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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Emotional response given to Victoria's death
The tragic news of 4-year-old Victoria Wyatt’s violent death set off an emotional response on Monday, with words of consolation for the child’s family and anger at the girl’s mother who admitted to taking her life. But mostly sorrow at the loss of one so young.
AISD readies for annual backpack distribution
Athens Independent School District and the Help Center are teaming up once again to provide backpacks and supplies to students in need.
The annual Back-to-School Bash is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Athens High School gym during the family fun day.
Open house at Grace House transition location
Grace House of Cedar Creek Lake, a faith-based transitional home for women, held an open house on Monday evening. The facility for women is 6,000 square feet on 13 acres in Tool.
Grace House includes a kitchen and a classroom equipped with computers for training and practice, as well as dorm-type rooms for the residents.
MISD approves re-election order
The Malakoff Independent School Board of Trustees approved their order of elections on Monday, as all five members are up for re-election on Nov. 4.
President Jason Dalrymple, Vice President Gary Woolverton, Secretary Daymon Sims and Rick Vieregge (appointed to fill Todd LaRue's seat) are the four spots up for the 4-year terms. LaRue resigned from the board on June 16.
Tim Mattingly, who was appointed in February, is up for election to fill the remaining two years of that term.
BISD tax rate, meal prices remain same
The tax rate for Brownsboro Independent School District is expected to remain the same for the 2014-15 school year following Monday's school board meeting.
Superintendent Dr. Chris Moran recommended the rate of $1.46 per $100 evaluation remain in place, despite a slight increase in the preliminary budget.
The maintenance and operations rate will remain at $1.17, while the interest and sinking rate remains 29 cents.
County names those to fill unexpired terms
The Henderson County Commissioners Court named individuals to fill unexpired terms on two boards during a brief meeting on Tuesday.
The court confirmed Gregorio Galvan as a new member of the Henderson County Library Advisory Board. Galvan, the owner and operator of Papa Tilo’s restaurant, will serve the remainder of the term vacated by Gloria Glaspy.
Howard named top assistant in Region 7
The Texas Association of Secondary School Principals recognizes outstanding principals and assistant principals from the 20 regional education service centers in the state each year.
School administrators are nominated and chosen by their peers within their regions, and then applications from these recipients are reviewed by the TASSP Principal Image Committee who selects the finalists.
Knife-wielding man arrested
The Athens Police Department arrested a 34-year-old man who allegedly entered an apartment early Saturday and injured another man using a pocket knife.
Henderson County Rural Resource Fair
When you find yourself in need of help, it's important to know where to go. The need to know is what drew a crowd to the Trinidad ISD cafeteria Monday morning.
Approximately 30 non-profit vendors were on hand for the first Rural Resource Fair. The vendors were there to provide information to the public about available resources in Henderson County.
Eight ladies are in Garland to teach the word of Christ to the area’s Arabic-speaking population.
Makaye Key of Eustace is part of a group of ladies known as the G.M.A.’s or Girls Missionary Auxilary.
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