Sunday, December 13, 2009





  Second arrest made in double homicide
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN COUNTY–A woman has been arrested in connection with the murder and abandonment of two bodies found Nov. 10 by the roadside near the small community of Post Oak Bend.
Virginia Gayle Youngblood, 49, of Dallas, was arrested and charged with capital murder shortly after Martin McKee, 37, was arrested and charged with capital murder.
The two bodies were identified as Addison residents Fiona Olander and her 10-year-old daughter, Korryn Threadgill.
The news of Youngblood’s Nov. 12 arrest was released Wednesday by the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Olander’s father, Farmer’s Branch resident McKee had dated his daughter in the past.
Youngblood is being held at the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center without bond, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.
Youngblood has an extensive criminal history, including drug possession, theft and burglary of a vehicle.
Sheriff David Byrnes stated additional arrests may follow as the investigation continues. The release did not comment on any connection between Youngblood and McKee.

Private utility to hike rates
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Athens-based Lakeshore Utility Co. customers in the Point La Vista area, Cedarview Estates, Clear Creek Resort subdivision and Dixie Isle area received notices recently that their water and sewer rates are going to increase starting Jan. 1, 2010.
Some of the proposed increases appear steep.
The current base charge for water service of $28.50 per month is proposed to increase to $69, unless the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality steps in with an order for an interim rate.
The company than charges $3.50 per 1,000 gallons until 8,000 gallons. The proposed change is to $5 per 1,000.
More than 8,000 gallons per month is now charged $4.40 per 1,000, proposed to increase to $6.50 per 1,000.
An example of how these rate increases will work out were included with the notice.
A customer on a 3/4-inch meter using 10,000 gallons now paying $65.20 a month for water would increase to $126.50, or more than 100 percent increase.
The same customer with sewer service paying $42 would increase to $53.
Other miscellaneous fees would remain the same.
The private utility company is willing to negotiate the increases and present their case to representatives from the various property owner associations at 10 a.m. Monday at the Cain Center in Athens.
The utility cites rising operating costs, which include mandated testing and stricter quality controls as adding to the operational costs.
Lakeshore Utility has also petitioned TCEQ with the ability to pass on future increases in the cost of wholesale service in a new tariff provision.
The company has had two rate increases since 1987, the last one in 2006 based on 2005 costs, a letter to customers dated Nov. 10, stated.
“Since that time, our cost of service and materials have increased dramatically (purchased water, electricity, telephone, base material used i.e. PVC, steel, copper, fuel, etc., resulting in a negative cash flow,” general manager Thomas Joe Whatley states.
He adds that the company’s cash flow must be “vastly improved before any changes to our service area may be favorably considered by the TCEQ.”
The particular subdivisions to be affected by the increases are: Clearwater Bay, Pearl Harbor, Dorchester, The Palms, Point La Vista Court, Cedar view Estates, Esquire Estates II, Rock-N-Roll, Park Harbor, Lake Oaks, Shadow Ridge, Dixie Isle I and II, Magnolia Estates, Christopher’s Ridge, The Fourth Estates, Kings Point, Pete’s Paradise, Road Runner Retreat, Idlewood Bay, Oak Hill Park, Adrian Acres, Moonlight Bay, Windy Acres and The Bluffs.


City boosts inspection, permit fees
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council amended the city’s building permit and related fees Tuesday.
The fees were last reviewed and changed in 1996, city manager Gerry Boren said.
The council also amended the wording of several ordinances regarding building regulations, building contractors, registration of electricians and other tradesmen with the city, and also standardized terminology throughout the city’s building ordinances.
Some of the changes reflected changes in state laws, city secretary Christy Eckerman explained.
Building permits begin at $25 for values up to $500 and $3.05 for each additional $100 up to $2,000.
Permits for values between $2,001 to $25,000 start at $69.25, plus $14 for each additional $1,000 of value, and so forth.
Incremental increases were also seen in $25,000, $50,000, $100,000 and $500,000 intervals.
Building permits for projects of $1 million start at $5,608.
Plan review fees took a steep jump, from $25 for a single family dwelling to a non-refundable $200.
Plan reviews on residential remodels cost $60 at time of plan submittal, and a fence permit also costs $60.
Council members boosted the Certificate of Occupancy fee from $50 to $120 for commercial properties.
Various other fees for one-trade permits (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, etc.) were also changed, most costing $60 per inspection.
Boren said the new rates are a result of a cost model analysis for two people in the building permit office, plus the charges to the city for its outside contractor to review commercial building plans based on the 2008 code, plus a 5 percent administrative fee.
“We’ve talked to two active builders in the area,” Boren said.
Council members were also given fee cost comparisons with neighboring cities, and other cities similar to Gun Barrel City.
In other business, council members:
• appointed a committee to spearhead the planning of the new city hall.
Council members Kevin Banghart and Melvyn Hayes, as well as members of the Economic Development Corporation – Dennis Baade and Richard Wendel – were seated. Mayor Paul Eaton offered to assist the committee.
• adopted a resolution to accept the agreement between the EDC and Brown’s Pizza Enterprise, Inc., which is establishing a CiCi’s restaurant next to Beall’s in the Gun Barrel Shopping Village.
The performance agreement includes a forgivable loan of $45,000 with a termination date of Dec. 31, 2010.
“They’re hoping for a January opening date,” Boren said.
• received a report on a plat for the construction of a Denny’s Restaurant, to be located at 1015 W. Main Street, from the Planning and Zoning Commission.
“They’re ready to start building,” Boren said.
• set a special meeting for 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 14, for acceptance of a final plat for the Denny’s construction.

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