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Current Issue
July 24
, 2011






News in Brief

Senior Center opens
The Mabank Senior Center at the Ballpark is now open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at 405 W. Walnut, the old YMCA building. It is looking for volunteers for the Kemp Meals on Wheels route. If you can spare one hour a week, you could make a difference in a senior’s day. For information, call Lisa Stinnett-Smith at (903) 887-0067.

Kaufman market
Master Gardeners join local growers at the Kaufman County Farmer’s Market selling vegetable plants. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through the first two Saturdays in November. The market is located at 3001 S. Washington St. (southwest corner of FM 1388 and SH 34).

CC Church Revival
A revival is set for 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday (today) and 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, July 25-27, with Dr. Elizabeth Sikes, at the Cedar Creek Church of God, located at 142 Rodney Drive, Gun Barrel City. For information call (903) 887-2591

Immunization change
The Texas Department of State Health Services in Henderson County is changing the way it provides immunization for adults & children to appointments only, the first four Wednesdays of each month as of July. For appointments and information, call (903) 675-7742. Please don’t wait until the last minute to have your child or yourself vaccinated.

Immunization clinic
The Texas Department of State Health Services holds monthly immunization clinics at the Mabank Fire Department, 111 E. Mason, Mabank, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday, odd months (July 26). No clinics on holidays. Call (972) 932-2038 for information.

FRC applications
The Family Resource Center is accepting applications for its “Back-to-School Clothing Program” through Wednesday, July 27. Applicants must call Winnie at (903) 519-2934 for requirements and an appointment time.

Westside Seniors
The Westside Senior Center is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday (today and every Thursday) at the Cedar Creek Bible Church activities building, 700 North Seven Points Blvd. (one mile north of the traffic light on SH 274). Seniors 55 and older in the Cedar Creek area are invited for games, fellowship, coffee, tea, snacks and a light lunch. For information, call (903) 340-9672.

Back pack round-up
The youth of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Gun Barrel City are collecting 200 back packs for local underprivileged students. Please drop donations off at the church building on Sunday mornings, or call (903) 217-5622 for pick up.

MHS Varsity Choir
The Mabank Varsity Choir is holding a garage sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, July 22-23 at 104 South Rye, Gun Barrel City. Proceeds fund the choir’s trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Items include clothing, Christmas decorations, massage chairs, and much more. For information, call Marsha Sanchez at the Fine Arts Department at
(903) 880-1820.

Children’s book drive
Christian Cheer Company and The Library at Cedar Creek Lake are pairing up from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 23, to hold a children’s book drive. Books will be donated to local children in order to promote reading.

Red Hot ‘18’ tourney
The annual Red Hot “18” Golf Tournament is set for a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Monday, July 25, at Kings Creek Country Club. Check-in is at 7:45 a.m. Featured is a hole-in-one contest sponsored by Tri-County Ford. Cost includes light breakfast, golf, cart & lunch. For information, call Tiffany Lilly at (903) 887-6001, Robbye Grissom at (214) 926-1395 or Debra Davis at (903) 887-2870.

49er’s Senior Club
The Cedar Creek Lake 49er’s Senior Citizens Club is hosting a Hawaiian Luau from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 28, with dancing to Chuck & the 49er’s every Thursday. Friendly atmosphere, no smoking or alcohol. Small donation at the door. Located two blocks south on Arnold Hills Road, off SH 334, Seven Points. For information, call or fax to (903) 432-3552.

Aggie picnic
The Aggie Scholarship Auction and Picnic is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at Reunion Ranch, Terrell with silent and live auctions. Proceeds benefit local Aggie scholarships that will be presented that night. All are welcome. For information contact Tori Lucas at (214) 863-6068 or e-mail to

2nd season garden
“Second Season Vegetable Gardening” will be presented at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 30, at East Texas Arboretum, by Patty Leander, Vegetable Gardening contributing writer for Texas Gardener Magazine. The Arboretum is located at 1601 Patterson Rd., Athens. Refreshments and door prizes provided. For information, call (903) 675-6130 or visit http:/

Mabank enrollment
Mabank ISD enrollment fair for all campuses for new students only, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Mabank High School, 18786 E. U.S. Highway 175. Health officials will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday only, to administer immunizations, available for all students already enrolled and new). New students need: birth certificate, Social Security card, immunization records, transcript, copy of parent/guardian drivers license, proof of residency.

CCL Garden Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Garden Club meets at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake. A covered dish luncheon will precede the business meeting. Individuals interested in making new friends are invited to attend. For information, call (903) 498-6544.

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Top News

Top 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender caught
Special to The Monitor
LUBBOCK–The Texas Department of Public Safety arrested one of the 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders in Texas yesterday in Lubbock – just hours after his addition to the list was announced Wednesday afternoon.
Acting on a tip, Criminal Investigations Division Agents found 41-year-old Ronald Dee House at a motel in Lubbock at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday.  He was arrested without incident.
Since the arrest was the result of a tip, a $1,000 cash reward will be paid to the individual who provided the information.
House, whose nickname is “Chicken Lips,” is a high-risk sex offender who was last seen in Wills Point in Van Zandt County. He was wanted for failure to register as a sex offender and parole violations. He has family in both Van Zandt and Lubbock counties.
Photos and other information about the 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders are available on the DPS website at 
Texas Crime Stoppers, which is funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, offers rewards to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of one of the 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders or Fugitives.
Anyone with information can provide anonymous tips in three different ways:
• Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).
• Text the letters DPS—followed by your tip—to 274637 (CRIMES) from your cell phone.
• Submit a tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about, and then clicking on the link under their picture to submit a web tip.
The public should not try to apprehend these criminals as they are considered dangerous.
The program identifies violent sex offenders who have either violated parole or failed to comply with sex offender registration. 

Cities lose police chiefs
Seven Points places chief on administrative leave, Payne Springs chief resigns
Monitor Staff Reports

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Two cities are losing their police chiefs. Payne Springs chief Tim Meadows reports he’s accepted a better-paying job outside law enforcement, and Seven Points chief Curt Koger has been put on administrative leave.
Wednesday Mayor Joe Dobbs distributed a written report to councilman Kevin Pollock summarizing the reason behind Koger being put on paid administrative leave.
Thursday, a city staffer verified that Koger was no longer acting as police chief for the city.
Koger joins Lt. Mike Tayem who has been on paid administrative leave since Feb. 24, as far as The Monitor knows.
No further details were available by presstime Thursday afternoon.
Prior to Koger being named chief Nov. 19, 2010, Seven Points had hired Jack Nelson, a Dallas officer, to fill the post. However, he lasted only four months before he returned to retirement.
Meadows was busy interviewing candidates to replace him in Payne Springs late Thursday and was unavailable to make comment.
However, city secretary Karen Juica said he tendered his resignation earlier in the week – too late for action during the July city council meeting. “His last day is July 28,” Juica said.
Meadows returned as the city’s chief a little over a year ago, after being separated from Seven Points as its police chief.
Meadows also served as Payne Springs police chief from January, 2006 through July, 2007.

Couple charged with capital murder
Two held on $2M bonds in Hunts County toddler death
Monitor Staff Reports

GREENVILLE–The caregivers of a 2-year-old Hunt County boy have been charged with capital murder in connection with the toddler’s death.
Initial observations indicated the 2-year-old was a victim of massive blunt force trauma.
Hunt County Under- sheriff Joe Knight said warrants were served very early Tuesday morning on Brandon Herrera’s two caregivers who had been placed initially in investigative detention.
“Both were (later) charged with Capital Murder,” Knight said.
Arturo Vega, 23, and Gabriela Ortiz, 22, both of Campbell. are being held in the Hunt County detention center in lieu of a $2 million bond, each.
He said several men and women of the sheriff’s office as well as local Child Protective Services case workers spent almost all day Sunday and Monday working on “what is no doubt on of the most difficult investigations possible,” Knight said.
At 6:03 a.m. July 17, deputies from the sheriff’s office responded to a location on Interstate 30 and FM 513, near Campbell in reference to a child not breathing, Knight said.
A medical team already in the vicinity responded quickly, but ascertained the child was already dead and may have been dead for some time.
“The man and woman accompanying the child identified him as ‘her cousin’s child,’” Knight said.
“They stated they had been in physical possession of the child for several weeks,” he added. The child was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to the Medical Examiner’s office in Dallas for an autopsy.
Knight reviewed the contents of the 9-1-1 call that deputies responded to that morning.
“Ma’am, I have an emergency. I was watching this little boy. He’s been staying with me. He’s not, he’s not breathing. He’s not breathing.” She continues to speak in the background as the 911 operator connects her with AMR Ambulance and says something not quite audible and “…take him to the doctor…” and “…what can I do?”
During the course of the investigation Monday afternoon, both parents individually as well as several family members contacted the sheriff’s office and were interviewed.
The Texas Rangers, CPS and the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office are assisting in the investigation, Knight said.
“Every available resource has been placed into service in this effort and the cooperation between agencies has been remarkable; yet the senselessness and sadness of this event pervades the very heart of everyone involved in this disturbing event,” Knight said.
Initial observations indicated the 2-year-old was a victim of massive blunt force trauma.
The investigation is ongoing.





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