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Current Issue
June 23
, 2011






News in Brief

Holiday closings
The Monitor office will be closed for Independence Day Monday, July 4.
Federal, state and city offices, banks and post offices will also close (no mail delivery). If your bank is located inside another business, check with it for hours.

Advertising deadline
Display ad deadline is 4 p.m. Friday, July 1, for the Thursday, July 7, issue of The Monitor. Classified word deadlines are due by noon Tuesday, July 5.

56th annual rodeo
The 56th annual Mabank Rodeo and Western Week opens at 8 p.m. Thursday (tonight) and continues through Saturday, June 25, at the Andrew Gibbs Memorial Arena. Tonight’s performance is slack time, with regular performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The traditional downtown parade is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, and a dance at the pavilion follows Saturday’s rodeo. The event is sponsored by the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department.

Library benefit tea
Tea with Christine at Seasons is from 2 to 4 p.m. every third Thursday, starting today, benefitting Tri-County Library and The Library at Cedar Creek Lake. Formal attire and a charge. RSVP to Christine Burton at Seasons, 508 S. Third Street, Mabank, by calling (903) 887-4077 or

Westside seniors
The Westside Senior Center is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday (today and every Thursday), at the Cedar Creek Bible Church Activities Building, 700 North Seven Points Boulevard (one mile north of the SH 274 traffic light). Seniors 55 and older are invited to come in for coffee, tea, snacks, card and domino games, fellowship and other activities. A light lunch is served. For information call (903) 340-9672.

CCL 49er’s seniors
The Cedar Creek Lake 49er’s Senior Citizens Club meets from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday (tonight 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.

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

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.

Humane Society
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake board meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, June 27. Election of officers and voting on the addition of new board members will take place. Please note meeting location change to Tri-County Library, 132 Market Street, Mabank.

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.

Rep. Hensarling
U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling will discuss his recent actions to remove barriers to job creation and grow the economy at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, June 30, at Maples Hall in Kaufman, 114 North Washington, and at 10:15 a.m. June 30 at the Trinity Valley Community College Cafeteria meeting room, 100 Cardinal Drive, Athens.

GBC July Fest
The GBC July Fest is set for 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday, July 2, at the new GBC Pavilion. Events include arts and crafts, food, fun, Lonestar amusements and fireworks. Concert includes Brian Milson, Johnny Cooper, No Justice and Derek Sholl. Concert gates open at 3 p.m. Information and tickets available by calling (903) 887-1087 or visit Coolers inside the gate area only for a charge. No glass bottles.

First Baptist choir
The Celebration Choir of First Baptist Church, Eustace, will honor local veterans, active law enforcement, firefighters, school board members and other community volunteers at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 3, with a musical called, “America, A Pilgrim’s Prayer, A Patriots Dream,” and welcome your attendance. Following the service a reception will take place in the fellowship hall/gym.

Rosser July 4 fest
The city of Rosser is hosting its annual July 4 parade and lawnmower races Monday, July 4. Parade line-up is at 9 a.m. and the parade is at 10 a.m. This year there will be barbecue sandwiches, funnel cakes and lemonade.

Four Mile Lutheran
Monday, July 4, Four Mile Lutheran Church will host its annual celebration, with the cemetery meeting at 10:30 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. Bell will toll at the reading of each deceased veteran’s name. Bring a covered dish to share at noon in the parish hall. Meats, drinks and utensils provided. A silent auction will benefit the cemetery. Located two miles east of the Prairieville Store, at SH 90 and VZCR 2607.

VFW marks July 4
The VFW Post 4376 Ladies Auxiliary is hosting an all-American luncheon for troops and veterans, featuring hot dogs, apple pie and watermelon at 1 p.m. Monday, July 4, at the post.

Fishery fireworks
Fireworks are set at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center with free admission after 5 p.m. Monday, July 4. Fireworks at 10 p.m. One of the biggest fireworks displays in East Texas.

Senior center opening
Kaufman County Senior Citizens Services Inc. invites all to the grand opening of the Senior Center at the Ballpark, located at 405 W. Walnut in George Watts Park (old YMCA), Mabank, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7. Lunch will be provided by the city of Mabank. RSVP to (972) 563-1422 or (903) 887-3241 by Sunday, July 3.

Annual Aley Picnic
The annual Aley picnic is set for noon until ?, Friday, July 8. Events include food, games, prizes and live music featuring Cactus Moon. Also a cake walk, carnival games for kids, bingo, full meal or hamburgers and hot dogs available. Benefits the King Cemetery.

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.



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Top News

City sets new water fees
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–A new city council approved a revised ordinance setting new fees for Kemp water customers Tuesday and agreed to work with the school district to set up storm warning sirens.
The new ordinance, No. 11-48, replaced an ordinance on the books for 11 years but never formally approved, council members heard.
“The only item that’s a major issue is the late fee,” public works director Kris Burns told the council.
Previously, the late fee assessed was 10 percent of the bill. The new late fee is a flat $30, Burns explained.
Also, the previous ordinance had a connection fee and an inspection fee. The new ordinance sets a $50 fee which covers both connection and inspection, Burns said.
Council members approved the new ordinance on a 4-1 vote, with Barry Lummus opposing.
In a discussion that considered two agenda items, council members unanimously agreed to obtain price quotes on storm warning sirens and agreed to include a siren purchased by the Kemp Independent School District.
“We’ve had some real close calls (with storms) lately,” new mayor Donald Kile pointed out.
Based on the council’s discussion, one provider has offered four sirens for $10,000, which would be a bargain, as the city earlier had heard a single siren might cost up to $12,000.
“You are not required to (officially) bid anything under $50,000,” attorney Terrence Welch told the council. “You can get quotes.”
“It just takes a day or two to get quotes,” Kile said. “That way, we’ll know if we’re in the ballpark (with available funds).”
The school district would like to purchase its own siren – probably to be placed at the new high school – and would like to hook it into the city’s system, Kile reported.
“(Superintendent) Dr. (Peter) Running is all for this,” he added.
In other business, the council:
• agreed to hire an unnamed reserve officer to fill the police department position vacated by Johnny Law, who will be out for a minimum of six to eight weeks with shoulder surgery, after a violent confrontation with a suspect fleeing from Dallas officers.
The reserve officer will know the hiring is just temporary, as Law will be reinstated when he is medically released to resume his duties, police chief Richard Clemmo said.
• removed former mayor Matt Ganssle as a signer on city accounts and as a member of the Becker-Jiba Water Corporation negotiation team and replaced him with Kile.
• named Leodis Buckley as the mayor pro tem after a closed-door discussion.
• discussed, but eventually tabled action on the long-established library fund. The library fund (now above $25,000) was originally established by Kaufman County to provide a public library through the Kemp ISD, but has not been used for many years.
“I’ve been asking for eight and a half years what to do with this,” city judge Regina Kiser told the council.
“As far as I know, there’s no documentation on this,” Welch noted. “If we don’t give it to the school, it will sit in a bank account. I would recommend you give the money to the school district.”
• approved an ordinance abandoning an unused 20-foot easement along 10th Street.
• approved an ordinance joining the city with other cities statewide in a protest of a proposed Oncor rate increase.
• agreed to advertise for applications to fill vacancies on the Economic Development Corporation and the Planning & Zoning Commission.
• removed new councilman Tommy McSpedden from the police department’s Internal Affairs and Hiring board and replaced him with one of the already-named alternates.
• heard new radio-based water meters are now being installed, and have already paid off by detecting unseen leaks.
Hiring an outside firm to do installations could finish the job in 10 days, Burns said.

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Terminated Seven Points police officer files whistleblower suit
By Michelle Keahey
The Southeast Texas Record

TYLER–A former police officer for the city of Seven Points has filed a lawsuit under the Texas Whistleblower Act, claiming he was terminated after he reported inappropriate behavior by another law enforcement officer.
Former police officer Sgt. Raymond Wennerstrom filed suit against the city of Seven Points and Mayor John J. Dobbs on May 9 in Henderson County District Court. The defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division on June 8.
According to the complaint, Wennerstrom was terminated by the mayor on March 29, 2011. Approximately 90 days prior to his termination, he states he made multiple reports that police Lt. Mike Tayem had abused his powers as a law enforcement officer on an inmate who refused medical treatment.
Tayem, who is Dobbs life partner according to the lawsuit, was placed on administrative leave with pay due to the good-faith report of the violation of law.
Shortly thereafter, Wennerstrom claims he was demoted from sergeant to police officer.
Wennerstrom states he filed a grievance regarding his demotion. He argued that the demotion violated the city’s policy on discipline because demotions could not be enacted without the approval of the mayor and the city council.
According to court records, the mayor denied the grievance.
Approximately two weeks later, the plaintiff was terminated from his position.
The defendants are accused of violating Texas Government Codes and of violating Wennerstrom’ s due process.
The plaintiff is asking the court for reinstatement, actual damages – including lost wages and benefits, compensatory damages, interest, court costs and attorney’s fees.
Wennerstrom is represented by Christopher D. Livingston of Lyon, Gorsky, Haring, Gilbert & Livingston in Dallas. A jury trial is requested.
U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis is assigned to the case.

Used by permission of the Southeast Texas Record.


Salute to heroes!
Monitor Photos/Pearl Cantrell

5th District Texas Rep. Lance Gooden (left) thanks World War II veteran and outstanding Athens citizen Dick Dwelle for his exemplary military service, presenting Dwelle with a state flag flown over the Texas Capitol. Gooden and Gould also recognized North Texas resident USAF Maj. Gen. Paul Landers. Golfing foursomes were told Landers couldn’t attend because he had been hospitalized. The informal presentations were conducted just prior to the start of four-man scramble hosted by the Cedar Creek Veterans Foundation. The annual golf tournament raises funds for military charities; Hope for the Wounded; the Navy Marine Corps Relief Fund and Fisher House, providing temporary housing for families supporting patients of the VA Hospital in Dallas.
Thanks to the sponsorship of the Pinnacle Golf Club, all proceeds from the tourney are going to the charities.
The event is one of several connected with the Thunder Over Cedar Creek air show to be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 2. An evening pilots’ party is planned at the golf club Friday, July 1. Make reservations by June 29 by calling (903) 451-3964 or by e-mail at







































































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