Thursday, December 20, 2007






  Trinidad police chief Cook quits
Monitor Staff Reports
TRINIDAD–James Cook left his position as Trinidad police chief effective Dec. 12, and blamed the move on Henderson County District Attorney Donna Bennett.
Cook told the Athens Daily Review last week he received a letter from Bennett in February saying the DA would no longer accept cases in which he was the sole witness.
“I base this on our previous experiences with you,” Bennett wrote in the letter, dated Feb. 25. “The aforementioned includes taking drugs to and collecting drugs from the lab.”
Cook said he could not do his job for the people of Trinidad without the ability to prosecute felony cases.
Bennett declined to comment further when the story broke last week.
Cook has taken a job as a police sergeant in Jasper, and called Bennett’s allegations unsubstantiated.
Cook said Bennett’s letter insinuates he is a drug user, and went on to say he has never had a drug problem.
Trinidad Mayor Chris Quinn, who is serving as the head of the police department while the city searches for a new chief, supported Cook last week, just as he did in September when a city businessman was unhappy with the police department.
“I have the greatest faith in Chief Cook, taking into account his impeccable record,” Quinn said at that time. “It is an honor and a privilege to have Chief Cook as our police chief, and I believe every citizen and business owner is better served by it.”

Recycling station deemed a success
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–A report on progress at the Kemp recycling station was good news.
Environmental Cooperative director Marilyn May gave an update to commissioners Monday.
“From January to July, the station collected 22,842 pounds of cardboard and paper, and through October the station collected 392,368 pounds of paper and cardboard,” she said.
Kaufman County is working with Henderson County to allow people from Cedar Creek Lake to bring trash in, May announced.
However, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller said he had some reservations that needed to be worked out.
“Henderson County charges its residents more to bring in trash to its station. For instance, a pickup load is $9 while Kaufman only charges $7,” she pointed out.
Tire disposal is also a problem in the county Deller explained.
“We really need to get a tire company contract,’ he said.
“I am working on that,” May responded.
In other business, commissioners:
• approved a resolution for the Environmental Coop to apply for a grant through North Texas Council of Governments.
• held a public hearing on the petition requesting the creation of Wolf Creek Fresh Water Supply District.
Heard four residents voice opposition to the creation of the District.
• tabled action concerning adoption of the order concerning Wolf Creek FWSD.
•accepted Hal D. Jones November auditor’s report.
• approved taking part in the Census Bureau program to review county census datain view of the upcoming 2010 census count.
• approved the preliminary plat for Oakview Ranch, Phase 2 in Precinct 4.
• approved an Embarq request to install buried cable on right-of-way of County Road 151, Precinct 1.
• approved budget transfers as presented by Jones.
• paid bills totaling $394,600.19.

Genesis center needs help
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN– The Genesis Center in Kaufman helps women and their children in their hour of greatest need with shelter, training and comfort when home isn’t home anymore.
At any one time, the center houses 40 women and their children – fleeing domestic violence, coping with a drug addiction or suddenly homeless.
Every available space is utilized. (There’s even a bed in the center’s tiny office.)
Now, the center is having a crisis of its own.
Facing a Dec. 20 deadline to remove a 5,000-pound underground gas tank on the property, center director Alan Austin put his reputation on the line to secure a bank loan for the moving cost.
The center, which often operates in the red, has officials wondering how it will be able to repay the $10,000 loan.
“We’re living on faith here,” Austin told a broadcast journalist recently. “We’re praying that we’re going to get the money some way.”
Now they hope the community, which has supported them in times past, will rise to the occasion.
Or, new sources of donations will materialize in this season of gift-giving and joy.
The Center can be contacted by calling (972) 932-4351.