19-year-old gets 50 years
GBC man pleads guilty to robbery, sexual
kidnapping of woman found alive in well
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS-A 19-year-old Gun Barrel City man pled guilty in a plea agreement
to charges of sexual assault, robbery and forcing an elderly woman into
a well in Bonita Point last May.
Joshua James Cannon agreed to a 50-year prison sentence without a chance
of parole for 25 years.
In addition, Cannon will serve a concurrent 10-year-sentence for
unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
The agreement was worked out last year and accepted by 173rd District
Court Judge Dan Moore last week.
The 63-year-old victim, along with her car, were reported missing by a
family member around 5:30 p.m. May 16, 2008.
That same day, a phone message was discovered on the victim’s answering
machine from the Seagoville police, informing her that her car had been
stopped for reckless driving that morning and impounded.
The two occupants, Cannon and a 16-year-old neighbor, were released
Family members began searching the victim’s home and property, and found
her in an abandoned well approximately 20 feet deep. She had been down
the muddy hole for more than 12 hours. Her assailant had confronted her
around 2 a.m. the morning before.
She was lifted out and transported to Tyler for treatment of hypothermia
and other injuries.
That evening, Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies located Cannon at his
residence, also located in Bonita Point, and placed him under arrest.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Cannon is a
registered sex offender, who served time at the Texas Youth Commission
in Brownsville in 2001 for molesting a 5-year-old girl.
The DPS website (
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/siteindex.htm ) lists 183 registered
sex offenders in Henderson County.
Bank asks council for a break on permit
$20K building permit sticks in craw
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–First National Bank of Kemp is planning a new building and a new
“We have outgrown our space. We remodeled 11 years ago, but we need more
space,” First National Bank of Kemp president Vidal Jones said.
Tuesday, Jones spoke to the Kemp City Council concerning the proposed
bank building that will encompass 28,000 square feet with enough room
for other businesses to lease space.
The facility will be located at Business 175 and State Highway 274.
The matter was listed on the agenda to discuss the possible annexation
and development of the property, which is not currently within the city
Jones was obviously upset over the building permit fee for the new
structure. He then questioned the advantage of being annexed.
“The city wants $20,000 in permit fees. What I want to know from the
city is, why do I want to come into the city?” Jones said. “Everything
we need is already there for us to build.”
After completion, the facility will bring in about $20,000 per year in
property taxes, Jones said.
The bank intends to construct the building, and bids were expected to be
in Wednesday, he added.
“We want to build the building. We are excited about that and I am
excited about what it can do for Kemp,” he said.
Jones asked the city to consider the facts and to re-examine the permit
Since the property is not currently in the city limits, the Economic
Development Corporation cannot offer help.
Jones said he attended an EDC meeting, and was told they were unable to
act on the matter at that time.
“The bank never cut the city any slack,” councilwoman Barbara McFaul
said. “But when we get through the process, we can negotiate the
Several council members, including McFaul, said as a council, this was
the first time they had heard of the requests connected with annexation.
The construction is set to begin as soon as bids are approved, and any
decision to request annexation can come later, Jones said.
The annexation process could take until March, due to necessary public
hearings and the legal process, city attorney Terry Welch explained.
In other business, council members:
• tabled paying bills for the month, as the invoices and records were
• approved department head reports as presented.
• heard Police Chief Richard Clemmo report his part-time officer is
working out well and that he is a good worker.
• tabled participating in the 2009 Cedar Creek Lake Day in Austin.
Mayor Billy Teel said he had expected a Chamber representative to attend
the meeting, but the person was a no show.
• approved on a 3-1-1 vote a lump sum payment as presented on a
retroactive pay increase for an employee. McFaul abstained and
councilwoman Dorothy Locklin voted no.
• authorized back pay to city manager James Stroman as presented.
• directed the city attorney to review wording in the personnel manual
on holiday hours.
• heard the annual EDC report from president Jody Deller.
She listed the park improvements, the Sonic restaurant, Rugged CTV and
the EDC receiving the Don Legg award as accomplishments during 2008.
Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
honors a man of courage & love
By Coretta Scott King
Special to The Monitor
The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a
man who brought hope and healing to America.
We commemorate the timeless values taught by his example – the values of
courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that
so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership.
We also commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and
nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.
We recall Dr. King’s inspiring words that answered our collective
longing to become a country that truly lived by its noblest principles.
And we remember the man of action, who put his life on the line for
freedom and justice every day, the man who braved threats and jail and
beatings, and who ultimately paid the highest price to make democracy a
reality for all Americans.
The King holiday honors the life and contributions of America’s greatest
champion of racial justice and equality, the leader who not only dreamed
of a color-blind society, but who also lead a movement that achieved
historic reforms to help make it a reality.
On this day, we commemorate Dr. King’s great dream of a vibrant,
multiracial nation united in justice, peace and reconciliation – a
nation that has a place at the table for children of every race and room
at the inn for every needy child.
We commemorate on this holiday the ecumenical leader and visionary who
embraced the unity of all faiths in love and truth.
And though we take patriotic pride that Dr. King was an American, on
this holiday we must also commemorate the global leader who inspired
nonviolent liberation movements around the world. Indeed, on this day,
programs commemorating my husband’s birthday are being observed in more
than 100 nations.
The King holiday celebrates Dr. King’s global vision of the world house,
a world whose people and nations had triumphed over poverty, racism, war
The holiday commemorates America’s preeminent advocate of nonviolence –
the man who taught by his example that nonviolent action is the most
powerful, revolutionary force for social change available to oppressed
people in their struggles for liberation.
On the King holiday, young people learn about the power of unconditional
love even for one’s adversaries as a way to fight injustice and defuse
violent disputes. It is a time to show them the power of forgiveness in
the healing process at the interpersonal as well as international
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not only for celebration, remembrance,
education and tribute, but a day of service.
All across America, his followers perform service in hospitals and
shelters and prisons and wherever people need some help.
It is a day of volunteering to feed the hungry, rehabilitate housing,
tutoring those who can’t read, mentoring at-risk youngsters, consoling
the brokenhearted and a thousand other projects for building the beloved
community of his dream.
Dr. King once said that life’s most persistent and nagging question, is
`what are you doing for others?’”
He would quote Mark 9:35, the scripture in which Jesus of Nazareth tells
James and John “...whosoever will be great among you shall be your
servant; and whosoever among you will be the first shall be the servant
And when Martin talked about the end of his mortal life in one of his
last sermons, on Feb. 4, 1968, in the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church,
even then he lifted up the value of service as the hallmark of a full
“I’d like somebody to mention on that day Martin Luther King Jr. tried
to give his life serving others,” he said. “I want you to say on that
day, that I did try in my life ... to love and serve humanity.”
We call you to commemorate this holiday by making your personal
commitment to serve humanity with the vibrant spirit of unconditional
love that was his greatest strength, and which empowered all of the
great victories of his leadership.
With our hearts open to that spirit, we can indeed achieve the Beloved
Community of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. May we pledge to serve
humanity and carry forward his legacy into the 21st century.