Posted by : November 30, 2014| On :
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Henderson County Commissioners approved a contract with Dr. Vincent Ramos to oversee inmate mental health at the prison.
Ramos and his staff will counsel with inmates for 30 hours a week. He provides the same function at the Rockwall County Jail and HCSO Chief Deputy Botie Hillhouse told the court Tuesday, the program has been highly successful.
“The Rockwall County jail administrator spoke highly of the program,” Hillhouse said. “They’re very happy with his services. They say he’s basically made his jail a safer jail and has lessened the use of force within their facility.”
Hillhouse said Ramos’ services will make the process smoother and safer if an inmate needs to be transported to a mental health facility.
“Our goal is to do everything in house, instead of having to take the inmate to the hospital,” Hillhouse said.
Dr. Ramos is a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Specialist in School Psychology with over 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in home, school and/or correctional settings.
He specializes in conducting English and Spanish psychological and forensic mental health evaluations. He worked with Rockwall County inmates in 2010.
“At any point in time, you can expect 65 to 70 percent of the inmates to have a mental health disorder or a drug addiction,” Ramos said. The problem is growing nationwide as community mental health funding has been reduced, he explained.
“These people come into the jail and bring their problems to the jail. What we’ve discovered happens in the jail is when we provide services, the whole environment improves,” he said.
The $1,500 per month contract will be paid through the HCSO commissary fund. The HCSO has more than $170,000 in the account. The agreement will run through the end of 2015.
Dr. Ramos has been honored with the Mental Health Professional of the Year Award (2011) by the Dallas affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). He sits on the NAMI Dallas Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
In other business, commissioners:
• declared an emergency for the Henderson County Fair Park in the amount of $23,000 to allow the purchase of new stalls;
• resolved to add optional worker’s compensation coverage from the Texas Association of Counties;
• approved the resale of four lots in Log Cabin Estates;
• allowed a right-of-way request from Atmos Energy for County Road 1315, near Cross Roads; and
• paid bills totaling $172,653.96.
Posted by : November 23, 2014| On :
Wills Point ISD impacted by the news; motorists cautioned to use seat belts
Monitor Staff Reports
OUACHITA PARISH, LA.–Tragedy struck a Terrell family Wednesday night when a single car crash left five family members dead and three injured in Ouachita Parish, La.
The family was headed eastbound on Interstate 20 on the way to Walt Disney World in Florida to vacation when the 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe veered into the median, ejecting six from the vehicle. According to police reports, the driver, a 16-year-old, overcorrected and the vehicle rolled.
Trudi Hardman, a kindergarten teacher at Wills Point ISD, and her husband Michael Hardman, a second-grade teacher at Terrell ISD, were killed in the crash. Michael Hardman was also a former teacher at Wills Point.
Three of their children, ages 4, 7 and 15 were also killed in the wreck. The 15-year-old was a sophomore at Wills Point High School and the 7-year-old attended the intermediate school there.
The driver, a junior at Wills Point ISD, and the two remaining passengers were taken to a hospital with minor to moderate injuries. None of the ejected passengers were wearing a seat belt.
Wills Point ISD released this statement in response to the crash:
“Words cannot express the sadness in our hearts today. The Hardman family was in a serious accident in Louisiana last night. Five family members were lost in the accident and three survived.
“Mrs. Hardman was a Kindergarten teacher at our Primary. Please keep the family and their friends in your thoughts and prayers. The impact of the tragedy is far reaching and has effected each campus. Also, keep the family of Jami Johnson, another teacher, in your prayers as this has also impacted her family as well with the loss of one son and two others injured.” Counselors have been made available on each campus for students and staff, it continued.
Police believe the driver may have fallen asleep prior to the crash and impairment is not suspected as a cause of the wreck.
The crash remains under investigation.
The Lousiana State Police released a statement following the crash, cautioning drivers to buckle up.
Posted by : November 6, 2014| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
TOOL–The volunteers at the Tool Fire Department, Inc. are mourning the loss of the Emergency Service District No. 4 secretary/treasurer Larry Moran, 78.
Moran, who suffered from Muscular Dystrophy, died Oct. 31 at his desk at the ESD No.4 office in Tool, of which he was a founding officer.
He also had a heart for youth. In his younger days he participated as a leader of a Royal Rangers chapter, sharing his expertise and love for woodworking, among other interests.
He remained interested and supportive of youth organizations his life long.
His funeral was set for Wednesday, Nov. 5 under the direction of Eubanks Funeral Home.