The Monitor office will be closed for Independence Day Monday,
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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 festivals.net.
Coolers inside the gate area only for a charge. No glass
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
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.
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
News & Brief Policy
News in Brief is a venue in which nonprofit organizations can
promote their services and/or fundraising events at no cost.
These articles should include only basic information – who,
what, when and where. Articles must include publishable contact
information and a phone number.
The deadline for submission is 4 p.m. Monday for each Thursday’s
issue and 4 p.m. Wednesday for each Sunday’s issue.
Announcements will run for four issues (two weeks).
Organizations needing to relay more information on services or
events, or who seek a longer promotion time, are encouraged to
call our advertising staff at (903) 887-4511.
MediaOne LLC considers nonprofit organizations to be groups
operating primarily on a volunteer basis providing a service for
others. Organizations with paid employees cannot use this venue
to promote their services.
main sports news obits lake life events views classifieds
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
During the stop, Monteagudo spoke with all six occupants in the
vehicle and determined something “just didn’t seem right” about
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
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
VZ orders burn ban
By Terry Britt
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
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
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
TCEQ cites water company for bacteria
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
“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,
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
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
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
“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
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
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.