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Current Issue
May 19
, 2011






News in Brief

Holiday ad deadlines
The Monitor will be closed Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day, and advertising deadlines have been changed.
Display ads for the Thursday, June 2, issue of The Monitor are due by 4 p.m. Friday, May 27, and classified (word ads) are due by noon Tuesday, May 23.

Holiday closings
Henderson and Kaufman county offices will close Friday and Monday, May 27-30, for Memorial Day. Van Zandt County offices will close Monday only.
Eustace, Gun Barrel City, Kemp, Mabank, Payne Springs, Tool and Seven Points city offices will close Monday.

Fire victim benefit
The Cedar Creek Lake Nursing Home in Malakoff is hosting a benefit barbecue and bake sale from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, May 20. The event is to help Carrie Spencer, a friend and employee, who lost everything she owned in a house fire last week. There will be a lunch, pies, cakes and cookies for sale.

Styx gospel singing
The Styx Baptist Church fourth Friday gospel singing is set for 7 p.m. Friday, May 20. Everyone is invited. Bring your music, instruments, friends and family. Refreshments served. For information call (214) 616-4659.
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.

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 to urban forester Pam Corder at (469) 285-3370 or e-mail to

Church rummage sale
The Kemp Cowboy Church is hosting a rummage sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 20, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the church, located at 8101 E. U.S. 175. All proceeds benefit the remodeling of the church. For information call (903) 286-6025.

Spaghetti dinner
The Sons of the American Legion will host a spaghetti dinner with all the trimmings from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at Post 310. Proceeds benefit the SAL scholarship fund and local charities.

Pancake breakfast
The annual all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast sponsored by the York Rite Masons is set for 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at the lodge, 402 Legendary Lane, GBC. Tickets sold at the door. For information call (903) 451-4309.

‘Fun in the Sun’
Saving Grace Ministries is hosting a “Fun in the Sun” event from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, for all ages with parental supervision required for children under age 13. Events include hot dogs and cold drinks, swimming and a water slide, outdoor sports and indoor board games. The church is located on FM 3080, inside Heavenly Acres. For information call Lisa or Charles at (903) 887-5060.

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 the church’s 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.

Memorial Day service
A Memorial Day service is set for 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 22, at the historic Becker Church in the Becker Community, located at the FM 2860/FM 1895 intersection. Speaker is Ray Raymond, chairman of the Kaufman County Veterans Memorial board.

CCL Garden Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Garden Club will meet, starting with audit committee at 10:30 a.m., followed by the regular meeting, Monday, May 23, at the home of Ann Trail. After lunch, there will be a brief meeting. For information call (903) 498-6544.

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 – 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.

Westside center
The Westside Senior Center is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 26 (and every Thursday), at the Cedar Creek Bible Church (700 North Seven Points Boulevard) Activities Building, one mile north of Seven Points traffic light. Lake area seniors 55 and older can enjoy a light lunch, coffee, tea, snacks, card and domino games, exercise, fellowship and many other activities. For information call (903) 340-9672.

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. Your 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.

PSUMC fellowship
The Payne Springs United Methodist Church monthly fellowship starts with a covered dish meal at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, followed by “Always Abounding” gospel music led by Billy House. The public is invited. The church is located across from the PSVFD on SH 198. For information call (903) 451-3131 or (903) 451-2978.

ESL summer school
The Kemp Primary School is offering a summer school for children with limited English language proficiency who will be enrolled in kindergarten or first grade in the fall. Classes will meet from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday, June 6 through June 23, and again from July 11 through July 28. Children who attend will be offered breakfast and lunch. Deadline to enroll is Tuesday, May 31. Forms are available in the Kemp Primary office. Classes will be held at the Kemp Junior High.



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Top News

Upsets at polls oust incumbents
Monitor Staff Reports

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–One mayor was ousted and council members were defeated in two other cities, while one school board member was outsted by a write-in challenger during Saturday’s city and school board elections, according to complete but unofficial election returns.
All results are unofficial until canvassed by the respective governing body.
Kemp mayor Matt Ganssle was soundly defeated by challenger Donald Kile, 97-26.
Barry Lummus easily won election to Place 2 on the Kemp council, garnering 74 votes, while Chris Glover (under five slightly different versions of that name) attracted 22 votes.
Tommy McSpedden won more than 50 percent of the vote in a three-candidate race for Place 4 with 81 votes, with challenger Rick Ryer getting 26 votes and Eugene Schoenle getting 13 votes.
At Seven Points, which went through most of the past year without a functioning city council, one incumbent and two newcomers were elected to fill three at-large seats.
Incumbent Claudett Allsup received the second-highest number of votes, 81, while Kevin Pollock polled the most votes, 91.
Kenny Boyle took the third at-large position with 58 votes.
Four others failed in their bid for the council – Wanda Nichols (30 votes), Karon Flagg (27), Jerry Ferrell (24) and James Moore (seven).
In Gun Barrel City, two of the three incumbent council members seeking re-election were defeated.
Curtis Webster retained his Place 3 (west) seat, defeating a strong challenge from Ruth Van der Plas, 121-94.
Place 5 (at-large) incumbent Marty Goss was defeated by challenger Ronnie Johnson, 215-109, while Place 1 (east) incumbent Marvin Pace was defeated by challenger Rodney Bevell, 65-25.
At the Eustace School Board election, one incumbent was defeated, while two others retained their seats.
Place 3 incumbent Sara McAtee was defeated by a write-in candidate, Bobby Karl Ashton, 435-170.
Place 4 incumbent Mike Smith was unopposed, drawing 380 votes, while incumbent Place 7 trustee Billy “Cotton” Walker defeated challenger Ken Roberts, 458-155.
Another trustee race in Mabank matched two long-time board members, appointee Gary Sapp and John Walter Hyde, for the Place 7 seat vacated by Dean Fannin.
Sapp got the voters’ nod by more than 100 votes, 364-252.
Two other incumbents, Michael Cathey (Place 4) and Todd Grimes (Place 5) were unopposed, garnering 508 and 513 votes, respectively.


Graffiti points to grads defacing city property
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Sometime early Sunday morning, someone defaced all the stop signs between the Mabank Pavilion and Harbor Point Road, as well as climbed the water tower near the park and spray-painted “Seniors 2011,” with variations on the theme for the other graffiti.
Happily, Mabank utility supervisor Ronnie Tuttle had scheduled a climb up the tower to change out a light bulb and was able to include a spray can of white paint to temporarily erase the graffiti on the water tower.
“We want to get rid of graffiti as soon as we can, to discourage more of the same,” Mabank police chief Kyle McAfee said.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Investigator Robert Garcia is following leads on who defaced stop signs between the Mabank park pavilion and Harbor Point Road early Sunday morning, which also included the water tower. Those with any information in the case are asked to call Garcia at the Mabank Police Department, (903) 887-8500, or CrimeStoppers at (877) 847-7522.

“It’s only temporary. The tower will have to be repainted, and the man I used to have on staff to do this kind of work has retired. I’ll have to hire a contractor to get it done,” Tuttle told The Monitor Monday. “Correcting the damage is likely to cost $3,500 or more.”
“It’s sad that kids don’t think before they do dumb stuff like that without considering the costs. It’s going to cost the city a lot of money to get it fixed,” councilwoman Shannon Steakley told The Monitor Tuesday.
Police are working through several leads, McAfee added.
The criminal mischief charge is a state jail felony carrying a minimum penalty of 180 days in jail and $1,500 to $20,000 fine.
Anyone with information on this, is encouraged to call or text Kaufman County CrimeStoppers at (877) 847-7522. The number accepts anonymous leads and a will offer a reward for information that leads to a conviction.


Kemp honors McFaul, Hyde, Blacksheep Motorcycle Club
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Kemp mayor Matt Ganssle presented three honors to two individuals and one group with the city’s congratulations May 10.
City councilwoman Barbara McFaul, who did not seek re-election, was presented the key to the city for her years of service.
Ganssle recalled McFaul’s past terms on the council, when she served as mayor pro tem and as acting mayor.
Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Kemp mayor Matt Ganssle (left) presents the key to the city to retiring councilwoman Barbara McFaul. He commended her service as a councilwoman, mayor pro tem and her many years as a Kemp schoolteacher.

McFaul was also commended for her contribution as a teacher.
“Barbara McFaul bleeds orange,” Ganssle said, referring to Kemp Independent School District colors. In her enthusiasm, she reminded him school colors were “orange and white, not black.”
He then commended McFaul for her selfless service and many sacrifices for the community and presented her with the ceremonial key.
Mason Hyde was honored for his Gold Medal of Achievements from the Royal Rangers.
The Kemp eighth grader is the son of Phillip Hyde and Tracy White-Hyde.
The Assemblies of God program uses an outdoor adventure theme, similar to the Boy Scouts, but leans more toward spiritual development.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
The members of the Blacksheep Motorcycle Club were recognized for their many hours of charity and community work. The club was presented a plaque for its service to the city by Kemp mayor Matt Ganssle.

The program is recognized by the military and is equivalent to the Eagle Scout Award.
The group honor was presented to the Blacksheep Motorcycle Club for its contributions to charities, annual toy ride and for teaching motorcycle safety to new riders.
Ten club members represented the club, and in turn, presented a poster to the city.
A large group of citizens were on hand to congratulate the honorees.
In other business, council members:
• heard new water meters are on order at an estimated cost of $190,000. When installed, the new meters will more accurately record water usage, Burns said.
The new meters are expected to result in higher water usage being recorded, due to their improved accuracy, councilman Jessie Morton said.
• authorized the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) president to sign a quitclaim deed to three properties. If the developer finds no financing, the property will revert back to the city.
• authorized the Kemp EDC to enter into a construction agreement with WIT Construction of Seven Points to build an EDC office space.
• approved a Chapter 380 agreement with Kemp Care Center, so new water and sewer lines can be bored.
• approved a Chapter 380 agreement with Diana and Gregg Clemmo and Chambless Feed, waiving building fees for the reconstruction of a portion of the building damaged in a fire earlier this year.
“Also, for safety reasons, we are replacing all the electrical wiring,” Diana Clemmo said.
• approved a Chapter 380 agreement with the Kemp Dairy Queen for $2,400 loan for a new sign, and waiving the $100 sign permit fee.
• heard speakers from the floor argue against hiring a city administrator.
Newly elected councilman Tommy McSpedden got a rousing ovation when he listed things the city cannot afford to do for lack of funding.
The hiring of an administrator was referred to as a “luxury item” by another speaker.
Former mayor Billy Teel Jr. advised council members to “take it slow and give it a lot of thought,” before entering into any employment contract.
The council took no action on the matter following an executive session.

































































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