Thursday, April 13, 2006

 
 

Harrison, Lewis, Adams win runoffs
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN COUNTY– Rick Harrison edged out Mike McLelland for the Kaufman County District Attorney post by just 64 votes.
David Lewis won in an upset over Joe Parnell, who led the race going into the runoff for judge of the newly formed Court-at-Law 2.
And Johnny Adams maintained his lead to win the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace position in Tuesday’s runoff election.
While all three races were for the Republican nomination, none of the winners face a Democratic opponent in the November general election.
The DA race was very close, with Harrison garnishing 50.86 percent of the vote to McLelland’s 49.14 percent.
“Kaufman County hasn’t seen the last of me,” McLelland told The Monitor. “I got to thank the huge amount of people who helped and supported me. I couldn’t have run such a close race without them. I appreciate their votes and support. You can’t hardly walk away from people like that.”
Numerous attempts by The Monitor to contact Harrison by telephone late Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Lewis’ win over Parnell, the former Democratic judge of the original Kaufman County Court-at-Law, was considered an upset, as Parnell came very close to winning the Republican nomination outright in the March 7 primary.
Lewis assured citizens he was going to do a good job.
“You won’t be disappointed,” he said. “I look forward to working with county office holders. I think we’re going to have a really good group of people to work with.”
Lewis went into this race 22 percentage points behind Parnell and secured the post at the new court by pulling ahead by 6 percentage points.
“It was a very exciting night,” Lewis said. “I worked very hard. I’m pleased the voting public heard my message.”
Adams was on “cloud nine,” following the posting of election results at about 9 p.m.
Adams will replace retiring Precinct 4 JP Glenn Bates.
“I was very impressed and humbled by the people who worked and voted for me,” Adams said. “William Nixon is a class act. He came by and congratulated me.
“I look forward to working with the judges, sheriff’s department and law enforcement,” Adams added. “I intend to do a good job (for Precinct 4).”
Adams, a longtime Mabank council member and current mayor pro tem, 25-year volunteer firefighter and businessman, reminded his many friends and supporters that he “will always be a member of the Mabank community.”
In Henderson County, voters chose Tommy Barnett to be the Republican candidate to face Democratic opponent Lloyd Vernon Arthus in the Nov. 7 general election for Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace.
The winner will replace retiring JP Judy Newman.
Barnett defeated Pam Underhill, 242-174, Tuesday.
“This was a real tough race,” Barnett, an agricultural teacher, told The Monitor.
“I was really busy with the county livestock show. I have to thank the people who worked so hard putting up signs and making phone calls,” he said.
Barnett spoke of Underhill with respect and admiration.
“She worked really, really hard and had me sweating,” he said. “It’s hard to run against someone you know and respect so much.”
 

Burglary at church foiled
Alert neighbor calls police
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

TOOL–They probably thought they couldn’t be caught, and no one would see them, but they were wrong.
Tool Assistant Police Chief Martha Decker said a concerned citizen in Royal Oaks called in a “suspicious person” report.
“Sometime between 2 and 5 a.m., the caller heard the crunching of gravel and spotted a juvenile climbing over a fence with a television set,” Decker said.
Tool Police Officer Brad Hendricks was on duty and responded. After gathering information, Hendricks searched for a possible burglary, she said.
After looking around, Hendricks discovered someone had used the stairs to the roof of First Baptist Church in Tool and pried open a door.
Seven Points Police Officer Sam Henson joined Hendricks to help search the building, and the officers discovered several thousand dollars’ worth of electronic equipment missing.
Decker was then called in. A crime scene investigation was established.
Officers found the double doors leading to the backyard of the church.
“Officers followed a trail of dropped items to a house,” Decker reported.
“They were given permission to search the house by an adult that lived there,” she said. “A boy approximately 15, confessed to the burglary, and he implicated another juvenile.”
The second boy named a third, and that one implicated a fourth, Decker reported. The adult admitted to knowing about the items, but did nothing about it, she added.
At least 60 items were recovered, including stolen property taken from the church in the wee hours of both Saturday and Sunday.
Officers recovered six computers, a public address system, several keyboards, and a mouse, Decker said.
“Officers found bared cables, plus the teens had taken ink cartridges and squirted them all over the walls and fax machines,” she added.
The boys took officers to an outdoor location, where the church’s collection of cell phones was recovered.
“Because of the witness, we were able to locate and recover most of the merchandise that was taken,” Decker said.
“If the witness had not called, the church staff would not have known about the burglary until time for services Sunday, and we possibly would not have been able to recover anything,” she explained.
“They caused about $4,000 in damage to the church,” she added.
The boys were read their Miranda warnings by Municipal Judge Rhonda Peterson, Decker said.
Multiple felony charges are being prepared, “and there may be other charges pending,” she added.
 

Larger water pump and sewer clarifier agreed upon
Heritage Cove water/sewer services stalled,
awaiting engineering specs and impact study

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–The directors of the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District gave engineers the green light to draw up plans for a larger raw water intake pump for the Brookshire Water Treatment Plant.
The move will increase the plant’s capacity to pump water from the lake from 2 million gallons per day to 3 mg/d, general manager Bill Goheen explained.
The next step would be for those plans to be sent to theTexas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for review and approval, directors heard during a special noon meeting Monday. Following approval, a bid process is expected, Goheen said.
The rest of the 45-minute meeting was divided between formulating a plan to meet the required phosphorus content limit for final treated wastewater discharge back to the lake, and reviewing the application for water and sewer service from Landers Development.
Goheen reported after testing at the plant, the best reduction rates that can be achieved by adding liquid alum during the treatment process is between 2.5 and 2.8 parts per million (ppm).
The new TCEQ requirements call for a reduction to 1 ppm, it was noted.
Three outside experts have concluded “secondary clarification is what will be needed to get it down to 1 ppm,” Goheen said.
“It was well that we didn’t go ahead with a third clarifier before,” board president Giles Farmer said. “Because now, we’re talking about a taller, above-ground clarifier.”
Engineers from Atlanta have recommended an above-ground clarification tank about 14 feet deep and 25 feet in diameter, Goheen reported.
“It should prove more economical, and work hydraulically to the filters,” Goheen said. “I think it will be a good application in this case.”
Since the board’s consulting engineer could not attend the meeting, due to a previous appointment, the board decided to have the operations committee meet with Chris Weeks, of Athens-based Velvin & Weeks Consulting Engineers, Wednesday to work out a detailed plan to submit to the full board at its next meeting the following Wednesday.
After having received notice of the meeting’s agenda to review its service application Friday, Landers’engineers sent over a detailed set of plans dated April 7, which was forwarded to Weeks for review, board members heard.
Weeks returned the plan – outlining the water and sewer needs of the Heritage Cove at Gun Barrel City project – to Addison Engineering with “about four comments” that needing addressing, Goheen reported.
An application for utilities service for the Heritage Cove project was submitted in December, but was incomplete and not returned until now, it was noted.
Job Superintendent John Grove was present, representing Lander’s Development. Also in attendance was Gun Barrel City Manager Corrin McGrath.
Now that a set of detailed plans are in hand, the board’s consulting engineers can make a determination as to the impact adding the portion of the development outside the district’s CCN (Certificate of Convenience and Necessity) will likely have on both its wastewater and water treatment systems.
Since part of the development is considered within the CCNs of both the ECCFWSD and the city of Mabank, the developer gets to choose which one to seek water from, Farmer said.
If the developer chooses the ECCFWSD, and would like it to furnish both water and sewer for the full project, Mabank would have to relinquish its right to provide water in a formal application to the TCEQ.
Then, the ECCFWSD could make a formal application to add that area to its CCN.
“We will have the capacity at the Brookshire plant,” Farmer said. “Our attorneys have counseled us to only service those within a CCN belonging to us.”
Adding the project to the district’s wastewater CCN would be straightforward, because no one currently owns any wastewater CCN in that area, Farmer pointed out.
“Though the District has no obligation to provide service, it can, if a CCN is granted, and if the developer agrees to meet the District’s requirements and pay an appropriate impact fee,” a press release from ECCFWSD stated.
The developer could be ready to build in 30 days after completing the major north/south road through the project area, Groves told the board, but pointed out he would need water service in order to continue.
Directors Jim Boyles and Carol Meyer assured Groves the buildings planned along State Highway 334 is within the District’s CCN, and could be serviced within his time frame.
Boyles also tried to assure Groves that the board would do all in its power to speed the process along.
“We could get a conditional approval. I’d like to facilitate the developer as much as I can,” Boyles said.
“Our hands are tied until we know who will service the water,” Farmer noted. “We will have the capacity to service water. With sewer, the hang-up is the size of line that may need to be installed, and we can handle that.
“We can’t do anything without specifications. We’ve been burned in the past by not enforcing the specs,” Farmer added.
“Pressure your engineers to get the answers to Chris, so we can determine impact on the system,” Farmer told Groves.
“Once that is determined, application can be made for extending the wastewater CCN. But, we’re talking about several months,” Farmer added.