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Current Issue
Sunday,
November 13
, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 
News in Brief

Thanksgiving deadlines
The Monitor will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays, Thursday, Nov. 24. Ad deadlines will change for the following publications:
• Leader – Wednesday, Nov. 23 issue display ad deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15. Classified ad deadline is noon Wednesday, Nov. 16.
• The Monitor – Thursday, Nov. 24 issue display ad deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. Classified ad deadline is noon, Monday, Nov. 21.
• The Monitor – Sunday, Nov. 27 issue display ad deadline is 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21. Classified ad deadline is noon, Nov. 22.
• Leader – Wednesday, Nov. 30 issue display ad deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22. Classified ad deadline is noon, Wednesday, Nov. 23.

CC Homeschoolers 4-H
The Cedar Creek Homeschoolers 4-H Club leads Henderson County in “Save Your Change” event to for Project Linus, an organization that gives blankets to traumatized children. Change can be dropped off at the Extension office in Athens. The club is also collecting coats for the Family Resource Center When dropping off coats, please indicate the coats are for the 4-H coat drive.

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.

Mabank Garden Club
The Mabank Garden Club meets at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Tri-County Library. Rebecca Morrow, Kaufman County Master Gardener will present “Senior Gardening Made Easier.” Visitors and prospective members always welcome.

Sarah Maples DAR
The Sarah Maples Daughters of the American Revolution chapter meets at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake. Colonel Jim Ray will present “Prisoners of War.”

Westside seniors
The Westside Senior Citizens Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17 (and every Thursday), at the activities building at Cedar Creek Bible Church, 700 N. Seven Points Blvd. Seniors 55 and older in the Cedar Creek area are invited to come for refreshments, fellowship and games. A light lunch will be served. Membership is free. For information, call (903) 340-9672.

Confederate Rose
The Confederate Rose chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy meets at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, in the home of Johna Lamb. Those interested in family history in relation to UDC are welcome. For information, see chapter website at www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/txcrudc/.

Rainbow pancake benefit
The Gun Barrel City No. 369 Rainbow Girls Masonic Youth are hosting a pancake breakfast fundraiser from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at Cedar Creek Lake Masonic Lodge, 402 Legendary Lane, Gun Barrel City.

Thanksgiving dinner
A Thanksgiving Community dinner is planned by Cedar Creek Church from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the church located at 142 Rodney Dr., Gun Barrel City. For information, call (214) 536- 5072.

Living History Day fair
The annual Kaufman County Children’s Living History Day fair is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the county “Poor Farm,” 3600 S. Houston St. (behind the Wall), SH 34 and FM 1388, entrance across from the high school.

Square dance
Round and square dancing is from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 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.

Kemp community prayer
A community prayer with the mayor of Kemp is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21, (every third Monday), at Kemp city hall. All citizens are invited.

Rootseekers meeting
The Rootseekers Genealogy Society meets at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21, at the Tri-County Library. Charles Finsey will speak on “Hannah’s Letters.” Meetings are open to the public. Anyone wishing to learn more about researching their ancestors is welcome.

Legion ‘hot dog bar’
The American Legion Auxiliary is hosting a hot dog bar from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25. Fresh roasted “dawgs” with all the fixin’s with the proceeds benefitting sending a local girl to Girls’ State summer 2012. For information, call (903) 887-3532.

PSUMC fellowship
The Payne Springs United Methodist Church monthly fellowship night begins with a covered dish dinner at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7. The program will include the “Singing Fireman” singing traditional favorite Christmas songs. The church is located at 9667 SH 198, south of Mabank. For information, call (903) 451-2978.

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.

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

News & Brief Policy
News in Brief is a venue in which nonprofit organizations can promote their services and/or fundraising events at no cost.
These articles should include only basic information – who, what, when and where. Articles must include publishable contact information and a phone number.
The deadline for submission is 4 p.m. Monday for each Thursday’s issue and 4 p.m. Wednesday for each Sunday’s issue. Announcements will run for four issues (two weeks).
Organizations needing to relay more information on services or events, or who seek a longer promotion time, are encouraged to call our advertising staff at (903) 887-4511.
MediaOne LLC considers nonprofit organizations to be groups operating primarily on a volunteer basis providing a service for others. Organizations with paid employees cannot use this venue to promote their services.

 

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Top News

Water rates surge!
Council approves doubling water/sewer rates after years of system neglect
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–After several workshops, two council meetings and nearly two hours of further discussion Tuesday, Kemp city council members approved, 3-1, a water and sewer rate hike. The last rate adjustment came in 2008.
Though a vocal segment of citizens attending Tuesday’s meeting objected to it, public works director Chris Burns said the new rate won’t meet the water department’s fixed expenses, which he hopes can be made up in variable water usage.
“I don’t think it’s possible to cover our fixed costs. The price would be too high for the community,” Burns said.
At the rates he proposed and the council accepted, the city would still come up about $100,000 short of its fixed annual costs, he said.
Every month that goes by without raising the rates puts the city further behind, mayor Donald Kile and councilmen Jesse Morton and Tommy McSpedden said in response to requests to wait for better figures from West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District.
The city has asked the MUD to sell water to the city, so Kemp can take its failing water system out of service for much needed repairs and refurbishment.
However, it could take four months before a connection can be made to the city.
WCCMUD, like Kemp, is facing a supply problem as the lake level continues to fall.
Burns said there are just about 21 inches of water depth at Kemp’s intake structure, and WCC is only slightly better at its north plant, except that it recently purchased a barge and is responding by both dredging around its intake structure and laying pipe and floating a water pump out to deeper water, both of which takes time.
Burns estimates four to five months before the city reaches critical in its water supply. “Oh, we’re going to get the water (from WCC). They understand our urgency,” Morton said. “The only difference between us and them right now, is that they have money to do something about the problem and we don’t,” he added.
Council members Leodis Buckley, McSpedden and Morton approved the new rates as Burns recommended them. Councilman Barry Lummus abstained, desiring to wait a week or two until WCC could furnish cost estimates.
The new minimum bill for water to residential customers increases to $38; and the minimum sewer service monthly billing increases to $42.52 for a total minimum billing of $81.52. That minimum is nearly a 100 percent increase over the current monthly minimum of $21.74 for water and $22 for sewer.
The council also adopted a flat rate of $4.50 per 1,000 gallons of water usage and $4.75 per 1,000 gallons of sewer treatment. The new flat rate will apply to those living out of the city as well as those within the city. However, out-of-city customers will also pay a $10 service fee to share in any tax bond issue used to upgrade utility infrastructure and installation of new meters. A minimum water bill for an out-of-town residence is now $48.
The new rates will take affect starting with the next billing cycle Nov. 25, which will be reflected in the December billing.
The current rate is $3.97/1,000 of water and $2.50/1,000 of sewer treatment. According to the software provided the city from the state, Kemp has been losing $46.14 on every 1,000 gallons of water it sells.
WCCMUD, which has thousands of customers, as opposed to Kemp’s hundreds of customers charges a minimum of $23 for water and $22 for sewer and then $3.25/1,000 gallons and $3/1,000 gallons for sewer.
Burns assured the council that the numbers he recommended are not going to be a whole lot higher than what the city will have to pay.
By approving the rate hike, the city is also planning for future repairs and upgrades, Burns said. Already the 46 valves the city has installed has made a huge difference in being able to conserve the water the city has, while repairing leaks as they occur.

 

Wounded warrior returns
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–A homecoming parade and golf tournament Saturday honored a hometown hero, Lance Corporal Jeffrey David Knight, a 2006 Kemp High School graduate.
Knight lost both legs and suffered multiple burns and abrasions on his hands and arms when he stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device), June 28.
The Marine was serving his second tour in Afghanistan.
His assignment was sweeping for IEDs. He was doing what the military called a dismounted (walking) ground patrol looking for the dangerous explosives, his step-mom, Traci Knight said.
The miracle was, out side of burns and bruises, the exploding C-4 that he carried did little damage compared to the fact he could also have lost an arm.
First the Marine Corps contacted Lindsey, his wife of only four months.
Then, on the morning of June 29, they called his parents.
“It was within hours of his injury. Many people we talked to later were surprised the service called so promptly over an injury,” Traci explained.
Jeffrey was allowed to make a call to his dad.
“I’m all right,” he told him. “But the next time you see me I’ll be a little shorter,” he said, his usual sense of humor showing through.
“We were shocked to hear how badly he was hurt. We cried a whole lot for a week,” she said.
But Jeffrey’s recovery was already well underway thanks to his faith and an indomitable spirit.
He had received treatment on-site, then was taken to a field hospital before being transported to the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md, July 1.
Then, 15 days later he was transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where after only two days as an inpatient he was transferred to outpatient care.
His speedy progress kept his nurses and doctors in awe of his recovery, Traci said.
The first week was spent in ICU (intensive care unit), she explained, then he was put in isolation in a room to ward off infection.
“After only nine days he received a powered wheelchair and that afternoon, with help from a couple of visiting buddies, he rode the chair to a nearby McDonald’s and ordered his favorite, a double cheeseburger and a sweet tea,” she said.
“His spirit and determination were very contagious, Traci marveled.
“The (wounded) guys that were still in bed were now encouraged to get out of bed. He became a motivator without planning to,” Traci said.
“My son is amazing. We see God shinning through him,” she added.
Jeffrey had one goal in mind as he was growing up, to follow in the footsteps of his dad.
“Since Jeffrey was old enough to talk he would say he was going to be a Marine like his daddy,” Traci said.
Jeff Knight served four years in the Marine Corps, enlisting when he graduated from high school.
He trained and served in communications as a wireman, Traci explained.
Jeffrey delayed his enlistment for a couple of years, enlisting in 2008. He went to boot camp and tech school in California and was then sent to Camp Le June, N. C.
His first tour of duty in Afghanistan came in 2010.
After nine months he returned to Camp Le June and then on Feb. 18, took time off to marry his hometown sweetheart Lindsey Cooper.
He was sent to his second tour of duty to Afghanistan in April.
Jeffrey’s story:
He and his team had started out around 7 a.m. that morning on what was to be a very eventful day.
“We knew the Taliban had fallen back and taken up positions in the area. We divided into two teams and circled around where we could come up behind them,” Jeffrey said.
The other team became involved with a group of enemy fighters.
“The other team ran into a fire fight and we went to back them up,” he explained.
Once that problem was eliminated, they moved around another small group of buildings.
“We tried to get to the buildings but they were located in a chin-deep marsh. If we had tried to get to them, we would have been slaughtered,” he said.
After another couple of incidents, he said they headed back to their base.
“We had to cross an area where the buildings had been demolished, leaving only piles of rubble,” Jeffrey said.
His team waited while he scoured the area with his IED sweeping equipment.
After deciding it was clear, he went back to his team but instead of advancing, he decided to make another sweep of the area.
“All of a sudden I heard a noise like a beep and at first I thought it was my equipment, then I realized someone had just set off an IED. I just hung my head thinking this was it,” he recalled.
“When the explosion came, I blacked out. When I came to, my legs were gone,” Jeffrey said.
His own pack with needed tourniquets was missing, so he called for his buddies to help.
“My buddy held my hand until the helicopter, a big Chinook, with a British crew picked me up, he said.
“What kept me going was a conversation I had with my wife’s dad. ‘Promise me you won’t make my daughter a widow.’ I thought of that over and over on the way to the hospital,” Jeffrey said.
“The people that have helped the most are all my family members,” he said.
The family he speaks of includes his wife, Lindsey, his father, Jeff, step-mom Traci and mother Lauree.
“Lindsey hasn’t left my side since Bethesda,” Jeffrey added.
He was allowed to go home for a short time in September. He visited his church, walking in on his prosthetics.
“I let them know, I am still here,” he declared firmly.
He and Lindsey currently reside in the Fisher House on base, enabling Jeffrey to receive needed daily outpatient care.
The care comes through The Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio for the Intrepid, those characterized by their fearless resolution.
He receives physical therapy and prosthetic training, as well as access to a medical team. He is currently using prosthetics and learning to walk all over again.
He has already demonstrated this rediscovered skill during a short visit home, by walking into his home church on Sept. 1.
“Jeffrey has the most amazing outlook and positive attitude. His courage, strength and determination are an inspiration to all who meet him and to those involved in his care,” Traci said.
“He knows that God has plans for him and is so excited to see where the next part of the journey leads him,” she added.
Upon completion of his medical treatment and evaluation, Jeffrey will probably be allowed to finish recuperating at home.
”I will apply for ‘Home Awaiting orders,’” he said. Then after about a year and a half he will return to the Marines and then decide his next move.
“It will probably be a medical discharge,” he added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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