People, Places & Events


VZ sheriff’s office and DPS bust organized crime ring
Special to The Monitor
CANTON–The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Special Crimes, has busted a major organized crime ring and recovered more than $250,000 in stolen property.
Seven suspects have been arrested, and Van Zandt County Sheriff R. P. “Pat” Burnett said there are other suspects at large and warrants yet to be served.
“This has been a major investigative operation involving the patrol, criminal investigations and narcotics divisions of the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office, as well as DPS Special Crimes. Many man-hours and much hard work as been put into this case,” Burnett said.
Burnett said this was a multi-county theft ring.
Property stolen out of Van Zandt, Smith, Rains and Dallas counties has been recovered.
Burnett said property recovered includes a bulldozer, tractor, vehicles, four-wheelers, dirt bikes and other miscellaneous property.
Burnett said he wanted to once again stress to citizens the importance of recording serial numbers and marking items, so that if they are stolen, they can be identified and returned.
Burnett said he believed the arrests would have a major impact on the thefts and burglaries in the county.
Those suspects arrested include:
• Thomas Ray Brown, 38, of Wills Point is being held in the Van Zandt County Jail on a $245,000 bond.
• Donnie Ray Edwards, 27, of Edgewood is being held in the Van Zandt County Jail on a $40,000 bond.
• Gregory Scott Patterson, 39, of Dallas is being held in the Van Zandt County Jail on a $40,000 bond.
• Ronnie Elmer McRoy, 21, of Van is being held in the Van Zandt County Jail on a $20,000 bond.
• Erin Nicole McRoy, 23, of Canton is being held in the Van Zandt County Jail on a $30,000 bond.
• Kenneth Keith Kines, 35, of Canton was released on an $180,000 bond.
• Erin Renee Sams, 31, of Canton was released on a $1,000 bond..
Burnett said these suspects could also have additional charges pending.
Burnett also stated anyone with information regarding these subjects should call one of the criminal investigators at the Sheriff’s Office, including Investigators Jeff Woodard, Kenneth Martin and S. D. Henson or call the Narcotics Investigator, Rusty Grimes, at (903) 567-4133.

Library at Cedar Creek Lake runs on monetary donations
Special to The Monitor
SEVEN POINTS–The Library at Cedar Creek Lake board of directors want to make area residents aware of the importance of community support, especially in the way of donations.
So they have sent out flyers with the water bills and to chamber of commerce members, soliciting funds.
Did you know that 66 percent of the library’s operational expenses are covered by individual contributions?
The nonprofit organization now counts more than 100,000 visits a year at its modern facility.
The Library positively impacts the lives of those it serves, from young to old, in many ways. Participants have improved their educations, attracted jobs to help support their families, and even hurricane victims have benefited from its resources.
Besides an astounding collection of books, tapes, videos, and periodicals, the library offers programs: such as,
• literacy classes and training to take the GED
• on-line free Internet use for students and adults
• free tax assistance
• reading programs for kids
• children’s crafts, including Breakfast with Santa, and as a meeting place for civic and club gatherings.
But with the growth in visits and services a corresponding growth in expenses has also transpired.
“The Library is not a government-sponsored entity. It is staffed by volunteers and wholly depends on community support to operate,” Hatcher said.
One way to benefit the Library is to donate not just cash but valuable items that can be raffled off, such as a working vehicle, vacation timeshares, or even real property, Hatcher suggested.
Individuals might also consider designating the Library as a beneficiary to their estate, she added.
Cash and in-kind contributions are eligible for tax deduction within IRS guidelines, Hatcher said.
Those more than 70½ years old may designate a part of their IRA assets to a qualifying charity, such as the Library, without tax obligation. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 has designated 2006 and 2007 only, for tax-free donation to charitable organizations up to $100,000, as long as the distribution is paid directly to a qualifying charity.
To take advantage of this window of opportunity the Library recommends you consult your tax advisor.
“Our goal, as a board, is to stabilize the operating budget and strengten operating reserves to insure the financial health of the Library for many years to come,” Hatcher said.
Community participation as library volunteers or board members is also welcome. See first hand the valuable contribution your Library at Cedar Creek Lake is making to the community.

Free tax assistance provided by AARP for area residents
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE AREA–Free income tax assistance will be available to area citizens by AARP volunteers from Friday Feb. 2 through Friday April 13, at the following times and places:
• Mondays 8 a.m. to noon in Seven Points at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, 400 West Cedar Creek Parkway.
• Wednesdays 8 a.m. to noon in Malakoff at the Senior Citizens Center, 503 North Terry Street.
• Fridays 8 a.m. to noon in Athens at the Henderson County Senior Center, 3344 State Highway 31 East.
Important things taxpayers should know:
• Services are completely free and include electronic filing.
• All eligible returns are completed with computer software, except amended returns.
• Taxpayers do not have to be elderly or AARP members to use this service.
• This service is busiest the first weeks of February. If you are patient and come in later the wait will probably be shorter.
• Married taxpayers should both come to the site unless one is incapacitated.
• We do not prepare extremely complicated returns, however, taxpayers with such returns will be advised what steps they should take.
• Counselors may not be present for the entire posted hours if no taxpayers are present for assistance.
• On the other hand, if counselors are extremely busy, they will stay longer.
• This service is provided by the AARP Foundation in cooperation with the IRS.
• Taxpayers unable to travel may phone Gil Betts at (903) 778-2423, to request tax assistance in their home.
• Taxpayers should bring with them a copy of the prior year’s return (if filed), all tax related documents received in the mail, Social Security cards for all taxpayers and all dependents and date of birth for all dependents.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
ABOVE–My name is Buddy. I am a beautiful male Golden Retriever. I walk well on a leash. I like to play ball and I will sit. I would be a wonderful family dog. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control so I have no history. I am a beautiful guy looking for a wonderful home.
ABOVE–My name is Aubrey. I am a beautiful female Shepherd mix. I walk well on a leash and love to be with people. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control so I have no history. So far I have been a very good girl. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a wonderful girl looking for a wonderful home.
ABOVE–My name is Garfield. I am a beautiful male orange Tabby. I get along great with other cats. I am very playful, very lovable and very lazy, also. I am your average wonderful playful cat. I have been fixed and have my rabies shot. I am a very loving boy looking for my forever home. ABOVE–My name is Ollie. I am a beautiful male Pekingese. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control so I have no history. I do have some eye trouble, I’m either blind or can only see shadows. I am a very smart young man who is just in need of a wonderful caring family.

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 Wednesdays. Holiday Hours: Closed Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 1.