- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Memorial Day weekend’s here. Which means the kick off of the summer season. The Paris Aquatic Center plans to get things going with some fun from 1 to 4 p.m. Memorial Day.
Normal hours for the pool are 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.
A season pass is $50 for individuals or $100 for a family of four.
Those who want to make their own fun with a party at the pool can call 903-785-0048 for more information.
Swimming lessons will be offered at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. each day in eight sessions:
The cost is $30 per session.
The city of Paris has a summer swim team program with several different levels of competition and commitment. Call 903-785-0048 for more information.
Toward the end of the summer, a Back to School Bash is set for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 19, and The Dog Paddle from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 7.
Kristi Young is happiest in helping others. In fact, she’s made it her business to help others.
“People say they don’t have enough time to get stuff done, and their lives are stressful,” she said. “I come in and do what they don’t want to do or don’t have the time to do. How many times have you thought, ‘I need to get this done, but that will have to wait’?”
She founded Concierge Now in late 2012 to help get those things done. The company offers a wide range of services:
“Most of it, I do myself at this point, but I have staff I contract certain things out to,” she said. “Basically, it’s whatever someone needs. If I can’t do it, I find the person who can.”
She said on-going projects get a better rate than a one-time job, but there’s no set price for her services. The best way to find out what something would cost is to ask.
Young got the idea for Concierge Now while working and going to school full-time. She found herself wishing for someone to help her out with things. That lead to in-depth research into concierge business. It seemed a natural fit for Paris as there wasn’t one here already.
“In big cities, there’s a lot of competition. Here, the market’s wide open,” she said. “Everything I have read says it is cost effective because it frees people up to do what they want to do and need to do.”
She has the background to help just about everyone, including a bachelor’s degree in human services management. She’s also a life coach, interventionist, certified childbirth educator, professional labor assistant (doula), certified fitness specialist, and water safety instructor.
“People know I love what I do, and I’m going to do it 100 percent,” Young said. “That makes a difference in whether someone calls you back. I offer good customer service, and it’s not overpriced.”
In addition to her professionalism, Young prides herself on being dependable, discreet and trustworthy. Her services certainly seem appreciated by her clients.
On the Concierge Now website, Dr. Sherry Scott said: “Ms. Young embodies the true spirit of an entrepreneur in her determination and persistence to succeed. She stands by a creed of ‘No job is worth doing, unless it is done right.’ Therefore, I have no hesitation in recommending the services provided by Concierge Now and feel certain that the customer’s satisfaction will be first priority assuring our local region of a much-needed service.”
Sydney Young of Young Title Company added: “Thank you, Concierge Now, for helping organize me! Highly recommend!”
Young said it’s her passion for people that will ultimately mean success for her fledgling business.
“I love it. I love people,” Young said. “When I am managing people and a lot of things at one time – that’s where I do my best. Put me in a cubicle? Nah. I’ll go nuts.”
For more information, visit the Concierge Now website at www.conciergenowonline.com, and be sure to “like” the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ConciergeNow. Or you can call her at 903-495-2560.
“They provided everything,” Volunteer Coordinator Marvin Wroten said. “We provided the labor.”
The labor came in the form of members of North Lamar High School’s Health Occupations Students of America club and girls from Paris Junior High School.
This partnering effort between LCHRC and Atwoods directly benefits the Meals on Wheels program and its mission to end senior hunger in Lamar County and the surrounding area.
For the first time in close to half a century, Louisa A. Cass’ headstone is back in Pride Cemetery.
“It’s kind of a forgotten cemetery,” Cass said. “I don’t think a lot of people knew this cemetery was in here.”
Even some living nearby on Pride Circle weren’t aware there was a cemetery tucked away in this corner of Johnson Woods.
“What was sad was people dumping out here – dumping limbs, dumping leaves from their yards,” Cass said. “That’s what’s aggravating.”
Pride Cemetery is a 1.3-acre plot of land. According to records, 39 people were buried there between 1843 and 1902.
“I didn’t even know there was a cemetery here, and I used to be a police officer in the 1970s,” said District 6 Councilwoman Cleonne Drake, whose district includes Johnson Woods. “We walked around, and I was astonished. If it was my ancestors, I would want a nice area for them.”
Cass approached Drake about the cemetery. Drake talked to City Manager John Godwin, and a committee was formed with the sheriff, District 2 Councilwoman Sue Lancaster, Fire Chief Larry Wright, city Finance Director Gene Anderson, county Adult Probation Community Service Director Jimmy Don Nicholson, and J. B. and Doris Bankhead.
They decided to have a community cleanup. Work started at 8:30 a.m. with around 50 probationers and other volunteers and wrapped up mid-afternoon. Many came after finishing at the United Way’s Day of Caring house-painting event downtown. Jackie and Lisa Good of Good Tree Service donated their time and equipment.
“We’ve gotten about three-fourths of it done. We ran out of time and volunteers,” he said. “We cleaned up the front and decided we’d make it another day. It looks a lot better than it did when we started.”
In the process of cleaning, workers found the remains of several headstones buried in the undergrowth.
“There are a lot of people buried here who don’t need to be forgotten,” Cass said. “It shouldn’t be a place where people dump their tree limbs and their leaves and their grass clippings.”
Even his great-great-grandmother’s grave site went missing for some time. Doris Bankhead, Cass’ aunt, said her son Brad found the headstone one day while he was playing in the lot. She took the grave marker home to save it from further damage. The marker has now been returned to the cemetery.
“We have waited years for this,” she said. “I can’t believe it.”
Brad Bankhead went on to do a fair amount of work in the 1990s to rediscover the cemetery’s details. A sign was erected in 1973 to identify the lot as a cemetery, Doris Bankhead said, but it went missing within two weeks.
Once the cleanup is finished, the committee hopes to have a fence erected around the cemetery. A contractor has already stepped forward willing to donate labor to construct the fence.
Even after that, there will be a lot of work to do. Drake is working with the Lamar County Genealogical Society to have Pride designated a historic Texas cemetery. Most of the markers are missing, those that remain are broken. Some have been found in flowerbeds, and Drake said a few of the missing headstones may have been located for sale in Canton.
Drake, a teacher at Paris Junior High School, said she would like to see the school’s shop classes make crosses to mark graves with once the plots are identified.
Who takes care of things after that is still up in the air.
“The main thrust of this whole thing was get it cleaned up and make it presentable,” Wright said. “Once the cleanup’s done, we’re going to have to find someone to maintain it, either some Eagle Scouts or an association. At this point, we don’t know. At least we’ve got some time to talk about it and think about it.”
A question about whether the Paris Economic Development Corp. can legally fund the local business incubator came as a surprise to its director.
“I was shocked,” said Hank Betke, executive director of the Red River Region Business Incubator. “This came out of the blue.”
The issue came up this week at a PEDC board meeting when its newest member, Rebecca Clifford, asked whether a 4A corporation like PEDC could legally provide money for R3bi.
State law allows counties to collect sales tax for economic development. There are two types: 4A, which is limited to funding manufacturing and industry; 4B, which can also provide funds for community development and retail endeavors.
“I think we could do it if we were a 4B corporation, but not as a 4A corporation,” Clifford said at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I’m not against small business. I believe in small business, and I realize that small businesses are the backbone of a community, and I’m not opposed to that.”
PEDC board member Bruce Carr suggested asking the Texas attorney general for an opinion on the matter, although that can take several months.
Paris EDC has provided the majority of the incubator’s funding for the last couple of years. This year’s budget includes about $95,000 for R3bi. The proposed budget for the next fiscal year includes about $90,000.
“We appreciate input from everyone,” Betke said. “I’d love for any board member who has questions to come and see for themselves what we’re doing here.”
Betke said he feels sure the legality issue will resolve itself.
“We’ve done a lot of good things for the community,” he said. “We’ll put our track record for successful job creation against anyone’s.”
The PEDC board has another budget workshop scheduled for 1 p.m. June 11. PEDC Director Steve Gilbert plans to research and put together a report to answer the board members’ concerns.