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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Bullying just got tougher
To reduce the prevalence of school age bullying the Athens Independent School District has added a new communications tool called Anonymous Alerts, allowing individuals to quickly, easily and anonymously report urgent information that they may otherwise be uncomfortable revealing.
The Athens Odd Fellow Lodge No. 961 and Athens Rebekah Lodge No. 23 has seven students who are receiving a $500 scholarship to Trinity Valley Community College for this year.
Area woman killed
A 49-year-old Mabank woman died as a result of injuries sustained when she was struck by a vehicle while walking on State Highway 198 in Payne Springs Friday night.
Lusk found guilty
A jury returned a guilty verdict on Tuesday against 36 year-old Danny Ray Lusk for sexual misconduct involving two children.
Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee said the punishment phase of the trial which began May 14 was set to begin Tuesday in Judge Mark Calhoon’s 3rd District Court.
Keep Athens Beautiful celebrates 25 years
Keep Athens Beautiful (KAB) celebrated 25 years with a banquet at Athens Country Club last Friday night. The evening was hosted by Darwin Winfield (not pictured). Peggy Rhodes (left) presented Hugh Armstrong (second from the right) the Margaret Myers Award. Carol Morton (far right) presented two people with the Hall of Fame Award — Jerry Wadell and Victory Roberts (second and third from left). Margaret Myers is also pictured with the award winners, third from right. View additional photos from the event at www.athensreview.com.
Art hits the streets in Mabank
The Mabank Branch of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the fifth Mabank Festival and Art Show on Market Street in downtown Mabank this past weekend. Hundreds of people and more than 75 vendors attended the event. In addition to the artwork and other items for sale, there were food vendors and entertainment for children. View additional photos at www.athensreview.com.
Veterans’ Memorial to open
The Athens Cemetery Association cordially invites the community to attend the dedication of the Veterans' Memorial on the grounds of Athens City Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 27, at 9 a.m. Keynote speaker for the dedication will be U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas' 5th Congressional District.
- SLIDE SHOW-Mabank Festival and Art Show For the 5th year Mabank Branch of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce held it's Festival and Art Show in downtown Mabank. Over 75 vendors and 100s of people converged on Market St. in downtown Mabank. Photos by Kathi Nailling/Athens Review
- SLIDE SHOW - KAB 25th Anniversary Celebration Keep Athens Beautiful Celebrated 25 years with a banquet at Athens Country Club on Friday night. Hugh Armstrong was awarded the Margaret Myers Award. Photos by Kathi Nailling/Athens Review
Tom Denton, who has led efforts to gather tabs from cans, continues the battle to provide housing for parents of children hospitalized while they are away from home.
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