Sunday, August 24, 2008





City has no say on sour gas well
Payne Springs City Council rescinds amendment
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

PAYNE SPRINGS–On the advice of the city attorney, the Payne Springs City Council rescinded action recently taken to include Payne Spring’s extraterritorial jurisdiction under its oil and gas permitting ordinance.
That ordinance, passed June 30, would give the city council final say on the permitting of a sour gas well stationed within its ETJ.
However, in a special meeting lasting three minutes, held July 18, city council members voted to restore the ordinance to its “original state and content.” In this form, the ordinance does not include permitting rights into the city’s ETJ.
Councilman Carl Powell was not present at this meeting. However, at the June meeting, Powell had abstained from the vote.
A letter from attorney Raymond Shackleford had been reviewed by the council outlining why the extended ordinance was not in the city’s best interest.
Since Payne Springs is not governed by homerule, its no powers of the ETJ is limited to allowing subdivision developments in its ETJ, and only after entering into an agreement with Henderson County in order to have those subdivisions fall under its governing power.
This not being the case, the area of the proposed well falls within the purview of the county, which doesn’t have any powers with regard to licensing and issuing permits, Shackelford wrote.
“The authority falls within the power of the Texas Railroad Commission,” he writes.
Apparently, the city attorney had not been consulted prior to the June meeting extending the ordinance.
Mayor J.T. Noble had said the ordinance had been reviewed by an attorney. It just wasn’t the city attorney.
“I took it to my personal attorney to make sure the wording was right,” Noble said.
Shackelford said, that once a company seeks a permit, the city has a right to voice its concerns directly to the Commission.
“It is my sincerest hope that the licensing board would recognize the interests of the City of Payne Springs and prevent any type of licensing that would put any of our residents into harm’s way.
“The city may also seek to annex the disputed area, however, this may be difficult and be precluded by any type of contract that may exist between the land’s owner and the company seeking to explore,” he wrote.
During Tuesday’s regular meeting, an audience of about 75 people heard the reading of the minutes from the July 18 meeting.
During public comments, a Tool resident and advocate for closing down sour gas wells encouraged the council to speak with Tyler oil and gas lawyer Dwayne Vandorn.
“The city’s ordinance extension into its ETJ can most definitely be enforced and upheld,” Galen Hartman stressed.
Council members asked Noble to contact Vandorn.
Likewise, many more lake-area residents used their full five minutes to call for the shutting down of plans to drill a sour gas well just outside Payne Springs off State Highway 198 across from the access road to Enchanted Oaks and Indian Harbor.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Protesters hold signs outside Payne Springs Community Center during
Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Copper theft suspects arrested
Monitor Staff Reports
CRANDALL–Two men suspected of stealing copper were arrested Wednesday after a five-hour manhunt north of Crandall.
Patrolling officers surprised two would-be copper thieves around midnight at the Trinity Valley Electric Co-op’s Marshall substation at 1760 Farm-to-Market 741, north of State Highway 175, said Lt. G.W. Huddleston of the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department.
The suspects fled on foot. The call went out and Crandall Police Department officers as well as sheriff’s deputies arrived four minutes later, securing a search perimeter.
The search party located the suspects’ car and with the help of a Department of Public Safety helicopter, authorities located Daniel Lairsey, 27, of Quinlan in a muddy, overgrown area not far away from the substation.
The manhunt was called off by 11 a.m. and a few hours later deputies arrested his accomplice, John Kubat, 34, of Mesquite. He was held up a few miles away from the substation.
About $10,000 worth of damage was caused in the attempt to steal copper, it was reported.

Kaufman County grand jury indicts two for murder
Special to The Monitor
KAUFMAN–A Kaufman County grand jury Monday, Aug. 18, indicted a pair of murder suspects from two different communities.
Roman Jess Mendoza, 26, Kaufman, was indicted on the charge of murder for his suspected role in the October, 2007, stabbing death of 24-year-old Juan Arturo Muro of Kaufman.
The incident occurred Oct. 13 in the vicinity of 204 S. Monroe Street in Kaufman.
Through witnesses’ statements, police believe Muro and a group of others were at the residence drinking alcohol.
At some point, an altercation broke out and Muro was stabbed to death.
Mendoza’s case will be heard in 422nd District Court Judge B. Michael Chitty’s court, and will be prosecuted by special prosecutor Bill Wirskye, because a relative of the suspect worked at the courthouse at the time of the incident.
Meanwhile, Mona Lacretia Medlen, 49, of Terrell, was indicted on capital murder charges for her involvement in the beating death of her 93-year-old neighbor, Wynell Bourns, in June.
Terrell police believe Medlen was attempting to rob Bourns June 17 when the incident escalated to violence.
Medlen originally was charged in June with one count of aggravated robbery and one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle for stealing Bourns car.
However, Bourns died of her injuries Aug. 30, escalating the charges to capital murder.
Grand juries also indicted:
Luis Estaban Saucedo, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Yastrzemski Pugliesi Lipscombe, possession of marijuana more than 50 pounds.
Norman Douglas Moore, possession of marijuana more than 50 pounds.
Rory London Furr, assault on a public servant.
Tommy G. Barnes, evading arrest/detention with vehicle.
Adrian Drashawn Booker, manufacturer/deliver controlled substance in a drug free zone and possession of controlled substance in a drug free zone.
Darlene Renea Morrison, possession of controlled substance.
Tyron K. Brumley, possession of controlled substance.
Paul Hicks, theft of service more than $1,500.
Derrick Antoine Smith, manufacture/deliver controlled substance.
Jessica Renea Tindall, possession of controlled substance.
Randy Lee Rickman, burglary of habitation and burglary of building.
Jacob Matthew Redmon, manufacture/delivery of controlled substance.
Lawrence Oliver Lacour, possession of controlled substance.
Christina Ellen Ford, manufacture/delivery of controlled substance.
Tascha Sandra Clack, possession of controlled substance.
Michael Bruce Osborn, fraudulent delivery of controlled substance/prescription.
John Todd Chalk, burglary of a building.
Michael James McQueen, theft less than $1,500 two or more convictions.
Arthur Dale Phelps, unlawful use of criminal instrument.
John Colin Thompson, unlawful use of criminal instrument.
Shane Lynn Boyd, injury to child/elderly/disabled.
Roger Dale Hall, possession of controlled substance.
Kimberly Kay Bourque, prohibitive substance in correctional facility and possession of controlled substance.
Ricky Allen Jinks Jr., possession/promotion of child pornography.
Corey Anderson, secure execution of document by deception.
Laura Jean Ashton, secure execution of document by deception.
Jennifer Rachelle Blanton, secure execution of document by deception.
Kimberly Dawn Centeno, secure execution of document by deception.
Joel Dennis Clark, theft of less than 10 head of livestock.
Tiffany Glynn Morris, accident involving injury/death two counts.
Robert White, aggravated robber.
Margarito Soto Jr. possession of controlled substance.
Mayra Perez Becerra, manufacture/deliver controlled substance.
Hermilo Delarosa, manufacture/deliver controlled substance.
Byron Vernard Billups, manufacture/deliver controlled substance two counts.
Justin Michael Smith, manufacture/deliver controlled substance.
Richard Moreno Reece, robbery.
James Alfred Singleton, DWI third or more.
Eric Carrizalez, DWI third or more.
Richard Lee Burger, DWI third or more.


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