Posted by : September 23, 2013| On :
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–A Kemp woman sustained critical injuries in a single-vehicle accident shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday morning.
Kemp Police Chief Jimmy Council reported that Peggy Wright Kines, 79, was traveling south on State Highway 274 by the high school in a 1996 Mazda pickup truck when she veered slightly off the road. “She overcorrected to get back on the road,” Council said.
The truck then rolled nine times over a 415-foot distance, he said.
Council said speed was a contributing factor, along with some distraction.
“She sustained critical injuries, including head and face trauma as well as a punctured lung,” Council reported.
She was transported by ETMC ambulance to Baylor Hospital in Dallas, where she remains sedated.
The Monitor learned that Peggy Wright Kines is the mother of the Tool animal shelter director, Krista McAnally.
She was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. First Responders were on the scene two minutes after it was called in.
Posted by : September 5, 2013| On :
HUD acts on new policy banning discrimination against LGBT people
By David Webb
The Monitor Correspondent
SEVEN POINTS–The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a charge of discrimination in August against an Athens RV park owner after investigating a complaint by a transgender woman and her female partner, who now live in Seven Points.
The action is believed to be one of the first few investigations by HUD to proceed to the trial stage since the federal agency adopted a new policy in March 2012, banning discrimination against LGBT people.
If the charge of discrimination is upheld in a federal administrative hearing or a U.S. federal district court the park owner could be fined $16,000 and be required to reimburse the complainants for damages. The damages could include moving expenses and compensation for emotional distress.
Roxanne Joganik and Darlina Anthony filed the complaint in the summer of 2012 against George and Amy Toone and In Toone Services, LLC, owners of Texan RV Park on Highway 175 West in Athens. The complainants alleged that the Toones discriminated against them on the basis of sex on May 15, 2012, and again on Aug. 18, 2012.
“They said they weren’t going to have my kind living in the park,” Joganik said during an interview at her Seven Points residence.
After the park owner refused to accept a rent payment from them and successfully pursued an eviction in now-deceased Justice of the Peace Henry S. Ashford’s court in Henderson County, Joganik offered to move to her son’s residence so Anthony could remain, according to the couple. The park owner again refused to accept the rent payment, they said.
“He told me that he didn’t like my kind either,” Anthony said. “At that point it became a dual case,” Joganik added.
The pair amended the complaints in February 2013 to add charges of harassment and intimidation after the Toones, who are represented by Dallas lawyer Casey Erick, allegedly “sought and assisted in the publication of articles on a campground management website,” according to the complaint outlined in HUD documents. The articles allegedly contained “inaccurate and negative information about complainant Joganik for the purpose of harassing and intimidating her” in violation of federal law, according to the allegations in the documents.
The Toones denied the allegations of discrimination, claiming that the complainants’ recreational vehicle did not “constitute a dwelling” and should be exempt from the federal housing law. They claimed the owners of the recreational vehicles in the park were not tenants, but instead guests.
The respondents also maintained that Joganik and Anthony were asked to leave the park because Joganik would not sign the park rules presented to him, the pair disrupted other guests’ use of the park and that Joganik had killed park wildlife.
Federal officials found “reasonable cause” of “discriminatory housing practices” by the park owner in the case, according to HUD documents in the possession of the complainants. But the officials rejected the complaint against the owner’s wife and the allegations of intimidation and harassment.
Joganik and Anthony said they lived in the park and paid $375 monthly rent from April 2011 to May 2012 without incident. Another person owned the park during that time, but Joganik never dressed as a woman in the common areas, they said. Joganik asked to be allowed to dress as a woman in the park, but permission was denied, according to the documents.
When Toone bought the park in May, Joganik asked him for permission to dress as a woman, and he also denied the request, Joganik said.
“I told him because I wanted to come out,” Joganik said. “It was my right to live as a transgender person.”
Subsequently, the owner circulated a list of new park rules for residents to sign. The rules included a provision
Posted by : August 31, 2013| On :
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–According to a police report, no one was seriously injured in a late-night collision in front of Big Chief Landing at the beginning of the causeway bridge just west of downtown Gun Barrel Aug. 25.
Traffic on both sides of the bridge was blocked from crossing for more than an hour.
The 10:40 p.m. accident involved two westbound vehicles, one, a 1991 GMC truck pulling a trailer loaded with another truck.
For no apparent reason, the driver, 33-year-old James Nelson Jr. of Kemp hit the right side of the bridge pylon hard enough to dislodge his trailer.
A 1997 white Ford Explorer with four occupants coming up behind him swerved in an effort to avoid hitting the truck and trailer, which was now in the center of the two lanes.
The driver, Joseph Lawson, 27 of Gun Barrel City, was able to go around the trailer on the left while it was still moving. However, as he was returning the Explorer to the right lane, the GMC truck had come off the right side of the bridge moving toward the center line. The Explorer made contact with the left front of the GMC, which caused the Explorer to flip over and come to a stop upside down facing the water on the north side. Several windows were smashed in the maneuver and broken glass littered the roadway.
Happily, no one was seriously injured, though the blue truck’s 32-year-old male passenger was taken by private vehicle to get checked out at the Emergency Room in Gun Barrel City, police said.
Both drivers were able to furnish police with proof of financial responsibility and no citations were written.
Two wrecker companies were called to clear the disabled vehicles from the scene.