Sep

23

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : September 23, 2016

By Emmalee Doss
Monitor Correspondent
MABANK–The Mabank City Council adopted a budget for 2017 FY, which starts Oct. 1, 2016 with an adjusted opening balance of about $915,000. Under the current property tax rate of 46.3364 cents per $100 property value it expects to raise another $936,443.
Sales tax revenue is estimated to bring in $1,087,500 and the franchise tax another $195,000. With the addition of fees for licenses, permits, fines and forfeitures, charges for trash removal interest on investments and property and other funding sources, total $2,993,119. The total available for the 2017 budget totals $3,908.266.
The budget allocates $208,100 to the volunteer fire department and $649,271 to the police department. The police budget fell by nearly $30,000 from last year’s total expenditures, notably $12,000 from regular salaries and nearly $6,000 deduction on the annual salary for the police chief. The Street Department is operating on a budget nearly $10,000 slimmer than last year.
The Sanitation department saw an increase of a little less than $59,000, with a boost in personnel. The library budget totals $41,330, the senior citizen services, including Star Transit annual fee of $3,120, totals $23,120. The Parks and Recreation department gets $196,968 with a capital outlay of $30,000 for improvements to parking and $88,268 in salaries and wages.
The city utility budget totals $5,299,172 with proceeds from customers, bond notes and sewer grant funding totaling $3,066,400. Total expenditures budgeted at $3,719.685, leaving a surplus of $1,579.487 for the beginning of FY2018. Capital improvements planned for the water and sewer system totals $563,000.
To fund the convenience of accepting credit card transactions, the Mabank City Council approved a 3 percent fee or $5 minimum for payments using an electronic transfer of funds. The implementation of this fee is still being researched, city manager Bryant Morris told The Monitor.
“The problem is at the end of the year the city has this business fee for using an electronic transfer system, which we hope to cover by the equitable sharing of the cost among those who enjoy this convenience,” Morris said. Once properly implemented, this addition will apply to the payment of utility service, permits, and fees.
In other business Sept. 13, council members:
• contracted with Star Transit as part of the county-wide bus system, for service in Mabank based on population numbers for $3,120 a year or $260 monthly, beginning Oct. 1.
• appointed Angela Dewitt to a two-year term on the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of the City of Mabank. She replaces Linda Barrett, who is coming off the board.
• heard that the First Presbyterian Church of Mabank will have a Guest Speaker at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept 28.
• allowed the EDC to partner with J Tres properties to build two buildings on the corner lots on Market Street.

Sep

23

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : September 23, 2016

Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–The 11th-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals scored three touchdowns in the final 3:54 Saturday night to rally for a 36-28 victory against Blinn College in SWJCFC action Saturday night at Bruce Field.
The win improved the Cardinals to 3-1 on the season and 2-1 in league play. Blinn dropped to 2-2 and 1-2. It was their sixth straight win against the Buccaneers.
The Cardinals are scheduled to return to action Saturday, traveling to Little Rock, Ark., to face Arkansas Baptist College in a 3 p.m. non-conference clash.
“It was a great win in front of a large Family Day crowd,” 10th-year Cardinal head coach Brad Smiley said. “I am very proud of our kids with the way they made plays and battled back.
“It was a blessing the way everyone stayed together and on the same page when things weren’t going like we wanted. The energy on the sideline and from our fans was awesome.”
With 13:13 left in the game, the Buccaneers took control of the game, going up 28-17 on a 19-yard D’Anthony Hopkins touchdown run. Blinn maintained the advantage until the Cardinal defense forced a punt, resulting in the offense getting the ball on the Blinn 36-yard line.
The Cardinals covered the distance in four plays to get back into the game. Cedric Battle took a Shelton Eppler handoff and scooted in from the one. The try for two points failed, leaving the Blinn lead at 28-23.
With 3:06 remaining, the Cardinal defense against came up big when Patrick Peek recovered a Blinn fumble and returned it to the Buccaneer 36. Five plays later, Adam Berryman crashed into the end zone from three yards out to put the Cardinals up 29-28 with 1:31 to go. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
The Cardinals sealed the deal on the ensuing kickoff when Jaquay Pough recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff on the Blinn five-yard line. Berryman scored on the first play following the turnover. With Caden Novikoff’s PAT, the Cardinals were up 36-28.
Blinn lost a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and the win was sealed.
The Cardinals rallied from another 11-point deficit in the first half after Blinn went up 14-3 at the 13:23 mark of the second quarter.
The comeback began with 4:13 to go in the half on a 24-yard Battle scoring run. Michael Curtis hit Anthony Turner with a 29-yard pass with 42 seconds left to give the Cardinals a 17-14 advantage.
Curtis completed 16-of-31 passes for 249 yards before leaving the game with an injury in the second half. He was replaced by Rayjohn Austin-Ramsey, who was replaced by Eppler. Eppler, in his collegiate debut, hit 4-of-10 passes for 60 yards. He also had two runs for eight yards.
Battle led the Cardinals’ 224-yard ground game with 72 yards on 12 carries. Berryman finished with 61 on 11 and Curtis 42 on eight.
Defensively, Sami wad paced the Cardinals with nine tackles. Jalen Scott had eight and Terrence Potts, Devante Thoms and Blake Stephenson seven each.
Peek had two of the Cardinals’ four fumble recoveries. He returned one 61 yards for a touchdown that was wiped out by a penalty.

Sep

23

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : September 23, 2016

Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–This week a Kemp teacher was charged with engaging in sexual communication with a minor by use of technology, the result of an investigation taken up by authorities in Oklahoma where he was previously employed. Joseph Kolt Palmer was booked into the Kaufman County jail Sept. 20 on the out-of-state charge. Palmer, 27, was hired this year by Kemp ISD to serve as a P.E. teacher at the junior high school.
Kemp ISD Superintendent Phil Edwards said he had no knowledge of the investigation or that he was criminally charged until a television news reporter informed him the day before the arrest. He further said that a background check returned a clean record. Palmer claimed that Kemp ISD would be his first teaching job.
However, that wasn’t true, he had taught at Yale High School in Oklahoma. He was terminated in May 2015, for inappropriate relationship with a student. After law enforcement began investigations into allegations of his cell phone behavior with some of the female students, he moved away.
About a month ago, he moved to Texas and sought employment as a teacher. His resume and application left off his teaching in Oklahoma, and he had not been charged at that time.