themonitoronline.gif (15865 bytes)

Current Issue
February 13, 2011






News in Brief

CC Civic League
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) 887-7792.

Senior game day
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 meeting
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.

Alzheimer’s support
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.

Confederate Rose
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 etxpets@gmail  or 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) 340-9672.

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.

Pancake breakfast
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  to register for the no-cost 40-hour training.

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  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.

News in Brief policy
News in Brief is a venue in which nonprofit organizations can promote their services and/or fund-raising events at no cost.
These articles should include only basic information – who, what, when and where. Articles must include publishable contact information and a phone number.
The deadline for submission is 4 p.m. Monday for each Thursday’s issue and 4 p.m. Wednesday for each Sunday’s issue. Announcements will run for four issues (two weeks).
Organizations needing to relay more information on services or events, or who seek a longer promotion time, are encouraged to call our advertising staff at (903) 887-4511.
MediaOne LLC considers nonprofit organizations to be groups operating primarily on a volunteer basis providing a service for others. Organizations with paid employees cannot use this venue to promote their services.


main   sports  news  obits  lake life  events  views  classifieds  

Top News

City wins rare $500,000 parks grant
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 parks grant.
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 acquisition.
“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,” Boren said.
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 city.



Council approves issuing $190K debt for new water meters
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 exceed $190,000.
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 meeting.
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 revenues.
“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 operations.
“Aging meters register less accurately over time,” Burns explained.
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 Kemp.
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 Weber.

Church arsonists plead in Athens, Canton courts
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 terms.
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, 2010.
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 County.
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.




















































































































Copyright © 2011, MediaOne, L.L.C.