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Theft suspect leads officers on chase
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–Kaufman County Constable Bryant Morris and deputy constable John Sullivan report the successful conclusion to a high-speed car chase Monday night.
Department of Public Safety officers were conducting a routine traffic stop on U.S. Highway 175 near Crandall around 9:45 p.m., when the driver of a 2003 Ford F250 pickup decided to take off.
That’s when Morris and Sullivan from Kaufman Precinct 4 came to assist the troopers.
According to a press release, the suspect led officers to Kaufman, where he exited onto CR 1388 and headed back toward Mesquite.
The Crandall Police Department put down spike strips to try to stop him at US 175 and State Highway 741. However, he just ran over them and kept driving with all tires flat.
The truck continued that way heading into Balch Springs just on the rims until they too, started coming apart. The truck wrecked onto the embankment near the Masters Road exit on U.S. 175.
“That’s when he left the truck and started running on foot,” Morris told The Monitor.
“We stopped him just across the road,” he said. Before the suspect came to the spike strip, he had driven the truck to speeds as high as 95 m.p.h., Morris added. No one was injured and the chase was estimated to have lasted about 40 minutes.
Morris and Sullivan took the suspect into custody.
The truck he was driving had been reported stolen out of Rockwall.
James Rodney Wood, 31, of Kaufman was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading arrest and detention with a vehicle, and fraudulent use/possession of identifying information.
Wood was transported to the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center, where he was being held with bonds totaling $325,000.


Cedar Creek Lake Art Festival set for May 19
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–Local artists and crafters still have time to secure booth space in the annual Cedar Creek Lake Festival of the Arts, hosted by the Mabank Chapter of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
Market Street will be closed to vehicles and open to foot traffic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 19. Now in its fourth year, area residents look forward to the event, which features the talents and skills of local residents and nearby neighbors.
More than 50 artist and craft vendors are participating including Susie Helm with stamped ceramic tiles, coasters and magnets, and Paul Fishers showing off his great wood working, including clocks and bowls.
Randy Fisher, from Kemp, will be here with his one-of-a-kind, unique yard art, each item custom designed.
Joining the festival this year will be Duane Roy, from Dallas, presenting his fishing-themed metal sculptures and Chris Stephen (Copperhead Ridge) from Wills Point featuring his band saw jewelry boxes. His Pioneer Log Boxes (with hidden compartments) and unique bird house designs for your feathered friends are widely sought.
Native American Art and Crafts available for sale and viewing includes paintings and custom jewelry by Arnold Pena and Anna Kirby. She will be bringing her “Dreaming Wolf” collection of moccasins, clothing and assorted hand crafted items
Once again, The Art Wall, presented Ben and Sadey of Sugar-Rock, will be set up for children of all ages to express themselves with paints and brushes.
Mabank High School Fine Arts Department students will exhibit their paintings, designs and art work.
On stage, music will be performed throughout the day, featuring Jess Leonard, Zac Groom, The Monitor’s own Pearl Cantrell and Kelly Brown from the Bad Monkeys Band.
Special presentations from the young dancers of the Dance Connection will also help us rediscover the importance of dance as part of public life. Clowns will also demonstrate their own unique artistry and comedy, while face painters will be on hand, adding to the festivities.
Besides an array of food booths, a 65-foot long bounce house, maze and amazing display by ONCOR Energy are set to be included.
The Festival is a family event so visitors can expect to enjoy great art, crafts, music and delicious food to meet every taste.
Vendor booths are available by calling (903) 880-3846 or (903) 887-3152. They start at $40 for space without electricity. No “garage sale” type merchandise will be allowed.
Requests for an application may also be sent by e-mail to





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