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Current Issue
November 24
, 2011






News in Brief

Thanksgiving deadlines
The Monitor will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays, Thursday (today). Ad deadlines will change for the following publications:
• The Monitor – Sunday, Nov. 27 issue display and classified ad deadlines have passed.
• Leader – Wednesday, Nov. 30 issue display and classified ad deadlines have passed.

Food pantry drop box
This time of year the food pantry gets low. Groom and Sons’ would like to make it easy to make donations.
A drop box is located in the lobby of the store where anyone can put their donation of canned or nonperishable foods. Cash donations are also accepted.
Thanks in advance for your generosity.

Teen account set
An account has been opened at First National bank in Kemp for Alyssa Olivarez, 14.
She was diagnosed with Burkitts lymphoma.

CC Homeschoolers 4-H
The Cedar Creek Homeschoolers 4-H Club leads Henderson County in a “Save Your Change” event to fund Project Linus, an organization that gives blankets to traumatized children. Change can be dropped off at the Ag-Extension office in Athens. The club is also collecting coats for the Family Resource Center. When dropping off coats, please indicate they are for the 4-H coat drive.
Kemp community prayer
A community prayer with the mayor of Kemp is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, (every third Monday), at Kemp city hall. All citizens are invited.

St. Peter Lutheran Thanksgiving feast
A free traditional Thanksgiving meal will be served at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Gun Barrel City 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day (today) for those at lose ends for the American holiday. All are welcome.

VFW holiday dinner
The VFW Post 4376 and its Ladies Auxiliary are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at 2 p.m. Thursday (today) in the hall, for members, volunteers, guests and families. For those who can’t cook, are alone or without the needed funds.

Legion ‘hot dog bar’
The American Legion Post 310 Auxiliary is hosting a hot dog bar from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25 at the post on Gun Barrel Lane. Proceeds from the roasted “dawgs” with all the fixin’s will help send a local girl to Girls’ State in the summer of 2012. For information, call (903) 887-3532.

VFW provides dinner
The VFW in Seven Points, Wild Olive Branch Ministries, the Kiwanis Club and Sabbath Keepers Fellowship are hosting a free dinner to seniors from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, at the Post located next to the bowling alley in Seven Points.
Menu includes pot roast, roasted potatoes, carrots, hot bread, and cherry cobbler with ice cream.

GBC holiday contest
The Gun Barrel City Beautification Committee Holiday Merchant Decorating Contest is set for Monday, Nov. 28, through Friday, Dec. 2 (outside decor only will be judged). A $250 prize will be awarded Friday, Dec. 9, along with a newspaper photo and winner sign. Register at Gun Barrel City hall.

Literary Club executive meeting
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake will hold an executive board meeting at the Victorian Lady Tea Room at noon, Tuesday, Nov. 29.

K-6 grades basketball
Kemp Area Sports Association (KASA) basketball sign ups for k through sixth grade, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29 to Thursday, Dec. 1, at Kemp Dairy Queen or online at  until Sunday, Dec. 4.
For information, call (903) 275-7466 or e-mail to  

GBC Christmas parade
The Gun Barrel City Christmas Parade, “A Country Christmas,” begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the GBC Fire Department. For information call (903) 887-1087 or visit

Grief support group
Fragile Hearts grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday (hereafter the first Tuesday of the month), Dec. 6, at the home of Eric and Sonya Ward, 215 N. Coleman St., Mabank. This group formerly met at Moorhead-Epps Funeral Home. Dinner is provided. For directions or information call (903) 386-0443.

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” presenting favorite Christmas songs. The church is located at 9667 SH 198, south of Mabank. For information, call (903) 451-2978.

CCL Methodist dinner
The Cedar Creek Lake United Methodist Church is hosting its 28th annual Community Christmas Dinner, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at 100 South Old Indian Trail.

MHS Christmas concert
The Mabank High School Choir presents its Christmas “America” concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in the MHS auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public. Also the Panther Edition is singing at community events, including Eubank’s Grief Recovery, Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Mabank Senior Center, and The Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points, Wednesday, Dec. 14.

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).
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Top News

Copper thieves hit high school, twice
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Copper thieves have shut down the phone service for Kemp High School and the nearby bank twice in less than a month.
“It’s not just the money involved but the time, especially for parents when they have an emergency. It delays their being able to get in touch with their child,” said Pete Eldridge, Kemp Independent School District director of technology.
When the phones are out, parents can visit the school web page and send an e-mail to assistant principal Marietta Maxwell, or they can call the main office number, (903) 498-1314, he added.
Sometime last week, thieves stole more than a 100 feet of copper wiring, Eldridge explained.
“This week, they cut the wire but that was all,” he added.
“It doesn’t cost us any money because the phone company will have to bear the cost,” Eldridge said.
The wire was taken from an area off Tolosa Road, in the vicinity of the bus barn.
“The school and the bank are the only two businesses we are aware of that were affected,” Kemp Police Chief Richard Clemmo said.
New laws forbid buyers from accepting “burnt wire,” the method formerly used by thieves when they stole wire from an establishment, then sold it to a buyer, Clemmo explained.
“Now they have to manually strip the coating from the wire in order to sell it,” he said.
The first time the school lost its phone system, thieves had stolen about 160 feet of wiring.
“I doubt if they got more than $40 or $50 for all their work,” Clemmo added.
But that’s plenty for someone who wants to buy drugs, he said.
Even though the thieves didn’t get anything this latest time, “It will still cost the phone company a lot to fix the cut they made,”
While the theft charge is not really a serious crime, the disruption of communications is and will cause the charge to be upgraded from a misdemeanor to a more serious felony charge.
“My guys have been patrolling that area and probably scared them off,” Clemmo said, explaining why no wire was stolen during the thieves’ latest attempt. “We’ll be keeping tabs on that road.”


Coach Kurt Budke dies in plane crash
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

Oklahoma State University officials confirmed Friday that women’s head basketball coach Kurt Budke was killed Thursday night in a plane crash in central Arkansas. He was 50.
Also killed was assistant coach Miranda Serna and two others not associated with the university.
“The Oklahoma State family is devastated by this tragedy,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna and the other victims.”
Budke is best known in Henderson County as the head coach of the Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals from 1993-2000. During that time, he lead the Lady Cardinals to four national championships.
TVCC President Dr. Glendon Forgey released the following statement:
“Coach Budke was an amazing coach and an exemplary man. Our prayers go out to the families of Coach Budke and Miranda Serna today as they cope with this devastating news.
“Kurt was a great friend to Trinity Valley Community College. He put the Lady Cardinals on the national map, leading the team to its first national championships. Through his great skill as a coach and his ability to have a profound effect on the lives of his players, he built the reputation that the TVCC Lady Cardinal Basketball still stands on today.
“Even after leaving Athens, he remained a friend of this institution and this community. He will be missed beyond measure.”
Budke leaves behind a wife and three children.
In 2008, he was inducted into the TVCC Hall of Fame. The following is his Hall of Fame bio from TVCC:
“Budke was the head coach of the Lady Cardinals from 1993 to 2000. During those seven years, the team appeared in the national tournament six times, winning four national championship titles. In Budke’s career at TVCC, the Lady Cardinals fell at home only two times. He led the team to some of their best season records ever, including an undefeated 36-0 season in 1999.
“At the junior college level, Budke has a combined record of 273-31 (.898), resulting in the highest winning percentage in NJCAA history.
“He was the NJCAA National Coach of the Year in both 1995 and 1998 and was the Texas Coaches Association Coach of the Year for each of the four years the Lady Cardinals took the national title.
“In addition, he is the youngest coach to ever be inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
“Budke left TVCC following the 2000 season to coach at Louisiana Tech. He is now the head coach at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla.
In his second season at OSU, the Cowgirls reached the 20-win plateau and appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996.”


Council settles lawsuits with former police officers
Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS–The Seven Points City Council agreed to a monetary settlement totaling $21,500 with three former police officers in a called meeting Nov. 2.
In March, officers Raymond Wennerstrom and Wayne Nutt Jr, were terminated. Officer Jason Perrini was fired just prior to Chief Jack Nelson’s re-retirement November, 2010.
The officers brought civil rights suits with the Texas Workforce Commission against the city for wrongful termination.
The suit states that the alleged suspension and termination were in retaliation for reporting unlawful discrimination against a coworker.
The city denies the claims but agreed to settle the suit. Mayor pro tem Claudett Allsup called the meeting so the city wouldn’t be facing the possibility of having to pay a lot more, she said.
Payments were to be made to the officers within 30 days of the agreement.
According to court documents, Nutt settled for $5,750; Perrini for $6,750 and Wennerstrom for $9,000.
It has been reported by the Athens Daily Review that at issue was the reporting of sexual harassment and racial slurs allegedly made by Nelson in the presence of then Lt. Michael Tayem.
All three terminated officers reported incidents of sexual harassment to then mayor Joe Dobbs, the Review reported.
To date, Nutt and Perrini have accepted the settlements and have been paid, Allsup said. However, Wennerstrom is yet to sign, she added, though his agreement also includes hiring him back with the city. “He has not reported to work,” Allsup said Monday.






























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