The Frankston Citizen — Year 2008 in Review

Some of the top stories in the Frankston and Lake Palestine area in the year 2008 were:

Frankston High in U.S. Best

The best of times, the worst of times for Frankston schools: In December, the news magazine U.S. News & World Report ranked Frankston High School as one of the 1,900 best in the nation, and that helped to offset the problems that formerly “recognized” Frankston Independent School District had with one portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test reported in August which made Frankston Middle School and the whole district be ranked as “unacceptable.”

Frankston Hikes Water Rates

The City of Frankston struggles to find funds for a new sewer plant in the southwest side of town as a $250,000 Texas Community Block Grant comes through in 2007, a USDA grant fails to come through in early 2008, and the Frankston City Council votes in November to raise water rates to pay for the new facility.

Dickson takes Precinct Three

Elections in November and the primaries in March brought new leadership to the Frankston area. Sand and gravel contractor Kenneth Dickson defeated incumbent Anderson County Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Smith in the primary and went on to win the November 4 general election to represent the Frankston area in Palestine. Henderson County elected a new sheriff, former Texas Ranger Ray Nutt.

Frankston honors fallen soldier

The citizens of Frankston lined Highway 155 as the body of Heath Pickard came through town on Oct. 22 and filled a Palestine church for his funeral on Oct. 25. Pickard, a 2006 graduate of Frankston High School, was killed in Iraq on Oct. 16 when terrorists fired a mortar round into his company’s motor pool.

Ford dealer Lade dies suddenly

Frankston was stunned on a Thursday afternoon, Sept. 25, when long-time Ford dealer James Lade Jr. died suddenly in his downtown office. Lade was 55. His son, James Jason Lade, 32, had died on Sept. 18 from a gunshot wound at his C&L Auto Credit Company in Longview.

Area rebounds quickly from Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike passed directly over Frankston on Sept. 13 and left trees down and houses without electricity, but the damage was light compared to what happened to the south of Frankston and along the coast. No injuries were reported in the Frankston area.

Study suggests new school site

The Frankston Independent School District began planning for the future in 2008 by the forming of a long-range planning committee chaired by Jerry Beard. The committee suggested that a consultant recommended by the Texas Association of School Administrators conduct a facility study. The consultant, Dr. Paul Trautman, reported his findings to the committee and the Frankston School Board on Aug. 14 with a stunning result: He said the current 102-acre site was too hilly for expansion and recommended that a master plan identify at least one other school site before any expansion takes place. In November, the school board heard from an architectural firm that does master plans. In December, the board voted to spend just under $10,000 to have an aerial topographical survey of the current site so architects can determine if the land is too hilly.

Tax values rise 8% in Anderson County

As the value of property fell in 2008, its appraised value was raised by the Anderson and Henderson County Appraisal Districts, and this caused long lines of citizens wanting to appear before the appeals boards and tax rolls late in being certified. Henderson County values went up about 10 percent.

Old park tree thought in peril

The estimated 250-year-old tree in the southwest corner of the downtown park began to look like it was suffering and perhaps dying in June, so citizens called in a retired Oklahoma State University professor, Jim Bohlmann, to suggest ways to save it or prolong its life. The Frankston Economic Development Corporation gave funds to offset some of the cost of the City of Frankston stepping up its trimming and watering of the tree.

Over-valuation mistake learned by LaPoynor ISD

The LaPoynor School Board learned in its November meeting that a mistake by the Henderson County Appraisal District had set the value of Hunt Oil Property $26 million too high. By year’s end, it was still unclear how this error will impact the LaPoynor District.

STAR students put roof on first project

The newly formed Students Together Achieving Results (STAR) group at Frankston Middle School swings into action on Nov. 15 by building a new roof on the porch of Odell Shamblin, a handicapped man who lives on Ewell Street.

Football coach coming home

After Frankston Head Football Coach Les Rhea resigned, the Frankston School Board hired as his replacement a former Frankston Assistant Coach Sam Wells, who had been defensive coordinator at Elysian Fields. Wells is married to Ammie Jones of Frankston.

LaPoynor schools rank ‘recognized’

The LaPoynor Independent School District became the only school district in Henderson County to be rated “recognized” by the Texas Education Agency. Supt. B. L. Davis said he wanted all three LaPoynor schools to be rated as “exemplary” next year.

Boosters add spirit tunnel

The Frankston Booster Club lifted the opening game spirits for the Indian football team with the purchase of a tunnel for the team’s entrance onto the field in early October.

LaPoynor ISD Supt. Buford retires

Supt. Eugene Buford retired from the LaPoynor Independent School District in June, and Dr. B. L. Davis was named interim superintendent to replace him. Dr. Davis has been superintendent in Longview and in Carrollton-Farmer’s Branch.

8-liners disappearing from county

Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe warned in early June about illegal 8-liners in area convenience stores that he said were a violation of state law, and for a few months the 8-liners were gone before coming back to stores later in the fall.

Smith, Bostick win school board vote

Incumbent Mark Bostick defeated challenger Jevette Dansby to keep his spot on the Frankston School Board, and Harry Smith rejoined the board by outpolling three other candidates.

Chamber plans to reorganize

The Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce took the first steps to rejuvenate itself on June 16 in a reorganizational meeting. Larry Paxton of Lake Palestine Resort was elected the new president.

Barbecue comes to square

Two major building projects came to fruition on April 24 when Charlie and Jennifer Rhodes opened Charlie’s BBQ on the west side of the downtown square and Kar Kare by Kelton opened its new building on Highway 175 East near the Dollar General store.

Four Seasons takes to highway

Michelle Sharp moved her Four Seasons flower shop from a house behind the United Methodist’s Family Life Center on Main Street to a building on Highway 175 near the intersection of Hwy. 155.

Sidewalk project hits snag

Although the downtown sidewalk project was delayed when bids came in far too high and when the low bidder backed out last spring, the Frankston Economic Development Corporation rebid the project, and the rebuilding of the sidewalks on the north side of the downtown square was completed in the fall.

Mayor selected top citizen

When the Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce had its annual banquet in February, the area’s top award went to James Gouger as citizen of the year. Others honored were Pat House of Merle Norman Studios as business of the year; Frankston Police Sgt. Jonathan Folmar as law enforcement officer of the year; Frankston Fire Chief Scottie Rodgers as fire fighter of the year; Patty Mascorro, LaPoynor educator of the year; and Danny Foster, Frankston educator of the year. A special award went to Taylor Kirkpatrick.

Crash kills Hilltop pastor, child

Shane Morgan, 34, pastor of Hilltop Baptist Church in Berryville, and daughter Kaylee Morgan, 12, were killed in a two-vehicle wreck south of Brownsboro. His wife and other daughter were also injured in the wreck.

Beards “smoking” again on Hwy. 155

Joe and Mary Beard reopened their Smokey Joe’s Hickory House Barbecue in February after operating for several years in LaRue.

Roadhouse opening, expanding

The new KB’s Roadhouse brought a restaurant and convenience store back to the Poynor area when it opened in February. The store is owned by Keith Bristow.

Health Center has new owner

Effective Feb. 1, Tom and Yvette Murphy of Longview became the new owners of Frankston Health Care Center.

Dr. Bean joins ETMC physician group

Rene Bean, DO, of Frankston joined the East Texas Medical Center’s First Physicians in early January in an affiliation that ETMC said would allow the doctor to continue serving Frankston patients while extending her care into the Bullard area.

Resort opens float-in grill

The new 4,000-square-foot Lake Grill at Lake Palestine Resort opened the first of January in 2008 with the investment made by new owners Norma and Larry Paxton.