Apr

24

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 24, 2014

Meeting to discuss City of Tool Volunteer Fire Department closure

By David Webb
Monitor Correspondent

TOOL–Eleven years of dissension between two volunteer fire departments operating in the city could erupt during a public hearing before the Tool City Council at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 1.
The council set the public hearing about the Tool Volunteer Fire Department during an April 17 meeting because the fire chief and all but one of the volunteer firefighters resigned recently. That leaves the Henderson County Emergency Service District No. 4 as the sole fire department in Tool.
Mayor Tamra Brickey said any resident with a fire or medical emergency should call 9-1-1 rather than City Hall because the Tool Volunteer Fire Department would be unable to respond. “We only have one fireman left, and he can’t do it.”
Jeana Williams, a former firefighter and supporter of the Tool Volunteer Fire Department, attempted to address the council about what she called an environment of “hostility” in the current city administration causing the mass resignations. Brickey silenced her, telling Williams to “say it at the public hearing.”
After the council meeting, Williams said that all of the resigned firefighters would return to work if they felt welcome. She said firefighters wanted to work with the mayor, and they felt Brickey had an agenda against them. She promised to be at the public hearing to speak if she is available that date.
Brickey denied being hostile to the Tool Volunteer Fire Department. The mayor said a representative of the Tool Volunteer Fire Department told her she was unwelcome in the building. “As far as any hostile atmosphere, I haven’t even been over there,” she said.
Brickey attributed the bad feelings by the firefighters to her former role as vice-president of ESD No. 4 Board of Directors during six years of service on the governing body. She noted she successfully challenged and unseated former mayor A.J. “Red” Phillips and current city council candidate in the May 10 election, who is the sold remaining Tool Volunteer Fire Department member.
“It’s all political,” she said.
About five years ago, a former council attempted to withdraw from ESD No. 4 but a court judgment prevented the action in a 2010 lawsuit. City residents had raised complaints, none of which were formally registered with the county. Council members agreed to abide by the final judgment issued by Judge Carter Tarrance, who denied the city’s withdrawal of tax support from the ESD.
Tool residents established ESD No.4 in a 2003 election, and the Tool Volunteer Fire Department formed. The two departments worked together in emergencies, but are separate entities. The city fire department receives funds from both the City of Tool and ESD No. 4, which is funded by a 3-cent ad-valorem tax.
Seven residents are competing for three council seats in the May 10 election so the voting majority could change. In addition to Phillips, current council members Fran Sonka and volunteer firefighter Rick Williams are running for re-election. Other candidates are Randy Whitehurst, Cindy Clounch, Mike Barr and Kathryn Pinnell.
The upcoming election led the council to table agenda items for the new council to consider, including whether to approve a new contract for copy machine services and amending the city retirement plan for employees.
In other action, the council:
• tabled consideration of hiring a new dispatcher to replace Amanda Liles who resigned until after an advertisement is placed in the newspaper.
• opened a police seizure fund account at Citizens State Bank and closed a security and police fund account at First National Bank in Seven Points.
• raised the minimum building permit fee to $50 to cover the cost of inspections.
• approved pursuing 2014-15 Texas Community Development Block Grant funds for improvements in either Cedar Creek Park Center or Paradise Bay Mobile. The neighborhood will be selected when the grant application is made.
• scheduled a meeting for 5 p.m. May 1 to consider revising the city’s personnel policy.
• discussed the need for an ordinance governing the use of golf carts on city streets, including setting a minimum age limit to prohibit children from driving carts on public roads.

Apr

24

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 24, 2014

Funds raised go to kidney cancer research

Tom Green

Tom Green


By David Webb
Monitor Correspondent

KEMP–Retired firefighter Tom Green considered himself to be fit and healthy in 2009 when he noticed blood in his urine while on a vacation with his wife, Judy, in Canada in 2009.
Less than three years later, he died after losing a battle with an aggressive kidney cancer.
“He was in excellent condition,” Judy Green said. “He played golf three or four times each week. We would spend a month at a time in our RV on the road traveling. He had no idea anything was wrong.”
The retired couple decided to head home, but they stopped in Niagara Falls, where a doctor diagnosed the health problem as a prostate infection and prescribed antibiotics. In Ohio, he became ill, and another doctor diagnosed it as a kidney infection.
A kidney specialist finally diagnosed him with a genetic form of kidney cancer that is fatal, advising him he had only two years to live. After surgery and treatment, he managed to squeeze another nine months in before he died.
Green attributed the extra time she got to spend with her husband to the treatment he received at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center under the care of oncologist Dr. James Brugarolas. Green donated his body to the medical center for research purposes.
After his death in April 2012, she established the Tom Green Memorial Golf Tournament at Cedar Creek Country Club, to help raise funds for kidney cancer research at the medical center. The third annual tournament will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, April 26-27.
The tournaments raised a total of $9,800 during the first two years, and Green said she hopes to raise $6,000 this year.
“I would like to raise a little more money each year,” Green said. “I hope to eventually get up to at least $10,000 per year. All of the money raised goes to research. We are very proud of what we have been able to raise so far.”
Green said she believes the research at the medical center has already produced results, and Kemp Independent School District Superintendent Sam Swierc said he agrees.
Doctors diagnosed him in the summer of 2010 with the same cancer that killed Green and they also gave him only two years to live.
Swierc said doctors removed his left kidney, and he underwent a rigorous treatment plan under the care of Brugarolas.
He not only is still alive almost four years later, he is thriving. The most recent scan gave him, his family, friends and associates a reason to rejoice.
“I had really good news,” Swierc said. “I’ve been declared clear of cancer.”
Swierc said he had planned to attend the golf tournament this weekend to, but he will be out of town. The superintendent said the benefit has his support and he hopes golfers will participate to help raise money for continued research that has already helped save his life.
“I feel myself to be very fortunate to have had the care and treatment I did,” Swierc said.
For information about the benefit, call (903) 498-6761.
Cedar Creek Country Club is located at 18392 Country Club Dr., Kemp, TX 75143.

Apr

24

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 24, 2014

Monitor Photo/Robyn Wheeler Musicians Dave Tanner (right) and Dale Cook entertain Animal Friends Gala attendees with favorite tunes such as Yellow Rose of Texas, I Got Rhythm and I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

Monitor Photo/Robyn Wheeler
Musicians Dave Tanner (right) and Dale Cook entertain Animal Friends Gala attendees with favorite tunes such as Yellow Rose of Texas, I Got Rhythm and I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

Guests bid on silent and live auction items after dining and dancing

By Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–The second annual Animal Friends’ Gala and Dinner Auction benefiting the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake and Friends of the Animals Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic was held April 5, at the Cedar Creek Country Club in Kemp.
The more than $40,000 raised from the event goes toward spaying and neutering the homeless animals of Cedar Creek Lake.
After silent auction bidding, the more than 200 attendees enjoyed cocktails, salad, rolls, breaded chicken, mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes and a cupcake for dessert.
Silent auction items included jewelry, oversize doggie beds, picture frames, dinner ware, golf items, lighthouse figurines, candles, a yoga kit and more.
After dinner, the live auction bidding brought a number of surprises.
The highlight of the night was the sale of the clock with went for $200. After the purchase, the clock was given back to the donator, Kathi Mooney and sold again for $300. The clock was given back to Mooney a second time and then sold for its final time for $400.
Altogether, the clock brought in $900 for the gala.
However, the five foot by four and a half foot golf leaf framed Bellagio Shadows painting by Howard Behrens, valued at $2,475, did not sell. The opening bid price went as low at $600 with not one bid being offered.
Other items included a nine foot two-person kayak with paddle and life jackets, a behind the scenes tour of the Dallas Zoo, overnight stay at Black Beauty’s Luxury Suite for two overlooking the Gorilla Compound, a Brinkman Propane Barbecue Grill, a weekend stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in Las Colinas, Apple iPad Mini, lady’s vintage platinum and diamond ring and a German triple chime wall clock with Jauch movement.
Live auction items brought in close to $7,000.
Legends 770 AM radio host of The Morning Drive Show Dave Tanner and drummer Dale Cook entertained throughout the evening with tunes like I Got Rhythm, Yellow Rose of Texas, I Left my Heart in San Francisco, In the Mood and many other favorites.
Tanner has entertained presidents, Texas governors and European royalty and Cook began his musical career at age 7 and has played with Peter Nero and Doc Severinsen.
Guests danced to waltzes and kept time with faster-paced dances before and after dinner.

Many more photos from this event can be found in the Thursday, April 24, 2014 issue of The Monitor.