After months of discussion and tweaking, the Athens City Council considers a first reading on an ordinance prohibiting smoking, Monday.
The major change in the ordinance from the original draft is the elimination of bars from the places where smoking is not allowed.
“We don’t want to put anyone out of business, but at the same time, we need to be concerned about public health,” Councilman Jerry Don Vaught said at a March 21 special session.
City Administrator Pam Burton said at a special meeting of the council Wednesday that changes will be made to the document to eliminate the ban from businesses that derive more than 75 percent of their income from the sale of liquor.
Athens follows several Texas cities, among them Tyler, Kaufman and Jacksonville that have enacted smoking bans. Knowing it was a potentially controversial issue, last year, Mayor Randy Daniel invited downtown business owners, property owners and others who might have an interest in the downtown area, to share their ideas with city officials. That was followed by two public hearings in early 2012.
The question of whether the council should make an exception for bars was raised in the March 7 meeting. According to minutes from the meeting. Jim Ogburn appeared before the Council and said that he generally favored the ordinance and the councils efforts to protect the public from second hand smoke. He, however, asked the council to consider an exemption for Eddy’s Club which derives more than 51 percent of its revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages.
After discussion, Council member Jerry Don Vaught said he preferred the threshold for a business to be considered a bar at 75 percent liquor sales.
“If they say it’s a bar, that’s what it needs to be,” Vaught said.
Another item on the agenda Monday is discussion and possible action on an ordinance authorizing use of the city parking lot for Athens Farmers Market. The issue is being raised by D.J. Warren, who is listed as Market Manager. Warren has been working to keep the market alive in 2012. With the Athens Chamber of Commerce pulling out of the leadership role, two Athens women, D.J. Warren and Sharon Locke, began spearheading the effort to continue to give local and area produce growers a place to display their fruits and vegetables.
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Black Beauty Ranch holds educational spring open house
Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch and Doris Day Equine Center hosted their Spring Open House on April 12 and April 19. Located in Murchison, these entities are both non-profit organizations that specialize in rescue, adoption and providing sanctuary to the unadoptable.
Celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Jeremiah Roberts portrays Jesus Christ as he carries a cross down Mill Run Road enroute to the Henderson County Square, to re-enact Christ’s resurrection. Hitting him with instruments to illustrate the inhumanity of the day were Tramaine Jordan and C.J. Douglas. Also helping in the effort were Joyce Coleman, Amanda Jordan and a child, Rychis Douglas. All are members of Petersburg Baptist Church.
In the voter’s hands
Elections have come and gone for years without the Athens Municipal Water Authority getting much attention. But this year, the fate of the entity is in the balance.
CCL Rotary offers non-profit grants
The Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake offers a wide variety of grants to local non-profit organizations in Henderson County and Kaufman County.
Man arrested near GBC for resisting
The Henderson County Sheriff's Department responded to a disturbance involving an assault on Friday, April 18 at about 4:38 a.m. The assault occurred in the 100 block of Wedgewood Loop in the Oak Harbor Subdivision near Gun Barrel City.
Darin Karl found Thursday on Cedar Creek Lake
The body of a 42-year-old man who had been missing in Cedar Creek Lake was recovered on Thursday.
The drowning victim was identified as Darin Lynn Karl of Kemp. According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, Karl and his nephew were fishing near Cedar Creek Country Club when the boat overturned, ejecting the men.
AISD approves moving monthly meeting, additional drug testing
Discussion on meal prices for the 2014-15 school year was pulled from Thursday's Athens Independent School District Board of Trustees agenda but other items were approved that will bring about change in the district.
By unanimous decision, the school board approved changes to the scheduled date for its monthly meetings; additional drug testing on the high school campus and modification to the graduation policy.
Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 26
On Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Athens Police Department and Keep Athens Beautiful will host the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, giving the public its seventh opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft.
Feud between Tool VFDs extends to city council
The two volunteer fire departments in Tool have been dueling for 11 years. The feud between the two departments started in 2003, when the citizens of Tool voted to establish Emergency Service District No. 4. According to reports, this was about the same time the Tool Volunteer Fire Department was established.
Would Lake Athens residents suffer if city controls water?
Members of Lake Athens Property Owners Association have been watching the dispute between the City of Athens and the Athens Municipal Water Authority uncertain of how this will affect their future.
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- Black Beauty Ranch holds educational spring open house