Mar

15

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 15, 2017

Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Two men have been shot dead in an attempted home invasion and robbery in Athens Sunday afternoon.
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office released the identities of the men Monday. They were Steven Kelley, 49, of Winona and Cecil Spain, 31, of Grand Saline.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, one of the men had posed as a potential customer for a dog the man and woman were selling through social media and gained access into the Hopson Drive house. The second man entered later, undetected by the couple. The men overpowered the couple and restrained them.
A press release stated the men were in possession of handguns at the time. Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said, that the couple worked free of the restraint, and when the men were inattentive broke free to their own weapon in the house and shot the intruders dead.
The couple suffered minor injuries in the incident.
Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Milton Adams conducted an inquest at the scene and the deceased were sent to American Forensics for an autopsy. 392nd District Judge Scott McKee issued a search warrant for the residence in the ongoing investigation.
The deceased were identified with the assistance of the Mesquite Police Department, Crime Scene Unit’s fingerprint analyst Det. Aaron Martin.

Mar

15

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 15, 2017

By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–Kemp resident Mary Dlabaj recently completed her first full marathon at the Fort Worth Cowtown Feb. 26. At about mile 11, when the full marathoners split from the half marathoners, Dlabaj started questioning herself.
“The roads were very quiet at that point,” Dlabaj said. “There weren’t very many runners or crowd support either. I felt alone in my struggle, it’s about that time I started thinking ‘what have I done?’”
Dlabaj had been training hard for the marathon, running five or six days a week. The majority of the workouts each week were “short” 6-7 mile runs, but once a week she would amp it up for a long run. As the training intensified the long runs went from 16, to 18, to finally 20 miles. The long runs were used to gauge her strength and lift her endurance for the full 26.2 mile marathon.
Progress was good, but about eight weeks prior to the Cowtown she ran into a roadblock when she hurt her hip and ankle.
She listened to her body and her training began to taper back to 3-5 mile short runs. In a last move to prepare herself, Dlabaj ran a half marathon (13.1 miles) two weeks prior to the Cowtown.
Despite her setbacks and rough start to the Cowtown race, Dlabaj persevered.
“I walked more than I had planned on from miles 14-18, Dlabaj said. “I finally snapped out of it about mile 18 and started running again.”
Dlabaj got a much-needed reprieve when the course took her through the Tanglewood neighborhood.
“The residents were having a block party for the marathoners,” she said. “They were serving food and beer and being supportive. It really helped and kept the experience fun.”
Dlabaj finished the race and said while her legs hurt badly it was worth it. She joked that she was glad her house in Kemp wasn’t two stories high.
“Running that far hurts! I’m glad I don’t live in a two-story house because my legs were killing me after. Fort Worth has a lot of hills. The full marathon was my next step,” she said. “I’ve been running for a long time and had done eight or nine half marathons prior to Cowtown. This was the next step.”
Dlabaj lives in Kemp with her husband and three children, where they have resided for about three months after moving to Kaufman County from Houston.

Mar

03

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 3, 2017

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–Gun Barrel City councilmembers went forward with the building of a second fire station on Legendary Lane with the award of a construction bid to Athens Steel Tuesday.
The bid of $179,000 was one of three received. Along with the selection of the bidder came lengthy discussion on the funding and suggestions for changes in the construction plans. Councilman Ron Wyrick made a motion for the city to fund the full $180,000 for the construction. A previous council had allocated $160,000 for construction. The last $20,000 is being provided by special funds raised by the fire department and also dips into two maintenance funds $500, each. “I feel the fire department will need those special funds for other expenditures and the city should fund the entire amount,” Wyrick said. His motion died for lack of a second.
Mayor Jim Braswell informed the board that the special fund currently was funded to $23,444 with more expected to be added.
Councilwoman Linda Rankin suggested a change order be submitted making one of the three bay doors slightly wider to 14 feet to accommodate future equipment the station might acquire. The mayor said, he wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that without putting the whole out to rebid again.
Councilmen David Skains and Rob Rea were adamant that there had been enough delays in the process that began in 2014 and that no further delay should be allowed.
“These plans came free of charge from the Athens Fire Department, specifying three bays, that’s when the price was $160,000. The longer we wait the greater the likelihood the price will increase,” Skains said. Rea suggested another delay might find greater needs making claim on the money in the future.
“The fire chief has signed off on these plans,” Braswell said. “I agree with him.”
In prepared remarks, Economic Development Corporation Director Holland Whitton outlined the many changes he and the board had instituted to update and reformat the EDC’s financials to produce a clean audit and layout a pattern of record keeping that will put the corporation in good standing for many years to come. He noted the work of CPA Tereasa Cryer for her assistance with the task.
Later in the meeting, the council had no trouble approving the 2016-17 financial budget and financial reports of the EDC with resolutions listed on the agenda. “They have done an excellent job in revising it,” Rankin said.
The last order of business was to approve 3-2 the formation of an Easter Egg Hunt ad-hoc committee as requested by Councilman Wyrick. With Easter just five weeks away, Wyrick was anxious to get going on the project inviting local businesses and volunteers to lend a hand in promoting the event. The committee will meet at 4 p.m., Monday March 6 at the fire station. Currently Wyrick reported having $600 from the city, $1,000 from the EDC and another $700 in donations to work with.
The Mayor said he was not in favor of going to businesses asking for money to sponsor city events. Rea and Skains opposed the motion, citing it was too late in the year to enjoin a committee and that city staff should do the planning as they have in the past and that Wyrick work on next year’s event, instead.