Arrest made in missing Mabank
By Donna Limberger
Monitor Staff Writer
CANTON–The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office Johnson
charged and arrested Walter Burris, 43, of Mabank for murder in
connection with the disappearance of a Mabank woman.
Diane Hopson, 62, has been missing from her residence on VZCR 2815 since
“My office has done an extensive investigation since Mrs. Hopson was
reported missing. We obtained evidence that Burris was believed to be
the last person to see her alive,” Van Zandt County Sheriff R.P. “Pat”
Burnett told The Monitor late Thursday.
Additional information identified a vehicle matching the description of
Burris’s truck as being seen at Hopson’s home.
“There was blood evidence in the vehicle,” Burnett said.
Hopson’s daughter called the Sheriff’s Office on the morning of Nov. 20
to report her missing. The sheriff’s office placed her on the missing
endangered list, and as the investigation continued authorities
suspected foul play.
A warrant was issued for the vehicle, and Smith County Crime Scene
Investigators Noel Martin and Ira Earls took forensic samplings
Wednesday. The lab reported its results the next day.
“Based on these tests, we were able to obtain a warrant for Burris and
charge him with murder,” Burnett said.
From the beginning, sheriff’s investigators have treated Hopson’s home
as a crime scene.
“This investigation will continue. We are still looking for Mrs.
Hopson’s body and we will continue to look for additional information,”
“I have contacted the family and my thoughts and prayers are with them.
They have no closure at this time,” he added.
Burnett thanked Texas Ranger Kenny Ray, the Smith County Crime Scene
Unit and Van Zandt County investigators for their diligence in the case.
“They have worked back-to-back lengthy investigations, and I am proud of
the work they have done,” Burnett said.
Anyone with additional information regarding this crime, is asked to
call the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office at (903) 567-4133, Van Zandt
County Crimestoppers at (903) 567-STOP (7867) or the Texas Rangers.
Again, MHS makes Texas Monthly’s
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Once again, Mabank High School has been listed in Texas Monthly’s
list of best public schools.
This year’s listing includes 859 elementary, middle and high schools.
Mabank High School is the only Cedar Creek Lake area school to make the
It is among 136 high schools listed for student performance on the Texas
Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).
Last year, the publication ranked MHS 15th on a list of 75 best Texas
high schools. There are about 1,700 high schools in the state.
This year, the numbers were analyzed a little differently. The top 5
percent of public schools are automatically listed. Elementary, middle
and high schools listed demonstrated academic growth on the TAKS test
higher than predicted, based on their previous test scores.
High schools were also delineated according to high performance by
subject – reading/language arts, math social studies and science.
Mabank achieved high performance in reading/language arts.
Just 17 Texas high schools were ranked as high-performing in all four
subjects. Some of those were the School for the Talented and Gifted and
the School of Science and Engineering, both in Dallas; Pearce in
Richardson and Memorial and Stratford, both in Spring Branch.
The bulk of the high schools listed excelled in just one subject.
“We are so proud of the efforts of our employees and children who
continue to show how successful the students at MISD are,”
Superintendent Dr. Russell Marshall told The Monitor.
MHS Principal Dr. Tommy Wallis was not surprised by the news, but was
honored just the same.
Due to illness, Wallis couldn’t say more about it, except that he has
high expectations for the future.
“Our teachers are just awesome,” Dena Mojica, MISD’s director of
curriculum and instruction, said. “And, we have the best principal in
Blue Santa toy drop planned
Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS–The Seven Points Police Department is holding its Blue
Santa Toy Drop from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every night this week at city hall.
Santa will be on hand to visit with the kids and Stagecoach Karaoke will
be providing music and entertainment.
“Bring by an unwrapped gift of toys, clothes and personal care products
to city hall, and be a blessing to your neighbors who are less
fortunate,” Judge Monica Corker said. “You’ll be glad you did.”
The last night for the toy drop is Monday, Dec. 10.
The first deliveries to needy families begin Saturday, Dec. 15.