Thursday, August 28, 2008

     

 

 

 

 

 

Kemp suffers rash of burglaries
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Teen problems in Kemp seem to be increasing, and parents apparently are either ignoring the situation, or are unaware of their children’s behavior.
Either way, while some young adults are suspected of taking part in the crimes, teens are the general suspects.
“Burglaries just went through the roof this past week,” Kemp Police Chief Richard Clemmo said.
“And it’s not just one group. There are several involved,” he added.
The Kemp Senior Center was broken into over the weekend, Clemmo reported.
The thieves got away with a Nintendo Wii game console recently donated to the center and $100 of its petty cash.
“It’s sad. We have worked so hard to build up our attendance and now this,” Center director Lisa Stinnett said.
Copper thieves hit a church on 11th Street, steeling the copper from the air conditioners and doing about $2,000 in damage, Clemmo reported.
“And we have had several walk-in house burglaries, also on 11th Street, where the burglars entered the homes while the people were inside asleep,” he said.
Kemp police are increasing nighttime foot patrols and are concentrating on the city’s existing curfew ordinance.
“We caught five 12- to 15-year-olds just wandering around at 2 a.m. There were actually eight or nine in the group, and they ran. But, we wrote tickets for breaking the curfew to five of them,” Clemmo said.
One definite problem is some citizens who see things taking place wait one, two and sometimes three days before telling anyone, Clemmo said.
“Citizens should lock their doors, secure their cars and call me on any suspicious action immediately,” he said. “Don’t wait to call the police.”

Tax rate proposed
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners set a proposed tax rate slightly lower than the one set last year.
County Judge David Holstein presented 47.6016 cents per $100 of property value as a starting place for public comment and discussion.
Two public hearings are set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, and 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9.
The tax rate is 3/10 lower than last year’s rate of 47.1968 cents and a penny lower than the county’s rollback rate of 48.62 cents, Holstein pointed out.
“All departments submitted proposed budgets,” Holstein said. “And this rate considers the services citizens of Henderson County demand and expect while considering efficiency and the desire for lower taxes.”
Commissioners unanimously agreed to set the rate as a maximum.
“This sets a ceiling to where the tax rate will not exceed,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney said. “The result of a vote here is to give a ceiling to the range the rate can be set to.”
The appraisal district estimates $4.487 billion of taxable value, barring exemptions, to fund the proposed county budget of just under $24.5 million, with Road and Bridge expenditures estimated at just under $4.9 million.
Due to increasing property values, commissioners were able to propose a rate slightly lower than last year.

Vietnam War wall arrives Saturday
Special to The Monitor
KAUFMAN–Kaufman County leaders and veterans are planning a “Receiving of the Wall” ceremony and day long celebration for Saturday, Aug. 30, in Kaufman County.
The 4/5th replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. will eventually be permanently displayed in a new county park in Kaufman.
It will be the largest permanently displayed replica wall in the United States, and the only complete wall in the state of Texas.
The “Wall” will be met in Seagoville at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, by members of the Patriot Guard and the American Legion.
Riders will escort it east on U.S. Highway 175 to the Kaufman Town Square.
Kaufman County leaders will join the procession down Washington to the site of the new park.
At 10 a.m. there will be a ceremony to officially pass ownership of the “Wall” to Kaufman County.
Guest speakers include Congressman Jeb Hensarling, State Sen. Bob Deuell, State Rep. Betty Brown and Kaufman County Judge Wayne Gent, who is a Vietnam veteran.
After the ceremony, the public is invited to a complimentary luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Kaufman American Legion located on the corner of Grove and Shannon streets.
The entire project is estimated to cost approximately $1 million in cash and in-kind donations.
“Not only do we have to purchase the wall and get it installed, we will also need to provide the infrastructure (walkways, lighting, landscaping and irrigation), and construct a gift shop, a visitors center, a parking lot, a stage and restrooms,” chairman Johnny Countryman said.
Countryman is also the county treasurer. The group has approximately $400,000 in in-kind commitments and has raised approximately $245,000 in cash.
“I have been an active volunteer in Kaufman and Kaufman County for more than 20 years, and this should be the project to put us on the map regionally and perhaps even nationally,” Countryman said.
“For us to become a tourist destination for hundreds of thousands of out-of-state visitors is an opportunity we just can’t pass up,” he added.
Lee Ayres, who is an expert in economic development and economic impact said, “The Wall in D.C. attracts about three million visitors per year. But they have a lot of other attractions to draw visitors as well.”
“Because the Vietnam War generation fairly well mirrors the baby boomer generation, and because 78 million of those individuals will continue to retire over the next 20 years, we could see upwards of 250,000 new visitors per year in Texas and more than $40 million in annual economic impact,” Countryman said.
“It is entirely possible that the economic impact on the hospitality industry in North Texas will be somewhere between having a Cotton Bowl and a Super Bowl each year,” he added.
Tax deductible donations may be sent to the Vietnam Memorial Wall of Texas, 2100 S. Washington, P.O. Box 67, Kaufman, TX 75142.
For more information , contact Ayres at (972) 932-5332 or Anne Glasscock at (972) 932-3118 or Countryman at (214) 755-1917.
Countryman heads the non-profit fund-raising committee which includes Major General William Becker (Ret.), former Kaufman Chamber Chairman, Ray Raymond, Texas A&M Alumnae Jim Thompson, Terrell Chamber President Danny Booth, Andrea Pickens of Mabank, Guy Estep of Crandall, Kaufman Chamber President Anne Glasscock, Kaufman Mayor Bill Fortner, Ken Watterson of Terrell, Ken Cordier, County Commissioners Jerry Rowden of Kaufman, Ken Shoene of Terrell, Ray Clark of Forney and Jim Deller of Kemp.

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