Community bids farewell to
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–A standing room only crowd squeezed into the First
Presbyterian Church in Mabank to pay last respects to Leon Groom,
co-owner of Groom & Sons’ Hardware and much-loved member of the
community, who died March 23.
His younger brother Roger categorized his brother’s exemplary example as
casting a shadow that he and brother Terry always had to live in.
Regardless of fighting the effects of adult onset diabetes, diagnosed
when he was 18, Roger said his brother lived life to the fullest.
He listed the major loves of Leon’s life, besides his family, as:
• cars – he knew more about cars, owned and traded them, more than
anyone. “But he was at such peace on his motorcycle.”
• horses – he and Dad got into thoroughbreds. “They bought, raised and
went to tracks. They used the horses to help Dad recover from Mother’s
• road trips in RVs (recreational vehicles) with his wife Janice and
• peanut M&Ms, and
• his dogs.
Most of all, Leon loved his family, an emotional Roger said as he
tenderly named each one during the most moving part of the tribute.
A choir sang, “My Sheperd Will Supply My Need,” from the 23rd Psalm.
He was only a few weeks away from his birthday (April 6), which he
thought he would reach.
A DVD pictorial covered the stages of his life, including many of the
trips, from Alaska to Churchill Downs, auto race tracks, the Smokies and
other scenic places.
His pastor and friend, Ron Hollomon, titled his talk “His Longest and
Greatest Road Trip.”
County signs contract
with Humane Society
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners approved the county’s first
contract with the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake.
The county agreed to pay $13,000 per year in equal monthly installments
of $1,083.33, and released those checks for January and February to
Society president Tamara Rhodes.
In exchange, the Humane Society will receive animals picked up by animal
control in the unincorporated areas to impound and eventually dispose of
after a redemption period of 73 hours. The Society may then humanely
dispose of any such animal in accordance with state law.
The Society tries to return any animal to its former owner, or tries to
place then in a new home, first, Rhodes told The Monitor. However, those
left unclaimed and deemed unsuitable for placement in new homes will be
euthanized as prescribed by law, the agreement stipulates.
In addition, the shelter will provide an after hours drop-off facility
for county officers, such as access to a cage suitable to hold a dog or
cat, as well as emergency phone numbers for after hours contact.
Owners will be charged a $30 to $100 reclaim fee within the 73-hour
holding period of as determined by the Society.
Any county citizen surrendering stray domestic animals to the shelter
may do so without incurring a fee. However, if an animal control officer
should charge an owner to surrender his animal, the shelter may charge
$10 per animal.
The Society will provide a monthly report of animals received from the
county and area of origination, as well as the animal’s disposition.
“Will they be able to do this?” Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall asked
of the volunteer organization.
“It’s doable,” Rhodes replied. “We have a new computer program that is
able to generate reports.”
These reports will help the society know just how many animals from
Henderson County and Kaufman County are being processed. This will help
with writing future contracts, as well, she told The Monitor.
The shelter also serves Kaufman County, where there are only one or two
small city pounds available. Kaufman supports the shelter with $30,000 a
year, she added.
Henderson County also has the right to access and audit the financial
records of the Society at any time during the life of the agreement.
In other business, commissioners:
• approved payroll changes
• approved four contracts – two of which were the purchase of backhoes
by Precinct 3 and the county fair grounds.
One contract was for a wireless Internet service to The Cain Center to
facilitate the county’s use of it to hold several trials, including the
impending trial of Randall Mays for two counts of capital murder.
The two-year minimum contract with Sprint will cost $59.99 a month,
county auditor Ann Marie Lee said.
After the first month, government discounts apply.
The portion of the contract used for capital murder trials will fall
under grant monies from the state for such trials, commissioners heard.
The fourth item was to update a credit purchase agreement with Harry’s
Building Supply for any possible purchases.
• approved budget amendments, 3-1, with Hall opposing items related to
the change of a DPS clerk post to an executive assistant with a $4,000
• paid 2007 bills totaling $602.94.
• approved a check cut to deputy sheriff Kay Langford for $3,000 related
to drug investigations.
• paid 2008 bills totaling $961,866.21, of which $735,223.46 was issued
to Templeton Construction for the jail expansion project.
• rejected a settlement offer, 3-2, of a lawsuit against the county for
alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the
Whistle-Blower Act. Commissioner Jerry West, who participated in the
mediation process, made the motion to reject. Precinct 3 Commissioner
Ronny Lawrence seconded.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall and County Judge David Holstein opposed
Early voting starts tomorrow
Monitor Staff Reports
HENDERSON COUNTY–Early voting in the runoff starts Monday (tomorrow) and
continues through Friday, April 4. Early voters may cast ballots at the
courthouse basement in Athens, Seven Points City Hall and the
sub-courthouse in Chandler during business hours.
Those who voted in the primary election will get to vote again on the
party ballot they voted for previously.
Those who didn’t vote, but are registered to vote may chose Democrat or
On the Republican ballot, county sheriff candidates Ray Nutt and Tony
Allison square off.
On the Democratic ballot, there’s a runoff for State Railroad
Commissioner between Mark Thompson and Dale Henry.
The winners of the runoff election will go on to run on the general
election ballot Nov. 4.
The date set for the runoff election is Tuesday, April 8.
County commissioners have approved four consolidated polling places for
the April 8 runoff election.
They are Malakoff City Hall, Payne Springs Community Center, Brownsboro
Community Center and the Cain Center in Athens.