PALESTINE, Texas (Oct. 31, 2016) – To coincide with the declaration of a burn ban in Anderson County, Fire Marshal Kyle Betterton placed the City of Palestine under a temporary burn ban. The ban will last 90 days, or until lifted by the Fire Marshal.
PALESTINE, Texas (Oct. 31, 2016) – The Texas Historical Commission recently awarded a $10,000 grant to Project Restoration for Mount Vernon AME Church. To help with the effort, the church will hold an anniversary banquet at 7 p.m. on November 3 at the Ben E. Keith Community Room.
The banquet, honoring the church’s 143rd anniversary, will help raise matching funds for the grant. The funds will then be put to use towards ongoing restoration of the church. Mount Vernon AME, 913 Calhoun St., is the third oldest church of its kind in the state, and Preservation Texas placed the distressed building on the 2015 Most Endangered list. The church also is a Texas Historical Marker, recorded Texas Historical Landmark and aNational Register of Historical Places designee. The City of Palestine is assisting the church in its restoration.
“Mt. Vernon AME church is among the most historically designated landmarks in the City of Palestine, carrying National Register, Texas Recorded Historic Landmark, and Local Landmark designations,” Palestine Historic Preservation Officer Jacob Morris said. “Due to concerted community effort, emergency structural stabilization has been accomplished, but a more needs to be done to return the church so it can continue to serve the community into the next century.”
Morris, along with historical architect Mark Thacker, Lydia Woods of the Texas Historical Commission, and Anderson County Commissioner Rashad Mims will be speaking during the dinner. The evening’s entertainment will be comedian Edwin Douglas. Douglas, from Dallas, is a featured comic, producer and author and travels all over performing gospel comedy.
The evening will also include a silent auction, set for 6:30 p.m. T-shirts will also be available. The menu, according to Tabitha Enge, will include sliced brisket and all the fixings. Chef Jackson York, Executive Chef at Lakeview Methodist Conference Center, will be making desert.
“Words cannot express the emotions I felt reading the notification of the generous grant award,” Enge said. “Tears streamed down my face as I thanked God over and over for the blessing and opportunity to move forward in Phase 1 of our restoration project. I’m looking forward to this year’s banquet which we are calling “Together, Yes we can.’”
For more information on the dinner or Project Restoration, contact Enge at 903-948-9648.
PALESTINE, Texas (Oct. 28, 2016) – The City of Palestine will continue its annual tradition of honoring the city’s veterans with the annual Veterans Day Breakfast, from 8 to 10 a.m. on Friday, November 4.
The Palestine Police Department, along with local veterans groups, is in its fifth year in honoring veterans with the breakfast. Local veterans groups include: The Veterans Historic Education Center, Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, American Legion Auxiliary, Veterans Service Center, Vietnam Veterans of America and Associates Chapter 991, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3907, VFW Post 3907 Ladies Auxilary.
“Whether young or old, we love to make veterans feel honored and respected at this event,” Bernadette Capron, Community Liason Coordinator with the Palestine Police Department said.
Veterans will be treated to eggs, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, fruit and all the fixings. Coffee, juice and water will also be available.
During the breakfast, there will be ceremonies and speakers. The main speaker will be Chief Mike Alexander.
The breakfast would not be possible without the generous support from the following donors: Wal-Mart, Palestine Fire Department, City of Palestine, Veterans Service Center, Palestine ISD, Palestine Police Department and Chief Mike Alexander, Citizens on Patrol, American Legion Auxiliary, Whataburger, Denny’s, McDonald’s, Applebee’s, Champion Chrysler, Charles McCullough, Lonestar Athletic Designs, Rhonda Herrington, Chip’s Burger, Robert Hightower, and the Sea Scouts. More sponsors will be added closer to the event.
PALESTINE, Texas (October 25, 2016) – Texas author Suzanne Morris will be at the Palestine Public Library from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 3 to promote her new book, “Aftermath.”
Morris, from Rusk, has developed a large local following with her historical fiction series, called the “CLEARHARBOUR TRILOGY.” For this book, Morris uses the 1937 London School tragedy as the backdrop for her story.
On March 18, 1937, a natural gas leak caused the London School in New London, Texas to explode. The explosion killed 295 students and teachers and is still the deadliest school disaster in American history.
According to the author’s website, “Aftermath” tells the story of Delys Lithingate, a retired high school English teacher and poet. “Delys delves deeply into the 40 years since the tragedy, to find answers--sometimes revealed in sudden flashes of insight; and other times, gained in the slow and painful process of learning to let go,” the website said.
Morris will hold a book talk and a book signing after. Copies of the book will be available for $20. For more information on Morris’ visit to Palestine, contact the Palestine Public Library at 903-729-4121.
PALESTINE, Texas (October 25, 2016) – The annual Mall-O-Ween will add some new features this year to the annual Palestine tradition, set for Monday, October 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Palestine Mall.
This year, the Palestine Police Department, the Palestine Parks and Recreation Department and the Palestine Public Library is joining forces to host the annual event. “We plan on having a great time this year,” Bernadette Capron, Community Liason with the Palestine Police Department said.
New this year to the Mall-O-Ween experience is a Trunk or Treat in the mall parking lot. The Palestine Police Department will start the trunk or treat off with decorating a police cruiser. Applications are available to download on the City of Palestine’s Mall-O-Ween page
at cityofpalestinetx.com. The public, along with business and organziations, are invited to share in the trunk or treat experience.
“Many kids never experience trunk or treat before and I think this would be a good location to have it,” Capron said. “We also want to promote our Blue Santa program and our Thanksgiving drive. We would like for our community to donate an unwrapped toy and nonperishable food items for Thanksgiving. This year we are helping Washington Early Childhood Center feed 10 families for Thanksgiving. For Christmas, we want to get an earlier start on our Blue Santa toy drive.”
“The community was great last year in helping us reach our Blue Santa toy drive goal. If you donate to anyone of these programs, we will enter you in a contest to win some prizes,” Capron said.
Also set for outside (if weather permits) will be bounce houses and human foosball. Inside will be the annual traditional Mall-O-Ween Costume Contest. Check in will take place at 5:30 p.m. inside the mall concourse. Registration forms are available at City Hall, 504 N. Queen St., or at the Palestine Public Library or the Palestine Parks and Recreation Department inside the Palestine Mall.
The last day to register for the contest is 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. Please register early to ensure a spot in the contest. But the costume contest is not the only attraction inside the mall, as there will be food, games, face painting, a deejay and dancing, balloon twister, giveaways, and so much more.
Local businesses and organizations can also be part of the Mall-O-Ween experience by picking up a vendor application either online or at the Parks and Recreation office. Vendors are asked to have a game or some type of interactive activity at the booth and space is limited.
Capron said the event gives families a safe and fun place to spend Halloween together, but it would not happen without the help of some generous businesses and organizations. “We hope that you can come out and have some fun,” Capron said.
For more information, contact Capron at 903-729-1635 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available at the Parks and Recration office at 903-731-8435.
PALESTINE, Texas (October 21, 2016) – Early this afternoon, Palestine Mayor Bob Herrington contacted interim city manager, Mike Alexander, and stated that he would not be able to vote for Jack Coleman as city manager.
Herrington said, "Despite statements to the contrary, Jack knows this city inside and out. I consider him to be extremely knowledgeable of how government is supposed to work. In short, he has a brilliant mind. He knows the governance process, he knows the budget process and he knows where our weaknesses are, however, his appointment is likely to result in heightened division within the community."
The mayor confirmed he will vote for Kevin Coleman unless a majority of council decides to go back and look at
other candidates as well. "That is entirely up to the council," the mayor said.
The mayor also said he had called Jack Coleman to tell him of his decision and stated he had also reached out to Kevin Coleman but had not yet received a reply.
The mayor then addressed concerns about a divisive community, "It's a small town. Everyone says they love Palestine, so it's time for all of us to stop the personal attacks, to look to the future, and truly do what is in the best interest of all of the residents of Palestine, at least that is the message I've been receiving in my texts and emails, and I agree. Let's follow the rules, let's follow policy, and let's deal one on one with each other in the true spirit of overall community."
The October Coffee with a Cop activity will be from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26 at the Palestine McDonald’s, 2120 S. Loop 256. Free coffee and refreshments will be available for the public. Come out and meet the officers of the Palestine Police Department.
PALESTINE, Texas (Oct. 13, 2016) – The City of Palestine will spray for mosquitoes on Friday, October 14.
The city designated three areas for spraying. The areas selected for spraying include:
• Neighborhoods north of South Loop 256 to North Variah Street and west to McNeil Street
• Neighborhoods south of Spring Street to East Huffsmith Street and west of Crockett Road to the Union Pacific rail yards
• Neighborhoods north of East Market Street to East Newman Street and east to Calhoun Street Park
The City of Palestine contracts its mosquito spraying needs to Vector Disease Control International. Residents can make mosquito complaints to the City of Palestine Development Services Department, Health Division, at 903-731-8492.
PALESTINE, Texas (Oct. 10, 2016) – The City of Palestine has announced the names of three finalists in the search for a new city manager. The candidates have been invited for interviews on October 18 and 19.
The nationwide search is being conducted by Strategic Government Resources (SGR), a local government executive search firm based in Keller, Texas. SGR’s recruitment and vetting process produced an impressive field of highly-qualified candidates with a wide range of experience. The City received 40 applications from individuals in 17 states, with 30 of the applicants having local government management experience and 19 having served as a city manager or assistant city manager.
Jack Coleman has more than 30 years of experience in accounting. His work experience includes 16 years as Owner of a tax, financial advisory, and business consulting firm; five years as Civil Trial Assistant for Parsons & Thorn; 22 years as a Cow-Calf Ranching Owner/Operator; four years as a Partner with Staples, Yandell, and Coleman CPAs; seven years as a Sole Proprietor CPA for a tax and governmental audit firm; one year as Comptroller for CHW Equipment Co. John Deere Dealer; and three years as a Staff Accountant/Auditor for Harrell, Rader, Ward, and Bonner. Coleman served in the United States Navy in aircraft maintenance, safety inspection, and quality assurance. He has served on Palestine’s City Council and Buildings and Standards Commission, the East Texas Council of Governments Board of Directors, and the Trinity River Authority of Texas Board of Directors Resources Development Committee. He holds a bachelor of business administration in accounting from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Kevin Coleman has more than 13 years of local government experience, with eight years of city management experience, and more than nine year of nonprofit experience. He is currently the City Manager for Yoakum, Texas, where he has served since 2011. He previously served as the Director of Development Services for the City of Kerrville, the Executive Director and Director of Construction for Abilene Habitat for Humanity, and the City Manager for Dewey, Oklahoma. Coleman holds a bachelor of science in business administration and a master of arts in public administration from the University of Kansas.
Andrea Gardner has 14 years of local government experience, with seven years of city management experience. She is currently the City Manager for Copperas Cove, Texas, where she has served since 2007. Gardner previously served as the Assistant City Manager for Copperas Cove, the Director of Finance for the City of Pearland, and the Senior Budget Coordinator for the City of Pasadena. Gardner serves as President of the Central Texas Council of Governments, Secretary of the Cen-Tex Sustainable Communities Partnership Executive Committee, and is a City representative on the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Transportation Technical Committee. She also served on the 2014 Texas Municipal League (TML) Resolutions Committee, the 2012 and 2014 TML Legislative Policy Committee on Revenue and Finance, and the 2012 and 2014 TML Legislative Policy Committee on General Government. Gardner is a Certified Public Manager and holds a bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Houston Clear Lake.
PALESTINE, Texas (Oct. 7, 2016) – The annual Palestine Main Street ornament, featuring the Old Temple Opera House, goes on sale Friday, Oct. 14 at various downtown locations.
Each year, Palestine’s Main Street Department releases a commemorative Christmas ornament for sale featuring a historic building from downtown.
The buildings featured are all historic, some that have been featured are no longer standing while others still are. Examples of past ornaments are the Anderson County Courthouse, the historic 1906 train depot, the old Palestine YMCA, and the Carnegie library, last year’s ornament selection.
"The main street advisory board looks forward to selecting which building will go on these ornaments each year," says Greg Laudadio, Palestine’s Main Street manager. "They take great pride in the selection and keep it a secret until the announcement is made to the public."
The Old Temple Opera House, this year’s selection, was a three-story building constructed by the Freemasons of Lodge number 31 in Palestine in 1878. The building was an impressive part of the downtown landscape for many years until it was demolished in 1962.
The ornaments are glass with an etched image of the building and all are individually hand numbered as part of a limited edition. They will be available for purchase beginning Friday, Oct. 14 for $10 each.
Sale locations will include the Palestine visitor center, Dickens Fine Jewelry, the Redlands Hotel, Old Town Vintage and More located inside the Oxbow Bakery, the Coed Shop, and O’ Sweet Pea. Other locations may be announced at a later date.
The proceeds from the sale of these ornaments go to beautification projects for the Main Street District and Historic Downtown Palestine. For more information call the Palestine Visitor Center at 903-723-3014.
PALESTINE, Texas (Oct. 6, 2016) – The 2015 City of Palestine Fall Cleanup Day will be Saturday, Oct. 15 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cleanup items will be accepted at the City of Palestine Transfer Station, 30440 Hwy 79 E, located 1 mile outside of the city limits. The City of Palestine, in conjunction with Keep Palestine Beautiful, conducts a citywide Cleanup Day twice a year.
The cleanup day allows residents living within the Palestine city limits an opportunity to clear their property of unwanted items at no cost to the resident. This can make a big difference in the overall appearance of a home or lot.
“The bi-annual cleanup is a great opportunity for our residents to dispose of unwanted waste free of charge,” said City of Palestine Public Works Director Tim Perry, “This service is scheduled prior to the two major festivals each year to help provide our residents an additional way to be able to make the best impression to these visitors each year.”
Items accepted at the transfer station include:
• Yard waste including limbs, brush and leaves.
• Solid waste including household garbage, furniture, lumber, shingles and dried paint.
• Metal items including sheet metal, pipe, scrap iron and cast iron.
• Large appliances including refrigerators, washers, dryers, A/C units, televisions and personal computers.
• Tires including car tires and light truck tires only. No tractor or large truck tires will be allowed.
• All tires must be separated from the rims. A limit of 10 tires per resident.
Items not accepted at the transfer station:
• No household chemicals, such as drain cleaners, liquid paint, cleaning supplies,
• Herbicides, pesticides, automotive fluids or acids
To be allowed to dump items free of charge during the clean-up day, proof of address must be shown. This could be a driver’s license or water bill. If these items cannot be produced, the person will not be allowed to drop off items. This event is not intended for commercial haulers or contractors.
Elderly and disabled residents may call the City of Palestine Public Works Department at 903- 731-8423 to apply for curbside pickup by Keep Palestine Beautiful and the Anderson County Adult Probation Services on Cleanup Day.
PALESTINE, Texas (Oct. 3, 2016) – The City of Palestine will hold examinations for entry-level officers for the Palestine Police Department at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Palestine Police Department Training Room inside the Palestine Mall, 2000 S. Loop 256, Suite 38.
The test will start at 9 a.m. and applicants will need a photo ID to sit for the exam. Applicants who are late to the exam will not be admitted. If an applicant passes the written exam, he or she will take the physical agility test immediately following the exam at Fire Station No. 4 on Highway 287. Applicants must also sign and notarize a waiver for the physical agility exam.
Please contact the Palestine Police Department to receive an application packet and return to the following address by Thursday, Oct. 6, no later than 5 p.m. Sending in the application form and waivers, confirms an applicant is scheduled to take the exam and no further notices will be sent.
Send completed applications to:
Sgt. Jeremy Jenkins
City of Palestine Police Department
504 N. Queen St.
Palestine, TX 75801
Please attach a copy of a TCLEOSE certificate if certified. If an applicant has served in the military, please attach a copy of the applicant’s DD214. The two waiver forms must be signed, notarized and returned with the completed application.
For further questions, contact Susie Streb at 903-731-8421 or Sgt. Jeremy Jenkins at 903-727-9131.