Jan

18

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : January 18, 2015

Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Henderson County deputies recovered a stolen truck, truck parts and a Kubota tractor, reported stolen from Gun Barrel City, valued at $25,000. They also arrested three suspects believed to be connected to the thefts.
The case included two vehicle chases through Van Zandt County, aerial surveillance and assistance from the Department of Public Safety troopers to establish a perimeter.
In custody, are Tiffany Nicole Williams, 34 of Kemp, Kyle Justin Morton, 23 of Brownsboro, James Douglas Hutcherson, 31, and Kari Renea Meyer, 36, both of Eustace.
According to a press release from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Ray Nutt and a handful of his best investigators were following leads to locate a stolen Ford F-250 on Jan. 7. Their leads included the names of Morton and Williams, who was a fugitive on several warrants issued by the county. Three of the investigators spotted the stolen vehicle just north of the county line on State Highway 19, however when they attempted to detain the truck, which Morton was driving, Morton fled and a chase began.
Investigators lost sight of the stolen vehicle in a pursuit through Van Zandt County, but continued to search the area, when they observed Williams driving the same route Morton had taken to get away from the law. While attempting to stop Williams, she also was able to give her pursuers the slip.
Chief Botie Hillhouse and Capt. Bryon Tower tried another tact. They headed to an address where Morton previously lived on CR 2804, close to CR 2803. Not far from where Morton and Williams had eluded officers, they observed that the gate to the property had been crashed and fresh tire tracks marked the ground onto the property and into a wooded area. Several deputies DPS units, included air support and a Texas Ranger responded to the area to establish a perimeter.
A short time later, officers located Morton and arrested him on CR 2804. The stolen F250 he was driving was recovered from concealment in the wooded area. Inside the stolen truck were vehicle parts belonging to a second stolen vehicle, this time a 2003 Chevrolet four-door truck.
Meanwhile, the search for Williams continued. Investigators Michael Shelley, John Long and Brad Gray went to a residence off CR 3909 in an attempt to locate Williams. While at this property, Shelley observed and recovered the stolen Kubota tractor, valued at $25,000. Last year, just such a tractor was reported stolen from East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District while at the site of a main water break in Gun Barrel City on its Main Street. The Monitor was unable to confirm whether this was indeed the same tractor by presstime.
Later that evening, investigators Kay Langford, Kendell Wellman, Wick Gabbard lead a team to a third residence connected to the actors on Farm to Market 2709 near CR 2804. Williams was found hiding underneath the mobile home, along with a man named James Hutcherson. Williams was arrested on outstanding warrants and for possession of a controlled substance. Hutcherson also had outstanding warrants; and the homeowner, Kari meyer, was arrested for hindering apprehension of a known felon and for possession of marijuana.
Meyer remains in custody with bonds totaling $6,500. Hutcherson has bonds totaling $2,354 for a handful of charges and fines totaling $677. Morton was charged with evading arrest or detention in a motor vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. His bonds total $35,000. Williams remains in custody on seven outstanding warrants and a drug charge. Her bonds total $135,500.

Jan

18

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : January 18, 2015

Tickets and sponsorships available

Special to The Monitor
SEVEN POINTS–The Library at Cedar Creek Lake will hold its annual Denim & Diamonds dinner and fundraiser at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at the Athens Country Club.
The dinner will be followed by music, dancing, live and silent auctions.
The library depends heavily on Denim & Diamonds to provide critically-needed operating funds. Last year’s event generated half of the library’s annual operating budget. Without such success, the library would be in dire financial condition.
As in past years, there will be entertainment, dancing, a fabulous dinner, refreshments, live and silent auctions featuring incredible trips, jewelry, event tickets, and much, much more, along with a number of surprise guests.
The dress code is casual but many attendees will likely wear western attire complimented with baubles and bling.
“What a great opportunity to have a fun evening, while also making a difference in the community,” Denim & Diamonds Chairperson Cherry Rigley said.
Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points, or www.denimanddiamondsevent.com.

Jan

15

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : January 15, 2015

SH 334 causeway bridge widening plan moves forward

Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–State Highway 334 Bridge Expansion Delegation members Scott Six and Scott Confer told chamber members Jan. 8 state officials agree that the bridge should be expanded.
The two-lane bridge connects Gun Barrel City with Seven Points.
The men, along with Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce president Jo Ann Hanstrom, recently met with State Senator Robert Nichols, who told them “the project is a go.”
The 334 bridge expansion has been added to the Unified Transportation Plan, Nichols told them.
Planning meetings between the Texas Department of Transportation’s Tyler District and Tarrant Regional Water District are set for the end of January.
Initial studies show the traffic count exceeds the bridge’s design capacity, but its structure is sound.
Early estimates put the price of the project at $26 million and the timeline for starting construction three to four years out.
“Senator Nichols told us that the preliminary work consisting of a $2 million environmental and engineering study on the bridge expansion should be finished by mid-2015,” Six said. “The Senator also met with TxDOT and said that they will coordinate with 35 other agencies in moving the project forward.”
A two-lane bridge is planned alongside the current bridge.
“It is a question of funding,” Confer explained. “The project is going to permitting now.”
A press release from the chamber the following day recounted the effort to lobby the state for the project’s importance.
Letters of support from the various cities on the north end of the lake, including fire and police departments, and from Henderson County offices were presented and the delegation spoke of the danger and the inconvenience of the current bridge situation.
Specifically, there are no shoulders and in times of accidents or other bridge damage, access from one city to the other is limited to a long trip around the north or south end of the lake. The added distance in times of bridge closure can be life-threatening for citizens on the west side in need of emergency medical treatment.
The group came away from the 2013 Austin meeting with a commitment from TxDOT to allocate $2 million to conduct the required environmental assessment and update the engineering.
In late fall of 2014, Nichols, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and a former state highway commissioner, was contacted for guidance on how to move forward to make sure the project was still on track.
“Even though we’re going to have two new state reps in a few days, and this is no longer a Legislative issue, we owe a great big thank you to State Reps. Lance Gooden and Jim Pitts for leading us through the process in the initial stages and for getting us the audience with TxDOT in Rep. Pitts office in 2013,” Hanstrom said.
In addition to Confer and Six, the committee of local residents moving this idea forward includes then chamber chamber board of directors chairman Marty Mullins, Gun Barrel City councilman Dennis Baade, and former mayor Paul Eaton, along with former Seven Points mayor and current Justice of the Peace Kevin Pollock.
Hanstrom stated the chamber will invite TxDOT Tyler District Engineer Dennis Cooley to speak at the July 9 camber luncheon to update the community on any progress.