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Current Issue
December 22
, 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.

Holiday closings
Federal, county and city offices will close Monday, Dec. 26, in observance of Christmas.
Post offices and banks will close to allow employees to observe the holiday.

Eustace tax office hours
The Eustace ISD tax office will be closed 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 time 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.

Westside Seniors
The Westside Senior Citizens Center is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, at the Cedar Creek Bible Church activities building, 700 North Seven Points Boulevard. Seniors 55 and older are invited for games and fellowship. There will be a Christmas gift exchange and a covered dish lunch. For information call (903) 340-9672.

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.

New Year’s eve concert
The Caney Creek Baptist Church is hosting a free concert with fireworks, coffee and hot chocolate from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at the Caney City Boat Ramp.

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. Country/western and square dancers are invited. The club meets the first and third Saturday of each month. For information, call Dee at (903) 451-3388.

PSUMC fellowship
The Payne Springs United Methodist Church monthly fellowship starts with a covered dish meal at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, followed by “Always Abounding” gospel music led by Billy House. The public is invited. The church is located at 9667 S. SH 198, across from the PSVFD. For information call (9030 451-3131 or (903) 451-2978.

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

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. Jan. 30, (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

Thousands defend their faith and nation
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Saturday, an estimated 5,000 Americans filled the west side of the Courthouse Square in support of a nativity scene displayed on the Henderson County courthouse square, along with other items depicting a Christmas holiday theme. Two weeks ago county commissioners noted the receipt of a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation ordering its removal, arguing that its presence constituted support of religion by the county government.
Since then, the issue has spread coast-to-coast and initiated Saturday’s rally, called by four area pastors.
“We are humbled at the turnout of the crowd,” First Baptist Church Malakoff pastor Dr. Nathan Lorick told Fox News after the event. “We believe that God lead us to do this, and so we knew he was up to something great. This message is resonating in the hearts of people all over the country. This was a real statement to the nation that Christians are tired of the persecution and suppression. We want all to know that we are ready to contend for the faith.”
Lorick was one of the organizers of what was billed as the Henderson County Nativity Rally, along with Robert Welch of Rock Hill Baptist in Brownsboro, Eric Graham of Sand Springs Baptist Church in Athens and Derek Rogers, a county resident who is pastor of the Corsicana Cowboy Church.
The backlash against the FFRF from county Christians was fast and furious, and captured the attention of media across the country.
The message conveyed by the speeches and prayers was fairly simple: We will stand up for our faith and we will do it in a way that benefits community and country.
“We stand today to unite in heart, soul and action to send a message across this great nation. That it is time to bring America back to the place in which all things are dependent on God,” Lorick told the crowd. “This call is not one of a militant, rioting or raging attitude. No, it is just the opposite. It is a call to stand together in love and unity, while at the same time being bold and courageous.”
Graham listed some deplorable statistics regarding Henderson County, such as being in the top 2 percent in the state for teen pregnancy, triple the state average for child abuse, and being in the top 10 percent for domestic violence homicide.
“For the first time, there is going to be a concerted effort by the churches of this county to reach out to the struggling and the hurting,” he said. “We are not merely going to treat the symptoms, be we are going to address the disease. I believe that this should begin today.”
After calling for Christian leaders to step to the forefront, Rogers also hit on the theme of outreach.
“It is time our actions give validity to our words,” he said. “By feeding the hungry; clothing the poor; reaching out to the hurting, the needy, the addict; taking care of the widow and the fatherless; providing shelter for the homeless; allowing the power and love of God to flow. Perhaps then, even the unbeliever may be persuaded to believe in the same Jesus we know.”
Included as part of the rally was a food drive to benefit the Henderson County Food Pantry. Organizers collected more than $500 and 1.5 pickup truck beds full of food.
In addition to the four organizing pastors, rally attendees also heard from Jerry Dennis of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at TVCC, John Michael Cash of the Athens Church of the Nazarene, Ben Rigsby of Carrol Springs United Methodist Church of Athens, Mark Fulks of First Assembly of God Church in Chandler, and Ronnie Yarborough of First Baptist Church of Malakoff.
The rally — which most resembled a worship service at times — came together on the heels of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s (FFRF) demand in early December that Henderson County remove a nativity scene from Courthouse Christmas display. The FFRF later dropped that request and instead focused on trying to get one of its banners included in the display as well.


March 6 Primary moves to April 3
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

AUSTIN–Texas Republicans and Democrats agreed on a new Primary date, pending court approval.
Texas’ March 6 Primary has been cancelled, due to disputes over redistricting maps – first by the 83rd Legislature assigning three of the four new voting precincts to dominantly Republican districts and then by federal justices who remapped the districts, favoring the Democrats.
If the court ratifies their agreement, a unified primary for state House of Representatives and Senators, as well as seats for the U.S. Congress and statewide officials, county and local offices will be held April 3, 2012. A brief re-filing period will be held. By 6 p.m. Feb. 1, 2012, candidates will be allowed to amend their filing for office or apply for a place on the ballot under redistricting approved by the U.S. Supreme Court. The nation’s highest court has set Jan. 9, 2012, as the day it will hear arguments concerning Texas’ redistricting. It may even review Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which stipulates that states, such as Texas, who have had a history of racial prejudice, submit any changes to the electoral process to the Department of Justice for a pre-clearance.

Council postpones seeking loan; still hopes for grant to finance new water line from WCCMUD
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–The Kemp City Council discussed their agreement with directors of West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District to provide water service for Kemp Dec. 13. However, they took no action on the subject while they wait for firmer figures.
In preliminary discusions with the water utility, council members learned the cost to lay line between King’s Creek and Kemp and install a master meter comes to about $417,000, mayor Donald Kile said. However, city utility director Chris Burns wants to also install a number of valves, which will add to the cost.
Council members also discussed a number of options for getting the money, with most leaning toward procuring a grant. However, with the goal of starting construction on the line by the beginning of February, so everything is ready to switch service over in June, the city may have to agree to a loan, the lower the interest rate – the better. No action was taken to apply for a loan at the December meeting.
Discussion on the proposed WCCMUD water hook-up to Kemp also appeared on the utility’s business agenda and meeting set for Dec. 19. (See related story in the Sunday issue of The Monitor.)
In other business, council members:
• adopted an ordinance allowing for the collection of taxes on goods in transit. The state instituted the additional revenue source and most all the taxing entities in the area are adopting it.
• added Good Friday to the number of city holidays for 2012.
• codified the city’s new water and sewer rates and pricing for new water and sewer taps. The new minimum bill for residential customers increases to $38 and the minimum sewer service billing increases to $42.52. The new flat rate for water service is $4.50 per 1,000 gallons and $4.75 per 1,000 gallons of wastewater service. Out-of-city customers will pay the same flat rate plus an additional $10 monthly service fee to share in any tax bond issue used to upgrade utility infrastructure, like the installation of the new meters.

















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