The Cedar Creek Civic League is hosting a Joker Tournament and
luncheon benefit, with doors opening at 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 14,
at the Lakeshore RV Park recreation room, Seven Points. Prizes
for top players. Profits benefit many local charities. To
register or for information, call Jeanie Hulsey at (903)
432-3341 or Claudett Allsup at (903) 432-3545.
CCL women’s club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club executive board meeting is set
for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake
in Seven Points.
Mabank Garden Club
The Mabank Garden Club meets starting with refreshments at 1:45
p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. A
program, “Herbs for East Texas,” will be presented by Mary Ann
Odom. Guests are welcome. For information call Donna at (903)
The GBC senior game day is set for 12:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb.
15, at Brawner Hall. Henderson County benefits counselor Sharon
O’Maley is the speaker. Afterwards, board and card games will be
enjoyed. February birthdays will be celebrated with cake. For
information call city hall at (903) 887-1087.
NewSong is a group dedicated to helping women affected by
abortion. It will begin the next eight-week study Wednesday,
Feb. 16. For information concerning location, time or details,
call Janet Wright at (903) 802-3202 or e-mail to
Sarah Maples Chapter
The Sarah Maples Chapter of the Daughters of the American
Revolution’s annual “George Washington Tea” is set for 2 to 4
p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake,
with William Covington as the speaker.
The Greater Cedar Creek Alzheimer’s Support Group meets at 2
p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17 (each third Thursday), at 256 Harbor
Drive, GBC. For information call Bill Shaw at (903) 887-4789.
The Confederate Rose Chapter 2548 meets at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb.
19, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Visitors are welcome. For
information call (903) 451-2709.
Animal welfare meeting
An animal welfare meeting is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb.
15 (the third Tuesday of the month), and from 2 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 19 (third Saturday of the month). Those
interested, whether rescue workers, shelter workers, foster or
volunteers, are invited to share concerns and ideas. For
information and location, contact Pam Boyd at
phone (903) 714-2172.
Westside Senior Center
The Westside Senior Citizens Center meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 17 (every Thursday), at the Cedar Creek Bible
Church activities building, 700 North Seven Points Boulevard (SH
274). Seniors 55 and older in the area are invited for
fellowship, domino and card games, other games, coffee and
snacks. A light lunch will be served. For information call (903)
Cowboy Church Revival
Living for the Brand Cowboy Church revival is set for 10 a.m.
Sunday, Feb. 20, followed by dinner on the grounds, and 7 p.m.
Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 21-23, at 902 NE Loop 7, Athens.
Come as you are. For information call (903) 675-9177.
5th annual Art Show
The Star Harbor Watercolor Society is hosting its fifth annual
“For the Love of Art” show and sale from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday,
Feb. 20, at the Star Harbor City Hall building. View more than
100 art pieces, meet the artists and enjoy refreshments. Located
just north of Malakoff. At the Malakoff Fire Station, turn onto
FM 3062, continue past the high school 1.4 miles into Star
Harbor, veer left at the “Y.” City Hall is at 99 Sunset Blvd.,
right off the golf course.
Methodist OWLS study
Mabank First United Methodist Church OWLS (Older, Wiser, Loving
Seniors) are sponsoring “From Age-ing to Sage-ing,” a study by
Zalman Schichter-Shalome and Ronald S. Miller, taught by the
Rev. Eston Williams, pastor of Aley UMC. Four sessions are
planned for 7 p.m. Mondays, Feb. 21, 28 and March 7 and 14 at
Mabank FUMC. Free except for study book.
CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club meets at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb.
22, at the Cedar Creek Country Club. Past presidents to be
honored. Rose-Mary Rumbley brings the program: “Is it a
Collection or is it Clutter?” Doors open at 10:15 a.m.
PS Water Supply meeting
The Payne Springs Water Supply Corporation annual membership
meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, at the PSWSC office,
9116 Frazier Lane, located off SH 198 South. Members are urged
to attend. For information call (903) 451-5300.
The Eustace Masonic Lodge is hosting its sixth annual pancake
breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, located under the
water tower in Eustace, just south of U.S. 175. Fare is
pancakes, sausage, bacon, coffee milk and orange juice. All you
can eat for a specified donation. For information call Steve
Bledsoe at (903)340-9137.
Crisis Center training
The East Texas Crisis Center hosts sexual assault volunteer
training for Van Zandt and Henderson counties the next four
Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning with Feb. 26, at the
Mabank Fire Department. Call (903) 675-2137 or e-mail
Hendersonlegal@etcc.org to register for the no-cost 40-hour
AARP Driver Safety
A one-day AARP Driver safety Course is set for 1 to 5 p.m.
Thursday, March 10, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, 410 E.
Cedar Creek Parkway, Seven Points. Designed for drivers age 50
and over, it is open to anyone. Drivers may qualify for
reductions in auto insurance.
For information call Jean Dirks at (903) 887-3836 or the library
at (903) 432-4185.
PS Fire Rescue benefit
The annual all-you-can-eat fish fry benefitting the Payne
Springs Fire Rescue is set for 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9. A 2007
Harley Davidson FX/ST is a part of the fund-raiser. View
pictures at www.psfirerescue.com. For information, call the
fire station at (903) 451-4511 and leave a message.
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
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.
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City wins rare $500,000
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department informed
Gun Barrel City this week that it is the recipient of a $500,000
This is the third time the city has applied for the matching
grant. The city will match the grant with about 21 acres set
aside for park and natural open space, along with in-kind
services to build the park.
The 21 acres is coming out of the city’s recent 92-acre
“We tweaked our application to make it more of a standout among
the 27 other cities applying for it,” city manager Gerry Boren
told The Monitor. “This is the most exciting award a city can
get. I’ve had just one other one in my entire career, and I’ve
applied for it time and time again.”
TPWD funded 3.5 grant applications this year, he added.
“We’re very pleased to have been selected. Out of the 28
applicants, Gun Barrel City was rated No. 1. City staff worked
very hard on this application and their diligence has paid off,”
Carol Strickland thanked city employees who worked on the
application during public comments on the city’s regular council
meeting agenda Tuesday.
The city plans to apply the funding toward its parks plan,
starting with setting aside seven to nine acres of natural
terrain with trails, grooming a soccer field, constructing
tennis and basketball courts and laying in horseshoe pits.
Boren plans to work closely with the parks board, volunteers and
local businesses on the project.
To start off, a lot of preliminary work has to be done, starting
with several surveys, appraisal and signage, he said, before the
funding starts coming in.
Currently, work has begun on constructing a pavilion near the
city park, where community events may be held that need a
covered floor. Funding for that project has been allocated by
the city’s Economic Development Corporation.
Boren said immediate work to improve the baseball fields will
take place to be ready by early April, when two National
Softball Association of Texas tournaments are slated for the
Council approves issuing $190K debt for new
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–The Kemp City Council put action behind its intent to
change out every water meter in the city Tuesday.
It approved the issuance of certificates of obligation not to
As a note holder for the city, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture signed off on the additional debt last week,
councilman Todd Weber announced during the regular council
The water meter replacement project will start soon after March
10, when the money is released to the city.
Council members received two bids to finance the project and
accepted the bid from a North Carolina bank with a fixed
interest rate of 4.41 percent over 15 years. If paid out on that
schedule, the maximum amount the city will pay totals $264,000.
The loan is backed by the city’s property tax and utility
“We plan to have all 706 meters replaced by the start of
summer,” utility director Chris Burns said.
The meter manufacturer states that the accuracy will make up for
the costs and promised to follow-up on the meters over a 10-year
period, Burns added.
In addition, the meters will act as a management tool, relaying
water flow data back to the water plant and even sending out a
trouble signal when a three-hour continuous flow is detected, to
help prevent high water bills to customers.
Burns said he will receive the trouble signal and investigate
the probable leak or pipe break, alerting the customer.
“It should help with disputes over water bills,” he said. He
expected to begin having usable data after 180 days of meter
“Aging meters register less accurately over time,” Burns
On a related subject, the council appointed Weber, Mayor Matt
Ganssle and Burns to form a negotiation team to discuss water
sales infrastructure improvements and production services with
Becker-Jiba Water Supply Corporation.
The Becker-Jiba utility wants to purchase utility services from
In other business, council members:
• approved a solid waste disposal agreement with IESI.
• amended an ordinance by replacing an entire section of Chapter
10 titled “Water and Sewer System” with “Garbage Service
Contract.” The new section includes a severability clause, a
penalty and effectual date from its passage and publication.
• resolved to join with the Oncor cities steering committee to
review Oncor’s requested rate change, obtain legal council and
direct any necessary litigation.
• heard departmental reports.
• tabled two items and an executive session due to the absence
of Ganssle and two council members. Those included a decision to
award a contract to oversee a planning and mapping grant project
and considering amendments to the municipal 2010-11 budget.
Those in attendance were Leodis Buckley, Jerry Hazelip and
Church arsonists plead in Athens, Canton
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–As expected, convicted church arsonists Jason Robert
Bourque and Daniel George McAllister pled guilty to three
Athens-area church arsons Tuesday and received life prison
Bourque and McAllister were scheduled to plead guilty Friday
afternoon in Van Zandt County in connection with the Little Hope
Baptist Church fire just outside Canton and the Russell Memorial
Methodist Church fire in Wills Point.
With the guilty pleas in Athens Tuesday and Canton Friday, the
two have been convicted in connection with all of the 10 church
fires they were accused of setting between Jan. 1 and Feb. 8,
The fires prompted a massive manhunt involving dozens of
agencies. Bourque and McAllister were both arrested Feb. 21,
2010, and have been jailed since that time.
In January, both men were sentenced to six life sentences for
arsons in Smith County, and 392nd District Judge Carter Tarrance
handed down life sentences for the Jan. 1, 2010, Faith Baptist
Church arson, and the Grace Community and Lake Athens Baptist
churches, which both burned overnight Jan. 11-12, 2010.
Tarrance ordered the two men to serve the life sentences
concurrently with the sentences handed down in Smith County.
That also was expected to be the recommendation in Van Zandt
With the concurrent sentences, both men will be eligible for
parole in 15 calender years, but Bourque will be required to
serve an additional five years because he was involved in more
of the arsons than McAllister.
Neither man has offered a motive for the string of arsons.