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Current Issue
December 4
, 2011






News in Brief

Recycle Christmas lights
Kaufman County residents and surrounding areas can recycle broken or unwanted Christmas lights for free at the Environmental Co-op Recycling Plant, 1100 Airport Rd, or The Environmental Co-op office, 401 N. Adelaide, both in Terrell. All types of string lights are accepted, including icycles and LEDs, with plans to expand locations to Kaufman and Kemp. For information, call (972) 524-0007 or visit

Tolosa Baptist Church
Tolosa Baptist Church is hosting the Blackwood Legacy, at 11 a.m. Sunday, (today), 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.

K-6 grades basketball
Kemp Area Sports Association (KASA) basketball sign ups for kindergarten through sixth grade on-line at  until Sunday, (today). For information, call (903) 275-7466 or e-mail to

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.

PSUMC fellowship
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) 451-2978.

GBC holiday contest
The Gun Barrel City Beautification Committee Holiday Merchant Decorating Contest is set. A $250 prize will be awarded Friday, Dec. 9, along with a newspaper photo and winner sign. Register at Gun Barrel City Hall.

Free nights of skating
Cedar Creek Bible Church is hosting free skating, skits and snacks from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 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.

Square dance
Round and square dancing is set for 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, 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.

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.

Library benefit
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 For information call Tonya Chapman or Christina Strong at (903) 880-1640.

Gospel singing
An open microphone gospel singing and covered dish event is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at Faith Bible Church, 14065 SH 198, five miles north of 175. For information, call (214) 734-9453.

Girl Scout food drive
The North East Service Unit of the Girl Scouts, including Henderson County, will be caroling for canned goods Saturday, Dec. 10, around the HC Courthouse. Come and share your canned goods and voices and carol the old-fashioned traditional songs with the Girl Scouts, Troop 1999 of Athens.

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 e-mail  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 Pkw., 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 p.m. (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) 425-2261.

Kemp seniors party
The Kemp Senior Citizens and Kemp Card Ministry will host a Christmas Party at the Kemp Senior Center from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. Come and enjoy the food and community fellowship.
To make a donation toward the event call (903) 498-4875.

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 coat drive.

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.

Narcotics Anonymous
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 Seven Points Dr. 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) 432-2138.

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Top News

Man shot during argument
Monitor Staff Reports
TOOL–An argument on Wildwood Way in Tool ended with Billy Whiteley getting shot in the face followed by his arrest.
On Nov. 29, Henderson County Sheriff’s deputy Greg Hill assisted by Tool Police Chief Warren Loscuito and Sgt. Rick Simmons responded to a report of a gunshot victim on Wildwood Acres subdivision in Tool.
Investigators determined that Whiteley, 48, was shot by Ronald Scates following an argument that took place in Scates’ front yard.
Witnesses said Whiteley came over into Scates yard and began arguing with Scates and Virginia Harris. He then went toward Scates, threatening him, and Scates shot Whiteley once.
Whiteley then left and Scates waited for officers to arrive.
HC District Attorney investigator Ronny Halbert joined deputies at the scene.
Whiteley was transported by helicopter to East Texas Medical Center, where he was treated and released then arrested.
HCSO warrant officer Kyle Pochobradsky and Investigator Jessica Halbert transported him to the county jail.
His arrest was the result of a previously reported altercation in which he assaulted Harris and Scates.
A child was accidently injured during that altercation.
Investigators Billy Jack Valentine and Halbert are handling the investigation for the sheriff’s office.
Whiteley remains in the HC Detention Center charged with one count of bodily injury (family member/impede breathing) and two misdemeanor charges of injury to a child (reckless) and assault causing bodily injury. Bonds had not been set at presstime.
The shooting incident will be presented to the Grand Jury for consideration.

3 arrested in Kemp area theft
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP– A cell phone and a lighter found in a ditch beside a pasture located on Kaufman county Road 4036, just west of Kemp, helped in the identity of three Crandall residents.
KC deputies responded to a call Nov. 29 regarding the found property.
When the deputies arrived the property owner explained he found the phone in the ditch near where his fence had been cut.
The owner also told deputies this was the second time in two weeks that his fence was cut and property was taken.
A few hours later the property owners noticed a gray Chevrolet pickup pulling a 16-foot trailer with what appeared to be the property stolen from his residence.
Deputies stopped the truck and upon investigation learned the cell phone found in the ditch did belong to one of the suspects driving the vehicle.
Arrests were made and the three occupants were charged with criminal mischief resulting in $1,500 to $20,000 and the same amount for theft of stolen property.
Charged were Cody Woody, 26, Stacy Louise Alaniz, 29 and Bryan Elliot Houston, 28, all from Crandall.
The three suspects were arrested without incident and transported to the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center where bond was set at $8,500 for each suspect.

Utility uses new water intake in deeper water
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

TOOL–West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District general manager Tony Ciardo told board members Monday that the district is ready to pump raw water from its new temporary pumping station to the Tolosa Water Treatment Plant.
“I feel like the edge has been taken off of us,” Ciardo said.
Over the past month, the district has been working to rig a floating water pump and lines to cover the likelihood of continuing falling lake levels at its main intake structure. It spent a total of $200,000 on a barge, pump, lines, electronics and radio communication to fully automate the system.
Ciardo explained how the system would work – its automation, refueling and maintenance frequency.
“Kenneth Tillman (the district’s engineer) looked at it and he was impressed,” Ciardo noted, adding that Tarrant Regional Water District was also pleased with the set up. “It can run continuously for 28 hours at a time on 80 gallons of fuel, he explained. However, it will be turning on and off as needed to keep the water vault at the Tolosa plant within a certain range of fullness.
Pumps at the plant will feed water into the water treatment system as needed. “All of this is automated,” he said.
The temporary intake is situated in nine feet of water along the Hillside Levee, south of Redwood Marina near King’s Creek in Tolosa. It can operate at that location until the lake level falls another eight feet, at which point it can be moved into deeper water, Ciardo said.
Following a lengthy executive session, directors authorized Ciardo to continue his negotiations with Kemp on its water supply situation. Last month, Kemp City Council members asked West Cedar Creek MUD what it would take for the district to supply Kemp with water for the long term.
The city council wants to buy water wholesale from the district and take its water plant out of operation, so the plant can be completely refurbished and water lines replaced.
Last month, the district’s priority was to set up the new floating water intake system to insure it would be able to continue to supply water to its customers. Now it can turn its full attention to answering Kemp’s request, board president Clifton Smith said.
In other business, directors:
• heard an update on expansion plans on the Tolosa water plant. Tillman said the district is still waiting for final clearance from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, but once that is received (which he expects to be soon) Ciardo and he can start putting together the working contracts to complete the expansion.
• heard a progress report on repairs to the Tool water plant. Ciardo said the re-engineering of the new backwash system on a water filter at the plant is nearly completed. He sketched out some of the modifications that were worked out on the underdrain.
“We uncovered a design flaw, where (filtering) media was getting below the underdrain, pushing it upwards at an angle,” Ciardo explained.
He and his crew cleared out the misplaced media (sand) and re-angled the drain, securing it in place with steel plate angles. “That drain’s going to stay in place, now,” he said.
In addition, he sent a report with the fix to Siemens, the system’s designer, he said.
“I’m pleased with it,” he said. “We’ve tweaked and fine-tuned to modify the air scour to work the way we want it to.”
Now the same modifications can be made to the other three filters at the plant, he added.
• approved minutes of past meetings
• reviewed and accepted financial report for October, 2011.
• accepted the resignation of Matthew Yarbrough and assigned employees Terry Davis and Chad Smith to regular status.



























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