue to recede and eventually the park will no longer exist. “That would take years,” Towne said, “but we need to fix it before it happens.”
To repair the most northern point of the wall would cost $28,000 to $30,000. “That’s for a ‘Band-Aid’ fix, to fill it in and put a stem wall up,” Towne and Bray said. One proposal is to install a 4-foot stem wall to keep the existing wall from eroding.
“Not only do we need to fix what’s happening but we need to establish a fund to continue to fix it. The obvious thing is we need more members,” Towne said.
Real estate agents often use the park as a selling point to potential residents. Losing the park means losing a critical selling point and decreasing the chances of gaining more Harbor Point members. “The park is good for the community,” Towne said.
Towne has called Harbor Point home for over 25 years and fears that the POA may have to sell the entire park property. “As a POA, either we figure out how to get the money though private donations or garage sales or whatever it may be. If we can’t do that we will have no alternative but to sell,” Towne said.
“The goal is to save the park. All board members want to keep it. We need to be able to keep it up, but we can’t afford it,” Towne said.
Over 30 homes are donating goods for the garage sale. Coordinator Rosie Curry said a few of the donations include speakers, silver items, furniture, jewelry, clothes and baked goods. “Everything will be affordably priced,” Curry said. Donations are welcomed and all revenue generated will go towards the renovation of the park area and pavilion.