Authorities treat missing
woman’s Mabank VZ home as crime scene
By Donna Limberger
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–A Mabank woman is missing and the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s
Office is concerned for her safety.
“We believe that she could have possibly been the victim of some sort of
foul play,” Van Zandt County Chief Deputy John Turner said.
Diane Hopson, 62, was reported missing from her residence on VZCR 2815
late Monday night and was possibly last seen on Sunday afternoon, Nov.
Hopson’s daughter called the sheriff’s office late Monday night, when
she went to the home and didn’t like what she saw.
“The home could have been a crime scene, so we processed it as such,”
Van Zandt County Sheriff R.P. “Pat” Burnett said. “If it is a crime
scene, there is only one chance to collect evidence.”
Burnett said that investigators from his office, Texas Department of
Public Safety, Texas Ranger Kenny Ray and the Smith County Crime Scene
Unit were all at the residence Tuesday.
“We hope Mrs. Hopson comes back,” Burnett said.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts or the disappearance of
Hopson are asked to call the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office at
903-567-4133 or Van Zandt County CrimeStoppers at 903-567-STOP(7867).
Callers may remain anonymous when calling CrimeStoppers with tips.
Wednesday morning, Navarro County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Mike Cox
reported the discovery of a charred body along Interstate 45.
Authorities believe the body had been dumped there at least a day
Cox says it appears the woman was killed elsewhere before her body was
placed under the overpass and set on fire.
Cox says there had been no missing person reports in Navarro County.
Tool chief honored for his service
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
TOOL–Police Chief Warren Loscuito was honored at the Nov. 15 Tool City
Police Sgt. Kendall Wellman spoke on behalf of the other members of the
Tool Police Department, thanking the chief for his guidance and training
over the past 10 years.
Scott Confer thanked Loscuito on behalf of the council and the citizens
of Tool, before presenting him with a plaque for his long service.
Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Tool Police Chief Warren Loscuito (left)
accepts a plaque from Mayor Scott Confer for his 10 years of service to
the police department.
“It was the help of
the citizens and the council that got me here. It took a lot of work
from a lot of people. I think the applause goes to them,” Loscuito said.
Confer also commended Officer Rick Simmons for his action and courtesy
during a recent accident involving an 18-wheeler and a four-wheeler.
The driver of the four-wheeler called in with praises for Simmons,
In other business, council members:
• appointed seven members to a “Code Enforcement Advisory Committee.”
Members are Monty Pennell of Lakeway Estates, Paul May of Arnold Hills,
Gloria Wood of Cedar Crest Shores, Robert Thornton president of Cedar
Crest Shores POA, Ernest Hetherington of Heather Woods, Don Dyess of
Paradise Bay and Don Lawrence of Lakeway Estates.
The committee will review property association rules and city ordinances
to find commonalities to be enforced.
• chose Ben Woolverton for Place 4 on the Henderson County Appraisal
banks review Sportsplex loan
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation
tabled two agenda items Tuesday.
The first was an request for an extension on the SO Sportsplex
performance agreement. The second was a decision to move some project
funds to a better-performing TexSTAR account.
SO Sportsplex developers Stephen Orsak and his dad Dan reported
confidently on their Small Business Administration loan package going to
loan committee with two local banks.
The package had already met with preliminary approval from Prosper Bank,
north of Dallas/Fort Worth, but the terms were not very favorable, Orsak
said, so they are continuing to shop the loan.
The project has till Jan. 18 to break ground, according to the
agreement, EDC president Steve Webster noted.
The two answered questions about the feasibility study, which reflected
favorably on the project, and about the level of confidence the pair had
in the financing being approved.
“We’re putting up 30 percent and a good portion of the remaining 70
percent is backed by the SBA,” Orsak reported.
EDC members voiced their continued backing for the project, and decided
to table the decision until the Dec. 18 meeting to see if an extension
is really needed or not.
Consultant Jack Thompson commented on treasurer Dennis Baade’s financial
report, saying some projects’ money could be growing at a more rapid
rate with TexSTAR.
He reported having a long-standing relationship with First Southwest,
who operates TexSTAR, and stated that if the EDC ever wanted to issue
bonds at some point in the future, the transaction would be seamless.
“We don’t have to have all our eggs in one basket,” he said of Franklin
Bank, who is returning 3.9 percent interest on deposits.
Baade agreed to get more information on collateralization and report
back to the board.
Thompson continued with a marketing report.
The first ad placed in the Dallas Business Journal as an insert was
inserted within another insert.
Thompson was able to leverage the snafu to result in a free full page
four-color ad, an $8,400 value.
“I just have to pick which issue I want to do it in. I’ll bring you the
ad to sign off on,” Thompson said.
Much of the remainder of the meeting was dedicated to planning the EDC
float for the Christmas parade Saturday, Dec. 8.
The EDC float will lead the parade with Santa driving his sleigh. Work
on the float was set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday.