Sunday, Oct. 29, 2006



  City Water Superintendent Dies in Early-Morning Wreck
Monitor Staff Reports
LOG CABIN-Authorities are investigating the cause of a wreck early Wednesday that killed a Log Cabin man.
Lemuel Boyce McNew, 74, Log Cabin water superintendent, was driving west in a 2003 Chevrolet S-10 truck on Farm-to-Market 3054 around 7 a.m. when he came up on a Dodge 3/4-ton truck.
The truck had stopped to make a left turn, Log Cabin Police Chief Buddy Barton reported.
An initial autopsy report ruled out heart trouble as being a cause for McNew failing to respond to the stopped vehicle, Barton told The Monitor Thursday.
McNew was wearing a seatbelt at the time of impact, and the air bags deployed, Barton added.
McNew's vehicle was totaled; however, the 3/4-ton Dodge truck belonging to Jose Prado of Jacksonville received only minor damage.
Following the accident, the turn signals on the Dodge were not operating - whether they were operating at the time of the accident is under investigation.
The roadway was wet during the time of the accident, and no skid marks could be seen.
"He will be greatly missed," Barton said.
"He wasn't just a city worker," Mayor Gene Bearden said. "He was a friend. I could always talk to him, and he was one of those who were upbeat. He's going to leave a void."
Funeral services are pending with Gordon-Foster-Brown Funeral Home of Athens.


KC Sexual Assault Response Team Forms
By Patricia Scalici
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN-An emergency response team for victims of sexual assault is being organized in Kaufman County.
SART, or Sexual Assault Response Teams, and SANE - Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, have been implemented in more than 59 counties, and Kaufman County hopes to join that number. 
Healing Hearts, a sexual abuse advocacy agency based in Terrell, invited medical and law enforcement professionals and volunteers to a meeting Oct. 18 at Presbyterian Hospital to discuss creating specialized emergency response teams for victims of sexual assault.
SART raises community awareness of sexual abuse/assault, and provides training for medical, law enforcement and victim advocacy.
In rural communities, victims typically have to go to Tyler or Dallas to be examined for evidence.
Lisa Zapata-Maling, sexual assault community development specialist with the state attorney general's office, said her office is willing to conduct this type of training for nurses at no charge to help achieve SANE certification.
Training in Kaufman County will be conducted with a minimum number of nurses signed up for the seven-day training.
When a victim is assaulted, there are protocols to follow in processing evidence.
Many times, victims are not even aware a sexual assault is taking place - this is most prevalent in children, who are chronically sexually abused, Maling said.
Historically, more assaults are reported when these teams are in place, she added. 
That doesn't mean more assaults occur, but more are reported. 
There are two types of examinations for victims - an acute exam, and a chronic exam. 
An acute exam usually takes place right after a victim is assaulted. The law allows 96 hours to gather and document evidence, Maling explained. 
Through SART, the victim has an advocate throughout the entire process, from the initial exam, to the court case and trial. 
Advocates assist victims with affidavits, compensation forms and other needs during the process.
Maling also says with national teams in place, case evidence and prosecution is more successful.
SANE and SART teams bring community awareness, and open lines of communication between various departments such as Child Protective Services and law enforcement. 
Melinda Polk of Kaufman Christian Help Center, Kim Martin of the Kaufman Health Clinic, and Manuela Morales, Kaufman Community Health Clinic, have already committed to training so they can become a part of the SART team. 
Healing Hearts will coordinate the advocacy portion of the team. 
Mary Clemons, Healing Hearts executive director, reports Darla Hibdon, a registered nurse, is close to completing her clinical training for SANE certification.
Experience in an emergency room, or similar setting, is a requirement for the certification, as is seven days of classroom instruction covering protocol in collecting forensic evidence.
A period of clinical training follows on actual victims, and hearing such cases in court is also required.
Participants heard from Darla Hibdon, an RN from Kaufman Presbyterian Hospital, who has been in the certification process since March.
Hibdon is coordinating the SANE training with area nurses and Mahling's office. She can be reached at the hospital at (972) 932-5531.
Clemons wants to see at least seven SANE nurses in place, so a roster of trained people are on-call, and an advocate in every community, Clemons said.
Clemons anticipates having a fully operating SART and SANE response system in place in six to eight months. 
The same training and procedures are applicable to assist victims of domestic violence, Clemons noted.
Volunteer advocates are being sought for Kaufman County. A 40-hour training program is available to prepare anyone wishing to become a victim's advocate. Healing Hearts is coordinating this effort from their office; call (972) 551-2700. 
"We have to create protocol, a chain of command. Right now, we don't have anything like that here, so this is a huge first step," she said.


Log Cabin Improves Boat Ramp
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

LOG CABIN- Hoot Johnson Construction graciously answered yes to a request by Log Cabin City Mayor Gene Bearden to dig out a new, deeper boat ramp at the city's park. 
The new ramp will be 60 feet wide and 80 feet long, dropping 10 feet along the slope to accommodate up to four boats at a time when completed. Work began this week on the project.
"When people see you're trying earnestly to do something good for the city on a shoestring budget, and you're determined to get it done, they are willing to help you out," Bearden told The Monitor. 
Hoot Johnson is also putting in the city's water and sewer system, and had use of the heavy equipment for an extra day. 
An emergency city council meeting last Sunday allowed the mayor to hire laborers to bank the ramp to keep the lake water out, after he learned prisoner labor was occupied on another project. 
"We had to get the prep work done by a certain time to take advantage of the heavy equipment," Bearden explained.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
An excavator digs out the old boat ramp and digs a deeper, longer ramp at Log Cabin city park Thursday. The work is part of repairs planned for the ramp and circular dock.


Early Voting Picks Up
CEDAR CREEK LAKE-Initial reports from Kaufman, Henderson and Van Zandt counties show about 2,600 people had already been to the polls by late Wednesday.
Kaufman County reported some 577 voters, Henderson 1,065 and Van Zandt 1,000.
Voters in Payne Springs are also voicing their choice for or against liquor sales in their city.
They are casting early votes at the Payne Springs Community Center, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., but not during the noon hour (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.), when the Center is closed for lunch.
Other Henderson County voters may cast their ballots at the Athens Courthouse basement, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., or Seven Points City Hall and Chandler sub-courthouse, 8-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-4:30 p.m. 
In Kaufman County, early voters may cast their ballots by going to sub-courthouses in Terrell, Forney and Kemp, as well as the Courthouse Annex in Kaufman.
Van Zandt County offers early voting at the county courthouse law library at 121 E. Dallas St., Canton.
Early voting continues through Friday, Nov. 3.