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Current Issue
January 27, 2011






News in Brief

Donate cars
Many Boys and Girls Clubs are running a car donation campaign. Donated cars are sold at auction and the funds generated help support their many programs. For information or to donate call toll-free (800) 246-0493.

Grief counsel meeting
First Assembly of God Church, 116 West Market Street, Mabank, is beginning grief counseling meetings at 10 a.m. Thursday (today and each Thursday). For information, call Pastor Royce Barker at (903) 887-4881 or the Rev. Kathy Floyd at (903) 880-9692.

Styx gospel singing
The Styx Baptist Church is hosting a gospel singing starting at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, at the church, located at 31800 FM 85, west of Seven Points. Everyone is welcome. If you play and instrument or can sing, bring your music, friends and family. For information call (214) 616-4659. Everyone is welcome every fourth Friday.

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.

Cowboy church race
The Rope, Catch & Ride for Christ Cowboy Church Arena Team is sponsoring a 5D Barrel Race starting at 1 p.m. Exhibition starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the church located north of Mabank, SH 198, right on CR 2807. Church is on the right and looks like a red barn. For information call Mitzi Pyle at (903) 880-8280.

Baked potato lunch
A baked potato lunch is set for noon Sunday, Jan. 30, at the First Methodist Church, Kemp, benefitting the children’s summer camp. For information call (903) 498-3827.

Literary Club board
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake executive board meeting is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points.

The Tamarack Ladies Club meets at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, in the TLC Hall. A potluck luncheon follows the meeting. All ladies residing in Tamarack are invited. For information call (903) 887-7049.

PSUMC fellowship
The Payne Springs United Methodist Church monthly fellowship night is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, starting with a covered dish dinner. The program a gospel group singing old favorites begins at 7 p.m. The public is invited. The church is located across from the PS Fire Department on SH 198. For information call (903) 451-3131.

Tea Party meeting
A Tea Party meeting for the west side of Henderson County is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, at the Dairy Queen, Seven Points.

St. Jude Friday fish fry
The Knights of Columbus and St. Jude Catholic Church is hosting an “all-you-can-eat” first Friday fish fry from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, at the St. Jude Church on Luther Lane, behind the Pizza Hut. All profits benefit local, state and national charities.

Early Valentine dinner
The annual “That’s Amore” Valentine’s Day dinner show is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, at Mabank High School Cafeteria. Choir students will serve as wait staff and will provide entertainment. Tickets may be purchased from any choir student, the front desk at the high school or by calling the Fine Arts Department at (903) 880-1620.

Wild Olive Branch sale
The Wild Olive Branch Ministry is hosting a garment sale of gently loved linens from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 9-11, with a salad buffet luncheon both Thursday and Friday, featuring salads, croissants, sandwiches, tea breads, scones, decadent cookies, cakes and tarts. The church is located at 1008 South Tool Drive (across from the Tool water tower).

Library fund-raiser
The Friends of the Tri-County Library are sponsoring a fund-raiser for the library from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 10-11, in the library community room. Items include plants, baked goods, jewelry, etc. For information call Jackie Groom at (903) 887-8545.

Valentine’s dinner
A Valentine’s sit-down dinner hosted by American Legion Post 310 on SH 198 South is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12. The dinner (prime rib and trimmings) is followed by Big Band DJ music. Dressy casual attire. Reservations required (only 72 seats available) and a charge. For information call Marcia or Benny at the Post, (903) 887-3532.

Sweetheart dance
The Rope, Catch and Ride for Christ Cowboy church is hosting a free Sweetheart Dance from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, featuring John Spivey and his band. Donations accepted to pay the band. Prizes for kids and adults. Concession stand open to the public. North on SH 198 to CR 2807, turn right. Cowboy Church is on the right and looks like a red barn. For information call Vickie at (9030 880-2695.

Kemp Senior Citizens
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.

Flu shots available
Flu shots are available for adults and children. Contact the Texas Department of State Health Services at (972) 932-2038 for an appointment. Medicare/Medicaid accepted, sliding fee scale or $20 for adults. The clinic is located at 3001 S. Washington, Kaufman.

News in Brief policy
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Top News

Kemp ISD OKs $800K artificial turf buy
Sixth grade moves to Junior High campus 2011-12
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–The Kemp school board officially approved to move the sixth grade to the junior high campus and agreed to pay up to $800,000 to install artificial turf for Yellowjacket Stadium.
Junior High principal Phil Edwards explained at previously held public hearings on the issue that sixth graders will be grouped in their own hallway of classrooms, with limited contact with older students on campus.
The Kemp Independent School District is the third Cedar Creek Lake school district to install artificial turf to its playing field.
Trustees named Hellas Construction, Inc., to install the synthetic turf at their Jan. 18 meeting.
As a service provider listed with a buying co-op used by schools, the contractor guarantees to deliver the lowest cost for the work, superintendent Dr. Peter Running explained.
Randy Bullock of Hellas Construction, Inc., listed artificial turf’s advantages for the trustees, explaining he was a former educator and the athletic director at Midlothian ISD.
“They (Midlothian) added two synthetic fields, and overnight, the fields bettered the community,” Bullock said.
A synthetic field increases practice time for all sports and band activities, as the fields are available 24/7, 365 days a year, he pointed out.
“The fields are built with a base that lasts about 30 years,” Bullock continued. “After a rain, the water drains out. There is no need to wait following the rain, because the teams can play ball almost immediately.”
Currently, the high school band buses students over to the junior high parking lot for marching band practice to conserve the grassy field for play, trustees heard.
The fiber process to produce the “grass” of the turf was described and its toughness emphasized.
“The ‘grass’ can’t be pulled out,” Bullock said.
“Hellas has been in business for eight years, has approximately 350 employees and does not sub out any portion of the job,” Bullock pointed out.
Running presented the board with the opportunity for accepting low-interest federal Stimulus Funding, administered through a state program to pay for the renovation to ’Jacket Stadium.
Kemp ISD qualifies for $5.5 million of Qualified School Construction Bond funds, he explained.
Through the program, the IRS credits around 5 percent toward the interest amount on the bond, lowering the effective interest rate to between 1 percent and 2 percent over the 15-year loan period, business manager Kim Johnson elaborated.
Board president Keith Foisey told The Monitor the board has been conducting financial studies of the upkeep of the field for the last two to three years.
Last year, along with the interruption in water service and the homecoming celebrations, the district spent around $100,000 to maintain the field, Foisey said.
“We expect to have an eight- to nine-year payback period on the installation,” he said.
Renovating the turf is just one of various renovation projects where the district is going to use about $2.2 million of the QSCB Funds for which the district qualifies, Johnson explained.
Repairs to roofs, parking lots and replacing stadium bleachers are also on this list of renovations.
Kemp ISD has until April to apply for the funding before the opportunity will be lost, Running said.
Johnson estimated the annual payment on the $2.2 million would be around $175,000, to be distributed from the district’s Capital Improvement Projects fund, which currently contains around $1.8 million.
Installing artificial turf will enable the field to be used for band practice and the new soccer program, Foisey said.
“It also opens opportunities for the district to rent the field out for marching band events, little league and opportunities for district playoff games,” he added.
In other business, trustees:
• heard the annual outside audit report, presented by J.W. Lambright of Smith, Lambright and Associates, P.C.
The report stated the district fund balance is acceptable.
“However, 2011 is the last year for the federal stimulus money, and quite a bit of the state money is funneled through the stimulus money,” Lambright told trustees.
“We can only hope the state replaces the lost funds dollar for dollar,” he added. “The (district’s successful) tax ratification election will go into effect next year, too.”
• heard total property tax collections for December, 2010, was 40 percent, compared to 32 percent in 2009.
• agreed to undesignate $200,000 held in the fund balance for buses. The district was able to get the buses it needed and this is what’s left over, so it was undesignated and remains in the fund balance, Running said.
The move puts the district within the parameters set by FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas), which seeks optimum undesignated fund balances between 50 percent and 150 percent of actual fund balance (savings).
• heard reports from individual campuses on their yearlong anti-bullying programs.
• adopted a mission statement – “Kemp ISD will provide innovative educational opportunities so students achieve their potential.”
• heard a report of the average daily attendance for the first semester, averaging 1,455 students for all campuses.
• approved a revision to figuring grade point averages that streamlines the process and doesn’t interfere with the way universities view GPA. Any score 69 or below will be averaged in as a zero. Before, those scores were averaged in at numerical value.
• congratulated the January Students of the Month for each campus – Primary student Napanael (Nathan) Salazar, Intermediate, Calli Camacho; Junior High, Kyle Keathley; and High School, Caitline Garcia.
• introduced the ad hoc board members, students taking part in the school board meetings – Kim Nieto, Jesse Wasek and Brandon Smith.

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Fannin resigns at MISD; trustees tap Sapp to fill seat
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–With the resignation of trustee Dean Fannin, the Mabank School Board voted unanimously to appoint veteran trustee Gary Sapp to fill the position until the May board election.
Citing time concerns, Fannin submitted his resignation from Place 7 on the board Jan. 17. Fannin has been serving as a school trustee for seven years.
Sapp, a long-time trustee and former board president who chose not to seek re-election in May, 2010, will serve until the May 14 school board election. Whoever is elected to fill the seat will serve the final year of Fannin’s term.
In a related action, the trustees officially called the May 14 election to fill Place 4, now held by Michael Cathey, and Place 5, held by Todd Grimes, along with a special election to fill Fannin’s one-year unexpired Place 7 term.
Trustees also named Cathey as the new board secretary to replace Fannin.
In other business, trustees:
• heard Mabank Intermediate School UIL academic winners lead the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Intermediate principal James Pate noted each of the students place first in his/her event during the UIL contest, as Mabank finished second overall.
Students taking part in the pledge included Sadia Akhtar, Mahala Bayless, Jamike Amanambu, Christopher Fellows, John Carter Teague, Taylor Godwin, Carley Reedy, Jace Capehart and Cole Plunkett. Set to appear but not present were Casey Washington, Breanna Tullos and Shelby White.
• approved an interlocal agreement with the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) to handle third-party unemployment compensation services.
Another company had been providing the service, business manager Scott Adams explained, adding the cost would be about the same.
• held a brief required public hearing for a report from curriculum director Dena Mojica on the Academic Excellence Indicator System, covering information from the 2009-10 school year.
• approved a budget amendment accepting a donation from the Mabank Youth Basketball Association to modify the sideline basketball goals in the Junior High gym, enabling them to be moved out of the way during games.
• authorized a number of tax sales, several of them involving properties being sold to the city of Mabank.
As the sale amounts will cover fees, but not back taxes, if the city ever sells the properties, any profits would be shared, Adams reported.
“We get these off our (back tax) list, and we’re being a good neighbor at the same time,” superintendent Dr. Russell Marshall said.
• heard Adams report school expenditures were tracking as expected. Tax collections are actually up – 43 percent.
“That’s exceptionally high for us,” Adams said.
Other taxing entities around the area are also reporting unusually high collections through December, he added, although there’s no clear reason why payments are coming in relatively early.
• heard Mojica announce an Internet safety seminar for parents and students will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, at the Junior High campus.
• hired Kristin Tucker as a teacher at Lakeview Elementary, subject to assignment.

Artwork playfully recognizes school board trustees

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank School Board members look over framed artwork with their portraits, presented to them as part of a “School Board Member Recognition Month” package at their Jan. 20 meeting. Pictured are (from left) board president Kenneth Odom, new board secretary Mike Cathey, Tyson Johnson and Dr. Jeff Gaddis.



Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
A close-up of the artwork by Mabank Junior High art teacher Erica Dossett given to each member of the Mabank School Board Jan. 20. See the full story and more photos on page 4A.






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