Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 24 and runs through Friday, Nov. 4 for the General Election to choose a president. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Running on the Republican ticket is Donald J. Trump/Mike Pence and the Democratic ticket is Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine. Also running are Libertarians Gary Johnson/William Weld and Green Party candidates Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka.
United States Representative, Dist. 5 comes down to Republican Jeb Hensarling and Libertarian Ken Ashby.
No candidates from Kaufman County are on the ballot. However, there are two for Henderson County, including Kay Langford (R) and Daryl K. Graham (D) contending for Precinct 3 Constable. Also candidates for Precinct 3 Commissioner are Aleciah Joyce Sims (D) and Charles “Chuck” McHam (R).
The City of Coffee voters are choosing between John Graham and Pam Drost for Mayor.
Caney City has a bond election for $191,000 for structing and equipping a fire station.
Also on the ballot for some voters in Precincts 1 and 4 is The Henderson County Emergency Services District 11 special election proposition to confirm the creation of the Henderson County Emergency Services District 11 and the levy by the District of a tax not to exceed the rate allowed by the Section 48-e of the Texas Constitution.
School boards are also holding elections. In Brownsboro three seats are available with contenders Sean Ray, Cody Seale, Michele P. Rinehart and Steve Sanders.
Locally, Malakoff ISD Board of Trustees candidates are Peggy Dewberry, Stephen Burkhalter, Duana Busch, Michael Kent Monroe and Jerry Spiva. Voters may choose up to three of the candidates.
Crossroads ISD Board of Trustee candidates are Shelly Robertson, Darren Himes, William “Russell” Giles, Jr., Dustin Cook, Kevin Hazelip and Shane Stanfield. Voters may choose three candidates
State Board of Education, District 9 candidates are Keven M. Ellis (R), Democrat Amanda M. Rudolph and Libertarian Anastasia Wilford.
Other statewide races include Railroad Commissioner candidates Wayne Christian (R), Grady Yarbrough (D), Mark Miller (L) and Green Party candidate Martina Salinas.
There are several Justices of the Supreme Court elections. In the running for Place 3, are Debra Lehrmann (R), Mike Westergren (D), Kathie Glass (L), and Rodolfo Rivera Munoz (G). Place 5 candidates are Paul Green (R), Dori Contreras Garza (D), Tom Oxford (L) and Charles Waterbury (G). For Place 9, the candidates are Eva Guzman (R), Savannah Robinson (D), Don Fulton (L) and Jim Chisholm (G).
Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, Place 2 candidates are Mary Lou Keel (R), Lawrence “Larry” Meyers (D), Mark Ash (L) and Adam King Blackwell Reposa (G). Place 5 candidates are Scott Walker (R), Betsy Johnson (D), William Bryan Strange III (L) and Judith Sanders-Castro (G). Place 6 candidates are Michael E. Keasler (R), Robert Burns (D) and Mark W. Bennett (L).
See page 2A for polling locations.
Posted by : October 21, 2016| On :
Monitor Staff Reports
Posted by : October 19, 2016| On :
By Britne Hammons
Monitor Staff Writer
CANTON–Van Zandt County Commissioners officially declared October Domestic Violence Abuse Awareness Month and also Nov. 12 as First Responders Day. East Texas Crisis Center representative Crystal Mayer asked that Canton Fire Captain Brian Horton be recognized as the recipient of the Center’s HOPE award. The award highlights law enforcement’s efforts to combat domestic violence. Mayer presented the award during Commissioners Court Oct. 11.
Judge Don Kirkpatrick read the proclamation designating October as a time to increase awareness about this oft-time hidden crime. Related to this, a candlelight vigil was set for the VZC courthouse Tuesday for those most affected by domestic violence. The event was sponsored by the ETCC and the VZC Criminal District Attorney’s office. Mayer said 158 candles were to be lit, each representing a victim in Texas who died in 2015 from domestic violence.
First Responders Day
Attorney Joshua Wintters informed the court a five-star dinner with entertainment was planned to honor First Responders in the county to be held at the Canton Civic Center on Nov. 12.
Cloy Richards of GrantWork updated the commissioners on procedures of obtaining Community Development Block Grants. Richards said state law “requires counties procure engineering and administrative services before block grants are announced.”
Richards explained the new process stating that “commissioners must submit a request for proposals. If the county does not receive a block grant, the county is not billed for service. It is a different process, but it is the same type of CDBG grant.” The commissioners approved the procurement of engineering and administrative services for VZC 2017-’18 TxCDBG fund and implementation.
Richards also advised the commissioners to have a separate checking account for grants because a state audit would be required.
VZC Sheriff’s Office Chief Mike Bates asked the commissioners to approve a partnership to benefit deputies. “We are asking to get into an agreement with Frisco so we get a big discount on our uniforms. The agreement may extend into other areas as well. We will still continue with our basic uniform design,” Bates said. Commissioners approved Bates’ request.
County Auditor Freddy Thomas also said that he and Chief Bates had prepared a salary structure for the sheriff’s office.
“We are trying to get on the same page in FY 2017. We have structured the employees by name and titles. We are going to lower or increase salaries accordingly. The net affect that this will have on the budget is a decrease of $2,600 for the year. We are trying to match up titles and salaries.”
“What we have is people with the same title but different salaries. They make anywhere from a penny to $800 more or less than the other person. Of course, that causes conflict,” Bates said.
The commissioners approved the sheriff’s office employee salary changes.
In other business, commissioners:
• approved the 2016 tax roll for VZC for the total tax amount of $13,851,434;
• adopted an order for use of the general fund instead of the salary fund per local government code;
• approved the sheriff’s office to have regular plates on a Chevy Tahoe and Chevy 1500 pickup. “These vehicles will be used in undercover operations,” Bates said.
• approved budget amendments for FY 2016 and FY 2017.
• approved the monthly reports of county government. Commissioner Tim West said that only four of the reports had been submitted. “We only have four in, and we have 13 more to get in before the end of October.”
The next commissioners meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Oct. 25.
Posted by : October 7, 2016| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENS–The Henderson County Commissioners issued two proclamations when it met for its first meeting in October, the start of its new fiscal year.
This week marks the National 4-H week, Oct. 2-8, and nine young people accompanied by their AgriLife adult director each took a brief time at the microphone to introduce themselves and tell a little about 4-H and what they liked best about it. They ranged in ages from 8 to 19. While some spoke of their passion for the traditional 4-H areas such as horticulture and animal husbandry, several also showed excitement for the organization’s newest area: robotics.
Justin Jones, the club treasurer, said this is the second year for the robotics program and he has used his experience there to apply for a scholarship to NASA. Presiding officer Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney after hearing from two of the boys on robotics admitted that 4-H has changed a lot since he was young.
“I’m impressed by all of you,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Scotty Thomas said. “We’re all very proud of your accomplishments in the 4-H program.”
McKinney noted in the proclamation that 4-H has been active in Texas for 108 years and that 602,000 young people are participating over a diverse swath of the population.
A second proclamation was issued naming October 2016 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month for the county. Representatives from the East Texas Crisis Center were on hand to be recognized for their faithful service to the victims of this oft overlooked “silent” crime that devastates children and families in the county.
To top off a month of awareness activities, the Center is hosting its Hope Awards to recognize community members, especially in law enforcement and the court system for their help to stop domestic violence and offer hope to those trapped by it. This year’s nominees will be recognized at the annual Wine and Cheese fundraiser set for Oct. 28 in Murchison at the Overton Ranch. Tickets are available by calling the ETCC at (903) 675- 2137.
In other business, commissioners
• agreed to operate election for Coffee City Nov. 8 for its General Election
• approved a slate of fees updated for the 2017 year for the Sheriff’s Office and Constable precincts.
• reset a speed limit on 5.4 miles of CR 4400, located in Precinct 4 south of Larue and Poynor to 35 mph.
• paid the bill totaling $150,420.41 and a special payment for a steel wheel roller for Precinct 4 for $17,500.