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Current Issue
Sunday,
July 3
, 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
The display ad deadline for the Thursday, July 7, issue of The Monitor has passed. Classified ads are due by noon Tuesday, July 5.

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).

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 (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 fellowship hall/gym.

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.

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.

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 (903) 288-5354.

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 King Cemetery.

Lakeway Estates
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.

Indian history
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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Top News

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 presented.
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 state.
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 pointed out.
“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 veto notice.
“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 birthday
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 bars?
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 Pinnacle Club.
• This weekend is First Monday in Canton, for great browsing and shopping opportunities.
• 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 anticipated event.
• 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 session.
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 $100,000.
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 budgets.
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 billion.”
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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