Sunday, March 29, 2009




  Search for man, grandson still on
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

NAVARRO COUNTY–Authorities continue the search of the Richland Chambers Reservoir in Navarro County for an area grandfather and his grandson late Thursday.
Missing since Monday are Jerry King, 72, of Athens and Jerrod Rachel, 17, of Cross Roads. Rachel is a senior at Cross Roads High School.
Navarro County Sheriff Mike Cox told The Monitor the search would continue until the men were found.
According to Navarro County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mike Cox, the pair was fishing at the lake, located south of Kerens. They last made contact with family members at about 3 p.m. Monday to say they were coming home. Police were alerted when the two men didn’t arrive by 6 p.m.
Authorities found King’s pontoon boat floating on the lake soon after the search began, but found no sign of King or Rachel. Police said the key was turned off and the throttle was in neutral.
The lifejackets found on the boat were still wrapped in plastic.
Searchers told The Dallas Morning News that one person might have fallen overboard and the other gone in after him.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Captain Gary Dugan said the water temperature was between 55 and 60 degrees on Monday, cold enough to make a swimmer’s muscles contract on contact with the water.
King is the owner of King Sand and Gravel.
Cross Roads ISD is on spring break this week.

County to do dirtwork for new fire station
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–The Henderson County Commissioners authorized county assistance to prep the site of the new fire station in Tool.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall said his team will provide machinery and manpower to level out the site, up to $3,000, working the request into the present work schedule.
Building a new fire station for Emergency Service District No. 4 has been a three-year journey, ESD 4 treasurer Larry Moran told commissioners Tuesday.
A 20-year note for $240,000 was approved recently, and plans drawn to fit that amount and the district’s needs, he explained.
Plans call for a two-story 6,275 sq. ft. metal building with eight bays, office/meeting space and mezzanine for expansion.
The district serves about 35 square miles from the spillway to Waller Road in Seven Points and from Cedar Creek Lake to the Trinity River, Moran said.
With the county’s help, Moran hopes to see the structure going up by the end of May.
In other business, commissioners:
• accepted a $4,973 check from the city of Trinidad for reimbursement on road materials and approved a request from the city of Berryville for assistance with street repairs, not to exceed $3,000.
• approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Tool for labor and equipment.
• heard repairs to the intercom system at the jail are well underway. Maj. Kevin Haynes reported subcontractor MCS had resolved most of the issues in the south end and were expected to resolve the rest in the north end this week. “Then we’ll be ready to call for a new jail inspection,” he said.
Earlier this month, commissioners approved an interlocal agreement form and fee to be able to take in out-of-county prisoners. They set a daily rate of $41 per inmate plus any medical expenses.
The buyer is responsible for transporting inmates to and from Henderson County.
Haynes said, he has received calls expressing interest in housing inmates here.
When all issues are resolved, the jail will accommodate 508 inmates. The county population runs between 250 and 270, he added.
• paid bills totaling $317,766.67.


DA hires long-time DEU deputy sheriff
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–Long-time Henderson County narcotics investigator Jody Miller joined ranks with the District Attorney’s office recently.
In a ceremony officiated by Justice of The Peace Milton Adams at the Judicial Complex, Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt praised Miller for his outstanding work and dedication to his job.
“He is going to be a great asset to the District Attorney’s office. I hate to lose him, but I think Jody’s working there will really make our departments work well together. He is going to be a huge help.”
Miller began his law enforcement career as a correctional officer with the Texas Department of Corrections where he worked for 11 years, nine of those as a sergeant, supervising fellow correctional officers.
While working at TDC, Miller attended the East Texas Police Academy and upon graduation worked as a deputy constable under Precinct 6 Constable Robert Neff. Miller eventually joined the Sheriff’s Office in December, 1997.
In May, 2001, he was promoted to criminal investigator, where he focused on narcotics crimes. Miller joined the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) upon its creation in 2003, and held that post until joining the DA’s office.
Miller investigated hundreds of narcotics cases while a DEU officer, many leading in arrests and prosecution. He is certified in clandestine meth lab operations and has testified as an expert in the narcotics field in numerous felony jury trials.
“This is not the end of Miller’s involvement in narcotics investigation,” District Attorney Scott McKee said. “He will continue to be attached to the Henderson County Drug Enforcement Unit, providing expertise in the area of narcotics manufacturing, distribution and investigation. This gives our office a tremendous advantage in prosecuting these types of cases.”
The DEU consists of law enforcement officers from several agencies in the county, consolidated under the command of the Sheriff’s Office.
Miller joins DA investigator Balde Quintanilla, who joined the office in February.
Qunitinillia has been in law enforcement since 1976, and had previous stints as an investigator with the San Patricio County District Attorney’s office, the Texas State Securities Board and the Texas Lottery Commission.
“They make a great one-two punch for our office” McKee said. “With Balde’s experience in white-collar investigations and prosecution, and Miller’s experience in narcotics and other crimes, this office now has a first class investigation team.”

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