Sunday, January 6, 2008






  A mother’s run for the border fails
Kidnapping charges follow
Monitor Staff Reports
TERRELL–A sad drama, which began in Kaufman County, came to an end at the Texas-Mexico border town of Laredo – where a mother, whose parental rights had been terminated, was taken into custody along with her 26-month-old child.
The Kaufman County Patrol Division responded to a call late Dec. 20 regarding the kidnapping of the child from a home southeast of Terrell.
Within the hour, authorities learned the child had been taken by her mother, who had lost her custodial rights.
They also learned the child had an asthmatic condition which required treatment every four hours.
A few hours later, Kaufman Sheriff’s investigators suspected the child and her mother were enroute to Laredo to cross the border into Mexico.
Immediately, the Sheriff’s Department communication division contacted local bus service providers, and Terrell Police Services provided a recent photo of the suspect.
By 6 a.m. the following morning, investigators confirmed the suspect and child were enroute to the border to meet a friend, who offered assistance in crossing the border.
Investigators projected a small window of time when they expected the pair to arrive in Laredo.
With this information, the Sheriff’s Department began contacting local, state and federal agencies by e-mail, fax and teletype with the suspect’s photo and child’s description.
The Texas Department of Public Safety, Laredo Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Customs were notified.
Nearly 12 hours after the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office responded to the initial call, it got word from the Laredo Police Department of the apprehension of the suspect and child.
The child was found to be uninjured.
The unidentified suspect is reportedly being held on two felony warrants and is due to be transferred back to Kaufman County.

County burn ban is back
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–Heavy spring rains brought lush growth and now a couple of freezes and little rain have turned the growth into tinder.
“The conditions are ripe for an extreme fire danger. Kaufman County fire departments have answered 84 grass fire calls in December,” County Fire Marshal Larry Ewing said.
Monday, county commissioners approved a 45-day ban on outdoor burning.
“This includes burn barrels, even with screens,” Ewing added.
Most of the fires occurred in the southern portion of the county, especially in the Mabank and Kemp areas, he said.
“Following so many fire calls, six fire stations called and asked the burn ban be implemented,” Ewing explained.
In other business, commissioners:
• approved a participation rate of 50 percent in the Terrell Tax Increment Finance (TIF) project.
• approved the purchase of land for Precinct 3. Negotiations are currently ongoing, purchasing agent Jack Sabastian said.
• approved an interlocal agrement with the North Central for the Cities Readiness Initiative project.
“For 2½ years, the county has been getting ready for any type of disaster, including getting massive doses of medicine out quickly,” Public Works director Kathy Morris explained. A $20,000 grant helped to begin the plan, she added.
“In one month we will get an additional $20,000, the final payment,” she said.
• accepted the resignation of Jed Thompson from the board of the KC Emergency Services District 3.
• appointed Gary Pearson to fill Thompson’s unexpired term.
• approved a contract for tire disposal with Tex-American Recycling Incorporated.
As soon as deliveries of tire trailers to each precinct have been completed, citizens (no businesses) will be allowed to bring old tires for disposal, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller said.
• approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Kemp for road repairs with reimbursement for the cost of materials.
• paid bills totaling $389,464.60.


A Marine’s farewell
Monitor Photos/Barbara Gartman
LEFT: The Marine Corps honor guard from the 2nd battalion, 14th Marine stationed at the Joint Reserve Armed Forces Complex in Grand Prairie presented full military honors for Jack Wood, 90, of Kemp at his burial Dec. 28, 2007. A 30-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Wood served in World War II and in Korea. BELOW: The Marine bugler steps to his post while the coffin is placed on the bier. Wood also served the Cedar Creek Lake community as a Kemp mayor and several terms as councilman from the ’60s to mid ’80s. He helped craft the agreement with Tarrant Regional Water District for the installation of the lake and oversaw several public works projects.