State Capitol HIGHLIGHTS

Neighbors agree to work on trade, energy projects

Gov. Greg Abbott traveled to Mexico last week to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto and other officials in Mexico City.

On Sept. 8, the governor’s office announced an agreement between the Texas Department of Transportation and the Ministry of Communications and Transportation of the United Mexican States “to promote and increase bilateral collaboration on future border infrastructure projects.”

Also announced was the creation of an energy task force “to foster economic growth on both sides of the border by finding new and innovative energy solutions.”

Abbott said the agreements signify Texas’ and Mexico’s “intent to expand highway infrastructure, encourage economic development and facilitate bilateral trade on both sides of the border.”


Have fun with the library

The Van Zandt County Library will be represented at the third annual Health and Safety Expo/Back to School Bash from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 19, at Canton First United Methodist Church. 

The event is free, and includes bounce house, games, and information about services and programs offered within the community. 

Help the library and maybe help your Christmas list.  An American Girl Doll and an Acer Chrome book are the raffle items offered by the Friends of the Library this fall.  Tickets are available at the library.   Only 152 tickets are available for each item.



Hi there!  I’m GRANDPA.  Hopefully you read my introductory article a couple of weeks back.  If you didn’t, I should just tell you that I am here for you.  I am here to take your questions or problems and give you the best advice I possibly can.  Your age doesn’t matter, I am here for all ages and all types of issues.

As a matter of fact I started off my first column with the following: 

Hey Grandpa, I’m a teenager and I’m getting bullied at school.  Why do people want to hurt other people like that, and what can I do about it without making things worse? Signed, Batterd Boy.

That’s a really good question Batterd Boy.  I know this is a widespread problem in schools and there’s a lot of work being put in by parents and teachers as well as school administrators to put a stop to it in their school district.  I don’t know if your school district is busy with it but most of them are.


State Capitol Highlights

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered Texas flags across the state be lowered to half-staff in honor of slain Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth on Sept. 4.

Abbott also asked that law enforcement officers turn on their patrol vehicles’ red and blue flashing lights for one minute at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 4, the start time for Deputy Goforth’s funeral.

Goforth, 47, reportedly was targeted for wearing a uniform.

He was gunned down on Aug. 28 while refueling his vehicle at a convenience store in the Houston suburb of Cypress. Surveillance video helped law enforcement trace, capture and arrest a suspect, Shannon J. Miles, 30. Investigators retrieved a .40 caliber handgun at the suspect’s residence. Ballistics testing matched the handgun to ammunition used in the shooting. The suspect has been charged with capital murder.


Two honored posthumously


Rich or poor, smart or dumb. It don’t matter

Did you read the book "Marley and Me?” Or see the movie?  At the end, the narrator says, "It doesn't matter to a dog if you're rich or poor, smart or dumb..."  And that's true.  All you have to be is THERE.  If you show a dog that you care, he will care about you ten times more. As for cats, they don't care about much of anything at all; they only want to be fed and to have a sunny place to snooze. 

When we adopt out a cat or dog, I always wonder what that person is really like.  Are they smart or dumb?  Are they rich or poor?  But then, I'm a human.

We've seen some really dim bulbs. There are some you would swear wouldn't know how to cross the street, but they have something the animal senses, something we humans can't see. That's the beauty of animals. They live in the moment, and all they need to know is that this person cares. Maybe we should all be more like that.  


No fines at GS Library

Grand Saline Public Library is starting out September – which is National Library Card Sign-Up Month – by announcing that we will no longer be charging daily overdue fines for materials checked-out from the library!

The library board first began discussing this idea in spring and after a test run during the summer we have decided that this is the right move for our library.  

Library Board Chair Jan Adamson stated, "We're embracing a trend that has been met with success in libraries across the country. It eliminates an adversarial position with our patrons and allows them to return materials without fear of recrimination.  We still value our collection and will continue to pursue over-due items but it's nice to know you don't have to worry about fines. Fines certainly don't count as substantial income for us.  But keeping our patrons and our materials is important."


Be a Friend to the library

Friends of the Van Zandt County Library will begin the 2015-‘16 year at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14 in the Buchanan Room of the Library.  Please make it a point to be on hand for a “Look Back-Look Forward.”   Annual dues are due, and life memberships are still available.

An American Girl Doll and an Acer Chrome notebook are the fall raffle items for 2015. 

Only 152 tickets will be offered on each item, and are available at the Library or from Friends.  One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit library programs.  All children’s books, newspapers, and magazines are funded through the Friends efforts.  Many other items that the annual budget does not support are provided through the generosity of the citizens in support of Friends of the Library. 

Many audio books are in Van Zandt County Library.  They are catalogued with the prefix DVD, so it is easy to look and see if your favorite is included.  Notice there are some special rules about checkout times. 


Get tech savvy at the library


We are excited to be starting our second year offering eBooks, downloadable audio books, and now streaming video. 

The Overdrive Digital Library allows you to check out items 24/7.  You can browse the collection, borrow with your library card, and enjoy on your computer, tablet, smartphone or eReader device. Most borrowed eBooks can be enjoyed immediately in your web browser with OverDrive Read. Or, you can download eBooks into free software, Adobe® Digital Editions or send to your Kindle® device or app. Downloaded eBooks can be transferred to eReader devices such as NOOK®, Sony® Reader™ and many more.

Audiobooks can be downloaded into OverDrive® Media Console™ (just MP3 audiobooks for Mac® users). Once downloaded, titles can be enjoyed immediately or transferred to a variety of devices, including iPod® and many others. Some audio titles can also be burned to CD to listen on-the-go.


Farewell to Sibyl

Sibyl Creasey, Friend of the Library, Genealogical Library standard bearer, member of the Van Zandt County Library Advisory Board, author of books, reporter and friend is moving away to be closer to family. 

A reception in her honor will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Genealogical Library (Highway 19 at Groves Street). The public is invited to attend the reception.

You may call yourself a “liberal” or a “conservative”.   Are you reading the comments made by both camps so you may support the candidates that reflect your views?

 The Van Zandt County Library has books by and about the life and philosophy of many of the candidates.   You may need help to know who is called liberal or conservative.   Let the information in the Library guide you.  

The young readers section has “Splat the Cat,” “Skippyjon Jones,” “Pete the Cat,” and The American Girl series along with a new edition of the beloved classic  “Dick and Jane.”


State Capitol Highlights

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Aug. 27 entered a plea of not guilty on felony charges of securities fraud at his arraignment in Fort Worth.

Tarrant County 396th State District Court Judge George Gallagher gave Paxton until Sept. 30 to answer to the charges.

Paxton is accused of encouraging two individuals to buy stock in Severgy, a Collin County-based technology firm, and being compensated for his actions without being registered as an investment advisor in accordance with Security and Exchange Commission regulations. Also Paxton is accused of falsely giving prospective investors the impression that he was an investor in Severgy.

The Texas Rangers turned over evidence gathered during an investigation that ensued when a formal complaint against Paxton, the state’s top legal officer, was lodged in April by Texans for Public Justice, an Austin-based government watchdog group. Paxton was indicted by a Collin County grand jury on July 28.


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