Sunday, March 28, 2010





Bystander helps deputy fight off felon
Monitor Staff Reports
PAYNE SPRINGS–Thanks to the help of a bystander, a wanted man is in custody and perhaps the life of a sheriff’s deputy was saved.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy Jack Valentine saw a man he’d been looking for with outstanding felony warrants.
A press release from the sheriff’s office reports Valentine saw Brandon Reid Black, 24, standing beside a vehicle at the Shell Station on State Highway 198 in Payne Springs Wednesday.
Black is wanted on charges for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, deadly conduct and possession of marijuana stemming from a Dec. 10, 2009 incident, where he bonded out of custody with $4,500 and didn’t return for his court appearance.
When the deputy approached him and attempted to take Black into custody, Black ran.
Valentine caught up with him, and the two men began fighting. Black was attempting to take the deputy’s weapon when a Good Samaritan stopped and helped Valentine battle Black and put him into custody.
Black was transported to the Henderson County Jail, where he is being held without bond.


Copper theft suspects nabbed
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Due to an increase in copper thefts, Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt initiated a surveillance detail in an effort to locate and identify suspects in these thefts.
The most recent copper theft occurred during the early morning hours Monday at the Henderson County Fair Grounds, a press release stated.
Several 30-amp power supply cords were cut from travel trailers and horse trailers parked on the grounds for the annual livestock show.
The next day, while staking out the fair grounds, Deputy John Daniels saw a vehicle driving through the grounds without lights at around 5:30 a.m.
He detained two subjects in the vehicle – Tracy Hipp, 42, and Lisa Turner, 34, both Caucasians from Athens.
Daniel located several power cords in the back seat, along with cable cutters, bolt cutters, files and pliers.
He also found two black hooded sweatshirts, two pairs of gloves, flashlights and walkie-talkies.
The couple couldn’t give the officer a good reason for being there, but denied involvement in any thefts.
They were charged for theft of copper, a state jail felony, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a Class A misdemeanor, and were transported to the Henderson County Jail.
A follow-up search of Turner’s residence off CR 41512 located additional copper wire and remnants of the power cords in a burn pile at the residence.
Investigator Bryan Tower also obtained a receipt dated March 22 that showed Hipp had sold copper at a local scrapyard.
Tower later obtained a confession from Hipp, which included a description of the copper theft at the fair grounds the previous morning.
Hipp denied that they returned to the fair grounds to commit further theft.


City and CCVF announce Independence Day line-up
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The Cedar Creek Veterans Foundation and Gun Barrel City announce programs to celebrate Independence Day.
The programs will both take place the afternoon and evening of Saturday, July 3.
Military planes, including the USAF B-1 bomber, C-17 cargo plane and Japanese Zeros will fill the sky over Cedar Creek Lake, starting at 6:30 p.m. with coordinated takeoffs from airfields an hour away, accompanied by narration over loudspeakers.
It is the only over-water air show in the United States.
The sixth annual Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake culminates with a dramatic demonstration by Randy Ball in his MiG 17, as he dives at 600 mph.
In addition, a free static aircraft display will open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, July 2, at the Athens airport, and a “meet the pilots” luau is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Pinnacle Club.
Another free standing aircraft display is set for 10 a.m. July 3 at the historic Aviation Memorial Museum at Pounds Regional Airport in Tyler.
Show organizers are initiating a drive to raise funds for this year’s air show and the charity it supports.
Last year, proceeds raised resulted in a $10,000 donation to the Fisher House, which houses families of military personnel undergoing prolonged medical treatment at the Veterans Hospital in Dallas.
“None of us would enjoy the Fourth if it weren’t for the brave men and women who sacrifice for our protection,” Cedar Creek Veterans Foundation president Bob O’Neil said. “There is no better time to say, ‘thank you.’”
Monetary donations are being collected by the non-profit organization CCVF at P.O. Box 489, Mabank TX 75147-0489. Or, make a donation online at  Or call O’Neil at (903) 681-4546.
At the close of the air show, a fireworks display is planned. Last year, more than 700 boaters enjoyed the free event.
Gun Barrel City is juicing up its July Fest with a concert in the park, featuring performers Derek Sholl, Johnny Cooper, and groups No Justice and Bart Crow.
Presale tickets cost $10; those with military ID and children 5 and under get in free.
Check out more of the details as they develop at
A fireworks display is planned for 10:30 p.m. in the skies above the city’s “40 acres” with Bart Crow performing between 11 and 12:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be super. These are the up-and-coming names on the Texas music scene,” event planner Mickie Raney said.
“Every year, the festival is getting better and better. This will bring people from the Dallas area to Cedar Creek Lake,” she said.

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