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Current Issue
April 24
, 2011






News in Brief

Holiday closings
Henderson, Kaufman and Van Zandt county offices closed for Good Friday. Kaufman County offices will remain closed Monday, April 25.

Pet transport sought
With the increase in gasoline prices, the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is seeking help on Mondays transporting animals to Crandall for spay/neuter services. It’s possible to use the shelter van if necessary. For information call (903) 432-3422.

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).

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 (today)

Easter drama
Lakeview Assembly of God is presenting a live drama Easter Service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday (today), along with a children’s Easter celebration in the church gym, located on SH 334 at Wood Street, across from Seven Points city hall. For information call (903) 432-2682.

CC Civic League
The Cedar Creek Civic League meets at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 25, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Mary Lou Blunt will present a program on Indian heritage. For information call Joyce at (903) 451-3229.

Harbor Point POA
Harbor Point POA Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, at the Harbor Point Pavilion. Program covers life-saving skills. For information, call Carol Calkins at (903) 887-1630 or visit

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 forum
A Kemp “meet the candidate night” is set for Thursday, April 28, in the Kemp High School auditorium. Both city and school candidates are invited, Kemp Business and Civic League president Diana Chambers said.

Howard tourney
Entries are being accepted through 5 p.m. Thursday, April 28, for the sixth annual Courtney Howard Memorial Scholarship golf tournament, set for Saturday, May 14. For entry form, contact Groom & Sons’ Hardware and Lumber at (903) 887-1689.

CC Republican Club
The Cedar Creek Republican Club meets for dinner at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, April 28, followed by a program from retired Henderson County attorney James Owen at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant, 428 N. Gun Barrel Lane, GBC. Everyone is welcome.

MAGS pasta dinner
The Mabank Area Good Samaritans are hosting a pasta dinner benefitting the Tri-County MAGS Food Pantry from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, at First United Methodist Church, Mabank. For tickets and information, contact Bill Burnett at (903) 498-4324.

TVCC Zumbathon
Trinity Valley Community College is hosting a Zumbathon to benefit the Henderson County Relay for Life. The Zumba class is set for 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in the Student Union Building ballroom. The class is taught by Donna Godwin. All proceeds will benefit the Henderson County Cancer Society. For information call Godwin at (9030 675-2627.

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 will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, April 29, at the Garden Learning Center, 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
The Styx 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.

Drug take-back
Bring outdated, unused prescription drugs, no questions asked, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, to the Kaufman City Police Department, 105 Chestnut St., or the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office at 1900 U.S. 175. The program’s goal is to prevent pill abuse and theft, a growing problem.

TVCC free concert
A farewell concert featuring the compositions of Velma Burnett will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 1, at the Dogwood Church at 6467 FM 2494 in Athens. Burnett leaves TVCC after a decade. TVCC students will be performing under the direction of choir director Dr. Byron McGilvray.

AL hot dog supper
The American Legion Post 310 Auxiliary offers Coney Island style hot dogs with all the trimmings, plus homemade desserts from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 6, benefitting various veteran-related activities. The Post is located on south SH 198, GBC.

MHS car show
The Mabank High School Automotive Department is hosting a Car Show fundraiser from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, in the automotive department parking lot at Mabank Junior High. Proceeds benefit the high school automotive department. For information or to register, call (903) 340-9105. Leave name and contact number.

Youth summit
The Retro Student Ministries presents “Unleashed Youth Summit 2011,” a lock-in set for 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Friday/Saturday, May 6-7, at the Cain Center, Athens. A jam-packed service with games, dramas, give-a-ways, worship and national speaker Trammel Orr is planned. The night includes pizza, bungee run, sumo wrestling, jousting, boxing, swimming and tons more. For information and price, call (903) 887-5429 or visit

Gospel Lectureship
The Trinidad Church of Christ is hosting a Gospel Lectureship at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the church, located at 241 West Scruggs, Trinidad, featuring the format, “Seven Men for Seven Minutes,” with the theme “Unity of Spirit.” For information call the church (903) 778-2536.

CCL Car Show
The annual Cedar Creek Lake Car Show and Krawfish Boil starts at 8 a.m. for car registration, with awards at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Pavilion in Mabank. Crawfish served starting at 10:30 a.m. until gone. Event is over after awards are presented.

WCR Golf Tourney
The Henderson County Women’s Council of Realtors’ annual golf tournament is set for Monday, May 9, at Cedar Creek Country Club. Check-in 10:30 a.m., followed by lunch and 1 p.m. tee-off of the 18-hole scramble. For information call Shirley Salmon at (214) 695-0664 or Sue Hosack at (860) 276-7355.

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.

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Top News

‘Don’t split Henderson County’
Commissioners oppose redistricting map, partitioning west side with Ellis Co.
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Henderson County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution opposing the proposed Texas House of Representatives redistricting map.
The action came just hours before a committee in Austin approved the map, sending it to the House floor for debate next week.
The map was released last week, and would see Henderson County divided between two house districts. The west and south sides of Cedar Creek Lake, including Seven Points, Tool, Trinidad and Malakoff, would be aligned with Ellis County and Rep. Jim Pitts’ district. The rest of Henderson County would remain with Kaufman County and Rep. Lance Gooden’s district.
“What would we be saying to the western end of our county if we did not try and keep our county together?” County Judge Richard Sanders asked Tuesday. “It is very important for us in Henderson County to stay together. This does dilute our influence because it divides us.”
Commissioners did not hide their feelings.
“Dividing a rural county is not helpful whatsoever to its population,” Precinctt 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney agreed.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall, whose precinct is most effected, said he had received many calls from his constituents – none of them positive.
“I could not explain any good value or virtue of this move to any of my constituents,” said Hall.
Commissioners aren’t the only ones unhappy with the redistricting plan.
Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce President Jo Ann Hanstrom said simply, “I don’t feel good about it.”
Hanstrom said splitting the lake area would hurt the 10-year effort to have the Cedar Creek Lake area considered its own entity “because we are unique.”
From the other side of the county on Lake Palestine, Orville Bevel warned that the impact of dividing the county wouldn’t only be felt at Cedar Creek Lake.
“Well the fun and games have begun and this should really make you mad,” said Bevel. “Mr. Pitts will claim he has an interest in Henderson County by having relatives and property (on Cedar Creek Lake). Not true in my book. Splitting Henderson County is bad in many ways.”
Gooden said Tuesday that he had hoped the Redistricting Committee would keep his district as it was, with all of Kaufman and Henderson counties.
“But the numbers are what they are,” he said.
Gooden said the proposal has positive aspects for Henderson County, not the least of which is having two representatives in Austin on the Appropriations Committee.
Pitts – who is the chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee – also would have liked to keep his district the way it was. In his case it was Ellis and Hill counties, which he has served for 18 years.
Pitts’ chief of staff Aaron Gregg said that while Pitts is frustrated at losing Hill County, he is excited at the prospect of representing a portion of Henderson County.
And, according to Gregg, it is a part of Henderson County Pitts knows. He said the lawmaker has a house in Star Harbor, and has had it for 20 years, and his mother and sister live there, too.
Gooden has received plenty of complaints about the redistricting plan, and has personally been the target of criticism.
Automated and anonymous rolling phone calls were made to every Republican primary voter in Henderson County last week warning them about “Gooden’s plan” to divide the county and urging them to call Gooden’s office and register their displeasure.
Gooden points out there is one problem with that scenario, however. He isn’t on the Redistricting Committee.
“The automated and anonymous call wrongly said I was the one behind this plan,” he said. “I want to stress that this is the Redistricting Committee. I am not on the Redistricting Committee. It is not up to me.”
He said, “The automated call made it sound like Henderson County was going to be shipped out to sea, and that is not the case. Henderson County would have two representatives fighting for it and be the most represented rural county in Texas.”
Critics say that Gooden is the big winner if the redistricting proposal is approved. He gets a district in which he remains the incumbent. And as a Kaufman County resident, his base remains strong while any Henderson County challenger would be weakened. Any other redistricting move would likely pair Gooden against an incumbent; not a death notice for a second term, but Gooden would certainly face a stiff challenge.
There is also the fact that Gooden backed House Speaker Joe Straus at the beginning of the Legislative Session, but representatives to his north and east did not.
Henderson County Republican Party Chair Betty Holland thinks it is unlikely the redistricting plan has anything to do with Gooden. She has some questions on whether dividing the county is the best plan, but she is sure that critics are taking aim at the wrong target.
“My preference is that the county stay together,” she said, “but I feel very certain that the Redistricting Committee followed the rules and the State Constitution for the proposal that was the best, and we must look to that committee for answers or concerns.”
Holland, who confirmed she had received one of the anonymous phone calls, said that redistricting is a complicated process, and that every move sends out ripples.
“I do not believe that redistricting or the splitting Henderson County would have been done just for a freshman Representative,” she said.


Former councilman gets DWI
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–Henderson County jail records for April 11 report the arrest of Eustace resident Mark Sanders on the charge of Driving While Intoxicated.
He posted a $3,500 the same day and was released.
Sanders is a former Eustace council member and his wife, Elisha, is a current city councilwoman running unopposed for city mayor in the May 14 election.
A Henderson County Sheriff’s deputy made the arrest.
By presstime Thursday, calls to the arresting officer were not returned.
While in office, Mark Sanders repeatedly asked mayor Laura Ward to resign her seat, after indicted for aggravated assault stemming from an incident at a Gun Barrel City nightclub in 2008.
(Ward was later cleared of any wrongdoing.) He also unsuccessfully introduced ordinances to limit the capacity of any elected official under indictment.
Both Sanders operated a very negative online campaign against Ward at the now vacant website.
The couple also made numerous public records requests of the city, which the city secretary estimated came to $500 or $600.

Kemp approves EDC loans
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Several Economic Development Corporation decisions were approved at the April 12 Kemp City Council meeting.
The money to fund the loans is paid out of EDC funds with the council’s approval.
Councilmembers agreed to:
• an EDC loan of $2,400 to Kemp Dairy Queen to help with a new sign.
• agreed to transfer legal title of Kemp EDC property located at 10th and Main streets to Jim Elliott doing business as Cedar Creek Brewery.
Elliott plans to construct a new building on the site to house his business. Citizens will be allowed to tour the facility.
• approved an EDC loan in the amount of $15,000 to Kemp Care Center to construct a new facility, between U.S. Highway 175 and Business 175, South of the Fire Department.
This loan is contingent upon the completion of the facility by the end of the year.
• approved a proposed lease agreement between the city of Kemp and the EDC for a new EDC office to be located at 308 S. Main Street.
• authorized mayor Matt Ganssle and city attorney Terry Welch to negotiate a Chapter 380 Performance-based Incentive agreement with Dylan Chambless of Chambless Feed and property owner Diana Clemmo.
The business is still waiting on plans and insurance settlements following a fire earlier in the year.
In other business, council members:
• approved a resolution concerning the construction of proposed improvements by Kaufman County Appraisal District.
• appointed councilman Jerry Hazelip as a director on the Kemp Economic Development Board, replacing Bob Burns who resigned.
• heard a report from police Chief Richard Clemmo for the month of March.
The activity log for the month listed 262 actions taken, including patrols, assisting other departments, working accidents, meeting with citizens and issuing citations.
Clemmo thanked the council for its support in the pursuit of a JAG grant.
Clemmos said all officers were issued patrol vests, which are the latest in technology and are tazor proof.
The video cameras were upgraded, and the department also received helmets, a shield, three sets of night vision and headsets and a thermal heat imager.
• heard the public works report as presented by director Chris Burns.
The water department has lost two motors in the last week, he said.
“We are running with one pump when we should have two on each water intake facility,” Burns said.
“We have to have some type of capitol improvement programs. We have to come up with some kind of a plan for the future,” he explained.






































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