Pet overpopulation can be fixed. No pun intended

During the 1970's, there was a social movement called "Zero Population Growth.”  The idea was that people who wanted children should only procreate enough to replace themselves; in other words, two children per family. It was commonly known as ZPG.

For some reason this movement just died out. For religious or other reasons, people kept having kids and more kids, thinking (I guess) that, as long as they could afford them, why not? Personally, I feel that's taking the short view. There are other things to consider when it comes to planet population. There are ecological factors, health issues, loss of animal habitat. This latter one is a big deal to me.

When we first bought the property on which we live, we saw evidence of deer. We recognized where they bedded down and occasionally saw them peeking through the trees. After a few months of zealously crashing through the woods on the tractor, we managed to run them off. I've always regretted that. 


Don't Grow Immune to the Value of Vaccines

By Frankie L. Trull

The fight against rubella, the deadly German measles, has finally paid off. Global health authorities say the terrible disease has been eliminated in the Americas. It's a rare dose of good news in the fight against the debilitating disease, which can cause birth defects or even fetal death if contracted by a pregnant woman.

The eradication was possible by one of modern medicine's most indispensable tools -- routine vaccination. Immunization's value has never been more apparent. Yet Americans have grown skeptical of vaccines -- and the science behind them. That has to change. Few medical innovations have saved more lives than vaccines, which may play an even larger role in the years to come. 


Mt. Zion Community

The information in “The Gospel According to Ruth” is from the work of Ruth Stout Abbott. Mrs. Abbott was born in Van Zandt County in 1926 and she died here in 2007. The articles published here are from her work on the history of the county and its communities; therefore, the information is historical and there might have been changes since its original publication.

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Playground will honor family killed in crash

By Jami Johnson
On Nov, 19, 2014, my boys joined their dad and stepmother to travel to Disney World. Within hours, they experienced tragedy. My 16-year-old, Andrew Hardman, was driving and the only person wearing his seat belt. Everyone else was thrown from the vehicle as it spun and rolled. Michael and Trudi Hardman were both killed, along with my 7-year-old, Adam Hardman; Trudi’s 15-year-old son, Dakota Watson; and their 4-year-old daughter, Kaci Hardman. Trudi’s 12-year-old, Hunter Watson, suffered minor injuries. My 12-year-old, Aaron Hardman, had severe injuries.

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Seatbelts save lives but there are still many myths about wearing them

Guest columnist
When it comes to wearing your seat belts, some motorists may believe that they are protected by the size of their vehicle, their seating position, or where they are driving.
Truth is wearing a seat belt is the best way to protect yourself and your passengers in a crash. Fortunately, most Texans now buckle up, but some groups of motorists still aren’t taking the message to heart and aren’t consistently using seat belts. Let’s look at the myths about seat belt. 
Vehicle type:
There seems to be a misconception among those who drive and ride in pickup trucks that their large vehicles will protect them more than other vehicles in crashes. Numbers say otherwise.

State Capitol HIGHLIGHTS

House, Senate produce disparate versions of tax relief

By Ed Sterling


AUSTIN — Legislation approved by the House and Senate last week reveal widely differing views on how to bring about tax relief to Texans in fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

Speaker Joe Straus lauded the preliminary approval of House Bill 31, legislation to reduce the state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 5.95 percent, resulting in a $2.66 billion revenue decrease, and House Bill 32, legislation cutting the franchise tax paid by many businesses by 25 percent and resulting in a statewide revenue decrease of $2.56 billion. Both bills were written by House Ways and Means Chair Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, along with several members credited as coauthors.


County Crime and Drugs K2, Spice, Bath Salts

This is the tenth in a series of articles to try and help the citizens of Van Zandt County to better understand the many factors surrounding the unlawful use of drugs and their connection to property crime in the county.  It is widely accepted that becoming educated about the problem gives us the ability to have some impact on what many consider a national crisis.  Thanks to the publication: Let’s All Work to Fight Drug Abuse, published by L.A.W. Publications for use of some of their resource material in this article.


The mother of all problems?

Sometimes I think moms get a bum rap. 
Movies and novels – and, unfortunately, the stories we tell our friends – often portray mothers in the most unflattering light.
I have two children – now successfully grown, thank you very much.
I’ve been both a stayat- home mom and a working mother. Neither was a piece of cake – a walk in the park – a day at the beach – easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.
When I was a stay-athome mom, I worried all the time that my kids weren’t being taught the things they needed to get
along with others.
I struggled with the need for adult interaction and wondered how working women with children managed to keep house, do laundry, cook and care for their kids because I had a difficult enough time doing those things without a job.
Then I became a working mom and found a way to get those things done but it was so so very difficult and, looking back, I

Dogs need and deserve respect

Carol Whatley
Guest columnist -

In a previous column I mentioned that our organization's insurance will not allow us to accept what are known as "bully" dog breeds including Pit Bulls, Chows, Rottweiler’s, etc.  On that list as well is the German Shepherd, which is one my all-time favorites. 


East Center Community

by Ruth Abbott
The East Center Community is located east of Canton and west of Grand Saline, and was settled in the late 1870’s. Time has obscured how it came to be called Center. However, the first available records I found list it as Center and was called this until the late 1800’s, when it was changed to East Center. Likely the reason being, there was also a community named Center in the western part of the country.


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