Sunday, September 26, 2010


Electrical panel fire claims home
Monitor Staff Reports
HIDDEN HILLS HARBOR–Payne Springs Fire and Rescue responded to a late-night house fire Sept. 19 in Hidden Hills Harbor subdivision.
Resident Ashlee Tigert said she smelled smoke and saw flames. She was able to get herself and her friend out.
HHHarborFire.jpg (288557 bytes)
Courtesy Photo/Randy Harley
Late-night flames claim a residence at 130 Channelview in Hidden Hills Harbor Sept. 19. Occupants smelled smoke from a fire at the electrical panel while preparing for bed. The smoke detector had dead batteries. No one was hurt, this time, Payne Springs fire chief Randy Harley said. “Check those smoke detectors!”

Another woman and her two children also live in the residence, but were not at home at the time. The single-wide home was a total loss, fire chief Randy Harley said.
This time the home had a smoke detector, but the battery was dead.
“Again, and again, we see the same issue of a nonworking smoke detector,” Harley said. “We don’t need to lose another life before people get it. Test your smoke detectors. If you don’t have smoke detectors, get them.”
Sept. 21, a similar fire claimed the life of a Eustace Intermediate student.
The fire call came in shortly after 10 p.m. to 130 Channelview Dr.
Payne Springs Fire Rescue responded with 16 firefighters and eight apparatus. Gun Barrel City Volunteer Fire Department responded on automatic aid with four firefighters and two apparatus.
“The fire started around the electrical panel in the back bedroom. Upon arrival, flames were already coming out of every window, including the front and back doors,” Harley said.
Firefighters focused their efforts on containing the fire so it wouldn’t spread to the nearby home.


Counterfeit bill leads to four arrests
Monitor Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–Who knew one $100 bill could cause so much trouble – even one that’s counterfeit?
Malakoff police officials have arrested four people for Forgery of a Government Instrument, Money and Securities, a third-degree felony, all because of one counterfeit bill.
Malakoff Detective Sgt. Floyd Thomas unwound the tangle that started at the Malakoff Exxon in May and still hasn’t ended.
Thomas said on May 23, Lacie Stolte tried to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at the Exxon station. Employees spotted the bad bill and called the police.
Thomas said no arrests were made at that time.
“Counterfeiting is a hard case to make,” said Thomas. “A counterfeit bill could go any where. You or I could get one and unknowingly try to spend it.”
So Thomas started tracking the bill. It led to Athens resident John Mitchel, who allegedly gave the $100 to Stolte.
Mitchel received the bill from Rachel Ashton and Cedric Collins, a couple who asked Mitchel for change.
Ashton and Collins apparently got the bill in Malakoff.
Thomas was able to show that all four individuals knew that the $100 was counterfeit before passing it on, which allowed him to file charges with the latest arrest coming last week.
He said he isn’t done yet and is still following the trail of the bill, and more arrests could be coming.
Thomas warned area residents against using money suspected of being counterfeit.
“Come to the police department first and have it checked out,” he said.


Cleaning up a dump site
ESD4pitfill.jpg (225330 bytes)Courtesy Photos/Emergency Service District No. 4
Bubbles float above a hole as a track hoe cleans out barrels of foam donated to the Tool Volunteer Fire Department in 2005. The soapy substance used to smother fires started leaking through the rusted barrels, suspected to be hazardous. Henderson County Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall assigned a crew to remove the debris at the Emergency Service District No. 4 station on State Highway 274 in Tool Sept. 15, following an investigation of illegal dumping. The public had also added their discards, using it as a dump site. The work crew also removed trees blocking traffic views, and used that dirt to refill the hole. The work was done under an interlocal agreement between the county and ESD. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Hall’s crew met previously to agree on what needed to be done on the cleanup.

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