Sunday, March 4, 2007




Escapees recaptured
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–One of the two men who recently escaped from the Van Zandt County Jail and was recaptured the same night is also under investigation for alleged involvement in a fraudulent check cashing scheme in the Cedar Creek Lake Area.
Gun Barrel City Investigator Judie Burley recognized the man’s name immediately when she returned from a trip to Florida to receive her associate’s of science degree in criminal justice from the Kaplan University of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“Casey Housewright is one of those we caught on video at an ATM machine,” Burley said.
Back in November, Housewright was one of four adults in a car police recognized as being involved in mailbox thefts and forgery cases, which drove up to a drive-through teller station.
The teller was suspicious and called the police. When police arrived, Housewright was one of those arrested on charges of drug possession.
Burley believes Housewright is also a suspect in other criminal activity in the area, but couldn’t be specific.
Housewright, 26, and Kenneth Ray Wyatt, 29, jimmied a lock at Van Zandt County’s minimum security, low-risk building sometime Friday, Feb. 23.
The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office reported the pair apparently climbed a 20-foot fence topped with razor wire to escape.
“The wire did its part – they were injured on the way over,” County Sheriff R.P. “Pat” Burnett said Monday.
Burnett added the only previous escape happened when the main building of the jail was new.
Canton Police Department spokesman Michael Echols said the men stole a city truck from the First Monday Fair Grounds.
After a brief pursuit in Athens, troopers saw the two suspects run from the vehicle wearing orange jail uniform pants.
Local, Canton and state law enforcement agencies joined forces in the search, and rounded up the escapees about 3:30 a.m. at a carwash near the Wal-Mart store in Athens.
Corrections tracking dogs were called to the scene.
Both men were transported back to Van Zandt County, according to the report.
An escape charge is a third-degree felony.
Prior to their escape, Wyatt was in custody on misdemeanor possession of marijuana charges, while Housewright was being held on a failure to identify to a peace officer charge.
The pair were arraigned on escape charges and are held on a $250,000 bond.

Brookshire’s has $1 million winner
Special to the Monitor
GLEN ROSE–The first $1 million winner in the Brookshire’s Food Stores “Victory Lane Texas Motor Speedway Collect-and-Win Game” was announced Wednesday.
The award was presented to Cody Mohan and his wife, Beth, at the Glen Rose store.
For the 28-year-old coach in the Hico School District, the big win came as a total shocker.
“I’ve never won anything in my life, and when we got the winning ticket we weren’t sure until we took it in and Brookshire’s confirmed it,” Mohan said.
Parents of a 7-month-old child, the couple grew up in the Palestine area. Both graduated from Palestine High School and Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
They said they were not sure what they will do with the money.
“We want to use it wisely. We want to ensure our son’s college education and pay off some bills. We just want to do our research first to see what is best,” Mohan said.
The game offers customers the opportunity to win $6.1 million in cash and prizes in Brookshire’s Food Stores in the company’s four-state marketing area of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.
“Obviously, we’re excited for Cody and Beth, but there is still the possibility of one more $1 million winner out there, in addition to all the other prizes,” Brad Brookshire, president-marketing group for the Tyler based grocery chain, said, adding the game runs through April 17.

Stoney LaRue will perform at Gater’s March 10
Special to The Monitor
GUN BARREL CITY–Stoney LaRue will be performing at Gater’s Saturday, March 10.
At 3 years of age, Stoney LaRue could be found belting out “Swinging” by John Anderson on his Mr. Microphone radio.
The son of a struggling bass player and a nurse, LaRue understood the allure of music at an early age, and recorded his first works at age 12.
He earned accolades through school for his unmatched vocal abilities and promising instrumental talents.
Many subscribe Stoney LaRue to the category of artists who are simply natural-born performers; just don’t try to limit him by category.
Born in Taft, LaRue actually spent the majority of his adolescence north of the Red River, in Southeastern Oklahoma.
He never really pictured himself doing anything else but making good music, so LaRue eventually made his way to the state’s Red Dirt hotbed of Stillwater, where he began to develop his individualized style from a widespread range of influences.
From Willie Nelson to Ray Charles, to The Grateful Dead and Kris Kristofferson, LaRue’s emerging style impressively blends varied elements of country, blues and soulful rock into cohesive, vocal driven performances.
His abilities earned the immediate respect of then “up and coming” peers including Cody Canada, Mike McClure, Jason Boland, and other cohorts of the revitalizing Texas and Red Dirt circuits (now electrifying audiences nationwide.)
In 2002, both fans and industry took good notice of LaRue after he spearheaded The Organic Boogie Band and released ”Downtown,” which was recorded in private sessions at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa and mixed in a trailer on the side of a cliff in Bartlesville, Okla..
It was just the beginning, as the debut cemented LaRue’s following and inspired a move to New Braunfels, where a vibrant music community and a persistent touring schedule spawned a vast response.
Fans anxiously awaited the August 2005 release of Stoney LaRue-the Red Dirt Album, which hit the Billboard sales charts in its debut week.
A far cry from the mixing trailer on the cliff, The Red Dirt Album was recorded with a tight circle of players and professionals in a studio setting.
The record was a pinnacle effort for LaRue and has inarguably established his triple threat status as a truly gifted vocalist, player and performer.
Armed with golden ear musicianship, an amusing wit and soulful magnetism, LaRue’s shows are infused with an uplifting quality, a cathartic barroom brand of spirituality, where venues are complimented for good bar “feng shui,” and where time and dimension can be traversed via emotive lyrics and melodic riffs.
A charismatic performer, LaRue’s flawless vocals can draw a crowd to a open mouth level of sonic mesmerization, and next have them singing “Forever Young” so loudly that you can’t hear anything else.
At 28 years old, Stoney LaRue now performs close to 300 dates a year at top festivals and venues across the nation and even the Caribbean, sharing bills with renowned acts like Lee Ann Womack, Gary Allan,Dierks Bentley, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Radney Foster, and others.
With a newly assembled band that includes Jeremy Bryant (drums), Jesse Fritz (bass), Rodney Pyeatt (guitar), and Steve Littleton (keys), Stoney LaRue is poised for his upcoming addition to the famed Live at Billy Bob’s series and even greater horizons to come.
The music is undeniably inside of Stoney LaRue, but he’s the type of artist that doesn’t have to point it out to you, his belief in the music is strong enough that it just powers through transparently.
Stoney LaRue is not trying to be anybody but the artist that he is, and his sincerity just seeps out, spills off the stage, and overtakes any room.