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Current Issue
January 16, 2011






News in Brief

Holiday closings
Federal and state offices are closed Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Courthouses in Henderson, Kaufman and Van Zandt counties will be closed. Post offices will close and no mail will be delivered. Banks will also close. Hours may be changed on banks located inside other business facilities, so check for your bank’s hours if located inside Walmart or Brookshire’s.

Rootseekers Society
The Rootseekers Genealogy Society meets at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, at Tri-County Library, downtown Mabank. Speaker is Skip Gustafson. New board members to be announced.

CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club executive board meets at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points. For information call (903) 451-2619.

Teddy Bears are coming
Preschoolers and their caregivers are invited to bring their teddy bears to “The Teddy Bears Picnic,” at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, and each Tuesday at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Storyteller is Leslie Bell and there will be books to read, snacks to enjoy and lots of fun. For information call (903) 887-9622.

Mabank Garden Club
The Mabank Garden Club meets at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, at Tri-County Library. Master Gardener Lynn Ackerman will present “Landscaping with cactus and other succulents.” For information call Donna at (903) 887-7792.

EISD spaghetti dinner
Chuck Powers and his athletic girls are hosting a fund-raiser spaghetti dinner beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, in the high school cafeteria. The menu will be salad, spaghetti, garlic toast, dessert and drinks.
Donation will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Roland Bailey’s team for the MDA Muscle Walk in Tyler Saturday, Feb. 5.

GBC senior game day
The GBC Senior Game Day is set for 12:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, at Brawner Hall. Program is by Sharon O’Maley, counselor with the Agency on Aging of East Texas. Dominoes, card and board games are played from 1 to 4 p.m.. Refreshments are provided, but bring your favorite dish or board game. All January birthdays will be celebrated with a cake. For information call city hall at (903) 887-1087.

HCWCR meeting
The Henderson County Women’s Council of Realtors meets for its monthly breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, at the Cedar Creek Country Club. Speaker is HC District Attorney Scott McKee.

Sarah Maples DAR
The annual business meeting of the Sarah Maples chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, at Tri-County Library, Mabank.

EISD pancake supper
The Eustace Student Council is sponsoring a fund-raiser pancake supper from 5 to 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, in the Middle School cafeteria. The menu is pancakes, sausage and drinks. Your donation benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Roland Bailey’s team for the MDA Muscle Walk.

Alzheimer’s support
The Greater Cedar Creek Alzheimer’s Support Group meets at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 (each third Thursday), at 256 Harbor Drive, GBC. For information call Bill Shaw at (903) 887-4789 or (214) 952-8347.

Free Christian concert
The River of Life World Outreach in Kemp is hosting a free Christian rock concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. Food and cold drinks supplied. For information call (903) 880-7048.

CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club meets at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the Cedar Creek Country Club. Sharon Lucky will present “Divas of the Desert.” Doors open at 10:15 a.m. For information call (903) 451-2619.

Masonic chili lunch
The Malakoff Masonic Lodge No. 759 is hosting a chili lunch with all the fixins’ from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Masonic Hall, 110 Jackson Street. Donation requested.

Kemp senior center
The Kemp Senior Citizens Center, 300 North Dallas Street, Kemp, serves lunch for a small donation at noon weekdays. Seniors can enjoy games, quilting, puzzles, exercise class, Bible study and a lot more from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information call Lisa Smith at (903) 498-4046.

Free tax help
Free tax help is available at Tri-County Library, Mabank, with Peggy Rogers, VITA. Rogers worked for the IRS for many years and keeps up with current changes. Call the library at (903) 887-9622, leaving name, local phone number (calls from cells with long distance numbers will not be returned), and the best time for her to return your call to set up an appointment.

AARP free tax help
AARP free tax services will be available from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 2, through Wednesday, April 13, at the following locations: Fridays at the Henderson County Senior Center, Athens; Mondays at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points, and Wednesdays at the Senior Citizens Center, Malakoff. For information call (903) 778-2423.

















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Top News

Gooden good to go
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

AUSTIN–State Rep. (4th District-R) Lance Gooden is confident he will be able to deliver on his campaign promises.
Over the past 10 months as representative-elect, Gooden says he’s been getting acquainted with the other 37 freshman state representatives taking the oath of office along with him Jan. 10. Most are Republicans, whose top priorities are to balance the state budget without raising taxes and pass a Voter ID bill to protect the integrity of state elections.  GoodenOath.jpg (84968 bytes)
Although he didn’t have an opponent in the General Election, Gooden said he has been active around the state assisting other Republicans in their election bids in order to increase the majority in the State House.
“I’m really proud to be a part of the Republican Revolution that swept across Texas and the nation this year,” he said. Republicans hold a two-thirds majority of the 150 seats in the (state) House, with new representatives holding 32 of those seats.
Gooden has also been aligning himself with new and current house members who share his same vision for an immigration bill to enhance border security and his quest to safeguard private property rights.
“During the (March Primary) campaign, I promised to go down to Austin and represent the best interests of our community. The people put their faith in me to decrease government spending, and that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.
He realizes that many school districts are facing tough choices and that education spending will be a very difficult issue in the days ahead for the legislature.
“I’ve met with school superintendents throughout the district, and since both my parents have been teachers, education has an advocate in me. I’m passionate about education,” he said.
Constituent service is also a top priority for Gooden, who plans to open two offices in the 4th District.
“I want to make sure my constituents have easy access to their representative,” Gooden said. His official House e-mail account, which became active Jan. 11, is His Austin office is E1.324. He can also be reached by calling (512) 463-0458.
Feb. 1 is Cedar Creek Lake Day at the Legislature. The Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is taking a bus down early and returning late in the evening. Those who want to go with them for $75 should call Doreen Watts at the chamber office at (903) 887-3152 for the details.
During orientation week, right after Thanksgiving, Gooden got acquainted with the various state agencies, the issues they commonly handle and established a good rapport with those working in those offices.
“This will enable me to help constituents navigate the various agencies when they are dealing with a state issue,” he said.
He also learned what issues were of greatest concern to the various agencies and was given assurances of their assistance to him as he serves in office. “So, building relationships with those folks early on was important,” he said.
“The most valuable thing I did (during orientation) was to build relationships with members of the freshman class and any other House members who happened to be there,” he said.
Gooden added one of his biggest surprises was learning there is no set way to be a member of the House.
“Everyone has to figure it out for themselves and see what works for them and their district. There is no manual or handbook on ‘how to be a representative,’ which is why I’ve been reaching out,” he said.
Gooden also had the good fortune to draw the sixth highest ranking among incoming representatives during his four-day orientation.
The ranking determines the location of his Austin office, what order he will be assigned to the various committees and the order in which he will be called upon to cast his vote on the House Floor.
“The high ranking bodes well for the people of the 4th District,” he said.
The growth Henderson and Kaufman counties have experienced over the past 10 years will also prove positive, he added. February is when the official census data will be revealed for redistricting, he said.
“However, population growth in the 4th District has kept up with state growth. So, the census information should not have a negative impact on redistricting here, as it will have in areas where populations have decreased or not grown, such as in much of West Texas.”
Texas in general has been seeing an influx of new residents from other states. Gooden expects this trend will continue as the state continues to form policies that favor business and employment growth.



Kemp man pleads guilty to hit-and-run traffic death
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–A Kemp man pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide Monday in connection with a 2009 hit-and-run traffic fatality in Tool.
Jackie Ray Keith, 44, entered the plea in Mark Calhoon’s 3rd Judicial District Court, and was sentenced to the maximum term of two years in a State Jail facility, Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee reported.
Keith was indicted for the offense by a Henderson County Grand Jury last year after a Nov. 30, 2009, hit and run collision on State Highway 274 in Tool, McKee reported in a prepared news release issued Wednesday.
The indictment alleged that Keith attempted to pass another car in an unsafe manner when he struck Hubert Oxendine Jr., 52, who was walking on the side of the road just south of the Towering Oaks subdivision.
When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered Oxendine deceased.
An investigation was launched by the Henderson County District Attorney’s office along with the Tool Police Department.
The investigation led officials to Keith, who subsequently surrendered himself and the vehicle he was driving at the time of the crash to authorities.
The Grand Jury also charged Keith with failure to stop and render aid and tampering with evidence.
Keith also pled guilty to those charges and received two years in the penitentiary for each charge.

GBC leader recalled
C.P. ‘Bud’ Ackles dies at age 94
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Longtime Cedar Creek Lake area civic leader and volunteer ‘Bud’ Ackles was laid to rest at the age of 94, Dec. 30, 2010, at Mt. Olive Cemetery in Scurry. (See obituary on page 11A.)
Retiring to Cedar Creek Lake in 1967 after 26 years in the U.S. Postal Service in Dallas, Ackles became instrumental in helping Gun Barrel City become incorporated, and served as one of the city’s first volunteer firefighters.
According to records collected by his daughter, Diane Marie Ackles, Bud also served on the first board of directors for the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District from 1977-82.
He also led the effort to establish a post office in Gun Barrel City, though this failed, due to the existing post office in Mabank.
In that effort he, along with fellow committee members, numbered all the addresses on west and east Main Street.
He served as president of the Eastwood Islands Property Owners Association for five years, and helped establish the Beacon Church of Christ, which met first in homes and then at Brawner Hall, where he served as a deacon for several years.
He served on the city’s Board of Adjustments as secretary and on its Beautification Committee.
He was also active in issues related to retirees. As a member of the AARP, he served on the legislative committee for several years and was appointed in 1981 by former Texas Gov. Bill Clements to represent Texas for a conference on aging in Washington, D.C.
He helped form the 49ers senior citizens club, and served as its president for five years. He worked with the East Texas Council of Governments and obtained grant funding to assist in the construction of the 49ers club building on Arnold Hills Road in Seven Points.
He also was instrumental in getting cable television access to the lake area and in 1992, served on the advisory council of Cedar Creek Bank, then owned by Tom Carpenter and now named Prosperity Bank.
He assisted in getting low-rent housing constructed, both in Seven Points and in Gun Barrel City, and he served for several years as a committee member for equalization as part of the Mabank Independent School District.
Bud and his wife also lent a helping hand to the area’s elderly, taking care of chores, repairs, bookkeeping, transporting some to the doctor and visiting with them.
His many hours of community service and spirit of volunteerism didn’t go unnoticed.
In 1978, Bud Ackles was recognized by Gun Barrel City as its Citizen of the Year, and Feb. 23, 1990, the Cedar Creek Lake Chamber of Commerce honored both Margie and Bud with the “Lifetime Achievement” award. Then-GBC mayor Helen Broome made the presentation.
The couple, who were married 63 years, were honored to be given this award for doing things that they loved and enjoyed doing – helping others.
The Cedar Creek Lake area has lost a dear friend.
Prior to a career of valuable service to the lake area, Ackles served in the U.S. Navy for nine years, and met his wife through a fellow serviceman.
They were married July 28, 1939. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1940, and their daughter was born there. He was then transferred stateside in September, 1941, and left on the last Navy transport prior to the Japanese attack.
Had he still been stationed there, he more than likely would have been killed by a bomb, which hit the home they had lived in.
Ackles spent most of his active duty serving in the South Pacific, and volunteered for some special missions into the combat zone on the island of Palau.
After the war, he served another brief stint of active duty and completed 11 years as a Navy reservist for a total of 20 years and two months.
He retired from active duty as a Senior Chief Engineman, having served on the USS Raleigh, USS Gilmer and finally the USS Mount McKinley.






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