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Current Issue
March 20, 2011






News in Brief

Animal Friends benefit
The Friends of the Animals Spay/Neuter Clinic is offering a signed, dated print of a Cheyenne chief by painter Robert Lindneux, estimated to be worth more than $300. Call (903) 451-4701 for information. Proceeds benefit the Friends Clinic.

Master Gardener is ‘in’
The Henderson County Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions by phone during March, April and May. Call the AgriLife Extension Office between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at (903) 675-6130, and ask for your Master Gardener.

Rootseekers Society
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 ancestry.

CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club meets at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 22, at the Cedar Creek Country Club. Judy Truesdale previews her book, “Late Morning Laugh.” Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

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.

Budget discussion
Congressman Jeb Hensarling will discuss the nation’s budget deficit and the recent actions to cut deficit spending at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, at Mabank City Hall, 123 E. Market Street, Mabank.

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.

Grief counseling meeting
Restoration House Ministry is hosting grief counseling meetings at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 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.

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.

American Legion benefit
The American Legion Auxiliary is serving Kathy’s beef tips and noodles, cornbread and desserts from 5 p.m. until gone, Friday, March 25, at Post 310. Proceeds benefit area children and youth activities, including scholarships and Girls State.

Humane Society benefit
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake, in partnership with Groom & Sons’ Hardware, invites you to enjoy free hot dogs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 26, to help by donation to finish the new shelter. A wish book of the needed items is at the front register of Groom’s. Businesses also will be on hand to discuss pet grooming, boarding and training offered in the community.

Masonic breakfast
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) 340-5958.

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..

Appraisal Fair
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.

CCL Garden Club
The executive board of the Cedar Creek Lake Garden Club meets at 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 28, in the home of Judy Sullivan. For information call (903) 498-6544.

CC Civic League
The Cedar Creek Civic League meets at 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 28, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Project is Meals on Wheels. Guests welcome. For information call Joyce at (451) 3229.

Merchant fraud info
A merchant fraud training session is set for 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, March 31, at the Trinity Valley Community College Student Union Building. The event is free to all businesses, merchants and employees, sponsored by the Henderson County District Attorney and County Attorney’s offices and the Athens Police Department. Topics cover counterfeit money, hot checks, fraud, credit cards and more. RSVP to County Attorney Clint Davis at (903) 675-6112 or e-mail to

Tri-county book sale
Friends of the Tri-County Library are hosting a book, jewelry and bake sale from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 1, and from 8:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 2, in the community room of the library, across from Mabank City Hall on Market Street. Proceeds benefit the library.

Weed ID program
A program, “Learning When to Pull or Not to Pull,” presented by Kaufman County Master Gardeners, is set for 9 a.m. Monday, April 4, at First Community Church, 1401 Trinity Drive, Crandall. Refreshments provided. Business meeting follows. For information or handicapped accommodations, call the KC AgriLife Extension Office at (972) 932-9069.

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 For information, call the fire station at (903) 451-4511 and leave a message.

Free skating
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 (903) 778-2423.

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Top News

Rollover kills teen
Monitor Staff Reports
ROSSER–Having just moved to the area, a 16-year-old white female, Savannah Ramza, sustained injuries in a one-vehicle accident March 11 that later claimed her life.
Ramza, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, lost control of the 2003 Ford Excursion she was driving at approximately .3 miles south of Rosser on State Highway 34.
The vehicle rolled several times, and investigators reported she was ejected.
She suffered multiple injuries, including severe head injuries. She was transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where she later died.
A high rate of speed and alcohol were listed as factors in the accident.
Her passenger, 17-year-old white male Jesse Swondell, was reportedly injured, but refused treatment at the scene.
Swondell was wearing his seatbelt.
Information was supplied by the Garland Texas Department of Public Safety office.


Taylor plea-bargains, leaves Seven Points City Council
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Veteran Seven Points city councilman Charles Tommy Taylor, and his attorney, Jay Mills, pleaded guilty to abusing his office and stepped down from his position.
Taylor appeared in the 173rd District Court and officially waived his right to a trial by jury Monday.
In a plea-bargain agreement, Taylor accepted a reduced sentence in return for a plea to Abuse of Official Capacity, which was dropped from a second degree felony to a Class B misdemeanor.
As a part of the agreement, Taylor was removed from his city council seat, leaving only councilwoman Claudett Allsup as a seated council member.
Three members were removed earlier from the council by Mayor John “Joe” Dobbs for not attending meetings.
Of the three, mayor pro tem Hank Laywell, council members Cheryl Jones and Bubba Powell (who also faces abuse of official capacity charges), did not turn in packets as candidates for the upcoming election by Monday’s filing deadline.
While Allsup is seeking re-election, Taylor, Jerry Ferrell and James Moore had added their names to the list well before the deadline (see related chart, page 4A).
When word reached city hall that Taylor had been removed from office, four other candidates officially filed for election before the 5 p.m. deadline – Kevin Pollock, Karon Flagg, Kenny Boyle and Wanda Lee Nichols.
Taylor (who is confined to a wheelchair) accepted a sentence of 180 days confinement in the Henderson County Justice Center, which he will serve at home.
In addition, Taylor was placed on community supervision for two years, during which time he will not be allowed to run for any office.
Taylor was also ordered to pay restitution to the court in the sum of $294 for court costs and $500 in attorney fees.
The election of a new council will hopefully provide for council meetings to resume. Seven Points has not had a meeting since the first meeting following the election last May.
Lack of a quorum prevented most meetings, as Laywell, Jones and Powell did not attend, thus earning the name “the missing three.”

Rowans announce retirement
Mabank western wear store to close at the end of April
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–After nearly 40 years in Mabank and Kemp, the owners of Rowan’s Western Wear are retiring – closing one of the last clothing stores located in Mabank.
Sheila and Donnie Rowan prove the adage that if you love what you do, you won’t work a day.
“This (store) is home for us. I don’t have any other life other than this. I’ve always liked to work (in the store), more than doing anything else,” Sheila said. “I’ve worked six days a week, opening and closing, and then there’s church on Sundays. I enjoy working at the church, too.”
They say what they’ll miss most, once the store closes at the end of April, are the visits with customers, who over the years have become friends and like members of their extended family.
“I’ll just be seeing them around town now, instead of in the store,” Sheila said, adding that it’s too painful to think about saying good-bye.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Donnie and Sheila Rowan (left, holding portrait of granddaughter Lauren Coats), along with daughter Rhonda Horton and son Russell Rowan, are closing Rowan’s Western Wear in Mabank after 37 years of providing top-quality clothing and accessories to Cedar Creek Lake area families.

Though she is sad about ending this part of her life, Sheila looks forward to not being in a hurry anymore, and having the time to make small gestures of kindness, like sending cards to loved ones for no reason at all, and spending time with her great-grandbaby, due to be born about the time the store closes.
Married for 52 years, the couple is proud of the fact that they’ve never had a store manager, never taken a vacation and have worked alongside their son, daughter and granddaughter in the family business over the past 37 years.
Though one might assume they had a well-thought out plan when they opened and grew their business, Sheila said it developed by God’s will and blessing more than any plan or design of theirs.
Sheila tells how she was working in Kemp as a supervisor for a clothing manufacturer when a large order for leisure suits was refused by the customer.
She started selling those suits out of the factory and took them home on weekends to sell out of her home and garage.
Soon afterwards, Donnie quit his job operating road machinery for Kaufman County. He added to their stock, and hunted a small building to buy on Main Street in Kemp.
“This was before the highway moved out of town,” Sheila said.
Soon after that, Sheila’s job played out, and they both found themselves as full-time entrepreneurs.
“We never knew what we were doing, but we both worked in that small store every single day,” Sheila said.
The couple built on and expanded. Their son, Russell, and daughter Rhonda grew up there, spending most days after school in the store, helping out. When they grew to be teenagers, they also worked down the road at Doyle Brown’s Western Wear in Mabank.
Brown’s place was located where the First State Bank of Mabank is now, and before that, the location held the train depot – still a central spot in downtown Mabank when Sheila and Donnie bought the store from Brown.
By then, U.S. 175 was carrying more traffic outside of Kemp rather than through it. At first, the Rowans hoped to operate in two locations, but nixed that plan in favor of making the bigger Mabank location a success.
For 19 years, the couple operated the largest dry goods store in the area. It was where area residents brought their children to get back-to-school clothes. Fathers and sons bought rugged work boots, dungarees, overalls, belts and go-to-meeting shirts, among other sundry items.
Today, Rowan’s specializes in cowboy boots and hats, jeans, Western shirts and jackets, and for the ladies, a number of trendy styles in footwear, jewelry, belt buckles, jeans and purses. Where else could you go to get some style in country suspenders to hold your pants up?
In addition to not being afraid of working long hours, the couple has a number of things in their favor.
Donnie comes from a family of storeowners. His father, grandfather and brother successfully owned and operated general stores in Van Zandt County and a grocery store in Kemp, which gave Donnie confidence that he could do so, too. Both Donnie and Sheila also have a head for numbers.
It didn’t hurt that both their families have been longtime residents of the area and they knew a lot of the people here and were familiar with their needs from a dry goods store.
With the change in the times, the couple downsized in 2000, when they moved to their current location at on South Third St. (SH 198), next to the Goodwill Store.
Though the last 10 years, while business has fallen off, the couple agree trade at their store has always been good, “just some times have been better than other times.”
Donnie recalls in the 70s, “urban cowboy” fashions were king, and he had to order in February to get what he expected to sell during the Christmas shopping season.
“Now, I can order something on Monday and it will be here on Wednesday,” he said.
Though a lot has changed, a lot has remained the same.
Customers are still treated as family. The couple can recall the names of all the sales help they’ve hired through the years, and most their offspring. Life goes on, even after this huge chapter in their lives has closed.
Donnie, 72, expects to increase his time on the back of a cutting horse, an interest he’s maintained through the years.
Sheila looks forward to still greeting her longtime customers while doing business around town at the other stores, post office and restaurants; maybe even with a great-granddaughter in tow.
“I don’t know just what I’m going to be busy doing. I just know a new chapter in my life is about to begin,” Sheila said.






































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