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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Girls from LaRue shave their heads to make a difference
The statistics are alarming. More children are lost to cancer in the United States than any other disease. Before they turn 20, about one in 285 children in the U.S. will have cancer. Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every three seconds.
Four girls from LaRue have taken a stand against these numbers, and have shaved for the brave.
Bailey Ficco, Mary Ficco, Elizabeth Coats and Emma Shepherd headed to Boston on Saturday, July 27 for an event to help raise money for cancer research.
Tracks lead to alleged thieves of TVEC property
According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, it was at 12:12 a.m., July 30, that the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office received a call of an alarm at the newly-constructed Trinity Valley Electric Substation located off Farm-to-Market 2329 near Eustace.
Alzheimer’s forum to teach about disease
The fact is over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's Association says “every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's. The disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.”
Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly, and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
Give-and-take session to discuss problem of underage drinking
The East Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse’s Henderson County Coalition Partnership invites local citizens to take part, Monday, in a give-and-take session on the problem of underage drinking.
The meeting will be held at the Cain Center in the Cain Room, begins at 5:30 p.m. and is expected to last about an hour. Local officials have been scheduled to take part in discussing the problems regarding alcohol. It’s a concern that affects all parts of the county.
July proves cooler in 2014
July is gone, and the weather is leaving a much more favorable impression than its usual swelter.
The National Weather Service reports the cool front that came through the area on the last day of July, brought more showers to the area, and held the highs in the low 80s. The weekend forecast calls for temperatures to remain several degrees below normal through Sunday.
AMWA to meet Wednesday
An Athens Municipal Water Authority project that was moved off the front burner when its dispute with the City of Athens heated up is scheduled for discussion when AMWA meets Wednesday.
The AMWA board of directors is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. in the Athens City Council chambers, located in the City Hall Annex on Pinkerton Street. On the agenda is to discuss and act upon proceeding with long-range plans to create AMWA offices and meeting facilities.
A look at the practicalities of AISD’s 2015 campus realignment
Athens ISD board members’ approval of the proposed campus realignment comes one full year in advance of the decision’s effective date. The timing gives the public as well as district staff and administration opportunity to adjust and prepare for the change.
Hirsch speaks at Athens Rotary Thursday
Henderson County Extension Agent Rick Hirsch spoke at the Athens Rotary Club weekly meeting on Thursday. Hirsch said unlike 2013, this year is a great year to grow anything. He also commented it was a good year to be in the cow business. Welcoming Hirsch to the Rotary Club are Rotary President Kelly Driskell and Rotarian John Trent.
Hydrating first responders
First responders were invited Wednesday to the Athens Brookshire’s grocery to celebrate a promotion formulated by the store. When customers purchase five 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade, they will receive 200 points. Customers are encouraged to donate the Gatorade to first responders. The promotion will last one month. Shown, from left, are Brookshire’s Store Manager Charles Beasley, Athens Police Department Patrolman Wesley Hoover, APD Cpl. Billy Westover, APD Assistant Chief Rodney Williams, APD Lt. Jeremy Hugghins, APD Patrolman Taylor Chancellor, APD Sgt. Eddie Smith, APD Chief Buddy Hill, Athens Fire Department Firefighter Brian Davis, AFD Firefighter Aaron Munn and AFD Firefighter Payton Lambe.
HC fine-tuning application to get CETZ funds
It’s been three months since Henderson County got word that money has been allocated from the Texas Department of Transportation in the form of a County Energy Transportation Zone grant, but Commissioners Court is still fine-tuning its application to get the funds.
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