Obituary: Joyce Baker

Funeral Services for Joyce Baker, 74, of Malakoff are scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, August 21, 2017 at the Hannigan Smith Funeral Home in Athens with Chaplain Stacy Sanders officiating.

Mrs. Baker went to be with her Lord and Savior on August 17, 2017 in Tyler.

Velta Joyce Baker was born December 7, 1942 in Malakoff, Texas the daughter of Doc Evans Abbott and Bertha Leona Hollifield Abbott. She was valedictorian of her class at Malakoff High School where she also played basketball and volleyball.
Mrs. Baker was a longtime member and treasurer of the Parkview Missionary Church in Malakoff and served as the treasurer for many years. She worked at the Acme Brickyard for more than 20 years and she managed Athens Laundry and Cleaners for over 15 years. Joyce served as the president of the American Business Women’s Association in Malakoff. Mrs. Baker coached the Little Dibblers of Malakoff and loved sports; enjoyed watching the Texas Longhorns and Texas Rangers play. She enjoyed working in her flower beds, visiting First Monday Trade days and loved spending time with her grandkids. Nana was a loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother who will be greatly missed by all she knew and loved.

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Police, AISD exercise ‘an abundance of caution’

Joint statement of Athens ISD and Athens Police Department

Just after 11 a.m. this morning, the Athens Police Department informed Superintendent Stiles of the possibility that a wanted fugitive might be in the vicinity of Bel Air Elementary. Acting out of an abundance of caution, all students at that campus were kept indoors. Additionally, a police officer was stationed at the front entrance, with all other points of entry locked as they normally are. No children were in danger at any time, and, except for temporarily being kept off the playground, no changes were made to the students’ routine. The suspect was taken into custody around 12:45 and was never seen on school grounds.

“The district flawlessly executed their safety protocol at Bel Air,” said Athens Police Chief Buddy Hill. “This is the exact reason these plans are important and in place.”

“This is affirmation of an excellent partnership between Athens ISD and APD,” said Superintendent Stiles. “The students continued to go about their day normally, while the police department added an extra layer of security as a precaution.”

For more information, call the Athens Police Department at 903-675-5454.

City of Athens not using search firm for City Manager hunt

Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The Athens City Council will not be using a search firm to find its next city manager.

The city manager’s job became open last month when Philip Rodriguez resigned to take a similar position in Colorado. The city has contracted with Gary Whittle of Texas First Group to serve as the interim city manager.

Whittle said his firm will be helping the city with the recruitment process as well.

“Kerry Sweatt, principal in the firm, has successfully assisted other cities in their recruitment process, with the most recent being the City of Dayton and Karnes City,” Whittle said. “Even though Texas First Group is not a search firm, Mr. Sweatt feels he is an integral part of the City just as the interim position he provides, therefore, his assistance is a part of his agreement at no additional charge. He has over 50 years of experience in local government and has been a partner, and now sole owner, in Texas First Group for about 18 years.”

Whittle said the next step for the City Council is develop a city manager profile to use in the recruiting process. He said officials hope to have a new hire in four to five months.

Conner announces candidacy for Pct. 2 commissioner seat

David Conner

Press release

David Conner this week announced his candidacy for Henderson County Pct. 2 Commissioner.

“With Wade McKinney’s decision not to run for the Precinct 2 Commissioner’s seat, I feel it is an opportunity for me to get involved and be of service to the county that I have lived and worked in for most of my life,” he said.

David is a 38-year resident of the precinct and has been the owner/operator of ACTT Equipment Services in Gun Barrel City for the past 20 years. David and his business specialize in tractor and heavy equipment repair and operations. Prior to going into business for himself, David was the shop manager for Rector Equipment in Dallas, Texas for 10 years. David has a lifelong passion for history, tractors and heavy equipment. He recently founded and is President of the Tri County Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum which is located in Mabank, Texas. He also serves as the President of the Cedar Creek Tractor and Engine Club. David’s other passion is being a long time volunteer with the Tri County Soccer Association. He has been coaching area youth for 25 years and is currently coaching one of his grand daughters. David served on the Tri County Soccer Association Board of Directors as their President for 23 years before retiring from that position in 2012.

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Obituary: Mary Arnold Murray

Mary Arnold Murray, 78, passed away August 13, 2017 in Athens. Mary was born June 6, 1939 in Ben Wheeler, Texas. Services are under the direction of Autry’s Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home.

Mary attended TVCC and then on to Stephen F. Austin University where she received her bachelor’s degree. Mary taught elementary school for 22 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents Roy and Nora Arnold, her brother, Harold Arnold, sisters, Shirley Coalson and Mabel Arnold.

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