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Current Issue
Sunday,
November 6
, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 
News in Brief

Free clothing, shoes
Crescent Heights Baptist Church, SH 31, will distribute free clothing and shoes, from 9 to 11 a.m., the first Saturday of each month. For information, call (903) 675-3904.

Kemp Kiwanis Club
The Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon, Thursday (today) at the La Fuente Mexican Restaurant.

Country music and meal
Free admission to Country music and a meal from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Music provided to 9 p.m. Thursday, (tonight), at Poynor Civic Center. Any may bring a dessert. For information call (903) 360-0766 or (903) 876-5448.

VFW food drive
The VFW Post 4376 and its Ladies Auxiliary in Seven Points are collecting nonperishable food items for the families in need of assistance at Christmas time. To make a donation, call (903) 432-2138.

Westside Seniors
The Westside Seniors meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday (today and every Thursday) at the Cedar Creek Bible Church Activities Building, 700 North Seven Points Blvd. The Seniors 55 and older can enjoy refreshments, cards, domino and other games at no cost. For information, call (903) 340-9672.

’Jacket breakfast set
“Breakfast with the ’Jackets” is set for 7 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at the Kemp Volunteer Fire Department. Kemp Kiwanians and the KVFD will prepare breakfast for the volleyball, football, cross country teams, cheer leaders, drill team and the Yellowjacket band members. Parents, community members and school personnel are invited to breakfast.

CCL Garden Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Garden Club meets at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at the Library at Cedar Creek Lake. The program, “Growing Lilies and Other Bulbs,” is by Stephen Gent, owner of McDades Nursery, and Garden Center. The public is invited.

K of C fish fry
The Knights of Columbus fish fry is set for 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. Located at 172, Luther Lane, Gun Barrel City. All you can eat fried U.S. grown catfish, hush puppies, French fries, cole slaw, tea and coffee. Funds benefit the local food pantry, KC wheelchair program, scholarship program and other charities.

Christmas bazaar
The Cedar Creek Lake United Methodist Church annual Christmas Bazaar is set for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday Nov. 5, featuring the Home and Holiday Shop, bake shop, quilt donated by Marie Dicus, silent auction ending 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Lunch on both days begins at 11 a.m. Menu includes stew and cornbread, ham and chicken salad sandwiches and great desserts. Church is located at 100 S. Old Indian Trail, Tool. For information, call (903) 432-3657.

Square dance
Round and square dancing is from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5 & 19 (first and third Saturday of each month), at the Log Cabin Swingers Square Dance Club, 1210 North Tool Drive (SH 274) Everyone is welcome, no charge for observers. For information, call (903) 340-9672.

Joker Tournament
The Cedar Creek Civic League is hosting a Joker Tournament and benefit with doors opening at 9 a.m. and play beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 7, in the Family Life Center of the First United Methodist Church in Mabank, located at 501 South Third St. (SH 198), Mabank. Registration fee includes lunch. Profits benefit area charities. To register, call Claudett Allsup at (903) 432-3545.

CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club executive board meeting is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, at Lakeridge RV Park, , 301 West Main in Gun Barrel City.

MHS spaghetti dinner
The annual Mabank High School choir Spaghetti Dinner Drive-Thru is set for 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. A to-go box containing the spaghetti, and garlic bread will be delivered to your car by a choir member in the HS front circle drive. Tickets on sale now from any choir member.

CCL Literary Club
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake meets at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. The musical group, Ye Merry Ole Players, will present “Meet Me in Dallas.” Guests are welcome. For membership information, call Ruth Pimm at (903) 778-4752.

National EAS test
The Emergency Alert System will conduct a nationwide test at 3 p.m. local central time Wednesday, Nov. 9. This first nationwide test involves radio, television, satellite TV, cable TV and wireless video services. The test will resemble the monthly EAS test with minor differences.

Financial seminar
The Texas AgriLife Extension Service is sponsoring a fall financial seminar with registration at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at Trinity Valley Electric Company community Room, 1800 E. SH 243, Kaufman. Dr. Joyce Cavanagh will discuss the importance of credit reports and scores. For information, call (972) 932-9069.

MHS Choir concert
The Mabank High School Choir is presenting an “American Concert,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 in the MHS Auditorium. The free concert expresses gratitude and love to soldiers and leaders. Bring a veteran, you wish to see honored.

Tri-County Library annual sale
A benefit sale for the Tri-County Library is being held 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 11-12, as part of a Market Street sidewalk sale. The library will be offering hot dogs, and popcorn as well as used books for sale.

Library at Cedar Creek Lake book, bake sale
The Friends of the Library at Cedar Creek Lake are holding a book, plant and bake sale at the library in Seven Points Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 10-12. Come by for great values. Proceeds support the library.

VZ Senior Citizens
The Van Zandt Senior Citizens Club monthly dance is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at the Henderson County Senior Center in Athens. Country music provided by Joe Walenta and the Ranch Hands. Everyone is welcome.

Caregivers group
The Cedar Creek Lake United Methodist Church is sponsoring a caregivers support group at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11 (second Friday of the month), located at 100 South Old Indian Trail (Off SH 274 in Tool. For information or directions call Pat Simms at (903) 432-4248 or (903) 880-6050.

Kemp UMC fall bazaar
The First United Methodist Church of Kemp is hosting its annual Fall Bazaar and Chili ‘N Stew dinner from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. For information call the church office at (903) 498-4791.

Harbor youth supper
Harbor Baptist Church Youth Group invites the community to a spaghetti supper and an evening of food, fellowship and entertainment from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. Donations will fund the youth camp. The church is located at 12059 SH 198. For information, call (903) 451-4171.

5K Fun Run/Walk
DECA students are hosting a 5K Fun Run/Walk at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Mabank City Park Pavilion. Register online at Mabankisd.net. For information, call (903) 292-3450 or (903) 467-2791 or e-mail alexis-jamey@aol.com.

Toys applications
The Gun Barrel City Toys for Tots will accept Christmas applications for families from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, through Friday, Dec. 2, at the Gun Barrel City Police Station located on Municipal Drive. For information call Jane Horton at (903) 887-1289.

CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club meets at 11 a.m. (doors open at 10:30 a.m.) Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Cedar Creek Country Club. Carol Brandon will present, “God Save the Sweet Potato Queens” by Jill Browne. Bring items for Make-A-Difference Day.

Meal drivers needed
The Senior Center at the Ball Park is in desperate need of drivers in Kemp and Mabank to deliver meals to elderly. This only takes one hour, one day per week or month. Make a difference in a senior’s life. The Center is also looking for quilters. The quilting table is up and ready. To volunteer, call center director Lisa Smith (903) 887-0643.

Patriotic essay contest
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 4376 announces the 2012 Patriotic Essay Contest for students in grades 9-12. The winning essay of the theme, “Is There Pride in Serving in Our Military,” offers an opportunity for students to compete at higher levels to earn college funds. An essay contest for students in grades 6 to 8 is also offered. For information on either contest, call Cmdr. Sid McIntosh at (903) 432-2138 or president Lynn Hill at (903) 887-0827.

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Top News

Accused changes plea to ‘guilty’
Four days into trial, man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting two kids
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Four days into his jury trial Thursday, the accused changed his plea from “not guilty” to “guilty” to two charges of Aggravated Sexual Assault against two children.
Dallas Andrew Fidler, 26, a former Seven Point resident chose to take his chances with the judge for sentencing than face a Henderson County Jury.
Fidler originally pleaded not guilty to sexual assault against two little girls, ages 7 and 8, in 2003 –the time of the crime.
Before changing his plea, Fidler and the jury heard evidence of brutal and multiple instances of rape and how the abuse was kept secret until the allegations came to light in 2009.
After four days of emotional testimony by the children, family members, nurse examiner and an investigator, Fidler changed his plea.
Assistant district attorneys Nancy Rumar and Justin Weiner prosecuted the case on behalf of the people of Henderson County.
In addition, testimony by two other child victims, detailing similar occurrences of sexual abuse by Fidler were heard in the absence of the jury, a press release from the District Attorney’s Office stated.
Judge Dan Moore of the 173rd Judicial District Court has set sentencing for Dec. 5. Fidler faces two, potentially stacked, sentences of five to 99 years or life in prison.
DA Scott McKee said he was pleased with the outcome. “This was a very emotional case for both prosecuting attorneys because we can’t change what happened to those little girls. But we are committed to ensuring that he never does this to another child,” he said.

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‘Drug Take Back’ day hailed huge success
Special to The Monitor
Kaufman–This year’s DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back event topped all expectations.
More than 164 pounds of drugs were collected between Crandall, Combine, Forney, Kaufman, Kemp, Seagoville and Terrell Police Departments. 
Large amounts of medication were collected at each location. Citizens throughout Kaufman County helped to make this event outstanding!

Courtesy Photo
Kemp Police Chief Richard Clemmo stands next to his drug collection site on Drug Take Back Day, Oct. 29 at Kemp City Park during the city’s fall festival.

The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office teamed up again this year with Kaufman Police Department on the Courthouse Square. Citizens stopped by just to see what was happening, and some just to drop off unwanted, expired medications.
Each year this event seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. Often young people only have to go as far as the medicine cabinet at home to find drugs.
To combat this growing problem, both locally and nationally, the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office, will team up with local police departments each year as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration to offer every citizen of Kaufman County a place to come and drop off any unused, unwanted or outdated prescriptions with no questions asked.
Please use this opportunity to open discussion with the young people in your household about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
We look forward to seeing you again next year. “Together we can make a difference,” Sheriff David Byrnes said.

Monarch rate challenge begins
Representatives side with customer in Monarch rate case
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

AUSTIN–Henderson County’s representatives in Austin — Rep. Lance Gooden, and Sen. Robert Nichols — have taken their stances in the Monarch Utilities rate case, and both have come down on the side of the customer.
Monarch filed a request with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to raise water and sewer rates this year, its second request in four years. The combined increase of about 55 percent utility-wide went into effect Aug. 1.
According to Monarch’s Notice of Proposed Rate Change, most customers using 10,000 gallons of water a month and a 5/8-inch or 3/4-inch meter used to pay $89.59 for water and $63.72 for sewer (a combined $153.31). After the increase, the same 10,000 gallons now costs $129.82 for water and $102.99 for sewer (a combined $232.81).
The company has asked for the rate hike to pay for capital improvements.
The rate has been challenged, and the first hearing with the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) judges was held the end of October in Austin. A resolution is not expected until next year, at the earliest.
“This rate increase would be a considerable burden to ratepayers, many who are on limited and fixed incomes,” Nichols wrote in a letter to the SOAH judges assigned to the rate case.
“One aspect that troubles me greatly is how high the base rate is with the proposed increase,” Nichols wrote. “Even if a homeowner does not use a single drop of water, their rate will be several times what most municipal water users pay in an average month. With such a high base rate, there is no incentive for conservation or any way for ratepayers to avoid large bills by altering their use.”
The rate case is also entwined with Monarch’s application to merge its eight Certificates of Convenience and Necessity, or CCNs, in Texas. A CCN is issued to a utility in order to sell water and sewer service in an area. Monarch has filed for a “sale, transfer and merger” (STM) of its CCNs.
According to state law, while the STM case is under review, Monarch is allowed to act like the merger is complete. State politicians say the current rate hike is based on that as-yet unfinished merger.
“Although statute allows for an entity to apply for a rate increase while the STM application is pending, the overwhelming opposition and referral to SOAH should halt this rate increase until Monarch’s STM status is resolved,” Gooden wrote to the SOAH judges.
In a separate announcement Gooden said, “Many of my affected constituents in Henderson County have approached me or have contacted my office concerned about the dramatic increase to their monthly water bill. In some cases people are paying over $100 per month, even when they don’t turn on the water faucet. I am working to ensure that Henderson County has a voice in this process and that citizens are not victims of an unjustified rate increase. Monarch is a monopoly and price gouging will not be tolerated.”
State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who co-chairs an interim Senate subcommittee with Nichols that is charged with looking into investor-owned utilities, also wrote to the judges, saying, “Implementation of the rates proposed by Monarch would amount to taking without due process, and will severely hamper the customers’ ability to protest the proposed STM and the proposed rates and to achieve a reasonable, just and equitable outcome in these proceedings.”
Monarch is a division of the Southwest Water Company, which is owned by the Wall Street investment bank J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and serves 23,000 customers in about 90 small water systems. Monarch has nearly 3,000 customers in Henderson County, including around the Cedar Creek Lake Area in Beachwood Estates, Carolynn Estates, Cherokee Shores, Michael’s Cove, and the Pinnacle Club.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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