News

Wed
17
Jun

Tornado cripples community, not residents

By Britne Reeves • Staff Writer
The town thrives on its oil history and the stellar performance of its school district. The spirit of Van can be seen in the red banners and signs posted throughout the community. After all “once you’re a Van Vandal, you’re always a Van Vandal.” The essence of that community spirit came shining forth May 11 after an EF-3 tornado ravaged most of the northeastern part of the town during the late evening May 10.
 
Wed
17
Jun

Night of praise, thanksgiving set to benefit Van area disaster relief fund


The Erwins set to preform at 7 p.m. June 25 for “A Night of Family, Faith and Friends,” a free concert celebrating the heart and faith of the city of Van.

The night of May 10, changed the lives of several thousand people in and around the Van community when an EF3 tornado ripped a path of destruction from just south of Van, north almost to Grand Saline.

In the days and weeks that have followed there has been an avalanche of outpouring of support into the Van community. Volunteers have shown up to cut down trees, remove trash and debris, serve meals to those in need, provide supplies including food and financial resources. East Texans have come together to “Stand With Van” in towns from Athens to Paris and Longview to Dallas.

In all of these communities, people have banned together to hold several large-scale events. But to date, nothing has been held in the city of Van. Until now.

Tue
16
Jun

Judge details county’s capital murder expenses

By Donnita Fisher

Managing Editor

 

Although the county budgeted more than $450,000 to try three capital murder cases in 2014 and 2015, to date less than $112,000 has been actually spent, 294th District Court Judge Teresa Drum told Van Zandt County Commissioners last week.

Drum provided an update on the county’s capital murder budget during the commissioners court meeting June 9.

Commissioners originally budgeted $457,316.10 for three capital murder cases – Danny Greenhow, Larry Maples and Michael Moore, Drum said. “Expenses were budgeted for the DA’s office, the Sheriff’s office, indigent defense expenses, as well as jury and district clerk expenses,” she said.

The county also anticipated receiving $150,000 in grants from the state if the cases were tried as death penalty cases. “None of these tried as death penalty cases,” Drum said, “so we were not eligible for the grants.”

Mon
15
Jun

Edgewood Heritage Park hit by thieves


Photos courtesy Ricky Niell The 6-foot vintage Gulf Oil sign at Heritage Park in Edgewood became the target of thieves last week. The sign has an estimated value of $1,000.

By Pam Millican

Correspondent

 

The Edgewood Heritage Park in downtown Edgewood was fell victim to theft last weekend.

Heritage Park employees reported that a 6-foot round Gulf Oil sign was taken from the back wall of the old Gilliam Station early last week.

The sign was attached to the back of the station approximately 10 feet off the ground. The sign has a value of about $1,000.

Gilliam Station is located on the corner of the park on Main Street and approximately 100 feet from a street light. It would have taken at least two people and a 10-foot ladder to take down the sign.

The Heritage Park is located one block from the police station.

As of presstime, the Edgewood Police Department could not be reached for comment. 

 

Sat
13
Jun

Juneteenth celebration set for June 20

Organizers were hard at work this week, putting together the finishing touches on the 18th annual Juneteenth Celebration in Wills Point.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with the news that the Civil War had ended and the enslaved were free. 

This announcement came two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862. The celebration of June 19 became “Juneteenth,” and the observance has grown beyond the borders of Texas and traveled to other countries. It became an official state holiday in Texas after having been signed into law on June 13, 1979.

Wed
27
May

GRAND SALINE LOOKS TO REPLACE WARNING SIRENS

By Kat Hinson
Correspondent
Wed
27
May

Remembering a remarkable airman

Duward F. Sumner was born and spent his early life in Van Zandt County. His mother, father, grandparents and great grandfather are buried in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Canton, the county seat. The story of Sumner’s life and his outstanding record as a World War II pilot would make a good Hollywood script. Yet today, Duward Sumner’s name would draw a blank among most people living in Van Zandt County.

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Wed
27
May

MARTINS MILL TOP TWO HEADED TO UT

Commencement for the Martins Mill High School graduating class of 2015 will be at 7 p.m. Friday, May 29, at O’Neal Weaver Gymnasium at Martins Mill High School. The class will be led by Valedictorian Sydney Bartlett and Salutatorian Dylan Stuart Weatherford. Sydney, 18, has been a Martins Mill Mustang since eighth grade. She is the daughter of Tony and Marie Bartlett.

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Wed
27
May

VANDALS, BULLDOGS CONTINUE POSTSEASON MARCH

The playoff march continues on for both the Van Vandals and Edgewood Bulldogs this week after each team picked up impressive wins in the Area round. Two other county teams, the Canton Eagles and Martins Mill Mustangs, each watched their season draw to a close after narrow losses to Bullard and Bowie respectively..

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Tue
26
May

On the road to recovery

Van pushes back despite disaster

By Britne Reeves

Staff Writer

Emergency operations continue in Van through the combined effort of law enforcement agencies, relief organizations and hundreds of volunteers.

Van Zandt County Fire Marshal Chuck Allen credits the generosity of people across the state and the nation with helping the community after a tornado May 10 destroyed 90 homes and damaged 110 others cutting a path through Van 10 miles long.

“I never would have dreamed that we would be this far along with recovery as we are at this time,” Allen said. “We have no other place to put all of the physical donations.”

Although physical donations are filling up the buildings, monetary donations are still needed.

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