News

Thu
11
May

Federal funds likely to be denied

Texans taking care of Texans is what it is looking out to be for relief efforts throughout Van Zandt County.

While multiple agencies, groups and volunteers have pitched together to combat the destruction from the April 29 tornadoes and piece the county back together, federal officials say that only $9 million in damages has occurred, which includes damages in Smith and Van Zandt counties, which does not meet the $36 million threshold to qualify for federal assistance.

According to Pct. 4 Commissioner Tim West, two thresholds have to be met to qualify for federal assistance.

“Both thresholds have to be met for federal assistance. We (as a county) met the $189,000 threshold; the state will not meet the $36 million threshold to qualify for federal funds. If both thresholds are not met, then the county will not receive federal funds,” said VZC Pct. 4 Commissioner Tim West.

Thu
11
May

Concert benefit set for VZC Tornado Relief

Wesley Pruitt band to headline event

To help raise funds for victims of the tornados that tore through Van Zandt County April 29, a benefit concert will be held from 12:30 p.m. to midnight Sunday, May 28, at The Pickin’ Porch Park in historic downtown Ben Wheeler.

Four people died and more than 50 were injured in what officials say were nine tornados that ravaged the area. Hundreds of homes, businesses, and properties were destroyed.

The Van Zandt County Twister Relief Concert features a long list of talented musicians who are stepping forward to donate their time to the cause.

Confirmed performers include Jeff Allen, Wesley Pruitt Band, Will Burgin, Clay Thrash, Austin Layne, Heather Little, Meredith Crawford, Seek the Peace, Buddy and the Flashbacks, Diamondback TX, Chad Bennett, TuTu Jones and blacktopGYPSY.

Instigated by Canton’s own Wesley Pruitt, the benefit holds special meaning to him.

Thu
11
May

Kirkpatrick denies bankruptcy rumors

Auditor calls for proper purchasing procedure 

At the beginning of the May 9 session of the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court, VZC Judge Don Kirkpatrick addressed rumors about the county being bankrupt.

“The rumor started in Smith County that our county is bankrupt,” said Kirkpatrick. “Let me assure you that the county is not bankrupt. The county did not have much money before the recent tornadoes. Anytime you have a disaster, the cost of the cleanup and the appraisal costs are high. The appraisal district will be coming to a commissioners’ court meeting soon and request that we allow them to go out and re-appraise all of the homes that were damaged or destroyed. I can assure you that we are all still working together.”

In other business, the commissioners approved a recommendation from Kirkpatrick to extend the county’s disaster declaration for an additional 20 days to expire May 26.

Thu
04
May

Classical Conversation chapters conduct mock trial

An entire semester of preparation was put into action April 27 as home school eighth grade equivalent students from two East Texas chapters of Classical Conversations were in the Van Zandt County courthouse April 27 to conduct a mock trial.
 

For more stories like this one, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Thu
04
May

Fruitvale takes step to recovery

As tornadoes ran from Eustace to Emory, multiple cities in Van Zandt County took a hit from the severe storm systems and tornadoes that swept through April 29. While efforts largely focused on Canton and the surrounding areas, Fruitvale also took a heavy haymaker from the tornadoes. 
For more stories like this one, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Thu
04
May

Balloon Fest now benefit fundraiser

In reverence of the recent tornado disaster and recovery efforts, officials behind the Sixth annual Tailwind Regional Balloon Festival has shifted the festival’s focus to a benefit and community appreciation event for Friday, May 12 only.  
The event is free to the public. Donations received will go to the Van Zandt County Tornado Relief Fund 2017, a local fund benefiting local families in need.    
 

For more stories like this one, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Thu
04
May

Myrtle Springs Cemetery sets work day, memorial service

The Myrtle Springs Cemetery Association has scheduled work days for May 6 and 13. Workers should bring their own yard tools, saws, trimmers, etc. and should be at the cemetery by 8 a.m. each morning, event organizers said. 

The Cemetery Association will hold its annual memorial service at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 21, under the tabernacle at the cemetery. A business meeting will follow. The cemetery is located near the intersection of I-20 and VZCR 3442 in Myrtle Springs. All persons interested in the cemetery are urged to attend.

Contributions may be mailed to the Myrtle Springs Cemetery, PO Box 1092, Canton, TX 75103, or may be made the day of the memorial. Contributors can designate their donation to perpetual care or the general fund.

For more stories like this one, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Thu
04
May

American Cancer Society to Honor Cancer Survivors

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Van Zandt County encourages cancer survivors and their caregivers to attend a celebration of life and hope on Thursday, May 11.

The American Cancer Society Survivors’ Celebration Reception will take place at First United Methodist Church in Canton, and will precede the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Van Zandt County on Friday, May 12.

The event commemorates the lives of hundreds of Van Zandt residents who have survived cancer, while offering the hope of finding a cure. Volunteer cooks will offer a complimentary meal to each cancer survivor and his or her guest.  

Each survivor will receive the 2017 Relay for Life Survivor T-shirt in the signature purple, along with a goody bag filled with gifts donated by sponsors from around Van Zandt County. Many survivors have already registered for the Survivors’ Celebration Reception, and registration is still open.

Wed
03
May

Holly Springs Cemetery to hold ‘May Day’

Continuing a tradition that began in the 19th century, the public is invited to the Holly Springs Cemetery annual Memorial Day celebration Sunday, May 7, 2017. 

The official business meeting of the Holly Springs Cemetery Association will be at 11 a.m. followed by lunch under the tabernacle. 

HSCA board members and volunteers will be at the cemetery all weekend for “First of May” clean-up and fellowship activities. 

Those who are unable to attend the official meeting are urged to stop by the cemetery Friday, May 5, Saturday, May 6 or Sunday, May 7 for help or information. There will be people on hand to help locate burials, accept donations or to answer any questions, said organizers.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Wed
03
May

County Blotter

The Van Zandt Co. Sheriff’s Department reported the following arrests from April 18-26, 2017.

Michael Randolph Allen, 36, Wills Point, was arrested on an Angelina Co. warrant for theft of property, and on a Nacogdoches warrant for theft of property.

Cecil Nakia Autry, 42, Wills Point, was arrested on a warrant for violation of parole.

Raymond Blake Ballard, 39, Dallas, was arrested on a warrant for possession of marijuana.

Mandi Lyn Belken, 33, Mabank, was arrested on an Arkansas warrant for possession of dangerous drug.

Allicia Bothwell, 43, Lewisville, was arrested on six warrants for manufacture, delivery of controlled substance, possession of marijuana, tamper, fabricate physical evidence and possession of controlled substance.

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