Thursday, November 8, 2007






  Two cars seized
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City police reported the confiscation of two cars this week – one as a result of drug possession, and the other after it was identified as a stolen car.
Officer Charlie Hughes ran the license plate number of a red 1997 Ford truck Nov. 1, and was told the vehicle had been reported stolen by the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department.
Hughes and officer Tiffany Carrizales conducted a felony traffic stop and identified the driver as Billy Wayne Goolsby, 41, of Crandall.
Goolsby was arrested for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
A few days later, officer Nick Stewart observed a vehicle playing loud music, loud enough to be in violation of the city’s noise ordinance.
The driver, Jose Villanueva, 19, of Zephyr was stopped.
During the investigation and subsequent search of the vehicle, Stewart found Villanueva in possession of cocaine.
He was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, less than one gram. Villanueva’s 2001 Lincoln Town Car was seized.
Police activity reported for October included 13 accidents, five with injuries, 102 arrests, 1,337 calls for service, 472 citations written and 322 warnings issued.
Gun Barrel City police responded to 386 emergency calls.

Vera Martinez’ quiet ambition sets restaurants’ success
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–You wouldn’t recognize her name or face, and yet she influenced the success of more than 300 restaurants, many in the Dallas area.
Her unassuming nature, disciplined intelligence, tenacity and entrepreneurial know-how helped Mexican restaurants – El Chico, Mariano’s, La Hacienda Ranch, El Charo and On the Border – start on the right footing and remain there by instituting sound business practices.
And though she had a hand in the success of all these restaurants, she took none of the credit.
In fact, she was proud of just one thing – that she was the first Mexican-American to graduate from Kaufman High School.
Born June 9, 1915, in a small wooden frame house, Vera Gamez was the daughter of poor farm workers in Kaufman. She recently died at the age of 92 as Vera G. Martinez of Dallas.
Her grandmother – “Mama Cuellar” of the El Chico restaurants – got her start by selling tamales at the Kaufman County Fair. So, Vera was around food and restaurants most her life.
By the time she graduated from the eighth grade, she knew a higher education is what she needed to escape the grinding poverty she witnessed all around her.
However, she was barred from continuing. In the 1930s, it just wasn’t done. Children of migrant workers usually joined their parents in the field and didn’t need further education.
Vera wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, but also didn’t want to appear disagreeable, so she wrote letters.
She petitioned the Kaufman ISD superintendent O.P. Norman and the State Board of Education for admission to the high school, and was granted her request.
Her son, Mariano – the inventor of the frozen margarita machine – retells the story she often repeated of her first day of high school: “The school principal met her at the front steps on her first day and tried to scare her off by telling her he wasn’t going tobe responsible for how the other students treated her,” he said.
So, Vera made it a point to make friends right away. She achieved high marks all through high school and during the closing junior-senior banquet, the high school principal insisted that she sit with him at the head table in the seat of honor to recognize what she had achieved for herself and all other Mexican-American students after her.
“She was really proud of that,” Mariano said.
Following graduation in 1936, she attended a business school in Tyler and got her first job working for her uncles at the original El Chico restaurant in Dallas.
Soon afterwards, her uncle Mack Cuella, who managed the restaurant, was drafted into the Army for World War II. Her other uncle, Gilbert Cuella, was the cook and had little education.
It fell to Vera to keep the restaurant operating during those years of rationing.
When Mack returned, she continued there as office manager and when she left, wrote a thank you letter, expressing her hope that she contributed something of value to the enterprise.
“Uncle Mack often said, if it hadn’t been for her thee would have been no El Chico,” Mariano said.
While there, she met and married Mariano’s father. Eleven years later, they opened El Charo restaurants in Dallas, Richardson and at the State Fair of Texas.
“My dad never went to school, he was good with the customers and had a great margarita recipe,” Mariano said. “All the customers though he ran the resturants.”
When Mariano decided to follow in the family tradition with a string of his own restaurants, his mother was there to assist him.
With a $500 Small Business Administration loan, Mariano opened Mariano’s in Dallas, where he transformed a soft-serve ice cream dispenser into the first-ever frozen margarita machine.
His invention was inducted into the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2005.
Later, Mariano launched Mariano’s Cabrito Cafe on Knox and Travis streets, which he later sold to his friend David Franklin, who changed the name to On the Border.
“He asked Mom to help him set up his purchasing and operating systems, and of course she did,” he said.
Today, On the Border is a chain of restaurants with about 200 locations across the southwest.
You’d think with a mother like Vera, Mariano would be a crack student. However, he got involved in a successful rock band during his high school years and skipped a great many classes.
“I remember waking up too late for school. Mom would always leave two notes on my dresser, one excusing me from school due to illness and a second one excusing me for being late. She also always left a five-dollar bill for me. In those days that would buy gas and lunch, so a lot of times I didn’t go to school,” he told The Monitor.
“After she died, I was going through her purse and there was just one five dollar bill in her wallet. ‘Look, she left me $5, just like always,’” he said.
“She was never pushy. Always gentle. But she seemed to get all the things she ever wanted,” he said.
She wanted to go to high school. She wanted a brand-new stone house in Dallas. She wanted to have a son and a daughter. She got all that, he said.
Her daughter, Rose Marie Pearce, died of breast cancer just four weeks before she did
Vera suffered a massive stroke two weeks later. She had been married for nearly 50 years, and a widow for 16.
She is survived by her son Mariano Martinez Jr. and wife Wanda; a brother, Edward Gamez and his wife Suzi of Fort Worth; a sister, Ophelia Cavazos of Dallas; son-in-law Kenneth Pearce, grandson Kenneth Wayne Pearce Jr. and his wife Lisa; and great-grandchildren Nathan and Ashley Pearce, along with granddaughter Angela Marie Waters and her husband David, and great-granddaughter Caitlyn Elizabeth Waters.

Allison runs for Henderson County Sheriff
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–A.W. “Tony” Allison announced his candidacy for Henderson County Sheriff, where he has served since 1990.
He joined as a jailer, then was promoted to sergeant in 1991.
He became assistant chief deputy in 2001, with the primary responsibility of jail service.
Shortly afterward, he became the budget officer and liaison to the Henderson County Commissioners Court. “For the past 15 years, I’ve been involved in every major decision concerning the Sheriff’s Department,” Allison said.
During that time, Allison has seen the department grow from a 95-bed jail, a staff of 56 and a $1.8 million budget to the current 140 employees, $7.8 million dollar budget and a jail that will soon have a capacity of 508 inmates.
“I am humbled, honored and proud to have the endorsement and support of Sheriff Ronny Brownlow and former Sheriff H.B. “Slick” Alfred as I seek the office of Sheriff. These men represent the last 19 years of history of the department,” Allison said.
Allison is proud of the department’s reputation, and has gained a deep respect for his fellow workers.
“I know I am working with the finest people to wear the badge. I would put our department against any in this state. It would be an honor to lead this department as it grows and improves,” he said.
“The primary purpose of the department is protecting and serving the people. The partnership between the people and law enforcement is the cornerstone of effective law enforcement,” he said.
“A strength of the department is its continuity,” he added. “The infrastructure has remained in place during the past 15 years, maintaining criminal enforcement communications, civil process and warrants, jail services and support staff.
“We have in place a drug task force, composed of members of the county’s municipal police departments and the sheriff’s office,” he said.
“The task force has done an outstanding job and has gained statewide recognition from the governor’s office, the Department of Public Safety, Texas Monthly and The Dallas Morning News. We must continue to aggressively enforce narcotics laws, using the latest technology,” Allison said.
By building partnerships with school districts, Child Protective Services and other crisis assistance agencies, as well as the community he hopes to address crimes against children.
“We also need to address the growing number of crimes against senior citizens. Many are falling victim to scam artists stealing their identities, properties, savings and pride,” Allison said.
Money management, direction and supervision of employees and inmates must be the next sheriff’s focus, since it takes up the largest portion of the county budget. “The people of Henderson County deserve nothing less,” Allison said.
Allison and his wife moved to the county in 1989.
“We soon knew and grew to love this area and its people,” he said. They have two daughters, both being educated in Athens.
Allison holds a master peace officer’s license, master jailer’s license and advanced telecommunications license from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education.
He also has an associate’s degree in criminal justice, and more than 2,800 hours of specialized law enforcement training and is a veteran of the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
“If elected, I promise to use my education, experience and ability to cooperate with others, to solve our ever changing problems – and in the process, use the county’s resources wisely,” he said.