People, Places & Events




Local American Red Cross schedules disaster training
Special to The Monitor
SEVEN POINTS–American Red Cross training classes will be held at the Lakeview Assembly of God Church at State Highway 334 and Wood Street in Seven Points at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.
Hurricane season is here. As we can see now, flooding has moved many out of their homes in South Texas.
Shelters are on stand-by for needed help to those in need.
Are you ready?
Do not wait until disaster strikes to get your training!
Whether you are a first timer or just need to refresh your training, do not miss this opportunity to take part in the next First Aid/CPR class training scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25, at our facility.
In addition, we are still in need of recruits (to help run shelters in case of disasters) in the following areas: shifter supervisors, registered nurses, asst. shift supervisors, cooks and cook assistants, kitchen helpers and servers, dorm monitors, and canteening.
Phone the American Red Cross at (903) 432-2682 and follow the prompt for ARC extension for more information.

Disaster assistance available
Commissioners switch health plan; better benefits
By Julie Vaughan
Monitor Staff Reporter

CANTON–The Van Zandt County Commissioners heard from representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and voted to join the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) insurance program during a special meeting Monday afternoon.
FEMA spokesman Yvonne Wilson and Billy Jackson with the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management spoke to commissioners regarding declaration of eligibility for disaster relief and procedures for individual assistance.
The county was declared a disaster area Aug. 7, due to record amounts of rainfall it received over the previous months.
Damages incurred by the county have been turned over to FEMA, and now Public Assistance (PA) and Individual Assistance (IA) is available for qualifying applicants.
Wilson explained two people will explain to residents how the system works and aid in preparing paperwork.
Persons can apply for FEMA assistance by calling toll-free (800) 621-3362, or register on-line at
The applicant will be asked a series of questions, one of which is: ‘Do you have insurance?’
Wilson said the applicant will be required to get a letter from his/her insurance company and fax it to FEMA.
After registering, a FEMA inspector will determine the amount of damages.
Wilson said some applicants may also receive a Small Business Administration (SBA) application for further assistance.
FEMA representatives will be going to businesses, schools, churches and the local chambers of commerce as a way to reach people with assistance information.
“If we can get people where they work, where they worship, where they are, you are more in line to get them,” Wilson said.
Another form of assistance is Other Needs Assessment (ONA), which may cover medical equipment or medical bills that relate to disaster circumstances.
“If you have any damage, call the 800 number and let the inspector figure it out,” she added.
When asked approximately how many people were affected in the county by flooding and circumstances brought on by the floods, Precinct 2 Commissioner Virgil Melton said, “probably 800 to 900 residents spread out over 320 miles.”
Wilson urged residents to be patient in the inspection process.
“We are going to try and reach every resident, and knock on every door,” she said.
Gary Traylor with Traylor & Associates in Tyler, which will handle the public assistance claims for the county, said there were only a few individuals spread out who reported damages, while others were in concentrated areas.
FEMA inspectors will not ask for payment, and they do have a badge, Wilson said.
County Emergency Management Coordinator Chuck Allen spoke to commissioners about considering an application for State Hazard Mitigation Program funds for flood damage repairs.
Allen explained FEMA will reimburse the funds needed to bring the bridges back up to original condition.
Because the county needs to go back and put in better concrete bridges, Allen said the county can apply through the state mitigation office for the grant program, which provides for a 75/25 percent cost split, with the county picking up 25 percent.
“You can’t sit around and wait for somebody to come around and say they are going to do something,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Kelles Miller said. “You’ve got people that need to go down those roads, and you’ve got to get them fixed.”
Allen said the county may be able to recoup costs, as long as it is documented prior to and after the event, because it has to do with life safety.
The commissioners were urged to keep good records and document such things as fuel, equipment used, labor, materials and time in order to turn that over to the State Hazard Mitigation team.
Traylor recommended the county appoint Allen as project officer and Traylor as secondary contact, which was unanimously approved by the commissioners.
In other business, the commissioners:
• accepted the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) Interlocal Medical Plan contract for the county employees health insurance program for the next three years, effective Oct. 1.
County Treasurer Terry Shepard explained the new insurance program cost would increase 1.8 percent, but the benefits to the employee would increase as well.
“To retain good employees, we need to have not only good insurance, but good benefits,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Carroll said.

Davis memorial provides reading lights at library
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–New light fixtures were dedicated in the Nancy Adams Reading Corner of the Tri-County Library Saturday.
The widow and children of surgeon Dr. Milton D. Davis took part in a brief ceremony marking the dedication of the new light fixtures in the library’s community room.
A surgeon in Dallas for 30 years before coming to Kaufman, Dr. Davis (1920-2006) was instrumental in developing open-heart surgery. He retired in 1993, but spent another seven years at the Veterans Administration hospital in Dallas.
Dr. Davis lived in Mabank for the last 20 years of his life.
Nellie Davis noted the need for better lighting in the reading corner, library director Claire Stout told the gathering, adding, “This is just a small part of the memorial.”
A portrait of Dr. Davis will be placed in the reading corner.
Friends of the Tri-County Library provided refreshments for the small gathering, which included three of Milton and Nellie Davis’ four daughters.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

I am one of four Border Collie mix pups. We are six weeks old. There is no history on us because we are too young. We are beautiful puppies looking for wonderful homes. One male, three females.

My name is Bella. I am a beautiful female mix. I seem to love people and seem to be housebroken. I was a stray brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am a wonderful girl looking for a wonderful new forever home.

My name is Lark. I am a beautiful female Chihuahua mix. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to possibly by housebroken. I am a little beauty looking for a wonderful new home.

My name is Cain. I am a wonderful old male Catahoula mix. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am just a big old gentle baby who is in need of a new forever new.

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