JEFFERSON — After canceling last year due to COVID-19, Jefferson’s parade and Martin Luther King banquet, sponsored by the Marion County Diversified Civic and Social Concerns Organization (MCDCSCO), will return.
“It’s an annual event. We do this every year. We didn’t do it last year because of COVID,” said Mary Spearman, MCDCSCO interim president.
“We just want to acknowledge Dr. King and all that he’s done for the world,” said Spearman.
The annual parade will kick off at 3 p.m. Sunday. The banquet will be held 6 p.m. Monday at the Marion County Community Center, located at 501 N. Haywood St.
This year’s theme is: “United We Stand-We’re Still Here.” College professor Fred Bonner, of Jefferson, will be the guest speaker.
Dinner will be catered by Riverport Barbecue. Back by popular demand, Mack Guice and Friends will provide the music.
“They’re so good, we wanted to have them back again,” said Spearman.
Tickets for the banquet are $20 per person or $200 for a table that seats eight. Attire is formal or semi-formal.
Sunday’s parade will begin at 3 p.m. Line-up is at 2 p.m. at Jefferson High School.
“We are accepting entries,” said Spearman, noting no entry fee is required. “Anyone that wants to participate can.”
“Lineup is at Jefferson High School. We will travel down MLK, take a right on Waskom and then from there to the community center,” Spearman said, describing the parade route.
In addition to being a celebration, honoring the civil rights leader, Spearman noted that the annual banquet is also a fundraiser for college scholarships.
“The banquet is one of our fundraisers for scholarships for Marion County students,” said Spearman. “Every dime that we raise during this banquet goes to scholarships for our students, and I would love for people to come out and help support.”
The MCDCSCO invites the public to come celebrate and support the scholarship fund.
“You’re supporting our kids,” Spearman reiterated. “It’s to help our children gain a higher education. As hard as times are now, they need all the help that they can get. Every dime, every penny will help our children towards their education for college.”
For more information about the parade or banquet, call Mary Spearman, interim president, at (903)738-3028 or Joyce Smith at (903) 665-2180.
Some Marshall ISD FFA students are now official.
Fifty-eight Future Farmers of America students recently received certifications in their respective fields, continuing the school’s 100 percent success rate on certification exams.
“Our department strives to ensure that every student that leaves our classes has at least one certification that can be used for employment, scholarship applications and beyond,” Marshall FFA Director Jessica Shaddix said. “Being well rounded is key to competing against others in these areas.”
The students are now floral certified by the Texas State Florists’ Association. The TSFA has developed a platform that offers students to Level 1 floral certification tests in the classroom, proctored by the Floral Design Teacher Shadix.
All of the students passed the 100 test floral design certification test during the 60 minute time limit. The test goes over floral vocabulary, tools used in floral design, and plant identification.
ELYSIAN FIELDS — Elysian Fields ISD officials announced Thursday they will now be closing the district’s remaining campuses due to increased “general illness” across the district.
Elysian Fields ISD announced the high school and middle school campuses will be closed beginning Friday and students at those campuses will return to school on Tuesday, following the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday on Monday.
Elysian Fields Elementary School is already closed due to instances of COVID-19 on campus among staff and students and students will return on Wednesday.
“Due to an increase in general sickness at both our middle school and high school, Elysian Fields ISD will close both of those campuses on Friday, for the purpose of cleaning and disinfecting the campuses,” officials said in a Facebook post online Thursday. “We want to stress that the closures tomorrow are not related to any new COVID-19 cases in our schools but we have seen an increase in general illness and sickness resulting in student and staff absences this week. With the holiday coming up on Monday, we want to be as cautious as possible and take this extra day on Friday to provide further deep cleaning and disinfecting our schools.”
Harleton ISD also closed all of its campuses today due to COVID-19 and students will return on Tuesday.
A city project to repair a water main will temporarily cause no or low water pressure and will mean a boil notice will be put into effect for an area on East Pinecrest Drive on Sunday, the City of Marshall said.
The city is working on a 16-inch water main just west of U.S. 59 in the 1300 block of East Pinecrest Drive.
Customers from Kay Street East to U.S. 59 will experience no or low water pressure while repairs are being made, the city said.
“If no complications arise, repairs to the water main are expected to be completed within the same day,” the city said. “During this process, a boil water notice will be put into effect. All affected residents should boil their water two (2) minutes prior to consumption or until the boil water notice has been rescinded.”
The city will update affected citizens once the repairs have been completed.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding as we complete this important project updating our City infrastructure,” the city said.
Friday is the last day for City Manager Mark Rohr to serve in the City of Marshall, with interim David Willard taking over the job as city officials continue the search for a permanent replacement city manager.
City Communication Coordinator Jasmine Rios said that SRG is continuing the search for candidates for a permanent city manager, but that no clear timeline on when the city will interview candidates or select Rohr’s official replacement has yet been set.
Rohr officially announced his retirement in November 2021, ending his contract three years after he began work with the city.
His official retirement letter came after councilmembers met with Rohr in closed session during five separate council meetings, to discuss his contract and continuation of his position.
During his tenure, Rohr oversaw the accomplishment of a number of city projects, including the creation of the Mobilize Marshall Plan. Additionally, Rohr said that he was able to oversee the official creation of a new Pet Adoption Center in Marshall, update the city’s charter, work to create and perpetrate a plan to revitalize downtown Marshall, and the completion of the Memorial City Hall project, among others.
After Rohr announced his retirement, councilmembers hired Strategic Government Resources, a recruitment service utilized by the city in the past, to recruit candidates for the positions of interim city manager and city manager.
SRG recruited two candidates to interview for the interim position, with council interviewing both Willard and John Godwin for the position.
The City Council voted in a five to two December vote in favor of hiring Willard for the position, with councilmembers Vernia Calhoun and Leo Morris voting in favor of Godwin.
Councilmember Amanda Abraham made a motion during the December meeting for Willard to take over the position and to work with Rohr in the mean time to cultivate a seamless transition of power, which will be finalized at the end of this week.
Willard is the former city manager of Longview, where he served for 10 years until 2017. He retired then after a 40-year career in public and private sector management.
Willard is originally from Borger and served as executive vice president of family-owned, independent Willard Oil & Gas Co. from 1975 until 1990, when he was elected Hutchinson County judge. Willard resigned as county judge to become Borger city manager in 1995, which he held until 2002 before going to Odessa as assistant city manager.
Under his management, Longview completed a 2011 bond referendum for streets, opened an animal care and adoption center, updated its Comprehensive Plan and finished several capital improvement projects while also providing financial stability, attributing those successes to City Council leadership and dedicated work from municipal employees.