Plea for immediate help
‘Waiting for a heart’ needs
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–This part is simple: Jerry Clinard needs a new
This part is not so simple: he needs to be in Houston to get it.
To say that the 61-year-old Malakoff resident has heart trouble would be
the height of understatement. He had bypass surgery in 1990, a heart
attack in 1997, and his first defibrillator operation in 2003.
He’s had enough heart surgeries that he’s sort of lost count. His
daughter, Shannon Morris, says it is seven or eight.
He says it isn’t that many, because he doesn’t count some of the times
doctors have opened him up as “surgery.”
Now, however, just fixing the heart isn’t an option.
“Doctors say there are just two little spots (on the heart) still
alive,” he said.
That’s the bad news. The good news, according to Clinard, is that The
Methodist Hospital System in Houston has moved him to the top of the
But that requires being in Houston, which isn’t so easy.
Ami Felker, a spokeswoman for The Methodist Hospital System, said
transplant patients like Clinard have to live within two hours of the
“If a heart becomes available, it is only good for a short amount of
time,” Felker said, “so we require active transplant patients to live
within two hours.”
Because of his heart disease, Clinard, a former truck driver, is on
disability. He isn’t even allowed to drive a car anymore because of
dizzy spells and the possibility of a heart attack.
His wife, Mittie, is also on disability, and she is currently in ETMC
Athens fighting complications from pneumonia, Clinard said.
The couple is also raising their 14-year-old granddaughter, Brittney.
So picking up and moving to Houston isn’t going to be quite as easy as
catching a ride to Athens.
The Clinards have an apartment lined up in Houston and have paid the
down payment and have the rent. They have it set up for Brittney to stay
with friends until the end of the school year, and then she will move
down to Houston as well.
The trouble is they are supposed to be in Houston by March 15 (next
Saturday) and all the preparations have pretty much tapped their
So the Clinards are reaching out to the community and asking for a
An account has been set up – with help from the Salvation Army – at
First State Bank in the name of Jerry Clinard.
“We don’t have all the funds to get down there,” said daughter Shannon,
who is also going to Houston to help care for Clinard after the surgery.
“And we’re going to have to rent a U-Haul to move all our stuff, because
we don’t have anybody who can move our stuff down there.”
Donations can be made at any of the First State Bank branches. To make
in-kind donations, call The Malakoff News, (903) 489-0531.
Library foresees budget crisis
Creation of a Library District being discussed
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–When was the last time you visited The Library at Cedar
Creek Lake in Seven Points?
On any given day, it is busy with activities and programs, librarian
George Thadathil told Cedar Creek Kiwanis club members at its weekly
luncheon at Lakeridge RV Park meeting room Tuesday.
“Today, the Tool Elementary early childhood classes came for a visit,”
• Wednesdays, a 10 a.m. story hour is set.
And of course, Kiwanis sponsors monthly story hours with Linda Rau
October through March, with a gift book for each child.
• Nearly every day someone is being empowered by being taught to read;
• are getting assistance to obtain a GED (General Education Diploma).
That’s in addition to helping level the field for those without an
Internet connection by providing eight computers for free public use.
“We have eight, but we could use 11,” Thadathil said.
“We want to continue to be useful to the community to give access to
information they can’t get in their homes – sometimes called the digital
divide. We don’t want people to be left behind,” he said.
He pointed out the library is the most important cultural institution in
the greater Cedar Creek Lake area.
“The library is a special place. If it wasn’t here anymore, what a great
void would be in the community,” he said.
The library holds 35,000 titles of books and tapes and it has run out of
space to put in any new aquisitions, he reported.
“Not only do we not have any more shelves, we don’t have anywhere to put
up more shelves,” Thadathil said.
In two years, the Seven Points Economic Development Corporation will
hand over the building housing the library to the library board.
Currently, Seven Points foots the mortgage, electric and water bill and
sees to the maintenance needs of the facility.
The utility and maintenance expense amounts to $60,000 a year, he said.
In two years, that expense will be transferred to the library,
representing a 33 percent increase in the library’s $125,000 annual
Henderson County Commissioners have been providing $25,000 from
discretionary funds to support the library. The other $100,000, or 80
percent of the operating budget, comes largely from private donations.
The West Cedar Creek Municiple Utility District has made it easier for
its water and sewer customers to make donations along with their bills
every month, contributing some $400-$450 a month for the past six
Thadathil said the library is doing all it can to raise funds through
recycling cell phones and the efforts of the The Friends of The Library
and the Library at Cedar Creek Lake Endowment Board, which holds
concerts twice a year and seeks charitible gifts and estate benefits,
and through holding book sales.
“When people give us books, if we don’t have a title – we keep it; if we
already have it – we sell it,” Thadithil explained.
Throughout his presentation, he frequently pointed out the many
contributions community members make to the library, from donations of
paper products and cleaning supplies to delivering books to shut-ins, to
being one of the 24 volunteers, who with three paid part-time employees,
staff the library.
“We can always use more literacy tutors and other volunteers,” he said.
Two years from now, the library will be facing an emergency unless it
develops a bigger stream of income. That solution may lie in creating a
The state of Texas has 15 such districts – including one in San Antonio
– which are created by majority vote, much as are Emergency Service
The process would begin with a petition to the Henderson County
Commissioners. Upon acceptance, the county would hold an election, but
the library would be responsible for funding the election, he said.
“Without that, we can barely go on,” Thadathil said. “The cities don’t
give us any money, or not very much.”
Libraries provide a way to improve our culture by helping those
typically cutoff from cultural-enhancing experiences and new
“We want all to be on the same plane, the same level,” he said.
Thadathil has been with the library for 17 months now, and came in
during a period of transition for the library board, Kiwanis president
Ralph Fortner noted.
“He’s done a good job,” Fortner said.
Literacy: an issue in
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
SEVEN POINTS–Literacy is an important issue in Henderson County and
Cedar Creek Lake.
According to U.S. Census information, of the county’s 76,000 population,
13,000 are without a high school diploma. That’s 17 percent – the same
percentage who voted.
One of the most common reasons for not having a high school diploma is
illiteracy, or poor ability to read.
“We all must all call ourselves responsible to see that our fellow
Americans can read and write,” librarian George Thadathil said.
“Illiteracy is the reason people don’t vote, nor go to church, nor have
a job. Those who don’t read, often don’t understand what is going on,
and so don’t participate,” he said.
That’s why The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, under Thadathil’s direction,
puts a great emphasis on literacy.
“You can participate with us by becoming tutors,” Thadathil told a group
of Kiwanis club members Tuesday.
“You can also encourage those you know to learn to read,” he said.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, tutors meet with those wanting
“Right now, we have six students from all kinds of backgrounds,” he
said. Of the current students the eldest is around 50, he added.
Most the tutors have no special training, he said. However, if a
volunteer would like training, the Literacy Council will be happy to
provide it, he said.
“It is in the best interest of the community that all its members learn
how to read and write,” he added.