Traffic stops yield drugs,
Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS–During traffic stops in Seven Points Tuesday, authorities
located a large quantity of methamphetamine and a pistol grip shotgun.
The Henderson County Drug Enforcement Unit removed two people from the
streets on drug charges and one with outstanding warrants for burglary
and theft during two separate traffic stops.
Jerry Culver, 27, was arrested and transported to the county jail on
charges of manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, 4 grams up to
200 grams. He was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by
Culver was arraigned Wednesday by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Henry
Ashford with bonds set at $100,000 for the drug charge and $7,500 for
the possession of firearm charge.
That same day investigators Ronny Halbert and David Faught conducted a
traffic stop on Farm-to-Market 85 and gained consent to search the
Drug paraphernalia and a quantity of methamphetamine were found. The
driver, Allen Reed, was charged with possession of a controlled
substance less than 4 grams. Bail was set at $25,000.
His passenger, Erica Jones, had two outstanding warrants, one for
burglary of a habitation and a second for theft of a vehicle. She is
being held on $35,000 in total bonds.
City sets moratorium on wind
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council granted the city manager’s
request to put a six-month moratorium on wind energy installations in
City manager Gerry Boren needs the time to research the growing energy
technology and craft an ordinance to insure safe installations within
Councilman Charles Townsend argued vigorously against the request,
citing a 30 percent government refund on the cost of installation from
the Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus bill).
“With this in place, why would we put in a moratorium?” he asked.
He described an installation in Loon Bay that he’d be “comfortable being
strapped to in a tornado,” it’s so well bolted down, he said.
Boren responded that six months is the standard time for a moratorium,
and it would give adequate time for incoming council members to become
familiar with the issue.
Some of those issues include possibly obstructing lake views, possible
disturbing humming that could produce headaches, enough land mass on the
property should the tower blow over and the possibility of killing birds
by its turning blades.
“We’d like to make sure everyone is doing it correctly,” Boren said.
Much haggling followed to lessen the length of time on the moratorium.
But in the end, the six-month moratorium won the day 2-1.
“Let’s try to beat the six-month period with an ordinance,” Kevin
“I will,” Boren replied.
In other business, council members:
• heard Gun Barrel City was named Best Lakeside Town by County Line
magazine. Twice the city has won second place in the Governor’s
Community Achievement Awards, the publication cited. “One of the most
popular areas in Northeast Texas for those seeking lake activities, lake
living and leisure.” Runners-up were Cypress Springs and Malakoff.
• reviewed the racial profiling report from the police department.
Acting chief Damon Boswell informed the council that since all patrol
cars are equipped with video/audio recording of every traffic stop, the
department is exempt from filing a report with the state.
• authorized spending up to $15,000 from the Hotel-Motel Fund for a
fireworks display as part of the Homecoming Festival set for Saturday,
May 30. Boren reported the cost of the “aerial art” is $9,300, and said
the spending of the remainder would be within the parameters of the law.
Some of the activities being planned for the festival include band
performances, a motorcycle rally, flea market and possibly a city queen,
whose minimum age is 40, as well as a talent showcase.
• observed patrolman Jason Ramsey being presented with a commendation
from his supervisor, Sgt. Dennis Wehland, for exemplary service during
an agency assist call Feb. 22 in the Oak Harbor subdivision.
A mother of a 17-month-old child called, reporting the child was
unconscious and unresponsive. Ramsey was the first on the scene and
observed the child having no vital signs, breath or pulse. He
administered CPR, which he kept going while en route to the hospital.
Ramsey stayed with the child throughout the emergency.
“Throughout, the extremely stressful situation, he exemplified the
highest degree of professionalism and is a tribute to the city,” Whalen
Sadly, the child could not be revived.
• adopted an ordinance, setting fees for the rental of baseball fields
and equipment. After a cost analysis, Boren said the parks board helped
fees that cover the city’s costs.
Each tournament will pay $50 as a fieled fee and a $50 custodial fee.
Field lights may be used at $10 an hour, formerly $5. For a season of
play, a $200 fee per team will cover the cost of maintaining the field’s
mowing and watering costs, he added.
If a league wants the city to operate their league season, the cost is
$350 per team, which includes the costs for trophies and umpires.
Strictly no admission charges are allowed.
• approved three contractual agreements for use of the concession stand,
league use of baseball fields and an agreement for weekend tournament
use of fields.
“This thing is phenomenal,” Melvyn Hayes said. “It looks like your group
did a lot of work.” Boren replied, “They did.”
Fed grant to help emergency
communications in south VZ
By Terry Britt
Monitor Staff Writer
CANTON–Fire department and sheriff’s communications in the south end of
Van Zandt County may get a whole lot more reliable by the end of the
Tuesday, county commissioners gave their blessing to South Van Zandt
Volunteer Fire Department to accept about $113,000 in a Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant.
The grant will pay for two new radio system repeaters and two new
desktop communications consoles, SVZVFD president Tim Meredith said in
The county’s matching portion for the grant will be $3,253.50, plus a
$600 per month lease for space on a communications tower for the two
repeaters, Meredith explained.
The benefit, he said, will be in eliminating communication outage areas,
often referred to as “dead spots.”
“This will help take care of a problem we’ve had not only with fire
dispatch, but sheriff’s department dispatch as well, for a long time,”
Meredith outlined the department’s several prior attempts for grants,
which failed until the most recent round of awards.
“We are excited and overly ecstatic about this grant,” he said.
Acquiring frequencies for the new repeaters will cause about a
nine-month delay in getting them operable, Meredith said.
Chief deputy John Turner said the consoles provided for in the grant
will “free us up to get some mobiles and handhelds we need, instead of
buying the consoles.”
Also in Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners took no action on the
outdoor burn ban issue. Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Carroll noted the
county was expected to receive up to four inches of rain Wednesday and
In other business, commissioners:
• proclaimed March 15-21 as Poison Prevention Week.
• agreed to hire a temporary part-time dispatcher for the sheriff’s
department from current year budget funds until the position is filled.
• authorized five additional reserve deputy constable slots for Precinct
4 Constable Pat Jordan.
Jordan presented the request in person and said it would help with law
enforcement coverage during weekends in the Edom, Ben Wheeler and
Martins Mill areas.