Sunday, April 29, 2007




Fire destroys boathouse
Five watercraft damaged in Grandview Terrace
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Five watercraft were damaged or destroyed in a boat dock fire early Wednesday in the Grandview Terrace subdivision.
One 30-foot Regal boat, an unknown 20-foot boat, two Yamaha Wave Runners and one Sea Doo were all damaged by the blaze.

Monitor Photo/Evelyn Garrison
Firefighters spray water on boats and personal watercraft damaged in a boathouse fire early Wednesday. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Payne Springs Fire & Rescue was assisted by the Enchanted Oaks and Gun Barrel City fire departments, according to information released by GBC Fire Chief Joseph Lindaman.
The Tarrant Regional Water District was also notified, as the fire took place at or below the 325-foot mark.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Lindaman reported.


Early voting begins
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Early voting begins Monday and continues through Tuesday, May 8.
Cities are holding early voting at their city halls.
Henderson and Kaufman counties are holding early elections for amending the state constitution at their sub-courthouses and designated city halls and community centers.
(See related story page 4A.)
Kaufman County is also conducting elections for the Kemp ISD $23 million bond issue and trustees.
Kaufman residents who are also in Kemp school district may cast their early ballots at any one of four sub-courthouses, Crandall/Combine Community Center and Mabank City Hall.
Mabank City Hall will hold extended voting hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday. Otherwise, voting hours are generally 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
In addition to the Kemp Sub-Courthouse, there are four temporary branch polling places in Kemp. (See chart for details.)
Early polling places for Henderson County residents include the Seven Points City Hall, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m closed 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., and the Courthouse Basement in Athens.
On election day, Saturday, May 12, Kemp ISD voters will go to one of three polling places:
• Kaufman precincts 12, 15, 31 and 41 vote at Kemp Sub-Courthouse;
• Kaufman Precinct 13votes at First Baptist Church in Kaufman;
• Kaufman Precinct 33 and Henderson County residents who are also Kemp ISD will vote at the Calvary Baptist Church on State Highway 274.

‘The Wall’ arrives in Kaufman
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–The largest replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C. arrived in Kaufman Wednesday with a motorcycle escort.
It will be on 24-hour display for public visitation through Sunday at the Kaufman Veteran Memorial Park in Kaufman. Color guards will stand their post round the clock while the wall is on display.

A day of speeches, music and ceremony is planned for Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m.
A prayer service is planned for 10 a.m. Sunday (today). At 4 p.m., closing services begin with a prayer and ends with a moving 21-gun salute and Taps.
The traveling ‘Wall’ bears the names of 58,245 service men and women who were killed or lost during the Vietnam War on its black granite panels, and has been touring the country the last 15 years.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
A cavalcade of motorcycles escorted the truck carrying panels of the largest replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. as it arrived in Kaufman Wednesday.


Burglars caught
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

TRINIDAD–A citizen call in, an alert Malakoff police officer and a crime scene investigation added up to burglary charges for three out-of-town men who broke into the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Trinidad recently.
Jack Taylor Jr., 21, of Alvarado; Christopher Michael Anders, 20, and Jeremy Lynn Siders, 29, both of New Boston, were arrested Sunday, April 15 on a felony charge of burglary of a building.
Taylor and Anders posted bail of $10,500 each and were released the next day.
Siders was transferred Ellis County to face additional charges of engaging in organized criminal activity and probation violation.
Police officers from Trinidad, Malakoff and Tool were dispatched to 305 West State Highway 31 in Trinidad after a 3 a.m. call reporting an alarm was sounding at the VFW Post.
Trinidad Police Chief James Cook credits Malakoff officer Eric Adair “as the catalyst for the arrests.”
Adair was the first to arrive and noticed a silver Dodge Stratus parked across the street of the VFW on SH 31, Cook said.
He ran the license plates through dispatch and continued to secure the building, Cook continued.
Trinidad officer Cody Speak and Tool officer Rick Simmons arrived shortly afterward.
When Adair returned to the outside, the Stratus was gone.
Adair contacted the Kerens police and drove to Kerens to apprise them of the situation, Cook told The Monitor.
While meeting with a Kerens officer, the Stratus drove past.
The two officers gave chase and caught up with the vehicle in Kerens and pulled it over.
When the driver stepped out of the car, a pair of wire cutters feel out.
The two passengers in the car were barefooted and it was a cold night, Cook said.
A search of the car resulted in finding a duffel bag containing 36 cartons of cigarettes, all Marlboroughs except for one carton of Camels. The glove box contained $235 of cash hurriedly placed there, and the trunk yielded wet pants and shoes. Also a collection of small tools, useful to a burglar, were found in the vehicle, Cook added.
The tread of one pair of shoes were later matched up exactly with footprints found at the VFW. There, footprints were left from stepping through gypsum powder on the floor, Cook said.
As it so happened, nothing was missing from the VFW, though attempts were made to open the safe and cash register there, and the door was damaged, Cook said.
So police are looking for another unsolved burglary, from which the cigarette cartons could have been stolen, Cook added.
Cartons of cigarettes sell for $30 to $35 and could easily be resold at $20 per carton, Cook estimated. “They knew what they were doing. But it was their turn to get caught,” Cook said.


Say ‘good-bye’ to an eyesore
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Residents of Willowwood are happy to see a prominent eyesore finally removed.
The property owners association worked with the city litter abatement officer to get the burned-out hulk, once a trailer house, torn down.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Gun Barrel City Litter Abatement Officer Jaqui Callaway and Willowwood Property Owners Association president Harry Koval are glad to see the dismantling of this burned-out hulk at the corner of Willowwood Drive and Butler Trail. Before the fire here two months ago, neighbors strongly suspected drug activity at the trailer.

“It was a cooperative effort,” litter abatement officer Jaqui Callaway told The Monitor.
City resident Chris Russell is doing the actual demolition work in exchange for salvage rights, Callaway said.
The POA made a monetary donation for the trash removal, and the city provided the roll-off trash container.
It’s the second removal done in the past two years, Callaway added.
Located on the corner of Butler Trail and Willowwood Drive, the property is owned by Charlie McDaniel.
McDaniel was recently released from prison and is living in the Dallas area. Callaway said she was fortunate to track him down and get his permission for the demolition.
“This became a priority for me. As you can see it’s full of biohazardous material (needles),” she said.
At the time of the fire, the property was being rented out, Callaway said.

Candidates forum draws about a dozen citizens
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
About a dozen people met to listen to five candidates, David Jongsma (left), Charles Townsman, Ron Gurczewski, incumbent Kathy Cochran and Todd Hogan, for Gun Barrel City Council answer questions about their stand on property taxes, road maintenance and economic growth, during a forum moderated by Eustace school principal Robert Reeve Tuesday.



District honors Rowland as Teacher of the Year
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Mabank’s terrific trio: Region 10 Superintendent of the Year Dr. Russell Marshall (left) and State Principal of the Year Tommy Wallis (center) congratulate District Teacher of the Year, science teacher and coach Michael Rowland Thursday, during the district’s annual Employee Appreciation Dinner. Wallis introduced Rowland as the epitome of the teacher-coach. “In my 16 years in education Rowland is one of the best teachers I’ve seen,” Wallis said. “He’s taken the science department to a whole other level.”
About 100 teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and support personnel were recognized for years of service and contributions of excellence made to the district. See more in Thursday, May 3 edition of The Monitor.