After eight months without a police department, the City of Kemp swore in a new police chief on Wednesday.
Jimmy Council is Kemp’s new chief of police. Council, a longtime Kaufman County resident, was part of the Kemp Police Department when it was disbanded.
“Right now we will just have the chief,” City Administrator James Whitehead said. “In time we will hire more officers.”
The city plans on using local reserve officers until then.
In May, the council voted to dissolved the police department and fire the chief and four full time police officers. According to reports, the city had been plagued by financial issues when the decision was made. Richard Clemmo was chief at the time.
For the past eight months, the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department has been protecting the City of Kemp.
“Kaufman did an excellent job,” Whitehead said. “We feel like the city needs its own police protection.”
Whitehead said Council is doing inventory of the equipment available. Previous reports that the city had auctioned off a patrol car, bullet-proof vest, ammunition and other police-related items were false.
“I wasn’t here then, but we still have all the equipment,” Whitehead said. “The patrol car is ready to go.”
Kemp Police swear in chief as department re-opens
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Sales-tax allocations drop double-digit
The City of Athens experienced a double-digit drop in its sales-tax allocation in December from the previous year, based on information from Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.
Athens’ check of $379.608.77 is 11.55 percent below December 2012. For the calander year-to-date, Athens is 4.30 percent above 2012 figures.
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office reports that a large quantity of fireworks taken from a stand just outside of Athens have been recovered, and arrests are expected in the case.
According to Sheriff Ray Nutt, HCSO learned on Tuesday morning that Jake’s Fireworks Stand on State Highway 19 south had been burglarized.
Chandler to end septic dumping
Several repairs are needed on the lagoon at the Chandler Wastewater Treatment Plant, and as a result, the city council has voted to close the lagoon, effective Jan. 1.
The lagoon is used by several area septic companies for dumping of the sludge from their trucks. Those companies will be notified of the closing.
Brownsboro ISD adding eight courses
House Bill 5 is leading to changes in education across the state, and Brownsboro Independent School District is making sure it is ready.
While all the details of the bill have not been released, Brownsboro ISD approved adding eight courses to its high school curriculum Monday during a regular school board meeting in preparation.
Water authority sues Athens
The Athens Municipal Water Authority filed suit in 173rd District Court on Tuesday concerning bills presented to the AMWA the authority contends were the responsibility of the city.
The AMWA Board voted unanimously to take the action at its meeting Tuesday morning. The suit claims the city had wrongfully charged the AMWA with bills the municipality had been obligated to pay.
School buses collide in Athens
Two Athens Fire Department responders assist students after two buses collided near the bus barn on S. Palestine Street on Wednesday afternoon. The collision sent multiple individuals to East Texas Medical Center with unspecified injuries. Athens Police Department Officer Michael Reynolds said the driver of one of the buses was transported to the hospital with unspecified injuries. AISD officials said none of the students were thought to be seriously injured, but were being taken to the emergency room for evaluation. Two parked, unoccupied, vehicles received minor damage in the indecent.
Henderson County Election Administrator Denise Hernandez wants to alleviate fears of potential voters who believe they may be disenfranchised if the name on their voting card is not an exact match.
Hernandez said her office has received several inquiries concerning the question, and want’s to assure voters that the changes might cause them to spend a few extra seconds in the election process, but will not curtail their rights at the ballot box.
County discusses appointments
The Henderson County Commissioners discussed the appointment of three members to the Regional Fair Park Board at their Tuesday meeting.
Judge Richard Sanders said three positions were expiring on the park board. The positions are currently being held by Bob Myers, Ken Hayes and Martin Davis. Sanders said Bob Myers of Precinct 4 was the only board member who showed an interest in remaining on the Fair Park Board.
Hazardous materials response
The Athens City Council on Monday approved an agreement with Henderson County for hazardous materials response.
Now that the city has approved the document, it will go to the Henderson County Commissioners Court to be approved and signed.
More than 50 people were at the Cain Center on Sunday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the crowning of Athens' own Sharon McCauley as Miss Texas.
The event was attended by dignitaries such as City Administrator Pam Burton, Athens Mayor Jerry Don Vaught, Miss Texas Pageant historian Randy Pruett and Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders. Many of McCauley's family members also were on-hand for the celebration.
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- Sales-tax allocations drop double-digit