Sunday, April 11, 2010





Shining a light on sexual assault and child abuse
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–The war against sexual assault and child abuse continues in Henderson County, and the soldiers came together Tuesday afternoon to rededicate themselves and honor some of their own.
Henderson County Commissioners designated April as “Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Awareness Month,” and met with other officials from all levels of the county on the courthouse lawn for a noon ceremony.
“We are here to rededicate ourselves in the fight against sexual assault and child abuse,” County Judge David Holstein said.
“It is so important for our community to bond together to educate and promote awareness throughout the community,” Donna Johnson of the East Texas Crisis Center said.
Johnson also read a statement from District Attorney Scott McKee, who is currently in Al Asad, Iraq, with the 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Battalion.
“I am committed to bringing justice to victims and punishing those who hurt them,” the statement read.
AbuseClothesline.jpg (193246 bytes)
Monitor Photo/Michael Hannigan
Each T-shirt expresses a message of hope and empowerment from those affected by sexual assault and child abuse. All who see the Clothesline Project on the Athens Courthouse Square may reflect on how each can help break the chain of violence in their community. April is Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Awareness Month.

The Clothesline Project was on display as well. A collection of T-shirts designed and created by victims of violence and their loved ones, speak for those who often have no voice.
“I think it is important to recognize that the people we are serving here today are represented by these T-shirts,” Holstein said. “Every T-shirt has a story. These are the people we are working with.”
The proclamation reminds us that the consequences of sexual assault are often severe and long lasting. In addition, the risk of developing post traumatic stress disorder, depression and many other psychological or physical ailments increases dramatically for victims of sexual assault.
“Every person throughout this community shares a responsibility to each other and to generations to come to help break the cycle of abuse,” the proclamation states. “Together, united in this effort, we can continue to make a difference.”
DeAnna Browning, victim’s advocate working with the DA’s Office, presented awards to Betty Herriage of the DA’s Office and Diane Russ, who works with the County Attorney’s Office.
Browning said the awards were “for two ladies who have worked hard serving victims for many years.”
Holstein also presented a plaque to Linda Waites, “in recognition for 30 years of dedicated service to the Henderson County Child Welfare Board, the children and the citizens of Henderson County.”
Awareness events scheduled for April include:
• Friday, April 16 – Go Blue Day. Everyone should wear blue to bring about awareness of child abuse.
• Saturday, April 17 – CASA 5K Run/Walk and Kids Day. For registration information, call LeeAnn Millender at (903) 675-7070.
• Wednesday, April 21 – Crime Victims Awareness Blood Drive at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information on sexual assault awareness or child abuse awareness, or about any of the events, contact Donna Johnson, East Texas Crisis Center, at (903) 675-2137 or DeAnna Browning, District Attorney’s Office, at (903) 675-6100.


Kaufman County offices hire help at no ‘extra’ cost
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–The workload keeps increasing, but the help has remained the same.
However, in Kaufman County, the County Court-at-Law No. 2 and 422nd District Court have agreed to share an assistant court coordinator.
The position was approved and the money for the position budgeted when the court was established. The position was never filled.
Monday, commissioners approved the hiring, since funds are already in the court budget and no additional county funds would be needed.
In other business, commissioners:
• reinstated the GIS coordinator position to full time. Kathy Morris assured commissioners the “money is there” in her budget for a full time salary.
She said the position had been cut to part-time to save money, but the workload is heavy and the employee in the position will soon have another project that needs his attention.
“He needs the additional time (to do the work needed),” she explained
• proclaimed April as “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” in Kaufman County.
• approved new reserve Deputy Patrick Poston as replacement for Kevin Hopkins (transferred to Precinct 4).
• approved a request from CenturyLink to bury communications copper cable along the right-of-way of County Road 4004 and a buried copper drop line across (under) the right-of-way of CR 4004, Precinct 4.
• approved budget transfers as presented by county auditor Hal D. Jones.
• paid bills totaling $442,941.33.


SPFR recognizes Bear’s Auto Glass with inaugural award
Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS–Seven Points Fire Rescue recognized the owners of Bear’s Auto Glass in Seven Points with an award for their “tireless service” in organizing and mounting an annual car show benefiting the fire rescue.
“I did not realize until the last car show how much work it takes to put on one,” Dobbs said. “Without their support, it would be financially and logistically impossible for us to do a car show of this caliber.”
The inaugural “Supporter of the Year” award goes to Donna and Barry Schmidt.
The couple begin work on the car show three or four months in advance of the event. They hand-stuff, address and stamp more than 1,000 envelopes while working at their shop, just north of the light on State Highway 274 in Seven Points, Dobbs said.
They collect and maintain a list of entrants, organize the classes, register the entrants, order trophies, secure all the canopies to keep staff out of the sun, line up the judges and finally ensure the music and PA system are working, which they supply out of their own money, he added.
Proceeds go to directly to the fire department.
“We count on this source of revenue each year to keep this department running,” Dobbs said.
The department of volunteers are also very grateful to all the other businesses that support them with donations and in-kind support, and help keep the department a success.
On April 5, Dobbs suffered minor injuries while fighting a house fire in the 1200 block of Pritchett Lane. Dobbs was sent to the Gun Barrel City ER for evaluation of smoke inhalation and to check his shoulder and back for injuries sustained when he was knocked off the porch of the residence.
The fire department responded quickly and were able to save the home’s exterior, but there was extensive damage.


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