The Frankston Citizen — Year 2009 in Review


Jan. 7 — The first edition of the year 2009 began with the headline that Henderson County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry West had announced that a new county building would be built in Poynor to house the justice of the peace and constable.

The newspaper also noted that the Lift the Library Campaign had reached $8,807, or far above the $6,000 goal that Library Board President Mike Dennis had said was necessary to restore the financial solvency of the Frankston Depot Library.

Jan. 15 — The second edition noted that the City of Coffee City's Volunteer Fire Department now had a rescue boat working Lake Palestine. Also in that edition, the City of Frankston passed resolutions to join Anderson County in giving tax abatements to Frankston Packaging for a $2.5 million expansion that would create five new jobs.

The Frankston council also passed an ordinance at the request of Square Fair Parade Chairman Jessica Tatum that would permit the Square Fair Parade to circle the downtown square and go onto Highway 155.

The City of Berryville planned a new water well to be drilled with the assistance of a $250,000 block grant.

Jan. 23 — After looking at federal government programs, the City of Frankston decided to dump federal money and build its new sewer plant on its own with an estimated $500,000 to be borrowed from First State Bank of Frankston.

Frankston and LaPoynor School Boards called elections for May 9 with two places open in Frankston and two seats up for election among the LaPoynor trustees.

The City of Cuney invested $42,000 in a track hoe, and the Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce set its annual banquet for April 21.

LaPoynor School Board learned that it may have to return $3 million to the state under the Chapter 41 provisions that penalize rich school districts in Texas.


Feb. 5 — Lindale Homes, now located on the downtown square, moved its construction business to Frankston after moving here and enrolling children in school. The owners are Ricky and Beverly Casey.

The Gail McElroy Gospel Singing was set to honor the long-time choir director at The United Methodist Church of Frankston.

Feb. 12 — Councilman Frank Ross was appointed mayor of the City of Coffee City by its council. Ross had been serving as mayor pro tem and presiding over the council since Mike Warren had resigned following a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office of Henderson County.

Two Frankston Indian football players, Ketrick Harmon and Bryan Blackwell, signed letters of intent to play for West Texas A&M in Canyon in the fall.

After 20 years at Frankston Depot Library, Patricia Montrose retired, and Carol Wheeler became the new librarian.

Feb. 19 — J. R. Newman showed the world his two-headed calf born on Friday the 13th. The calf died later the same day.

Ronny Smith opened his new 864-square-feet tax office on Highway 175 West on land that had been his family homestead.

Feb. 26 — Burglars hit five cars parked in Frankston on Feb. 17, and the LaPoynor School Board decided to give students who pass the statewide Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) exam a reward of 10 days off.


March 5 — A new $110,000 brush fire truck arrived for the Poynor Volunteer Fire Department.

A physical and occupational therapy program was added at the Frankston Health Care Center.

March 12 — Atwood Hat Company of Frankston won a contract to make felt and straw hats for law enforcement officers of the State of Texas, announced Brooks Atwood. The contract is good for five years.

Frankston junior Dedtrick Smith qualified for the state track meet after taking second in the regional power-lifting tournament held in G. V. (Bo) Ousley Gymnasium here.

March 19 — Frankston police worked a rash of burglaries that hit businesses in downtown Frankston over the past two weeks.

Former Mayor Mike Warren, who was forced to resign after a plea agreement with the Henderson County District Attorney's Office, was re-appointed as a councilman by the City Council of Coffee City.

March 26 — The Lake Palestine Chamber of Commerce nominated Rick Stewart, Henderson County Precinct 4 constable, and Darin Wood, pastor of First Baptist Church of Frankston, as candidates for citizen of the year.

Construction of a new water well for the City of Berryville was set to begin, according to City Manager Sharyn Harrison.

All eighth graders at Frankston Middle School passed the TAKS test, announced Principal Richard Hamilton.


April 3 — Adam Johnson was named “best actor” as the Frankston High School one-act play advanced to district.

The Frankston High School Band was invited to participate in the nationally televised Chuy's Christmas Parade in Austin during December.

The Neches School Board approved the purchase of a new bus and redoing the gym floors.

The Frankston Volunteer Fire Department added new “jaws of life” to its equipment, reported Chief Scottie Rodgers.

April 9 — Larry Paxton, owner of Lake Palestine Resort, was re-elected president of the Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Rev. Fr. M. Jones Jayaraj was named priest at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Frankston.

Frankston Mayor James Gouger was home from the hospital in Tyler after having a close brush with death following an allergic reaction to a medical scan.

The Chicken Ranch shooting range west of Frankston was the site of a fund-raiser for LaPoynor Project Graduation.

April 16 — Jeff Austin Jr., chairman of the board of First State Bank, said that Frankston-based bank would remain “traditional” as the bank observed its centennial year with an open house on April 14. The bank allowed each employee to donate $250 to the charity of his or her choice.

April 23 — Henderson County Constable Rick Stewart was named citizen of the year by the Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce. Frankston Police Officer Jason Ward was named co-law enforcement officer of the year along with Coffee City Police Chief Ray Threadgill, and Coffee City Fire Chief was fire fighter of the year. First State Bank was business of the year, and Tammy Bostick was volunteer of the year. Educators of the year were Mary Cox for Frankston and Laura Ballard for LaPoynor.

A community-wide blood drive was held for Shelley Burke White, a Dallas resident and 1984 graduate of Frankston High School who was suffering from an autoimmune disease.

April 30 — LaPoynor FFA held its 46th annual youth rodeo, and the Neches Heritage Festival moved to the Skeen Center for its May 2 event.

Frankston schools were cautious over the impact of the approaching swine flu epidemic, Supt. Austin Thacker told the Frankston School Board, and took steps to lessen the H1N1 impact.


May 7 — Early voting signaled some hot races, especially for the Coffee City Council and for the LaPoynor School Board. The incumbents running for the Frankston School Board drew no opponents, and there were no races for the Berryville City Council, so those elections could be canceled. The City of Frankston had no contested elections but had a vote on approval of renewing a 1/4 cent sales tax to repair city streets.

Magical Kingdom Child Care opened as the area’s largest day care enter on Hwy. 155 in Coffee City.

May 14 — The bankruptcy of Affiliated Foods sent Sav-Mor Grocery in Frankston scrambling to find new suppliers, but owners Larry and Gigi Selman managed to keep the store going without disruption.

The May 9 elections produced a new city council for Coffee City.. The agenda had included the the possibility of replacing Police Chief Ray Threadgill, but a room full of citizens caused that matter to be postponed.

Incumbent Keith Bristow was re-elected to the LaPoynor School Board, but newcomer Stan McCurley won over incumbent Steve Handley.

In Cuney, incumbents Alvis McFarland and Calversie Patton won reelection to the city council. Incumbent Grace Beal drew no opponent.

May 21 — After first refusing to approve the canvas of the May 9 election, the Coffee City Council reversed itself. At the canvas of the votes, the old council tried to take steps to exclude some of the ballots, but City Attorney Kurt Noell said that every ballot that the Henderson County Election Office had said was within the City of Coffee City must be included. That paved the way for the election of Glenn Bourque, a minister, and Mike Aubuchon, a developer, to the council.

Grace Bible Church decided to close its food pantry and to sell the church, announced Pastor Debra Dean.

D Magazine of Dallas named the onion rings at Smokey Joe's Hickory House Barbecue in Frankston as the best in Texas.

LaPoynor High School juniors aced the state-mandated exit exams as 100 percent of them passed on the first try, said Principal Ken Barrow.

May 28 — Supt. Austin Thacker told the Frankston School Board that it appeared that the TAKS scores were high enough for Frankston schools to be taken off the state probation of last year that occurred when one statistical group of middle school students failed science and math.

Rosalinda Pizano was valedictorian and Taylar Thompson was salutatorian of the Class of 2009 at Frankston High School. LaPoynor's top grads were Kensey Mascorro as valedictorian and Heather Forester as salutatorian.

Frankston junior Coby Coleman made the state track meet by finishing second as he hurled the discus his personal best of 141 feet and 4 inches in the regional track meet.


June 4 — Trinity Mother Frances Hospital cut the ribbon on a $6.3 million expansion in Flint that included a clinic, emergency clinic, cardiac rehabilitation, and physical therapy as well as a health club.

LaPoynor Elementary School declared Casey Partanen Day for the fourth grader earning an unprecedented 600 reading points, said Principal Marsha Mills.

June 11 — Rosalinda Pizano became the first student of Hispanic descent to give the valedictory at Frankston High School when the Class of 2009 walked across the stage.

Frankston business woman Pat House, who had the Merle Norman Studio, died on June 6 at age 82.

June 18 — Construction began on the City of Frankston's new $1 million sewer treatment plant southeast of town.

Former Frankston Mayor R. E. “Bob” Phillips died on June 12 at the age of 83.

Burglars hit three more businesses in downtown Frankston over the past week.

June 25 — An exhibit at Frankston High School was unveiled that honored the 2006 graduate Heath Pickard, who was killed north of Bagdad on Oct. 16, 2008.


July 2 — The Frankston School Board voted to join with the City of Frankston to hire a “resource police officer” whose primary job would be to work on the campus at Frankston schools.

The Rev. Bob Waldman, former Frankston pastor, was keynote speaker for the June 28 Community Patriotic Celebration at the Family Life Center of United Methodist Church.

Josh Robertson, a 2003 graduate of Frankston High, was critically injured on June 26 when he was hit by a van while crossing Hwy. 155 in Coffee City.

July 16 — Two Frankston principals swapped jobs for the coming school year. Chris White left Frankston High to return to Frankston Middle School, while Middle School Principal Richard Hamilton moved to Frankston High.

Some $4,500 was raised on July 11 at the park in downtown Frankston as an event raised money for a scholarship in the memory of the late mechanic Mike Jones.

The City of Berryville completed its new water well giving the city adequate water for the next 40 years, according to Mayor Roy Brown.

Chris Moore, fire chief for Coffee City and Berryville, announced mutual aid agreements that bind the two departments together in time of emergency.

July 23 — The Frankston School Board approved a project that will bring new iPods to Frankston Middle School students in early 2010.

Roy Starr was installed as master of the William Foster Masonic Lodge in Frankston on July 18.

Frankston schools announced a new resurfaced running track at Jeff and Opal Austin Stadium.

The Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce proposed a monthly fishing contest for both bass and catfish sportsmen.


August 6 — The Coffee City Council proposed an annexation plan that would double the size of the city and add 146 residents to the current population of 193.

The appraisal of oil property in Anderson and Henderson County drove down values by $67 million in LaPoynor and Frankston Independent School Districts.

The City of Berryville issued a “boil water” notice to its residents in what became a frequent incident throughout the fall.

LaPoynor High was the only one in Henderson County to be rated exemplary in the TAKS testing by the state. LaPoynor Elementary also rated exemplary, but the middle school was acceptable which made the entire LaPoynor Independent School District rank as recognized.

The Frankston Independent School District ranked acceptable and got away from the probation of last year in the TAKS test. Frankston Elementary was exemplary; Frankston Middle School was recognized; and Frankston High was acceptable.

August 13 — The Berryville City Council proposed an ordinance that would limit livestock in the city as some citizens complain about goats along Jeb Circle.

Senior defensive lineman Coby Coleman committed to play football at Texas Tech University in Lubbock next year.

August 20 — The staff of Frankston Health Care Center began a drive to build a fenced courtyard for residents.

Darin Wood, pastor at First Baptist Church of Frankston, accepted the position of pastor at Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

The Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce announced that it will sponsor a monthly fishing tournament on the first Saturday of each month for bass and catfish sportsmen.

August 27 — The Homeowners Association of Diamond Head Bay Subdivision passed a resolution that Diamond Head Bay would fight annexation into the City of Coffee City.

Neches Independent School District opened its new $5.25 million elementary school with a cafeteria and library.

Three more roads in Brierwood Bay Subdivision were resurfaced to standards where they can now be accepted and maintained by Henderson County, said Steve Gullekson, president of the property owners' association.

Enrollment was up in 2009 on the first day of school by 20 students in Frankston to 752, by 12 students in LaPoynor to 497, and by 3 students in Neches to 381.


September 3 — Calvin Dorsey was hired as the first “resource police officer” to serve at Frankston schools.

A midnight robbery hit the Kwik Stop on Hwy. 175 in Frankston on Aug. 29.

The Frankston High School Indian football team upset the number one ranked Class A team in the state by a score of 48 to 21 when Cayuga came to town for the season opener.

Sept. 10 — Northland Cable Television announced an upgrade for the Frankston and Berryville area with a full range of services delivered by advanced optic network.

Ali Atwood collected more than 100 names to represent at the “tea party” 9-12 Rally to protest “out-of-control government” in Washington, D.C.

September 17 — The City of Coffee City voted to go ahead with its annexation plans despite a protest from residents of Diamond Head Bay Subdivision.

The City of Berryville tabled its plan to put more limits on livestock within the city.

A group calling itself Concerned Citizens headed by spokesman Velma Donnell asked the Frankston City Council for specific help in its northwest neighborhood.

September 24 — A new $117,000 fire truck boosted the fire fighting capability of the Frankston Volunteer Fire Department, said Fire Chief Scottie Rodgers.

With the construction of an addition to LaPoynor Elementary School underway, the LaPoynor School Board talks about adding a new $1.1 million gymnasium.


October 1 — Monty Shank gave an update on Lake Palestine to the Greater Lake Palestine Council and said the proposed Lake Fastrill would be good for Lake Palestine.

The community of LaPoynor honored longtime English teacher Barbara Westbrook Carter on her 80th birthday.

Supt. B. L. Davis closed LaPoynor schools for three days because of an outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus.

October 8 — Brother and sister Josey Layne Vodkicka and Trevor Joe Vodkicka will be Little  Miss and Little Mister Square Fair at the annual event.

October 15 — New energy efficiency in lighting was announced for the 100,000 square foot facility at Frankston Packaging Company.

The City of Berryville worked out a new ordinance for keeping livestock in the city.

October 22 — Large crowds attended the 34th annual Square Fair and its expanded parade, and also attended the Community Health Fair at United Methodist Church on the Saturday following the Frankston High School homecoming football game.

Homeowners at Diamond Head Bay Subdivision sought an injunction against being annexed into the City of Coffee City.

LaPoynor School Board approved a proposed new $1.1 million gymnasium on a split vote.

A donor match was found for Emma Routh, whose Brushy Creek family has been traveling 56 cities seeking a blood marrow donor and adding names to the national bone marrow donor list. The bone marrow transfer operation in Boston could greatly increase the chances that the 4-year-old could defeat her autoimmune disease.

Dalton Severn and Jackie Jones were named 2009 homecoming king and queen at Frankston High School.

October 29 — Pioneer Coach J. C. Hicks was honored by students at homecoming for starting the first Frankston girls' basketball team.


November 5 — The Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce held the first-ever monthly Bass/Cat Open fishing tournament.

November 12 — Councilman Ray Wakeman tried to turn down his $400 monthly pay after being appointed to the Coffee City Council.

The City of Berryville gave final approval to a revised livestock control ordinance.

Ray Tanner received his World War II metals some 65 years late.

November 19 — Area fire departments, aided by the Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce, launched the Holiday Help food and toy campaign for needy families.

Frankston and LaPoynor schools honored veterans on Nov. 11. with Frankston students hearing from Alpha Signal Company at Fort Hood where an Army major turned terrorist and killed 13 soldiers. The signal company had been “adopted” by United Methodist Church of Frankston.

November 26 — James Suggs of Frankston prepared to run for charity in the White Rock Marathon in Dallas.

After facing a $21 million appraisal error last year, LaPoynor School Board learned it has another oil and gas appraisal error on this year. The schools are still waiting to learn the extent of financial damage both these errors will do to the LaPoynor district.


December 3 — Three homes were announced for the Frankston Garden Club’s Holiday Tour of Homes. They are the Edine Nesmith home, the Kathy and Ronnie Clarkston home, and the Becky and David Brown home.

The bone marrow donor for 4-year-old Emma Routh backed out at the last minute leaving her Boston operation in limbo.

December 10 —East Texas Medical Center opened its new $9 million facility in Flint that is complete with first floor clinic, second floor pool and therapy, and third floor walking track.

Emma Routh's second donor came through, and the youth was off to Boston for her needed transplant on Dec. 21.

Santa arrived at Christmas in the Park to a large Frankston crowd on Dec. 5.

December 17 — The Dairy Queen closed for final remodeling with a scheduled reopening of Jan. 5, 2010.

The Frankston City Council approved a plan for the Future Farmers of America to put up welcome signs on the highway entrances to the city.

December 24 — The cooperative that provided special education services to LaPoynor schools collapsed as Brownsboro, the largest school district, pulled out.

Malori Bizzell of the Frankston Future Farmers of America went to state to compete in job interview after winning the area competition.

Frankston schools learned that the iPods for seventh and eighth graders should arrive in January.