Nov

27

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 27, 2014

By David Webb
Monitor Correspondent

KAUFMAN–The Kaufman County Commissioners’ Court revised onsite sewage facility regulations, implemented new fees for septic tank maintenance contracts and increased fees for installation of new systems.
Fire Marshal Randy Richards, who is also director of the Public Works Department, suggested septic tank maintenance companies pay new fees of $25 for one-year contracts and $50 for two-year contracts because of the clerical work needed to ensure rural residents maintain their aerobic systems properly.
“I felt the $25 fee was very reasonable,” Richards said.
But County Judge Bruce Wood and the commissioners disagreed. “I think we need to start off smaller,” Wood said.
The court spent 90 minutes discussing onsite sewage facilities, which included conventional and aerobic systems. Aerobic systems treat sewage to make it usable in surface irrigation so they must be monitored to ensure proper functioning.
The court agreed to fees of $10 for one-year contracts and $20 for two-year contracts. The court also asked for a change to the regulations to exclude land owners of 10 or more acres from onsite sewage facility oversight by the county.
Richards estimated 8,000 rural residences in the county operate aerobic systems that must be maintained and monitored for proper operations.
The court also agreed to raise installation fees for new systems for single-family residences from $310 to $360, commercial installations from $410 to $610, re-inspection of new residential installations from $150 to $200 and re-inspection of new commercial installations from $150 to $300. Fees for modifications to previously installed systems were raised from $150 to $200.
The new regulations take effect Dec. 1 provided they meet the approval of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
In other action, the court:
• renewed the agreement between the county and Lakes Regional Mental Health Mental Retardation Center for mental assessments of criminal defendants.
• passed a resolution to support the NorthStarBehaviorial Health Model for the county.
• reappointed Tax Assessor Collector Tonya Ratcliff to the Kaufman County Appraisal District.
• approved the placement of a water line by Gastonia on the east side of CR 4086 and the north side of CR 4084.
• approved putting a retention pond in Precinct 3 next to 9-0 Ranch Development up for sale.
• awarded the culvert maintenance contract to Wilson Culverts.
• waived the right to submit a bid to the Texas Department of Transportation for 2.8 acres at the southeast corner of U.S. Hwy 80 and FM 548.

Nov

16

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 16, 2014

Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Alert. A phone scam that has been reported in Ennis, has arrived to the local area. The caller represents himself or herself as an agent of the IRS and they are after immediate payment of taxes in the thousands of dollars.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) warns that we are currently experiencing the “largest ever” telephone scam involving swindlers impersonating IRS agents and extorting money out of innocent taxpayers.
How the scam works
“Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card, wire transfer or a voucher, obtainable from many larger retailers. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license,” TIGTA said in their news release.
A Gun Barrel City woman, 84, said she was threatened with the closing down of her bank account and of losing her house if she did not make an immediate payment, that very day.
“Can you imagine what a fright this was to me?” She asks.
After hanging up the phone, she called her tax preparer and was informed that it was a scam and then she called the police and the newspaper to warn others of the possibility of them receiving a similar phone call in the future.
According to an online article by William Perez on this IRS scam, the caller will often appear to be legitimate. TIGTA reveals the fraudsters often:
• “Use common names like Julie or Pete and fake IRS badge numbers. Though the Gun Barrel City woman said, everyone she spoke with had different foreign accents.
•“Know the last four digits of their victim’s Social Security Number.
• “Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling.
• “Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their claims.
• “Call a second time, claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim.”
Over 20,000 incidents of this scam have been reported to TIGTA, and victims have been defrauded of over $1 million as of March 20, 2014.
What the IRS’s actually does
The IRS contacts taxpayers by mail alerting them that they owe taxes, and the letters explain options for paying by check or setting up an installment agreement. IRS agents do not take credit card numbers over the phone.
How to protect yourself if you get a call saying you owe taxes
TIGTA provides the following tips for how to deal with this telephone scam:
•“If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
• “If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA at (800) 366-4484.
• “You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add ‘IRS Telephone Scam’ to the comments in your complaint.”
Exercise vigilance. Contact the IRS, or ask your tax professional to contact the IRS for you, instead of dealing with someone calling you out of the blue demanding money.

Nov

16

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 16, 2014

Courtesy Photo The Henderson County Performing Arts theatre cast for The  Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe prepare for opening night Dec. 5.

Courtesy Photo
The Henderson County Performing Arts theatre cast for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe prepare for opening night Dec. 5.


Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–“It’s always winter in Narnia – but never Christmas.”
The beloved C.S. Lewis tale of the magical land of Narnia, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe comes to life at the Henderson County Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m Friday-Saturday, Dec. 5-6, Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 11-13 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 13.
This timeless children’s classic tells the fantastic story of four children who find themselves transported to a land of woodland creatures ruled by the evil White Witch until the rightful king, Aslan the Lion, returns to teach them that courage and bravery will triumph over evil.
The cast of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was named after two nights of auditions and includes cast members Samuel Clarke, Isabelle Wandres, Shiloh Bartee, Gage Hardin, Grace Ferrell, Aiden Kocian, Ethan McGlaun, Olivia Lemmon, Raelin Maieritsch, Gabe Thomason, Ryan Kirksey, Dani Lunceford, Abby Van Cleave, Kyra Dawson, Ryan Carnes, Tristin Catugal, Violet Lemmon, Katelyn Hanson, Hali Davis, Lauren Pickle, Amelea Varos, Owen Grey, Kaylee Holyfield, Rachael Richardson, Nevaeh Salinas, Journey Griffin, Heidi Davis, Caroline Wandres, Katie Erck, William Lemmon, Jack Kirksey, Kayden Maieritsch, Marilee Marholz, Jonas Akin, Ashley Obert, Coralyn Happel, Eden Carnes, Paiton Johnson, Indi Griffis, Eli Carnes, Deacon Bartee, Ro Marholz, Rylann Loper, Emma Kirksey and Evan Loper.
For more information, call (903) 675-3908.
Henderson County Performing Arts Center is located at 400 Gibson Rd. in Athens.