Thursday, October 16, 2008





Two die in wrecks over weekend
18-wheeler veers off road, driver found dead
Motorcyclist dies in separate wreck

Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Local law enforcement worked a fatal one-vehicle accident late Friday and into Saturday afternoon along U.S. Highway 175 approaching CJ’s in Mabank.
It is unknown why the driver of an eastbound 18-wheeler veered off the right-hand side of the road and into the woods around 5:30 p.m. Friday.
The Longview driver died at the scene.
Allen Wood, 51, had left Waxahachie and was likely on his way home when he listed to the right, his trailer clipping a highway sign and mangling his cab in a thick stand of trees.
The body was removed and an autopsy was ordered to determine the cause of death.
Mabank Police Chief Kyle McAfee said it took quite a while to get the truck dislodged from the woods and clear the wreckage.
The job required calling a big wrecker out of Dallas, he said. A second wrecker also was called.
Justice of the Peace Johnny Adams was one of those who assisted in directing traffic early Saturday morning.
The scene was finally cleared around 3 p.m. Saturday.
GUN BARREL CITY–A motorcyclist was killed early Saturday morning along East Main Street in Gun Barrel City.
The motorcyclist, Timothy Whittenberg, 53, of Palestine was riding westbound along State Highway 334 around 8:30 a.m. when an eastbound 1989 Ford van negotiated a left-hand turn into a driveway at 1406 E. Main St.
Apparently the 70-year-old driver, Kemp resident Nathan Shreiner, didn’t see the motorcyclist.
Neighbor Gregg Zitko was nearby when the accident occurred and rushed in to help.
Zitko, who recently lost his 19-year-old son in a car accident north of Athens, held Whittenberg as he expired.
Investigator Sgt. Damon Boswell said the angle of the rising sun was a factor in causing the fatal accident.
Whittenberg was transported to the Emergency Care Center in Gun Barrel City, where Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock pronounced him dead.

Today is ‘thank your boss day’
around the country

By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–With all the national days, national week and national month reasons to buy a card or flower, National Boss’ Day pays homage to your superior.
Boss’ Day, as it is more commonly known, is the day set aside for employees to thank their bosses.
The date is also living proof of what one individual can accomplish when they set their mind to it.
Back in 1958, when Patricia Bays Haroski decided to register “National Boss’ Day” with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, she was a secretary for State Farm Insurance in Deerfield, Ill.
The date she chose, Oct. 16, was her father’s birthday (he also happened to be her boss).
In 1978, Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner officially proclaimed the day.
In recent years, the date has become an international day, and is celebrated in countries such as England, Australia and South Africa.
This is the day to let your boss know you are happy to be a part of the business, and to say a special “thank you” with a card or some other token of appreciation.

KC public defender cited
with ‘Best Practice’ award

Bidders sought for new Kemp maintenance barn
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–The county’s one-and-a half-year-old Public Defender’s office, headed by Andrew Jordan, was recently recognized by the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) with an award.
The Kaufman County Commissioners noted the news at Monday’s regular meeting.
The office has saved the county more than $600,000 in indigent defense costs. Other savings include:
• about $2.8 million for inmate population reductions, and
•another $100,000 in earnings for the county for inmate space rental.
All this in the office’s first year of operation.
Jordan credited the commissioners’ court, especially Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller, whose research helped the county obtain a $190,000 task force discretionary grant.
The grant allowed Kaufman County to become the first mid-sized county to establish a public defender’s office. It requires the public defender to see indigent defendants within 24 hours.
The office has two public defenders, an investigator and a secretary.
“Our staff takes great pride in the fact that the poorest in the county now has equal access to the justice system, and their rights are as vigorously protected as the richest,” Jordan said.
The award was presented by TAC ex-officio leadership foundation board member Roy Orr and TAC field representative Gerald Schroeder.
In other business, commissioners:
• agreed to seek bids to purchase and install a metal building to serve as the new county maintenance facility for Precinct 4.
In an earlier interview, Deller explained Precinct 4 has outgrown its existing maintenance shop on Business 175 in downtown Kemp.
“A win-win opportunity has allowed us to have the city of Kemp purchase the existing facility, and allow the county maintenance to move to a new location,” Deller said.
“Kemp has given us a letter of intent to purchase the current facility so that Precinct 4 can proceed with plans to build a new maintenance facility next to the ECO Station,” he added.
Plans for the new maintenance shop call for a 50x100-foot building (5,500 square feet), plus a large yard to park equipment, along with a fuel island and road material storage, Deller explained.
“The target date to move into the new facility is Thursday, Jan. 1,” he said.
The bids will be closed Thursday, Nov. 13, and be opened at the commissioners’ regular meeting Monday, Nov. 17.
• agreed to seek bids for an annual road materials contract for the entire county. Those bids also will close Nov. 13 and be opened Nov. 17.
• acknowledged receipt of the fiscal year 2009 budget for the Kaufman County Emergency Services District No. 7.
• heard tax assessor/collector Dick Murphy report 96.40 percent of the taxes both for the general fund and road and bridge fund had been collected.
“This completes the (2008) fiscal year,” he said.
• approved three signatures for the County’s Texas Community Development Program project.
The signatories are County Judge Wayne Gent, auditor Hal D. Jones and treasurer Johnny Countryman.
• proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
• approved the resale of tax property, Cause Number 68799-86, in the Slayton Addition, Precinct 4.
• renewed membership in the National Association of Counties, with annual dues of $1,286.
• paid bills totaling $595,148.59.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
The Texas Association of Counties (TAC) representatives Gerald Schroeder
(left) and Roy Orr present the Best Practices Award to Kaufman County chief
public defender Andrew Jordan (right). His office was cited for huge savings
resulting from bringing justice and due process to indigent inmates in Kaufman

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