Thursday, December 13, 2007






  Suspected murder-suicide investigated
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office reports a suspected murder-suicide at a residence in Kaufman.
Authorities received a call at 12:55 a.m. Dec. 7, from a man in Ohio, advising that he had just spoken with his son Clifford Underwood, 52, by telephone.
Underwood told his dad, he had just killed his wife Lindy Underwood, 51, and was going to kill himself.
Authorities arrived at the Underwood home located at 6600 Raymond Rd. at 1:07 a.m. No one responded to their attempts to make contact.
When deputies forced an entry, they found Lindy Underwood lying on the floor with multiple gunshot wounds.
They also found Clifford Underwood sitting in a chair with a gunshot wound to the head.
He was immediately taken to Presbyterian Hospital in Kaufman, where he was pronounced dead.
Lindy Underwood was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities have not releasing any further information about the motive for the killings.

State wants to get 40,000 old cars off the road, and is willing to buy them
Students can design a logo for the program and win up to $3,000
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Come January, new car dealerships could be looking for old cars, thanks to the state’s voucher program.
Originally the idea was for owners to take their old vehicles to a state or county office and receive up to $1,000 toward repairs or the purchase of a new or used vehicle.
The new program consists of a $3,000 voucher, a substantial increase for a car (current model year or up to three years old) or a truck (current model year or up to two years old), according to information released by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
If the owner chooses a hybrid (current or previous year model) they will receive a voucher for $3,500.
The vehicle cannot cost more than $25,000, excluding tax, title and license.
In order to make the program run smoother for consumers, the state may allow vehicle owners to take a 10-year-or-older car or truck directly to a dealership and get a voucher there to purchase a used (no more than two years) or new vehicle.
The participating counties include are Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall Tarrant and counties in the vicinity of Houston.
The vehicle must have been registered in one of the above mentioned counties for 12 months and have passed a safety inspection within 15 months.
Owners will also need to meet net income requirements. A one-person household income maximum is $30,630. A family of four – $61,950. Another $10,400 is added for each additional family member.
The state will receive clean-air credits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for removing older cars from its highways.
The funds for the purchase of a cleaner emissions vehicle are provided through vehicle inspection fees near the more populated counties of Houston and DFW.
For instance, residents of outlying counties, such as Van Zandt and Henderson, pay only $12.50 for vehicle inspection. The residents of those counties will not be participants.
Houston and DFW and residents of nearby counties pay $39.50. They are eligible to receive the vouchers.
Approximately $100 million is available in the program, enough to replace about 40,000 older vehicles, according to state Sen. Kip Averitt, R–Waco.
Averitt sponsored the bill that established the program.
The final rules are due to be completed the first part of this month, with the kickoff set for early January, he stated recently.
Automobile dealers are being called upon to handle the process because they are more familiar with the paperwork involved in the sale or trade and they understand how to read a title, according to Drew Campbell, president of the New Car Dealers Association.
Campbell also participated in the meetings to develop the program.
Local car dealers are anxious for the state to release the requirements and funds for the clean-air vouchers.
“I think this is a very good program. It will probably help 75 percent of older car owners,” Andrea Pickens, owner of Tri-County Ford in Mabank said.
The air quality will benefit from removing so many older cars from the road, she said.
“It should really have a major impact on our environment,” she explained.
“Once the guidelines are set, we are looking forward to participating in a program that will help clean up our air,” Randy Teague, president of Teague Chevrolet, Mabank said.

Five nominated for ETMC-Athens managers board
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners named five nominees to the East Texas Medical Center Athens Board of Managers Tuesday.
The commissioners were asked to name six individuals, two for each of the three directors up for replacement on the board.
Commissioners hope to name a sixth nominee during its 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26, meeting.
The Hospital Authority Board also is asked to name six nominees, so there are four names for each seat needing to be filled, commissioners heard.
The Henderson County nominees are Gary Hash, Kenneth Hall, Derrick Daniels, Lois Buford and John Glover.
Each director serves for three years, commissioners heard.
The court also discussed the need to name individuals to East Texas Economic Development District.
County Judge David Holstein and Precinct 1 Commissioner Jerry West have served for many years and are stepping down, having completed their one-year terms.
Holstein said the ETEDD was responsible for several new projects moving into the area and mounted the drive to win the FutureGen national competition for the county.
Commissioners also discussed the need to appoint three citizens to the Hospital Authority Board. Members rotating off the board are David Monk, E.H. “Bud” Henry and Greg Ryan. Anyone interested in serving may contact their county commissioner or the county judge.
In other business, commissioners
• authorized a contract amendment for the Community Development Block Grant nixing the installation of a 1,000-feet of sewer line in Thunderbird Shores.
The grant application made almost three years ago did not include enough inflation to account of the increase in oil costs, so something needed to be cut from the project, grant writer Wanda Vance explained.
The first round of bids were rejected and rebid because the costs came in way above the estimate, she said. “Eventually, the rest of the work will have to be done,” she added.
Discussions with the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District reveal a willingness to install the nixed portion of the project but not at this time.
“They just don’t have it in their budget now, but maybe later,” Vance said. The grant also carries a $50,000 match from the ECCFWSD.
“The county should be in good standing for the next round of approvals,” she said.
• approved a request from Berryville for assistance with retrenching ditches and installing culverts. The county will supply the equipment and labor, West said.
• approved a number of bids for property off the tax rolls, some for two years, in precincts 1 and 2. The bids were previously accepted by the appropriate school districts.
• approved a plaque for the jail expansion project.
• accepted two replats – one for Meeks Deep Water Resort No.1 and one for Forest Glen Addition No. 2.
• considered the accounting problem arising from the new year starting in the middle of a pay period.
Commissioners budgeted a 3 percent pay raise for county employees starting Jan. 1, 2008. The county treasurer asked commissioners to approve its effective date as either Dec. 23 or Jan. 6, and to fund the 2007 budget accordingly.
• paid bills totaling $140,475.19.
• awarded five bids for products and services to county government including air-conditioning repair, culvert and HPV pipe, motor fuel and bio-diesel fuel. The awardees were Cole Air Conditioning, Enviro Engineering for ice makers, Municipal Waterworks/Royce City, Convex for steel culverts, Henderson County Fuel and Oil, Becket Oil and Fuel and Hubert of Jackson, Fla.