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.
The display ad deadline for the Thursday, July 7, issue of The
Monitor has passed. Classified ads are due by noon Tuesday, July
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 (today).
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 (tonight) 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 lawn
mower 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.
AL stress support
American Legion Post 310, GBC, is offering free Peer-to-Peer
support workshops for military-related Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. For information call J.D. at
49er’s seniors club
The Cedar Creek Lake 49er’s Senior Citizens Club meets from 7 to
9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7, and every Thursday for dancing to
the music of Chuck & the 49er’s. Friendly atmosphere. No smoking
or alcohol. Small donation at the door.
Located off SH 334, two blocks south on Arnold Hills Road, Seven
Points. For information call or fax to (903) 432-3552.
Poynor Civic Center
Country music at Poynor Civic Center, beginning at 6 p.m. with a
meal prepared by Frankston Health Care Center, followed by music
from 6:30 to 9 p.m. (open microphone) Thursday, July 7. Anyone
may bring a dessert. Donations benefit the Frankston Healthcare
Center. For information call (903) 360-0766 or (903) 876-5448.
AL chef salad meal
The American Legion Auxiliary is serving deluxe chef salads with
desserts, a cool hot-weather favorite, from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday,
July 8, at Post 310, GBC.
VZ senior citizens
The Van Zandt Senior Citizens Club monthly dance is planned for
7 p.m. Friday, July 8, at the Henderson County Senior Citizens
Center in Athens. Country music will be provided by Joe Walenta
and the Ranch Hands. Everyone is welcome.
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
A Lakeway Estates board of directors is hosting a special
meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 9, at 201 Meadow Drive, Tool,
for approval of a street name change for the club president. For
information call treasurer Glenda Rushing at (903) 432-2879.
The American Indian Cultural Society, Inc. is hosting the annual
“Battle of the Neches” memorial ceremony. Events begin at 1 p.m.
and ceremony is at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 16, about 85 miles
from Dallas, off SH 64 to Redland (no town – just a sign), turn
north (left) onto Van Zandt CR 4923. For information, directions
or to RSVP, call (903) 425-8581 or (903) 914-1516.
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Council OKs 2 a.m. feedings
Mayor vetoes alcohol serving ordinance;
Applebee’s opening in doubt
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY– Gun Barrel City council members unanimously
adopted an ordinance allowing the service of mixed alcoholic
beverages, beer and wine between midnight and 2 a.m. on weekends
and holidays during a meeting June 28.
However, two days later, mayor Dennis Wood used his veto powers
to reject its adoption.
The ordinance allowed those businesses holding both a state Food
and Beverage Certificate and a Private Club Late Hours Permit
may serve in the extended hours on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
and federally-recognized holidays.
A F&B certificate requires at least 51 percent of total sales
come from food.
Economic Development Corporation board chairman Steve Webster
assured the council that Applebee’s was ready to exercise its
option to purchase property in the city for developing a
restaurant should the council adopt the ordinance.
City attorney Julie Fort with McKamie Krueger attended the
meeting and tried to answer the many questions council members
Wood raised the question – can the city even adopt a late hours
ordinance if the city is dry?
“It’s a gray area,” Fort agreed. Even with a
local-option-election, it is still regulated by the state, Wood
and Fort agreed.
Wood cited this in his veto, saying that the council didn’t have
the authority to make rules for businesses regulated by the
In the city, restaurants have gotten around the dry issue by
operating as a private club under TABC rules.
Fort said she had tried to contact Applebee’s attorneys to see
how they regard this jurisdictional issue, but was unsuccessful.
City voters approved liquor sales in the city for off-site
consumption, but not for serving in bars and restaurants, Wood
“It is my firm belief that the majority of the voters of Gun
Barrel City do not wish to expand the places and hours of
alcohol consumption as evidenced by the election last month
where alcohol in our city park was an issue,” he wrote in his
“I would be in favor of holding a wet/dry election to all voters
to decide this issue, as some believe I may be incorrect in this
assessment,” he added.
“Had the voters voted us wet for restaurants, I’d have no
trouble with this,” Wood said Tuesday. “I don’t want to expand
the selling of alcohol or the number of hours to serve it. It’s
a moral decision.”
However, the majority of the council saw the vote as one for or
against more service jobs in the restaurant industry, so Wood
was not called upon to break a tie vote.
Councilman Ronnie Johnson said, “I think Applebee’s is a good
restaurant, and that letting them stay open two nights a week
will not result in an open saloon situation. They still have to
follow state rules, which give us several layers of protection
with regard to alcoholic service and over-indulging.”
He added that a person can also be against this ordinance and
still be for jobs.
“I’m all for jobs,” Wood agreed.
In other business, council members:
• agreed, 4-1, to hire an expert to assess the pros and cons of
purchasing a 1996 Sutphen 75-foot Quint ladder fire truck from
Coppell Fire Department for $150,000. Councilman Marvyn Hayes
opposed, though he suggested an expert evaluation. “I just think
it’s a matter of priorities, and there are greater needs right
now,” Hayes said.
• took no action regarding a discussion to possibly annex the
Oak Harbor subdivision.
However, most the discussion did not favor the move. “It doesn’t
make sense financially to do so, until the city has an ad
valorem tax,” Wood summarized.
The Oak Harbor POA is free to gather a petition to present to
the city with 50 percent of property owners requesting
annexation. The city would then have to set public hearings on
the matter before making a decision, Fort explained.
July 4 festivities mark nation’s 235th
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Here’s the rundown on all the Independence Day
celebrations on tap for the area.
• Gun Barrel City is hosting its day-long July Fest behind the
fire station. The grounds open at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 2, for
attractions, food booths, craft fair, bargains, carnival games
and pony rides. Did I mention deep-fried Twinkies and Snicker
The festivities also include an evening of Texas Country Music
and a free fireworks display choreographed to music.
• The Enchanted Oaks community is having its Independence Day
parade starting at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 2, followed by
musical performances, hot dogs, bake sale and pie-eating
contest. New this year is a farmer’s market, featuring produce
from area gardens, a cakewalk and games for the little ones.
• Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake air show blasts off at 6 p.m.
Saturday, July 2, over a one-mile stretch affronting the
• This weekend is First Monday in Canton, for great browsing and
• Wings Over Tyler air show gates open at 9 a.m. Sunday, July 3
at the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport with air show to start at
noon. Entrance fee is $25 per carload, cash only.
• The Four-Mile Lutheran Church on VZCR 2607 in Prairieville
begins its festivities with a solemn ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday,
July 4, followed by a potluck dinner on the grounds, silent
auction, and assorted games. The colorful affair is a much
• The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center opens its doors at 4
p.m. Monday, July 4 for free fishing, picnicking and fireworks
display at dark.
• A free concert featuring the Allen Brown Band is set for 6
p.m. Monday, July 4, followed by a free fireworks display in
downtown Seven Points.
School funds cut $4 billion
Monitor Staff Reports
AUSTIN–Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign a school finance bill
agreed to by the 81st Legislature at the close of a special
The deficit-driven school finance plan cuts an estimated $4
billion from the state budget.
For some bigger school districts, such as Dallas ISD, the cuts
in funding may reduce their school budgets by as much as 9
percent; locally, the cuts are expected to be much less severe.
Already, Mabank and Kemp school trustees have agreed to freeze
salaries for the coming year as they try to shave $1 million
from Mabank’s budget. Salary freezes at Kemp will save about
School districts are also making do with current staffing levels
in most cases to square up their budgets, and are doing a lot of
the needed remodeling and building upgrades in-house.
But as Eustace Superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe said, “We’ve run
out of stuff to cut.”
Lawmakers resisted the urge to dip into $6.4 billion from the
Rainy Day Fund, anticipating more budget shortfalls next year –
particularly in healthcare.
Along with the cuts in school funding, lawmakers have given
school district the flexibility to reduce salaries and use
unpaid furlough days to save jobs, while balancing their
All in all, lawmakers shaved $7.3 billion from the budget –
shorting school funding by $4 billion, with the remainder coming
through two accounting tricks, involving delaying the budget
cycle by a few days on school districts’ final payment (bumping
it into the next cycle), and collecting tax revenue one month
earlier with speed-up payments.
Going into the legislative session, lawmakers faced an
anticipated $23 billion budget shortfall on current service
levels with inflation and population growth calculations.
“When the people of Texas know what we accomplished in tough
times, they are going to be very appreciative,” Lt. Gov. David
Dewhurst was quoted as saying in the Dallas Morning News. “When
we came in, everyone was glum. But we balanced the budget
without raising taxes. We reduced our spending by almost $15