Thursday, April 5, 2007



  Fatal wreck snarls traffic on bridge
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–An early morning fatal head-on collision at the King’s Creek Bridge on State Highway 274 snarled early morning traffic between Seven Points and Kemp Monday.
Construction work on the bridge has been ongoing, and the lanes had recently been rerouted, according to motorists who regularly travel the roadway.
Kemp resident Virginia Broumley, 62, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Johnny Adams at 6:25 a.m. She reportedly had been sleeping in the back seat.
Broumley was being driven by her sister Sharon Shelton, 68, to Kaufman for a day surgery, according to relatives. Shelton was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman and was being held there for observation Tuesday.
Shelton’s vehicle was northbound and ended up in the southbound lane, Kemp police officer Johnny Law told The Monitor. “They (construction crews) had changed the lanes of travel. Road construction was the contributing factor,” Law said.
The other vehicle was a southbound truck driven by Melissa Strong, who had her one-year-old daughter with her. Strong drove herself to a hospital to check for injuries and was and released the same day, Adams said.
Visitation for Broumley is set for 6-8 p.m., Thursday at Anderson Clayton Bros. Funeral Home in Kemp with funeral services scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday. Interment follows at Shiloh cemetery.

Brothers fish alligator from stock pond
Monitor photo/Susan Harrison
Mabank residents Tom (holding alligator’s mouth open) and John Manning, of Manning Brothers Dairy, show off this 10˝ foot, 400–pound alligator, which they fished from their stock pond north of Mabank off Farm–to–Market 90, just one mile from Cedar Creek Lake Monday.

By Mary Landrie
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–A 10 1/2 foot long American alligator was fished from a stock pond two miles north of Mabank off Farm–to–Market 90, about one mile from Cedar Creek Lake.
Tom and John Manning, Manning Brothers Dairy, say they’d seen signs of the reptile since last October.
“We had been seeing large trenches through the grass from the pond to other parts of the property and knew it was too big to be a snake or animal path,” Tom Manning said.
The brothers also told The Monitor they had seen the approximately 400–pound ’gator surfacing in the pond on several occasions.
“I called the game warden several times to find out what to do about it, and I was told they didn’t have the capabilities to remove it from my property,” Tom said.
“They did tell us not to try to catch it or anything until the season opened,” John added.
Neither of the men had seen the ’gator out of the water until last Saturday.
“Once I saw how big he was I knew I had to get a bigger hook,” Tom said.
After a trip to Louisiana for a 12/O hook, because the biggest hooks Manning could find in Texas were 10/O, the brothers baited a pole with heavy rope and spoiled chicken.
The Mannings set out the baited line after the Nuisance Alligator season, a statewide hunting season, opened on Sunday, April 1.
The brothers checked the line several times that day but had no luck until Monday morning. Around 8:15 a.m., they found the pole leaning and the ’gator hooked.
After getting three men on the line, the ’gator was shot with a 22 magnum rifle and hoisted from the pond onto a trailer.
The Mannings plan to skin and eat the ’gator but said cost will decide what is done with the skin.
According to the National Parks Conservation Association, American alligators are crocodilians that are living fossils. The species can be traced back 230 million years.
These particular ’gators can be found in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Florida and can live up to 50 years in the wild.
American alligators, the largest reptile in North America, are mostly black in color, can reach 18 feet long and can weigh up to 600 pounds.
Alligators can be found in rivers, swamps, bogs, lakes, ponds, creeks, canals, and bayous, can tolerate some salt water and have been spotted in marshes as well.
Alligators eat just about anything, including lizards, fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, birds, crustaceans, and even small alligators. They hunt for prey underwater and often swallow food whole.

First tour of the new Malakoff Elementary School
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Malakoff school trustees David Hennessee (left) and Todd LaRue hear superintendent Larry Hulsey (right) describe the features of the new classrooms, which include a large utility closet, white boards and built-in cabinets during the building’s first tour Friday. The building will be able to accommodate nearly twice as many students as the previous building, Hulsey said. Other features include a state of the art cafetorium with sound system and stage, a library, roomy science and computer labs, music room and book storage room. No metal lockers for this school, only quiet built-in wood laminate ones, Hulsey said.

‘Meet the candidate’ event planned
Monitor Staff Reports

MABANK– Citizens of Mabank are being treated to a Candidates Forum.
The Mabank Fire Department has set a Candidate Forum for 7 p.m., Monday, April 9 at the fire station.
Five candidates are vying for two council seats. One seat was recently vacated by Johnny Adams who won the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace office in November. Councilman Jeff Norman is seeking re-election.
The other candidates in the running are Chrissy Adams, Midge Odom, Chris Pickens and Shannon Steakley.
The forum will be moderated by Mabank’s First State Bank branch manager Ronnie Davis.
The evening will open with statements from each candidate and followed by written questions submitted by the audience.
A verbal question and answer period closes the evening.
“We’re hoping everyone will come out and learn about their candidates,” Mabank fire marshall John Holcomb said.
“This is offered as a service to Mabank voters, so they can make an informed decision come May 12,” he added.

100-year-old tree falls

Monitor photo/Mary Landrie
This 100-year-old tree fell during thunder storms last week barely missing the home of Melvin and Amy Clay of Tool. No one was injured but a fence was damaged and the front yard is now filled with a jungle of Oak branches that will eventually be cut up and used as firewood.