Three children removed from
Combine meth lab
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–Authorities are currently looking for four
suspects who fled following the discovery of their methamphetamine lab
When they ran the suspects left behind an undisclosed amount of
chemicals and supplies for the manufacture of methamphetamine and three
The children were taken into custody by CPS and remained there as of
Tuesday, July 29.
Several agencies became involved on July 22 after someone called in a
tip to the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department regarding possible stolen
property located in the 1500 block of Davis road in western Combine, in
When the Kaufman investigators arrived they smelled a strong odor of
They subsequently obtained a search warrant from a Dallas County judge.
Then they contacted the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug
Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Child Protective Services CPS).
The DEA along with Sheriff’s Investigators began searching the location
and discovered an operational meth lab.
The lab was dismantled by DEA special agents. Sgt. Ramsey of the Kaufman
County Sheriff’s Office stated properly dismantling an operational meth
lab can cost taxpayers and estimated $10,000.
The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office makes every attempt to follow up on
all tips received.
The office has set up an e-mail just for tips regarding any type of
criminal activity occurring in the county. The e-mail for the office is
Supplies used in making methamphetamine were found in a Combine location
July 22. Alerted by a tip, several agencies were in on the discovery.
are still being sought in connection with the operation.
Kaufman County Sheriff’s deputies working with Drug Enforcement Agency
members and the Dallas Sheriff’s Office confiscated supplies used in the
and sale of methamphetamine. Pictured are a box of needles found among
County eyes jail expansion
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENS–Henderson County can’t expect to get any change back when it
hands over a $12 million bill to pay for the jail expansion project.
County commissioners, representatives from Templeton Construction and
the architect spent 90 minutes Tuesday reviewing costs involved in the
jail expansion project, paying particular attention to the contingency
funds for both the contractor and the county.
Although the commissioners didn’t take any formal action, there were
some items cleared by the discussion:
• many of the project changes were directly requested by jail staff,
with no consultation with the commissioners;
• a few of the change orders were generated when some items either
weren’t listed on the plans or weren’t drawn in properly; and
• the lengthy delays caused by last year’s rainy weather and some
last-minute design changes meant the county has missed generating maybe
six months of revenue from housing other counties’ prisoners.
Project manager Fred Watkins, joined by Templeton president Gary McClure
and architect Kenny Burns, moved methodically through a lengthy
summation of the project costs.
The county’s June, 2006, contract with Templeton Construction called for
a total cost of $11,684,424. The county built in roughly $200,000 into a
construction contingency fund in this year’s budget, and Watkins said
the Templeton estimate included about $300,000 in contingency funds.
As of the most recent billing/payment, Templeton Construction has billed
the county $11.077 million, and the county has actually paid $10.524
million on the project.
That doesn’t include the 5 percent the county is entitled to retain
until the project is closed out satisfactorily, Watkins explained.
One major item was reworking the smoke purge system in the existing
jail, a $65,000 addition. The commissioners were well aware of that
change, Watkins said.
Since the original jail was constructed, the Texas Commission on Jail
Standards has revised the purge system requirements. The old jail’s
system worked – it just didn’t work fast enough, Watkins explained.
A revision to the dispatch center, new doors for the attorney/prisoner
meeting room and a couple of privacy walls were among the items changed
without formal court action.
The privacy walls were built after the new guard station was completed.
Someone discovered the guard had a clear view into the inmate’s shower
room, Watkins explained.
It’s likely Templeton’s contingency fund will be depleted by the time
the project is finished, Watkins said, but noted there are some items
remaining that won’t cost as much as allowed.
“We have a $20,000 allowance for roofing,” he said.
All that’s needed is just some flashing around air-conditioning units,
and that shouldn’t cost more than $4,000 or $5,000, Watkins said.
“The difficulty has been in getting a roofer to come out and do that
small a job,” he added.
Other added ductwork, a $20,000 item, was left off the original plans,
and Burns said his hired engineers clearly were responsible for that.
“You can try to recover that money, but I’m not sure how that works,”
Burns said. “You’ll probably have to file a claim against their
The discussion then turned to time issues. The project originally
figured 20 months for construction, but there wasn’t any penalty clause
“This (current) schedule ends 10 November, and I feel we’ll probably be
able to improve on this schedule,” Watkins said.
Some masonry work still remains, and Watkins reminded the commissioners
of the “terrible” time Templeton has had with masonry subcontractors.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry West asked about inmate labor.
“We can’t insure them, and we can’t employ them,” Watkins said. “They
are helping us out, but they can’t be considered employees of
As part of that schedule, the commissioners need to be available if
something comes up that requires an official action, McClure said.
“We’re spending about $20,000 a month just to be on-site, so a delay on
decisions will cost us money,” he said.
Watkins said there was a standing meeting at the jail construction site
at 1:30 p.m. each second Thursday, and West suggested making those
posted official meetings, so the full court could be involved.
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Project manager Fred Watkins (center) points out a specific item on
the recently completed expansion of the Henderson County Jail as
Commissioner Joe Hall (left) and County Judge David Holstein look on
a lengthy discussion of the project’s costs Tuesday.
Alert action limits fire damage
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–While going about their work last Sunday, two water
utility employees spotted flames coming from a garage in the Arbolado
subdivision in Gun Barrel City.
East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District employees Donnie
Jaskolowski and Jesse Perez called 911 and knocked on the door to see if
anyone was home.
An elderly couple were ensconced beneath the air conditioner, unaware
that a fire had started in their detached garage, Gun Barrel City
assistant fire chief Jason Raney said.
“It was fully involved by the time we arrived, but could have been a lot
worse if it had spread to the house, or any neighboring property,” Raney
The couple’s car was in the garage at the time and was also destroyed by
Though the cause of the afternoon blaze is still under investigation,
the homeowner admitted to sweeping up ashes from a fire, which he
thought were cold, into a plastic trash bin in the garage the night
before. It probably smoldered all night and the next day until it
reignited, Raney speculated.
Of the alert utility workers, Raney said, “They did a good job at
alerting the residents and calling it in.”
“I personally feel gratified knowing that our district has employees
looking over our customers’ interest, not only through providing superb
service but as stewards able to prevent loss of life and property,”
ECCFWSD general manager Bill Goheen said.
He added that a year ago, the district reworked is work schedule to
staff the weekends. “Not only has this been successful in reducing
overtime, but it appears it may have even saved some lives,” he added.
Courtesy Photo/Jason Raney
Firefighters from Gun Barrel City and Mabank quell a fire last Sunday
started in the detached garage at 139 Camino Robles in Arbolado
Alert utility workers called it in to 911 and then assisted the couple
out of the house to safety.
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
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
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