Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 10, 2015


Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
About 50 people gathered at St. Peter Lutheran for prayer Thursday, May 7, including Gun Barrel City Mayor Jim Braswell and his wife, Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt and Chief Deputy Botie Hillhouse, residents of Grace House, and congregational members At 11 a.m. Pastor Eric Stinnette began with some meditative thoughts drawn from Revelation 5: 7ff of an awesome gathering of the universe before the throne of God.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 6, 2015

Mabank— This Saturday, May 9, the National Association of Letter Carriers, United States Postal Service, the United Way, Feeding America and other partners are asking the people of Mabank, Gun Barrel City, and surrounding areas to help Stamp Out Hunger. Now in its 23rd year, the annual food drive has grown into a national effort that assists millions of Americans struggling to put food on the table.

The Stamp Out Hunger food drive, held on the second Saturday in May, has become the nation’s largest single-day food drive. In 2014, generous Americans donated 72.5 million pounds of food, feeding 30 million people. This was the 11th consecutive year of at least 70 million pounds collected by letter carriers.

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food since it began. “We’re proud to support this food drive,” said Postmaster Janet Campbell. “We’re asking residents for their support to help make this another successful year. It’s easy to make a donation: simply leave a bag of nonperishable food items by the mailbox to help your neighbors in need.”

The need for food assistance exists in every community in America. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 50 million Americans are food insecure, meaning they live at risk of hunger. Perhaps most alarming is the fact that nearly 16 million children in America are struggling with hunger. In addition, 4.8 million seniors face choices between paying rent, utilities, and having nutritious food.

To participate in the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, residents are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable food items, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, peanut butter, pasta, rice or cereal, next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 9. Letter carriers will collect these food donations as they deliver the mail and take them to local food banks.

For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, visit



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 19, 2015

GBC Candidate forum

By David Webb
Monitor Correspondent
GUN BARREL CITY–Candidates running for the Gun Barrel City Council split along public safety and political lines while discussing smoking bans during a candidate forum Tuesday.
Linda Rankin, who is one of three candidates running for the Place 5 seat, and incumbent Councilwoman Carol Calkins, who is running unopposed for the Place 3 seat she now holds, said they favored an ordinance targeting businesses and other public venues to protect people from the hazardous effects of second-hand smoke. Calkins noted she lost a relative to cancer who contracted the disease from exposure to second-hand smoke.
Rankin limited her support of a smoking ban to restaurants and public venues but would permit nightclubs to continue allowing smoking if the owners so choose, saying environments where children gather need to be protective. Adults should be able to make their own choices, she said.
All of the other candidates said they opposed any type of ban on smoking because they objected to local government interfering in business operations.
Nightclub owner Rob Rea, who is running unopposed for the Place 1 seat, noted he smokes along with many of his customers. Prohibiting smoking could ruin his business, he said. Rea referred to proponents of smoking bans as “cigarette Nazis.”
“I have a philosophical problem with government telling me and other business owners how to make their money,” Rea said.
Incumbent Councilman Marty Goss and candidate Steven Schiff, who are running against Rankin for the Place 5 position, agreed with Rea that local governments should not impose smoking regulations on businesses.
Schiff said he is a former smoker, but he quit because the awareness of second-hand smoking hazards forced him to start smoking outside. He now avoids restaurants where smoking is allowed, and he limits his time in places such as Rea’s nightclub because of the smoke, Schiff said.
Goss said he considered it inappropriate for the city to “dictate rules” to businesses. He suggested the issue be put to a vote by citizens if a smoking ban is to be considered in Gun Barrel City.
Mayor Jim Braswell recently solicited opinions on a social media site about a smoking ban ordinance in Gun Barrel City. After the forum, the mayor said he was surprised to hear the question asked at the forum, but he noted several residents had asked him about the possibility of supporting a ban.
Other topics discussed by the candidates included the possibility of an ad valorem tax in the future, other sources of revenue, financial accountability by the city and what civic projects should take priority in coming years.
In the only contested race, Place 5 candidates Rankin and Schiff said the City Council needs to take a new direction while eight-year council incumbent Goss dismissed his critics as being “off-base” and ignorant of the facts.
The candidate forum was sponsored by the Athens Daily Review, The Monitor, Henderson County Now and The media chose three of the questions, including the one about the smoking ordinance. The 50-member audience submitted several other questions at the 90-minute forum moderated by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Kevin Pollock.
Each candidate gave a two-minute opening and a one-minute closing statement in addition to answering the questions. The candidates chose the order in which they answered the questions in a random drawing.