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Current Issue
December 8
, 2011






News in Brief

Eustace fire chief retires
Join us in honoring Ken Roberts as he retires after 17 years of dedicated service as fire chief of the Eustace Fire Department at the station 2-4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 for cake and punch.

Heaters needed
The Family Resource Center located at 107 Spring Valley, Gun Barrel City, is looking for your help. The Center needs heaters for babies, the elderly and people without heat. For information call Debbie at (903) 887-4711. Donations are appreciated.

Immunization clinic
The Texas Department of Health Services monthly immunization clinic at the Mabank Fire Department, 111 E. Mason, Mabank is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. The fourth Tuesday, odd months only. No clinic on holidays. For info, call (972) 932-2038.

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 eco@trash

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.

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.

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.

Tri-County Friends
Friends of the Tri-County Library will be selling a variety of baked goods from cakes to homemade doggie biskets at the Mabank Intermediate School’s “Get Your Jingle On” craft sale Saturday, Dec. 10.
All Friends proceeds benefit the Tri-County Library.

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.

CCL Women’s Club
The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club meets at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the Cedar Creek Country Club. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. The Sullivan kids will perform winter and Christmas songs.

Sarah Maples Chapter
Sarah Maples Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution meets at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake. Don’t forget your gifts for veterans in nursing homes and cans to be recycled.

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.

S-R pancake breakfast
Scurry-Rosser Parents and Friends annual pancake breakfast is set for 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Scurry North 40 (across from the S-R High School. Donations appreciated.

Whitton fundraiser
The Whitton Community Center is hosting a holiday celebration and fundraiser beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Activities include holiday crafts and gift store for children, a holiday bake sale, door prizes and a smothered steak dinner, baked potatoes, salad and dessert. The event benefits the building repair fund.

Harbor Baptist benefit
Harbor Baptist Church in Payne Springs, is hosting a basket and dessert auction beginning with registration at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, a youth group fundraiser. The church is located at 12059 SH 198. For information call (903) 451-4171.

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

Local man witnesses Amtrak shooting
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Recent transplant to the Cedar Creek Lake area Kevin James Chapman got more than he bargained for while boarding a train at Union Station in Dallas Monday headed to Longview and Mineola around 4 p.m. enroute to Chicago.
He was sitting in a seat directly behind a man undercover officers approached and nearly got his head blown off.
More than one local resident recognized him on a FOX TV news report of the incident Monday.
“Pastor Chuck (Weber of Cedar Creek Lake United Methodist Church in Tool) called me tonight to see if I was all right,” Trinidad resident Chapman told The Monitor.
“My ears are still ringing,” he added.
Moments before the shoot out, in which the suspect, Steven Ray Malone Jr., 32, of Waterford, Mich. was shot dead and a narcotics officer was wounded, Chapman said he observed two or three men just standing near the seat in front of him and he thought that odd.
Then there was a scuffle, and the passenger pulled out a pistol and “started shooting everywhere.”
Chapman added he was on his cell phone when the shooting started. “I ducked down quick and a shot ripped through the back of the seat where my head had been,” he said. “All Donna heard (through the cell phone) were shots going off,” he said. “The guy next to me got shot in the shoulder,” he added.
“All I could think of was staying low. I guess I ducked at the right time,” he said.
Also shot in the exchange was Dallas police oficer Samuel Hussey, a 22-year law enforcement veteran. His wounds were reported as non-life threatening.
Afterwards, police interviewed Chapman at the police station, he said. Amtrak officials also spoke with him. He spent last night in a hotel room, opting for a plane ride to Chicago the next morning, instead of taking the train.
Chapman said he was going to Chicago and was going to drive back to Cedar Creek Lake with his girlfriend Donna to spend a quiet Christmas holiday.
Chapman is a broker of limousines and was set up at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake Saturday to fill a stretch limousine with Toys for Tots, something he’s been doing for several years in Chicago.
See photos from Saturday’s toy drive on page 9A.


Suspect sought in large meth find
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.

Man gets 35 year jail sentence
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–A former Seven Points man who changed his plea to guilty after four days on trial for aggravated sexual assault against two children was sentenced Monday.
173rd District Court Judge Dan Moore sentenced Dallas Andrew Fidler, 27, to 35 years in prison.
Henderson County assistant district attorneys Nancy Rumar and Justin Weiner prosecuted the case. In closing arguments to the judge, Weiner argued, “Fidler is society’s worst type of criminal. He not only took these victims’ innocence but also took a part of their souls that can never be returned.”
Fidler’s attorney requested that the judge place him on deferred adjudication or in the alternative an appropriate sentence. Rumar countered the defense’s argument and focused on the long-term irreparable damage done to the victims.
“Regardless of when the defendant gets out, these victims will still have to live with what the defendant has done to them,” she said.
Fidler’s jury trial came to an abrupt end in October, when after four days of a jury trial he decided to change his plea from “not-guilty” to “guilty,” rather than have the jury assess his guilt and punishment. Fidler was on trial for two indictments that were consolidated, alleging the Aggravated Sexual Assault of two children in 2003. The children were both under the age of 12 at the time of the assaults. Testimony throughout the trial revealed accounts of multiple instances of sexual assaults by Fidler.
District Attorney Scott McKee credited the work of his prosecutors, Henderson County Sheriff’s Investigator Michael Shelly, deputy Mitch Baker, Sheila Durden of the Henderson County Child Advocacy Center and the entire Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) for their work in the case.
“Over the past three years, we along with Sheriff Nutt and the Henderson County Law Enforcement community have developed a team approach to investigating and prosecuting crimes against children.
“This team approach is really beginning to pay dividends in the successful apprehension and conviction of those that prey on our children,” McKee said
He added that Fidler’s sentence is the result of many hours of work by a team of dedicated professionals, passionate about seeking justice in these types of cases.




























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