People, Places & Events


Hay and grazing hotline in operation
Special to The Monitor
KAUFMAN–Kaufman County Farm Bureau president Alan Piper reminds local farmers and ranchers looking to sell or buy hay that the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Hay and Grazing hotline is in operation.
“This year has been rough for many hay and livestock producers because of extended drought,” Piper said. “I urge those who have hay to sell call the toll-free line so those that need hay can feed their hungry stock,” he added.
The Hay and Grazing Hotline, updated daily, is provided as a free service to help livestock producers locate available hay for sale and pastures for lease in Texas and out-of-state.
There is also a list of hay transporters, livestock transporters, weekly Texas Hay Market Report and links to other hay sites and out-of-state hay directories. These lists can be faxed or mailed upon request.
Hay suppliers and buyers can call the toll-free line at (877) 429-1998 or access the list on TDA’s website at

Feng Shui offers a different concept in home decorating
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Mixed with some practicality and some superstition, Feng Shui puts a different slant on home decorating.
Nina Miller, an interior designer with Grooms Hardware, was the keynote speaker at the monthly breakfast for Henderson County Women’s Council of Realtors.
Bobbie Bell assisted her with her talk.
Clutter, crowded entries and a sink full of dirty dishes are not attractive to potential home buyers, Miller said.
Storing things under the bed and having family pictures on the bedroom wall can cause marriage problems, according to Feng Shui, she said.
That ever-present problem with the toilet set and no plugs in the kitchen sink can cause one to lose money “down the drain,” Miller added.
The members were also entertained by ventriloquist Terry Fator and his “volunteer” from the audience, Gary McClaskey, who played the part of Cher.
In other business, the members elected officers for 2007.
The new officers are: president Marie Sligh, president elect Pam Blackwood, vice president of membership Debra Holland, secretary Ronda Brown, and treasurer Ralph Fortner.
The breakfast was sponsored by Carey R. Peach, Henderson County agent with Farm Bureau insurance.

New chief nursing officer at ETMC-Athens gets high marks
By Toni Garrard Clay
Special to The Monitor

ATHENS–The new chief nursing officer at ETMC Athens didn’t waste time when she took over the job in April. Rebecca Powell began changing some things.
People don’t like change. Right?
“Oh, we like her,” a first floor charge nurse Melissa Graham said.
“She’s implemented some procedures that have worked out really well. She’s very structured. You have to be on your toes, and that’s a good thing,” she added.
Powell is no newcomer to running a department. Before coming to Athens, she held chief nursing officer or director positions in hospitals in San Antonio, Poplar Bluff, Mo., Dallas and Fort Worth. She knows her stuff.
“My primary job is to accomplish excellent patient care by providing guidance and collaboration,” Powell said.
First floor med/surg charge nurse Denise Rockett said one of Powell’s strengths is the confidence she places in her managers.
“She really backs them up. She lets them know what she wants and then pretty much expects it,” Rockett said
Powell earned her bachelor of science nursing degree from Texas Woman’s University and later received her master’s in nursing administration from UT Arlington.
Included among her list of professional and community affiliations are two organizations that have not a thing to do with healthcare – the United States Equestrian and Dressage federations.
In fact, Powell brought her horse with her from San Antonio.
“I have two children, two cats, two dogs, one horse and a husband – in that order,” she joked.
She and her husband Randy, who teaches in a paramedic program, have a 25-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter, Brice and Erin.
Powell said one of the best qualities about working at ETMC Athens is the team atmosphere.
“People here are very friendly and outgoing. When you work different places, you encounter those folks who don’t play well together,” joked Powell, who became a registered nurse 23 years ago.
“I’ve been very impressed with this hospital. People here work well together. There’s a collaborative atmosphere,” Powell said.
Nurses under Powell’s direction note that she is a frequent presence in their daily routines.
“She knows what’s going on,” Graham said. “She makes rounds two or three times a day, which is great. Some chief nursing officers you might hardly ever see.”
Powell’s style fits in well with the rest of the administrative team at ETMC Athens.
She, like they, puts most of her emphasis on how to deliver the greatest standard of care to people.
“I started out on a burn unit at Parkland in Dallas,” she explained. “I delivered excellent care, but as soon as my shift ended, my care ended. As a manager, I can have a continuous impact on the care of all patients.
“If I can provide an excellent work environment for all my staff, that will have a positive impact on all the patients here,” she added.
“We’re very fortunate to have in Rebecca someone who has so many years of experience,” ETMC Athens Administrator Pat Wallace said.
“The executive roles she has held at other community hospitals make her an excellent fit at ETMC Athens,” he added.
The respect Powell receives is certainly mutual.
“The senior leadership team really drew me here,” Powell said.
“They’re very concerned with quality patient care. That’s their number-one priority – and to operate the hospital in a fiscally responsible way to achieve that quality,” she added.
Another thing about ETMC Athens that has pleased Powell – particularly given her history of experience in the Metroplex – is the hospital’s membership in the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council.
“Through our membership with that council, when we discuss a ‘community standard’ here, we’re looking at a larger community than just Athens,” Powell explained. “We’re holding ourselves to a standard of care delivered in a much bigger city.
“And that’s reflected in the standard of care we deliver at ETMC Athens,” she added.