Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 26, 2017

Dispatcher Rebecca Lau works at her state-of-the-art station in the new Kaufman County Public Safety Facility 911 Regional Communication Center. The desk level raises and lowers to allow dispatchers to vary their positions from seated to standing.

By Denise York
Monitor Staff Writer
KAUFMAN–Kaufman County held a grand opening for its completed Public Safety Facility 9-1-1 Regional Communication Center and Emergency Operations Center. The facility, located in the former National Guard Armory on South Houston St., underwent a major renovation since its acquisition by the county in 2011.
The facility has been years in the making and has been a major project for County Judge Bruce Wood as well as former Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes. The facility houses offices for Emergency Management, Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office Training and Careflite, as well as the 9-1-1 Regional Communication Center.
The dispatch center features state-of-the-art equipment including stations that can raise or lower to accommodate dispatchers working in either a seated or standing position. The center dispatches for 12 cities including Kemp, Mabank and Kaufman, 10 Volunteer Fire Departments including Mabank, Kemp, Kaufman and Scurry, all four Kaufman County Constables, Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office, Kaufman County Emergency Management and Careflite. Currently, dispatchers answer an average of 341 calls every 24 hours.
Central to the facility is the incident command center, created to align with the standards of the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) a standardized approach to incident management developed by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
In the event of an emergency, key personnel from various agencies will set up in the facility, which includes a fully functioning kitchen until the emergency hasbeen abated. Screens around the room would allow minute-by-minute observation from the field. “Each piece has been carefully thought out and planned,” Emergency Coordinator Steve Howie said.
Even the server room is planned down to the last detail, Kaufman County Information Technology Director George York said, as he pointed out the banks of servers. “The room has two HVAC units, each capable of keeping the room cool and in proper humidity for optimal functioning. If one unit fails, the other takes over so there is no loss of service.” He pointed out a wire surrounding the outside of the room to dissipate electric charge in the event of a close lightning hit.
Chief of Texas Division of Emergency Management Nim Kidd praised the county for its forward thinking and commitment to the safety of its citizens. Texas has the highest number of disasters as declared by the President. There must be $36 million in uninsured damages before a declaration can be made. “You have a great community,” he told the group. Kidd presented a flag flown over the state capitol to Judge Wood and Howie to top a planned flagpole at the facility.
Director of Emergency Preparedness Department North Texas Council of Governments Molly McFadden praised the county for its strong leadership. “This is the 15th anniversary of the Department of Emergency Management and this center is the first in the region, one of the first in the state. You are truly the embodiment Aristotle’s quote ‘The sum is greater than the whole of its parts.’ You have a great emergency coordinator in Steve (Howie), she said. He is responsive and passionate about what he does.”



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 21, 2017

Group Photo
Monitor Photo/Erik Walsh
Members and friends of Elder Dodge and the Gun Barrel City EDC celebrate after Elder Dodge finalized agreements to open a location in Gun Barrel City April 19. Pictured are (front row, from left) EDC President Steven Schiff, Haydon Elder, Forrest Elder, Gun Barrel City Councilman Ron Wyrick, Gun Barrel City Councilwoman Linda Rankin, (back row, from left) Athens Steel Building Corporation contractor Keno Brown, EDC Vice President Michael Slingerland, Citizen’s Nation Bank Senior Vice President Cliff Bomen, Gun Barrel City Councilman Rob Rea, Gun Barrel City Mayor Jim Braswell, EDC board member Jim Osborne, Gun Barrel City Manager Bret Bauer and McAtee Realtor Brad Rummel.

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council approved a performance agreement between the Economic Development Corporation and Elder CDJR Cedar Creek Lake, for the establishment of a Elder Dodge car dealership in the city. The performance agreement grants up to $500,000 in financial assistance, effective immediately.
During the citizen’s comments portion of the meeting, Councilman Rob Rea read from a prepared statement backing the approval of the agreement. He compared it favorably with the lost Emergicon business, pointing out that unlike the former, the car dealership would bring in sales tax revenue to the city in addition to supplying quality jobs.
In a similar move, the council accepted the skate park as a gift from the Economic Development Corporation to be part of the city’s master parks plan.
Two other pieces of business the council took up during its re-scheduled third Tuesday meeting, due to Early Voting beginning Monday concerned rezoning and replatting property. (Councilwoman Linda Rankin is running for re-election against challenger Craig Bastas. Polling will take place at City Hall.) Dusty Sherwood and Shaw Wayne sought to have their property at 633 E. Main Street rezoned from Business-2 to Single Family Detached Residential so the property could be sold to a couple who propose to open a church at the location.
Councilmen Rea and David Skains opposed the request. Skains saw it as a potential loss of sales tax revenue for the city, if not now then in the future. The property, once an auto parts and repair shop, has remained empty and dormant for a long time. Situated on the edge of the Tamarack residential subdivision, it is likely the property was once used as a church in the distant past.
Rea opposed the rezoning request because he regarded the action as “spot zoning” something he feels should be avoided by governing bodies, preferring rules made by master plans and general policies. “What if the church should fail, the city would have a residential property on Main Street,” he said. In addition, it would inhibit business development for there are many restrictions on what kinds of businesses can be operated within 1,500 feet of a church.
When the matter went to a vote, only Linda Rankin supported the rezoning request, as the rest denied the request.
The last item was tabled, as Rankin’s motion gained overwhelming support. A property owner in the county with a particular lot in the city’s Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction requested the replatting of two small properties into one lot, so he could continue to build a model home, he hopes to market and build on his 18 nearby acres in the county. The two-story structure is popularly called a “Tiny Home.” At 800-square feet and steel construction, the project is allowed by city ordinances. However, his neighbors in the Sundrift Subdivision, off Welch Lane, presented a united opposition to the possibility of developing such a neighborhood so close to waterfront cabins and lake houses.
Rea cast the sole vote favoring the replat of the two properties. Several times during the public hearing on the matter, Mayor Jim Braswell had to remind the public that the matter before the council regarded the replat not the granting of any type of business or sales activity, nor zoning ordinances.
“Just come down and look at what we’re talking about,” was repeated from those gathered in opposition, claiming Tiny Homes were going to impact the city for the worse and not the better.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 7, 2017

Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–District Attorney Mark Hall reports the Henderson County Grand Jury for the January-June term 2017 returned the following indictments, not counting the three cases under seal. The grand jury returned 56 true bills March 24, including:
• Kevin Roy Carroll, 25, indicted for Assault,
• Jeremiah Jacob Vaughn, 19, indicted for Sexual Assault,
• Carlos Soto, 33, indicted for Sexual Assault and Assault,
• Steven Douglas Cross, 49, indicted for two counts of Aggravated Assault,
• Michael Charles Wainionpa, II, 34, indicted for two counts of Aggravated Assault, and Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon,
• Gregory Deshawn Schanfish, 40, indicted for two counts of Aggravated Assault,
• Da’Korian Dowell, 20, indicted for Burglary, Aggravated Assault, and Abandoning or Endangering a Child,
• David Earl Jackson, 35, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention and Burglary,
• Raymond Doyle Gilbert, JR, 56, indicted for Aggravated Assault,
• Cody Lee Graham, 26, indicted for Assault,
• Jimmy Buck Holleman, 35, indicted for Aggravated Assault,
• Paul Ray Roden, 56, indicted for Assault,
• Randy Morris Stevenson, 47, indicted for Burglary,
• Robert Lynn Bradley, 53, indicted for Abandoning or Endangering a Child,
• Rhianon Leigh Juarez, 33, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance (PCS),
• Jerry Dean Blackwell, JR, 56, indicted for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI),
• Antonio Devon Lowe, 26, indicted for PCS,
• Eva Mildred Crutchfield, 35, indicted for Prohibited Substance in Correctional Facility,
• David Lee Stringer, 48, indicted for Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle (UUMV),
• Jody Ray McClure, 46, indicted for Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon and Possession of Prohibited Weapon,
• Jeffrey Michael Fox, 56, indicted for Theft of Firearm (nine),
• Earl Lee Albritton, 43, indicted for PCS,
• Tiffany Lynn Crawford Smith, 29, indicted for Possession of Marihuana,
• Marcus DeWayne Dowell, JR, 20, indicted for Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography,
• Dustin Wayne Smith, 34, indicted for DWI,
• Matthew Eugene Richardson, 36, indicted for Burglary,
• Samuel Jason Dunn, 44, indicted for Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1 (PG 1),
• Pamela Sue Newton, 52, indicted for PCS,
• Stephen Duane Roberts, 44, indicted for two counts of Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in PG 1, and Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in PG 2,
• Elisha Marie Jones, 31, indicted for two counts of Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in PG 1, and Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in PG 2,
• Jason Denard Donnell, 41, indicted for PCS,
• Jacob Elmer Taylor, 18, indicted for PCS,
• Marla Louise ,Michaud Dagnall, 48, indicted for PCS,
• Kenda Denise Welborn, 54, indicted for Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements,
• Michael Brian Jones, 42, indicted for Tampering with Evidence,
• Virginia Tarwater Hodges, 51, indicted for Manufacture or Delivery of Controlled Substance,
• Todd Bryan Green, 32, indicted for PCS,
• Craig William Dickinson, JR, 30, indicted for Prohibited Substances and Items in Correctional Facility,
• Michael Don McNair, 49, indicted for PCS,
• Miranda Arnold, 35, indicted for PCS,
• Michael David Thomas, 43, for DWI,
• Amy Michelle Gunstanston, 23, indicted for PCS,
• Cynthia Dawn Ackerman, 49, indicted for PCS,
• Cynthia Barker Swiney, 51, indicted for PCS,
• Gregory Keith Meadows, 40, indicted for two counts of Theft, and Evading Arrest or Detention,
• Tony Byron Arnold, 59, indicted for DWI and Evading Arrest or Detention,
• Sean Anthony Puroff, 35, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention,
• To,ney Keith Smalley, 32, indicted for Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements,
• Brad Wesley McClure, 26, indicted for four counts of Theft,
• James Michael Littlejohn, 31, indicted for Bail Jumping and Failure to Appear,
• Cristian Miguel Tomas Natiri, 18, indicted for Theft of Firearm,
• Johnnie Arthur K,ing, 38, indicted for Manufacture or Delivery of Controlled Substance and Tampering with Evidence,
• Joshua Michael Ochoa, 28, indicted for PCS,
• Selina Diane Gonzalez, 50, indicted for PCS,
• Emilee Robyn Haynie, 25, indicted for PCS,
• Lacey LeAnn Davenport, 28, indicted for PCS.