Road closure alert by Grayson County

In a release from Grayson County Commissioner Jeff Whitmire, he states that Ponderosa Road will begin resurfacing immediately.  With a cooperative agreement between the City of Howe, Howe ISD, and Grayson County, Ponderosa Road in front of Howe High School is set to be rebuilt. The work zone is between the State Highway 5 right of way on the west and the railroad right of way on the east.

Beginning Monday morning Grayson County will be grinding up the existing surface, reconditioning the sub-base and adding six inches of new limestone base rock. The road will be closed between 8 am and 5 pm on Monday and Tuesday. There will also be some additional closures on Wednesday and Thursday as the county brings in approximately 60 truckloads of rock. Plan now for alternate routes via Shepherd to the north or FM 902 to the south.

The road will be open each night, but use caution and expect loose rock.

While the road is closed, accommodations will be made for those who need access to the ag barns. They should approach through the north exit of the school parking lot and then travel down the shoulder. No other traffic will be allowed from the school parking lot.

Over the next several weeks Grayson County will be working on compaction and shaping of the road.  Expect that the road will be a rock surface until mid-September.

Howe Bulldogs head football coaches reunion scheduled for Community Pep Rally to honor Norman Dickey

The Annual Community Pep Rally has become a tradition in Howe since 2011 and this year will be extra special.  Not only will all teams be recognized from kindergarten through varsity of each fall sport, but a special tribute to Norman Dickey for his dedication to Howe athletics for over 50 years will take place that evening.  All living Howe Bulldogs Head Football Coaches are invited to participate in an on-field recognition and those already confirmed to be in attendance are Buck Smith, Joey McQueen, Davey DuBose, and Zack Hudson.  The pep rally is scheduled for Saturday evening, August 18 at 7 pm at Bulldog Stadium.

Several Texas high school football programs have had head coaches reunions and Denison stands out as one that continually recognizes their past leaders.  However, never before have the Howe Bulldogs had such a head coaches reunion and the committee is in the process of locating and contacting each former head coach.  Back in 2011 during the first community pep rally, a ceremony took place with players from each decade of the program from the 1930s to the 2010s passing of the torch (a football) from decade to decade.

Norman Dickey

Norman Dickey was Howe’s 13th head coach when he was hired before the 1964 season.  He coached 12 seasons and still leads all Howe coaches with 51 victories.  During his tenure, the Howe Bulldogs were District, Bi-District, and Regional Champions.  Dickey also served as an interim athletic director on three separate occasions before retiring from the district in 1996.

After his coaching career in Howe, Dickey was often found maintaining Bulldog Stadium, working stats, running the clock, officiating junior high games, and everything between.  He also keeps a ranking for all Howe athletic teams in each major sport and has done so for decades.

The community pep rally allows athletes of all ages to run through the Bulldog tunnel on the field and be introduced to the large home crowd.  A typical community pep rally recognizes cheerleaders from pee wee to varsity, football players from kindergarten to varsity, cross country, band, volleyball, and of course Spike.

Over the years, Coach Steve Simmons has led the chants on the field for a big finale of all athletes together.  The retirement of Simmons has not interfered with tradition as Simmons has confirmed the tradition train will keep rolling by Bulldog Stadium as he will be there with his megaphone.

Little Ernie’s Cafe Food Truck will be on-site with hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dog baskets, and Dippin’ Dots.  All proceeds will be donated to the Howe Athletic Booster Club.

Howe’s newest Head Football Coach Bill Jehling will get a special welcome and greeting from all of the former Howe head coaches in attendance.   All living Howe Bulldogs Head Coaches are invited to be in attendance and be recognized.  The list:

Norman Dickey,1964-75 (confirmed)
Buck Smith, 1980-84 (confirmed)
Jim Fryar, 1985-89 (unable to attend)
Joey McQueen, 1990-92 (confirmed)
Terry Davis, 1993-95
Davey DuBose, 1996-2000 (confirmed)
Larry McFarlin, 2001-02
Woody Martin, 2003-05
Stony Coffman, 2006-09
Cory Crane, 2010
Joe Watson, 2011-12
Zack Hudson, 2013-17 (confirmed)

For more information,  Monte Walker at 1-903-339-0100 or at

Local mermaid photos chosen for multiple magazines

Local photographer Stephanie Halley, who owns Faith & Love Photography, received some great news about a photo shoot that she did recently. After capturing Kambree Boyett, an Oklahoma 7-year-old, in a mermaid photography set, she learned that her pictures are being used in three different magazines. Boyett has a modeling site and her mother had posted the pictures on the site which drew interest from Model Trend Magazine and Child Coulture Magazine, and Elite Beauty Magazine.

The young model gets a lot of help from her mother who promotes her photo shoots and Halley says that there very well could be more of her photographs in more magazines in the near future.

With the high quality of the photographs, Halley says that other photographers have actually stolen hers and used them as advertising for their business.

“I had another photographer message me and let me know,” said Halley. “I had to send them a cease and desist and take my pictures down because they didn’t have permission.”

The mermaid idea came to Halley about a year ago and she’s been purchasing tails a little at a time. She has sizes that range from 12 months to adult extra large. She does her mermaid shoots at Eisenhower State Park because of the rocks and shadows. But while the mermaid shoots have taken a life of their own recently, Faith & Love Photography has a wide variety of photo shoots taken in multiple local locations.

“I’m always scouting new locations and I’m working on a Super Hero shoot right now where she’s going to be Harley Quinn,” said Halley.

Halley says that the mermaid shoots has brought her more business and that she’s doing mother-daughter mermaid photos and even daddy-daughter mermaid photos. Even a local male celebrity has decided to go through with the mermaid shoot, but Halley wouldn’t reveal who it was because it wasn’t officially scheduled and it might ruin the surprise of the photo.

Halley had seen mermaid shoots before but hadn’t seen them in this area so she decided to capture the local market on mermaids.

“I’ve got about six more tails on order,” said Halley. “I want to do this each year so that I can give the girls a great experience. They really light up when they put on a mermaid tail. I just tell them to splash and make the biggest wave they can. It’s not just for little girls, but I’ve had little boys do it too.”

Halley wasn’t expecting the amount of business that she’s been getting from the recent shots and says she’s nearly booked for the entire month of July and have opened up some later spots to accommodate new clients.

Halley says that Boyett is a natural and had made the shoot special due to her lack of fear and willingness to take great shots.

Howe track athlete qualifies for nationals

Incoming Howe sophomore Marissa Agee is starting to compile quite the resume for an amateur track athlete. Recently, Agee qualified as part of a relay team to the AAU National Meet to be held in Des Moines, Iowa from July 29 – Aug 4. The 4x800m relay team took the gold medal with the second-fastest time in the nation of 9:53.63 in Abilene, Texas.

Howe’s Marissa Agee (far right) is headed to Iowa for competition. Submitted photo.

This spring, after making it to the area round of track for Howe as a freshman running varsity, she wanted to continue running and competing, therefore, she found a summer team called Team Quest to not only continue competing but improve and enhance her performances. She and her father Brian became interested in Team Quest due to Kelcie and Natalie Simmons, a pair of sisters from Leonard that also went through their program and dominated North Texas in track events.

“We were looking around for more training, then we found summer track and that seemed to be more affordable and lasted all summer,” said Brian Agee. “And then if you improved, you got an invitation to run indoor track.”

Marissa Agee said that she was nervous during her first trip to Team Quest because she knew that she wouldn’t be the fastest girl there. The training is much more difficult than what she’s been used to in high school. She says that she doesn’t particularly like practice running but is driven by competition.

Agee had never run an 800-meter event before going to Team Quest, but placed third in the first race she was in among athletes from all classifications, not just 3A. Because of her outstanding performance in the 800 meters, the distance coach took her and teamed her with other similar runners such as Jamison Gladney, Cassandra Cruz, and Suzanne Ramirez who eventually would combine to run the second-fastest time in the nation. In her freshman varsity year, she was a member of the 4×200 relay and the 4×400 relay but now feels like she’s found her race.

Upon laying claim to the 800-meter race, she’s now working on perfecting that race. As a matter of fact, she placed fifth in the USATF division event in Lancaster which will send her to the Regional 12 Junior Olympic Championships in San Antonio starting tomorrow.

“We just thought we’d run the USATF event as a tune-up and run unattached with no team affiliation,” said Brian Agee. “We went and she got third in the 800-meter individual so we’re going to go to San Antonio and if she does well, she could earn a right to go to the USATF Junior Olympics in North Carolina.”

Agee is currently working out twice per day lifting weights combined with a mile run for breakfast. In the afternoon, she has Team Quest practices where she was running 20-25 miles per week until recently cutting the distance down to work on more speed. Last week she was very close to breaking a 6-minute mile which is quite the accomplishment.


Marissa Agee (left) about to take the baton from Bethany Sanders in a track meet in the spring. Michelle Carney/Howe Enterprise.

“Training at this intensity, she definitely has to have the right vitamin mix, proteins, and has to stay hydrated,” said her father. “It’s really hot – training is difficult in 100-degree weather. She’s drinking Pedialyte and coconut water.”


The Howe Lady Bulldogs track team should be highly competitive in 2019 with the return of Agee, Kacie Segleski, Jamie Taylor, and Bethany Masters. Sidney Rector, who was injured late in the season will also return to form a dynamic relay team.

Agee moved to Howe in the summer of 2013 from Anna. She’s currently second in her glass grade-wise and is hoping to become the valedictorian of her class over the next three years. Agee was once awarded the HMS Award for the top student. She’s also the president of the Business Professionals of America.

“I definitely like Howe better,” said Agee. “At first, I was really shy, but I liked it because it’s smaller.”

Her goal is to run track in college and prefers to stay in Texas. Her Chickasaw heritage could help her in that area as well.

Her father said that the reason they even participated in summer track was to improve for next track season so that she can shine as a Howe Bulldog. They’ve already begun talking with the track coaches and requesting to run the 800 meters next season. One Howe coach, Derek Lands, may want to have a discussion with her as she was also a varsity basketball player a year ago and one would think Coach Lands would like for her to not be a one-sport athlete.

Jordan Taylor, Kacie Segleski, Bethany Masters, and Marissa Agee – the returning Howe relay girls. Michelle Carney/Howe Enterprise.

“I still plan on playing basketball, but that does kind of go into the indoor track season,” said Agee. “I did like being on the team.”

Basketball is a long way away and Agee is focused on one thing right now and that’s San Antonio followed by Iowa. If she continues her current 800-meter times and improving upon them, she will have a great shot at qualifying for state over the next three years.

“Our goal is next year,” said her father. “We’re going next year.”


The Constitution is the solution

by Monte Walker, editorial

Nearly two-hundred and fifty years ago, 56 gentlemen united to join in a movement for independence. They felt that there were two basic problems in the land. One was that taxes were too high and the other was that they were controlled by authoritarians. They made tremendous sacrifices by signing their death warrants to that official document. Today, those 56 men would be considered the “far-right” or “radical right” by the dissenters.

The concept of this new republic included a legal right and wrong of society. The constitution was based on law and not the judgments of men.

” Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.” – Thomas Jefferson

While it is very enjoyable to be able to drive hours away and attend a ballgame, or a concert, or a fishing trip, too many have not been willing to step forward and protect the system that allows such simple freedoms.

The concept of this new republic also included what we refer to today is the free enterprise system, although it is more of a lack of a system that makes it special. In short, the government was to stay off our backs and out of our pockets. The government was not to be involved.

We’ve seen a great change starting in the 20th century. The Bill of Rights were essentially negative documents restricting the growth of government, but today we find the government telling doctors how to doctor and teachers how to teach. Today, there is hardly any area in the country, or yet, the world that the United States Government is not involved. This also has contributed to massive spending and deficits leading to a feverish debt. Because of the large government growth, a federal reserve banking system was invoked which has become the engine of inflation.

” I place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.” – Thomas Jefferson. “If we can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they must become happy.”

Today, we have politicians that love inflation because it is the mechanism by which they can expand the currency to pay for the expanding federal programs which satisfy special interest groups which in turn guarantees their elections. In other words, “follow the money” – a phrase we’ve all been told by our educational mentors. Today, we have a national debt of $21.1 TRILLION. From 1789 to 1913, the U.S. government created $2.9 billion in debt. However, from 1914 through the Great Depression, there was a healthy surplus. But we’ve not had a surplus in America since “I Love Lucy” was on television in 1957 and Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us of the rising military-industrial complex. While Lucille Ball is not involved in the debt crisis, the latter surely is.

Contributing to the stagnation was the alphabet soup of government regulatory services such as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and others. These regulations did a great disservice to American manufacturers which eventually led to Ross Perot’s famous NAFTA prediction of a “giant sucking sound” headed south of the border.

While President Trump is making strides in slashing regulations, one might worry about the tariff situations that resemble or at least bring fainted notion of the Smoot-Hawley Act.

The government’s responsibility was initially formed to protect life and property. However, it has increasingly become the agent of distribution of income. The transfer payment numbers are staggering from 1964 to 2017, leaping from $2 billion to $224 billion. Transfer payments are those in which take money from those who earned it and transfer it to those who did not. With this, we have become a government that penalizes the productive sector and subsidizes the non-productive sector. Our government’s major function today is being society’s redistribution center for income. But in reading the U.S. Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights, our forefathers did everything they could to ensure the leveling of income by the federal government unconstitutional. But today, it is the majority of the function of government.

The growing role of welfare and other social programs in the last 50 years has changed the perception of many as to what the role of government actually is. As stated before, the role is the protection of life and property. Not internal protection of failures.

In 1955, 55 percent of the budget was set for national defense. Ten years later, it was 40 percent. In 1975, it was down to 25 percent. Today, it is at 15 percent.

” We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare.” – Preamble of U.S. Constitution.

Today, we have reversed the Constitution verbiage to “promote for the common defence, and provide the general welfare.”

Our founding fathers also provided the third pillar of strength for our new nation which was a morality standard based on biblical concepts including the Ten Commandments. It was the glue to hold our society together. While it is difficult to legislate morality, all law is morality enacted. But humanism (not to be confused with humanitarianism) is the removal of God and adding man and man’s technology as the substitute. Therefore, eternal truths are expunged which leads to a decrease of morality standards.

In this changing crisis of our country, we must become involved. Washington is the key, but Washington is divided into three sections of government and 4,000 sections of humanism. The executive branch of government, including the alphabet soup, makes up 98 percent of the federal government. The judicial branch includes the Supreme Court and the federal court structure. This is where the process of healing will be slow and painful as the reversal of unconstitutional interpretations moves back to constitutional statutes. This will then move us away from social law as the basis which is increasingly the gravest threat to our form of government as we know it.

This is not a party issue because history shows us that neither a Republican President nor a Democrat President or a Republican Majority or a Democrat Majority is more susceptible than the other.

Not overlooking the third branch of government – the legislative branch which is divided between the house and senate and divided over nearly everything else one can imagine including ham or turkey for Thanksgiving. But while the judicial changes can take many years, the legislative changes can be somewhat quicker because of their immediate ties to “We the People.” People can make a change and make that change felt in Washington (especially at the House of Representatives level), but the small government conservatives won a huge election in 2016 and feel as if the speeding bullet of socialism fired at the United States was stopped by a bulletproof vest with an unhinged Twitter account and orange hair.

It wasn’t too very long ago that the John Birch Society was led by conservative Democrats. But now that organization is pegged as a “far-right” group. When some think of the non-political party affiliation, they think of a bygone era of sock hops and poodle skirts, but “Birchers” (far different than “Birthers”) have made a resurgence, especially in Texas, due to Americans seeking answers.

The Tea Party is similar in nature, but is more grassroots and focused more on fiscal responsibility. Both groups are fearful of over-governing and overspending. Both groups want to build an informed electorate.

All too often, we elect political transvestites (not literal). Our representatives come to our districts and speak like JFK and go back to Washington and vote like R2-D2. They come to town, give three jokes to open a speech, then quote traditional American values, get a standing ovation, and then laugh their way back to Washington.

As long as our basis of our congressman’s worth is based upon whether they attend our local Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs and make us feel important, our shallow self-serving importance will allow for us to continue to vote for those who move forward with more government, more controls, and more spending.

It’s really easy every four years to put a bumper sticker on for two weeks. But to those individuals willing to take a look at the background of their congressman and their voting records, it will make much more of an impact than the presidential vote. Although, the last particular presidential outcome has made the previous sentence look a bit foolish due to the vast differences between candidates and their agendas. Over the last 50 years, presidential candidates generally had the same agendas and the same outcomes. More spending, more government. Only two outsiders dared to threaten the status quo in Washington and that was Ross Perot in 1992 and Donald Trump in 2016. Both candidates ran on virtually the same platform – rid Washington of snakes and buffoons and fix the horrendous trade deals. Perhaps we could have salvaged the last 25 years of trillions of debt and unnecessary wars in the middle east with an unconventional independent electorate in 1992. If only Perot would have made up silly nicknames for Clinton and Bush perhaps Trump would still be a TV character and not a political name. But nonetheless, here we are on our way to recovery after a 60-year drunken binge. But we’re only one bronze chip in.

If the forefathers that constructed the Constitution were to try and do that in today’s society, they would be labeled as “far-right extremist” or “right-wing nuts.” None would be on our currency and most would be chewed up by the American media. The Bill of Rights perhaps would have never made it past the Supreme Court in 2015. But in 2018, there would be a better chance.

Those that understand freedom and liberty and value the meaning can understand that today’s probability of maintaining such is greater than only a few years ago.

The Constitution is the solution.

Athlete with Howe lineage is one of the greatest track runners in Texas history

MileSplit has recently completed a documentary on Jake Merrell’s journey to becoming one of the greatest high school track runners in Texas history.  The self-driven athlete is the son of Brandi Hash Merrell, a Howe 1993 graduate, and the grandson of Vincent Hash, an outstanding Howe multi-sport athlete in the 1970s.

Big Ambitions Drive Jake Merrell's Small Town Roots

An inside look at Jake Merrell's journey to becoming one of the greatest high school track runners in Texas history.

Posted by MileSplit on Thursday, June 28, 2018


Howe PD investigating vandalism at Howe Athletic Complex

The Howe Police Department was alerted to a vandalism call at the Howe Athletic Complex on Tuesday morning, July 3.  The vandal used red Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X which was found near the scene of one of the vandalized areas.

The damaged areas included the back of the third base dugout at the baseball stadium, the right-field wall at the baseball stadium, and the back of the first base dugout at the softball stadium.

Those with information are asked to contact the Howe Police Department.

Click for full photo album

Lone Star Hoops Camp starts next week; early bird rate extended

We are one week away from the 18th Annual Lone Star Hoops Camp in Howe.  They are encouraging any “late-comers” to take advantage of an extended period for boys and girls to enroll at the $110 early rate.

Those wishing to take advantage of the early rate can call Coach Derek Lands at 903-821-1791 or Coach Jan Jernberg at 512-789-5351 and provide the following key information:  Camper’s name, age, shirt size, and a contact phone number.  With that information, a spot will be held so payment can be made at the door at the discount rate.  Otherwise, Monday morning registration on July 9 will be $140.