Thursday, June 7, 2007







Malakoff ISD names a finalist for district superintendent
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MALAKOFF–School trustees named a finalist in their search for a new superintendent, Monday.
The search has been on since Superintendent Larry Hulsey announced he was leaving the district to take up a post at Hartley school district in the high country near the Colorado state line.
Trustees named Dr. John Spies (pronounced SPEESE) as the finalist for superintendent.
For the last two years, Spies has served as superintendent at Valley Mills ISD, with three campuses in McLennan County.
Prior to 2006, all but one campus was Recognized by TEA. The end of 2006, all three had achieved the Recognized rating. The district’s goal for 2007 is to become an Exemplary district.
On the district’s financial performance, Spies is credited with implementing investment and business practices that led to a $75,000 increase in one year.
Fund balance increased by over $300,000, while adding seven new professional positions to the district in 2007.
Stand and Poor’s named Valley Mills (2006) as one of 77 “outperforming” districts in Texas.
Spies application is now under a 21-day public review process before becoming final, June 25.
Hulsey has been superintendent with the 1,114-student Malakoff school district for three years and has overseen two large building projects, adding a new elementary school at Tool and rebuilding a building destroyed by fire at the Malakoff Elementary campus.

Woman dies in wreck on U.S. 175
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Payne Springs resident Kimberly Linn Pryor, 34, was pronouced dead May 30 following a car accident on U.S. Highway 175 the day before. (See obituary on page 9A.)
Pryor was a front-seat passenger in a 1986 Mazda pick-up driven by her brother-in-law, Timothy James Pryor, 28.
They were traveling west, away from Athens under heavy rain conditions at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, when they neared a 2002 Ford F-150 truck stopped to make a left turn.
Veronica Lynn Paradis, 36, of Kemp was driving the Ford pickup with a passenger on board.
According to the accident report filed with the Department of Public Safety, Timothy Pryor failed to control speed and took faulty evasive action to the left into oncoming traffic.
While veering off, Pryor’s Mazda truck clipped the Ford pickup, before turning broadside to the eastbound traffic.
Traci Jo McAteer, 35, of Athens, was eastbound in a 1995 Plymouth Grand Voyager with her children (ages 10, 8 and 1) on board, when her vehicle struck the passenger side of the Mazda..
With the impact, McAteer’s minivan turned clockwise, also hitting the Ford truck in the front.
Pryor’s Mazda continued across the roadway and landed in the south ditch.
Rescue workers had to pry Kimberly Pryor loose from the pickup with power rescue tools.
She was flown to a Tyler hospital, where she was pronouced dead several hours later at 1:43 a.m.
Pryor is survived by her husband, Arthur, and a young son and daughter.
Services were held Saturday at Libery Baptist Church in Gun Barrel City, where she was a member.
McAteer and her children were transported to ETMC-Athens, with possible injuries and later released.
Timothy Pryor was charged with criminal negligent homicide.

Mabank woman hurt in wreck
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–A two-vehicle accident Friday left two drivers without their cars and one slightly injured.

Rita Eleaine Armstrong of Mabank, driving a 2004 Chevrolet 1500 pickup, proceeded to cross State Highway 198 at Market Street.
Danny Dickens was traveling northbound on SH 198 in a 1994 black Ford Ranger when he collided with the left side of Armstrong’s pickup.

“I had just come from paying my water bill at city hall,” Armstrong said.
“I was on my lunch break and was going to have lunch with my grandmother,” a very shook, but uninjured, Dickens said.

Armstrong was taken to the East Texas Medical Emergency at Gun Barrel City, where she was treated and released.

“The doctor said I have some real severe bruises,” she said.

The police report listed a witness as stating Armstrong entered the intersection without yielding the right-of-
way, and noted her failing to yield to oncoming traffic as a factor in the collision.
Dickens was cited for having no proof of insurance and no valid driver’s license.
No other citations were listed.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Danny Dickens (left) was uninjured when his Ford Ranger collided with a 2004 Chevy pickup Friday in Mabank. The second driver is being put onto a gurney by medical technicians to transport to East Texas Medical Emergency in Gun Barrel City.




Maylee Friemel wins Miss Kemp
Courtesy photo

Kemp High School senior Maylee Friemel (center) was crowned Miss Kemp 2007 Saturday, in a pageant hosted by the Kemp Chamber of Commerce. The title for Most Congenial went to Hannah McDonald (left) and Audience Choice went to Alicia Jones. Contestants competed in personal interview, casual wear, aerobic wear, talent, evening gown and live interview.