Easter ‘Son’ rise service
A special Easter “Son” rise Service will be held at Melton Rock
at 6:45 a.m. Sunday, April 8. The Southern Joy Quartet begins
singing at 6 a.m. All denominations welcome. Bro. Brian
McWhorter brings the message. Dress warm and casual and wear
Located off CR 2804, about 8 miles north of Eustace.
For information or directions, call (903) 425-7625 (ROCK).
FBC sunrise service
The community is invited to an Easter Sunrise Service at 7:30
a.m. and at 10 a.m. the sanctuary choir will present the “Oh
what a Savior,” Sunday, April 8, at the First Baptist Church,
located in Gun Barrel City.
For information, call (903) 887-6887.
Becker Candidate forum
The Becker Community Association is hosting a candidate forum at
7 p.m. Monday, April 9, at the Becker Community Center, corner
of FM 1895 and FM 2860. Questions can be e-mailed to Douglas
IRS tax walk-in days
The Tri-County Library in Mabank is hosting two walk-in days on
its tax help program from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 9,
and Friday, April 13. Deadline to file taxes on time is Tuesday,
April 17. For information call the library at (903) 887-9622.
Kaufman Republican forum
A Kaufman County Republican candidate forum is set for 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 10, at the Kemp High School Auditorium. For
information call (903) 880-6770.
CCL Literary Club
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake meets at 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, April 10, At The Library at Cedar Creek Lake.
Nutritionist Jim Judd will present, “How to Look 20 years
Younger in Three Months.”
For membership information call Ruth Pimm at (903) 778-4752.
HC Goes Blue
In conjunction with April being Child Abuse Awareness Month,
everyone is encouraged to wear blue on Wednesday April 11, to
show your support.
HC Republican Women
The Henderson County Republican Women meet at 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday, April 11, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven
Points. All women 18 or older are encouraged to attend.
U.S. Congress update
Congressman Jeb Hensarling will present a Washington Update at
8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 12, at Mabank City Hall, 129 East
Books & Bargains sale
The Friends of the Kaufman County Library are hosting the 15th
annual Books and Bargains sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday,
April 13, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 14, plus
their very popular bake sale, at the library located at 3790 S.
Houston St. Kaufman.
Annual kids day
The third annual Kids Day, in conjunction with CASA’s 5K run at
the Cain Center in Athens, is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, April 14.
Gun Barrel trash off
The Gun Barrel City trash off is set for 8 a.m. to noon
Saturday, April 14, rain or shine, at 332 Maintenance Drive
(behind the street department facility). A proof of residence
(utility receipt or driver’s license) is required. Items not
accepted are: brush & tree limbs, paint, batteries, used oil,
shingles, freon and items containing freon, tires, anti-freeze,
household garbage and medical or hazardous waste.
Senior supplies needed
The Kemp Certified Nurse Aide class seeks help with “Supplies
for Seniors” benefitting Kemp Care Center, full size hygiene
products include shampoo, body wash, deodorant, shaving cream,
razors, toothpaste and denture care products. Red boxes are
placed at Kemp Family Pharmacy, First National Bank of Kemp,
many area churches and all Kemp school campuses. For information
call Liz Thorne, RN, at Kemp HS – (903) 498-9273.
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Twisters march across north
A dozen tornadoes leave debris; Henderson
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
FORNEY–When Mother Nature came knocking on residents doors in
Forney Tuesday afternoon, she took the doors and most everything
else with her when she left.
Spring in Texas is often violent and is commonly called,
But no one expects them to come in bunches as they did Tuesday,
when a dozen twisters plowed through the cities of Arlington,
Lancaster, Forney and the Greenville area, and many small
communities in between.
Approximately 650 homes were reportedly damaged according to
television news reports which tracked the weather pattern on all
Channel 11’s meteorologist, Larry Mowry, reported the tornados
averaged an F2 for Arlington and Lancaster, with an F3,
producing winds of 150 miles an hour as it barreled through
The National Weather Service is still investigating the storms
that hit farther north, Mowry said.
Forney’s storm contributed at least 100 badly damaged homes to
the 650 count with at least 23 of them in the “totaled”
One of those homes that received the spray-painted green circle
emblem, (building condemned) belonged to this reporter’s brother
and his family.
His grown son, (my nephew) Robert, was picking up his sister
April (my niece) from North Forney High School.
He said the principal had everyone come inside as a tornado was
on the ground. Then Robert proceeded to video the twister as it
came across his neighborhood, which could be seen from the
Leonard Taylor, their father, said he was watching the storm’s
progress, on TV news, through the Lancaster area and didn’t
think it was close enough for concern.
My husband, Glenn, called him on the phone alerting him to its
“I opened the door and it was almost there. It was a monster! I
called to Becky (my wife) and when she saw it she said we needed
to leave; right then,” Taylor explained.
Leaving checkbooks and billfolds, they drove to Lowe’s with
almost no gasoline in the tank, where they took shelter, he
When the couple returned home, it was to a heartbreaking loss.
Their two-story home in Diamond Creek Estates was a total loss,
their cats, two longtime family pets, were nowhere to be found.
The interior walls were embedded with various sharp objects from
knives and sticks, to glass and other assorted debris.
Everything in the house was covered with shattered glass and
flotsam the tornado had brought in.
One kitty, which likes to curl up on Robert’s bed, must have
been traumatized as two approximately 2- by 6-inch beams, from
someone else’s homes, were driven through the brick wall into
“It looked like my dresser (which was against the penetrated
wall) just exploded. Everything was in splinters,” he said.
As volunteers helped the homeowners clean up trash and pieces of
siding, roofing materials and bricks from the yards, an odd
assortment of vehicles constantly roamed the streets.
North Forney High School band director Mack Wood and some
student volunteers were helping with the cleaning process.
They made it to the Taylor residence where they removed brick
and siding and other material from the yard.
As April was concerned about her drums being left in the house,
Wood volunteered to take the set and store it for her.
Slow-moving Oncor and AT&T trucks were spotted, city of Forney
utility trucks, city police and the Kaufman Sheriff’s deputies
kept watch, as church members cooked food for those too busy to
stop for lunch.
And going out to lunch in the area might not have been possible
anyway as lines were still down and rumors were that some
restaurants were operating with generators.
The American Red Cross had a box- truck that moved in and out of
the very crowded streets.
Only one very narrow lane allowed traffic to enter or leave the
area as everyone from clean-up companies, construction hopefuls
and agents tried to reach their clients, easing their way
The tornados had almost destroyed the neighborhood but from the
look of those outside working and cleaning, there’s no doubt it
will be rebuilt.
Storm spotters from Fort Worth to Dallas had reported the
tornados were staying on the ground longer than average, up to
30 minutes and were larger than average.
Mobile crime-ops base unveiled
Special to The Monitor
GUN BARREL CITY–Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee
and the Gun Barrel City Lowe’s Home Improvement Store teamed up
to put a 30-foot horse trailer and heavy duty pickup into
service with Company B Texas Rangers to help the elite law
enforcement group work crime scenes.
Ranger Sergeants Brent Davis and Michael Adcock showed off the
new trailer last week at the Lowe’s in Gun Barrel City. The 2007
Sundowner trailer was seized for its use during illegal drug
activity and is now filled with crime scene processing tools and
even a Polaris all-terrain vehicle, which was donated by Smith
County District Attorney Matt Bingham. The tools and gadgets in
the trailer were donated by various law enforcement agencies
across East Texas.
“These are pieces of equipment seized in cases that DPS (Texas
Department of Public Safety) assisted in. We have all sorts of
crime scene equipment in here that will allow us to respond to a
multitude of different crime scenes across the Company B area,
which covers 42 Texas counties,” Davis said.
Davis said that after the trailer was obtained, Sundowner of
Texas in Canton did some modifications to better serve the
One of the items inside the trailer is a 360 Total Station
camera for crime scenes. This camera system has been used on
homicide scenes all over East Texas and even in Beaumont last
month when a gunman opened fire on the courthouse.
There are also rakes and shovels to uncover a buried body or
process an arson scene, allowing them to sift through the
remains. Canopies with tables and chairs will allow Rangers and
other investigators to work in the shade.
DPS employees custom built the cabinets to contain radio
components, which connect the Rangers with other law enforcement
agencies involved in any given investigation or emergency
Cummins Southern Plains donated a power generator and Lowe’s of
Gun Barrel City donated various tools for the trailer.
Other agencies that donated money or equipment include district
attorneys in Smith, Bowie, Ellis, Van Zandt, Hunt, Kaufman,
Morris, Rockwall, and Titus counties, as well as the Gregg
County Sheriff’s Office.
Ranger Adcock said the trailer will act as a base allowing
Rangers to stay on scene to continue their investigations.
“Turning seized property from drug dealers into a law
enforcement asset is great for the community and saves taxpayer
money,” District Attorney Scott McKee said, adding “using it to
fight the very type of crime they were caught committing is