Thursday, October 1, 2009








City discusses curfews, Christmas parade
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council heard citizens urge adoption of a curfew ordinance Sept. 22.
Tamarack resident Peggy Northcutt and Harbor Point homeowner Carol Strickland were two who spoke to the council about the need for a curfew.
“If Mabank, Eustace and Tool can have one, we should be able to have one, too,” Northcutt said.
Strickland pointed to three incidents of trespassing at night at the Harbor Point Park and numerous criminal mischief cases.
“We’re not trying to make villains out of teens, we just want to protect property,” she said, pointing out the property owner’s association is looking at a $10,000 expense to install a fence.
“There’s is little evidence that curfews have any appreciable effect on juvenile crime rates,” Police Chief Damon Boswell wrote in his report on the subject.
Boswell’s report included court decisions in cases where juvenile curfew ordinances were challenged.
The city of Dallas won its argument that it had a compelling interest in protecting juveniles from crime on the streets. The city presented statistics involving youth misconduct after hours.
“It is my belief that we do not have the statistical data to pass the strict scrutiny of the courts,” Boswell wrote.
Since January of this year, the police department has filed only four cases against juvenile offenders, all of which occurred prior to 11 p.m.
Officers have responded to about 22 calls regarding complaints pertaining to juveniles between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., Boswell reported.
None of the calls pertained to rape, robbery, murder or aggravated assault, and juveniles were neither victims nor actors, he added.
The council took no action to adopt a curfew rule.
However, the council did agree to use up to $4,500 from the Hotel-Motel Fund for miscellaneous expenses relating to the Christmas parade rescheduled from Dec. 12 to Saturday, Dec. 5, to avoid holding it the same day as Christmas on the Square in Eustace.
Christmas event chairman Marty Goss said he’d be using the funds for local advertizing.
“We are going to be frugal with these funds?” Councilman Melvyn Hayes asked.
“I didn’t waste any last time, and won’t do so this time,” Goss answered.
Under citizens comments, hotel operator Dan Leonard opposed the expenditure, saying 90 percent of those attending the parade are locals and won’t be spending the night in the city.
“Raise money for your Christmas parade another way,” Leonard said. “Hotel-Motel funds are to promote tourism to spend money in our city. I say it’s not a good use.”
Councilman Marvin Pace suggested using money from the general fund.
“I see his (Leonard’s) point. I feel it could come out of general funds and leave the hotel-motel money alone,” Pace said.
“Tourism means bringing in others, not in the city (Gun Barrel),” city manager Gerry Boren said.
Mayor Paul Eaton said the matter has been discussed with an attorney, and the city is being careful to use the funds for advertizing.
In other business, council members:
• reappointed Ron Donly, Anne Mullins, Walter Weaver and James Cavanaugh to the Planning and Zoning Commission with terms expiring in October, 2011.
• agreed to spend $1,500 from the Contingency Fund to match the $1,500 Go Texan Award presented to the city, so 30 banners can be purchased, instead of just 10 the award would buy.
City secretary Christy Eckerman showed council members a sample 24x48 blue and green banner, which featured a park bench under a tree, and a motto: “Texas Country – Make Your Getaway.”
The Economic Development Corporation is obtaining similar banners that include the words “Certified Retirement Community.”
• named Prosperity Bank as the city’s depository from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2014, upon staff recommendation.


Stolen property recovered
Monitor Staff Reports
CANEY CITY–Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies recovered $20,000 worth of all-terrain vehicles last Thursday.
Deputies Kendell Wellman, David Robertson and Sgt. Brad Gray investigated a burglary call at Bayside Circle in Caney City.
A neighbor saw a lawn tractor parked in the roadway that appeared to have been abandoned.
Investigators could see the tractor, along with several ATVs, had been taken from a nearby building.
Following fresh ATV tire tracks across State Highway 198, investigators found a Polaris 4-wheeler hidden in a wooded area. Later, a Kawasaki Mule ATV was found in a creek bed, south of the reported burglary.
Law enforcement is seeking the identity of suspects in the case.


Mabank to host National Night Out event Oct. 3

Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–All area residents are invited to participate in a National Night Out event in downtown Mabank from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.
City workers will block off Market Street in order to host a number of activities, including the “winner” of the Kiss the Pig contest doing just that.
Mabank police officers will submit themselves as targets for pie throwing, and will be handing out free crime-fighting brochures.
There will be live music, along with a display of classic cars and police cars.
Parents are encouraged to take advantage of child fingerprinting services, and there will be a cake walk and a fund-raising “jail.”
National Night Out is an annual event designed to strengthen communities by encouraging neighborhoods to engage in stronger relationships with each other and with their local law enforcement partners.
The goal is to heighten crime-prevention awareness, build support and participation in local anti-crime programs, and most importantly, sent a message that our neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

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