People, Places & Events



Lake Area

East Cedar Creek Freshwater Supply District meets at 12:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at the ECCFSD office on Hammer Road just off Welch Lane in Gun Barrel City.
Eustace City Council meets at 7 p.m. in the Eustace City Hall the first Thursday of each month. For more information, please call 425-4702. The public is invited to attend.
Eustace Independent School District meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the Eustace High School Library. For more information, please call 425-7131. The public is invited to attend.
Gun Barrel City Council meets in Brawner Hall at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-1087. The public is invited to attend.
Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation meets at 1831 W. Main, GBC, at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-1899.
Henderson County Commissioner’s Court meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Henderson County Courthouse in Athens. The public is invited to attend.
Henderson County Emergency Services District #4 meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at 525 S. Tool Dr. in Tool.
Henderson County Historical Commission meets the first Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. in the HC Historical Museum.
Kaufman County Commissioner’s Court meets the first, second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9:45 a.m. in the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. The public is invited to attend.
Kemp City Council meets at Kemp City Hall at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 498-3191. The public is invited to attend.
Kemp Independent School District meets the third Tuesday of each month in the Board Room in the Administration Building. For more information, please call 498-1314. The public is invited to attend.
Log Cabin City Council meets the third Thursday of the month in city hall. For more information, please call 489-2195. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank City Council meets at 7 p.m. in Mabank City Hall the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-3241. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank Independent School District meets at 7:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, please call 887-9310. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs City Council meets at city hall at 7:30 p.m. every third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 451-9229. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs Water Supply Corp. meets the third Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Payne Springs Community Center, located at 9690 Hwy. 198.
Seven Points City Council meets at 7 p.m. in Seven Points city hall the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3176. The public is invited to attend.
Tool City Council meets at 6 p.m. in the OranWhite Civic Center the third Thursday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3522. The public is invited to attend.
West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District is held at 5 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3704. The public is invited.

  Rain, snow hamper needed road repairs
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–County commissioners in all three area counties are answering a lot of calls concerning roads.
Constant rain, near-record snowfall, near-record freezing temperatures early in the winter and just plain bad weather since midsummer last year have prevented proper road maintenance. RoadWork.jpg (210760 bytes)
Monday, Kaufman County commissioners heard complaints from Kaufman Independent School District bus No. 14 driver Michael Clamssen.
He said the condition of the county roads are not only in bad shape, but dangerous, particularly on county roads 147 and 102 in Precinct 1.
“It becomes a safety issue when two children are bounced from their seats,” Clamssen said.
Buses are having to go in for repairs due to road damage, he added.
County Judge Wayne Gent pointed out that all roads – not just county thoroughfares – are in bad shape, due to heavy rain.
Gent said he would advise bus drivers to decrease their speed when traveling the county roads until they are repaired, but Clamssen countered that buses already are slowed to 25 mph.
Clamssen said he understood the commissioners’ problems, but added he wanted to go on record about the road conditions.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Jerry Rowden agreed with Clamssen, stating the roads are in bad shape and the weather refuses to cooperate.
“This is the worst I’ve ever seen, weather-wise,” Rowden said. It has rained at least 80 days out of the past 100, he pointed out.
“The rain not only prevents workers from repairing the roads, it slows you down by causing delays while the ground dries up,” he said.
Another problem occurs when workers go out and fill the holes created by the bad weather, Rowden added.
“It uses up the road materials that we were going to use to fix another road with,” he explained.
Costs for materials have escalated since Rowden took office in 2004, he pointed out.
“Oil was $28 a barrel when I took office,” he said. “Now, it is $82 a barrel, and our budgets have not increased with it.
“It’s the most frustrating time I have ever seen,” Rowden added.
Workers are currently patching county roads 147 and 120, Rowden said.
“There are two kinds of people who call in – those who call and politely report their roads need fixing, and those who call in just wanting to gripe at somebody,” Rowden said. “I know how frustrating this can be. I am (frustrated) too, so please just have patience.”
Henderson County is in the same boat.
“Primarily, all we can do is patch and repair for now,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall said. “I have 327 miles of roads and a $1 million budget – half of that is salaries.
“When the weather gets drier, we will begin to do the major repairs we have to do,” Hall added. “First thing will be to try and get the road base stabilized. If you don’t, you don’t have a road.
“A lot of people don’t understand how complicated this can be,” he said. “We ask them to slow way down until the repairs can be made.”
Hall’s precinct includes eight school districts, seven cities and approximately 250 smaller subdivisions and communities on the west side of Henderson County.
“Most of the people in my precinct are very understanding,” he said.
Kaufman County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller has in excess of 300 miles of roads.
“Even the roads we repaired back before August, the rain is breaking up,” Deller said. “And when it started raining in August, the time we had for working on the roads was cut in half.”
As an example, Deller said rainfall totaled 30 inches for 2008.
In 2009, rainfall more than doubled to 70 inches, and the weather forecast for 2010 is saying it will be an unusually wet spring.
“The rain has destroyed the base on our roads, forcing us to put rock down,” he said. “People are going to be upset, because they think we’re going back to rock roads when we are just trying to build back the road base.”
Once the base is laid, workers can then begin the task of chip-sealing the roads. But with rain still in the forecast, his employees may find themselves unable to complete the process, he said.
“We just may not be able to get much chip-sealing done,” Deller added.
Like Hall and Rowden, Deller said constant patching is quickly depleting his materials budget.
“Every truck carries about $500 worth of patch material, and five to six trucks a day are out trying to fill in the holes in the roads,” he said. “Just do the math.”
Every commissioner makes interlocal agreements with cities to help them with their roads, but by state law, the contracts say the work is only to be done when crews and equipment are not needed in the rural areas of the county.
Deller’s agreements include the cities of Combine, Rosser and Scurry.
“We probably won’t be able to get to those cities for quite a while. We are more than 10 to 15 roads behind,” Deller explained.
“I just want our people to realize they need to be patient. We are going as fast as we can, but we’re looking at another heavy rain forecast,” he said.

Commissioners hear fuel-card program proposal
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–Kaufman County Commissioners heard a second presentation on a fuel-purchase system for county vehicles Monday.
Leesa Patterson, with Exxon Mobile Fleet Sales, explained the advantages of the company’s fuel management program.
“Our Universal Card program allows drivers access to any major company’s stations,” she explained. “More than 90 percent of the stations (in the state) accept the cards.”
Each vehicle will have its own card. Cards can be assigned to the various departments, or the cards can be set up on separate accounts, whatever system the county wants to use, Patterson said.
The gasoline will cost approximately 4 cents less per gallon than retail, and the cost also will be minus the federal tax normally levied for non-government customers, she explained.
The commissioners took no action, noting they were continuing to do research.
In other business, commissioners;
• contracted with Brown’s River Marotti Company for book preservation services in the county clerk’s office.
To demonstrate the need for the preservation process, County Clerk Laura Hughes brought in a 102-year-old ledger to show commissioners.
“The edge of the pages are crumbling and the ink is eating through the paper,” she said.
Hughes explained once the information on the ledger’s pages are scanned and digitized, the pages themselves will be encapsulated (placed in protective sleeves) and rebound.
The clerk’s office can pay for the process from already budgeted preservation funds, so it won’t cost the county any additional money, Hughes pointed out.
• approved hiring two employees for Precinct 2.
• named Kevin Hopkins as a reserve constable for Precinct 4.
• heard the Children’s Shelter directors report as presented by LaReta Williams for November and December, 2009, and for January and February. She said there is still a shortage of foster homes, especially for special needs children.
• approved a 5-cent increase for jail inmate meals – up to $1.03 per meal – as requested by Five Star Correctional Services.
Sheriff David Byrnes explained with the “low” number of inmates currently held at the jail, the company said it could not make a profit without a price increase.
• heard the Riter C. Hulsey Library (Terrell) quarterly report as presented by Rebecca Sullivan.
• accepted a Racial Profiling report from Precinct 3 Constable Lowrie Sanders.
• heard several reports from Internet Technology (IT) director George York, who reported on the IT committee’s recent meetings.
York suggested the county’s long distance dialing procedure needed an overhaul, adding he will pursue a consolidation program.
York said a review showed the county had 7,522 minutes of long-distance calls, costing approximately $3,228. A recent telephone audit produced a savings of $53,605, he said.
York also discussed extending the county’s agreement with certified to include the county’s Justice of the Peace courts.
• consolidated voting precincts 1, 13, 14, 21, 23, 24, 28, 35 and 36 with voting precinct 2 (at First Baptist Church, Kaufman) for the May 8 Precinct 1 local option election.
• accepted the treasurer’s report for February as presented by Johnny Countryman.
• agreed to purchase two motor graders for Precinct 3 through the BuyBoard Cooperative, one taking advantage of a buy-back agreement (on a grader that has a year to go on its contract), and the other purchased outright.
• agreed to purchase a dump truck for Precinct 2.
• agreed to repair a drainage problem on Tarrant Regional Water District Land, subject to legal approval.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller said the TRWD has berms that hold water in yards and on County Road 4019, actually covering a property owner’s septic system.
The District provided Deller a letter of permission to dig a drainage ditch leading to a nearby creek, but he wants legal approval first.
• named April 5-11 as National Health Week in Kaufman County.
• named April as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.
• paid bills totaling $701,974.48.

3 convicted on drug charges
DA McKee monitors cases from Iraq
Special to The Monitor

ATHENS–Even though Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee is in Iraq, his office successfully prosecuted three drug cases this past week.
McKee considers cracking down on methamphetamine vital to the health of the community.
Five Assistant District Attorneys teamed up to prosecute three cases in front of 36 county jurors. Two men and one woman were convicted of meth-related crimes.
McKee followed the cases closely from Al Asad, Iraq, where he serves as the Battle Captain for the 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Battalion.
“With today’s technology, I am in constant contact with the office and could follow these cases,” McKee said in a prepared news release issued Monday.
“I was very pleased with the verdicts handed down by the citizens of our county,” McKee said. “We are lucky enough to have a great staff of prosecutors in our county and concerned jurors who truly care about the community.”
McKee also praised law enforcement, specifically the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU), in their ability to investigate and track down these people.
Aimee Lynn Mooneyham, 29, of Kemp was convicted on a Possession of Methamphetamine, less than one gram, charge that stemmed from a DEU investigation in August, 2009.
Mooneyham was arrested inside a game room in Seven Points by DEU investigator Kenny Collard, also of the Gun Barrel City Police Department, and DEU Investigator Darrell Waller of the HCSO.
Assistant DAs Bridget Bateman and Chris Martin prosecuted the case in Judge Carter Tarrance’s 392nd District Court. The jury was out less than 20 minutes before returning the guilty verdict.
Since this was Mooneyham’s first conviction for a drug-related offense, the court was required by law to sentence her to probation. Mooneyham will be on probation for three years.
Darrell Gene Blankenship, 45, of Mabank was convicted of Possession of Methamphetamine, less than one gram, after a routine traffic stop in Gun Barrel City.
Blankenship was driving his Toyota Land Cruiser when he was stopped by Sgt. Patrick Johnson of the Gun Barrel City PD for a defective tail lamp.
During the stop, Johnson discovered that Blankenship’s license was suspended. Blankenship was placed under arrest and during a search of the vehicle, officers discovered a small black case containing three baggies with less than a gram of meth.
First Assistant DA Mark Hall and Assistant DA Lauren Melhart prosecuted the case in Dan Moore’s 173rd District Court. After conviction, Blankenship was sentenced to two years’ confinement in a state jail facility, plus a $5,000 fine.
James Noel Nelson Jr., 23, of Gun Barrel City was convicted of a first degree felony charge of Possession of Methamphetamine with intent to deliver.
The charges stemmed from a DEU investigation into narcotics sales at Nelson’s residence in July, 2009. During a warrant search of the home, investigators recovered cash, drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine, baggies and scales.
Melhart and Assistant DA Nancy Rumar prosecuted the case.
Nelson is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Moore Friday, May 7. Nelson could receive from five to 99 years or life in prison for the offense.



Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
The domino effect is a chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then will cause another similar change, and so on. My name is Domino, and I got my name not only because I’m black and white like a domino tile, but also because my outgoing, cheerful personality causes my doggie roommates to smile. This also causes our human friends to smile, which even causes the kitties in the cat room to smile.
I am an 8-month-old male Pointer/Terrier mix. I love children, other dogs, and even get along great with kitties. I’ve had all my shots and am ready to be adopted. If you’d like to experience the domino effect, I am sure to put a forever smile on your face when you take me to my forever home.
I currently live with a foster family, so if you would like to meet me, call my friends at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake at (903) 432-3422 to make an appointment. You can also email them at

We have many animals at the
Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points
in dire need of a good home.
Please call or stop by the Humane Society today
and rescue one of these forgotten animals.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on
10220 County Road 2403 in Seven Points.
For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at


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