The Frankston Citizen — Year 2012 in Review

The Frankston area began the year 2012 with a concern about drought, an extreme problem in 2011.

But the year was filled with progress despite a sluggish economy nationwide.

Here are some of the highlights:


Frankston High School student Jarrette Locke was accepted into a study program by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and earned an invitation to a summer study program in Houston.

After Henderson County Attorney Clint Davis ruled a December meeting of the City Council of Coffee City was illegal for lack of a quorum, Councilman Mike Aubuchon was appointed and sworn in for a second time on January 9. The council appointed him to a post vacated by Cindy Craig when she moved to Chandler.

Stuart and Sharon Bird of Bullard became interim band directors at Frankston schools in January and vowed to help Supt. Keith Murphy rebuild the band program and find a new director for the fall.

Frankston City Council learned in January 2012 that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality had given the city until May of 2011 to upgrade the elevated water tower at Garner and Elm Streets. The council discussed ways to repair the tower to the satisfaction of the state agency.

Keith Durrett, coach of the LaPoynor High Lady Flyers basketball team, recorded his 500th win on Jan. 13.

Mayor Oscar Birdow vowed in January that the Cuney City Council, plagued by the lack of a quorum, will meet again soon. The council had not met since May of 2011.

Charles Schwab, a resident of Lake Palestine, said he was planning a 200-acre subdivision to be called Lakeside Meadows on 272 acres of land he had purchased from Jerry and John Boles.

Austin Bank unveiled a book on Jan. 18 entitled "The History of First State Bank." The book celebrated bank employees' 101 of service to the Frankston and surrounding communities.

Sherry Douglas was named superintendent of the LaPoynor Independent School District on Jan. 19. She had been interim superintendent.

Architect Kevin Smith of Claycomb Associates said that the move-in date for the new $17.3 million school facilities should come at the end of year 2013.


Frankston Independent School District students scored not only above state averages but also well above East Texas averages in the final version of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) Test, the Frankston School Board was told.

Frankston Health Care Center has been purchased by Daybreak Ventures of Denton from Murphy Healthcare of Longview, it was confirmed on Feb. 3. The effective date of the sale was March 1. Robbin Bell will be the new administrator.

Frankston Indian quarterback Michael Warren signed a four-year scholarship to play football for Rice University in Houston on Feb. 1, and running back Treston Coleman agreed to a scholarship to play for a new program at the University of Texas in San Antonio.

The City Council of Coffee City came up with a plan to complete the new 4,000 square foot community center on Feb. 13. Henderson County Precinct 3 Commissioner Ken Geeslin explained how the county could help with the parking lot. Mayor Tony Moore asked the Economic Development Board for funds to help complete the center by the September deadline.

Fishing guide Jim Beggerly was honored in Austin on Feb. 16 as a "Texas hero" by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Beggerly administered CPR to an arrested individual on the roadside.


Like the Texas primaries delayed from March to April to May, voter registration cards were also late, said Casey Brown, Anderson County elections administrator.

Frankston High School freshman Raven Paul earned her way into the state powerlifting competition on March 16 with a win at regionals.

The Frankston Veterans of Foreign Wars Post showed off its expanded cantina with another 165 square feet of space added in March, announced Post Commander John Davis.

The Frankston Independent School District is having to cut $900,000 from its expenses over the two-year period of 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 fiscal years, Supt. Keith Murphy told the Frankston School Board.

The Frankston City Council floated a trial balloon over raising water rates again to pay for future needs at its March 13 meeting.

Lake Palestine flowed over its 345-foot spillway on March 22 for the first time since June 23, 2010, following some heavy rains in mid-March.

The City Council of Coffee City on March 26 discussed the danger to its sales tax revenue of the Tyler area going wet.

The LaPoynor School Board approved a resolution on March 22 asking the Texas to re-examine its policy on state testing and school accountability.


A "court error" caused a misdemeanor assault trial of Coffee City Mayor Tony Moore to be declared a mistrial on orders from the Henderson County Attorney's Office on March 25. The mayor had been involved in an incident with citizen Carl Drost in August of 2011.

Following a city council argument during the police report in February, Coffee City Mayor Tony Moore ordered Police Chief Ray Threadgill not to give a monthly report to the council in future meetings.

After a suggestion by Councilman Eugene Brooks, the City of Frankston will add $5 a month to water bills to pay for future improvements.

The name Coffee City can now be used as an address with the 75763 zip code, announced Donna Freeman to the City Council of Coffee City. The U.S. Postal Service granted the permission on April 10.

The Frankston High School one-act play won in area competition on April 11 and won the right to go to the regional contest on April 19.

Monarch Utilities, a company that provides water to much of the Lake Palestine area, backed down on its request for a 62.3 percent rate increase and settled for a 14.3 percent hike.

Brierwood Bay Subdivision, recently annexed voluntarily into the City of Coffee City, discussed fielding a slate of candidates for the city elections in November.


Mayor Oscar Birdow pledges to a rally at Cuney Community Center that he will fight to keep a Cuney zip code and its post office, which is under study for being closed.

LaPoynor High School named Heather Etheridge as valedictorian and Harlie Burnett as salutatorian of the Class of 2012.

Frankston High School named Laura Brown as valedictorian and Andrew Dansby as salutatorian of the Class of 2012.

The first-ever "noodling" tournament where catfish are pulled by hand out of the mud was held at Lake Palestine on May 19 and 20.

The City of Frankston considers granting a franchise for trash pickup inside the city at its May 8 meeting.

John Clements, principal at Woodville High School, was named the new principal at Frankston High School on May 21.

Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor and Precinct 3 Constable Kim Dickson won the thrice-postponed primaries held finally on May 29.


Frankston schools honored 13 employees who retired on June 1 after a total of a combined 421 years of service.

The Coffee City Economic Development Corporation voted to provide the final $25,000 of funding needed to complete the new 4,000 square foot community center by the September deadline.

The City Council of Coffee City considers banning bank fishing around the Hwy. 155 bridges at its June 11 meeting.

Mayor Tony Moore called an election for Nov. 6 to decide a new mayor and three council seats.

Frankston High Head Football Coach Sam Wells resigned in late June to become athletic director at Elkhart High School.

The Jeff Austin Senior Foundation gives $32,000 for an electronic marquee in front of Frankston schools.


The City Council of Coffee City passed an ordinance banning bank fishing around the Hwy. 155 bridges at its July 9 meeting.

Matt Nally, a former Frankston Indian quarterback, was named head football coach at Frankston High School.

The City of Frankston struggles with dryer sheets stopping up the sewer lift station in northwest Frankston.

A baby book lost for 49 years was found in a wall in the Alma Wofford house on Reed Street and sent to its owner Gail Baker.

The LaPoynor School Board ends the early pay discount for school property taxes.


The Frankston Independent School District was able to draw a budget that was in the black for the coming school year, Supt. Keith Murphy told the trustees.

What people call "the Poynor musical" celebrated its 10th anniversary in July. The free musical is held the first Thursday of each month at the Poynor Civic Center.

Friends of Old Bethel Cemetery argued on Aug. 4 and filed a lawsuit over a fence that limited access.

A private reinterment ceremony was held at City Cemetery in Frankston to lay to rest bones of Indians who lived 700 years ago and were uncovered during the widening construction of Hwy. 155.

Two distinct slates emerged for posts on the City Council of Coffee City. In the Nov. 6 election, the Concerned Citizens of Coffee City fielded a slate of candidates, as did Brierwood Bay Subdivision.

The Frankston City Council decided not to hire another police officer in its budget for the coming year.

First-day enrollment was up at both Frankston and LaPoynor schools on Aug. 27.

Three persons expressed interest in being appointed to the Frankston City Council for the position being vacated by Mary Phillips, who retired and moved to Tyler. The three are Billy Bussey, Johnny Wheeler, and James Gouger.


Two congregations merged to form Carpenter's Cross Baptist Church in Flint. The Living Faith Fellowship that met in downtown Frankston joined with the Flint group with Ron Ivey becoming the pastor.

Mayor Al Mann announced that he will not seek re-election next May and will step down after 25 years on the Frankston City Council.

The new community center of the City of Coffee City was declared "occupied" in September just before the deadline on the federally funded block grants expired.

A secret vote at an open meeting of the Frankston City Council was declared illegal by Mayor Al Mann after talking to state authorities, and the appointment of Johnny Wheeler was declared void.

The Frankston City Council approved the final version of the trash pickup franchise granted to East Texas Trash Company. The franchise will go into effect on Oct. 1 for residential customers only.

A ground breaking ceremony was held on Sept. 22 for the new$17.3 million additions to Frankston schools.

Named Little Miss and Little Mister for Square Fair were Jessie Rae Ellis and Mason Connally, while Tiny Miss and Tiny Mister were Brooke Marissa Shults and Cannon Brooks.


The Bacon Family of Dealerships began construction to upgrade the building on Hwy. 155 north as part of General Motors new image.

The 349th District Court in Palestine ruled the gate on the fence around Old Bethel Cemetery must come down.

In a second and legal vote, the Frankston City Council appointed businessman Johnny Wheeler to the seat opened by Mary Phillips when she resigned.

Father Christopher Ruggles, new priest at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Frankston, announces several expansion projects.

Despite the funding cutbacks, Frankston schools managed to operate in the black with $2,300 left over from the last school year, said Business Manager Laura Griffith.

Frankston High School crowned Ali Carnes and Dustin House as homecoming queen and king on Oct. 5.


Sabrina Carter took over as librarian at the Frankston Depot Library on Nov. 1 following the retirement of Carolyn Wheeler.

The William Foster Masonic Lodge in Frankston gave the highest award to a non-Mason (called the Community Builders Award) to Linda and George Folmar on Oct. 27.

Sophomore quarterback Ozzie Buckner received the statewide Built Ford Tough Award presented by Lade Ford. Buckner was the first Frankston Indian to win this award.

The slate backed by the Concerned Citizens of Coffee City won all four seats up for election to the City Council of Coffee City. Elected was Mayor Ray Wakeman and Councilmen Ruthie Seward, Don Weaver and Phil Rutledge.

Singer Willie Nelson wore an Atwood Hat from Frankston as he received the lifetime achievement award at the Country Music Association in Nashville on Nov. 1.

Frankston High School twirlers Taylor Williams and Skylie Richardson qualified on Oct. 24 for the state meet in May of 2013.

The City Council of Coffee City passed an ordinance to regulate yard sales and garage sales on Nov. 5.

The Frankston School Board voted to end transfer fees into the district following an appeal by Phil Rutledge of Coffee City.


The newly elected City Council of Coffee City was seated after a dispute over the swearing-in, and the council held a special meeting the following week and struck down the ordinance banning bank fishing around the Hwy. 155 bridges and the ordinance regulating yard sales and garage sales.

Frankston Health Care Center holds a Christmas open house and unveils a plan to operate more like a resort spa.

The Frankston School Board authorized school administrators to prepared for the calling of a swap of tax rates election in May of 2013. The election would keep tax rates the same but would bring in $270,000 more revenue from the state to Frankston schools, the trustees were told.

Logan McClelland and Jensen Anderson were crowned homecoming queen and king at LaPoynor High School on Dec. 14.

Coffee City Police Chief Ray Threadgill announced that he was resigning to accept another position effective Dec. 21.