Sunday, August 3, 2008




  Tool toddler’s death ruled homicide
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Following a two-month investigation, the medical examiner notified authorities the death of a 2-year-old Tool toddler in May was caused by blunt force trauma.
Authorities arrested 19-year-old Christopher Blane McFaul at a Bedford location. McFaul remains in the Tarrant County jail awaiting transfer to Henderson County, according to a press release from Lt. Pat McWilliams of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office..
McFaul is charged with capital murder of a person under 6 years of age.
The toddler, Douglas Crickmore Jr., is the son of Crystal Crickmore. Both resided with McFaul on County Road 2450 in Tool.
The child was discovered face down in his bed around 3 a.m. May 27. EMS was summoned and the child was transported to Gun Barrel City, where he was pronounced dead by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock.
The medical examiner’s autopsy report was received by Henderson County July 23.
Judge Nancy Perryman, Henderson County Court at Law No. 2, issued an arrest warrant July 30.
Lead investigator Deputy Kevin Hanes contacted the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Taskforce in Fort Worth and requested their assistance in serving the warrant. McFaul was taken into custody without incident.

SP grass fire threatens homes
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

SEVEN POINTS–Firefighters from seven area departments and the Texas Forest Service battled a fast-moving grass fire that threatened a number of homes along Pritchett Lane north of downtown Seven Points Thursday afternoon.
Seven Points VFD Fire Chief Mike Earnhart said the fire charred an estimated 60 acres, with a goodly fraction – a third to a half of the area – in deep woods.
“No residences were burned, just a couple of (storage) sheds and some junk cars,” Earnhart said.
“We were actually on another fire call on (Farm-to-Market) 2613 with Tool and Mabank (VFDs) when the call came in,” he added.
In addition to Seven Points, Tool and Mabank departments, volunteer firefighters from Gun Barrel City, Trinidad, Kemp and Log Cabin also responded to the scene.
With a strong south wind and temperatures in the low 100s, firefighters concentrated on protecting residences from the fast-moving blaze and not getting too overheated themselves.
Although flames crept very close to a couple of homes, there was no reported damage. No injuries were reported among the firefighters.
Flames moved along an elongated path west of Pritchett Lane from a point north of Jess Hinton Road to just south of County Line Road.
While Earnhart suspected the fire might have been started by someone carelessly burning trash, he said he had not begun an investigation.
“I’m not for sure where it even started,” he added.
Shortly before 6 p.m., a Texas Forest Service chartered helicopter arrived and began dumping water from nearby Cedar Creek Lake on a number of smaller blazes deep in the woods.
The Forest Service also had a couple of bulldozers en route from Palestine, Earnhart said.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Gun Barrel City Volunteer Fire Department firefighter Zach Kennedy sprays
water over a burning lumber pile late Thursday north of Seven Points.

TxDoT crews take coring samples from lake bottom for bridge supports
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Motorists who regularly cross Cedar Creek Lake on the three State Highway 198 bridges between Gun Barrel City and Malakoff know all about traffic delays.
However, the latest delays this past week were the first steps in replacing three narrow bridges with new four-lane structures.
Traffic was shifted to one lane of the bridges while Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) crews took core samples of the lake bottom, TxDoT public information officer Larry Krantz reported.
Soil cores will be studied by engineers for future bridge supports, Krantz said.
“In particular, we’re wanting to pinpoint how deep we need to drill the new shafts,” he said. “You can occasionally tell with the old plans what was done, but a lot has changed since these bridges were built.”
Work to replace the Caney Creek bridge between Caney City and Malakoff is scheduled to begin later this summer, most likely within the next 45 days, Krantz said Wednesday.
The Caney Creek bridge project is the only one of the three bridge replacement projects that is already fully funded and has a contract issued, Krantz said.
As planned, TxDoT will build a new two-lane bridge next to the existing bridge, then shift traffic over to the new portion, tear down the old bridge and finish building the other two lanes.
This will enable two-way traffic to continue during the scheduled 60-month (five years) project, Krantz said.
While most of the work will be done out of traffic, there will be some occasional lane closures, he added.
The new bridges will arch higher over the water, allowing boaters more room to go underneath. Plans call for at least 15 feet of clearance, with 20 to 25 feet more likely.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Motorists heading south on State Highway 198 into Payne Springs await the passage of northbound traffic Wednesday as Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) crews take soil samples from the Cedar Creek Lake bottom next to the bridge. The samples were taken in preparation for the planned reconstruction of the bridge into a four-lane elevated structure. All three SH 198 bridges across Cedar Creek Lake are scheduled for reconstruction.

Copyright © 2008, MediaOne, L.L.C.