Thursday, November 20, 2008




  Auto thieves threaten Mabank
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–A rash of auto and attempted auto thefts are plaguing the quiet town of Mabank.
When most people have locked up and are preparing for bed, others are launching their forays against new car and tractor dealers.
Late Monday night, John Miller of Techsy’s Tractor on 406 E. Mason St. drove his red 2005 Ford F-250 four-wheel drive with extended cab to his place of business and parked it under the light in front.
Miller had just returned about 10:30 p.m. with a Legend 32-foot gooseneck trailer carrying a front-end loader and several other tractor implements worth about $10,000.
He intended to unload the equipment in the morning, but when he returned, the truck, trailer and all the equipment were gone.
Miller is offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the individual or individuals who took off with his property, all told worth about $50,000. Miller can be reached at (903) 887-1785.
Nearby, an attempted theft of a truck and trailer was made while it was parked at the Dairy Queen.
And in the wee hours of Nov. 9, Randy Teague reported thieves broke into a four-door Oldsmobile at his Teague Chevrolet car lot.
A window was broken, the gear shaft busted to force it into neutral, and it had been rolled to a secluded spot, jacked up and wheels stolen.
The next night, they made a second attempt on another vehicle, but were scared off by a patrolling police car.
Teague reports damage to both cars amounted to about $10,000.
Police conducted a thorough search of properties located nearby looking for traces of the suspects.
Teague is installing extra security measures, while Mabank police have stepped up their patrols and continue investigating all leads.
Those with information about the vehicle burglaries or stolen property are asked to call the Mabank police on the non-emergency lineat (903) 887-8500.

Arrest made in murder case
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in the case of a Garland man found dead, possibly from gunshot wounds to his body, in an Aley Community backyard Nov. 7.
Deputy David Faught reports they have arrested Kerens man Raymond Terrell Scott III, 22, and charged him with Capital Murder.
Scott was arrested following a traffic stop conducted on State Highway 334 in Gun Barrel City around 9 p.m. Nov. 12.
Scott is currently being held in the Henderson County jail under a $2.5 million bond. Scott may also be charged with burglary, robbery and arson, a press release stated.

Smokeout today
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Today, millions of Americans are putting out their cigarettes and joining in the 34th Great American Smokeout.
Begun in 1976, the Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to quit for one day.
It is estimated that 44 percent of the 45.3 million Americans who smoke have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year, and many of those have made a commitment to a long-term plan to quit smoking for good.
With all the resources available to help smokers quit, there has never been a better time to quit smoking, and the American Cancer Society is helping.
Those planning to quit are encouraged to call the American Cancer Society Quitline® at 1-800-227-2345 to speak with a trained counselor and receive free, confidential counseling.
Studies have found that Quitline can more than double a person’s chances of successfully quitting tobacco.
Callers to Quitline can be connected with smoking cessation resources in their communities, social support groups, Internet resources and medication assistance referrals.
Since its inception in 2000, Quitline has provided counseling support to more than 380,000 smokers.
Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have some means of support, such as nicotine replacement products, counseling, prescription medicine to lessen cravings, guide books and the encouragement of friends and family members.
Despite that, only about one in seven current smokers reports having tried any of the recommended therapies during his/her last attempt to quit.
Those who have quit smoking start reaping better health benefits right from the start. Just 20 minutes after quitting, heart rate and blood pressure drops. Twelve hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal. (See side-bar for other health benefits.)
Those states with strong tobacco control laws are now reaping the fruits of their labor. They have markedly lower smoking rates and have fewer people dying of lung cancer, according to a 2003 report in Cancer Causes and Control.
That study found lung cancer death rates among adults age 30-39 were lower and falling in most states that had a strong anti-tobacco program. In states with weak tobacco control, lung cancer rates were higher and climbing.
Besides lung cancer, tobacco use can cause other cancers, as well as heart disease and lung disease. Smoking is responsible for one in five deaths from all causes. Another 8.6 million people are living with serious illnesses caused by smoking.
Fortunately, the past 30 years have seen tremendous strides in changing attitudes about smoking, in understanding the addiction and in learning how to help people quit.
Studies show the importance of social support in quitting smoking, as people are most likely to quit smoking when their friends, family and coworkers decide to quit smoking.
Popular on-line social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace, are also becoming support channels for people who want to quit, and American Cancer Society Smokeout-related downloadable desktop applications are available on these networks to help people quit, or join the fight against tobacco.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States.
Each year, smoking accounts for an estimated 438,000 premature deaths, including 38,000 deaths among nonsmokers as a result of secondhand smoke. Half of all Americans who continue to smoke will die from smoking-related diseases, shortening the life expectancy by about 14 years.
Also imperative in this effort to encourage people to quit smoking are smoke-free laws and higher tobacco taxes, which make it harder for people to smoke, and protect nonsmokers from tobacco smoke.
The majority of U.S. communities are now covered by smoke-free laws, while 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have raised tobacco taxes since 2000.
Smokers nationwide now face an average cost of $4.32 for one pack of cigarettes, not including all taxes (see side-bar).
In national healthcare costs, tobacco use costs taxpayers $167 billion in expenditures and productivity losses each year.
Thankfully, efforts to reduce smoking and preventing the use of tobacco are seeing some success:
• smoking among those 18 and older declined 50 percent from 1965 to 2005.
• smoking among teens has declined from 36 percent in 1997 to 23 percent in 2005.
• annual cigarette consumption continues to decline.
• a 40 percent reduction in cancer deaths among men, seen between 1991 and 2003, is attributable to declines in smoking.
Despite these positive trends, progress has slowed in the last few years.
The tobacco industry spent $100 million to defeat smoke-free legislation and increases in sales taxes in the 2006 mid-term elections and industry spending to promote tobacco outpaces that spent on tobacco controls 24 to one.
Each American can choose to quit, if only for a day, and imagine a life free of tobacco use. With the wide range of counseling services, self-help materials, medications and support, smokers have access to more tools than ever to help them quit successfully.
The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem and cause of death in America today. Help with quitting is only a phone call away. Call the American Cancer Society Quitline at 1-800-227-2345, or talk to your doctor.

When smokers quit their health improves
After ...
• 20 minutes, heart rate and blood pressure drops.
(Effect of Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Pulse Pressure Amplification, Mahmud, A, Feely, J. 2003. Hypertension:41:183.)
• 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1988, p. 202)
• 2 weeks to 3 months, circulation improves and lung function increases. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp.193, 194,196, 285, 323)
• 1 to 9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs and reduce the risk of infection. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. 285-287, 304)
• 1 year, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)
• 5 - 15 years, risk of stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)
• 10 years, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas decreases. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. vi, 131, 148, 152, 155, 164,166)
• 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.

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