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.
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
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
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.
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,
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
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.
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 email@example.com.
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 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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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
She suffered multiple injuries, including severe head injuries.
She was transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where she
A high rate of speed and alcohol were listed as factors in the
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
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
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
Rowans announce retirement
Mabank western wear store to close at the end
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
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
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
“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.