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The Malakoff News
Malakoff, Texas
February 3, 1977     The Malakoff News
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February 3, 1977

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}los21 & Sons Book Binder Sprin[port, ich,. 49284 IN Single Copy YEAR. Number 5 MALAKOFF, HENDERSON COUNTY, TEXAS THURSDAY, February 3, 1977 Commissioners Refuse To Call For Outside Audit By Tom Herline th Purc r SCENES-- Four of snow blanketed the toff area Sunday, ng these picturesque i of familiar homes, ngs and objects d by the white, fluffy By Tuesday, except in spots, most of the disappeared, the two sunny, corn- mild days. [Staff by Loraine Herline] Snow Man Weather again to a near- in Malakoff and Creek Lake area. of four inches of the area afternoon and night( cancellation of in all area school as well as Hender- Junior College. who did venture out morning early were streets glazed by melted solid as for the time went into in the area. were also when attempting parking spots snow and ice when to give enough to back or pull out Page 2 Henderson County Com- missioners refused to second a motion by County Judge Winston Reagan for a com- plete and thorough audit of the county's books Monday. Although commissioners discussed the pros and cons of an outside audit, and most agreed one should be done annually, no one seconded Judge Reagan's motion, and " - it died for a lack for a second. Reagan said he wants a thorough audit like one made in Henderson County in 1972 which turned up widespread misuse and mismanagement of county funds, and a study by the County Grand Jury. The motion came in the wake of revelations last week that former tax assessor- collector Billy Richardson had quietly repaid some $16,000 in known shortages in the books in his tax office which he left after an election defeat Dec. 31. The court also is wrestling with nearly $12,000 in over- spending by commissioner Larry Everett who left office after being defeated on Dec. 31. Judge Reagan has repeat- edly chastized the court for not acting on a number of recommendations made by ,.l side t-check audits ....... PP made in 1975 and 1974, and in commenting on Richard- son's shortages last week blamed the court's failure to act as a contributing factor. Precinct 4 Commissioner Tarrant said, "I'd like to have an audit instead of a bunch of recommendations." "I'm not in favor of them. I don't like them. They cost too much and they do too little," commented Ned LaRue. Admitting some- thing should be done on an annual basis, he said that more time should be spent on "auditing than on recom- mendations." In response to a question, Judge Reagan said he wanted a general audit of all funds in all departments-- "the whole thing, just like we did the first one, in 1972." Reagan said $15,000 had been put in the budget this Area Residents Testify Against GS-U Hike S. Alexander than 20 local resi- the ice and h travel to-Austin Y for tlle Public ty Commission's on a rate request by rates United Tele- only four wit- 17 Cedar residents got up m. and boarded a bus and the hearing. arrived after legan, but a brought was as evidence. Quintanella pre- Over the hearing at none of the commis- Was present. At- will present for tle increase, tors were heard morning, and open- by the PUC that , the company is en- Some rate increase, as much as it is said he had Several letters of but only two groups represented at the the City of and the Presi- PrOperty Owners Association from Cedar Creek Lake. Witnesses for PPOA were Judge Henry King, retired district judge and resident of Bushwhacker Estates; Donna Alexander, news- paper publisher; Joe Green- haw, mayor Seven Points; and Twain Walters, owner of Dairy Queens in Mabank, Kemp, and Trinidad. Judge King explained the organization of the Presi- dents Property Owners Association {PPOA) and how the organization deter- mined early that the major area of concern for all tesidents of the Cedar Creek Lake area was the poor quality of telephone service. Under questioning by attorney Don Ray, repre- sented PPOA, King. des- cribed how letters were written to the presidents of all property owners associa- tions in the lake area, some 32 of them, enclosing a petition to GSU asking for improved service and extended area dialing at no additional cost. King stressed the many problems of service, which includes being cut off in the middle of a conversation, noisy lines, numbers that do not ring, inability to reach numbers that are in service, and other flaws. He also described the division of the lake area into many exchanges which limit conmunication and impose, he alleged, an unfair long GSU, objected when Ray asked King to describe the general reputation of the telephone company in the area. Ray argued for admis- sion of the testimony, and Oates was overruled. King said, "The reputa- tion is bad. I've talked to a world of people, and they all feel the service is terrible." Each witness echoed the same sentiment about the reputation of GSU. Green- haw said it was very bad, and Waiters said, "I hear complaints all the time." Oates asked all witnesses if they reported service problems to GSU. The response in every case was that some service problems distance charge on calls were reported, but the ser- between neighbors, vice was so bad it would be Steve Oates, counsel for Ympossible to report every time. Walters said, "I've com- plained so much that I'm embarrassed to ask the little girl to report the problem to her supervisor." Mrs. Alexander said that people working for her company couldn't possibly report all the problems because they wouldn't get anything else done but talk to the telephone company all day. Walters said his concern was the inaccuracy of billing. He admitted that his was an unusual problem because he could not be certain all the time which customers had used his phone, but he doubted that all the phone calls being charged to his bill were actually made from his See PHONES, Page 6 Judge Henry King Stressed Problems Twain Waiters ' Complaints Embarrassing Joe Greenhaw Mayor of Seven Points Ralph Quintanella Presided Over Hearing year for an audit. "It's no use to do one and have recommendations and then not do them," Com- missioner J.L. Tarrant said. Tax Assessor-Collector Keith Hearn said, "I feel that the majority of this request is for my depart- ment, because we do handle a lot of the money. I'd like to see an item-by-item audit, but it's hard to get done." "Whatever recommenda- See AUDIT, Page 8 Malakoff Senior Dies In Wreck; 20.Year-Old Hurt In Cycle Crash A Malakoff high school student was killed and a Malakoff 20-year-old was seriously injured in two separate accidents last week in the area. Cyrena Johnson, 18, daughter of Mrs. Willie Mac Johnson of Tool, died. as a result of a head-on collision on the Clear Creek Bridge on FM 90 at 8:30 a.m. Friday according to Trooper Ron Walker. She was driving a 1975 Honda Civic which collided with a tractor-trailer driven by Robert Kett of Parker Heights, Tex. Kett was uninjured. She was pronounced dead on arrival at Henderson County Memorial Hospital, where she was taken by Paschal Ambulance of Malakoff. The road was blocked over an hour and a half before wreckage could be cleared. Walker blamed fog and wet highway conditions for the accident. In an accident in Malakoff on FM 90 in front of Red Barn Furniture Thursday at 6:15 p.m., James Douglas Armstrong of Malakoff, See WRECKS, Page 2 Cyrena Johnson State Audit Team Due In County To Check Books 0f Tax Collector By Tom Herltne ...... An auditor team from Texas Comptroller Bob Bullock's office is expected to begin examining the books in the Henderson County tax office in the wake of revelations last week that former tax assessor- collector Billy M. Richardson had been forced to repay some $16,000 in shortages which turned up in the office. Among the items covered by Richardson was some $8,000 in personal checks made out to himself which had never been presented to the bark. for payment, ding at least one check in late December. Other shortages, accord- ing to County Attorney Billy M. Bandy were checks which dated back into the 1960s which were presented only recently to him for collection and were uncollectible because of the two-year statute of limitations set by law. Richardson, 40, defeated by Keith Hearn, left office Jan. I. The shortage was brought to Hearn's attention by county auditor Tom From This Corner By Tom Herline shortages when asked about rumors circulating late in January that such a shortage existed. Later Bandy and Hearn confirmed the shortages, as did county judge Winston Reagan. Bandy blamed shortages on Richardson's personal checks that bounced, as well as bad checks for auto registrations and "open credit to certain car dealers in the county for auto registrations." Bandy said he felt the shortages were as a result of See SHORTAGES, Page 3 When the plumbing gets stopped up at our house, it's a matter of all hands on deck to man battle stations. And despite a war-time mobili- zation of manpower, as often as not, I lose the battle and have to call a real honest-to- goodness plumber. This little saga begins last Monday as dinner is being prepared. It ended three days later. The dishwasher was running, vegetables were being washed in the kitchen sink, when suddenly water from an overflow pipe began gushing greasy, gunky fluids across my kitchen-den floors. To Arms! Out comes the trusty old Sani-Flush. And the first salvo was fired. I must not have kept my powder dry, for following the amount applied according to directions, and then some, nothing happened. My kitchen sink refused to drain for an)' reason whatsoever. So I postponed action to Tuesday. On Tuesday, I pulled up my medium range gun-- the trusty old plunger. Two hours work with this instru- ment left me frustrated, with a blistered thumb and water all over the kitchen from the splashing. Now using a plunger in my kitchen is no easy task. There are too many places for air to escape and the suction of the plunger to drain comes to naught. That's when a fair-sized family comes in handy. Mary was assigned to hold a stopper in the bar sink. Ed was assigned the companion sink to the one which was being plungered. Loraine kept a rag stuffed into the drain pipe taking the air conditioner's drainoff. Aside from giving Ed a bath every time I activated the plumber's friend, little of note happened. The sink 'stubbornly remained stopped. Now, some years ago, faced with a similar problem I purchased a coiled metal length of tubing which was supposed to be designed to be put into a clogged drain and by rotating the tubing, clean out obstructions. During the 12 years I have owned Otis device, I have succeeded only in scarring up sinks and various parts of my plumbing system. Never have I unstopped a drain wi! h it. But I have tried. Lord, have I tried, This time, a day later, I ran the gadget down a vent pipe in the direction I estimated the stoppage was located. Now this is a fine device, but it is reluctant to turn corners or do the loop-the-loops that plumbing designers have established. In addition, although the directions say to rotate the line to clean out obstruc- tions, my cleaner-oUter has a mind of its own and rather than rotate, it coils up like a snake. When I turn it loose, it uncoils, endangering any- thing and anybody in the vicinity. An hour of wrestling this snake led nowhere. So I decided to surrender. But as I was standing on a chair, replacing the vent pipe, I heard a gurgling sound. Water flowed. And flowed and flowed. Without a tap of the plunger, a turn of the router or a teaspoonful of Drano. As mysteriously as it had" stopped up, my drain had unstopped. I had overcome! I had beat the system at last. I didn't have to call the plumber! I just wish I had some idea how i did it! i