Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS–The Seven Points Police Department reported
apprehending two individuals in connection with thefts at the Dollar
General stores in Kemp and Seven Points.
Mabank residents Samuel Charles Franklin, 52, and Marla Louise Dagnall,
38, were arrested Sept. 18 and charged with theft greater than $50 and
less than $500.
Items stolen included movies and video games.
At noon Sept. 18, the Seven Points Police were called to investigate a
theft that had just occurred at the Dollar General Store.
The suspects were reported leaving the scene in a red car, heading
towards Gun Barrel City on State Highway 334, according to a press
Officers advised the Gun Barrel City Police, who coincidentally had just
made a traffic stop of the same vehicle.
Seven Points officers Sylvia Garcia and Tim Meadows joined the Gun
Barrel City officers, while Chief Wayne Nutt and assistant chief Dusty
Bryant were dispatched to the Dollar General.
A search of the vehicle did not turn up any of the stolen merchandise,
except for some empty movie containers.
A visit to Pawn Express revealed that Franklin had sold the movies just
prior to being stopped by police.
Further investigation revealed Dagnall and Franklin were also
responsible for a previous theft of video games from the Dollar General
arrested for assault
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–Eustace Mayor Laura Ward was arrested shortly after
midnight Sunday, after an argument between Ward and a 20-year-old woman
broke out in the parking lot of Gater’s nightclub.
Later that day, Ward was released from Henderson County jail after
posting a $20,000 bond on an aggravated assault charge.
The young woman involved was still hospitalized Tuesday, though now in
stable condition at the Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman.
That night, she was airlifted by helicopter to East Texas Medical
Center-Tyler in critical condition.
Gun Barrel City police investigator Sgt. Patrick Johnson couldn’t say
what the disagreement was about.
This is the second time Ward has been charged with aggravated assault
resulting in serious injury.
The first time was in April, 2005. She was charged with striking her
friend Twanna Brewer, who sustained a fractured pelvis from the
Both instances involved the consumption of alcohol.
The Monitor has received at least two anonymous reports on the current
incident, one from someone who was at Gater’s just before the incident
That witness described the Wards (Jack and Laura) as having drunk too
The incident is under investigation, Johnson said.
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–Following a nearly three-hour closed-door interviewing
session, the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District board
appointed W. Richard “Dick” Watkins and Harry McCune to fill two empty
Watkins, 67, a retired petroleum engineer, lives in the Three Harbors
subdivision in the Payne Springs area.
A former vice president of DeGolyer & McNaughton, Watkins was appointed
to fill the seat vacated last month by Ken Landers, with a term
extending to May, 2010.
McCune, 68, an electronic/mechanical engineer who has worked for a
number of companies, including Texas Instruments and RCA, lives in the
Loon Bay subdivision of Gun Barrel City.
McCune was appointed to fill the seat of former director Jack Stegall,
who died Aug. 13, and will serve through May, 2008.
Prior to the appointments, the directors interviewed more than half a
dozen potential candidates during the extended executive session, and
noted their decision was exceedingly difficult, due to the quality of
the individuals who applied.
“The turnout was wonderful, and more than expected,” board vice
president Karen Jentzen said.
“This (group) is just outstanding,” board secretary Jim Boyles added.
In other business, the board:
• accepted the audit report for fiscal year (FY) 2007 as presented by
Greenville auditor Neil Conway.
Conway said the audit revealed no major problems, adding “I believe
y’all have a good system in place.”
The district improved its fund balance from $8.4 million to $8.5 million
between FY 2006 and FY 2007, which is a “healthy” indication, Conway
“We show your net income as $123,354, and that’s right in line with what
we would expect from a $4.5 million utility district,” he told the
Accounts payable were down significantly, which means the district “paid
your bills down,” he said. “That’s a positive trend.”
That said, the district has a significant amount of debt, and Conway
recommended against taking on any more debt without a rate increase.
“You’re probably at a higher debt than other utilities,” he said. “If
you have a down year (such as this year, thanks to record rainfall), you
might have a little trouble meeting your payments.”
• agreed to release the final $12,080 payment on the new raw water
The pump is already exceeding capacity expectations, general manager
Bill Goheen reported.
• approved a contract with Athens engineers Velvin & Weeks for design
services on proposed grant-funded sewer renovations for the Tamarack
subdivision of Gun Barrel City, but balked at approving a related
memorandum of understanding with the city.
“I would like for this to be clearer,” treasurer Carol Meyers said, and
“I know it’s not complete until the engineer signs off on it, but it
(the memorandum) doesn’t say that,” Jentzen said.
The proposed $360,000-plus project includes $250,000 in grant funding
and about $118,000 in matching funds from the district.
Engineer Chris Weeks told the board approving the contract enabled the
Weeks said grant writer Gary Traylor wrote the memorandum, and agreed to
meet with Meyers and Jentzen to review wording.
• heard Weeks report on a number of ongoing projects.
Weeks said required soil tests showed the district could use treated
effluent to irrigate a hay meadow near the south wastewater treatment
plant for at least 20 years without concern that the effluent might make
the soil too salty.
The long-planned project to clean sewer sludge out of the Prairie Creek
Cove had a notice-to-proceed date of Oct. 1, Weeks said.
• heard work was continuing on grant-funded self-installed sewer work in
Cedar Branch Park and Southwood Shores.
Weeks said bids would be opened Friday on similar projects in
Thunderbird Shores and Indian Harbor.
• heard Goheen report work to replace Lift Station 12 was continuing,
The project has turned out to be a much more complicated project than
anticipated, due to poor soil conditions, Goheen added.
Community dedicates ‘House
of the Future’
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
TOOL–“Welcome to the House of the Future,” Tool Mayor Scott Confer told
a crowded school cafeteria Sunday afternoon.
“It’s been eight years in the making. Out of fire, out of tragedy and
turmoil came opportunity,” he said.
The trustees of the Malakoff School District held joint dedication
ceremonies Sunday for its two new facilities – Malakoff Elementary and
Tool Elementary schools.
“As a tax-paying resident, I am proud to be a part of the Malakoff ISD,”
The ceremonies included flag presentations to school principal Bill
Morgan by State Rep. Betty Brown and U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling,
via his representative.
Also, the fourth and fifth grade choir gave a rousing rendition of the
“Star-Spangled Banner”, “I’m Not Perfect” and “Ready to Go”.
TEA commissioner Adrian Johnson, schooled in rural Texas, was glad to be
part of the happy occasion
“You never know how far your investment in this school will take you,”
Brown reminded those gathered of “the wonderful things that transpire in
this building regarding pride, responsibility, excellence and dreams.”
Longtime school trustee Homer Ray Trimble outlined some of the history,
“trials and tribulations” that went into getting to “this day.”
He thanked every school board member for their contributions.
“God is always on time. It just might not always be on our time,” he
Confer introduced Morgan by saying: “It takes power – electricity – to
operate this school. Here is the electricity powering this school – Bill
Screams, clapping and shouts erupted from the audience as Morgan took
his place beside the podium.
“This community has the benefit of teachers who are the cream of the
crop,” Morgan said.
Morgan upholds the precepts of sterling teacher Ron Clark, who proved
that kids the system has written off can be motivated to perform to
their potential (“The Ron Clark Story,” available on video).
Superintendent John Spies closed the dedication by asking the Wood
family to stand and be recognized for their generosity in offering the
purchase of their ancestral land to serve as the Tool Elementary site.
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Tool mayor Scott Confer (left), Malakoff ISD trustees, superintendent
Dr. John Spies (right), public officials, school builder, Texas
Education Agency representatives and students celebrated the dedication
of Tool Elementary School with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday.