By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
PAYNE SPRINGS–The Payne Springs Fire Rescue organization recognized its volunteers during an awards banquet Saturday, March 18 at its newest station on State Highway 198.
Fire Chief Randy Harley addressed his fellow firefighters congratulating them on answering 1100 calls for service in 2016 and for the professionalism with which each carried out their assignments and ongoing training. The organization is immediately responsible to answer calls within its 36-square mile area with its all-volunteer membership.
“I am so proud to be called your fire chief,” he said. He also spoke of the importance of the families of the 25 volunteers, who also roll up their sleeves and help out with jobs, small and great, from organizing fundraisers to keeping the bays swept to making runs to the store to restock bottled water and Gatorade.
Harley recognized longtime fire department water tanker driver Dick Stein, who died in January at the age of 78. With tears in his eyes and a catch in his throat, Harley noted Stein’s dedication and commitment to the Payne Springs Fire Rescue family and presented his wife and daughter with a shadowbox of memorabilia, including Dick’s badge and a photo of the last truck he drove.
Stein’s family in turn presented a memorial donation from monies raised on social media to the department in the form of a $4,000 check. “We asked everyone that in lieu of flowers they make a donation,” his widow, Linda, explained.
“Working with the firefighters gave my husband a meaningful way to serve his community,” Linda told The Monitor. “He just loved the guys up here. There’s a real camaraderie among firefighters,” she said, recounting the beautiful funeral service the Payne Springs Fire Rescue members prepared for her husband, which included a last fire truck ride to the cemetery, with a long line of fire trucks as escort.
“He said, ‘I can’t fight a fire but I can drive a truck. I’ll get the water to you,’” Linda repeated in tears. She recounted there were more than 300 people in attendance at the traditional fireman’s funeral set at the First Presbyterian Church in Mabank. Stein served as a volunteer for eight years, having retired to the lake from the dry-cleaning industry. “He really loved being a part of the PSFR. He just loved all the guys and the fellowship they share,” Linda said.
Harley pointed out that the department has mutual aid agreements with Gun Barrel City and Eustace and praised all involved for making the relationship strong and reliable. Harley recognized Gun Barrel City Fire Chief Joey Lindaman with a certificate of appreciation.
Most residents in the Cedar Creek Lake area depend on volunteers when it comes to fighting fires. Recruiting, training and retaining able-bodied fire fighters is an ongoing challenge for every fire department here and across the country. So, the importance of volunteer firefighters hits close to home. That’s why every firefighter was presented with a certificate of appreciation for their service. Harley also ceremonially promoted Hilton Brown to lieutenant during the evening.
Chosen by his fellow firefighters, Dustin Bird was named Firefighter of the Year. “He exemplifies the mission of Payne Springs Fire Rescue,” Harley said in presenting the honorary axe because of his unselfish acts in the field, compassion and dedication. Officer of the Year Captain Bradon Cotton and 2016 Top Responder Assistant Chief Adam Robinson were also hailed for the excellence of their service.
Harley also presented certificates to local businesses in recognition of their faithful support of the fire department.
The fire department is actively taking applications for new volunteer members. The firefighters meet weekly for training on Monday nights at the main station located at 12650 State Highway 198 in Payne Springs. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sons of the American Legion Post 310 is hosting the Bi-annual Benny P. Thomas Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit local fire departments. Register at the post by 5 p.m. April 10 for the April 13 tourney to be held at The Pinnacle Country Club Golf Course with tee time at 8:30 a.m. Entry fee is $50, includes golf cart and lunch at post afterwards. For more information call (903) 887-3532. There will be no registrations accepted after April 10.
Posted by : March 24, 2017| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Posted by : March 24, 2017| On :
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–Gun Barrel City Police arrested a man for outstanding Possession Controlled Substance warrants, then found heroin, a semiautomatic hand gun, and other drug paraphernalia in his vehicle March 18.
Contact was first made with the suspect at about 6:30 p.m., when Officer Nicole Chambers was patrolling the 800 block of West Man Street in Gun Barrel City and saw a driver of a 2012 Dodge Ram truck asleep in his vehicle.
According to the police report, Chambers made several attempts to make contact with the sleeping man, later identified as Jeffrey Johnson.
The computerized check of Johnson revealed he was wanted by Collin County for an outstanding warrant for Possession of Controlled Substance. The warrant was confirmed and Johnston was placed under arrest.
Upon further investigation, Officer Chambers located a small blue container that contained a brown powdery substance believed to be narcotics, along with drug paraphernalia and a small caliber semiautomatic hand gun.
A field test of the substance, came out positive for heroin. Total weight of the substance with the container totaled 23.1 grams.
Johnston was also charged with Possession of Controlled Substance which is a second degree felony.
Posted by : March 22, 2017| On :
By Susan Harrison
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–Every year, the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates the spirit of community by recognizing key volunteers who contribute their time, talents and creativity to increase the quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
It takes many hands and hearts working in many different areas to bring the colorful festivals, man the emergency rescue and fire departments, raise funds for educating the youth and creating opportunities, and bringing comfort, nurture and nutrition to our most vulnerable citizens. Those who have contributed most in 2016 along these lines were nominated by the community at-large, vetted and selected as finalists.
The local chamber-hosted 17th annual awards banquet Monday, March 20 held these up for public applause, gratitude and honor to receive the title of Citizen of the Year, Lifetime Service Award and Ambassador of the Year, among other awards.
The evening’s theme was “Volunteers – Holding the Winning Hand,” and the room at the Cedar Creek Country Club was festively decorated with playing cards, dice and poker chips.
Robin Neighbors, a Mabank High School graduate, was named the “2017 Citizen of the Year.” Her long-time involvement with Mabank Athletic Booster Club raising more than $100,000 to fund nutrition, scholarships, equipment, trips and other necessities for the school’s athletic department put her ahead of the rest. Chamber board member Jim Thompson presented the award. Neighbors also serves on the Mabank ISD Education Foundation, as board president. She is a long-time Mabank Chamber of Commerce board member, chairing and co-chairing many festivals and fundraising events such as The Ladies Poker Night, Mabank’s Festival of the Arts, Ole Fashion Christmas – all the while fulfilling her responsibilities as a wife and mother of two children.
Kathy and John Kendrick were honored with the “Jean Nichols Lifetime Service Award” for their unselfish giving of time and energy for the betterment of the Cedar Creek Lake Area community. The couple have been area residents for over 10 years.
They quickly established themselves as not only tireless workers for their own brand new business (Lone Star Maps), but as community-minded people who were dedicated to making their new home a great place to live and work,” said presenter Chamber Chair Tony Kalawe.
Their many volunteer activities include sponsoring chamber events, serving on chamber committees and as ambassador members, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, shopping for schoolchildren clothes as Kiwanis Club members, as well as delivering pancakes, reading to children and working alongside the Parrot Head Club raising funds to support Special Olympics, scholarships and other worthy projects.
Mabank Fire Department Chief Ricky Myrick was named the recipient of the “Mary Helen Myrick Award” by last year’s winner, Fred Carter.
“He is quick to encourage safety among the firefighters he is responsible for and consistently reminds us to be careful, watchful and that everyone of us to come home,” Carter said.
Myrick has been a top-rated firefighter for more than 40 years and the Fire Chief for the past 18 years. He is also a Master Electrician.
“My chief is always willing to provide assistance, above and beyond his responsibilities, and accept special assignments that serve and benefit his community,” Carter explained.
Mabank Education Foundation President Robin Neighbors named the 2017 Mabank ISD School Campus Teachers of the Year and presented each of them with a $100 gift to spend at any chamber member business.
The teachers are:
• Central Elementary School teacher Nancy Schiff,
• Southside Elementary School teacher Carole Jordan,
• Lakeview Elementary School teacher Jeryn Toops,
•Intermediate School teacher Peyton Adams,
• Junior High School teacher Tammy Zylman, and
• High School teacher and Scholar Institute Program Director Aaron Williams.
Chamber Ambassador President Ally Greenville received the “Kathy Kendrick Award” for her enthusiastic and selfless volunteerism, benefiting the Cedar Creek Lake area,
“She welcomes new businesses into the community and hosts ceremonial ribbon cuttings for new Chamber members,” said presenter Gun Barrel City Chamber Chair Scott Six.
Greenville is an active Kiwanis member, serving both as a board and committee member. She is seen regularly at chamber fundraisers such as the car show, luau and business expo.
Joy Long was named Ambassador of the Year by Greenville for faithful service as a member of the Ambassadors program for many years. “She has been an outstanding advocate for our growing chamber and has been involved by stepping up and volunteering at chamber-sponsored events including the awards banquet, community clean-up day, new teacher luncheon, ribbon cuttings and business after hours,” Greenville explained.
Marty Mullins named Tate Cramm as the “Volunteer of the Year for the Ambassador” program for attending ribbon cuttings, serving on fundraising committees, and being a good representation as the “face of the chamber.”
“He rarely misses a ribbon cutting or event and steps up when called upon for committee work, fundraising opportunities and goes above and beyond to make sure he represents the chamber in a positive and productive way,” said Mullins.
Chamber President Jo Ann Hanstrom named B. G. Pierce for the “President’s Hall of Fame Award.”
“This award is for a company or individual that may be ‘under the radar’ so to speak, in their support for the chamber,” Hanstrom explained.
Pierce was honored for his steadfast support for the chamber over the years, doing tasks behind the scenes, moving the chamber office three times and participating in events for more than 10 years with time and fundraising.