Memorialize loved ones through donations

One of the ways that the community can support the library is by giving memorial donation or donations to honor someone to the library. 

After the loss of a loved one, we have all looked around at all the flowers and plants and felt overwhelmed with trying to figure out what to do with them.  Instead of ordering a flower arrangement or a plant, next time consider making a donation to the library. 

When we receive memorial donations we send a card to the family acknowledging the donation in memory of their loved one and give them your address so that they can send you a thank you.  In the past memorial donations had to be brought to the library or mailed in by the person making the donation.  We have now added a PayPal button to our website so if you do not live in the area or cannot come by when the library is open you can make your donation online leaving us a note telling us the reason for the donation. 


GS Library Friends begins membership drive

The Friends of the Library are in their fundraising season and membership drive.  The membership to the Friends of the Library is $25 per family and $50 for business members. Money raised through the membership drive goes back to the library. Last year they were able to purchase a new printer and pay our annual Overdrive library subscription; they bought books for our children’s non-fiction collection and helped fund our summer reading program. They hosted our visit from Santa and the library’s 50-year anniversary party. The Friends raised money through the membership drive and by working concessions. 


Volunteers, the lifeblood of libraries

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any library. In 2016 we had over 1,400 hours of volunteer work done at the library.  Using the Independent Sector’s Estimated Value of Volunteer Time this time is calculated to be worth almost $33,000.  


County Sales Plunge for Once-Popular Rifle

Gun owners may have been relieved when Donald Trump was elected, but you can’t blame gun shop owners if they have a few mixed feelings. While former President Obama was a boon to gun sales, the new president hasn’t been.

Reflecting a national trend of a drop in firearms sales, shops in Van Zandt County are seeing the effects of a president who is more gun-friendly. Especially when it comes to AR-15 rifles.

David Wiley, owner of Wiley’s Gun Shop in Wills Point, says that business for him has remained strong, but the type of firearms people are buying has changed noticeably since Trump’s election.

“They’re back to buying normal stuff, like bolt action rifles and hunting shotguns,” Wiley said. “I’m still selling some of the AR-15s, but I’m now selling maybe one a week rather than 20.”


President Trump: It’s time to declare day after Super Bowl Sunday a national holiday

If I was able to directly communicate with  President Donald Trump I would suggest to him that there is one more executive order that he needs to consider in addition to addressing the border wall, Obamacare, immigration and other important issues.

I think he needs to consider adding another holiday for America and I believe that the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday should be declared a national day off for all Americans.

What other event do we have that attracts over 100 million television viewers in our nation, in addition to millions of others around the world and brings them together, regardless of political party preference, like the Super Bowl?

Although the football game itself between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium in Houston is supposedly the main reason that people tune in, all of us know that the game itself is not the only reason that Americans watch.


Just my opinion

Your opinions on subjects concerning Van Zandt County are of interest to us and our readers. "Just my Opinion" runs every week in the Van Zandt News with topics ranging from more serious issues to lighter subjects around the area. Be on the lookout for our reporters and don’t be shy. You may end up with your opinion in the Van Zandt News.

Do you do most of your shopping locally or out of the county? Please explain why either way.

I do most of my shopping locally.  If I can buy it in Van Zandt County, I buy it here.  I believe in supporting our county first.  Sandy Hilliard, Canton

Yes, I do most of my shopping locally.  I like to physically examine the goods I wish to buy. I hate to return ANYTHING.  It is a real hassle so I try to avoid it as much as possible. LeAnn Sellers, Van


Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Note: I was inspired by the people to have a little corner of the newspaper dedicated to humor, wit and knowledge over different subject matter. Quotes or tidbits printed in the Editor’s Corner are things that I have heard during the week, read, been told or seemed appropriate for the time of year. Have a blurb that you want to share? Send it to


Irish Blessing:

“As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.”


Overheard at the grocery store:

“No need getting a cart, we are just buying $50 worth of stuff.”


Anonymous Advice:

“If you don’t have everything that you want, be thankful for the things you don’t have that you didn’t want.”



Flynn offers comments on House Bill 2804

Texas House Bill 2804 has become a hot topic for educators and politicians alike in recent weeks, with superintendents and educational leaders around the state voicing their frustrations since the Texas Education Agency’s release of preliminary reports earlier this month.

HB 2804, passed during the 2015 legislative session by Texas lawmakers, established an A-F grading system where districts as a whole and individual campuses within a district are given letter grades in five different areas or domains.


Author to visit GS Library

The Grand Saline Public LIbrary like to invite you all to the library at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19 to welcome author  Author Roy Philp Jr.  Philip be at the library to discuss his book “The Hoot Owl Man.”  Set in East Texas, David and his son Matthew are on a campout when they discover an unconscious girl in a canoe floating down the river.  The girl, Molly, awakens and quickly mesmerizes David and Matthew with her ”zest and pizzazz.” 

Philp is retired pharmacist living in Beaumont.  He is the proud father of three and grandfather to five.  His grandfather’s storytelling was one of his inspirations.  Growing up Philp vacationed each year with his family on the Neches River and memories of these vacations inspired his book.  Learn more about their story and author Roy Philp when he visits the library.  Copies of book will be available for purchase. 


State Capitol Highlights

Patrick applauds action preserving North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has applauded the North Carolina legislature’s refusal to repeal a law banning individuals from using public bathrooms designated for the opposite sex.

Patrick, who has made the passage of similar legislation in Texas one of his priorities, said in a Dec. 22 statement: “Legislation like this is essential to protect the safety and privacy of women and girls, and is simple common sense and common decency.

“Legislation to protect women’s privacy and business is essential to assure that sexual predators, like those who exploit the internet, will not be able to freely enter women’s restrooms, locker rooms or showers and that businesses are not forced by local ordinances to allow men in women’s restrooms and locker rooms.”


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