Thursday, December 11, 2008




  Blaze destroys mobile home
Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS– An early-morning fire destroyed a mobile home in Seven Points, located on a private road west of the main downtown intersection.
A portable heater had been placed too close to an overstuffed chair, which caught fire.
Fire and rescue volunteers from Seven Points and possibly Tool responded to the 8:15 a.m. call.
The lone resident and her dogs escaped unharmed, but her home was a total loss.
Her case was referred to the American Red Cross.
Recent high winds in the area had led the Texas Forest Service to place Henderson County on a high fire danger alert over the past weekend.
Each cool blast that blows through the area will bring an increased probability of fires, as long as dry conditions continue.

Man dies 2 weeks after GBC accident
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–A Mabank man injured in a car accident Nov. 24 died Monday of his injuries.
Gary Arender, 44, was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Impala south through the intersection of State Highways 334 and 198 when a eastbound 1997 Dodge Ram truck driven by Michael Huckabee, 17, also of Mabank, entered the intersection.
The truck impacted the front passenger side of the car Arender was driving.
According to a Gun Barrel City police report, Huckabee failed to stop at the red light, possibly due to inattention. The collision occurred at 9:45 p.m.
Arender was transported to the East Texas Medical Center emergency room in Gun Barrel City with possible injury. It was learned later that Arender may have had a surgery prior to the accident.
Huckabee remained uninjured. Both were wearing seat belts. The air bag in Arender’s vehicle did not deploy.
The Monitor learned of Arender’s death from a family member late Monday.
No charges have been filed.

City tax statements expected this week
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Mabank city property owners whose property lies within Henderson County haven’t received their city property tax notices yet.
But they are not alone. Similar delays are being experienced all over the state, Kaufman County tax collector Dick Murphy told The Monitor.
While most property owners received statements in the mail sometime in October, properties falling within multiple jurisdictions may still be waiting for their statements, due to changes in state tax laws last summer, Murphy explained.
“Hopefully, they should go roll off our computers Dec. 15 and be ready to go into the mail,” Murphy said, including corrected Mabank Independent School District statements.
A new law restricts appraisal districts to their own counties. So data that once came from one source, such as Kaufman County, is now coming from several sources.
The Mabank ISD, for example, has properties in both Henderson and Kaufman counties.
In the past, Kaufman County has handled all of the Mabank ISD properties, including those in Henderson County.
“Our computer system was not set up to accommodate a third-party vendor,” Murphy said.
The city of Mabank had nothing to do with the delay, city administrator Louann Confer pointed out.
“I don’t know what the problem is, but if they aren’t in the mail this week, the city is going to be very upset,” she said.
Confer had explained to Murphy that some of Mabank’s largest property owners are in Henderson County, and many of those businesses want to be able to pay their taxes before the end of the year for federal income tax reasons, she told The Monitor.
“Many have complained,” she said.
Confer is looking into the possibility of contracting with both counties next year to avoid a delay, she said.
“Everything will be perfect next year,” Murphy chuckled. “All the statements will go out on Oct. 1.”
The tax collected from Kaufman County property owners are being received on a weekly basis, Confer said.
There are no discounts for paying Mabank city taxes early, as there are for paying Henderson County property taxes early.
Tax payments have to be postmarked no later than Jan. 31 to avoid interest fees which go into effect Feb. 1, 2009. However, the Mabank City Council may elect to postpone those dates at its Jan. 6 meeting, Confer said.

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