Thursday, March 1, 2007



  Collision sends one to the hospital
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

SEVEN POINTS–A woman from Tool was airlifted to a Tyler hospital following an early-morning collision on Farm-to-Market 85 Tuesday.
Teresa Gordy, 45, said she didn’t see the 18-wheeler gravel hauler she was following had stopped.
About 6 a.m., truck driver Roger Learned of Terrell was preparing to make a left turn onto County Road 2138, leading to the gravel pit, to pick up a load.
That’s when Gordy’s 1993 Chevrolet pickup plowed into the back of the hauler, totalling the truck in the process.
Seven Points police officer Chuck Haverley was first on the scene, assisted by officer Brad Hendricks.
Gordy’s vehicle was towed to Sunshine Used Cars and Wrecker Service on State Highway 198, according to the police report.
Gordy’s condition was unknown at presstime Tuesday.

Courtesy Photo
The driver of this red pickup was airlifted to a hospital in Tyler following an early-morning
collision Tuesday on Farm-to-Market 85.

District calls $23 million bond election

By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–A new high school and much needed repairs on several campuses could be on the horizon for Kemp students.
Trustees called a $23 million bond election at a special meeting Monday, with no tax increase.
“We are in a unique window where we can add a bond and lower the tax rate,” Superintendent Dr. Peter Running said.
To delay building the new high school would be to run the risk of construction costs escalating, several trustees agreed.
The bond package will cover a new high school and campus renovations only, as athletic improvements will come from a different source, Running stressed.
Trustees approved a $350,000 maintenance note to cover athletic projects and other needs Feb. 20.
Note payments will be made from interest earned on the current fund balance.
Bond payments will be made similarly, using the interest earned from the $23 million to make payments, Running explained.
“However, we can’t let the $23 million sit in the bank to earn interest over a length of time. We must begin to build,” he said.
There will be a time period when plans are being drawn and bids are let before construction can commence.
Voters will be asked to approve the bond package at the May 12 election.
A lack of citizen participation in school affairs is a concern for Running.
“Some people have said they no longer feel as if the district is theirs,” he said.
“The bond (package) belongs to the community. I perceive this is a great time to give this school back to the community,” Running said.
Educating the public on the bond program and the lack of a tax increase will come between now and the election.
The maintenance and operation fund used to be $1.50 per $100 valuation and the interest and sinking totaled 50 cents per $100 valuation.
The district is in the first year of the mandated tax rate reduction, and have compressed the M&O to $1.33 per $100, Running explained.
Next year the M&O will be compressed again to a maximum of $1.04, with a total drop for both M&O and I&S to a rate lower than taxpayers currently pay, he said.
“Our whole goal is not to raise, but to actually lower the tax rate,” he said.
In other business, trustees:
• heard the report on trustee board training hours completed.
All trustees have exceeded their state requirements, board president Keith Foisey said.
• ordered the board trustee election for May 12.
Seats 5, 6 and 7 are open.
• approved the contract for election services as presented.
• reviewed the upcoming 2007-08 school calendar.
The calendar drafts will be presented to directors and staff at the four main campuses for further input.
• approved the submission of a staff development waiver and an early release waiver to the Texas Education Agency.
The submission is a precautionary measure, and the waivers may not have to be used.

Kidnapping attempt reported
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–The Mabank Police Department warn the public to be aware of suspicious activity where children are concerned.
Police Chief Alex Smith reports an 8-year-old boy and his older brother were playing at the Central Elementary playground about 6 p.m. Sunday, when an unidentified man tried to force one of the boys into his car, parked on U.S. Highway 175.
Though the report is unconfirmed, Smith said he’d rather give a precautionary warning than to wait until he was sure of all the facts.
The older brother had hurt his foot, and the 8-year-old decided to go home and get help.
He reported that a white male, about 5-10, weighing 160-170 pounds, wearing grey tennis shoes, blue jeans and a dark blue shirt, grabbed him and tried to put him into a red passenger car, Smith said.
The boy reported the man lost his grip when trying to put him in the car, and he was able to crawl under the car door and run away. He found his brother, and the two boys hid, Smith said.
“We’re checking into the report,” Smith said. “We just want parents to be wary.”

Woman held for murder
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Henderson County authorities arrested a Payne Springs woman on a murder warrant Friday.
Thirza Roxann Aishman, 27, was charged in the Jan. 25 shooting death of Leeland Ray Musick, 23, who was found dead at 7109 Ottowa in the Cherokee Shores addition.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Investigator Paul Habelt, working with the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office, determined that probable cause did exist for obtaining a murder warrant on Aishman.
Sheriff’s deputies Brad Gray and Craig Parker executed the warrant and took Aishman in Friday afternoon.
Aishman was arraigned Saturday and bond was set at $100,000.

Rabid skunk found in Seven Points Feb. 21
Six animals test positive for rabies in 35-county area in last two weeks, first in Henderson.
Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS–Results of a rabies test came back positive Friday for a skunk found in Seven Points.
The city police department responded to a call Feb. 21 about a skunk that appeared to be sick.
Seven Points Police Officer Chuck Haverly assisted animal control officer Kenneth McConnell at a residence on Holiday Circle in the Persimmon Creek Addition.
The skunk’s erratic behavior prompted the officers to kill the skunk.
The next day, the carcass was submitted to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) regional office for rabies testing.
The DSHS office notified Seven Points Police Chief Wayne Nutt the skunk tested positive for the rabies virus Feb 23.
According to DSHS, the skunk is the first animal to test positive for the rabies virus in Henderson County so far this year.
There were five rabid skunks found in Henderson County in 2006, two rabid skunks in 2005, three rabid skunks and one rabid cat in 2004, three rabid skunks in 2003, and 14 rabid skunks in 2002, according to DSHS statistics.
In the last two weeks alone, there have been six animals which tested positive for the rabies virus in the 35-county area served by the regional DSHS office.
Area residents are reminded to vaccinate their animals for rabies – not only is it the law, but everyone needs to be responsible and help prevent the spread of the disease.
Don’t just assume your animal is up to date – check your animal’s vaccination papers to make sure they are current, Nutt said.
If you cannot afford to have your animals vaccinated, please check with your local veterinarian, Humane Society, or Animal Control Officer to check for availability of low- or no-cost programs.
Residents are reminded to avoid contact with any animal suspected of being rabid or sick. Do not attempt to catch the animal. Do not touch the animal or an animal carcass.
Keep your animals from chewing on or biting the animal or the animal’s carcass.
Contact your local animal control office, local police or sheriff’s office to notify them of the animal (see related story, page 3A).
In the event that an animal must be shot, do not shoot it in the head.
DSHS will not be able to test an animal for the rabies virus if the animal is shot in the head or sustains other trauma to the head.
In the event of an animal bite, the victim would have to undergo rabies treatment, since the presence of the virus could not be determined.