People, Places & Events


Eustace ISD honors employees
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–Nearing the end of school, Eustace Independent School District employees cheered and applauded news of air conditioning being added to the gymnasiums at the Intermediate and Primary campuses, during the annual employee appreciation banquet.
During the next few months, more than $7 million in renovations will be started, EISD Superintendent Coy Holcombe told more than 260 employees and guests gathered May 4.
The high school will gain classrooms and a science lab, and will gain a whole new look, Holcombe said.
“Its going to become bright and cheery,” he said.
“There are some good things going on,” Holcombe said, “but it’s the people inside (the buildings) that count.”
Holcombe handed out service pins to 26 employees – and got one himself, marking five years with the district.
Employees getting five-year pins were Lisa Ashton, Michelle Bass, Betty Bee, Phyllis Bice, Russell Budai, Audrey Hernandez and Holcombe.
Also, Greg Master, Mandy Rolison, Carolyn Simpson, Lynda Slay, Cheri Spivey, Kim Temple, Zulema Umana and Judy Versace.
Veronica Gunderson, Debbie Murphy and Karen Thompson received 10-year service pins, while Beth Costlow, Dorothy Paris and Sandi Thompson got 15-year pins.
Pins marking 20 years of service were presented to Brenda Powell and Robert Reeve, while Gary Bentley, Diane Chambers and Jody Horton all received 25-year pins.
The banquet committee, Faye Barnett and Mary Bell were also honored, and helped Holcombe distribute numerous prizes to the employees gathered at the Eustace First Baptist Church’s family living center.

KC law enforcement center practices fiscal responsibility
Special to The Monitor
KAUFMAN–In September, 2003, under the leadership of Sheriff David Byrnes, the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office signed a contract with Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) which would allow them to conduct on-site training for corrections and peace officers.
The contract required the development of a Training Advisory Board.
Seated on the KCLEC board are Byrnes, Chief Alan Richman, Training Coordinator Lt. Troy Graham, Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Deller, and Robert Dobbs of the Farm Bureau.
The purpose of the board is to establish the training needs of both corrections and peace officers as dictated by TCLEOSE and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS).
Once the needs are established, the training can be provided at a much lower cost to county taxpayers.
With the opening of the new Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center in July, 2004, including a 22-person training room, the board was able to implement on-site training and testing programs.
One such program is the “jail academy,” a three week course required by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards for all corrections officers.
When the new law enforcement center opened, 69 additional officers were needed immediately.
At an average cost of about $120 per officer for training and testing, the initial savings to the county was approximately $8,280 (not including associated travel expenses).
Upon completion of the course, officers are required to take a state examination.
Prior to having on-site testing, officers had two choices by which to obtain their license – traveling to one of the community colleges to take the exam at a cost of between $20 and $40 per student, depending on the campus, or traveling to Austin and taking the exam for free.
Although the exam is free of charge in Austin, the students are reimbursed traveling expenses at a per mile rate (which is currently at 44.5 cents per mile).
With an average of 50 officers per year taking the exam and driving an average of 100 miles round trip, the expense could be in the neighborhood of $1,000 to $2,000 for testing and up to $2,225 for travel expenses.
Our current testing cost on-site is $100 per 100 students or $1 per student, and the training is conducted here, avoiding any travel expenses.
The bottom line results in an annual savings of between $10,000 and $12,000 per year for the taxpayers of Kaufman County.
“I am very impressed with the fact Sheriff Byrnes is successfully saving this county a substantial amount of money and the public should be informed of it,” Agency Manager for the Kaufman County Farm Bureau Robert Dobbs said.

New facilities available at Tri-County Library
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The Tri-County Library is located at 123 Market Street in downtown Mabank across from City Hall where you pay your water bill perhaps.
We are here for you!
Need to send a fax? We have a new fax machine. We have public access computers on the Internet, a copy machine, copier, and books and movies on DVD and VHS, plus several books on tape.
Do you need to sign up for the Talking Book Program? We can help.
Need a book we don’t have? We can apply to Interlibrary Loan for you.
Do you need a TexShare card? We can provide that also. Just come in and let us help you.
We congratulate Tiffany Hunter on her poetry writing talent, and thank our staff person Marsha Hodges for organizing the “Poetry Slam.” We are thinking of making this an annual event.
Thanks to the Tri-County Friends group for the delicious refreshments, and to the two judges, Claudia Cunningham and David Little.
Some of the new books made possible by the Pinnacle Women’s Group are ready to be checked out.
There are several additions to our Young Adult Collection recommended by the American Library Association.
They are “Airborn” by Kenneth Oppel, “Race to Save the Yardbird,” by Phillip House and “So Be It,” by Sarah Weeks to name a few. We have Gary Paulsen’s new book, “Time Hackers.”
We have “Lasting Valor,” the story of Vernon Baker, the only living black World War II veteran to earn America’s highest distinction for valor, the Medal of Honor. Tom Brokaw interviewed him during the Olympics.
Stuart Wood’s “Dark Harbor,” is here, and a new copy of “Angels and Demons,” by Dan Brown.
We have replaced some missing favorites, “Where the Red Fern Grows,” by Wilson Rawls, and “Chicken Soup for Cat and Dog or Animal Lovers.”
Librarian Marsha Hodges is working on the Summer Reading Program, with some favorite entertainers coming back and some new. Plan on spending time at Tri-County Library in the month of June.
Be on the watch for new computer classes with our talented teacher Carol Halliday in June.
Classes will be limited to eight members, so when you come in, watch for the sign up sheet. It is first come, first served to be fair to all.
We finally have a book, “Miniature Horses,” given in memory of Sue Madera by the Friends of Tri-County Library.
This is a very interesting book for owners or learning about miniature horses.
Thanks to our many patrons who donate such wonderful books to the library for selling or to add to our collection.
Four volumes on the Trans-Texas Corridor-35, Oklahoma-Mexico/Gulf Coast Element are available for public viewing anytime during our regular hours.
This is the Tier One Draft Environmental Impact Statement U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, These were sent to us by the Texas Department of Transportation.
For additional information about the Tri-County Library, call Library Director Claire Stout at
(903) 887-9622.