People, Places & Events




Chamber hears what’s new coming to area
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Excitement flowed through the members and guests attending the monthly Greater Cedar Creek Lake Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday.
Several recent events were discussed that let chamber members know while there may be places in the nation where the economy is strained right now, the lake area is not one of them.
Mabank Economic Development Corporation Executive director Scott Confer introduced the future Mabank Comfort Suites owner Kevin Patel and manager Joseph Babits.
The 70-room hotel will feature some rooms with a jacuzzi, 2,000 square feet of conference space and an indoor swimming pool, among other amenities.
A second piece of exciting news came from 505 Ranch on-site sales manager Bob Jenkins.
“Already about 40 percent of the lots have been sold and construction has already started,” he said.
“While the minimum size for a home is 3,000 square feet, so far the smallest is 7,000 square feet, and one drawing that has been completed is for a home containing 9,500 square feet of living space,” he said.
The development is located in Mabank near Harbor Point Road, behind the rodeo grounds, extending to the lake.
“The development is doing great and I am looking forward to it’s completion,” Jenkins said.
Keynote speaker Shannon Henderson, owner of The Hydrangea House in Mabank, presented tips on dodging the tough economy bullet .
“I attended two seminars recently and learned some new ways to grow a business,” he said.
The new catch phrase among those teaching the seminars seemed to be “Cause Marketing,” Henderson said.
“Non-profit organizations are also suffering because of the marketing problems,” Henderson explained.
A business can help a non-profit organization by offering to give a certain amount of a product’s sales to the organization.
By doing that, he said, one could help the non-profit as well as gain new customers.
The second seminar was called, “Do You See Me?”
This seminar addressed the problem of customers being ignored by clerks when they come into a business.
In other business, members heard:
• in County Line Magazine, Gun Barrel City was voted the Best City by the Lake with Malakoff coming in second.
• Sharon Strickland of the Ambassadors announce Moorhead-Epps Funeral Home as February Business of the Month.
• during the Christmas holidays, Chamber volunteers became bell ringers for the Salvation Army and raised money for the needy as well as the Chamber.
The chamber’s portion totaled $145, which the Chamber immediately signed over to the Salvation Army.
• the Women’s Texas Hold’em poker tournament is set for 5 p.m. (doors open, practice round at 6 p.m.) and for real playing begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at Lakeshore RV Resort in Seven Points.
• a pancake breakfast is set for Saturday, Feb. 28, at the American Legion Post 310 on SH 198, benefitting their Boys State camping program.
• the Chamber awards banquet is Monday, March 23.
• the annual car show and crawfish boil is planned for Saturday, May 2.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Bob Jenkins (left), on-site sales manager for 505 Ranch, shows the Mabank
location of the development to members of the Greater Cedar Creek Lake Chamber
of Commerce, while Newton Hopkins with Eastern Partners looks on.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Jerry Moorhead (left) of Moorhead-Epps Funeral Home accepts the Greater
Cedar Creek Lake Chamber of Commerce February Business of the Month
plaque from Ambassador president Sharon Strickland.

Mabank Veterans Memorial Garden improved with wall
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–If you haven’t visited the Veterans Memorial Garden in Mabank lately, it’s worth a look-see.
Located just west of the Mabank Pavilion, the raised concrete platform and central flagpole is now flanked by a stately, multitiered red brick wall.
The wall will be the place memorial plaques and granite inserts will bear the names of beloved veterans, Memorial president Dean Fannin told The Monitor.
Friday morning, Fannin, along with his fellow board members and project supporters, met at the Memorial to celebrate its progress with a photo. (See front page.)
To date, some $53,000 has been raised to build the memorial with $8,000 left in the account.
“There is still much to be done,” Fannin said, noting the need for name inserts, capstones, decorative stars and military seals.
“Please help us honor our veterans with your donations towards the Veterans Memorial Gardens,” he said.
Donations may be written to Veterans Memorial Gardens, C/O Dean Fannin, P.O. Box 938, Mabank TX 75147.
In 2002, the city of Mabank donated the land for the monument in George Watts City Park, and agreed to donate the electricity, water and maintenance on the grounds.
“When it is all lit up at night, it is a beautiful sight,” Fannin said. “The board members would like to send special things to all who have contributed greatly to this project.”
Some of the major contributors include:
• the Mabank ISD, contributing nearly $16,000 from a Spirit Week fund-raiser,
• Teague Chevrolet, which raised $13,000 through the auction of a Silverado pickup,
• Terry Groom of Groom & Sons’ Hardware, who donated building supplies,
• Walmart, which contributed $1,500 for planting trees,
• Birdsong Electric for light poles,
• Alford Brown for donating the labor to construct the foundation,
• Steve Cox of Steve Cox Masonry for his vision and architectural drawings of the wall, along with his labor donation towards building it,
• Dennis Thomas and Tyson Johnson of Clay Structures for their time in architectural meetings, plus donations of raw materials and the memorial sign,
• Rick Myrick for electrical work and park supervision,
• Citizens State Bank’s Jason Ivey for management of the account,
• the Garden Club of Cedar Creek Lake for planting wildflower seeds,
• the entire Mabank city maintenance staff for keeping the grounds in great shape, and
• most of all to the American veterans who uphold the values of duty, honor and country through their sacrifices.

Monitor Photo/Susan Harrison
Veterans Memorial Garden board of directors gather on the steps of the memorial during a dedication
of the new brick wall Friday. Pictured from left are (seated front) Iraq War veteran Michael Self, World
War II Patton’s 3rd Army veteran Davis Marable, Marine Corps veteran and Memorial board member
Tom Donaldson, U.S. Army veteran James Kuster and Bob Roach, U.S. Army Air Corps 8th Air Force
WWII pilot, who flew 35 missions over Germany. Standing behind them are (from left) Robert and Nell Walker with the Sarah Maples chapter of DAR, Dr. Russell Marshall/Mabank ISD, Jason Ivey/Citizens State Bank, Tyson Johnson and Dennis Thomas/Clay Structures, Randy Teague/Teague Chevrolet, Tom Trull/contractor and board member, Rev. Eston Williams/Aley United Methodist Church, Steve Cox/Steve Cox Masonry, Mabank mayor Larry Teague, Dean Fannin/Brookshire’s Mabank store manager and
Veteran Memorial Garden president, Sherri and Dennis Terry/Mabank city council, Louann Confer/
Mabank city administrator, Mat Ewaskiw/fire marshal, Ricky Myrick/fire chief, Jeff Goodwin, Jim Hyde, Tony Jenkins, Ivan Lozando, Sam Self, Mondo Silva, Tony Hooten, Iganco Nacho Vallegas, Donald Gordon and Taurino Rojo.

VZ holds off on issuing burn ban
Fire marshal suspects recent grass fires were deliberately set
By Terry Britt
Monitor Staff Writer

CANTON–Controlled outdoor burning in Van Zandt County got at least a brief reprieve Tuesday, but there is a bigger problem, county fire marshal Chuck Allen said.
Following the county commissioners’ regular Tuesday session, Allen said he believes some of the recent grass fire incidents are being deliberately started.
“We’ve got a couple of firebugs, and they’ve been setting off grass fires around the Wills Point, Myrtle Springs and Rolling Oaks areas,” Allen said.
Allen specifically referred to a day last month that saw volunteer firefighters from several departments fighting grass fires in areas off Farm-to-Market Road 751 and State Highway 64.
“We had several grass fires going in different locations at the same time. Saturday, we had eight fires at the same time in the Whitten area along two separate county roads,” Allen said.
In a different part of the county, one incident is about to lead to arrests.
Allen, who is also a sheriff’s investigator, said he will soon obtain warrants for two individuals identified as starting a grass fire recently near the Redland community.
In that case and others, Allen said he believes the fires are being started by detonated fireworks.
“The individuals doing this don’t realize all the lives they are putting in jeopardy. They are taking volunteer firefighters away from their families and putting the general public at risk,” he said.
Allen is asking residents to report any suspicious activity, particularly vehicles driving slowly along roadways, if spotted shortly before a grass fire breaks out.
Information can be given to Van Zandt County CrimeStoppers at (903) 567-STOP. A cash reward can be paid if the information leads to an arrest and conviction.
As for a proposed outdoor burn ban, Allen told commissioners many small grass fires are breaking out around the county, but there have not been any home losses.
“My recommendation is that we hold off (on a burn ban) for right now,” he said.
County Judge Rhita Koches noted the county is above normal in its ground moisture level for this time of year.
“Some of the counties west and north of us have an outdoor burn ban in effect,” she noted.
Although a burn ban is not in effect across the county, Allen said people are being issued citations and, in some cases, being arrested for damages caused by a controlled burn that gets out of control.
“That is being dealt with whether we have a burn ban or not,” he said.

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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