I spend a lot of time writing, and I try to present a balance of optimism and reality. This is becoming more difficult as we are constantly bombarded with so many things we do not understand. Even more disturbing is to consider how much negativity is going on that we are not aware of. I’m not implying that we anticipate evil behind every bush or under every rock, but my convictions accept our need to pray for spiritual discernment. I’ve had conversations with individuals who believe that more information is depressing and brings them into a higher level of anxiety. I understand. The idea of knowing less is an attitude that many are choosing to embrace for the sake of their health and well-being. As a minister, I certainly do not want to add more burdens to the worries and concerns we already struggle with, but learning how to process and manage our thoughts is a key to walking in a stronger faith. Whether we decide to face it or not, we are in a deadly spiritual war and God’s people are called to be His front-line soldiers.

Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative officials told Athens Kiwanis Club members, Tuesday, about ways members benefit from programs they offer.

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Family Circle of Care will host a COVID-19 Vaccine and Back to School Event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 24 at Antioch Baptist Church, 17422 FM 317 in Chandler.

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GALVESTON — The Malakoff Tigers varsity cheerleading team had a strong showing at the National Cheerleaders Association cheer camp July 19-22 in Galveston.

The Henderson County Commissioners Court awarded the onsite sewer inspector bid for the next two years on Tuesday.

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The Texas Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Unit arrested, Jason Alan McCord, 50, of Athens, July 15, for sexual assault of a child. According to the Attorney General’s Office, the charge comes after a request from a local Child Advocacy Center to investigate a child discovered to be a victim of sex trafficking.

The 2021 regular seasons on Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour and Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit roll to a close in coming weeks. It’s crunch time for a number of Texas pros with Angler of Year points titles, championship and 2022 requalification berths on the line.

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NEW SUMMERFIELD — Three men were arrested and charged with capital murder for the shooting deaths of four people during the early morning hours of Tuesday near New Summerfield which is about 50 miles southeast of Athens.

The Henderson County COVID-19 spread, which had fallen to minuscule numbers, is bouncing back.

The Gun Barrel City July Fest will be Saturday, July 31 at the Gun Barrel City Park Amphitheater. This year's event features some big names in entertainment, with Josh Abbott Band headlining, and featuring Tone Loc. Gates open at 5 p.m. and concerts begin at 5:45 p.m.

Master Gardener intern Elizabeth Crowe has an exuberant personality. That energy is echoed in her gardening efforts. When asked about her gardens, she says they “range from traditional, fenced garden areas to entry way settings to home landscape as well as outdoor entertaining and seating decks.”

During the 1920s when Prohibition laws forbade production and often sale of adult beverages local law enforcement officers faced major challenges, After all, there were those who wanted their booze and also those who were willing to provide it, so when officials tried to enforce the laws it was frequently far from routine.

As happens most years, the Henderson County unemployment rate increased by several decimal points from May to June, figures from the Texas Workforce Commission show.

The Senate has passed legislation covering all the topics put on the agenda by Gov. Greg Abbott in just a few days, but it's unlikely any of them will reach the governor's desk after opponents to a proposed election bill broke quorum in the House, leaving that chamber unable to conduct business.

The Henderson County Grand Jury for the July session term returned 43 indictments. In addition, 33 cases are indicted under seal.

A Gun Barrel City man charged with multiple offenses that included alleged threats with a rifle was indicted by a Henderson County Grand Jury earlier this month, District Attorney Jenny Palmer reports.

The Trinity River is often over its banks and efforts are underway to create the first ever Regional Flood Plan for Texas’ Trinity River Basin.

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The 32th Annual Pineywoods Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation banquet and fundraiser is set for Aug. 7 at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

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School is out, summer is here and the fun fishing action is firing up on lakes across Texas. I’ve never met a fish that wasn’t fun to catch, but some are way more cooperative this time of year than others.

The City of Chandler adopted regulations, Tuesday, for water wells in the city limits.

History is like an expedition. Each generation helps chart the journey with its twists and turns, and each picks up where the other left off.

If only life could be as simple as that Blue Bell ice cream delivery guy’s view of his job. It seems to take simplicity to another level. “I eat all I can and sell the rest.” That’s what the ad says, as company leadership leans on the old saying about life being a “cinch by the inch and hard by the yard.”

The life of David in the Bible is one of the more popular stories in the Christian faith. Of all the individuals other than Christ, I would guess there have been more messages about him than any other character within the word of God. There is a huge difference between the way we observe and judge with our natural senses and the way God perceives everything through His perfect spiritual wisdom and the key to our success is learning to see as God sees. We begin our story in I Samuel where Samuel is a powerful prophet and is told by the Lord to select a new king to replace Saul who had disappointed God. There was a man named Jesse who had eight sons and God told Samuel that one of Jesse’s sons would be the new king and to listen carefully to God’s voice. When Samuel looked upon the oldest son Eliab, he reasoned within himself that surely this is the one whom God would want. Eliab was physically strong and impressive, and the passage also mentions that he was very tall. However, the Lord warned Samuel against being emotionally persuaded by stature for God does not see as man sees. “For man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” I Samuel 16:7.

Faced with a rare opportunity of using millions of federal dollars allocated in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis Henderson County is seeking a firm to help with the decision making and documentation that lies ahead.

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Gov. Greg Abbott last week sent a letter to the Public Utility Commission of Texas directing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to take immediate actions to increase power generation capacity and ensure reliability of the Texas power grid.

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So how have we faired in the weather department so far this year? Anyone remember our February deep freeze? Actually, other than that, the temperatures have been relatively normal and mild. We have had some days in the 90s, but haven’t cracked 100 except in isolated areas.

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Henderson County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to officially place Paula Ludtke in the Elections Administrator slot in the salary step plan.

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Athens High School cheerleaders recently participated in NCA camp, where 10 varsity cheerleaders were nominated for All American Cheer. Pictured are (sitting) Nevaeh Jena, Chelsea Jacobson, Emma Gore, Madelyn Rummel, Reagan Farley, Trinidad García, Asherlee Calloway, NaTori Williams, Ja’Nya Roberts and (center) Ellissa Comeaux. After tryouts Comeaux made the All American Squad. Both Adielyn Allbright and Aaliyah Braxton were chosen for the All American Mascot team.

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The Senate Tuesday approved the top issue on the special session agenda, a call from Gov. Greg Abbott for legislation that would "strengthen election integrity in Texas."

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