People, Places & Events


Birth, death certificates now available online
Special to The Monitor
AUSTIN–Birth and death certificates can be ordered online, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced.
Previously, the certificates could be requested only by mail, fax or by visiting the DSHS vital records unit in Austin or one of the 490 local registrars’ offices throughout the state.
Certificates may be ordered online at
“Customers needing copies of birth or death certificates should find the speed and convenience of the new online ordering system a real timesaver,” DSHS chief operating officer Randy Fritz said.
He clarified that while certificates can be ordered online, they cannot be downloaded or printed.
Online ordering of a birth certificate for a birth that occurred in the last 75 years is limited to the individual for whom a birth certificate is requested and to the mother or father of that individual.
Online ordering of death certificates for deaths that occurred within the last 25 years is limited to the surviving spouse, a parent of the deceased and to certain funeral directors.
Verification of any birth, death, marriage or divorce, regardless of date, also is available online.
Forms for ordering by mail can be downloaded from the DSHS Web site, is the official eGovernment Web site for the State Texas.

Livestock Show events schedule
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS– The 2005 Henderson County Livestock Show begins this week. Here is a schedule of events for Wednesday, March 29, through Saturday, April 1.
Wednesday, March 29
• 10 a.m. Breeding Rabbit Show
• 11 a.m. Market Swine weigh-in begins
• 4 p.m. Shop Project judging
• 6 p.m. Market lambs, goats and steer weigh-in begins
• 7:30 p.m. Dairy Cattle Show
Thursday, March 30
• 9 a.m. Breeding goat show
• 10 a.m. Youth Project Show judging begins
• 10:30 Market Fryer Show
• 1 p.m. Commercial heifers to be judged
• 3 p.m. Market Swine showmanship
• 5 p.m. market Swine Show
• 7 p.m. Youth Project Show Exhibit closes
Friday, March 31
• 9 a.m. Market Lamb Show, Youth Project Show opens
• 11 a.m. Broiler Show, Breeding Poultry and Game Bird Show
• 2 p.m. Breeding Beef Show
• 4 p.m. Herdsman Award
• 6 p.m. Scramble Heifer Show, auction of winning project show entries
• 7 p.m. Announce scholarship winners and the Sonny Pickens Award, Market Steer Show
Saturday, April 1
• 8:30 a.m. Clover Kid Livestock Show
• 9 a.m.. Livestock Judging Contest
• 12:30 p.m. Presentation of awards
• 1 p.m. Premium auction

ARES plans sky warn group
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–If you have ever wanted to take part in a Sky Warn group, now is your chance.
No, it isn’t actually storm chasing, but close enough for the amateur.
The only requirement is you must be a licensed amateur radio operator.
Jerry Harrison is the coordinator for Kaufman County Amateur Radio Emergency Service, otherwise known as ARES.
Sky Warn is a group of amateur radio operators that go out and spot severe storms and tornados on the ground, he said.
While the National Weather Service has excellent radar to spot potential storms, Harrison said those storms on the ground are often under the view of radar.
“The ultimate goal is to help in the spotting of tornadoes,” he said
Harrison said he was made coordinator for the group Sept. 15, 2005, and held the first meeting in October, 2005, at the Kaufman Fire Station.
By November the same year, they were officially Kaufman County ARES.
Now they are looking for new members to help in times of an emergency.
“I’ve had about six years as an ARES member. In that time I have come up with some thoughts of my own on how to form a new group,” he said.
“My goal is to establish a group of radio operators to assist the county in any emergency by aiding in communications,” Harrison said.
“The new group will work with the county in times of danger such as our upcoming spring storms,” Harrison said.
ARES is often called upon to help in other ways.
During Katrina, they helped with the movement of more than 1,100 evacuees, he explained.
Harrison is also a member of Dallas County RACES, which is under the auspices the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
“I have been a storm chaser for close to five years. I have a tremendous interest in serving the community in times of disaster,” he said.
“For many years, ARES was not recognized as a major contributor in emergencies. But the last few years their many accomplishments have proven them a valuable tool in emergency communication,” he explained.
In times of disaster, the groups will work under the Kaufman County Emergency Management office and their director Kathy Paget.
“I think this is great for the county,” Paget said.
The group will help out in storm spotting and in case of other types of emergencies, provide alternative communication, freeing up the county emergency lines, she added.
“We have already had a couple of meetings with ARES, and we are encouraging other radio operators to get involved with the group,” Paget explained.
ARES meets at 10 a.m. each third Saturday of the month at the fire station in Kaufman.
“We need your help,” Harris said to potential members.
For information call Harrison at (903) 887-3470, visit www.kaufman– or by e-mailing