Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

January 26, 2013

Coming soon: action

Legislature expected to heat up in coming days, weeks

ATHENS — With the opening week in the books, the 83rd Texas Legislative Session is expected to begin picking up steam soon.

Fourth District State Representative Lance Gooden is awaiting his committee assignments, and in addition to the budget, will be watching closely to see what key bills make it to the floor. Gooden, who served on the appropriations committee during his first term, hopes to continue in that role. Speaker Joe Straus will make the assignments early next month.

In a statement released on Thursday, Gooden said constituents have contacted him concerning gun control measures that may be coming out of Washington.

“It is too early to determine what legislation will have legs,” Gooden said of the multiple bills in the works on the subject.

District 10 Representative Jim Pitts, whose district now includes a western slice of Henderson County containing about 13 percent of its population, has co-authored gun owner rights legislation.

“The Second Amendment was written with the tremendous foresight of our founding fathers and has endured for over two centuries as a necessary protectorate of a citizen’s right to bear arms,” Pitts said.  “I intend to stand up for that right and am proud to join Representative John Otto in authoring HB 553, the Second Amendment Preservation Act.”

Pitts said the bill will apply to federal acts that would include confiscating, limiting magazine size, limiting the amount of ammunition, taxing or requiring registration of firearms.

Pitts has filed 10 bills in the new session. Among the proposed legislation is a bill pertaining to prohibiting using a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle on school property.

Third District State Senator Robert Nichols already knows what committees he’ll be on this session. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst named him chairman of the Transportation Committee and vice chair of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee. Other committee jobs for Nichols include Health and Human Services, Natural Resources and State Affairs.

Nichols has filed four bills in the new session. Senate Bill 95 is designed to limit the increase of the appraised value of a residence homestead. The bill cuts the maximum increase in value from 10 percent to 5 percent.

Nichols has also proposed SB 96, which would prohibit state or local governments from taking private land for recreational purposes.

“No homeowner should lose the roof over their head so others can have a place to play,” Nichols said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 7-25 Sanders_Kendall.jpg Sanders suspended indefinitely

    Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
    Wide receivers Kendall Sanders, of Athens, and Montrel Meander were arrested and later released on personal recognizance bonds. According to an arrest affidavit, Sanders and Meander texted each other during earlier interviews with police to "get their story straight" and Sanders also faces a charge of improper photography tied to the alleged assault on June 21.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25 tree down college st. 1.JPG Thunderstorms take their toll on counties

    A line of thunderstorms rolled through Henderson County on Wednesday, snapping tree branches and power lines along the way.
    The winds that accompanied the storm resulted in thousands of people in North Texas without electricity and roads broken by falling trees or debris.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Council considering Burton's severance package

    The Athens City Council, by a 3-to-2 vote, tabled a budget adjustment on Wednesday to fund a severance package for City Administrator Pam Burton who’s stepping down at the end of the year.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Eustace ISD approves tax rates

    The Eustace Independent School District Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday in the Eustace High School Library.
    Several reports and agenda items were considered by the board, and all were passed or approved. Board Secretary Ashley McKee was absent.
    The board was presented with the superintendent's reports on revenue, expenditures, payroll and taxes.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif TxDOT signs at issue in county

    It turns out Texas counties will not be picking up the cost of Advance County Road signs as the Texas Department of Transportation had stated earlier this year.
    TxDOT informed Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders recently that it has reversed its decision to change its policy regarding maintenance of the signs installed to aid approaching traffic to identify an upcoming county road intersection.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Free meals for schools in Malakoff, Tool

    The Malakoff Independent School District has been approved to provide free breakfast and lunch for Malakoff Elementary, Tool Elementary and Malakoff Middle School.
    Those schools did meet or exceed the 40-percent requirement to participate in the program.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • • DSC_0162.JPG Ramps for handicapped

    Encino Landscaping is doing a necessary job for the Texas Department of Transportation Tyler District. All four corners of the block upon which the Henderson County Courthouse rests are being converted to better serve handicapped pedestrians.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Appearance and operation of Splash Pad upgraded

    The Splash Pad at Athens Kiwanis Park has been closed this week, as work is being done that will upgrade the appearance of the surroundings and operation of the facility.
    The pad is now well into its first full summer of operation, and has proven to be a popular spot for youngsters in the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif GBC official asked to resign

    Gun Barrel City resident Carroll Strickland asked Councilman Marty Goss “to do the right thing and resign.”
    Strickland spoke to the GBC council during the citizen's comment portion of the Tuesday evening’s council meeting. Strickland  accused Goss of trying to take over the GBC Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
    In a prepared statement, Strickland said,  “Marty is doing harm to the city's reputation. I am asking the mayor and the city council to do something about the situation.”

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Nutt says being part of task force has really paid off

    Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt reports that being a part of the Drug Enforcement Task Force in Tyler has paid off in a big way with the arrest of two major drug distributors.
    On May 13, following an investigation initiated in January by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigators, Uleyses Roberts, 45, and Dijon Howard, 25, were arrested by a task force of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The men were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo