People, Places & Events




Eustace student wins Rotary contest
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–An annual contest beginning at local Rotary clubs, and ending much later down the line at Rotary International, gives students a chance to win scholarship funds for school.
Two students participated in the local event at Friday’s weekly Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake luncheon.
After hearing each student present their own essay, Rotary members voted, judging the students in items that included clarity, delivery, understanding and length of speech.
Camille Rogers of Eustace took home a $50 savings bond with her explanation of how the Four-Way Test pertains to individual lives. She will proceed to the district competition.
Trent Brown of Mabank also expanded on the Four-Way Test, talking about how the steps are seen and explaining its relationship to his politics.
In other business, members:
• were reminded of the golf tournament planned for Friday, April 24, at the Pinnacle Club.
• accepted Eric Gore as the newest club member.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Rotarian Rebecca Smith (left) presents Eustace High School student Camille
Rogers (center) the winner’s check for the Four-Way Test essay contest sponsored
by the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake Friday, while Mabank High School student
Trent Brown looks on.

Area students go to Washington
Athens High School students witness inauguration of President Barack Obama
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Eleven high school students from Athens, along with their government studies teacher, made the pilgrimage to the nation’s capitol to witness firsthand Sen. Barack Obama take the oath of office for this country’s highest post Jan. 19.
Saturday, they presented slides and impressions from their trip.
St. Stephen Anglican Church hosted a breakfast meeting for the students and community.
Kenneth Hall Jr. related his secondary mission to attending was to meet someone from all 50 states.
“I came pretty close. I remember the guy from Alaska was walking around in shorts and didn’t seem cold at all,” Hall said.
Most astounding to the students was the large numbers of people gathered without any ugly incidents.
“We heard there were 2 million people and no arrests. Everyone was getting along pretty well,” one student said.
“It felt like the 60s. We’re all going to love each other,” Mattie Griffin observed.
Though it was very crowded and people had to wake up in the middle of the night to get into place by the time of the inauguration, it was as if everyone knew that they were a part of history and felt glad to be there.
“You know that we’re all jealous of you for getting to go,” one audience member said.
“It made you proud to be an American. It was the most patriotic feeling we ever felt before. It was like a huge pep rally. I can’t wait to get to vote,” Alyssa Olson said.
What made the event historic and drew millions of people to Washington D.C. this month was to share in the swearing in of America’s first black president.
Though beginning his presidency in the midst of a global financial crisis, Obama comes into office with a “wind at his back” approval to meet the challenges.
Athens student Dyann Hopkins, 17, looks toward a hopeful future.
“I think it will be a lot better, now that he’s in office,” she said.
“Everyone is really excited about him as a leader,” she added.
“The high point was definitely his speech that we are all Americans,” Hall said.
Shaun Julian was impressed during the prayer. “It was like being in the biggest revival meeting ever. I never prayed with so many people before.”
Athens teacher and former coach Jay Brown led the group of students, who were part of a larger group from four different states as part of a student tour planned by World Strides.
“It was amazing, just amazing,” Brown described.
Students boarded buses from their hotels at 4:30 a.m. to get within two to three miles of the National Mall.
“It was very, very crowded, shoulder to shoulder in the middle of the Mall,” he said.
Jumbo video screens brought the sights and sounds from the capitol steps to the teeming, enthusiastic assembly in the 30-degree weather.
“It was a very electric experience,” Brown said.
Other students making the trip included Dyann Hopkins, Lauren Gillespie, Brian Mitchell, Jake Smith, Kara Thompson, Bethany McElhany and Stephen Scott.

Two bills nixed from payments
Templeton Construction and Brinkley Sargent bills go unpaid
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners cut two bills from the payment list Tuesday.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence said he wasn’t “comfortable” issuing payment to Templeton Construction, general contractor for the jail expansion project, or a payment to Brinkley Sargent, hired to provide commissioners with a facilities plan to meet the county’s growth needs.
Templeton has been seeking a payment of $157,960.37. That amount would nearly meet the maximum price bid for the complete project.
The bill from Brinkley Sargent totals $21,076.14. The Ginger Murchison Foundation agreed to contribute up to $100,000 to fund a facilities study including properties along the courthouse square in Athens.
“I don’t see why we should hold up the Brinkley Sergeant bill,” County Judge David Holstein said.
“He is late in getting us a report of any kind. I am awful disappointed,” Lawrence responded. “I was expecting a report of ‘you need so many square feet, and this is where it ought to be, or this department needs this or that.’”
“I will convey your comments,” Holstein said.
Subtracting the amounts of the two rejected bills, the commissioners agreed to pay $127,181.88 from the 2008 budget, along with $154,597.07 from the current ’09 budget.
Under jail expansion issues, Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney noted that his two-hour walk-through with Athens engineer Chris Weeks went a long way toward reassuring him the county is “in good shape.”
Weeks is expected to present a full report on his analysis of the newly expanded and remodeled jail’s structural integrity, and its likely service life at next Tuesday’s regular meeting.
On a related subject, Sheriff Ray Nutt informed the commissioners that ABK Food Service will be asking for an increase in their rates for inmate meals.
In other business, commissioners:
• reappointed Charla Hendrix and Lee Tackett to two-year terms on the Country Fair Park Board, and appointed new members Leroy Burch and Charles Elliott.
• authorized county assistance to repair holes in the bus barn parking lot at the LaPoynor Independent School District, located in Precinct 4.
• authorized inmate labor for the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.
The IMA uses inmate labor several times during the year for the fall and spring cleanup of Barker Cemetery, its Adopt-a-Street program, a pre-Thanksgiving event and other community projects.
The group assured Nutt they could provide their own security of the inmates, as stipulated in the county’s policy.
• accepted a check totaling $48,564 from XTO to repair CR 4151 in Precinct 4.
• noted the courthouse dome has not leaked, following water tests and the first rain.
Wharry Engineering replaced a lot of conduit and electric infrastructure for the Christmas lighting, Holstein said.
“It’s the first time since I’ve been here that the dome hasn’t leaked,” he added.
• approved payroll and budget amendments as presented.

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at


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