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Current Issue
April 17
, 2011






News in Brief

Pet food needed
Happy Tails runs a pet food bank and has been hit hard with the rising gas prices. Please donate if you can by calling (903) 880-4124 or cell (903) 275-5990, Happytailsof, Adopt a happy Tail Inc. (a 501(c)(3) organization).

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@, or call Mellisa Day at (903) 498-7361, e-mail bandmom

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.”

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.

ETMC jewelry
ETMC-Athens Auxiliary members will hold a “Gold ’N Visions” jewelry sale in the ETMC dining conference room Thursday and Friday, April 21-22. The annual Easter bake sale also will be held April 22.

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.

Kemp Easter egg hunt
The annual Kemp Easter Egg Hunt is at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23, in the Kemp City Park. The hunt is divided into age groups – toddlers, pre-school and older children.

The Christian Life Center’s annual Easter Eggstravaganza is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23. Give-aways presented. The church location is 2611 W. Main, GBC.

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 candidate meet
A candidate forum for Kemp School board and city offices is set for Thursday, April 28, in the Kemp High School Auditorium.

Vegetable seed sale
The Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Kaufman County Master Gardeners sale of vegetable seeds recommended for this area and a variety of plants, is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, April 29, at the Garden Learning Center, at the SW corner of FM 1388 and SH 34 intersection, Kaufman. For information call (972) 932-9069.

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

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.

Boating garage sale
Friends of Boating are hosting a garage sale benefitting the Coast Guard Auxiliary, starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 30, at Tom Finley Park. For information call Betty Abbott at (903) 432-2272.

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

School bus window broken by gunshot

No injuries reported, arrests made
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Wednesday morning, around 6:40 a.m., while traveling its usual route, a Kemp Independent School District bus with three students on board lost a window to a gunshot.
While no one would confirm exactly what happened, they did say the students were checked out by district medical personnel.
Glass was blown inside the bus, but none of the students were injured.
A letter from Kemp ISD superintendent Dr. Peter Running confirmed a .22-caliber rifle was confiscated and arrests were made.
Later, Running said the person involved was a “younger individual,” but would not confirm whether he/she was younger or older than 18.
“At this time, the district is not able to release any names or any more details, as the investigation is still going on,” Running said in the letter.
Information Running said he did not know included:
• the ages of the children on the bus.
• the sex and term of employment of the driver.
• the driver’s response, and whom they called and alerted first.
• any possible motive, or reason behind the shooting.
The Monitor confirmed that no charges were filed with either the Kemp Police Department or the Kaufman County Sheriff’s department.
“We have our own district police officer, and he handled the incident and investigation,” Running said.
The Monitor submitted an Open Records Request Thursday to both the district police chief, Robert Patterson and Running.
According to state rules, the school district has 10 days to respond to the request.
The letter, posted on the school district website and signed by Running, stated: “I am very proud of the bus driver and of our transportation department with the efficient manner the students were taken care of and how the incident was reported. I am proud of District law enforcement for the timely and efficient investigation and apprehension of the suspect and locating the weapon.
“We thank you again for entrusting us with your children, and the District continues with its commitment for the safety of every student.”


Redistricting to split lake area
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

AUSTIN–Can you imagine Seven Points and Gun Barrel City having different representatives in the Texas House next legislative session?
How about Malakoff and Athens, or Malakoff and Caney City?
That’s the way things will be, if the preliminary redistricting map released Wednesday becomes law.
The preliminary map released this week has half of the Cedar Creek Lake area, including Seven Points, Tool, Trinidad and Malakoff, aligned with Ellis County. The rest of Henderson County is still joined with Kaufman County.
The State Legislature is currently going through the redistricting process; the redrawing of political boundaries it undertakes every 10 years, based on new census data.
According to state sources, the current House District 4, with Henderson and Kaufman counties, had to be broken up because it is too big. Rep. Lance Gooden represents the district.
One of the factors involved, according to Gooden, is the size of Ellis County. That county is big enough that one of its surrounding counties will have to be split to produce a district. That district is represented by Jim Pitts (R), chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee.
Ellis County is touched by Henderson, Kaufman, Dallas, Tarrant, Johnson, Hill and Navarro counties.
Rules normally protect a county from being divided unless it is big enough to have multiple House districts, such as Dallas County. The Ellis County situation, however, is unusual and will require something different. It is the only such situation in Texas, Gooden said.
The preliminary map could – and likely will – change because redistricting is a continuous process.
Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders said Wednesday the idea of the county having split House districts was “very disconcerting.”
“We are going to make every effort through Commissioners’ Court to make sure this doesn’t happen,” he said.
Redistricting bills follow the normal legislative process.
According to current rules, the last day to pass bills in the House is May 12, so the process would have to kick into high gear in the next couple of weeks to meet the deadline.
If the House and Senate cannot pass redistricting plans in time – or the plans are found invalid – then the process is taken over by the Legislative Redistricting Board (LRB).
The LRB is composed of the lieutenant governor, speaker of the house, attorney general, comptroller and land commissioner.

Kemp mayor at odds with Housing Authority director
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Tempers were barely contained in a confrontation between Kemp Mayor Matt Ganssle, Kemp Housing Authority residents and director Melinda Oliver at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
The controversy concerned the mayor appointing three members to the five-member Housing Authority board, including a replacement for board chairman Gene Mills.
Oliver said her problems with the mayor began when he requested her to research and write grants for the city.
“I called HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) and was informed that would be a conflict of interest,” she said.
The KHA is funded by rental income, HUD subsidies and HUD grants. No funds are provided by the city of Kemp, Oliver explained.
Oliver stated the mayor stood at the KHA March 17 meeting, attended by 34 tenants, and at that time promised to consult with her regarding appointments.
She said the terms for the board members have not expired (due to expire May 4).
Claims and counter-claims abounded as to why the mayor was taking this action.
Mills had Oliver read a letter for him, in which he stated the mayor complained that he (Mills) was old and had vision problems.
Mills said he had expected the mayor to be more tolerant of others’ weaknesses.
“He told me he guaranteed I would not be reappointed, because I was old and visually impaired,” Mills said.
Although the mayor repeatedly claimed Mills’ letter contained “lies, lies, lies,” several people who attended the meeting refuted Ganssle’s remarks.
Geri Miller, a KHA tenant who also wrote a letter in support of Mills and Oliver, said she attended the March 17 meeting.
“Melinda is doing a terrific job,” Miller explained
Ganssle denied that age or disability were reasons for him to not reappoint Mills.
“I have a problem with him turning the meeting over to Melinda,” Ganssle said.
City councilman Todd Weber said he wanted to question individual KHA tenants, and asked that the appointments be tabled until the next regular meeting.
Also, Weber said he was not happy the board members being replaced had not completed their terms.
The mayor protested and refused to table the item.
“As far as the appointments are concerned, my mind is made up,” Ganssle declared.
“I guess you’re going to do what you want,” Weber replied. “I still don’t think it’s fair.”
Ganssle appointed Bill Burnett to replace Mills, reappointed Norma Liggins and named Marvin Hooten to replace Tim Morrison.
According to HUD rulings, the mayor may make appointments, but tenants questioned whether Ganssle had to wait until asked, or until a term is completed.
Oliver said later she was under the impression that HUD rules stipulated the housing authority director (Oliver) issues the oath to board members, not the mayor.












































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