People, Places & Events




Rotarians hear advantages of Head Start
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–A program to help underprivileged children get the boost they need to be successful in school was the main topic at the of the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake luncheon Friday.
Two Head Start teachers from Eustace, Alice Faz and Deanna Haynes, shared the speaker’s podium, explaining the program and its advantages.
Starting with a bit of background information, the teachers explained the program began in 1965 and has since served 20 million children.
“Kids leave Head Start ready to learn,” Faz said.
The children receive free medical screening, dental checkups, and give parents an opportunity to participate in classroom activities.
“Everything comes with a manual, except a child,” Faz said.
“Head Start kids are more likely to graduate high school, and the program is free to those who qualify,” Haynes said.
Children entering Head Start must be 3 or 4 years old by Sept. 1, and qualify financially, she added.
In other business, Rotarians:
• heard the club will meet at the usual time and place Friday, April 10 (Good Friday).
• were reminded of the golf tournament set for Friday, April 24.

Business in GBC is bustling despite economic downturn
By Jack Thompson
Gun Barrel EDC executive director

GUN BARREL CITY–At a time when headlines across the nation are announcing business failures or corporate downsizing, Gun Barrel City leaders are touting business expansions and start-ups in this growing city on the shores of Cedar Creek Lake.
Beall’s department store is more than doubling its footprint in Gun Barrel City, from 12,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet.
A new 5,000-square-foot Hibbett Sports, a retail sporting goods chain going into an existing building under renovation, is expected to open this summer. Hibbett operates 650 stores in 23 states, with some 75 stores in Texas (
The city’s Economic Development Corporation is working hard in this especially difficult economic climate to help businesses thrive in the city.
“The EDC is anxious to help our existing businesses maintain and improve their customer base and expand their operations, and to support new business ventures in Gun Barrel City,” EDC president Steve Webster said.
“We assisted two businesses over the past 12 months with their expansion efforts,” Webster said. “We will assist in finding suitable facilities, as well as help with financing and acclimation to the area.
“We work hand-in-hand with Gun Barrel City personnel to facilitate people’s businesses,” he added.
About Gun Barrel City
Born in the mid-1960s with the creation of Cedar Creek Reservoir, Gun Barrel City was named not for any romantic Western-style events, but to emphasize the philosophy of its founders: “We shoot straight with you.” The city has grown from a mere watering hole to the commercial center of the lakeplex, at the junction of State Highways 198 and 334.

Mabank man pleads guilty to federal drug charges
By Julie Vaughan
Monitor Staff Writer

TYLER–A Mabank man pled guilty March 30 in a Tyler Federal Court to federal drug trafficking charges of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamines.
Charles Andrew Ford, also known as Sam Ford, 43, was arrested by Canton Police Officer James Bradshaw during a joint investigation.
Bradshaw, along with investigator Pat Reedy, and Henderson County Deputy Sheriff Jody Miller, had received information of a drug lab located at a residence off VZ County Road 2913. Ford was arrested leaving the residence July 19, 2008.
“We had been near the residence and could smell the chemicals,” Bradshaw said. “We had information that he was up there cooking methamphetamines, and when he left the residence, he was pulled over by a Van Zandt County marked unit.”
Officers went to the scene and interviewed Ford on the roadside, where Bradshaw said he was given consent to search the vehicle. About half a pound of methamphetamines was found.
“We were anticipating a guilty plea from him,” Bradshaw said. “During the interview, he had admitted to the responsibility of the narcotics and methamphetamines that was found in the vehicle.”
Bradshaw said a follow-up on the investigation resulted in the arrest of two more individuals.
Once Ford was arrested, the U.S. Attorney’s office was contacted. The case was accepted through the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).
Ford’s guilty plea was entered in the Eastern District of Tyler Court, with Judge John D. Love presiding and Richard Moore as the prosecuting attorney.
Bradshaw said the guilty plea means Ford could face up to 40 years in federal prison.
“Sam has been handled for cooking methamphetamines before,” Bradshaw said. “He was on parole through Henderson County until 2020.
“I’m glad he pled guilty,” Bradshaw added. “You can get away with it for so long, and we’ve only got to catch you once.”
Bradshaw said Ford had previously manufactured drugs in Kaufman and Henderson counties.
“He said this was the first time he had manufactured methamphetamines in Van Zandt County,” Bradshaw said.
Ford awaits sentencing.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new home.

Pictured are just a few 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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