No appeal sought by Appraisal Office
By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff
ATHENS–On second thought, there will be no appeal.
Henderson County Chief Appraiser Bill Jackson confirmed this week that
the appraisal district will not be filing an appeal of the state’s 2009
Property Tax Report, which flagged appraisals in Malakoff ISD as too
According to the State Comptroller’s Office, which prepares the report,
it is a “study that estimates the taxable wealth of each school district
in Texas. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) uses the study results to
allocate state aid to local school districts. “
The study also “evaluates the level and uniformity of appraisals by the
... county appraisal districts.”
According to officials, the property values assessed by the local
appraisal district must be within 95 to 105 percent of what the State
Comptroller assesses in its study.
Malakoff’s appraisals came in at 92 percent, according to Jackson, who
said MISD was the only school district in the county to have a problem.
Jackson last week told the Athens Daily Review that he would file an
appeal over the issue, but changed his mind.
“After looking at it, we could not prevail,” he said.
MISD Superintendent Dr. John Spies said the issue is an important one,
because the state uses the appraisal numbers to determine school
In this case, Malakoff’s low appraisal would catch the state’s attention
because if the district is bringing in less local taxes (based on lower
property appraisals), then the state would have to send more money.
That is something the state doesn’t like to do, Spies said.
But Malakoff has a one-year grace period.
“There is no penalty in the first year, but if the discrepancy
continues, then the state will penalize the district,” Spies said.
Spies said the penalty is that the state uses its own appraisals for
determining how much funding to send the district. Even a few percentage
points can mean thousands of dollars to the district.
“But (Jackson) has assured me that when this is done next year it will
be right on,” he said.
Jackson told The Monitor the same thing.
“We can correct the problem,” he said. “We don’t foresee it being a
problem for next year.”
Jackson said one of the problems this year was that local appraisals of
“high dollar” lake properties were too low.
Since the state’s property tax report indicated MISD’s appraisals were
too low, does that mean area property owners can expect higher
appraisals? Jackson said not necessarily.
“We won’t treat Malakoff any differently than we do every year,” he
“Just by adequately appraising Malakoff, we will be within the margin of
Review cuts production
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Henderson County’s only local daily newspaper is going to be
delivering one less edition each week – and that’s going to be coming
through the mail.
In a letter to readers last weekend, Athens Daily Review publisher Lange
Svehlak announced the paper will be dropping its Monday edition starting
in April; the paper will publish Tuesday through Saturday.
In addition, Svehlak also announced the Review will be delivered through
the U.S. Postal Service beginning in April.
In his letter, Svehlak said, “During the past several years, many
newspapers across the country have moved to mail delivery because of the
efficiencies it offers. In addition to changing to meet the current
economic demands facing many businesses, newspapers also have faced the
growing challenge of maintaining its own internal delivery force, as
well as higher production and delivery costs.”
In an interview Tuesday morning, Svehlak said the paper’s carriers were
contract laborers and not actually company employees. He said the paper
will continue to maintain a circulation department for delivery to racks
and local dealers.
Svehlak declined to either confirm or deny reports that the company has
asked employees to take an extra five unpaid days off sometime between
April through June.
Svehlak said the paper is not expecting future layoffs.
Tuesday, Svehlak again pointed to the rising cost of producing a daily
newspaper when talking about the reasons for the actions.
“The cost of production and maintenance has gone up, while ad rates and
subscription rates haven’t,” he said. “We decided to do this instead of
“I didn’t feel comfortable raising people’s rates with the way the
economy is,” Svehlak said.
The Jacksonville Daily Progress announced similar measures this weekend.
Both the Athens Review and Jacksonville Daily Progress are owned by
Alabama-based Community Newspapers Holdings, Inc. (CNHI).
The company also owns the Cedar Creek Pilot in Gun Barrel City, the
Corsicana Daily Sun and the Palestine Herald-Press.
The moves highlight the troubles facing the daily newspaper industry
these days. Monday, the Pew Research Center released its annual “State
of the News Media,” calling it the “bleakest” yet.
According to the report: “The newspaper industry exited a harrowing 2008
and entered 2009 in something perilously close to free fall. Perhaps
some parachutes will deploy, and maybe some tree limbs will cushion the
descent, but for a third consecutive year the bottom is not in sight.”
The report is compiled by the Pew Research Center’s Project for
Excellence in Journalism, a nonpolitical, nonpartisan research
According to the Texas Press Association (TPA), the trouble is mostly
with the daily newspaper segment.
In December, the TPA reported circulation for weekly newspapers actually
increased. The numbers come from each newspaper’s October U.S. Postal
Statement of Ownership.
During the same audit, daily newspaper circulation dropped nearly
143,000 readers, more than double the loss just five years ago.
East meets West at Rotary
Teens from Japan dine on pizza with Rotarians
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The local Rotary club meeting Friday lived up to its
name – Rotary International.
A group of excited, polite and somewhat tired teenagers from Japan
arrived at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport that morning and were whisked to
Gun Barrel City for a 1 p.m. meeting with members of the Cedar Creek
It was their first stop in Texas, with other stops planned at more north
In Japan, the presentation of a business card upon meeting is customary,
and local Rotarians were treated to this cultural introduction.
The students knew rudimentary English and the Rotarians knew only one or
two words of Japanese. However, smiles, nods, hand signals and slowly
spoken English carried conversations back and forth at the various
dining tables across the room.
The young people arrived on a cold, rainy day in Texas, having completed
an 11-hour plane trip. Their first meal was a delicious Italian spread
The teens especially appreciated the pizza slices.
Activities planned throughout the weekend included a Texas barbecue at
the Triple N Ranch in Trinidad and an introduction to real Texas
Longhorn cattle, a trip to the Western Museum at Navarro College in
Corsicana and a trip to the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler.
Monday, they visited with members of the Christian Life Center on West
Main Street in Gun Barrel City.
Besides greetings from their home club in Rotary International District
2560 – Wings of Rotary, the youth brought club banners.
Four members of the student party, three boys and their leader, weren’t
able to make the meeting, as they were busy chasing down a lost set of
luggage with Barbara Turner’s help.
Among the announcements, Rotarians were reminded of a book giveaway in
Kemp set to follow the April 3 meeting. A special surprise guest may
also be present, Bob Burns said, adding, “You’ll be sorry if you miss
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Rotary Club president Ted Ingersol (center) and Rotarian tour guide Dale
stand with teen guests displaying Rotary banners from their sponsoring
clubs in Japan.
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Sixteen-year-old Reiko flashes the peace sign and
Rotarian Sue Stalcup teaches the UT “hook'em Horns”
sign to match the hats Rotarians gave to their visitors.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
My name is Nelson. I am a
beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal
control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back
and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever
My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful
female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal
control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other
dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my
shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my
We are a whole litter of Shepherd
mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so
we have no history. We have been started on our first set of
shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.
I am a beautiful Border Collie,
who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by
animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the
shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful
kid looking for a new home.
Pictured are just a few
animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven
Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the
Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220
County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422
after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
For further information
visit our website at