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Current Issue
Thursday,
April 14
, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 
News in Brief

GBC candidate forum
The GBC Chapter of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a candidates forum for city council places 1E, 3W and 5 (at large) from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday (tonight) at Brawner Hall, behind city hall. Light snacks will be served.
Free and open to the public.

GBC senior egg hunt
The annual Senior Citizens Easter Egg Hunt is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at the new GBC Pavilion, located in the City Park behind the Dairy Queen.
There will be judging for the best Easter basket, parasol and bonnet. Vendor booths will be set up for arts and crafts and food.
For information contact Winnie at (903) 887-4711.

Tamarack egg hunt
The annual Tamarack Easter Egg Hunt is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Blackie Ensey Park.
All Tamarack children, toddler through age 12, and their parents are invited to participate.
For information call Liz at (903) 887-7049.

CASA 5K
CASA of Trinity Valley is sponsoring a 5K race at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 16, at the Cain Center in Athens. Pick up packets and T-shirts for the 5K race after 9 a.m. Thursday (today) and Friday, April 15, at the CASA office, located at 1104 E. Tyler Street, Athens or call (903) 675-7070.
Register on the website www.casaoftv.org.

Westside Center
The Westside Senior Citizens Center is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday (today and every Thursday) at the Cedar Creek Bible Church, 700 North Seven Points Blvd (SH 274).Call (903) 340-9672 for more.

49ers Senior Club
The Cedar Creek Lake 49ers hosts a dance to the music of Chuck & the 49ers from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday (tonight and every Thursday). No smoking or alcohol. Donation at the door. Located on two blocks south on Arnold Hills Road, off SH 334. Phone or fax to (903) 432-3552.

Lenten fish frys
The Knights of Columbus Council 8806 and St. Jude Catholic Church have scheduled Friday fish frys during Lent. All you can eat fish, hush puppies, fries, cole slaw, drinks and home-baked goodies, from 5 to 7 p.m. April 15, at the church on Luther Lane, behind Pizza Hut in GBC.
All proceeds benefit local, state and national charities.
For information call Paul Ciardo at (903) 432-3529.

Spring Carnival
The Cedar Creek Bible Church is hosting its free Spring Carnival from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 15. at 700 N. Seven Points Blvd (SH 274). More than 30 games for children through sixth grade. Prizes, hot dogs, candy and sodas all free. For information call (903) 432-2175.

Sophomore benefit
A Kemp High School sophomore benefit is planned for 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 16, in the KHS cafeteria.

Humane Society sale

The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is hosting a garage sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, at McDade’s Nursery, located on SH 274, two miles south of Seven Points in Tool.
All proceeds benefit the building campaign.

Senior craft sale
The Kemp Senior Center will host a craft sale and bazaar from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 16. Lots of different booths and concession stand at the center, 300 North Dallas Street, Kemp.
For information call Lisa Smith at (903) 498-4046.

FBC GBC craft fair
The First Baptist Church of GBC is hosting a craft fair from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 16. For information call Judy Turner at (903) 778-2686.

Mabank VFD fish fry
The 24th annual Mabank Fire Department Fish Fry is set for 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at the fire station, 111 E. Mason Street (Business 175).
All proceeds benefit the Mabank Fire Department.

Confederate Rose
The Confederate Rose Chapter 2548 meets at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Frances Clark will present the program. Visitors are welcome. For information call Glenda King at (903) 451-2709.

Kemp golf tourney
The Kemp Band Boosters are hosting their second annual golf tournament at noon Monday, April 18, at Cedar Creek Country Club. For information call Bobbie Jo Taylor at (903) 498-6800, e-mail to bj4297@embarqmail.com,  or call Mellisa Day at (903) 498-7361, e-mail bandmom2014@yahoo.com.

Rootseekers Society
The Rootseekers Genealogy Society will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, April 18, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Prize-winning photographer Kerry Yancey of The Monitor will present a program on “Photography.” Meetings are open to the public.

Women’s Club execs
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club Executive Board meets at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points.

Senior game day
GBC Senior Game Day is set for 12:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at Brawner Hall.
Light refreshments will be served. For information call Tanya at city hall (9030887-1087.

Mabank Garden Club
The Mabank Garden Club meets at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 19, at Tri-County Library. Members will carpool to Edom Bakery, where the bakery chef will present the program. Members who wish to may go to Blue Moon Gardens following the program.
For information contact Donna at (903) 887-7792.

Sarah Maples DAR
The Sarah Maples Chapter of the DAR will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake. Mae Bruce will present “Women in the Texas Revolution.”

Library birthday
Tri-County Library invites the public to join its birthday celebration from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 23, in the Library Community Room. For information, call (903) 887-9622.

HIS life celebration
The First Baptist Church of Eustace Celebration Choir and Youth Drama Team invites everyone to experience the Easter Celebration at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, April 24.

CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club meets at 11 a.m. (doors open at 10:30 a.m.) Tuesday, April 26, at the Cedar Creek Country Club. The program is a style show by Shirley Lybrand of Gilbert & Jones titled “Be Jeweled and Accessorized,” featuring jewelry and handbags.

Kemp festival
The city of Kemp is hosting Cody Riley’s fifth annual Crawfish Festival in downtown Kemp Friday, April 22, featuring a night of Texas music, food and fun.

TVCC workshop
Trinity Valley Community College will host a professional development workshop for social workers, therapists and counselors from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 29. Tuition charged and need to bring a difficult case for discussion. For information call (903) 675-6212 or visit www.tvec.edu/communityservices.

Styx gospel event
Due to Brother Frank’s illness, the monthly Gospel singing is set for 7 p.m. Friday, April 29. Everyone is welcome to bring their music, family and friends. For information call (214) 616-4659 or (903) 498-8182.

Gardener is ‘in’
The Henderson County Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions by phone during April and May.
Call the AgriLife Extension Office between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at (903) 675-6130, and ask for your Master Gardener.

Meals on Wheels
Kemp Senior Citizen Center is seeking volunteer drivers for its Meals on Wheels program.
Only one hour a day, and you can pick the day or days. Call Lisa Stinnett at (903) 498-4046.

News in Brief policy
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Top News

2nd search gets same result
Three drug arrests reported
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt reports three drug arrests in the Cedar Creek Lake area over this week and the second search warrant for the same address within 16 days.
Monday, the Drug Enforcement Unit rearrested Pamela Sue Shaffer, 51, of Thunderbird Shores near Gun Barrel City.
On March 26, deputies executed a search warrant at her Oxbow Drive residence at 12:05 a.m. She was released the same day on a $25,000 bond.
This time they came at 11:30 p.m., according to a press release, with a second search warrant authorized by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock.
Officers once again found an amount of suspected methamphetamine, more than 1 gram and less than 4 grams, about two weeks after confining Shaffer the first time.
Gun Barrel City Police officers assisted in securing the residence during the execution of the search warrant.
Shaffer is currently being held in the Henderson County Jail, and bail had not been set by presstime Tuesday.
If convicted, Shaffer faces two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Suspicious activity alerted authorities to two suspects, while the third came from information developed by investigators.
On Sunday, deputy Cayce Hampton was dispatched to the Westwood Beach subdivision to check out a suspicious person which resulted in the arrest of Tabitha Waters, 35. She was operating a vehicle at the time.
Hampton conducted a search of the vehicle and found her to be in possession of drug contraband, including baggies and a glass pipe, commonly used to smoke methamphetamine.
On her person, the deputy also found less than 1 gram of suspected meth. Waters was taken to the Henderson County jail and bond was set at $7,500.
Monday, while patrolling in the Cherokee Shores subdivision, deputy Kenny Collard observed a parked car in the intersection of Quanah and Cherokee Shores Drive. Collard stopped to investigate the suspicious inactivity.
In the vehicle was Michael Lloyd Latimer, 44. He was found to be in possession of suspected meth and a pipe used to smoke it.
Latimer was charged with possession of less than 1 gram of a suspected controlled substance. No bond had been set by presstime Tuesday.

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Results of firing utility director still unfold
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–Eustace was ready for its utility inspection with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and met its deadline with a federal agency for emergency response plans, keeping the city in good standing when grant time comes around.
However, TCEQ inspectors flagged a few small items and when they checked back March 30, and they weren’t happy with what they found.
Interim water and wastewater supervisor Gene Burns reported that without constant maintenance and oversight, it’s easy for the city’s wastewater treatment system to fall below operating standards, and that is what was picked up on by inspectors on their second visit.
“It’s due to no one on staff maintaining the system (or being qualified to do so),” Burns said.
The city had contracted with Burns (who holds the proper license) soon after dismissing its utility director for lack of confidence. Burns’ company was contracted to conduct the regular sampling and testing, get the system ready for the inspection and meet the federal deadlines on presenting the necessary response plans. At a $75/man hour for anything else, he was not asked to maintain the system.
“Is the system outdated?” councilman Marlin Chambers asked.
“No. It’s just wore out,” Burns answered. He suggested adding a gas-chlorinating pump to ensure a stable feed for around $2,000 to offer some immediate solutions.
If no one is monitoring the (chlorine) pump and keeping it fed, it will fall below prime, and that’s what kept happening, he explained.
“Right now, the city doesn’t have any backup should a pump go down,” he added.
Another aspect compounding the problem is the lack of a clarifier at the end of the race track. “The race track has no way of draining off the sediment. All solids and water empties into the lagoon,” Burns explained.
The lagoon’s lifespan should be 20 years. It’s at five years now, and filling up fast. “It was designed to work in relationship with a clarifier,” Burns added.
“The minimum retention time (in the lagoon for wastewater) should be 21 days. You’re getting 13 (days),” he said.
The city owns drying beds, and has the manpower to maintain the drying beds, Burns said. Initially, the city would have to hire a pumping company at an estimated cost $40,000 to $50,000, he added.
“All the city needs is an action plan and demonstrate following the plan,” Burns said.
Another TCEQ inspection is set for July, three months away. If the problems still persist without a plan of action, the city will begin accruing heavy penalties and new stipulations for renewing its permit, Burns predicted.
Mayor Laura Ward said the council was already aware of the need for a clarifier, and noted that the problems that came to the attention of the inspectors were directly related to the council’s decision to dismiss its utility director, who stayed on top of the day-to-day maintenance of the system.
That same evening, the council met with two applicants (Burns and Todd Weber, Kemp councilman) for the utility director post behind closed doors. It took no action upon return to open session.
A called meeting was set for April 12 to meet with other applicants.
In related business, the council reduced the wastewater bill for two customers to their usual amounts, because it was obvious major leaks had occurred on their property and the excess water did not go through the city’s sewer treatment plant.
The council is expected to set a policy to address this type of situation in the future.
The council granted the Eustace ISD’s request for a reduction of its sewer bill by $1,384.11, when it showed how it found the leak under its parking lot after about three weeks of water flow.
“The water was just starting to show up on one edge of the parking lot, when the school got the bill and knew right away something was wrong,” school utility director Jack Wallace said. He described how they found the leak and actions taken to fix it.
“I suggest someone at the school monitor the water meter more often than just when the bill comes,” Chambers cautioned.
It was also suggested that those leaving town for extended periods of time check with the city for stopping and reactivating water service, or otherwise closing off a main water valve.
Earlier in the meeting, it was noted with thanks how school personnel helped the city over the last several weeks when a sewer lift station malfunctioned. All agreed the two entities have worked together on numerous occasions for the common good with a beneficial outcome.
A second request came from a couple who were away on a trucking assignment when they discovered a leak broke out while they were away. Their sewer bill was reduced by $300.
In both incidents, the customers will have to pay for the water registered through their meter, regardless of its having been wasted through an unknown leak.
In other business, council members:
• renewed its depository contract with Prosperity Bank.
• approved the Henderson County 9-1-1 Communications District budget for fiscal year 2011-12.
• agreed to the purchase of a new commercial-grade, zero-radius turn riding lawnmower for $4,999, with funding split equally between the general and water funds.

 

Breach exposes 3.5M
Texas comptroller’s office puts private data at risk
Monitor Staff Reports
AUSTIN–A combination of snafus resulted in the exposure of about 3.5 million names and Social Security numbers on a publicly accessible state computer server over a one-year period.
The Texas Comptroller’s office reported the breach in security Monday. An undisclosed number of employees in the comptroller’s office were fired after the breach was discovered.
According to a Dallas Morning News report, data from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, covering 1.2 million education employees and retirees, was transferred to the comptroller’s office in January, 2010.
Records of two million persons from the Texas Workforce Commission was transferred in April, 2010. Lastly, Employees Retirement System of Texas data records on 281,000 state employees and retirees was transferred in May, 2010.
Data from the state employee retirement system included current and former employees receiving benefits and retired state employees who were in the system at the time of the data transfer.
The transfers were mandated by state law to verify unclaimed property records, Comptroller Susan Combs explained.
However, instead of being transferred to a secure computer server, it went to a server used to transfer files publicly, but not accessible through the comptroller’s main website.
Additionally, the files should have been encrypted before being transferred. The information was in danger of exposure over a lengthy time period because another procedure requiring periodic purging was not followed.
As soon as the breach was discovered, the information was sealed from public access and moved to a secure location, Combs told DMN.
The breach was detected March 31 and the Attorney General’s office was contacted to investigate.
Letters were being sent to notify many of the people whose information was available, and an informational website at www.TXsafeguard.org  and toll-free phone line at 1-855-474-2065 has been set up.
So far, no evidence of identity theft has been detected as a result of the breach. However, many identity thieves wait months to use personal information, so they won’t be easily tracked, a LifeLock Inc. trainer and veteran law enforcement officer reported.
Personal information is attractive to thieves because they can use it to open fraudulent lines of credit attributed to someone else.
Potential victims should:
• check bank accounts and credit statements monthly,
• review credit reports from three major credit reporting bureaus quarterly,
• consider asking credit bureaus to place fraud alerts on your account, so that you must personally verify information for new accounts,
• use the identity theft affidavit developed by the Federal Trade Commission, so you don’t become responsible for unauthorized charges.
• avoid using numbers from your birth date or Social Security number when establishing personal identification numbers for accounts, and if an account has been tampered with or opened fraudulently, close it immediately.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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