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Current Issue
May 15
, 2011






News in Brief

Rootseekers Society
The Rootseekers Genealogical Society meets at 7 p.m. Monday, May 16, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Ruth Shelton will present “Creating and Preserving Family History.” A volunteer will be available from 9:30 a.m. to noon each Tuesday in the library’s Genealogy Room for those needing help with research.

Mabank Garden Club
The Mabank Garden Club spring luncheon is set for noon Tuesday, May 17, at the home of Donna McCune. Bring a salad to share, dessert will be provided. Officers for 2011-12 to be installed and dues for next year are due. For information contact Donna at (903) 887-7792.

Learn about trees
A free program, “Learn all About Your Trees,” is set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 21, at Kaufman County Library, 3790 South Houston Street, Kaufman. Program includes proper selection of trees, planting tips, pruning to improve tree health and protecting your home from wildland fires. RSVP by Monday, May 16, to urban forester Pam Corder at (469) 285-3370 or e-mail to

CCL Women’s Club
The executive board for the Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club meets at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, at the Cedar Creek Country Club for lunch and business meeting.

Sarah Maples DAR
The Sarah Maples Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution meets from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, for a luncheon and program at the First Presbyterian Church, 112 West Mt. Vernon Street, Mabank. Contact Kathy Cryer for reservations. Brad Ackerman will present a program on “The Watershed Project.” This is the final meeting before summer break.

Rike Book Signing
Abbe Rike (season 8 “Biggest Loser” contestant) will host a signing of her new book at 5 p.m. Friday, May 20, at Mabank High School. Books available at the event.

GBC Toys for Tots
The Gun Barrel City Toys for Tots annual Jail-n-Bail event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 21, in the Beall’s parking lot. If you or someone you know would be a “prisoner,” call Cheyenne Lyons at (903) 887-1289. Funds raised will benefit local kids during the Christmas season providing toys, clothing and a Christmas meal.

Arts Fest
The annual Cedar Creek Lake Festival of the Arts will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21, on Market Street in downtown Mabank. Hosted by the Mabank Chapter of the area chamber of commerce, the festival will feature more than 30 vendors with a wide range of art objects and crafts for sale.

Catholic garage sale
Mary Queen of Heaven Council of Catholic Women is hosting its annual garage sale, one day only from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 20. Includes appliances, furniture, books, glassware, clothes, knickknacks and items too numerous to mention. The CCW will have packages of cookies for sale and the Knights will have hot dogs for sale with free drink. Take SH 198 to Star Harbor Road (CR 3062) Malakoff. Follow church sign to CR 1703.

Becker fundraiser
The annual Market & Arts show benefitting the Becker Community Center will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 21. Vendors have paintings, drawings, folk art, leather work candles and jewelry for sale. The Center is located at the intersection of FM 1895 and FM 2860, Becker.

Confederate Rose
Confederate Rose Chapter 2548 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy meets at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Program presented by Alma Cornwell. Visitors are welcome. For information call (903) 451-2709.

FBC Malakoff golf
The First Baptist Church of Malakoff is sponsoring a golf tournament starting with lunch at 11:30 a.m. and tee-off at 12:30 p.m. Monday, May 23, at the Pinnacle Club. Teams needed and to register call FBC at (903) 498-0228 or e-mail to

CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club meets at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, at the Cedar Creek Country Club. Dave Tanner will entertain with musical selections by Nat King Cole. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Bring your school supplies for the Family Resource Center.

AL baked potato night
Build your own spud at the American Legion Auxiliary stuffed baked potato night at the Legion Post 310 in GBC from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 27. You donation includes a large baked potato, salad and desserts.

VFW chili cook-off
VFW Post 4376, Seven Points, is hosting a chili cook-off benefitting needy veterans and their families. Cooking opens at 8 a.m., with judging at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 28. All chili must be prepared on-site and no beans in the chili. Also, a bean contest will be held for an additional fee, but beans do not have to be cooked on-site. Activities include family games, dunkin’ booth, horseshoes and a lot more. For information, call the VFW at (903) 432-2138 or Mary at (903) 802-7388.

Largest bois-d’arc
Deadline is Saturday, May 28, to enter your largest bois-d’arc tree in Kaufman County, commonly known as a horse apple tree. Measure 4.5 feet from the ground, or where stems start to split, and send measurement to Kaufman County Urban Forester, Pam Corder, P.O. Box 43, Rosser, TX 75157, or you may e-mail to For information call (469) 285-3370.

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Top News

Both sides irked by order

Judge rules city can’t withdraw from ESD 4; but District incurred illegal debt
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

TOOL–A final judgment has been rendered in the dispute between the city of Tool and Henderson County Emergency Services District No. 4. However, neither side is completely happy with the outcome.
Regardless, the Tool City Council has decided to abide by a final judgment issued in mid-April by Judge Carter Tarrance.
ESD No.4 has appealed two of the findings and is seeking the reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and expenses.
Both sides had 30 days to file an appeal, which expired May 14.
In a special meeting May 5, the council voted to accept the final order, although it didn’t seem to go their way.
The judge ruled that the City of Tool is included within the Emergency Service District and cannot withdraw its taxes from district support by council action.
In a letter, dated April 10, 2009, the council announced its withdrawal from the district effective April 16, 2009, and its 3 percent ad valorem tax money with it.
The ESD No. 4. board had used the anticipated annual tax income as a security interest on a $223,057 loan to purchase two acres and build a fire station along State Highway 274.
And that’s when the fight started.
The order sides with the city in its judgement that the ESD is not able to incur debt secured by tax revenues without the approval of the voters.
And under that logic, the judgment also orders the ESD to deposit the balance owed on the note in the amount of into a registry with the court, all $200,000 worth.
Supposedly, the court would then make the payments on the debt held by Southside Bank on the new fire station. The judgment considers it a valid debt.
However, that was most likely a mistake, and should have stated that the ESD will deposit annual payments on the debt with the court.
The district’s attorney filed a correction with Tarrance for summary judgment on this matter, and if he agrees (which in all likelihood he will), then the 30-day appeals clock would start over again from the date the judge signs off on the change.
The Tool ESD board disagrees with the order in finding that a bond election was necessary before using ad valorem taxes as security interest on the loan, citing Texas Health & Safety Code Chapter 775.85.
It allows an ESD board to pledge tax revenues or funds on hand not otherwise pledged to pay a debt for real property or improved or equipment as long as the payback period on real property does not exceed 20 years; or 10 years on the purchase of equipment.
The ESD also plans to appeal the part ordering both parties to pay their own legal fees.
Tool mayor Leland Pitts said the council will discuss whether or not it wants to get up a petition of 10 percent of the registered voters to present to the ESD board for a hearing to consider dissolution of the district at its regular meeting set for 67 p.m. Thursday, May 19.
“It’s the only other option left for he city,” Pitts said.


Collision with power pole ignites engine
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Traffic was slowed down around 3:30 p.m. Mother’s Day in the northbound lanes on State Highway 198 in Mabank while emergency crews cleared the area of a vehicle fire.

Courtesy Photo
Traffic is slowed while emergency crews battle a vehicle fire Mother’s Day in Mabank, when a truck collided with a power pole on State Highway 198.

The driver of a Ford Ranger pickup seemed to have overcompensated for veering to the left while northbound on SH 198, and ended up going through a wire fence and knocking over a power pole on the right-hand side of the roadway.
The collision caused the vehicle’s engine and pole to catch fire.
Happily, those passing by rendered aid, getting the driver and passenger out of the car before police and fire rescue arrived at the scene, across from Cassity Jones.
No incapacitating injuries resulted, Sgt. Keith Bradshaw reported.
Mabank resident Melissa Rhys, 38, sustained an injury to her left leg, Bradshaw added. Her passenger, Denver Harrod, 28, also of Mabank, was reported in good condition.
The impact with the pole caused it to topple over, and the front windscreen on the vehicle to shatter.
Officers Michael Main and Robert Garcia are investigating the incident.

Abby Rike promotes her new book on self-healing
Book signing set at Mabank High School 5 p.m. Friday, May 20
Monitor Staff Reports

MABANK–Former “Biggest Loser” star Abby Rike will be in Mabank to introduce her new book, “Working It Out.”
A book signing event is set for 5 p.m. Friday, May 20 at the Mabank High School.
Rike, a former Canton High School teacher with family in Mabank, appeared on the NBC reality show in Season 8.
In her book, she shares her journey to overcome the grief of losing her husband, 5-year-old daughter and 2 ½-month-old son in a 2006 traffic accident. Her becoming a contestant on “The Biggest Loser” played an important part of that journey.
Recorded in her book is some of the conversations she had on the ranch. She writes, “I had to find a purpose within myself once again. It was only when my heart began to heal that my body inevitably followed.”
She referred to this issue as her “heart weight.”
Sharing journal entries and intensely personal memories, her book lays bare the reality and contradiction of grief and the call to greater faith and reliance on God for the strength to live through it.
One entry from December, 2006, just months after the wreck, poignantly sums up her feelings.
“It’s been long enough now to not just miss them, but ache for them. I am broken. I am so lost without them. They were the best part of me. What do I do now?
“If I have to suffer like this, then I want my life to matter. I want to know what I’m supposed to do. I want to know my plan. I am shattered and I’m trusting with childlike faith that God will put me back together again. This loss cannot be for naught,” she writes.
Rike believes this new book is one way she can make sure her loss isn’t in vain. She offers encouragement to readers struggling through anything, including obesity, by sharing her testimony to hope and strength to pick up the pieces and go on.
“This is part of the beauty that comes from living such devastation. I now have a very clear lens that allows me to see the bigger picture,” she writes. “The beauty of my journey was learning to heal from the inside out.”




































































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