Grand Saline Public Library is in trouble

Last summer, the Van Zandt County Commissioners voted to no longer fund our library.  The Grand Saline Public Library first started getting funding from Van Zandt County when O.D. Hazel was Commissioner.  The money coming to us came from the Precinct One budget until around two years ago.  At that time the Commissioner’s court determined that the money could not come out of our precinct’s budget because it had to be clear that the money coming to us was never road and bridge money.

  When this change was made no one at the library was informed that these changes were occurring.  For those two years, we continued to receive our monthly checks from the county because our funding was changed from the Precinct One Budget to the General Fund.  


The Doomsday Clock

In early 2017, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reset their Doomsday Clock to two and one-half minutes to midnight, citing the danger of climate change. For the previous two years their Doomsday Clock was set at three minutes to midnight, the highest setting in 30 years.

The only time the Doomsday Clock was set any closer to midnight was in 1953, after the U.S. tested its first hydrogen bomb.

In 2016 the Doomsday Clock was set at three minutes to midnight. The Bulletin wrote in 2016, “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions to reduce disaster must be taken very soon.”


Access technology at the GS Library

Helping students is one of the many functions of a public library and having access to technology is becoming a greater need for students.  We recently received a phone call from one of our middle school teachers requesting information about library hours and what technology we had to assist her students who are working on a project and we wanted to share that information with our readers as well.  T


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.”



Subscribe to RSS - Columns