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Current Issue
September 29
, 2011






News in Brief

CCL 49er’s Senior Citizens Club
7-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 (or any Thursday night) is dancing to Chuck and the 49er’s. No smoking or alcohol, great band and atmosphere. Donation is $6 at the door.
Located in Seven Points, off Hwy. 274, 2 blocks south on Arnold Hills Road. (903) 432-3552.

Betty Curtis Benefit
Join Betty Curtis in her fight against cancer and enjoy supper, dessert and live entertainment 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29.
Any size donation is accepted. $1 tickets for jackpot drawing.
Event at Cornerstone Church at 104 W. Eubank St. in Mabank.

Square Dance Lessons
Square dance lessons will be taught by the Log Cabin Square Dance Club start from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and continue each Monday at the Promenade Hall at 1210 North Tool Drive on Highway 274 in Tool.
First and second lessons are free. Come check us out for fun, fitness and fellowship.
For more information, call Faye at (903) 340-9672.

Avanti Singers
The Avanti Singers will begin their new season at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in the choir room of the First United Methodist Church in Mabank. An invitation is open for those interested in musical entertainment and fellowship with other singers. Contact Jean Robinson at (903) 451-3203 for booking a program or joining.

West Place Open House
West Place Nursing Home and Rehabilitations Center is holding an renovation celebration open house 4- 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. Dr. Terri Eckett, Medical Director and Dr. Jonathan Edwards, Skilled Services Medical Director will be there to answer your questions.

Smart Landscaping Workshop
The East Texas Arboretum will hold a workshop of smart landscaping 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. Henderson County Master Gardener Carol Harrison of McDade’s Nursery will present the program. An English tea will be served as well as a drawing and door prizes.

Disabilities Conference
The Njoy Foundation has secured top speakers for its Resource Conference relating to various disabilities. Topics include autism, advocacy, mental health, special education, financial planning and much more. The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Lockheed Martin Recreation Association Clubhouse, located at 3400 Bryant Irving Road in Fort Worth. Call (817) 917-2631.

Kaufman County Kaumposting Class
Attend a free 4-part composting series in Kaufman County, beginning this Saturday, Oct. 1. Part.1, Recycling in your yard, 9 a.m. to noon, Oct.1; Part 2, Composting Basics, 1-4 p.m. Oct. 15; Part 3, Organic Solutions 9 a.m.-noon; Part 4, Vermi Composting and Alternative Options 1-4 p.m. Located at The Recycling Plant at 1100 Airport Rd. in Terrell. For more information contact Environmental Co-op at (972) 524-0007.

October Fest 2011
Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church will sponsor an October Fest from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Malakoff Community Center, 503 N. Terry St. Chicken dinners will be available for dining in or take out with prepaid ticket. There will be music, entertainment, donkey rides, a cake walk, silent auction, games, bounce houses and a fishing booth. Call (903) 489-2366.

Book Signing and Fund raiser
Mabank resident and author of Born Mad, Robyn Wheeler will hold a book signing 5-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 at Mabank High School. 10 percent of net sales will be donated to Tri-County Library.

Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek lake is holding an executive board meeting at the Cedar Creek Library 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4. Devotional will be given by Mary Jo Love.

National Night Out Against Crime
Gun Barrel City is hosting a city wide Night Out Against Crime 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4 at the pavilion. Free pony rides, bounce houses and hotdogs. Entertainment includes great music with Dino Perelli and magician Taw Pruitt. Lock your doors, turn on an outside light and spend the evening with neighbors, police and firemen enjoying fun activities. Don’t forget your lawn chairs.

PSUMC Fellowship
The public is invited to Payne Springs United Methodist Church monthly fellowship night Wednesday, Oct. 6. A covered dish dinner will be served followed by entertainers Jasmine Richman and Friends. The church is located on SH 198 across from the PSVFD. For more information call (903) 451-2978.

VFW benefit suppers
The VFW Post 4376 in on Veterans Way in Seven Points is holding a hamburger benefit supper 7-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7 and a hotdog chili supper Friday, Oct. 14 for the homeless veterans fund for $5.

All you can eat fish fry
Knights of Columbus Council 8806 will hold their “all you can eat fish fry” 5-7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7 at St. Jude Catholic Church on Luther Lane. Menu includes US farm raised catfish, french fries, hush puppies, coleslaw, ice tea/coffee and homemade baked goods.

Lord’s Acre Fall Festival
The First United Methodist Church, located at 501 S. Third St. in Mabank is holding its annual Lord’s Acre festival starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 with a barbecue luncheon starting at 11:30 a.m. Attractions for the kids, dunking booth, live auction, and a country store are all part of the time-honored festivities.

Blessing of the animals
The annual Blessing of the Animals will be held 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 at St. James on the Lake Episcopal Church. Bring your pets to be blessed by Fr. Jerry Morriss. After the blessing, we will have a hot dog cook out. Open to the pet-free public as well.

Whitton Community Center barbecue and auction
Donated items such as antiques, arts, crafts and baked goods are wanted for the auction to benefit Tarver Cemetary maintenance and upkeep. Auction and barbecue will be 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 located on VZFM 1651, 4 miles north of Jackson off 198. Menu includes brisket, lot links, beans, potato salad, coleslaw, drinks and dessert. Donation is $8 for adults, $4 for children 12 and over.

National Night Out Against Crime
The Mabank Police Department is hosting a city wide Night Out Against Crime 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 on Market Street. The western-themed event will feature entertainment, food, tours of police cars and fire engines and the outdoor showing of a great family movie.

Special Olympics Bocce blow-out and fund raiser
The Church of Christ in Seven Points is holding a fund raiser 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 to help with the purchase of team uniforms. Hot dogs, chips, soft drinks, water and baked goods will be on sale. A drawing for special items will be included. Located at 235 W. Cedar Creek Parkway in Seven Points.

Adopt a family open Golf Tournament
St. James on the Lake Episcopal Church is having their 12th annual Adopt-a-family Open Golf Tournament on Oct. 10 at the Cedar Creek Country Club. All proceeds go to charity to help families at Christmas and throughout the year. Located at 10707 KCR 4022 near the entrance to the Cedar Creek County Club.











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Top News

Spirit Week doubles the benefit
American Red Cross, education foundation share $63,057.01
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–“What started out as a small gesture, a seemingly insignificant contribution to a tremendous loss of life, security, and innocence, has indeed grown into something that is bigger than us all,” the half time announcer at Friday’s Mabank Homecoming game said.
She was referring to the results of a week of fundraising across all six Mabank ISD campuses during homecoming week, otherwise known as Spirit Week. Started 10 years ago in response to 9-11, and the need to contribute in some meaningful way to relieve some of the pain caused when terrorists used commercial airliners to attack the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
The 10-year tradition of giving, in good times and bad times has proved the proverb, “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” as a huge roar of cheering broke forth on the announcement that this year’s efforts had raised a grand total of $63,057.01, beating last year’s record $50,000.
That total was divided between two charities: a national one and a local charity.
Jourden Dunn, representing the American Red Cross accepted a giant check for $44,139.91, and Mabank ISD Education Foundation directors Shannon Steakley, Allison Partridge and Robin Neighbors accepted a check for $18,917.10.
In such ways, Spirit Week works to replace that terrible day of horror with the one of hope, strength and unity.
“This is what can happen when we, as a community, refuse to dwell on bitterness, push past the negative and choose to focus on good. Despite the negative which may surround us and the challenges in our own lives, we will not wallow in despair but will strive to surpass it,” the announcer said.
Though each year the district is faced with challenges: a troubled economy, increased unemployment, homes in foreclosure, a crisis in education and people struggling to make ends meet, area residents, families and friends of Mabank students remember 9-11 by sacrificing the fruits of their labors to help those who need it most.
Besides economic troubles, natural disasters: flooding in the East, tornadoes that wiped out entire communities in Alabama and Missouri and wildfires that destroyed properties and homes throughout Texas have marked this past year.
When the Spirit Week committee began the selection process for a recipient this year, it didn’t take long to come to a decision. With the economic downfall and the unusual number of disasters this year, we wanted to help an organization whose mission it is to help others in need. Ironically, this year’s beneficiary is the very same beneficiary we chose 10 years ago…the American Red Cross.
But that was not enough. In the true spirit of giving, the committee chose to reach out to more than one charity. From this year forth, Spirit Week endeavors will benefit two charities.
Because educators spend so much of their own money on classroom needs, the committee chose a local beneficiary that would support the educators and children of our district; the Mabank ISD Education Foundation.
This Foundation was created to provide the educators in our district with the resources to provide innovative, educational programs that would not be possible without this type of funding. Through the foundation, educators can apply for grants to fund programs that encourage students to work at their highest potential, support innovation, and provide recognition.
Fundraising results
Mabank High School
The high school, serving grades 9-12, always brings in high numbers for Spirit Week. Daily hotdog vending, powder-puff football players and golfers bring in a lot of money for this campus.
Under the leadership of Principal Brad Koskelin and with guidance from Spirit Week campus coordinator Cris Cary, the high school made a great showing again this year with a grand total of $13,161.99.
Led by Principal Darin Jolly and serving grades 7-8, MJH, under Spirit Week campus coordinator Rhonda Manning and her campus support crew were up to their elbows in dancing teenagers, various competitions and awesome auction items this week in order to bring in $14,455.96.
Being the relatively new kid on the block is not an obstacle for this school, the district’s fifth and sixth grades, led by Principal James Pate, his staff and Spirit Week campus coordinator Shanna Burks were
green from pickle juice, sticky from snow cones and amazed by magic in order to increase their totals to $10,105.75.
Three extremely competitive elementary schools with grades K-4 increased their collection efforts.
Lakeview Elementary
Principal Kevyn Pate and her campus coordinators Courtney Smith and Windy Preston sprang into Spirit Week with a bounce house, games and activities and some tasty funnel cakes resulting in a total of $3,221.
Southside Elementary
Led by Principal Brandy Dyer and campus Spirit Week coordinator Jennifer Williams raised enthusiasm with their “Southside’s Biggest Fan” fundraiser. Campus activities and shirt sales helped bring their totals to $8,083.26.
Central Elementary
Led by Principal Terri Watson and Assistant Principal Chelsea Capehart, who also serves as the campus Spirit Week coordinator, Central Elementary employed plate-toting waitresses, fancy dinners, barbecue sandwiches and Panther Grams to put this campus over the top with a remarkable $20,308.35.
Not to be left out, district administrative offices contributed $271.
“Congratulations to the entire district and community and thank you for another successful Spirit Week. See you next year.”

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Absolutely no burning
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners are making it easy to understand: don’t burn anything.
Tuesday, commissioners extended the burn ban for two weeks, something they’ve done every other week since April. This time, however, the ban is stricter. The ordinance bans “any activity outdoors which could allow flames or sparks that could result in a fire unless in an enclosure designed to protect the spread of fire ...”
That means no grilling, no barbecue, no fireworks — no anything.
“Right now, even a small fire in this county involves everyone in this county,” said fire marshal Darryl Furrh.
While some commissioners were concerned about the impact of the strict “no burn” policy on agriculture, they passed the stronger ordinance for two weeks and vowed to come back at that time with new suggestions.
County judge Richard Sanders urged the court to approve the ordinance “and nobody burns right now.”
Furrh said the average Keetch-Bynum Drought Index score in the county is 714. A burn ban is recommended when the KBDI score is above 500. The drought index scale goes to 800.
Last month in his Houston Chronicle blog, Texas State climatologist John Nielson-Gammon wrote, “I’ve started telling anyone who’s interested that it’s likely that much of Texas will still be in severe drought this time next summer, with water supply implications even worse than those we are now experiencing.”
In August, Nielson-Gammon announced that Texas is in the grip of the worst one-year drought on record.
Ignoring the burn ban is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.


New interim chief named for Payne Springs
Susan Harrison
Monitor Staff Writer

PAYNE SPRINGS–The Payne Springs City Council accepted the resignation of interim police chief Michael Roach earlier this month. Roach was named chief July 26.
He submitted a letter dated Sept. 14 stating that he was resigning but failed to give any reason.
In a special meeting a few days later, the council named J.T. Collard to the position.
Sept. 20, Collard gave his first report to the council as the city’s police chief.
“You’ve got two good officers who enjoy what they do and they’re ambitious,” Collard said. “It is tough to live on what they make and they are very hard working and knowledgeable,” he said before the council voted to give the officers a raise.
Michael “Robert” Johnson and Aaron Mitchell each received a $1 an hour raise by city council members. This raised their pay to $11 per hour.
“I would like to do another review in six months,” suggested councilman Michael McDonald.
The council also accepted former police chief Michael Roach’s abrupt resignation.
“Currently Tim Meadows is our acting chief of police,” mayor Rodney Renberg explained. “When Collard completes his six-month probationary period, he will become the acting chief of police and Meadows will be the assistant chief of police. Meadows is an unpaid chief.”
Collard told the council about he has 11 years in law enforcement, both as a jailer and in dispatch with sheriff offices. In addition, he said he had overseen a construction crew for many years. “My father framed the new city hall, and I have been an active reserve for Payne Springs for three to four years,” Collard said.
He also explained that he enjoys the people part of law enforcement.
“I look forward to what we can do together,” Collard concluded.
Collard is a 1998 graduate of Mabank High School. He started his law enforcement career with the Kaufman County Sheriff’s office as a dispatcher and deputy before joining the city of Eustace police department as a patrolman from 2003-05. He also worked as a deputy for the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s office.
He has stayed active in the construction and house building industry during this time also.
Auditor Don Kinney praised the city on last year’s financial statements, “The city is in excellent financial situation as of last year. I am very pleased with your financial situation.”
“Karen (Juica, city secretary) is a pleasure to work with,” Kinney explained that all his requests were immediately completed.
Kinney also told the council that city secretary Karen Juica found a program that separates fines and fees collected by the city for what is owed to the state of Texas and what the city can keep.
The state only gets a percentage of the fees collected from moving violations and not all traffic ticket fines.
It is beneficial to the city to separate the fines and not overpay the state, Kinney said.
Juica anticipates the city will owe the state about $30,000 in October.
“You (city) brought in a lot of revenue this year from drug arrests and no driver’s licenses. Sales tax revenue was up last year too,” Kinney added.
McDonald suggested that it was from the city going “wet” – being allowed to sell alcoholic beverages starting last year.
The council voted to accepted the audited financial statements for Jan. 1 to Dec.31, 2010 as presented..
“We received five bids for heating and air conditioning ranging from $16,997 to around $36,000,” McDonald reported as he told the council they needed to award bids for the new city hall..
The council decided to review the heating and air conditioning bids again to be sure they are comparable.
A contract for sheet rock was awarded to Lowe’s for $2,598.25 and a contract for installation, tape and bedding was awarded to Larry Roseberry for $5,500.
In other business, council members:
• accept the August court report as presented by Juica. Court income was $35,167.50, expenses $9,793.31 for net income of $25,374.19,
• adopted the county’s Hazard Mitigation Action Plan,
• heard councilman Michael Juica report that the conduits, framing and telephone lines are in at the new city hall and expects the the electricians to finished on Sept. 22,
• heard a budget workshop is set for Tuesday, Oct. 4,
• were pleased that potholes were filled and voted to buy an additional load of fill materials when needed. There was also discussion of possibly purchasing additional equipment if it becomes available to aid in pothole repair,
• heard a suggestion from McDonald to review Collard’s performance in three months for a possible raise from his $13 per hour rate,
• agreed to discuss changing the city elections to from May to November at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 18.





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