People, Places & Events



  Kings Creek bridge complete
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–After a little more than two years, the new bridge over Kings Creek on State Highway 274 south of Kemp is complete.
“Striping is finished and the traffic is flowing,” Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) area engineer for Navarro, Kaufman and Rockwall counties Darwin Myers said.
“We have a few permanent (stop) signs to install – one in the median, one on the outside at each end of the bridge and one at Farm-to-Market 148,” he explained. “We hope to have them up by the end of the month.”
There’s also some cleanup underneath the bridge and some trees to be planted, he added.
Traffic will probably be busier, as larger vehicles that had been banned will be allowed to use the new bridge. During the construction period, nothing over eight feet wide was allowed on the bridge.
The work started in 2006, and the Navarro TxDoT office assumed oversight of the project in April, 2007.
“It was actually finished about four months ahead of schedule,” Myers said.
The work now underway for the Navarro office includes the expansion of State Highway 198 through downtown Mabank and replacing a collapsed bridge on FM 1836, just north of Prairieville, he said.
Plans are now being drawn up to redo FM 148 from Lively to SH 274, he said.
“It (the construction) will probably start next summer,” he said. “We will be reworking the entire road and adding a two-foot shoulder to protect the edges of the road.”

Courtesy Photo/Texas Department of Transportation
Traffic now flows easily in both directions on Kings Creek Bridge on State Highway 274.
Although the bridge was completely replaced, it still has just two lanes, but five-foot shoulders
have been added to each side. The rusted steel bridge supports were replaced with concrete

MISD adds 750 seats to visitor grandstand
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Ever since Mabank Independent School District began to face the problems of becoming a 4A school, where to seat visitors to home football games has caused a lot of discussion.
School trustees authorized expansion of the visitors’ side grandstands at the January board meeting and to take the necessary funds from the remaining bond balance.
Monday, trustees accepted a BuyBoard purchase plan to add 750 seats for $151,035.
The construction will be finished by Aug. 1, complete with necessary flood lights.
The visitors side currently has 900 seats. The addition of 750 new seats will expand the visitors side capacity to 1,650.
In other business, trustees:
• discussed taking the next step in establishing an education foundation. Trustees agreed to form an advisory board.
The board chairman and superintendent will serve in an advisory capacity.
• changed the March board meeting to Monday, March 30.
The change was necessary to avoid a conflict with the annual area chamber of commerce awards dinner, set for Monday, March 23.
• awarded vending machine contracts for the coming year.
The drink supply contract went to Dr Pepper, while the snack supply contract was awarded to a local vendor; S&J Refreshments of Kemp.
• authorized purchasing used, like-new band instruments for $50,000.
If purchased new, the instruments would cost about $148,000, assistant superintendent of business administration Scott Adams said.
Items to be purchased include tubas, trumpets, euphoniums and other marching instruments.
“That’s a pretty good savings,” Adams added.
• held the first reading of DEC (LOCAL) policy.
The policy pertains to a local incentive program concerning the non-use of sick days.
• agreed to participate in Texpool Prime.
“This is another investment vehicle that pays about one-fourth of a percent higher (than the current investment account),” Adams explained.
• approved the Texas Education Agency waiver application for a low attendance day.
• called the regular trustee election for Saturday, May 9.
Place 6, now held by Kenneth Odom, and Place 7, now held by Dean Fannin, will be open, each with full three-year terms.
• accepted a $1,500 donation from the Lakeview PTO, to be used for teacher appreciation.
• said the Pledge of Allegiance with Southside Elementary students leading.
The students were Noel Rojo, Emily Jones, Shae Hendley and Zachary Roach.
• renewed or extended the contracts of assistant superintendents, directors, principals and assistant principals as presented.
• authorized six elementary slots to be filled as needed.
• heard the financial reports presented by Adams.
The financial reports and the other agenda information is distributed to trustees through their laptops.
“We’re about where we expected to be,” Adams explained.
Also, the district’s tax collections are about average, compared with recent years. “We are in the ballpark,” Adams said.

HC extends burn ban
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–The burn ban in Henderson County has been extended one week, until Wednesday, March 18.
County fire marshal John Holcomb recommended extending the no burning rule until April 1, but county commissioners wanted to consider weather and moisture conditions when they meet again Tuesday, March 17.
(There will be no meeting on March 10, as commissioners will be attending a conference.)
Holcomb said predictions call for a dry spring and summer. His plan was to allow burning in May, so everyone could get their outdoor burning done, and then institute the ban again in June.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence was against such a long ban, with hoped-for rain in the forecast.
It was also noted that 80 percent of Texas counties are currently under burn bans, or 203 out of 254 counties.
Immediate results of Henderson County’s burn ban has resulted in a reduction of grass fires, though several fires were fought in the south and west of the county that originated from burn barrels, Holcomb said.
In other business, commissioners:
• approved road bore permit applications to lay a 42-inch natural gas pipeline through the southwestern part of the county, involving county roads in Precincts 1 and 4.
Energy Transfer representative Scott Nelson requested permits to go across 16 roads. The top of the bores would be five feet below the bottom of the bar ditches, he added.
“There should be no problem with work the county would do to the ditches,” he said.
Roads to be bored in Precinct 1 are County Roads 1214,1206,1201,1205 and 1307. CR 1211 will have three places where the pipe will run under the roadway.
The signing of the permits concludes an 18-month approval process, Nelson added.
• approved a request from the tax assessor for refunds due to taxing errors.
• approved a request from Tyler Technologies to change out two computer servers for one larger one at no cost to the county.
It’s good for the county,” IT director Betty Spence said.
• approved a $10,000 bond on new county treasurer Michael Bynum and another blanket bond of $5,000 for employees working in that office.
• accepted a $3,126.80 check from the city of Berryville for a culvert.
• accepted a revised plat of Brown’s Landing Phase I in Precinct 4.
• paid fiscal year (FY) 2008 bills totaling $28,916.29 after removing a bill from Templeton Construction of $34,010.65.
• paid FY 2009 bills totaling $360,293.49.


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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