People, Places & Events




Commissioners consider new voter registry software
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–It was the second time the Henderson County Commissioners heard the need for a different voter registry system than the one offered by the state.
The state system was overwhelmed with data downloads from the more than 200 counties using the system, and data was being filed sometimes at random, instead of alphabetically according to voter precinct.
IT manager Betty Spencer and tax collector/assessor Milburn Chaney have been researching the problem since the May election, and brought two choices of software programs before commissioners.
One is from a highly reliable company, Tyler Technologies, and the other is a voter registrar program offered by Southwest Data.
Tyler’s bid for the software is $50,250. Southwest’s bid is $32,000.
Chaney recommended Southwest Data.
However, the staff at Southwest were involved in a lawsuit with the county back in 2001, and ended up locking the county out of its own data.
“There were some peripheral issues, and the county had agreed to be a test site for some new tax software,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney told The Monitor.
Even so, McKinney was willing to put that experience behind him in order to move forward, so the county could have some software up and running by the time the presidential primaries roll around in March.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronnie Lawrence added a cautionary note of getting what you pay for.
“There must be a reason one is about half the price of the other one,” Lawrence said.
After more discussion, the commissioners opted to table the decision another week, so they could meet with Spencer, Chaney and members of the voter registrar staff to help them formulate a stronger reason for a decision.
The state-offered system has fallen short of expectations, Chaney said.
“I don’t have much confidence in it, anymore,” he said.
In other business, the commissioners:
• renewed two contracts pertaining to Child Protective Services that recoups a percentage of the legal expenses involved and extras, such as school supplies and gifts.
Last year, the federal government rebated $16,000 back to the county under these contracts.
• accepted 5/10 mile of roadway into the county road maintenance system in Briarwood Bay in Precinct 4 and accepted a donation of $35,000 from the Briarwood Bay Property Owners Association in consideration of reconstruction of certain roads.
This has been a five-year process of getting roads in the subdivision up to standards and then accepting them into the system for regular maintenance, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry West said.
• accepted bids for two lots in the Arbolado Subdivision in Precinct 2, which have been off the tax roll since 2004.
• paid bills totaling $1,053,894.69. It was noted that $843,770.75 was expenses related to the jail expansion project.

MHS chosen as mentor
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–Mabank High School was one of three high schools chosen by the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB) High Schools That Work (HSTW) school reform movement to serve as a mentor to other Texas high schools that have joined the Texas Enhanced High Schools That Work network.
The Enhanced HSTW Network is a partnership between SREB and the Texas Education Agency, aimed at raising student achievement in high schools across the state.
The mentor schools were chosen based on their performance and rankings on the HSTW Assessment and student and teacher surveys.
Each mentor school is rated as a High Implementation Site, meaning that they have fully adopted the HSTW framework and Key Practices, and improved student achievement at their school.
In their role as mentors, faculty and staff from Mabank High School will assist faculty and staff from schools new to the Enhanced HSTW Network by hosting visits, conducting workshops and providing assistance as the new schools implement HSTW.
The Southern Regional Education Board is a multi-state compact for education, founded in 1948.
High Schools That Work is the oldest and largest high school improvement effort in the United States, with more than 1,100 school sites in 32 states.
High Schools That Work is supported by member states and grants from organizations, such as the Wallace Foundation, Goldman Sachs Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Whitehead Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Pet Talk
Survive the Dog Days of Summer
By Joan B. Guertin

Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE—Prior to August, lake area residents enjoyed more modest temperatures and moisture than in past years. Now, however, the “Dog Days of Summer” are here. And with them come extremely difficult conditions for family pets.
Following are suggestions to keep your pets healthy and make them more comfortable even though the weather is sweltering.
• Make sure all pets and livestock have access to fresh water at all times. It should be placed in a shaded area so dogs are able to drink at any time of day. A few minutes in direct sunlight can heat water to the point where animals can’t drink. Check it often.
• If you can’t bring dogs inside under air conditioning during the hottest part of the day, make sure a shaded area is available.
• Don’t overdo active play or work dogs during the heat of the day, particularly those who are high-drive or addicted to active play. Dogs can easily suffer heat stroke. If the dog appears sluggish and in distress after active play, wrap in a wet towel or blanket and get to the vet.
• Never leave a dog in a car in the heat of summer. Temperatures inside can rise 20 degrees hotter than the outside in a matter of minutes, even with the windows cracked open. Even if Rover wants a ride, leave him home where he is safe! Five minutes of overheating can kill a dog!
• Thanks to much needed rainfall and increased standing water, the mosquito population is up. Make sure that family pets are current on monthly heart worm preventative.
• I am hearing complaints from people who insist that their monthly spot-on treatment for flea and tick control doesn’t seem to be working. One reason could be that owners are applying the medication without first bathing the dog. A check of the package on one popular flea control product noted no such information, however, a call to the manufacturer did confirm that the product should be applied 24 hours after bathing the dog for best results.
• Keep dogs out of ponds and other standing water sources that are covered with algae. There have been reports of dogs dying from algae poisoning.
• Always hose your dog down after a swim in a pond, tank or river.
• When traveling with a dog during the summer, keep the dog cool by placing a tarp under a water-soaked sheet or light blanket for the dog to lie on.
• A good way to keep fleas, flies and mosquito’s off of your pets is to mist them lightly with a solution of 1 ounce of Avon Skin So Soft mixed with one gallon of water. I also mist myself from top to toes when I’m going to be outside with them.
• Don’t ask dogs to ride in the bed of a pickup truck during the summer. The metal floor can heat to the point where the dog can’t stand solid, thus making it harder for him to balance. A quick stop can result in disaster
Remember, an ounce of prevention and common sense can keep our pets safe and healthy!


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Riley. I am a beautiful male orange and white mix. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to be your typical fat and lazy cat. I am fixed and I am also declawed. I am a very sweet baby looking for my new forever home.

My name is Bonnie. I am a very playful girl. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control so I have no history. I love to play and that is about all. I am friendly and am in need of a wonderful new forever home.

My name is Ollie. I am a very sweet little guy. I love to run and jump and play. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am a good kid looking for my new forever home.

My name is Percy. I am a beautiful DMH gray girl. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am a very sweet and lovable girl looking for my new forever 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