Kemp Senior Citizen Center is seeking volunteer drivers for its
Meals on Wheels program. Only one hour a day and you can pick
the day or days. Call Lisa Stinnett at (903) 498-4046.
Gospel music program
The Overcomers choir from Neosho, Mo., will present a gospel
music program at 10:30 a.m. Sunday (today) at Lakeview Church,
located across from Seven Points city hall, on the corner of SH
334 and Wood Street. For information call (903) 432-2682 from 10
a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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 (903) 451-3229.
HPPOA Crime Watch
The Harbor Point Property Owners Association Crime Watch meeting
is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, at the HPPOA Park Pavilion.
Game Warden Dustin Balfanz will present a program on his role
and safety on the lake. For information call Carol Calkins at
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lenten fish frys
The Knights of Columbus Council 8806 and St. Jude Catholic
Church have scheduled six Friday fish frys during Lent. All you
can eat fish, hush puppies, fries, cole slaw, drinks and
home-baked goodies, from 5 to 7 p.m. April 1, April 8 and April
15, at the church on Luther Lane, behind Pizza Hut. All proceeds
benefit local, state and national charities. For information
call Paul Ciardo at (903) 432-3529.
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.
The Christian Life Center Church is hosting its second annual
Car Show and Pinewood Derby with registration at 8 a.m. and
event beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 2, featuring fun,
food and entertainment. T-shirts for car registries and winning
trophies. For information call (903) 887-5429.
Tool Trash Off
The city of Tool Trash Off is set for 8 a.m. until noon or until
the dumpster is full, Saturday, April 2, at the city maintenance
barn, on the corner of Sunset and Tool Drive. Proof of residency
by driver’s license, utility bill or voter registration card, is
required. Not accepting paint, Freon, tires, carpet, brush,
hazardous items or roofing material. For information call (903)
432-3522 - 6.
CCLUMC annual sale
The Cedar Creek Lake Untied Methodist Church is hosting its
annual garage sale 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 1, and from 8
a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 2, located at 100 South Indian
Trail, Tool. Proceeds benefit our Outreach Night and Parents
Night Out, as well as several local charities, including the
Food Pantry, along with the annual community dinner in December.
FBC GBC revival
The First Baptist Church in GBC is hosting a revival/bible
conference a 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, April 3, and at 7 p.m.
Monday through Wednesday, April 4-6, led by Mark Fried and Don
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.
A free 10-week program assisting participants in writing the
story of their lives is being offered at two local libraries,
from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays, beginning April 4 at The Library at
Cedar Creek, Seven Points, and from 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays,
beginning April 7, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. To register or
for information, e-mail email@example.com or call (903)
The Payne Springs United Methodist Church monthly fellowship
night is set Wednesday, April 6, beginning with a 6:30 p.m.
covered dish dinner, followed by gospel music program by the
“Fragile Existence” band. The public is invited. The church is
located across from the PSVFD on SH 198. For information call
(903) 451-3131 or (903) 451-2978.
All you can eat fish fry
The Knights of Columbus Mary Queen of Heaven Council 12253 in
Malakoff is hosting an all-you-can-eat fish fry from 5 to 7 p.m.
Friday, April 8, and a take-out lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The
meal includes catfish, hush puppies, coleslaw, drinks and
home-baked goods. The event benefits Spina Bifida research and
treatment and local charities. Take SH 198 to Star Harbor Road
(CR 3062), across from Malakoff High School.
Van Zandt senior dance
The Van Zandt Senior Citizens Club monthly dance is set for 7
p.m. Friday, April 8, at the Henderson County Seniors Center in
Athens. Joe Walenta and the Ranch Hands will provide country
music. For information call Duane Stevens at (903) 675-3774.
The Environmental Co-op encourages everyone to “Take Trash
Personally” by participating in the “Don’t Mess With Texas
Trash-Off” from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 9. Wear
comfortable shoes and meet at Southwestern Christian College,
200 Bowser Street, Terrell. Refreshments, trash bags and other
supplies provided. Door prizes following clean-up. To register
or for information, call the Co-op at (972) 524-0007 or e-mail
A low-cost vaccination clinic, sponsored by Friends of the
Animals Clinic, is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the
southeast corner of SH 334 and 198, behind the Huddle House
Restaurant. No appointment necessary. Fee charged. For
information call (903) 887-PETS. Dogs must be on leash and cats
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, at the
Payne Springs Fire Station, 9674 SH 198. 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.
Outdoor Fools Day
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens is holding its
annual Outdoor Fools Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April
9. Information about outdoor recreation opportunities in East
Texas, plus hands-on skill-teaching activities – archery, pond
management, how to camp and more, all free with paid admission.
Mabank VFD fish fry
The 24th annual Mabank Fire Department Fish Fry is set for 4 to
8 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at the fire station, 111 E. Mason
Street (Business 175). All proceeds benefit the Mabank Fire
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.
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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Malakoff ISD eyes budget cuts
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–With a $27 billion budget deficit to close, no one
knows for sure what lawmakers in Austin are going to do with
education funding. That has school districts preparing for a
wide variety of scenarios.
The only thing for sure is that there will be less money in the
The Malakoff ISD Board of Trustees recently reviewed two levels
of actions; the first to go into effect if Austin’s decisions
cost MISD around $600,000, the second if the reduction is closer
to $2.5 million.
That is the possible range of cuts, outgoing Superintendent Dr.
John Spies said. However, he told board members he expects the
number to be around $1 million.
“But this is going to change another 40 times before (the
budget) is passed,” Spies warned.
Spies also warned board members that lawmakers in Austin aren’t
the only ones looking at budget cuts – Congress is also likely
to cut federal education funding.
That would hurt MISD, which gets extra federal money because of
its large low-income student population.
“We could be losing substantial federal dollars,” Spies said.
Responses trustees looked at include both cuts to expenditures,
like reducing personnel or targeted spending, and increasing
“Ideally, I would like to see us do this 50 percent with revenue
and 50 percent with cuts,” Spies said.
If all the actions listed in Level 1 are taken, it would save
the district about $1.1 million.
Some of the big items on the Level 1 list include:
• Adjusting revenue by taking $150,000 from the fund balance,
which currently stands at about $4.6 million.
The district would also add $400,000 in state funding because of
the growth in student population and another $5,000 from
increasing the cost of lunches.
• Funding cuts would include losing four professional employees,
one at each campus, and four paraprofessionals.
Also, the district would cut some administrators to four days a
week, saving $21,000. Other suggestions on the list include
things such as eliminating student meals for day trips and
cutting staff travel.
If all the actions listed in Level 2 are taken, it would save
the district about $2.5 million. Some of the cuts on the Level 2
list are the same as Level 1, just deeper.
Where applicable, the items below are the total cuts:
• In addition to the $400,000 from growth and $5,000 from
lunches, the district would take $500,000 out of the fund
balance, shift 1 cent from the tax rate’s I&S fund to the M&O
fund for another $55,000, and consider raising the tax rate 2
cents for $110,000.
• Cuts would including losing a maintenance position, a total of
seven paraprofessionals, three professionals at the high school,
two professionals at the middle school (still one each at the
elementary schools), four special education positions, eliminate
elementary summer school, eliminate adult ESL, eliminate
extracurricular insurance, reduce extracurricular supplies 20
percent, and reduce instructional supplies 10 percent.
Items that could also be eliminated if grants are cut include
the district’s police officer and full-day Pre-K (district would
go to half-day).
While the Level 2 cuts are much deeper, Spies said, “I don’t
think the state is going to get us to that point.”
As for the personnel cuts, Spies said the district hoped to do
as much of that as possible through attrition.
“I want to do everything we can to treat people right,” he said.
Board members approved the first cut early this month –
eliminating the Middle School band director.
MMS band director David Baggett was a casualty of a Reduction in
Force (RIF), as the district will not have that position next
Scale leads to meth bust
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–A late-evening traffic stop turned into a drug bust
Wednesday, when the officer noticed a digital scale sitting out
in plain sight.
Around 9 p.m. Wednesday, Henderson County sheriff’s deputy
Joseph Durr saw a vehicle turn off Farm-to-Market 3506 onto
Valley View Drive (the back entrance to the Briarwood Bay
subdivision) without using a turn signal.
Durr initiated a traffic stop, and identified the driver as
Spencer Stokes, 42. Durr also observed a digital scale sitting
on a jacket between the two front seats.
“Deputy Durr knows, through training and experience, that
digital scales are commonly used to weigh narcotics, and
furthered the search,” Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt
reported in a prepared news release issued late Thursday.
During the search, Durr found a clear plastic baggie containing
a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine, and
placed Stokes under arrest for Manufacture/Delivery of a
Controlled Substance, more than four grams and less than 200
grams, which is a first degree felony, punishable by up to life
in prison, Nutt reported.
Stokes was transported to the Henderson County Jail, where faced
additional charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and
displaying wrong/fictitious/obscured vehicle license
As of presstime Thursday, he remained jailed under bonds
County plans for hot summer
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENS–Henderson County commissioners approved a plan to replace
air conditioners and install programmable thermostats, along
with other energy-savers, at the records building, the jail and
the senior citizens center Tuesday morning.
The project will be completely paid for with federal grant
That part was easy – actually awarding the Request For Proposal
(RFP) was a little harder.
Commissioners awarded the project to low-bidder Cole Air
Conditioning & Appliance Company of Athens, but not without 30
minutes of debate. Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall voted
against Cole. “I am not a fan of Goodman units,” he said.
Discussion centered on the difference between Goodman
manufactured air conditioners, which was used in the Cole RFP,
and units made by Carrier.
County maintenance workers wanted Carrier units because of their
Janie Cole of Cole Air told commissioners they could have bid
Carrier units, but said the Goodman units fit the project
“We didn’t submit Carrier, because we were trying to save the
county some money,” she said.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin noted the warranty with the
Goodman units was better and longer.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence said, “I am a firm
believer in using local.”