Thursday, March 5, 2009






  County raids 8-liner parlors
Ten arrested in seven raids; $37,000 and 11 grams
of methamphetamine seized

Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–A clandestine gaming room at a storage building facility on State Highway 274 near Seven Points was raided and shut down Saturday.
It was one of seven such operations county-wide that Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt targeted on Warrant Roundup Day.
County Court-at-Law Judge Nancy Perryman issued the warrants.
Other suspected gambling locations raided included:
• two addresses on State Highway 198, just north of Caney City;
• a location on State Highway 31 near Malakoff;
• 1976 Farm-to-Market 315, near Chandler;
• at the intersection of FM roads 314 and 317 and
• 13268 North 314, near Brownsboro.
During the raids, 10 people were arrested and charged in connection with running an illegal gambling operation.
Authorities also seized about $37,600 in U.S. currency, more than 330 computer elements from eight-liner machines and approximately 11 grams of methamphetamine, according to a press release issued by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’re seeing more narcotic dealers and users occupying these game room establishments,” Nutt stated.
Charges of engaging in organized criminal activity, money laundering, gambling promotion, possession of a gambling device, keeping a gambling place and/or possession of gambling paraphernalia were levied.
Suspects were identified as Valerlia Massengale, Brandie Henderson, Antionette Carbal, Paul Alexander, Lisa Alexander, Christopher Alexander, Mendy Moore, Elizabeth Dykes, John Bryan and Linda Beall.
More arrests are expected in these investigations, according to the press release.

Kemp Bank breaks ground
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–The sun was shining, but a blustery wind put a chill on the groundbreaking ceremony for the new First National Bank of Kemp Tuesday morning.
However, feelings were warm as supporters gathered to officially welcome the new facility, already under construction.
Land at the intersection of State Highway 274 and Business 175 is cleared, and equipment lined up to build an approximately 28,000-square-foot bank building, along with an additional 11,000 feet of retail space to lease.
Bank president Vidal Jones introduced his board of directors and thanked those present for their attendance.
“This is an important occasion for our bank,” Jones said.
Jones recalled the bank has grown and survived 108 years of American history.
Established in Kemp in 1901, the bank has always served the community.
Like other local banks, it did not take part in the sub-prime lending that has been such a disaster for large corporate banks, he explained.
“We are strong because of our past,” Jones said.
The building will be state-of-the-art with all-new technology incorporated for energy efficiency, architect Paul E. Canup said.
“Were all happy to have created this special concept,” Canup said. “This is an innovative building with a design that fits the community.”
The building will open before Christmas, Canup added.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
First National Bank of Kemp president Vidal Jones (third from left) prepares
to begin the official groundbreaking Tuesday for a new bank building as his board
of directors looks on. Fourth from right is Kemp Mayor Billy Teel, along with
(continuing right) Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller, project construction
manager Arnie Tworek and Jim Thompson, president of Jim R. Thompson, Inc.,
general contractor.

Tool considers COs
Council looking to fund street repairs
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

TOOL–Repairing the roads is a number one priority for the city of Tool, and maybe certificates of obligation might help accomplish the difficult feat.
Tool city council members agree better streets and roads will attract more business in the long run, and eventually help the tax base, but how to make good roads a reality is a big problem.
Resident Buzzy Hale met with council members in a special meeting Feb. 26 to discuss the pros and cons of using certificates of obligation (COs) as a way of paying for the high cost of road repair.
Resident Tom Lawrence, who lives at Cedar Creek Landing and works in Dallas helping small cities, schools and other entities look at options for funding, also attended.
Lawrence said the city was looking at three financing methods – bonds, COs and tax notes.
“COs are like bonds and investors consider them the same as bonds,” Lawrence explained. “Tax notes (also) are like bonds and COs, but they have a shorter payback period.”
Councilman Red Phillips said there are 33 miles of streets in Tool, and estimated it might cost up to $2 million to fix them all.
He suggested an engineer should look at some of the streets and then estimate what the cost would be to do all of the city roads.
Lawrence discussed what the financing options for a $2 million issue would be over a 10-year, 15-year and 20-year payout period. The longer the payback period, the smaller the payment, he noted.
Mayor Mike Black said citizens complain about the bad roads, but protest any tax increase.
“They want their roads fixed, but they don’t want to pay the taxes for it,” Black said.
Others agreed, but still had no solid answer.
Road repairs average about $100,000 a mile for just the asphalt, Kaufman County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller told this reporter recently.
“We’re fighting a losing battle. We only have the money to fix about 2/10 of a mile each year,” Phillips explained.
Black said the council was all on the same page.
“It’s been frustrating to us, because of what we want to do versus what we have the money to do it with,” Black said.
“We have an obligation to the citizens to fix all the streets in the whole city. Streets are the foundation. They are the first thing people see,” he explained. “We need to gather some more information and have another workshop, maybe in about two weeks.”
Council members agreed to meet again at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 12.

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