The Gun Barrel City Beautification Committee Holiday Merchant
Decorating Contest is set 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.
The Westside Senior Center opens from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday,
Dec. 1, at Cedar Creek Bible church activities building, 700 N.
Seven Points Boulevard. Seniors 55 and older enjoy refreshments,
games, fellowship and many other activities.
A light lunch is served. Membership is free.
For information call (903) 340-9672.
Tolosa Baptist Church
Tolosa Baptist church is hosting, the Blackwood Legacy, at 11
a.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, featuring Rick Price, Luke Yates and Daniel
Childs. The church is located at 19101 SH 274. Admission is free
but a love offering will be received.
For information call (903) 386-5730.
Free nights of skating
Cedar Creek Bible Church is hosting free nights of skating,
skits and snacks from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 2, 9 and 16.
Parents may drop off their children ages 4 through sixth grade
to get a little Christmas shopping done. Skates, popcorn and hot
chocolate provided free. The church is located on SH 274, one
mile north of the Seven Points traffic light. For information
call (903) 432-2175.
49er’s Senior’s club
The Cedar Creek Lake 49er’s Senior Citizens Club meets from 7 to
9:30 p.m. Thursday (tonight and every Thursday), for dancing
with Chuck & the 49er’s. No smoking or alcohol. Located two
blocks south on Arnold Hills Road, off SH 334, Seven Points. For
information call or fax to (903) 432-3552.
K-6 grades basketball
Kemp Area Sports Association (KASA) basketball sign ups for
kindergarten through sixth grade, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday,
(tonight), at Kemp Dairy Queen or on-line at
www.leaguelineup.com/kasabasketball until Sunday, Dec. 4.
For information, call (903) 275-7466 or e-mail to
CCL Garden Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Garden Club meets at 11:30 a.m. Friday,
Dec. 2, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. The
covered dish luncheon is followed by a gift exchange. Food items
are being collected for the food bank and unwrapped toys are
being collected for Toys for Tots.
Mabank Parade of Homes
The Mabank Christmas Parade of Homes begins with a lunch at
Tri-County Library at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Tickets are
available at Tri-County Library, Shorty’s Soda Shop, First State
Bank of Mabank and Bluebonnet Emporium. For information call
Tanya Roberts at (903) 880-2992.
Tool VFD Santa pictures
The Tool Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a “Pictures with
Santa” fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the
new fire station at 525 S. Tool Dr., on SH 274 in Tool. All
proceeds go toward new gear. Bring your kids, family or pets.
Hot chocolate and cookies served. For information call (903)
Round and square dancing is set for 8 to 10 p.m. Saturdays, Dec.
3 and Dec. 17, the first and third Saturdays of each month. The
location is the Log Cabin Swingers Square Dance Club located at
1210 N. Tool Drive (SH 274). All dancers are invited to the New
Dancer dance on Friday, Dec. 9.
Becker fall festival
The Becker Community Association annual fall festival is set for
5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Becker Community Center, at
the intersection of FM 1895 and FM 2860. Vendors, prizes, silent
auction and chili supper.
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 online
Toys for Tots drive
A Toys for Tots drive is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday,
Dec. 3, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points. Look
for a white Limousine in the parking lot. For information, call
the library at (903) 432-4185.
CCL Literary Club
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake meets at 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 6, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven
Points. Actor Ken Freehill will present “Scratch It, Cratch It,”
a modern version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
For information on membership call Ruth Pimm at (903) 778-4752.
CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club executive board meets at 1
p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, for a business meeting and luncheon at the
Sweet Pea in Athens.
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 Sonya and Eric 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.
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 carols. The church is located at
9667 SH 198, south of Mabank. For information, call (903)
VZ seniors dance
The Van Zandt Senior Citizens Club Christmas Dance is set for 7
p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at the Henderson County Senior Center in
Athens. Admission is free to seniors. Joe Walenka will provide
country music. Everyone is welcome.
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.
The Tri-County Library Christmas benefit features an H-O scale
train layout, 8’ X 3’ with everything included, to be given away
Friday, Dec. 9. You do not need to be present.
Stop by the library on Market street to find out how this train
can be yours.
Mabank ISD craft fair
The fourth annual “Get Your Jingle on,” holiday craft Fair is
set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at Mabank
Intermediate School gym. to set a booth at the craft fair
download and review documents at
mabankisd.net/craft-fair. For information call Tonya Chapman
or Christina Strong at (903) 880-1640.
S–R Wild Winter Bash
The Scurry Rosser Wild Winter Bash, featuring a jackpot show for
swine, goats and lambs is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at
the Kaufman County Showgrounds. Weight cards due at 9 a.m. and
showmanship is at 9 a.m. Craft vendors and concession stands
present. For information call Joey Isbell at (972) 754-3428 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit website
Breakfast with Santa
Best Friends of the Library at Cedar Creek Lake is hosting
Breakfast with Santa from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at the
library, 410 E. Cedar Creek Parkway, Seven Points. For a small
charge, kids and adults can enjoy pancakes, sausage, fruit,
juice and coffee, plus a visit with Santa who will present each
child a new, wrapped book. Bring your camera for photos. An
activity center will provide take home crafts for the children.
Christmas on the Square
The 15th annual Keep Eustace Beautiful sponsored, “Christmas on
the Square” is set for 5:30 (parade starts) to 8 p.m. Saturday,
Dec. 10. Free activities include community and school choirs,
Christmas tree lighting by oldest citizen, carriage rides,
Christmas dramas. Also there will be booths with crafts for
sale. For information, call city hall at (903) 425-4702.
Living Christmas Tree
The First Baptist Church of Gun Barrel City is hosting its
annual “Living Christmas Tree, presenting, “A Song in the Air”
at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 and at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday,
Dec. 11. For information call (903) 887-6887, ext. 3.
‘Searching for the King’
The First Baptist Church of Eustace Celebration Choir and Drama
Team invites everyone to experience a Christmas celebration at 6
p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. For information, call the church at (903)
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.
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.
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
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.
The NA is teaching coping skills to families of addicts at 8
p.m. seven days a week. For information call (903) 432-2405.
Mail address is Cedar Creek NA, 715 South 7-Points Drive, Suite
D, Seven Points, TX, 75143.
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)
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Gun Barrel City makes
City council canvasses votes in new digs
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–Gun Barrel City voters saw their majority vote
to allow late-night alcoholic beverage service on weekends
verified and formally accepted by the city council Nov. 22.
Monitor Photos/Barbara Gartman
Gun Barrel City manager Gerry Boren starts a tour of the new
city hall Tuesday, starting with showing Monitor editor Pearl
Cantrell the visitor center, where the history of the city and
surrounding area will be featured. In the background is the
original city flag in a frame behind glass. Boren said he is
planning an open house once the building is fully furnished,
some Saturday in January. See the Sunday issue of The Monitor
for more highlights of the redesigned and expanded building, by
The canvassing of the votes occured in the first city council
meeting in the city’s new city hall.
The official outcome to the referendum to repeal the ordinance
allowing late-night alcohol sales is 262 votes for the repeal
(against late-night service) and 481 votes against, for a record
743 votes cast in a Gun Barrel City election. The official tally
was four votes different from the first report due to a number
of provisional votes, not counted until verified.
“The majority has made its choice known,” councilman Ronnie
The day before the Thanksgiving holiday, the New York Times
published its story about the Gun Barrel City election, which
was subsequently picked up by the Dallas Morning News and
several other papers around the nation.
Sunday morning found at least one Bible class in Gun Barrel City
noting the article and the issues it raised.
Most people The Monitor spoke with felt the article was fairly
accurate and spoke evenly to both sides of the argument, though
some questioned the newsworthiness of a wet/dry vote in a small
town in Texas.
“It was an unusual story,” councilman Curtis Webster said. “It
was probably picked up because of our unique name,” he guessed.
Economic Development Corporation board president Steve Webster
said he met with the writer and agreed, “The whole reason for
the story is because it’s ‘Gun Barrel City’ – a small town with
a wonderful name for drawing attention.
“I don’t have any idea why they did the story,” mayor Dennis
Wood said. “Their interest didn’t seem to be warranted.”
“I thought it was great,” Economic Development Corporation board
member Linda Rankin said, adding she read the article several
NYT writer Manny Fernandez out of the Houston Bureau and Dallas
photographer Rex C. Cox spent the greater part of Nov. 14 in Gun
Barrel City conducting interviews and taking pictures.
“I tried to find out what the angle was going to be on the
article,” Wood said, as he was one of those quoted in the
article. Wood said the writer explained its newsworthiness
consisted in the extent the debate had taken, culminating in a
referendum vote, which drew out a record number of voters.
Besides that, the issue fleshed out where people stand with
their affiliations and on the issue.
Wood confirmed that two council members, formerly members of a
Southern Baptist Convention congregation where Wood attends,
have since found somewhere else to worship. The church’s
covenant with its members reflects the stand of the SBC in
regard to the promotion of alcohol drinking. Wood showed
Fernandez an SBC resolution from 2006, urging Southern Baptists
to support legislation curbing alcohol use, and encouraging its
members to campaign against its practice.
Wood added he felt that the majority of those voting against the
repeal were voting for an Applebee’s coming into the city and if
it took 2 a.m. liquor serving extension to do it, so be it.
“I was clear, that I support the majority vote,” Wood said,
although he is still looking for proof that an Applebee’s is
actually coming to the city, “otherwise, why did we go through
all of that,” he asked.
So, far all he has is a letter from Applebee’s chief financial
officer, stating, “We’re waiting for the election and then we’re
coming,” Wood said.
“I’m tired of our city acting on rumors of commitments,” Wood
Rankin is sure the restaurant is planning to open in Gun Barrel
“Their plate is full right now, as they are opening a restaurant
in Corsicana. But once that’s done, I feel certain that we’ll be
their next big step,” she said.
Also noteworthy in the article was something Rita’s Club owner
Rob Rhea said regarding elected officials feeling they can
dictate what people are free and not free to do. “People are
against government, especially at the national level,” Wood
said. “They know they can make a bigger impact at a local level.
They feel more empowered to make changes,” he said.
Malakoff ISD joins school funding lawsuit
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Reports
TOOL–Malakoff ISD will be joining a lawsuit against the State of
Texas aimed at problems with school funding.
Monday night, school board members unanimously accepted
Superintendent Randy Perry’s recommendation to join the suit led
by the law firm Haynes and Boone. Perry said the suit has been
recommended by the Texas School Coalition, which is a group of
Chapter 41 schools.
Under the state’s finance plan, money from property rich
districts, called Chapter 41 schools, is given to poorer school
districts. Malakoff has been categorized as a Chapter 41
district for several years and annually sends revenue back to
the state. MISD is a member of the Texas School Coalition.
“It seems that the only way the State Legislature will do the
right thing for our students is to have it mandated to them by
the courts,” said Perry. “The State Legislature did not meet
their Constitutional requirement of adequately funding the
education of our students. Future opportunities for our Malakoff
ISD students is at risk. We must look at all options to protect
Joining the case will cost the district $1,600 a year for up to
three years, but board members hope the lawsuit is complete in
“We can’t afford to stand on the sidelines,” said Perry.
MISD Trustee Dr. Pat Smith, a former superintendent, agreed. “We
need to have some impact,” he said.
The legal case against the State will be based on two
principles, said Haynes and Boone attorney John Turner in a
press release provided by the Texas School Coalition.
Adequacy: The state has raised expectations and requirements for
school districts, which adds costs, while significantly
decreasing its funding to those same districts. Even though the
state is increasingly using local school district tax dollars,
the total level of funding is inadequate to pay for the kind of
quality educational program required by the state.
Local discretion: Local school districts no longer have
meaningful discretion to raise taxes for local enrichment
programs. Those dollars that are not recaptured must effectively
be used to simply meet the state’s standards. The school finance
system imposes a de facto statewide property tax, which is
“These are both essential claims that, if successful, will help
to preserve the future of education for our children,” Turner
said. “If we succeed in our claims regarding adequacy, it will
benefit all districts by requiring the Legislature to provide
new funds and new capacity in the system. In the past, we have
seen one group of districts pitted against another to fight over
existing dollars - many of them recapture dollars. The point is
that the system as a whole is underfunded, and the school
financing structure must be fixed to provide for the educational
program that the state requires.”
The Haynes and Boone lawsuit is not the only one being planned.
In his blog, Eustace ISD superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe last
week listed four main groups challenging the way the state funds
• The Texas School Coalition, the Texas Taxpayer and Student
Fairness Coalition (which EISD is a member )
• a group of schools organized by attorney David Thompson ,
• a group organized by the Mexican American Legal Defense and
Educational Fund (MALDEF),
“(T)he Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition is
challenging the current funding system on both equity and
adequacy,” wrote Holcombe. “There are currently 321 school
districts in this coalition.”
It is expected that various legal teams will work together.
KISD reviews protocol
for head injuries
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–It is not unusual to see an item on the evening news about
a high school football player suffering from a concussion gotten
while playing for his team. Consequently, head injuries have
been the focus of discussion in many school board meetings.
Monday, Kemp Independent School District trustees approved the
UIL-mandated Concussion Protocol procedure.
The new mandate establishes a policy for educating parents and
school personnel on how to evaluate or watch for symptoms of
For instance, what used to be referred to as a “bell ringer”
when a player had hit his head, could very well be a concussion,
board president Keith Foisey said..
The problem of concussions has become more prevalent and has
presented health officials as well as school personnel with new
decisions to be considered.
One such decision is, “when should an injured student be held
out or sent back into the game?”
Another centers around what medical personnel needed to be at a
game and who will make the decisive call to send or not send a
student back into a possibly hazardous situation.
Foisey expressed interest in the safety helmets players wore and
if needed, what it would cost to replace the helmets.
Kemp football helmets pass the state certification inspection,
he was told.
A state law says the helmets cannot be more than 10 years old.
In other business, trustees:
• heard a report on the Region 10 Pilot Program called “The
Future is Now,” presented by Junior High School principalPhil
The project goal is to get teachers to thinking about how to get
technology in the schools.
Kemp ISD has identified12 students to show teachers how to use
website design tools.
The second project goal will be to promote Kemp Junior High on a
• heard the technology report as presented by Tony Miller.
• heard the curriculum report as present by Dr. Debra Airheart.
She informed the trustees the department is developing a
possible grant application to fund the development of a reading
• heard an update by Melinda Polk on an Education Foundation to
support and solicit funds to be used to promote student
development and to purchase non-budgeted items requested by
• heard a complaint from parent Bobby Hundstettler on dress code
policies, stating his son was constantly being told to go shave
and that his hair was too long.
“The way they (students) look doesn’t have anything to do with
education,” he said.
• discussed the campus improvement plans.
“Plans are constantly being looked at and updated with changes
occurring as often as monthly,” superintendent Dr. Peter Running
• approved compensation for extra OCR responsibilities.
• nominated Doug Gibbs to serve on the Kaufman County Appraisal
District board of directors.
• tabled making any decision on the possible May 1012 election
“They (the county election office) has assured us they will
continue to work with us and we can wait until Dec. 31, for a
decision,” Running said.
Many school, water districts, cities that normally hold
elections in May, are facing a possible shortage of required
electronic voting equipment in the upcoming March Primary and
future even-numbered year May elections.
Some entities have changed to a November election date,
extending current office holders terms.
• discussed the Board Buzz.
Trustees heard there was a nice presentation by fifth graders
for the event.
• were reminded the Region 10 Board Training event is set for 9
a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 in Dallas.
• recognized the campus Students of the Month for November
The students are Primary student Robert Aguilar; Intermediate
student Tyler Aldridge, Junior High student Jaylin Contreras and
High School student Katherine Thomas.
• recognized Student Superintendent Advisory Council (SSAC)
members Lacey Weisinger, Jacque Barry and Jordan Litts.