Sunday, January 31, 2010





  Mabank teen collects pet food for area’s stray animals
By Connie Holubar
Special to The Monitor

GUN BARREL CITY–Like many active teens, Mabank sophomore Jasmine Richman enjoys getting together with her friends. Her recent Sweet 16 party, held at Lake City Music’s Showroom in Gun Barrel City, attracted several dozen of her closest friends and family members.
Instead of gifts, however, Jasmine asked her guests to bring just one thing: pet food.
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Courtesy photo/Christie Brasher
Jasmine Richman celebrated her Sweet 16 birthday Saturday at Lake City Music Showroom and invited all her friends to come and bring pet food instead of gifts.

“I wanted to make a difference in my community and get my friends involved, and one way I thought I could do that was to ask my friends to bring dog food and cat food for Friends of the Animals of Cedar Creek Lake,” Richman says.
So as the party filled up, the dog food and cat food piled up, and when the night was done, Jasmine had collected an estimated 500 pounds of dog and cat food for Friends of the Animals, which will be made available to the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake, Happy Tails Rescue, and other needy local organizations.
“This was all her idea,” says her mother Cookie, who noted that, in addition to the dog food, Jasmine was donating the birthday money she received to Friends of the Animals, as well.
“I’ve always been an animal lover, and I’m lucky that there’s not much I need. There are lots of homeless and needy animals out there, and this makes me feel good to be able to make a donation to them through Friends of the Animals,” Richman said.
Sydney Busch, executive director of Friends of the Animals, said this donation is one of the first she’s aware of that involves a teen giving up gifts in exchange for dog and cat food.
“This is great. We’re so happy to find out that kids in our community care about what happens to the animals that we have here. This food will definitely help a lot of needy animals,” Busch said.
“People talk about the trouble with teenagers, but from what I saw the other night, Mabank and the lake area are full of really good kids who are willing to give generously when asked,” Sam Lee, owner of Lake City Music where the party was held, said.
Richman is a talented singer and guitarist who writes her own songs. She is also active in drama and music at Mabank High School and performs regularly around the area.


Former Log Cabin chief pleads guilty
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Former Log Cabin police chief Rebecca Baskin, 50, entered a guilty plea to a theft charge, a third degree felony.
According a press release from the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office, Baskin made her plea before 392nd District Judge Carter Tarrance Jan. 22.
Baskin’s plea was not the result of a plea bargain, the release stated.
Baskin is looking at a sentence between two and 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, but is also eligible for probation, should the court probate her sentence.
Baskin was arrested at the Log Cabin Police Station last June, following a joint investigation by the DA’s Office, FBI and Texas Rangers, with assistance from the Sheriff’s Office.
Sentencing is set for March 29.
She was charged with two counts of Theft of Property more than $1,500 and less than $20,000.
The illegal activity stems from her work as a police officer, DA Scott McKee said, adding full details of the facts of the case and investigation would be released following sentencing.


Golden Belle Bingo is the name-o
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–State of the art customer service will be the top priority when Golden Belle Bingo opens soon at the Gun Barrel Village shopping center.
Filling the old Beall’s location, Golden Belle Bingo will have more than 15,000 square feet of floor space – half of that non-smoking – with state of the art electronics, consultant John Mellor noted.
“Customer service will come first,” Mellor said.
“Everybody has seen bingo in Texas, but nobody has seen bingo like these people are going to see it,” he added. “It’s going to be exciting and entertaining – a fun-filled passion that’s never been seen here before.”
Numerous flat-screen televisions will be mounted on the walls, along with all the latest in hand-held electronics, Mellor said.
“We want to have the nicest facility in Texas,” he said. “It will be the most modern.”
The non-smoking section will have a separate air-conditioning system, and the entire facility will meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility requirements.
“This facility will be kept extremely clean,” he added. “You’ll be able to eat off the floor.”
Five charities will benefit from funds raised through bingo games – the Gun Barrel City and Payne Springs volunteer fire departments, along with the Knights of Columbus, the House of Isaiah and the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake.
“We are in the business of making money for these charities,” Mellor said. “These kids are working for the fire departments. We’re trying to make them a whole lot of money, so they can help the community.”
More than 350 people interviewed for the 12 to 15 employee positions.
“I’ve been in the bingo industry 28 years, and I’ve never seen a turnout for employment like this,” Mellor said. “All of them have been just so nice. If I had the money, I’d hire every one of them. It’s so sad that we’re only hiring a few people.
“The staff will be outgoing, personable and caring people,” he added.
Uniformed Gun Barrel City police officers will be on hand to provide security inside and out on the parking lot, Mellor said.
Golden Belle Bingo will be open seven days a week, offering two sessions each day – from noon to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 11 p.m.
All sessions will be full pay, Mellor said.
All winnings are taxed at roughly 5 percent. The city and the state split that tax 50-50, Mellor said. All of the charity money raised will be split equally among the six entities.
“It’s going to be a win-win for everybody,” Mellor said. “It’s going to be fun for people between 18 and 118. Everybody’s going to have a good time.”


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