Police foil burglary at new school
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–An attempt to steel tools from the construction site of the new
Mabank High School was foiled, recently, though the burglars got away.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving a Mabank police officer patrolling the
area was alert to some suspicious activity.
“They (the would-be burglars) had some boxes filled with tools and were
getting ready to load them into their vehicle,” Charter Builders project
superintendent Tom Hinton told The Monitor.
However, Cpl. John Holcomb spotted the activity on the otherwise quiet job
site around 10 p.m. Wednesday.
About eight law enforcement officers answered Holcomb’s call for back up,
two from Kemp, two county deputy sheriffs and two constables, however the
perpetrators got away.
“We’ll get ‘em next time,” Holcomb said of the nighttime raid.
At least, they were stopped from getting the tools.
A utility cart, used for touring the site, turned up missing later.
“They probably returned later and took it,” Hinton said.
The tools and equipment were under lock and key.
The intruders had to break down a door to get to them.
“They took one of our scissor lifts and jammed a piece of steel into it and
used it to batter down the door,” Hinton explained.
“This is the first time we have had any trouble. We’ve really had no
problems at all,” he said.
He added that 80 percent of the new buildings are now secure.
“And the Mabank Police have stepped up patrols of the site,” he said.
Standing water being addressed
Monitor Photos/Pearl Cantrell
A backhoe operator dared the freezing temperatures to dig a ditch to allow
standing water to drain away on the backside of the Heritage Cove project
early Thursday morning. As much as an acre of land adjacent to the project
has been flooded up to six feet with water, since work on the development
blocked off culverts that would have allowed the water coming off Harbor
Point Road to drain into the lake. A formal complaint was filed with the
city Nov. 15, and Gun Barrel City street superintendent Mike Horton had
visited with developer Ken Landers about the problem about a month ago.
Water is also piling up on property owned by a nearby church, where
another culvert has been blocked by piled-up dirt.
City reviews SH 334 widening project
By Teresa Cundiff
SEVEN POINTS–The Seven Points Economic Development
Corporation expects a March, 2007, start date to widen State Highway 334
through the city.
The long-anticipated Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) project
would expand the roadway from two lanes to five lanes, from the bridge
through the intersection with SH 274.
The EDC board hopes the expansion will open more business opportunities for
In mid-November, representatives of the city attended a TxDoT
pre-construction meeting in Athens.
At that time, the only prep work left to accomplish was moving Trinity
Valley Electric Co-op power poles and lines. Following that work, telephone
and cable lines can be moved.
Wednesday, TVEC vice president of corporate and public relations Jerry Boze
told The Monitor its engineers had recently completed paperwork and
submitted its relocation plans to TxDoT.
The co-op also just finished procuring all the necessary easements and was
awaiting final approval from TxDoT to begin work, Boze said.
“Once work begins, it won’t take very long,” Boze added, noting the line
relocations shouldn’t take longer than three months and probably less time
The last easement to fall into place allows TVEC to place power lines well
away from the busy intersection, which will provide a cleaner look, Boze
Final documents on the easement were signed Wednesday at city hall, city
secretary Debbie Mosley reported.
Putting all the power lines underground was deemed cost-prohibitive for the
power co-op, Boze added.
EDC president Danny Hampel told the board Tuesday of his meeting with TxDoT
representative Dan Wilkerson.
Though the contractor has been given 30 months to complete the project, once
it begins in February or March, Wilkerson said TxDoT is encouraging the
contractor to complete work within a 24-month time frame.
“If the lake fills, there will be so much traffic, it is going to be a big
mess,” Hampel said.
EDC secretary/treasurer Hank Laywell said the EDC has planned ahead for this
by helping to upgrade Kelly Lane and Wood Street to handle detoured traffic.
In other business, the board:
• appointed Gary McClaskey to replace board member Dean Moore, who was
recently elected to the city council. McClaskey will serve until October,
• requested board member Mark Hughes to remain on the board (his term is
up). Hughes graciously agreed to a second appointment. They also
re-appointed Derek Pocock to a two-year term, through October, 2008.
The appointments will come before the city council for final approval
Tuesday, Dec. 12.
• appointed Blake Armstrong, of Birdsong and Armstrong out of Tyler, as the
“He seems capable,” Hampel stated. Armstrong charges $175 per hour and
doesn’t accept criminal cases. Armstrong is energetic with a reputation for
honesty, Hampel said.
• amended the First National Bank signature card for the EDC’s general funds
account, naming Laywell, Pocock, Cheryl Jones and Hughes. They are also the
approved signers for the new Citizen State Bank account.