Cherokeean/Herald (Rusk, Tex.), Vol. 149, No. 51, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 11, 1999 Page: 1 of 20
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2627 E YANDELL OR
EL FÍÍSG TX 79903-3743
BEST AVAILABLE COPY
Texas' Oldest, Continuously Published Weekly Newspaper - Established Feb. 27, 1850 as the Cherokee Sentinel
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Vol. 149, No. 51 -20
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Rusk School Board hears
In a non-agenda item Monday
night, members of the Rusk School
Board heard a report from a study
committee on graduation require-
ments. The item will be on the
agenda at the March meeting,
which will be held on March 15
rather than the regularly sched-
uled March 8 meeting. March 8
falls during spring break and the
administration asked that the
meeting be changed.
Bob Wallace, assistant superin-
tendent, presented the proposed
plans for the new graduation re-
quirements. "We have been in need
of a policy for determining the high
ranking students," he said. More
grade points are currently given
for honors classes and the state
does not recognize honors courses.
"We have quit naming new classes
honors," he said. The district of-
See related story
on girls' athletics,
fers dual credit classes with hon-
The state recognizes three types
of graduation requirements. There
is the recommended plan with
math and science, academic and
vocational plans. Four require-
ments will be made for a student
to become a distinguished achieve-
The state came up with the
$2,000 scholarship for students
who complete high school in three
years, he said.
A committee was formed com-
Terri Daniel (left), Rusk High
School counselor, discusses
graduation requirements with
the school board. At right is
Counselor Kay Upshaw.
Please see RISD, page 9A
Nichols hits the
road with urgent
Financial crisis should
be addressed during
current legislative session
Robert L. Nichols was on the road again Thurs-
day, this time in Tyler, taking his message to
grassroots leaders. He is one of three commis^on-
ers who serve on the Texas Transportation Com-
mission for the Texas Department of Transporta-
tion. His present mission is to educate citizens to
the financial crisis facing TxDOT.
"In 1960 one third of the state's budget went for
transportation. Today it is closer to one-twelfth."
His audience, composed of leaders in economic
development through city and county governments,
chambers of commerce and financial institutions,
was urged to adopt resolutions of support as quickly
TxDOT Commissioner Robert Nichols and
Jeff Austin, III
as posssible. These are to be directed to all the
state's officers and legislators for considerationpio
the session now underway.
"If you wait 90 days to contact your state sena-
tors and representatives, it will be too late," he
stated. "We must act now." ;•
The urgency of his message is supported by the:
fact that traffic on Texas highways has more than
tripled in the past 30 years—from 40 billion
vehicle miles traveled in 1967 to 130 billion in
Please see LIMITED FUNDS, pg. 11A
Marcus Carter, Rusk High School senior, signs a letter of intent to play football for Southern Methodist University.
Seated beside him are his grandparents, J. W. and Billie Carter. Standing from left are Bobby Christopher, his father;
LaDora Carter, his mother; and Randy Carter, his uncle.
Alto will decide toll
free phone service
Jacksonville, Nacogdoches may be added
Alto exchange customers are being given
the opportunity to determine whether
calls to Jacksonville and Nacogdoches will
be toll-free in the near future. According
to Brenda Barron, petition coordinator,
the Alto exchange has petitioned the Pub-
lic Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) for
Expanded Toll-Free Calling (ELC) to these
Luflkin-Conroe Telephone Exchange
(LCTX) is currently mailing ballots to all
customers in the Alto exchange. The bal-
lot asks customers to mark their prefer-
ence when it comes to paying a flat fee to
subsidize these toll-free calls or to con-
tinue paying long distance rates for calls
to Nacogdoches and Jacksonville.
At least 70 percent of the Alto subscrib-
ers who return their ballots must vote in
favor of expanded local calling on a per
exchange basis for it to be provided. If the
ballot fails for the exchanges, telephone
service will not change, and no fees will
apply. Only exchanges that pass the bal-
lot will be added to your local calling area,
said Ms. Barron.
All exchanges that pass the ballot will
be added to the customers' local area for a
maximum monthly per line charge. For
example, if five or fewer exchanges pass
the ballot and are approved, the maxi-
mum monthly fee would be $3.50 for resi-
LCTX ballot deadline:
dence lines and $7 for business liivos.
These fees would bet added monthly to
your telephone bill.
According to LCC representative, Philip
Campbell, the fees associated with ELC
are mandatory. If any exchanges pass the
ballot, the fees will be paid by all subscrib-
ers in the petitioning exchange.
The fees will be in addition to the local
monthly telephone service charges, and
will be in effect until the telephone
company's next general rate case. At that
time all rates are subject to chang^said
The PUC has assigned this mc&ter
Project Number 20155. If there are qjies-
tions or comments concerning the Jéti-
tion, interested parties may contact; the
PUC Office of Customer Protection* at
(512) 936-7140 or (512) 936-7136.
Also Brenda Barron, Petition Coordina-
tor, may be contacted at (409) 858-4089.
Once approved by the balloting process,
the new toll-free service and thá;new
monthly charge, would begin around «fane
Rusk Industrial Foundation passes highway resolution
A resolution of support for increased funding of the
Texas Department of Transportation was passed by
Rusk Industrial Foundation board members Friday.
Rusk Mayor Emmett Whitehead submitted the
proposal during RIF's meeting.
He explained the urgency of getting this support
document to the appropriate members of the Texas
Legislature which is now in session.
"Highway Commissioner Robert Nichols met with
a group of grassroots folks Thursday in Tyler. He
pointed out the necessity of more funds if our state is
to maintain its road system for a growing economy,"
At the Tyler meeting, Commissioner Nichols noted
that funding options must be considered just to
maintain/repair existing roads and bridges.
In 1960 one third of the state's budget went to
transportation. Today it is closer to one-twelfth.
During the meeting at Main Street Restaurant on
the Square, board members saw a sample light of the
proposed new lighting for downtown Rusk. Main
Street Manager Martha Neely recapped the recent
Town Meeting held to update citizens on the side-
walk improvement project.
"We selected a street light to duplicate as much as
possible the original ones," she said. Lights are now
available for purchase at $1,150. "We have plaque
space for persons to buy these in honor, or in memory
of others," said Mrs. Neely. Underground wiring is
planned for the 20 lights around the square and those
proposed off the square.
Sidewalk renovation in keeping with the original
restoration plans will feature bricks which may also
"This is our fund raiser," Mrs. Neely stated. "The
lights are priced at our cost. The bricks are $35 each
and offer three lines for persons to again, honor, or
place in memory of others."
Sidewalk work will begin at the southeast corner of
the square because this will be the easiest starting
point. Work will continue west, around the square on
the west and north, concluding on the east side.
In other action board member Robert Gonzale2
reported his trip to Austin the preceding day. He had
met with State Rep. Todd Staples and State Rep. Leo
Berman , among others, to discuss pending legisla-
tion. He said that legislators want to hear citizens'
opinions concerning the deregulation of utilities.
Kenneth Melvin, SESCO manager and board mem-
ber, said that his company favors the bill. Hé also
stated that in January his company had offered the
lowest rates statewide.
TSR Assistant Superintendent Mark Price said
that 4-H students and sponsors will be at the Depot
Please see RIF, page 11A
Entex's parent company gets new name
Houston Industries Incorporated
the company is changing its name
to Reliant Energy:Reliant Energy
began trading under its new ticker
symbol (NYSE:REI) on Feb. 8.
"After 132 years in the energy
business, our reputation has be-
come our name - Reliant Energy,"
said Don Jordan, chairman and
chief executive officer of Reliant
Energy. "We have maintained a
tradition of service dating back to
1866 while altering the way we
conduct business bs our industry
and our customer^ needs changed.
The name Reliant Energy reflects
our continuing commitment to
serve our customers today and in
the evolving energy markets of the
"This name change is the culmi-
nation of a conscious decision we
made in the early 1990s to trans-
form our company to meet the dy-
namic circumstances in the en-
ergy services industry," said Jor-
The transformation began ap-
proximately five years ago when
Reliant Energy's principal busi-
ness was HL&P, the Houston-area
Reliant Energy's management
recognized that to continue to pros-
per, the company had to grow, de-
velop new skills, and acquire do-
mestic and international electric-
ity and natural gas operations.
The company adopted a strategy
to expand the company's geo-
graphic reach and to build or ac-
quire skills across a broad spec-
trum of the ener gy services value
Reliant Energy's early efforts to
Number of employees
Utility customers- U.S.
reposition its business included
the acquisition of international
electric utilities that were being
Today, Reliant Energy's inter-
national operations include own-
ership interests in electric distri-
bution systems serving 9.5 million
customers in Latin America. In
addition, Reliant Energy has won
bids to build and operate natural
gas distribution systems in Co-
lombia and Mexico and has indus-
trial power generation projects in
operation in Argentina and India.
In 1997, Reliant Energy acquired
a major natural gas company,
completes city training
Fran Wendeborn, Rusk city sec-
retary for the past six years,
graduated from the Texas Mu-
nicipal Clerks Certification Pro-
gram Jan. 28.
The Texas Municipal Clerks
Certification Program, located at
the University of North Texas, is
a professional development pro-
gram. The program is comprised
of four courses of study covering
municipal finance, municipal
law, election law, public econom-
ics, public administration, hu-
man resource management, pub-
lic and press relations, commu-
nications, office administration
and municipal court administra-
tion. Completion of the program
requires more than
individual study that
submitting written work
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Whitehead, Marie. Cherokeean/Herald (Rusk, Tex.), Vol. 149, No. 51, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 11, 1999, newspaper, February 11, 1999; Rusk, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth152411/m1/1/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Singletary Memorial Library.