Bomb squad detonates explosives
Courtesy Photos/Jim McKee
ABOVE: A Garland Police Department bomb squad member dons protective
clothing in order to carry out controlled detonations of two explosive
devices found in a Mabank apartment Tuesday. Both devices were
successfully detonated. BELOW: A remote-controlled robot equipped with a
TV camera enters a Mabank apartment to remove two explosive devices.
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Air-conditioner repairmen discovered what appeared
to be nearly two dozen pipe bombs inside a Mabank apartment Tuesday.
Garland Police Department bomb experts later removed and detonated two
devices after nearby residents had been evacuated from the Grand Avenue
Mabank Police Chief Alex Smith said it appeared the apartment’s
occupant, Michael Wayne Woods, was trying to build his own powerful
fireworks out of smaller commercial fireworks.
Woods, who is in his early 20s, was charged with possession of a
prohibited weapon, and was released from the Kaufman County Jail
Wednesday after posting $2,500 bond.
GPD bomb squad commander Lt. C.T. Payne said the improvised explosives
were much more dangerous than the original fireworks.
“When photo flash powder (used in aerial fireworks) gets wet, and then
dries out again, that (chemically) changes it,” Payne said. “Once you
put it into a container, it becomes an explosive.”
That danger became apparent when the bomb squad detonated the second
device, which exploded with far more force than the first device.
“One of them became high-order while we were disposing of it,” Payne
Smith said the apartment complex manager had sent two men to repair the
air-conditioner in Apartment 22, home to Woods, his wife and a child.
When the repairmen entered the apartment, they discovered approximately
two dozen devices on a table, and quickly vacated the room to contact
the manager, who then called police around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Smith
Twelve apartments – all eight in that building and four more in an
adjacent building – were evacuated, involving 15 or 20 people.
Some residents were at work, and one apartment was vacant, Smith said.
In addition to the evacuations, Mabank volunteer firefighters, city
employees and police blocked traffic on Grand Avenue in both directions.
Along with the GPD bomb squad, FBI agents and federal ATF (Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms) agents were also involved with the investigation,
The bomb squad used a wheeled robot to enter the apartment and televise
a view of the devices. Approximately 21 tubes, two to three inches tall,
were visible through the robot’s camera.
Using the robot’s mechanical arm, the bomb squad picked up two devices
and removed them from the apartment.
Both devices were later detonated in the pasture behind the apartment
complex, and Payne gave Smith the “all clear” signal at 3 p.m.
No injuries were reported.
Police were able to make contact with Woods through his family, and he
was arrested without incident when he arrived at the apartments during
Payne said “a small amount” of explosive powder had been recovered from
MediaOne buys The Malakoff News
Monitor Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–The publisher of The Monitor and The Lake Area Leader is
strengthening its position in the Cedar Creek Lake Area.
MediaOne, LLC, has purchased The Malakoff News from Loretta Humble,
owner of the weekly newspaper for more than 12 years.
The paperwork on the sale was completed June 29 and the property changed
hands July 1.
The Malakoff News, The Monitor and The Lake Area Leader will have a
combined distribution of more than 37,000 copies each week.
“This gives the company the resources to offer the best and most
thorough coverage of the entire Cedar Creek Lake Area,” MediaOne
president John Buzzetta said. Humble will continue with The Malakoff
News and MediaOne as a consultant and columnist.
Michael V. Hannigan will continue as editor.
“We have a strong, solid editor with Mike Hannigan at The Malakoff News,
and we look forward to working with him,” Buzzetta said.
Susan Harrison is the general manager for MediaOne, which also publishes
The Kerens Tribune in Navarro County and is affiliated with four other
weekly newspapers in Van Zandt County, as well as two monthly
Each week, the combined publications reach more than 120,000 readers in
Henderson, Kaufman, Navarro and Van Zandt counties.
The Monitor wins awards in TPA
“Better Newspaper Contest”
Monitor Staff Reports
SAN ANTONIO–The Monitor received two first-place plaques and a
second-place certificate at the annual Texas Press Association’s Better
Newspaper Contest awards brunch June 23 in Austin.
Competing in the TPA’s small semi-weekly division against 2006 work from
other semi-weekly newspapers from around the state, The Monitor finished
with 275 points – enough for fourth place in the division’s Sweepstakes
“Each story written and photo taken are given our best efforts,”
managing editor Pearl Cantrell said. “Each time we layout an issue, we
ask ourselves: Is this a winning design – can it be done better?
“I’m very proud of this recognition for the teamwork involved in
producing a quality newspaper. The Monitor reflects well on the
communities of Cedar Creek Lake,” she said.
Editor Kerry Yancey received a first-place award for Sports Photo, given
for a two-picture entry.
Yancey and staff writer Barbara Gartman also won first-place plaque for
Feature Story, with each writer submitting a story for the entry.
Yancey and Cantrell took second place in the News Photo category, with
each submitting photographs.
The TPA’s Winners’ Circle publication, listing all of the winners,
reprinted one of the two photographs submitted by Yancey in the Sports
Photo competition, showing high jump competition at the District 12-3A
track meet at Eustace, printed in the April 16 issue.
In their commentary, judges noted “Excellent sequence” for a
three-picture run of action during the Kemp Yellowjackets’ contest
against the Van Alstyne Panthers in the baseball area championship
series, printed in the May 18 issue.
Judges also said the high jump picture “is effective because of the
people watching. Great stuff!”
For the Feature Story competition, The Monitor submitted Barbara
Gartman’s story about Kemp High School senior Jon Ellison building a
prize-winning 1957 Chevrolet pickup from scraps under the direction of
Gartman’s story was accompanied by her photograph of Ellison and his
father with the truck, and was printed on the front page of the April 9
issue. Judges noted: “Cute story, good writing style.”
The second story, written by Yancey and including his photographs,
profiled Mabank High School sophomore Melody “Mo” Lander, a standout
athlete and musician born without a left hand, which ran on the sports
page of the March 16 issue.
In their comments on the Lander story, judges noted: “Good headline and
good story. Like the use of sources and good writing style.”
For the News Photo competition, The Monitor submitted Yancey’s photo of
the downtown Mabank fire that destroyed four historic buildings, which
ran on the front page of the Aug. 3 issue.
The second news photo entry, shot by Cantrell, showed a helicopter crew
and a muddy survivor from a mid-lake rescue operation, which ran on the
front page of the Sept. 21 issue.
News story “Rescue in the bottoms,” by Pearl Cantrell
featured this photo – which contributed to a second place win in news
BELOW: “Using the Fosbury flop to flip over the top”
sports photo by Kerry Yancey won raves from judges as well as this
sequence of photos above, catching all the action between Kemp
Yellowjacket catcher Brett Kennedy and Van Alstyne Panther baserunner
story “Following in dad’s footsteps” by Barbara Gartman featured Jon
Ellison (right) and his father Jack and their award winning home-built
color photo by Kerry Yancey accompanied the story “Fire destroys four
buildings in historic Market Street” and took second in the News Photo
BELOW: Feature story “Mo knows” by Kerry Yancey
showcased Mabank High School student Melody ‘Mo’ Lander, an outstanding
varsity player and state-level musician.