Sunday, November 1, 2009






Polls open Tuesday
Constitutional props, liquor-option, tax rate rollbacks among issues
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday for the 2009 General Election and close at 7 p.m.
Though no one is running for office in this election, there still are a few important issues on the ballot.
In Payne Springs, city residents will be asked to approve the sale of liquor for off-premise consumption.
In six polling precincts, voters will be asked to ratify a change in Mabank ISD’s tax rate, that if approved would mean a half a million more state dollars to the district. (See page 4A for story.) The county has been contracted to conduct this election for the school district, so voters will not have to go to two different places to vote on Tuesday.
Voters in Trinidad are also asked to ratify a rate increase that would also pull in more state funding to the school district. (See accompanying story).
Trinidad ISD is operating its own election at the school. The county election, presenting proposed state constitutional amendments, is being held at Oran White Civic Center in Tool for Trinidad voters.
Lawmakers are proposing 11 constitutional amendments for voter approval – from property rights and tax rates to buffer zones for military installations. (See a rundown on what these include on ppe.)
Something new at each voting precinct around Cedar Creek Lake is an electronic poll book.
Due to a glitch in the software system, voters’ names have not always appeared on the pollbook printouts, in the past.
The electronic pollbook will include every voter in the county and what voting precinct they are assigned to vote in.
If this system works well, the county may opt to furnish an electronic pollbook for each voting precinct in the primary election in the spring.



Man charged with murder
Monitor Staff Reports
CANTON–A Ben Wheeler man is charged with murder and aggravated assault after sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene of a car accident last Sunday.
The investigation of a traffic accident on Van Zandt County Road 4907 quickly turned into a murder investigation when deputies found a man and woman with knife wounds.
Jonathan Shipman, 30, of Tyler was taken to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler with multiple stab wounds. He later died.
Shelly Rackow, 30, Bullard, had a cut across her throat, which she said she received from Wilhelm Ostrom, 27.
She said Ostrom had also attacked and stabbed Shipman.
The pair were on their way to the hospital a little after midnight when they crashed, she told officers.
“Deputies arrived on the scene at approximately 12:30 a.m. They observed Shipman, lying on the ground suffering from multiple stab wounds,” Van Zandt County Investigator Chuck Allen said.
Investigators went to a residence on VZCR 4605 to investigate the stabbing incident.
Ostrom of Ben Wheeler was arrested that same day and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for cutting Rackow across the throat. He was arraigned and bond set at $100,000.
“Ostrom has since been charged with murder for his involvement in the death of Shipman,” Allen said.
Ostrom’s bond was set at $1 million with conditions.
“This is an ongoing investigation and there are no other details available at this time,” Allen said.


Pride of Yellowjackets Band gets top UIL score

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
About 70 members of the Pride of Yellowjackets band stand along a stairwell following the Kemp High School band’s second superior rating in a UIL marching band competition Oct. 26 at Mesquite’s Memorial Stadium. The historic No. 1 rating reported previously was at an invitational event and didn’t count toward the UIL. “This one counted, band director Jimmy Polk said. “They got three superior ratings and were rated No. 1 by one of the hardest judges in the state.” The band presented a portion of its winning Blues Brothers performance during halftime of the Kemp-Mineola football game at Yellowjacket Stadium Friday.

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