Thursday, May 31, 2007





  Man dies in roadside fight
By Julie Vaughan
Monitor Staff Writer

CANTON–A violent fight between two Grand Saline brothers ended with one dead and the other facing murder charges.
Canton Police Department Senior Operations Officer Michael Echols said the male victim, Judith Dee Rosamond, 66, Grand Saline, was found Monday morning along westbound Interstate 20 near the 527 exit.
The victim is believed to have died from a single gunshot wound, fired near the location where his body was dumped, Echols said.
The suspect, Ronald Rosamond, 54, Grand Saline, was arrested near midnight May 22 while hitchhiking in Mineola.
Echols could not elaborate on Ronald Rosamond’s condition, but did say he “appeared disoriented” when picked up by Mineola Police, and was taken to an area hospital for observation.
Ronald Rosamond was held overnight and returned to Van Zandt County, where he was charged with murder. He remains jailed under a conditional $250,000 bond.
The dispute reportedly started when “he (Judith Rosamond) wanted to go to Dallas,” but his brother Ronald didn’t, Echols said.
Canton Police Department Officer Charlie Brown was dispatched on an aggravated assault call about 11:35 a.m. May 21.
Brown met a female witness at the Texaco station, located at State Highway 19 and Interstate 20, where he learned the suspect was armed with a weapon, and had possibly dumped a body out along I-20.
The female, who Echols confirmed was Ronald Rosamond’s wife, was in the van with the brothers when they started arguing. “She jumped out,” Echols said.
“She told him (Brown) a guy had been shot and thrown out into the ditch, but she couldn’t tell us how to get there,” Echols said.
Brown and the female witness got in the patrol car and began searching along the roadway where she believed the body had been dumped.
Although the female witness originally said Ronald Rosamond was armed with two weapons, Echols later said there was only one weapon involved.
A shotgun believed to be the murder weapon, along with Ronald Rosamond’s van, was recovered in Wood County on Farm-to-Market 49.
The shotgun was found in a ditch several miles away from the van by Canton Police Department Sgt. Steve Hall, who spotted it from the air while flying in a helicopter with pilot Darrell Reynolds.
“He (Ronald Rosamond) told us he didn’t know where he dropped it (the shotgun), but that it was along the road,” Echols said.
Texas Ranger Kenny Ray was called in to investigate the death, along with local investigators, including CPD Investigator Michael King, and Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Kenny Martin.
Mineola police and firefighters, along with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, aided in the search for the van and the shotgun, Echols said.
Investigators Tim McLemee and Gary Rose from the Van Zandt County District Attorney’s Office were also called in to assist in the investigation, and local Department of Public Safety troopers helped map the crime scene for investigators.

‘Ghost Army’ kept Axis at bay

By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–In 1944, U.S. Army forces were spread over various areas of the European theater.
The enemy was greatly concerned about where the Allied troops and equipment would gather for their next assault.
Enemy analysts spent many hours trying to outguess the Allied commanders.
The big question was, where would the next major advance come from?
Night would fall, and enemy statisticians busied themselves gathering information on where the troops and tanks were positioned.
“This was where the Phantom Army helped,” Kemp resident Grady Carroll said.
“We moved in under the cover of darkness, changed the markings on our equipment to those of whatever division we were mimicking, played recordings over a loudspeaker, and prayed the Germans would not attack,” Carroll said.
The next day, the enemy would be shocked at the number of tanks and troops they counted.
“Our ‘Ghost Army’ fooled the foe through five major campaigns. It was the neatest trick of World War II, and the best-kept secret,” he said.
Approximately 1,100 men were disguised as 10,000 troops, Carroll said.
“Our equipment was unbelievable. Once, an Italian officer who had been drinking saw someone single-handedly move a tank. He thought what he saw was the result of too much wine,” Carroll laughed.
The truth was, the man did see an American soldier pick up a “fake” General Sherman tank with one hand, and move it to another spot.

S/Sgt Grady Carroll during World War II

“Our tanks were rubber blowup balloons, made to fool the enemy,” he explained.
The plan was for the “Ghost Army” of fake machinery and weapons to quickly move from place to place, giving the enemy an exaggerated idea of the number of advancing troops.
“Our only ‘large’ weapon was a .50-caliber machine gun, mounted on the top of the cab of our mess (food) truck. The only other weapons we had were our carbines and a .45-caliber sidearm,” Carroll recalled.
“It was always a precarious situation,” he said.
The unit impersonated the 90th Division at least three times, Carroll remembered.
“Crossing the Rhine was our last great impersonation in Europe,” he said.
Carroll was born in Dallas Sept. 21, 1921.
He graduated from Dallas Technical High School in 1939, and studied special aeronautical drafting courses at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Like any young man, he was active, industrious and liked sports.
He played soccer with the British RAF (Royal Air Force) pilots who were training at Terrell.
“One time, after a game, I was on the way home and I heard about Pearl Harbor,” he remembered.
Carroll was inducted into the Army March 12, 1942. He was a married man, having wed wife Billie Jean May 30, 1941.
He left her behind when he went to be processed through Camp Walters at Mineral Wells.
Later, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Corp and Cryptology School at Crowden, Mo.
From there he was sent to Yuma, Ariz., for maneuvers. Carroll eventually worked his way up to Staff Sergeant.
The couple were the parents of a three-month old boy when he was deployed to Europe.
“I remember when I got on the ship, it was 4:30 p.m. I lugged my gear and all the heavy cryptology stuff aboard. I was tired, so I lay down to sleep for awhile,” he recalled.
“I woke up about 3 a.m. the next morning. I went up on deck and we had sailed. All I could see was water. Everywhere I looked there was water,” he said. “I thought, ‘I’ll never see Dallas, Texas, again.’”
Carroll arrived on the beaches of France and was immediately assigned to the unit that would later be known only as the “Ghost Army.”
Carroll served a total of 3½ years. The war was over in May, 1945, and he was discharged that September.
“I lost a younger brother in Korea,” he remarked, recalling that his brother was 10 years his junior.
“I took my old job back at Gaylord’s Containers in Dallas, when I came back,” he said.
He and Billy Jean had more children, making a family of three boys and two girls.
The couple bought a home in Kemp in 1979. It was of a Pennsylvania Dutch design, built in 1988.
For several years, he had a package store in Dallas and then an antique store in Kemp.
“We have had a varied life,” Carroll said.
“My service life did not equip me for a career, but it did equip me, mentally and physically, for civilian life,” he said.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Billie Jean (left) and Grady Carroll of Kemp look over the clippings and memorabilia they have kept on Grady’s tour with the “Ghost Army” of World War II.

New imaging system cutting records backlog
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners authorized buying the last pieces of equipment needed in the District Court office to make backlogs a thing of the past.
District Court Clerk Becky Hanks asked and received funding from records management fees Tuesday to purchase two more scanners to process court documents into the county’s computerized retrieval system.
The final purchases were part of a $200,000 upgrade installed about three weeks ago, which included a higher capacity server shared with the county clerk’s office.
Each scanner costs about $850.
“This isn’t tax money, but funds the state allows the county to collect when documents are filed,” Hanks told The Monitor.
The scanners are similar to those used during elections to scan paper ballots and record the votes.
With the previous system, it took an hour to scan and record 12 documents, each going through a five-step process, Hanks explained.
Now, with the new Able-Term system, it’s a one-step process that takes only seconds, Hanks pointed out.
The two additional scanners are for Hanks and Amie Freeman, who processes documents ordering child support and attorney general paperwork.
Now, each member of her staff will have a scanner to complete their tasks more efficiently, Hanks said.
In a similar action, commissioners approved one more subscribed service to Accurint©, an Internet search engine available to governments to verify information on collections applications.
Only one person in the county collections department will have access to the service, meant to assist in collecting court costs and verifying information nearly instantaneously.
The service had already been approved for Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock and the indigent defense coordinator to ascertain if an applicant qualifies as indigent.
Commissioners discussed at length the security aspects of this service, and an auditing system to ensure it would not be misused by county employees.
The service is able to tap into employment records, tax information, utility bill payments and other financial information that may be considered confidential.
In other business, commissioners:
• accepted donations from the Athens Retirement Ready Committee to repair and replant the flowerbeds at the Senior Citizens Building.
• received remuneration from the city of Trinidad for the cost of installing a culvert on Boatwright Road in Precinct 1.
• decided to wait until August before deciding on a $32,000 outlay for a different voter registration software program.
The state and its software vendor, HART, have until then to correct many shortcomings in the statewide system it wants all counties to use.
The court will wait on the recommendations of County Clerk Gwen Moffeit and Voter Registrar Milburn Chaney following a conference.
“That will give us enough time before the March Primary to go with the new software, if needed,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney said.
“If we go with the new system (Southwest DATA), it will only be good to us for one or two years,” McKinney said. “The state is determined to get its system to work, and is willing to throw some more money at it to see it happen.”
• paid bills totaling $100,410.87.