Free tax help
The Tri-County Library free tax lady is taking names and phone
numbers (no long distance or cell numbers) and the best time for
her to call to set up an appointment. She will call twice only.
Some, not all forms are at the library, limit two please. Forms
are received as the IRS sends them.
For information or to leave name for an appointment call (903)
Kemp book fair
The Kemp Intermediate School Scholastic Book Fair is set
Thursday and Friday, Feb. 9–10. To preview books, visit
For information, contact Debbie Floyd at
or call (903) 498-1367.
49er’s seniors club
The Cedar Creek Lake 49er’s Senior Citizens Club features
dancing to the music of Chuck & the 49er’s from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Thursday (tonight and each Thursday) The new cookbook is
available. Club is located in Seven Points, off SH 334, two
blocks south on Arnold Hills Road. For information, call (903)
Mabank art show
The Mabank District Art Show viewing is set from 6 to 8 p.m.
Thursday (today), in the MHS Commons area for grades 2 through
VFW Valentine dinner
VFW Post 4376 and its Ladies Auxiliary are hosting a Valentine’s
dinner at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at the Post home. Dinner
includes chicken spaghetti, salad, bread, followed by a silent
auction and bake sale with gift baskets for your Valentine.
MHS choir fundraiser
The Mabank High School choir’s annual Valentine dinner show
fundraiser, “That’s Amore,” is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb.
10, in the MHS commons area. Tickets must be purchased in
advance and are available from chior members and includes show,
and dinner, Italian fare of penne pasta, Tuscan sauce, salad,
dessert and drink. For information call (903) 880-1620, the fine
VZ Democrats meet
The Van Zandt County Democrats meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday
(today- second Thursday) and at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25
(fourth Saturday), at Van Zandt Democratic Headquarters located
at 510 S. Trades Day Blvd, Canton. For information, call (903)
VZ Senior Citizens Club
The Van Zandt Senior Citizens Club will host their monthly dance
at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at the Henderson County Senior Center
in Athens. Country Western music is provided by Joe Walenta and
the Ranch Hands.
Putting on the Ritz
Sons of the American Legion Post 310, are hosting a dinner and
dance, “Putting on the Ritz,” dinner from 7 to 9 p.m., followed
by a dance, Saturday, Feb. 11, benefitting local charities. The
menu features pork tenderloin, potatoes, green beans, salad and
cheesecake. Tickets available at the Post, located at 111
Leeway, Gun Barrel City. For information, call (903) 887-3532.
The Whitton community Center is sponsoring a “Sweetheart Dinner”
at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the center located on the corner
of FM 1651 and CR 2410.
The family event features games, crafts, menu of lasagna with
trimmings and “sweet” door prizes. Funds earned benefit the
Members of Friends of Tri-County Library are rapidly selling out
of tickets for the fundraising dinner set for 7 p.m. Saturday,
Feb. 11, at First Methodist Church, Mabank.
Tickets are available at Tri-County Library.
Run for Roses race
The “Run for Roses” fourth annual barrel race starts with
exhibition from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and open to start at 1
p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Malakoff Ag Arena, 15201 FM 3062,
Malakoff. Following the barrel race at 5 p.m. is a chili dinner
and auction at the Malakoff High School.
For information, e-mail
Boy Scout Pack 333 holds a pancake breakfast fundraiser 8-11
a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the First United Methodist Church in
Mabank. Door prizes included. For reduced price on advance
tickets, call (214) 796-0491.
Styx Baptist pastor
Styx Baptist Church is celebrating Pastor Scot Bonner’s one year
anniversary with an Italian pot luck lunch after services. All
Bluegrass gospel music
The Prairie Wind Band of bluegrass gospel music will present the
11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, program at Memorial Baptist Church
located on CR 3094, one mile off FM 148 past the Peel Town
curve. For information, call (903) 498-3310.
Senior Valentine’s dance
The Senior Center at the Ball Park in Mabank is hosting a
spaghetti dinner and dance from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14,
at the center at 405 West Walnut, Mabank. Music by Joe Walenta
and the Gang. Everyone is welcome.
CCL literary club
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake meets at 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 14, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven
Points. Rose-Mary Rumbley will present the program, “Texas Love
Affairs.” For information, call (903) 778-4752.
Sarah Maples DAR
The Sarah Maples Chapter DAR annual George Washington Tea is set
for 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, at The Library at Cedar
Creek Lake. Gary Sisson will present, “Patrick Henry.” This is
an invitation only tea.
American Legion dinner
The American Legion Post 310 is hosting a chalupa/tostado dinner
from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the post home on SH 198,
Gun Barrel City. Proceeds benefit area children and youth
The Star Harbor Watercolor Society is hosting an art show and
sale from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19,, at Star Harbor City
Hall, located on Cedar Creek Lake, Malakoff. Refreshments
provided. For information, call (903) 489-0091.
The Order of the Eastern Star No. 1114 is hosting a Valentine’s
Friendship Dinner from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the
First United Methodist Church in Tool.
Donations appreciated for meal of beef tips, rice, green beans,
carrots, rolls and dessert.
S–R dinner & auction
Scurry–Rosser FFA and 4–H Parents and Friends annual dinner at
5:30 to 7 p.m. and auction at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in the
high school cafeteria. Menu is barbecue brisket and trimmings.
Confederate Rose meets
The Confederate Rose chapter of the United Daughters of the
Confederacy meets at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the home of
Johna Lamb. Women interested in investigating their family
history in relation to the UDC are welcome.
For information, see the chapter website at
The Rootseekers Genealogy Society is at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20,
at the Tri-county Library in downtown Mabank. Lana Napper will
present, “Our First Congress.” Meetings are open to the public
and to those interested in genealogy.
Styx gospel singing
The Styx Baptist Church is hosting its fourth Friday gospel
singing, at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. For information call (214)
K of C fish fry
The Knights of Columbus, Mary Queen of Heaven Council, Malakoff,
is hosting an all-you-can-eat fish fry from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 24. Meal includes catfish, French fries,
hushpuppies, coleslaw, drinks and home-baked goodies. Take SH
198 to Star Harbor Road (CR 3062) in Malakoff. Follow Catholic
Church sign to CR 1703 (across from Malakoff High School).
Walk-in free tax help
The Tri-County Library is hosting a special walk-in free tax
preparation on a first come basis. Bring your information from 9
a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, to 132 E. Market Street,
Mabank. For information call the library at (903) 887-9622.
Free skating returns
The Cedar Creek Bible Church is hosting free Friday nights of
skating, skits and snacks from 7 to 8:30 p.m. during February
and the first three Friday nights of March. Skates, sodas,
popcorn, hot chocolate and sno-cones are all free. The church is
located one mile north of the traffic light in Seven Points on
SH 274. For information, call (903) 432-2175.
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Candidates may file for
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Candidate filing period for the May 12 Local
Election opened Feb. 4 and continues through March 5 for school
boards and city councils.
However, due to some changes in the federal and state election
rules, which has forced some counties to not guarantee the
availability of voting machines for the May elections on
even-numbered years, some school districts have opted to move
their elections to coincide with the November General Election.
Malakoff and Trinidad ISDs have moved their elections to
even-numbered years in November and extended terms of office to
four years, while Eustace ISD has opted to hold elections in May
but only on odd-numbered years. Kemp and Mabank ISDs will
continue to hold annual elections and rent equipment from a
source other than the county.
The cities of Tool and Payne Springs have moved their elections
to November, as has East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply
District, which will hold elections in even-numbered years.
All the rest of the local political subdivisions have decided to
retain the annual May election date.
Voters have until April 12 to register to vote in this election.
However, the Voters Registrar, which usually sends out voters
cards by now, hasn’t because redistricting maps affecting those
running for state legislative and U.S. Congressional seats are
still in doubt.
As of Tuesday, an April 17 date for a unified Primary was
firming up, according to District 4 state Rep. Lance Goodin.
Monday, the Texas Attorney General reported new proposed interim
maps have been approved by most groups opposing the first set of
maps the legislature drew and the second set of maps drawn up by
federal justices in San Antonio.
“Today’s maps should allow the court to finalize the interim
redistricting maps in time to have elections in April,” AG Greg
Abbott stated Monday.
Federal justices must finalize the agreement.
Local municipal seats for council and mayor up for re-election
May 12 include:
Eustace – councilmen Robert Pickle, Marlin Chambers and Chuck
Gun Barrel City – mayor Dennis Wood, councilmen Dennis Baade,
Place 4, and Melvyn Hayes, 2.
Kemp City – vacant seat, Place 3, Jesse Morton, Place 1, Leodis
Buckley, Place, 5.
Mabank – council members Dennis Terry, Shannon Steakley and Tim
Johnson (who isn’t running for re-election).
Seven Points – mayor, and two council seats once held by Hank
Laywell (deceased) and Cheryl Jones (not running for
Also municipal utility districts directors:
West Cedar Creek MUD – C.D. Smith, Clifton Smith and David
School board trustees up for re-election in May include:
Kemp ISD – Keith Foisey, Place 3, John Taylor, Place 4.
Mabank ISD – Gary Sapp, Place 7, Kenneth Odom, Place 6.
Those wishing to run for any of the seats open for election may
sign up with the specific taxing entity until March 5.
Early voting in the May 12 election begins April 30 and
continues through May 8. The last day to apply for a ballot by
mail is May 4 with the county Voter Registrar’s Office.
Spring enrollment down 5.5 percent
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENS–Enrollment at Trinity Valley Community College this
semester is down compared to last spring, according to figures
released by the college.
Combined enrollment across all campuses is down 5.5 percent - or
a little more than 500 students - from Spring 2011 with the
total number of students dipping below 9,000.
“This is in general following the pattern statewide,” said TVCC
President Glendon Forgey. “After experiencing tremendous growth
in the past few years, community colleges around Texas are
beginning to see enrollments level out or decline.”
Forgey said the improving economy is at least partly to blame.
“As the economy strengthens, less of the workforce will enroll
in colleges,” he said.
Most of the decrease for TVCC was on the Palestine and Terrell
campuses, which were down 21 percent and 10 percent
“At TVCC, the reduction is in part due to the economy and in
part to a reduction in our dual credit students. In fact, our
largest loss is in that area.... For example, the elimination of
the Palestine Early College High School program contributed to
the decrease in our enrollment. Also, some demographic changes
in the school districts in our area, Forney in particular,
resulted in fewer students being eligible for dual credit
courses,” he said.
Forgey said he understands that budget constraints are a big
reason for the declining dual credit students. “We know our high
school partner districts are seeing the same reductions in
budgets we are experiencing,” he said. “We already waive the
tuition for those students, but understand schools around the
state are tightening their belts.”
Queries to area high schools show that dual credit programs have
not been reduced and that these programs are very popular with
students seeking to save time of money or both on college degree
Malakoff High School principal Daniel Barton said with previous
approval, a student could conceivably earn an associate’s degree
before high school graduation through a combination of online
distance learning, high school class work and taking classes at
TVCC in Athens.
Barton said that the dual credit program would be the last to
take a budget hit, due to the current college readiness
Eustace High School counselor Gwen Orr said that besides
English, math, government, speech and calculus, the school
offers a med-tech certificate program in conjunction with the
community college, which is very popular.
Kemp High School is planning to add several more dual credit
classes next year to its offering.
Mabank High School principal Brad Kosklin said not only does the
school offer dual credits for biology, algebra, English U.S.
History, governement and economics, it has also partnered with
Navarro Junior College for articulated courses.
TVCC reported its own budget will take a hit because of the
falling enrollment. The college will likely lose about $100,000
in revenue, Forgey said.
He added, however, that the college budgeted for a smaller
increase in enrollment than in past years and said the college
has cut operating expenses, which will help offset the loss of