gets 40 years
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–A man described as one of the best meth cooks in the county was
sentenced to 40 years in prison Tuesday.
Jesse Milliron, 52, was sentenced by 392nd District Judge Carter
Tarrance after being convicted of possession and transport of chemicals
with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance.
A five-man, seven-woman jury convicted Milliron last month on the second
degree felony charges.
During Tuesday’s hearing Assistant District Attorney Scott Hall entered
testimony countering defense claims that Milliron had tried to turn his
life around, pointing out Milliron had felony drug convictions in five
different counties and was already on parole at the time of his arrest.
Milliron was arrested Sept. 3 at the Cherokee Shores home of Mikel
Kirkpatrick, and Hall said trial testimony showed he had a continuing
drug manufacturing business running out of the home.
(Kirkpatrick was tried and sentenced to a State Jail term on other
charges arising from the Sept. 3 raid by Henderson County Drug
Enforcement Unit officers.)
Because of his previous drug convictions, Milliron faced up to 99 years
in prison, but Tarrance chose not to impose the maximum sentence.
District Attorney Scott McKee said he had hoped for a life sentence, but
added he knew what the judge was considering.
“In a 40-year sentence, he (Milliron) only has to serve 25 percent of
that time, and could possibly be out in 10 years or less with good
behavior, so he (Tarrance) was trying to give him another chance,” McKee
“This guy has had every opportunity to rehabilitate himself,” McKee
added. “It hasn’t worked.”
Veteran recalls Pearl
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–As President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised, Dec. 7, 1941, has
indeed been remembered as “a day that will live in infamy.”
Today, not many are left who recall those tragic days, but Lowell
Templin, 89, vividly remembers the nation’s shock.
“I had just gotten up, and I heard it on the radio,” he said.
While serving in the army a couple of years before, Templin said there
were rumors of problems with Japan.
“But I didn’t expect them to hit Pearl Harbor. It was a shock to me,
like it was to everybody else,” Templin said.
He paused for a moment before quietly adding, “They really tore up the
Navy there and the Air Force base, too.”
Templin was in Dallas, about to be hired by Southwestern Bell Telephone
Company, when the news of Pearl Harbor came.
“I called them and told them I wouldn’t be taking the job. I went to the
(Marine Corps) recruiting office the next day and signed up,” Templin
But fate took a hand, and he wasn’t able to enlist right away.
“Back then they were real strict. To enlist, you had to have two
references. The only people I knew in Dallas was my fiance, Margaret,
and an aunt. Neither of them would sign for me to go,” he explained.
The irony of it was Templin had served in the Army from Nov. 9, 1938, to
the completion of his three-year hitch Nov. 8, 1941, when he received
his honorable discharge.
Since his family was still living in Amarillo, he decided to go home for
a short visit, and to get the needed references.
“Following my visit, in January, 1942, I went to Amarillo and enlisted.
I was sent to Oklahoma City for the swearing-in and then to San Diego
Marine Corps Base for boot camp,” he explained.
After completing boot camp, he was assigned to the 1 Co. 3rd BN 9th Reg.
3rd Marine Division (a new division being formed).
“During the transition, I was sent to tactical school and I returned as
a squad leader,” Templin said.
Since the 3rd Division was in the formation process, it was stationed at
Camp Pendleton, Calif, for training purposes until a full compliment was
“This was accomplished by New Year’s Day, 1943. A short time afterwards,
the division was deployed to New Zealand,” he recalled.
In July, 1943, they left New Zealand for Guadalcanal.
“By that time, the 1st Marine Division had wiped out all of the
organized ground resistance,” he explained. “All we had to do was patrol
during the day and wait for Japanese air raids at night.”
In November, they were again on their way, this time to Empress Augusta
Bay on Bougainville.
“There, our objective was to fan out through the jungle, setting up a
semicircle defense, with each end reaching back to the beach,” Templin
said. That action made it possible for the CB (the Naval Construction
Battalion) to build airstrips, he explained.
“Our next assignment was to take back the island of Guam from the
Japanese,” Templin said.
“We landed on Guam July 21, 1944, and in 20 days, we had accomplished
our goal,” he said.
The cost to both sides was enormous. The organized resistance was broken
with 10,000 Japanese dead. 1 Co. had only 80 men left standing out of
its compliment of 240, he added.
“After 18 months in the jungles of Guadalcanal, Bougainville and Guam,
those troops lucky enough to escape being killed came down with malaria
and other kinds of disease, and were rotated back to the states and
replaced with healthy troops,” Templin recalled.
His turn came in November, 1944. He was sent back from Guam to San
Francisco, a 26-day trip.
He was down with malaria and had lost 35 pounds.
“I received my return home leave from the San Diego Marine Base,” he
“I visited with my folks in Wheeler County, Texas,” he added.
His next stop was Dallas, to reunite with Margaret, his fiance.
“We were married Jan. 6, 1945. We returned to California and rented an
apartment in Oakland, within commuting distance from Camp Shoemaker,” he
Templin was discharged Jan. 3, 1946, after a four-year enlistment
He was awarded the American Defense Medal, World War II Victory Medal,
Asiatic Pacific Medal with four battle stars, the combat Action Ribbon
and the good conduct medal.
Templin enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve April 2, 1947.
He was assigned to the Reserve Unit Hq, 2nd 155 HOBN, located in Grand
Prairie, as a signal sergeant.
Templin’s adventures began early in life.
When he was only somewhere around 11 to 13 years of age, “somewhere
around the third or fourth grade,” he recalled, he and his sisters rode
a horse to and from school.
“My Pa always told us, if we got caught out in a blizzard, to give the
horse his head and he would find his way home,” Templin said.
Sure enough, the time came when the weather turned, and the kids were
caught in a blinding storm as they were coming home.
They did as their father had said, and made it home okay.
The family had lived on a cotton farm in the Panhandle, and then his
father’s work took him to a ranch in Colorado.
When he was 18, Templin joined the Army in November, 1938, and was sent
to Fort Bliss in El Paso.
“I was given a choice between artillery and the cavalry. I had always
said I didn’t want to be no cotton-picking cowboy,” he explained.
So, he was assigned to the artillery, where he pictured himself involved
with modern equipment, such as trucks.
However, the military being the military, he was assigned to “E”
battery, 82nd field artillery, a horse-mounted unit with the 1st Cavalry
Division (now located at Fort Hood).
His specific job was lead team driver, pulling a 75mm gun.
“Later, I was transferred with a communication specialist rating,
assigned a single mount and rode on maneuvers as a scout, relaying
messages from battery operations to the gun section positions,” he
The Army made full use of his “cotton-picking cowboy” skills, as well as
adding a whole list of new skills to his list, including the
All told, Templin’s military service in the Army, Marines and Reserves
totaled nine years.
After his discharge from the Corps, Lowell went to work for Southwestern
Bell and after 38 years of service, retired in 1984.
Margaret also retired in 1984 as a vice president for Rauscher, Pierce,
Refsnes, a Dallas-based investment firm.
The couple moved to a farm near Mabank in 1976 and attend First United
Methodist Church of Mabank.
On Jan. 6, 2010, the couple will celebrate 65 years of marriage.
They have a son, Lowell Templin Jr., who resides in Garland with his
wife, Jane, and their two children.
County borrows $1 million
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
KAUFMAN–It’s called the “domino theory.” One action affects another, and
Mortgage-holders usually send due escrow taxes in a lump sum to the
county tax office sometime in November.
This year, that hasn’t happened, Kaufman County Tax Assessor/Collector
Richard Murphy explained.
With mortgage holders and other taxpayers holding off on paying taxes,
possibly until the last day, the county is looking at a huge cash
Monday, Kaufman County Commissioners agreed to borrow $1 million for
three months to cover the shortfall.
The loan is through the American National Bank at approximately 4
“Basically, this is just a line of credit. If it is a line of credit, we
will just draw on it if needed,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller
The action provides the county a way to continue paying normal operating
expenses through the end of January, even if tax revenues fall short,
and allows the county to not use the money if it doesn’t need to, Deller
“This is an emergency measure. We would be remiss if we did not do it,”
Precinct 2 Commissioner Ray Clark said.
In other business, commissioners:
• approved the creation of a Continuity of Operations plan for the
The plan provides for alternative work areas in case of building damage
(fires, tornado, etc.), so employees will still have an area in which to
conduct county business.
Plan committee members will be from the financial office, the purchasing
agent, technology department and a member of the commissioner’s court.
“I think it’s a great idea.” Precinct 1 Commissioner Jerry Rowden said.
• accepted the treasurer’s monthly report for November as presented by
• advertised for culverts, with bids opened in the purchasing agent’s
office. Bids will be accepted until 10 a.m. and opened at 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 30.
• agreed to advertise an auction of county equipment, with bidding to
close Tuesday, Dec. 22.
• signed an agreement for long distance phone services with AT&T through
the state of Texas DIR contract.
• approved a Sheriff Department request to fill two detention officer
vacancies and one communications officer vacancy.
• approved the sale of six tax properties as presented.
The properties are all located in Precinct 3.
• approved the bond of John Sullivan, Reserve Deputy Constable, Precinct
• approved the deputation of Jon E. Knapp for the Sheriff’s Department.
• paid bills totaling $207,257.68.