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Daily Brief: Celebrating 100 days of school

Athens ISD Police Chief Paul Redic is pulling pulling stickers out of a young man's shoelaces and retying his shoes during the 100 Days Celebration at South Athens Elementary School this morning. (MICHAEL V. HANNIGAN PHOTO)
Athens ISD Police Chief Paul Redic is pulling pulling stickers out of a young man’s shoelaces and retying his shoes during the 100 Days Celebration at South Athens Elementary School this morning. (MICHAEL V. HANNIGAN PHOTO)

HOT TOPIC: Today is the 100th day of school, and that’s a big deal at the elementary level. Remember, some of the youngest students are still learning to count that high.

South Athens Elementary School really cranked up the fun this morning with a celebration that brought together school and community leaders from a variety of professions.

“There are a lot of people involved in making a school work,” SAE Principal Eugene Buford said. “The teachers wanted to turn this back toward the community.”

The school did that by having students visit 10 stations showing the different professions that help build a school community. Those included:

  • Gardeners (Henderson County Master Gardeners … and if this one seems a little out of the ordinary, you haven’t seen the beautiful garden behind the school)
  • Agriculture (Extension Agent Rick Hirsch was on hand)
  • School personnel (which included AISD Superintendent Blake Stiles)
  • Grocery/Food (Walmart brought an 18-wheeler)
  • Electrical (TVEC)
  • City Workers (including City Administrator Pam Burton)
  • Police (sheriff, APD, constable and AISD police)
  • Fire
  • Church Leaders
  • Health Care

The heavy machinery was the big draw for many of the students. The bucket truck at the electrical station, the backhoe at the city station, and the ETMC Air 1 helicopter.

Please check out the photo album posted on our Facebook page. 

South Elementary School Principal Eugene Buford tells well-dressed students about all the folks it takes inside the walls of the school at the school workers station. (MICHAEL V. HANNIGAN PHOTO)
South Elementary School Principal Eugene Buford tells well-dressed students about all the folks it takes inside the walls of the school at the school workers station. (MICHAEL V. HANNIGAN PHOTO)

ON TAP TONIGHT

Both the TVCC men and women’s basketball teams are on the road tonight, but you can catch the women on an Angelina webcast starting at 5:30 p.m. 

WHAT YOU MISSED

TVCC student downs 61 wings in 15 minutes to win a contest. 

A group of TVCC students and administrators went to Austin yesterday. 

Dr. Curran from Athens visited the Legislature. 

State Rep. Lance Gooden files a bill against “indiscriminate surveillance.” 

WHAT OTHERS ARE TALKING ABOUT

Ron Boyda was named the Chandler Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year at last night’s chamber banquet. 

The Athens Review has a good story about two women who helped write the history book about Henderson County. 

If you need something added to the Daily Brief, just click “Contact” in the menu bar and let us know.

You can get the Daily Brief in your inbox, Monday through Friday. Just add your email in the form below and let Henderson County Now come to you.

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On a Wing and a Dare: TVCC students downs 61 wings in 15 minutes

 

Trinity Valley Community College student CeQuan Anderson of Houston eats his way to first place during the college's first Super Bowl Wing Eating contest. (PHOTO COURTESY JENNIFER HANNIGAN/TVCC)
Trinity Valley Community College student CeQuan Anderson of Houston eats his way to first place during the college’s first Super Bowl Wing Eating contest. (PHOTO COURTESY JENNIFER HANNIGAN/TVCC)

By Jennifer Hannigan, TVCC Public Information

 

 

With just a couple of hours until the kickoff of this week’s Super Bowl, 10 Trinity Valley Community College students lined up in the campus cafeteria, appetites ready.

Last Sunday, TVCC Dining Services and TVCC student activities paired up to host the first TVCC Super Bowl Wing Eating Contest.

The contestants were challenged to eat as many wings as possible in 15 minutes. They were allowed a drink. They were cheered on my other students who showed up to witness the event.

“We are planning to make this an annual event,” said Vice President of Student Services Dr. Jay Kinzer, who was also one of the judges for the event. “It’s just a good way to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday and we’re thankful to dining services for hosting this event.”

Aramark, the company that provides food services for TVCC, sponsored the event and cafeteria workers cooked the eight cases of chicken wings used for the event.

When the time was called, the college’s first wing-eating title went to CeQuan Anderson, who wolfed down 61 wings in the 15 minutes.
Second place went to Isaac Robertson with 53 wings and third place to Levi Robertson with 52 wings.
For his culinary prowess, Anderson received a $40 gift card to Applebee’s. Second and third place took home an Outback Steakhouse gift card and a TVCC blanket.

Anderson’s accomplishment also carries another reward. The contest will be named in his honor as the first winner of the event.

Obituary: Joyce Oleta Tracy

Joyce Oleta Tracy of Log Cabin, Texas passed away on Feb. 4, 2013 at the age of 83.

Joyce was born in Ojai, Calif. on Aug. 21, 1929 to Robert Carl and Willie M. Kent Willingham. She was an employee with Natural Light Plastic Product in Garland, Texas for 15 years.

She is survived by her three daughters, Sandra Kay and husband David Burnett, Tammy Tracy and Tamera Tracy; son David and wife Vickie Tracy; grandsons Shane David Burnett, Jeremy and wife Michelle Burnett, Cody Lee Tracy and Tate Ryan Thompson; granddaughter Christi Farley; great-granddaughter Kalie Burnett; great-grandson Dylan Burnett; great-niece Amanda Tanner; niece Sharon Byler; sister Erma Morris; step children Kelly, Scott, Terry and Jerry Kraklow.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Willie Willingham; brother Haskell Kent Willingham.

Visitation will be held 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 at Huckabee/Tomlinson Funeral Home in Malakoff. Service are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 at Caney Creek Baptist Church in Log Cabin.

Online condolences can be made at www.tomlinsonfuneral.com.

Obituary: Ann Keys

Services for Ann Keys, 88, of Cedar Creek Lake area are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 at Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home with Rev. Jerry Anderson officiating.

Burial will follow in Payne Springs Cemetery.

Mrs. Keys died Feb. 1, 2013 in Fort Worth.

She was born Nov. 20, 1924 in Wayne City, North Carolina to Thadaus and Etta Faye Whitley Bailey. Ann was a member of Payne Springs United Methodist Church. She had been a charge nurse at South Place Nursing Center before leaving the area in 2003. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Ann was preceded in death by her husband Rufus Mack Keys on Jan. 4, 1995.

Survivors are brother Richard Moore and wife Carol, Virginia; numerous nieces and nephews and a granddaughter of her heart, Ida Dalin Spangle and husband Charles and their children, Oklahoma.

You may leave a message of condolence or light a memory candle for the family at www.carroll-lehr.com.

Daily Brief: Judge says school funding is unconstitutional

COOL PHOTO: Malakoff High School Assistant Superintendent  Danielle Copeland was part of the crew that put together the stage at the Super Bowl. (COURTESY PHOTO)
COOL PHOTO: Malakoff High School Assistant Superintendent Danielle Copeland was part of the crew that put together the stage at the Super Bowl. (COURTESY PHOTO)

(UPDATES Feb. 8, 8:45 a.m.: Cross Roads ISD Superintendent Clay Tompkins comments. … UPDATES Feb. 5, 6 p.m.: MISD Superintendent Randy Perry comments.)

HOT TOPIC: District Judge John Dietz ruled yesterday that the Texas public school funding system is unconstitutional. 

In his ruling, Dietz wrote: “The Court declares that the current school finance system violates … the Texas Constitution in that it is inadequate and unsuitable because it is not structured, operated, and funded so that it can accomplish the general diffusion of knowledge.”

Local school boards shouldn’t start counting on extra money just yet, however. The state is expected to appeal the case directly to the State Supreme Court … and the high court has reversed Dietz on school finance before.

Either way, a ruling from the Supreme Court most likely wouldn’t come until after the current Legislative Session is over in May. That could set up a Special Session on public education financing in 2014.

And as Athens ISD Superintendent Blake Stiles warned, changing the school finance system doesn’t always equal making it better.

“The last time the system was declared unconstitutional we went from ‘formula funding’ to the current, and much worse, ‘target revenue system,’” Stiles said. “Although I am pleased with the court’s decision, I am worried that our current Legislature has other agendas in mind that will prevent them from developing an adequate system for school funding. The current backdoor voucher system (tax breaks for businesses who give money to private schools) that some of our Senators are proposing, along with the debate in the House over the current accountability system, will absolutely complicate the discussion.”

Malakoff ISD Superintendent Randy Perry said, “I am pleased by Judge’s Dietz’s ruling that the current school funding system fails to provide school districts around the state access to the funding necessary to provide a constitutionally adequate education. The Judge also found that the system of finance has become an unconstitutional state property tax. Because the state mandates a maximum tax rate, many districts are up against that cap and have no additional funding sources. Thankfully, Malakoff ISD is not one of those districts, but we will have to raise our tax rates without additional resources.”

“Academic standards have increased while state funding has declined. The state legislature cannot have it both ways. It is unfair to ramp up the expectations of our schools, while taking away needed resources to meet those expectations. There are many things we would love to do for our students, but the last two years Malakoff ISD has been in survival mode. We have lost the ability to do more innovative things for our students,” he added.

Cross Roads ISD Superintendent Clay Tompkins said, “As far as Judge Dietz’s ruling, I think it may take some time to fully interpret. However, from what I have read, his latest decision looks very much like the order he issued in 2004. But he now seems to find and declare that funding, for Texas school districts, is indeed inequitable. I think this is something that most school superintendents have known for a long time. As it now stands, schools that tax the same may not necessarily have equal access to funding. Hopefully, this ruling will help to correct some of those inequities.”

ON TAP TONIGHT

Athens boys and girls basketball will be home against Brownsboro (I believe it is the final home game for the girls). Athens girls soccer is on the road against North Lamar while the boys soccer team is home against Nacogdoches.

Malakoff boys and girls basketball is on the road to Life Oak Cliff. 

Cross Roads boys and girls basketball are home against Hubbard (last home game for girls). 

Eustace boys and girls basketball is on the road at Scurry-Rosser. 

Mabank boys and girls basketball is home against Mineola (last home game for girls). 

WHAT YOU MISSED

The TVCC Lady Cards softball program is off to a fast start.

A group of Athens High School students received a 1st Division rating on a Class I solo at the UIL Vocal Solo and Ensemble Contest (photo).

The recent list of indictments was released.

Obituaries for: Floyd Ray Smith, Jr., Stella Shelton, Russell Douglast McCloud, Elizabeth “Betty” Woolverton, and September Riley Rayelen Leigh.

If you need something added to the Daily Brief, just click “Contact” in the menu bar and let us know.

You can get the Daily Brief in your inbox, Monday through Friday. Just add your email in the form below and let Henderson County Now come to you.

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