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Current Issue
June 26
, 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 ads for the Thursday, July 7, issue of The Monitor are due at 4 p.m. Friday, July 1. Classified ads are due by noon Tuesday, July 5.

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 www.gunbarrelcity 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.

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.

News & Brief Policy
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Top News

Murder suspect discovered
Mexican drug connection suspected, cash seized during traffic stop
Monitor Staff Reports

KERENS–A man claiming to be from Atlanta, Ga. was arrested June 13, after he could not properly identify himself to Kerens Police Department officer Benny Monteagudo, and immigration officials requested a detainer be placed on him.
Jorge Salgado Ortiz, 23, was pulled over by Monteagudo for speeding, according to a press release from the Kerens Police Department.
During the stop, Monteagudo spoke with all six occupants in the vehicle and determined something “just didn’t seem right” about the situation.
Monteagudo, who is bi-lingual, spoke to all six in Spanish, as none spoke English.
Two of the occupants reported to be from North Carolina, two from Atlanta and two from Nashville, Tenn. The vehicle was registered in Mississippi.
After continued questioning, Chief Bryan Miers called a friend of his – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent J.D. Rojas, who spoke with the occupants in the car via telephone, and Kerens officers provided physical descriptions of them.
Rojas came to the conclusion that one of the individuals was Ortiz, who is connected with a Mexican drug cartel, and had been handled by ICE agents in the past in the state of California. Ortiz was arrested for failing to identify himself to an officer.
Monteagudo found $2,500 in cash on Ortiz. A K-9 unit from the Navarro College Police Department was alerted and signaled possible drugs in the vehicle.
The money was seized and a thorough search of the vehicle was made, however, no illegal drugs were found.
The other five occupants were released, and Ortiz was then transported to the Navarro County Jail, and at the request of Rojas an immigration detainer was placed on him.
After several days of communication between ICE officials, the Navarro County Sheriff’s Department, the Kerens Police Department and Rowan County Sheriff’s Department in Salisbury, NC., it was discovered that Ortiz had an active murder warrant.
“It is with great pleasure that I commend all the above named agencies and officers on a job well done,” Miers said.
“This proves that when law enforcement agencies throughout the country work together, there is no criminal that will be left behind,” he added.
Miers also commended Monteagudo personally for his part in the arrest and investigation.
“I am of the opinion that the good training, experience and the ability that Officer Monteagudo has, allowed him to take such a violent and dangerous criminal off the streets and even kept him from fleeing the country and returning to Mexico,” Miers commented.


VZ orders burn ban
By Terry Britt
Staff Writer

CANTON–Van Zandt County has joined Kaufman and Henderson County in placing a ban on all outdoor burning.
Van Zandt County Judge Rhita Koches ordered a seven-day ban Wednesday and expected to extend the ban at its scheduled Commissioner’s Court meeting Tuesday.
Speaking about an hour after the declaration was filed in the county clerk’s office Wednesday, Koches said the scattered rain on Tuesday was not enough to change ground conditions so that a ban could be avoided or delayed.
The new ban does not extend to the igniting of fireworks. On June 14, commissioners placed a ban on “skyrockets with sticks” and “missiles with fins” in the unincorporated areas of the county.
However, Koches warned that a fireworks ban could be extended if drought conditions continue during the next two weeks.
“As it gets closer to the Fourth of July holiday, we can do an emergency ban on fireworks for all fireworks. But that is only good for 60 hours locally, then the governor’s office has to extend it. Hopefully, we won’t have to go so far,” she said.
Kaufman County fire marshal Larry Ewing agrees and put that county on a 60-day ban.
The outdoor burning ban should give relief to local volunteer fire departments, many of which have been taxed to the limit on large grass fires this month.
Extra care must be taken if welding including all grass, leaves, brush and other easily combustible materials must be cleared from a minimum 25-foot radius surrounding the welding area, and the welding perimeter has to be three times the height of the actual welding.
Also, a minimum of 100 gallons of water must be available on the welding site, along with at least one water pressure fire extinguisher per spotter.
No welding is permitted if winds are 10 miles per hour or greater, or the relative humidity is less than 30 percent. Welding in an enclosed area or underground is acceptable.
Welders also must notify the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office by phone at (903) 567-4133 about the welding activity to take place.

TCEQ cites water company for bacteria violation
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

PAYNE SPRINGS–Residents on the Payne Springs Water Supply system received a notice in the mail recently advising that two water samples submitted by the supply company were determined to contain coliform bacteria.
Coliform bacteria are commonly found in the environment (e.g., soil or vegetation) and are generally harmless. If only total coliform bacteria are detected in drinking water, the source is probably environmental. Fecal contamination is not likely.
Payne Springs Water Supply operator Barry Brown told The Monitor that at no time were disease-causing bacteria detected in any of the five rounds of sampling he took to a lab in Tyler.
“Had this been a health matter, a boil water notice would have been issued within 24 hours (of the sampling),” he said.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality received all test results on sampling and repeat sampling the same time as Payne Springs Water Supply, he added. “I was in constant communication with them.”
“If it was something bad, TCEQ would have told me exactly how they wanted the boil notice to go out,” he said.
It could have gone out on radio, television and by phone calls, he explained.
TCEQ also specifies the exact wording of the notice customers received and a violation is recorded.
Public water systems are required to deliver safe and reliable drinking water to their customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If the water supply becomes contaminated, consumers can become seriously ill.
One of the most important steps is to regularly test the water for coliform bacteria. Payne Springs is required to submit a minimum of one monthly test.
The presence of total coliform in drinking water indicates a possible health concern.
Coliform bacteria are organisms that are present in the environment and in the feces of all warmblooded animals and humans. Coliform bacteria will not likely cause illness.
Most pathogens that can contaminate water supplies come from the feces of humans or animals. Testing drinking water for all possible pathogens is complex, time-consuming, and expensive. It is relatively easy and inexpensive to test for coliform bacteria.
If coliform bacteria are found in a water sample, water system operators work to find the source of contamination and restore safe drinking water. There are three different groups of coliform bacteria; each posing a different level of risk.
Brown explained that he takes one sample from each of five sites.
An independent testing lab certified by TCEQ tests each sample with an acid; after waiting 24 hours, if the sample remains clear it registers negative for coliform.
Four of the five were clear, but one was “questionable.” The one in question was left to ‘stew’ for four more hours, he said without appreciable changes.
Resampling produced a similar questionable result, but this time from a different test site, he said.
A third round of sampling resulted in a clear result. A fourth round of sampling of just the questionable site was also conducted with an all clear result, he said.
All this was done before the letter was issued to customers as prescribed by state rules.
Brown also sampled the untreated well water, with a clean result.
“You can rest assured that we’re in good shape,” Brown said.
“This is the first time since 2004 that repeat (coliform) sampling has been done,” he said, and no other resampling has had to be done since 1998, when he started with the water company.
A TCEQ investigator in the Quality Division of the Tyler Office verified that Payne Springs Water Supply followed resampling procedures and attained a clean test.
“Most of the time, a positive result for coliform is the result of operator error,” Clayton Nicholardi explained. Because bacteria, such as coliform also travels on the wind, sampling shouldn’t occur on windy days, he explained. “I believe that was the case with Payne Springs,” he said.
Though the sample tested positive, it was “non acute,” meaning it registered no bacteria from fecal matter, Nicolardi explained.
Protocol calls for resampling to also be done in June, the month after the questionable result was found, and has already been done and submitted with a clean result, he added.





































































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