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Rusk County district clerk announces retirement

By Angela Ward award@news-journal.com
Sept. 21, 2013 at 11 p.m.


HENDERSON - Jean Hodges, the district clerk for Rusk County, has announced she will retire at the end of December and not seek re-election.

Hodges made her announcement this past week during the public comments section of the Rusk County Commissioners Court meeting.

Hodges will have been district clerk for 11 years at the end of December. It is an elected position, but District Judge J. Clay Gossett will appoint someone to fill the position until it next comes up for election. The position will be on the ballot in November of 2014, with whoever wins taking office in January of 2015.

"It's been a pleasure working with her," Gossett said. "I'll miss her, but I respect her decision."

Members of the commissioners court also expressed their appreciation of Hodges; not only for the job she does for the county, but for her involvement in other activities throughout the community.

In other business, the court approved the sheriff's department's acceptance of a donation of a K-9 dog from the Mounted Patrol Unit. The dog is named Spaz and is 16 months old. Crimestoppers had donated the dog to the Mounted Patrol Unit, but Denna Brightwell with that unit said she thought the dog would be better utilized by the sheriff's department.

Police Sgt. David Roberts will be the dog's handler. He said the dog is trained for drug detection and tracking, but not to attack.

The court also approved a request from Tammy Honea with the county health department to place signs in several venues commonly used for festivals and community events, informing all food vendors that they must have valid Rusk County Health Department permits in order to sell food and that no permits will be issued on site.

Honea said she's had a problem with people running such events calling her on the day it begins and requesting permits at that time. She believes the signs will help her stop such requests, which are difficult for her office to comply with.

The court entered into an interlocal agreement with Rockwall County to accepted a "Democracy Live" grant. There are not costs to the county associated with the grant and Elections Administrator Kathie Wittner said she believes it will help the county comply with laws involving getting ballots to county residents who are serving in the military or otherwise living overseas.

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