People, Places & Events



Kemp barber retires
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–For a little more than 37 years, the barbershop owned by Lee Mixon has been a fixture in downtown Kemp.
But Saturday, exactly at noon, he closed the door as if he was going to lunch and walked away.
“The building, and the lot it is on, is already sold,” he said. The lot is 12½ feet by 100 feet, he added.
The 12½ foot by 42 foot building has seen a lot of history in Kemp, and heard a lot of stories.
The shop has afforded several generations of Kemp and nearby residents with a place to get their hair cut, catch up on town news and just sit and visit.
“It’s been great. Since buying the building, I have never had to go out of town to make a living,” Mixon said.
He was driving 33,000 miles a year to his job, so how many miles did he save?
A quick multiplication totals 1,221,000 miles.
“Look at the money on gasoline that I have saved,” he said.
Mixon, and his wife Mary, live on a farm just north of Kemp. Among other things, he raises coastal hay, but may soon retire from some, but not all, of those chores.
Mixon has served in both the Army and Air Force, flying in a helicopter in an air/sea rescue unit.
“I have about 1,400 hours flight time,” he said.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Barber Lee Mixon gives his very last customer,
M.T. Bailey, a final haircut. Mixon retired Saturday
after 37 years in one location in downtown Kemp.

Business park wants its roads
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–Back on Jan. 2, 2007, the Kaufman County Commissioners were asked to take over the care of Austin Lane and Ashley Road, located in TFT Business Park in Kaufman County Precinct 4.
The business subdivision is located just west of Kemp on U.S. Highway 175.
Monday, however, a unique item appeared on the commissioners agenda. TFT Business Park wants its roads back.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller accepted the roads two years ago, but the Business Park said with all the truck traffic, its roads are being torn up.
Commissioners are now in a quandry.
“It’s the first time I know of that someone has asked for a road back,” at least two of the commissioners said.
All agreed it was a confusing issue, and they weren’t sure about all the “legal stuff.”
Commissioners agreed it would be better to let the District Attorney’s office look at the request and advise the commissioners on what action to take.
In other business, commissioners:
• accepted payment for road repairs on Valleyview and University in Precinct 2 from the North Texas Municipal Water District, totaling $250,000.
• approved an interlocal agreement with Dallas County for the purchase of computers.
• accepted the low bid from CPC Metals for sign materials for all precincts, as presented by purchasing agent Jack Sabastian.
• heard the tax collection report as presented by Dick Murphy.
“We have had the highest collection amount in our entire history,” Murphy told commissioners.
The general fund’s 95 percent collections for June totaled $26,154,249.
Road & Bridge tax collections for June totaled $3,613,760.
The totals were conservative amounts, Murphy said, and didn’t include delinquent taxes collected or the amounts for penalties, interest or attorney fees.
• agreed to accept fill dirt from the Kemp Independent School District.
• rejected a proposal from the Kaufman County Appraisal Board to add one board member to the current seven-member board.
“I have some reservations. Most counties have a five-member board,” County Judge Wayne Gent said.
The county has one voting member, and increasing the number of members would dilute the county’s vote, Gent explained.
A counter-proposal suggests adding two board members, with one being a county representative.
• agreed to sell used county equipment at Delta Auctions. Deller said he had a pickup truck and an oil tanker.
“With the cost of crude oil, the tanker is of no use,” Deller explained.
• approved the deputation of Justin P. Lewis for the County Sheriff’s Department.
• approved a request from Embarq to install buried communications drop wire under and across the right-of-way of County Road 107 in Precinct 1.
• accepted the auditor’s report for June as presented by auditor Hal B. Jones.
• approved budget transfers as presented.
• paid bills for a two-week period totaling $1,233,092.01.
• announced there will be no commissioners’ court meeting Monday, July 28.

Texas ranks No. 1 or dead last in state comparisons
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Sometimes it’s good to be first, and sometimes it’s better to be last, depending on what you are counting.
The recent 2008 edition of “50 State Comparisons” lists the Lone Star State as a number one producer, and that is good.
For instance, Texas is the top producer of livestock of all kinds, especially cattle and calves. In addition, more cotton comes from Texas than any other state.
Texas is number one in total value of state products exported, totaling $168.164 trillion. California is number two, while New York is number three.
Texas is listed as the second largest producer of all commodities, and is named third largest in production of oranges, hay and greenhouse and nursery plants.
Texas is second in population, behind California, with New York State coming in third.
Sometimes being down on the list is good, too. Homes are more expensive in 41 other states, the most expensive being California (No. 1) and Hawaii (No. 2).
But it costs a new homeowner more to close out a mortgage in Texas (No. 2), with only New York costing more.
Some things are really hard to understand – some might even call unfair.
There are only 13 other states with higher property tax rates. That includes some of the New England states, Washington D.C. and Wyoming.
However, bordering states are much lower than Texas at $1,324 per capita. Arkansas ($422), New Mexico ($448), Oklahoma ($484) and Louisiana ($537) are some of the states paying much less property tax per person.
Twenty-nine other states have lower auto insurance premiums than Texas, but Texas is number one (customers pay the highest) in homeowners insurance.
It is no consolation that hurricane Katrina may have added to Louisiana’s burden, helping to make that state number two.
Texas is number 30 in teacher salaries, the average being $44,897.
California and Connecticut lead as number one and two, paying their teachers an average of $63,640 and $60,822, respectively.
Student-teacher ratio in Texas is about mid-range at an average of 14.7 students per teacher. Vermont and Washington, D.C. have the lowest ratio, with just a fraction over 10 students per teacher.
And sadly, sometimes Texas landed on the bottom of the ranking system.
Ranked 50th, Texas spends less on its parks and recreation facilities per person than any other state.
High-end supporters of parks and recreational areas are Wyoming (No. 1), Alaska (No. 2) and North Dakota (No. 3).
That means all of Texas’ neighboring states outspend it in attracting the tourist dollar to outdoor areas.
Texas citizens pay in the lower mid-range for utilities. The state is 21st in cost of natural gas and 11th in electricity.
Texas ranges 25th in the number of fatal crashes per one billion miles of vehicle travel.
The highest per-capita crime rate belongs to Washington, D.C., but Texas is number 16 in violent crime and ninth in property crimes.
The highest welfare rate goes to Washington, D.C, with Texas 42nd on the list.
The highest percent of live births to teenaged mothers goes to Washington, D.C., with 5.9 percent of each 1,000 births to white mothers, 77.2 percent to black and 67.5 percent to Hispanic.
Texas ranks 20th, with 24.3 percent of each 1,000 teenage births to white mothers, 64.7 percent to black and 43.2 percent to Hispanic.
Various state taxes are interesting to look at.
The states with the highest taxes paid on gasoline are Pennsylvania (31.2 cents per gallon), West Virginia (31.5), Wisconsin (30.9), North Carolina (29.9), along with several other northern and north western states.
Alaska has the lowest gas tax rate per gallon of 8 cents. Texas tax totals 20 cents per gallon of gas.
Most states are charging a tax rate of $1 and above per pack for cigarettes, with Texas at $1.41.
However, the so-called tobacco states, from West Virginia through the Carolinas, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, all have cigarette taxes below 35 cents per pack.
For information concerning the comparisons contact The Taxpayers Network at


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at


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