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Current Issue
July 7
, 2011






News in Brief

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 (today) Lunch will be provided by the city of Mabank. RSVP to (972) 563-1422 or (903) 887-3241 by Sunday.

Tri-County Movie
Beginning today, Tri-County Library will feature free children’s movies Thursdays at 1 p.m., starting with “Because of Winn-Dixie.” All young kids must be accompanied by an adult. The Thursday children’s matinee movies are provided by Friends of the Tri-County Library.

AL stress support
American Legion Post 310 in Gun Barrel City 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 (today) 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 (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, (today) 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 in Gun Barrel City.

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 held as a benefit for the King Cemetery is set to begin at noon, 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.

Lakeway Estates
A Lakeway Estates board of directors is hosting a special meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 9, at 201 Meadow Drive in Tool to consider a street name change at the request of the POA 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 at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 16, about 85 miles from Dallas, off SH 64 to Redland (look for 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

Award-winning photojournalist treasured
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–The Cedar Creek Lake community is mourning the loss of a sterling photojournalist and a good friend.
Award-winning photographer Kerry Yancey died at his desk at The Monitor office Tuesday, reviewing photographs taken over the July 4 weekend. He was 56.
Visitation is set for 6-8 p.m. tonight (Thursday, July 7) at the Eubank Funeral Home in Canton with a memorial service set for 1 p.m. Friday, July 8. For complete obituary information, see page 11A.
His last news assignment was documenting the Independence Day ceremony and celebration at Four-Mile Lutheran Church in Prairieville.
His co-workers had the honor of administering CPR and other first aid while a medical team was enroute. He was surrounded by those who loved him long and well; and who benefited most from his many kindnesses and wit.
Of course, his talent and skill as a photographer are well known. The Texas Press Association awarded him top awards for his sports photography four years in a row.
He always tried to feature young people in his photographs to give them another way of seeing themselves, the way he saw them – as full of promise.
“Mabank ISD students and employees could always count on Kerry to take the perfect picture or say just the right thing in an article,” Mabank ISD superintendent Dr. Russell Marshall said. “He was honest and ethical. Kerry made his profession, family and community proud by the way he conducted himself, both professionally and personally. His death is a great loss to us all.”
Eustace ISD superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe lauded his dedication to cover all the games and events in the area even when it meant traveling to several different sites in a single evening.
“I will always remember Kerry’s unselfish devotion to the young people of the Cedar Creek Lake area,” he said. “Kerry will truly be missed.
Kerry was not only dependable he was methodical. He made the rounds, talking to high school coaches first thing Monday mornings following Friday night football games.
Mabank athletic director Jimmy Cantrell said those 10 a.m. meetings will always be his fondest memory of a man who dedicated his life to the youth in the athletic programs around the Cedar Creek Lake area.
“The kids and the progress of all athletic programs was his number one priority,” Cantrell said. “I will miss our conversations. Thanks for all you (Kerry) have done.”
Despite attempts to keep the sad news from breaking, condolences messages began appearing on Facebook, by email and text messaging.
A half dozen such messages were spawned from the Payne Springs Fire Rescue page, which read, “We lost a very good friend this morning. Kerry Yancey covered our banquets and fundraisers. Our prayers go to his wife, Shirley, and his family at The Monitor.”
“Kerry was a fountain of information that we all relied upon,” Monitor staff writer Barbara Gartman said. “He either knew the answer or knew where to get it. I will miss him terribly.”
Paginator Kim Vincent worked with him at The Monitor since May, 2000. “Kerry always had a way of brightening up the office by telling his famous (Jay) Leno jokes every morning,” she said. “The Monitor office will not be the same without him.”
The Monitor general manager Susan Harrison agreed, “His passing will leave a void not only where he worked but in the community as well. Kerry’s absence will be especially felt in the upcoming high school football season. We learned a lot from Kerry and knowing him made each of us a better person,” she said.
Kemp athletic director Greg Anderson said it’s hard to imagine football season without him.
“He took a great deal of pride in making sure all the schools got their information in and published each and every week,” Anderson said.
“He would often stop by the office to show me the pictures he had taken from that particular game and how he was going to decide which one went into the paper that week,” he said.“He was always very supportive of us in the athletic department, the coaches, the schools and most importantly the students. We lost a real friend.”
Kiwanis Club member Jeanne Caillet called him a champion. “Kerry was always there to record our victories, cheer our successes and grieve with us in our losses.” She described his friendship as meaningful and fulfilling.
As The Monitor’s landlord, Groom and Son spokesperson Margie Crawford noted Yancey’s integrity and approachability.
“Anyone could see that he really enjoyed his work and had a talent for reporting. He always had a smile and was so courteous and polite,” Crawford said.
Cedar Creek Lake Chamber of Commerce president Jo Ann Hanstrom expressed her sadness at the loss of “my friend” and the “many kindnesses and photographic favors” Yancey extended to her over the years. “We will surely miss him at the chamber of commerce, both as a friend and as a respected reporter,” she said.
Kerry often gave pointers on being a good photographer and he practiced what he preached. He would always say, “The first rule of good photography is to be there” – meaning where the action is. And he was, you could always count on Kerry being in the thick and thin of it.
He was a hard worker, longsuffering friend and an example of upstanding and courageous Christian manhood. To me, Kerry was the best The Monitor had to offer. To me, he was The Monitor.
I thanked him every day for his gracious assistance in making all of us look good.
Now it’s up to each of us who loved him to cover the mistakes, misspellings, and foibles of those in our circles of influence.
He taught me what extending grace is all about.

Photos of the photographer requested!

An additional memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Friday, July 15 at the Eubanks Funeral Home in Mabank. A slide show is being prepared but we lack photos since Kerry was the photographer. If you have any photos, please contact Pearl at Stories and ancedotes are welcome too!

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Man drowns in pond over holiday
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–Fire rescue divers and game wardens sifted through waters of a pond in Tamarack Subdivision in Gun Barrel City Monday, looking for a man’s body, who most likely fell out of a row boat and drowned.

Monitor Photo/Janice Grubbs
Monday, divers from Mabank, Payne Springs, Kemp, Gun Barrel City and Kaufman took turns searching a Tamarack pond for the body of a weekend visitor.

According to early reports, the 52-year-old’s body floated to the surface shortly after dawn Tuesday.
Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock pronounced the time of death at 7:44 a.m., and the body was transported to Eubank Funeral Home in Mabank.
Paul Meddock Jr., a resident of Duncanville was visiting friends over the long holiday weekend.
He had decided to do a little fishing on the two- to three-acre pond.
Search and rescue were called when it appeared the boat was empty with no sign of him.
Six divers from Gun Barrel City and Payne Springs converged on the pond around 3 p.m. Monday and searched for about three hours, when game wardens decided to drag the pond, but were unsuccessful in locating the man.


Tax employee bond changed to ‘cash’
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–The surety bond of $5,000 for former Kaufman County tax employees, P. J. Gibson did not suit the case, according to assistant district attorney Brandi Fernandez.
The surety bond was changed to a cash bond and increased to $15,000 by 86th District Judge Howard Tygret.
Tygret also ordered Gibson not to spend anymore than was needed for “bare minimum” living expenses.
Gibson had purchased airline tickets for a trip to Kentucky she said to visit her mother-in-law.
The purchase was made after her May arrest and the trip was planned for June 29 through July 12.
tygret said the trip did not look good and forbade the trip.
Fernandez said in the initial stages of the investigation Gibson told investigators only two or three checks had been stolen.
However further investigation by the Sheriff’s Department’s Criminal Investigation Division has stated they have uncovered , to date, 29 checks diverted from the intended destination.
Fernandez said the first degree felony charges warranted a larger bond than the initial $5,000.
Attorney Jeff Brown also stated his law firm has been examining the counties accounts and has uncovered $120,000 in provable losses, with expectations of a “top end” loss of between $250,000 to $300,000.
Gibson lives in Elmo and owns an 11-acre section of land free and clear but she still owes on her double-wide mobile home.
She said she will sell what she can for restitution.






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