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July 31, 2015     The Malakoff News
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July 31, 2015
 

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SEE INSIDE A baby kangaroo'hopsL, its way to Athens !. I library, page 5. / Friends of the Cardi- nals help young stu- dents, page 6. Serving Athens and Malakoff VOLUME 106 NUMBER 3 1 2015 MediaOne, L.L.C. Friday, July 31, 20 5 1 Section malakoffnews.net 75 cents Convicted former Malakoff police officer still faces civil liability By Russell Slaton The News Correspondent EAST TEXAS-A fed- eraljudge July 15 dismissed a civil lawsuit against the City of Malakoff and its police chief, Billy Mitchell, which stemmed from the death of an Iowa man in late 2013 while in custody of an off-duty Malakoff police officer. That officer, Ernest Fierro, was later convicted of criminal charges related to the case. The July 15 order states that "this is a tragic case, and one in Which Plaintiffs may pro ceed to obtain a judgment against Officer Fierro" But the judge dismissed all claims against the City of granting summary judg- ment in favor of Malakoff and Mitchell. Lawyers originally filed that motion for summary judgment onApril 16, 2015, Malakoff and its police but the third defendant, chief, Billy Mitchell. '.'There is no basis in federal law, as it is currently interpreted by the Supreme Court, to im- pose liability on either the City of Malakoff or Police Chief Billy Mitchell," wrote United States Magistrate Judge Roy Payne in the July 15 memorandum order Fierro, did not join in the motion, according to the July 15 order. The case, filed and argued in the United States District Court for the Eastern Dis- trict of Texas, Marshall Division, was scheduled to begin jury selection on Monday, July 20, accord- ing to court records. A fi- nal pretrial conference was scheduled for Monday, July 13. The issue arises out of the death of William Livezey, an Iowa man who was delivering a load of decorative wood to Hous- ton, following a December 2013 traffic stop by Fierro on Highway 31 in Navarro County. Attorneys for Livezey's family alleged that Fierro used excessive force in detaining Livezey during a road=rage incident. During that roadside al- tercation, Livezey was transported from the scene via ambulance, and pro- nounced dead shortly thereafter, apparently from a heart attack induced by the events. Fierro was later indicted for aggravated as- sault, official oppression and three counts of reck- less driving in connection with his role in the arrest. Fierro, who was later placed on administrative leave, was eventually sen- tenced to nine years de- ferred adjudication and the loss of his state peace officer's license in a plea deal ccepted in October 2014 by Navarro County state District Judge James Lagomarsino. Fierro was also ordered to attend an- ger management classes a.s a condition of his probation. Attorneys for Livezey's family claimed the I0wa man's constitutional rights were violated in the wrong- ful death civil uit, and that Lawsuit, Page 10 1 Y N 'e ~t ~r e o te tt =. COURTESYPHOTO/SHREDTOWN.COM FACEBOOKi Athens wakeboarder and resident Chris Abadie (right) celebrates with photograg Andrew Adams (left) and Davis Griffin after winning the ESPN X-Games Real Wake Goid: bdal. ! Special to The News HENDERSON C OUNTY-Texas State Representative Stuart Spitzer (R-Kaufman) is seeking re-election in the 2016 Republican Primary election. "In my first session in the Legislature, we made his- tory," Spitzer said. "But there is more to be done to values of the people of Kaufrnan and Henderson counties, and that is why I am asking for the voters' support." Spitzer fought for the Pastoral Protection legisla- tion preventing people from suing members of the clergy from performing marriages if the ceremony is against their deeply held beliefs. "Now we need to pass a law expanding that protec- tion to judges, small busi- ness owners like bakeries, dress-makers, and florists who do not want to be forced to participate in non- traditional marriage cer- emonies," Spitzer said. He also will 10ok for more tax cuts for Texans. During his first session, S15i zer voted for more thaa $2 billion in property tax cuts and billions in job-cre- ating business tax cuts. "As a doctor and a small- business owner, I will con- tinue to remind my fellow lawmakers that the money they are spending is not theirs, but belongs to the people back home," the Representative said. "And Reelection, Page 10 ;0 )e d Wl$ i- ~n -y VS ff et e- of ~e is or R- ~rL ds es if- tat ed u- tar tie )u- ?o- By Toni Garrard Clay AISD Communications Specialist Special to The News ATHENS-Members of the Athens ISD Board of Trustees took care of busi- ness in short order Monday night at their regular monthly meeting. In his administrative re- port, Superintendent Blake Stiles said the renovated cafeteria and eight new classrooms at Central Ath- ens Elementary (formerly Athens Intermediate School) will be ready by the first day of school. However, the new con- necting hall j oining the main building to the cafeteria and gym will not be. The del- uge of rain received in the spring and early summer put construction behind sched- ule. Until the connecting hall is finished, the gym and caf- eteria will be accessible from the outside, as they have al- ways been. At the high school, construction on the new band hall will continue into the beginning of the school year. The board unanimously approved contracts for sup- port services provided through two regional service centers. The agreements range from special education ser- vices to legal consulting to a bilingual/ESL cooperative. Athens is located approxi- mately the same distance from the two support centers and benefits from being able to utilize both. The total amount to be paid for the combined service agree- ments is $113,344.50. The board also approved application for the Optional Flexible School Day Pro- gram. The program, which provides flexible hours and days of attendance for eli- gible at-risk high school stu- dents, must have its appli- cation approved annually by the board of trustees in or- der to be implemented. "We may not move for- ward with this program," Director of Educational Ser- vices Renee Campbell said, "but we do want to have the option if we decide it's needed." Campbell told board members the high school is unlikely to need the pro- gram because campus leadership already takes scheduling into consider- ation regarding how to best serve their at-risk popula- tion, but it makes good sense to have all options available. COURTESY PHOTO Eight-year-old Athens girl Magen Bobbitt (center) stands with family .members during a Make-A-Wish party where she got to be a zoologist for a day. With Magen are sister Helen, mother Carei, father Bobby, Terry Benton from Monarch Utilities and Make-A-'Wish development officer Amy Pearson. )p- gu- :ed Lin lrn aw 0r- tO ee- 'iw Crs;aaiA"es'i" i'O" S:V:y C~I~/t ::r ?nma te 4000 sqft