The Frankston Citizen — Year 2010 in Review

The Frankston Citizen — Year 2010 in Review


In January, the Frankston Dairy Queen reopened on Jan. 11 after remodeling its kitchen, restrooms, parking area, booth area and adding all new kitchen equipment and an ice cream kitchen by owner David Brightwell.

A Frankston man was elected to lead the Tyler Area Building. Rick Casey of Casey Homes was installed on Jan. 17 as the new leader of Tyler builders.

The City Council of Coffee City looked in the sewer grants to see if it would be feasible for the city to construct a sewage treatment system.

On Jan. 21, Mayor James Gouger announced that he would not seek re-election in May after 22 years at the helm of the City of Frankston.

The Frankston Economic Development Corporation awarded a low bid to begin phase two of the downtown sidewalk project. The part of the project replaced sidewalks on the west side of the downtown square.

At Frankston Health Care Center, Larry Beltran was named the new administrator.

On Jan. 20, seven homes in the Poynor area were damaged by winter storms, including the parsonage of LaPoynor Church of Christ.

The LaPoynor School Board designated the entire school campus as a “child safety zone” as added protection for students.


The redrawing of University Interscholastic League districts on Feb. 1 gave both Frankston and LaPoynor schools newly formed districts in which to compete.

A new home will be built for Taylor “Tay Tay” Kirkpatrick, announced Campbell Custom Homes of Bullard on Feb. 4. Taylor’s family had been attempting to get ABC Television’s Extreme Makeover to make the home more wheelchair friendly, but the area homebuilders vowed to join together and build a new home for Taylor and his family.

First Baptist Church of Frankston ordained four new deacons: Andy McLaughlin, Robert Tidmore, Rick Stewart and Glen Holmans.

On Feb. 11, the City of Frankston said its new $1 million sewer treatment plant was ready to begin operations southeast of the town.

Two Frankston athletes signed for scholarships to play football. Coby Coleman signed to play in the fall for Texas Tech University, and Dedtrick Smith inked a letter of intent to play for Kilgore Junior College.

A petition filed by the Diamond Head Bay Homeowners Association sought to be de-annexed from the City of Coffee City, but the petition was never needed as the city and Diamond Head Bay agreed in court on Feb. 25 to de-annex the subdivision from the newly expanded Coffee City.

Scott Wiley was named the new pastor at First Baptist Church of Frankston. He had been serving as associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Tyler.

As most fans have come to expect, the Frankston Indian and Maidens basketball teams both made the state playoffs and went two rounds deep before being eliminated.


The East Texas Medical Center opened a First Physician Clinic in Frankston at the site of the former First National Bank of Frankston. Elmer G. Ellis, president of ETMC, cut the ribbon on the newly remodeled 4,000 square foot clinic on Hwy. 155 North.

A race for the position of mayor of the City of Frankston shaped up as two incumbent councilmen, Al Mann and K. W. Locke, filed to run in the May election.

A race also developed in the City of Coffee City where Mayor Pro Tem Glenn Bourque filed and was challenged by Tony Moore, a retired military man.

Following an out-of-court agreement with Diamond Head Bay, the City Council of Coffee City voted to de-annex the subdivision on March 8. The council also voted to end the practice of paying councilmen and the mayor $400 a month for council meetings, an action that will save the city $28,800 per year.

On March 8, the LaPoynor Independent School District opened the new Tommye Tipton Stringfield wing of the elementary school with School Board President Keith Bristow presiding at the dedication. The $2.3 million wing was named after a long-time LaPoynor educator.

Also on March 8, the Flower Cottage opened its new building on Hwy. 155 North as owner Diane Lowry completed a 3,000 square foot shop.

On March 11, the collapse of a portable building killed Zach Eggen, 26, a graduate of LaPoynor High School.

The City of Coffee City learned that it owed $31,684 to the Internal Revenue Service for back payroll taxes, and Cape Tranquility Homeowners filed a lawsuit against the city to deter any annexation.


Frankston's Dedtrick Smith came in second in his weight class in the state power lifting competition.

Tony Herrington again began cooking crawfish at the site of his former Coffee Landing Restaurant that burned down in 2007.

Two deacons were ordained at First Baptist Church in Poynor on April 11. They were Chris Clayton and Gerald Smith.

Frankston High School's one act play advanced from zone and district to the area competition with many of the cast and crew receiving honors. Frankston Theatre performed hometown playwright Pat Cook's play called “The Great Pandemonium.”

The City of Berryville raised its base water rate by $5  to $39 per month in an effort to update the city's water lines.

The City of Coffee City began a study about how to handle trash pickup. Before the annexation almost doubled the size of the city, Coffee City had offered free trash pickup to its citizens.

On April 20, Orville Bevel was named “citizen of the year” by the Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce. Bevel, who lives in the Chandler area, has been the leader of the Greater Lake Palestine Council for more than a decade.

Jeff Austin Jr. announced that First State Bank in Frankston will merge with Austin Bank, based in Jacksonville, later in the year.

The response to the 2010 census effort from the Frankston area was below state and national averages, a census official said.


The New Beginnings Church of the Living God opened in Frankston at the site of the former Grace Community Church. Kenneth Bowens was the pastor.

In the May 8 local elections, three new mayors were elected to area cities. Councilman Al Mann defeated K. W. Locke by 32 votes to 22 votes to become the new mayor for the City of Frankston. Retired military man Tony Moore upset Mayor Pro Tem Glenn Bourque by 56 to 46 votes to become the mayor of the City of Coffee City. Former Cuney Mayor Oscar Birdow was elected with 31 votes as he beat back a write-in campaign by sitting mayor Jessie Johnson, who had previously said he would not seek re-election. Johnson drew 14 write-in votes.

Also elected to the Frankston City Council without opposition were educator Mary Phillips and highway patrolman James “Butch” Fulton.

Both incumbents were returned to the LaPoynor School Board. Bryan Forester and Kyle Riley won their places despite challenges from James E. Johnston and Dorothy Bundy.

The frame of Taylor Kirkpatrick’s wheelchair friendly home was put up on May 8 and 9 in Berryville. The youth has been diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histocytosis, an extremely rare blood disease.

The City of Frankston had one water well go down on May 10, and the city had to limp by on its remaining two wells until some $20,000 in repairs could be completed.

The Frankston School Board voted to allow “accents of black” to the school dress code following a request by student Kayla Wheeler.

Frankston High named Clayton Carter as valedictorian and Jackie Jones as salutatorian of the Class of 2010. Named as top students at LaPoynor High were Sarah Edwards, valedictorian, and Shelby Miller, salutatorian.

A mowing accident killed Wes Littrell, 32, the husband of LaPoynor teacher Lynne Littrell. He was mowing at Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area in Anderson  County and was employed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as a wildlife biologist.

The results of state testing produced two “recognized” campuses for Frankston and two as “exemplary” for LaPoynor.


On June 3, the lanes changed on Hwy. 155 south of Frankston as the Texas Department of Transportation moved construction to the other side of the road. The project to make Hwy. 155 four lanes between Frankston and Palestine is scheduled to be completed in September of 2011.

The City of Coffee City formed its new Economic Development Board following approval by taxpayers of a half cent sales tax that will go to economic development. The board organized with reserve police officer Brent Wright as president.

The City Council of Coffee City declined to authorize newly elected Mayor Tony Moore to sign city checks, but the council authorized the mayor to develop a plan to turn off the free personal backyard security lights for pre-annexation residents.

Vivian Hollingsworth was appointed to the Frankston City Council to fill the spot occupied by K. W. Locke, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor.

Newly installed Mayor Al Mann asked the council to approve a prayer before each meeting of the Frankston City Council. At the suggestion of Councilman Eugene Brooks, the council also added the “Pledge of Allegiance” to the end of each council meeting.


The Frankston School Board voted to add a drug testing program for any students involved in extra-curricular activities or who drive a car on campus in the fall.

The LaPoynor School Board voted 4 to 3 to continue its policy of not accepting out-of-district transfer students.

The Frankston Citizen observed its 100th birthday with its July 15, 2010, edition.

Northland Cable Television changed its name to Northland Communications to better reflect the nature of its business.

The Frankston Independent School District, now debt free as its final bond was paid off, lowered its tax rate by the portion that had been going towards paying off that bond.

The Poynor musical on the first Thursday of each month celebrated its eighth year by honoring three musicians: Chock Chitty, Ray Carter and Dale Cole.


The LaPoynor School District earned the status of “exemplary” following the rankings of state testing. The rating put the district in the top 96 percentile of Region VII schools.

Christie Hanks purchased the Four Seasons Flowers and Gift Shop in downtown Frankston and announced that she will move the business to Hwy. 175 West between Frankston and Poynor.

The City Council of Coffee City discussed the possibility of a property tax on Aug. 9, while the council was presented by Burnis Manoy with a petition that contained 99 signatures against the proposed trash ordinance of the city.

Anderson County Commissioners Court called a unit road election for Nov. 2 after receiving a petition from a citizens’ group.

The Frankston City Council gave up on the 250-year-old red oak tree in the southwest corner of the downtown city park and authorized it to be taken down before Square Fair in October. The historic tree has been in the process of death for several years, and efforts and money by the city have failed to revive it.

The Frankston City Council also put in a curfew for juveniles and adopted an abandoned vehicle ordinance.


Frankston school enrollment climbed to 803 students at the opening of school. The number is up from 752 at the start of school last year. LaPoynor stood at 489 students in 2010 compared to 497 in 2009.

Donations from residents allowed the Square Fair Committee to purchase more than $2,000 in new sound equipment for the annual October event that drew hundreds to downtown Frankston for the fair, music and parade, said Ali Atwood, Square Fair chairman.

The City Council of Coffee City voted to expand its mandatory trash pickup plan on Sept. 13 as a growing protest of Concerned Citizens gathered more than 150 signatures in opposition to the trash plan and any proposed property tax. The following week, an “informal deal” was struck between the Concerned Citizens and the Coffee City council that would have the city drop any plans for a property tax and not take actions like building a sewer plant if it would add costs to the citizens. The council changed its trash ordinance to be non-exclusive.

The City of Frankston hired a new lieutenant, Darren Goodman of Palestine, with authority to operate the Frankston Police Department to give Chief George Folmar more time to work on public relations and emergency planning.

Frankston citizens rallied to assist Lauren Dollarhide, a University of North Texas student who was battling an infection that compromised her lungs. She was valedictorian of her Frankston High School Class of 2008.


First State Bank officially merged with Austin Bank as its three First State locations became a part of the 30 banking facilities operated by the Jacksonville-based Austin Bank.

A historical marker was placed at Myrtle Springs Cemetery on Oct. 3.

The Economic Development Board announced plans to boost revenue by making Coffee City a “venue city” of events.

First Baptist Church of Frankston involved more than 100 of its church members as volunteers to conduct an East Texas Tent Revival from Oct. 17 to 20 with Dr. Paul Powell, formerly of Tyler, as evangelist.

Frankston seniors Jabralon Allen and Emma Shewmake were named homecoming king and queen on Oct. 8.

The Frankston School Board began actions on Sept. 21 to hire an architect for possible future improvements to facilities.


Anderson County voters soundly defeated the election to change to the unit road system. The citizens voted to keep the current precinct system by 63 to 37 percent.

In Henderson County, the Republican Party wave that swept the U.S. also took out two long-time Democrats in the Frankston area. Republican Ken Geeslin defeated Democrat Jerry West for the position of Precinct 4 county commissioners, and Republican Kelly Harris upset Democrat Sue Tarrant as Precinct 4 justice of the peace. West had served as commissioner for 16 years, while Tarrant had been justice of the peace for 24 years.

Frankston Elementary School was re-rated by the state as an “exemplary campus” following an appeal by the Frankston Independent School District.

Dogwood Springs Water Corporation began work on a new water well near Pine Dunes Golf Course south of Frankston.

Doc’s Pizza opens in Frankston after owner Blaine Thompson of Lindale bought Hog Wild Pizza on the north side of the city square.

At the request of Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor, the Frankston City Council made it illegal to sell K-2, the “fake marijuana,” in Frankston.

The Frankston Indian varsity football team won the bi-district championship by defeating New Waverly in a 24 to 21 last minute comeback on Nov. 12 in Crockett.

The City of Dallas finalized its financing to build a pipeline that may begin to take water from Lake Palestine as early as 2021, according to Monty Shanks, general manager of the Upper Neches River Municipal Water Authority.


T’s Liquor Store closed in Coffee City as part of the bankruptcy reorganization of Majestic Liquors of Fort Worth and as a result of wet-dry elections that allow more beer and wine to be sold in other areas around Tyler. Another T’s Liquor outlet closed in Cuney in August, and a new $1 million new store built by Majestic also closed in Rusk.

For the first time, the Frankston Future Farmers of America Chapter hosted the annual Christmas in the Park in downtown Frankston.

Frankston Supt. Austin Thacker called for citizen volunteers to serve on a long-range planning committee to begin studying future school facility needs after the first of January.

The Roberts family constructed and opened a new restaurant and convenience store in LaRue. Roberts Pierce Creek Station and Restaurant is owned and operated by David Roberts and his wife, Pam.

The City Council of Coffee City voted to stop paying for free garbage pickup for pre-annexation residents beginning Feb. 1, but the council put off until January a decision on whether the city will revive the exclusive trash pickup franchise idea.

Mayor Tony Moore said a new liquor store will be coming to the former location of T’s Liquor in Coffee City. The mayor said the new store will bring back the jobs lost earlier when T’s Liquor closed.

After two years of delay, the Frankston City Council approved a tax abatement plan for new investment in the city by Frankston Packaging Plant, the area's largest private employer with 85 jobs.

A few days before Christmas, Frankston Supt. Austin Thacker announced that he will retire when his contract concludes at the end of June. Thacker has been head of Frankston schools for nine years.

The City of  Frankston will be under deadline again to repaint the inside of the north water tank before May of 2011. Public Works Director Larry Joe House estimated the project will cost $65,000.