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Current Issue
February 17, 2011






News in Brief

Holiday closings
Closings for President’s Day start with county offices: Kaufman County Courthouses, will be closed Friday, Feb. 18 and Monday, Feb. 21; Van Zandt courthouse offices will close Monday only and Henderson County remains open.
As this is a federal holiday, all federal facilities, Post Office and Banks will be closed. No mail will run at the Seven Points Post Office but customers will be able to make purchases.
City offices will remain open.

Alzheimer’s support
The Greater Cedar Creek Alzheimer’s Support Group meets at 2 p.m. Thursday (today and each third Thursday) at 256 Harbor Drive, GBC. For information call Bill Shaw at (903) 887-4789.

49ers Valentine event
The Cedar Creek Lake 49ers Senior Citizens Club is hosting a Valentine’s celebration from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday (tonight), with dancing to the music of Chuck & the 49ers. No smoking or alcohol. Located off SH 334, two blocks south on Arnold Hills Road, Seven Points, For information or fax call (903) 432-3552.

Carter mobile eye van
The Carter Mobile Eye Van will perform free eye exams for seniors citizens 60 and older, starting at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 18, at the Kemp Senior Center, 300 N. Dallas, Kemp. All seniors are welcome. For information call Lisa Smith at (903) 498-4046.

Country dance
A country dance is set for 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, at the Canton Senior Center, 200 Grove Street, Canton. Dance to the music of Al Barlow and the Lakesiders Band. Everyone is welcome.

S-R dinner & auction
The Scurry-Rosser FFA and 4-H Parents and Friends dinner and auction is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19. Auction begins at 7 p.m. Proceeds will help purchase sale items at the Kaufman County Show for Scurry-Rosser FFA and 4-H students.

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.

Sweetheart Playday
The Rope, Catch & Ride for Christ Cowboy Church arena team is hosting its Playday Series, starting at 10 a.m. Saturdays, Feb. 19, 26 and March 5, with a rain date of March 12. Five events offered – must make two out of three. Negative Coggins required. Age groups – lead line 12 and under, 13-18, and 19 and over. Concession stand open. North on SH 198, right on CR 2807. Cowboy Church looks like a red barn on the right. For information call (903) 880-2695.

Animal welfare meeting
An animal welfare meeting is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 (each 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.

Church revival
The Cedar Creek Church is holding a revival starting at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 20-23, with Bishop John T. Chism. The church is located at 142 Rodney Drive, GBC. For information call (903) 887-2591.

Church revival
The Cedar Creek Church is holding a revival starting at 6 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 20-23, with Bishop John T. Chism. The church is located at 142 Rodney Drive, GBC. For information call (903) 887-2591.

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, 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’s 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.

Westside Senior Center
The Westside Senior Citizens Center meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24 (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.

Henderson County POA
The Henderson County Property Owners Association meets at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at the Indian Harbor Community Center. County Attorney Clint Davis will discuss the Nuisance Law and how to make it work. For a map to the location, go to

Grief counseling meeting
Restoration House Ministry is hosting grief counseling meetings at 6 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 24, March 3, 17 and 24 (first, third and fourth Thursdays of each month). All in need of healing are welcome, as grief comes in many forms – death, divorce, separation or a major change. For information call Pastor Barker at (903) 887-4881, or the Rev. Kathey Floyd (903) 880-9692.

Pancake breakfast
The Eustace Masonic Lodge, East Wheeler Street, located under the water tower in Eustace, just south of U.S. 175, is hosting its sixth annual pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26. 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 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.

K of C Fish Fry
The Knights of Columbus Mary Queen of Heaven Council 12253, Malakoff, is hosting an all-you-can-eat fish fry from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 11. Meal includes catfish, French fries, hushpuppies, coleslaw, drinks and home-baked goods. Take SH 198 to Star Harbor Road (CR 3062) in Malakoff. Follow Catholic Church sign to CR 1703.

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.

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Top News

Tool mayor’s death possible suicide
Mayor’s body found in home early Sunday
Monitor Staff Reports
TOOL–The Henderson County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the death of J. Michael Black as a suicide.
The Tool mayor was found dead in his bathroom early Sunday morning with a gunshot wound to the head, the DA’s Office reported.
Black’s body was sent to Dallas for an autopsy. He was 63.
Shocked city officials called an emergency meeting Monday morning after police learned of Black’s death.
The agenda called for the transfer of mayoral powers to mayor pro-tem A.J. “Red” Phillips. However, the emergency meeting was cancelled shortly afterwards.
The council is expected to discuss whatever needs to be done at its regular monthly session at 7 p.m. Thursday (tonight).
“He was a good man,” Phillips was quoted in the Athens Daily Review Tuesday.
Former councilwoman and friend Fran Sonka commented she watched Black grow into leadership as mayor and was saddened by the news of his death.
“Mike’s top priority was always for the betterment of the city of Tool and the community,” she said Tuesday.
Black’s term as mayor was coming to an end in May, and he was awaiting a trial date for a third DWI charge.
It was also reported that Black was recently divorced.
The DWI came from an accident at a red light in Gun Barrel City Aug. 9, 2009, when Black failed to stop and rear-ended a stopped car. Only minor damage was reported to both vehicles.
During the investigation, Black’s demeanor indicated that his driving ability was impaired.
Black cooperated fully, giving a blood sample.
Later, he told 173rd District Judge Dan Moore that he was taking prescription drugs for a medical condition at the time of the accident.

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Newspaper office gets new drive-through

Photo/Gregory Starrett

Though this car drove right through the newsroom of the Cedar Creek Pilot Friday afternoon, no one was hurt, as reporters weren't there at the time. The newspaper was reopened Monday. According to a police report, the local 85-year-old driver had mistaken the accelerator for the brake on his 2004 gold Toyota sedan. This was one of three auto accidents to which Gun Barrel City police responded over the weekend, all of them minor and caused by driver error.


Eco Station cost jumps $5
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–A rise in the cost of dumping residential household trash and garbage at the Eco Station in Kemp got a rise out of Environmental Co-op director Marilyn May.
Monday, May told Kaufman County commissioners she was concerned about the Kemp Eco Station increasing prices from $7.50 to $12.50 to dispose of approximately one cubic yard of garbage.
“The increase, plus the station closing on Saturdays (a cost saving measure) will send residents to the Kaufman station,” she said.
Then, Precinct 4 Commissioner Tom Manning responded with a rise of his own.
“I understood when we talked I could raise the rates if I needed to,” Manning said.
The charge for disposing of a cubic yard of trash is $11.88, as opposed to the rate citizens are currently charged.
“We are really taking a whoopin’ down there,” Manning said.
Manning already had fliers printed announcing the price increase, he explained, but said he was willing to table the item for another two weeks.
The cities of Kaufman and Terrell own their stations, but will need to increase their costs as well, from $5 and $7.50 respectively, May explained.
“I think we can all sit down and make this a little more equitable,” she said.
Another change in the Kemp station involves doing away with the need to go to the sub-courthouse or courthouse to purchase tickets to dump trash.
“Citizens will use credit cards or money orders and go directly to the Eco Station. No cash money will be handled there,” Manning said.
Commissioners approved the increase and added plans to proceed on the increase for other stations at the Monday, Feb. 28, meeting.
May will coordinate with the other cities in seeking an increase.





























































































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