The Monitor will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays,
Thursday, Nov. 24. Ad deadlines will change for the following
• Leader – Wednesday, Nov. 23 issue display ad deadline is 4
p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15. Classified ad deadline is noon Wednesday,
• The Monitor – Thursday, Nov. 24 issue display ad deadline is 4
p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. Classified ad deadline is noon, Monday,
• 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.”
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)
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
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.
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)
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
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)
News & Brief Policy
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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.
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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
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
Burns assured the council that the numbers he recommended are
not going to be a whole lot higher than what the city will have
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
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
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
“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
“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
“The (wounded) guys that were still in bed were now encouraged
to get out of bed. He became a motivator without planning to,”
“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
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
He was sent to his second tour of duty to Afghanistan in April.
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
“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
After deciding it was clear, he went back to his team but
instead of advancing, he decided to make another sweep of the
“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
“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
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.