Sunday, November 25, 2007







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. 18.
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 earlier.
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 Council meeting.
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.
Mayor 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, Confer said.
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 District Board.

Local 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.