Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 13, 2015

Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Game wardens responded to a call early Sunday morning on the southern part of Cedar Creek Lake near Caney City.
A man drowned when he and a friend lost control of their fishing vessel in swift water near a private spillway.
Bryan C. Davis, 45, drowned when his vessel flipped over in swiftly running water.
According to Game Warden Dustin Balfanz, the call came in at 7:45 a.m. and both occupants of the boat were wearing life jackets at the time. The second occupant escaped injury.
Balfanz explained that water was high at a private spillway on Caney Creek that feeds into the reservoir.
“Their boat was right up against the spillway and got turned over,” he told The Monitor. “If you are unfamiliar with that area during high water, it’s easy to get into trouble.”
Davis is believed to be a Crandall resident and a supporter of the Crandall Little League Football Association and an avid outdoorsman and fisherman.
His memorial service was set for Thursday in Crandall. He leaves behind a wife, and young son. A benefit account has been set up in his name at American National Bank.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 12, 2015

blue ribbon-teachers

By Russell Slaton and Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writers
MALAKOFF–Three teachers and Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow went to Washington D.C. to be recognized on behalf of the students and staff for being one of the best schools in the nation, Monday and Tuesday. Malakoff Elementary is one of just 332 school campuses receiving the national Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education. The award recognizes public and private high schools and below where students are performing at very high levels over a five year period.
Malakoff Elementary School celebrated the recognition and held a send off on Nov. 5 with an assembly attended by special guests and featuring a choral presentation by its students, under the direction of music and art teacher Myron Williams.
“It’s a great day to be a Malakoff Tiger,” Malakoff ISD Superintendent Randy Perry said. School board president Rick Vieregge was also introduced as in attendance.
Snow credited students and staff for the school’s success. “I never cease to be amazed by the staff at Malakoff Elementary School,” Snow said. The teachers who went to D.C. included Christy Jackson, Kasey Holt and Shay Masterson. “The award goes to the hard-working staff and their determination to accept nothing but the best from their students,” Snow said. “This award also goes to the many students who have been here the past six years and have reached for excellence and succeeded. I am proud to have been along for the ride with all of them. It is truly an accomplishment that all who were involved with will always remember.”
Also during the ceremony, Julie Armstrong, a 1981 Malakoff High School graduate, who is vice president and branch manager of First State Bank-Athens’ Malakoff branch, noted the efforts of Malakoff’s administration. “We have a gem in them,” Armstrong said.
Brad Parker of Horace Mann Insurance-Stanley Brown Agency presented a donation to the teachers to defray some of the costs not covered for the trip to the nation’s capital.
Also on hand were Henderson County officials Sheriff Ray Nutt, Chief Deputy Botie Hillhouse, Precinct 1 County Commissioner Scotty Thomas, District Attorney Scott McKee and County Attorney Clint Davis. Malakoff City Administrator Ann Barker was in attendance as was Mark Terry, assistant executive director of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.
Representatives from state and federal government joined in the celebration with special presentations from:
• Michele Slaton of state Sen. Robert Nichols’ office, who read a proclamation noting the award;
• Michelle Burks of state Rep. John Wray’s office, who presented a resolution along with a Texas flag that has flown over the state capitol; and
• Phillip Smith of U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s office, who read remarks honoring Malakoff Elementary made Oct. 1 by Hensarling on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, which was entered into the Congressional Record and forever enshrined in the Library of Congress.
Founded in 1982, Blue Ribbon Schools is a U.S. Department of Education program which this year recognized only 332 campuses in 44 states to honor for 2015.
By winning the Blue Ribbon Award, Malakoff is considered to be in the top one percent of all American elementary, middle and high schools, said Snow, who has led Malakoff Elementary for 11 years. Chandler Elementary in eastern Henderson County is the only other county school to win the award during the program’s 33 years of existence, he added.
Also noted during the ceremony were three former teachers, all of whom Snow lauded for their past contributions that he considered integral to the award. Those former teachers (Mary Lou Faulk, Ralinda White and Linda Tanner) received special pins affixed with a blue ribbon.
Malakoff Elementary received news of the national recognition Sept. 29 by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. When news of the award first broke, Snow gave this insight into what the school has been doing that he most attributes to the success of the students: “I’ve been asked frequently, ‘What are ya’ll doing?’ Probably the two best specific things that we do for achievement are our after school tutorial program. It lets us work in small groups and has been very beneficial to our students. The second thing would be the use of Mentoring Minds as a supplemental instruction piece. It is very rigorous and if students are able to do it, then any state testing is no issue for them.”
Mentoring Minds is a Tyler company Snow has used the last nine years, he said.
In late January, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) nominated 26 Texas public schools, including Malakoff Elementary, for the 2015 award. Each school has an economically disadvantaged population of 25 percent or greater.
“National Blue Ribbon recognition for these campuses (25 nominees) is well deserved and reflects the hard work of its teachers and students in our communities,” said state Education Commissioner Michael Williams. “It is also indicative of the strong education efforts taking place in classrooms throughout our state.”



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : October 25, 2015

LM racing - 168

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–Remove the blades from a riding lawn mower, soup up the engine and try to stay at the front of the pack to keep the dust out of your teeth, is the basic strategy of a GRASCAR racer.
Area residents got a second look at these mini racing machines, within the budget of any who would be an enthusiast of the fast growing sport.
Formed in 1998, the Lone Star Mower Racing Association is a chapter of the United States Lawn Mower Racing Association racing in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Its new president just happens to be Gun Barrel City’s premiere grant writer Mike Howell.
This is the second year, the sport has been featured at the city’s fall festival, attracting 35 racers to last year’s 15.
With 40 chapter members, Howell says he’d like to see the membership grow to 100 by year’s end.
“It’s a very exciting sport,” Howell said.
Races begin with hot laps. Each class of racers makes five laps to get a feel for the track. Immediately following, the races begin with the Heat to qualify for placement in the Feature Race.
A short intermission precedes the Feature Race to determine the lineup with up to 20 laps per class, of which there are six.
The IMOW Class (Int’l Mowers of Weeds) is highly regulated and based on driver ability. Engine horsepower is 17 (31 ci) maximum and max 3,650 RPMs.
A/P Class begins the four prepared or modified classes with valve in block, 4 stroke engines, 10.5 hp and under.
C/P Class is all single-cylinder overhead valve and two-cylinder valve in block, 4 stroke engines, 20 hp and under.
S/P Class are valve in block, 4 stroke engines, over 8.5 hp
F/X Class if factory experimental, no rookie drivers need apply!
B/P Class is all overhead valve, V-twin, 4 stroke engines, 20 hp and under, valve in block, 4 stroke engines, 10.5 hp and under, also not for rookies.
After the race, spectators are allowed in the pits for a “Meet and Greet,” where racers answer questions, take photos and sign autographs.
The LSMRA offers quality, family entertainment for fairs, barbecue cook-offs, festivals, exhibitions and private events. Check out their website for more information at