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Author: Cheril Vernon

Author Shares Book of Poems at Library

By Cody Thompson Messenger Reporter GRAPELAND – Former Grapeland resident and author Michael Owens returned to his hometown to promote his new book “Grapeland: Home of the Peanut Festival” at the Grapeland Public Library on Wednesday, April 12 in celebration of National Poetry Month. “Grapeland: Home of the Peanut Festival” is Owens’ first published book and features several anecdotal poems from his early life and subsequent summers spent in Grapeland. “All writing is is a description,” Owens said, “And that’s what these poems are: description of my time here in Grapeland.” Owens’ family moved to Grapeland when he was...

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Latexo School Board Discusses Changes for Upcoming Year

By Cody Thompson Messenger Reporter LATEXO – The Latexo ISD board of trustees held a meeting to discuss a variety of actions for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12. The three most prevalent topics discussed were the potential for LISD to become a district of innovation, amendments to the elementary, high school and teacher dress codes and the resignation of two LISD teachers. After the opening prayer and pledges, a presentation was given by LISD superintendent Dr. Stacy Easterly detailing the positive effects of LISD becoming a district of innovation and proposed the formation of a district of innovation committee. When a Texas public school district becomes a district of innovation, they are granted many of the same flexibilities of an open-enrollment Texas charter school, according to the Texas Association of School Boards. These flexibilities include, but are not limited to, the district being able to choose its own start date for the school year, class-size ratios and teacher appraisal requirements. “There are some really good (benefits), one in particular that we are definitely interested in as a district, and that is the flexibility of the calendar,” Easterly told the board on Wednesday. “It gives us the ability to start a week early, it gives us some flex days to have for the teachers to be able to put some of those days...

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Palestine hosts 4th annual EggNormous Easter Egg Hunt

By Cheril Vernon Messenger Copy Editor PALESTINE – More than 1,600 children and their families attended the Fourth Annual EggNormous Easter Egghunt event held April 8 in Palestine featuring more than 20,000 plastic, colored eggs. Sponsored by the City of Palestine’s Community Services Department, the event was held at the Palestine Youth Athletic Association Complex, kicking off with Easter egg hunts for different age categories including children ages 1-3, 4-7 and 8-10. Children who found “golden” eggs received special prizes. “We had about 1,600 to 2,000 people there,” City of Palestine Communications and Best Practices Officer Nate Smith told...

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New person added to transplant list every 10 minutes

By Cody Thompson Messenger Reporter CROCKETT – The month of April plays host to several well-known national holidays: April Fool’s Day, Passover and Easter are the most popular. What most people do not know is that April also is the home of National Donate Life Month. National Donate Life Month honors the individuals who have registered to be organ, eye and tissue donors. “Organ donation allows an individual to share the gift of life with someone who is in danger of losing theirs,” Timberlands Hospital in Crockett Physician’s Assistant Scott Shaver told the Messenger on Tuesday. A Newton ISD football coach and friend of Shaver’s was one of the lucky few who receive the organs they so desperately need, Shaver said. “A friend of mine had a double lung transplant a few years back,” Shaver said. “It was awe-inspiring to see him go from hardly being able to breathe to being able to run and play with his kids again.” Shaver also shared the story of a young soldier and organ donor who died during his service. His organs were given to eight individuals on the national waiting list. “People don’t understand how much of an impact organ donation can have,” Shaver said. “This one young man helped eight different people that needed transplants.” There are approximately 119,000 men, women and children on the national organ transplant waiting list,...

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Anderson County Youth Livestock Show Results Announced

By Cheril Vernon Messenger Copy Editor PALESTINE – Area 4-H and FFA members exhibited their show animals during the Anderson County Youth Livestock Show this week at the Anderson County Youth Livestock Expo Center. The week concluded with the buyers’ barbecue and premium auction sale on Thursday night. Last year’s show brought in more than $305,000 which included not only livestock projects but FFA show projects such as flat-bed trailers and barbecue pits. “We have about 400 entries this year,” ACYLA long-time board member Susie Bennett told the Messenger, noting that some kids have multiple entries and only a certain number of each kind of livestock makes the sale. FFA members from Palestine, Westwood, Elkhart, Slocum, Neches, Cayuga and Frankston  participated in the show, as well as members from several Anderson County 4-H Clubs, including: Cayuga 4-H, Ioni Creek 4-H, Elkhart 4-H, Old Cayuga 4-H and Harmony Broyles Chapel 4-H. Anderson County 4-H Extension Agent Preston Sturdivant said the livestock show is the culminating event for the local youth who have been caring for an animal. “It gives them a chance to showcase that hard work that they have put into it – the time, the effort and the financial resources,” Sturdivant said. “It also gives them opportunity to get some scholarship money. That’s one of the big reasons we do this. We support the kids and they earn...

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