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Current Issue
June 16
, 2011






News in Brief

Environmental camps
The Environmental Co-op is hosting Environmental Day Camps from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays – today, June 21 and 23. For information on cost and reservations call (972) 524-0007.

Free acting class
The Avanti Society Inc. is offering a free acting class by nationally acclaimed instructor David Cox. The class is set for 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday (today) at the First United Methodist Church, 501 South Third street, Mabank. Class space is limited. Call Shari Gallagher at (903) 451-4307.

First Baptist VBS
Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church located at 1320 S. Elm Street, Kemp, is set for 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Friday, June 19-24. The theme is The Big Apple adventure. For information call the church or visit

Westside seniors
The Westside Senior Center is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday (today and every Thursday). Due to Vacation Bible School, there will be a one-time change in location for this meeting only. Please call (903) 340-9672 for directions. Seniors 55 and older are invited to enjoy a light lunch, snacks, games and a speaker. For information call (903) 340-9672.

AL dinners
The American Legion Auxiliary is cooking dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday (stew, cornbread & desserts) and Saturday (a deluxe meatloaf dinner), June 17-18. Proceeds go to send high school junior girls to Girls State in Seguin.

First Baptist event
The First Baptist Church of Seven Points (on FM 85, 0.4 miles west of SH 274 light) will host a summer fundraiser from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 18. Events include games, dunkin’ booth, bounce house, basketball contest, dipping for ducks for ages 6 and under and much more. Food includes hot dogs and hamburgers with all the trimmings, drinks and root beer floats. For information call (903) 275-2416.

Pantherette car wash
The Mabank High School Pantherettes are hosting a car wash and bake sale fundraiser at Auto Zone in GBC (across from Walmart) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 18.

Eustace Pioneer Day
The annual Eustace Pioneer Day is set for Saturday, June 18. It begins with the fourth annual 5K run/walk at 8 a.m., then opens at 9 a.m. with the arts & crafts booths around the Town Square and continues with scheduled events all day until the street dance at 8 p.m. with the music of John Allen and the Whiplash Band. For information call Rick and Diane Schaeffer at (903) 425-4082.

UDC meeting
The Confederate Rose Chapter 2548, United Daughters of the Confederacy, meets at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. The chapter will not meet in July or August – meetings resume in September.

CCL 49er’s seniors
The Cedar Creek Lake 49er’s Senior Citizens Club meets from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23 (and every Thursday night) for dancing to Chuck & the 49er’s. The band is great, decorations great, friendly atmosphere, no smoking or alcohol. Donation at the door. Located in Seven Points, two blocks south of SH 334 on Arnold Hills Road. Phone or fax to (903) 432-3552.

Styx Baptist gospel
The Styx Baptist Church is hosting its fourth Friday gospel music singing at 7 p.m. Friday, June 24, at 31800 FM 85. Bring your instruments, music, CDs, friends and family. Refreshments afterwards. For information call (214) 616-4659.

56th annual rodeo
The 56th annual Mabank Rodeo and Western week is set for Monday through Saturday, June 20-25, at the Andrew Gibbs Memorial Arena. Scheduled events are Monday queen rehearsal, Tuesday games at the Pavilion at 6:30 with bed races at 8 p.m., Wednesday Queen’s dinner, Thursday, Friday and Saturday rodeo performances at 8 p.m., with the traditional downtown parade at 5 p.m. Saturday. Dance at the pavilion after Saturday’s rodeo. The event is sponsored by the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department.

Cowboy fundraiser
Rope, Catch & Ride for Christ Arena Team is hosting a fundraiser Saturday, June 25, at Mabank Rodeo, with a yearling colt. Monies earned benefit the Larry Hardgrave Memorial Arena. For information call Vickie Pyle at (903) 880-2695.

Camp Wetland
A day camp is set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, with John Bunker at Sands Wetland, 655 Martin Lane, Seagoville. Small fee charged for camp, which includes lunch (adults pay for lunch). For information call Pam Corder at (469) 285-3370. Campers must RSVP to

Rotary anniversary
The Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake celebrates its 25th founding anniversary at the regular weekly luncheon at noon Friday, June 24.

Fisheries art event
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is hosting Art’s Better Outside from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 25 (free with regular admission). Artists from across Texas exhibiting, live raptor programs, food and fun. For information call James Booker at (903) 670-2266.

Harbor Point POA
The Harbor Point POA meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, at the HPPOA pavilion, located off Admiral Drive on Surfer View. Speaker is Bill Fackler with the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 5-14 on boating safety and rules of the lake. For information call (903) 887-1630 or (903) 887-6117.

Summer food program
Malakoff ISD is participating in the Summer Food Service Program, providing free meals for all children age 18 and under 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) through Thursday, June 30.

Kemp food program
The Kemp Summer Food Service Program is free to youth 1 to 18, starting with breakfast from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursdays (closed Fridays), through July 5, at the Kemp Junior High cafetorium, 102 Old U.S. 40, Kemp.

Microchip your pet
Southside Bank and Brookshire’s in Seven Points are sponsoring Paws and Claws from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday in June. Buy a hot dog and drink, and any monetary or wish list donation will get a grooming discount at Tail Waggers. All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake building campaign.

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Arnold legacy – lake community
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

SEVEN POINTS–The story of one Texas pioneering family continues today with the dedication of about an acre of land for a park.
Descendents of James Marion Gardner and his youngest daughter Mary Jane Arnold formerly turned over ownership of the property to the Arnold Hills Property Owners Association in a brief ceremony Saturday.
For Debra Gunderson and her sister, Dell Hamilton, it was a moment of quiet reflection on the toil and lives of first their great-great grandfather, right on down the line to their father, Billy Arnold, who developed the Arnold Hills subdivision.
The homestead was originally located on what is called Bird Island today, Gunderson said.
A teacher and reading specialist in Kemp for the past 25 years, she wrote a brief history of her ancestors to be included in the “History of Mabank, Texas, 1836-1986, People, Communities and Lake.”

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Arnold Hills Property Owner Association officers Stan Fernald (left) and Carolyn Tolley (right) stand with Arnold sisters Debra Gunderson (center left) and Dell Hamilton at a park dedication ceremony Saturday.

In it she recounts how James Marion Gardner made his way from North Carolina to Mississippi, and with his wife, Elizabeth Jane Skeen, and six children – one of them named Texanna – made their way to Henderson County and obtained a land grant of 640 acres bordering Cedar Creek on the west.
The Murcers Colony Certificate signed by the district court of Henderson County was validated by Texas Gov. Sam Houston in 1860.
Elizabeth died soon after reaching Texas, and Gardner married Elizabeth Allen (whose family came to the area from Alabama) to help him raise crops and rear his children.
Together, the couple had one child, Mary Jane, who in 1883 married Bently Dee Arnold Jr. of Waco, whose family had lost its holdings in the aftermath of the Civil War.
The couple farmed and reared five children. Arnold kept a ledger-style journal, which Gunderson has today, that documented some of the problems of his day.
Arnold collected donations and helped build a community school. He also cleared more of their family land, dragging tree stumps with teams of horses. The ledger also recounts the purchase of a new horse-drawn buggy for $10 to drive to church.
In 1902, a tax receipt valued the property at $1,495, for which he paid $19.64 in taxes that year.

Taken July 14, 1949, this photo shows Billy Arnold pumping gas at his modest convenience store, once located near the center of Seven Points.

The couple’s second son, Bertram Arnold, married Tool resident Exie Dell McKamie in 1918, and carried on the family’s farming and ranching activities.
The couple raised cotton, corn, peas and cattle. Bert also operated a small general store on the road Tool families used on their way to Mabank. He also served as a deacon at the Providence Baptist Church in Tool.
They had one son, Billy. He remembered as a young boy hearing wagon teams loaded down with cotton labor up Arnold Hills Road on their way to Mabank to be ginned.
In 1986, Billy had continued his family’s farming and ranching traditions, and the Arnold Ranch was recognized as a continuously operated farm-ranch for 100 years or more by the State of Texas.
Billy married Dorothy Wilson, and the couple had two daughters, Debra and Dell.
The sisters also still have check stubs from Tarrant County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 of Fort Worth for the purchase of 141 acres at $120 per acre, less current taxes, for the development of Cedar Creek Lake.
The June 4, 1962, check totaled $9,554.82. Another check for $1,250 was dispensed after the title had cleared.
“They kept telling us we were so lucky we were going to be living by a lake,” Dell told The Monitor. She also relayed how after three years, she and Debra (mere girls at the time) were very disappointed.
The lake seemed nothing more than a “great, smelly mudhole,” she said.
They also recounted that between the intersection called Seven Points and Mabank there was “a whole lot of nothing.”
The girls rode a school bus that took nearly an hour to reach Mabank Elementary School, and before the bridges were built and the lake came in, a flood gauge beside the road helped motorists judge whether or not their vehicle could cross the low spots during the creeks’ regular floods.
With the lake’s development, Billy and wife Dot made plans to develop the four miles of new lakefront property for housing, and set up minimum building requirements for houses to be built there.
“Dad put in all the roads himself and later dedicated them to the county,” Dell recounted.
He was selling half-acre house lots for $2,000 in the late ’60s, she added.
“Back then, people knew there was quick money to be made, especially if you weren’t picky about what kind of housing you were going to allow. But Dad wouldn’t just sell lots for trailers. He was one of the few of that time to see ahead to what lakefront property could become,” she said.
Today, Arnold Hills is known as the “ritzy” part of town. Absent are any mobile homes. Large stone houses with spacious driveways front the water, with more modest lumber and brick homes off water.
Debra and Dell both retain about 200 acres from the original land grant, where they keep family gardens and bale hay.
They are both proud of their dad’s achievements and ability to send them both to top Texas universities.
Dell has been a reading specialist at Mabank High School for the past four years and worked with dyslexic students for 12 years before that.
Debra, who has been a teaching specialist at Kemp Primary School, will be teaching sixth grade history at the junior high this coming year.
“I have always loved history and teaching. Now I get to do both,” she said.

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Man wrecks bike; busted for drugs
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–A wreck during an attempted police stop for a minor traffic infraction landed one man in jail with drug charges.
Sunday, Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Durr observed a motorcycle rider commit a minor traffic violation on State Highway 334 at Peachtree Road.
As Durr initiated the traffic stop, the motorcycle rider, for an unknown reason, lost control of his bike and laid the bike over at the intersection of Peachtree Road and Pecan Street, County Sheriff Ray Nutt reported in a press release issued Monday.
During his contact with the rider – identified as William Rickey George, 57, of Gun Barrel City – Durr found George was operating the bike with an invalid driver’s license, and placed him under arrest.
Durr searched George and found what is believed to be methamphetamine on his person, Nutt reported.
George was transported to the Henderson County Jail, where he was formally charged with possession of a controlled substance, more than 4 grams and less than 200 grams (a first degree felony), and driving with license suspended/invalid (a misdemeanor).
As of Monday, George remained jailed, held without bond on the driving without license charge and a $100,000 bond on the possession charge.

Ex-principal sues Sanders
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Former Eustace Middle School principal Karyn Mullen has filed a civil suit petitioning the 173rd District Court in Henderson County to take action against Eustace resident and former city councilman Mark Sanders.
Mullen charges Sanders with “invasion of privacy” and damaging her professional reputation and standing as an educator by his actions. The petition adds that Mullen has experienced emotional distress, worry, and mental anguish as a result.
The petition further states Mullen is suing for an amount within the jurisdictional limits of the court. The petition was filed with the District Court Clerk May 25.
Athens attorney Henry Skelton is representing Mullen.
Reportedly, Sanders circulated a photograph of Mullen taken years ago while on a private outing in Oklahoma with other employees of the school district. In that photo, Mullen reportedly “mooned” her friends, Mullen told the Athens Daily Review.
According to the petition, Sanders showed it to the Eustace Police Chief Robert Walker in September, 2009, and to school superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe and members of the school board.
The petition also says Sanders threatened to publicize the photo, presenting it to the parents of every Middle School student, if the board did not take punitive action against Mullen, either by terminating her employment or by not renewing her contract.
In April, the board voted against renewing her contract, 4-1, and barred her from coming on campus, though she was not terminated outright. The only board member opposed to the action was Sara McAtee, who was defeated in a last-minute write-in campaign, fueled by telephone calls to voters days leading up to the May 14 election.
Sanders’ attorney Wade Gent told the Athens Daily Review that the suit was frivolous and that Mullen was angry because Sanders had taken her place on the council.
Sanders ran in the May, 2008, city elections and was one of three top vote-getters, easing Mullen out on a re-election bid. However, by June, 2008, Mullen was again listed on the council, as an appointee.
Mullen and Sanders served on the council through 2008-9. Their relationship was barely cordial. Mullen blocked Sanders from disparaging Laura Ward’s decision to remain as mayor through the court process resulting from her 2009 indictment on assault charges.
In November, 2008, Mullen read a public criticism of Sanders’ handling of the water rate increase issue, calling his letter writing campaign “a cowardly attempt to undermine the efforts of the council.”
Citing increased business travel, Sanders resigned Feb. 25, 2009, shortly after a court exonerated Ward, acquitting her of the assault charges.
At the earlier February council meeting, Sanders faced a barrage of criticism for a mountain of nonspecific open records requests he and his wife had made over the last several months, and for “the negativity on this great community” created through a website the couple were operating at
Mark’s wife, Elicia Sanders, ran unopposed for mayor in the May 14 election.























































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