Posted by : June 17, 2013| On :
The Monitor Correspondent
MALAKOFF–Risking his own life to save a fellow citizen, the commendation reads. But ask Officer Robert Siegmund of the Malakoff Police Department about the act, it was just another day on the job.
Siegmund was recognized by Police Chief Billy Mitchell and the Malakoff City Council during its regular meeting June 10 for pulling resident Robert Nokes to safety before fire engulfed Nokes’ vehicle and the Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church on April 25. Nokes, 38, experienced a medical episode while driving and accidentally crashed into the building.
“The chief was right there with me the whole time. It was a team effort,” said Siegmund, who has been with the department for nearly three years. The officer also noted the help of Father William Palmer of the church, who Siegmund said helped extract Nokes from the burning vehicle.
While Chief Mitchell battled flames with a fire extinguisher and with the front driver’s side door wedged shut, Siegmund entered the vehicle through the rear passenger door. At one point, Siegmund was overcome by smoke before the officer eventually tugged Nokes loose after the injured man’s seat belt was cut. Soon thereafter, “something blew up, maybe the engine or one of the tires,” according to the officer.
Nokes was present during the council meeting. He spent 22 days in a Tyler hospital, and is about to start physical therapy. Nokes uses a cane and has “a little nerve damage, but if that’s the worst that happens, I can live with that,” he said.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Nokes added. “Very few people get a second chance.”
Posted by : June 17, 2013| On :
Posted by : June 17, 2013| On :
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE-Folks who live along Cedar Creek Lake often need to prepare their homes for out-of-town guests and want to offer them some unique water recreational fun. Well, they can get both at one address in Gun Barrel City. Two diverse companies operated by a husband and wife team, offer carpet and floor cleaning expertise, and those unique decorative items that make a statement about your decorating acumen from Bella Maison, French for Beautiful Home.
With two locations, one in Gun Barrel City and the other in Canton, Bella Maison, is a growing company with a long list of satisfied customers.
They also offer unique water sports opportunities with the rental of kayaks, romantic electric boats – a cozy surrey ride on the water; and the latest rage – paddleboarding. These items are also for sale from Aqua World USA.
“Everyone can enjoy the products and services we offer,” Jacques van der Plas said. “Renters, owners, weekenders; we work with realtors and property managers. We want our community to feel comfortable and know that our crew will be there, on time, professional and courteous and do a fantastic job.”
The Monitor asked Bella Maison to come in and strip and re-wax its ancient checkerboard tile floors a few weeks ago. “We were very pleased with the results,” general manager Susan Harrison said. “Our customers and employees noticed the difference and remarked how good it looks.” Jacques and his crew use the very latest state-of-the-art professional floor and carpet cleaning equipment. “We also have tools strictly for upholstery and stairs, and can do tile and grout cleaning, too,” Jacques said.
If a water leak should soak carpets due to a burst water heater or an open tap, Bella Maison even has equipment for water remediation, including dehumidifiers, and heavy duty air movers. The staff is fully trained, polite and courteous. The company is fully certified in water damage restoration from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
On the recreation side, Aqua World USA also offers home service, in that it will deliver rental kayaks and paddleboards to your location and return to pick them up again. “We have several kayaks and paddleboards and a great kayak trailer for delivery to your door. We also have two electric boats and trailers,” Jacques said.
When Ruth and Jacques van der Plas left California in 2006, they chose Cedar Creek Lake for its easy access to water and close proximity to Dallas. Recently, they opened a second location next to Haygood’s Carpets on Highway 19 in Canton across from the ETMC at 240B South Trade Days Blvd. offering 24/7 service for water damage restoration services.
Ruth is on hand daily at Suite 141A Dunaway St., turn south at the Lakeway Chiropractic Clinic on Main Street in the Gun Barrel to find their centrally located office. There you can browse her eclectic assortment of small home furnishings and décor while asking her questions about the water sports equipment. Ruth always has thoughtful suggestions and advice, while exuding enthusiasm for your project and home décor challenges. Her eye for the unusual and repurposed decorative item comes from her former career as a professional photographer.
In fact, that’s how she met Jacques. She was hired to photograph a wedding in which Jacques was the best man. Jacques was working with the groom’s dad, another South African he knew from his windsurfing competition days in Capetown and Jefferies Bay.
“Water sports is what he loves and really wants others to catch some of his enthusiasm for,” Ruth said.
On a side note, the one who officiated that July 4, 1997 wedding in Tyler was Monsignor Brennen from St Jude Catholic Church in Gun Barrel City. A whirlwind, long-distance romance between Ruth and Jacques followed, resulting in another wedding six months later, this time in California. Jacques launched his own boat rental company there, and Ruth returned to school. Both also took extra jobs, one of which was carpet cleaning. The couple moved to Texas in 2006 and launched Bella Maison in 2008.
While in Oxnard, Calif. they operated an Electracraft and Duffy sales and rental service, along the Channel Islands. When they came to Texas they opened a small showroom at the World Trade Center in Dallas for small furnishings, linens and home décor, catering to individuals and designers. In 2008, they opened Bella Maison and became immersed in local community affairs. The couple are members of the Chamber of Commerce in Athens, Canton and Cedar Creek Lake, as well as other local organizations.
Since most every house has flooring or carpeting that needs in-depth cleaning from time to time, Ruth and Jacques want to remind their friends and neighbors what a thoughtful gift a cleaning would be. Also, fun on a kayak or paddleboard make great incentives and rewards, especially this time of year.
“Gift certificates for carpet cleaning, or a $50 rental of a kayak or paddleboard, complete with life jacket and paddles, for the afternoon make great gifts,” Ruth said. “The kayaks are so much fun and a great way to see the lake and get some exercise while doing it.”
There’s no better way to experience the water and wildlife than from a kayak, paddleboard or silent electric boat. “It’s great for bird watching and photography, birthday parties, teacher or employee incentives or taking that special client to see that hot lakeside property,” Ruth said.
“We want locals and vacationers to experience the water and want to come back for more,” Jacques said.
The shop is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call to set a rental date or floor care appointment (903) 887-0197, or in Canton at (903) 802-6919.
“Come on in, the water’s fine!”