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Current Issue
March 11, 2012






News in Brief

Overcomers Choir event
The Lakeview Assembly of God Church is hosting the Overcomers Choir at 10:30 a.m. Sunday (today). The church is located on the corner of SH 334 and Wood Street, Seven Points. For information call between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, at (903) 432-2682.

All day walk-in tax day
Free tax help! First come, first served. An all-Day Walk-in Tax day is set for Monday, March 12, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Bring all your information. For other times, call the library at (903) 887-9622, and someone will call you back to make an appointment.

Eustace ISD tax office
The Eustace ISD tax office will close Monday through Friday, March 12-16, for spring break. For information call (903) 425-5232.

Food ministries
Orders for Low Cost Food Ministries are being taken from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday, March 12-15. For information call James at (903) 603-5309.

CCL Literary Club
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake meets, beginning with refreshments at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 13, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake. Lee Gary will present the program, “Three Blonde Bombshells.”

MHS blood drive
Mabank High School is hosting a blood drive from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, at the MHS auxiliary gym. For appointments or information contact Cris Cary at (903) 880-1600.

McDade’s open house
McDade’s Nursery invites the community to celebrate its open house, “Spring in the Garden,” from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 16-18. Free chili dogs daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The nursery is located at 1000 N. Tool Drive, SH 274, Tool. For information call (903) 432-0106.

Methodist garage sale
The first United Methodist Church, Mabank, is hosting a “huge” garage sale from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 16, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 17 at the church located at 501 South Third Street (SH 198).

AL dinner benefits
The American Legion Post 310 Auxiliary is hosting a salad dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 16, and a corned beef and cabbage dinner with all the fixings, from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 17 (Saint Patrick’s Day). Proceeds from both meals benefit the youth activities in the Cedar Creek Lake Community.

Rosser VFD chili supper
The Rosser Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its annual chili and stew supper with doors opening at 5 p.m. and the auction starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the station in Rosser.

Spaghetti dinner benefit
Blessed Mother Teresa outreach of St Jude Catholic Church, formerly Saint Vincent de Paul society, is sponsoring at Saint Patrick’s Day spaghetti dinner from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 17, in the parish hall to benefit a fellow parishioner that needed emergency medical help. Donations sought. For information call Jerry Samonck at (903) 887-0031.

VFW homeless vet benefit
A benefit for the local VFW Post 4376 and the homeless veterans home being built near the Dallas VA hospital, will feature the Stephen Pride Show on Saint Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17 at the VFW Post 4376, Seven Points.

Natalie’s carnival benefit
A Carnival benefit for Natalie Newman, 13, suffering from Freidreich’s Ataxia is set for 1 p.m. Sunday, March 18, at Mabank Pavilion. Events include bounce house, train ride, dunking booth, clowns, petting zoo and concession stand. Natalie will take the funds raised to the Ride Ataxia benefit Saturday, March 24, in Dallas.

Rootseekers Society
The Rootseekers Genealogy Society meets at 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, at Tri-County Library, downtown Mabank. Clifton Smith will review his book, “John McDougald, His Descendents from Florida to Texas,” one of the first families in the Kemp area. Meetings are open to the public. For information visit

Sarah Maples DAR
The Sarah Maples chapter of DAR is at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, at the Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points. Speaker is Lee Lloyd TSDAR vice chairman volunteer genealogist on “My Favorite Places to go On the World Wide Web.”

Senior supplies needed
The Kemp Certified Nurse Aide class seeks help with “Supplies for Seniors” benefitting Kemp Care Center, full size hygiene products include shampoo, body wash, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, toothpaste and denture care products. Red boxes are placed at Kemp Family Pharmacy, First National Bank of Kemp, many are churches and all Kemp school campuses. For information call Liz Thorne, RN, at Kemp HS – (903) 498-9273.

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Top News


Fugitive, drugs flushed from hotel room
Suspect climbs out window with bag containing semi-auto pistol, weed & meth
Monitor Staff Reports

GUN BARREL CITY–A Kemp man was arrested and charged in an ongoing narcotics investigation Tuesday.
Damon Lance Ward, 32, was already wanted on a felony indictment for Assault Family Violence, when a narcotics team moved on his suspected location at the American Inn & Suites at 2916 W. Main St. in Gun Barrel City.
Based on a tip, officers believed Ward to be there and armed with a handgun.
When Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Bryan Tower and Deputy Greg Hill attempted to make contact with persons inside the hotel room, more deputies stationed behind the building saw Ward climbing out of a window and heading into the woods.
According to a press release, Ward was carrying a medium-sized bag.
Gun Barrel City police officers were called in to assist in creating a perimeter.
Deputies Jonathan Halbert and Hill located Ward hiding in the woods and positively identified him before taking him into custody.
Inside the bag, they found quantities of suspected marijuana, methamphetamine and a scale and packaging supplies used in the distribution of narcotics. Also found was a semiautomatic pistol.
Ward was transported to the Henderson County Detention Center and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance less than 4 grams and the original felony assault warrant.
He was released March 7 on bonds totaling $40,000.
Three other persons were identified in the room and were released after a search of the room.


Regional communication center to serve entire county
By Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office
Special to the Monitor

KAUFMAN–The newly proposed Regional Emergency Communication Center and Emergency Operations Center for Kaufman will provide emergency police, fire and ambulance dispatch to every city in the county, with the exception of Forney which has its own modern facility.
In today’s economy, state, regional and local government agencies face a pressing need to provide exceptional citizen services in an effective and efficient manner, all the while working under constant resource constraints.
To meet these challenges, public agencies are constantly trying to increase productivity and efficiency at lower costs.
While city governments and counties are faced with the need to do more with less, public safety still remains a priority.
“The need for public support is vitally important as this project proceeds,” Sheriff David A. Byrnes said.
Byrnes expects the Center to serve the county for the next 25 years.
The Federal Communication Commission will require every public safety element to convert existing systems to what is referred to as “narrow-band” by midnight Dec. 31. The penalty for not meeting the deadline is to face fines up to $21,000 per day.
The FCC will also require upgraded digital emergency communications technology by 2018.
This is a huge, unavoidable expense for local municipalities and the county to take on individually.
Currently, emergency communications within the county are fragmented to say the least. Police radios do not easily connect with firefighter radios, and most law enforcement personnel radios cannot talk to other law enforcement personnel radios in neighboring jurisdictions.
This makes coordination difficult and results in longer emergency response time, when timely action is most necessary.
Once the regionalized emergency communication center is activated, citizens will see a significant drop in emergency response times.
By its nature, the center will present a more coordinated, focused effort when emergency responders from multiple counties and jurisdictions are required.
The new communications center will provide professional public safety communications to each agency as they work together to preserve and improve the quality of life for Kaufman County citizens.
This will be accomplished through the prompt, efficient, and accurate collection and dissemination of information.
“We need a robust infrastructure that can handle multiple kinds of disasters,” Kaufman Counties Emergency Management coordinator Steve Howie said.
“That is clearly not feasible with multiple independent dispatch centers.”
“This is an excellent move where every nickel counts,” he added.
Both supporters and critics of the plan, agree the dawn of a new era is approaching.
“This will be an effective tool to make our county more efficient and affordable,” Howie said.
“We will get a state-of-the-art facility with state-of-the-art equipment and emergency medical dispatch personnel that the smaller municipalities in our county would never be able to afford individually,” county judge Bruce Wood said.
“The quality of service the new center will provide cannot be realized without a combined effort between county and local municipalities,” he added.
The automotive industry realized many years ago it is not cost-effective to have an automobile manufacturing plant everywhere to sell cars.
You build a centralized, commonly tooled and staffed manufacturing plant in one location that meets the needs of dealers all over the country.
From a very simple perspective, this is the approach of a regional communications center. We construct, equip, staff and operate one facility that services the needs of public safety throughout the entire county, at the same level of quality, capability and effectiveness.
Pooling resources will not only save money for the various communities who would otherwise have to duplicate the expensive facility, equipment and staffing requirements for emergency communications, but will build asset awareness and comprehensive response to public safety situations alone. This will vastly improve our effectiveness in Kaufman County.
“Consolidation of expensive government services is now a new trend and it is certainly a smart trend in these lean times,” Terrell Police Department Chief Jody Lay stated.
“More importantly though, it produces more effective allocation of public safety resources.”
“Being more effective is what we must continue to focus on in this County,” Lay added.
“I am very excited about the many possibilities that could come from this proposed project and look forward to doing my part to make it happen for our citizens.”
“Every community in Kaufman County is facing serious issues regarding the updating of their existing systems, and unless we take a proactive stance in solving the problem ahead of us, we will be short changing the citizens of Kaufman,” Kaufman City Mayor William Fortner said.
The idea of a new regionalized communications center will not only be a prudent move for the citizens of Kaufman, but will be good for every city within Kaufman County.
“Rather than duplicate expense and systems in the various cities, it makes good business sense to consolidate this government service. This will significantly enhance public safety for all citizens in the County.”




















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