GS man arrested for theft in six counties

The arrest of a Grand Saline man around 9:30 p.m.  Thursday, March 16 led officers to evidence tying him to burglaries in six northeast Texas counties, as well as the unlawful restraint of a young woman in his company.

Brenda Jelane Reynolds, 27, of Grand Saline, had initially willingly left with Michael Bernard Barry, 39, of Grand saline several days prior, but was alarmed  when Barry refused to take her home. After that, she  secretly texted her husband of the predicament and began occasionally sending him their GPS location. The husband forwarded the information to her father, who then notified Camp County officials that the couple was in their vicinity.


Some like it hot: 18th annual CASI chili cook-off April 1

The 18th annual Buffalo Girls Hotel CASI Chili Cook-off will be held Saturday, April 1 on The Mountain in Canton. The event is a fundraiser for the Therapy Dogs of Van Zandt County while also recognizes the rebirth of The Mountain.

CASI  members  raise funds for local charities throughout the year by competing or holding CASI chili cookoffs.
Each year CASI sanctions nearly 500 chili cookoffs internationally as qualifying events for the CASI Terlingua International Chili Championship, known as TICC.   These sanctioned local events raise over $1 million for the local and national charities which work with the local organizers.  This ultimate chili championship is held the first Saturday of November annually at Rancho CASI de los Chisos, near Terlingua, Texas.   The CASI Championship event is a fundraiser for local Terlingua charities and organizations and also fund CASI's National Scholarship programs. 


IMPACT Van Zandt: Taking ACTION to end child abuse

April is right around the corner and for 20 years Sandy Hilliard, President of the Child Welfare Board has been a driving force behind the mission to end child abuse and neglect in Van Zandt County.

Unfortunately, Hilliard, her board of directors and countless numbers of volunteers and family resource groups in the area have been fighting an uphill battle.

How serious is the problem? Out of 254 counties in Texas, Van Zandt County ranks in the top 15 percent in terms of children who have been removed from their home due to child abuse and neglect.


TxDOT projects for March 13-20

Van Zandt County –Maintenance resumes fog seal operations on SH 64 between FM 279 and FM 16 as well as on FM 2339 between FM 279 and FM 773. Expect lane closures and delays with flaggers providing traffic control.

Van Zandt County construction projects updates:

FM 314 Widening Project

  • Limits: From I-20 to the Van Zandt/Henderson County line
  • Contractor: A.L. Helmcamp, Inc., of Buffalo
  • Cost: $11.9 million
  • Anticipated Completion Date: Summer 2018

Structure work continues along with roadway rehabilitation activities. Expect daily lane closures at various locations throughout the project limits of this job to widen FM 314.

FM 1256 Widening Project


Meals on Wheels to serve breakfast

After several weeks of successful deliveries, the Meals on Wheels Ministry’s pilot program called Sunrise Senior Servings is officially underway and growing. The breakfast meal program is designed to meet the nutritional needs of the organization’s most nutritionally at-risk clients, and it offers a box of shelf-stable breakfast foods designed to complete seven breakfast meals.

“The boxes contain a combination of non-perishable items like dry cereal, dried fruit, milk and juice that satisfy 1/3 of the Recommended Daily Allowance for the senior population we serve,” said Meals on Wheels Ministry  President and CEO, Mike Powell. “The boxes are delivered weekly, directly to the doors of the homebound elderly and disabled clients we serve. We believe that this program will make a profound impact on the lives of some of our community’s most vulnerable people.”


VZ Business News

Ex-restaurant to be razed

The former Church’s Chicken restaurant in Canton that had been closed for years will be demolished. The restaurant – which for some time has sat vacant despite a sign indicating a Golden Chick restaurant would be coming in its place – will be razed soon. That is according to information presented by City Manager Lonny Luck to Canton City Council at its latest meeting.

Door Controls USA sold

Don Gilchrist, who founded Door Controls USA and Door Control Services in Ben Wheeler in 1973, has sold Door Controls USA to two of his children, Paxton Gilchrist and Summer Gilchrist-Haltom. The company deals in a broad range of parts for commercial and industrial doors. Don Gilchrist remains as chief executive officer of the company, and also continues as owner and CEO of Door Control Services, which repairs and maintains doors.

Myrtle Springs car sales lot


Nearly 300 die in school explosion

Although not in Van Zandt County, the New London school explosion in Rusk on March 18, 1937, remains the worst school disaster in United States history. 

The massive explosion caused the steel-framed school building in New London to collapse killing 298 people.

Of the 500 students in the building, only about 130 escaped serious injury.

The explosion, which was heard four miles away, occurred when a manual-arts teacher turned on a sanding machine and inadvertently ignited a mixture of gas and air.

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Canton Post Office to host passport fair

Need a passport, but can’t make it to the post office during normal office hours? To ensure U.S. citizens are prepared to travel abroad this summer, the U.S. Postal Service will be hosting a passport fair at the Canton Post Office, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 25, 2017. Customers will be accommodated on a first-come, first-serviced basis.

To obtain a passport applicants need to:


Search underway for missing Quinlan man

Michael Chambers

A search was underway a Wednesday morning for a Quinlan man who went missing Friday, March 10. The search for Michael Chambers, 70, has attracted national and local attention.

Chambers was last seen on video from Quinlan Walmart Supercenter entering and leaving at about 11:15 a.m. Friday, according to Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks.

Meeks said in a news conference Monday it was believed that something happened to Chambers between noon and 3 p.m. at his home in the 7000 block of FM 2101.

His office was notified of a missing person at 6:55 p.m. on March 10.


Master Volunteer training to begin

Master Wellness Volunteers are local people with an interest in health and wellness.  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides further training that increases their knowledge and skill in that area.  The certification course cost $75 which include a background -check. Volunteers use what they have learned to facilitate Extension educational programming in their communities. Master Wellness Volunteers must meet the following requirements in order to earn their certification.

Extension Master Wellness Volunteers:

  • must complete 40 hours of training in health and  nutrition education
  • be willing to give back 40 hours of service to the community
  • Attend all 5 class scheduled   

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