Sunday, May 28, 2006


Mabank veteran recalls WWII losses
By Diane Murray
Monitor Correspondent

MABANK–The dead cannot speak for themselves, but they have left behind comrades-in-strife to tell their stories.
One such survivor lives in Mabank. Darrell Drennan served as a chief motor mechanic’s mate on submarines during World War II. He has a remarkable memory of the events.
Born Nov. 14, 1919, in Mabank to David and Eula Drennan, he enlisted in the Navy Friday, May 13, 1938, 68 years ago.
After boot camp in San Diego, he was sent to Norfolk, Va., to train as a machinist. His first assignment was on the USS Pennsylvania, the U.S. fleet’s flagship, stationed at Long Beach, Calif.
Long before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Navy practiced drills it called “Fleet Problems” – each was numbered. Fleet Problem 20 proposed a Japanese attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Drennan explained.
“On paper, the battle was won – the Navy intercepted the Japanese,” Drennan remarked.
As it happened, Drennan was stationed at Pearl Harbor until June, 1941, when he returned stateside for further training.
Drennan said Admiral James O. Richardson, from Wichita Falls, was against keeping the fleet at Pearl Harbor.
“He moved us out off Lahaina, Maui (then a small village on an island about 40 miles away), and anchored us there. The Navy didn’t like it. But he wanted to keep us away from Pearl. He felt it was too much of a target,” Drennan recalled.


WCCMUD increases rates, fines
By Becki Brantley
Monitor Correspondent

TOOL–Higher fees and heftier fines for theft of services were approved by the directors of the West Cedar Creek Municipal Utilities District.
“We’ve just had too many problems with this, and something has to be done,” district manager Tony Ciardo said.
Some of the changes taking effect June 1 include:
• Imposing a $1,000 fine for theft, or tampering with locks or meters, or water/sewer connections, plus prosecution under state law. Previously, the fine was $500.
• Increasing the permit fee for new installations of residential sewer service from $500 to $700, and for commercial and industrial service from $700 to $900.
• Requiring new pressure sewer customers to supply and maintain a 220-volt dedicated electric service line.
• Increasing the fine for violations of sewer service, including downspout tie-ins, line disrepair and illegal dumping, from $200 to $500 per violation, with each day of violation being a separate fine.
The customer is responsible for maintaining lines from the house to the tap for gravity lines and from the house to the tank on pressure lines.
• Imposing a $1,000 fine for illegally connecting to the district’s sewer lines.
• Extending developer rules and regulations to RV parks.
Developer rules require a $2,000 retainer to begin a study of the property, double the previous retaining fee of $1,000. A $500 fine will be imposed for developers circumventing these procedures, up from $200.
Also, RV parks will now be rated by meter size, rather than number of spaces.
• Requiring new service forms to be completed in person in the WCCMUD office.
• Requiring all future disconnects to include pulling the meter, instead of merely locking it.
• Boosting the re-connect fees on pressure systems (new service only) from $40 to $70; for those on gravity service, the new rate is $130 per hour with a one-hour minimum, plus materials.
• Increasing the re-connect fee for sewer and water service combined to $70, up from $60.
• Increasing the re-connect fee for customers with water service only to $70, up from $40.
• Increasing the $20 trip fee for new connections to $35, but the $50 deposit will remain the same.
New customers with 14 days or more of service in their first month will be charged for the full month’s minimum rate. Customers with less than 14 days of service will be charged half the minimum rate.
• Boosted the cost of installing a new meter by $200.
• Increased sewer installation fees for a gravity system from $800 to $1,000 plus permit fee; for pressure systems from $2,500 to $3,000 plus permit fee.
• Requiring all new customers to install a state-required cutoff valve at the meter before service is turned on. The customer must maintain the valve.
• Revising the standard Customer Service Agreement slightly so customers can acknowledge their understanding of the agreement.
“Our base rates have not changed. These rates will pertain to new customers only,” Ciardo stated. “While we have made every effort to keep down costs for our customers, our expenses are increasing and we are now forced to pass some of that on to the members.”
Information on other rates and fees can be obtained from the district office.


Family fun slated for Western Week
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Coming once again, and very soon, is the 51st annual Mabank Rodeo and Western Week.
Everyone is invited to enjoy the fun and tradition of Western Week, Tuesday June 6 through Saturday, June 10.
The event is sponsored by the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department.
The week of fun culminates with the annual parade and rodeo.
Cash prizes of $100, $75 and $50 will be awarded for first through third place for the best western theme float or wagon (Negative Coggins required).
Doc Brown will again serve as parade marshal.
The entire Cedar Creek Lake area and surrounding communities are invited to take part in the parade as well as all the other events.
See accompanying event schedule for particulars.
Tuesday evening, June 6, a family fun time starts with games and concessions at the Mabank Pavilion.
A whole range of activities begin at 6:15 p.m. including little red wagon races for ages four to six.
Another chance for monetary prizes comes with the ever-popular bed races.
For information on this and concessions call John Holcomb at (903) 887-4747.
The lawnmower races follow, call Jason Neighbors at (903) 880-0356.
The Mabank Rodeo Queen’s Dinner and Coronation takes place Wednesday.
Johnny Adams is coordinating this event at (903) 880-3858.
This year’s nominees are Sasha Durham, Xuxa (pronounced Shoo-shah) Dyer Nicole Harrison, Brooke Holcomb, Bethany Norman, Mitzi Pyle, Macey Thomas, Cora Weaver and Shaylee Williams.
The Mabank Rodeo Queen officiates at the rodeo Thursday, June 8.
The ranch rodeo will present 10, four-man teams at $500 per team.
Events include wild cow milking, pasture roping, double mugging, and wild horse riding. Added money includes $1,000. Fast time paid in every event.
UPRA and CPRA rodeo events open for booking Monday, June 5 from 6 -10 p.m.with call backs on Tuesday, 6-9 p.m. Dress code is required.
Entry fee is $60 and events include: bareback, calf roping, breakaway roping, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, team roping (one head $100 per man), ladies open barrels and bull riding and calf scramble.
There will also be novice barrels each night for kids under the age of 12 for $5.
Bobby Floyd is organizing the rodeo. He can be reached at (972) 932-6757.
The UPRA Rodeo action begins Friday, and continues Saturday evening. (Negative Coggins required).
Western Week concludes with the traditional dance at Mabank Pavilion. Music by Cactus Moon, a group created by two local musicians, Marl Bowden and Skeeter Barber.
Tuesday, June 6
6 p.m. food concessions open at Mabank Pavilion
6:15 games begin: qualifying heats for lawnmower races, egg and/or boot toss, red wagon races for ages 4-6, pony rides, more
8 p.m. bed races
8:30 p.m. lawnmower race
Wednesday, June 7
7 p.m. Rodeo Queen’s Dinner
Thursday, June 8, 51st Annual Ranch Rodeo
8 p.m. at Andrew Gibbs Arena, Bus. 175
Friday, June 9, UPRA Rodeo
8 p.m.
Saturday, June 10
8 - 10 a.m. Cowboy Breakfast fundraiser, Tri- County Library, $100
4 p.m. parade, Andrew Gibbs Arena. lineup at 3 p.m.
8 p.m. UPRA Rodeo, Andrew Gibbs Arena
10 p.m. Traditional dance, Mabank Pavilion, free


Ex-MHS teacher charged in HC
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–As expected, a former Mabank High School math teacher is now facing additional charges in Henderson County.
Tracy Dawn Gill, 28, had earlier been charged with being involved in an improper sexual relationship with a 16-year-old MHS student.
Gill, who had taught math at Mabank since 2004, resigned May 8.
Gill was arrested on a Mabank Police Department warrant May 20 when she turned herself in to Henderson County authorities, and was released after posting $10,000 bond.
In addition to the sexual relationship charge, Gill was also named on a Kaufman County misdemeanor warrant for theft by check.
Mabank Police Chief Alex Smith said May 19 information arising from the Gill investigation had been forwarded to authorities in Henderson and Van Zandt counties, as it appeared some contacts between Gill and the student had taken place in those counties.
Gill was arrested a second time Tuesday afternoon at her Athens home on Farm-to-Market 59 on warrants issued by Henderson County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Henry Ashford charging her with sexual assault of a child, and also maintaining an improper relationship between an educator and a student.
Bond was set at $20,000 for the assault charge and $10,000 on the relationship charge, according to information released by Lt. Pat McWilliams, information officer for the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office.
Gill posted bond and was released.