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Sunday,
January 22, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 
News in Brief

Mabank VFD chili supper
Mabank Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its 18th annual chili supper from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Mabank Fire Station (111 E. Mason/Business 175).
All donations benefit the Mabank Fire Department.

Log Cabin dance concert
Square dancing and country-western dance to the stylings of The SWAGS, a live band from Fort Worth, at Promenade Hall in Tool from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday (today), with special appearance from “Dina Garcia” from Disney’s Shake It Up for autographs. Rediscover the joy of community dancing. The club is located at 1210 North Tool Drive (SH 274, Tool).
For information, call Phil at (903) 880-8822 or Cindy at (214) 543-8641.

AL shrimp dinner
The Sons of the American Legion are hosting a shrimp dinner with cole slaw, hushpuppies, dessert and tea from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan 21. Proceeds benefit local charities. The American Legion Post 310 is located at 111 Lee Way, Gun Barrel City.

CCL Civic League
The Cedar Creek Civic League meets at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, at Tri-County Library in Mabank. Elian Haan will present the program. For information call Joyce at (903) 451-3229.

CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club meets at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Cedar Creek Country Club, Kemp. “The Life and Loves of Becky Thatcher” will be presented by Sharron Lucky.

Gospel singing
Styx Baptist Church is hosting a gospel singing at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, at the church located at 31800 Farm-to-Market 85, approximately six miles from Seven Points. Everyone welcome. Bring your instruments, music, CD’s friends and family. Refreshments follows. For information call (214) 616-4659.

Free ’70s concert
“Super Hits of the 70s” benefit concert is sponsored by area United Methodist churches at Mabank High School, 7-10 p.m., Friday, Jan. 27. Admission is free. A bake sale begins at 6 p.m. and those attending may make an offering to help end malaria in South Africa. Musicians are nearly all church pastors from the Dallas area.

Annual chili luncheon
The Malakoff Masonic Lodge is hosting its annual chili luncheon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Lodge, 110 Jackson St., Malakoff, across from the elementary school. Menu features homemade chili, ice tea and coffee. Donation requested.

Tri-County soccer
The Tri-County Soccer Association 2012 spring sign-up is set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, Jan. 28 and Feb. 4 and for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at McDonalds in Gun Barrel City. Players must have turned 4 years old by Jan. 1. For information call Candi Conner (903) 887-3138.

PSUMC fellowship
The Payne Springs United Methodist Church fellowship night is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, with a covered dish dinner followed by “Beloved” a group led by Chris Hobgood. The public is invited. For information call (903) 451-2978.

heaters needed
The Family Resource Center, located at 107 Spring Valley, Gun Barrel City, is looking for your help with providing heaters for babies, the elderly and people without heat. For information, call Debbie at (903) 887-4711. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Meals drivers needed
The Senior Center at the Ball Park is in desperate need for “Meals on Wheels,” drivers in Kemp and Mabank. For information, call Lisa Smith, director, at (903) 997-0643.

News in Brief Policy
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Top News

Jury awards $7.3M in ponzi suit
Eustace couple faces judgement in fraudulent oil and gas scheme
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–A jury awarded $7.3 million to a group of 22 oil and gas venture capitalists, who feared their money might be unrecoverable. The total award results in recouping their original investment back times six.
The verdict turned against Henderson County residents Cameron Cravey and his wife, Kimberly. According to TaxNetUSA, Kimberly owns a residence on CR 2858 with a Eustace mailing address valued at $653,160.
Kimberly was charged with exemplary damages, totaling $1.1 million. Her husband was assessed $2.2 million in exemplary damages. The amount invested in Cravey’s companies by the investors totals $836,660.90, according to court documents.
The jury is permitted to consider the difference between what the investment was represented to be (a rapid payback with increasing oil prices), and what they actually got, Little explained. It also includes attorney fees and court costs of $200,000 to total the additional $3.264 million award.
The jury in Judge Howard Tygrett’s 86th District Court found that Cameron Cravey, with his wife’s knowledge, had committed theft and fraud, misappropriated funds and intentionally breached his fiduciary duty. In addition, 10 of the 12-member jury also found that the defendants violated the Texas Securities Act in a number of areas and fraudulently transferred assets to a special trust fund in their children’s names.
The trial, the third in a series of litigation started back in 2007, began Jan. 9 and the jury brought back a 70-page verdict Wednesday in Kaufman.
None of the investors were from Henderson, Van Zandt or Kaufman counties.
After a full day of deliberations and reviewing the contents of some 1,500 pages of documents, the jury also found that a third-party defendant, Matthew Boultinghouse Sr., a Dallas resident and a salesman for Cameron Cravey was not responsible for any damages awarded to the plaintiffs.
“I’m confident that the jury reviewed the evidence and paid attention to details. I also feel justice was served in this case,” Plaintiffs’ attorney Mitch Little told The Monitor.
Considered “unusual” by Little, neither the defendant’s attorney, Charles Settle, of Arlington nor his clients were present for the verdict.
Boultinghouse Sr., testified that he started making a minimum of 400 sales calls a day for C. Cravey to secure investors in developing a 600-acre oil field near Wichita Falls in 2004. He described it as a telemarketing effort, after which a brochure went out followed by a Q&A session with C. Cravey and a check sent.
Then in 2005, Boultinghouse went up to the drill site and worked as a roustabout, leaving only after assuring himself that the oil well was now in operation. A short time later, he said C. Cravey reported during a sales meeting that the well had locked up. That’s when questions of legitimacy started forming in Boultinghouse’s mind. “Things didn’t seem to jive,” he said.
Boultinghouse quit the end of 2006, he said.
C. Cravey claimed that Boultinghouse Sr. had a working interest in the project and had sold parts of this to the investors. Boultinghouse represented himself at trial and assured the jury that none of the 1,500 pages of documents supported that claim because it just wasn’t true.
In 2010, the investors, represented by Mitchell Little won a favorable ruling from Judge Tygrett to recoup their original investment and damages, at which point C. Cravey moved for a jury trial and the judge’s ruling was set aside on a technicality.
A new trial was set and jury heard testimony and then in the 11th hour, C. Cravey filed for personal bankruptcy, and once again the investors were put off.
Eventually, the bankruptcy court in Fort Worth threw the case out, and the investors were still left holding the bag.
In the interim, a company from Utah bought the oil field for $6.4 million and funds were wired to the Wells Fargo branch in Kaufman and electronically withdrawn the same day.
Boultinghouse said he spoke with the bank branch manager and confirmed the movement of funds and the appearance of C. Cravey and another associate attempting to open another account.
“The branch manager said she told the men to leave and never come back,” Boultinghouse told The Monitor.
Little immediately filed for a new court date, which resulted in what is likely the second largest jury award in the history of Kaufman County.
The largest award was for $296 million handed down Oct. 21, 1999 in the case of a faulty pipeline explosion that resulted the deaths of two children. The plaintiffs in that case later settled for an undisclosed amount.
In closing remarks to the jury, Little reminded the jury of Beverly Wanke, a 70-year-old retired school bus driver from Crosby, who invested her life’s savings and is unable to pay for her husband’s costly medical care.
“The Craveys are evil,” Little said.
The case now goes to judgment and a final determination on the money and how it is to be paid, Judge Tygrett said.

 

Local doc captains medical team at U.S. Olympic marathon trials
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK-Local doctor Paul Guttuso was part of a large medical team, much like a M.A.S.H. unit, to serve the medical needs of an anticipated 250 to 300 of the 26,000 runners in the Chevron Houston Marathon Jan. 15. It’s something he’s been doing for the past seven years. More importantly, he was one of about a dozen physicians overseeing the needs of the nation’s most elite athletes as they competed for a place on the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team, a day before the 40th annual Houston Marathon.
Guttuso operates Lakeside Family and Sports Medicine at 604 South 3rd Street in Mabank.
The weekend event broke course records both for the Olympic Trials and the popular Houston Marathon.
Guttuso captained a team of 22-25 doctors covering the start and finish line area for the premiere event that holds three races, the 26-mile marathon, 13-mile half marathon and 5K. He led a team of about a dozen doctors on hand for the Olympic Trials, the first time it has ever been held in Houston.
He’s been a key player (medically speaking) for the Houston Marathon, under the medical direction of Dr. John Cianca. Around 60 doctors and support staff have made it their goal to provide the highest level of medical care and quickest response time at the event. An estimated 250 to 300 race participants depend on that care every year. And each year, improvements have been made to ensure runner safety.
Guttuso feels this practice and the growing reputation of the medical team was a prime consideration in Houston winning the bid for the Olympic trials. About 300 of America’s most elite amateur runners vied for one of three places on the U.S. men’s and women’s Olympic Marathon teams. The winners were for the women’s team in order of finish: Shalane Flanagan with a time of 2:25:38 in only her second marathon; Desiree Davila, finishing 18 seconds later (2:25:55) and Kara Groucher, placing third at 2:26:06. Groucher was off the circuit in 2010 due to maternity leave and competed in the 2011 Boston Marathon nine months ago finishing in 2:24:26.
Meb Keflezighi won first, beating out beating defending Olympic Trial record holder Ryan Hall with a finish time of 2:09:08. Hall finished in 2:09:30 and Abdi Abdirahman of Tucson, Ariz. followed 17 seconds behind him.
At nearly 37, Keflezighi is the oldest man to win an Olympic Trial, while breaking the trial record and his own personal best, set just 69 days ago at the ING New York City Marathon.
During the Olympic trials, a core group of about a dozen doctors served the Olympic hopefuls and again Guttuso was there at the start-finish line, ready to respond if needed.
Since relocating to Mabank, Guttuso has filled a similar role during football season on the field whenever the Mabank Panthers played locally.
The medical response teams are organized in such a way that eyes are on nearly every yard of the 26-mile race. Coverage is maintained through 13 aide stations, roving bicycle teams on specific routes, and strategically located ambulances along the race route and scissors lifts in the finish-start area.
A temporary hospital, set up at the George R. Brown Convention Center, is laid out with beds for both minor and major injuries and is staffed with doctors knowledgeable in exertion maladies. An Intensive Care Unit is fully equipped, including ice baths to treat exertion hyperthermia, a condition when the body’s temperature rises above 105 degrees and the brain shuts down, Guttuso explained. “This condition is seldom seen at a civilian ER. It is a condition more familiar to military and race doctors,” Guttuso added.
Though none of the Olympic hopefuls needed to resort to the icy bath, two runners in the last three years were submerged to reduce their hyperthermia quickly, which is key to gaining the best recovery, Guttuso said.
Last year, a woman who dropped dead 50 feet from the finish line and was successfully resuscitated was able to come back this year and able to complete the half marathon, thanks in part to the rapidity in medical response time, and the grace of God, he said.
As a result of that episode, Guttuso and Cianca identified a hole in their coverage of the area from two blocks (or 300 yards) from the finish line to quarter mile, where the edge of the last roving bicycle team’s patrol area. They called it The Corner and adjusted their coverage to include this area this year.
And it’s a good thing they did, because the same thing happened this year. A male runner dropped dead, about 300 yards after crossing the finish line.
“One of the medical team members saw him collapse and the response time was 42 seconds. He was resuscitated and transferred off the course alive,” Guttuso said with satisfaction.
“Our goal has always been to become the best exertion medical response team in the world. Maybe, we are, but there’s always room for improvement.”
 

Driver uses gun to threaten woman motorist
By Barbara Gartman and Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writers

SEVEN POINTS–A woman driving in Gun Barrel City, Wednesday, on State Highway 334, near State Highway 198, was surprised by a man with a gun.
She had stopped for a red light when the suspect, Gary Bogner of Mabank, stepped out of his vehicle and knocked on her window with a pistol in hand.
As she took off in her car toward Seven Points, she dialed 9-1-1.
The suspect followed her and she continued on and pulled into the Seven Points Police Station parking lot.
Seven Points Police Department Lt. Stewart Newby said as Bogner pulled up, Seven Points officer Raymond Wiennerstrom made the first contact with the suspect.
“He (Wiennerstrom) ordered Bogner to get out of his car and to put his hands up,” Newby said.
As the crime was committed in Gun Barrel City, their officers showed up and arrested the offender.
He was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, Newby said.
A motive has not yet been established, he added.

 

 

 

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