AARP free tax service
AARP tax-aide volunteers continue to offer free income tax help
from 8 a.m. to noon Mondays at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake
in Seven Points on Wednesdays at the Senior Center in Malakoff
and the Senior Center in Athens through April 15. For
information call Gil Betts at (903) 778-2423.
Neil Sperry program
Keep Athens Beautiful presents an evening with horticulturist
Neil Sperry from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, (tonight), at the Cain
Center in Athens. The event is sponsored by Super 8 Athens and
Merry Gardens by House Nursery. Tickets available at Keep Athens
Beautiful, 201 W. Corsicana, Suite 4, Athens, TX 75751.
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)
St. Jude fish fry
The Knights of Columbus No. 8806 is hosting its Lenten fish fry
from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 (and each Friday), at St. Jude
Catholic Church, 172 Luther Lane, Gun Barrel City. All-
you-can-eat farm raised catfish, french fries, hushpuppies,
coleslaw. Beans and homemade desserts while they last furnished
by the wives of the Knights. Funds earned benefit community,
state and national projects including the local scholarship
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).
Eustace VFD breakfast
The Eustace Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a pancake
breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. and a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2
p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the fire station.
VZ Democrats meet
The Van Zandt County Democrats meet at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb.
25, at Van Zandt Democratic Headquarters located at 510 S.
Trades Day Blvd, Canton. For information, call (903) 567-8484.
New Grace Trio
The New Grace Trio will perform at Central Baptist Church, 116
W. Mt. Vernon St., Mabank, during the 11 a.m. service, Sunday,
Feb. 26. Come enjoy Southern gospel singing. No admission.
Humane Society change
The Humane Society board meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27,
at the Dairy Queen, 110 West Cedar Creek Parkway, Seven Points.
The community is welcome to attend board meetings held every
CCL Civic League
The Cedar Creek Civic League meets at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27,
at Tri-County Library, Mabank. A Trinity Valley Home Health Care
representative is the featured speaker. Guests are welcome. For
information call Joyce at (903) 451-3229.
CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club meets at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb.
28, and doors open at 10:30 a.m., at the Cedar Creek Country
Club in Kemp Dr. Rose-Mary Rumbley will present the program, “My
Thoughts Be Bloody.”
Kiwanis night at Chili’s
Bring your flyer to Chili’s from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28,
for a 10 percent of sales donated to the Kiwanis Club of Cedar
Creek Lake. Chili’s does the cooking while you support your
club. Chili’s is located at 1261 W. Main St. Gun Barrel City.
For information, call (903) 887-0572.
Annual PS water supply
The Payne Springs Water Supply Corporation annual membership
meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, at the PS
Water Supply office, 9116 Frazier Lane, located off SH 198
South. Members are urged to attend. For information, call (903)
CC Model A Club
The Cedar Creek Model A Club meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 6
(first Tuesday of the month), at the Dairy Queen in Seven
Points. Visitors are always welcome and you do not have to own a
Model A to Join.
Eustace hosts MADD
The Eustace VFD will present a victims impact presentation by
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), at 7 p.m. Monday, March 5,
at the fire station. The department invites members of the
community to help them fill the station to standing room only.
main sports news obits lake life events views
Awards banquet views 90
years of history
Mabank VFD names Firefighter of Year
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Highlighting this year’s awards banquet for the Mabank
Volunteer Fire Department Saturday night at Comfort Suites was
historian and past fire chief Dick Bramblitt.
A series of downtown fires motivated the organizing of the
Mabank Fire Department in September of 1920, Bramblitt said. It
had 36 members and W. M. Covey as its first fire chief.
He listed fires in 1909, 1914 which burned wooden structures on
Market Street and a really big fire in 1920, also on Market
Street, burning buildings where the Victorian Lady Tea Room
Before the water system was built in Mabank, fires were fought
with bucket brigades and hand-drawn carts holding two tanks of
30 gallons each of chemicals and water, he added. Soda, water
and sulfuric acid would combine to discharge a pressurized
mixture through a one-inch hose. Today one fire truck holds up
to 1,000 gallons, he noted. It took 18 men to pull the cart by
two long ropes, with a second team standing by to relieve them.
The following year, the department purchased a Ford model T and
mounted the drums on it.
The voters approved a bond in 1924 to build a city lake (1926),
water system and tower with 172 votes in favor and 107 opposed,
In 1927, the first fire station was built next to city hall for
$1,000 and the first pumper model A truck was bought in 1929.
The pump could shoot 150 gallons of water per minute. Bramblitt
also said that before sirens, department members were called to
fires by shotgun reports. Later, a fire bell was installed on a
wooden tower behind Eubank Hardware Store.
Names of early fire chiefs included, L.H. Treadwell, T.L.
Jennings, C.P. Churchwell, J.T. Selman, Hulette Jones, Howard
Jones, Donald Gibbs, Durwood Jordan and Clarence Mixon.
Durwood Jordan retells of a most difficult fire at the J.C.
Gibbs barn, Bramblitt relayed.
“The weather was freezing and Dub was driving the model A, which
had no windshield. He was able to drive to Roddy when his hands
got so cold he could no longer grip the steering wheel. Labon
Smith, who had Ben crouched down in the seat, drove the rest of
the way. Ice had to be broken on a nearby tank to obtain water.
Jordan said he remembered how grateful all the firemen were to
Mrs. Ella Gibbs for bringing them hot coffee to help keep them
Several former fire department members attended the banquet to
hear about the old days, including brothers Bert and Jim Clark.
A second speaker, Jason Harris, picked up the history recalling
the April, 1992 bank building fire, where several were injured
and the city suffered the loss of a historic building. Harris
was a junior in high school at the time. And during the Aug. 4,
2006 fire, which again burned historic buildings on Market
Street, Grey was leading a group of men on the back side of the
“This fire department has grown along with the city, and now has
three fire stations. I want you to know you’re looking at some
of the best firefighters in the state of Texas,” Harris said to
He pointed out fire chief Ricky Myrick, who has led the
department since 1989 and who joined the department in 1976.
With a family history of participation with the fire department,
Myrick’s grandfather, Temple Dorough also served as fire chief
and is the first man listed on the department’s Firefighter Hall
of Fame, along with Robert Hamilton, Dick Bramblitt, Cozell
McAfee, W. A. Algood and R. W. Wier, among others.
Master of Ceremonies Robert Munden introduced a new feature of
the annual awards banquet with the introduction of the
Fraternity of 1,000.
Since 1993, the Mabank Fire Department has answered 10,128 calls
he said, averaging 533 per year.
Those with career totals of more than 1,000 calls answered
included Mike Rowan, 1,947; Daryl West, at age 71, answered
1,725 calls; Jim McKee, 1,539; Dameon Milton, 1,458; Wayne
McKenzie II, 1,368; David Owens, 1,243; Paul Hightower., 1,202;
Andy Jeffers, 1,200 and Mike Bass 1,010.
Those answering more than 2,000 calls over their career were
Kyle McAfee, 2,788 and Mat Ewaskiw with 2,962 calls.
Those with 4,000 calls include John Holcomb, who was the first
to ever do it in 2006 and today has 4,981 to his credit. He is
followed by fire chief Ricky Myrick with 4,906.
Kemp plunges ahead on water issue
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–Kemp mayor Donald Kile reported Feb. 14 that a number of
public hearings for the water development grant process are
Kemp is seeking half a million dollars to connect with water
provider West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District, so it can
shut down its own water system for much-needed repairs and
upgrades to both plant and water lines.
The first one was held Feb. 7. The grant process is hoped to
result in financing for the $500,000 cost of extending a
six-inch water line from West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility
District to serve the city, so work can be done to upgrade and
renovate the city’s water and wastewater infrastructure.
Kile also said, anyone interested may be added to the call-out
system to receive timely messages of upcoming meetings and
alerts via e-mail or cell phone. Forms are available at city
He also said storm warning sirens should be functional the end
County Road 4023 still needs some additional rehabilitation, but
should be ready for chip sealing by the end of March, he added.
Following police Chief Richard Clemmo’s report about focusing on
“holding the (patrol) cars together,” council man Jessie Morton
agreed that a fix for the aging vehicles was needed.
“Something’s really got to be done for the patrol vehicles. This
is no joke,” Morton said.
Kile also informed the public that the council has held a number
of interviews with applicants for the city administrator post
and has narrowed their choices down and have been in
negotiations with one of them.
However, following a closed session on personnel matters
Tuesday, the council took no action.
In other business, council members:
• tabled consideration of a new flag for the city park, with
mayor Donald Kile casting the deciding tie-breaker.
• approved 3-1 to retain $100 per 1,000 gallons over 10,000
gallon monthly water usage deterrents during water rationing.
Councilman Tommy McSpedden opposed the penalty, since the law
already provides a fine deterrent to going over the limit during
• resolved to give litigants and Atmos Energy an additional 90
days before adopting new gas rates at the request of the gas
• amended an ordinance to include the city’s public works
director or a designee to comprise part of the capital
improvements oversight committee for utility projects.
• heard from Saragene Cool about better compliance with the
Texas Open Meetings Act.
• named councilman Leodis Buckley to the Economic Development
Board to replace Alan Palmer, whose term expires in October.
• heard on the success of the lasagna fundraiser for the senior
center and plans for the Spring Festival to be held March 31.