Marshall Lions Club

Marshall Lions Club member Ken Poindexter, left, welcomes guest speaker Gene Keenon, Manager of Government Affairs for Republic Services, to the club’s recent meeting.

The Marshall Lions Club met Tuesday, Aug. 27 at the Panola-Harrison meeting room, 410 E. Houston. A lunch of beef and chicken fajitas was served by Jose Tequila Catering.

Vice-President Robert Wood called the meeting to order and welcomed Lions with a reminder to turn off or silence cellphones. Lion Robert asked Lion Ken Poindexter to open the meeting with prayer, followed the pledges of allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags, led by Lion Tim Young.

“She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” and “America, the Beautiful” were sung with gusto, led by song leader Lion Dudley Swofford, accompanied on the piano by Lion Stacy Bowen.

Lion Tamer Patrick Owens was absent and Lion Robert welcomed all to the meeting. Guests included Tony Glanton, guest of Lion Heath Parker; Josh Green, sports reporter for KMHT and guest of Lion Ken Poindexter; and Donna Lane, spouse of Lion Stephen Lane. He said by his count there are 24 in the Den today. The Thought for the Day is: Somewhere, someone else is happy with less than you have!”

Tail Twister Chris Horsley levied some fines on several Lions and tried to fine Lion Dorthie Craig for undermining his efforts by getting Lions to add to the Lions Camp Cans. He fined a couple of Lions for being late.

Jerry Pye, Editor of the Marshall News Messenger, told a joke: Someone asked a priest how they got holy water for baptisms and such. The priest replied, “We boil the hell out of it!”

Lion Brenda Wood brought a jar of Mayhaw jelly she made just last week, with the winning bid from guest Jerry Pye. Lion Chris said the celebrations this week include the wedding anniversary of Lion Jim Ammerman and his wife, Tiffany. He appointed Lion Charles Gillis to lead the club in singing our “Happy Song” to them.

Lion Robert Wood reminded Lions that we will be helping with East Texas Taco Fest 2019, to be held Sept. 14 on Peter Whetstone Square. He called on Jerry Pye, Marshall News Messenger publisher and event sponsor, to speak about the event. Activities include Kids Zone, Salsa Dance lessons and a Jalapeno pepper eating contest. Jerry had a sign-up sheet for Lions to participate.

Lion Brenda Wood asked if we could get a team for the Marshall/Harrison County Literacy Council’s Annual Spelling Bee on Sept. 13. Lions Alan Grantham and James Thompson had been contacted and said this is something the club loves to sponsor each year.

Lion Chris said he thought Lion P. A. Almquist had said she would be interested. Lion Dare Westmoreland mentioned that his wife might be persuaded to join the team, so one more is needed to field a team.

VP Wood called Lion Ken Poindexter to the podium to introduce speaker Gene Keenon, Manager of Government Affairs for Republic Services.

Keenon is a Lion with the Kilgore Lions Club, and was awarded Kilgore Citizen of the Year in 2016. He grew up in Marshall, graduating in 1977, and has been married to his wife, Melynda, for 29 years. They have a son who is a State Trooper, a daughter in veterinary service and a daughter in child care service. His joy is a 3-year-old granddaughter, Ella.

Gene has been employed with Republic Services for 26 years and was appointed to the East Texas Workforce Solutions Board by Gov. Greg Abbott, serving as Committee Chairman and also the Workforce Economic Development committee.

He is co-chairman of the East Texas Council of Governments Solid Waste Advisory Board and also serves on the Economic Development District Committee.

Keenon is recipient of the Keep Texas Beautiful ‘Individual Leadership Award’ presented to one Texas annually for teaching Texans to take responsibility and to enhance their own environment.

Keenon reported that Republic employs 33,000 in 2,800 municipal areas. They have upgraded to automated trucks in the Marshall area this year, and the trucks are equipped with a GPS and cameras. He said they can tell if a truck misses a pickup.

Gene also explained how the new refuse stations work. He said they are very deep, lined to keep contaminated water from leaching into groundwater and covered each day with a slurry that keeps it compacted.

At the end of the week. it is covered with six inches of soil. Methane gasses are captured and are a source of fuel.

More than 1,000 garbage trucks are purchased by Republic, making it the 7th largest trucking company in the U.S., according to Keenon. He said they are going to CNG fueled trucks in the future, making them very clean for the environment.

Keenon explained about recycling and what they can take to the Rivers Recycling Center in Kilgore. Republic outsources that part of the operation because it is more cost-effective.

Items that can be recycled are: newspapers, file folders, poster board, milk cartons, frozen food boxes, aluminum cans, food cans, envelops, junk mail, brochures, magazines, phone books, water and soda bottles and take-out containers.

Keenon remarked that in dealing with plastics, the ones desires are No. 1 or No. 2, usually stamped on the bottom.

When asked, Keenon told about the “China Sword.” He said it was halted by China in January, where the U.S. sent over 4,000 shipping crates of refuse a day to China for disposal. This stoppage left refuse companies across the country scrambling to find alternatives or smarter disposal usage.

VP Wood thanked Keenon for his interesting and informative program and presented him with a Lions writing pen. Lion Wood asked Lion James Thompson to close with prayer and adjourned the meeting.