Sunday, May 20, 2007

     

 

 

 

  2 deputies killed, 1 wounded
Officers shot while responding to domestic call
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

PAYNE SPRINGS–Two Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies were shot and killed Thursday.
They, along with a third deputy, reportedly were answering a domestic dispute call at the Payne Springs residence of Randal May.


Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
ABOVE: A Henderson County Sheriff’s deputy holds the arm of his fellow officer while being placed aboard an Air One air ambulance. AT LEFT: Suspect Randal May is loaded into a second medical helicopter Thursday following a shooting at May’s Payne Springs residence.


The third officer was wounded in the leg, according to Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Pat McWilliams.
Air One helicopters landed in a field across the street from the May residence on County Road 2529.
Authorities were not releasing the names of the officers who were killed, pending notification of family members.
About 100 law enforcement officers converged at the scene between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Television news helicopters circling the scene of the shooting sent live video back to their Dallas-area TV stations, where the incident was the lead story.
Reporters identified the scene as near Gun Barrel City, the largest city at Cedar Creek Lake.

Morse quads to graduate
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–High school graduation is a stellar event in the history of most families, rating right up there with births, weddings and funerals – but multiply that by four, and one can only imagine what the occasion can mean to the mother of the Morse quadruplets.
“Actually, I haven’t stopped to think about it,” Marsha Morse said. “We just do what needs to be done as it needs doing, and have never had much time to reflect too deeply on things. However, I imagine it won’t hit me till I see them getting their diplomas.”
The four 18-year-old Mabank High School seniors seem to view Tuesday’s graduation ceremonies (8 p.m. at the Special Events Center at Naaman Forrest High School in Garland) as just a rest stop before continuing their race toward independence.
All four young men – Brian, Montana, Dustin and Hunter – are keen to get on moving toward their dreams and have chosen things they love to do.
“We’ve always talked about them going to college, and I’ve told them to choose something they love,” Marsha told The Monitor. “That’s what they have done.”
All four plan to continue their education – three will get their basic courses close to home at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens while participating in the college’s FFA program. All have plans to continue on to four-year colleges.
Three of the brothers have loved their experiences in agriculture and have won numerous awards over the years, so it’s no wonder that Hunter dreams of becoming a veterinarian one day, Montana wants to own his own show cattle company, and Brian imagines a successful career in landscape architecture, preferably somewhere in Florida.
Dustin stands apart from his brothers in many ways. He has the soul of an artist, and is planning to travel in Europe after graduation before starting studies at the Art Institute of Dallas, getting the hands-on training he craves and the opportunity to work or intern in his field of interest.
Dustin enjoys working his 30 hours a week at the Dairy Queen. In fact, that’s where he picked up his wheels, a black 1985 turbocharged Ford Mustang SVO.
“It belonged to Billy Moseley, a regular coffee drinker at the DQ. He was selling it and I bought it for $3,200,” Dustin proudly says, adding he’s worked out a payment plan for it.
Dustin, though projecting a very relaxed attitude toward the future, might be even more excited than his brothers to finally get to do something he enjoys, and in which he excels.
“Nothing in high school really interested me much,” he said. “Now, I’ll get to do what I want to do.”
Like his brothers, Dustin also entered the Kaufman County Fair, but in the art category, not the livestock show. He took home a blue ribbon for his pencil drawing of a beach scene.
Dustin dreams of traveling to exotic places, preferably with a beach, and is somewhat of a thrill-seeker.
“My perfect thing to do after graduation would be to lay on a beach 24/7 and then later ride roller coasters, or go bungee jumping, ski-diving or free-falling. Oh, yeah, I’m a real big thrill-seeker,” he said.
Despite his expressed disinterest in school, Dustin is an A/B student.
“Each boy has known what he has to do to get it done,” Marsha, herself a Mabank ISD teacher for 14 years, said. “You have to do what you have to do.”
She should know. Marsha’s dream career was in computer science, but soon after the boys turned 2, she sought a career that would keep her close to home and available to them.
She started as a substitute teacher, and was persuaded to go back to school for a teaching certificate.
“Oh, I love it now,” the eighth-grade math teacher said.
As a single mom, “They take up all my attention. I try not to ever miss anything they’re involved in.”
So, she’s attended county fairs, band concerts, parades, football and soccer games, art shows and car shows, and has been the “chief cook and bottle washer.”
Now, whoever is around does whatever needs doing, she says, except that, somehow, no one ever is around when the laundry needs washing.
“That’s my job,” she concedes, as is the grocery-shopping and bill-paying.
Each boy has his own bank account, and is expected to pay for his own car expenses, including maintenance and insurance. Each one has purchased and financed a car, except one – Hunter prefers the economy of his mini-bike.
“I don’t want to spend my money,” he said. Unless it’s on one of his animals – pigs that is.
Hunter loves raising pigs for show.
“What I like about them is they take on your personality, if you’re around them much at all,” Hunter said. And he is.
“This year, I’ve hardly seen Hunter,” his mother laments. “He’s spent so much time up at the ag barn with his animals.”
“I like animals. I have a hog business right now – G.M. Show Pigs,” Hunter said. “I just started it this year, but I’ve been thinking about it since I was a freshman.”
Hunter’s pigs have won numerous awards at the swine shows – in fact, he showed four swine this year and took fifth overall at the Houston Stock Show, and first in class at the Henderson County Livestock Show.
Hunter has doctored his own animals over the years, and has watched and learned from Mabank ISD trustee and veterinarian Dr. Darrell Kinnard as he worked on mother pigs, patching them up after giving birth to their large litters.
When he’s not mentoring his pigs, Hunter works as a pool lifeguard at the Cedar Creek Country Club, or as a site cleaner, preparing new construction for occupancy.
He’s played varsity soccer, gaining recognition as the team MVP, as well as a first-team all-district nod.
Finally, Hunter has carried a bass drum on Mabank’s drum line for three years, where most of his friends are also members of the band.
“I like everything about being a part of a marching performing band,” he said.
All four boys have been in band. Dustin has four years of training on the trombone and tuba, Brian plays the clarinet and Montana played on the drum line as a freshman.
While each young man is personable and likeable, Montana seems to be the most outgoing. That and his good looks seems to attract the girls, and he likes the attention.
One of his most embarrassing moments occurred when two of his admirers were planning to attend one of his soccer games.
The game’s schedule had been pushed up, and one of the girls hadn’t arrived. When his mom told him of her plans to see the game, “I lit out of there as fast as I could,” Montana said.
Like his brother Hunter, Montana has a fondness for animals, mostly cows, heifers and steers.
Montana began working for his uncle at Chandler Dairy when he was about 12, and under his uncle’s hand also learned how to drive heavy equipment.
In fact, Montana’s first truck was one of his uncle’s old ones, which he paid for from his earnings.
Montana now drives a 2001 forest green Dodge truck and works for Dennis Thomas at the Five T & Cattle Co.
Montana enjoys playing varsity soccer, but Mom says he spent more time on the bench than on the field, due to his over-aggressiveness. He’s very competitive.
While interviewing the boys, their playful competitiveness comes to the fore. Their mother has to intervene and remind Montana that even his brother Hunter is special.
“We’re all special, Mom,” Hunter retorts. “Special ed,” Montana fired back.
“See what I have to put up with?” Marsha sighed.
Brian seems the most serious of the bunch, though he likes to have fun as much as any of them, Marsha said.
Brian works for Groom & Sons’ about 20 hours a week, and has taken over the yard work around the house.
He also picks up extra cash doing yard work for friends and neighbors.
“He doesn’t think anyone can do it as well as he can, and he gets mad when I try to even mow the lawn,” Marsha said.
Brian is something of a perfectionist, which might explain why he’s the straight-A student. He also excels in Ag, consistently coming in just ahead of his brothers.
“We’ve become used to it,” Hunter quips.
Brian’s steer won Grand Champion at the East Texas State Fair last September, and at the Kaufman County Livestock Show in March, while Hunter’s steer took third place at the Kaufman County Show.
“Ag gets you ready for college,” Brian said. He plans on continuing to Texas Tech after attending TVCC.
While he enjoys playing indoor soccer, he’s played no varsity school sports, unlike Montana (the placekicker on the Panthers varsity football team) and Hunter.
A couple of winters ago, Brian and his brothers got to visit with cousins in Oregon, and the family also traveled to Alaska, where he was introduced to snowboarding. “It’s a blast,” he said.
Though a serious, smart, outgoing fellow, Brian sometimes has what his family calls his “blonde” moments which has earned him the nickname of “Blondie.”
Each Morse boy has a unique set of genes, natural characteristics and personality.
Dustin is the tallest and Hunter the shortest. Brian has light blonde hair and Hunter dark honey-colored hair.
Montana is the jock babe-magnet, while Dustin is the dark-haired flower child, who would be happy as a clam living in Hawaii.
They’ve never once had a premonition of danger for one of the others.
While sharing the same birthday, they are really no more different from a family with boys of differing ages – except, of course, they’re all graduating at the same time.
 

EMBARQ marks first year
Customers benefit from practical Innovations
Special to The Monitor
OVERLAND PARK, Kan.,–It’s been one year for EMBARQ as a stand alone, publicly-held company.
Opened May 17, 2006, EMBARQ, the fourth-largest communications company in the U. S., offers practical, innovative solutions to help customers in its 18-state service area communicate.
Embarq offers local and long distance voice, data, wireless, high-speed Internet and entertainment services.
To help mark the milestone, EMBARQ™ is conducting a nationwide food drive at 100 locations for distribution to local food pantries.
After a highly successful brand launch, EMBARQ™ provided many “firsts” to its customers and the U. S. telecom market, including:
• EMBARQ™ One Voicemail, which integrates EMBARQ™ wireless voicemail messages with those received on an EMBARQ™ wireline home phone, so total number of messages can be received on both devices. EMBARQ™ was the first local communications company to bring the service to market.
• EMBARQ™ Smart ConnectSM allows businesses to move calls seamlessly between their wireless and wireline networks without call interruption. This enables businesses to be more accessible and can help reduce wireless costs.
• Activation of the company’s one millionth EMBARQTM High-Speed Internet (HSI) subscriber within the first six months. On April 25, EMBARQ announced high-speed Internet subscriber additions reached a company record of 87,000 during the first quarter 2007. EMBARQ™ guarantees that its HSI price won’t increase for as long as the customer has the service.
• Becoming the first local exchange company to offer 25 gigabytes of free storage to its high-speed Internet customers
• Moving its one millionth customer from a circuit to a high-tech packet network, allowing for easier convergence of voice and data services.
• Redesigning the company’s retail stores with a fresh new look and feel. The new design garnered Retail Store of the Year award from Chain Store Age magazine. The company now has 50 retail stores, an increase of 18 stores since June 2006.
• Receiving the highest ranking for large enterprise business customers in the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Major Provider Business Telecommunications Voice Services StudySM.
• Dedicating 76,000 employee volunteer hours, exceeding the goal by 62 percent. Overall, these hours are worth $1,371,040 to the communities served by EMBARQ™.
• Strong financial results and significant stock price appreciation in the company’s first year of trading.
“In one short year, EMBARQ™ has made unprecedented strides in new products, customer service, and company performance,” EMBARQ chairman and CEO Dan Hesse said.
“Getting here took the intense customer focus, enthusiasm and company pride of our nearly 20,000-employee work force. The team’s accomplishments this year have positioned us well to be the first company our customers think of to help them stay connected,” Hesse said.