Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006




Fire destroys home
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

SEVEN POINTS–Fire destroyed a 12-year residence along State Highway 274 Friday.
When the Seven Points Fire Department first arrived at 1824 N. Seven Points Drive at 10:19 a.m., the house was fully involved, firefighter Michael Forbes told The Monitor.
Glen Racklei, 74, was outside his three-bedroom house, having just finished blowing leaves out of his gutters, when he became aware of the fire.
His wife Elsie had left the home to do a few errands about 30 minutes earlier.
“It started in one corner, and before I knew it, it blew out the sliding glass door window,” Racklei told authorities.
A cross wind fed the flames, which spread quickly.
Henderson County Judge David Holstein happened to be in the area picking up campaign signs, and called the Gun Barrel City fire department on his cell phone.
Precinct 4 Kaufman Commissioner Jim Deller was also at the scene.
The Seven Points fire department was assisted by volunteers from Gun Barrel City, Kemp, Tool, Mabank and Payne Springs.

Courtesy Photo/Richard Mullen
Six area fire departments responded to a house fire between Seven Points and Kemp Friday that destroyed the dwelling.

Payne Springs wet vote defeated
Provisional ballots change initial result
Monitor Staff Writer
PAYNE SPRINGS–It’s official. The voters of Payne Springs have defeated a measure that would have allowed the sale of alcohol for off-premise consumption.
The last word from the Henderson County Clerk’s Office came in late Tuesday afternoon.
The final tally was 74 votes against liquor sales within the city and 66 favoring sales, which would have generated some additional sales tax revenues for Payne Springs.
“I was very disappointed in the outcome,” Mayor Michael McDonald told The Monitor Tuesday.
“It was a revenue issue. The city is living on a shoestring budget,” he added. “I don’t feel going wet would have caused anyone to take up drinking, though it may have prevented some drunk driving.”
It was unfortunate that the vote was part of the general election, instead of in May with the city council election, he said.
“I noted that if you didn’t ask for a liquor election ballot, you weren’t going to get it. I had to send at least one person back to the polls Tuesday to ask for a liquor ballot,” McDonald said.
Without the ability to sell liquor, no grocery store is going to open in Payne Springs, McDonald said.
Had the measure won, enticing a grocery store franchise to open in the city would have been his next goal, he said.
At the close of polls Nov. 7, the unofficial election result showed a “wet” victory by a four-vote margin, 66 for and 62 against.
However, 12 provisional votes were yet to be verified and counted.
All 12 were cast against liquor sales within the city and verified as qualified ballots, according to the County Registrar of Voters.
The registrar lists 430 registered voters for the liquor sales election, of which 140 voted.
In the general election, the Payne Springs Community Center hosted 1,736 voters and was the last precinct to deliver its ballot boxes to the county courthouse.
“It’s our biggest precinct,” County Clerk Gwen Moffeit said.

Police chase suspects
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–Gun Barrel City police officer Billy Kilgore conducted two pursuits last week – one vehicle pursuit and one on foot, as suspects hoped to evade capture.
Nov. 8, the driver of a 2000 Ford Ranger pickup led Kilgore on a lengthy vehicle chase, after being stopped for a defective license plate lamp.
The traffic stop occurred on State Highway 198.
During the exchange of information, driver Justin Gibbons, 25, of Scurry, bolted up SH 198 and turned on Farm-to-Market 314 to Eustace before crashing into a piece of heavy construction equipment.
His car was heavily damaged, and Gibbons was airlifted to Tyler with injuries, though the type or extent are unknown.
According to a press release, officers recovered a handgun from the vehicle, and Gibbons advised he had been using cocaine.
Department of Public Safety troopers assisted in the pursuit.
Charges of evading arrest are being filed, and other charges are pending.
Nov. 10, Kilgore stopped a white Chevrolet pickup with two occupants headed south on SH 198, following up on a report of a reckless driver.
During the contact, Kilgore was given a false name.
When the subjects were questioned further, it was determined that the passenger was Lester Rainwater, 41, of Kemp, who had outstanding warrants.
While he was being placed under arrest, Rainwater fled the scene on foot towards the Huddle House restaurant, where Kilgore caught up with him, and the arrest was completed.
Charges on the two outstanding warrants out of Henderson County were driving with invalid licence, manufacture/delivery of controlled substance (3.8 grams of methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to identify fugitive from justice.
The other subject was released at the scene.