Sunday, September 6, 2009

     

 

 

 

  Mayor fires police chief
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Reporter

SEVEN POINTS–Seven Points mayor Gerald Taylor dismissed the city’s police chief for lack of confidence Tuesday afternoon.
Assistant chief Brad McConahay has been named acting chief.
Though Taylor wouldn’t explain in what ways Tim Meadows lost Taylor’s confidence, he did say his reasons had nothing to do with any incident involving Tool mayor J. Michael Black, who stopped briefly in Seven Points before continuing to Gun Barrel City, where he was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated Aug. 10.
“If called upon, I would recommend him for another position. He did his job,” Taylor told The Monitor.
Meadows, who has been the Seven Points police chief for a little longer than two years, was credited with having reorganized the department, saving the city a good bit of money.
Previously, Meadows was the police chief for Payne Springs, where he resigned to take up the Seven Points post.
 

DEU agent returns to patrolling city streets
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Gun Barrel City police chief Damon Boswell has recalled a city officer from full-time dedication to the Henderson County Drug Enforcement Unit to fill a patrolman’s slot.
That will leave the DEU with three other full-time investigators and a part-time member of the DA’s office come Oct. 1, when James Collard returns to the Gun Barrel City Police Department.
“We’re going to keep after it,” Sheriff Ray Nutt reassures the public. “Times and finances change, but all my patrol officers are on the look out for illegal drug activities.”
Boswell cited financial concerns as the sales tax supported city faces the final quarter of its fiscal year.
He cited the costs in overtime paid in part to make up for Collard’s absence.
“The county can better afford three officers than we can afford just one,” Boswell said.
“If the Sheriff’s Office needs us to assist them, we’ll be able to respond,” Boswell added.
Collard worked with the sheriff’s narcotics team for a little more than a year. The city will benefit from his experience with them, he said.
“His experience will help a lot,” he said.
Boswell was one of the original DEU investigators with the grant-supported unit in 2003, and continuing with it for five years.
Boswell would like to return a dedicated full-time officer to the special unit, but doesn’t know when that might be.
Last year, the Athens PD had to pull out its officer, but recently chief Buddy Hill told Nutt he was going to restore an officer to the unit in the near future.
When the task force makes a big bust, or confiscates a vehicle for being used in drug activities, all the participating agencies share in the proceeds that come from them.
These help fund prosecutions and future investigations, Nutt said.
“We still have three full-time officers dedicated to the task. We’ll get some things done,” he said.
“I’d love to have 10 officers. We could keep six to 10 officers busy with narcotic investigations,” Nutt added. “It’s really up to the taxpayer and what the taxpayer feels he can afford.”

Rachel’s Challenge reaches out to three local schools
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The last essay Columbine High School student Rachel Scott wrote before being gunned down in the 1999 massacre challenged her fellow students to look deeper, and respond with kindness, before judging fellow students as “uncool.”
She wrote such an attitude would lead to a chain reaction that would produce more understanding and compassion.
Rachel’s father has taken her vision to high schools across America in the form of a training program, and it’s coming to both Kemp and Mabank schools Thursday, Sept. 10.
Students at Kemp Junior High will attend an assembly kicking off the program’s implementation during school hours.
The same free presentation will be offered to teachers, parents and the community at 6:30 that night at the old high school cafeteria. All are encouraged to attend.
Mabank High School and Junior High students will also see a separate presentation on their campuses during the school day.
Mabank High School invites teachers, parents and community members to a free public presentation at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
Rachel Scott was the first student to lose her life in the deadly April 20, 1999, shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. She and another student were eating lunch outside on the school grounds when the shootings began.
Her father, Darrel Scott, started the Rachel’s Challenge program in her memory.
Her family and friends have taken on her dream of seeing a friendlier and more accepting school society.
The program challenges everyone to accept her challenge of kindness, compassion and motivation to make a positive change in the way others are treated.
After her death, her father went into her room and looked through her things. He discovered the ethics essay that expressed her philosophy of life.
Rachel’s Challenge is part of an ongoing three-year program, Mabank Independent School District curriculum department spokesman Sara Hamilton said.
This year, about 1.7 million students are expected to hear Rachel’s story, Hamilton added.
For information call Kemp Junior High at (903) 498-1343.
For Mabank, visit the website at www.mabankisd.net,  or the Rachel’s Challenge website at www.rachelschallenge.com.
 


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