Sunday, November 9, 2008





Road rage
Rumble arrests lead to items from Mabank car burglaries
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–A road rage incident on State Highway 31 east of Athens has resulted in the arrest of three men believed to be involved in several car burglaries in Mabank.
The road rage incident took place Oct. 22, only two days after the burglaries occurred.
Three lake-area individuals became entangled in a verbal and shooting argument, causing the occupants of the vehicle fired upon to call 9-1-1 for help.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Teel responded to the call, and following a short investigation, found the rifle being used was on the stolen property list reported by Mabank police.
Two of the men, Michael Lee Crist Jr., 19, of Mabank and Ryan Maurice Simpson, 22, of Gun Barrel City, were arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The two men are now being held in Henderson County Jail. Crist is being held under at $20,000 bond, which includes a charge of failure to identify as a fugitive from justice.
Simpson is being held under a $50,000 bond, charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
A third man, Rodney Allen Broach, 19, also of Gun Barrel City, was arrested on the lesser charge of failure to ID. He is being held at Henderson County jail on a $1,500 bond.
A fourth man riding in the vehicle was released after officers concluded he was not involved.
Several other items stolen in the vehicle burglaries were in the car, and Mabank police were notified.
“We are in the investigation stage, and will be issuing warrants upon its completion,” Mabank Police Chief Kyle McAfee said Thursday.
It will take a week or two for the investigating officer Lee Orr to complete his work, McAfee added.
“All we have right now is the suspect’s vehicle,” McAfee said.

Old roof to be divvied up
HC’s Fair Park gets a new roof; who gets the old one?
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Henderson County approved a contract with Athens Steel to re-roof the arena at the Fairpark complex Tuesday.
The $229,515 project includes removing all existing metal sheets, skylights, power and ridge vents and insulation.
The roof will be redone with 26-gauge “PBR” Galvalume™ and insulated with a three-inch fiberglass blanket held with one-inch (chicken) wire.
Thirty-two skylights will be replaced, as will the continuous ridge vents. For the most part, the existing trim and gutter will be reused.
Apparently, the line of government entities and private parties interested in using some of the reusable metal sheeting has already started to form.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence reported two volunteer fire departments are interested in the sheeting.
Both Precinct 1 and 2 commissioners said they could use some of the material, the fair park manager also has one or two projects on the back burner, and the sheriff’s department has already asked for a roof over at least part of the impound yard at the jail.
County Judge David Holstein read from an itemized list of numbers of roofing panels being removed, along with their dimensions.
Commissioners decided to give county departments first shot at the material. Department heads have two weeks to draft proposals for the removed roofing material, estimating the number of square feet of material needed.
Commissioners will prioritize the various departmental requests at their Tuesday, Nov. 18, meeting. A public hearing on the proposed new subdivision rules and regulations is set for the same day at 9:30 a.m., commissioners noted.
By the time the actual roof removing work begins, “we should know exactly where the material is being removed to,” Holstein said.
Work is scheduled to begin mid-December after the last arena booking.
Commissioners also set a two-week timeline for firming up its requirement of county employees to sign-off on the county’s newly adopted computer network use policy (IT policy).
The IT policy committee members were directed to meet with those adding conditions to their signing, to explain the purpose of the policy and procure unconditional signatures.
Of the county’s 325 employees affected by the IT policy, about 15 have signed it with stipulations.
“These change the policy,” IT department head Betty Spencer reported.
One of the caveats added by several of the 15 stipulated their agreement was based on the policy being uniformly followed by all.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall argued that this didn’t change the policy, but Spencer disagreed and other commissioners supported that position.
Two other employees refused to accept the policy and directed the IT department to retrieve their equipment.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney reminded the gathering that the policy was drawn up from a users standpoint, with four of the seven committee members representing the various departments.
“The reason for the policy was to protect the county from liability while providing the departments with what they needed to get their jobs done,” McKinney said.
“It’s just a normal employee requirement, a term of employment,” McKinney said. “Henderson County is one of the few counties that didn’t have a policy.”
Purchasing manager Sherrie Carmichael will also return to the Nov. 18 meeting with written guidelines for departing from the county’s usual bidding process for vehicle and machinery repairs.
The local government code allows for discretionary exemptions.
Benefits would include getting more competition and better pricing, using vendors closer to entity locations and making it easier to get timely repairs made, Carmichael said.
In other business, commissioners:
• appointed five board members to staggered terms on the Emergency Services District No. 1 in Trinidad.
Appointments and reappointments haven’t been made there in four years, Hall said. A misunderstanding has prevailed that the appointments were for life, instead of for two-year staggered terms.
• approved inmate labor to assist with the cleanup of the historic Payne Cemetery in precinct 2.
• granted a request to assist New Hope Cemetery with dirtwork in precinct 3.
• accepted reimbursement of $1,693.45 for culvert material from Star Harbor.
• added 25 annual software user licenses for access on Able-Term at $71.65 each.
• amended the AFLAC Flexible Benefits Plan as recommended by counsel.
• took no action on a proposal from John Mark Solomon for mental health evaluations at the jail.
• paid bills totaling $214,737.13.

Putting up the rafters

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
The new 299-seat sanctuary at the First Presbyterian Church in Mabank begins
to take shape as a large crane puts one of several trusses into place Monday. The
church has outgrown its century-old existing sanctuary, which will continue to be
used as the entryway. The sanctuary’s stained-glass windows will be moved into the
new auditorium, and the existing building will be renovated to create a new choir
room and offices.

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