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Current Issue
Sunday,
December 18
, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 
News in Brief

Holiday deadlines
The Monitor office will be closed Monday, Dec. 26 and Monday, Jan 2. Display ad deadline is noon Friday, Dec. 23, for the Thursday, Dec. 29 issue. Regular deadlines will be followed for the Sunday, Jan. 1, issue of The Monitor and the Wednesday, Jan. 4 issue of the Leader. Display ad deadline is noon Friday, Dec. 30, for The Monitor, Thursday, Jan. 5 issue . Regular deadlines for classified word ads.


Eustace tax office hours
The Eustace ISD tax office will be closed beginning Monday, Dec. 19 through Tuesday, Dec. 27 and reopen from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28 through Friday, Dec. 30 to accept payments. For information, call (903) 425-5232.

Donate before tax time
There’s still a few weeks left to donate a car to the Boys and Girls Clubs before tax season. Will accept any car with a title in any condition. The cars are sold at auction and funds benefit your local club. To donate or for information, call (800) 246-0493.

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 greatly appreciated.

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

Square dancing
Log Cabin Swingers Square Dance Club, 1210 N. Tool Drive (SH 274), holds graduation for current beginners at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19. For information, call (903) 340-9672.

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.

49er’s New Year’s Eve
The Cedar Creek Lake 49er’s Senior Citizens Club annual New Year’s Eve celebration tickets are on sale at the club, or join us from 7 to 9:30 p.m. any Thursday for dancing to the music of Chuck & the 49er’s. No smoking or alcohol. Located on Arnold Hills Road, two blocks south of SH 334 in Seven Points. For information, call or fax to (903) 432-3552.

Log Cabin Square Dance
The Log Cabin Swingers Square Dance Club is hosting its New Year’s Eve Party from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Promenade Hall, 1210 North Tool Drive, SH 274, Tool. The club meets the first and third Saturday of each month. For information, call Dee at (903) 451-3388.

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 for your generosity.

Narcotics Anonymous
The NA is teaching coping skills to families of addicts at 8 p.m. seven days a week at 715 South Seven Points Dr. Suite D, Seven Points. For information, call (903) 432-2405.

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.

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 icicles and LEDs, with plans to expand locations to Kaufman and Kemp. For information, call (972) 524-0007 or visit eco@trashbusters.org.

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 information call (972) 932-2038.

News & Brief Policy
News in Brief is a venue in which nonprofit organizations can promote their services and/or fundraising events at no cost.
These articles should include only basic information – who, what, when and where. Articles must include publishable contact information and a phone number.
The deadline for submission is 4 p.m. Monday for each Thursday’s issue and 4 p.m. Wednesday for each Sunday’s issue. Announcements will run for four issues (two weeks).
Organizations needing to relay more information on services or events, or who seek a longer promotion time, are encouraged to call our advertising staff at (903) 887-4511.
MediaOne LLC considers nonprofit organizations to be groups operating primarily on a volunteer basis providing a service for others. Organizations with paid employees cannot use this venue to promote their services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Top News

Police pursuit pushes 110 mph
Chase begins with shots fired at motorcyclist and officer; no one hurt in incident
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

SEVEN POINTS–Investigators are trying to learn what caused Stephen Dhein, 44, of Richardson, to fire on a motorcyclist, evade police, fire shots at an officer and lead officers on a high-speed chase through Seven Points to Powell last Sunday.
In the meantime, Dhein is cooling his heels in the Henderson County jail with bonds totaling $1,000,000.
Seven Points police officer Matthew Greiner was dispatched Dec. 11 to stop the driver of a 2006 Toyota Highlander headed west on State Highway 334 for shooting at a motorcycle rider near the Walmart store in Gun Barrel City. Greiner’s been in law enforcement for a mere 11 months. Though not his first car chase, it was his most dangerous assignment to date.
Moments after responding to the call at 4 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, Greiner became the target of the fleeing motorist.
At first, the suspect pulled over into the parking lot near Buy-Lo Auto Parts in Seven Points, but when Greiner approached the vehicle, the driver speeded away, firing off a shot or two, Greiner said.
The chase followed Farm-to-Market 85, becoming FM 1129, which comes out onto State Highway 31 in Powell. Not only was Greiner chasing him, so was the motorcycle victim who initiated the 9-1-1 call, reporting having been shot at twice by the suspect.
Assisting agencies joined the chase about a mile out of Powell; and Navarro County Sheriff’s deputies laid puncture strips ahead of the chase near the 31 junction. However, Dhein kept driving his vehicle with deflated tires through the roadblock until he struck a power pole. A handgun was recovered from the vehicle and Dhein was found to be the sole occupant.
Dhein was taken by ambulance to the Navarro Regional Hospital and from there he was airlifted to Parkland Hospital. Greiner reported that excessive alcohol-use was a factor in Dhein’s condition and need for hospitalization. Dhein remained at Parkland until Tuesday, when he was transferred to the Henderson County jail.
Throughout the incident, no incapacitating injuries resulted.
“He did extremely well,” Seven Points police chief Curt Koger said of officer Greiner’s handling of the incident. “No citizens or officers were hurt.” No one received any gunshot wounds, he confirmed.
The chase lasted about 20 minutes and reached speeds of 110 mph, while the suspect drove erratically and passed other vehicles on the roadway, Greiner told The Monitor.
“We’re thankful for the help from assisting agencies in the safe ending of the chase and the suspect behind bars,” Koger added.
Assisting agencies included the Tool and Kerens police departments, Department of Public Safety troopers and Navarro County Sheriff’s deputies.
The investigation is ongoing in the case against Dhein, who already has a lengthy criminal record, Koger reported. Dhein is charged with evading arrest/detention with a motor vehicle and aggravated assault against a public servant.

 

City adopts first noise ordinance
Council says, ‘Yes,’ to 24/7 police patrols
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE-The Eustace City Council unanimously adopted the city’s first excessive noise ordinance to back up police officers responding to complaints late at night. “It’s a standard ordinance that’s been tweaked to apply to Eustace,” mayor Elicia Sanders said. The ordinance empowers police officers to issue citations for overly loud noise between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. The citation could cost up to $500 and the offense is classified as a Class C misdemeanor, police chief Troy Tucker said.
Council members also beefed up the police force by agreeing to add a fourth officer to provide 24-hour patrols within the city, approving spending up to $12,000 for a chief’s vehicle and rehabilitating the building inhabited by the police department to provide a secure area to hold court.
Funds for renovating the building for court have been accumulating in a mandated building security fund that has nothing to do with the city budget. The fund is fueled from a variety of sources and totals $9,600, Sanders reported. The building needs electrical upgrades and modifications to make it compliant with the Americans with Disability Act, in addition to other security considerations, council members heard.
The 2012 fiscal year budget planned for a fourth full-time officer and a part-time officer, Sanders added. “The budget can handle it,” she said. Chief Tucker outlined a hiring process that includes posting the opening with The Municipal League, doing a thorough background check of applicants, and a review board to make three unanimous recommendations. One of the four board members will be the police department sergeant, he added.
The chief will choose one of the three based on interviews with the applicants, he said. “I feel we could get a quality officer in this way,” he added. He also mentioned that his Reserve Officers would also be qualified to apply. The chief would put his choice under contract, with the standard three-month probationary period, at which point the council would be asked to ratify the department’s newest hire.
“I’d like to hire someone no later than by the next council meeting,” Tucker said. As part of his report, Tucker mentioned a rising number of burglaries and reports of prowlers late at night, when the city hasn’t been covered by a patrol officer.
As for the purchase of a chief’s vehicle, the current 2003 Chevy Trailblazer has become inadequate, Tucker said. “I’d like to sell it to the water department for its Blue Book value of $5,000 and use that to purchase another car with less mileage that could also act as a backup to a patrol car, when needed,” he said.
The Trailblazer has 120,000 miles on it and is no good as a pursuit vehicle any longer, he added. Utility director Gene Burns said his department could use another vehicle to increase productivity and to be used to transport stray animals to the animal shelter in Tool. “It’s nice that it already has a light bar on it too, just need to switch out the red for an amber light,” Burns said.
The council saw the idea as a win-win proposition and unanimously approved the action, adding a $12,000 ceiling on the purchase of another used vehicle for the police department.
In other business, council members:
• agreed to keep its elections in May as is and pay the extra $800 in even-numbered years to lease voting equipment from a source other than the county. Henderson County has informed the city and local school boards that due to a change in federal and state voting rules regarding timing, it could no longer guarantee that it would have equipment available for lease in even-numbered years. This lines up with similar action taken by Eustace ISD, who is mandated by law to share voting staff and equipment with the municipality within the district, Sanders noted.
• accepted recommendations from the utility director to increase the water tap fees on one- and two-inch lines that more closely reflect actual costs. Until now, water taps of any size were generally billed at $800 a tap, Burns said. “However, at that price we’re losing $400 on every larger-size tap,” he said. New fees are set at $1,200 for one-inch taps and $1,500 for two-inch water taps.
• reappointed the current members of the Board of Adjusters to make recommendations regarding variances to zoning and building requirements.
• learned that as long as the city is paying down a low-interest government loan backed by property tax as collateral, they are unable to grant de-annexations. The city has at least one USDA loan of about $500,000, Sanders said. Marla Swann of 12300 N. Holland had submitted a de-annexation request.
• moved the next scheduled city council meeting from Jan. 5, 2012 to Jan. 12, 2012, in light of the city hall being closed on the second, when an agenda for the meeting would need to be posted.
• heard balances after payment of the bills for the general fund totaled $74,624 and in the water fund totaled $122,540. As decided last month, $50,000 from the water fund will be transferred into a money-making reserve account and $15,000 from the general fund balance will also be transferred to a similar account, so as to always leave a balance of $50,000 for emergencies.
 

Three groups split $65,000
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–For the last few years, fees collected in the Family Protection account of Kaufman County have been adding up – to $65,000.
The fund is designated to benefit specific child services.
Monday, Kaufman County Commissioners agreed to divide the money equally, among The Genesis Center, The Kaufman Children’s Center and CASA (Children’s Appointed Special Advocate).
“From now on the account will be divided and paid out on a yearly basis,” Judge Bruce Wood said.
In other business, commissioners:
• appointed 2012 board members for the Kaufman County Veteran’s Memorial Park Board.
They are Wayne Gent, James Crouch, James R. “Dick” Neal, Richard “Dick” Bramblitt, Johnny Countryman and Danny Booth.
Current board members are Ray Raymond, who has asked to step down, Crouch, Neal, Joe T. Rogers (retired) and Grady Carroll (deceased).
• approved the deputation of William S. Spoon for the Sheriff’s Office.
• approved a list of 2012 county holidays.
• heard the state legislature has approved an additional $5,167,868 to fund the NorthStar program, a string of mental health organizations serving Dallas and Kaufman counties and the Fort Worth area.
• awarded contract to Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, LLP of Austin for delinquent tax collection. The 20 percent collection fee will be paid by the delinquent taxpayer. Though commissioners unanimously approved the action, Wood opposed the contract.
• heard the Children’s Shelter served nine children in September, 11 in October and in November, 21 clients were served. Nine clients in November came from Tarrant County, director LaReta Williams reported.
• accepted the FY 2011 chapter 59 Assess Forfeiture Report by law enforcement agency of the Sheriff’s Department.
• approved additional funds amounting to $5,125 for the repairs of the Lower East Fork Laterals No. 7, project and amended the budget accordingly,
• accepted a donation of $115 from Oak Hollow Home Owners Association for road repairs to Oak Hollow, Precinct 4.
• re-appointed Dr. Lisa Jones and Bill Penner as commissioners of the Emergency Service District No. 5.
• accepted the auditor’s report as present.
The extensive document will be available for reading throughout the week in Wood’s office, Hal D. Jones said.
• approved voice and data installations for offices and training room designated for occupancy at the Armory,
• approved securing the Armory with monitoring activity by the Sheriff’s Office.
• approved advertising for bids for annual contract for office supplies.
• approved advertising for bids for a contract for various road materials.
Bids will be opened at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27.
• renewed the annual contract with 3D Mechanical Services for HVAC services.
• authorized purchasing agent to spend up to $25,000 on any one purchase order, without bringing the item to commissioners for approval. The move adds $10,000 to the current $15,000 limitation. The state limit is $50,000.
• paid bills totaling $705,327.49.

 

 

 

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