Apr

19

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 19, 2015

GBC Candidate forum

By David Webb
Monitor Correspondent
GUN BARREL CITY–Candidates running for the Gun Barrel City Council split along public safety and political lines while discussing smoking bans during a candidate forum Tuesday.
Linda Rankin, who is one of three candidates running for the Place 5 seat, and incumbent Councilwoman Carol Calkins, who is running unopposed for the Place 3 seat she now holds, said they favored an ordinance targeting businesses and other public venues to protect people from the hazardous effects of second-hand smoke. Calkins noted she lost a relative to cancer who contracted the disease from exposure to second-hand smoke.
Rankin limited her support of a smoking ban to restaurants and public venues but would permit nightclubs to continue allowing smoking if the owners so choose, saying environments where children gather need to be protective. Adults should be able to make their own choices, she said.
All of the other candidates said they opposed any type of ban on smoking because they objected to local government interfering in business operations.
Nightclub owner Rob Rea, who is running unopposed for the Place 1 seat, noted he smokes along with many of his customers. Prohibiting smoking could ruin his business, he said. Rea referred to proponents of smoking bans as “cigarette Nazis.”
“I have a philosophical problem with government telling me and other business owners how to make their money,” Rea said.
Incumbent Councilman Marty Goss and candidate Steven Schiff, who are running against Rankin for the Place 5 position, agreed with Rea that local governments should not impose smoking regulations on businesses.
Schiff said he is a former smoker, but he quit because the awareness of second-hand smoking hazards forced him to start smoking outside. He now avoids restaurants where smoking is allowed, and he limits his time in places such as Rea’s nightclub because of the smoke, Schiff said.
Goss said he considered it inappropriate for the city to “dictate rules” to businesses. He suggested the issue be put to a vote by citizens if a smoking ban is to be considered in Gun Barrel City.
Mayor Jim Braswell recently solicited opinions on a social media site about a smoking ban ordinance in Gun Barrel City. After the forum, the mayor said he was surprised to hear the question asked at the forum, but he noted several residents had asked him about the possibility of supporting a ban.
Other topics discussed by the candidates included the possibility of an ad valorem tax in the future, other sources of revenue, financial accountability by the city and what civic projects should take priority in coming years.
In the only contested race, Place 5 candidates Rankin and Schiff said the City Council needs to take a new direction while eight-year council incumbent Goss dismissed his critics as being “off-base” and ignorant of the facts.
The candidate forum was sponsored by the Athens Daily Review, The Monitor, Henderson County Now and CedarCreekLake.com. The media chose three of the questions, including the one about the smoking ordinance. The 50-member audience submitted several other questions at the 90-minute forum moderated by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Kevin Pollock.
Each candidate gave a two-minute opening and a one-minute closing statement in addition to answering the questions. The candidates chose the order in which they answered the questions in a random drawing.

Apr

16

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 16, 2015

Swain + Marsh comfort

By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor
TYLER–Down 3-2 in a shootout, Meagan Holyfield lined up with a chance to tie the game and save the Mabank Lady Panthers’ soccer season and a chance at the state tournament.
Mabank didn’t want to be in this position. The Lady Panthers played an excellent first half of soccer during the regional semifinal match at Rose Stadium in Tyler and never trailed in regulation time against the Princeton Lady Panthers. Goalkeeper Bailey Swain and the Mabank defense had played splendidly all playoff long, not allowing a single goal prior to the start of the game.
Mabank got on the scoreboard first when Heidi Foster found the back of the net to put the girls in green up 1-0 at the 27:04 mark of the first half. Princeton quickly tied things up three minutes later when Melissa Bewley scored off a corner kick to tie the game 1-1.
After a halftime break Mabank took the lead again when Kayla Houston made an excellent pass on a corner kick to sophomore Morgan Lynn, who found the back of the net for a 2-1 Mabank lead.
After the Mabank goal, Princeton’s Bewley turned on the offense pressure and eventually snuck past two defenders to beat Swain for her second goal of the game with just 12 minutes remaining. Neither team scored in the rest of regulation time or the two 10-minute overtime periods, forcing the shootout.
Once the shootout began, Bewley scored her third goal of the game to put Princeton up 1-0. Mabank junior Kaylee Creagh tied things up 1-1 on the next kick. Then, BriAna Lacey gave Princeton a 2-1 lead on the second rotation of kicks. Mabank followed up with Catherine Turner missing the net to keep the score 2-1 Princeton. Swain kept Mabank in the game with a diving save on the next kick to preserve the 2-1 score. Kayla Houston tied things up for Mabank, slugging her kick past the opposing goalkeeper. The shootout remained tied until the final rotation of kicks. Princeton’s Jaymee Dotson scored with a shot to the top of the post for the 3-2 lead.
Holyfield came up to the penalty kick area as Mabank’s last hope. Everything the girl’s soccer team had worked so hard for came down to one shot. If they won today, they would advance to the regional finals, just one win away from the state tournament. Even more was on the line for Holyfield. She is a senior this year and faced what could be her last game and shot of her high school career. She also carried the dreams of fellow seniors Lauren Flowers, Swain and her twin sister, Madison.
The story didn’t end like a storybook. Holyfield’s shot sailed over the top of the net and Princeton players exploded on the field in celebration. Meanwhile, Holyfield collapsed on the turf as the reality of the situation sunk in. Likewise, Swain sunk to her knees knowing it was all over.
Lady Panthers Head Coach Mari Miller was proud of the way Mabank played and developed over the year.
“The girls fought very hard,” Miller said. “They scored some great goals and played excellent defense. I am proud of each and every one of them. They improved much from the beginning of the year to now. We lost four amazing seniors this year who will be hard to replace.”
The Lady Panthers ended their season with a 14-10-1 record and its second consecutive regional tournament appearance. Last year they lost 5-1 to the Wylie Lady Pirates.

Apr

16

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 16, 2015

kimpixSIMSobit

kimpix HILLobitFuneral services for Laquita Joy Sims, of Gun Barrel City, were held April 12, 2015, at Eubank Cedar Creek Memorial Chapel with Rev. Lynette Solomon officiating. Interment followed at Oaklawn Cemetery in Mabank.
Laquita was born April 1, 1937, in Dallas, to parents Dorsey Cornell and Velma J. Watson, and entered into eternal rest April 9, 2015, at the age of 78.
Laquita lived in Rylie and went to the Rylie Schools in her youth. She married Robert (Bob) L. Sims Sept. 24, 1954.
Over the years, she worked in the retail business at Ellen’s Dress Shop and Blair Clothing Industry, both in Dallas and Gibson Clothing Department in Seven Points. She also worked in the grocery industry at Green’s Grocery Store and David’s Grocery, both in Mabank.
Laquita owned a cleaning business in Gun Barrel City and in later years, she and Robert (Bob) had a second hand resale business called “Things of Yesteryear” in Kerens.
She was a Baptist by faith and a charter member of Friendship Baptist Church. Laquita was a kind, funny, loving Christian lady. She loved to talk and never met a stranger. Her family and friends were her life.
She loved going to garage sales, reading, watching television, shopping, playing bingo with friends, and collecting Coca-Cola items, iron skillets, knick-knack collectables, Betty Boop items, Elvis Presley items and many other items. She loved old glass and old books. Collecting these items is how her and Bob started a resale shop.
Laquita was preceded in death by her parents Velma Morris, D.D. Morris and Dorsey Cornell, son Robert Tracy, husband Robert (Bob) L. Sims and brother Willard Cornell.
She is survived by her daughters Terri and husband Walter Reaves of Mabank, Vicki and husband Larry Shelton of Gun Barrel City; grandchildren Daniele Shelton, Matt Shelton and wife Hollye, Natalie Reaves and Kellie Reaves, all of Mabank; great-grandchild Gage, sisters Laverne Cornell of Springtown, Nettie Hughs of Mesquite and Margaret Burns of Arkansas; sister-in-law Lucy Cornell of Austin, several nieces and nephews, many other family and friends.
A personal tribute may be made online at www.eubankcedarcreek.com