People, Places & Events




TFFC to host Bluegill tourney
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center’s annual Big Fish Bluegill Tournament will take place Saturday, Oct. 6.
The tournament awards prizes for the heaviest stringers of sunfish, but the event is really about adults and children having fun fishing together.
Teams must consist of one adult 18 years of age or older and one child under 18 years of age.
All fish must be caught from Lake Athens, which is adjacent to TFFC, and each team can weigh in a maximum of four fish.
Multiple teams can fish from the same boat, making it possible for both parents to partner with different children and still fish as a family.
Team members are not required to be related.
All species of sunfish (also called bream) are allowed.
For information on identifying them, see
On-site registration begins at TFFC’s main gate at 6 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.
A $15 entry fee per team will be charged, which includes admission to TFFC.
Fishing will take place from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the weigh-in at 2:30 p.m. at the Anglers Pavilion at TFFC
Trophies and prizes will be awarded for first through fifth places, and everyone present will be eligible for door prizes.
For more information or to request a registration form by mail, contact Barry St. Clair at (903) 670-2222.

Thinning nuts to prevent limb breakage
By Brian Cummins
VZ County Extension Agent

CANTON–We have a fairly heavy pecan crop this year and several people have called in and reported that they had limb breakage and asked what could be done about it.
I ran across this information from Larry Stein, horticulture specialist with Texas Cooperative Extension in Fredericksburg.
The goal of growing pecans is to produce quality, well-filled kernels. In the past, pecan growers have tried to produce every nut the trees set.
However, we have found that most varieties are not capable of filling every nut. Extra fertilizer and water will not allow the trees to fill all of these pecans.
There are simply too many pecans to fill, or said another way, too many mouths (in this case, pecans) to feed.
It takes 6-8 leaves (90-120 leaflets) to fill out one pecan, so the greater the number of leaves on a tree, the greater the potential production – up to a certain point.
The key to uniform production is to get all trees to produce crops every year, and not produce a huge crop one year, followed by nothing or little the next year.
This phenomenon is referred to as alternate bearing, and occurs with most fruit and nut trees which retain and ripen fruit late into the season.
People always complain that they had a heavy crop of pecans or citrus one year but the following year, they had little or no fruit production.
The tree has to “take a year off” from the stress of producing a bumper crop. It has to take a year to get strong enough to produce another good crop.
To determine if a tree is overloaded, some growers do a visual, subjective rating where 0 = nothing and five = overloaded, of the trees in May and again in early July.
This rating can be obtained by counting the number of terminals (end of the limbs) which have nuts.
Count 10 terminals on each side of the tree to come up with an average. If all terminals end in pecan clusters, then we know the tree is overloaded and must be thinned by removing one-half of all clusters of nuts on terminal growths of branches.
When you have decided to remove some of the nuts, you should remember that by removing the extra pecans on a tree, you actually insure a better quality pecan at harvest.
The quality of the nuts on a tree with too many pecans on that tree is very poor, and the broken-limb damage to the tree is permanent.
When a tree is overloaded with nuts and limbs are obviously severely drooping, remove 50 percent of all the pecan clusters or groups of nuts by cutting the entire clusters off with hand pruners or shears.
If the tree is large, use a pole pruner, even if you have to rent or borrow one. The sooner this can be done, the more dramatic the results will be and the more limb breakage can be avoided.
The nuts will continue to enlarge and get heavier by the day, so the sooner you remove this excess crop, the better. These extra nut clusters should be removed before the winds of a storm can do permanent damage.
Propping over-burdened limbs with poles does not help the situation and only delays the inevitable as well as ruining the entire crop. The nuts have to be cut off so the tree can furnish adequate nutrients to the remaining pecans.
The greatest benefits from removing excess nuts are realized when the pecans are removed in early July.
This not only improves nut quality, but prevents alternate bearing as well. The optimum thinning time is determined by cutting pecans in half.
If you cut into the kernel sacs when the nut is cut in two, it is time to thin the nuts.
You will know you have hit the sacs if water runs out of the nut.
The key is to remove the crop before the trees begin to decline with leaf loss, shuck decline, and/or broken limbs.
Once the leaves begin to drop and/or the shucks begin to blacken, it is too late to improve the quality of the remaining pecans.
However, still removing the extra pecans will prevent major tree damage from limb breakage. If enough nuts are removed from the trees, percent kernel will be improved and pre-harvest germination reduced.
Another bit of good news: it is thought the stink bug does not cause major damage to pecan kernels until the nuts have passed the water stage.
The water stage is when the pecans should be thinned, so after you cut one-half of the nuts from your over-burdened trees, start a spray program for your nut crop using a Malathion or Thiodan (endosulfan) product (organics can use Sabadilla or pyrethrum dust) every seven days until the shucks (outer green covering of pecan) split.
For more information on horticulture, contact your local office of Texas Cooperative Extension or go to


Kerens Cotton Harvest Festival set for Oct. 20
Special to The Monitor
KERENS–The Kerens 2007 Cotton Harvest Festival will be held on the city’s brick-lined downtown streets with the opening ceremony at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.
The Ira Bradford Bustin’ Loose Band will end the festival with a street dance at 8 p.m. on Colket Avenue.
The festival is sponsored by The Friends of the Kerens Library, with all proceeds going to the operation of the new downtown Kerens Library.
Many events and activities for kids and adults alike will be featured throughout the day.
Two stages will feature live musical entertainment all day long.
Vendor booths displaying arts, crafts, food and drink will line the main street.
Kids will enjoy a bouncy house, a miniature train ride, face painting, mule-drawn wagon rides, games galore and much more.
There will be a three on three basketball tournament, bingo for the adults, horseshoe tournament and a target shoot near downtown sponsored by Gander Mountain.
The quilt show that has been a huge hit the past two years will be held again at the historic Presbyterian Church. Quilts can be both antique and new hand-sewn quilts.
New fun this year will be a display of activities that went along with the old times on the farm.
Corn shucking, butter churning, corn shelling, horse shoeing and other activities and implements used on the farm will be demonstrated.
For the chili-lovers, there will again be a mouth-watering chili cook-off contest.
This event is sanctioned by the Chili Appreciation Society International, and all in attendance will be able to sample the chili.
Kerens has been a cotton raising capital since the 1800s.
There will be displays of cotton equipment, plus scales, cotton sack and cotton plants to highlight the rich history of the area.
As last year, there will be tours of one of the only two operating cotton gins left in Navarro County.
The tour will go west seven miles from Kerens to Powell.
You are invited to attend the Cotton Harvest Festival Saturday, Oct. 20, and enjoy the day shopping, eating and visiting with family and friends.
Kerens is located on State Highway 31, just 14 miles east of Corsicana, 23 miles west of Athens and 65 miles south of Dallas.
From Interstate 45, take the 231 exit in Corsicana and go east on State Highway 31.
Parking is free. Watch for the directional signs when you enter Kerens.
For vendor booths, chili cook-off sign up or other information, please contact Betty Partain at (903) 396 7337.
The Kerens Library is located at 106 South East Second Street in Kerens.

Area emergency information cited
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE - Are you ready for a tornado? A hurricane? What about a pandemic flu outbreak?
• 45 percent of the East Texas population surveyed does not have an individual or family emergency plan in place.
• 62 percent of the East Texas population surveyed feels they do not know enough about pandemic flu to protect their family.
September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Northeast Texas Public Health District, Department of Public Health Preparedness invites you and your family to be better prepared for any local emergency situation.
Don’t get stuck without the necessities during an emergency.
Get an Emergency Kit!
• Your basic kit should include water, food, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, filter mask, moist towelettes, wrench or pliers, manual can-opener, plastic sheeting and duct tape, garbage bags and ties, as well as unique family needs (medication, diapers, family documents, etc...).
Get an Emergency Plan!
• Your plan should include family communications plan, shelter-in-place plan, plan to get away, your important contact numbers, and your school and work plans.
Get an Emergency Clue!
• Be informed about the current threats and what might happen, and help with the emergency planning in your local community.
Your Northeast Texas Public Health District, Department of Public Health Preparedness, sponsors the Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, which utilizes medical and non-medical volunteers in the event of an emergency, and also provides continuous emergency training.
For more information on preparing yourself and your family, or volunteering opportunities with your local Medical Reserve Corps, please call us at (903) 595-1350.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Luke. I am the cutest little male puppy ever. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have now been started on my parvo/distemper shots. I am a sweet little baby looking for a wonderful home. I have a brother identical to me.

We are Ollie (orange), Rain (grey) and Johnny (tabby). We are three sweet little kittens that have been at the shelter for a while. Rain is female and the other two are males. We get along with everyone and absolutely adore people. We are sweet babies looking for wonderful home.

We are two sweet babies. One male and one female. We were brought to the shelter by our owners who were not able to keep us. We are good kids looking for our new forever home.

My name is Ben. I am a beautiful male Yellow Lab mix. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I walk on a leash and current on my shots. I seem to be pretty laid back. I am in need of a 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