Feb

07

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 7, 2016

Big Chiefs landing dock

Big Chiefs landing aerial

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation closed on the purchase of Big Chief Landing from mortgage holder The First National Bank of Kemp on Tuesday, according to a press release.
The recreational property includes a boat launch and dock, small motel and restaurant area, bait shop and adjoining green space abutting the SH 334 bridge between the city and Seven Points. The property has been abandoned for some time and presented a safety and security issue for the city, Councilman Rob Rea said in a previous EDC meeting.
The EDC negotiated a $514,000 loan from Southside Bank to be repaid in 10 years at a low interest rate. According to EDC President Steven Schiff the figure reflects a savings of $430,000 below the original asking price. The city council approved the borrowing for the purchase at its Jan. 26 meeting.
Previously, Schiff outlined a plan to immediately demolish all the buildings on the property, leaving just the concrete slabs for inspection by an architect and the boat launch. A local contractor has been contacted and a price agreed upon. The demolition includes the boat dock, which is judged to be unsafe. Since the property went into foreclosure, it is suspected that unsavory business has been transacted there under cover of darkness.
The boat launch will remain open for public use at no charge, he added, and the property, once cleared will be available for picnicking.
“So many violations have been occurring on the property,” Schiff said. “Our goal is to make it safe, especially for the neighbors,” he said.
Plans have been discussed regarding using the property as the site of a civic center, which would have to be transferred over to the city for operation. City officials said it’s too early to announce any definite plans. However, the EDC is in the process of preparing grant requests to construct and support a Civic Center with ideally a two-year timeline before construction would begin. “There will be ample public hearings,” Schiff said to get input on designs, use and purpose.
In the meantime, private funding has been made available for the construction of picnic tables and barbecue grills for public use of the lakeside property between sunrise and sunset, Rea said.

Feb

07

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 7, 2016

Melvin Swift worked up

By Ryan Moulds
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENS–The community of Athens and Trinity Valley Community College are mourning the death of basketball player Melvin Swift. Swift was shot and killed Dec. 29 in Houston. Police say Swift may have been part of a home invasion and the shooting appears to be self defense by the resident.
The shooting happened around 8 p.m. on Jornes Street in South Houston.
HPD Homicide Division Sergeant T. Ruland and J. Saldana reported: “The male resident of the address returned to his home with several family members. The resident’s young daughter went to her bedroom and was startled by an unknown black male suspect armed with a knife. As the suspect attempted to exit the house he began fighting with the resident and other family members. The resident, fearing for his family’s safety, then fired a gun at the suspect, striking him in the leg. The suspect was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
Back in Athens the TVCC basketball team was devastated about the news of their fellow player. Head Coach Kris Baumann said he spoke with his players about the shooting but declined to speak on camera.
Marlo Bitter, Director of Communications at TVCC released the following statement: “Today, we were saddened by the news that Melvin Swift has passed away. His warm smile and presence on campus will be sorely missed.”
Swift graduated from Yates High School in Houston and was home for the winter break. His family’s home was less than a block away from where the shooting took place.
Swift was a 6-8, 210 pound sophomore at TVCC who had NBA potential. He had several division one offers including Baylor, SMU, UConn, Oklahoma State, and UMass. He was planning on signing soon.
At the time of the shooting, Swift was not listed on the TVCC roster. Swift played in eight games for TVCC this season and started one.
He averaged seven points per game this season.
He had a season high 11 points in the last game he played this season against the Texas Riders.
Authorities have not brought charges against the homeowner who shot Swift.

Feb

07

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 7, 2016

Worked up photo Bolger Obit

Worked up photo
Bolger Obit


Ellen “Ellie” JoAnne Bolger died Jan. 27, 2016. She was born Nov. 16, 1935, in Decator, Ill.
She was raised in Crete, Ill. and graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., in 1957, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.
She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Pat Bolger, son Mark and wife Terry; daughter Lisa and husband Jeff; son Brent and wife Kelly; grandchildren Bryan, Lauren, Haley, Brooke, and Rylee; brother Keith Cox and wife Bev.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Maureen Cox.
A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, at Discovery Village at Twin Creeks located at 480 Bray Central Drive, in Allen.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a Memorial Contribution to the Alzheimer’s Association for Dementia research at Alz.org, or a charity of your choice.