Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 8, 2017

Fifth and sixth grade teachers Courtney Spencer, Cheryl Roberts and Holly Chambers present DAR Essay Contest winners Emma Griffin, Savannah Wagner, Stephanie Henderson, Katie Preston and Katie Satterwhite.

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Mabank ISD Trustees cancelled the May 6 election as incumbents running for re-election face no opposition. Those being sworn-in to serve another three-year term are Place 4 Erik Tijerina and Place 5 Todd Grimes.
George DeJohn of Claycomb Associates, Architects updated trustees on construction projects throughout the district. DeJohn warned the room now going up on the addition at Central Elementary School will not match the existing roof in color. However, over the summer, the school’s older roofing will be replaced to match the new addition. The cost is being covered by insurance benefits, trustees heard. In addition, the exterior masonry will soon be installed, along with the new roof.
The metal framing has gone up for the new gymnasium at the Intermediate School. At the High School, the concrete slab has been poured for the new Career and Technical Education (CTE) classrooms and interior walls are going up. In the coming new school year, trustees approved adding a few courses in CTE to the offerings to students, as recommended.
The new fine arts center is going up fast at the Junior High. Drawings have been completed for Vocational Agriculture drainage and renovations have begun to the interior of the ag barn. Thus far, just 28 percent of the $9,000,000 allocated for these projects has been spent, or $2.630,000. The timeline for completing all construction projects is set for Aug. 26, the first day of school for 2017-2018 school calendar. That calendar was also approved and sets graduation for May 25, 2018.
This year’s graduating class is composed of 230 students, high school principal Jes Satterwhite said, with 1,011 students enrolled.
Superintendent Dr. Russell Marshall reported the purchase and use of a new deck mower and trailer as well as a 15-passenger Ford Van to transport staff and students to special destinations throughout the year. “Enrollment is up and that bodes well for the district’s financial picture,” Assistant Superintendent Scott Adams reported. “Our cash position is in good shape.”
Adams also gave a report on the MISD Education Foundation. This year the foundation disbursed $33,500 in educational grants this year for a total of more than $154,000 for 71 grants since its inception nearly seven years ago. “It gives each teacher at Mabank, new to the teaching profession $100 to help them set the tone for their classroom. Each Campus Teacher of the Year is also given $100, he said.
Adams also pointed out that the employees at Mabank ISD, themselves donate money each year to the foundation, totaling $30,000 this year.
In other business, trustees
• unanimously renewed or extended employment contracts for administrators at MISD.
• learned of special guest speaker Bonner Paddock, an inspiring figure, who though enduring Cerebral Palsy climbed Mt. Kilamanjaro. In eight days, he not only climbed to the summit but he overcame his own limitations. He will speak at the Mabank High School auditorium at 2p.m. Thursday, March 23, with a reception to follow.
• recognized students participating and winning in the Daughters of the American Revolution Essay Contest from the Intermediate, Junior High and High School, as well as their teachers.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 3, 2017

By Rachel Williams
Monitor Correspondent
PAYNE SPRINGS – On Feb. 21, Hubert “Dutch” Antoniesse was appointed to fill an open seat on the Payne Springs council and took the oath of office. Born in Holland, Antoniesse became a citizen of the United States in 1982. In his speech to the board prior to his appointment, Antoniesse said, “This country has been good to me. I’ve had the opportunity to be part of many associations and boards in my professional career. I am eager to give of myself and help the city of Payne Springs be the best that it can be.”
At the same meeting, April Meadows (formerly April Reno) was officially appointed police chief. Though not in attendance at the meeting, council members praised her efforts as acting police chief. “April is doing a really good job,” council member Michael Juica said. “She’s already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she can do the job and more.”
Babu Basnet, owner of the Countryside Exxon convenience store located along State Highway 198 just south of the Gun Barrel City bridge, and his new manager, Renee Simon, presented their plans to re-open a food outlet. They are seeking to extend their business permit. “I’m coming in new and we’ve bought all new equipment, including new fryers, for the kitchen,” Simon said. Mayor Rodney Renberg encouraged Basnet and Simon, saying, “It’s great to see businesses expanding in Payne Springs.” The council agreed to extend the permit, contingent on a final inspection of the food area.
In other business, the council members:
• heard the financial report delivered by council member Ron Spahlinger, who commented on the overall loss reported in the January profit and loss statement resulting from the payment of quarterly and annual dues, such as 2016’s fourth quarter state court fees and the city’s annual audit fee as well as the purchase of council-approved road equipment. “These expenses are expected and our balance sheet looks strong,” Spahlinger said.
• heard a report of the impound auctions. Due to there being no auctions during the holidays in late 2016, the first and second auctions have included 18 and 13 vehicles respectively. Bids may be placed by visiting and searching for the City of Payne Springs. The current auction closes Tuesday, March 7.
• approved funds held by the city from a FEMA grant to be used for 10 loads of oil and sand and two loads of Flex Base to complete road work on Oakwood, Del Mar, CR 2530 and the impound lot.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 1, 2017

Henderson County Commissioners’ Court proclaimed March 2 (today) to be remembered as Texas Independence Day throughout the county. The Sons of the Republic of Texas brought the proclamation to the court for recognition Feb. 28. on behalf of the James George Chapter headed by President Clayton Starr and local Athens member Charles Luna. Pictured (from left) are Ken Geeslin, Starr, McHam, County Judge Richard Sanders, Ken Hayes, Luna, and Wade McKinney.

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners’ Court tabled action to permit the Tarrant Regional Water District Integrated Pipeline to move forward until a road closure and crossing agreement can be spelled out to the satisfaction of Precinct 1 Commissioner Ken Hayes.
Representatives from Tarrant Regional are to meet with Hayes and the County Attorney Thursday (today) so Hayes can explain to residents of Key Ranch Estates, where the pipeline will be buried, what will occur. “You understand why I need information on this, I have constituents to answer to,” Hayes said. Plans call for the crossing of one road in Key Ranch Estates, which will close the road and provide a detour for local traffic.
The commissioners were asked to approve permits to construct the pipeline in a floodplain, which had nothing to do with roads or road closures. However, Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney pointed out that this permit was the only leverage the court had to have any say in what would transpire, especially as regards to road damage caused by the construction to take place in Precinct 1.
TRWD director Wesley Cleveland tried to assure the court that the district has worked well with other counties on the project and have left roads in as good or better condition than they found them and that money was built into the budget specifically for road repairs.
Engineer Matt Gaughan answered questions about the burial of the 108-inch (nine-foot) pipe. He told Hayes that where the pipe crossed under a road that it would be encased in quick-drying concrete and he expected to open detours for the two days that the road crossing would have to close any road.
Emergency Management Coordinator Joy Kimbrough presented commissioners with an emergency management plan for the work to take place in the floodplain, stating that the permit includes a clause absolving the county from any and all liability in connection with the construction, operation and maintenance of the pipeline. There is no fee attached to the permit, she said.
The item is expected to reappear on next week’s agenda.
In other business, commissioners:
• agreed to assist with four local elections for the cities of Eustace, Athens and Gun Barrel City as well as the Athens ISD for early voting April 24-May 2 and Election Day, May 6.
• renewed membership in the Sabine-Neches Resource Conservation and Development group and appointed Thomas Fraiser and Fire Marshal Shane Renberg as representatives.
• approved bonds for 2017 county elected officials
• accepted Racial Profiling Report from the Sheriff’s Office.
• agreed to a number of appointments and reappointments to Emergency Service Districts No. 1 and no. 2.
• approved inter-local cooperation agreements for labor and equipment use in the amount of $500 with the cities of Berryville, Coffee City and Poynor.
• paid bills in the amount of $425,844.52 and payments to fire departments in Caney City and Eustace in the amount of $21,174.