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Current Issue
September 1
, 2011






News in Brief

Labor Day closings
The Monitor offices will close Monday, Sept. 5, in observance of Labor Day.
Advertising deadlines will change for the Thursday, Sept. 8 issue of The Monitor. Display ad deadline is at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2 and classified is noon, Tuesday, Sept. 6.
County offices will be closed: Henderson and Van Zandt Monday, Sept. 5; Kaufman, Friday and Monday, Sept. 2 and 5. City offices that will also close Monday, Sept. 5, are; Eustace, Gun Barrel City, Kemp, Mabank, Seven Points and Tool.
Kaufman County Courthouse will be closed Friday and Monday, Sept. 2 and 5.
Banks will be closed. Call your bank for information if it is located inside another business.

Cool shelter offered
Due to the current extreme heat condition, First United Methodist Church of Mabank is opening its Family Life Center Gym from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, for those in need of a cool place to spend some time.
When the temperatures sore to 100 and above, come and watch movies or play games in the air conditioned gym.
For information call (903) 887-3691.

Van Zandt Senior Citizens Club
The Van Zandt Senior Citizens Club will hold their monthly dance at the Henderson County Senior Citizens Center in Athens at 7 p.m. Thursday (tonight), Sept. 1. Country/Western music will be provided by Joe Walenta and the Ranch Hands. Everyone is welcome.

CCL Garden Club
The CCL Garden Club will meet at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. The program “Recycled/Reseen” will be a hands-on workshop. We will make birdhouses. Interested individuals are invited to attend. To reserve a seat, please call (903) 498-6544, by Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Indian Harbor POA
The Mexican meal originally scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept 3, has been postponed until further notice.

Golf Tournament
First United Methodist Church of Mabank Lord’s Acre Golf Tournament is still taking entries for the Tuesday, Sept. 6 event at the Cedar Creek Country Club. An entry fee includes carts, range balls, lunch buffet and guest fee. Deadline for all submissions is noon Monday, Aug. 29. For information and entry forms, call (903) 887-3691.

Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake will hold an executive board meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6 at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake. The devotional will be given by Gerri Lucey.

Free Tae Kwon Do Classes
First Assembly of God at 721 West Main in Gun Barrel City will be offering Tae Kwon Do classes beginning Wednesday, Sept. 7. The adult (13+) Tae Kwon Do class will be offered at 6 p.m. Childcare is provided during this hour with snack. At 7 p.m., a youth (ages 6-12) class will be offered. Pastor Buddy Duke is a master Tae Kwon Do instructor with 22 years experience. Please call (903) 603-4977 before Sept. 7 to register.

Tamarack Ladies Club
The Tamarack Ladies Club will meet at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7 in the TLC Hall. A potluck luncheon will follow the installation of officers for 2011-12. All ladies in Tamarack are invited. For information call (903) 887-8984.

PSUMC Fellowship
The Payne Springs United Methodist Church monthly fellowship night is set for Wednesday, Sept. 7, beginning with a covered dish dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by the “Singing Fireman,” (Gloria and Buck Criner) singing all your old favorite songs. The public is invited. The church is located across from the PSVFD on SH 198. For information call (903) 451-2978.

MISD Online
Mabank ISD online registration for returning students now through Thursday, Sept. 8. Campus computer lab schedules are all campuses, Monday and Wednesday after school until 4 p.m. and Lakeview & high school campuses Tuesday and Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m. Parents may log in through Family Access and complete registration steps on MISD webpage

Guthrie-Berry Cemeteries box supper
Guthrie – Berry Cemeteries annual box supper will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Styx Church of Christ, located at 6215 FM 3396 in Styx. Receipts go for the upkeep of cemeteries. Please join us for auction of box suppers, gifts, cakes and home-baked goodies. Donations will be accepted. Please mail to 33043 CR 2142, Kemp TX 75143.

International Model A Ford Day
Cedar Creek Model A Ford Club, along with Model A Ford owners all over the world will be celebrating International Model A Ford Day Saturday, Sept. 10. Please join us in Ben Wheeler for a day full of activities, food, entertainment and fun!

Flu Shot clinic
A flu shot clinic by Intracare will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 8 at the Cedar Creek Bible Church Activities Building, located at 700 North Seven Points Blvd. (one mile north of the traffic light in Seven Points on S.H. 274). The clinic is open to the public 18 years or older. Seniors 55 and older are invited to come for snacks, games and fellowship from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday. For information call (903) 340-9672.

Honoring Patriots
Help Tri-County Library celebrate all patriots by joining them Saturday, Sept. 10 for coffee, doughnuts and movie The Patriot (starring Mel Gibson) at 9:30 a.m. in the Community Room of the library. This is a free event, but donations are appreciated. For information, call (903) 887-9622.

Free movies move to Mondays
During the school year, beginning Sept. 12, free kids movies (provided by Family Video) will be moved to 10 a.m. Mondays in the Community Room of the Tri-County Library, located at 132 E. Market Street in Mabank. For information call (903) 887-9622.

Square Dance lessons
Square Dance lessons will begin Sept. 12 from 7-9 p.m. each Monday at the Log Cabin Swingers Square Dance Club at the Promenade Hall, 1210 North Tool Road (SH 274 in Tool). First and second lessons are free. Adults and teens are welcome. High school teens can work toward a scholarship. For information, call (903) 340-9672 or (214) 543-8641.

Marvelous Meatloaf Dinner
The Auxiliary at the American Legion Post 310 in Gun Barrel City is hosting a marvelous meatloaf dinner from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. Proceeds will go to the Auxiliary’s Poppy Fund to assist area veterans and their families.

Property of God Ministries
POG M/M invites you to their third annual Unity Rally beginning at 7 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Sept. 23-25. There will be a bike ride at 10:30 a.m Saturday, Sept. 24 and will end at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25.
Property of God Ministries is located at 3491 FM 316 in Eustace. For more information, visit

Do you doubt your Salvation?
There are many Christians who privately struggle with doubts about their salvation. If you are struggling, there is help for you at This is a ministry of Central Baptist Church in Mabank.


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Top News

Seven Points mayor resigns
Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS–In a letter dated Aug. 26, and written on city stationary, Seven Points mayor John Dobbs tendered his resignation as mayor, effective Sunday, Aug. 28.
On Aug. 23, the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office released 81 indictments of which three were against Dobbs and one named his close associate, Mike Tayem.
Both local newspapers published news of the indictments, with the Athens paper, adding that Dobbs was separated from his job with the Texas Youth Commission in Rockwall County Aug. 24.
On Aug. 25, Dobbs and Tayem turned themselves over to Van Zandt County authorities in Canton and paid bonds totaling $13,500.
Both Dobbs and Tayem have been under investigations by the DA’s office and by a federal agency.
Dobbs’ resignation reads: “I would first like to express my sincere appreciation to all my supporters who have stood behind me for the last 15 months. There comes a time in everyone’s life where all you can see are the years passing by. I am just ready to move on. I worked extremely hard to bring the City up to the standards set forth by State Federal law. As you know, at just about every turn I faced major road blocks. I wish all the Citizens good health and happiness; however I just don’t have the energy to continue the fights that I have been subject too. ... May God bless our Citizens and the City. Cordially, John ‘Joe’ Dobbs.”
Listed at the top of a special council meeting called for 3 p.m. Friday (tomorrow), Sept. 2, asks for accepting his resignation.
Also on the agenda is a discussion on guidelines for calling special or emergency meeting times. Another item, asks for the establishment of mayoral duties and responsibilities.
One other seldom seen item calls for reviewing the current monthly financial statements. And finally, a discussion on changing the locks when a key city official or employ is terminated or resigns is listed along with a few other items.


Worst drought yet
Arson to blame for grass fires; burn ban reset
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–As if the drought wasn’t enough, now Henderson County has to worry about arson.
Texas is currently experiencing the worst one-year drought on record, according to John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas State Climatologist and professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University.
Fire Marshal Darryl Furrh told commissioners Tuesday that the county was near the top of the Keetch-Bynum Drought index. The average score in the county is 779, Furrh said. A burn ban is suggested when the score hits 500, and the scale only goes up to 800.
The condition of the county came as no shock, as commissioners extended the burn ban yet again, and even discussed making the ban tougher. What was a surprise, however, was Furrh’s announcement that there is an arsonist setting grass fires in the west end of the county.
Outside the meeting, Furrh told reporters, “It appears someone is going around starting fires. It is usually grass fires at this point. The people need to be aware this is going on.”
He said that the investigation was ongoing, but said that more than 10 fires had been set over several months. He said the fires were set on the west end of the county, but not around Cedar Creek Lake.
Furrh said that strange vehicles had been seen “running up and down the roads where they shouldn’t be,” and stopping for no apparent reason. He asked residents to report to law enforcement if they see this kind of activity.
“Immediately call 911,” he said. “Hopefully we can get someone there as quick as we can through either the Sheriff’s Office or my department.”
As bad as the report of arson is, Furrh said the county has a bigger problem with people who are still burning trash.
“I understand it (the continued burn ban) is a strain,” he said, “but they can carry their trash and have it disposed of properly at the precinct drop sites. And that’s what we need to be doing at this time rather than defying the law and jeopardizing the safety of the people in this county.”
Ignoring the burn ban is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.
In addition, Furrh said that if a fire gets out of control, and it can be attributed to disregarding the burn ban, that person will be held responsible for all the damage that occurs.
“If the fire gets off their property, they are liable,” he said.


Cattle rustler gets 99 years
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–An Athens man has received a 99-year prison sentence for cattle thieving.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser’s Association reported that Carl Wade Curry, 44, was sentenced by a Hardeman County jury for charges of cattle theft, stemming from an April, 2010 arrest.
The arrest followed a yearlong investigation in which 420 head of cattle were stolen, valued at more than $200,000.
According to news reports , Curry, under a false name, attempted to purchase cattle from a Mississippi rancher and took delivery of them in Hardeman County, west of Wichita Falls.
When the payment information given to the rancher proved false, the authorities were notified and Curry was arrested.
Among the charges were the receiving of delivered cattle, offering false payment information, including hot checks and the names of bankers, who were not involved.
Special rangers with the cattle raisers’ association Scott Williamson and Marvin Wills made the arrest.
“This sentence sends a strong message that in Texas, and especially in Hardeman County, we protect our agricultural community, and we do not tolerate cattle theft,” Williamson said in a press release.
In April, Curry was sentenced to 20 years for prior cattle theft charges in Smith County and faces more charges there and in Louisiana.
Texas 46th District Judge Dan Mike Byrd added the 99-year sentence to the 20-year-term.
Hardeman County DA Staley Heatly called Curry a serial cattle rustler.
In 2000, Curry was ordered to pay restitution of $730,000 in a Lubbock court case. Heatly said, he served 18 months before gaining five years probation in September, 2006, still owing $680,000 in restitution.
“It didn’t take long for him to return to his old ways,” Heatly said.
According to arrest records in Henderson County, Curry was detained in August, 2007 for failure to identify as a fugitive from justice. Also in January, 2008, he was charged with theft of property, less than $200,000.




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