By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
TOOL–Tool Chief of Police Rickye Feist reports the arrest of a Tool man for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon/family violence Wednesday, Aug. 10. The first-degree felony charge stemmed from a death threat to his wife the day before.
Kenneth Paul Barnes, 50, has been charged and is being held in the Henderson County Jail on a $50,000 bond. At the time of his arrest he was also on parole in connection with a 2003 murder charge out of Dallas County according to a Department of Public Safety report. He also has a lengthy arrest record in Henderson County which includes repeated charges of public intoxication, aggravated assault and burglary.
According to the victim’s complaint drawn out the same day, Barnes had allegedly put a box cutter knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.
During a follow-up interview the next day with the victim, she explained that she had received a phone call from a family member warning her that her husband was in a rage and had been drinking whiskey for the past two days.
When Barnes arrived at the residence just before 8 p.m., the victim said he began yelling at her and making threats over an extended period of time. According to the press release: “The victim advised while she was sitting in the living room her husband allegedly pulled a box cutter knife out of his pocket, extended the blade, stood over her and held the blade close to her throat while continuously making threats to kill her.”
She left the home and went to the Tool Police Department to file a complaint and stayed with a friend overnight. She told police he threated to kill her or any police officer that showed up as well as burn the house down.
Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Kevin Pollack issued an arrest warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and Barnes was arrested at his place of employment in Malakoff the following day.
Posted by : August 17, 2016| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Posted by : August 12, 2016| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
ENCHANTED OAKS—It’s been a long fruitful run for the mayor of Enchanted Oaks. After having served 13 years in the small community’s top office, Don Warner is moving to Arlington to be near family. The community and city council held a farewell reception for him and his wife, Darlene, Tuesday, Aug. 9 following the city council meeting.
Around 70 people crowded into the community center to express their gratitude and well wishes to the energetic leader who consistently guarded the community’s safety over the years. Even those he had strong disagreements with came to wish him well, former council member Alan Bell observed. “That speaks clearly of Don’s character and reputation,” he said.
The couple have lived in the Cedar Creek Lake area for more than 20 years, having relocated here in 1992. Don followed his 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force, where he attained the rank of Senior Master Sergeant, with work on the super collider and then as a general engineer for DART.
Bell served with Warner on the council for 17 years. “He poured all his energy into being mayor,” Bell said. “He worked it eight hours a day, six days a week for no pay. Come to think of it he recruited me to run for the council.”
Bell attributes Warner with the reason the small community has its own fire department with two grant-funded vehicles and currently is developing a large park project to include a wilderness walking trail through 13 acres, through grant funding from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. The $147,000 project includes a city match of $73,500.
“He led the acquisition of the park property by proposing a trade with East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District,” Bell noted.
“He’s been excellent to work with; a very strong manager and communicator. I don’t think we’ll find another [mayor] with the energy and willingness to work as hard as he has for the city.”
City Secretary Pamela Foster recalls his community service mindedness didn’t just respond on the large issues but took on the daily tasks that vexed his neighbors. “He responded to all kinds of calls made to the city, including responding to skunks, wild hogs and snakes on boat docks,” Foster said. “He never hesitated to serve his neighbors in any capacity.”
About half dozen years ago, Warner led the fight to prevent the operation of a sour gas well in nearby Payne Springs. His main concern was there was no exit strategy for the area should something go terribly wrong at the wellhead. Most recently, he opposed another effort at a sour gas well going in under Cedar Creek Reservoir. “Through his efforts, we have beat that back two times now,” Bell said.
“He’s definitely leaving large shoes to fill.”
Posted by : August 10, 2016| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
KAUFMAN–Kaufman Commissioners initiated a 90-day burn ban at the recommendation of Fire Marshal Randy Richards. The ban began Monday, Aug. 8 and ends Sept. 6, unless rescinded sooner due to the substantial return of moisture in local conditions.
“It’s hot and dry and getting drier,” Richards said. The U.S. Forest Service sets a Keetch-Bynum Drought Index score of 575 for consideration of a burn ban, he explained. The current average countywide is 608 he said. “According to the forecast, in two weeks we’ll be approaching the 700 range, which is the top of the 800-point chart,” he said. “It’s getting pretty crispy,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Jimmy Vrzalik said.
Firefighters have been “hopping” and assisting neighboring counties east and south of Kaufman. “The fires are not enormously large but the heat wave is coming from the east and moving our way,” Richards said.
Commissioners also agreed to enter into a contract with Star Transit, a public bus system serving the county to provide $6,037.40 monthly to support the service. Star Transit Executive Director Omega Ann Hawkins explained that due to a number of changes in state and federal funding over the past two years, the transit board adjusted its accounting to separate all the major entities and the number of hours served to determine how much each needed, including the county at-large. Previously, the board was able to furnish the service from ridership payments, grants, public funds and donations. The contract goes into effect Oct. 1.
According to the initial contract, the county’s portion is figured on $50.76 per hour in costs for 128 hours monthly. This total is mitigated somewhat by ridership and grant funding reducing the monthly cost by a little more than $450.
After the second year, the county would be approached to assist with any needed capital improvements, including purchasing new vehicles. The contract allows for termination by either party and is subject to a renewal vote on an annual basis.
Star Transit serves Mesquite, Balch Springs, Seagoville and Rockwall and Kaufman Counties. In addition to two fixed routes, any person can call and schedule a pickup and delivery within its service area by calling (877) 631-5278 a day ahead. The Kaufman Trolley operates 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. More information is available on line.
Commissioners learned of a reimbursement payment to the City of Kaufman in association with the State Highway 34 bypass project in the amount of $388,412.67 comes over the $6,000,000 budget the county contributed toward the project. Auditor Karen McLoyd told commissioners there is $210,568 left in that line item. The agenda item was tabled. A ribbon cutting for the project that began about 22 months ago in 2014 is set for 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 12 on Farm-to-Market 1388 (S. Houston St) from the old SH 34 toward Oak Grove just past the Kaufman High School to the new SH 34 intersection.
In other business, commissioners:
• noted the termination of current contract with the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is coming up Oct. 31, under that contract, the city is paying $65 per animal. The new contract starting Nov. 1 calls for a flat monthly fee of $11,500, which seemed steep to commissioners who discussed alternatives at length with Pam Corder running point. Judge Bruce Wood noted that the Humane Society board was also having its challenges to remain viable and that it has served the county well over the years.
The county has earmarked $150,000 to seed the construction of a shelter within the county on public land connected to the Law Enforcement Center, which would need a lot of dirt fill to build up the site. Corder reported that Forney had recently built a modest shelter with 12 kennels to h ouse 24 dogs and a cat room for $2,000,000.
• approved the purchase of a 3500 Chevrolet pick-up with dump bed for Precinct 2 Road and Bridge in the amount of $46,654 from Musser Motors, a price which beat the Buy Board offer.
• set a few dates in association with the adoption of a budget and tax rate for Fishcal Year 2016-17. The property appraisal district will have a tax roll to present to commissioners by Aug. 15, they heard.
• accepted the resignation of Lorie Floyd as Human Resource Director and appointed staff Tiffany Badon to serve in the interim effective Aug. 29. Floyd is going to work for the Texas Association of Counties.