Becker Festival to include chili
Special to The Monitor
BECKER–It’s fall festival time again in Becker and this
time folks are in for a real treat.
There’s a chili cook-off planned and local chefs are preparing to make
their best entries for your culinary enjoyment.
The fun begins 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Becker
Community Center, corner of Farm-to-Market roads 2860 and 1895.
The cost for dinner is $6 for adults and $3 for children.
You also won’t want to miss out on the entertaining musical fare as a
local band will be on hand to play for your dinnertime enjoyment
Of course, the event wouldn’t be complete without the annual quilt
showcase, auction and cake walk. There’s something for everyone!
Chili judging begins at 5:30 p.m. with the winner being announced at 6
For more information or to register an entry, contact Gay Becker at
(903) 498-5623. All proceeds benefit the Becker Community Center.
Health insurance coverage
restored in Van Zandt County
By Randal Brewer
Monitor Staff Writer
CANTON–The Van Zandt County Commissioners re-awarded the county’s health
insurance coverage to Nippon, the carrier who served the county last
year, after a tense week in which it learned the county was without
health insurance for its 225 employees.
A final decision on that matter came Friday after the former awardee,
Unicare, failed to provide the county with proof on insurance for the
month of October, the first month of its new contract.
Nippon, represented by Larry Hopkins of Hibbs/Hallmark. Nippon offered
to extend the county’s coverage through the month of October.
Unicare’s representative, John Gentry Insurance Agency of Tyler
explained that the August bid was based on one-half of the applications
that had been provided during May and June.
Though awarded in August, the underwriting wasn’t completed until
mid-October, Gentry said. “Until they finish underwriting, all numbers
are preliminary,” he told commissioners during an emergency meeting
called Oct. 4.
In addition, an unexpected $10,000 bill for health insurance was
presented to the court for October health expenses.
“Initially there was some confusion over the effective date,” County
Judge Rhita Koches said. “Then, October 1 came around, and not only did
we not have cards, they wouldn’t issue a letter stating that we were
insured. That is when we really realized we had a problem and called the
Koches called Nippon which offered to extend its coverage through
October for $85,000.
“I think we need to stay with the existing company to ensure we have
coverage,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Virgil Melton said.
“I want to know if we have legal recourse to force Unicare to honor the
bid,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Carroll added.
“I don’t see anything that says ‘preliminary’, or ‘proposal’, on this
quote,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Ricky LaPrade said. “We based our budget
on the price we were quoted. If we take a vote to spend an additional
$10,000 for the month of October, I think Unicare should be obligated to
reimburse that expense.”
The court then voted unanimously to issue a check for $85,000 to Nippon
for health coverage for the month of October, and also voted unanimously
to seek legal counsel and to seek reimbursement for any additional
Unicare is also expected to return the $75,000 check issued by the
county for health insurance for October.
In other business, commissioners:
• approved $79,100 as the final closing costs on the purchase of land
(Block 7, Lots 1-6, Original Town of Wills Point) as a site for Precinct
3 offices, including a Justice of the Peace court, and a vehicle
registration office with a 4-1 vote. LaPrade opposed.
• heard a grants presentation from Cheryl Vaughn for the preservation or
restoration of the courthouse.
• designated Oct. 7-12 as 4-H week in Van Zandt County.
• designated the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness and
Prevention Month in Van Zandt County.
• approved an official bond for Fire Marshal Charles Allen, as well as
approved the minimum requirements and job descriptions for the position.
The court also approved a fee schedule for fire inspections.
• approved the county clerk’s annual written plan for funding the
preservation and restoration of the county clerk’s record archive.
• appointed election judges for 2007-2008.
• approved the 2007-2008 interlocal agreement with Andrews Center.
• began the bid process for the purchase of a dump truck for Precinct 2.
Scarecrows and Black-Eyed
Many enjoy East Texas Arboretum’s Fall Festival
By Linda K. Holt
Athens –The East Texas Arboretum hosted a Fall Festival on October 13th
featuring a Black-Eyed Pea Fest and competition.
Monitor Photo/Linda K. Holt
Arrrr you ready for Halloween? East Texas
Arboretum’s Fall Festival features a Scarecrow Trail with a variety of
colorful scarecrows for all to enjoy.
A large crowd enjoyed a variety of events including a
fine art & photography show, dog costume contest, a mule-drawn wagon
ride and live music.
and activities for children were centered around new buildings of a
little red school house, complete with bell, and a storybook playhouse.
Antique cars, area vendor booths, special presentations and lots of food
rounded out the day.
Monitor Photo/Linda K. Holt
A large crowd gathered to watch the
participants of the dog costume contest at the East Texas Arboretum’s
Fall Festival Saturday.
The Scarecrow Trail showcased the imaginative
creations of various persons and organizations in the Athens area.
Winners of the Pea Fest were Wilma Shelton, first place appetizers; Rita
Clark, second place appetizers; Kim Jennell, first place salad;
Catherine Jennell, second place salad; Charlotte Owen, first place main
dish; Beverly Taylor, second place main dish; Diane Allen, first place
pea-nique; Wilma Shelton, second place pea-nique; 2 Sisters Tea Room,
first place professional; and Grand Champion Wilma Shelton.
Monitor Photo/Linda K. Holt
The Scarecrow Trail first place winner “Mr. & Mrs. Crow” was created by
Rachel & Tina Johnston.
Pet vaccination, microchip clinic
Special to The Monitor
GUN BAREL CITY–This Saturday, Oct. 20, from 2-4 p.m., Friends of the
Animals will hold a low-cost vaccination clinic for all area residents.
It will be held at the Friends’ clinic in the southeast corner of State
Highways 198 and 334 in Gun Barrel City in the red brick office strip
behind the Chevron station.
No appointment is necessary.
Dogs must be on a leash and cats must be in carriers.
A rabies shot will cost $10, the annual vaccination for dogs or cats to
protect from five different diseases will cost $15. The feline leukemia
vaccination will be available as well at a cost of $10.
There is a rabies epidemic in Texas – and anyone who has had a dog with
parvo or distemper knows the suffering that animal goes through – and
that it is very contagious to other dogs.
This vaccination clinic will be open to everyone, anywhere.
This clinic will also offer microchipping for cats or dogs. A tiny chip
is inserted into the scruff of the pet, which can be read by a scanner
available at shelters everywhere.
Your lost pet comes home! Cost for this is $20, which includes the
permanent national registration.
Also available for sale at any time is Frontline Plus, the monthly flea
and tick prevention.
Frontline Plus costs $26 for a three-month supply for a cat and ranges
from $28 to $31 for a three-month supply for dogs.
Flea season is still here! Don’t be fooled by products that are cheap –
the reason they are cheap is that they do not work! Don’t throw away
your hard-earned money on products that don’t work!
Friends of the Animals Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic has been open since
July 2002 and has neutered more than 12,000 animals in that time, saving
and preventing literally millions of little lives. Surgery is done by
Surgery prices range from $25 for a male cat to $65 for a giant breed
If you would like to volunteer at the clinic on Tuesdays or have
questions about the vaccination clinic, please call (903) 887-PETS.
Tax-deductible donations for this non-profit charity may be sent to P.O.
Box 5455, Gun Barrel City, TX 75147.
Visit the web site: www.friendsoftheanimals.org
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
My name is Nellie. I am a
beautiful female Yellow Lab. I was brought to the Shelter by
animal control, so I have no history. I walk on a leash, get
along well with male dogs and I am current on my shots. I am a
good girl in need of a wonderful new home.
My name is Mae. I am a beautiful
female Yellow Lab around a year old. I was brought to the
Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far I am
very sweet, walk on a leash and am current on my shots. I am a
beautiful girl looking for a wonderful home.
My name is Charlie. I am a male
Black Lab. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control so I
have no history. So far I seem to enjoy people and seem to be
good with kids. I am current on my shots. I am a wonderful boy
looking for a new home.
My name is Tanner. I am a
beautiful male Chocolate Lab. I was brought to the Shelter by
animal control so I have no history. I am a beautiful playful
boy with a good personality. I am looking for my new forever
Pictured are just a few
animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven
Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the
Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220
County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422
after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
For further information
visit our website at