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.
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
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
To donate or for information, call (800) 246-0493.
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
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.
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
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)
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
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
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to promote their services.
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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
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
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
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
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
• 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.