Eighth annual jubilee coming to Caney Creek Church

Don Edwards

Caney Creek Cowboy Church will host Don Edwards, “America’s Cowboy Balladeer,” in a free concert at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19.

During the church’s eighth annual jubilee events will consist of wild horse adoption, trail rides, antique tractor and car show, all goat kids ranch rodeo, chuck wagon meals, mutton busting, extreme trail challenges and gunfight skits featuring the Outsiders.

Caney Creek Cowboy Church is located at VZCR 1806, Grand Saline, TX 75140

For more information, call 903-962-7509 or visit


Texas Inmate Families Association sets Tyler Parole Packet workshop

The Texas Inmate Families Association will hold its next Parole Packet Workshop from noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Freedom Fellowship Church, L2915 SSE Loop 323L in Tyler.

This workshop is for family members and friends who have loved ones in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice unit and would like to learn more about the parole process and how to put together a parole packet, organizers said.

Cost is $50 for TIFA members and $85 for non-members (which includes membership.)

Visit the TIFA website for more information and a registration form or call the Tyler TIFA Chapter at 903-504-9771 or the TIFA phone line at 512-371-0900 and leave a message. 


GS Old School Museum to offer tours, special events appointments

The Grand Saline Old School Museum is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each second Saturday of the month.

Appointments can be made by those who wish to see the museum on alternate days or may be opened for viewing for special events as requested by the event organizer.

Meeting rooms at the museum are also available for events by request by calling 903-829-9792.

To request a viewing of the museum or make an appointment call 903-829-9792, 903-962-4792, 903-962-6146 or 903-630-0824. To donate any old school items call one of the above phone numbers.  


3rd annual Van Zandt County Wildlife Expo Friday, September 11th

The Van Zandt County Extension Wildlife and Natural Resources committee will be hosting the third annual Van Zandt County Wildlife Expo Friday, Sept. 11, at the Farm Bureau in Canton. 

The program is from 8 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.   

Cost is $12 per person which covers the cost of the program, refreshments and handouts. 

RSVPs to the County Extension office are needed by Sept. 8.  Call 903- 567-4149.

“I think our committee has developed a great program that will benefit anyone with an interest in wildlife, whether it be hunting or just from an aesthetics point of view,” said County Extension Agent Tommy Phillips said.


Budget, tax rate adoption Sept. 8

Second public hearing deemed success 

The commissioners of Van Zandt County held a second public hearing on the 2015-‘16 proposed tax rate Sept. 1.

The proposed tax rate is $0.485847 per $100 valuation which is the same as last year’s tax rate.

The effective tax rate is $0.47173823 per $100 valuation.

The rollback rate is $.48586097 per $100 valuation.

Judge Don Kirkpatrick felt that the hearing “went well and is satisfied with the balanced budget and proposed tax rate.”

Two county residents, Ronnie Jones and Bill Blackmon, addressed the council about their respective concerns.

Ronnie Jones, an ever-present figure at the commissioner’s court, brought concerns over capital murder funds and also addressed trepidation about funding throughout the budget.

Blackmon asked commissioners to address the road conditions throughout the county, specifically in Precinct 3.


Genealogical group sets fall seminar Sept. 12, 13

The East Texas Genealogical Society's annual fall seminar will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 12 and 9 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 13 in the Fellowship Hall of First Assembly of God Church, 5309 Rhones Quarter Rd. in Tyler.

Cost is $15 for the Sept. 12 session and $50 for the Sept. 13 event.

A $10 box lunched can be pre-ordered for the Saturday event before Sept. 4.

Sessions will be lead by John A. Sellars.

The topic of the Sept. 12 session will be “Here comes the Judge: Your Ancestor’s Day in Court.”

Sept. 13 seminars include “What’s hidden in courthouse records?” “Was Grandpa his brother’s keeper? (a study of the Masonic Fraternity); “Researching newspapers in cyberspace and beyond,” “Giving your research the old college try! Researching in colleges and university archives.”


Hall opens Van Zandt County office

Texas Senator Bob Hall has opened an office in Canton.

The office is located at 17585 Hwy. 19 Ste. 200 and will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The telephone number is 903-567-0904.

Greg Bray will be the senator’s representative in the office. His email is

Bray said an open house is in the planning stages.

“I know Sen. Hall is very excited to be back home and we look forward to seeing each and everyone of you at our open house once we get a date,” Bray said.


Labor Day balloon release rescheduled

The Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial Annual Balloon Release usually held on Labor Day has been rescheduled for November.

The event will be held around Veterans Day, organizers said.

More information will be available as the event draws near.

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


AARP driver safety course offered

AARP Driver Safety Program and the Van Zandt County Library at 317 First Monday Ln. in Canton are sponsoring a driver safety class from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10.

This course is designed for drivers primarily 50 years of age and older.  The course helps drivers learn to compensate for the effects of passing years have on eyesight, hearing and reflexes, organizers said.

Most participants will qualify for insurance premium reductions of up to 10 percent off their policy cost for the next three years.

Cost for the class is a nominal fee for materials only. 

To enroll for the class, call 903-848-7023.  Class size is limited.


Edgewood boy killed crossing Hwy. 19

A 12-year-old Edgewood boy was killed while crossing Hwy. 19 about 8:30 p.m. Aug. 28.

Shawn “Austin” Phillips was hit when he and two other youngsters where trying to cross 19 near Van Zandt County Road 1105, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brady Lunceford said.

“The kids were on the west side of Hwy. 19 and were running to the east side,” Lunceford said. “The other two made it across. He didn’t.”

The accident happened at 8:23 p.m. Aug. 23. “It was dark and (Austin) was wearing blue jeans and a dark shirt,” Lunceford said.

Austin was killed upon impact. Justice of the Peace Ronnie Daniell pronounced him dead at the scene.


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