Thursday, July 23, 2009







Third time’s the charm
Henderson County to hold liquor option
election for Payne Springs Nov. 3

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–For the third time, a petition submitted by a Payne Springs resident calls on Henderson County to conduct a local option election for the sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption.
Even though the measure has been defeated by a majority of the voters in Payne Springs twice, the commissioners are obligated by law to hold a vote at the next uniform election date – the Nov. 3 general election.
“The petitioner has met all the legal requirements, and it’s been a year since the issue was put before the voters,” elections administrator Denise Hernandez told commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting.
The petition has 70 verified signatures, more than the 56 required. Two notices have been printed in the paper, although the rules only require one newspaper notification, Hernandez elaborated.
“This is the third attempt at this measure,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney noted. (Payne Springs is located in his precinct.) “We’re obligated to do the election at our expense.”
“We’ll be running the constitutional amendment election at that time,” Hernandez said. “This will be included with that, using the same equipment.”
The petition was submitted by Marie McDonald. The measure was last defeated during the May, 2008, election, it was noted.
Commissioners agreed to call the election, 4-1, with Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall abstaining. Hall had expressed during an earlier local option liquor election vote, that he couldn’t vote for one, on moral grounds.
In other business, commissioners:
• adopted revisions to the county’s purchasing policy, including changing the amount from $25,000 to $50,000 throughout the policy, changing requirements for written solicitations to allow the Purchasing Department to determine the appropriate method, and specifying that all inventory transfers between departments be approved by the Commissioners’ Court.
• authorized Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry West to assist Poynor with specific road improvements.
• paid bills totaling $151,485.37.

Polishing the precision

Monitor Photos/Kerry Yancey
ABOVE: Dancers with the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps of Dubuque, Iowa, gather
for a formation as they practice in Mabank’s Panther Stadium Monday. BELOW:
Bugle Corps members move sideways as they march in formation on Panther
Stadium's artificial turf. The 140-member corps is on a 15,000-mile multi-state
tour, winding up at the annual Drum Corps International world championships
at Indianapolis, Ind., Aug. 5-9. The corps had a competition in San Antonio Saturday,
and were hosted by Mabank band boosters Sunday night. Monday was a rehearsal day
before moving on to a competition at Van Buren, Ark. Begun in 1963 as the all-male
Junior Dukes, sponsored by the American Legion of Dubuque, the Colts are made
up of youths age 15-21 and are currently ranked 13th in the world.

Sheriff reports 10 drug lab busts, property recovered
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–During the first six months of new Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt’s first term, the sheriff’s office busted 10 methamphetamine labs, seized more than 10 pounds of meth, made nearly 1,000 arrests and recovered more than $112,000 in stolen property.
Nutt issued a statistical report Monday showing sheriff’s office activity from Jan. 1 through June 30.
According to the report, deputies answered 11,434 calls, while the office received 24,404 emergency 911 calls during the first half of the year.
Deputies made 953 arrests. Some 609 cases were forwarded to investigators, who cleared 208 cases.
Deputies seized 4,677.25 grams of methamphetamine, 171.25 grams of cocaine and 2,393 grams (more than five pounds) of marijuana, as well as 308 marijuana plants.
The report estimates the street value of drugs seized at $808,570, and deputies also seized $33,354 in cash.
During the first six months of the year, the county jail held an average of 303 inmates each day, including 19 awaiting transportation to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and 30 out-of-county inmates.
There were 2,689 admissions to the jail and 2, 578 releases.
Deputies served 1,879 warrants during the period, and served 2,150 civil papers. The department received 2,237 civil documents and collected nearly $13,400 in civil process fees.

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