slams Canton intersection
Store owner survives Oz ride on the wind
By Julie Vaughan
Monitor Staff Writer
CANTONIt was like something taken straight from a Hollywood movie, but certainly
something that Canton resident Tim Ellis can only describe as a miracle.
With word of a strong thunderstorm moving into the area Wednesday afternoon, Chicks
Chevron owner Terri Ellis had headed home. Her husband Tim was going to follow.
I had already started home, and when I turned on the radio, I heard there was a
storm coming, Tim Ellis said. I looked outside, and saw it was blue and looked
Tim Ellis said he decided to drive back to the service station to put his vintage Chrysler
car under shelter.
I noticed by the time I got to the DPS office that it (sky) was starting to swirl,
and I noticed the clouds were starting to drop, Ellis said. So I pulled in (at
Chicks) and was going to put the Chrysler in the garage. Then it hit, and stuff
started blowing, and I was off the ground and spinning and I hit my head.
Monitor Photos/Julie Vaughan
Cleanup begins at Chicks Chevron station at the
Interstate 20/State Highway 19 interchange in Canton, following a late-afternoon tornado
that heavily damaged the building, and damaged nearby businesses. Two Van Zandt County
deputies saw the funnel cloud, but didnt see it touch down. BELOW: An 18-wheeler
lies on its side in the I-20 south service road, overturned by high winds.
Ellis said he remembered seeing metal in the cloud as he was thrown some 10
feet up off the ground before his head hit the awning of the building. He believes
colliding with the awning stopped him from being taken any further off the ground.
It felt like the Wizard of Oz, which used to be my favorite show, but
its not anymore, he said with a smile.
Ellis said he didnt have time to think when he was being tossed about, but he
wasnt afraid to die.
I believe in God and I know where Im going when I die, he said. I
feel blessed. It just wasnt my time.
Tim and Terri Ellis purchased Chicks Chevron two years ago from former owners Chick
and Joy Chaney, who started the store in 1966.
Joy Chaney confirmed this was the first time the store had ever been hit by a storm.
Terri Ellis said customers were at the store when the storm hit, and they ran to take
cover inside the stores walk-in cooler, while the store clerk took cover at a
doorway behind the counter, away from the windows.
God has another plan, Terri Ellis said. This is devastation, but we are
alive, and we will deal with all of this.
The Ellis family expressed their thanks to everyone who had stopped to offer help.
Terri Ellis said they were offered assistance from Fullers Towing, Department of
Public Safety troopers, Walmart and Churchs Chicken. She praised her Wallace &
Murray insurance agent.
I cant say enough about Canton. It is the most wonderful place to live,
Tim Ellis said.
Everyone wants to help. Its amazing how people want to help, Terry Ellis
added. By the grace of God we are okay. He has another plan for us.
Fire marshal choice pondered
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENSHenderson County Commissioners were to interview four candidates for the
county fire marshal posting Friday in open session.
A decision will be made on filling the vacancy created when former Mabank fire marshal
John Holcomb resigned Dec. 29 to take a similar job with the city of Forney.
Commissioners were to interview:
interim fire marshal Shane Renberg, the former Payne Springs police chief;
Wesley Meyers of Malakoff, with extensive background in law enforcement;
Mike Grant, longtime Gun Barrel City fire chief, and
James Furrh, a criminal investigator for Van Zandt County, with extensive
experience as a firefighter and fire investigator.
Commissioners are planning to name the next fire marshal after a brief executive session
during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Jan. 26, County Judge David Holstein told
In other business at Tuesdays regular meeting, the commissioners:
announced the need to appoint two volunteers to the Park Board and one person to
the Emergency Service District No. 5 board during its Feb. 2 meeting. Persons willing to
serve should contact their commissioner or county judge.
accepted two replats of properties in Precinct 2 for filing purposes. One is
located in the Pinnacle Club and the other in Harbor Point in Gun Barrel City.
approved budget amendments as presented
appointed Florence Gillium to the Henderson County Child Welfare Board for a
paid bills totaling $181,855.60 from the 2009 budget and $63,979.98 from the 2010
Students fete trustees
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACEThe students of the Eustace Independent School District expressed their
appreciation to school board members in a variety of ways Tuesday.
January is School Board Appreciation Month, and student performance seems to
have made the effort of some eight volunteer trustees worth it.
Besides a rich dinner on an elegantly appointed table, trustees were presented with
acrostics of their last name by students of the Junior High.
Eustace school board trustees (clockwise from left)
president Diane Russ, Gary Walsh, Mike Smith, superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe and
assistant superintendent Janice Beasley, trustees Cotton Walker, board vice president
Thomas Fraizier, trustee Sonny Hodge and board secretary Sarah McAtee enjoy a very special
dinner hosted by the high school, primary and intermediate campuses Tuesday in honor of
January being School Board Appreciation month. Dinner included sliced roast pork
tenderloin, mashed potatoes and steamed green beans, salad and bread (provided by the high
school), special treats such as strawberries dipped in chocolate and caramel nut clusters
also drenched in chocolate (intermediate) and desserts, featuring snowball cake, whipped
gelatin and cream and chocolate cream pie (primary).
Two videos from the Primary and various high school departments shown during
the regular January meeting warmed hearts all around.
Primary students used the word of the month fantastic generously
in their video presentation to characterize the board members efforts on their behalf.
Students from various high school department created their own video vignettes, including
one body-building student pictured in the gym facilities: Thanks for the new weight
room, he said replacing his bench-press weight. It really helps, he says
while flexing his biceps.
Other high school students from drama, band, cheerleading, FFA, athletic department,
yearbook, girls athletics and boys basketball all submitted their own video messages of