Thursday, January 25, 2007



  Police chief recovers from heart attack
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Following triple-bypass heart surgery Friday, Jan. 19, Kemp Police Chief Richard Arnold was recovering comfortably in a Tyler hospital Monday with a possible release to home rest Wednesday.
Arnold was complaining of chest pains before lunch Jan. 17, at which time paramedics were called. A decision was made to take him by ambulance to the emergency room in Gun Barrel City.
He was transported on to the East Texas Medical Center in Tyler.
Medical tests conducted Thursday determined the amount of blockage that caused the heart attack.
A triple bypass was scheduled for Friday morning.
Arnold was kept in ICU (intensive care unit) until Saturday, when he was assigned to a room.
The 63-year-old chief was hired by the city of Kemp as a police officer June 29, 1998.
He was promoted to chief Nov. 14, 2000.
“We are all looking forward to a speedy and full recovery for the chief,” James Stroman, Kemp city administrator said. “We look forward to having him back at work.”

Richard Arnold

Saying good-bye to Jean Nichols
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–A standing-room-only crowd jammed into the First United Methodist Church of Mabank sanctuary to celebrate the life of Jean Nichols.
Nichols, who would have turned 64 Jan. 30, died in a Dallas hospital early Friday after a lengthy battle against cancer. For complete obituary information, see page 9A.
A tireless volunteer for the American Cancer Society and many other causes, Nichols was one of the primary architects in the effort to create a combined chamber of commerce, and Monday’s gathering included many of the Cedar Creek Lake area’s business and community leaders.
“Jean exemplified the spirit of our unified chamber of commerce, always with remarkable grace and good humor,” chamber president Jo Ann Hanstrom said in an e-mail announcing Nichols’ passing.
“She continued to be a strong voice and tireless volunteer for the chamber of commerce, even while fighting the courageous and dignified battle for her life,” Hanstrom added. “She will be missed.”
The combined chamber recognized Nichols with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2004 “Taste of Cedar Creek Lake” event.
At the time, she was noted as having served on every available panel since arriving in the area in 1986, and had previously been named by the Gun Barrel City Chamber as the “Citizen of the Year.”
A bank officer, Nichols worked two sessions with Cedar Creek Bank, the second as an administrative assistant to bank president Tom Carpenter (1997-2004).
She also worked with the First National Bank of Gun Barrel City.
After Houston-based Franklin Bank purchased Cedar Creek Bank in 2004, Nichols remained as a marketing/public relations officer.
“There was no more generous and gracious person than Jean. Her gift was to make everyone feel special,” Dee Ann Owens, Franklin Bank employee and friend for more than 20 years, said Monday.
The Rev. Glen Blackmon, First United Methodist Church minister and Nichols’ pastor, told the gathering Nichols was survived “by multitudes of people.”
Blackmon urged the crowd to look around.
“I don’t know where you go to church – this one is full,” he said. “That says a lot.”
Blackmon recalled Nichols as one who “gives beyond what’s expected,” comparing that to Christ’s love.
“You have a life that was shared to celebrate,” he told the gathering.
Turning to Nichols’ family, Blackmon said he could not ease their grieving, but pointed out the Bible said it was okay to grieve.
“What Paul said was not to grieve as those without hope,” Blackmon said, adding Jesus gave believers hope.
“Nowhere in the Scriptures will you find where Jesus presided at a funeral,” he said. “He only did resurrections.
“I think that’s what she (Nichols) wants you to hear today,” he added.

Monitor file photo
An emotion-filled Jean Nichols (right) faces an applauding
crowd as Judy Junell presents her with the Greater Cedar
Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce “Lifetime
Achievement Award” at the 2004 “Taste of Cedar Creek
Lake” event.

Lone gunman robs convenience store
By Pearl Cantrel
Monitor Staff Writer

SEVEN POINTS–Police are searching for a slender white male standing between 5-3 and 5-6, who robbed the Chevron Gas Station and Convenience Store on State Highway 274 at the flashing traffic light in Seven Points.
Near 7:30 p.m. Monday, a lone gunman entered the store and instructed the cashier to hand over all the cash. He exited the store on foot and got away with an undisclosed amount.
Seven Points Police Chief Wayne Nutt said the suspect was armed with a semi-automatic pistol, which discharged one bullet in the course of the robbery.
No injuries were reported, and no one else was in the store at the time.
The suspect was wearing a baseball cap, camoflage coat and dark pants, and had a bandana pulled up over much of his face during the robbery.
Convenience store owner Michael Cathey made no comments concerning the robbery.