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April 8, 2012






News in Brief

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 tennis shoes.
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 Gibbs at
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 Market St.

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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Top News

Twisters march across north Texas
A dozen tornadoes leave debris; Henderson County spared
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, “tornado season.”
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 major channels.
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 Forney.
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” category.
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 school.
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 nearness.
“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 added.
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 Robert’s bedroom.
“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 through.
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 Rangers.
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 situation.
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 poetic justice.”






























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