Thursday, November 25, 2010




Two arrested while moving stolen road material
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Two men employed on the U.S. Highway 175 road-widening project have been arrested on theft charges.
Scott Daniel Larson, 38, employed with Brazos Valley Contracting for 18 years, and Alba Bailey White, 28, RK Hall Construction employee for four years, were arrested earlier this month.
They were both released from the Henderson County jail after posting $50,000 bonds.
RK Hall and Brazos Valley are working together to add traffic lanes on U.S. 175 between Mabank and Eustace.
Construction managers advised the Henderson County Sheriff’s office that they suspected two of their employees of stealing road materials, according to a press release from Sheriff Ray Nutt.
Managers told deputies they had noticed large quantities of road base and other road materials missing from their stockpiles.
When investigators arrived at the construction scene, they observed several dump trucks waiting to be loaded.
After an initial investigation, White and Larson were found in possession of $2,500 cash each.
The investigation revealed the pair had recently received $5,000 in cash from a private party for the sale of several loads of road material that was in the process of being delivered.
RK Hall and Brazos Valley estimated more than 200 truckloads of material were taken from the job site, putting the losses between $40,000 and $50,000.
White and Larson were each charged with theft more than $20,000 and under $100,000.

Thanksgiving marks 60th wedding anniversary for bowling couple
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Though they’ve lived at Cedar Creek Lake for the past 30 years, Margie and Johnny Marshall aren’t going to be here for their 60th wedding anniversary. They are meeting with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in San Marcos for the momentous Thanksgiving holiday milestone. ThanksgivingAnniversary.jpg (316432 bytes)
“I want to make one thing perfectly clear,” Johnny (who marks his 80th year the day before his anniversary) tells The Monitor. “I didn’t chase her, she chased me.”
“And, I caught you, too – didn’t I?” Margie replies.
“That’s true,” Johnny answers.
Johnny was playing in minor league baseball for the Cardinal organization in Hondo when Margie was a junior in high school there. The baseball league used the high school fields for training, and Margie wasn’t the only girl with her eye toward catching herself a baseball player husband.
“We were cruising on a Sunday afternoon, my girlfriends and I, when I saw Johnny walking down the street, so we stopped to talk to him,” Margie relates. “He invited me to evening church services, but I stood him up. I had something else I wanted to do that night.”
The next day, Margie and friends tracked Johnny down to a pool hall after school, but he wouldn’t come out and Margie wouldn’t go in. So she and a girlfriend went by his dormitory later and picked him and another ballplayer up.
“We went parking,” Margie said. “That was our first real date.”
Two and a half years later, Johnny was playing ball up in Oklahoma. “He sent me an engagement ring in the mail,” she said.
By that time, her mother and he had firmly decided they wouldn’t be getting along.
“But my mother – she owned a flower shop – said we could marry if she could do up the biggest wedding Hondo had ever seen,” Margie recalled.
They agreed. She did, and the rest is history, as they say.
Because everyone could get off for the Thanksgiving weekend, it was deemed the best time to have a wedding. Johnny’s folks were from West Texas and came in on the bus for the event.
Margie was an only child, reared by her mom, with two aunts living and grandparents near by.
Growing up, she never learned how to keep house, do laundry or cook, Johnny relates.
“My mother taught her how to cook while I was away in the Navy,” Johnny laughs. “She never really got the hang of housework, though we’ve always gotten by.
“Being married 60 years ain’t no big thing,” Johnny added. “Her god-parents were married for 70 years. Seems to me if you just keep living, you can keep being married.”
What’s the secret to your energetic longevity, then?
“Good genes,” he said.
He may have something there. Johnny is now about 5-11, though he was six feet tall when they married. He weighs 235 pounds and is the picture of health and vitality.
Margie, who weighed 92 pounds on her wedding day and stood 4-11, is slightly heavier and a little shorter, but can still live up to her high school nickname of “Mighty (as in Mighty Mouse).”
Besides the anniversary falling on Thanksgiving this year, the couple is unique in that they have both enjoyed bowling much of their wedded lives.
Currently, Johnny bowls on two leagues a week, while Margie bowls on five leagues and serves as secretary for three.
That means she bowls every day of the week, except on Saturdays and Sundays. Those are the days she works – where else? – at Lakeplex Lanes.
“I like the people you meet and the fun you can have,” Margie explained.
“It’s good exercise, too,” Johnny added. “Bowling three games is equal to walking a mile. I knew a man whose health regime was to bowl 10 games a day.”
The couple bowls together on the Gutterdusters league on Thursday nights. When asked what he does while she works, Johnny answers, “Anything I want to.”
His bowling average is 180. Margie tops out at about 145, though she admits to not bowling as well lately, noting her average has dropped to 135.
If Johnny has any regrets, it’s that he passed up a college scholarship to play ball. He couldn’t finish college on the G.I. Bill after his four years in the Navy as a flight crew chief during the Korean War.
By then, the couple had a couple of kids (two girls and two boys, all within a six-year span) and going to school full-time while working full-time to support his family proved to be too heart-wrenching.
“We were poor a lot of years,” Margie joins in.
So, when the opportunity came to work for Texas Instruments, Johnny took it and has never looked back. Margie joined him there, and they both put in 30 years with the company, most of those in Mesquite.
Johnny is most proud that three of his four children have graduated from college, two with advanced degrees. In fact, his daughter has also purchased college educations for all of her children and grandchildren.
Among those great-grandchildren, Johnny has spied a budding ballplayer.
One can tell that for this couple, life is good and has been good for some time. The satisfaction and anticipation of more good things in the future is evident even after a short conversation with them.
Happy anniversary, Johnny and Margie Marshall. May you have many more!

EDC OKs funding for pavilion
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation agreed to fund the construction of a city pavilion on a section of city property referred to as the 40 acres.
Previously, EDC members approved up to $130,000 for the construction, which included a $5,000 pad on the $125,000 estimate.
However, after soil sampling and the decision to upgrade the concrete base to six inches, the lowest bid for the project from Athens Steel came in at $177,000.
Also, the bid amount increased due to the heavy wind shear to which that area is subject, city manager Gerry Boren explained.
EDC member Larry Spiegel motioned that the EDC fund the project up to $200,000 at Tuesday’s meeting.
“You know we’ll be back here again if we don’t,” Spiegel reasoned to his fellow members. “This is a practical thing we can fund right now.”
“I just wish the city would do its homework first before asking us to fund their project,” member Linda Rankin responded.
The motion passed with Sandy Janow the lone dissenter.
EDC treasurer Dennis Baade will offer an amendment to the EDC’s 2011 budget in a follow-up meeting. The necessary amendment was already approved by the city council earlier this month, when they accepted Athens Steel’s bid for the project.
“We’re going to have to scrape down four inches of dirt and replace with engineered fill dirt,” Boren further explained.
The dirt being removed is to be used to build up other areas needing fill dirt, he said.
“We’ll use all of it,” Boren said.
In other business, the EDC directors:
• heard Orasi Consulting will be representing the city, along with two other very different cities, at the Gaylord Convention Center this week for the International Council of Shopping Centers convention held there.
Jack Thompson, along with co-worker Drew Martin, will try to generate interest among shopping center developers in Heritage Cove and properties at the east end of town, where U.S. 175 and State Highway 334 converge.
EDC president Steve Webster said he has a meeting with a representative of the bank which owns the Heritage Cove lots in December.
Martin said city officials should also expect representatives from Dallas brokerage houses to be looking the city over between Thanksgiving and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, typically a slow time for brokers.
• discussed marketing priorities. EDC member pat Cassady said she’d work with the city to finalize a merge between the city’s and EDC’s websites.

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