Scott named interim city manager of Van

Owen Scott has been named the interim city manager of Van.  Van has been without a city manager since the Van city council terminated the employment of former city manager Yvonne McCauley with a 3-2 vote Feb. 9, 2015.

Scott is a veteran in the field of city management. As a 29-year veteran with the City of Lindale as city secretary and city manager, Scott said his first item on his agenda would be to assess the problems that the city of Van faces.

“We, as a city, have to assess the needs for the City of Van before we determine what our short and long terms goals are,” said Scott.

Scott emphasized the importance of community and city staff involvement to push Van forward.


ROLLING OAKS VFD guest instructors at annual TEEX Fire School

Courtesy photo Rolling Oaks Volunteer Fire Department Chief Perry Debord and Assistant Chief Robert Noah served as guest instructors at the TEEX Municipal Fire School held in July.

Rolling Oaks Volunteer Fire Department Chief Perry Debord and Assistant Chief Robert Noah were among a select group of guest instructors at the TEEX Municipal Fire School held in late July. 

Both are instructors for Advanced Municipal Fire Operations Flammable Liquids and Gasses (Firefighter V).  The AMFO:FLAG course is the most advanced level of live fire training TEEX offers. 

The week long school is held at the world renowned Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station and each year thousands of fire service personnel participate in the intensive weeklong training courses. This is the first year TEEX changed its curriculum to align with the SFFMA and TCFP Certifications.

Additionally, Noah was appointed a promotion to commander of Project #33 which is the Compressor Station Fires.  This appointment puts Noah in charge of the entire project.


Fruitvale ISD continues free lunches

Fruitvale Independent School District announced it will continue its policy to operate the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for the 2015-’16 school year. Schools qualifying to operate CEP serve breakfast and lunch to all children at no charge and eliminate the collection of meal applications for free, reduced-price and paid student meals. This new approach reduces burdens for both families and school administrators and helps ensure that students receive nutritious meals.

For additional information please contact the following:

Fruitvale Independent School District, Susan McCann, Business Manager, P O Box 77, Fruitvale  75127 or call 903-896-1191.


Winning Two-Step ticket bought in Canton

Someone in the Canton area is doing a happy little Texas Two-Step this week.

The Texas Lottery Commission announced July 24 that the lone winning ticket in the July 23 Texas Two-Step drawing was sold at Brookshire Food Store #32 in Canton.

The ticket was a quick pick that matched all four numbers and the bonus and was worth $950,000. Numbers were 7, 25, 31 and 25 with the bonus 22.

According to the lottery commission, the prize hadn’t been claimed as of Tuesday morning, July 28.


Canton police chief retiring

Chief Mike Echols

Canton Police Chief Mike Echols has announce his retirement effective Aug. 31.

Echols has been with Canton PD since 1987. He has been chief since October 2007.

A reception honoring Echols time with the city will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Canton Senior Citizens, 200 W. Groves St.

Canton City Manager Lonny Cluck said a new police chief should be named in the next few weeks.

“I believe in promoting internally if you have good candidates,” he said. “We posted the job internally and had two good applicants – very qualified candidates.”

A five-person panel interviewed both candidates and made a recommendation, Cluck said. 


New dance coming to Canton Senior Citizens Center

The Country Drive Band

Beginning Aug. 14, John Rugg hopes you dance – at least every second and fourth Friday evening.

The Country Drive Band will be hosting a dance every second and fourth Friday at the Canton Senior Citizens Center, 200 W. Groves St.

Rugg is the drummer for the band, which has been performing in the Van Zandt area for the last seven years.  Comprised of six area musicians with four of the members performing together at any one time, the band has a vast repertoire of dance music that is appealing to all ages to keep you boot scootin’ on the dance floor, Rugg said.  

The group is enjoying its third year of Thursday night dances in Mineola, he said, and the band is excited to add the Canton Senior Citizens Center dance as their newest local venue in their busy performance schedule.  


Brookside planning fun in the Outback for VBS

Brookside Church is hosting Outback Rock VBS from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 and 12.

The event is open to children from birth through seventh grade.

“During the fun-filled two evenings, kids will go on a trek to discover God’s love in exciting ways that make Scripture come alive!” organizers said. “Get ready to explore the rock-solid height and depth of god’s love while experiencing fun, laughter and excitement.”

Children will be divided into crews that rotate through learning stations that reinforce a Bible point. Pre-schoolers will have their own age-appropriate fun, according to organizers, but everyone will be together at the start with praise and at the evening’s big finish, Rockin’ Wrap up – an closing time filled with music, drama and humor.

Instead of traditional VBS crafts, kids will participate in Projects with a Purpose and “create meaningful items that will bless others,” organizers said.


Hunting out haunts

Courtesy photos Van Zandt County Paranormal investigator Dominic Harris investigates a fallen headstone during a preliminary walk through of a VZC cemetery to determine if it is haunted.

Paranormal team investigates county

In this little corner of the country, hunting usually means camouflage, guns and four legged creatures. But hunting, according to the Van Zandt County Paranormal Investigators, means looking for things or spirits that go bump in the night.

Normally, people tend to shy away from the spooks and spirits that make the hair on the back on one’s neck go up, or that cause that eerie sixth sense feeling when one walks into a room. But, the Gatzert family of Canton is anything but normal.

Alisa Gatzert and her family are to put it bluntly, ghost hunters; and they hunt ghosts and spirts right in Van Zandt County and in parts of Texas.


Seal coating taking place on area highways

Texas Department of Transportation crews are resuming the annual summer seal coat operations to help preserve roadways throughout the Tyler District.

Work kicks started this week State Hwy. 11 in Wood County.

Seal coat is the department’s preventive maintenance program that utilizes a two-step process to cover existing roadway surfaces with a layer of hot asphalt followed by rock. The process seals the roadway to keep water out thereby adding years of life and requiring less maintenance while providing a new driving surface for motorists, according to TxDOT officials.

TxDOT said motorists can expect some travel delays and lane closures as the work continues for the next five weeks across seven of the district’s eight counties. Traffic control will be provided by flaggers.

The expected completion date for the $8.5 million contract is the end of August.


Missing man found dead near Ben Wheeler

On July 20, a resident of Canton filed a missing person report regarding her son, 34-year-old Shane Earld Corson.

The resident, Paulette Vick, reported that she had not heard from her son for a couple of weeks and she had contacted his friends in attempt to determine his whereabouts. She told police she was unable to locate anyone who had seen or spoken with him recently.
 Vick told police her son suffered from depression.

Canton Police launched an investigation to locate Corson and check on his well being.

“During the investigation, information was gathered that placed Corson’s last known location on VZCR 4406, just outside of Ben Wheeler, CPD Det. Mike King said. 


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