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Current Issue
July 31
, 2011






News in Brief

Annual youth service
The second annual Retro at the Lake is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Tom Finley Park, on the SH 334 bridge between GBC & Seven Points.
Activities include tubing, water sports, all you can eat hamburgers, worship service and devotion.
For information call Christian Life Center at (903) 887-5429.

Church yard sale
The Kemp Cowboy Church, 8101 E. U.S. 175, Kemp, is hosting a yard sale from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Friday, Aug. 5, at the church. Weiner puppies, birdhouse gourds, fabric, yarn, knicknacks. Get Christmas goodies early.
For information call (903) 286-6025.

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 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.

Crimewatch meeting
The Harbor Point Crimewatch meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the Harbor Point Pavilion on Surfer View off Admiral. Speaker is Chris Barr, PC certified technician, on latest Internet scams. For information contact Dan Worley at or Carol Calkins at

Tri-County soccer
The Tri-County Soccer Association fall sign-up is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, and at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at McDonalds Restaurant in Gun Barrel City. Players must be 4 years old before Aug. 1. New players need photocopied birth certificate. Practice begins in mid-August and games are Sept. 10 through mid-November. For information call April Burns at (903) 880-3327 or Candi Conner at (903) 887-3138.

Clown week
Celebrate with Ms. Dolly from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake during “International Clown Week,” Aug. 1-7.

Harbor Baptist VBS
Harbor Baptist Church presents “A trip through New York, a Big Apple Adventure” for Vacation Bible School from 6:30 to 8 p.m. through Thursday, Aug. 4, at 12059 SH 198, Payne Springs.

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.

FB prayer service
In conjunction with the Day of Prayer and Fasting at Reliant Stadium in Houston set for Saturday, Aug. 6, initiated by Gov. Rick Perry, First Baptist Church, Gun Barrel City, will hold a prayer service at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Members of the community are encouraged to attend and join in prayer for our nation.

Master Gardener
The Henderson County Master Gardeners summer workshop on favorite perennials is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points. For information, call Master Gardeners at (903) 675-6130 or visit the web at

Caribbean Casino
Paws & Claws Caribbean Casino night is set for 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at Cain Center in Athens. The event is hosted by the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake and the Henderson County Humane Society. For information, call (903) 887-2234.

VZ senior citizens
The Van Zandt Senior Citizens Club is hosting its monthly dance at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the Henderson County Senior Citizens Center in Athens. Joe Walenta and his Ranch Hands will provide country and western music for dancing. Everyone is welcome.

Electronic drive
Free electronics recycling drive is set for 8 to 11 a.m., (only, due to the heat), Saturday, Aug. 13, at 1100 Airport Road, Terrell (about a mile east from SH 34). Items include all consumer electronics, free collection of TV and computers, small appliances, ink & toner cartridges, all types of batteries, and all types of land and cell phones. For information, call (972) 524-0007.

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).

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.

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.

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.

Teen account set
An account has been opened at at First National Bank in Kemp for Alyssa Olivarez, 14. She was diagnosed with Burkitts lymphoma.

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.

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Top News

Council overrides Mayor’s veto
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–As expected, the Gun Barrel City Council unanimously voted to override the mayor’s veto of June 30, 2011.
The issue concerned extending hours for the service of mixed alcoholic beverages, beer and wine from midnight to 2 a.m. on weekends and holidays for businesses holding both a state Food and Beverage (F&B) Certificate and a Private Club Late Hours Permit.
An F&B Certificate requires at least 51 percent of total sales come from the sale of food. The action was to satisfy the needs of Applebee’s, who was ready to exercise its option to purchase property within the city.
Prior to striking down the mayor’s veto Tuesday, councilman Ronnie Johnson had this to say.
“It was his (the mayor’s) right (to veto) and legally allowed by the city charter. And now it is up to us to override or not,” Johnson said.
Councilman Melvyn Hayes said, “This is the right way to do this. I believe the mayor did that to voice the other side of the issue. Now both sides have been heard and we can move on.”
After the unanimous vote, mayor pro-tem Curtis Webster announced, “The mayor’s veto is overridden. The ordinance stands,” followed by spontaneous applause from the audience.
Mayor Dennis Wood was not present at the July 26 regular meeting.
The council also discussed the possibility of resolving the dispute over the repair of CR 4006.
At Webster’s request, Fred Kurlander presented some research he had done on the matter.
He said he had met with Precinct 4 Kaufman County Commissioner Tom Manning.
Manning reproposed his crew repair the road with the Mabank and Gun Barrel City splitting the cost. However, his crew couldn’t get to it until November. In the meantime, to fill potholes to make it passable for the start of school is estimated to cost $6,000, Kurlander reported.
He also went over the history of the road, back from the time when the two cities’ extraterritorial boundaries were drawn down the center of the roadway.
Council members Tuesday, remained adamant that the city shouldn’t be responsible for it’s repair.
City attorney Julie Fort prepared an opinion on Ordinance No. 0-2003-003, proposed interlocal cooperation and Rule 11 Agreement, plus Agreed Final Judgment from 2003 Litigation, between Mabank and Gun Barrel City.
In it she states, “The centerline of County Road 4006 is not a city limits line but is simply an agreed ETJ boundary that neither city will cross. It does not bring half of the road into the city limits of either city.”
It goes on to state she did not know of any annexation ordinances in Mabank that would include half of the road into its city limits. “Therefore, maintenance of the road should remain with the county at this time.”
“It’s County Road 4006, duh, the county should fix it, not us,” councilman Dennis Baade agreed.
“It’s not our road, $23,000 is a lot of money,” councilman Rodney Bevill said. “Kaufman County is better able to repair that road than we are.”
In the end, council members agreed to appoint city attorney Julie Fort with McKamie, Krueger of Richardson, as a third party to draft a letter to Mabank’s attorney explaining their position and find out what position Mabank takes on the situation.
“We should settle it or quit bringing it up,” Hayes said. “We’ve voted twice not to fix this road.”
In other business, councilmen:
• approved a replat of six lots in Sandy Shores Subdivision, belonging to Carl C. Morrow, located at 183 Big Chief Drive.
• approved a collections contract with the Henderson County Tax Office to collect delinquent property taxes dating back to the time, the city collected an ad valorem tax.
• adopted an ordinance to amend a subsection on the veto power of the mayor to comply with the city’s charter. “This is basically a housekeeping issue,” city manager Gerry Boren said, “and doesn’t repeal any right or power provided by the charter.”
• received a report on the July Fest and concert. (See the Thursday, Aug. 4 issue of The Monitor for a full report.)

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Utility initiates severe drought stage
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

TOOL–The West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District board reminds water customers that the district is currently in the Severe Stage of its Drought Contingency Plan and every water conservation measure should be employed.
Customers who are using more than 10,000 gallons a month will be charged $10 for each thousand gallons exceeding that amount.
“This is strictly an enforcement action,” general manager Tony Ciardo said. “We don’t want your $10, we want everyone to conserve water. We all use the same resource for our water – Cedar Creek Lake and it is shrinking daily,” he said. “I’d rather you’d hug my neck and say, ‘thank you’ for not letting us run out of water.”
When the lake level dropped four feet below normal pool of 322 feet, the district moved into its Severe Stage.
During a July 25 meeting, board member Joe King explained that “the lake level is the only real measure we have for the condition of the drought” and that’s why the board uses it as its primary trigger for moving from one stage to the next in the Drought Contingency Plan.
“Anyone with intake valves on the north end of the lake has to be concerned,” Ciardo said.
At a 10-foot drop in lake level, one of the district’s two intake mechanisms is “out of water,” Ciardo said.
Those using water to keep livestock alive or are commercial farmers can make a request for an exemption from the $10 surcharge.
“We’ve had about 118 requests for exemption and have granted nearly every one of them,” Ciardo said. “We have a serious concern for livestock and lake level, and we investigate each request.”
Both the city of Mabank and East Cedar Creek Freshwater Supply District have announced initiating their Drought Contingency plans. However, neither one has triggered the Severe Stage. They are in the Moderate Stage, where they ask water customers to voluntarily conserve water, restricting watering hours and days in accordance with their odd or even numbered addresses.
Also, neither one has initiated a $10 surcharge for usages above 10,000 gallons in a single month.
ECCFWSD general manager Bill Goheen said his district determines stage severity based on supply and demand and the plant’s ability to replenish the supply for the next day’s demand.
Ciardo responded that his board is more proactive, basing movement on lake level. “I wish everyone would do what we’re doing, ” he said.
In other business, board members:
• heard a report on the repairs to the Tool plant and expansion of the Tolosa plant. Engineering plans for building a new underdrain filter is now under review at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
“It’s a pretty neat plan,” Ciardo said. When approved, a company out of Mansfield is expected to build the new filters, which plant employees will then install. Work is expected to take about a month. Another set of plans are nearly ready for submittal on other corrective issues that will add efficiency to (Tool) plant operations, Ciardo added.
At Tolosa, Ciardo said he was informed July 25 that the 120-volt rectifier may be undersized to generate the low-voltage current required for cathodic protection on all three water storage tanks. “This is the first I’ve heard about it, we’re looking into it,” Ciardo said.
The mechanism protects steal water tanks from rusting, engineer Kenneth Tillman explained.
Design work on the presedimentation pond, clarifier, Trident unit and plumbing and electrical work at Tolosa has fallen behind schedule, Tillman said. He hopes to have plans ready for bids by early November, which means the work can begin in late March or April, putting completion on doubling the plant’s capacity around the end of next summer.
• received a letter of thanks from the Library at Cedar Creek Lake board for collecting donations from customers through its billing procedures.
WCCMUD customers have voluntarily contributed around $5,000 for 2010, board members.

Ex-husband blasts Caddo Mills teacher with shotgun
Children in car witness killing at intersection
By Larry Briscoe
Monitor Staff Writer

GREENVILLE–The ex-husband of a Caddo Mills High School teacher was arrested last week after he allegedly shot and killed Stella Ray Brown with a shotgun blast in Greenville. Two small children were in the backseat of her vehicle at the time.
Micah Brown, 32, was charged with murder and is being held on a $1.5 million bond in the Hunt County Jail.
According to Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks, the Greenville Police Department received a call at 10:21 p.m., July 20, where the caller identified herself as Stella Ray, a Caddo Mills High School teacher, who said that her ex-husband was attempting to run her off of the road.
“She first gave the location at Joe Ramsey and Sayle Street in Greenville,” Meeks said.
A Greenville police officer located both vehicles at the intersection of Sayle and Canton streets.
The Greenville police officer pulled up behind both vehicles and got out of his patrol car.
“Immediately, he saw the barrel of a shotgun pointed out of the driver’s window and a single blast was discharged through the passenger window of Ms. Ray’s vehicle,” Meeks said. “Ms. Ray was killed instantly by the shotgun blast. Mr. Brown drove off north on Sayle Street. There were two small children in the backseat of Ms. Ray’s vehicle, and they were unharmed.”
The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office was called in for assistance as well as other law enforcement agencies in the search for the murder suspect.
At around 7:20 a.m. the next day, members of the Greenville Police Department Tactical Unit made contact with the suspect at a business on US Highway 69, north of Greenville.
He said Brown was taken into custody without incident and was taken to the Hunt County jail. He was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Sheila Linden who set bond at $1.5 million.
“This is such a tragic, tragic event,” Meeks said. “I know both the family of the victim and the family of the suspect. This murder will change the lives of so many people. My prayers and thoughts go out to everyone involved.
“I have been in law enforcement for 35 years and you still never get use to the tragedies that occur even here in Hunt County,” Meeks said.

































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