Sunday, June 10, 2007






  U.S. Flag marks colorful history
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–In January, 1776, there was no official flag, only a struggling, rag tag army of patriots fighting for freedom and a new nation.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Flags are already flying on several main thoroughfares in Cedar Creek Lake area in anticipation of Flag Day, Thursday, June 14.

General George Washington directed an unofficial flag be raised outside his headquarters near Boston, Mass.
The soldiers called the flag the “Grand Union” or “The Continental Colours” and it displayed 13 alternating red and white strips and the British Union Flag in the upper left corner.
By May, 1776, according to legend, Washington and a couple of Continental Congress members asked a local seamstress, Betsy Ross, to make a new American flag.
On June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress approved the first official American Flag.
The Stars and Stripes, or “Old Glory” had 13 alternating red and white stripes and 13 stars in a blue field, representing a new constellation.
The official act approved the new flag, but forgot to specify just how to arrange the stars, so folks naturally arranged the stars the way it suited them.
Vermont and Kentucky joined the Union in 1791 and 1792, respectively, and the new flag now had 15 alternating strips and 15 stars.
This was the banner that inspired Francis Scott Key when he composed his poem which later became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
By 1918, five more states had joined the Union, and Congress decided there was a growing clutter to the flag so they set the stripes at the original number of 13 and allowed a new star for each state as it joined.
In 1912, after New Mexico joined the Union on Jan. 6 and Arizona on Feb. 14, the flag had 48 stars.
President William H. Taft issued an executive order establishing proportions and setting the stars in horizontal rows.
Four years later, on May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared Flag Day a day of national celebration.
Alaska became the 49th state in January, 1959, and Hawaii’s star was added to the flag in 1960, following its admission to the union in August, 1959.
Each state is added to the flag on July 4, following its admission.
The American flag flies on every federal building every Flag Day, following a proclamation in 1949 by President Harry Truman.
The U.S. Flag has been a rallying point for troops in every war from the Revolution, through both World Wars to today for the military in the Middle East.
Flag Day is Thursday, June 14. In 2008, June 14 falls on a Saturday.

Wet pavement may contribute to wreck
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–A wet roadway and poor visibility may have caused the fatal wreck May 29, about a mile outside of Athens’ Loop 7 on U.S. Highway 175.
In that car accident, Payne Springs resident Kimberly Linn Pryor, 34, was critically injured, and died while in surgery at a Tyler hospital at 1:43 a.m. the following day.
Veronica Lynn Paradis told The Monitor there was more to what happened then was listed in the Department of Public Safety’s accident report.
“I was (in the 2002 Ford F-150 truck) last of four cars stopped at the bottom of a slight hill,” Paradis said.
An old Chevy truck was attempting a left turn into a driveway, which used to be a county road, Paradis said.
Two other cars were stopped behind him. They left the scene before the police arrived, she added.
It was raining and had been raining, she said
When Timothy Pryor’s 1986 Mazda pickup topped the hill westbound and saw the line of cars stopped in front of him, he stepped on his brakes, but started to hydroplane to the left, and that’s how he ended up veering into oncoming eastbound traffic, she said.
After he landed in the south ditch, “he ran over to see if I was all right and said, ‘I’m sorry, I tried to stop but hydroplaned. I’m really sorry,’” Paradis reported.
Pryor’s car had clipped Paradis’ truck, while an eastbound Plymouth minivan broadsided Pryor’s vehicle, turned clockwise and struck her truck in the front, showering glass everywhere.
“I heard him tell two officers that’s what happened, too,” she added.
Paradis and Pryor both work for Argon Medical Devices Inc. in Athens, and were on their way to Cedar Creek Lake near 5 p.m.
After Pryor’s passenger and sister-in-law Kimberly was pried out of the Mazda pickup, she was transported by ambulance, first to ETMC-Athens and then on to Tyler.
(The Monitor erroneously reported she was airlifted.)
“I was told weather conditions wouldn’t allow for a Careflight,” Paradis said.
Another ambulance also transported the occupants of the eastbound 1995 Plymouth Grand Voyager, which included Traci Jo McAteer, 35, and her children (ages 10, 8 and 1).
The van collided with Pryor’s Mazda on the passenger side as it was crossing over into the south ditch, the police report showed.
The accident report listed failure to control speed and faulty evasive action as factors in the accident.
Timothy Pryor was charged with criminal negligent homicide.

Getting a look at the new Mabank High School

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
A tour of the new $30 million Mabank High School begins in the “commons area” Tuesday. District voters approved a $38 million bond package to build the school in February, 2005.


Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank ISD Superintendent Dr. Russell Marshall speaks to the gathered facility committee members from the main staircase prior to the start of a personal tour of the new Mabank High School Tuesday. “This (facility) sends the message that our kids are just as important as kids in North Dallas,” he told the gathering. “This statement you have made will make people want to move here.”

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Members of the facilities committee and their children look over the varsity football locker room during a tour of the new Mabank High School Tuesday.


City moves water lines
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–A mixup by the Texas Department of Transportation concerning improvements to U.S. Highway 175 between Mabank and Eustace has the city jumping.
“A year ago, we were told there was no problem with the water lines,” city manager Louann Confer said.
“But, two weeks ago we received a call (from TxDOT) that said they were, and (the lines) had to be moved,” she said.
The section of highway includes the old Hilltop Cafe and eastward for approximately two miles.
“We don’t have a choice. TxDOT wants it done immediately,” she said.
Council members authorized Mayor Larry Teague to sign the necessary papers and to get costs on the project.
TxDOT has agreed to pay for the relocation of the water lines, Confer said.
“People from the Highway Department admitted they changed the plans from a year ago, but forgot to tell the city of Mabank,” she explained.
Information released by TxDOT set the project letting date as September.
Two public hearings preceded action by the council concerning two projects in excess of $10,000 initiated by the Mabank Economic Development Corporation.
Both endeavors met with council approval.
EDC executive director Scott Confer said the EDC plans to purchase a building located at 106 S. 3rd Street.
The property has been vacant for approximately three years.
The building is in the way of the State Highway 198 widening project, and the space is also needed to insure a proper design for another commercial project, he said.
“The EDC must first acquire, and then clean up the property,” Confer said.
The buildings from the old theater south will all come down to make room for the new commercial building, he explained.
The second project authorized expansion of the north water systems.
Phase one involves the boring U.S. 175 to install a new major water main.
Confer explained the expansion was needed to accommodate future development north of the highway.
In other business, council members:
• told Robert Reamey of Creekside Drive he must comply with city animal control ordinances that require a fence sufficient to keep his part pit, part labrador dog confined.
Reamey said he plans to move out of the city.
• considered a request from individuals with a travel trailer located on their property as a second living area. They also were not satisfied when the council stated, for health reasons, they needed to comply with regulations.
The party was requesting a two- to three-month extension to the arrangement, so her father could recover from surgery.
• delayed action on a request to open a recycling center at 1428 S 3rd Street.
The building is small and located in a retail/commercial zoned area.
The suggested enterprise should be in an industrial zone, council members said.
• approved an update to the city’s drought contingency plan, as required by the state.
• took no action, but said they would look into problems arising from the Mabank Fire Department personnel locking out cattle belonging to a resident, with whom the city has had a four-year agreement.
The verbal agreement allowed the resident to pasture his cattle on city property, in return for upkeep of the land.
• heard department head reports.