Dec

07

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : December 7, 2016

Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–Due to wet, raining and windy conditions last Saturday, Dec. 3, parade planners reset the annual Christmas Parade in Gun Barrel City for the following Saturday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. Floats should begin their line up no earlier than 4 p.m. in the staging area behind the park pavilion.Expect cold weather. The parade will be held no matter what, Streets Dept. Head Mike Horton said. “It’s supposed to be cold, but not wet,” he said. The annual fireworks display to Christmas music begins 30 minutes after the parade turns around at the Gun Barrel City Village and returns to the park.
Winning parade floats will be selected in five categories: Grand Prize, Second Place, Third Place, Best Theme: Peace Around the World and Best Lighting.
This year’s grand marshal is World War II Veteran John White who marks his 95th birthday the last day of December.
He enlisted in the military in 1942 with the Army Air Corp and retired in 1963. He served as a pilot on at least 15 different types of aircraft and then also flew with American Airlines retiring as a pilot instructor. He keeps active working for out three or more times a week and volunteers with two food pantries and works with Meals on Wheels. His son, Scott, is also retired from the Air Force with 22 years and his granddaughter, Tara White, currently serves in the Pentagon.
John has been stationed in China, Burma and flew over the Himalayas, carrying supplies and material from India to China for the allied forces in a C-46. At the end of the war, he was assigned to close a base in Greenland.

Dec

07

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : December 7, 2016

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–A candlelight prayer vigil is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, on the front steps of Mabank High School, as students, staff and friends mourn the loss of sophomore Jared Greene, who died Saturday night. Police have called it a “self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
On Sunday, Judy Arnold, 45, of Gun Barrel City, was arrested and charged with purchasing/furnishing alcohol to a minor and released the same day on a $2,000 bond. Greene was visiting Arnold’s son in her home when he died.
According to Seven Points PD, Arnold has served as a reserve officer since September and her last shift finished at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Chief Raymond Wennerstrom said she is on suspension. [Reserve officers must put in 24 hours a month to maintain their peace officer license, Wennerstrom explained. This is usually performed without compensation.]
At the time of the shooting, Arnold had been absent from the house for 20 minutes, Gun Barrel City Police Chief Damon Boswell said. He also stated that two minors had been drinking when the 16-year-old fatally shot himself.
According to sources close to the family, at some point, Jared called his mom, who told him to stay put, she would come pick him up. She suspected he had been drinking. However, upon her arrival at the Autumn Wood Trail residence, she was met by the sight of police cars.
The same close family source said that later, police said the boys might have been playing Russian Roulette.

Dec

02

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : December 2, 2016

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
KAUFMAN–State Senator Bob Hall presented a resolution to the Kaufman County Commissioners Monday urging them to support an effort in Texas to secure its electric grid from the threat of electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
Such a pulse can be created from natural causes such as solar flares, solar energetic particles and coronal mass ejections, but also from man-made attacks. The detonation of a small low-yield nuclear warhead at high altitude would produce an EMP, capable of taking out the entire state’s electrical grid.
According to Hall, electricity generators have testified that should such an event occur it would be unable to repair and restore electricity. “Only air and water are more important to sustain life than electrical power,” Hall said. Studies have reported that should the electric grid in the United States go down for 11 months, the result would be the loss of 90 percent of the population, he added.
Happily, there are simple ways to guard against most disruptions caused by an EMP which are not costly. While in the military, Hall said he was charged with designing just such systems to protect or “harden” the electrical power for military installations. They require sophisticated surge protectors, capacitors and SCADA systems.
The installation of such protections adds about 5 percent to the cost of electricity delivery, he said, citing Center Point, Houston as an example.
The resolution recognizes that the Texas grid is contained within the state’s borders and gives the state a unique opportunity of protecting its electric-grid infrastructure from EMP threat; and calls on the governor, Speaker of the House and Legislature to take necessary actions to harden the power grid to protect Texans now and in the future.
Commissioners accepted the resolution unanimously.
In other business, commissioners:
• heard county treasurer Ronnie Oldfield summarize the October financial report with extension into November. Though the county’s general fund ended October with a balance of $1.265 million, with the receipts and payables of $2.5 million in November that leaves the county with a deficit of $638,634.31.
Oldfield said the deficit would be covered by using funds from the road bond fund, which totaled $5,928,938.34. The current amount left on the latest bond issuance totals $26,018,094.50, which included $15,000 of interest added to it, he reported.
The total principal and interest carried in loans by the county totals $98,492,732, he said.
• reviewed the use of electronic voting machines during the general election. Tonya Ratcliff reported just 10 complaints and one person walking away from the poll, without casting a ballot. “There was no proof of irregularities from its use, such as vote switching from one party to another,” she said.
• tabled discussion on the completion of renovations at the Kaufman Annex Building. Work is stymied due to the presence of asbestos. Three bids have been collected ranging in cost from $3,700 to $16,000. But the sticking point is the closing the building for six days required to remove the asbestos.
• resolved to apply for a Texas Community Development Block Grant for $275,000 and $13,750 in-kind match, naming a grant administrator and engineer to spec the work and signed off on a citizen participation plan for the program.
• tabled action to implement a county-wide vehicle maintenance program, creating a mechanic position.
Auditor Karen Cooper explained the processes and computer software, organization and infrastructure needed to set up the program to fund the position.
They decided to hold a workshop to flesh out the details before the next Commissioners Court Meeting. The county has wanted to move forward on this idea for two years, Pct. 2 Commissioner Skeet Phillips said, with Jakie Allen in agreement.