People, Places & Events




Crochet/knit group provides cheer
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Residents in area nursing homes, the Mid-Cities Hospital in Dallas and the Athens Oncology and Hematology office are the recipients of hand-made afghans and other creations from the Giving Hands to Warm Hearts group.
Started by Annie Folts, 83, the Giving Hands to Warm Hearts group provide knitted or crocheted caps, warmers and other items.
If you have the time to knit, we have the yarn. Crochet gatherings are held at 10:30 a.m. every Monday at the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank.
For more information, contact Pauline Moore at (903) 477-3847, or Ms. Dolly at (903) 451-3570.

Courtesy Photo
Pauline Moore gives a new afghan to a young teenager at the Mid-Cities Hospital in Dallas.

VZ Sheriff’s Office make
drug offender arrests

Monitor Staff Reports
CANTON–The Van Zandt Sheriff’s Office recently made two arrests following a short car pursuit on County Road 4614, according to information released from that office this week.
Joseph Wayne Simpkins, 38, and Royce Ray Sides, 41, both of Canton were booked into the county justice center and charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, 4-200 grams. The pair were also charged with evading arrest.
On Nov. 6, 2008, patrol officers noticed a suspicious vehicle. When the officers attempted to investigate the vehicle tried to elude them.
After a brief pursuit, officers stopped the vehicle and the passenger jumped out and fled on foot.
The driver of the vehicle continued to flee, but came to a stop again shortly afterward.
During a search subsequent to the arrest, officers found approximately a half ounce of methamphetamines along with scales used to weigh narcotics, spent needles and various other drug paraphernalia.
Also, methamphetamine residue was found on the driver’s seat.
Bonds were set at $100,000 on each suspect for the drug charge and additional bonds were set for the attempt to evade arrest.

Move it, or lose it – trustees say
Malakoff Historical Society given nine months and up to
$60,000 to move Rock Building off school property

By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

MALAKOFF–One way or the other, an end to the Old Rock School controversy is in sight.
Malakoff ISD trustees voted 6-0 (Rick Vieregge was absent) to give the old elementary school building – commonly known as The Old Rock School – to the Malakoff Historical Society as long as the group will move the building off school property.
During the Dec. 15, 2008, meeting, trustees gave the historical society nine months to move the building, and also agreed to donate what it would cost the district to demolish the building, about $60,000, to help the historical society with the move.
It wasn’t exactly the help the historical society was looking for.
Historical Society President Shane Surls started the discussion by asking the district to sell the building to the group for $10.
The Historical Society would then have five years to find funding to complete the restoration, turning the building into a museum and home for the Red Waller Community Library. If at the end of five years the work wasn’t done, the building would revert back to the district.
The Historical Society’s plan also called for an option to extend the time, if work on the building was near completion at the end of the five years.
The Society also would fence off the structure, provide insurance and put in a four-hour firewall between the Old Rock School and the new Malakoff Elementary, which opened in August, 2007.
These plans were very similar to a proposal tentatively approved by trustees in February, 2008 – and that was part of the problem.
“You asked (in February) for three years, and were supposed to come back in one year and tell us how much money you raised,” Trustee Clyde Tinsley reminded the group. “Now, you are asking for the building to be sold. We’ve waited almost a year under the other proposal – waiting for you to generate funds.”
Last February, the board directed Superintendent Dr. John Spies to work out the details of that plan with attorneys to, in effect, give the building to the Society, and also allow the Society three years to raise the money for the project.
At that time, trustees also favored establishing benchmarks for the Historical Society to meet, hence Tinsley’s comment about the Society coming back to update the board on funding.
The motion to direct Spies to work out the details passed, 6-1, with Tinsley voting no, but the devil was apparently in those details, and the contract never came back to the board.
The original intent was to lease the building for the three years. However, Spies reported that the district’s attorney said any lease would have to include a clause allowing the district to take back the building if it was needed.
That clause, Historical Society officials said, would kill any chance of getting grant funding.
“Who is going to give us grant money if the building can be taken away at any time?” asked Malakoff Historical Society member Pat Isaacson.
“I understand the Historical Society’s frustration with the lease,” Spies told board members.
So, the Historical Society came back in December to ask to purchase the building so that it could look for grant opportunities.
That idea caused a problem with several of the trustees, because it would mean giving up control of a building on school property.
“In good conscience, this district can not give up control (on its property),” board president Todd LaRue said.
Another issue, which was discussed for the first time, concerned expansion of the new elementary school.
When a new building was constructed to replace one destroyed by a pre-dawn fire in March, 2005, it was designed with an eye toward expansion – and that expansion was planned without the Old Rock School in the way.
Tinsley said the elementary school population has grown 11 percent just this year, and the campus is currently at 90 percent of capacity.
“We are going to have to expand in three to five years,” he said. “It would be a gross injustice to make a decision that would stop that expansion.”
Just like the community, the school board was split over the controversy.
Trustees Homer Ray Trimble and Jan Shelton were both passionate in their desire to see the building saved.
“Either we are going to let them have it, or we are not, and I am in favor of letting them have it,” Trimble said.
“Every one of us who went there has feelings for that building,” Shelton said.
Tinsley, LaRue, Belinda Brownlow and Gary Woolverton all expressed reservations over safety issues and giving up control of a building on district property.
“We have some very, very concerned elementary school parents,” Brownlow said. “I would love to see the Historical Society get it. It would be a wonderful thing. But it would not be a wonderful thing for (the building) to sit there for another five years.”
Woolverton seemed to capture the feeling of many of the trustees when he said, “I went to school there and I don’t want to see it torn down, but I am afraid of just postponing this argument for five more years.”
“I have never liked the idea of something on our campus we didn’t have control of, but I would like to see us pursue all possibilities to have the building moved,” he said.
The idea of using the demolition money to help with the move – an idea proposed by Tinsley – seemed to help the board reach a compromise.
Officials with the Historical Society were to meet later to discuss their options, given the board’s latest decision.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at


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