Sunday, September 13, 2009





  DEU investigators find drugs in vehicles
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The Henderson County Drug Enforcement Unit reported several area drug arrests this week.
Investigator Kenny Collard arrested Virginia Tarwater Hodges, 44, in the Tamarack subdivision in Gun Barrel City following a traffic stop around 4 p.m. Tuesday.
She was driving a black Ford Ranger pickup on Wildwind Street when Collard stopped her on a minor traffic violation.
Collard saw an open container of an alcoholic beverage inside the vehicle, and asked the occupants to step outside while he conducted a search.
Hodges attempted to hide two baggies of what is believed to be methamphetamine.
One baggie tore and its contents leaked out from behind the license plate, where she allegedly attempted to hide it. A further search of the vehicle revealed an even bigger bag of the substance inside her purse.
Hodges was charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, Penalty Group 1 (greater than 4 grams and less than 200 grams), a first degree felony, and tampering/fabricating physical evidence, a third degree felony.
She is being held at the Henderson County Justice Center. Her bond had not yet been set. No charges were filed on her passenger.
A second incident resulted from a tip that narcotics activity was being conducted at a game room at Parkway Storage on FM 85 just outside Seven Points.
With consent to search, investigators located a quantity of methamphetamine inside the vehicle of Ray Glenn Followwell, 45, and Miles Christopher Gray, 25.
The men were charged with possession of a controlled substance Penalty Group 1, more than one gram and less than four grams, a third degree felony, punishable by two-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. No bond has been set.


‘The Biggest Loser’ premiers Tuesday with local teacher
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The premier of the NBC hit series, “The Biggest Loser,” set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, will have a local teacher, Abby Rike, as one of its participants.
Rike, 35, a Mabank resident, lost her husband and her two children, age 5 and 18 days, in 2006 in a tragic car accident on State Highway 198.
She and her husband were both teachers at Canton High School at the time of the accident.
Following the accident, Rike was struggling with the loss and trying to find her way back.
As a teacher, she had encouraged her students to do their personal best, but said she often felt like a hypocrite, since she wasn’t doing the same.
She had received a message from a friend who was a former contestant on the show, encouraging her to apply, she recalled.
“I was having a particularly bad day, doing a lot of crying, and I called my mom, telling her about the show. She said ‘go for it’” Rike said, adding it was Friday, Feb. 13, when she made her decision.
Filming for the fall series began in May, and everyone on this season finished up and went home in August, NBC publicity agent Jill Carmen said.
The participants will continue to diet and exercise in order to lose weight to compete for the grand prize.
Even though there can’t be more than one first place winner, Rike is glad she joined the program.
“That’s the beauty of ‘The Biggest Loser,’ everybody wins. I feel like a new person. I’m a winner, regardless of what (prize) I win,” she explained enthusiastically.
“It has been so rewarding. I was just muddling along, until I began taking part in ‘The Biggest Loser.’ It has been so rewarding,” Rike explained.
There are definitely no regrets, Rike said, sounding bubbly and excited.
She offered an encouraging piece of advice for those who are also trying to recover from life-altering events.
“When you’re stuck in a rut, it’s never too late or hopeless to change. Basically, wherever you are in life can be your new beginning,” Rike said.
Dieting alone is not the end solution, as she did a lot of exercising, she explained
“You have to get up and move,” she added..
“The Biggest Loser” offers more than just a weight loss program, she said, adding the exercise and education involved in teaching someone to alter their eating habits and life-style are a part of the changes needed in order to lose weight.
“Of course, the health benefits are the biggest advantage. The increased energy benefits, that truly has been a huge part of my experience,” Rike said.
“I am going to finish this journey. I may go back to school and finish my doctorate. I’ve finished my master’s – a year ago in August,” she explained.
Rike maintained a 4.0 grade point average while she earned her master of education degree.
Rike has taken a break from teaching this year while participating in the show.
“I do enjoy teaching, and I am thinking about maybe teaching some of the programs for teachers,” she added.
Rike is among 16 contestants vying for a chance to compete for the grand prize of $250,000, or the secondary prize of $100,000.
The winner will be determined by the greatest percentage of body weight lost, Carmen explained.
An excited Rike said she will definitely be among the viewers Tuesday. She will be at a premier party with friends in Louisiana that night.
“We are all going to watch it together,” she said.
The season finale is set for Tuesday, Dec. 8.


Holstein decides against running for third term
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Henderson County Judge David Holstein announced Friday afternoon that he will not be seeking re-election next year.
Holstein, who became County Judge by defeating Richard Sanders eight years ago, said he was making the decision for family reasons.
Holstein released the following statement Friday afternoon:
“After much thought and discussion with my family, my supporters and my constituents, I have decided not to seek re-election for the office of county judge in 2010. The time is right to take a sabbatical from public life. It is time for me to step aside, spend more time with my family, and begin another chapter in my life.
“Serving as county judge has been an exciting and rewarding experience, and I am proud to have played a part in the growth and development of Henderson County.
“When I first ran for count judge in 2002, I felt, if I was fortunate enough to be elected, it would be a two-term commitment. My goal then, is the same as it is now, to be a public servant, not a lifelong politician.
“I have been truly blessed to be able to serve the people of this county and want to thank you for every vote you cast for me throughout the primaries and two general elections.
“Also, I especially want to thank all those who worked so hard during my two election campaigns. While at this time, I am closing a chapter in my career as Henderson County Judge, I will continue to be active in the life, growth and development of the community that my family and I call home.”

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