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NOTEBOOK: A different view of domestic violence stats; opioid disposal bags; pharmacy tech program

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

I wrote a story this week about the Family Peace Project’s “Be A Man” t-shirt drive. In that story, I reported some statistics that showed Henderson County very high for our region in reported child abuse/neglect cases and family violence arrests.

A good friend of mine in CPS told me that didn’t mean that Henderson County was worse than other places in those categories, but rather that the police, CPS and domestic violence advocates work together better here, ensuring more cases get reported and more abusers get identified.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that about Henderson County. In fact, I’ve heard that from multiple sources for a few years now.

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Athens Police Department looking for new officers

Press release

The Athens Police Department (APD) faithfully serves the citizens of Athens on a daily basis. Thanks to a recent agreement with the Athens Independent School District (AISD), APD will soon take over law enforcement responsibility on all AISD campuses. For years, Athens ISD has maintained and operated their own police department. In an effort to focus more on educating the students, the District recently presented the City of Athens with a proposal seeking to transfer campus safety and security responsibilities to the Police Department as part of a School Resource Officer (SRO) program.

“Athens ISD approached the City with the idea of the Athens Police Department providing law enforcement services to the District through a SRO program,” said Athens Police Chief Buddy Hill. “The District said they wanted to get out of the law enforcement business so that they could focus on the education business.”

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Around the Town: Loving the greenhouse

By Loretta Humble/Around the Town

It is a wonderful time to be living at the farm. The weather is mostly mild, with a little rain to make the plants happy. Some plants apparently think it is spring, because I’m looking at some huge fall hibiscus blossoms, and something that looks like a vine but doesn’t climb that is all the sudden full of bright orange flowers shaped like big clusters of great big honeysuckles. I think it is called something that has fire in its name. The blue morning glories weren’t much to brag about until about a month ago and they finally went crazy. Now I see what they were up to. The vines, ugly now, are full of seed pods. They are getting ready to plant next year’s morning glories. All of these last bursts of color are beautiful and precious, like the butterflies I see on them.

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Man sentenced to life in prison for sex assault

Press release

After entering a plea of guilty in October, James Ray Cryer, Jr., 42, was sentenced by Judge Dan Moore of the 173rd District Court in Athens, to life in prison for Aggravated Sexual Assault. Cryer was also convicted of Unlawful Restraint for which he received a sentence of 10 years.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Keon Mack, Jailers Clayton Teel and Brittney Owens, along with the victim testified at the November 8, 2017, sentencing hearing.

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AHS leader represents Texas in policy debate world

Nicole Cornish

By Toni Garrard Clay/AISD Communications Coordinator

Each year a select group of people in the world of high school policy debate determines a topic to be used by teenagers across the land. Thanks to this process, students in all 50 states tackle a single, carefully worded topic, culminating in a national tournament. This year, there’ a 50-50 chance that essential topic will come from the mind of Athens High School educator Nicole Cornish.

As one school administrator succinctly put it, “This is a big deal.”

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