People, Places & Events



New technologies offer more
services through the phone

Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–New broadband technologies will make true mobile computing both easy and fast for lake-area business leaders.
“Convergence is the buzzword,” Embarq external affairs manager Don Houston told 93 attendees at the monthly Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon Sept. 11.
A registered lobbyist, Houston represents Embarq interests with lawmakers in Austin and is the spokesman for the regional Embarq office.
Embarq, No. 381 on the Fortune 500 list, is the wireless arm of Sprint Telephone (formerly United Telephone). Embarq was spun off into a separate business in May, 2006, and offers voice, data, Internet and entertainment services to more than 8 million customers across 18 states, Houston told the group.
“In the near future, you’ll be able to screen your calls and send to your voice mail (from a cell phone),” he said. “If you have a ‘smart phone,’ you’ll be able to do everything on the phone that you can do on your PC (personal computer).”
As one might expect, fewer and fewer people are actually talking on their telephones, especially cell phones, and are text messaging or connecting to the Internet, Houston said.
“Embarq announced late last month a relationship with the Hughes Network (satellite service),” he added.
Part of that deal will be adding the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – 150,000 prisoners in 118 facilities – to Embarq’s service list.
A Stanford University study revealed 90 percent of traffic on the Internet is e-mail. Approximately 72 percent of users tap into the Internet to look up general information, while 68 percent are just looking around, or “surfing the web.”
“Fifteen percent of computer users generate 85 percent of the traffic,” Houston said.
Worldwide, 39.5 percent of Internet users are in Asia, while 26.3 percent are in Europe and 17 percent are in the United States, he added.
Some Internet providers want to provide a cap on use, while others want to expand the system.
“If you have a pipe and fill it up, you either have to limit the usage – how much is going through that pipe – or buy a bigger pipe,” Houston explained. “Embarq doesn’t believe in capping.”
With more and more customers primarily interested in data transmission, rather than just talking, Embarq technicians are becoming more familiar with computer technology.
“We may eventually have something like a ‘geek squad,’” he said. “The bulk of our service calls actually involve a customer hardware problem, instead of an Internet problem.”
Trinity Valley Electric Co-op public relations representative Shannon Steakley was also scheduled to speak to the chamber members, but as time was already approaching 1 p.m., Steakley said she would address the group later.
“I’ll come back and talk about energy conservation,” she promised, and reminded members chamber president Jo Ann Hanstrom was on the ballot for a spot on the TVEC board of directors.
In other business, chamber members:
• witnessed B&R Enterprises being honored as the “Business of the Month.” Chamber Ambassador president Sharon Strickland presented Bill and Robbie Grissom with a certificate.
• heard Seth Loncar speak about the luncheon’s sponsor, the Pinnacle Club.
A 604-acre gated community just north of Malakoff and Caney City/Log Cabin, Pinnacle Club has opened its newest addition, the Sandpiper, offering homesites with access to Cedar Creek Lake and available boatslips.
The Pinnacle Club also provides a full-service clubhouse with restaurant, as well as a championship-level golf course, Loncar said.
Purchased by a new ownership group in March, community members have recently formed a Property Owner’s Association, Loncar said.
• observed a moment of silence to mark the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C.
• heard Teresa Moore, president of the Mabank Band Boosters, invite members to purchase advertisements in the programs for the 17th annual Cedar Creek Marching Festival, scheduled Saturday, Oct. 11, at Mabank High School’s Panther Stadium.
Funds raised through the programs go back into the overall band program, Moore said.
• heard Rick Brown report the First United Methodist Church of Mabank would be hosting 50 Hurricane Ike evacuees over the coming weekend.
• heard a planned car show and business event in downtown Mabank had been postponed to Saturday, Sept. 20, to avoid anticipated weather problems from Hurricane Ike.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Embarq external affairs manager Don Houston speaks
to area chamber of commerce members during the
chamber’s monthly luncheon Sept. 11.

Rotarians prepare for
Make-A-Difference Day

By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–In preparation for the annual Make-A Difference Day event, lake-area organizations were invited by co-chair Jan Wood to introduce their organizations and to give a short summary of their needs to the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake Friday.
Make-A-Difference Day is a national event and is set for Saturday, Oct. 25. Approximately 26 people representing about 20 organizations attended the Rotary Club’s weekly luncheon.
The Lions Club collects used eyeglasses all year long by putting out collection containers in various locations, club member Edna Beltz said.
“We are working toward getting a mobile eye clinic to visit to perform eye examinations,” she added.
Several speakers said they would be collecting food, especially canned meats, for area food banks, which are currently running low.
Marilyn May, director of the Environmental Co-op in Kaufman County, explained her organization is busy in several activities such as a clean-up campaign Saturday, Sept. 27 (for information visit
“We will also be doing some water conservation education,” she added.
The Cedar Creek Civic League furnishes socks and “onesies” for babies, works with Break the Chain of Domestic Violence and helps with Meals on Wheels.
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club has two major projects during the year, collecting food and canned meats for food pantries and collecting new clothing and items for Christmas for a local women’s shelter
Janice Beasley, assistant superintendent at Eustace Independent School District, offered support where needed to organizations.
Rotarians were reminded of Hobby Crafters, a group that makes homemade (mostly wooden) toys and delivers them to fire and police stations to give to children in traumatic situations.
Volunteers were reminded to keep up with their donated hours, as the club will get credit for those.
A poster with forms and information will be available at Brookshire’s Grocery in Mabank, Wood said.
For more information, call co-chairs Andrea Pickens at (903) 887-2121 or Wood at (903) 880-6539.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Make-A-Difference Day co-chair Jan Wood explains the upcoming event, set
Saturday, Oct. 25, to members and guests of the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek
Lake at Friday’s weekly luncheon.

MHS ’08 Homecoming Queen and Court

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Members of the 2008 Mabank High School Homecoming Queen’s Court gather following halftime ceremonies Friday. Pictured are (from left) Alison Nicole Castle (escorted by dad Pete Castle), Whitney Shae Evans (dad Tobie Evans), Anissa Aguirre (Don Horton), Morgan Renee Savage (dad Mac Savage Jr.), Shelby Nicole Smith (dad John Smith), Homecoming Queen Ashley Marie White (dad Shawn White), Erica Marie Umana (dad George Umana), Whitney Michelle Cathey (dad Michael Cathey), Caitlin Jess Duran (dad Robert Stevenson), Taylor Nicole Chapa (dad Charlie Brock) and Brittani Paige Wood (dad Gary Wood).

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new 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


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