People, Places & Events



Lake Area

East Cedar Creek Freshwater Supply District meets at 12:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at the ECCFSD office on Hammer Road just off Welch Lane in Gun Barrel City.
Eustace City Council meets at 7 p.m. in the Eustace City Hall the first Thursday of each month. For more information, please call 425-4702. The public is invited to attend.
Eustace Independent School District meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the Eustace High School Library. For more information, please call 425-7131. The public is invited to attend.
Gun Barrel City Council meets in Brawner Hall at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-1087. The public is invited to attend.
Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation meets at 1831 W. Main, GBC, at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-1899.
Henderson County Commissioner’s Court meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Henderson County Courthouse in Athens. The public is invited to attend.
Henderson County Emergency Services District #4 meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at 525 S. Tool Dr. in Tool.
Henderson County Historical Commission meets the first Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. in the HC Historical Museum.
Kaufman County Commissioner’s Court meets the first, second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9:45 a.m. in the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. The public is invited to attend.
Kemp City Council meets at Kemp City Hall at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 498-3191. The public is invited to attend.
Kemp Independent School District meets the third Tuesday of each month in the Board Room in the Administration Building. For more information, please call 498-1314. The public is invited to attend.
Log Cabin City Council meets the third Thursday of the month in city hall. For more information, please call 489-2195. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank City Council meets at 7 p.m. in Mabank City Hall the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-3241. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank Independent School District meets at 7:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, please call 887-9310. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs City Council meets at city hall at 7:30 p.m. every third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 451-9229. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs Water Supply Corp. meets the third Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Payne Springs Community Center, located at 9690 Hwy. 198.
Seven Points City Council meets at 7 p.m. in Seven Points city hall the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3176. The public is invited to attend.
Tool City Council meets at 6 p.m. in the OranWhite Civic Center the third Thursday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3522. The public is invited to attend.
West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District is held at 5 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3704. The public is invited.

  Rotarians hear pros and cons of education
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Eustace High School Coach Chuck Powers presented some contrasting and interesting views on education today to members and guests of the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake Friday luncheon. RotaryChuckPowers.jpg (26492 bytes)
About 40 years ago, when he first began teaching, he discovered teaching was not a way to become rich.
“I made more hauling hay at 10 cents a bale, as I did as a teacher,” he said, contrasting different approaches to the job.
“There are two types of educators; those who are called and those who do it as an occupation,” Powers said. “I feel that I was called.”
As a coach, about 76 of his players have earned college scholarships, Powers said.
“At least eight of my former players have become coaches,” he added.
A lot of changes have happened in education over the years, from open class room concepts to today’s lax attitude toward discipline.
“Now, I heard the other day, that Dallas Independent School District is considering bringing back corporal punishment,” Powers commented.
“The big push now in teaching is technology,” Powers said, “Or not!”
Chuckling, he commented that when one makes a purchase, the young clerk can immediately – thanks to the computerized cash register – give the correct amount of change.
“But say you buy something that is 25 cents over the even dollar amount and you give the clerk a $20, with change due, and hand him a quarter with it. Watch how fast the clerk becomes confused about how much change to give you back,” he explained.
Not only are calculators weakening young people’s ability to do simple computations in their head, it is corrupting our written communication, he said.
“Our language is being polluted. I am beginning to get test papers with texting (language) instead of the complete wording (in the English language),” he said.
“Students are less patriotic,” Powers said, adding that in the U.S., there are at least two colleges that teach the holocaust never happened,” Powers said.

Mabank hosts 2nd annual ‘Festival of the Arts’ May 29
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–In the time-honored tradition of hometown celebrations all over the country on Memorial Day weekend, the Mabank Chapter of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the second annual “Cedar Creek Lake Festival of the Arts” Saturday, May 29.
Historic Market Street in downtown Mabank will be blocked off to vehicle traffic, and vendors selling all manner of arts and crafts will be situated along the business section of town.
In addition to local and out-of-town artists selling paintings, pottery, jewelry, photography and clothing, festival visitors will be entertained by music on stage all day, featuring local folk and Christian rock entertainers, headlined by the fabulous Sullivan Family.
Every aspect of the event is being planned to be family-friendly.
One of the requests after the 2009 inaugural arts festival was that more food be available during the show hours, so visitors to this year’s event will find a selection of non-profit food vendors, in addition to a couple of Market Street businesses that sell food.
There will be offerings ranging from hot dogs to pizza, plus plenty of ice cream and cold drinks.
At presstime, there were still vendor spaces available.
“We’re encouraging all local artists and crafts people to come be a part of the Cedar Creek Lake Festival of the Arts,” event committee chair Scott Confer said.
With this year’s theme of “Experience Art Americana” and the ambiance of Mabank Market Street, the festival offers an opportunity to be a part of a grand family day of art and entertainment.
In 2009, the festival drew more than 3,000 visitors and according to Confer, many of the same artists are returning.
Vendor spaces are $30, no electricity available. Sellers must provide their own tents and furnishings. No “garage sale” type merchandise will be allowed.
For applications or vendor information, call (903) 880-3846 or (903) 288-0183 or e-mail info@cedarcreeklake
The Cedar Creek Lake Festival of the Arts is being made possible in part through the generous underwriting sponsorships of Oncor Electric Delivery (corporate sponsor), Atmos Energy, First State Bank of Mabank, Citizens State Bank Mabank, Stark & Groom PC and Sugar Rock Design, along with staff/volunteer support from the City of Mabank and the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mark your calendar now, and plan to “Experience Art Americana,” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 29 on Mabank’s historic Market Street.

TVCC forecasts tuition hike
Budget cuts, flat property tax values drive increases
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–Growing and cutting back at the same time isn’t easy.
It’s not exactly news that the economy isn’t what it used to be.
The economic downturn of the past few years has affected every area of life, from federal spending bills to the family budget.
For Texas community colleges, the hard economic times have meant increased enrollments as unemployed workers go back to class.
Even traditional-age students are gravitating toward community colleges as their families’ purse strings tighten.
Here in Henderson County, the enrollment at Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) is no exception.
During the past two years, numbers have skyrocketed more than 20 percent.
The past two semesters, the college has seen record enrollment numbers, topping 8,000 last fall.
“In these tough times, the value of community colleges has become more important than ever,” TVCC president Dr. Glendon Forgey said.
“And since TVCC has one of the lowest tuition rates in the state, many local students who are seeking a four-year education are choosing to come here first.”
The extra numbers have been both a boon and a challenge, say TVCC administrators, as the college has worked to find extra instructors to teach rapidly filling classes.
But the biggest challenge may lie ahead.
Texas legislators are expecting revenue shortfalls, and so cuts in the state budget could come as early as this fall.
In September 2009, Texas Governor Rick Perry called for all state agencies to conduct a review of their expenses in anticipation of future cuts.
“We have already started preparing for a cut of between five and 10 percent over the next two years,” Forgey said.
“All of our departments have been told to scale back wherever possible,” he added.
For TVCC, that cut could be $1.2 million over the next 12 months and as much as $2.4 million over the next two years.
According to Steve Johnson, associate vice president for the Texas Association of Community Colleges, falling sales tax revenue has caused the concern among legislators.
“Next session, we could be looking at an 11 to 18 billion dollar deficit statewide. That’s compounded for community colleges because, if the state has to make cuts, we are still estimating growth at 20-22 percent in the next two years,” Johnson said.
For much of the past decade, many community colleges survived without tuition increases because of property values.
During that time, values have increased dramatically, allowing community colleges to bring in extra income without raising either tax or tuition rates.
“Rising property values in the past have provided the freedom for (community college) districts to avoid tuition increases and program cuts, but that is no longer the case,” Johnson said.
Property values have flattened, he noted, and colleges can no longer rely on that increase to bring in income.
So, to offset the pressure caused by the anticipated state funding cuts, Johnson said both two- and four-year colleges are turning to tuition and fee increases to keep up with students’ needs.
TVCC is no exception.
Earlier this year, the TVCC board approved a tuition fee increase schedule that calls for increases over the next four years.
Under the plan, tuition will increase from the current rate of $42 per semester hour to $65 per semester hour by 2014.
However, said Forgey, the increases at TVCC are much more manageable than those going into place at larger schools.
Even after the increase, TVCC will still be well below the state average for community college tuition and fees.
The state average by 2014 is expected to be $75 per semester hour.
Currently, the state average is $61 per semester hour, $19 more per hour than TVCC.
“While these increases bring us closer in line with the state average, we still pride ourselves on being one of the best values in the state.
“TVCC has traditionally prided itself on providing affordable quality.
“Our ‘value’ is not just monetary. It is also in the emphasis the college places on the success of the student; our focus on providing the resources necessary to help our students succeed; and in our award-winning programs, faculty and staff,” Forgey said.
Currently, there are only four community colleges in Texas with tuition and fee rates lower than those at TVCC.
A full-time student – one who takes a class load of 12 semester hours – at TVCC pays a total of $504 in tuition and fees.
According to the TACC, only Texarkana College, College of the Mainland, Collin County Community College and Dallas County Community College have lower total costs for students taking the same class load.
When matched up with other community colleges in East Texas, TVCC currently has the lowest tuition rate in the region.
TVCC’s neighbors, Tyler Junior College and Navarro College have full-time costs of $848 and $621 respectively.
Even with increased tuition, Johnson said community college tuitions are nowhere even close to what it costs a student to attend a university.
And with four-year colleges also increasing tuition, said Johnson, community colleges can expect their enrollments to increase even more.
For example, earlier this year the University of Texas system announced across-the-board increases in its tuition and fee schedule.
The largest branch of the state’s biggest college system, UT Austin, will increase tuition and fees 5.4 percent over the next 12 months.
Currently, a student taking 15 semester hours is paying $8,936 per semester.
That amount will increase to $9,418 for the 2010-11 school year.
Another increase will go into effect for the 2011-12 school year. That year, tuition will increase an additional 3.89 percent.
“For students who are looking for a good way to start their education, the community college system is ideal,” Forgey said.
“A student who attends here for two years before moving onto a four-year education can literally save tens of thousands of dollars. That means a lot when it is time to pay those student loans,” Forgey said.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
The domino effect is a chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then will cause another similar change, and so on. My name is Domino, and I got my name not only because I’m black and white like a domino tile, but also because my outgoing, cheerful personality causes my doggie roommates to smile. This also causes our human friends to smile, which even causes the kitties in the cat room to smile.
I am an 8-month-old male Pointer/Terrier mix. I love children, other dogs, and even get along great with kitties. I’ve had all my shots and am ready to be adopted. If you’d like to experience the domino effect, I am sure to put a forever smile on your face when you take me to my forever home.
I currently live with a foster family, so if you would like to meet me, call my friends at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake at (903) 432-3422 to make an appointment. You can also email them at

We have many animals at the
Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points
in dire need of a good home.
Please call or stop by the Humane Society today
and rescue one of these forgotten animals.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on
10220 County Road 2403 in Seven Points.
For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at



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