Sunday, May 31, 2009




  The Menagerie offers collectibles as bargains
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–Sometimes, folks donate items to the Family Resource Center that are worth far more than the $2 or $5 most thrift store customers are willing to pay.
Susan Kirbie developed The Menagerie as a venue for those items, she told members of the Cedar Creek Lake Crimson Tide Red Hat Society during their visit to the new facility Wednesday.
Monitor Photo/ Kerry Yancey
The Menagerie manager Susan Kirbie (center front) welcomes members of the Cedar Creek Lake Crimson Tide Red Hat Society to the new pre-owned collectibles outlet, located next to the Family Resource Center in Gun Barrel City, Wednesday.

Located in the old Muirhead Trucking facility next door to the Family Resource Center, The Menagerie contains collectable items, including plates, silverware, candlesticks, gowns and objets d’art.
Kirbie told the Red Hat Society members when she receives a donation, she tries to determine its actual collector’s value through several different sources, plus the appearance of the item.
“Once I determine the average value, I use that average as my starting point, and set my price at half that,” she explained.
Kirbie said the hope is to raise more funds for the Family Resource Center through sales of collectibles.
“Our demand is rising, but our donations are falling off,” she pointed out.
Kirbie opens The Menagerie by appointment only – contact her at (903) 229-2005.

Cook sentenced to 30 years
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Former Gun Barrel City businessman Curtis Cook is going to jail, for a long time.
Wednesday, 173rd District Court Judge Dan Moore sentenced Cook to 30 years for Sexual Assault of a Child.
In September, 2008, Cook, the former owner of Cedar Creek Vision, pleaded guilty to the crime in Moore’s court, a first degree felony carring a penalty of between five and 99 years in prison. Cook came away with 10 years of probation.
Earlier this month, Cook was found to have violated his probation on four counts. The judge’s options ranged from leaving Cook on deferred adjudication probation or giving him up to 99 years in prison.
The court found Cook’s probation violations included:
• failure to register as a sex offender when he moved from Kaufman County to Gun Barrel City in January 2009.
• living within 1,000 feet of a park where children were likely to play, during December, 2008, in Burleson.
• failure to obtain prior consent from the Henderson County Probation Department before moving.
• failure to complete the 10 hours per month of Community Service.
Wednesday, Moore said, “Mr. Cook, you were granted probation not because of any merciful attitude of the court toward your defense, but because the court made a determination at the time that it accepted your plea, that it was in the best interest of your young victim to not have to testify to a jury.”
Originally, Cook was not only indicted in Henderson County but also three times in Kaufman County on the same charge. He was arrested in Gun Barrel City in November, 2007, and then again in February, 2008.
Cook pleaded guilty on Sept. 29, 2008, as part of a plea agreement worked out with the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office.
“I certainly hope the message is getting out that we aren’t going to tolerate these types of offenses in our community,” District Attorney Scott McKee said, adding a significant amount of resources are dedicated to getting sexual pedators off the streets.

GBC to spend $780K on 2 properties
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council approved spending $780,000 in two real estate purchases Tuesday.
It approved a contract to buy the former Franklin Bank building on W. Main Street for $495,000 and $285,000 for a seven-acre parcel it turned down last year, when the price was $299,000.
The acreage, a.k.a. Mid-cities Property, is bordered by city property known as the 40 acres and the street department extending up to Southside Elementary School and a dirt road.
A unanimous vote approved the bank building purchase. The council also approved a monthly lease agreement with the FDIC to continue using the building on a month-to-month basis for $4,000.
The FDIC is expected to need the building for another six to nine months, city manager Gerry Boren told the council.
In the meantime, the council will work with an architect to decide how best to renovate the building for use as a city hall.
The Mid-Cities purchase is being run as an Economic Development Corp. project for open space improvement.
EDC president Steve Webster foresees the property becoming part of the city’s master park plan with a trail connecting Southside Elementary to Lakeside, with many other possibilities, including a senior center, to be considered.
He said the next step would be to go after grants to develop it.
Councilman Melvyn Hayes questioned the price.
“Is this really the best we can do, considering the economic environment? It’s just dirt compared with the bank property,” he said.
“It’s cheaper that the five acres we bought last time,” Webster said.
Two years ago, the EDC purchased five acres between a title company and the park for the development of an indoor soccer stadium.
The idea died for lack of financing, as the money market began to realize its imminent collapse. The EDC purchased the property from the city for $350,000.
“We think it’s (the price) fair,” Webster replied, later admitting that the EDC had not tried for a lower offer on the property.
“We need this piece of land,” councilman Curtis Webster said.
Councilman Marty Goss assured the public that though he and Curtis are real estate agents with Coldwell Banker, neither of them are involved in the deal and will not profit or lose by it one way or the other.
Broker Robert Blaase is the seller’s representative.
Councilman Marvin Pace asked why the former council turned down the purchase last year.
“I believe the city was looking at it and another piece of property at the time,” Goss said.
The price comes to $25 per acre, Hayes pointed out. “I paid just $5,000 for an acre in the city just last year,” he said.
The motion passed 5-1, over Hayes dissenting vote.

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