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  • by brandon k. scottbrandons@itemonLine.com

    Three finalists for theHuntsville Hornets vacant headfootball coach were namedMonday afternoon.

    Huntsville ISDSuperintendent Steve Johnsontold The Item on Monday thatthe finalists are Pflugerville

    Connally head coach HowardMcMahan, Athens head coachPaul Essaryand Beltonhead coachR o d n e ySouthern.

    J o h n s o nexpects theHISD Board ofTrustees to calla special meet-ing Thursday atnoon to approve the hiring of theHornets new head coach.

    All three are current head

    coaches and have experience,Johnson said. Theyve had a lotof great suc-cess. Of course,like mostcoaches, if theycoach longenough theydont alwayswin everygame everys e a s o n .Overall, therecords for those three havebeen good.

    What Im finding out as I

    check the references on them,they run good, quality programsand the inter-view team thatbrought methose threenames wouldbe comfortablewith any one ofthe three.

    Huntsv i l l ehas beensearching for anew head coach since ShaneMartin was asked to resign inNovember following the

    Hornets disappointing 2-8 sea-son.

    McMahan has been the ath-letic coordinator and head coachof John B. Connally HighSchool since 2007, reaching theplayoffs his first season on thejob. Connally finished with a 2-8 overall record in 2013, one ofthose wins coming by a score of91-15 against Bastrops CedarCreek High School.

    Connally was district and bi-district champion in 2010 with a

    THE HUNTSVILLE ITEM50 centstuesday, January 28, 2014 Visit us online: www.itemonline.com

    sPorTs: hornets begin baseball tryouts at Kate Barr ross Park Page 7a

    Finalists named for hornets football coachhire expected to be

    announced at school

    board meeting thursday

    See coach, page 2A

    essary souThern

    ReaDy fOR ROunD 2

    submitted photo

    six-year-old bryson thomas of Crabbs prairie, a kindergarten student at scott Johnson elementary, makes a snow angel after a couple of inches of thewhite stuff fell in Walker County last week. more snow may fall today, but the weatherman says there is a better chance of ice and freezing rain falling inhuntsville starting early this morning. schools in Walker County are closed for the day.

    County prepares for second winter storm in past four daysby cody stark

    cstark@itemonLine.com

    Emergency management offi-cials on Monday were quick tomake a decision to close downlocal schools and governmentoffices in anticipation of todayswinter storm warning.

    Walker County offices,including the courthouse, aswell as all Huntsville ISD, NewWaverly ISD, Alpha OmegaAcademy, Premiere, VistaAcademy and Summit schoolswill not hold classes today.

    The city of Huntsville was setto still be open for businesstoday as of Monday afternoon.Sam Houston State was going tomake a decision on closing thecampus this morning and willmake an announcement throughsocial media sites and Katsafe.

    Texas Department ofCriminal Justice offices andunits in Walker County will not

    open until 10 a.m. today.Employees can check the TDCJwebsite at www.tdcj.state.tx.usfor updates.

    The National WeatherService was predicting the coun-ty and surrounding communitiescould see up to an inch of freez-

    ing precipitation today, begin-ning about 4 a.m. and continu-ing through the day.

    Walker County could see awintery mix of sleet and freez-ing rain, said Dan Reilly withthe NWS. There is also achance that could change to

    snow.The Walker County

    Emergency Operations Centeropened at 4 a.m. this morning.Butch Davis, the countys emer-gency management coordinator,said crews would be on hand toassist with any problems thatmight arise due to the winterstorm.

    Temperatures were expectedto drop below freezing lateMonday night and remain thereuntil Wednesday. The NWS pre-dicted temperatures would dipinto the low 20s tonight, whichmeans if the county does getfreezing rain or snow it mightstick around for a while.

    We will have people on handmonitoring the situation andready to take action if the weath-er gets bad, Davis said. Therewill be crews out taking care ofthe roads and if anyone has an

    submitted photo

    Luke durham and hutton edney get ready to sled down the hill at the elkinsLake dam.

    See winter, page 5A

    In speech,Obama tohelp Demsframe 2014arguments

    by Josh Ledermanassociated Press

    WASHINGTON PresidentBarack Obama can only do somuch to help his party in this yearsmidterm elections. Six years inoffice have taken a toll on his pop-ularity, and aside from raisingmoney, his value on the campaigntrail is limited especially in thestates that worry Democrats themost.

    But the president can set thetone. In his State of the Unionaddress tonight, Obama will framean economic argument his partyhopes will help carry them to victo-ry in November. Although notexplicitly political, the speech givesObama an opportunity to issue arallying cry for economic fairnessand expanded opportunity issuesDemocrats believe will resonate inraces across the country.

    It will be interpreted as theDemocratic agenda, said CelindaLake, a Democratic pollster. He

    associated Press

    AUSTIN State health offi-cials have advised against eatingcertain fish caught in East Texas.

    The Texas Department of StateHealth Services on Mondayissued a fish consumption adviso-ry for parts of the Neches RiverBasin. The advisory includes SamRayburn Reservoir and the B.A.Steinhagen Reservoir.

    Lab testing of fish samplesfound elevated levels of mercuryand dioxins.

    Agency officials say the advi-sory covers six species of fishcaught between the StateHighway 7 bridge west of Lufkindownstream to the U.S. Highway96 bridge near Evadale and bothreservoirs.

    Women of childbearing ageand children are advised not to eatblue catfish larger than 30 inches,flathead catfish, gar, largemouthbass larger than 16 inches, small-mouth buffalo and spotted basslarger than 16 inches.

    Texas healthofficialswarn againstcertain fish

    See obama, page 3A

    mcmahan

    1-28 editorial pages_Layout 1 1/27/14 9:28 pm page 1

    jermisLine

  • bY Jp mCbRideJmCbRide@iTemonline.Com

    Morgean Schultz and herheavyweight division-win-ning lamb were named grandchampion in the market lambshow on Monday night at theWalker County Fair.

    Schultz, a 16-year old stu-dent at new Waverly HighSchool, couldnt stop smilingafter being named the grandchampion.

    Its a relief. All the hardwork paid off, she said.

    Schultz loves the competi-tion that the county fairbrings, which is why she hasbeen competing in the marketlamb show since the thirdgrade.

    I like the competitivenesshere. My parents (Michelleand Gary Schultz) used to doit and I just grew into it andhave loved it ever since, shesaid.

    The reserve grand champi-on went to Cody Corcoranand his lightweight division-winning lamb.

    Corcoran, who is also a 16-year-old student at newWaverly and the son of Sonjaand Anthony Corcoran, wasglad that all the long hoursand hard work he put into hislamb resulted in a top-twofinish.

    It takes a lot of hard workto raise an animal. It takes alot of knowledge of how totake care of the animal andhow to get them to be the bestthey can be, he said.

    bY winsTon spenCeRwspenCeR@iTemonline.Com

    Fun was the order of the evening asnumerous little cowboys and cowgirlstook center stage at this years WalkerCounty Fair Little Tykes Rodeo.

    Children in two different age divisions(3-5 and 6-8) showed their skills in thisspecial rodeo Monday evening, much tothe delight of parents and fans alike.

    First up Monday was the dummy-rop-ing contest that put these future rodeostars to the test. each child was asked torope the head of a fake calf and everyonedid it with surprising accuracy. First

    place in the 6-8 age division went toBrayden Stevenson while Bubba Simonsand Shelby Simons finished second andthird, respectively. For the 3-5 year olds,first place went to Brecken Slott, secondto Brazos Stevens and third to MaxTomczak.

    It wouldnt be a rodeo without a horseand a barrel. The children galloped alongwith their stick horses around a barrel tocheers from the crowd.

    For the 6-8 age group, first place wentto emily Vaughn, second to Stevensonand third to Shelby Simons. In the 3-5division, Slott took first, Stevens secondand third went to Riata echtler.

    next up was the chicken touch for the3-5 year olds, in which the children ranup to pet a broiler then ran into the armsof their parents. Stevenson placed first,

    bY winsTon spenCeRwspenCeR@iTemonline.Com

    After some near misses over the years, asenior from Alpha Omega Academy finallycaptured the elusive title of having the bestbroilers in the county.

    Sarah Heaton, the 18-year-old daughterof Peggy and Marty Heaton, took homegrand champion honors for her pen of threebirds at the Walker County Fair on Monday.

    What made this time around particularlysweet was that it is Sarah Heatons last yearto compete.

    After 10 years of trying and coming upshort to finally win it all, especially to goout with a bang in my senior year, is a

    tremendous feeling Heaton said. We justkept moving (in the order) and it was look-ing better and better. This is absolutelyamazing because you just never know untilyour name is called.

    It seemed like I would move up thenmove back down, I just didnt want to getmy hopes up, just to have them come crash-ing down.

    But that didnt happen Monday. Heatonhad a big grin on her face as broiler judgeGlenn Clinard shook her hand to tell her shewas the grand champion.

    everything I learned, all the hard work,trying to fit everything in with all that I haveto do for my senior year paid off, Heatonsaid.

    Another senior also capped his fair expe-rience in the winners circl