Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 22, 2016

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council announced the selection of the next city manager Tuesday night. Bret Bauer, the current city manager for Holton, Kan. has been named the Gun Barrel City Manager.
He will take up his new duties in approximately 60 days, the amount of time he is required to give notice of leaving his current post. Gun Barrel City Mayor Dennis Baade told The Monitor, the city went through an exhaustive nationwide search with the help of JD Gray & Associates, which identified 35 candidates. These were whittled down to 11 in the first round and then down to five in the second round. The council interviewed the five and selected two finalists, either of whom would have been a “fine selection,” Baade said.
He added that Holton has a population of 8,000 and that Bauer has been involved in city management for the past 10 years, with the last six as the chief administrator of Holton, where he has been overseeing a staff of 50 city employees.
“He has a proven track record in economic development, fiscal responsibility and managing high-quality projects,” Baade said in a written press release. “We are excited to have Mr. Bauer join and lead our city staff.”
“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the City Council, staff and community,” Bauer said in a statement. “I am eager to move to Gun Barrel and to get to work on helping it continue to progress and grow.”
Prior to his current role, Bauer was assistant city administrator for Smithville, Mo. He earned a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wichita State University. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) has recognized his professional expertise with a Credential Manager certification.
“We believe his energy, experience and commitment to the professional management of our city will be a great asset to o ur citizens, business owners and other stakeholders,” Baade stated.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 20, 2016

Big Tip-$1,000

Monitor Photo/Robyn Wheeler
Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant food server Alesha Palmer, 18, received an unexpected act of kindness April 9. When a patron overheard Palmer, a Kemp High School senior, talking to another table of guests about how much money it will cost for her to attend college. He spoke with the manager about giving Palmer a $1,000 tip. Palmer saw the customer talking to the manager and thought she had done something wrong. After the man left, she asked the restaurant manager if the man was filing a complaint. The manager informed her he had left her a large tip to help pay her college expenses. The tipper requested to remain anonymous. His check for the meal was only $9.69. That amounts to a 10,000 percent tip for Palmer, who wasn’t even his waitress. Palmer plans on attending Tyler Junior College in the fall to study culinary arts. Vetoni’s restuarant is located at 428 N. Gun Barrel Lane in Gun Barrel City.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 30, 2016

April is Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month

Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–On the eve of Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office reports a number of recent arrests of persons charged with victimizing children.
A 32-year-old woman is being held in the Henderson County Law Enforcement Center on an $100,000 bond for Sexual Assault of a Child.
During the course of an investigation that began on Good Friday (March 25), it was determined that the woman (to remain unnamed at the victim’s family’s request) has been having an ongoing sexual relationship with a teenage boy, below the age of consent. The age of consent in the state of Texas is 17.
Subsequently, a press release stated, she was charged with the second degree felony and booked into the jail on March 26. Justice of the Peace Milton Adams set the bond amount.
Deputy Ray Yockey took the initial call and investigators Wick Gabbard and Cayce Hampton were called in to assist.
No other information was released in the interest of protecting the victim.
Ten days prior to this arrest (March 15), Deputy Meagan Hogan was dispatched in a complaint involving a child younger than 10 years old. The case was assigned to Hampton for investigation. Evidence developed supported probable cause for the arrest of 64-year-old Phillip Hestily (See photo, page 2A), a resident in the Seven Points area.
He was charged with Indecency with Child Sexual Contact, a second degree felony. He is being held on a bond totaling $100,000.
The Henderson County Child Advocacy Center, which specializes in interviewing children, assisted in the investigation.
Toward the end of February, the Smith County Sheriff referred a similar case to the Henderson County Sheriff. Statements from two victims of past continuous sexual abuse came to light against Jonathan Ray Dickens, now 34 years old (see page 2A for photo).
On March 22, Dickens was located and arrested on two counts of Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children.
He is being held on bonds totaling $300,000. The first degree felony is punishable by a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 99 years, upon conviction.
The East Texas Crisis Center, The HELP Center of Athens, Family Peace Project and Henderson County Child Advocacy Center are holding an event in conjunction with law enforcement and the Commissioners Court to declare April as Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness month.
The declaration is set for noon Tuesday, April 2 on the courthouse steps in Athens. The wearing of clothing and or ribbons that are royal blue for Child Abuse Prevention and teal for Sexual Assault Awareness is expected to be on display throughout the month.
The District Attorney’s Office has been going into the schools encouraging fourth, fifth and sixth grade students to help their friends who confide in them of abuse by reporting it to teachers and administrators; so their friends can get the help and protection they need.
The ETCC offers support groups for women trying to break the cycle of sexual violence and it along with the Family Peace Project offers emergency shelter to those fleeing domestic violence. Legal advocacy is also available.
“We’re here for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with counseling and a listening ear,” Family Peace Project Executive Director Marlena Taylor said.
Organization like these can always use financial support from the public they serve, along with donations of personal care items. These may be reached through calling the HELP Center at (903) 675-4357.