Thursday, August 5, 2010




  Parolee cooks new drug batch
Henderson County Investigators unearth underground meth lab near Eustace
Monitor Staff Reports

EUSTACE–A man out on parole for the manufacture of a controlled substance is back in custody for doing it again.
Vernon Scott Fletcher, 55, was arrested at his home on County Road 2919 after a warranted search turned up a large amount of suspected methamphetamine in the making.
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit executed a narcotics search of several buildings on his property Monday.
According to a press release, investigators located an underground meth lab under one of the buildings.
Fletcher was arrested and charged with Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance greater than 400 grams, a first-degree felony, punishable by five to 99 years or life imprisonment, and up to a $10,000 fine.
Fletcher is being held in the Henderson County Jail, and the case is being filed with the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
No bond has been set.

11 area schools earn top rating
Trinidad ISD appealing ‘Academically Unacceptable’ rating
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Reports

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–All but two area school districts improved their accountability ratings – those were Mabank ISD, which maintained its top score and Trinidad ISD, which saw a demotion to academically unacceptable for the first time.
“We’re appealing that rating,” Trinidad ISD superintendent David Atkeisson told The Monitor.
The Texas Education Agency released accountability ratings July 30.
“It’s not even based on this year’s TAKS scores, in which 70 percent of the scores were either Recognized or Exemplary,” Atkeisson said.
TEA claims that eight of the 19 seniors that graduated in 2009 did not complete their requirements for graduation.
“I strongly disagree with that,” he said.
“Sure, there are areas where we’d like to improve, but when all student scores for reading fall in the Recognized category and writing and social studies scores match Exemplary, and when all science scores come up to Recognized and math is Academically Acceptable, well that’s something to be proud of,” he added.
Mabank ISD was joined by two other Kaufman County school districts in posting “Exemplary.”
Forney ISD and neighboring Scurry-Rosser also achieved the top rating.
“First and foremost, I am proud of our students,” Mabank superintendent Dr. Russel Marshall. “Our teachers asked them to come to the edge, and they soared. Every day, I come to work with the best educators in Texas. Today I am grateful.”
As last year, the TEA district rating is based on one of three calculations from test scores in five key areas – reading, writing, math science and social studies. The three calculations are: required improvement to achieve the next level, a projection measurement or by exception.
Malakoff superintendent Dr. John Spies says since every year the percentile required to achieve meeting the standard has increased, the TEA has added a projected measure (TPM) to count students who are expected to achieve a passing score in the near future as having already done so.
“This helps to even it all out,” Spies explained.
Any way the Malakoff district scores are figured, it comes out as Recognized, Spies pointed out.
The rating is an improvement over last year’s Academically Acceptable.
Tool Elementary’s falling rating from Exemplary to Academically Acceptable doesn’t bother him, Spies said.
One hundred percent of Tool students met the standard in reading, 99 percent in math and writing. It’s a few of the 22 fifth grade science scores that lowered the overall percentages. “We’re talking about five kids (out of 225),” he said. “We’re not going to react like the sky is falling.”
Kemp ISD curriculum director Dr. Debra Airheart credits the district’s extended day, after-school tutoring and concentrated efforts with challenged students on flex days with raising the district score from Academically Acceptable to Recognized.
She also noted that just four test scores – one in the junior high and three in the Intermediate – kept those schools from an Exemplary rating.
“We are focusing on doing all we can to help students be more successful,” she said.
Eustace superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe said that this year’s improved science and math scores throughout the district raised it from Recognized to Exemplary.
The district put in place a new math program in the middle school last year and invested money in the “Science Starters” program to peek interest and attention from students at the start of each science class, he said.
So even though the district saw a decrease in the number of students and an increase in the percentage of economically challenged students, the district was still able to increase its accountability rating.
“We identify students who may struggle in a particular subject early on and use the flex days to work with them in specific areas,” he said.
TEA reports the following highlights of the 2010 accountability ratings. Statewide, of the 1,237 school district, 239 (19.3 percent) were rated Exemplary and 48.3 percent or 597 districts achieved Recognized status, composing 52.1 percent of the total students enrolled.
Those school districts achieving Academically Acceptable totaled 346 or 35.9 percent, among this number were 48 charter schools.
Only 45 school districts were rated Academically Unacceptable, representing 3.5 percent of the total students enrolled and this includes 15 charter schools.
Ten districts were not rated.
Of the 239 school districts winning an Exemplary rating, 137 were districts with total enrollment less than 500 students and 48 percent or 114 Exemplary districts are schools in rural settings.
This year, just 51 of the 597 Recognized districts are large, with 10,000 students or more enrolled.

Woman’s charred remains found
Monitor Staff Reports
BROWNSBORO–Investigators have found what they believe to be the charred remains of a 50-year-old woman reported missing July 29.
Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt reports the arrest of Avery Lee Denton, 46, in connection with the gruesome find.
Family members called the sheriff’s office July 29 to report that Sandra Gail Anderson, 50, was missing from a residence on County Road 3612 just off of Farm-to-Market 607 near Brownsboro. She hadn’t reported for work for three days, according to other news sources.
Nutt, chief Deputy Dan Parker, Major. Botie Hillhouse, Capt. Kay Langford, Lt. Bryan Tower and investigator Nick Webb all went to Denton’s residence by 5 p.m.
In the course of their investigation and subsequent search of the Denton home, they became very suspicious, a press release stated.
Then the remains of what was believed to be the missing woman was discovered in a burn pile on the property.
Nutt told news reporters at the scene that Denton identified the remains as belonging to Anderson, but that he didn’t put her in the pile.
Denton was arrested at 7 p.m. for the offense of Tampering with/Fabricating Physical Evidence, a second-degree felony.
He is being held in the Henderson County Jail under a $200,000 bond.
Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Sue Starnes was summoned to the Denton residence to perform an inquest on what is believed to be the burned remains of the missing woman.
The remains were taken to the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas to determine if the remains are human, as well as for identification and cause of death.
After gaining a search warrant from Judge Nancy Perryman, officers along with Texas Rangers Michael Adcock, Brent Davis and Rudy Flores conducted a thorough search of the residence, property and vehicles.


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