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
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
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
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
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