Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

January 16, 2014

Barksdale gives Kiwanians history lesson

Athens — It’s only in retrospect that we can see who really had vision.

Steve Barksdale, a former Chairman at Biotech Manufacturing Center, addressed the Athens Kiwanis Club on Tuesday, giving a history lesson about the center and projecting its future impact. In December, the heads of economic development for Louisiana Tech University and Louisiana State University toured the facility.

“The first thing they said resonated in my ears for a long time,” Barksdale said. “I asked point-blank what they thought. They said, ‘Can’t believe the vision a town this small has had in doing this project. This is unbelievable.’”

Barksdale said the Biotech grew out of seeds planted by Athens leaders searching for answers when the city lost a major manufacturer that employed about 1,200 people in the late 1980s.

“The forefathers of this town began to research and ask, ‘How can we come out of this? How can we survive,’” Barksdale said.

City leaders contacted Texas A&M University and the Texas Engineering Extension Department. The city commissioned a feasibility study to get ideas about what the city needed to grow.

“In 1990, they discovered that we had some neat characteristics already within our city,” Barksdale said. “We had Argon Medical and opportunities for some more medical devices.”

When the Athens Industrial Park was created, it provided a catalyst for new businesses.

“We’ve had many things come into the Industrial Park,” Barksdale said. “The place where the Biotech Manufacturing Center is located was really designed to be a fishing-lure bag manufacturing company. That company was the start of Dallas Manufacturing.”

Soon, a medical device serialization plant was located in the park, which opened the door for more medical-device-related businesses.

“A sterilization company in the medical device industry is a very important facet,” Barksdale.

BMC fits into the mix as a locally-owned, non-profit facility that helps incubator companies in the medical field get new products to market. Barksdale describes an incubator company as one with some great ideas that needs some help in getting its product to the market.

With the support of local leaders, BMC opened its doors in 2005. Biotech, which now has 22 employees, can help with manufacturing, building prototypes and aiding clients in acquiring funding for their projects.

“We can try to get you funding by using some of the contacts we’ve gotten through the state and through other entities, and we can get you there quicker than you can do it on your own,” Barksdale said. 

Text Only
Local News
  • Eatery upset

    Jennifer Brown, Manager of Vetoni's Italian Restaurant, took the opportunity to speak to the Gun Barrel City Council during a regularly-scheduled council meeting on Tuesday evening.

    April 24, 2014

  • Eatery upset

    Jennifer Brown, Manager of Vetoni's Italian Restaurant, took the opportunity to speak to the Gun Barrel City Council during a regularly-scheduled council meeting on Tuesday evening.

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24 KATHY MELTON.JPG Blind since birth, Kathy Melton is a talented piano player

    “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart” - Helen Keller
    Kathy Melton, of Eustace, has not let being blind stop her from her love of music. Blind since birth, she got her first piano at the young age of four. 

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0195.jpg WFAA Channel 8 kicks off series from city hall

    If you see a few more folks from the Dallas-Fort Worth area at Railway Cafe in Athens over the next couple of weeks, thank WFAA.
    Good Morning Texas, an ABC morning show for WFAA Channel 8 out of Dallas, was in Athens Wednesday to kick-off the “Europe, Texas” series.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Help end child abuse in Henderson County

    Child abuse is a community problem that can take many forms including emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and verbal abuse. But what people don’t realize is that a little awareness goes a long way to prevent child abuse.
    In a continual effort to fight child abuse, the Henderson County District Attorney's office, County Attorney's office and the Henderson County Sheriff's Department is once again asking everyone to wear blue to raise awareness.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • HC Gwen moffeit.jpg Longtime county clerk Gwen Moffeit looks ahead to retirement

    Henderson County Clerk Gwen Moffeit has been in her new office at the Henderson County Courthouse Annex for about three years, but so many memories still live in the century old building across the street.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD school bus collides with pickup

    A collision involving an Athens Independent School District bus carrying 41 children happened at 7:10 a.m., Wednesday.
    According to one of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Troopers that investigated the incident, the collision took place about 1/2 mile down State Highway 31 West from Athens.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23 RODEO_03.JPG Rodeo time in Athens

    It's rodeo time in Athens as the 29th annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Stampede Rodeo is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 25-26.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Malakoff ISD adding school bus

    The Malakoff Independent School District approved the purchase of a new bus during Monday's school board meeting.
    By unanimous decision, the board approved the purchase of a bus for $94,199, with funds from the Henderson County Shared Services Agreement.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • dwayne garner003.jpg Support veterans

    The Cedar Creek Lake Veterans Foundation is gearing up for this year's air show — Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake. This is the 11th annual event to be held on Saturday, July 5 at Cedar Creek Lake.
    The event will start with a benefit golf tournament on Monday, May 12 at Pinnacle Golf Club.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

AP Video
Twitter Updates