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Current Issue
April 7
, 2011






News in Brief

Mabank ISD festival
The Mabank ISD Fine Arts Festival is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday (tonight) at the MHS commons area/auditorium. The event includes artwork from K-12 students, and performances by the choir, band percussion ensembles and one-act play.

Poynor country music
Country music at Poynor Civic Center is set for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday (tonight). Frankston Health Care Center is preparing a meal and serving it from 6 to 7:30 p.m., benefitting the residents at the Center. Anyone may bring a dessert. For information call (903) 360-0766 or (903) 876-5448.

Feral hog field day
The Henderson County Wildlife Committee, Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Wulf Outdoor Sports is sponsoring a Feral Hog Field Day, starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at Wulf Outdoor Sports, Athens. Fee charged covers admission, meal and tickets for hog trap and trap gate. Demonstrations include trap design and construction, snare-trapping swine and varmints and feral hog marketing. For information or required pre-registration, call (903) 675-6130 by Thursday (today).

Guided autobiography
A free 10-week program assisting participants in writing the story of their lives is being offered at two local libraries, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points, and at Tri-County Library, Mabank. To register or for information, e-mail  or call (903) 880-2446.

Westside senior Center
The Westside Senior Citizens Center is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays (today and every Thursday), at the Cedar Creek Bible Church Activities Building, 700, North Seven Points Boulevard (SH 274), one mile north of the traffic light. Seniors 55 and older are invited to come for a light lunch, coffee, tea, snacks, card and domino games and other activities. For information call (903) 340-9672.

Lenten fish frys
The Knights of Columbus Council 8806 and St. Jude Catholic Church have scheduled 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 8 and April 15, at the church on Luther Lane, behind Pizza Hut in GBC. All proceeds benefit local, state and national charities.
For information call Paul Ciardo at (903) 432-3529.

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.

Huge garage sale
The First United Methodist Church, Mabank, is hosting a “huge” garage sale from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the church, located at 501 South Third Street (SH 198).

Eustace garage sale
Eustace Community Garage Sale is set for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 9, on the Town Square. To donate items, bring them the morning of sale to the GBC garage sale booth by 7 a.m.

Rootseekers garage sale
The Rootseekers Genealogy Society is participating in the Eustace Community Garage Sale. The Rootseekers booth is on the square across from the cafe and opens at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 9, for one day. Funds earned will be used to purchase books for the genealogy room.

Rainbow Girls party
The GBC Rainbow Girls and Pledges are having a membership party from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at Cedar Creek Lake Masonic Lodge, 402 Legendary Lane, GBC. Dress is casual.
For information or to RSVP, call Donna Dean at (903) 879-4305 or e-mail

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.

Texas Trash-Off
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 clothes, closed-toe 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

Vaccination clinic
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 in carriers.

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  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.

NewSong post-abortive
NewSong, hosted by First Baptist of Mabank, wants to help post-abortive women find hope, healing, peace and a new song. For information concerning the Sunday, April 10, meeting, call Janet Wright at (903) 802-3202 or e-mail  Location is confidential.

The Literary Club
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake meets at 9:30 a.m. for refreshments, followed by a short business meeting and program presented by Sharron Lucky Tuesday, April 12. Guests are welcome. For membership information call Ruth Pimm at (903) 778-4752.

Athens bridge tourney
A bridge tournament featuring both duplicate and party bridge, benefitting the Republican Party of Henderson County and the Lone Star Republican Women is set for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 13, at the Cain Center, 915 S. Palestine Street, Athens. To register or for information call (903) 675-2829.

GBC candidate forum
The GBC Chapter of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a candidates forum for city council places 1E, 3W and 5 (at large) from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at Brawner Hall, behind city hall. Light snacks will be served. Free and open to the public.

Spring Carnival
The Cedar Creek Bible Church is hosting its free Spring Carnival from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 15. The church is located at 700 N. Seven Points Boulevard (SH 274). More than 30 games for children through sixth grade. Prizes, hot dogs, candy and sodas all free. For information call the church office at (903) 432-2175.

FBC GBC craft fair
The First Baptist Church of GBC is hosting a craft fair from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 16. For information call Judy Turner at (903) 778-2686.

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 Department.

Kemp Band golf tourney
The Kemp Band Boosters are hosting their second annual golf tournament at noon Monday, April 18, at Cedar Creek Country Club. For information call Bobbie Jo Taylor at (903) 498-6800, e-mail to,  or call Mellisa Day at (903) 498-7361, e-mail
Rootseekers Society
The Rootseekers Genealogy Society will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, April 18, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Kerry Yancey will present a program on “Photography.” Meetings are open to the public.

Sarah Maples DAR
The Sarah Maples Chapter of the DAR will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake. Mae Bruce will present “Women in the Texas Revolution.”

Master Gardener is ‘in’
The Henderson County Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions by phone during 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.

Meals on Wheels drivers
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.

Free skating
Cedar Creek Bible Church is hosting free skating from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays the first two weeks of April for children age 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 (903) 778-2423.

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Top News

Argument spirals into shots fired
Monitor Staff Reports

KAUFMAN–A “shots fired” call summoned Kaufman Sheriff’s deputies to a domestic disturbance on River Oaks Lane, off State Highway 34 between Kaufman and Terrell in the Oak Ridge City area Friday.
JoAnne Bicknell, 47, was arrested on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, following an argument between herself and two others.
No injuries were reported.
Bicknell allegedly fired at a male and a female who were inside a pickup truck with a .22-caliber rifle.
Authorities found one of the shots had struck the passenger side door.
Bicknell is being held on $50,000 bond at the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center.


City dedicates new park pavilion
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–A long time in coming, the newly opened pavilion in Gun Barrel City is the third one built in the Cedar Creek Lake area.
It’s completion was celebrated with a bluegrass music concert, fish fry and sponsoring concession stands April 1.
Athens Steel won the bid at $177,000 for the 80-foot by 120-foot open-air facility, with funding approved by the Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Gun Barrel City fire chief Joey Lindaman spends 15 seconds in the Reliable Roofing Cash Booth, grabbing $14 dollars and certificates for the fire department, during inaugural activities in the new city pavilion Friday.

Site preparation began the end of 2010. Impact-resistant energy efficient lighting completes the features.
City leaders were motivated to get it up since strong winds blew away the sound stage for a concert set for the July 4 weekend last year.
This year, the city is looking for a better outcome for its July 2 festival concert, featuring performers No Justice, Johnny Cooper and Derek Sholl. Lots of activities are being developed around the festival, including a carnival, and vendor opportunities.
In the meantime, pavilion promoter councilman Marty Goss has set Saturday, May 7, as the first weekly Farmer’s Market to be hosted at the pavilion.
The market opens from 7 a.m. until noon.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Gun Barrel City volunteer firefighters Kelly Sitzman (right), Josh Greer (center) and Blane Arrington serve up fried fish, chips and hush puppies to a line of well wishers at a dedication event Friday for the new city pavilion. See more photos on page 4A.

The pavilion will be an integral part of a parks plan being funded with a $500,000 matching grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently awarded to Gun Barrel City. A plan for its use was on display during the event.
The pavilion is available for rent by contacting city hall, Goss added.

Students, teachers reap benefits of Mabank ISD Education Foundation
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Accurate maps and atlases helping students care about geography and current events, practical science, multi-sensory learning and a visit with a famous author are a few of the bonuses the Mabank Educational Foundation has been able to purchase for Mabank students its first year.
These were a few of the successes celebrated at the Foundation’s inaugural dinner Friday, as it sought to get the word out.
“This community is invested in its youth,” kindergarten teacher Maryann Gregg said to summarize the results of the first round of grants issued to teachers this year, totaling $15,000. The foundation awarded funding for eight of 11 grant applications.
Teachers were given a month to formulate grant proposals soon after the 2010-11 year started, with four of them coming from Central Elementary School’s kindergarten department.
“When Foundation representative Robyn Neighbors used words like ‘out-of-the-box’ to describe the kinds of ideas they were looking for, I began to see the Foundation as a way to make some of our dreams come true,” Gregg said, recalling the 21 years worth of teaching conferences and requests made of school principals.
The results of one idea – to bring Mabank’s ranching history to life for kindergartners – will be demonstrated during an open house to be held 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at the high school at the “Cowpoke Rodeo.”
Another idea, the Delicious Grant, used a brownie mix and an oven to demonstrate the different states of matter to second-grade students. The children also employed kitchen appliances to learn other important social issues through food in the making of Rainforest Pizza and Stone Soup, Gregg explained. Dinner attendees were treated to short video clips of some of these lessons in progress.
Another important innovation was the development and use of a quick assessment system kindergarten teachers can use which greatly reduces the time previously needed to assess learning styles and skill achievement levels, Gregg said.
Foundation directors, largely made up of community leaders and business representatives, enjoyed surprising teachers with an awards party on their campuses a week before winter break.
“I think we enjoyed springing the surprise more than the kids and teachers enjoyed being surprised with the awards,” Foundation president Andrea Pickens said. “Every campus was awarded a grant.”
Junior High history teacher Jan Jones read a letter of appreciation to the Foundation from principal Darin Jolly for “relevant, accurate and current maps, atlases and wall murals which has made a big difference in our classrooms.”
The goal of her grant proposal is to improve the geography skills of all seventh and eighth graders. They came in especially useful during the current events in Japan, Jones explained.
Foundation vice president of programs Chrissy Adams explained the grant application process and the public review committee’s job in selecting the most worthy grant proposals.
“The names of the applicants are kept strictly hidden. No one knows them except me, and I don’t play a part in making any of the decisions,” she explained.
Also, no one associated with the schools (including school trustees) is allowed on the review committee, she added. Any community member (apart from those affiliated with Mabank ISD) is invited to participate on the grant review committee, she said.
To close the evening, school superintendent Dr. Russell Marshall presented a virtual wall to demonstrate how donations will be used to fulfill the Foundation’s mission of “enriching education from the ground up.”
He also explained how the fund is free from state rules and regulations followed by school boards, so it can directly link innovative teachers to money for school projects.
The school district will assist with in-kind donations to make giving opportunities for the community unavoidable and attractive – from donating through the MISD website to MISD employee payroll deductions to helping parents donate while ordering school lunches for their children.
Pickens reminded businesses with matching donations to take full advantage of that as Tri-County Ford is with its test-drive promotion to leverage $6,000 from Ford.
Marshall said MISD is giving Jeans Day passes to teachers who donate $60 a month to the Foundation through payroll deductions.
Marshall said he’d speak with possible contributors, community members brought to his attention to present the worthiness of the Foundation’s work and goals.
“No amount is too big or too small,” he said.
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