Holiday ad deadlines
The Monitor will be closed Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day, and
advertising deadlines have been changed.
The display ad deadline for the Thursday, June 2, issue of The
Monitor has passed. Classified ads are due by noon Tuesday, May
Henderson and Kaufman county offices closed Friday and will be
closed Monday, May 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.
ESL summer school
The deadline to enroll children (incoming kindergarten or first
grade) with limited English language proficiency for Kemp
Primary School summer school classes is Tuesday, May 31. 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.
Enrollment forms are available in the Kemp Primary office.
Classes will be held at the Kemp Junior High.
Summer food program
Malakoff ISD is participating in the Summer Food Service Program
to all children without charge at Malakoff Elementary, 310 North
Terry, Malakoff, and at the Oran White Civic Center, 701 North
Tool Drive, Tool. Malakoff Elementary will offer breakfast from
7:30 to 8 a.m. and lunch from noon to 1 p.m., while the Tool
site offers lunch only from 11 a.m. to noon (first come, first
served) starting Monday, June 6, through Thursday, June 30.
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)
Pet adoption event
The largest adoption event in East Texas, the PETPALOOZA, is set
for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 4, and sponsored by the
Henderson County Humane Society and several other East Texas
shelters. Activities will go all day. For information, call
Melinda Campbell at (903) 675-5543 or e-mail to email@example.com.
Rope, Catch, and Ride for Christ Cowboy Church Arena Team plans
a dedication of its arena from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at
the church. Drive north on SH 198 and turn right on CR 2807. The
Cowboy Church looks like a red barn and is on the right. The
dedication will honor the late Larry Hardgrave, who spent the
last years of his life making the dream of the church a reality.
For information call Peggy Haverly at (903) 887-2129.
Spring barrel race
The Living for the Brand Cowboy Church is hosting a Spring Fling
Barrel Race Sunday, June 5, at the church on North Loop 7,
Athens. Open 5D and Youth 4D, with 100 percent payback. For
information, visit the website www.lftbcowboychurch.com, or call
VBS at FBC-GBC
Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church GBC is set for 8
a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, June 6-10, for age 3 through
sixth grade. The theme is the “Big Apple Adventure.” For
information call (903) 880-2488.
The Lone Star Republican Women will award two scholarships, one
for $1,000 and one for $500. Deadline for submission is Tuesday,
June 7. Must be a single mother attending college or trade
school with a GPA of 2.5 or greater and live in Henderson
County. For information or an application form, call Ruby
Fournet at (903) 498-3058.
News in Brief policy
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promote their services and/or fundraising events at no cost.
These articles should include only basic information – who,
what, when and where. Articles must include publishable contact
information and a phone number.
The deadline for submission is 4 p.m. Monday for each Thursday’s
issue and 4 p.m. Wednesday for each Sunday’s issue.
Announcements will run for four issues (two weeks).
Organizations needing to relay more information on services or
events, or who seek a longer promotion time, are encouraged to
call our advertising staff at (903) 887-4511.
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Council backs July Fest alcohol
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–A special meeting called to fulfill a campaign
promise and to accommodate new city hall builder Sarah
Lucksinger drew a large crowd to Brawner Hall Tuesday.
The main event called for rescinding an action taken at the Jan.
11 meeting, allowing coolers (which may contain wine and beer)
into the upcoming July Fest for a set fee.
After hearing about a dozen speakers from both sides of the
heated debate, council members agreed, 4-1, to leave things as
they were previously decided – coolers containing alcohol will
“I got a big problem trying to put the poop back into the
horse,” new councilman Rodney Beville said as he cast the last
However, even if he had voted the other way, the issue would
have come out the same.
“At least I’m not the swing vote, and I can get some sleep
tonight,” he added.
The lone opposition came from the other newly elected
councilman, Ronnie Johnson.
“I did some research on this issue, and you might be interested
to learn that Bedford and San Antonio allow coolers at their
city-sponsored park events, but not alcohol,” Johnson said.
Even New York City doesn’t allow alcohol at its New Year’s Eve
countdown in Times Square, he added.
Johnson pointed out that the ticket prices – $5 for kids and
free for those younger than 5 – advertise the event as
“We haven’t advertised that alcohol is allowed in coolers,” he
said, “only that coolers were allowed.
“Tonight, we are not limiting the sale of alcohol in a
restaurant or a bar. We are voting to enforce ordinances we
already have – namely no drinking in a city park,” Johnson said.
“Considering that the entire event is nine hours, I don’t think
it too much to ask.”
However, no one else on the council agreed with his logic.
“We’re about to beat this horse to death,” councilman Curtis
Webster said. “The ordinance bars alcohol, with exceptions for a
festival, like this one. Let it go on as it was voted in
Councilman Dennis Baade agreed. “We voted in the past and
decided on it,” he said. “I don’t see the need to bring this up
With the vote now 2-1, Melvyn Hayes still had difficulty casting
his vote with the majority, due to the hall being packed with
his fellow church members.
“It’s true that it (2010’s festival, redone in November because
of inclement weather) didn’t bring in as many people as we
hoped, but it was a new event,” Hayes said. “Putting stoppers in
it right off the bat, it probably won’t grow. I apologize to my
church members, but I was elected to do what is best for the
city. We need to stay with what the council already approved.”
Mayor Dennis Wood denied allegations that the meeting was called
on Mabank’s graduation night so fewer people would know about it
or come out for it.
Wood explained his logic in setting it when he did, with primary
consideration to July 2 being only six weeks away, and secondly
because, “I believe that the majority of citizens in Gun Barrel
City asked us to take the alcohol away.”
He also pointed out that the city lost a great deal of money on
both concert attempts, with only 288 tickets sold for the
November date, which allowed alcohol.
“We gave alcohol a chance. I say give family atmosphere its
chance,” Wood said. “Many voters were informed on this issue
when they voted (May 14) and their view is reflected in the
change in council members.”
Each one who signed up got three minutes to have their say
before the council deliberated on the matter. City manager Gerry
Boren acted as timekeeper.
Each spoke passionately for his/her position, with a majority
opposed to alcohol consumption, but the minority gained the most
applause for their comments.
Rob Ray, the owner of Rita’s Club, and who lost the most at the
two previous concert attempts, quoted Thomas Jefferson:
“Organized religion has no place in a country based on
individualism and capitalism.”
Fred Kurlander, owner of Solar Screen, who was credited with
getting the word out about the meeting, suggested it had been
called to “blindside” those who considered the issue closed.
“Don’t bar the greater public who support alcohol consumption at
events like these. Why change now?” he asked.
“It’s not the right way to do things in Gun Barrel City – a
change of council to change the ordinance. Remember, sales tax
is the only source of revenue this city has,” Kurlander pointed
out. “Alcohol consumption is what supports the restaurants, bars
and retail outlets that provide most the jobs here.”
Voices on the other side of the debate pointed out children
learn from the adults around them, adding alcohol should be
prohibited from public parks.
Former councilman Keith Crozier asked, “Is this going to be a
place where people gather up the kids to a place where they can
“Everyone should be welcome at a public event, and alcohol does
not send that kind of message,” Billy Smith added.
David Brown, a recovering alcoholic for 11 years said, “People
can’t drink responsibly at an event like this.”
“Who’s going to be responsible for these people drinking and all
leaving at the same time? Are the police going to be waiting
outside the gates to issue tickets for DWI?” Tom Reneau of
Reneau Painting and Remodeling asked. “Last time I checked, you
got a DWI after drinking just two beers.”
“The city doesn’t need the added burden of an alcohol-allowed
public event,” Christian Life Center pastor Barry Boatright
STAAR replaces TAKS
Spring break changed to accommodate testing
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Spring break has always been planned in March – but not
the upcoming school year.
Thanks to the new test, State of Texas Assessments of Academic
Readiness (STAAR), which replaces the Texas Assessment of
Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test, school calendars across the
state are being scrutinized.
Monday, Mabank Independent School District trustees approved a
few changes to its 2011-12 school calendar.
Since STAAR testing is set for the fourth week in March, spring
break was moved to the first week in April. Easter falls on
April 8, 2012.
“This allows us enough time to prepare students for the STAAR,”
assistant superintendent Linda McKee, said.
An unrelated calendar change moves the date for returning to
school following Christmas break to Monday, Jan. 2, one day
earlier than usual. However, students will get an extended time
off during the Presidents’ Day weekend, with an early release
day, Thursday, Feb. 16, and no school Friday, Feb. 17. Students
return to school Tuesday, Feb. 21.
In other business, trustees:
• heard about the second cycle of the Texas Parks & Wildlife
Department Co-op grant.
The district applied for the first cycle of the grant several
years back and received $42,000, which went toward the purchase
of camping and outdoor gear, such as tents, sleeping bags and
As a community project the students involved built an
information kiosk for Purtis Creek State Park.
The second phase was applied for in 2010, and the district
The funding will be used to maintain the present equipment and
to purchase a small trailer for hauling bicycles and other gear.
The program has served more than 200 students from sixth grade
• approved the consent agenda which included a budget amendment
to accept $7,500 from the Mabank Booster Club.
• approved an out-of-state trip to Anaheim, Calif., for one
FCCLA student and chaperon. The student was elected as a state
officer and will attend the 2011 National Leadership Conference
in that capacity.
• approved the second reading of Mabank ISD Policy DEC (Local)
Compensation and benefits.
• approved TVCC’s memorandum of Understanding for the 2011-12
Certified Nursing Assistant Course.
• approved Mabank High School and Texas State Technical
College-Waco articulation agreements as presented.
• joined in the Pledge of Allegiance with intermediate students
Colton Banghart, Ashli Watkins and Kylee Crist.
Tool seeks petition to dissolve ESD No. 4
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
TOOL–Another step is now being considered to get rid of
Emergency Services District No. 4.
At their regular May 19 session, the Tool city council agreed to
attempt putting a petition together to present to the Henderson
County Emergency Service District Board, asking for a hearing to
consider the dissolution of ESD No. 4.
The petition will require signatures from 10 percent of the
registered voters in the city. Suggestions were made on creating
a committee to present the petition to Tool voters.
“This is not the action to dissolve the ESD, rather to collect
the names for a petition to present to the Henderson County ESD
Board, to call a hearing,” Mayor Leland Pitts explained.
“It will then be up to the board to call an election,” Pitts
“I think we need to get volunteers (to serve on the committee),
not council members,” Councilman A.J. “Red” Phillips said, and
council members indicated they agreed with him.
A final judgement in the ongoing dispute between the city of
Tool and the ESD No. 4 left both entities unhappy with District
Judge Carter Tarrance’s ruling.
Tarrance ruled the city is within the ESD boundaries, and cannot
withdraw its taxes by a council action.
At the same time, Tarrance also ruled the $223,057 loan the ESD
No. 4 used to build a new fire station should not have been
secured by tax revenues without voter approval.
Voters approved the creation of ESD No. 4 May 3, 2003, by a vote
of 149 to 29, and the county commissioners canvassed and
certified the election May 12, 2003.
In other business, council members:
• authorized Phillips, police chief Warren Losquito and city
judge Rhonda Peterson as signators on the city’s bank account.
Pitts works for Citizens State Bank, and is therefore not
eligible to be on the signature card.
• canvassed the votes for the May 14 election, and declared
incumbents Nathan Reeder and Nelson Wright winners.
• heard police department took 175 calls for service in April,
along with 106 citations issued and 28 criminal cases filed; the
building department colelcted $1,457.85 in April permit fees;
fire rescue answered 22 calls.