VFW style show
The VFW Post 4376 and its Ladies Auxiliary are hosting a
“woman-less style show” at 3 p.m. Sunday (today). A donation
will help support our veterans. There will be snacks, and plenty
of laughs as patrons see what “real” modeling is about. For
information call the VFW at (903) 432-2138.
Methodist OWLS study
Mabank First United Methodist Church OWLS (Older, Wiser, Loving
Seniors) are sponsoring “From Age-ing to Sage-ing,” a study by
Zalman Schichter-Shalome and Ronald S. Miller, taught by the
Rev. Eston Williams, pastor of Aley UMC. One session remains at
7 p.m. Monday, March 14, at Mabank FUMC. Free except for study
EISD Spring Break
Eustace Independent School District Tax Office will be closed
March 14-18 for Spring Break.
Basic Internet class
Navigating the Internet class, taught by A.J. Amyx, marketing
director of A New Way to Market, is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday,
March 15, at Tri-County Library. Learn about Twitter. Class fee
charged. To register or for information, call the library at
Senior Game Day
Senior Game Day at Brawner Hall is set for 12:30 to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15. Sara Smith from Trinity Valley Home Health
and Therapy Services is the speaker. All March birthdays will be
celebrated with a cake. For information call city hall at (903)
Mabank Garden Club
The Mabank Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the
Tri-County Library, Mabank. Ron Loper of the Texas Native Plant
society will present a program titled “Going Native in Your
Garden.” Guests are welcome. For information call Donna at (903)
Sarah Maples DAR
The Sarah Maples Chapter of the Daughters of the American
Revolution will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, at The
Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points. Charlotte Gish will
present “Women’s Issues.”
The Henderson County Women’s Board of Realtors meets at 8:15
a.m. Wednesday, March 16, at the Cedar Creek County Club.
Speaker is Hoss Pratt.
Kemp band fundraiser
A multi-family barn/garage sale (hosted by Kemp band parents)
will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Friday, March 17-18,
at 5801 Cedar Creek Drive, located 3.3 miles south of Kemp on SH
274 – follow the signs. For information call (903) 498-6800
Grief counseling meeting
Restoration House Ministry is hosting grief counseling meetings
at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 17 and 24 (first, third and fourth
Thursdays of each month). All in need of healing are welcome, as
grief comes in many forms – death, divorce, separation or a
major change. For information call Pastor Barker at (903)
887-4881, or the Rev. Kathey Floyd at (903) 880-9692.
Canton country dance
A country dance, featuring the music of Al Barlow and the
Lakesiders Band, is set for 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, at
the Canton Senior Center, 200 Grove Street, Canton. For
information call (903) 489-3396.
ET Riders playday
The East Texas Riders Playday is set for 3 p.m. Saturday, March
19, at CR 4029, Kemp. For directions or information, contact
Diana Clemmo at (214) 534-4067 or Facebook, East Texas Riders
The Rootseekers Genealogical Society meets at 7 p.m. Monday,
March 21, at Tri-County Library, downtown Mabank. Meetings open
to the public. Attendant is available from 9:30 a.m. to noon
Tuesdays in the genealogy room for those researching their
HC livestock show
The annual Henderson County Livestock Show is set for Monday
through Saturday, March 21-26, at the Henderson County Fair Park
Complex in Athens.
CCL Literary Club
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake is hosting its bridge and
luncheon benefit at 9 a.m. (doors open) Thursday, March 24, at
Cedar Creek Lake United Methodist Church, Will White Road and
Old Indian Trail, Tool. All proceeds benefit The Library at
Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points. For information call Jeanie
Hulsey at (903) 432-3341 or Ruth Pimm at (903) 778-4752.
Kiwanis Pancake Day
The Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis club will hold its annual Pancake
Day fundraiser from 6 to 11 a.m. Thursday, March 24. Breakfast
includes pancakes, bacon, sausage, syrup and butter for a small
donation. Delivery to businesses available (minimum three
orders) after 7 a.m. Fax orders to (903) 432-2415 no later than
5 p.m. Wednesday, March 23. Dine-in at St. Peter Lutheran (next
to Pizza Hut) in GBC.
The Cedar Creek Lake Masonic Lodge No. 1431 is hosting a pancake
breakfast with pancakes, sausage, bacon, coffee and orange juice
from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 26, at the lodge at 402
Legendary Lane, GBC, next to the water tower. Donation for all
you can eat. For information call (903) 887-2333 or (903)
Kemp Spring Festival
The Kemp Business & Civic Association is sponsoring a Spring
Festival at Kemp City Park. The park opens at 1 p.m. with a
parade at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 26. Booths available. For
information contact Diana Clemmo at (214) 534-4067 and Facebook
East Texas Riders Newsletter..
The Cedar Creek Civic League’s seventh annual Appraisal Fair is
set for 9 a.m. Saturday, March 26, in the Family Life Center,
First United Methodist Church, Mabank. The Antique Road
Show-type event features two popular appraisers from the Dallas
area. Tickets are available from Civic League members, and at
Bluebonnet Emporium and Old Friends Antiques. For tickets and
information on costs, contact Susan Thomas at (903) 887-0818 or
Noma Parkhouse at (903) 778-4177.
PS Fire Rescue benefit
The annual all-you-can-eat fish fry benefitting the Payne
Springs Fire Rescue is set for 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9. A 2007
Harley Davidson FX/ST is a part of the fundraiser. View pictures
at www.psfirerescue.com. For information, call the fire station
at (903) 451-4511 and leave a message.
Cedar Creek Bible Church is hosting free skating from 7 to 8:30
p.m. Fridays in March and the first two weeks of April for
children ages 4 to sixth grade. Parents may drop off their
children. Skates are free, along with sodas, popcorn, hot
chocolate and snow cones. The church is located one mile north
of the Seven Points traffic light on SH 274. For information
call the church at (903) 432-2175.
Free tax help
Free tax help is available at Tri-County Library, Mabank, with
Peggy Rogers, VITA. Rogers worked for the IRS for many years and
keeps up with current changes. Call the library at (903)
887-9622, leaving name, local phone number (calls from cells
with long distance numbers will not be returned), and the best
time for her to return your call to set up an appointment.
AARP free tax help
AARP free tax services will be available from 8 a.m. to noon
through Wednesday, April 13, at the following locations –
Fridays at the Henderson County Senior Center, Athens, Mondays
at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points, and Wednesdays
at the Senior Citizens Center, Malakoff. For information call
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Council bows to meter sale ruling
Groundbreaking on new Gun Barrel City hall
set for April 18
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY-Besides getting an eyeful of the new city hall
planned for construction across the street at the former
Prosperity Bank Building Tuesday, the Gun Barrel City Council
conceded defeat in its efforts to “control its own destiny” by
becoming a water utility.
City efforts, led by city manager Gerry Boren and councilman
Marty Goss, tried to block the sale of 800 Mabank water meters
to the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District, seeing the
sale as an opportunity for the city to become its own water
Council members agreed to discontinue their efforts.
“It is unlikely the commissioners would reverse their decision,”
Goss said. “It’s over. It’s time to move on.”
An architectural rendering of the inside of the proposed new Gun
Barrel City Hall council chambers shows natural rock and wood
facing, part of a proposed $1.2 million in renovations to an
existing bank building located at the intersection of Main
Street and Harbor Point Road.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality unanimously ruled
in favor of the sale Feb. 23, ending a nearly two-year city
Goss said the city learned a lot about the utility’s systems
after reading a statement from the city’s attorney on the case,
which Goss said was backed up by findings in the case.
“Basically, the board ignored our objections,” Goss said. “And
now it’s time to move on.”
“The only thing we accomplished is make the utility angry with
us, so they won’t want to work with us,” councilman Melvyn Hayes
said. “You can’t throw mud and not get it back in your eye.”
“No you haven’t,” ECCFWSD board president Harry McCune shouted
out. “We’ll still work with you.”
Earlier under public comment, McCune read a statement to help
correct erroneous ideas about the effect of adding the new
meters will have on the system and on existing customers.
McCune said that during the month of September, 2010, the water
plant dispensed about 29.3 million gallons of water to 3,500
customers, averaging 7,500 gallons for each meter. September was
the month with the highest demand for water all year.
The plant is capable of pumping two million gallons a day, or 62
million gallons per month, more than twice the amount needed
during September. On the peak day of the year, the plant
dispensed 1.2 million gallons, well below the maximum capacity
Adding 800 meters with an average of 7,500 gallons monthly usage
adds six million gallons a month. When added to the nearly 30
million gallons called for during September, this totals nearly
40 million gallons, or 58 percent of the plant’s capacity.
He also said refurbishment of the plant will double capacity to
4 mg/d when completed by the end of this year.
“The district’s general manager and engineering firm have the
plans in place to make a smooth transition from Mabank to
ECCFWSD water for the new customers,” McCune said. “When the
changeover is complete, the new customers will be billed at the
same rate as all other district customers.”
City hall plans
General contractor Sarah Lucksinger presented a completed design
for the renovation and expansion of the new city hall to council
members, which includes the latest technology.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, she showed floor plans, artist
renderings and a timetable, which included an April 18
groundbreaking, with the first bids due March 30.
“Right now, we’re coordinating the architectural plans with the
engineers,” she explained. The plans call for a move-in date of
Sept. 22, she added.
Design goals for the $1.5 million project aimed for functional
efficiency and cost-effectiveness, while also making it
maintenance-friendly and energy-efficient, she said.
Phase One provides for 59 parking spaces with room for an
additional 27 spaces. Sidewalks lead up to all entry points.
To the building’s existing 3,200 square feet, plans call for a
west-end addition of another 1,000 square feet and a “wrap”
adding another 4,700 square feet, for a total of 8,900 square
A new roof is essential, with existing solar panels reinstalled.
The facade includes masonry accents with new self-illuminating
signage on the building, she said. The lettering appears bronze
by day and white by night.
Plans also call for reworking the freestanding pole sign to
include a double-sided digital display board.
Inside, attention was given to provide audio/video technology,
acoustics and controlled lighting in the new council chambers,
so everyone can see and hear what is going on, she said.
In addition, furnishings include comfortable portable seating
for flexibility, so the great hall can be put to many different
uses as a gathering place.
The council adopted an ordinance establishing a Sinking Fund to
receive and pay out monies in connection with the construction
and repayment of a construction loan to First State Bank, as
required by the Texas State Constitution for a governmental body
to incur debt, councilman Curtis Webster explained.
The fund will be established with at least 2 percent of the
principal – or $30,000 if the loan amount is $1.5 million. The
closing date for the loan comes about the same time as the
groundbreaking in early April.
The council agreed to the bank’s terms of a fixed rate of 3.55
percent for 10 years, or $82,000 a year on $1.5 million. After
that, it will be amortized, based on a 29-year mortgage with an
adjustable rate between 2.99 percent and 8 percent.
Boren said monies to repay the loan will be swept into the
sinking fund from year-end balances. Money to fuel the
construction will come from the bank on an as-needed basis.
Collateral for the loan comes from the city’s regular sales tax
collection figures and good financial standing.
Boren added rents collected from city hall tenants – the
Economic Development Corporation, convenience post office and
visitors center, all paid from the Hotel and Motel Fund – will
be added to the Sinking Fund.
He also expects the cost savings gained from efficient
operations in the new building’s design, phone and energy use
will help offset a portion of the annual payment.
The construction is not being supported by the issuance of
bonds, nor by the promise of an ad valorem tax, which would have
had to go before the voters.
“We’re going to start making use of the fund balances the city
has accumulated over the years,” Boren said. The latest city
bank balance report lists Certificates of Deposit totaling
$377,740, put back as part of a 90-day operating fund, along
with a reserve fund totaling another $189,788, as of the last
quarter of 2010.
In other business, council members:
• heard the pavilion (see below) is 70 percent completed and
that a bluegrass music concert is set for 6 p.m. Friday, April
1, to celebrate its opening. Goss reported a Farmers Market
would be held there on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
• received a racial profiling report from the police department.
• ratified the police chief’s decision to allow police officers
in good standing for three years with the city to drive a patrol
car to their Gun Barrel City homes as a deterrent to crime in
the neighborhoods and for quicker action if he/she is called
• approved the addition of a Social Media and a Controlled
Substance & Alcohol Abuse policy in the city’s personnel policy
manual, developed by a human resources attorney and now used in
• tabled action to commit $216,748 of in-kind contributions to a
SilverLeaf Development, until a full presentation can be made to
2 die in house fire
Monitor Staff Reports
BROWNSBORO–Two people died in a mid-morning fire Wednesday at a
rural residence south of Brownsboro.
Around 10:40 a.m., the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office
received a 9-1-1 call reporting a fire at a home located on
Farm-to-Market 317, just east of the Leagueville community.
Chandler and Brownsboro firefighters responding to the alarm
arrived 16 minutes later to find the residence fully involved in
Once the fire had been controlled, the county fire marshal and
volunteer firefighters discovered two bodies inside the
“The Henderson County Fire Marshal is conducting the
investigation to determine the origin of the fire,” county
sheriff Ray Nutt reported in a prepared news release issued
“The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Texas
Rangers and the District Attorney’s Office, is investigating the
cause of death of the two individuals,” Nutt added.
Justice of the Peace Sue Starnes held a brief inquest and
ordered the bodies taken to the Southwestern Institute of
Forensic Science in Dallas for autopsy, which will determine the
cause of death and officially identify the victims, Nutt
Mabank sophomore survives severe head
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–Sometimes its the little things that can get
you. Richard Lusk Jr. found that out the hard way on a Saturday
afternoon while helping a friend clean out the bed of a truck.
On Feb. 12, Rick – as he likes to be called – slipped and banged
his forehead against the rounded wheel-well in the bed of the
There was no cut, not even the usual knot on his head, so he
didn’t look like he needed medical attention.
Outside of a headache, for which he took the usual
over-the-counter pain remedy, he seemed all right.
Rick lives with his grandmother, Diane Rorie, in the Harbor
Point Subdivision in Gun Barrel City. She was concerned about
“I just kept on doing ‘stuff,” he said. “She thought I wasn’t
getting enough rest (as the reason for the continued headache).”
For a little more than a week, he kept telling her he was okay.
“I went to school, and afterwards went out and drove go-karts at
Whatz-up Family Fun Park,” Rick said.
“I drove bumper cars, went bowling twice and did work, like
cleaning out a barn,” he added.
Finally though, his headache became worse and on Sunday (Feb.
20), he told his grandmother he thought he ought to go to the
“We were on our way to the Church of the Nazarene. He loves his
youth group, and when he still complained that he didn’t feel
like going, I called his father, who came right over and took
him to the emergency room in Kaufman,” she said.
“We walked in and sat down in the waiting room. It was full.
Because he didn’t look serious, he had to wait his turn,” father
Richard Lusk Sr. recalled.
Both Rick’s father and grandmother work for the Mabank
Independent School District’s transportation department.
She is the secretary, and he is a bus mechanic.
“They did a CT (computer tomography) scan, and we thought that
was just part of the routine care,” his dad said.
“But suddenly, they came out and began putting in an IV and told
me he was going to take a helicopter ride,” he added. “He was
immediately airlifted to Baylor in Dallas, and in a matter of
three to four hours, he was in surgery.”
“It was very frightening,” Rorie said.
The surgeon told them that Rick’s brain was pushed so far to the
side of his skull, the doctor was surprised he was still
conscious, much less walking, she added.
When Lusk called her and told her Rick was being airlifted to
Baylor, Rorie said at first, she couldn’t understand what was
“The Lord’s hand has been on that boy. Even the surgeon called
him a ‘miracle boy,’ and told him things could have gone a lot
worse,” she said.
His dad described the procedure, starting with the peeling back
of a large flap of his scalp in order to access his skull.
It took an incision approximately 17 inches in length around his
head to peel back the flap of skin.
“Then they removed a chunk of his skull the size of a softball
in diameter, and put it in the freezer until after the surgery,”
“They removed blood and spinal fluid, but did not have damage to
the brain,” he said.
Rick was then taken to ICU, where he remained for three days
before being put in a room.
Things were still pretty scary for the family, because now Rick
showed the results of the surgery.
“After the surgery, his left eye and face were severely swollen,
and his left arm and side was immobile,” his dad reported.
But the miracle boy was now on the road to recovery.
“By Thursday (Feb. 24), the feeling started returning, and by
Saturday, he was gradually able to walk the halls and get around
on his own,” Lusk continued.
“The surgeon said that was the biggest skull operation he has
done this whole year,” he added.
Rick is back home and on antibiotics, pain medication and salt
tablets, his father said – although the salt can go as soon as
he builds the proper amount back in his blood.
Some of his friends visited him in the hospital, and many more
have called or sent flowers, but Rick will not finish out this
school year with them.
“He will be out of school the rest of this year. He will be
enrolled in a homeschool program,” his dad said. “He also will
not take part in any physical activity – no sports, no labor.
“He will be taking it slow for at least two to three weeks, and
then there will still be a period of being very careful,” Lusk
Rick will be allowed to use the Wii games to increase his
Though things could have worked out much worse, Rick is very
disappointed that he won’t be getting his driver’s license, even
though he will be 16 Sunday (today). Like most teenagers, he has
been looking forward to it.
He and his dad have been restoring a 1989 Chevrolet short-side
pickup for about a year, which has already been put in his name.
However, he won’t be able to drive it now, or even apply for his
license until state requirements concerning drivers with recent
brain injuries are met.
Rick has also been an avid fisherman and has his own jonboat.
“I’ve always liked fishing,” he said with a sigh, because now he
can’t go fishing alone.
“But, as soon as the doctor says we can, I’m going to take him
fishing,” his dad said, who’s just thankful to have his son back
on the mend.