No drama in Athens for this year’s decorations request


(UPDATE: When I wrote this, I did not know Gov. Perry was going to sign the “Merry Christmas” bill today. While timely for this post, the bill is specifically aimed at school districts and is unlikely to have any impact on the county nativity scene.)

By Michael V. Hannigan

Sometimes, it is the thing that doesn’t happen that is the most interesting.

Commissioners’ Court this week approved an application from Keep Athens Beautiful and Light Up Athens to decorate the Courthouse Square for a variety of occasions between now and the end of the year. The request includes details about decorating for Christmas and also includes the annual nativity scene.

The application was OK’d as a matter of routine and with almost no discussion. It was pretty much a non-event.

The only reason it is worth mentioning is because of the group that was missing … the group that over the past two years has become a part of Christmas in Athens: The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

For those who need a refresher, the FFRF is the Wisconsin-based atheist organization that in 2011 demanded the county
Continue reading “No drama in Athens for this year’s decorations request”

Obituary: Donna Marie Anthony Bouchez Garrett

Donna Marie Anthony Bouchez Garrett, 52, of Eustace, was born on May 6, 1961 in Kaufman to the home of Delma Gene Anthony and Hilda Marie Horton Anthony. She passed away on June 11, 2013 in Tyler.

She is preceded in death by her parents, and husband Nicholas Shane Bouchez.

Left to cherish her memory are husband, Charles Henry Garrett “Junior”; children Amanda Marie Garrett and husband Eric Brand, Kayla Jean Garrett and Jamie Lee Garrett; one grandchild Ana-Marie Nicole Brand; and sister Lisa Jean Anthony Parker and husband Curtis and many other family and friends.

Visitation will be held 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 13, 2013 at Moorhead Epps Funeral Home.

Funeral Services will be held will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, June 14, 2013 at Moorhead Epps Memorial Chapel, officiated by Bro. John Stocks, with burial following at Goshen Cemetery in Eustace.

Pallbearers will be Jamie Lee Garrett, Tuff Lucas, Rowdy Lucas, Jon Ryan Parker, Travis Anthony Parker, and Matt Wilson.

Obituary: Lien Pham Maxwell

Lien Pham Maxwell of Mabank passed away on June 11, 2013 at the age of 66.

Lien was born on Nov. 16,1946 to Hoai Thi Pham in Saigon, Vietnam.

She is survived by her son, Mark Maxwell; daughters, Kim Maxwell and Rubi Pham; five grandchildren, one great-grandchild.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Hoai Thi Pham; husband, John Maxwell.

Services are pending at a later date under the direction of Huckabee/Tomlinson Funeral Home, Malakoff.

Obituary: Earnie ‘Hoot’ Berry

Earnie 'Hoot' Berry
Earnie ‘Hoot’ Berry

Funeral services for Earnie “Hoot” Berry, 79, of Athens, are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the Lake Athens Baptist Church with Rev. Mike Curry and Rev. Bob Reid officiating. Burial will follow in Oaklawn Memorial Park under the direction of Hannigan Smith Funeral Home.

Earnie was born Dec. 25, 1933 to the late Robert “Bob” and Ivy Jewel Trussell Berry in Henderson County. He passed away June 12, 2013 in Athens.

A man with more friends than you can count, Earnie was a devoted family man, hard worker, and dedicated servant for Christ. He enjoyed traveling, especially into the mountains of Colorado; loved to gather with his family for food and fellowship; and appreciated God’s creation while working in the flower beds of his yard while he was able. He was very active in ministry, serving as deacon with several churches for over 40 years. He truly enjoyed all the hours he spent witnessing to the people he came in contact with; he was currently serving as a Continue reading “Obituary: Earnie ‘Hoot’ Berry”

Sales tax rebates generally up around the county

The Texas Comptroller’s Office released its Monthly Sales Tax Rebate report yesterday.

Across the state, sales taxes collections are up about 8 percent.

Growth in state sales tax revenue was led by collections from the information services and construction sectors,” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. “Restaurants also showed notable growth, while oil and natural gas-related activity remains a major source of strength.”

Local results were mixed, with the biggest shopping areas in the county — Athens and Gun Barrel City — both seeing small increases.

Overall, Henderson County is up 4.52 percent for the year.

Click here for a complete state chart broken down by county.